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The best Sony cameras in 2021

Included in this guide:

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

Specifications
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
Reasons to buy
+High FPS  +Five-axis image stabilisation
Reasons to avoid
-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

Specifications
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
Reasons to buy
+Insane 8K video +30fps shooting +50MP stills
Reasons to avoid
-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

Specifications
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
Reasons to buy
+Precise and clear EVF  +4K Video  +High FPS burst mode
Reasons to avoid
-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

Specifications
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
Reasons to buy
+Accurate autofocus +Excellent network connectivity
Reasons to avoid
-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

Specifications
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
Reasons to buy
+Flexibility in lens +Fast continuous shooting speed +Good all-rounder
Reasons to avoid
-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

Specifications
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
Reasons to buy
+4K video  +Fast autofocus with real-time AF +High continuous shooting speed
Reasons to avoid
-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

Specifications
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
Reasons to buy
+Extremely portable  +Incredible price
Reasons to avoid
-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

Specifications
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
Reasons to buy
+4K Video  +Big 30x zoom
Reasons to avoid
-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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Jason Parnell-Brookes

Jason Parnell-Brookes is an Internationally award-winning photographer, educator and writer. He won Gold in the Nikon Photo Contest 2018/19 and was named Digital Photographer of the Year in 2014. Jason is a qualified teacher, Masters graduate and works with many high profile international clients.