Those looking for an advanced DSLR camera that's a bit older, so it can be obtained at a slightly lower price, will want to consider an interesting candidate from Canon: The EOS 7D. This Canon model has an 18-megapixel CMOS sensor sporting the latest technologies, including a 19-point autofocus system, high-end ISO settings (100 to 6,400) for low-light photography, full HD video capture at up to 30 frames per second, and a built-in dual-axis electronic level.
Several accessories are available for the award-winning EOS 7D, too, including a wireless file transmitter (the WFT-E5A), which allows for remote photography, controlled over a laptop or smart phone.
Canon's highly popular and long-running Rebel series of DSLR cameras continues with the EOS Rebel T2i. The Rebel T2i, which made my list of the best cameras for 2010, offers nice versatility for an entry-level DSLR model, making it one of the best beginner DSLRs.
It can shoot at 18 megapixels of resolution with still photos and at full 1080p with HD video. If you have a CEC compatible HDTV, you even can connect the award-winning Rebel T2i to your TV via an HDMI cable, and then control the camera with your TV remote.
The sharp-edged design of the Canon PowerShot ELPH 520 HS gives it an interesting look for a point and shoot camera. And it has some good photographic features to match its cool design.
The ELPH 520 HS includes a 12X optical zoom lens, which Canon claims makes the 520 HS the world's thinnest 12X zoom camera. The ELPH 520 HS measures 0.76 inches in thickness.
In addition, the ELPH 520 HS uses a 10.1MP CMOS image sensor, which should improve low light photography results. It has a high-resolution 3.0-inch LCD and full HD video capabilities. The ELPH 520 HS is available in blue, red, silver, and black camera bodies, depending on your location in the world.
The EXR image sensor, which helps cameras succeed in especially tough shooting conditions, helped Fujifilm win a 2010 DIMA Innovation Award. The award-winning image sensor is available in the FinePix F300EXR camera.
With the F300EXR, you'll find 12.0 megapixels of resolution, a 3.0-inch LCD, 720p HD video movie recording, and a 15X optical zoom lens. Measuring only 1.3 inches in thickness, the F300EXR is one of the thinnest cameras available with such a large zoom lens, and it offers one of the best combinations of value and performance in this price range. The F300EXR is a slightly older model that made my list of the best cameras for 2010, so you probably can find it at a discount.
Fujifilm's X-S1 digital camera is a fixed lens camera that includes some high-end features that you may find with a DSLR camera.
The X-S1, which was announced by Fujifilm just before CES 2012, offers a precision Fujinon 26X optical zoom lens. It includes a popup flash and a viewfinder, along with a 3.0-inch, high-resolution LCD.
The highlight of the X-S1, however, is its large image sensor, which is a 2/3-inch sensor. This allows the X-S1 to excel in low light.
You won't find many fixed lens cameras in such a high price range, so it may be tough for Fujifilm to gain a lot of traction here, but it's impossible to argue with the great features of this camera.
If I had to pick one point and shoot camera to recommend to people, the P500 would be the unit that I would select most often.
The P500 carries a 36X optical zoom lens. In addition, Nikon has given the P500 strong wide angle capabilities with a zoom range of 22.5mm to 810mm, and Nikon says the P500 is a strong macro performer, thanks to its powerful lens.
You'll find 12.1 megapixels of resolution in the P500's CMOS image sensor, a high-resolution 3-inch LCD screen, and 1080p HD video capabilities. The Coolpix P500 is available in either red or black.
The D5000 from Nikon burst upon the scene upon its mid-2009 release, receiving praise from many different reviewers. As a slightly older model, you're sure to find a great price on this really nice DSLR camera.
The D5000 offers 12.3 megapixels of resolution, which is a good amount of resolution for an intermediate-level DSLR camera. With its mixture of scene modes and manual control settings, the D5000 will work well for intermediate photographers looking to learn more about photography. You can purchase an optional geotagging unit, allowing you to include information about where you shot each photo.
Olympus has created what it calls the world's smallest and lightest PEN camera, which, considering the history of the PEN family of cameras, makes it one of the smallest and lightest interchangeable lens cameras from any manufacturer. This is a great little camera, mixing a good image quality with a great look.
The PEN E-PM1 offers some really nice features, too, including 12.3 megapixels of resolution with a CMOS image sensor, full 1080p HD video, and a 3.0-inch LCD. It measures only 1.33 inches in thickness (before you attach the lens) and it weighs only 7.65 ounces for the camera body.
If you like the latest "gadgets" built into your digital camera, Panasonic has provided exactly the model for you with its Lumix DMC-ZS10. The ZS10 includes a 3.0-inch touch screen LCD, a built-in GPS unit, and a 16X zoom lens in a small, point and shoot camera.
Finding one of these features in a camera is always nice; finding all three in a camera -- that carries a sub-$250 price tag -- is pretty rare. Throw in really good image quality and sharp focus, and the ZS10 is a very powerful camera. It's a newer model, so you should have no problems finding it at this point.
10. Samsung NX10 DIL
The NX10 has a 3.0-inch AMOLED screen, which is brighter than traditional LCD screens and uses less power. (AMOLED is short for active-matrix organic light emitting diode.) In addition, Samsung has included 14.6 megapixels of resolution with this model. Samsung is offering the NX10 in black, silver, or a limited-edition white, and this camera has won both a DIMA Award and a Plus X Award. It also made my list of the best cameras in 2010. The NX10 might be a little tough to find at this point in time, as it's a slightly older model, but it's a really good DIL model.
Extremely fast autofocus for both still images and movies highlights the Sony Alpha SLT-A55V "hybrid DSLR" camera, which is among the best entry-level DSLR cameras you'll find. The award-winning A55V (sometimes called the a55) includes a new technology Sony calls "translucent mirror technology."
Sony included limited wide angle capabilities in the WX9's 5X optical zoom lens. This camera can shoot 16.2MP still images and 1080i HD video. Look for the WX9 to be available in black, red, and silver.