Whether for Instagram or the mantelpiece, these shooters capture your escapades best
Panasonic Lumix GX9 ($1,000)
The Lumix GX9’s compact size belies its capabilities. With a 20.3-megapixel sensor, it’s small enough to fit in your pants pocket without the lens attached, but it captures way more detail than a smartphone, allowing you to make 11-by-14 or even 16-by-20 wall prints. Plus, Panasonic offers a broad array of lenses, so you can shoot with everything from a 200-millimeter zoom to a 15-millimeter wide-angle.
Google Pixel 2 ($650)
The most convenient camera is the one you’ll end up using the most, and the Pixel is worthy. It produces possibly the richest photos of any phone on the market, thanks to a respectable 12.2-megapixel sensor, a fast f/1.8 max-aperture lens, and proprietary processing software. Like the competition, the Pixel shoots nice portraits and includes optical stabilization. Unlike others, it automatically stores images on Google Photos.
Sony a7 III ($2,000)
Sony’s full-frame mirrorless cameras are unmatched, and the a7 III is no exception. What you get: a pro-level shooter that captures stunning 24.2-megapixel photos for only two large. To capture high-speed action, the a7 III fires off ten frames per second and features a whip-fast autofocus. And it shoots five-axis-stabilized 4K video, letting you track a buddy shake-free as they rip downtrail on a bike. No other camera has these chops for the price.
GoPro Fusion ($600)
We’re big proponents of the Fusion because it works with GoPro’s OverCapture software. The camera shoots 5.2K, 360-degree footage, and then OverCapture lets you go in and choose the specific angles you want and edit them together without jumps or breaks. It’s like having an entire team of videographers working on your action movies, and it gives you the freedom to avoid having to look directly at everything you want to show up in the final cut.
DJI Mavic 2 Pro ($1,449)
A tip of the hat to DJI for this smart upgrade of the wildly popular Mavic Pro drone. The brand kept the body small but went to town inside, giving the camera a one-inch sensor that’s significantly better in low light, shoots rich 20-megapixel images, and has an aperture with an f/2.8-to-f/11 range, for deep or shallow depth of field. The Pro 2 still shoots 4K video, but it gathers more data now, so you get poppier colors and sharper quality.