Smartphones have taken over the camera market for normal everyday shooting, but they're still not nearly good enough for talented creators. Whether your loved one is into landscapes, filmmaking or vlogging, they'll need a decent compact or mirrorless camera with interchangeable lenses to turn their ideas into art. Fortunately, cameras keep getting better, with faster shooting speeds, improved video and incredible autofocus. To that end, we chose seven popular models that can do everything with aplomb in budget categories ranging from $550 to $2,000. If your loved one is an aspiring YouTuber who wants to step up from a smartphone, why not give them a camera specifically designed for vlogging?
If you're a photographer who fears change, 2018 might've shook you up. First Sony launched the A7 III, arguably the world's best full-frame camera, then Fujifilm released the X-T3, the top APS-C model you can buy right now. Right after that, Canon and Nikon launched all-new full-frame mirrorless systems with three new cameras, the EOS R, Z6 and Z7. To top it off, mirrorless video champ Panasonic announced it was diving into full-frame mirrorless as well with two new models, the S1 and S1R. This is the biggest upheaval in the camera industry for years and could have a big impact on your buying decisions.
Smartphones have replaced dedicated cameras for most folks, but weirdly, that's a good thing for photography lovers. With fewer boring point-and-shoots, manufacturers are focusing on building incredible cameras like Sony's RX100 Mark V compact, the Fujifilm X-T2 mirrorless and Nikon's high-end, full-frame D850 DSLR. For $500 and up, these models deliver faster shooting than ever, 4K video, wireless mobile sharing and more.
Remember the days when Panasonic was dedicated to Micro Four Thirds cameras and Nikon and Canon wanted you to see their latest DSLRs? That was so last month. Over the last 35 days or so, Nikon launched a pair of mirrorless full-frame cameras, the Z6 and Z7, along with the all-new Z-Mount system. Canon then went and announced its full-frame EOS R mirrorless camera and RF mount. This week at Photokina, Panasonic, Sigma and Leica unveiled the L-Mount alliance and Pansonic announced the Lumix S1R and S1 full-frame mirrorless cameras.
Canon's new full-frame mirrorless RF system looked incredibly promising, but it got off to a rough start with the launch of the EOS R, a camera that was missing key features next to rival models from Nikon, Sony and Panasonic. Rather than introducing a better flagship model, however, Canon took the opposite approach. It's great to have a cheap full-frame mirrorless option, but the problem for Canon is that it only has one affordable RF lens option, and the other two pieces of glass are nearly twice as expensive as the camera itself. And while it's lightweight, portable and has a flip-around screen, the EOS RP is missing several key features, like in-body stabilization. For $1,299, does it truly deliver in value compared to other full-frame mirrorless options?