Digital Cameras: Expert and User Reviews

Updated May 31, 2014
In this report

Digital Cameras: Ratings of Sources

1. DPReview.com Reviews / Previews, DPReview.com, Not dated
Credibility:
DPReview.com tests and evaluates nearly every camera on the market. Reviews include plenty of photos and are written to appeal to both the beginner and the seasoned pro. Editors typically reserve their Gold Award mostly for big digital SLR (single-lens reflex) cameras, but there's now a category for compact digital cameras.
2. Amateur Photographer Compacts, Amateur Photographer, Not dated
Credibility:
Editors at this U.K. publication test cameras both in the lab and in the field. Each detailed, critical review scores the camera on eight criteria (such as features, autofocus and dynamic range) and overall, and testers explain how each camera stacks up against its biggest rivals. Editors classify cameras into various categories (including compact and compact-system cameras) so you can compare models that suit your needs. The ratings of the top nine compact models are separated only by 2 percentage points.
3. Reviewed.com Our Best Lab Tested Digital Cameras, Reviewed.com, Not dated
Credibility:
Digital cameras receive detailed analysis (although not quite as extensive as the top sites'), and reviews include comparisons to market rivals. Cameras have numerical ratings so you can easily see how they stack up against one another. The reviews are unapologetically critical, and they cover cameras of all types and price ranges. Here, editors name their favorite cameras in every category.
4. What Digital Camera Camera Equipment Reviews, What Digital Camera, Not dated
Credibility:
This British site thoroughly tests cameras by shooting in a variety of circumstances (you'll find plenty of test photos and videos here). Testers here don't do extensive lab tests like the top sites, but they do a great job explaining each camera's pros and cons, and how it stacks up against rivals. The "recommended" lists are out of date, but you can sort all of the site's camera reviews by rating to find the current top picks.
5. CNET Best Digital Cameras, CNET, May 20, 2014
Credibility:
CNET's editors routinely review and rate digital cameras. Each camera is evaluated for its design, image quality, performance and features. Those factors are weighted based on the camera's class to produce a final rating. Commentary is often shorter than at enthusiast sites. Here, Lori Grunin names CNET's favorite compact digital cameras in several categories, and links lead to full reviews of the models named.
6. PhotographyBlog.com The Best Digital Cameras, PhotographyBlog.com, May 12, 2014
Credibility:
This British site reviews a lot of digital cameras, most of which are available in the U.S. Editors provide objective test scores for image quality, ease of use and value. Cameras receive an overall rating, so it's easy to see how they compare. Most of the camera reviews on this list are up to date, but a few are outdated.
7. TrustedReviews.com Best Digital Camera, TrustedReviews.com, Not dated
Credibility:
This British website is a great source for digital camera reviews, news and more. Though the individual camera reports are not as detailed as other sources, they are easy to read and accompanied by test shots. Editors test everything from point-and-shoot models to underwater cameras to advanced DSLRs. Comparisons are rare, but the reviewers are clear about which cameras they like -- and which ones they don't. This sortable list shows the top-scoring cameras.
8. PCMag.com The 10 Best Digital Cameras, PCMag.com, May 7, 2014
Credibility:
PCMag.com covers digital cameras in single-camera reviews and occasional roundups. The very best get an Editors' Choice award. These reviews are easy to digest, which is nice if you want a quick overview rather than an exhaustive analysis. The comparison chart gives an at-a-glance overview of their top 10 cameras.
9. TechRadar.com Cameras Rated, TechRadar.com, Not dated
Credibility:
All of the camera choices at TechRadar.com win Editor's Choice awards. You can sort the cameras by rating and then link to full reviews of each. The reviews are thorough, covering performance, image quality, noise and sensitivity, and stretch to several pages long.
10. Imaging-Resource.com Dave's Picks, Imaging-Resource.com, As of May 2014
Credibility:
Experts here do outstanding camera reviews; they just spend most of their time on DSLRs rather than compact cameras. All cameras undergo the same exhaustive testing, with scads of sample photos so readers can judge for themselves. Although cameras are not directly compared and lack ratings, Dave Etchells maintains a list of highly recommended cameras that are grouped by camera category and type of user. However, the list includes several outdated models.
11. ConsumerReports.org Digital Cameras, ConsumerReports.org, Not dated
Credibility:
ConsumerReports.org rigorously tests dozens of digital cameras, both point-and-shoot models and SLR-like cameras with interchangeable lenses. Editors rank the cameras from best to worst within each category based on thorough tests for photo and video quality, low-light ability, image stabilization and more. However, although the interchangeable-lens camera ratings are up to date, the point-and-shoot ratings are not. Most of the point-and-shoot cameras ConsumerReports.org recommends have been discontinued or replaced by newer models.
12. TopTenReviews.com 2014 Entry-Level DSLR Cameras Reviews and Comparisons, TopTenReviews.com, Not dated
Credibility:
TopTenReviews.com is a great site to see detailed comparison specs of cameras side by side. Although the cameras are ordered from first to 10th place, the editors do so based on specs rather than thorough hands-on testing.
13. Which? magazine Digital Camera Reviews, Which? magazine, Not dated
Credibility:
Which? -- the U.K. equivalent to ConsumerReports.org -- publishes complete, unbiased tests of 170 digital cameras, including many popular U.S. models. Editors name 42 Best Buys, and each camera gets a rating from 1 to 100, so it's easy to find the very best.
14. ePhotoZine Compact Cameras Photography Equipment Reviews, ePhotoZine, As of May 2014
Credibility:
This British website conducts thorough tests, and its editors write concise reviews packed with sample photos. Cameras that do well earn a Recommended tag, and editors aren't shy about downgrading poor performers. Some of the cameras tested aren't available in the U.S., though.
15. Amazon.com Digital Cameras, Amazon.com, As of May 2014
Credibility:
Like many large retailer websites, Amazon.com allows owners to post comments, although the quality of the reviews varies. The top-selling cameras in the point-and-shoot and compact interchangeable-lens categories often get scores of reviews, which makes visiting this site useful if you want to read real-world opinions about a camera you are considering buying.
16. BHPhotoVideo.com Digital Cameras, BHPhotoVideo.com, As of May 2014
Credibility:
This website of B&H Photo, a major camera retailer, attracts fewer owner reviews than Amazon.com. Reviews are extremely well-organized and helpful, though. Each written review lists the owner's level of expertise (casual photographer, enthusiast, pro, etc.), and a star rating, and many include sample shots that the owner took with the camera. Each camera gets a list of pros and cons that the editors glean from the reviews, and editors do a better job than Amazon.com of keeping discontinued models from cluttering up the mix.