There's no shortage of variety in digital cameras nowadays, with models designed to cater to a wide range of budgets and experience levels. These include conventional DSLR cameras with familiar ergonomics and large lens ecosystems, smaller mirrorless models with cutting-edge autofocus systems, and pocket-friendly point-and-shoots, not to mention more niche models like retro-chic rangefinder-style cameras and bridge cameras with built-in super-zoom 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 75 cameras, and below you'll find our recommendations for the best digital cameras to buy. In this article, we focus primarily on interchangeable-lens cameras, but if you're looking for a fixed-lens camera, you can check out our picks for the best point-and-shoot cameras or the best bridge cameras. And if you're just starting photography, you might be better served by our best cameras for beginners. Finally, if you're looking for a camera specifically for video work, you can also check out the best 4k video cameras we've tested.
The Sony α7 IV is one of the best enthusiast cameras you can get. It's a fantastic option for hybrid shooters who want a camera that can do it all, from portraits and landscapes to high-quality video work. The camera itself is super well-built, with a weather-sealed body, a fully articulated touchscreen, and a high-res electronic viewfinder. Inside is a 33-megapixel full-frame sensor that gives you plenty of leeway to crop and edit. Add in built-in sensor stabilization, internal 10-bit 4k 60 fps recording, no recording time limits, and a battery life that outlasts most of the competition, and this is one of the most versatile cameras in its price range for video work as well as photos.
While Sony has knocked it out of the park with this camera in almost every way, one area it's still a bit lacking is ergonomics. If the handling and feel of a camera are important to you, you can also take a look at the Canon EOS R6. Despite its lower-resolution sensor, it's very evenly matched with the Sony for photography, with even faster RAW burst shooting. Still, the Sony has a slight edge for hybrid or video shooters thanks to its better battery performance and heat management.
If full-frame options like the Sony α7 IV or the Canon EOS R6 are out of your price range, the Nikon Z 6II is a fantastic upper mid-range choice. Its video specs aren't quite as impressive as those heavy hitters, as it's limited to 8-bit internal recording. However, it's right up there for photography, with some of the best ergonomics around. It's a very well-built camera with a weather-sealed body, as well as a top display to check your settings at a glance and plenty of customization options.
It's versatile enough for a range of different types of photography, but it's especially well-suited to sports and wildlife, with a very quick 14 fps burst rate and an excellent autofocus system. It's not as seamless and reliable as the AF on the Sony, but it's more than capable of getting the job done. Lens options are also a bit more limited, 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 a higher-end full-frame camera like the ones mentioned above will get you the best image quality, APS-C options are a great way for novice and intermediate users to save a bit of money. As far as mid-range options go, you can't go wrong with the Nikon Z 50. Like the Nikon Z 6II, it has amazing ergonomics, with a generous handgrip, a nice viewfinder, and well-placed controls. It's also relatively portable but not so small as to feel uncomfortable in the hand, and 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.
If you want more lens options, the Sony α6400 is also a great mid-range option with an even better autofocus system, although the Sony ergonomics and difficult-to-navigate user interface make it less intuitive to use. As far as mid-range options go, you can't go wrong with either, especially if you're just getting started with photography, but the better handling and color science on the Nikon make it our preferred mid-range option.
If the Nikon Z 50 is out of your price range, the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV is one of the best budget cameras you can get. With a Micro Four Thirds sensor that makes it highly portable, this is a great little camera with a lot to offer, especially for beginners. It's one of the few cameras at this price point to offer five-axis in-body image stabilization, which is great for stabilizing vlogs or shooting at slower shutter speeds handheld.
On top of that, you get simple, easy-to-use controls, solid image quality, and plenty of lens options. Those lenses will also be a lot smaller than larger-sensor cameras, making this an awesome choice for travelers and adventurers who want to capture fleeting moments on the go. If low-light performance is a priority, the Canon EOS M50 Mark II is even cheaper and has a bigger APS-C sensor, but lens options are limited, and it doesn't offer IBIS.
Cheap interchangeable-lens cameras are hard to come by when you're buying new, but the simple Canon EOS Rebel T7 / EOS 2000D is a solid DSLR that won't break the bank. It doesn't have as many bells and whistles as the cameras mentioned above—things like 4k video capability or even a tilting screen—but it's even cheaper than the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV, and it's still a modern digital camera with a high-res sensor that can take great photos.
DSLRs also have a big advantage in battery life, as well as plenty of affordable lens options, making it easy to upgrade as your skills grow. Its simple control layout and user interface also make it very accessible to newcomers, though it has a more rudimentary autofocus system than any of the mirrorless options above. Still, if you're looking for a new interchangeable-lens digital camera for cheap, this is a great option.
Feb 01, 2023: Moved the Fujifilm X-T4 to Notable Mentions and replaced it with the Nikon Z 6II as the 'Best Upper Mid-Range Digital Camera'. Also replaced the Canon EOS M50 Mark II with the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV as the 'Best Budget Digital Camera'.
Jan 06, 2023: Removed the Panasonic LUMIX FZ80 and added a link to 'Best Bridge Cameras' in the article's intro.
Dec 07, 2022: Renamed the Panasonic LUMIX FZ80 to 'Best Digital Bridge Camera' and added the Canon EOS Rebel T7 / EOS 2000D as the 'Best Cheap Digital Camera'.
Nov 11, 2022: Replaced the Canon EOS R6 with the Sony α7 IV as the 'Best Digital Camera' because of its slightly more well-rounded feature set.
Sep 23, 2022: Overhauled structure and picks for clarity and to better reflect current market conditions.
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.