Best Camera 2017

While 2017 has just gotten underway, that hasn't kept camera manufacturers from pushing out the latest imaging tech. With the Consumer Electronics Trade Show kicking off the New Year, several cameras have already been released, ready to snap their way through 2017. We're already seeing cameras with faster frame rates and even a medium format mirrorless without the medium format price tag. But with so many new cameras comes a whole lot of decisions -- so what's the best camera for you? We've rounded up the top performers of the year. A few of these are hold overs from 2016, either because they have not yet been updated or because the upgrade really isn't worth the higher price. As we move deeper into the year, expect this list of the best cameras of 2017 to see several updates.

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Best Super Zoom Camera 2017

Panasonic Lumix FZ80

The Panasonic FZ80 has a whole lot of things going for it, considering it still sells for less than $400. The camera has the typical 1/2.3" CMOS sensor, but what's not so typical is the bright f/2.8 - 5.9 lens with a whopping 60x optical zoom. That brigther lens helps in low light, as well as creating those softer backgrounds. The lens isn't the only stand-out feature of the FZ80 though -- the 10 fps burst speed is excellent and there's also 4K video. Panasonic also offers 4K photo modes which essentially pulls stills from that high resolution video. Those files have a lower resolution, but it allows you to do things like take a 30 fps burst or even adjust the focus after you've already taken the shot. If you need a good zoom but don't have a penny more than $400 to spend -- the Panasonic FZ80 is an excellent super zoom camera.

Price from: $398.00 Get best offers

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Best Compact Zoom 2017

Panasonic Lumix ZS60 (DMC-ZS60K)

2017 hasn't yet brought us a new winner in the compact zoom category, so for now, the Panasonic ZS60 is still holding on, though that could certainly change by the end of the year. The ZS60 takes this slot over other small zoom cameras because of, well, some of the same reasons the new but heftier FZ80 takes the best super zoom -- a good lens, a 10 fps burst mode and 4K video with some pretty neat 4K photo modes. 

Price from: $397.00 Get best offers

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Best Advanced Super Zoom

Panasonic Lumix FZ2500

The Nikon DL 24-500 was our top pick last year -- but after several delays it still actually hasn't shipped. While we haven't seen a new top contender for the advanced super zoom category yet, we're going with last year's runner up while we wait to see if the DL line will actually go on sale. This of course gives Panasonic all three zoom titles -- but for good reason. The Panspmic FZ2500 has a larger sensor than the FZ80 for better low light shots and more resolution. The camera still has a good, bright 20x zoom lens that's just as good at macro shots as it is telephoto snaps. With the larger sensor, the camera sits at a higher price, but still costs less than the luxury Sony RX10 Mark II.

Price from: $1,100.00 Get best offers

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Best Waterproof Camera 2017

Olympus TG-4

The Olympus TG-4 is now two years old, and if Olympus continues with their usual update schedule, we should see a TG-5 this year. That will mean more features and a price drop on the TG-4, so if you can hold out a few more months, you may be better off. However, if you're headed on a snorkeling trip or otherwise don't want to wait for a camera that may not even be announced, the TG-4 still holds up as our top waterproof pick, even two years later. Why? The bright f/2.0-4.9 lens. Once you had underwater, that brighter lens is a big boost. The Ricoh WG-5 also offers a nice bright lens, but the TG-5 still beats it out in burst speed and RAW capabilities. 

Price from: $399.00 Get best offers

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Best Budget Advanced Compact Camera Under $800 2017

Fujifilm X70

The Fujifilm X70 is a compact that performs like a DSLR -- that's because it has a large, DSLR sensor inside. While the Fujifilm X70 isn't as versatile as a DSLR because of a fixed lens, it will get you images similar to the excellent Fujifilm X mirrorless camera line. That lack of a zoom may not make it the best camera for travel, but it's a solid street shooter for the price, particularly for those turned off by the Fujifilm X100F's high price.

Price from: $682.00 Get best offers

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Best Advanced Compact 2017

Sony RX100 V

Sony's RX100 line has long impressed -- and their latest option could also win a race with an impressive 24 fps burst speed and quick autofocus. That's combined with a one inch sensor and a small body that's still large enough to accommodate a viewfinder. If you need speed, portability and quality, the RX100 Mark IV certainly fits the bill, though there are other compacts with better sensors (read: better images) like the Fujifilm X100F, they just don't have near the same speed. Keep in mind, $1,000 is enough to pick up a DSLR -- so settle on this one only if you really need a little camera with big performance.

Price from: $868.00 Get best offers

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Best Budget Mirrorless Camera 2017

Fujifilm X-A3

2017 hasn't yet brought a budget mirrorless worth of unseating the Fujifilm X-A3, so here's what we had to say about the camera last year:

"Budget mirrorless (and DSLR) cameras still offer much bigger sensors than compact cameras, even though they might skimp out on a few features of their pricier big siblings. The Fujifilm X-A3 has a large APS-C sensor, but unlike the more advanced options, keeps the optical low pass filter, which means a slight loss in detail. That's okay (or at least okay for $600) because the the previous X-A2 still shot good images, and we wouldn't expect less from the newly released X-A3. Fujifilm's budget mirrorless also skips out on the viewfinder and has a cheaper build. Still, the large 24 megapixel sensor is hard to come by at this price point and the camera still manages to wrap up a fairly good speed too. If that budget has some wiggle room though, take a look at the X-T10 which eliminates the low pass filter on the sensor for more detail."

Price from: $599.00 Get best offers

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Best Enthusiast Mirrorless Camera 2017

Panasonic Lumix GH5

The Panasonic GH5 is bringing 60 fps 4K video to mirrorless cameras -- and without short recording limits. The GH5 appears to be every bit a video camera as it is a still shooter with a solid 20 megapixel micro four thirds sensor and 12 fps burst speed. That imaging capability is wrapped up in a weather-sealed body. If you like to get your hands dirty in both stills and video, the GH5 mixes the best of both worlds. If you're rather indifferent about the number of pixels in your video, consider the Sony A7 series, or, for more tighter budgets, the Fujifilm X-T20. 

Price from: $1,998.00 Get best offers

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Best Professional Mirrorless Camera 2017

Fujifilm X-Pro2

With only a handful of new cameras announced so far in 2017, the Fujifilm X-Pro2 hasn't (yet) been bumped from its top spot. Here's what we had to say about the camera last year:

"We're big fans of Fujifilm's X-Trans sensors because they offer a beautiful level of detail and color reproduction. Well, they've improved that even more in 2016, with more megapixels and autofocus points. That sensor is paired with a new processor that improves the burst speed to 8 fps. The sensor and processor are the two most important upgrades, and both of them see updates this year on a camera that was already pretty solid to begin with. The body of the X-Pro2 is a bit unexpected--the viewfinder is on the left instead of in the middle, paying homage to the old rangefinder cameras. But it's not just the location that's changed--it's a hybrid viewfinder, or an optical viewfinder with an optional electronic overlay. Because mirrorless cameras don't have that mirror, optical viewfinders were previously out of the question, but with this design change, Fujifilm has made it happen."

Price from: $1,699.00 Get best offers

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Best Professional Mirrorless Camera 2017

Fujifilm X-Pro2

Early into 2017 with only a handful of new camera announcements, the Fujifilm X-Pro2 still takes the top slot -- for now. Here's what we had to say about the camera last year:

"We're big fans of Fujifilm's X-Trans sensors because they offer a beautiful level of detail and color reproduction. Well, they've improved that even more in 2016, with more megapixels and autofocus points. That sensor is paired with a new processor that improves the burst speed to 8 fps. The sensor and processor are the two most important upgrades, and both of them see updates this year on a camera that was already pretty solid to begin with. The body of the X-Pro2 is a bit unexpected--the viewfinder is on the left instead of in the middle, paying homage to the old rangefinder cameras. But it's not just the location that's changed--it's a hybrid viewfinder, or an optical viewfinder with an optional electronic overlay. Because mirrorless cameras don't have that mirror, optical viewfinders were previously out of the question, but with this design change, Fujifilm has made it happen."

Price from: $1,699.00 Get best offers

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Best DSLR for Beginners 2017

Nikon D5600

The Nikon D5600 is a relatively low key update to the D5500, adding Bluetooth and time lapses, but it still beats out Canon's models at similar price points. The D5600 and D5500 use 24 megapixel APS-C sensors and shoot at up to five fps. One of the biggest perks for choosing the D5600 over the cheaper D3400 is a tilting LCD screen, though the autofocus is a bit nicer as well. Nikon's entry-level DSLRs offer excellent image quality for the price, and while they may not have the speed and extras of their pricier options, are easy to use and also have excellent battery life. (If you don't care much about the Bluetooth or time lapse feature, look at the price difference on the older D5500).

Price from: $999.00 Get best offers

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Best Professional DSLR 2017

Canon EOS-1D X Mark II

Flagship DSLRs are normally only updated every few years, so we don't expect to see the top professional DSLR to change this year -- though that's only a guess. Here's why we picked the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II over the Nikon D5 last year:

"Both Nikon and Canon updated their flagship DSLRs this year, so why does the Canon come out on top? While both cameras appear to be quite excellent (at least in specs), the EOS-1DX Mark II comes out on top in a few areas and also costs $500 less. Both cameras also 4K recording, but the Canon shoots at 60 fps and the D5 at only 30 fps. What's more, the Nikon is limited to just three minute clips, while with a big enough SD card you can shoot up to ten minutes of 4K video at once on the 1DX II. Canon also offers the higher burst, at 16 fps in Live View or 14 fps through the viewfinder. The 1DX II uses a 20.2 megapixel full frame sensor with a 65 point autofocus system. Besides that big power on the inside, the camera is well-built with a magnesium alloy body and 100 percent field of view viewfinder. It has an 800 shot battery life and records to CF cards."

 

Price from: $5,999.00 Get best offers

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