Digital cameras come in all shapes and sizes, with models designed to cater to a range of budgets and experience levels. These include conventional DSLR cameras with comfortable ergonomics and large lens ecosystems, mirrorless models with cutting-edge autofocus systems and video features, and travel-friendly point-and-shoots, not to mention more niche models like retro-chic rangefinder-style cameras and bridge cameras with built-in superzoom lenses. With such a wide range of cameras, it can be hard to narrow down your options.
Thankfully, we've done some of that work for you. We've bought and tested over 90 cameras in our lab, and below, you'll find our recommendations for the best all-around digital cameras to buy. In this article, we focus primarily on interchangeable-lens cameras, but if you're looking for a compact fixed-lens camera, you can check out our picks for the best compact cameras. And if you're just getting started with photography, you might be better served by our best cameras for beginners. Finally, if you're looking for a camera for video work, check out the best 4k video cameras or the best vlogging cameras we've tested.
If you're looking for an all-arounder that can handle the full gamut of photography styles and video work, the Sony α7 IV has you covered. It's one of the best digital cameras we've tested. With a 33 MP full-frame sensor, you have plenty of leeway to crop and edit your photos, and image quality is generally fantastic. Plus, the camera has in-body image stabilization (IBIS), a sturdy weather-sealed body, and advanced video features like internal 10-bit recording.
With one of the most sophisticated autofocus systems around, it's also a great choice for faster subjects. That said, it doesn't have the fastest burst rate. If you need very quick burst shooting, the Canon EOS R6 Mark II can shoot notably quicker and has an excellent AF system and high-end video features. Still, the Sony camera takes the cake because of its wide selection of lenses, including third-party options—an area in which Canon's RF mount is sorely lacking.
The Fujifilm X-H2S is a great choice for advanced video work. With a stacked 26 MP sensor that keeps rolling shutter distortion to a minimum and video recording at up to 6.2k, this is a powerhouse video camera for the price. It comes with a slew of video formats and codecs, including internal ProRes formats for less compressed video. With internal 10-bit and the new F-Log 2 profile, you'll also get plenty of dynamic range and more leeway to color-grade.
Aside from its excellent sensor and internal recording capability, the camera also includes a great in-body image stabilization system to help reduce camera shake when shooting handheld, plus Fujifilm's most advanced autofocus system yet. All that and more in a sturdy, weather-sealed body make this a fantastic choice for high-quality video work.
If cameras like the Sony α7 IV or the Canon EOS R6 Mark II are out of your price range, the Nikon Z 6II is a fantastic upper mid-range choice. Its video specs aren't as impressive as the cameras above since it's limited to 8-bit internal recording, which doesn't give you as much leeway when color-grading and processing your footage. However, it's right up there for photography, with a fantastic full-frame sensor that delivers beautiful colors straight out of the camera. It's also well-built, with a weather-sealed body to give you peace of mind when shooting in adverse weather conditions.
While the Z 6II is versatile enough for all kinds of photography, it's especially well-suited to capture sports and wildlife, thanks to a quick 14 fps burst rate and an excellent autofocus system. It isn't as seamless and reliable as the AF on the Sony above, but it's more than capable of getting the job done. That said, lens options are still limited for the Z-mount, but if you're looking for a well-rounded full-frame camera in this price range, you won't be disappointed with the Z 6II.
While higher-end full-frame cameras like those mentioned above will get you the best image quality, APS-C options are more portable and will save you a bit of money. The Fujifilm X-S20 is one of the best crop-sensor cameras in this price range. It uses a high-resolution APS-C sensor, which means a slight trade-off in low-light capability and dynamic range, but it's more portable and still has plenty to offer for both photographers and video shooters, from 4k / 60 fps recording to in-body image stabilization.
If you shoot a lot of fast subjects, the pricier Canon EOS R7 has a more reliable autofocus system and quicker max burst rate. But the lens selection is much wider for the X-S20, and though it lacks premium touches like weather sealing, it's an amazing camera for its price. The Fujifilm X-S10 also offers incredible value now that it's been replaced. It's an especially good choice if you don't need some of the X-S20's more advanced video features, like internal 10-bit recording.
If the Canon EOS R7's price is still too steep, the Nikon Z 50 is a great entry-level option, especially if you can live without features like IBIS and internal 10-bit video recording. Like the Nikon Z 6II, it has amazing ergonomics, a generous handgrip, a large viewfinder, and well-placed controls. It's also relatively portable but not so small as to feel uncomfortable in the hand. You can fit it with any of Nikon's Z-series lenses, including higher-end full-frame options, so it's a solid camera to grow with if you're just starting photography.
If you want more lens options, the Sony α6400 is also a great mid-range option with an even better autofocus system. However, the α6400's ergonomics and more complicated user interface make it less accessible to beginners. As far as mid-range options go, you can't go wrong with either, especially if you're starting in photography, but the better handling and color science on the Nikon make it our preferred option at this price point.
Those on a tighter budget can consider the Canon EOS R50, one of the best-value mirrorless cameras you can get if you want to buy something new. It shares much in common with the Canon EOS M50 Mark II, from a portable design that makes it easy to take on the go with simple controls and an accessible user interface ideal for beginners. On top of that, it has a highly effective autofocus system and good video features for the price.
Unlike the M50, the R50 is part of Canon's RF-mount system, making it compatible with both APS-C lenses and larger full-frame lenses that you might see on the Canon EOS R6 Mark II. That makes it a great choice if you see yourself upgrading to a full-frame body down the line. Otherwise, the M50 II is still a great deal. The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV is another good alternative if you want something even more compact. It's part of the Micro Four Thirds system, so it makes for a more portable overall kit and even includes IBIS, but its autofocus isn't nearly as reliable for fast-moving subjects.
You could argue that truly "cheap" interchangeable-lens cameras have been replaced by smartphones, but the Canon EOS R100 is one of the few new mirrorless cameras that's available for under $500. At that price point, you aren't going to get top-notch build quality or any extra features—in fact, the camera doesn't even have a touchscreen. But if you want to get a feel for photography that goes beyond pointing your phone and tapping the screen, the R100 will get you there without spending a fortune.
It's built around the same APS-C sensor found in the Canon EOS Rebel SL3, and it's a great sensor for its class, capturing high-quality photos with plenty of detail. Like the Canon EOS R50 above, it's part of the RF-mount system, so there's an upgrade path if you outgrow the body and want something more advanced. If you can stretch your budget a little, we recommend getting the R50 for its articulated touchscreen, improved autofocus system, and more robust video features. However, if the R100 is all your budget allows, it's a good starter camera.
Sep 21, 2023: Replaced the Canon EOS R7 with the Fujifilm X-S20 as the 'Best Mid-Range Digital Camera' and replaced the Canon EOS Rebel T7 / EOS 2000D with the Canon EOS R100 as the 'Best Cheap Digital Camera'.
Aug 24, 2023: Replaced the Canon EOS R6 Mark II with the Sony a7 IV as the 'Best Digital Camera', added mention of the Fujifilm X-S20 as an alternative to the Canon EOS R7, and replaced the Fujifilm X-T4 with the Fujifilm X-T5 in Notable Mentions.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best digital 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.