Are you looking for the best Sony camera? We tested all of the best Sony cameras models available and ranked our favorites in the list below. So, whether you’re a first-time enthusiast or a seasoned Sony user, this buying guide will assist you in selecting the best camera for your needs and budget. We’ve compiled a list of the best Sony cameras for a variety of users in this guide.
We have options for you whether you want a simple point-and-shoot camera or you want to experiment with Mirrorless interchangeable lens format for ultimate flexibility. Our top picks represent the very best from Sony in terms of stills, video, and price ranges ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Sony, a well-known brand in its own right, has transformed the push into the Mirrorless market, and other manufacturers are attempting to catch up.
When purchasing a new camera, there are numerous factors to consider. Features such as in-body image stabilization and movie frame rate have a significant impact on the ability to shoot in low light or create dreamy cinematic work. If you’re an action or sports photographer, you’ll need a fast burst speed to extract every last detail from your scene. So, take a look at the list below to see which of the best Sony cameras is best for you.
Here is the list of Best Sony Cameras
Sony A7 III
The Sony A7 III may not have the blinding speed of Sony’s top-tier A9 II or the ultra-high-resolution of the A7R IV, but it takes many of the best features from these more expensive models and delivers them in a more affordable package. Highlights include a highly effective 696-point AF system and a 5-axis image stabilization system with 5EV compensation. A 24.2MP back-illuminated image sensor is combined with the latest generation of image processor, and the two deliver incredible tonal range and allow for super-high ISO settings in photography.
The handling is good, though some may find the body a little small when paired with pro lenses, but this is true of all Alpha cameras. We believe it is the best priced Sony camera available for top performance at a reasonable price – though for stills photographers, the older Sony A7 II is also very appealing and less expensive!
The Sony ZV-1 is the best compact vlogging camera on the market, putting a powerful video option in your pocket. It borrows the best features of the RX100 series, including a capable 1-inch sensor and a class-leading autofocus system. Sony’s Real-time Tracking and Eye AF systems allow you to shoot high-quality footage while staying locked on to your subject, and the bright 24-70mm lens can create lovely background blur. Image stabilization is less than stellar, but it’s adequate for walking and talking.
The ZV-1’s versatility for vloggers is enhanced by a hot-shoe, 3.5mm microphone input, and flip-out LCD display – and while the touchscreen menu isn’t the easiest to use, it’s balanced by an arsenal of features. The ZV-1 comes with a useful built-in ND filter, as well as all of Sony’s picture profiles, including HLG, to complement its crisp, detailed 4K/30p footage. Because of its small size, it has to make some sacrifices: there’s no headphone jack or viewfinder, and the battery life isn’t great. Nonetheless, the Sony ZV-1 has more power and video capabilities than any other pocket camera.
Sony’s flagship APS-C format mirrorless camera, the Sony A6600, is aimed at enthusiast photographers and videographers who want to shoot in a variety of conditions. It has a 24.2MP Exmor CMOS image sensor, the BIONZ X image processor, and a front-end LSI, all of which are used in Sony’s full-frame cameras to improve still and video image quality.
Sony’s innovative 5-axis in-body image stabilization system, which provides a 5.0-step shutter speed advantage, is among the A6600’s impressive feature set. The Alpha 6600 also has a 0.02 second autofocus acquisition time, with 425 phase-detection AF points covering roughly 84 percent of the image area and 425 contrast-detection AF points.
Sony’s ‘Real-time Tracking’ and ‘Real-time Eye AF,’ the latest version of Sony’s Eye AF technology, which uses AI-based object recognition to detect and process eye data in real-time, are also on board. Real-time Eye AF promises increased accuracy, speed, and tracking performance for both humans and animals, allowing the photographer to focus solely on composition. It’s a huge plus for pet and portrait photography. Internal 4K movie recording with full-pixel readout and no pixel binning in Super 35mm format is also available.
Sony RX100 VII
The Sony RX100 VII is the best Sony camera we’ve tested with a compact fixed-lens design. This high-end point-and-shoot camera is incredibly portable, with a bright tilting screen that allows you to shoot from various angles and a small pop-up EVF for those who prefer to shoot through a viewfinder. Its high-speed burst mode can shoot at a remarkably fast 20 fps to capture quick moments of fast action, and it also has a single burst shooting mode that can capture single bursts of seven photos at speeds of 30 fps, 60 fps, or 90 fps.
It produces excellent overall image quality with a wide dynamic range, and its autofocus system is extremely effective at tracking and focusing moving subjects. It supports eye tracking, and the subject detection can be configured to detect either people or animals. This camera also supports a variety of video frame rates, including 4k up to 30 fps and Full HD up to 120 fps.
While the video quality is adequate overall, and the camera is portable enough for vlogging, it has a limited battery life and overheats when recording video continuously, especially in 4k. As a result, the recording time limit in 4k is set to five minutes by default, though you can disable this in settings if you prefer.
Sony A7R Mark IV
The “R” models in Sony’s A7 series cameras are built for resolution first and foremost. The Sony A7R Mark IV sets the bar with its new, record-breaking 61-megapixel camera, which has more pixels than any other Sony or full-frame camera on the market today. The detail rendition is fantastic, though the gain may not be as obvious as the raw numbers suggest.
In reality, with its new sensor technology, it outperforms the old model A7R Mark III in terms of sheer power and beauty. It’s especially noticeable when comparing images and videos taken with other cameras to those taken with the A7R Mark IV. A slew of statistics thrown around like confetti at an 8-year-birthday old’s party can only reveal so much.
The A7R Mark IV is frequently compared to the best medium format cameras, but we believe that it is still a far cry from what you can get with them. The larger sensors in medium format models aren’t just about megapixels – and even if they did have more than Sony’s new flagship model, the resolution power would be significantly lower.
The Sony A1 is everything Sony claims it to be. It’s a technological triumph, a camera that can do it all. Previously, cameras could offer speed, resolution, or video capability, but the A1 provides all three and even outperforms dedicated sports and video cameras. Is this the ideal camera? Not exactly. The price is and will continue to be a major barrier, and its appeal is limited to photographers who require everything it does, rather than just one or two of those things.
This, combined with its exorbitant price, prevents it from rising higher on our list. We couldn’t write an article about the best Sony cameras without mentioning the A1, but is it truly the best one to buy? Realistically, 99 out of 100 photographers probably do not. The Sony A1’s position has recently been eroded by the arrival of the Nikon Z9 and Canon EOS R5 C, both of which are less expensive.
Sony’s A6000 was a popular model among new photographers. We had to wait a while, but we were finally treated to an upgrade in the form of the A6100 in August 2019. It’s a significant advancement in the concept, with a 24.2MP sensor, Bionz X processor, and impressively fast 11fps burst shooting.
A three-inch tilting LCD screen is also included, as is a very useful electronic viewfinder. The A6100’s distinguishing feature, when compared to other APS-C cameras at this price point, is its autofocus. It employs the same system as the Sony A6600, resulting in excellent continuous tracking abilities.
You also get 4K video and some impressive features from other Sony models, such as Eye-AF. The battery life is also good, and the tilting screen is touch-sensitive, albeit with Sony’s slightly muddled, older menu system. If you don’t require cutting-edge technology, the A6000 is still a viable option, but the A6100 is an excellent all-rounder for a variety of subjects.
The A6400 is aimed at vloggers and those who want to film themselves on a regular basis, and it packs a lot of useful features into a small package. Because of its compact design and 4K video and 180-degree tilting screen, it is simple for beginners and enthusiasts to set up their own shooting setup at home or on the go.
Unfortunately, there is no in-body image stabilization, so handheld footage must be stabilized with additional hardware or software, but for the price, this APS-C Mirrorless camera is ideal for the aspiring YouTuber. See our best camera for vlogging roundup for more options.
Sony A7S II
We keep the Sony A7S II on our list of the best Sony cameras because it’s still a really solid camera, and its price is likely to fall now that the A7S III has replaced it. Its low-resolution sensor has been fine-tuned for video quality, and it is frequently used as a lightweight broadcast camera. Essentially, the 12MP sensor enables full pixel readout without pixel binning, maximizing sensor utilization. With features and layout more akin to a stills camera than a video camera, it allows today’s photographers to easily switch between stills and video.
It also includes pro-log color modes like S-Gamut3.Cine/S-Log3, which allows video editors and directors to easily blend footage from multiple cameras. Of course, to capture the highest quality video possible, it has options to shoot at 4K, 30fps, and 1080p, 120fps. Because it is small and lightweight, the A7S II is ideal for handheld use, and it includes 5-axis image stabilization to ensure smooth, fluid handheld footage.
We weren’t crazy about the Sony A7C when it first came out because it appeared to be expensive and unambitious. However, now that prices have come down and Sony has released some downsized prime lenses, such as the Sony FE 24mm f/2.8, it makes a lot more sense. Even though the Sony A7C and Sony A7 III are now very similar in price, the Sony A7C’s articulated screen makes it ideal for vlogging.
It’s not Sony’s most exciting waterproof camera release, but it’s a good camera thanks to its practical performance and excellent AF system. Sony has made much of its small size, but it’s not that much smaller than a camera like the A7 III, and the lenses are, of course, the same size for both. The A7C’s vari-angle screen and compact design (with smaller lenses) make it a more appealing travel/vlogging camera.
Sony has emerged as one of the most dominant manufacturers in the camera industry. Its current product lineup ranges from action cameras and compacts to super-pro level mirrorless cameras with industry-leading sensors. With so many options, selecting the best Sony camera and camera lens can be difficult. Fortunately, Sony’s camera lineup follows a logical progression. And as long as you know what you’re looking for, there’s bound to be a body or camera in the mix that meets your requirements.