Narrowing down the best cameras in the world is no easy task when there are so many different cameras to choose from. There are interchangeable lens mirrorless cameras and DSLRs, used by pros and hobbyists alike, but you've also got your fixed-lens compacts and superzoom bridge cameras, not to mention tiny action cams to capture POV footage. The good news is that whether you're a beginner looking to buy your first mirrorless or DSLR camera, or a seasoned photographer looking to upgrade to a newer body, there's most certainly a camera out there for you.
We've bought and tested over 75 cameras, and below you'll find our recommendations for the best cameras to buy for most people. This list skews more towards photography, so if you're looking for a camera to shoot videos with, you can try our recommendations for the best filmmaking cameras or the best vlogging cameras. If you want more affordable entry-level options, you can also check out our picks for the best beginner cameras.
Most modern mirrorless cameras can do almost anything you need them to, especially once you get into high-end, full-frame options. That said, there are still some standouts among enthusiast cameras, and chief among those is the Canon EOS R6. You can expect top-notch build quality, weather-sealing, and dual memory card slots at this price range. The R6 has all of the above, plus in-body image stabilization (IBIS) and burst shooting up to 12 fps (or 20 fps when using the electronic shutter), making it an excellent choice for sports and wildlife photography.
That said, if you'd prefer a camera with more native lens options, the Sony α7 IV is right up there as one of the best full-frame cameras you can buy. In some ways, it's even better than the Canon, particularly if you're interested in videography since it offers unlimited recording times and has better heat management. But ultimately, it's a toss-up.
While the Sony has more native and third-party lens options, the Canon can take adapted DSLR lenses, plenty of which exist. The Sony has no recording time limit, but the Canon can shoot 4k / 60 fps with a smaller crop. The Sony has a higher-resolution sensor, but the Canon has better noise handling and a faster burst rate. The Sony is slightly more portable, but the Canon has better ergonomics. Both cameras have super-fast accurate autofocus systems and can capture stunning, high-quality images. You can't go wrong with either camera, so it comes down to personal preference and needs.
If a full-frame option is out of your price range, consider a crop sensor camera like the Fujifilm X-T4, one of the best APS-C cameras we've tested. It's the perfect camera for enthusiasts who don't want to spend more than $2000 on a camera body. Its dedicated exposure dials will feel familiar to film shooters and, once you get the hang of using them, make it easy to adjust settings on the fly. All in all, it's an excellent hybrid camera with retro flair, a sturdy weather-sealed body, a fully-articulated screen, and excellent internal recording specs for video work.
The other benefit of a crop sensor camera is portability. The X-T4 is notably smaller than the Canon EOS R6 or the Sony α7 IV, making it easier to carry around for day-to-day shooting. Of course, there's a trade-off in image quality and low-light capability, but for most people, an APS-C sensor will be fine and can still take pleasing high-quality photos. Plus, the X-T4 has an excellent IBIS system and blazing fast burst rate, on top of 10-bit 4k video capability, making this an incredibly well-rounded camera for the price.
If you can't afford the Fujifilm X-T4, a mid-range model like the Nikon Z 50 is a great choice. It's a good mix of basic features and simple controls that are fairly accessible to newcomers, plus a sturdy weather-sealed build that gives it a more premium feel than even cheaper budget cameras. Nikon's menu is intuitive and easy to navigate, and the camera feels super comfortable in the hand. And it uses the same lens mount as higher-end, full-frame Nikon cameras, so you can easily pair it with more advanced lenses as your skills improve.
It doesn't have the most reliable autofocus system, but it's solid enough for most uses, and the camera has an excellent sensor that punches above its weight when it comes to noise and low-light shooting. If you prioritize autofocus for sports photography or faster subjects, the Sony α6400 is another excellent mid-range option with Sony's reliably accurate AF system. Just know that the ergonomics and user interface on the Sony leave much to be desired.
If you're on a tighter budget, the Canon EOS M50 Mark II is one of the most popular and affordable entry-level cameras on the market. It doesn't feel as premium as a pricier model like the Nikon Z 50, but it's super small and lightweight, and its simple control layout is perfect for those just starting. It comes with a fully articulated screen to help with selfies and vlogs and feels pretty comfortable to shoot with, despite its small size.
Inside is a solid, high-resolution sensor that can capture great photos. The camera also has a very good autofocus system to ensure your subject stays in focus. If you're interested in vlogging or videos, the camera can record in 4k, but it's much better suited to 1080p recording since it only shoots heavily cropped 4k. If you're after a more well-rounded video camera, the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV is a bit more expensive but includes IBIS and more frame rate options. It just doesn't have as effective an autofocus system as the Canon.
While interchangeable-lens cameras are the most versatile, opting for a more compact point-and-shoot with a fixed lens doesn't necessarily mean sacrificing quality, thanks to cameras like the Fujifilm X100V. This camera checks almost every box for a premium point-and-shoot camera—and has the price tag to match. It's fairly portable and uses the same APS-C sensor found in the Fujifilm X-T4 mentioned above, resulting in above-average image quality for a compact camera. It also has a fantastic hybrid viewfinder that can toggle between a rangefinder-style optical viewfinder and an electronic viewfinder to get a better view of your subject's surroundings or preview exposure settings at a glance.
The camera is fitted with a 35mm full-frame-equivalent lens, which is versatile enough to capture busier wider shots or more isolated subjects. It's one of the most stylish cameras out there, taking inspiration from rangefinder SLRs of the past. To that end, the dedicated exposure dials make it easy to adjust settings on the go. Add all that up, and you've got a compact fixed-lens camera made by and for the enthusiast photographer.
Sep 26, 2022: Restructured article for clarity and to better align with user needs.
Feb 15, 2022: Reviewed picks for accuracy and availability; no change to recommendations.
Jan 12, 2022: Renamed the Fujifilm X-T4 the 'Best Crop Sensor Mirrorless Camera' and renamed the Canon EOS 90D the 'Best Crop Sensor DSLR Camera'. Added the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III to Notable Mentions.
Dec 15, 2021: Reviewed picks for accuracy; no change to recommendations.
Nov 19, 2021: Replaced the GoPro HERO9 Black with the GoPro HERO10 Black as 'Best Action Camera'.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best cameras for most people to buy, according to their needs. We factor in the price, feedback from our visitors, and availability (no cameras that are difficult to find or almost out of stock in the U.S.).
If you would like to choose for yourself, here's the list of all our camera reviews. Be careful not to get caught up in the details. There is no single perfect camera. Personal taste, preference, and shooting habits will matter more in your selection.