The 10 best camera sensors on the market will surprise you

The 10 best camera sensors on the market (sorry, Canon users)
(Image credit: Ricoh)

Do the best camera sensors make the best cameras? It's an interesting question – and one that just got a lot more interesting, as benchmarking site DxOMark has updated its database of the best sensors available. 

There's a new entry in the top 10 best camera sensors, as making its debut in the DXOMark rankings is the Nikon Z7 II – one of the best Nikon cameras, and its sensor boasts a score of 100, tying it with 3 other models for the best sensor on a full-frame camera. Here's how the top of the table shakes out:

1) Hasselblad X1D-50c (102)
2) Pentax 645Z
Panasonic S1R (100)
Nikon D850 (100)
Sony A7R III (100)
Nikon Z7 II (100)
Sony A7R IV (99)
Nikon Z7 (99)
Sony A7R II (98)
Nikon D810 (97)

What's curious is that the Z7 II possesses the same image sensor as the original Nikon Z7 – yet it has been benchmarked by DxOMark with a higher score (100 compared to 99). While the Z7 II's dual processors no doubt squeeze extra performance out of the system, it seems unusual to reward the sensor for something it didn't actually do. 

Nonetheless, it's quite an achievement for Nikon to hold four of the top slots – and very impressive for its latest camera to come second only to a pair of medium format monsters. You can check out the whole database here

It's still a rough ride for Canon users, though, as the brand doesn't make an appearance in the database until position 17 with the Canon EOS R5 (scored at 95), and then it's absent again until positions 32 and 33 with the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III and Canon EOS 5D Mark IV respectively (both scoring 91).

In case you're wondering, DxOMark used to be owned by DxO Labs (producer of processing suites like Nik Collection 3 and the new DxO PureRaw) but it now an independent company. 

• See also 12 highest resolution cameras of 2021

Read more: 

Hasselblad X1D-50c review
Panasonic S1R review
Nikon D850 review
Sony A7R III review
Nikon Z7 II review
Sony A7R IV review
Nikon Z7 review
Sony A7R II review
Nikon D810 review

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients like Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photo and lighting tutorials, as well as industry news, rumors and analysis for publications like Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-Photo: The Nikon MagazineDigital Photographer and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and talks at The Photography Show. He also serves as a judge for the Red Bull Illume Photo Contest. An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.