The best Sony camera in 2022 for vlogging, filmmaking and photography

Sony A7R V
(Image credit: Sony)

The best Sony cameras are now available for many types of photographers, from high-end commercial photography and sports photography to video production. Further down the range, Sony APS-C mirrorless cameras have become the favorites of countless vloggers, bloggers, and content creators. 

Sony has just released a new camera focused on content creators and bloggers, the Sony ZV-1F is the little brother to the more feature-set Sony ZV-1 however, the ZV-1F brings native vertical shooting to the platform, meaning no more lengthy editing processes for Reels or Shorts. Then there's Sony's newest camera, the Sony A7R V (opens in new tab), which is the winner for sheer resolution and 8K video.

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

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 smaller and cheaper alternatives to the full-frame Sony models. As Sony fans will know, the company also makes some powerful compact cameras too.

Best full frame Sony cameras (opens in new tab)
Best APS-C and compact Sony cameras (opens in new tab)

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.

Sony is still repackaging its compact cameras 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.

The best Sony cameras in 2022

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Sony full frame mirrorless cameras

(Image credit: Louise Carey)
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The best affordable all-round Sony camera

Specifications

Type: Mirrorless
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
User level: Enthusiast

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 (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) is also very tempting, and cheaper!

(Image credit: James Artaius / Digital Camera World)
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We're still amazed by its AF and its speed

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 (opens in new tab) 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 new Sony A1 (opens in new tab), which edges ahead of the A9 II for sports photography, throws in 8K video and 50MP stills.

(Image credit: Rod Lawton/Digital Camera World)
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We can't deny the specs are spectacular, but we don't think the A1 is perfect – and it's so EXPENSIVE

Specifications

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

Reasons to buy

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

Reasons to avoid

-
Stratospheric price!

The Sony A1 (opens in new tab) 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.

(Image credit: Rod Lawton/Digital Camera World)
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A very powerful do-it-all camera at a sensible price

Specifications

Type: Mirrorless
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
User level: Enthusiast/expert

Reasons to buy

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

Reasons to avoid

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

The Sony A7 IV (opens in new tab) 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 supersede 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!

(Image credit: Rod Lawton/Digital Camera World)
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We think the A7R IV (now refreshed as an 'A' version) is underrated

Specifications

Type: Mirrorless
Sensor: Full frame CMOS
Megapixels: 61MP
Lens mount: Sony FE
Screen: 3-inch tilting touchscreen, 1,440,000 dots
Viewfinder: Electronic, 5.76m dots
Continuous shooting speed: 10fps
Max video resolution: 4K
User level: Professional

Reasons to buy

+
61 megapixel resolution
+
10fps continuous shooting
+
Advanced Eye AF

Reasons to avoid

-
Unbalanced with bigger lenses
-
Quite expensive – of course!

The 'R' models in Sony's A7 series cameras are designed first and foremost for resolution – and the Sony A7R Mark IV (opens in new tab) 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 with the highest resolution of any Sony – or 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 (opens in new tab). However, 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 highly rate the older A7R IV.

The Sony A7R V (opens in new tab) has been released, with the same 61MP sensor, but the A7 IV isn't being discontinued so it'll remain on our list as a great option.

(Image credit: Rod Lawton/Digital Camera World)
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We love its small size and flip-out screen

Specifications

Type: Mirrorless
Sensor: Full Frame
Megapixels: 24.2MP
Lens: Sony E mount
LCD: 3-inch vari-angle touchscreen, 921k dots
Viewfinder: EVF, 2,359k dots
Maximum continuous shooting speed: 10fps, 115 raw, 223 JPEG
Max video resolution: 4K 30p
User level: Enthusiast

Reasons to buy

+
Small(ish) body
+
Excellent retracting lens
+
Side-hinged vari-angle screen

Reasons to avoid

-
Unambitious video specs
-
Unappealing silver and black finish

We weren't that keen on the Sony A7C (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab), for example, it makes a lot more sense. Even though the Sony A7C and the Sony A7 III (opens in new tab) are now very similar in price, 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, the same size for both. The vari-angle screen and compact design (with smaller lenses) now make the A7C a more compelling travel/vlogging camera.

Sony APS-C and compact cameras

(Image credit: Rod Lawton/Digital Camera World)
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It has charmed us with its vlogging features

Specifications

Type: Compact
Sensor: 1in
Megapixels: 20.1MP
Lens: 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8
Screen: 3in vari-angle touchscreen, 921k dots
Max video resolution: 4K
Mic port: Yes
User level: Enthusiast

Reasons to buy

+
Supplied mic windshield
+
Super-fast AF
+
Vari-angle screen

Reasons to avoid

-
Small-ish rear screen and not 16:9

While the new Sony ZV-E10 (opens in new tab) spiritually supersedes it, the ZV-1 (opens in new tab) 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. 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 massive 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 is designed specifically for vlogging, right down to that fully vari-angle rear screen and the supplied mic windshield, which does work brilliantly. It's also a LOT cheaper than the flagship Sony RX100 VII (opens in new tab) camera, despite offering a better proposition for vloggers.

(Image credit: Rod Lawton/Digital Camera World)
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We're happy to swap a viewfinder for the flip-out screen on this good value vlogging camera

Specifications

Type: Mirrorless
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 30p
User level: Enthusiast

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 (opens in new tab) 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.

(Image credit: Digital Camera World)
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It has the best combination of features and value

Specifications

Type: Mirrorless
Sensor: APS-C
Megapixels: 24.3MP
Lens mount: Sony E
Screen: 3in tilting screen, 921k dots
Viewfinder: EVF, 1,440k dots
Continuous shooting speed: 11fps
Max video resolution: Full HD
User level: Beginner/enthusiast

Reasons to buy

+
Great 4K video and AF
+
180-degree screen

Reasons to avoid

-
No in-body stabilisation
-
Design feeling dated

The Sony A6400 (opens in new tab) is effectively Sony’s ‘middle’ A6000-series camera, fitting in above the A6100 (opens in new tab) model and below the top-of-the-range A6600 (opens in new tab). 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 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 the 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.

(Image credit: Matthew Richards/Digital Camera World)
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This is a worthy successor to the A6000

Specifications

Type: Mirrorless
Sensor: APS-C
Megapixels: 24.2MP
Lens mount: Sony E
Screen: 3in 180-degree touchscreen, 1,440k dots
Viewfinder: EVF, 1,440k dots
Continuous shooting speed: 11fps
Max video resolution: 4K
User level: Beginner/enthusiast

Reasons to buy

+
Real-Time Tracking Autofocus
+
4K video recording
+
180-degree screen

Reasons to avoid

-
No in-body sensor-shift stabilization
-
Low resolution EVF

The A6100 (opens in new tab) includes 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.

How we test cameras 

We test mirrorless cameras (opens in new tab) 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.

See more buying guides

Best cameras for beginners (opens in new tab)
Best cameras for enthusiasts (opens in new tab)
Best cameras for professionals (opens in new tab)
The best mirrorless cameras (opens in new tab)
The cheapest full-frame cameras (opens in new tab)
Best travel cameras (opens in new tab) 

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