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The 10 Best Digital Cameras - July 2017

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Every week we analyse the technical specs, reviews and prices of every digital camera on the market in the UK to determine our top 10 list.
In total we compared over 1,430 digital cameras, 191,000 reviews and 13,300 prices. Last updated 21 July 2017.

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#1
D3200

Nikon D3200

Camera Labs - Highly RecommendedTechradar - Best in ClassTrusted Reviews - RecommendedPhotographyBlog.com - Highly Recommended
A great value for money and fully featured SLR digital camera, great for wildlife photography
Reviews
91
7 Awards
Value for Money
93
Excellent
Features
92
Fully-Featured
Age
78
2 Years Old
Overall Score
90
Excellent
24.2MP
SLR
Jan 2016
Megapixels
Camera Type
Release Date
#2
Ixus 180

Canon Ixus 180

A great value for money and very highly rated compact digital camera, good for portrait photography
Reviews
93
15 Reviews
Value for Money
97
Excellent
Features
79
Good Features
Age
77
2 Years Old
Overall Score
87
Excellent
20MP
Compact
10x
Megapixels
Camera Type
Optical Zoom
Jan 2016
Release Date
  • £100.00
    View Details
  • More shops: 3
  • £149.00 Currys
#3
D5300

Nikon D5300

CNET.com - Editor's ChoiceDP Review - SilverPhotographyBlog.com - Highly RecommendedEphotozine - Highly Recommended
A very popular and recently released SLR digital camera, perfect for wildlife photography
Reviews
91
13 Awards
Value for Money
83
Excellent
Features
85
Fully-Featured
Age
92
1 Month Old
Overall Score
87
Excellent
24.2MP
SLR
Jun 2017
Megapixels
Camera Type
Release Date
#4
IXUS 175

Canon IXUS 175

A great value for money and very highly rated compact digital camera, good for portrait photography
Reviews
91
16 Reviews
Value for Money
97
Excellent
Features
77
Good Features
Age
78
1 Year Old
Overall Score
86
Excellent
20MP
Compact
8x
Megapixels
Camera Type
Optical Zoom
Mar 2016
Release Date
  • £63.74
    Save £35.26 (36%)
    View Details
#5
NX3000

Samsung NX3000

vido.com.ua - RecommendedPhotographyBlog.com - Highly RecommendedEphotozine - Highly RecommendedExpert Reviews - Best Buy
A great value for money and multi award winning MILC camera, perfect for wildlife photography
Reviews
87
6 Awards
Value for Money
94
Excellent
Features
85
Fully-Featured
Age
68
2 Years Old
Overall Score
85
Excellent
20.3MP
MILC
May 2015
Megapixels
Camera Type
Release Date
#6
NX300M

Samsung NX300M

A critically acclaimed and great value for money MILC digital camera, perfect for wildlife photography
Reviews
91
11 Reviews
Value for Money
91
Excellent
Features
85
Fully-Featured
Age
61
3 Years Old
Overall Score
84
Excellent
20.3MP
MILC
Nov 2014
Megapixels
Camera Type
Release Date
#7
A5000

Sony A5000

Digitaltrends.com - Recommended Product
A multi award winning and fully featured MILC camera, perfect for wildlife photography
Reviews
88
1 Award
Value for Money
83
Excellent
Features
85
Fully-Featured
Age
76
1 Year Old
Overall Score
84
Excellent
20.1MP
MILC
Jan 2016
Megapixels
Camera Type
Release Date
#8
D3400

Nikon D3400

letsgodigital.org/nl/ - RecommendedCamera Labs - RecommendedPhotographyBlog.com - Highly RecommendedExpert Reviews - Best Buy
A best selling and good value for money SLR digital camera, perfect for wildlife photography
Reviews
83
6 Awards
Value for Money
84
Excellent
Features
84
Fully-Featured
Age
83
11 Months Old
Overall Score
83
Excellent
24.2MP
SLR
Aug 2016
Megapixels
Camera Type
Release Date
#9
D3300

Nikon D3300

vido.com.ua - RecommendedCamera Labs - RecommendedTrusted Reviews - RecommendedExpert Reviews - Recommended
A best selling and great value for money SLR camera, perfect for wildlife photography
Reviews
89
4 Awards
Value for Money
94
Excellent
Features
86
Fully-Featured
Age
52
3 Years Old
Overall Score
83
Excellent
24.2MP
SLR
Feb 2014
Megapixels
Camera Type
Release Date
#10
1300D

Canon 1300D

A best selling and very highly rated SLR camera, great for wildlife photography
Reviews
94
136 Reviews
Value for Money
82
Excellent
Features
76
Good Features
Age
77
1 Year Old
Overall Score
83
Excellent
18MP
SLR
Mar 2016
Megapixels
Camera Type
Release Date

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Digital Camera Brands

Find out how digital camera brands compare. The average rating for each brand is based on the rating of all of their digital cameras. Click on a link to compare all digital cameras made by your favourite brand.

Logo Brand Number of Digital Cameras Price Range Average Rating
Canon logo Canon Digital Cameras 81 £40 - £3,880 84%
Nikon logo Nikon Digital Cameras 72 £28 - £4,777 82%
Sony logo Sony Digital Cameras 48 £65 - £2,829 84%
Fujifilm logo Fujifilm Digital Cameras 36 £60 - £1,269 81%
Panasonic logo Panasonic Digital Cameras 32 £80 - £5,110 87%
Olympus logo Olympus Digital Cameras 27 £37 - £1,435 83%
Other brands Other Digital Camera Brands 101 £21 - £6,257

Digital Camera Buying Guide

There are four main camera types that you will need to decide between when choosing a new camera. Each have their own advantages and disadvantages and which one is right for you will depend on what type of photos you plan to take and what you aim to get out of your photography. Many people use a mobile phone as their camera these days, which is fine for day to day snaps but for quality photographs it's hard to beat a dedicated camera.

Compact camera

Compact Cameras

Compact cameras pack an incredibly large amount of technology into a tiny design that will easily fit inside your pocket. Compact cameras produce better quality images than mobile phones mainly because they have much bigger lenses which allow more light and more detail to be received by the camera's sensor. They also feature zoom lenses which let you get close to the action without any loss in image quality that comes with the digital zooms found on phones. Compact cameras are ideal for everyday use, family holidays and trips where you don't want to be dragging a bulky and heavy camera around with you.

Lightweight and compact
Great for everyday use and holiday snaps
Better image quality than a smart phone because of bigger lens
Easy to use
Get close to the action with an optical zoom
Full exposure control often available
Cheap
Image quality generally lower than other camera types.
You can not change lenses

Bridge camera

Bridge Cameras

Bridge cameras are designed to bring many of the features found on a DSLR camera, into an easy to use design. The often feature very powerful optical zooms that extend from very wide angle (which is great for architecture) to over 40x times zoom (which is ideal for wildlife and sport photography). They often feature an image stabiliser which will allow you to take photos with a long zoom without using a tripod. Bridge cameras are great for those looking for something a bit more powerful than a compact camera, but don't want the complexity of a DSLR.

Improved image quality
Bigger lens allows in lots of light for more detailed photos
Powerful optical zooms available
Many of the features found on a DSLR
Easy to use
Often has an image stabiliser
You can not change lenses
More bulky than a compact camera

System camera

System Cameras

System cameras are similar to bridge cameras in that they offer many of the features found on a DSLR, but in a smaller and easier to use form. They differ from system cameras in that you can change the lens on a system camera, which gives you far greater creative control. Many different lens types are available from ultra zoom lenses that get really close to the action, to macro lenses which allow you to photograph small objects really close up. System cameras are ideal if you want the power of a DSLR with interchangeable lenses in compact size and at a cheaper price.

Great image quality
Change lenses to suit your subject
Full frame sensors available providing very detailed photos
Lens adapters give you access to the huge range of Canon and Nikon lenses
Cheaper than a DSLR
Stylish
Can be expensive
Image quality is not as high as a DSLR

DSLR camera

DSLR Cameras

Digital SLR cameras give you outstanding image quality through very high quality components, large image sensors and a great range of lenses. You have full creative control by being able to adjust every aspect of the camera's exposure settings. Optical viewfinders let you see exactly what the camera sees and make it much easier to frame the shot in bright sun light conditions. Digital SLRs are a great choice for serious photographers who love taking photos and want the best possible image quality.

Outstanding image quality
Full creative control of all exposure settings
Very wide range of lenses available
Optical viewfinder lets you see exactly what the camera is taking
Record RAW images for the highest possible image quality
Fast autofocus captures subjects that are moving quickly
Expensive
Bulky and heavy
May have no built in flash

Image Sensors Explained

Camera sensor sizes

Megapixels & Sensor Size

Megapixels are a quick and easy way of measuring the level of detail that you can expect from a camera. One megapixel means 1,000,000 pixels and refers to the number of individual pixels that the camera's sensor can capture.

Whilst megapixels are a quick guide to the camera's performance, equally important is the physical size of the camera sensor. Larger sensors are able to capture more light which produces images with less noise and better dynamic range. Because they capture more light they can also take superior photos in low light conditions without flash. One of the biggest differences between smart phone cameras and other cameras is the size of the sensor. Even modest compact cameras will have a larger sensor size than a mobile phone.

Bigger sensors require physically bigger cameras and also bigger lenses to gather enough light to cover the sensor. For this reason the biggest sensors tend to found on the biggest cameras such as the DSLRs. This is also the reason why mobile phone manufacturers use very small sensor sizes.

The physical size of the sensor is described in many different ways including fractions and letters. Unfortunately it is not easy to relate these sizes to one another, but the chart to the left provides a guide and shows how each sensor size relates to the size of traditional 35mm film.

Full frame sensors are sensors that are physically the same size as traditional 35mm film. Full frame sensors are desirable because they capture very detailed images, but also because they are directly compatible with the huge range of lenses designed for 35mm film. There are plenty of DSLR cameras with sensors which are smaller than full frame. These cameras can still be used with 35mm lenses, but the smaller sensor size means that a conversion factor will apply to the lens. For example if a camera with non-full frame sensor has a conversion factor of 1.5 then a 200mm lens will behave like a 300mm lens, which is great if you want to be closer to the action, but not so good if you need a wide angle shot.

CCD Sensors

Charge Coupled Device (CCD) sensors have been around for over a decade and produce high quality low noise images. However they consume a lot of power and struggle with burst photography (taking lots of photos in quick succession). CCD sensors are still found on some cameras but most manufacturers have now switched to CMOS sensors.

More mature technology
High quality, low noise images
Drain the battery more quickly
More expensive to manufacture
Slower maximum frames per second

CMOS Sensors

Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) sensors are a newer technology that is commonly found on the latest cameras. They consume very little power so your battery lasts longer and can take many shots in quick succession. When first released CMOS sensors had problems with image noise, but technological developments have completely elimated these concerns.

Sensor of choice on pro cameras
Cheaper to manufacture
More energy efficient
Fast maximum frame rate
Less mature technology

Optical vs Digital Zoom

Many cameras have incredible zoom capabilities which let you get really close to the action. However when checking a camera's zoom capability it's important to check whether it has an optical zoom, a digital zoom or a combination of both.

Digital zooms let you zoom in by effectively cropping the photo. They do produce a zoom effect, but the quality of the image will be reduced because it has been cropped. Most mobile phones use a digital zoom.

Optical zooms work by physically moving the lenses that capture the image. The zoomed in photo is still captured using the full extent of the camera's sensor so there is no loss in image quality as you soom in.

Camera Screens

Almost every digital camera has a built in screen which lets you frame the shot you are taking, review and edit photos that you have taken, and also adjust the camera settings. Some cameras have fold out screens which make it easy to take self portraits and allow you to take photos when the camera is not at eye level such as in a crowd.

Touchscreen camera displays offer very intuitive control systems similar to those found on a mobile phone. Touch allows you to choose which part of the picture you want to be in focus or to be exposed correctly simply by touching it.

Viewfinders

As digital screens have become more advanced many camera manufacturers have dispensed with the traditional camera viewfinder. However there are many advantages to a traditional viewfinder. Firstly it is much easier to see what you are photographing in bright sunlight conditions through a viewfinder. Holding the camera to your face also steadies the camera giving you sharper photos. Finally a viewfinder uses much less power than a screen so you can switch the screen off when taking photos to make your battery last longer.

Traditional cameras have optical viewfinders. This means that the image viewed through the viewfinder is exactly the same as the image that camera will photograph. Optical viewfinders reflect light entering the camera's lens off a mirror and into the viewfinder. When the photo is taken the mirror quickly flicks out of the way to let the sensor receive the image. All top end DSLRs have optical viewfinders. Some cameras have digital viewfinders which are basically a second very small screen viewed through the viewfinder. Digital viewfinders have the advantage of allowing you to preview how the final image will look including any applied effects, however generally speaking they are considered inferior to an optical viewfinder.

Image Stabilisers

Some cameras have image stabilisers. These devices are designed to reduce the effect of hand shake on the stability of the camera thereby producing a sharper photograph. They are particularly important for large zoom cameras as zooming in will amplify the effect of any hand shake on the camera image.

There are two main types of image stabiliser: optical and digital. Optical image stabilisers work using a special lens which moves to counteract the effect of any hand shake. Optical stabilisers are considered superior as they do not artificially manipulate the image quality.

Digital image stabilisers work by a processor analysing the photo after it has been taken in order to reduce image blur. This can be achieved by the camera taking multiple photos and then combining the best parts of each photo together.

Autofocus

The camera's focus setting determines which part of the image is sharp.

Compact cameras will have an intelligent autofocus system which attempts to determine which part of the image should be in focus. These generally work well, but sometimes the camera can focus on wrong thing, for example when shooting through a window the camera may focus on the glass. Often budget compact cameras do not have a manual focus setting.

Premium compact cameras and above have manual focus as well as autofocus. Manual focus lets you control which part of the image is sharp by either twisting a focus ring or on touchscreen cameras, touching the part of the image that you want to be sharp. This is particularly useful when the subject is not in the centre of the image.

Cameras with viewfinders such as DSLRs often have multiple focus points which can be seen through the viewfinder. You can preselect which focus point is going to be used, which is great if you know that your subject will definitely be in a particular part of the picture. High end DSLRs also have predictive focus which will track the subject that you are taking, such as a fast moving car, and predict the position of the subject at the exact moment the photo is taken to give the sharpest possible image.

ISO, White Balance & Manual Exposure

With the exception of budget compact cameras most cameras allow you to manually set the exposure settings. Primarily this means setting the ISO level, the lens aperture and the shutter speed. Manual control is useful for capturing images in difficult light conditions such as at dusk, or for controlling creative effects such as depth of field (which parts of the image are in focus and which aren't).

The ISO level is particularly important as it effectively sets the sensitivity of the image sensor. Look for the maximum ISO level that the camera can support. A higher maximum ISO means that the camera's sensor is more sensitive to light which is very useful for taking photos in low light conditions without flash.

Some cameras let you manually set the white balance of the photo too. White balance is important because different light sources (such as the sun or artifical light) produce different types of light which can affect the colours in the photo and if set incorrectly can make the photo look unnatural.

Continuous Shooting

Some cameras support rapid continuous shooting. This lets you hold down the trigger to take a rapid succession of photos, which is useful for capturing fast moving subjects. The speed at which the camera can take multiple photos is measures in frames per second and most cameras will have a limit on the number of photos that can be taken in quick succession. For best results you will also need a fast memory card which is capable of saving images very quickly.

Lens types

For system and DSLR cameras there are hundreds of different lens types available giving you a huge range of creative possibility. Lenses fall in to a number of distinct categories each of which has their own unique benefit.

Prime

Prime lenses are set at a fixed focal length (zoom). This makes them more simple, requiring fewer pieces of glass to capture the image. The advantage of this is that they are able to capture more light through a very wide aperture which makes them great for taking sharp portraits with blurred backgrounds.

Zoom

Zoom lenses let you vary the focal length so that you can quickly get close to the action. The ability to quickly zoom in and out makes them very versatile and ideal for travel photography when you are likely to be photographing a wide range of subjects.

Wide Angle

Wide angle lenses are set at a very wide focal length which allows you to fit large objects such as buildings into the entire frame of the photo. Ultra wide angle lenses are called fish eye lenses and these can be used to create interesting distorted photos.

Macro

Macro lenses let you get really close to small subjects such as insects. With a macro lens you can hold the camera just a few centimetres away from the subject and still get a sharp, close up shot.

3D

Some manufacturers have created 3D lenses which let you take a 3D image using a normal camera. They work by splitting the image into two halves so that in effect you are taking two photos on one image. Computer software then renders these images back into a 3D image.

Lens Aperture

Lens aperture refers to the size of the hole inside the lens that lets light through to the sensor. A large aperture will let lots of light in which lets you take very short exposures, effectively freezing any moving objects in motion. A small aperture lets through very little light which means a longer exposure time is required. This can be used to create motion blur and to control how much of the image is in focus (depth of field).

Aperture is measured with an f number and it is worth looking at what the lowest f number is that the camera supports. In the case of interchangeable lens cameras the f number will depend on the lens itself, not the camera body. The lower the f number the bigger maximum aperture is which means the lens is capable of capturing more light. Bigger aperture lenses produce better quality images in low light conditions.

WiFi, Bluetooth & NFC

WiFi, Bluetooth and NFC (Near Field Communication) are all methods of wirelessly connecting the camera to other devices and to the internet. This lets you send photos directly from your camera to your phone or computer, and some cameras let you take photos on the camera using a remote app on your phone. With a direct internet connection your camera can upload photos directly to Facebook and Twitter. Some cameras also allow you to download apps to your camera for editing photos.

GPS

Cameras with a built in GPS will automatically tag your photos with the location that they were taken at. The location is stored inside the photo so even if you copy the photo to your computer or other devices the location information will always be attached. Location data lets you view all the photos created in a certain location and also allows you to create cool maps of your trips.

Creative Effects

Most cameras feature a host of creative effects that can be applied to the photos that you are taking. These include changing the image colour, perspective, tone and shape.

Create cool city shots in black & white or sepia, or apply artistic effects like watercolour or crayon to landscape shots. Many cameras include automatic scene detection which will adjust the camera settings for example when the subject is backlit.

Video

Virtually all new cameras can record video, which saves carrying around a separate camcorder. Some cameras can record Full HD video and even 4K video. DSLRs with built in video recording can produce outstanding video quality and are a popular choice for amateur film makers. Don't forget that videos will take up much more space on your memory card than photos.

Digital Camera Retailers, Prices and Features

Digital Camera Prices

Cameras range in price from £24 to £5,999 and in total we found prices for 471 cameras. On average, a new camera costs £588 and 80% of digital cameras are priced between £74 and £1,285. The cheapest digital camera that we found is the Dorr Mini Retro at only £25, and the most expensive is the Fujifilm GFX 50S at £5,999.

Digital Camera Brands - Price Range

The %8highest average camera price out of all brands is Leica digital cameras with an average price of £1,809. Leica digital cameras start at £100 and the most expensive Leica camera costs £4,355.

HP digital cameras range in price from £1,068 to £1,068, and the average price of HP digital cameras is £1,068 which is the second highest average price of all camera brands.

The average price of Pentax cameras is £786 which is the third highest average price of all digital camera brands. Pentax cameras start at £170 and the most expensive Pentax digital camera costs £5,152.

Digital Camera Brands - Average Ratings

We have checked 13,957 expert reviews and 110,984 user reviews for cameras from across the internet and used this data to determine the average rating for each brand of digital camera. The top rated digital camera brand is Casio with an average rating of 89%. The second best brand is Leica with 89% and the third best brand is Pentax with 89%.

Biggest Camera Retailers

We found 247 current offers for cameras from Amazon UK making it the biggest camera retailer. That is very close in size to the second biggest retailer, eBay for whom we found 243 current offers for cameras. The third biggest retailer is Harrison Cameras Direct with 133 current camera offers.

When Are Most New Cameras Released?

December to February is the most common period for new cameras to be released in. If you wait until December 2017 then you might be able to get better features on your camera. It's also worth keeping in mind that the price of the current cameras tend to drop off when the next models are released. In February 2016 63 new digital cameras were released making it the biggest month that year for new digital camera releases. In 2015 most new digital cameras were released in December, with 25 new digital cameras released that month. January was the biggest month in 2014 for new cameras, with 60 new cameras released that month.

Megapixels

The resolution of the images a digital camera produces is measured in megapixels (MP). One megapixel is equal to 1 million pixels and is a result of the pixel width multiplied by the pixel height of the image. While a higher image resolution generally results in sharper images, only a relatively low megapixel count is required when printing the image at a small size or to display it on a computer screen.

Comparing all cameras, the megapixels range from 0.3MP to 80MP. The megapixels of most cameras range from 14MP to 17MP. The FujifilmGFX 50S has the highest megapixel. This camera is a 51.4MP camera and currently retails for £5,999.00. The FujifilmGFX 50S, which sells for £36.89, has the lowest megapixel and is a 0.3MP camera.

A sensor with more megapixels will be able to capture more detailed photos and the image will appear sharper. Images with more megapixels can also be printed at a larger size.

Optical Zooms

The optical zoom of a camera is a measure of how much the camera can zoom in to the subject using the camera's lens system. An optical zoom is superior to a digital zoom because the zoom is achieved using the optics of lens which means that the full extent of the digital sensor is always used to capture the image.

The optical zooms of cameras range from 0.34x to 83x. The optical zooms of most digital cameras range from 4.9x to 9.4x. The NikonCoolpix P900, which is available at £398.00, has the biggest optical zoom and is an 83x optical zoom digital camera. The NikonCoolpix P900, which is available at £399.99, has the smallest optical zoom and is a 0.34x optical zoom digital camera.

A larger optical zoom allows you to zoom in on the subject without having to move closer. Compared to a digital zoom, using an optical zoom does not result in a loss of image quality.

Biggest Digital Camera Retailers

The biggest camera retailer by number of products currently for sale is Amazon UK. We found 247 current camera offers from Amazon UK. The second biggest camera retailer is eBay with 243 offers. That means Amazon UK is very close in size to eBay when it comes to cameras. Harrison Cameras Direct is the third biggest retailer with 133 current offers.

Which Are the Cheapest Retailers for Cameras?

With the cheapest price on 126 cameras, eBay is most frequently the cheapest camera shop.

Proportion of Digital Cameras for Which Each Retailer is Cheapest?

With the cheapest price on 51.9% of its cameras, eBay is most frequently the cheapest digital camera retailer.

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