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The best Sony cameras in 2021

Best Sony cameras
(Image credit: Wikicommons/Jason Parnell-Brookes/Sony)

In this guide, we round up the best Sony cameras for a range of users. Whether you're searching for a simple point-and-shoot compact camera, or you want to dabble in a Mirrorless interchangeable lens format for ultimate flexibility, we've got options for you. Our key picks outline the very best from Sony in terms of stills, video, and spread out across a wide price range from hundreds to thousands. A well-established brand in its own right, Sony has revolutionised the push into the Mirrorless market and other manufacturers are trying to catch up.

There's a lot to consider when buying a new camera. Features such as in-body image stabilisation or movie frame rate impact hugely on the ability to shoot in low light or put together dreamy cinematic work. If you're an action or sports shooter then a fast burst speed is necessary to eke out every drop of detail from your scene. So take a look below to discover which of the best Sony cameras is the perfect one for you.

Just starting out? See our guide to the best camera for beginners. Or for a more general pick, check out the options in this list of the best cameras for creatives.

Best Sony cameras: A7

(Image credit: Sony)

01. Sony A7 III

The best Sony camera overall

Type: Mirrorless | Sensor: Full-frame | Megapixels: 24.2MP | Monitor: 3in tilting touchscreen, 922k dots | Continuous shooting speed: 10fps | Viewfinder: EVF, 2359k dots | Max video resolution: 4K | User level: Enthusiast

High FPS  
Five-axis image stabilisation
Body feels a little too light 
Limited image resolution 

This 35mm full-frame mirrorless is a neat little package that performs well on almost everything across the board, so it's a clear choice for one of the best Sony cameras. Key highlights include a 693 point phase-detection autofocus coverage, which can work all the way down to EV-3 for shooting in lowlight, highly detailed 4K movies with HDR, and it captures stills at a speedy 10FPS. Portrait shooters will love the Eye AF which enables an effective eye tracking autofocus when capturing stills images and it even appeals to filmmakers thanks to the full-pixel readout 4K with Hybrid Log-Gamma for instant HDR workflow. This camera is outperformed by others on this best Sony cameras list, and other models that are cheaper, but for our money the A7 III is the biggest bang for the buck.

Best Sony cameras: A1

(Image credit: Sony)

02. Sony A1

The best camera for video and the best Sony camera to date

Type: Mirrorless | Sensor: Full-frame | Megapixels: 50.1MP | Monitor: 3-in tilting, 1.44m dots | Continuous shooting speed: 30fps | Viewfinder: Electronic, 9.44m dots | Max video resolution: 8K | User level: Pro

Insane 8K video 
30fps shooting 
50MP stills
Eye-watering price

A true behemoth in the Sony line-up (in fact, in any camera line-up) the new A1 stands at the top of the Mirrorless tree with its insane 50MP stills and 8K 30p video recording. It can even capture 4K movies at 120FPS, but it comes at quite a cost – literally. It's the most expensive camera on this list so is probably out of the reach of all but the deepest wallets, or high-end professionals that require the leading-edge technology. However, features such as Real-time Eye AF and Real-time Tracking for movies is increasingly useful for video shooters that require pin-sharp focus during filming.

Best Sony cameras: RX100

(Image credit: Sony)

03. Sony RX100 V

The best budget Sony camera on the market

Type: Compact | Sensor: 1-in type | Megapixels: 20.1MP | Monitor: 3-in tilting screen, 1229k dots | Continuous shooting speed: 24FPS | Viewfinder: EVF, 2359k dots | Max video resolution: 4K | User level: Enthusiast

Precise and clear EVF  
4K Video  
High FPS burst mode
Fixed zoom lens

For a compact camera, the RX100 V holds some impressive numbers in its spec list. 20.1MP stills and 4K Ultra-HD video this little unit is equipped with a Vario-Sonnar Zeiss lens that ensures sharpness and reliability. Unusually for a compact of this size the RX100 V features an image sensor larger than most, with a whopping 1 inch sensor tucked away inside the small, ergonomic body. This slightly older model is still on sale alongside other RX100 models but we think this is the best value for money you can get if you're on a budget. Want more compact options? See our guide to the best compact cameras around.

Best Sony cameras: A9

(Image credit: Sony)

04. Sony A9 II

The best Mirrorless Sony camera, which appeals to all

Type: Mirrorless | Sensor: Full-frame | Megapixels: 24.2MP | Monitor: 3-in tilting touchscreen, 1.44m dots | Continuous shooting speed: 20fps electronic, 10fps mechanical | Viewfinder: EVF 3.69m dots | Max video resolution: 4K | User level: Pro

Accurate autofocus 
Excellent network connectivity
Low resolution for price 
Confusing menu system

The A9 II is one of the best Sony Cameras that's certainly built for professionals, but that's not to say enthusiasts don't get a look in – if their bank accounts are big enough. Apart from the decent specs that adorn this camera, such as the 24.2MP stills and 4K Ultra-HD video, the real takeaway is its sublime network connectivity and reliability in the field. For pros that need to upload immediately to FTP servers there's a 1000BASE-T LAN terminal which securely transfers data via FTPS. Add to that the Voice Memo function that allows you to record your own descriptions of up to a minute to help describe your content to your future self and others. It also connects with 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi for high speed transfer without interference.

Best Sony cameras: RX10

(Image credit: Sony)

05. Sony RX10 IV

The best Sony camera for beginners has detailed, quality images

Type: Compact | Sensor: 1-in type | Megapixels: 20.1MP | Monitor: 3-in tilting screen, 1440k dots | Continuous shooting speed: 24FPS | Viewfinder: EVF, 2360k dots | Max video resolution: 4K | User level: Beginner

Flexibility in lens 
Fast continuous shooting speed 
Good all-rounder
Expensive

In an age where photographers and filmmakers flit back and forth between taking stills and videos the RX100 IV attempts to literally bridge the gap between the worlds. A fast 24FPS stills shooting speed and maximum video resolution of 4K is complemented by the huge focal length range in the lens ranging from 24-600mm (equivalent to 35mm). It's perfect for users who want to just get started and don't want to be limited by a compact camera, but don't yet require the added complexity and expense of an interchangeable lens system.

Best Sony cameras: A6400

(Image credit: Sony)

06. Sony A6400

The best Sony camera for vlogging

Type: Mirrorless | Sensor: APS-C | Megapixels: 24.3MP | Monitor: 3-in tilting screen, 921k dots | Continuous shooting speed: 11fps | Viewfinder: EVF, 1440k dots | Max video resolution: 4K | User level: Enthusiast

4K video  
Fast autofocus with real-time AF 
High continuous shooting speed
No vari-angle backscreen

Aimed at vloggers and those wishing to film themselves regularly, the A6400 provides a lot of helpful features in a small package. 4K video and a 180-degree tilting screen makes it simple for beginners and enthusiasts to set up their own shooting set-up at home or out on the go thanks to its compact design. Unfortunately, there's no in-body image stabilisation so handheld footage would need to be steadied by additional hardware or software, but for the price this APS-C Mirrorless camera is perfect for the aspiring YouTuber. For more options, see our best camera for vlogging roundup.

Best Sony cameras: A6000

(Image credit: Sony)

07. Sony A6000

Sony's best APS-C camera, pound for pound

Type: Mirrorless | Sensor: APS-C | Megapixels: 24.3MP | Monitor: 3-in tilting screen, 921k dots | Continuous shooting speed: 11fps | Viewfinder: EVF, 1440k dots | Max video resolution: Full HD | User level: Beginner

Extremely portable  
Incredible price
Only Full HD video resolution  
An older line of cameras

This APS-C camera is basic. But for beginners or enthusiasts looking for one of the best Sony cameras to help them get started in photography, or to buy into the Sony camera world, it is a bargain. It's only small and lightweight but the interchangeable lens system means users can swap out lenses at a moment's notice and all for a very low price. Unfortunately it's just Full HD (1080) compatible but that's more due to its age than anything else, having been released all the way back in 2014.

Best Sony cameras: HX99

(Image credit: Sony)

08. Sony HX99

The best compact Sony camera

Type: Compact | Sensor: 1/2.3-in type | Megapixels: 18.2MP | Monitor: 3-in tilting screen, 911k dots | Continuous shooting speed: 10FPS | Viewfinder: EVF, 638k dots | Max video resolution: 4K | User level: Beginner

4K Video  
Big 30x zoom
Small sensor  
Viewfinder not the best

The best compact Sony camera also lends itself nicely to travel photographers who need a small, compact camera with modern features such as a 180-degree tilt screen for vlogging or selfies, 4K video for ultra-detailed movie footage and a beefy optical zoom equivalent of 24-720mm if shooting 35mm full-frame. Footage and low light shooting will also be smooth thanks to the camera's in-built five-axis image stabilisation which is most helpful when shooting at the longer end of the lens' zoom. To keep the body small and sleek there's a 1/2.3-in type image sensor inside and sadly only 18.2MP stills, but it makes up for this with a fast burst shoot speed of 10FPS for stills.

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