If you need the best Sony camera to update or are looking for the first mirrorless camera to buy, check out my review of 10 best Sony cameras for any budget. Take photo of your moment with the best cameras from Sony camera brand. From compact to professional-style camera bodies, they all show the best quality photos in all styles.
There are many Sony cameras for the beginning, experienced and advanced photographers. The compact or bridge cameras are designed for amateurs. Not so many Sony DSLR cameras are relevant today. This camera brand’s focus is directed at different types of devices now. Sony has been holding a leading position on the whole market of mirrorless cameras for the past six years, thanks to the huge success of a6000, as well as sales of the professional a7 camera series. I will help you figure out the variety of Sony cameras and choose the best Sony camera among the 10 popular models.
Price: about $2000
This is an excellent camera that is good for video recording and professional event/wedding photography. It has good characteristics and meets all the requirements of modern users. The device is capable of fast generating images in RAW format. The 24-megapixel sensor provides good image quality that is suitable for large format printing. One of the main advantages of this camera is a remarkable ISO operation. It produces clear pictures, with minimal digital noise, even at very high ISO values (6400) thanks to innovative noise-reduction technology.
This full frame mirrorless camera copes with shooting in low-light conditions and the use of automatic white balance settings. JPEG images have warm tones including even green shades. This device boasts the function of 4K video recording, which undoubtedly is an important aspect when choosing a video camera. It is one of the most popular new Sony cameras.
This compact zoom lens has an incredibly wide and universal range from 24 to 105 mm. It will allow you to achieve perfect image quality.
Image by Sony A7 III
Price: about $600
This cheap camera can support JPEG and RAW files pretty well. However, it is worth noting that RAW images turn out to be slightly muted. However, this is not a problem, since these flaws can be easily corrected while photo editing in Lightroom. The achieved pictures without filters look pretty decent, particularly with a wide aperture lens.
The device has good noise-reducing features. Even at ISO 3200, you will get pictures with minimal digital noise. They will remain clear even after printing. Another advantage of this model is its ease of operation and user-friendly interface. It is characterized by an incredible focusing system for tracking subjects and a good body for telephoto lenses. The camera can also film qualitative videos in full HD. The lack of 4K video shooting function is a slight disadvantage but for this price – it is the best choice.
A large zoom and perfect autofocus are advantages of this lens designed for Alpha series cameras. Thanks to the innovative Smooth Autofocus Motor, getting amazing images will not be a problem for beginners.
Image by Sony Alpha A68
Price: about $2400
Unlike other Sony Alpha cameras, for example, A7R II or A7 II, this model does not feature a very high resolution, which undoubtedly affects the image quality. However, it can be used to take pictures for further high-quality A3 printing. The camera has many advantages that far exceed its disadvantages. The device has a fairly large size and weight due to the incredibly wide range of options for adjusting the lens.
However, I do not advise you to shoot with maximum ISO 409, 600 regularly. Noise-reducing technology will allow you to get rid of digital noise. In addition, you can shoot even at night by selecting high ISO values (about 6400). The camera also has good video characteristics, in particular, support of 4K XAVC S video shooting and the ability to record high-quality material even in low light. 4K video quality is close to those of cameras with 10- or 12-bit outputs. These features allow you to use this device in professional videography. Many experts call it the best Sony camera for video recording.
The large F1.8 aperture of this lens allows you to create beautiful portrait photos with bokeh. You may always stop down for expanded depth of field.
Image by Sony A7S II
Price: about $3200
The good detailization and clarity of images make it one of the best Sony camera for photography. The lack of optical low-pass filter (OLPF) makes it possible to reproduce even the smallest details. You can get amazing JPEG pictures shooting with this camera. Many users notice that the images may have oversaturated colors, but it cannot be called a disadvantage since it is a typical feature of all modern cameras.
This gadget has a very good noise-reducing system, which allows you to achieve maximum image quality. Choosing high ISO values, you can notice a certain amount of digital noise in your photos. The model enables you to create good 30 x 40 inch prints even when raising ISO values up to 800. Thanks to a 42.4-megapixel sensor, photographers take clear photos with fantastic resolution. Some small details may lose their clarity at ISO 1600, but you can make a high- quality 24 x 36 inches print even with such ISO value.
This lens has a perfect zoom and autofocus system with 35mm FF sensor coverage. Its corresponding focal range is 24-70 mm when interacting with a 35mm sensor camera.
Image by Sony Alpha A99 Ii
Price: about $1000
If you are looking for the best Sony camera, you should pay attention to this model. The device has pretty good features that can satisfy even the most demanding photographers. If we compare this digital camera with analogs in terms of shooting JPEGs, it can be noted that some gadgets take pictures with slight blurriness, so-called “halo” around the objects. RX100 Mark V has special technologies that allow you to get rid of “halo” or make it almost invisible.
Undoubtedly, high clarity and sharpness of images is an advantage of this model. A photographer can start playing back a series of photos immediately after shooting due to the upgraded processing. You can check the focus and other camera settings in the upper left corner of the screen.
Image by Sony RX100 Mark V
Price: about $4000
According to many Sony camera reviews, experts note that the main advantage of this device is a 24-megapixel sensor. This makes it possible to obtain qualitative images with high resolution. You will be able to print your photos in Super A2 or A3 format and make them as sharp as possible. Working in low light, the photographer can choose the maximum ISO values (about 12,800) and get good photos. Of course, you may see a small amount of digital noise, but these disadvantages can be easily removed during photo editing.
It should be noted that the camera has an imperfect white balance. Sometimes you can get pictures with a greenish tint. It can occur while working with poor, artificial lighting. Therefore, it is better to use manual settings. The device has good video characteristics, for example, 4K video recording and a fantastic AF system. Summing up, I can say that this is the best Sony camera for various types of shooting, such as sports, wedding and child photography.
This incredible G Master Series telephoto zoom lens has great features, including fast autofocus, compact size, and support of high-resolution standards.
Image by Sony A9
Price: about $3000
Probably, this is the best Sony Alpha camera today. This camera has good ISO characteristics and excellent noise-reducing functions. Raising ISO values (up to 32, 000), the photographer can get images with a moderate amount of digital noise. The maximum value is ISO 102, 400, but I do not recommend you to select it when working under normal conditions. In this case, you are guaranteed to get pictures of poor quality. Choose such values only when the image quality is not your primary goal, and your main task is to photograph the object.
In addition, Alpha A7R III boasts a wide dynamic range. If you want to retain highlights, you may take low-sensitivity pictures and underexpose them. Then, all imperfections should be removed in Lightroom. Perhaps, this is the best Sony digital camera that is universal and good for all photo genres.
This lens is an excellent tool for photo and video shooting. Silent operation and fast autofocus are its undeniable advantages. The lens has an extra wide 12–24 mm range that will help you achieve good real estate photos with high resolution.
Image by Sony A7R III
Price: about $450
In spite of its sufficiently low price, this is the best Sony camera in compact cameras’ line that can boast of reasonably good quality pictures. It copes with noise at slow ISO speed (400) pretty well, but when the speed is increased within 800-1600, the noise may take place. In some cases, chromatic aberrations were noticeable, but they were under control, except appearing effect of purple frames. They emerged in the cases of high contrast.
Macro shooting lets you focus on the distance of 1 cm from the subject. Even at the 24 mm wide-angle focal length of a universal 50x zoom lens, barrel distortion is perfectly regulated. One of the advantages of this camera is a good operation of built-in flash (no red-eye effect) even indoors. I will rightfully name it one of the new Sony cameras meant for newbies, who want to get images of good quality.
Image by Sony Cyber-shot HX400V
Price: about $750
A6300 is one of the best Sony Alpha cameras which impressed me by its focusing reliability under any conditions (manual one is inclusive). Of course, my feeling will exactly depend on the lens I used, but focus peaking and focusing zoom support make this camera special. Parts of the image located in the field of focusing are highlighted by focus peaking, which makes them visible in the form of white, red and yellow areas.
Standard ISO range is within 100-25600, and if you need, it may be raised to 32000, 41500 and 51200. JPEG with high ISO lose color strength and, as a result, detailization of the image becomes lower. Anyway, the presence of chromatic noise is on the quite normal level. I am talking about the tones breaking down into a rainbow speckle. This Sony camera eliminates such an effect almost fully. If you still need to take pictures at high ISO, photographing in RAW and Lightroom will solve this problem.
It is a versatile lens meant for APS-C-format E-mount cameras. It will be excellently suitable for capturing wide landscapes or architecture photos and tight portraits.
Image by Sony Alpha A6300
Price: about $1100
Sony A6500 is one of the best Sony cameras as for its quality of images. This Sony camera ensures wonderful sharpness and contrast level. You will be able to control image noise within the whole sensitivity range (for JPEG). As a result, the images will be ideal even at high ISO settings (for example 6400). But, anyway, I strongly recommend using the setting of Low noise reduction, because Normal noise reduction setting looks a bit heavy handed with pictures taken at high ISO settings. If you are in a search of the best Sony camera for shooting pictures of excellent quality and 4K video, it is one of the best variants.
This well-designed compact lens combines a balance of functionality and form. It offers built-in optical Steady Shot image stabilization and wide zoom diapason. Moreover, it is lightweight and convenient to use.
Image by Sony A6500
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We cannot deny that mirrorless cameras made by Sony had been bestsellers until recent years. Now Canon, Nikon and Fujifilm also started producing mirrorless cameras with a focus on adding the newest options, but Sony continues to be a leader in this area. Why does Sony attract so many fans around the world so that they don’t care about new Canon EOS and Nikon Z7 but run to the store as soon as any new Sony model appears on the shelves?
If you shoot handheld in a condition of bad light with the help of manual focus, you may face some problems. Luckily, a good viewfinder can help you avoid lots of them. Firstly, looking through the viewfinder instead of the back screen will simplify holding the camera. Presence of focus peaking and the ability to punch in to check focus through the viewfinder released me from a necessity to use the back screen. 12mm lens produces deep enough depth of field. Still, I had to make an effort to be sure that I have focused properly. Sony has been offering good electronic viewfinders in addition to full frame images, which made them top sellers.
Another advantage of Sony is that it is the only brand offering a full frame model with IBIS rated up to 5.5 stops. In comparison, Nikon’s newest cameras offer IBIS rated up to 5 stops only. In the case of Canon, it is not a competitor for Nikon and Sony in this area, as the newest Canon EOS R doesn’t have IBIS at all.
It is an unbelievably beneficial option. I don’t think I would be able to create photos of high quality without it. Because of the light, even when I shot at f/2.8, there was a necessity to snap pictures at shutter speeds equal to 1/15th of a second.
There are adapters in Sony E-mount cameras accessible for the majority of the mounts, such as Sony A-mount, Nikon F, Canon EF and Leica M. Lenses of medium format also can be adapted. It makes Sony the leader among adaptable lens mounts on sale.
Adapting tilt-shift lenses to Sony cameras is also possible. But be attentive! Such lenses will be stabilized with IBIS, which Canon cannot offer yet. Accessible lenses for mirrorless cameras (with full frame) is one more reason to choose this brand.
The autofocus of the sensor is more precise compared to traditional systems in digital cameras, which provides additional useful features. For instance, pay attention to eye detection autofocus. This peculiarity definitely distinguishes Sony cameras from the others on the market nowadays. During some period of time, this option was considered to be a gimmick because of its inefficiency. Everything has changed after the appearance of a7R III. If you are familiar with the feature of eye detection in the newest Sony cameras, you must know that Sony produces the best autofocus camera.
It seems to me that Sony is one of a few companies manufacturing full frame, that really care about the customer’s points of view and their wishes. Thanks to Sony’s ability to listen to the clients, it became the best mirrorless camera manufacturer. Sony doesn’t belong to those companies who will make excuses. It belongs to the companies who will make changes according to customers’ complaints.
For example, let’s look at the case with two card slots. Sony has solved this complaint quite quickly by producing the third generation of cameras. As for Nikon, this brand opted for only one slot for its mirrorless cameras, despite the presence of two card slots in all its DSLR cameras. Strangely, but Canon made the same decision as Nikon.
Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a photographer, photo retoucher and of course, journalist. Here on FixThePhoto blog you can find all of my reviews, photography and photo editing tips, pricing guides, and photography experiments.