The best cameras of 2016

Add to
By / Published by
From compact cameras to DSLRs, we've got picks to help anyone find the right camera.

Whether you're a neophyte looking for a camera to learn on, or a seasoned enthusiast who demands gorgeous images and the latest tech, this was a banner year for everyone. Even if fewer and fewer people are buying cameras, there's no doubt about it—the options available today have never been better.From Micro Four Thirds to Nikon, Canon, and Fujifilm, every system saw new models introduced, making for an overall strong market. After lab-testing as many as we could get our hands on, we've made our picks: these are the best cameras of 2016.

Best Camera: Fujifilm X-Pro2

The best cameras of 2016 - Photo 1 of 9 - Fujifilm X-Pro2

Fujifilm X-Pro2

Simply put, the Fujifilm X-Pro2 is one of the most fun cameras around. While it may not be the fastest camera, or the best for traditional pro photographers, it is a blast to shoot with. It oozes quality in every way, and turns out amazing images thanks to Fuji's stellar lens lineup. If you love photography the way we do, the Fujifilm X-Pro2 is worth getting to know. 

Read the full review here. 

Buy on Amazon for $1,550.

Best Beginner DSLR: Nikon D5500

The best cameras of 2016 - Photo 2 of 9 - Nikon D5500

Nikon D5500

If you're committed to getting a DSLR instead of a compact mirrorless camera, the Nikon D5500 is a wonderful place to start. Nikon's reputation for quality is well-earned, and the D5500 leverages every bit of Nikon's decades of experience in the industry. It's fast enough for most users, with excellent low light image quality and compatibility with almost every Nikon lens. For novices and experienced shooters alike, the D5500 is a fantastic choice. 

Read the full review here. 

Buy on Amazon for $696.

Best Point-and-Shoot: Canon PowerShot G9 X

The best cameras of 2016 - Photo 3 of 9 - Canon PowerShot G9 X

Canon PowerShot G9 X

While the point-and-shoot industry isn't what it once was, some cameras are still worth a look—especially if you want a compact camera that can run rings around your average smartphone. We think Canon's PowerShot G9 X is a smart pick. It is excellent in low light, easy to use, produces wonderful photos, and it has a little bit of zoom when you need it.

Read the full review here. 

Buy on Amazon for $429.

Best DSLR: Nikon D500

The best cameras of 2016 - Photo 4 of 9 - Nikon D500

Nikon D500

With a combination of video quality, speed, and image quality that would've been unimaginable a few years ago, the Nikon D500 is one of the best DSLRs ever made.While it doesn't have a full-frame sensor, the D500 has everything else you could want in a DSLR. It is especially well-suited to sports and action shooting, with speedy autofocus, fast burst speeds, and excellent video quality. 

Read the full review here.

Buy on Amazon for $1,796.

Best Mirrorless Camera: Sony Alpha a6300

The best cameras of 2016 - Photo 5 of 9 - Sony Alpha a6300

Sony Alpha a6300

Though most people think of big, bulky DSLRs when they think of interchangeable lens cameras, mirrorless cameras turn that notion on its ear. The Sony A6300, for example, is fast, accurate, takes beautiful photos, and it can easily fit into a small bag. Whether you need a camera for sports, action, wildlife, portraits, video, or travel, the Sony A6300 will have your back. 

Read the full review here.

Buy on Amazon for $1,148.

Best Camera Under $1,000: Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II

The best cameras of 2016 - Photo 6 of 9 - Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II  

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II  

If you've got a major life event coming up, you've perhaps thought about investing in a "real" camera with abilities far beyond your smartphone's capabilities. A budget of $1,000 is pretty typical, but it doesn't mean you have to spend it all on the camera.The Olympus OM-D E-M10 II is speedy, takes great photos, has a viewfinder, and can be had for less than $800—which leaves you money to spend on lenses and other accessories.

Read the full review here. 

Buy on Amazon for $699.

Best Camera For Shooting Video: Panasonic Lumix G85

The best cameras of 2016 - Photo 7 of 9 - Panasonic Lumix G85

Panasonic Lumix G85

If you're looking for a camera that is equally adept at shooting stills and video, the Panasonic Lumix G85 is a killer choice. It is durable and lightweight, sealed against dust and water, and can capture 4K video. The only downside for us? The lack of a headphone jack. That does limit the camera's upside, but being able to capture 4K video in the rain for only a grand more than makes up for it. 

Read the full review here.

Buy on Amazon for $998.

Best Camera for the Money: Panasonic Lumix GX85

The best cameras of 2016 - Photo 8 of 9 - Panasonic Lumix GX85

Panasonic Lumix GX85

If you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck, Micro Four Thirds is where it's at. While the Olympus OM-D E-M10 II is one of our favorite still cameras under a grand, this Panasonic Lumix GX85 can outdo it in many ways, particularly if you care about capturing 4K video.If you want to stretch your dollar as far as it'll go, the Panasonic GX85 is a solid start to your new kit. Not only is the body cheap and fully loaded, many of the plentiful lenses in the system are super affordable, to boot. 

Read the full review here.

Buy on Amazon for $698.

Best Camera for Kids: Fujifilm Instax Mini 8/8+

The best cameras of 2016 - Photo 9 of 9 - Fujifilm Instax Mini 8/8+

Fujifilm Instax Mini 8/8+

Photography is a wonderful hobby, giving people of all ages a creative outlet and a new way to see the world. The Fujifilm Instax cameras tap into this, making use of instant film packs that encourage you to slow down and think about what you're shooting.Though the film costs can add up, the Instax Mini 8 can be had for right around $50, making it a fun, inexpensive way to encourage kids to see the world through a viewfinder, instead of a Snapchat filter. 

Read our instant photography roundup here.

Buy on Amazon for $60.

This article originally appeared on

Get a Daily Dose of Design

Sign up for the Dwell Daily Newsletter and never miss our new features, photos, home tours, stories, and more.