Dave's Picks

$400 - $499

Most Popular Cameras Priced Between $400 and $499

Camera Name Res Lens Avg. Price
Sony Alpha SLT-A58 digital camera image Sony Alpha SLT-A58 20.1 3.06x $479.19
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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 digital camera image Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 20.2 3.60x $444.99
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Nikon D5100 digital camera image Nikon D5100 16.2 3.00x $474.47
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Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 digital camera image Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 12.1 24.00x $462.09
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Olympus Stylus XZ-2 digital camera image Olympus Stylus XZ-2 12.0 4.00x $435.66
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Canon PowerShot G15 digital camera image Canon PowerShot G15 12.1 5.00x $436.74
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Canon PowerShot G1 X digital camera image Canon PowerShot G1 X 14.3 4.00x $495.83
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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX200V digital camera image Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX200V 18.2 30.00x $443.49
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Pentax MX-1 digital camera image Pentax MX-1 12.0 4.00x $419.59
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Nikon Coolpix P7700 digital camera image Nikon Coolpix P7700 12.2 7.10x $496.95
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Editor's Choice Res Lens Avg. Price
image of Canon PowerShot G11 digital camera Canon PowerShot G11 10.0 5.00x $577.00
The Canon PowerShot G11 is the G10 done better Giving ear to your most ardent supporters is always a good idea when planning new products, and that's just what Canon did with the Canon PowerShot G11. That change in focus brought back the articulating LCD that was sorely missed by many G-series fans. Canon also took a bold step and reduced the resolution from 14-megapixels to 10, all in an effort to make the Canon G11 a better low-light camera rather than an unnecessarily high-resolution design that struggled to strike a balance between noise and its suppression. Our printed results show that Canon succeeded in reducing chroma (color) noise in the Canon G11's images well enough to produce images of about the same size, but with less noise and less blurring from noise suppression overall. Lens quality is still quite excellent, with minimal chromatic aberration and excellent sharpness in the corners, also likely a result of the switch to a 10-megapixel sensor. The Canon G11 is a joy to use, with its manual EV compensation and ISO dials, articulating LCD, and extremely capable design. Click here to read our Canon PowerShot G11 Review for more on this fine camera. (minimize)

image of Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 digital camera Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 10.1 2.50x $449.95
One of the finest premium enthusiast cameras on the market Almost in a category by itself, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 digital camera really impressed us. With a 10-megapixel imager, a high quality Leica lens, and a high-resolution 3-inch wide-screen LCD, the Panasonic LX3 was built to deliver high image quality in a small package. Gone are the noise problems of the LX2, and detail is lush. A full range of capture modes graces the LX3 -- auto and manual -- plus a hot shoe, manual AF and aspect ratio controls, and the little digital camera even shoots RAW. The Panasonic LX3's color was natural, and impressive printed results tell the rest of the story. The Panasonic LX3's price is competitive, too, more than an inexpensive digicam, but less than a digital SLR. Click here to see why the Panasonic LX3 has put my piggy bank on the endangered species list. (minimize)

Other Top Choices Res Lens Avg. Price
image of Canon PowerShot G1 X digital camera Canon PowerShot G1 X 14.3 4.00x $495.83
Large-sensor image quality in a compact, zoom body
Every once in a while, a camera comes along which offers a genuinely different approach to its rivals. Some--like the first mirrorless models--go on to fundamentally change the market. Others aren't quite so successful. Either way, we welcome designs that think outside the box. The PowerShot G1 X is Canon's first large-sensor compact. Its announcement last Spring prompted much speculation: was this Canon's final answer to that blossoming mirrorless market, or a first tentative step towards its own mirrorless debut? The fixed-lens design and narrower-aspect ratio have allowed Canon to create a large-sensor PowerShot with a worthwhile size advantage over mirrorless models, and a night-and-day image quality advantage over small-sensor cameras. Like many first-gen products, the G1 X does show a few rough edges though. Will the advantages of its unusual design outweigh the drawbacks? For the verdict, read our Canon G1 X review! (minimize)

image of Canon PowerShot G15 digital camera Canon PowerShot G15 12.1 5.00x $436.74
A major step forward for Canon's flagship premium compact
Canon's PowerShot G-series cameras were some of the first premium compact cameras to really grab the attention of the professional photographer and the amateur shooter alike. With the PowerShot G15, Canon takes a huge step forward by incorporating a fast 5x optical zoom lens with a maximum aperture that ranges from f/1.8 at wide to f/2.8 at tele. The camera also boasts a 12-megapixel, 1/1.7-inch CMOS sensor to produce sharper images and full 1080p HD video recording (finally). And at the heart of the Canon G15 resides a ton of advanced photographic controls, including RAW image capture. One significant downgrade from its predecessor, the G12, however, is Canon's decision to replace the articulating LCD monitor with a fixed one, ostensibly to slim the G15's dimensions. Click here for our final verdict on the Canon G15! (minimize)

image of Nikon Coolpix P7700 digital camera Nikon Coolpix P7700 12.2 7.10x $496.95
Revamped flagship enthusiast digicam scores big on design and image quality
It's taken three tries but Nikon has finally produced a flagship Coolpix camera that stacks up favorably to its top competitors, boasting an upgraded 12-megapixel sensor and a fast 7.1x zoom lens with a maximum aperture of f/2.0. Nikon removed the optical viewfinder from the Coolpix P7700, but we actually see this as a plus, especially since the 3-inch vari-angle LCD screen is easy to view and allows you to compose in tight spots. Sans viewfinder, the Nikon P7700's design is more compact, comfy and classic than its predecessor. Ultimately, it comes down to image quality and the P7700 delivers sharp still images and Full HD videos -- with just a few quirks -- and produces large, high-quality prints at lower ISOs. Click here for our review of the Nikon P7700, or click this link to shop! (minimize)

image of Nikon D5100 digital camera Nikon D5100 16.2 3.00x $474.47
Nikon's latest consumer SLR combines great image quality and a versatile side-mounted tilt/swivel display
Back in 2009, we reviewed Nikon's D5000 consumer SLR, the company's first SLR to include an articulated LCD display. While we loved its image quality and much of its feature set, the bottom-mounted tilt/swivel mechanism seemed like something of a missed opportunity. The followup Nikon D5100 switches to a more versatile side-mounted mechanism that's useful not only for framing shots over your head or low to the ground, but also for self-portraits with the camera on a tripod or convenient level surface--something of an important use case for a consumer camera. Nikon has also brought the D5100's imaging pipeline up to date, and that's good news, because it's based around the same 16.2 megapixel image sensor and image processing algorithms used in the popular D7000 prosumer SLR, bringing much the same image quality to a significantly more affordable camera. The D5100 also brings in-camera high dynamic range imaging to a Nikon SLR for the first time, and expands upon Nikon's selection of in-camera filter effects, applicable either pre- or post-capture. Of these, perhaps the most interesting is a Night Vision mode that allows sensitivity to a maximum of ISO 102,400 equivalent, so long as you're willing to forgo shooting in color. Otherwise, the D5100 provides ISO sensitivities to 25,600 equivalent. Other notable features include a maximum shutter speed of 1/4,000 second, with a rated shutter life of 100,000 cycles, Nikon's 3D Color Matrix Metering and 11-point Multi-CAM 1000 autofocus sensors, and Full HD (1,080p) movie capture capability. For more on this interesting consumer camera, read our Nikon D5100 review. (minimize)

image of Olympus Stylus XZ-2 digital camera Olympus Stylus XZ-2 12.0 4.00x $435.66
Same serious lens but new serious upgrades for serious photographers
With the Olympus XZ-2, the company upgrades its top-of-the-line enthusiast compact camera with a new 12-megapixel 1/1.7-inch CMOS sensor, but thankfully keeps its predecessor's fast and bright f/1.8-2.5 iZUIKO 4x zoom lens. We found the pairing of these features helps the XZ-2 produce great images for its class, especially at low ISOs. Add in a new 3-inch articulating LCD touchscreen, fast-and-accurate autofocus, a nifty dual-purpose front control ring, and a ton of advanced photographic features such as PASM controls and RAW capture, and the Olympus XZ-2 makes for a near-ideal, albeit pricey, everyday or back-up camera for serious photographers. Find out more in our in-depth Olympus XZ-2 review or buy one now! (minimize)

image of Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 digital camera Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 12.1 24.00x $462.09
A superzoom camera with a super bright lens
Panasonic pumped some new excitement into its acclaimed superzoom line when it paired a Leica-branded f2/.8 lens with the Panasonic FZ200. That's a constant f/2.8 max aperture across the entire 24x optical zoom range, which is a rarity among long zooms these days and -- teamed with the camera's excellent AF system -- it proved to perform well in low-light and high shutter speed situations. There's a lot more to like about the FZ200, including a 12 fps, high-res burst mode and Full HD 1080p video recording (at up to 60 fps!). And advanced photographic controls such as manual exposure and focusing, as well as RAW image capture, mean it's a viable alternative for enthusiasts wanting a lightweight, everyday alternative to a heavy, bulky DSLR with multiple zoom lenses (at least in good light), and a serious step up for beginners wanting more zoom range. The FZ200's relatively small sensor does force some compromises on image quality (like almost every other camera in its class), but the camera's convenience and versatility make it one of the best superzooms on the market. Read our Panasonic FZ200 review for more details, or buy one here. (minimize)

image of Pentax MX-1 digital camera Pentax MX-1 12.0 4.00x $419.59
Retro-styled premium compact gets by on much more than its good looks
Boasting top-notch build quality and retro-styled design, the Pentax MX-1 enthusiast compact combines timeless styling with modern niceties such as a tilting LCD screen, fast 4x optical zoom lens, RAW still image capture and Full HD movie recording. Though the 1/1.7-inch imaging sensor might not produce photos that rival those from larger sensor cameras, the image quality from the MX-1 -- especially at lower ISOs -- remains quite pleasing. It's a great compact backup for serious photographers, and a serious step-up for advanced beginners. But is it the right model for you? Read our Pentax MX-1 review to find out! Or shop for one now! (minimize)

image of Sony Alpha SLT-A58 digital camera Sony Alpha SLT-A58 20.1 3.06x $479.19
Arguably the best image quality we've ever seen from an entry-level DSLR
Though the 20.1-megapixel Sony A58 DSLR made some compromises to come in at a more consumer-friendly price than its predecessor, the A57, the camera doesn't skimp on imaging performance. The A58 delivers sharp, detailed photos that rival those from much more expensive models, as well as smooth, high-quality video. Add in responsive and accurate autofocusing, and the camera makes picture-taking an absolute joy. Some may be disappointed by the A58's plastic lens mount (rather than metal), downgraded LCD screen and slower max still and video frame rates, but there's no doubt it's still a tremendous value for beginners. Read our in-depth Sony A58 review to learn more, or buy one now! (minimize)

image of Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX200V digital camera Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX200V 18.2 30.00x $443.49
A great all-in-one imaging solution for travel photographers
Superzooms are rather like the Swiss Army knives of the digital camera world. Where some cameras seem tuned for a specific task, superzooms like the Sony HX200V aim to cover every possibly shooting situation. All that zoom reach means compromises must be made. Done right, you get a great travel companion. Done wrong, no amount of zoom will help you. On paper, the Sony HX200V looks impressive: a 30x zoom lens, 18 megapixel sensor, tilting display, geotagging, and more. How does its real-world performance measure up? Read our Sony HX200V review and find out! (minimize)

image of Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 digital camera Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 20.2 3.60x $444.99
Sony RX100 takes the premium pocket camera crown!
We were so impressed with the Sony RX100's specs, we had to rush and give it a complete review in a hurry to see if it truly measured up. We were not disappointed. The Sony RX100's 1-inch-type, 20.2-megapixel sensor, f/1.8, 3.6x lens, and small body combine to create a new pocket digital camera benchmark. Sony didn't skimp on special features for amateurs or enthusiasts, either. Click here to see our Sony RX100 review! (minimize)

 
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