Digital Cameras 2013

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Best Digital Cameras For Enthusiasts

Last updated on 10/07/2013

Enthusiasts are photography buffs that care -- deeply, deeply care -- about having the latest and greatest camera. They compare spec sheets, they pixel peep, they peruse rumor sites, they argue on message boards, and they already have tons and tons of equipment. As with an aficionado of any persuasion, it's probably best to let them do the shopping themselves, but if you're feeling brave and want to surprise the enthusiast in your life with a big present, look below for digital cameras that are sure to put a smile even on his or her opinionated face.

Pentax MX-1
from $239.00
[Read our full Pentax MX-1 Review] Sure, most photography buffs probably have a good, expensive camera--but expensive cameras are also often large. Advanced compact cameras are excellent companions for the enthusiast or professional as a way to always have a camera ready for the unexpected photo opportunities. The Sony RX100 II is probably the most capable compact, but many enthusiasts would rather get another DSLR lens with for the RX100 II's $750 price. The Pentax MX-1 is compact, capable and well priced. For less than $400, you can get a camera equipped with manual modes, but the perk is in the bright f1.8 lens that's excellent for low light and depth of field shots. The super macro mode also makes extreme close-ups possible, making this a very versatile shooter.
Sony DSC-RX100M II
Our favorite advanced compact gets a nice upgrade.
from $629.00
The Sony RX100 was our top advanced compact for enthusiasts last year, and Sony has now added an accessory port for adding an external flash or viewfinder on the RX100 II. The sensor is also now backlit for even better low light shots. The EXMOR sensor is the same size as the Nikon 1's and, unlike those models, comes with an impressive 20.9 megapixel sensor and 28-100mm f1.8-4.9 lens. And, as usual with the newest Sony cams, the RX100 II features 1080/60p recording, 10fps continuous burst, and snappy autofocus. The camera body itself is very compact, and smaller than the MX-1 above. If you can manage the premium price, this is the best compact money can buy.
Olympus  PEN E-P5
Fast and Feature Packed
from $1,064.99
[Read our full Olympus PEN E-P5 Review] With shutter speeds up to 1/8000 and a bright f1.8 lens, the Olympus PEN E-P5 is a very capable mirrorless. But it's not just the lens and speed that adds up to a wide variety of shooting possibilities, both the tilting LCD and viewfinder allow for some unusual angles. Throw in time lapse shooting, digital filters, RAW, wi-fi and GPS and the E-P5 is clearly an excellent camera. The price is high, but the sturdy metallic build means this camera is built to last.
Nikon D7100
from $195.49
[Read our full Nikon D7100 Review] Despite the advances made in mirrorless cameras, DSLRs are still likely the best option for enthusiasts when portability isn't a main concern. DSLRs tend to have better autofocusing systems and easier access to controls and settings. The D7100 is Nikon's top-of-the-line model before heading into full frame models and it's an excellent enthusiast option. The autofocus is fast and accurate and the 7100 performs well in low light, even at high ISOs. There's a control for nearly every imaginable setting, yet it is very comfortable to use. It's certainly not a compact camera, but the 7100 is an excellent shooter.