Narrowing down the best cameras in the world is no easy task when there are so many different models to choose from. There are interchangeable-lens mirrorless cameras and DSLRs used by pros and hobbyists alike. You've also got your fixed-lens compacts and superzoom bridge cameras, not to mention rugged action cams to capture high-octane action 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.
Thankfully, we've done some of the work of narrowing those options down for you. We've bought and tested over 95 cameras in our lab, and below, you'll find the best cameras that we've tested for people of different budgets and experience levels. If you're looking for a camera to shoot videos with, you can also try our recommendations for the best vlogging cameras or the best 4k cameras. If you want more affordable entry-level options, check out our picks for the best beginner cameras instead.
The Sony α7 IV is one of the best cameras we've tested for enthusiasts. Improving over the highly popular and best-selling Sony α7 III, the α7 IV includes a new higher-resolution 33 MP sensor that captures photos with plenty of detail, clarity, and dynamic range. Beyond that, it has in-body image stabilization (IBIS), a fantastic autofocus system, dual memory card slots with the option to shoot with a CFexpress card, and enhanced video capabilities, making this a very well-rounded camera.
That said, it isn't perfect. Though it can shoot at a respectable 10 fps burst rate, that drops down to 6 fps when shooting uncompressed RAW files. If you need quicker burst shooting, the Canon EOS R6 Mark II is notably faster and can even shoot at up to 40 fps in its e-shutter mode. Still, Canon's RF lens options are much more limited than Sony's, tipping the scales in the α7 IV's favor.
If you'd like a more capable camera for videography and filmmaking, don't overlook the Fujifilm X-H2S. With a wealth of recording formats, video codecs, and a stacked sensor that reduces rolling shutter effect, this is a great choice for advanced video work and action photography. Though it's steep in price for an APS-C camera, it gives full-frame options a run for their money.
Aside from its sensor, the camera also features an excellent in-body image stabilization system, which comes in clutch for handheld video shoots and photos taken at slower shutter speeds. Internal 10-bit 4:2:2 recording in F-Log 2 gives you plenty of dynamic range to work with and more flexibility in post, and the camera even supports Apple ProRes codecs internally for higher-quality video files. It's also one of the few cameras that can record in 4k at up to 60 fps without a crop. All in all, the X-H2S is one of the best bang-for-your-buck cameras for amateur videographers.
If the above cameras sound like overkill for your needs, but you're still a photography enthusiast, the Fujifilm X-T5 could be the perfect fit. Its dedicated exposure dials evoke the feel and handling of classic SLR cameras and make it easy to adjust settings on the go. It's also weather-sealed, with in-body image stabilization to help you shoot more stable handheld shots at slower shutter speeds and a versatile three-way tilting screen.
But the real selling point of this camera is its 40 MP APS-C sensor, which captures fantastically detailed images with plenty of leeway to crop. Film simulation profiles also make it easy to change up the look of your images in-camera, and the camera boasts some impressive video specs, to boot. All in all, if you're looking for something a bit cheaper and more portable than the Sony α7 IV, this is an excellent choice.
The Sony α6700 is one of the best all-around mid-range cameras. This hybrid model uses the same lens mount as the Sony α7 IV mentioned above, offering a wide range of native and third-party lens options. Its relatively portable body makes it easy to take wherever you go, and its built-in stabilization makes it a good option for video work and handheld shooting. Plus, it has one of the best autofocus systems on the market and is one of the few cameras in its class that can capture 4k video at 120 fps.
The Fujifilm X-S20 is another great option at this price point. It has a few features that the Sony lacks, like 6.2k recording and RAW video output, but its AF system isn't quite as reliable, and 4k recording maxes out at 60 fps. Ergonomically, some people may prefer its centered viewfinder over the offset rangefinder EVF on the α6700, but that comes down to personal preference.
The Fujifilm X-S10 is one of the best-value entry-level cameras, especially now that it's been superseded by the Fujifilm X-S20. If you don't need the more advanced video features offered by that model and cameras like the Sony α6700, this will be a great fit for you. While it can't shoot 10-bit 4:2:2 video internally like the aforementioned cameras, it's still plenty capable for novice content creators. With 4k 30 fps recording and a great APS-C sensor, it can capture excellent-quality images and videos.
It's also one of the few cameras at this price point to offer in-body image stabilization, giving you a bit of added stability for handheld shots and vlogs. If you don't need IBIS and want to save more, the Nikon Z 50 is another good choice. For around the same price as the Fujifilm X-S10 body only, you'll get the Z 50 along with a decent kit lens.
If you're on a tighter budget, the Canon EOS R50 is the best budget mirrorless camera you can buy brand new. Canon's most affordable camera, this small but mighty APS-C option is a great choice for beginners thanks to highly intuitive controls and a comprehensive auto-shooting mode that'll help you get a feel for the basics of photography. And since it's part of the same RF-mount system as high-end full-frame Canons like the Canon EOS R6 Mark II, there's an easy upgrade path if you eventually outgrow it.
That aside, this camera is portable and lightweight, making it good for travel and day-to-day photography. With 4k video recording at up to 30 fps, it's a solid vlogging cam too. If, however, you're looking for an even more compact system with more lens options, the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV is a great alternative and even includes IBIS for steadier handheld shooting. Its autofocus is less reliable than the R50's.
Nov 21, 2023: Replaced the Nikon Z 6II with the Fujifilm X-T5 as the upper mid-range pick and moved the Z 6II to Notable Mentions; replaced the Fujifilm X-S20 with the Sony α6700 as the mid-range pick; replaced the Nikon Z 50 with the Fujifilm X-S10 and renamed it from 'Best Lower Mid-Range Camera' to 'Best Entry-Level Camera'.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best cameras to buy for most people, 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, ordered by price. 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.