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Buying Guide for Digital Still Cameras

So many cameras and so many options. Help is here so you buy the right digital still camera.

Digital Still Camera Buying Guid

Camera shopping is tough. There are lots of different kinds to choose among, and the prices range from around 100 bucks into the thousands. At Consumer Reports, we test virtually every type of camera, and we can guide you through the options.

If you're just getting started, the first decision is whether to choose a basic camera or an advanced one. Here’s the difference: If you plan to just point the camera and shoot, you need (you guessed it) some sort of point-and-shoot. If you sometimes want to fiddle with exposure settings or even swap out lenses, you should look at advanced cameras.

Once you make that first decision, it's time to get a bit more detailed. One of following six camera types—three basic ones, and three advanced—will be right for you.

Six Camera Categories

There are three kinds of basic cameras, and three kinds of advanced cameras. Here's what they cost and what they can do. (Narrow your choice down to one or two types, and shopping becomes much easier.)

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