Best Point-and-Shoots

FRESNO, Calif.

The season finale of the TV show "House" was shot not with a $100,000 film camera but a digital SLR camera that costs less than $3,000.

It's the Canon 5D Mark II. Granted, it was outfitted with professional lenses and other equipment. Consumer reports testers say it's a fine camera, but how about the video quality of less expensive point-and-shoots?

Consumer reports rates the video quality of digital cameras. This set is designed to challenge cameras in different light settings.

"These images were shot in bright light, simulating daylight. Here is digital camera video that was not too good. It's pixilated. It's overexposed. The video over here has smoother lines. It's less pixilated. It's a much more balanced image to look at," Elias Arias said.

Consumer reports testers also found some digital cameras didn't do as well as others shooting video in low-light settings.

"The images are underexposed. They're darker, so objects like the dog in the background here are barely visible. Over here we've got a brighter, better-exposed low-light image. Not only is it better color, but you can actually make out the objects in the back of the room."

It turns out you don't have to pay a fortune to get a digital camera that shoots decent video.

A good choice the Canon Powershot A495. It's a consumer reports best buy at $130. The Canon Powershot A495 shoots video in standard definition.

If you want a camera that shoots high-definition video, it will cost you more.

Consumer reports says a good choice is the Canon EOS 7D, which costs around $1800.

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