Narrowing down the best cameras in the world is no easy task when there are so many different options 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 rugged 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.
Thankfully, we've done some of the work of narrowing those options down for you. We've bought and tested over 80 cameras in our lab, and below, you'll find our top camera recommendations for people of different experience levels and budgets. 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 filmmaking cameras. If you want more affordable entry-level options, check out our picks for the best beginner cameras instead. If, on the other hand, you're looking specifically for a full-frame model, try our list of the best full-frame mirrorless cameras.
Unless you start dipping into pro territory, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better hybrid camera than the Canon EOS R6 Mark II, which is one of the best enthusiast cameras we've tested. With a new higher-resolution sensor, it offers some improvements over the original Canon EOS R6, including faster electronic burst shooting at up to 40 fps, an updated autofocus system, and no recording time limits in video mode.
If that wasn't enough, you also get premium features like in-body image stabilization (IBIS), 4k video recording up to 60 fps from the full width of the sensor, and a sturdy, weather-sealed body with excellent ergonomics. If you're looking for a camera with better lens support, the Sony α7 IV is a great alternative with a wider selection of native and third-party lenses to choose from and boasts an even higher-resolution sensor.
However, it isn't as well-rounded, with slower burst shooting and cropped 4k 60 fps video. Alternatively, if you want to save on a camera body and put more money towards lenses, the Canon EOS R8 borrows its sensor from the R6 Mark II but comes in a cheaper, smaller body. It doesn't have IBIS, and its battery life isn't great, but you'll get the same fantastic image and video quality at a lower price.
For a while, the Nikon Z 6 was one of the best cameras for the money, and while its lightly-upgraded successor, the Nikon Z 6II, doesn't quite reach the same heights as newer cameras like the Canon EOS R6 Mark II, it's still a fantastic hybrid camera at this price point. Throw in some amazing, albeit expensive, lens options, and this makes for a very attractive mirrorless camera system.
Though ergonomics are subjective, Nikon cameras tend to have good handling and intuitive controls, and the Z 6II is no exception. Weather-sealing and a 14 fps max burst rate also make this a great option for sports or wildlife photography. Its autofocus trails a little behind the AF systems found on the R6 Mark II or the Sony α7 IV, but it's still quite good for most shooting situations. However, you do lose out on 10-bit internal video recording compared to those higher-end cameras. Still, if you're looking for a well-rounded camera for different kinds of photography, this is one of the best options at this price point.
For those who don't want to spend a fortune on a camera, stepping down to a crop-sensor model can be a great way to save some money. As far as APS-C options go, the Canon EOS R7 is one of the best on the market. It's a sports and wildlife powerhouse that's well-rounded enough for all kinds of photo and video work. Its high-resolution crop sensor gives you plenty of leeway to crop your photos and performs admirably in trickier lighting, though naturally, you won't get as much dynamic range and low-light capability as a full-frame model like the Canon EOS R6 Mark II.
That aside, it's well-built and easy to use, with an intuitive user interface and a weather-sealed body. Quick burst shooting and a super reliable autofocus system make it a great fit for faster subjects. It even has IBIS if you need to slow things down or record video handheld. It's got internal 10-bit 4k at up to 60 fps with no recording time limit, putting it right up there with the most capable hybrid cameras.
If the Canon EOS R7 seems overkill, the Nikon Z 50 is an excellent entry-level model. While it doesn't have more advanced features like in-body image stabilization or 10-bit video recording, it still has plenty to offer for beginners and intermediate shooters. There's a good mix of basic features and simple controls that are fairly accessible to newcomers, along with a sturdy, weather-sealed build that gives it a more premium feel than cheaper budget models.
Like its higher-end sibling above, the Z 50 has great ergonomics and an intuitive menu. It also uses the same lens mount, so you can easily pair it with more advanced lenses or upgrade to a full-frame Nikon body as your skills improve. Inside is an excellent sensor that performs well in low light, and it has a solid enough autofocus system for most uses, though it isn't as reliable as the similarly-priced Sony α6400. The Sony is a great alternative if you need a good autofocus system for sports photography or faster subjects—just know that the ergonomics and user interface leave much to be desired compared to the Nikon.
If you're on a tighter budget, the ultra-portable Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV offers a ton of value for its price. It's a great option for vlogging or travel photography thanks to its small size and well-rounded feature set. Unlike the previous picks, it uses a smaller Micro Four Thirds sensor, which means it's a bit less suited for low-light shooting. However, it's still very capable of capturing high-quality photos, with the added benefit of using generally smaller and cheaper lenses.
It's also one of the few cameras at this price point to offer in-body image stabilization for smoother handheld shooting and video recording. That said, its autofocus performance can be inconsistent, so if that's a priority, the affordable and highly popular Canon EOS M50 Mark II, or its replacement, the Canon EOS R50, might serve you better, although lens options are more limited, and the M50 can only record 4k video with a severe crop.
While interchangeable-lens cameras give you the most versatility, opting for a compact point-and-shoot camera doesn't have to mean sacrificing quality, thanks to cameras like the Fujifilm X100V. While coming at a steep price for a fixed-lens camera, it's a premium option that checks a lot of boxes. It's also one of the most stylish cameras out there, with a vintage rangefinder-style design that takes inspiration from old-school film cameras.
Dedicated exposure dials make it easy to adjust settings on the fly, and the camera's 35mm full-frame-equivalent lens is versatile enough to capture wider shots or more isolated subjects. It's built around an excellent APS-C sensor, so image quality is better than most compact cameras. The standout feature, however, is its unique hybrid viewfinder, which toggles between an optical viewfinder to get a better view of your subject's surroundings and an electronic viewfinder to preview exposure settings at a glance. Add all that up, and you've got an ideal point-and-shoot for enthusiast photographers.
May 11, 2023: Added the Canon EOS R8 as an in-text alternative to the Canon EOS R6 Mark II.
Apr 14, 2023: Added the Canon EOS R7 as the 'Best Mid-Range Camera' and renamed the Nikon Z 50 to 'Best Lower Mid-Range Camera'.
Mar 09, 2023: Replaced the Sony α7 IV with the Canon EOS R6 Mark II as the 'Best Camera'.
Jan 20, 2023: Moved the Fujifilm X-T4 to Notable Mentions and replaced it with the Nikon Z 6II as the 'Best Upper Mid-Range Camera'. Also replaced the Canon EOS M50 Mark II with the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV as the 'Best Budget Camera' and added the Sony RX100 VII to Notable Mentions.
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. 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.