Smartphone cameras are amazingly powerful these days, but sometimes you need something better. Stiftung Warentest lists the test winners for various requirements, from entry-level cameras to system cameras for professionals.
Smartphone cameras have long been good enough for snapshots. Newer models are even so powerful that in many cases they can replace simple compact cameras. But if you want to take really good photos, you still need a real camera. The most recent overview by Stiftung Warentest, which lists the best cameras tested for various purposes, can help with the purchase decision.
If you want to take the best possible snapshots as quickly as possible, you are well served with a small, simple compact camera, which takes better photos than smartphones, but is not too expensive. The problem is that this is hardly possible anymore and is actually no longer worthwhile for the manufacturers. The range is correspondingly small and most of the devices listed by Warentest are no longer on the market.
The best basic compact camera that is still available is the Canon PowerShot SX740 HS for around 350 euros. As a "simple, compact, pocket-sized travel zoom camera", it received the quality rating of 2.5 and, according to the test report, takes good photos. Your videos are satisfactory, the viewfinder and monitor have been rated well, as has the handling.
Also still available is the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX99, which costs about 400 euros. The "small, flat and extremely light compact camera with superzoom" has a good electronic viewfinder, and the handling is also appealing. However, pictures and videos only performed satisfactorily in the test. Overall it got a grade of 2.6.
For children, Stiftung Warentest recommends the small outdoor camera Ricoh WG-70 for around 220 euros. According to the provider, it is waterproof to a depth of 14 meters and shockproof to a height of 1.6 meters. The reviewers found the automatic photos "still acceptable" and rated each category as satisfactory, from the videos to the handling. The overall rating is just about satisfactory (3.5).
Because there are actually no longer really simple snaps, the boundaries between entry-level cameras and high-quality compacts are fluid. However, more demanding photographers should be able to make many settings manually and high-quality compact cameras can also save recordings as raw data. That not only sounds expensive, it is.
The best camera in this class is the Fujifilm X100V, which achieved a quality rating of 1.6. You can't get it for less than 1500 euros. In return, the "particularly good, high-quality compact camera with hybrid viewfinder, large image converter, fixed focal length, manual functions and network function meets the highest demands". Warentest found their photos outstanding and the videos very good. The monitor and viewfinder also received a straight 1, only the handling and photos with manual settings were "only" rated good by the examiners.
The Canon PowerShot G5 X II is significantly cheaper at just under 900 euros. You don't have to accept big losses compared to the number 1. The "particularly good, high-quality compact camera with electronic viewfinder, manual functions and network function for particularly high demands" achieved a quality rating of 1.8. The camera takes good photos and videos, the viewfinder and monitor are very good, the handling is good.
The best cameras tested by Stiftung Warentest are system cameras. That means you can change the lens with them. The test winners all have no mirror, so you look through an electronic viewfinder.
The Fujifilm X-T4 took first place with a very good overall rating of 1.4. The "very good weatherproof system camera for the highest demands" achieved a 1 for its photos in automatic mode with the Fujifilm lens 16-80 R OIS WR. The testers found the images with manual settings and the videos good, the viewfinder and handling very good. The body alone costs almost 1650 euros.
For a number of professionals, the Nikon Z6 is probably the real number 1. It received the same overall rating with the Nikon Z 14-30 S lens and is also a "very good weatherproof system camera". However, the examiners rated the images with manual settings very well, which ambitious photographers prefer. They are probably less interested in the fact that the Z6 only has a good automatic mode. All other categories were rated very well. Without a lens, the Nikon Z6, like its Fujifilm competitor, costs around 1650 euros.