Get 20% Off PortraitPro 22 With Our Exclusive Code

ePHOTOzine Best Cameras Of The Year Awards 2012

We highlight the best digital cameras reviewed in 2012, helping you find your perfect camera.

|  Lumix DMC-SZ1 in Digital Cameras
 Add Comment
Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ1 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Front sensor Pentax K 5 II (5)
- Budget
- Waterproof
- Pocket Zoom
- Ultra Zoom
- Serious Compact
- Compact
- SLR Style (EVF)
- New Technology
- Entry level
- Mid Range
- Pro / Full frame

Compact Cameras

Compact cameras make up the majority of cameras on the market, due to lower prices and a large variety of options, from ultra compact, waterproof, to pocket zoom and ultra zoom cameras. View all of our compact camera reviews.

Best Budget Camera - <£99

Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ1

The Panasonic Lumix SZ1 performs well for a point and shoot camera and provides a huge amount of optical zoom for a camera not much bigger than the typical 3 to 5x optical zoom compact camera.

"Add in optical image stabilisation and a good success rate for sharp photos even when using the zoom and you have a good combination if you're looking for an ultra compact pocket sized camera with a lot of zoom."

BUY NOW for £99
  Budget Camera of the Year 2012

See more of the Top 10 Budget Cameras.

Best Waterproof Tough Camera

Olympus Tough Tg 820

The Olympus Tough TG-820 has some unique features, such as TAP control and LED macro, really making it stand out as an ideal camera for those who like to take pictures in extreme conditions.

"The TG-820 does not disappoint, with the latest top of the range Tough camera building on previous results. There is now full 1080p HD video recording, a higher-resolution screen and an extended ISO range."

BUY NOW for £179
  Best Tough Camera of the Year

See more of the Top 10 Best Waterproof Cameras.

Best Pocket Travel Zoom Camera

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ30

The Panasonic Lumix TZ30 provides a number of useful features including an impressive 20x optical zoom lens with image stabilisation, full HD video recording with stereo sound, 3 inch touch screen and built in GPS.

"Image quality is good, with good colour and detail and the high speed shooting and rapid focus certainly help get good shots. Video is impressive with a high speed option as well as the ability to record GPS information with videos. In fact, there's very little to complain about with the Panasonic Lumix TZ30 and the camera makes an excellent compact camera."

BUY NOW for £219
  Travel Camera Of The Year

See more of the Best Travel Zooms.

Best Ultra Zoom Bridge Camera

Nikon Coolpix P510 Front Angled

Nikon Coolpix P510 - The Nikon Coolpix P510 is the update to the previous high scorer, the Coolpix P500. It has a massive 42x optical zoom lens, from an ultra wide 24mm equivalent all the way to 1000mm equivalent, and built in GPS.

"It is a feature packed camera, which delivers impressive results. This is a fantastic option if you are looking for a DSLR style camera, as it has many of the features and appearance, without you requiring to carry around a bag full of lenses."

BUY NOW for £260
  Bridge Camera Of The Year

See more of the Best Ultra Zoom / Bridge Cameras.

Best Serious Compact Camera

Olympus Stylus XZ-2 Canon Powershot G15 (3)
Olympus Stylus XZ-2 Canon Powershot G15

The Olympus XZ-2 and Canon Powershot G15 both scored extremely well in our reviews, and whichever one you choose you can be sure of excellent image quality and controls with a bright f/1.8 lens. The Olympus XZ-2 offers a tilting touch screen, removable grip on lens control ring. The Canon Powershot G15 offers an optical viewfinder and a longer 5x optical zoom lens.

Olympus XZ-2 - BUY NOW for £424
Canon Powershot G15 - BUY NOW for £495
  Serious Compact Camera Of The Year

See more of the Best serious compacts.

Mirrorless / Compact System Cameras

A rapidly growing market, with cameras from Olympus, Panasonic, Sony, Samsung, Pentax and Nikon, these offer smaller cameras, but with the flexibility of being able to change lens and the image quality of SLRs through the use of SLR sized sensors (in most cases). View all of our Mirrorless Compact System Camera Reviews.

Best Mirrorless Compact System Camera (without EVF)

Olympus PEN Mini E-PM2

Olympus PEN Mini E-PM2 - The Olympus PEN Mini E-PM2 is the latest compact entry level Micro Four Thirds camera from Olympus, and features the 16 megapixel sensor from the top of the range Olympus OM-D E-M5 released earlier this year, it also features 8fps continuous shooting and access to an extensive range of lenses.

"The camera's image quality is vastly improved over the previous PEN cameras, inheriting the 16 megapixel sensor from the Olympus OM-D E-M5, image quality is excellent with the 14-42mm MK II lens delivering sharp photos and excellent Olympus colour. Noise performance is the best it's ever been from a Micro Four Thirds camera, with usable ISO up to and including ISO6400."

BUY NOW for £499
  Mirrorless Camera Of The Year

See more of the Top 10 Best Mirrorless.

Best DSLR Style Mirrorless Compact System Camera - with EVF

Panasonic Lumix G5

Panasonic Lumix G5 - The Panasonic Lumix G5 has an impressive specification and produces excellent images - with improved noise results. The G5 is more expensive than the model it replaces, however we feel that the improvements make it worth the investment.

"It offers high speed performance, with extremely quick focus, shutter response, and very good continuous shooting at 6fps. The camera has a number of useful function buttons, as well as an excellent screen and EVF with eye-detection."

BUY NOW for £539
  DSLM Camera Of The Year

See more of the Top 10 Best Mirrorless.

Best New Technology

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Front With Lens

Olympus OM-D E-M5 - For anyone doubting the ability of mirrorless cameras, this is the one that should answer a lot of concerns. It has a weather-sealed compact body, an excellent range of lenses and most importantly excellent image quality - significantly improved over previous Olympus cameras. The noise performance and detail in images is very good even at high ISOs, comparable to cameras with APS-C sized sensors.

"The built in sensor based image stabilisation is excellent and works extremely well on photos and videos. Focus speed, shutter response and continuous shooting are all excellent with the camera shooting at a fast 9fps - the quickest of any Micro Four Thirds camera."

BUY NOW for £1148
  Innovative Camera Of The Year

For more information on LiveTime have a look here.

Digital SLRs

The Digital SLR - gives the benefit of an optical viewfinder, so you see through the lens, interchangeable lenses and access to a vast range of lenses both new and old. View our Digital SLR Reviews.

Best Entry level Digital SLR

Sony Alpha A37 Body And Lens

The Sony Alpha A37 is an extremely capable Digital SLR / SLT packed full of features including a tilting screen, full HD video, and it produces excellent images with bright saturated colour and very good detail, with quick focusing and great value for money.

"The camera has an abundance of features, including built in image stabilisation, Full HD video with stereo sound and a microphone socket, as well as a tilting screen - features not normally seen on budget DSLRs."

  DSLR Entry Camera Of The Year

See more of the Best Budget Digital SLRs.

Best Mid Level Digital SLR

Pentax K 5 II (4)

The Pentax K-5 II updates the K-5 with better AF capabilities, new screen improved low light performance. An excellent camera that is very highly recommended.

"The Pentax K-5 II is a rugged, magnesium alloy bodied, weatherproof, well designed and high quality camera with a kit zoom that is really very good indeed, and provides a package that looks very exciting against its rivals. It is more compact, arguably slicker in operation and provides the highest standards at a relatively low price level."

BUY NOW for £869
  Mid DSLR Camera Of The Year

See more of the Top 10 Best Digital SLRs.

Best Pro / Full Frame Digital SLR

Nikon D800 With Lens

The Nikon D800 performs extremely well and Nikon have another winning camera on their hands. It is extremely desirable and image quality is stunning. The Nikon D800E offers additional IQ.

Nikon D800 Digital SLR Review
Nikon D800E Digital SLR Review

"The Nikon D800 offers unprecedented resolution at an unthought of price point, packed full of features, many from the Nikon D4 that is almost twice the price. Build quality is very good, and the camera gives excellent handling with a solid metal body and weather sealing the camera should be suitable for almost any landscape or outdoors project."

BUY NOW for £1929
  Pro DSLR Camera Of The Year 2012

See more of the Top 10 Best Digital SLRs.

Found your perfect camera? Don't forget to pick up a bag for it to protect it - have a look at our complete guide to bags. If you want a memory card for your camera, have a look at our complete guide to memory cards.
MPB Start Shopping

Support this site by making a Donation, purchasing Plus Membership, or shopping with one of our affiliates: Amazon UK, Amazon US, Amazon CA, ebay UK

It doesn't cost you anything extra when you use these links, but it does support the site, helping keep ePHOTOzine free to use, thank you.

Photographs taken using the Lumix DMC-SZ1

Pink SwirlHydrangea 2Another Fishy TailA Winter FantasyLast LightOn SafariDartmouth harbourCold Winter AheadFeed Me!Dramatic CliviaWet GlassBayards CoveThe Old TractorThe Colours Of ChristmasCan I Come In?

Other articles you might find interesting...

New OnePlus Nord 2 5G Mid-Range Smartphone With Flagship Features
Nikon Z DX 18-140mm f/3.5-6.3 VR Lens Announced
Nikon Instant Savings Summer Deal Announced - Save Up To £360
4 Simple Ways To Ensure Horizons Are Straight In Your Landscape Shots
How To Use Built-In Camera Flash Successfully
Top Essential Tips On Choosing And Buying A Digital Camera
The Best Gear Of The Year 2020
Olympus OM-D Firmware Updates Coming - Including Bird Detection


brian1208 18 11.8k 12 United Kingdom
30 Nov 2012 2:24PM
Must have been tough to choose, its been an amazing year for new cameras
josa 9 25 Czech Republic
1 Dec 2012 8:48PM
I agree, I hope next year will be better!!!Tongue
1 Dec 2012 8:56PM
It will be good to see if choose the best dx, fx lenses of 2012. Smile
StrayCat 17 19.1k 3 Canada
4 Dec 2012 10:05PM
Makes me want them all.Grin

StrayCat 17 19.1k 3 Canada
4 Dec 2012 10:07PM
If I was tougher, I'd get that little TG-820.Wink
Tord 9 Sweden
6 Dec 2012 10:58AM
As Brian writes. 'it has been an amazing year for new cameras'. We, the wife and I, bought four, only one of them on the list, but if there was a prize for budget FF cameras I'm sure the D600 would have won that! A few other FFs are said to appear next year, so it will surely bee another good year!
Tord 9 Sweden
6 Dec 2012 11:01AM
I am glad the K-5 II made the rank, as I did indeed like the K-5 when I had it (exchanged it, and a few lenses for a D600).

Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.