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The 6 Best Sony Cameras of 2024 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 world's largest and most popular camera manufacturers. Whether improving on sensor and autofocus technology or making one of the most compact full-frame cameras on the market, Sony remains an innovative brand that's done a lot to drive the mirrorless market forward.

We've bought and tested over 100 cameras, and below, you'll find our rundown of the best cameras Sony has to offer, out of those we've tested. Thankfully, Sony offers many options to suit different budgets and experience levels, so you're sure to find something to fit your needs.

Updates

Best Sony Cameras


  1. Best Sony Camera

    The Sony α7 IV is the best Sony Alpha camera we've tested. This hybrid model is aimed at enthusiasts and sports a 33-megapixel sensor with plenty of dynamic range. It has one of the best autofocus systems of its class, making it a great fit for faster subjects, with respectably quick burst shooting, although it slows down when shooting uncompressed RAW files. That aside, the α7 IV is also a video powerhouse, with high bit rates for better-quality video, no recording time limit, and plenty of frame rate options to capture everything from cinematic footage to slow-motion, including 4k at 60 fps, albeit with an APS-C crop.

    Aside from being well-suited to a wide range of photo and video styles, the camera is also built to last, with a sturdy weather-sealed body, a vari-angle touchscreen, and a high-resolution electronic viewfinder that gives you a crisp view of your subject—not to mention dual memory card slots for extra storage and all the ports you need for video peripherals. All that hardware and processing power comes at the expense of portability, but if you're looking for a fantastic all-arounder, this is the Sony camera to get.

    See our review

  2. Best Upper Mid-Range Sony Camera

    If the Sony α7 IV is out of your price range, stepping down to the Sony α6700 is a great way to save money. This APS-C hybrid camera is one of the most capable mid-range models on the market, offering a more portable body than the high-end α7 IV above. It significantly improves upon the older Alpha 6X00 series models (more on those below), with a new, higher-resolution sensor, more processing power, and impressive video features, like 4k video at up to 120 fps and internal 10-bit Log recording.

    On top of that, the camera features an effective IBIS system and Sony's most sophisticated autofocus yet, with AI-driven subject detection and tracking. If you want a similarly compact body but prefer a full-frame sensor, look at the Sony α7C II. It features the same sensor as the α7 IV above, along with the new AI processor found in the α6700, in an impressively compact full-frame body, making it one of the best Sony cameras for photography if you need something portable. That said, it'll cost you more than the α6700.

    See our review

  3. Best Mid-Range Sony Camera

    If you want to save even more money, the older APS-C Alpha lineup is a great middle-ground option for those who don't want to spend a fortune but still want a versatile camera. 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.

    These cameras have begun to show their age, with much more limited video features than the Sony α6700 above. However, you can still get amazing photos out of them, especially when paired with high-quality lenses. They're also still perfectly suitable for more casual video work and vlogging, on top of being quite portable. So, despite an outdated menu system and lacking ergonomics, the α6400 still holds its own in an evolving camera market.

    See our review

  4. Best Budget Sony Camera

    The Sony ZV-E10 is the best budget model in Sony's camera lineup. While it's designed with vloggers in mind, it's an excellent-value camera that works well for photography, too, as long as you don't mind giving up a viewfinder. It uses a similar sensor to the Sony α6400 above and adds a fully articulated screen that makes it easy to monitor yourself while recording or taking selfies. Other additions include a better internal microphone and a headphone jack.

    While it's geared toward video, it's just as capable in the photo department as its Alpha siblings, with great overall image quality and quick burst shooting. Battery life is also excellent. Its autofocus is less reliable than higher-end Sony cameras, but it's still very effective overall. Ultimately, if you can live without a viewfinder, this is a great budget option for beginners and vloggers.

    See our review

  5. Best Sony Camera For Content Creators

    The Sony ZV-E1 is basically a one-stop shop for vloggers and content creators. While other brands have started to branch out into producing vlog-centric cameras, Sony is the first to release a dedicated vlogging camera with a full-frame sensor. Although it comes with a price tag match, this camera is made to appeal to the lone wolf YouTuber, with useful AI-enabled framing and autofocus assistance features that are great for single-camera operators.

    Beyond that, it borrows its sensor from the high-end Sony α7S III and performs incredibly well in low light. This is a compact video powerhouse with in-body image stabilization, a solid internal directional mic, internal 10-bit 4:2:2 recording, and a wealth of picture profiles and codecs. If you aren't looking to make it on YouTube as a career, the more affordable Sony ZV-E10 mentioned above might be all you need.

    See our review

  6. Best Sony Point-And-Shoot Camera

    Though smartphones have become the ultimate pocket cameras, there's something special about high-quality point-and-shoots, which aren't dead yet, in part thanks to the Sony RX100 series. The latest model, the Sony RX100 VII, is a highly portable camera with a built-in zoom lens, making it an ideal travel camera. Its 24-200mm full-frame equivalent focal length range is versatile for everything from wide-angle shots to close-ups of far-away subjects. Extra features like a pop-up viewfinder and flash are also nice additions.

    While image quality doesn't compare with larger-sensor cameras, it uses a 1-inch stacked sensor that's larger than most compact cameras, resulting in great image quality for its class. Its autofocus system is also very effective, so you don't have to worry about missing focus with faster subjects. If you don't mind losing out on the viewfinder and some zoom range, the vlogging-oriented Sony ZV-1 is a cheaper alternative with a similar 1-inch sensor and the same AF system. Both cameras struggle with battery performance, but point-and-shoots like these are excellent options if you need something pocketable.

    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, especially its APS-C lineup, are generally a little more compact than alternatives from other brands.
  • Excellent image quality.
    Sony cameras generally take sharp images, have a wide dynamic range, and perform well in low light.
  • Lens availability.
    Sony is one of the only major brands to release the specs and license for its proprietary E-mount without royalties. As a result, there's a very wide selection of lenses, both native and third-party, available for its mirrorless lineup.
  • Unintuitive menu systems.
    Sony isn't exactly known for user-friendliness, as the menu systems on older models tend to be somewhat difficult to navigate, with many features buried within disorganized sub-menus.
  • Limited touch screen functionality.
    While Sony has course-corrected with newer models, older Sony cameras' touchscreen functionality is usually limited to adjusting focus points or setting timers, and you can't use them to navigate the menu.
  • Long buffer empty time.
    Most Sony cameras take a long time to empty their photo buffer, which can be inconvenient when firing off several long bursts.

Sony vs Canon

Canon and Sony lead the global camera market, offering plenty of excellent cameras at various prices. While Canon cameras tend to have better ergonomics, Sony had a head-start developing mirrorless cameras. Its E-mount offers a wider selection of native and third-party lenses than Canon's mirrorless lineup.

Sony vs Fujifilm

Unlike Sony, Fujifilm doesn't produce any full-frame cameras. However, its dedication to old-school design choices, like dedicated exposure dials and JPEG color profiles that simulate the look of vintage film stocks, is a fun counterpoint to Sony's often clinically designed but technically proficient cameras. Sony is where you go for the latest and greatest camera tech, while Fuji is where you go for old-school reverence for the art of photography.

Sony has been in the mirrorless camera game for longer than most manufacturers. The company has continued to push the boundaries of autofocus and sensor technology, with plenty of incredibly capable cameras on the market. It's also one of the only manufacturers to release the full specifications for its proprietary E-mount lens system, resulting in 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. Feb 02, 2024: Checked that the article is still relevant and up to date.

  2. Dec 07, 2023: Replaced the Sony α7 III with the Sony α6700 as the upper mid-range pick.

  3. Oct 12, 2023: Reviewed article for accuracy and clarity, with no change to recommendations.

  4. Aug 16, 2023: Added the Sony ZV-E1 as the 'Best Sony Camera For Content Creators'.

  5. Jun 19, 2023: Checked that article is still relevant and accurate.

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, you can't deny Sony's impact on today's camera market.

Test Results