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Best Cameras: Buyer's Guide For Your Next Big Camera Purchase

08/05/2013 15:13 | Updated 08 July 2013

Cameras come in many sizes and shapes - almost all of them hideously complex.

The range of possible features and specs is frankly enormous. Do you want a DSLR, a mirrorless compact, a high-end point-and-shoot or just an almost disposable cheapo camera? Do you know your megapixels from your aperture size, your SD cards from your Memory Sticks and your kit lens from your pro-level zooms?

If not, it's worth getting to grips with the dark reality of the modern camera market before you start.

The buyer's guide above should help you cut through some of the bigger issues, to narrow down what you need to make your next big camera purchase.

But don't forget that many smartphones also have excellent cameras now - and might even be a better choice depending on your needs. Check out our 9 favourites below.

  • 1 Apple iPhone 6s
  • The iPhone 6s on the surface at least looks like your bog standard update. Visually it's very much the same animal but look a little deeper and this is an entirely different phone. There's now a pressure-sensitive display utilising a feature called 'Force Touch' while a blistering new processor means it's one of the most capable gaming devices outside of your living room.
  • 2 Google Nexus 5X
  • The Nexus 5X strikes the ultimate balance between power and affordability. Taking over the responsibility from the frankly excellent Nexus 5, Google's new smartphone boast an ultra-light body but still crams in a fingerprint sensor, the latest version of Android marshmallow and a Full-HD display.
  • 3 HTC One A9
  • The HTC One A9 is the iPhone for people who love Android. There's simply no denying the design similarities between the two phones. Thankfully HTC's packed this with more flagship features than you can shake a indecently sized stick at. There's a fingerprint reader, 5-inch Full-HD display, 13MP camera and the A9 can play high-resolution audio.
  • 4 Sony Xperia Z5 Premium
  • Sony has created the world's first truly 4K smartphone. While you might be wondering why, the fact is they've gone ahead and done it anyway. Utilising Sony's amazing screen expertise it should come as no surprise to learn the display is an absolute stunner. There's a fingerprint reader and the ability to play high-res audio.
  • 5 Google Nexus 6P
  • The Google Nexus 6P is Google's answer to the big-screen phone. Sporting a 5.7-inch Full-HD panel, the 6P has a beautifully thin unibody enclosure while the subtle fingerprint scanner on the back can be used for security and for paying. You'll also get the added advantage of owning a phone that'll always get Google's Android software before anyone else keeping it safer than ever.
  • 6 LG G4
  • The LG G4 is LG's most advanced smartphone yet. Combining a massive 5.5-inch 2K display with a powerful F1.8 lens camera this is a phone that means business. If you can get past the size of it then you'll be richly rewarded. Thanks to that F1.8 lens LG claims that the G4 is the closest you'll get to a professional SLR on a smartphone without spending thousands on a camera.
  • The Galaxy S6 Edge is probably the most advanced phone available right now. With it's stunningly curved 2K display and powerful octa-core processor this is a return to form for Samsung that was much needed. If you're after the absolute cutting-edge then this is for you, just don't expect the battery to last any longer than a day.
  • The Moto X 2 is significant for two reasons; the first of which is that you can almost entirely design it yourself. On top of that you get a stunning 5.2-inch display that's matched with a phone that measures in at just 3.8mm at its thinnest point. Thanks to Motorola's agreement with Google it's pure Android and will get updates from Google as soon as they're announced. For now, this is your Nexus replacement.
  • This is the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and it shows the biggest departure from Samsung's design thinking yet. Gone is the cheap plasticky body, replaced with a thin metal frame and smooth leather back. The screen is still 5.7-inches but Samsung's upped the resolution to a massive 2K.
  • The Nokia Lumia 930 is the flagship phone for Microsoft. Running the increasingly impressive Windows Phone operating system the 930 is a serious contender against the iPhone 6 and S6. It also happens to be a seriously powerful smartphone as well with a 5-inch Full-HD display, 20MP camera and professional levels of film recording thanks to four mics for full stereo pickup.
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