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Top-Ranking Cameras from Consumer Reports

July 16 2012

3953 photographerA good camera is an absolute must for most real estate agents. Whether you're taking listing photos, snapping pics for a blog post, or using your camera for social media – you may find that you're rarely without this tech tool. If you don't yet have a digital camera or you're in the market for a new one, you'll be as interested as we were in the top picks from the August 2012 issue of Consumer Reports.

Cameras come in all shapes and sizes, with all sorts of feature sets. For this reason, Consumer Reports breaks them down into a variety of categories. We'll do the same, so you can scan below and see which of these sounds like you.

I'm just looking for a very basic camera at a reasonable price.

If you fall into this category, you're not alone. This is where most real estate agents find themselves. They don't need a lot of bells and whistles – in fact, they don't want a bunch of confusing features. They'd rather be able to essentially point-and-click to take a picture.

If this is what you're in the market for, Consumer Reports scores these models highest:

  • Nikon Coolpix P300 ($330) or P310 ($300): scored 68 and 64 respectively
  • Canon PowerShot Elph 510 HS ($300): scored 64

I'm looking for a small camera that will fit in my pocket or purse.

Many basic cameras today are as small as a Smartphone. This is good news for busy agents, who already have a bunch of stuff to lug around and don't want another bulky piece of technology. If you want a camera small enough to fit into a purse or pocket, Consumer Reports recommends:

  • Nikon Coolpix S100 ($260): scored 66
  • Canon PowerShot Elph 310 HS ($260): scored 65
  • Canon PowerShot S95 ($380): scored 65

I am a serious photographer and want a high-performance SLR camera.

SLR (single-lens reflex) cameras allow the photographer to see through the lens, and thus glimpse exactly what will be captured. This is in contrast to other cameras that use a viewfinder and provide a less accurate preview of what the camera will actually capture. Experienced photographers generally prefer SLRs, and this class of camera generally offers more sophisticated features and delivers more impressive images. If an SLR is your fancy, Consumer Reports has recommendations in several different categories:

  • Advanced features and small size (a Consumer Reports "Best Buy"): Panasonic Lumix ($450)
  • Standout SLR performance: Canon EOS ($1,050)
  • Best value for SLR flexibility (and both Consumer Reports "Best Buys"): Nikon D3100 ($550) or Pentax K-r ($650)

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