PHOTOGRAPHY GEAR GUIDE: CAMERAS
UPDATED: October 2, 2020 / ORIGINAL: June 6, 2012
Sony E-Mount Mirrorless Cameras
Best for Sports & Wildlife
Sony a9 II
Sony flagship sports camera offers best AF on the planet accurately updating AF SIXTY times a second for dead-on focus tracking at 20 FPS with 693-point phase-detection autofocus system for intelligent subject tracking and Real-time Eye AF to ensure critical focus on moving subjects. In addition to 20 fps silent electronic shutter, a9 II features an updated 10 fps mechanical shutter.
If you’re looking for a slightly cheaper option that a9 II, the original Sony a9 offers 20 FPS performance that runs circles around pro-model DSLRs.
Offering the same 24.2MP full-frame Exmor RS stacked CMOS sensor, BIONZ X image processor, UHD 4K video internal recording, and 5-Axis Image Stabilization.
Best for Portraits, Landsape & Architecture
Sony a7R IV
The a7 series flagship high-resolution fullframe mirrorless camera offers 61mp resolution, 5-Axis Image Stabilization, internal 4K recording and excellent AF making it the ideal camera for portraits, landscapes and architecture. It’s like a medium format camera in the palm of your hand – only better.
Sony a7R III
If you’re looking for high resolution – but a7R IV is out of your price range, Sony a7R III offers 42.4mp resolution, 5-Axis Image Stabilization, internal 4K recording and extended shooting life from FZ100 batteries at a friendly price.
Best for Video & Low-light
Sony a7S III
Latest update of Sony’s low-light monster features a revised 12.1MP Exmor R BSI CMOS sensor and updated BIONZ XR image processor offering faster performance, improved noise reduction, and wider dynamic range, along with UHD 4K 120p video recording and internal 10-bit 4:2:2 sampling. Sony a7S III does away with recording time limits and incorporates HLG for direct HDR production as well as S-Log2/S-Log3 gamma profiles.
Best All-Around Value
Sony a7 III
The biggest bargain of the a7 line-up, Sony a7 III features 5-Axis Sensor Shift Stabilization, fast Phase-detection AF, and extended shooting life from FZ100 batteries at a very friendly price. Sony a7 III offers great all-around value for enthusiasts and pros alike.
Sony a7 II
Sony a7 II features 5-Axis Sensor Shift Stabilization, 40% faster Phase-detection AF, an all metal body and lens mount, a beefier grip and feel and the same 24.3mp you know and love from A7. Though it lacks the most-advanced features and resolution of the a7RII, it’s the biggest bargain of the a7 line-up.
Best Compact Fullframe
For those looking for the smallest image-stabilized fullframe camera, Sony a7C offers features of a7 III in the smaller form factor of a6000 Series cameras. Its 360 degree tilt LCD make it ideal for vlogging and remote camera applications and its small size makes it ideal for street and travel photography.
Sony’s Top-of-the-line APS-C mirrorless camera includes 5-Axis Image Stabilization found on a6500 plus updates including 180 degree tilt LCD, Silent Shooting, Real Time Tracking for stills & video, and Real Time Eye AF for stills & movies. Its 24.3mp CMOS sensor and BIONZ X image processor produces high-resolution still images and 4K30 HDR internal recording, HLG & S-LOG picture profiles, low-light sensitivity to ISO 102,400. It offers interval shooting for time-lapse, 2,339k OLED EVF, headphone jack and extended shooting life from NP-FZ100 batteries.
This 2nd generation mid-range APS-C mirrorless camera is packed with updates to the first generation a6300 including 180 degree tilt LCD, Silent Shooting, Real Time Tracking for stills & video, and Real Time Eye AF for humans & animals. Its 24.3mp CMOS sensor and BIONZ X image processor produces high-resolution still images and 4K30 HDR internal recording, HLG & S-LOG picture profiles, low-light sensitivity to ISO 102,400. It offers interval shooting for time-lapse, 2,339k OLED EVF and uses the original Sony NP-FW50 batteries.
Entry level 2nd generation a6000-Series APS-C mirrorless camera is packed with updates to the first generation a6000 including 180 degree tilt LCD, Silent Shooting, Real Time Tracking for stills & video, and Real Time Eye AF for humans & animals. Its 24.3mp CMOS sensor and BIONZ X image processor produces high-resolution still images and 4K30 movies, low-light sensitivity to ISO 51,200. It offers interval shooting for time-lapse, 1,440k OLED EVF and uses the original Sony NP-FW50 batteries.
Sony’s smallest E-mount cameras is an update of the NEX-5N I used when I appeared on The X-Factor. APS-C 24.3 mp CMOS sensor and BIONZ X image processor to produce high-resolution still images and full HD movies with marked low-light quality and sensitivity to ISO 25,600
Sony A-Mount Cameras
Sony a99 II
Sony’s newest flagship fullframe A-mount camera share the 42.4MP back-illuminated AF sensor and 5-Axis Image Stabilzation system found in a7RII. It’s Sony’s best DSLR-style camera ever made with the fastest AF in its class!
Fixed Lens Cameras
Sony RX1R II
Fullframe mirrorless compact body with a fixed Zeiss 35mm/F2 leaf-shutter lens offers high flash sync speed using the same 42MP sensor with 399 point Phase-Detection AF from in a7RII. RX1R II adds a pop-up EVF and the world’s only variable optical low-pass filter along with low-pass bracketing mode.
Sony RX10 IV
The compact RX10 IV is ideal for action & wildlife thanks to its impressive 24-600mm equivalent focal length Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* zoom lens, 24 fps shooting and 315-point focal plane phase-detection autofocus system for focus speeds as fast as 0.03 seconds. Its F2.4-4 maximum aperture is ideal for working in low-light conditions and Optical SteadyShot image stabilization to minimize the effects of camera shake by up to 4.5 stops. Lens design incorporates eight extra-low dispersion elements and six aspherical elements to control a variety of aberrations throughout the zoom range.
Sony RX100 VII
Featuring a 24-200mm-equivalent ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T* lens for extended focal range and a redesigned 20.1MP 1″ Exmor RS CMOS sensor, along with an improved BIONZ X image processor, for fast shooting performance, high sensitivity to ISO 12800, and UHD 4K video recording. The updated sensor design is all about speed and enables blackout-free continuous shooting up to 20 fps for easier subject tracking.
Sony RX100 VA
The latest generation of the best compact camera ever gets updated for performance with a new LSI processor and large buffer that allows 24 FPS, and double length HFR clips to all the good stuff included in previous versions. It offers the World’s fastest1 (0.05 sec.) hybrid AF system with 315 Phase Detection AF points and pop-up EVF.
Sony RX100 IV
The 4th generation of the best compact camera adds 4K internal recording, slow motion at 960 fps, 480 fps, or 240 fps – and even better pop-up EVF with the same fast Zeiss Lens and Large 1″ Sensor and the ability to Shoot RAW. I’m a big believer in always keeping a camera with me, so I often slip a compact camera in my pocket for those times I don’t take a larger camera.
Sony RX100 III
The first RX100 Camera to add 180 degree tilt screen that’s perfect for Vloggers. If you don’t need 4K or the high frames rates of RX100 V or RX100 IV, save a few bucks and still get the same fast Zeiss Lens, Large 1″ Sensor and the ability to Shoot RAW.
Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-TX30
The perfect inexpensive slip-in-your-pocket-cam. Sure I know you got you iPhone for that, but this 18.2MP camera with 5x optical zoom lens is waterproof to 33′ (10 m), shock-proof to a drop of 5′ (1.5 m), freeze-proof to 14ºF (-10ºC) and dust-proof for worry free shots at the beach.
Lomography Diana F+ Medium Format Camera
I used to scour the flea markets for vintage with Diana cameras because I love their simplicity and the look you can get with them. Thanks to Lomography for bringing them back. They’re a great way to remind yourself that photography is about “seeing.”