We help you find the best Sony camera, with our guide to everything from compacts to full-frame mirrorless models.


The best Sony cameras include some of the most impressive cameras we’ve ever seen. And that’s not just professional high-end models; Sony has also done a commendable job of filling out its entry-level and enthusiast ranges. If you’re looking for a mirrorless or compact cameras – for photos, video or both – then Sony has you covered, at a huge range of price points. So, which one to pick?

With Sony having been in the game as long as it has, its camera catalogue is big, comprehensive and more than a little confusing. So, we’ve put together this guide to help you navigate it, with suggestions for cameras at every skill level, and for all different genres. Whether you’re a seasoned wildlife photographer, a beginner looking to get into landscapes, or a jack-of-all-trades content creator for social media, this guide will help you find the right Sony camera to buy.

We’ve picked both new cameras and models that go for a great price on the second-hand market. If you’re not sure how best to choose, let’s first quickly run through the key features you’ll need to be looking at.

How to choose the best Sony camera

When choosing a Sony camera you’ve got two main decisions to make. What type of camera do you want, and what sensor size do you want?

We’ll deal with camera type first. Sony these days manufactures cameras in two classes: compacts and mirrorless cameras. Compact cameras have a fixed lens that can’t be changed, while mirrorless cameras allow the user to swap between Sony E-mount lenses at will. Compacts are generally smaller, cheaper and easier to use, while mirrorless cameras offer greater image quality and shooting versatility, with the trade-off being that a complete mirrorless setup will cost quite a bit more, and be generally less portable.

Next, sensor size. Sony compact cameras have 1-inch sensors, and Sony mirrorless cameras will use either APS-C or full-frame. Which to choose? The largest full-frame sensors will deliver the best image quality and overall performance, particularly in low light, but require larger and more expensive cameras to field. APS-C tends to be thought of as the mid-range option, and 1-inch sensors will still offer a considerable quality upgrade over a smartphone. For a thorough run-down, check out our guide to APS-C vs full-frame.

Otherwise, it’s best to look at the cameras’ headline features and figure out which are most important to you and your shooting priorities. Want to capture wildlife images? Look for fast burst speeds and sophisticated autofocus systems. If you’re looking to add video to your repertoire as well as stills, you’ll want to look at the maximum video resolution and frame rate the camera can capture.

Still not sure on what type of camera you’re looking for? You may want to check out our guide to DSLR vs mirrorless. And if you do end up choosing a Sony mirrorless, you’ll want to pick up some of the best Sony E-mount lenses to go with it.

Let’s jump in and count off the best Sony cameras you can buy right now…


Best Sony camera for photography: Sony A7 IV

Best Sony camera, Sony A7 IV

The A7 cameras are Sony’s full-frame all-rounders.

At a glance:

  • Mirrorless camera
  • 33MP full-frame Exmor-R CMOS sensor
  • 10 frames per second shooting
  • ISO 50-204,800 (extended)
  • 4K 30p video recording
  • £2,400 / $2,499 body-only

The Sony A7 cameras have always been good for a bit of everything. While the A7R models focus on resolution, the A7S models on low-light video and the A9 models on speed, the A7 cameras have quietly gone about the business of being some of the best full-frame all-rounders on the market.

The Sony Alpha A7 IV is the best one yet, kicking it up a gear in response to increased competition from Canon and Nikon. This translates to a revamped 33MP sensor, with 11fps burst shooting and super-fast autofocus to play with, as well as handling improvements like a fully articulating LCD screen and a higher-resolution viewfinder.

The impressive range of full-frame E-mount lenses allows you to customise the system according to what you plan to shoot. For serious photographers, it’s one of the most fully-featured cameras you can buy right now without getting into ultra-pro territory. In our review, our verdict was that with the A7 IV, Sony ‘has produced a substantially improved camera that offers enough updates not only to tempt its existing users to upgrade, but also to turn the heads of DSLR users who might be considering making the transition to mirrorless.’

Pros

  • Excellent image quality
  • Intelligent, flexible autofocus
  • Articulated screen

Cons

  • AF system complex to configure
  • No in-camera Raw conversion

Best for: enthusiast photographers who want to shoot all kinds of subjects


Best Sony for wildlife and bird photography: Sony A1

Best Sony cameras, Sony A1

The A1 is capable of 30fps burst, at full resolution, with focus and exposure adjustments.

At a glance:

  • Mirrorless camera
  • 50.1MP full-frame Exmor RS CMOS sensor
  • 30 frames per second shooting
  • ISO 50-102,400 (extended)
  • 8K 30p video recording
  • £6,500 / $6,500 body-only

So, speaking of ultra-pro territory – the Sony Alpha A1 is something truly special, and one of the most technologically advanced cameras ever made. It could have topped any of the categories on this list that don’t have the word “budget” anywhere near them, but we’ve picked it for bird and wildlife photography because of its frankly ridiculous ability to shoot at 30 frames per second, maintaining that full 50MP resolution, while adjusting focus and exposure between shots. This is basically cheat mode for wildlife photography.

Of course, the Sony A1 is designed for professionals, and costs more than almost any two other cameras on this list combined. If that’s out of your budget (fair), then we’d also recommend considering the Sony Cyber-shot RX10 IV, which is featured a little further down this list.

We had no choice but to give the Sony A1 the highest possible score in our review; as our Technical Editor Andy Westlake said, it’s ‘a truly remarkable technological tour de force.

Pros

  • Incredible burst speeds
  • Class-leading viewfinder
  • Excels at everything

Cons

  • Absurdly expensive

Best for: big-budget pros


Best Sony camera for beginners on a budget: Sony A6000

Best Sony cameras, Sony A6000

The Sony A6000 was the firm’s first APS-C mirrorless camera.

At a glance:

  • Mirrorless camera
  • 24.3MP APS-C HD CMOS sensor
  • 11 frames per second shooting
  • ISO 100-25,600
  • Full HD 60p video recording
  • £419-499 with lens / around $650 with lens

This fantastic camera has been around since 2014, and the fact that it’s still one of the best mirrorless cameras for beginners is an indicator of how many things Sony got right with it. The Sony Alpha A6000 kicked off an entire series of APS-C mirrorless cameras for enthusiasts, and over the years its price has come down to the point where it’s one of the best budget cameras you can buy. There are also plenty of E-mount lenses designed specifically for APS-C cameras, so you won’t feel short-changed when it comes to the glass.

It’s amazing how many of the A6000’s specs are still competitive today. The autofocus system can acquire a subject in as little as 0.06 seconds, and the burst mode can manage 11fps – all of which is more than enough for speedy action photography. The only area where the A6000 has started to fall behind is video, as it pre-dates the 4K boom, and doesn’t have a mic jack.

In our review when the A6000 came out, we said, ‘Top-spec technology and a host of cutting-edge features may just see the Alpha 6000 mirror the longevity and success of its predecessor and keep it competitive in years to come.‘ Not to toot our own horns, but we called that one pretty well.

Pros

  • Fantastic value for money
  • Good burst speeds
  • Sleek, attractive design

Cons

  • Showing age in video

Best for: cash-conscious beginners and enthusiasts


Best second-hand Sony camera: Sony A7R II

Sony Alpha 7R II front angle view with lens

The Sony A7R II can be picked up at a significant discount on the second-hand market.

At a glance:

  • Mirrorless camera
  • 42.4MP Exmor R BSI-CMOS sensor
  • 5 frames per second shooting
  • ISO 50-102,400 (extended)
  • 4K 30p video
  • Around £750-950 / $1,200-$1,300 (used, body-only)

Released in 2015, the full-frame Sony A7R II has since been discontinued. However, it is still widely available on the second-hand market, and if you’re looking for high-resolution full-frame shooting, we reckon it’s one of the best bargains you’ll find.

It’s a camera that demands plenty of accuracy on the part of the user. Forty-two megapixels is an unforgiving resolution, and if you’re a hair off on your focusing, it’s going to be noticeable. Fortunately, the Sony A7R II was the first high-resolution mirrorless camera to come sporting 5-axis image stabilisation, meaning it’s easier to shoot at slow shutter speeds and still get pin-sharp shots. We published a special feature not long ago on why the Sony A7R II is one of the best used cameras you can buy, and one of the features we singled out was its high-ISO performance. You can push the A7R II all the way up to ISO 25,600, and it’ll still handle detail really well.

The A7R II proved something of a favourite among the professional photography community. Landscape pro Joe Cornish was blown away by the high-ISO performance of the A7R II, and appreciated its lightweight build for use out in the field. Meanwhile, we also saw motorsport photography pro Nick Dungan put the A7R II through its paces on the track. It’s not really designed for this genre, but the A7R II did well at nailing challenging shots, and Nick ended up concluding he would seriously consider adding it to his kit bag.

Pros

  • Superb resolution for the money
  • Does very well at high ISOs
  • Relatively lightweight and portable

Cons

  • Only one card slot
  • Pedestrian 5fps burst rate

Best for: getting ultra-high resolution as cheaply as possible


Best Sony bridge camera: Sony RX10 IV

Sony Cyber-shot RX10 IV - Image: Andy Westlake / AP

The Sony Cyber-shot RX10 IV has a high-quality fixed lens.

At a glance:

  • Bridge camera with 24-600mm (equivalent) f/2.4-4 lens
  • 20.1MP 1-inch sensor
  • 24 frames per second shooting
  • ISO 64-12,800 (extended)
  • 4K 25p video
  • £1,499 / $1,698

The Sony RX10 IV is one of the most powerful bridge cameras ever made. A great, self-contained choice for wildlife photography, it pairs a 20.1MP 1-inch sensor with a 24-600mm (equivalent) f/2.4-4 lens, and also sports an incredibly capable autofocus system that consistently nails moving subjects. The asking price has come down a little since launch, making the RX10 IV a much more tempting prospect than it was in the past. Those who want a marriage of image quality and convenience in a camera should really consider the RX10 IV.

In our testing, we found that the sensor/lens combination delivers excellent image quality across the board. Many bridge cameras enormous shooting range, but in practice their image quality is overly compromised at the extreme ends of their big lenses. No such issues here – you can push the Sony RX10 IV to 600mm and still get great images, though there is some fall-off if you stop down past f/8. Plus with 24fps burst shooting at your disposal, you

Our verdict? ‘The Sony Cyber-shot RX10 IV sets a new standard for all-in-one superzoom models. If you’re interested in getting an all-in-one travel camera, or simply want to photograph your local wildlife without needing to buy a huge zoom lens for a DSLR, it’s the best you can buy.

Pros

  • Huge, high-quality zoom
  • Fast burst shooting
  • Price has come down

Cons

  • Screen only tilt, not articulated
  • No AF-area joystick or AF-on button

Best for: wildlife photographers who want an all-in-one package


Best Sony camera for vlogging: Sony A7C

Best Sony cameras, Sony A7C

The Sony A7C is a good, lightweight choice for vlogging.

At a glance:

  • Mirrorless camera
  • 24.2MP full-frame BSI CMOS sensor
  • 10 frames per second shooting
  • ISO 50-204,800 (extended)
  • 4K 30p video recording
  • £1,900 body-only / $1,799 body-only

Sony loves small cameras, even when they’ve got big sensors. The Sony Alpha A7C is a relatively recent entry to the full-frame A7 line, and feels like an attempt to get back to basics, with a diminutive design and simple layout, and a lot of the choices make it ideal for vloggers.

It’s got a fully articulating screen, as well as mic and headphone sockets that are smartly positioned not to block the screen when it’s facing forwards. Its 4K 30p footage looks gorgeous, with good dynamic range thanks to the full-frame sensor.

In our review, we were impressed by the image quality the A7C offers, even if its tiny body sometimes made for an awkward handling experience. We recommended using it with small, compact FE-mount prime lenses to get the best out of it.

Pros

  • Full-frame in a portable body
  • Superb AF tracking
  • Consistent Raw quality

Cons

  • Small, awkward viewfinder
  • Diminutive size can make for awkward control

Best for: serious vloggers and aspiring YouTubers


Best Sony camera for travel vlogging: Sony ZV-E10

Best Sony cameras, Sony ZV-E10

The Sony ZV-E10 is the firm’s first vlogging-centred mirrorless camera.

At a glance:

  • Mirrorless camera
  • 24.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • 11 frames per second shooting
  • ISO 64-51,200 (extended)
  • 4K 30p video recording
  • £680 / $700 body-only

Sony’s ZV series of cameras are expressly designed for vlogging, delivering a highly portable video setup. The Sony ZV-E10 is the first mirrorless camera in the series; like the A6000, it sports a 24MP APS-C sensor. It takes a lot of design cues from the first camera in the series, the Sony ZV-1 compact, but having the option to swap out E-mount lenses gives you a great deal more flexibility.

The ZV-E10 packs in a lot of vlogger-specific features. Its built-in 3-way capsule microphone gives it on-board audio recording chops that are head and shoulders above most consumer cameras. You can also attach an external mic if you prefer. While its video capabilities won’t match those of flagship cameras like the Sony A7S III, the ZV-E10 works brilliantly as an agile setup for run-and-gun vloggers. As we said in our review, ‘For content creators there are few creative things that the ZV-E10 won’t allow you to do.’

Pros

  • Fully articulating 3-inch touchscreen
  • Lightweight build
  • Good high-ISO performance

Cons

  • No viewfinder
  • No mode dial

Best for: vloggers who want an agile, portable rig


Best Sony for travel photography: Sony RX100 VI

Best Sony cameras, Sony RX100 VI

Sony’s RX100 range of compacts has proved enduringly popular.

At a glance:

  • Compact camera with 24-200mm equiv. f/2.8-4.5 lens
  • 20.1MP 1-inch Exmor RS CMOS sensor
  • 24 frames per second shooting
  • ISO 125-12,800
  • 4K 25p video recording
  • Around £849 / $1100

Though this isn’t the most recent Sony RX100 compact camera (that title belongs to the Mark VII), the price of this sixth iteration has come down enough since release that we think it’s the smarter buy for travel photographers. It’s got a much longer built-in lens than previous RX100 cameras, making it more versatile, and also packs in plenty of high-end features for a camera in this class. Having 24fps burst shooting with focus and exposure adjustment, up to a 233-shot JPEG buffer, is no small thing.

The little Sony RX100 VI is still pocketable, meaning it’s ideal for city breaks and hikes as it won’t add much weight to your bag. The pop-up viewfinder is a nice touch as well, and 4K video at 25p with full pixel readout is a useful thing to have in your back pocket. In our review we were consistently impressed by how much technology was packed into the RX100 VI’s tiny body, saying, ‘There’s no doubt that the Sony RX100 VI is an astounding technological feat.

Pros

  • Lens sharp throughout zoom range
  • Snappy autofocus
  • Pop-up viewfinder

Cons

  • Small body makes for tricky handling
  • Pricier than competitors

Best for: world-explorer photographers who travel light


Best Sony camera for streaming: Sony A6400

Best Sony cameras, Sony A6400

The A6400 offers flexible streaming options.

At a glance:

  • Mirrorless camera
  • 24.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • 11 frames per second shooting
  • ISO 100-102,400 (extended)
  • 4K 30p video recording
  • Around £899 /$899 body-only

If you want to set up a Sony camera for streaming, an APS-C mirrorless camera is a good bet, as they offer a solid suite of video features without the high price tag of the full-frame models. We recommend trying the Sony Alpha A6400 – it has plenty of features that are hugely useful for streaming, like its flip-up monitor, which has a video-friendly 16:9 aspect ratio.

You can stream via HDMI, or via USB with Sony’s Imaging Edge webcam software. The A6400 can record 4K at 30p, though the Full HD looks excellent, and is potentially the better choice for streaming. In our review, we also had a lot of praise for the A6400’s autofocus, which really is exceptional. ‘This really is a glimpse of the future,’ we said at the time. ‘Its ability to lock onto and track subjects is truly extraordinary.’

Pros

  • Flexible streaming options
  • 16:9 rear screen
  • Well priced

Cons

  • No in-body stabilisation

Best for: at-home vloggers, streamers and YouTubers


Best Sony camera for sports photography: Sony A9 II

Best Sony camera, Sony A9 II

With blistering burst speeds, the Sony A9 II is a sports photography powerhouse.

At a glance:

  • Mirrorless camera
  • 24MP full-frame stacked CMOS sensor
  • 20 frames per second shooting
  • ISO 50-204,800 (extended)
  • 4K 30p video recording
  • £4,299 / £4,499 body-only

Sony shook up sports and action photography with its blisteringly fast A9, and the Sony Alpha A9 II is an even more impressive mirrorless camera. The A9 II is designed to be able to capture basically any subject, no matter how fast-moving – its ground-breaking autofocus system is capable of making up to 60 AF calculations per second, and it can shoot at up to 20fps with the electronic shutter, or 10fps with the mechanical. This means you’ve still got a competitive burst rate in play in situations where you might run the risk of encountering a banding effect due to the quality of the light.

The A9 II burst-shoots with no viewfinder blackout, meaning you can keep laser-focused on your subject. With this and the generous ISO range, it’s difficult to think of many other cameras that can match the A9 II for its ability to nail the shot in basically any situation.

Pros

  • Fast burst with no blackout
  • Good high-ISO performance
  • Incredible auofocus

Cons

  • Relatively expensive
  • Eclipsed at pro level by A1

Best for: sports pros


Best Sony camera for landscape photography: Sony A7R V

Sony A7R V review image by Andy Westlake

The Sony A7R received five stars in our full review. Photo credit: Andy Westlake

At a glance:

  • Mirrorless camera
  • 61MP full-frame Exmor R CMOS sensor
  • 10 frames per second shooting
  • ISO 50-102,400 (extended)
  • 8K 24p video recording
  • Around £3,999 / $3,898 body-only

We recently finished our Sony A7R V review and full test, the latest in the high-resolution line of A7R cameras. At least, that’s nominally the case. However, given that the A7R V boasts class-leading AI autofocus, increased buffer capacity and 8K video capability, the lines between different Sony cameras are becoming more and more blurred. Whereas different Sony cameras used to be specialists in different areas, we’re seeing more cameras like the A7R V and A1 that are simply good at everything – and are priced accordingly. Is this good strategy? Who knows. We’ll find out in years to come, but in the meantime, the result is undeniably great cameras like the A7R V.

So, what we get here is the same 61MP sensor as the A7R IV. While some might be disappointed that it’s not an upgrade, that many pixels are difficult to argue with. If you want higher resolution than that, you’re probably looking at medium format anyway. Elsewhere on the camera is an upgraded autofocus system, with enhanced subject detection powered by a new AI processing unit. It’s capable of recognising a huge range of subjects, including cars, trains, airplanes and insects as well as the usual humans, animals and birds. According to Sony, this unit also improves metering and auto white balance.

Stabilisation has been dramatically improved, now delivering up to 8 stops of effective exposure compensation. Users also have more image recording options to help manage those huge 61MP files, including lossless raw compression, and lower resolution options (26MP and 15MP) for those times you don’t need all that detail.

It all adds up to a hell of a camera. Is it worth almost £4,000/$4,000? That’s up to the individual user. Our conclusion in our review was as follows: ‘If your needs are tilted more towards image quality than outright speed, it’s difficult to argue against the Sony Alpha 7R V being the best full-frame stills camera available… if you can justify the A7R V’s price, you’ll be blown away by just how good it is.

Pros

  • 8K video
  • AI-enhanced autofocus
  • Big buffer capacity
  • Huge resolution

Cons

  • Very expensive…
  • And you probably don’t need everything it’s offering

Best for: making large prints


Best Sony camera for video: Sony A1

Best Sony cameras, Sony A1

The Sony A1 – so good we included it twice!

At a glance:

  • Mirrorless camera
  • 51MP full-frame Exmor RS CMOS sensor
  • 30 frames per second shooting
  • ISO 50-102,400 (extended)
  • 8K 30p video recording
  • £6,500 / $6,500 body-only

Yep, it’s back. As we said earlier, the Sony Alpha A1 really could have topped practically any of these categories, but we elected to restrict it to just two – and it really is the best video camera Sony has made in the Alpha series.

It’s capable of capturing 8K 30p video – indeed, was the first mirrorless camera to be able to do so – and it will do that internally, with a bit rate of up to 400Mbps. Drop the resolution, and you’ve got 4K at a maximum frame rate of 120p.

A clever heat-management system keeps the camera cool and enables recording times of more than 30 minutes – none of those harsh recording limits that dogged the Canon EOS R5 on launch. You get 10-bit 4:2:2 colour, while S-Cinetone and S-log3 modes help retain maximum detail and dynamic range for the colour grade.

Pros

  • Generous video recording limits
  • Loads of video options
  • Near-faultless build quality

Cons

  • Again, price

Best for: uncompromising video shooters


Best Sony camera for low-light video: Sony A7S III

Best Sony cameras, Sony A7S III

The Sony A7S III sports two CFExpress card slots.

At a glance:

  • Mirrorless camera
  • 12.1MP full-frame BSI-CMOS sensor
  • 10 frames per second shooting
  • ISO 40-409,600 extended
  • 4K 120p video recording
  • £3,799 / $3,499 body-only

It’s hard to overstate just how much the original Sony A7S changed the game with regard to low-light video. Its ability to effectively shoot in the dark at ISO levels as high as 409,600 redefined what was thought possible on a full-frame mirrorless camera. The A7S II further upped the ante by adding internal 4K recording, solidifying the series’ position as a tool for serious filmmakers.

The Sony Alpha A7S III does all the same things, and adds handling upgrades like a side-hinged fully articulated LCD, and a completely overhauled touch-sensitive interface. As awkward menu-fiddling has always been a bit of a bugbear with Sony cameras, this was a truly welcome addition. As we said in our review, ‘It doesn’t take long with the A7S III to be seriously impressed.’

With twin card slots that can both accept the super-fast CFExpress Type A format, as well as a back-illuminated sensor structure that enables lightning-fast readout speeds, this is a camera that’s more than capable of keeping up with even the most demanding video shoots.

Pros

  • Unbeaten low-light performance
  • Can record for ages
  • Superior autofocus in video

Cons

  • 12MP too low for photographers

Best for: filmmakers and pro content creators


Best Sony A-mount camera: Sony A77 II

Sony A77 II

The Sony A77 II may be something of a technological dead end, but it’s a cheap and capable camera.

At a glance:

  • SLT (single-lens translucent) camera
  • 24.3MP APS-C Exmor CMOS sensor
  • 12 frames per second shooting
  • ISO 50-25,600 extended
  • Full HD 60p video
  • £400 / $300 (used, body-only)

Ah, A-mount. Once a vital component of Sony’s camera line-up, long since discarded in favour of the much more successful E-mount mirrorless cameras. Sony may not have ever quite admitted that there won’t be new A-mount cameras and lenses in the future, but the ones that were released are still perfectly solid in their fundamentals, and can be picked up for a great price on the second-hand market.

The Sony A77 II is one of the last A-mount cameras ever released. Not the very last – that was the A99 II, but that one still costs too much even on the used market to be really worth buying. The A77 II, on the other hand, can be picked up for a very reasonable outlay indeed. It’s an SLT camera, which is short for single-lens translucent, and in form and function it very much resembles a DSLR. With 24MP of resolution and 12fps burst shooting, it still has pretty competitive specs today.

The sensor is APS-C, and the A77 II was clearly pitched to compete with contemporary APS-C speedsters like the Canon EOS 7D and Nikon D7100. As such, it sported a pretty spiffy autofocus system, with 79 phase-detection points. At the time, we described this as ‘staggering‘. Naturally, it does not come close to being staggering in 2023, but it’s still pretty good, especially with subject tracking.

The A77 II is a bit of a curio of a camera, and won’t be one for most people due to the lack of a decent upgrade path. However, it provides decent value for money on the second-hand market, and is worth looking into.

Pros

  • Good burst speeds and autofocus
  • Solid APS-C resolution
  • Reasonable used prices

Cons

  • No more lenses/cameras coming in future
  • Translucent mirror reduces light by 0.3EV

Best for: bargain hunters, casual photographers


Found your perfect Sony camera? Why not have a look at some of our choices for the best Sony E mount lenses, or have a look at our other buying guides, and our latest reviews, for more ideas.


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