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The 7 Best Camera Brands - Spring 2022 Reviews

Updated
Best Camera Brands

It can be difficult to narrow down the best camera brand, as they all have advantages and disadvantages. Besides, with camera technology as advanced as it is these days, a good camera from any brand will allow you to take great photos. Choosing one over another is mostly a matter of personal preference and of finding a camera that suits your needs and feels good in your hands.

We've tested over 70 cameras from over 12 different brands, and below are our recommendations for the best camera brands to buy from. The brands aren’t ordered by rank or position; the first brand listed isn’t necessarily our top pick overall, and the last brand isn’t the worst. Instead, we’ve listed the brands by use or specialty, keeping brands with similar audiences together to make it easier to find what best suits your needs. For more options, see our recommendations for the best cameras for beginners, the best cameras for photography, and the best cameras.


  1. Canon

    Canon is a world-leading manufacturer of optical imaging devices, from cameras and lenses to printers, photocopiers, and medical equipment. They've been making cameras since the 1930s and remain one of the leading manufacturers of cameras and lenses today, often pitted against Nikon. The brand is often favored by professional photographers for its professional services and customer service, but also because their cameras typically have robust ergonomic designs, intuitive menu systems, and accurate autofocusing, not to mention a long history of lenses to choose from. Its lineup ranges from beginner DSLRs like the Canon EOS Rebel T7 / EOS 2000D to popular professional models like the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. In recent years, Canon has moved increasingly into the mirrorless market with models like the affordable, entry-level Canon EOS M50 or full-frame options like the portable Canon EOS RP.

    That said, the best Canon camera we've tested is the Canon EOS R6. Introduced as a more affordable alternative to the flagship Canon EOS R5, this full-frame mirrorless model features a sturdy, weather-sealed magnesium alloy construction and a 20.1-megapixel sensor. It delivers fantastic out-of-the-box image quality and outstanding noise handling capability for low-light shooting. It also has a remarkably robust autofocus system with over 6,000 detection points and full coverage for more precise focusing even at the edges of the frame. It has in-body image stabilization to help reduce camera shake when shooting handheld, and it can shoot at a quick 11 fps for fast action, with a large photo buffer. That said, it takes a long time for the buffer to empty once full. It's also known to overheat and shut down when recording 4k video for longer periods. Despite that, it's still one of the best mirrorless cameras we've tested, especially for hybrid stills/video shooters.

    See our review

  2. Nikon

    Nikon is another top camera brand with a long history of producing optical devices, cameras, and lenses. Nikon was one of the pioneering manufacturers of digital cameras throughout the 1990s and continues to hold its own against competitors like Canon. In recent years, Nikon has similarly been moving more and more into the realm of mirrorless cameras, though it's still primarily known for its DSLRs, from the easy-to-use Nikon D3500 to well-regarded professional models like the Nikon D850, as well as consumer point-and-shoots. Its mirrorless lineup has steadily improved, and the company now offers mirrorless models to suit different experience levels, including the entry-level Nikon Z 50, the retro-inspired Nikon Z fc, and the full-frame Nikon Z 6II. Nikon is known for pushing boundaries with some of its cameras, like the Nikon COOLPIX P1000, which has the longest fixed zoom lens on the market.

    The Nikon D780 is the best Nikon camera we've tested. This premium DSLR has a 24.5-megapixel full-frame sensor, and it performs very well at high ISO settings, with minimal noise. Overall image quality is excellent with good dynamic range to give you more latitude when processing your photos and very accurate colors out of the box. It has a hybrid AF system with a more traditional DSLR AF system when shooting through the optical viewfinder and a phase-detect system borrowed from the mirrorless Nikon Z 6 when shooting with the screen in Live View, giving you the best of both worlds. The camera also has an exceptional battery life, advertised to last for about 2,260 photos on a full charge. That said, it's also a very heavy, bulky camera that's less suited to travel or street photography.

    See our review

  3. Sony

    Widely known for its TVssoundbarsheadphones, and speakers, Sony has been producing cameras since the 1990s. Since acquiring Konica Minolta in 2006, the company has continued to expand its digital camera offerings and has become the third-largest camera manufacturer in the world behind Canon and Nikon. Sony has roots in manufacturing electronic components like semiconductors and image sensors and is one of the world's largest manufacturers of image sensors; many cameras from other brands feature Sony-built sensors. Sony focuses primarily on mirrorless cameras under its Alpha brand name, but it offers point-and-shoot cameras in its Cyber-shot lineup. Their cameras are known for their snappy, highly effective autofocus systems and portable bodies. It's one of the few brands to release the specifications for its proprietary lens mount, giving users a wider variety of third-party lenses to choose from within Sony's E-mount mirrorless system.

    The Sony α7 III is one of the best Sony cameras we've tested. While it lacks certain features like weather-sealing and a fully articulated screen that you can find on newer models like the Sony α7C, the α7 III is still a staple among enthusiasts and some people may prefer it to the more compact α7C because of its better-spaced controls and ergonomics, dual SD card slots, and larger viewfinder. While it uses a now older version of Sony's autofocus system, it still does an excellent job tracking moving subjects in photos and works fantastically well in video, particularly when tracking objects. If you're looking for something more portable for travel or simply want to save some money, Sony also produces APS-C models like the Sony a6400 or premium point-and-shoots like the Sony RX100 VII or the high-end Sony RX10 IV bridge camera.

    See our review

  4. Fujifilm

    Fujifilm started as a film manufacturer in the early twentieth century until it eventually began producing cameras of its own in the late 1940s under the 'Fujica' moniker. Fujifilm was one of the most successful camera companies to transition from film to digital, and it's now one of the leading producers of APS-C mirrorless cameras as well as increasingly affordable medium format cameras. Its X-series lineup includes entry-level models like the Fujifilm X-T200, mid-range models like the Fujifilm X-T30, and even vlogger-oriented models like the Fujifilm X-S10. The company also produces high-end compact cameras like the Fujifilm X100V. What unites many of these models is the brand's emphasis on retro styling, extensive physical controls, and excellent color science and in-camera processing.

    The Fujifilm X-T4 is the best Fujifilm camera that we've tested and one of the best all-around cameras in its price range. This APS-C model offers excellent performance in both photography and video for hybrid shooters. With the ability to record high-quality 4k 10-bit 4:2:0 video internally, it delivers advanced internal recording capability for more serious video work. It's also portable enough that you can use it for vlogging or on-the-go video. When it comes to photography, it delivers very good image quality out of the box, and it includes several film simulation profiles to play around with the color and tone of your JPEG photos. It also has excellent RAW noise handling capability, so it's well-suited to taking photos in more dimly-lit conditions and has in-body image stabilization to smooth out handheld camera shake. That said, its autofocus can be a little inconsistent, especially when compared to competitors like Sony and Canon.

    See our review

  5. Panasonic

    Panasonic is a global electronics manufacturer that makes everything from TVs and appliances to batteries, headphones, and cameras. Its camera lineup is marketed under the LUMIX brand and is made up primarily of digital mirrorless cameras. For a long time, Panasonic focused mainly on producing cameras within the Micro Four Thirds system, which the company standardized in collaboration with Olympus. Four Thirds camera sensors have a roughly 4:3 aspect ratio and have half the size equivalence of a full-frame sensor; they're smaller than APS-C sensors but larger than those typically found on compact point-and-shoot cameras. That gives them more focal reach and allows them to use lenses that are smaller and cheaper than full-frame lenses. More recently, Panasonic has moved into producing full-frame cameras thanks to the L-mount Alliance with Leica and Sigma, which all produce L-mount compatible cameras.

    The first of these released by Panasonic, and the best Panasonic camera we've tested is the Panasonic Lumix DC-S5. This interchangeable lens mirrorless camera is a great all-arounder with advanced 4k video features, as well as being an excellent still photography camera. The camera feels remarkably well-built and has a weather-sealed body, comfortable handgrip and viewfinder, and a fully articulated screen. It delivers amazing image quality with remarkably noise handling at higher ISO levels for low-light photography, and its overall video quality is great. It can record 10-bit 4:2:2 video internally, and it has a full set of inputs and outputs as well as dual SD card slots for those who like to keep a live backup. That said, its autofocus system only does a decent job of quickly and accurately tracking moving objects. Despite that, this is still one of the best 4k cameras we've tested for most people.

    See our review

  6. Olympus

    Like Fujifilm, Canon, and Nikon, Olympus has been around in some form or another since the 1930s. It was a major brand in the days of film, achieving worldwide popularity in the 1970s and 80s with its innovative 'OM System' line of SLRs. In the digital age, Olympus helped standardize the Four Thirds and later Micro Four Thirds systems, offering a smaller and more affordable alternative to either full-frame or APS-C cameras. In 2021, Olympus's imaging division was acquired by OM Digital Solutions, which announced it'll begin releasing cameras under the new brand name 'OM System' in a callback to the company's heyday, though these cameras and lenses will be compatible with older Olympus-branded products.

    The best Olympus camera we've tested is the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III. This Micro Four Thirds camera is a great choice for vloggers or travel photographers, thanks to its portable size and well-built, weather-sealed construction. It has a fully articulated screen to help you record vlogs or take selfies, and the EVF is fairly large for those who prefer to shoot through a viewfinder. Because of its smaller sensor, it manages to fit in an in-body image stabilization system without compromising on portability. Overall, the camera delivers excellent JPEG image quality with accurate colors and fantastic dynamic range. Its video quality is also impressive. That said, it's not the most well-suited to low-light photography due to its smaller sensor, and you'll need to use faster lenses if you want to achieve a very shallow depth of field.

    See our review

  7. PENTAX

    Like Olympus, Fujifilm, and others, the PENTAX brand name has a long history. It was first used by Asahi Optical in the middle of the twentieth century, with the release of the influential Asahi Pentax camera. It was so popular that it propelled Asahi to the global stage and prompted them to rename the company to simply 'Pentax'. Similar to Olympus, Pentax cameras were often innovative and well-regarded throughout the development of SLRs. In the digital age, the company was eventually acquired by RICOH and renamed RICOH Imaging Company, though it still releases DSLRs and medium format cameras under the PENTAX brand, as well as compact cameras under its own name, like the RICOH GR III. The brand is one of the few that doesn't make any mirrorless models and remains committed to releasing high-quality DSLRs and lenses.

    The best PENTAX camera that we've tested is the PENTAX K-3 Mark III. It's their flagship APS-C DSLR and, though it comes at a steep price for an APS-C camera, it has a sturdy weather-sealed construction and delivers low-light performance that rivals some full-frame models. It can reach an incredibly high ISO of 1,600,000 and has outstanding RAW noise handling capability. The camera also has in-body image stabilization, which does a fantastic job reducing camera shake when shooting handheld. Its battery life is excellent, advertised to last for approximately 495 photos on a full charge, depending on how you use it. That said, this camera isn't meant for advanced video recording, so its 4k video features are somewhat limited, and it has a fixed screen. On the upside, Pentax has a long line of compatible K-mount lenses to suit whatever style of photography you prefer.

    See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Feb 01, 2022: Reviewed article for accuracy and clarity.

  2. Jan 11, 2022: Reviewed article for accuracy with no change to recommendations.

  3. Dec 21, 2021: Reviewed article for accuracy; no change to recommendations.

  4. Nov 30, 2021: Minor updates to text for accuracy and clarity.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best camera brands and the best cameras for most people. We factor in the price, feedback from our visitors, and availability.

If you would like to choose for yourself, here's the list of all of our camera reviews. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While no camera is perfect for every use, most offer enough to suit most people's needs. Personal taste, preference, and shooting habits will matter more in your selection.

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