While cameras these days tend to be jacks of all trades, many users are still just looking for the best camera for photography. If you want something that just shoots great stills in all situations – well, we’ve got you covered. We’ve put together this list of the absolute best cameras photographers at all levels can buy right now, including more affordable models as well as the top-end best mirrorless cameras used by professionals.

Now, what makes for a good stills camera is a complex question, as there are lots of different features that photographers might prioritise. Maybe you want as much detail as possible for making big prints of your portrait photography? Or perhaps you need fast focusing action in a discreet camera body – because you’re out most weekends shooting street photography. There’s lots to weigh up – if you’re new to it, you can scroll to the bottom of this page for our explainer section on how to choose a camera for photography, where we explain what all the key terms mean.

This list is based on our review team’s experience with each of these cameras, which we’ve judged and placed based on a number of factors, including price. We’ve included a mixture of new cameras and older models that can still be picked up for a great price, and plenty of DSLR alternatives for those who want something a bit smaller and lighter. We’ve categorised our picks for different genres to make it easier to find the right camera for you, and we’ve included a host of budget-friendly options too, so don’t worry – this isn’t just a list of the most expensive cameras you’ve ever seen.

For more options, you can look at our dedicated guides to the best cameras for beginners and the best cameras under $500/£500. But for now, let’s crack on and reveal our picks of the best cameras for photography.

The best camera for photography: our quick list

Want to cut right to it? Here’s our quick list of the best cameras for photography, along with links to get the best prices for each one:

Now that you know what you’re looking for, let’s get started with the best cameras for photography…

Best camera for photography overall: Fujifilm X-T5

Fujifilm X-T5 review photograph by Andy Westlake

Styled like a classic film camera, the X-T5 is aimed squarely at stills photographers. Image credit: Andy Westlake

At a glance:

  • 40.2MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS 5 HR sensor
  • 15fps shooting (mechanical shutter); 20fps (electronic shutter)
  • 7-stop in-body image stabilisation
  • 3.69m-dot EVF, 0.8x magnification
  • $2,166 / £1,699 (body only)

Built for stills photographers through and through, the Fujifilm X-T5 is a magnificent machine. An APS-C mirrorless model and one of the crown jewels of the fabulous Fujifilm X system, this camera arrived to great acclaim among stills shooters. Priced at a level that pitches it towards enthusiasts, the Fujifilm X-T5 is nevertheless stuffed with enough high-end features to rival professional models – and of course, it produces fantastic images.

Shoot up to 1/180,000sec

The key appeal of the X-T series has remained basically unchanged since the X-T1 – a combination of a powerful feature-set and tactile, dial-led controls that give the camera a retro, analogue-style feel to operate. The result is a machine that’s just fun to use – but despite its retro appearance, on the inside, the Fujifilm X-T5 is absolutely cutting-edge. It benefits from features like AI-powered subject detection, 5-axis in-body image stabilisation and an electronic shutter with maximum speeds of up to 1/180,000sec.

Stunning JPEG output

One thing that’s also especially popular about Fujifilm models, including the X-T5, is the high quality of JPEGs they produce. If you prefer to shoot in JPEG than RAW for the immediacy and convenience, a Fujifilm camera like the X-T5 is a perfect choice as it gives you the best quality straight out of camera (that’s why Fujifilm topped our guide to the best camera brands for JPEGs). For extra style, you can also take advantage of Fujifilm’s Film Simulation modes to emulate the looks of classic film stocks.

Fully featured and fun to use, at a much more reasonable price than its pro-spec rivals, the Fujifilm X-T5 is the camera to beat for enthusiast photographers.


  • Excellent image quality in JPEG and RAW
  • Highly capable autofocus
  • Analogue-style control dials
  • Superb range of X-mount lenses


  • Shot buffer fills up quickly in full resolution
  • High-res multi-shot mode isn’t much use (though most of them aren’t)

Read our full Fujifilm X-T5 review.

Best camera for wildlife photography: Nikon Z9

Nikon Z9 in hand, Andy Westlake (AP)

The Nikon Z9 in hand. Photo credit: Andy Westlake

At a glance:

  • Full-frame 45.7 megapixel sensor
  • 30fps shooting (120fps at 11 megapixels)
  • 6-stop in-body image stabiliser
  • AI subject-detect autofocus
  • $6,756 / £5,299  (body only)

The Nikon Z9 is one of the best cameras ever made. It’s not cheap, not at all, but it is right up there as the best camera you can buy for wildlife photography. Its burst-shooting credentials are second to none – it shoots at a rapid 30fps using the full resolution of 45.7MP sensor, but drop that down to 11MP, and the Z9 can rev up to an incredible 120fps. That is, frankly, bonkers. This is where mirrorless cameras offer compelling DSLR alternatives.

Subject-detect focusing

Of course, this wouldn’t matter if the Z9 didn’t have everything else it needed to nail the shot, but with AI-powered subject-detect autofocus, it’s essentially cheat mode for wildlife photography. The tracking on the AF is also eerily good, able to identify the most important subject in any frame and follow it around no matter where it moves. As we said in our review, this camera is essentially the death knell for the pro DSLR, as it does everything the previous flagship Nikon D6 did, but does it significantly better. Image quality is also absolutely gorgeous in both JPEG and Raw. We found that you can push the ISO all the way up to 25,600 and still get perfectly useable images.

The Nikon Z9 is not the only camera well-suited to nature, however. Be sure to check our guide to the best cameras for wildlife photography for more excellent suggestions. If you want a similar camera to the Z9 without the sky-high price tag, try the Nikon Z5, or the APS-C Nikon Z50.


  • Superb for continuous autofocus
  • Superb autofocusing / subject detection
  • Robust build quality


  • High price
  • Unwieldy
  • Needs expensive memory cards

Read our full Nikon Z9 review.

Best camera for portrait photography: Canon EOS R5

Canon EOS R5

Canon EOS R5. Photo credit: Michael Topham

At a glance:

  • 45 megapixel high-resolution full-frame sensor
  • 8-stop in-body image stabiliser
  • Subject tracking and Face Detection
  • Dual card slots
  • £5,098 / $3,999 (body only)

When shooting portraits, it’s a good idea to focus on resolution. Your subjects won’t be running away from you (well, you’d hope not), so you don’t need hyper-accurate autofocus or fast burst. But they may want high-quality prints of the shots you take, which is why having plenty of pixels is a sound move. The Canon EOS R5 is a high-resolution full-frame camera that is ideal for capturing perfect people pictures.

In portrait, getting the eyes super-sharp is crucial. The EOS R5 is equipped with Face- and Eye-Detection autofocus that can take care of this with pinpoint accuracy. In our full review of the camera, we found that it worked incredibly reliably, allowing us to make the most of the camera’s gorgeous, high-resolution sensor.

The EOS R5 isn’t a perfect camera; as we said in our review, the battery life could be better, to the point where you may want to think about picking up the BG-R10 battery grip if you plan on extended shoots. Though, of course, this will add £379/$349 to an already considerable price tag. For a cheaper option in the same family, try the EOS R6 (featured below), or the APS-C EOS R7.

Check what lenses are available for the Canon EOS R5 in our guide to the best Canon RF mount lenses.


  • Very high resolution
  • Face/Eye detection
  • Excellent handling


  • High price
  • Battery life could be better

Read our full Canon EOS R5 review.

Best camera under £1,000 / $1,000: Canon EOS R10

Canon EOS R10 in hand with RF-S 85mm lens

The EOS R10 handles very nicely, given its small size. Photo credit: Andy Westlake.

At a glance:

  • 24.2MP APS-C sensor
  • ISO 100-51,200
  • Subject-detection autofocus system
  • 2.36m-dot viewfinder, 0.59x equivalent magnification
  • Fully articulated touchscreen
  • $1,273 / £999 body only, $1,401 / £1099 with 18-45mm

Canon is currently filling out the beginner-to-intermediate end of its EOS R mirrorless line like gangbusters – certainly more so than any other manufacturer. For a great camera and lens combination that can be had for less than £1,000 / $1,000, the mid-range Canon EOS R10 is an excellent choice, as it can be bought with an 18-45mm kit lens and still come in under budget. The newer EOS R100 is cheaper still, but has pretty basic specifications.


While buying older cameras second-hand is often regarded as the best way to get top-end features for a low price, the EOS R10 is loaded with some pretty impressive stuff for a camera at this price point. Probably the most significant difference between the EOS R10 and a similarly priced second-hand camera will be subject-detection autofocus, which has filtered down from Canon’s pro cameras and is genuinely a game-changer. The little EOS R10 can recognise and lock onto subjects like humans, animals, and vehicles, and track them around the frame with incredible accuracy. A second-hand Sony A6000 from 2014 may be cheaper, but it won’t do that.

EF-EOS R adapter

The EOS R10 is an APS-C camera, and the selection of APS-C lenses in the RF-mount range is still disappointingly small, meaning you may be stuck with unbalanced full-frame lenses. For an alternative though, consider shelling out for an EF-EOS R adapter. Once you’ve paid that initial cost (save money by getting one second-hand), you have access to an enormous range of ultra-cheap EF-mount DSLR lenses, which will work on your EOS R10 with full functionality. Canon has long been well known for its user-friendly beginner DSLRs and Rebel-series cameras (in the US), but its newer RF-S mount cameras perhaps need a few more lenses before they are credible Canon DSLR alternatives.


  • Lightweight and easy to carry
  • Highly capable subject-detection autofocus
  • Can be adapted to take EF-mount lenses


  • Small viewfinder
  • No in-body stabilisation

Read our full Canon EOS R10 review.

Best camera for sports photography: Canon EOS R3

Canon EOS R3 in hand (AW/AP)

Canon EOS R3 in hand with lens, as tested by our Technical Editor. Photo credit: Andy Westlake

At a glance:

  • Flagship professional 24 megapixel full-frame mirrorless
  • 30fps shooting
  • 8-stop in-body image stabiliser
  • Eye-control AF and Subject Tracking
  • 1/64000 shutter speed
  • $7,011 / £5,499 (body only)

For sports and action photography, being able to react to super-fast moving subjects is paramount – which the Canon EOS R3 is extremely well-suited to. For a long time it looked as if there never would be a DSLR alternative to Canon’s mighty EOS-1D X series, but the EOS R3 goes way further.

You can shoot at 30fps in full-resolution raw and with full autofocus, and you can also freeze moments by shooting at a record-busting 1/64,000sec, too. We found autofocusing to be superb, with 4779 points working to ensure you never miss a moment. On top of that, with eye-control AF you can choose a focus point simply by looking at the subject through the viewfinder – you don’t get much quicker than that. Our tests revealed subject tracking for moving subjects is almost infallible, too.

Its relatively low-resolution 24MP sensor may sound disappointing when compared to some of the high resolution offerings here, but it helps to keep file sizes down and is more than enough for printing at fairly large sizes.


  • Superb autofocusing
  • Fantastically fast shooting
  • Excellent viewfinder and screen


  • Big and heavy
  • Very expensive
  • Relatively low resolution

Read our full Canon EOS R3 review.

Best camera under £750/$750: Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV front on. Photo credit: Andy Westlake

At a glance:

  • 20MP Four Thirds sensor
  • Micro Four Thirds lens mount
  • ISO 200-6400, ISO 80-25,600 (extended)
  • Up to 15fps burst shooting
  • 121-point contrast-detect AF
  • $827 / £649 body-only

This tidy, tiny Micro Four Thirds camera is a fantastic beginner’s way in to mirrorless cameras, and comes at a bargain price, too. The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV is absolutely bursting with cool photography features, including a touchscreen interface, stylish Art Filters, and sophisticated Live Composite for long exposures. When we reviewed the camera, we almost ran out of time to try out all its features, there are so many to try out and play with.

Using the Micro Four Thirds system means you’re working with a smaller sensor than APS-C cameras like the Fujifilm X-S10. However, it does give you access to a huge catalogue of Micro Four Thirds lenses, those made by both Olympus and Panasonic (and others), and also the 2x crop factor gives you a good deal of extra reach, effectively transforming a 50mm lens into a 100mm one.

Stylish and likeable, the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV is an ideal mirrorless camera for beginner photographers on a budget.


  • Huge lens catalogue
  • User-friendly, but deep
  • Stylish looks


  • Smaller sensor
  • Raw image quality inferior to APS-C

Read our Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV review.

Best camera for landscape photography: Sony A7R IV

Sony Alpha A7R IV (MT)

Sony Alpha A7R IV with lens. Photo credit: Michael Topham

At a glance:

  • 61 megapixel full-frame sensor
  • 76-million-dot EVF
  • Tilting screen
  • Pixel-Shift Multi Shooting
  • $3,823 / £2,999 (body only)

The winner of our product of the year in 2020, this superb high-resolution camera is still a fantastic choice for landscape reason. We loved it when we first reviewed it, and it continues to impress today.

A key reason for this is its very high-resolution 61 megapixel sensor – the highest you’ll find on our list, and the highest you’ll find outside of medium format cameras. That super high resolution sensor is ideal for landscapes, and, being packed into the relatively small body of the Sony A7 series means you can carry it around to reach all sorts of photogenic locations without troubling your back too much.

Pixel-Shift high resolution mode

Although you may want to use a tripod for landscapes, if you want to keep it light, you’ll also benefit from 5-axis image stabilisation. If you do pack that tripod, making use of Pixel-Shift Multi Shooting to create an even higher resolution composite image is likely to be tempting to serious landscape photographers.

If you like to photograph other subjects, as well as landscapes, the A7R IV isn’t well suited to everything. While it does well at other static subjects – such as portraits and macro – with 10fps shooting, action and wildlife shooters would do better to look elsewhere.

There are other cameras which we’d recommend for this genre – make sure to take a look at our best camera for landscape photography guide to find out more.

Updated by the Sony Alpha A7R V, this model is still well worth looking at, particularly if you want to save money.


  • Super high resolution sensor
  • Tilting screen
  • Relatively affordable


  • Handling is a little awkward at times
  • Not an all-rounder

Read our full Sony A7R IV review.

Best camera for astrophotography: OM System OM-1

OM System ’Olympus’ OM-1 IP53 weather-sealing coming in handy best cameras for photography

OM System ’Olympus’ OM-1 IP53 weather-sealing coming in handy. Photo credit: Joshua Waller

At a glance:

  • 20 megapixel stacked Micro Four Thirds sensor
  • 8-stops image stabiliser
  • IP53-rated weather proofing
  • Starry Sky AF mode
  • $2,484 / £1,949 (body only)

When you’re looking for a camera that is well-equipped for astrophotography, there are a few specifications that come in particularly handy.

The OM System OM-1 (still branded with Olympus on the camera body) ticks a lot of boxes. We liked the fact that it was weatherproof, meaning you can use it outside in less than perfect weather and still trust it to deliver the goods.

One of the big reasons for it making it on to our list however is the dedicated Starry Sky AF mode, which is specifically designed for focusing on distant stars. There’s also a Night Vision option which is designed to work with it. We found that the Starry Sky AF works extremely well, and is reliable for both speed and accuracy.


Other than that, you also have excellent image stabilisation – perfect for those long exposures, and the fact that the camera (and accompanying lenses) is smaller and lighter than many other models, it’s the ideal model for toting around in the dark. It’s well suited to a variety of other photography as well, including wildlife, travel, sports and more thanks to high-speed shooting, and advanced subject detection AF.

If you’re interested in this genre of photography, make sure to check out our guide to the best cameras for astrophotography for more suggestions.

You also gain access to a wide range of Micro Four Thirds lenses with this camera, making it a great choice for those looking for compact or budget lenses.


  • Specific astro mode
  • Weather proofed for prolonged outdoor use
  • Excellent stabilisation


  • Smaller sensor than most
  • Some handling quirks

Read our full OM System OM-1 Review

Best camera for macro photography: Nikon Z7 II

Nikon Z7 II with 24-70mm f/2.8 lens (MT) best cameras for photography

Nikon Z7 II with 24-70mm f/2.8 lens. Photo credit: Michael Topham

At a glance:

  • 45.7 megapixel full-frame sensor
  • 5-stop in-body image stabilisation
  • Tilting screen
  • Compatible with existing Nikon DSLR lenses via adapter
  • $3,058 / £2,399 / (body only)

For macro and close-up work, it’s a good idea to look for something with a high resolution sensor to make sure you capture all that exquisite fine detail.

The Nikon Z7 II is one of the highest resolution sensors on the market, with a 45.7MP sensor, so it’s just the ticket for that job. There’s a couple of dedicated Z-mount macro lenses, while if you’ve already got a Nikon DSLR macro lens, you can use it with the Z7 II via an optional adapter.

Having a tilting screen is useful for shooting from low angles, or for shooting with a remote release / wirelessly so as not to disturb delicate subjects. With that in mind, 5-stop in-body stabilisation (IBIS) helps when shooting close-up subjects handheld too.

We liked the handling of the Z7 II, with the excellent grip proving to be a particular winner. We also thought it was very intuitive to use, making it ideal for making quick changes.


  • High resolution sensor
  • Useful tilting screen
  • Can use existing Nikon macro lenses


  • Relatively minor upgrade from predecessor
  • Somewhat expensive

Read our full Nikon Z7 II review.

Best camera for street photography: Fujifilm X100V

Fujifilm X100V MT/AP best cameras for photography

The beautiful, retro-styled Fujifilm X100V. Photo credit: Michael Topham

At a glance:

  • 26.1 megapixel APS-C X-Trans sensor
  • Tilting touchscreen
  • Hybrid optical / electronic viewfinder
  • Fixed 23mm (35mm equivalent) lens
  • $1,719 / £1,349

When it comes to street photography, you want your camera to be discreet, light and capable of grabbing the moment as it unfolds in front of you. It helps if it’s also attractive to look at, too.

The Fujifilm X100V is the perfect street photography camera as it ticks all those boxes, and is ideal for a day pounding the pavements without drawing too much attention to yourself.

Pictures produced by the camera are beautiful, and the tilting screen helps to capture “from the hip” moments that previous iterations of the camera didn’t offer – something which we found to be a massive benefit in our review.

You get all of that in a design which is small and light, yet still packs a pretty large APS-C sized sensor. The trade off is a fixed lens – which although a good length for street photography,  gives you more limitations than some other cameras.

If you’re wondering, these are the best cameras for street photography, if the Fujifilm X100V doesn’t take your fancy.

You might struggle to find the Fujifilm X100V, as it’s become increasingly popular recently, so here as some Fujifilm X100V alternatives.


  • Attractive retro design
  • Discreet for street shooting
  • Beautiful colour rendition


  • Fixed lens doesn’t give much flexibility
  • High price

Read our full Fujifilm X100V review.

Best camera for wedding photography: Canon EOS R6 Mark II

Canon EOS R6 Mark II

The Canon EOS R6 Mark II is an excellent mirrorless all-rounder. Photo credit: Andy Westlake

At a glance:

  • 24.2MP full-frame sensor
  • Up to 40fps shooting
  • 8-stop in-body stabiliser
  • Subject tracking
  • $3,543 / £2,779 (body only)

A good wedding camera needs to do a bit of everything, and do it well enough to dazzle some of the most demanding clients out there. Something that perfectly fits that bill is the Canon EOS R6 II, a full-frame all-rounder that’s more affordable than headline-grabbers like the EOS R5 or EOS R3. The EOS R6 Mark II gets a minor resolution bump from the original EOS R6 (24.2MP rather than the slightly stingy 20MP), and also benefits from subject-detection autofocus.

Capable of shooting at 12fps with the mechanical shutter or up to 40fps with the electronic, in full-resolution RAW, the EOS R6 Mark II is a tough camera to miss with. The deep buffer can go to 190 JPEG or 140 CRAW files in a single burst, too. Image stabilisation is rated at up to 8 stops of effective compensation, which is handy when light starts to get low.

The excellent viewfinder and screen make the EOS R6 Mark II a pleasure to use. Just be aware that this all this comes at a higher cost than the EOS R6 did (and if you have the EOS R6, it’s probably not quit enough to justify a upgrade).

If you’d like to know more about shooting weddings, take a look at our guide to the best kit for wedding photography.


  • Fast burst mode and deep buffer
  • Excellent viewfinder and LCD screen
  • Superb image quality


  • Some rolling shutter distortion with electronic shutter
  • Price hike over first EOS R6
Find out more in our full Canon EOS R6 Mark II review.

Best camera for travel photography: Panasonic Lumix TZ200D / ZS200D

Panasonic Lumix TZ200 in hand

The Panasonic Lumix TZ200D is portable and agile, but boasts a hefty zoom range. Photo credit: Andy Westlake

At a glance:

  • 20.1MP 1-inch sensor
  • Leica DC Vario-Elmar 24-360mm equivalent f/3.3-6.4
  • 2.33m-dot EVF
  • 3-inch touchscreen, 1.84m dots
  • $865 / £679

The Panasonic range of TZ travel compacts (known as ‘ZS’ in North America) includes some of the most consistently popular travel cameras out there. The combination of a 1-inch sensor and a generous zoom range is ideal for travel, giving you dynamic range and optical flexibility that are both superior to what’s offered by any smartphone you’d care to name.

The Panasonic Lumix TZ200D is our pick for casual travel photographers who want a DSLR alternative that’s both portable and powerful (it’s the exact same camera as the Lumix TZ200, just with a higher-resolution LCD screen). Its Leica-made lens covers an expansive zoom range from 24mm equivalent all the way to 360mm equivalent. There aren’t many things you’ll photograph on your travels that won’t fit into that bracket! The five-axis optical stabilisation also helps the tele end of that lens be actually useable without being compromised too much by camera shake.

Producing punchy and vibrant images, the TZ200D is a great choice for just about any travel photographer. One thing to be aware of though is that its maximum aperture tops out at f/3.3, so you may find it struggles when the light gets low.

If you’re not quite tempted by the TZ200D, don’t forget to have a look at our guide to the best travel cameras for a range of other recommendations.


  • Generous zoom range
  • Slim, pocketable form factor
  • Nice handgrip


  • Narrow maximum aperture
  • Fixed screen

Check out our Sony RX100 VI vs Panasonic Lumix TZ200 head to head comparison.

How to choose the best cameras for photography

When you’re picking the best camera for photography, there are a number of key specifications and features worth honing in on. We would advise the main things to keep in mind when making your selection are as follows:

  • Camera type
  • Resolution & sensor size
  • Autofocus
  • Image stabilisation
  • Frame rate (and speed)
  • Handling
  • Screen and viewfinder
  • Card slots
  • Lens range

Camera type

There are three main types of digital cameras – mirrorless, DSLRs and compacts. Mirrorless and DSLR models are interchangeable-lens cameras, while compacts have a fixed lens that can’t be changed. As you might expect, interchangeable-lens cameras give you much more versatility, but are larger and generally more expensive. Compacts, meanwhile, provide portable convenience, but are more restrictive.

There’s also the matter of choosing between a mirrorless camera and a DSLR. Mirrorless models are generally more technologically advanced, especially in terms of autofocus, however many photographers still have affection for the rugged handling of a DSLR. Out of the two, we’ve stuck to just mirrorless models in this guide, as we’re counting off the best of the best, and right now that’s where it is. Today’s DSLR alternatives – mirrorless cameras – are smaller, lighter and often more advanced technically. But check out our guide to DSLR vs mirrorless if you want to learn more about the differences, and we also have a dedicated guide to the best DSLRs.

Resolution & sensor size

There’s a variety of sensor sizes on the market, from 1-inch type up to medium format. As a general rule, image quality is better from larger sensors, but you do have the trade-off of a larger and bulkier system to carry around, not to mention a more expensive one. The lenses tend top be bigger and more expensive too. Therefore, your consideration might be whether you want to lighten the load, or whether you want the best possible image quality.

A compromise on both sides of the debate lands you with a middle-sized sensor (APS-C or Full-Frame), while ultimate portability will leave you with the smallest (one-inch or 1/2.3-inch) and ultimate image quality leads to medium format (or even larger). Resolution is also a key concern – if you’re intending to make big prints, or photograph something with lots of fine detail, extra pixels make more sense. If you’re keen to keep file sizes down, shoot lots of action or in low light, a lower pixel count might be a better option.


Some of the current mirrorless flagship models have incredibly impressive autofocus systems. But they often come at a high price, being targeted mainly at working professionals who need high-speed and accuracy at all times. Most of us arguably don’t need that kind of power, and you especially don’t if you’re photographing mainly still/static subjects such as landscapes, macro or even portraits. Have a think about how advanced an autofocus system you need (and are willing to pay for), and this can be particularly important if your passion is sports, action or wildlife such as birds. If it’s more static subjects like landscapes or travel photography, you probably don’t need the latest AI subject recognition autofocus.

Image stabilisation (or IBIS)

This is another specification that matters hugely to some people, and less so for others. If you’re happy to cart around a tripod with you, or you’re only ever shooting at fast shutter speeds in bright daylight, you’ll be less concerned. However, if you’re into night photography, low-light photography, or somebody who wants to shoot slowly handheld, or somebody who uses long lenses (to name but a few), then you’ll want to pay closer attention to IS specs, and look out for In-Body Image Stabilisation (IBIS).

Frame rate

Again, this is something that for lots of types of photographers, it’s a bit of a redundant specification. If you’re shooting static objects, being able to shoot at 20fps is an expensive specification that might barely – or never – get used. Of course, if you’re shooting wildlife, action, sports and similar high-speed action, you might want a fast frame rate and use high-speed continuous shooting every day.


This is an important one, but it’s not a straightforward one to quantify. Knowing how a camera feels and operates in your hand is ideal – if not necessarily always possible in advance in a world of online shopping. Pay careful attention to camera reviews which tell you how easy (or otherwise) the camera is to operate, hold and navigate around if you’re not able to handle it yourself before purchase. The weight of the camera and lens(es) can play an important factor in how easy it is to take with you, and how much you’ll enjoy using the camera.

Screen & viewfinder

All of the cameras on our list here are mirrorless, and therefore feature electronic viewfinders (EVFs). Pay close attention to the resolution of electronic viewfinders – higher is better, but very high-resolution viewfinders tend to only be found on the most expensive cameras. If you’re happier with optical viewfinders, then a DSLR might well be the camera for you – but you lose a lot of the benefits of mirrorless.

As for the screen, things to look out for are resolution, size, and whether it articulates or tilts. Having some movement is useful for composing from awkward angles, with articulating being the most flexible, but tilting perhaps being the quickest for reacting to certain scenarios, such as street shooting.

Card slots

Having more than one card slot is almost an essential for professional photographers who simply can’t afford to run the risk of not having a backup (especially for special occasions, such as weddings). For most other photographers, it’s a nice bonus to have, but perhaps not essential. That said, if you’re travelling and not able to easily back up your cards, they can also prove useful.

Lens range

If you’re looking at interchangeable lens cameras, it’s wise to pay attention to the accompanying lens ranges that go with them. Newer camera systems might have limited lenses, or they might not yet have specific or niche optics that you’re particularly keen on. Take a look at typical prices too, as again, newer systems might be pricier compared to longer, more-established systems.

Related reading:

Need further buying advice? Check out our full selection of buying guides. We also have options for beginners and kids!

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