Just because cameras on smartphones were going all sorts of crazy in 2012 didn’t mean the world of the conventional shooter wasn’t exciting. Far from, it in fact, with a shiny new camera turning up at Pocket-lint Towers almost weekly.

So what made the cut for the awards nominees? Read on to find out.

Nikon D800


April 2012

This was a camera that just about every serious Nikon fan had been waiting for. An absence of quality video capabilities in its prosumer camera line-up had left Nikon owners feeling fairly sheepish against the likes of the Canon 5D Mk II.

Luckily Nikon rectified this with a serious stonker of a DSLR. Where to start? A 36.6-megapixel sensor, incredible low-light performance for so many pixels and class-leading video quality. This was Nikon's pride of place in 2012.

READ: Nikon D800 review

Panasonic Lumix FZ200


September 2012

As bridge cameras go, this really was the snapper for every situation. The camera featured a f2.8 aperture and a zoom of 24-600mm, making it perfect for shooting just about anything.

But all that zoom wouldn’t be any use if the camera didn’t handle right and if the image quality wasn’t up to scratch. Luckily it was. The FZ200 was well worth the wait.

READ: Panasonic Lumix FZ200 review

Olympus OM-D E-M5


May 2012

Olympus continued on its mirrorless voyage in 2012 with the E-M5. Right out of the bag, the camera looked fantastic. Its retro style made for a seriously desirable product. Thankfully it threw in top of the line modern-day performance to boot.

The new 16-megapixel sensor inside, coupled with an improved image processing engine, created some of the best-quality stills from an Olympus mirrorless yet.

READ: Olympus OM-D E-M5 review

Sony NEX-6


September 2012

It might look strange, but the near-wallet-slim NEX-6 is not to be underestimated. One of the pack leaders when it comes to compact system cameras, the NEX-6 threw together plenty of features with top of the line image quality.

The time we spent with the camera had us convinced it was the best NEX camera yet. Costing less than the NEX-7, it packed just as big a punch, making it a very desirable product indeed.

READ: Sony NEX-6 hands-on

Sony Cyber-shot RX100


June 2012

Sony managed to squeeze a pair of cameras into our nominations this year. The RX100 was a standout compact, making for a quick, simple and highly customisable pocket snapper.

Sony also used a clever WRGB LCD screen which offered a lot more quality image viewing than other compact cameras. Throw in a fast wide-aperture lens and you have a nomination-worthy compact package

READ: Sony Cyber-shot RX100