The best Sony camera in 2024 for vlogging, filmmaking and photography

The range of best Sony cameras just keeps getting bigger as Sony expands its camera offerings to more types of photographers, from high-end professional photography and video production to travel photographers, content creators, and vloggers, there is a Sony camera for everyone.

Right at the top end, you've got the mighty but pricey Sony A1, the camera that does EVERYTHING, the sports-orientated Sony A9 Mark II, and the highly specialized (so not in this guide) Sony A7S III.

Next, Sony's APS-C mirrorless cameras are a favorite of countless travelers, vloggers, and content creators. These are much smaller and cheaper alternatives to the full-frame Sony models, however, as Sony fans will know, that doesn't mean Sony doesn't pack some powerful features into these more compact forms, the current highlight is Sony's compact but powerful Sony a6700.

Lastly, Sony's latest line of cameras is its ZV roster of cameras aimed at vloggers and social content creators. With super compact and simplified designs, these cameras are meant to go anywhere and shoot great instantly usable footage with minimal effort.  We've been especially impressed by the clever and affordable little Sony ZV-1F.

We've used, reviewed and rated them all, and we think these are the best Sony cameras you can get right now.

Gareth Bevan headshot
Gareth Bevan

Gareth is the Reviews Editor at Digital Camera World, and the person in charge of testing and reviewing all of the latest Sony cameras. With several years of experience as a photographer and videographer, shooting for some household names, he has learned a thing or two about cameras and the photography industry. Outside of photography, expect to find him cycling around London, or deep in a Netflix binge.

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The best Sony cameras in 2024

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Best Sony camera overall

(Image credit: Rod Lawton/Digital Camera World)
The best Sony camera overall

Specifications

Sensor: Full frame
Megapixels: 33MP
Lens mount: Sony E
Screen: 3in vari-angle touchscreen, 1.04m dots
Viewfinder: EVF, 3.69m dots
Continuous shooting speed: 10fps
Max video resolution: 4K

Reasons to buy

+
Autofocus performance
+
33MP resolution
+
Huge burst mode buffer depth

Reasons to avoid

-
Complex matrix of video options
-
Pro/semi-pro pricing

How do you better one of the best cameras of all time? Well, that was the question that Sony had to answer with the A7 IV. The Sony A7 III was a force to be reckoned with, pushing camera technology ahead for the time and leaving everyone else playing catchup – and why the A7 III is still included on this list.

The Sony A7 IV might be Sony's 'vanilla' A7 model, offering an entry point to full-frame mirrorless, but there’s nothing ordinary about the Sony A7 IV. It technically supersedes the A7 III in almost every way, with more resolution, faster speed, better autofocus, and tracking algorithms. Overall it’s just an altogether more advanced camera which, I think, targets a higher-level audience.

The Sony A7 IV doesn't have any one particular focus, instead offering a jack-of-all-trades camera, leaving Sony's 'R' models to add resolution and the 'S' models to add speed/sensitivity. However, this means that the A7 IV is the perfect camera for a huge variety of creators who don't specialize in one area and instead want a camera that is just at home shooting a landscape as a portrait, or hybrid shooters who value high-resolution stills as much as quality 4K video.

Read more: Sony A7 IV review

Best Sony camera for resolution

(Image credit: Rod Lawton)
The best Sony camera for resolution

Specifications

Sensor: Full frame
Megapixels: 61MP
Monitor: Tilting/vari-angle touchscreen, 3.1-inch, 2,095k dot
Continuous shooting speed: 10fps
Viewfinder: 9,444k dot EVF, 0.9x magnification
Max video resolution: 8K

Reasons to buy

+
8K video, though cropped
+
Massively increased buffer depth
+
Revolutionary AI focusing
+
Vari-angle rear screen
+
Improved IBIS

Reasons to avoid

-
Stays at 61MP
-
Heavy reliance on custom buttons
-
Video limitations

Technically overwhelming, physically underwhelming – that’s how the A7R V feels. The camera body feels too small – or not tall enough in the body – for the big pro lenses you’ll be using with it, and the controls follow a generic layout rather than being adapted to this camera’s strengths. You can customize the buttons endlessly to suit the way you work, but that takes time and also a good memory for which button you’ve customized to do what.

Technically, the A7R V is stunning. With 61 megapixels paired with new AI subject recognition AF is remarkable, both for its rapid identification and acquisition and its very sticky ‘tracking’. 

The image quality is every bit as good as that of the A7R IV before it (Sony says it’s better), and the bigger buffer makes the A7R V much more effective for prolonged burst shooting.

Read our full Sony A7R V review

Best Sony full frame camera on a budget

(Image credit: Future)
The best Sony full frame camera on a budget

Specifications

Sensor: Full frame
Megapixels: 24.2MP
Lens mount: Sony E
Screen: 3in tilting touchscreen, 922k dots
Viewfinder: EVF, 2,359k dots
Continuous shooting speed: 10fps
Max video resolution: 4K

Reasons to buy

+
Image quality and speed
+
5-axis image stabilisation

Reasons to avoid

-
Unbalanced by larger lenses
-
24MP no higher than APS-C models

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 a 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 the image processor, and the two deliver excellent 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, which applies across the Alpha range. For the 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 our full Sony A7 III review

Best Sony camera for everything

(Image credit: Rod Lawton/Digital Camera World)
Best Sony camera for content creation

Specifications

Sensor: Full frame
Megapixels: 50.1MP
Lens mount: Sony FE
Screen: 3-in tilting, 1.44m dots
Viewfinder: Electronic, 9.44m dots
Max burst speed: 30fps
Max video resolution: 8K

Reasons to buy

+
50MP resolution
+
8K video
+
30fps continuous shooting

Reasons to avoid

-
Stratospheric price!

The Sony A1 is everything that Sony says it is. It’s a technological triumph, a camera that really can do everything and one of the best cameras for professionals. 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 significant 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 vast price, prevents 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 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 our full Sony A1 review

The best Sony camera for video

(Image credit: Gareth Bevan / Digital Camera World)
The best Sony camera for video

Specifications

Sensor: Full frame
Megapixels: 12MP
Lens mount: Sony FE
Screen: Vari-angle touchscreen LCD, 3.0 inches, 921,600 dots
Viewfinder: None
Max video resolution: 4K

Reasons to buy

+
Full frame sensor
+
Subject recognition and tracking are unbelievably good
+
Built-in microphone
+
Compatible with wide range of lenses
+
Very compact and light

Reasons to avoid

-
Only 12MP stills
-
Active image stabilization modes significantly cropped
-
Hard to use handheld with larger lenses
-
Relatively expensive

The ZV-E1 is an excellent vlogging camera, it is small, compact, and lightweight while packing in some incredible features like an image-stabilized full frame sensor, and subject recognition and auto tracking straight out of the Sony A7R V. The camera is also incredibly simple and intuitive to use, so is perfect for anyone wanting professional looking footage without knowing a lot about cameras. 

Video footage is excellent, sharp, clear, and with good color direct from the camera, stills are also fantastic quality, although are limited by the 12MP sensor. The latest autofocus tracking from Sony is a sight to behold, especially for human subjects, it is incredibly fast and accurate, with its AI powers meaning you don’t have to worry about focus and can think about other aspects of filming. 

Read our full Sony ZV-E1 review

Best Sony camera for travel

(Image credit: Gareth Bevan / Digital Camera World)
The best Sony camera for travel

Specifications

Sensor: APS-C
Megapixels: 26.1MP
Screen: 3in side-flip touchscreen
Viewfinder: 2359k XGA electronic viewfinder
Continuous shooting speed: 11fps
Max video resolution: 4K (UHD) 3840 x 2160

Reasons to buy

+
Compact and light
+
Wide selection of lenses
+
Excellent AI autofocus recognition and tracking
+
Excellent 4K video

Reasons to avoid

-
Viewfinder is underwhelming
-
Balance with larger lenses is off
-
Pricey

The Sony a6700 represents a logical progression from its predecessor, the a6600, but I wasn't blown away by the improvements when I reviewed it. 

The a6700 maintains the compact rangefinder-style APS-C camera design from prior models but incorporates some notable and welcome improvements in button layout, however, I still found the camera was still a little cramped and hard to hold with larger lenses. Although, if you are happy to settle for Sony's smaller but slower lenses, then they are a much better balance for the a6700.

But for hybrid stills and video shooters seeking a compact camera with a viewfinder, the a6700 stands out as my preferred choice among Sony's APS-C lineup – and a much better choice over Sony's similar ZV range of cameras. The a6700 delivers an exceptional stills experience with an improved resolution, better tracking, and faster speeds. While its advancements in 4K video recording and integration of AI autofocus technology from Sony's more powerful and pricey cameras further position the a6700 as a compelling option.

Despite a higher starting price compared to the previous generation, positioning it as relatively more expensive than some competitors, the a6700 offers a lot for the money and emerges as one of the top choices for travel photographers and content creators who prioritize professional features within a compact form factor.

Read more: Sony a6700 review

Best budget Sony vlogging camera

(Image credit: Gareth Bevan)
The best budget Sony vlogging camera

Specifications

Sensor: 1-inch
Megapixels: 20.1MP
Lens: 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8
Screen: 3in vari-angle touchscreen, 921k dots
Max video resolution: 4K

Reasons to buy

+
Lightweight and compact
+
Very easy to use
+
Accurate eye detect autofocus

Reasons to avoid

-
Poor active stabilization mode
-
Average still image quality

During our review, It was hard to look at the Sony ZV-1F in isolation and not immediately compare it to the latest camera phone sitting next to me. After using it for a week, it is hard not to think that I already own a device that does a lot of what this camera does. However, there is still a lot to be said for having a dedicated camera, especially with an articulating screen, an edge on the quality of 4K footage, and it being this easy to use.

If you are a keen amateur vlogger, and you want a dedicated camera to record on, a run-and-gun camera that you can set up quickly and get shooting, and something you can toss in a bag or pass around among friends. This is the camera for you. 

This is a no-frills vlogging camera that will give you just what you need, a 4K video that is ready for social media, all contained in a tiny compact package, and at a hard-to-beat price.

Read our full Sony ZV-1F review

Best Sony camera for sports

(Image credit: James Artaius / Digital Camera World)
The best Sony camera for sports

Specifications

Type: Mirrorless
Sensor: Full Frame
Megapixels: 24.2MP
Lens: Sony E mount
LCD: 3in tilting touchscreen, 1.44million dots
Viewfinder: EVF
Maximum continuous shooting speed: 20fps electronic shutter, 10fps mechanical
Max video resolution: 4K
User level: Professional

Reasons to buy

+
Blistering burst shooting
+
Best AF we've used... so far
+
Unrivaled connectivity

Reasons to avoid

-
Menus remain obtuse
-
Isn't it time for CFexpress?

To quote from our 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 a mission accomplished for Sony! For professionals who need more than speed, however, the Sony A1, which edges ahead of the A9 II for sports photography, throws in 8K video and 50MP stills.

Note, however, that the new Sony A9 III is set to go on sale in Spring 2024 - with a top shutter speed of 1/80,000 and an revolutionary global shutter sensor, it promises to revolutionize both the Sony camera line-up and professional sports photography.

Read our full Sony A9 Mark II review

Best Sony camera for content creation

(Image credit: Rod Lawton/Digital Camera World)
The best Sony APS-C vlogging camera

Specifications

Sensor: APS-C
Megapixels: 24.2MP
Lens: Sony E mount
LCD: Vari-angle
Viewfinder: None
Maximum continuous shooting speed: 11fps for 116 JPEGs
Max video resolution: 4K

Reasons to buy

+
Autofocus features and performance
+
Vari-angle screen
+
Clip on wind muffler

Reasons to avoid

-
No in-body stabilization
-
Rolling shutter (the 'jello' effect)
-
No viewfinder

The Sony ZV-E10 is not going to win any awards on the photography front, where its 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 vital for vlogging). 

It 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 our full Sony ZV-E10 review

Best compact full frame Sony camera

(Image credit: Gareth Bevan / Digital Camera World)
Best compact full frame Sony camera

Specifications

Sensor: Full Frame
Megapixels: 33MP
LCD: 3-inch vari-angle touchscreen, 1.03m dots
Viewfinder: 2.36m dots, 0.7x mag OLED
Maximum continuous shooting speed: 10fps with AE & AF, 1000+ JPEGS, 44 RAW
Max video resolution: 4K

Reasons to buy

+
Improved 33MP full frame sensor
+
Excellent autofocus
+
Compact size

Reasons to avoid

-
Ergonomics still not great with larger lenses
-
Only one SD card slot

The Sony A7C II is a sum of parts we have already seen in other Sony cameras, and while it is an incremental upgrade over the original version, it packs in some very welcome big improvements to autofocus and a bump in resolution to 33MP. The camera still is one of the best options for content creators looking for the smallest and most compact camera, while still getting pro-level features. 

As with Sony’s other recent cameras, Sony has offered up the very best of its video capabilities, but the A7C II is also the body for hybrid creators who care just as much about stills photography, with its rangefinder-style EVF. 

Despite some improvement in the camera ergonomics, it is still a difficult camera to handhold with larger Sony lenses, which the inclusion of a full frame sensor suggests it is designed for.

Read our full Sony A7C II review

How to choose the best Sony camera

First, you need to ask yourself what you are going to use your camera for. If you want to shoot video to use on social media or to live stream on the internet, then Sony makes an excellent range of compact vlogging cameras like the Sony ZV-1F and Sony ZV-E10 that cover a range of price points and image quality

If you are looking for something a bit more serious, then Sony's Alpha series is the way to go, these cameras are more specialized for higher quality images and video in different situations. The Sony A7R V is a megapixel monster for massive images, the Sony A9 II is for serious sports shooters, and the Sony a6700 packs the best of Sony's tech into a travelable body. Sony's Alpha series is also compatible with the best Sony lenses to up your photography game even further.

If you want to produce high-end video then we have a guide for that, check out our guide to the best camera for filmmaking for some high-end Sony video options.

(Image credit: Gareth Bevan / Digital Camera World)

What is the best Sony vlogging camera?

This depends on your budget. The best entry-level vlogging camera from Sony is the ZV-1F which is small and compact and shoots good 4K. If you want something a little more advanced then the Sony ZV-E10 is the best in Sony's range, with its interchangeable lenses it gives you more freedom to create.

Are Sony cameras better than Nikon and Canon?

Well, no. All camera brands make great cameras – how good these cameras are depends on your skill as a photographer. Sony cameras excel in various aspects including excellent subject recognition and tracking, solid image stabilization, as well as its long history of producing professional-level video. Switching to a Sony camera from another brand will not improve your photography – without you also working on your technique. Whatever camera system you use, you can be sure with practice you can create equally exceptional images.

How we test Sony cameras

We test Sony cameras both in real-world shooting scenarios and in carefully controlled lab conditions. We test Sony cameras with their intended purpose in mind – for example, we test powerful sports cameras like the A9 II with high-speed subjects, while we test Sony's ZV vlogging range with a focus on video quality over any stills prowess.

Our real-world testing assesses how Sony cameras perform in everyday shooting situations. This is based on our reviewer's own experiences using the camera, how the camera feels and works, any issues they encountered, and their subjective opinion on the camera performance separate from the lab results.

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. 

The real-world experience and lab results are combined to inform exactly what we select for inclusion in our buying guides.

You can find out more about how we test and review at Digital Camera World.

Gareth Bevan
Reviews Editor

Gareth is a photographer based in London, working as a freelance photographer and videographer for the past several years, having the privilege to shoot for some household names. With work focusing on fashion, portrait and lifestyle content creation, he has developed a range of skills covering everything from editorial shoots to social media videos. Outside of work, he has a personal passion for travel and nature photography, with a devotion to sustainability and environmental causes.

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