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The 6 Best Sony Cameras of 2023 Reviews

Updated
Best Sony Cameras

Sony has been a pioneer in the world of mirrorless cameras for more than a decade, and it's still one of the largest and most popular manufacturers of mirrorless cameras in the world. Whether it's pushing the boundaries of autofocus or making one of the most compact full-frame cameras on the market, Sony remains an innovative brand that's done a whole lot to drive the mirrorless market forward.

We've bought and tested several Sony cameras, and below you'll find our recommendations for the best Sony cameras. Thankfully, they offer plenty of options to suit every budget and experience level, so you're sure to find something to suit your needs.

Updates

Best Sony Cameras


  1. Best Sony Camera

    The Sony α7 IV is the best Sony camera we've tested. It's a true hybrid camera that can pretty much do it all. Landscape photography? It's got dynamic range for days, and the 33MP sensor is great for prints. Sports and action photography? You'll be hard-pressed to find a quicker and more accurate autofocus system, not to mention a solid 10 fps burst rate (be aware that if you want to shoot uncompressed RAW photos for the highest quality, the camera maxes out at 6 fps). Video? This camera has you covered with unlimited recording times, high bit rates for better-quality video, and plenty of frame rate options to capture everything from cinematic footage to slow-motion.

    It's also wrapped up in a very well-built package with a sturdy weather-sealed body, a vari-angle touchscreen, and a high-resolution viewfinder, ensuring you get a good view of your subject. Plus, dual SD card slots for extra storage and all the ports you might need for video peripherals. Sony cameras are also among the best mirrorless cameras for battery life. All that hardware and processing power comes at the expense of portability, but if you're looking for the best of the best, short of dipping into pro territory, this is the camera to get.

    See our review

  2. Best Upper Mid-Range Sony Camera

    If the Sony α7 IV is out of your budget, its predecessor, the Sony α7 III, is still a fantastic camera, despite being on the market since 2018. Though it's definitely behind the times when it comes to video features, it's still one of the best Sony cameras for photography. You get incredible image quality from its full-frame sensor, and though it isn't weather-sealed, it still feels well-built, and it's a bit smaller and more lightweight than the α7 IV. You'll be stuck with Sony's old menu system, which is poorly organized, but that's a minor inconvenience considering the value you get with this camera.

    If you'd prefer something more compact, the Sony α7C is essentially an α7 III packed into a smaller body. It's got some light upgrades, including tweaked color science and a newer autofocus system, but you also lose out on some buttons and dials and get a much smaller viewfinder. Depending on how big your lens is, the benefit of the smaller size is arguably marginal. However, it does make for a great high-quality travel camera in this price range, especially when paired with smaller prime lenses.

    See our review

  3. Best Mid-Range Sony Camera

    If you want to save even more money, Sony's APS-C Alpha lineup is a great middle-ground for beginners or those who want a more portable kit. The Sony α6400 is the true mid-range option, sitting between the pricier Sony α6600 and the more beginner-oriented Sony α6100. It doesn't have built-in image stabilization like the α6600, but it has a higher-resolution viewfinder and sturdier body than the α6100, offering a good balance of features and price.

    Naturally, an APS-C sensor won't have quite the same image quality as one of the full-frame options above. However, unless you're a pro or a hobbyist, the difference will be marginal, and you can still get amazing photos out of these cameras. They're also solid for video, especially for light vlogging or home videos. To top it off, they're portable, making it easy to take your camera with you wherever you go.

    See our review

  4. Best Budget Sony Camera

    The Sony α6000 is the best Sony Alpha camera option with a budget price point, short of looking at the used market. First released in 2014, this crop sensor camera was one of the most popular mirrorless models in its heyday and, despite its age, still makes for a good deal in today's market. Though you won't get the most reliable autofocus, and its viewfinder feels very soft and laggy compared to newer cameras, it's built around a high-resolution APS-C sensor that holds up surprisingly well. It doesn't perform as well in low light, and you don't have as much leeway to edit photos, but you'll get some very nice images straight out of the camera.

    Best of all, it uses the same lens mount as all other Alphas, meaning you can pair it with any number of high-quality lenses. It's also super lightweight and portable. Just don't expect to get amazing video out of this camera. It can't record in 4k, and 1080p video quality isn't anything to write home about.

    See our review

  5. Best Sony Vlogging Camera

    The Sony ZV-E10 is Sony's contribution to the influx of dedicated vlogging cameras on the market, and it's an excellent choice that won't break the bank. It takes the best features from Sony's α6x00 lineup and marries them with a body designed specifically for vlogging. It uses the same sensor as the Sony α6400 above but ditches the viewfinder and adds a fully-articulated screen that makes it easy to monitor yourself while recording. Other nice additions that vloggers will appreciate include a large dedicated recording button, a better internal microphone, and a headphone jack.

    If you want a camera that's even more portable, the Sony ZV-1 is a point-and-shoot version of the ZV-E10 with a fixed zoom lens. You don't get as much flexibility since you can't switch out lenses, but it's smaller and simpler, although battery life can be a bit of an issue since it easily overheats with longer recording sessions. You won't have that problem with the ZV-E10, which boasts a great battery life on top of everything else.

    See our review

  6. Best Sony Point-And-Shoot Camera

    While smartphones have become the ultimate pocket cameras, there's still something to be said for a high-quality point-and-shoot. Sony has filled in the premium compact camera niche for seven iterations now with the Sony RX100 VII. It's a highly portable camera with a fixed zoom lens, making it incredibly versatile and great for traveling. It's got a big, tilting screen, and if you need a viewfinder on really sunny days, it also has a little pop-up viewfinder to help you see what you're shooting.

    The image quality can't compare with larger-sensor cameras, but it's very solid for a camera with a one-inch sensor. It also has an excellent autofocus system, so you don't have to worry about missing focus with faster subjects. That said, a smaller body means a smaller battery, meaning it won't last nearly as long as an interchangeable-lens camera. Still, if you're in the market for a compact camera with a built-in lens, the RX100 VII is one of the best you can get.

    See our review

Compared to other brands


  • Highly effective autofocus systems. The best Sony mirrorless cameras have incredibly sophisticated autofocus systems with excellent tracking capabilities.
  • Relatively portable. Sony cameras are generally a little more compact than alternatives from other brands.
  • Excellent image quality. Sony cameras generally take sharp images that are low in noise, even at moderately high ISO levels.
  • Lens availability. Unlike some other manufacturers, Sony has a relatively wide selection of first- and third-party lenses for their mirrorless lineup.
  • Unintuitive menu systems. The menu system in most Sony cameras tends to bury quite a few commonly accessed features within sub-menus.
  • Limited touch screen functionality. While most Sony cameras have touchscreens, their functionality is usually limited to adjusting focus points or setting timers, and you can't use them to navigate their menu systems.
  • Long buffer empty time. Most Sony cameras take a fairly long time to empty their photo buffer, which can be inconvenient when firing off several long bursts.
  • Few models have fully-articulated screens. Most Sony cameras use tilting or flip-out screens, which don't quite offer the same range of flexibility as a fully-articulated screen.

Generally speaking, Sony is ahead of the game with mirrorless cameras. It's continued to push the boundaries of autofocus and sensor technology, with plenty of incredibly capable cameras on the market. It's also the only one of the top manufacturers to release the specifications for its proprietary E-mount lens system, meaning a wider selection of compatible third-party lenses. However, the boxy designs of its cameras aren't the most ergonomic, and Sony's out-of-camera colors tend to feel colder and more clinical next to competitors like Canon or Nikon. Bottom line: Sony cameras are great for gear-enthusiasts seeking the latest and greatest that camera technology has to offer—but if ergonomics are a priority, or you're looking for a camera with more style or soul, you might want to look elsewhere.

Lineup

Sony sells a wide variety of cameras to suit many different consumers.

Mirrorless E-Mount Cameras

  • α1 = Flagship mirrorless camera that can suit the needs of both professional photographers and videographers.
  • α9 Series = Full-frame mirrorless cameras intended for professional and semi-professional sports and action photographers.
  • α7 Series = Enthusiast-oriented full-frame mirrorless models. α7S models are oriented toward low-light and video performance, while α7R models are the flagships of a given product generation.
  • α6(XXXX) Series = Crop sensor mirrorless cameras meant for both enthusiast and novice users. Higher model numbers generally indicate a greater level of overall capability.

DSLR A-Mount Cameras

  • α99 Series = Professional and enthusiast-oriented DSLR camera with a full-frame sensor
  • α77 Series = Similarly designed to the α99 II, but features an APS-C sensor.
  • α68 = Entry-level APS-C DSLR.

Supercompact/Compact/Bridge

  • RX0 Series = Compact action-style camera.
  • RX10 Series = Bridge-style compact camera with a built-in lens.
  • RX100 Series = Compact point-and-shoot cameras.
  • RX1R Series = Full-frame compact camera with a built-in fixed focal length lens.

Recent Updates

  1. Dec 15, 2022: Reviewed article for accuracy and clarity.

  2. Oct 28, 2022: Tweaked the Sony ZV-E10 from 'Best Sony Camera For Vlogging' to 'Best Sony Vlogging Camera' and slightly reordered picks.

  3. Aug 25, 2022: Restructured article to better reflect user needs; updated intro.

  4. May 16, 2022: Replaced the Sony a7 III with the Sony a7 IV as the 'Best Full-Frame Sony Camera'.

  5. Jan 07, 2022: Verified accuracy of picks with no change to recommendations.

Conclusion

Sony specializes in a wide variety of technology, from headphones to TVs. Sony cameras tend to be portable, with quick and reliable autofocus systems and excellent image sensors. While they sometimes feel a bit soulless and functional in their designs, there's no denying the impact Sony has had on today's camera market.

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