The best Sony cameras have found their way into high-end commercial photography, sports photography and video production. Further down the range, Sony APS-C mirrorless cameras have become the favorites of countless vloggers, bloggers and content creators. We've used and reviewed them all, and we think these are the best Sony cameras you can get right now.
So first of all, we've split this guide in two. Sony makes a range of full frame mirrorless cameras loved by vloggers, enthusiasts and professionals alike. This is where all of Sony's energy seems to be going these days, and this is where you'll find the most exciting cameras.
But Sony started out making APS-C mirrorless cameras, and these are still going as a smaller and cheaper alternative to the full frame Sony models. As Sony fans will know, the company also makes some powerful compact cameras too. There's less development in this part of the Sony range, but still several cameras that are definitely worth a close, hard look.
So if you want a short-cut to either of these two sections, click on these links below.
Otherwise, to find out more about Sony cameras, keep reading.
For a start, Sony's most recent new camera is the Sony A7 IV. Though still not cheap, the A7 IV is the best Sony camera all-round for enthusiasts, experts and many professionals. It combines good resolution with high-speed shooting and advanced 4K video modes – and at a price that puts it in reach of advanced amateurs and enthusiasts, not just professionals.
But the older Sony A7 III offers the same resolution and pretty good 4K video of its own at a much lower price, and the Sony A7C, meanwhile, packs the same tech into a more portable vlogger-friendly design with a flip-out screen.
But you don't have to pay big money. Although Sony's APS-C and compact camera ranges have dried up a little, the company is still putting some thought into how it can repackage and redesign these to suit a modern vlogging audience, and we've been especially impressed by the clever little Sony ZV-1 and the very affordable mirrorless Sony ZV-E10.
So keep reading to find out more!
The best Sony cameras in 2022
Sony full frame mirrorless cameras
The Sony A7 IV signals a step up in ambition for Sony's ‘vanilla’ A7 model. Traditionally, the Sony A7 has been the range’s entry-level camera, with the ‘R’ models adding resolution and the ’S’ models adding speed/sensitivity. But there’s nothing ordinary about the Sony A7 IV, and while it does technically superseded the A7 III, it’s an altogether more advanced camera that, we think, targets a higher-level audience. Compared to the A7 III, the A7 IV is a major step up – but in price as well as features. The A7 III will keep going for now, so it makes for a tricky buying decision, not helped by the A7 IV's patchy availability. If you see one, get it!
• Read more: Sony A7 IV review
The 'R' models in Sony's A7 series cameras are designed first and foremost for resolution – and the Sony A7R Mark IV certainly delivers. The previous A7R Mark III set the standard for a time, but the A7R Mark IV brings a new record-breaking 61-megapixel that has the highest resolution of any Sony – or indeed any full frame camera. The detail rendition is spectacular, and the A7R Mark IV has prompted many people to compare it to the best medium format cameras, but we think the larger sensors in medium format models are still a very telling difference – it's not just about megapixels. Even the new Sony A1 can't match this camera for resolving power, which is why we rate the older A7R IV more highly.
• Read more: Sony A7R IV review
We weren't that keen on the Sony A7C when it first came out because it looked expensive and unambitious. But now that prices have dropped and Sony has released some downsized prime lenses like the Sony FE 24mm f/2.8, for example, it makes a lot more sense. Even though the Sony A7C and the Sony A7 III are now very similar prices, the articulated screen on the Sony A7C makes it that much better for vlogging. It isn't Sony's most exciting camera release but its practical performance and excellent AF system do make it a good camera. Sony has made a big fuss about its small size, but in reality it's not a whole lot smaller than a camera like the A7 III, and the lenses are, of course, exactly the same size for both. The vari-angle screen and compact design (with smaller lenses) does now make the A7C a more compelling travel/vlogging camera.
• Read more: Sony A7C review
It might not have the blinding speed of Sony’s top-flight A9 II or the ultra-high-resolution of the A7R IV, but the Sony A7 III grabs many of the best bits from these pricier models and delivers them in a more affordable package. Headline features include highly effective 696-point AF system and a 5-axis image stabilization system that promises 5EV of compensation.There’s a 24.2MP back-illuminated image sensor, coupled with the latest generation of image processor, and the two deliver amazing tonal range and make super-high ISO settings possible. Handling is good, though some may find the body a little small when paired with pro lenses, but that applies across the Alpha range. For top performance at a sensible price, we think it’s the best priced Sony camera out there – though for stills photographers the older Sony A7 II is also very tempting, and cheaper!
• Read more: Sony A7 III review
The Sony A1 is everything that Sony says it is. It’s a technological triumph, a camera that really can do everything. Previously, cameras might offer speed, resolution or video capability, but the A1 offers all three, and even beats dedicated sports and video cameras at their own game. So is this the perfect camera? Not quite. The price is, and will remain, a major obstacle, and its appeal is limited to photographers who need everything it does, not just one or two of those things. This, together with its huge price, prevent it from being further up our list. We couldn't have an article about the best Sony cameras without mentioning the A1, but would we really recommend it as the best one to buy? Realistically, for 99 photographers out of a hundred, probably not. More recently, the Sony A1's position has been eroded by the arrival of the Nikon Z9 and Canon EOS R5 C, both of which are cheaper.
• Read more: Sony A1 review
To quote from our own review, the Sony A9 II is the fastest, most ferocious full-frame sports camera we've ever used. This camera's blistering speed and autofocus performance are impressive, and matched only by its phenomenal connectivity, which promises to be a game changer for pro shooters. We would love to have seen Sony implement something akin to Olympus' Pro Capture feature, so that you never miss the critical moment. However, if our most damning criticism is that the A9 II is too fast for us to keep up with, surely that's nothing but mission accomplished for Sony! For professionals who need more than speed, however, there is the new Sony A1, which edges ahead of the A9 II for sports photography and throws in 8K video and 50MP stills too.
• Read more: Sony A9 II review
Sony APS-C and compact cameras
The Sony ZV-E10 is not going to win any awards on the photography front, where it's specs are good but completely mainstream – but it is a great option for content creators cutting their teeth in vlogging and videography. While Sony hasn't moved its APS-C 4K video tech along much in recent years, the ZV-E10 is the manufacturer's first APS-C body to feature an articulating touchscreen (which is obviously vital for vlogging). It also packs a large and well-performing internal microphone (with clip-on muffler), Sony's excellent autofocus, and an appealing price tag. It's a shame that there is no in-body image stabilization, and the menus can't be touch-controlled (a rather glaring omission for a vlogging camera), but for a very specific YouTube-era audience this camera hits the nail on the head.
• Read more: Sony ZV-E10 review
While the new Sony ZV-E10 spiritually supersedes it, the ZV-1 remains a great option that doesn't require you to faff with lens changing. Some might dismiss the ZV-1 as yet another Sony RX100 variant, but it’s much more than that. The sensor and lens might be familiar, but the body, the controls, the audio and the rear screen are all new and different and optimized brilliantly for vlogging. There are a couple of niggles. The huge change in the minimum focus distance when you zoom in is annoying and the SteadyShot Active stabilization didn’t work too well for us, but the autofocus is exceptional and the ZV-1 is a joy to use, not least because here at last is a vlogging camera that really is designed specifically for vlogging, right down to that fully vari-angle rear screen and the supplied mic wind shield, which really does work brilliantly. It's also a LOT cheaper than the flagship Sony RX100 VII camera, despite offering a better proposition for vloggers. Just as the Sony ZV-E10 re-invented Sony's APS-C mirrorless cameras at a lower price for a vlogging audience, so the ZV-1 does the same for Sony's previously pricey Sony RX100 compact camera range.
• Read more: Sony ZV-1 review
The Sony A6400 is effectively Sony’s ‘middle’ A6000-series camera, fitting in above the A6100 model and below the top-of-the-range A6600. But it still packs a super-fast, super-high-tech autofocus system, and great 4K video capabilities. Its still image quality is very good, but really this camera’s strength is as a blogging / vlogging tool for single-handed content creation. Its 180-degree screen is the key here, flipping up and over to face you to help your framing, facial expressions and delivery as you present video pieces to camera. The specs of the top-of-the-range A6600 are better, but you have to be careful with any camera (and with Sony models in particular) not to pay for high-tech features you don't need, such as cutting-edge AF or unnecessarily fast burst modes.
• Read more: Sony A6400 review
This is the entry-level successor to the Sony A6000, and while the older model remains on sale, we hear rumblings that it may not be for much longer. Six years on, the A6100 has brought a host of improvements, sharing many of the same upgrades featured in the latest mid-range A6400 and top-end A6600 bodies, including a 180-degree touchscreen for selfies and vlogging, 4K video and a faster and more advanced autofocus system. We weren't bowled over by the A6100 when it first came out because it cost far more than the A6000, but a couple of years on, the A6100 is almost down to A6000 prices (which have crept up) and it is, without a doubt, a much better camera. Having said that, we also hear that Sony has ceased production of the A6100 against a backdrop of chip supply issues and the disruption caused by the global pandemic, so while the A6100 is still on sale right now, its longer-term future looks in doubt.
• Read more: Sony A6100 review
How we test cameras
We test mirrorless cameras both in real-world shooting scenarios and in carefully-controlled lab conditions. Our lab tests measure resolution, dynamic range and signal to noise ratio. Resolution is measured using ISO resolution charts, dynamic range is measured using DxO Analyzer test equipment and DxO Analyzer is also used for noise analysis across the camera's ISO range. We use both real-world testing and our lab results to inform the comments in buying guides.