Best camera 2013: the top DSLRs and CSCs of the past year

Best camera 2013: the top DSLRs and CSCs of the past year

What a vintage year for good cameras! There has never been a bigger choice of quality models available at such great prices, so finding the best camera of 2013 is a real challenge.

Nevertheless, in this seasonal guide we reveal our favourite DSLRs and system cameras, hand-picked by our expert testing team.

All of the cameras featured in this Best Camera 2013 guide will deliver great results, and that is guaranteed.

Best Camera 2013: budget compact system cameras

Best camera 2013: the top DSLRs and CSCs of the past year

Olympus E-PM2
Price: £475 (with 18-42mm lens)
JUMP TO: Olympus PEN E-PM2 review

Although the Olympus PEN Mini isn’t really aimed at enthusiasts, there’s still a lot here to love for those who are used to an advanced camera, such as full manual modes, the ability to shoot in raw, and the innovative Live Time feature for creating long exposures.

For those with extensive camera experience, the E-PM2 could make for a great second shooter.

On the other hand, for beginners, or those looking to buy their first compact system camera, this is also an ideal candidate, because you get a lot of bang for your buck: namely, a 16.1-megapixel sensor, 35 AF points, 8fps maximum burst rate, and a generous ISO range up to 25,600.

You can choose to shoot in fully automatic mode and learn with the camera – using more of its features as you expand your expertise.

Or you may decide never move on from fully automatic mode, and that’s fine too. It’s great that this camera now includes a touchscreen, making changing the autofocus point particularly easy, and there’s a good choice of digital filters.

Cross Process, Pinhole and Dramatic Tone are particularly good, but the new black-and-white version of Dramatic Tone is our favourite.

These digital filters can be deployed when shooting in the raw quality format, meaning you keep a ‘clean’ version of the image for future reference. All of this helps make the E-PM2 a great budget choice.

*  16.1MP Four Thirds Live MOS sensor
*  35 AF points
*  ISO range 200 to 25,600
*  8fps max burst rate
*  109×64×33mm

SEE MORE: First camera crash course – simple solutions for mastering your new DSLR


Panasonic GF6
Price: £396 (with 14-42mm lens)

We were initially very impressed by the concept of the Panasonic GF6 when we first saw a pre-production sample, and we hoped that the real deal would live up to our own hype. Happily, it has done that – and then some.

Though the overall size of the GF6 has increased from the GF5, the improvements definitely make the bulk-up worthwhile – most notably the tilting touchscreen.

Because there’s no viewfinder, having a highly flexible and responsive screen is extremely useful, and solves the problem of awkward angles stopping you from getting the shot.

The touchscreen can be tilted downwards or upwards and can be pulled fairly far from the body to help with shooting from awkward positions (it can also face completely forward, which is useful for shooting self-portraits or recording movies).

SEE MORE: Panasonic Lumix G – tips for using your digital camera

Image quality is excellent, while the flexibility of that screen is useful for capturing all kinds of compositions. It also flips up 180 degrees for self-portraits.

With the largest proprietary lens range available for Micro Four Thirds cameras, investing in a camera from Panasonic or Olympus is a more flexible option than their counterparts from Sony, Nikon or Canon. The only downside to this great-value camera is the clunky Wi-Fi.

*  16.1MP Four Thirds Live MOS sensor
*  23 AF points
*  ISO range 200 to 25,600
*  7fps max burst rate
*  111×64×38cm

PAGE 1 – Best Camera 2013: budget compact system cameras
PAGE 2 – Best Camera 2013:  advanced compact system cameras
PAGE 3 – Best Camera 2013: budget DSLRs
PAGE 4 – Best Camera 2013: advanced DSLRs


10 common camera mistakes every photographer makes
How to use a camera: exposure modes made simple
New camera anatomy: 12 key camera settings to get you started right
24 camera features every beginner must memorize
44 essential digital camera tips and tricks