Whether you’re in the market for a user-friendly point-and-shoot or an expert-level DSLR, T+L tech correspondent Tom Samiljan has the model for you.
Best for Editing and Sharing: Samsung Galaxy Camera 2
Samsung’s advanced point-and-shoot features built-in flash, 21x optical zoom, and smart modes that can compile faces from multiple photos into one perfect hybrid. Bonus: it runs full Android software, which means you can download apps, edit your photos, and share them over Wi-Fi. $450.
Best Zoom and Video: Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS40S;
The 30x optical zoom and 18-megapixel sensor on this fixed- lens point-and-shoot make for detailed snaps, while a correction feature keeps videos blur-free and level, no matter how much you’re moving around. $447.
Best for Action Shots: Sony A6000
For DSLR quality without the bulk, try Sony’s new mirrorless model. It’s compatible with more than a dozen lenses; has a 24-megapixel sensor for well-focused, high-res shots; and yields colorful images in all kinds of light thanks to a wide-ranging ISO. Also impressive: an ultrafast, supersharp burst mode for high-octane situations. From $650.
Best Rugged: Canon PowerShot D30
Waterproof, shockproof, and optimized for shooting in sunlight, this virtually indestructible compact is ideal for outdoors enthusiasts. Plus, great photos can be shot effortlessly with the help of image stabilization and intelligent auto modes. $300.
BEST FOR PROS: Nikon D5300
This 24-megapixel DSLR is all about clever design and efficiency, with a high-speed shutter, a comfortable grip, and a tilting LCD display for maneuvering tricky angles. Want to save on battery life? Use the large optical viewfinder. Want to shoot video? You’ve got 1080p HD. There isn’t much this camera doesn’t do. From $750.
Tom Samiljan is Travel + Leisure’s Tech Correspondent.