The problem with buying a digital camera is not only that there are hundreds of models for sale at any given point in time, but you also need to figure out which type of camera is right for you. The good news is that we review lots of cameras—and these 10 are among the best we’ve tested.

Do you want a small camera that requires minimal effort, but takes great pictures? A pocket point and shoot is probably your best bet. Need to get close to the action without carrying a huge camera with a big lens? A compact superzoom model is likely for you. Or do you want a lightning-fast shooter that lets you swap out lenses and play with settings? Then you want a D-SLR or a compact interchangeable-lens camera. Plan on shooting on the beach or the slopes? You need a ruggedized waterproof model.
View Slideshow See all (10) slides
Canon PowerShot S95
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T110
Canon EOS Rebel T2i
Nikon D3100

Best Microsoft MCTS Certification – Microsoft MCITP Training at Certkingdom.com

We picked winners from the cameras we’ve reviewed in each of the five aforementioned categories to make up our top 10. Remember, though, the digital camera market is a robust one; manufacturers release new products throughout the year, and we’re continually testing and reviewing cameras. Before you buy, be sure to hit our Digital Cameras Product Guide for the latest reviews. But for now, here are 10 of our favorite digital cameras.

Digital Cameras in this Roundup:

Point-and-Shoot Cameras

Canon PowerShot S95 : AngleCanon PowerShot S95
Editors
$399.99 direct
If you must have a camera that fits in your pocket, the Canon PowerShot S95 is the best compact model you can buy.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T110 : AngleSony Cyber-shot DSC-T110

$219.99 direct
Sony’s good-looking, compact Cyber-shot DSC-T110 delivers great photos and a solid touch-screen experience at a bargain price.

Digital SLRs

Canon EOS Rebel T2iCanon EOS Rebel T2i
Editors
$899.99 list (with EF-S 18-55mm IS lens)
The Canon EOS Rebel T2i pumps out beautiful pictures and boasts full-featured 1080p video recording options that were previously only available with D-SLRs twice its price.

Nikon D3100 : AngleNikon D3100

$699.95 list (with 18-55mm lens)
Nikon’s D3100 is an excellent entry-level digital SLR, and is currently the only D-SLR to offer continuous autofocus during video recording for a true camcorder-like video-capture experience.

Compact Interchangeable-Lens Cameras

Sony Alpha NEX-3Sony Alpha NEX-3
Editors
$549.99 Direct with 16mm lens
Stellar performance, a killer design, and a low price make the pocket-size Sony Alpha NEX-3 the compact interchangeable-lens camera to beat.

Olympus E-PL2Olympus E-PL2

$599.99 direct (with M.Zuiko ED 28-84mm f3.5-5.6 II lens)
The Olympus E-PL2 is the least-expensive compact interchangeable-lens camera you can buy. And while it offers very good image quality, some same-price cameras use even larger image sensors and deliver better low-light performance.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2

$699.95 direct (with 14mm f/2.5 lens)
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 might be the best Micro Four Thirds camera on the market, but it’s not the best compact interchangeable-lens camera you can buy, that’s the Sony Alpha NEX-3.

Superzoom Cameras

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX5VSony Cyber-shot DSC-HX5V
Editors
$349.99 direct
While you can get more zoom in a same-size camera from competitors, Sony makes up for it with a wealth of innovative features and clever in-camera software in the Cyber-shot DSC-HX5V.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7

$399.95 direct
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7 is among the most expensive pocket superzooms, but it does deliver solid shots, even in low light, along with a handsome feature set for the discerning photographer.

Rugged/Waterproof Cameras

Panansonic Lumix DMC-TS3Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3
Editors
$399.95 list
Images from the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3 are on the soft side, but its tough build and innovative feature set make this pocket camera our favorite rugged outdoor shooter.