Just like any brand, Sony has a lot to offer to photography individuals who are looking for the best camera units. It offers a wide range of options from mirrorless to compact cameras. And while you can’t rely on it to get the best and latest DSLR, its full-frame mirrorless units are highly capable of providing wondrous stills and videos.
Of course, each model Sony is offering excels in a variety of ways depending on the needs of the users. So, while the Sony A7R Mark IV looks extremely brilliant, its 61 MP can be too much for other users who are just looking for a go-to cam. Sony A7 III, on the other hand, can be a good balance between convenience and great features.
To find the best Sony camera that will benefit you the most, it is important to make a checklist of the important points for you. Besides the basic details such as the resolutions in videos and stills, it is also important to assess your skills. This will determine whether you will need a simple point-and-shoot or a more complex mirrorless. The size, ease of use, price, and other features like a viewfinder and screen size/resolution are also vital.
With this, we took the initiative of ranking the best Sony cameras by highlighting their set of features and capabilities. Touching the full-frame, APS-C, and 1-inch sensor camera types of Sony, we intend to show our readers their options starting from the most powerful cameras to the convenient and beginner-friendly compact ones.
Through the help of our expert in the field of photography, Evangeline Summers, we hope to guide you in your search for the best Sony camera. In order to aid you better, just click the buttons we prepared below and you’ll get the best Amazon deals on these cameras we covered. That said, here are your best options…
1. Sony A7 III Full-Frame Mirrorless
Continuous shooting Speed
The superiority of the camera won’t just be determined by the megapixels and video resolution alone. Sometimes, it’s all about the right mixture of great features, price, and convenience. Sony A7 III proves it.
“We chose Sony A7 III because of has just the right amount of features that will benefit the majority of the users,” started Summers, “It might not be that intimidating when it comes to the features and not that extremely powered, but it has the right amount of features and functions that make it very functional and highly beneficial to photographers of any kind. Imagine this model obtaining most of the prominent details of the best Sony cameras. That’s what you’ll get.”
Sony A7 III features the 24 MP sensor same as its predecessors, the A7 II and the A7. However, Sony has decided to give it a boost by giving it a back-illuminated design to allow a better light-gathering process. It is also supported by a BIONZ X processor and front-end LSI which makes its performance even more powerful than other models like A7 II.
According to Summers, the things mentioned make Sony A7 III an affordable full-frame camera that excels both in stills and videos. It offers great images through the aid of a 5-axis image stabilization system, 696-point AF system, 10 FPS continuous shooting speed, and super-high ISO.
With all of these things said, this is the best jack-of-all-trades perfect for photographers and videographers. Most of all, no one can deny that with Sony A7 III, Sony has created the perfect recipe for the best full-frame mirrorless camera we are all looking for!
2. Sony A7R Mark IV Full-Frame Mirrorless
Full frame CMOS
Continuous shooting Speed
If you’re after the resolution of the camera, Sony A7R Mark IV will impress you with its 61 megapixels that are considered the highest resolution in any Sony camera model. This allows the production of 240 MP stills using the Pixel Shift Multi Shooting mode that merges images.
“Besides the overwhelming resolution of the Sony A7R Mark IV,” said Summers, “it also comes with other great details you can appreciate including the 10 FPS continuous shooting, Real-Time AF tracking in movie mode, 325 contrast AF points, and 567 phase-detection AF points covering more than 70 percent of the image area.”
It also comes with better grip which is usually an issue in the past A7 series models. Also, it comes with improved controls such as a lock-capable EV compensation dial and the bigger On/Off buttons.
Moreover, Sony A7R Mark IV has a great dynamic range and is capable of producing JPEG images with colors that are natural. This makes it a true master if your intention is just to produce great stills with ample details and realistic colors. It is heart-breaking, however, that despite its bragging high-resolution capability, it is still stuck at 4K videos at 30 FPS max. This explains why we decided to place it at this rank but given the beauty it can create in stills, we say that it remains a big competition among other mirrorless cameras on the market.
3. Sony A6000 Mirrorless
Continuous shooting Speed
Many people often believe that newer camera models are easier to use but Sony A6000 proves it wrong. It does it by using a great sensor and an efficient autofocusing system.
“The thing you’ll love about Sony A6000 is that it comes with a 24.3 MP APS-C sensor that can work up to 11 FPS and an AF with 179-points. Mix these things and you’ll get an easier and smoother experience capturing photos with the right crisp and details,” Summers said.
The AF Sony A6000 is using is relatively older since the model itself has been around since April 2014. Its autofocus system is few steps behind the AF of Sony's latest A6000-series. Yet, it still makes the cut and can still perform its job well.
Also, given A6000's compact size, bright viewfinder, 180-degree tilting screen, wide range of interchangeable lenses, AND unbelievably affordable price, this is seriously one awesome unit worthy of your attention.
4. Sony A6400 Mirrorless
Continuous shooting Speed
Sony A6400 is another mirrorless masterpiece with features inspired by the earlier models of the brand such as A7R III, A7 III, and A9. It offers an AF system that is spread across 84 percent of the image area. It also comes with 425 phase-detection and 425 contrast AF points which make its performance top-notch. Moreover, there are more additions and improvements included in the model such as the My Dial and My Menu options.
“It is like a complete package you will appreciate because of the features it comes with such as the Real-Time Eye AF and real-time object tracking,” said Summers. “The autofocus is very smart and adjusts fast. Face and eye detection can even manage to track the faces smoothly.”
According to Summers, the delivery of stills is also one of the greatest strengths of the Sony A6400. It can capture images with less noise and the texture and color come in a very rich and life-like manner. Further, the exposure of the model works incredibly great to different kinds of lighting conditions, making it excel on almost any occasion.
Sony A6400 is also armed with a touchscreen LCD that can flip at full 180-degree motion. With this and the 4K video capability, users can benefit from it if used as a vlogging camera. Together with the eye-detect AF, it is equipped with all the needed elements vloggers need.
5. Sony HX99 Compact Camera
1/2.3 inches type
Continuous shooting Speed
Some of us don’t always need a bulky camera. Sometimes, what we all need is a compact model armed with all the handy features and efficient capabilities that can adapt in the most spontaneous moments. Sony HX99 is one of those cams.
“Sony HX99 is a great compact camera packed with abilities you rarely find in its size,” said Summers. “In this terrific model, you get a tilting 3-inch screen, a pop-up viewfinder, a 5-axis image stabilizer, an astounding 30X zoom range, and a 1/2.3-inch 18.2 MP backside-illuminated CMOS sensor. So, yes, it is really small but very capable of addressing the needs of the users.”
Due to its size, the Sony HX99 is one of the smallest compact and travel cameras that can fit your pouch or wallet without any problems. The design of the viewfinder is also very helpful to make it more storage-friendly while the tilting screen is an asset given the body size of the cam. The side of the camera also comes with an additional rubber-like section that gives your fingers the depth needed for a solid grip. Overall, the camera is lightweight and excellently perfect for urgent photography needs.
Best Sony Cameras - Buyer's Guide
Determine the features and specifications you are looking for in a Sony camera. All of them are great investments but you need to find the one that offers a great package of features. This will help you enjoy the value of the camera. After all, you don’t want to pay for extra features you don’t intend to use. With this, take some time to weigh the specifications and features of the camera and decide whether they equate to your needs or not. If you are into details, we suggest getting the Sony A7R Mark IV that offers a 61 MP resolution. However, while it clearly excels in stills, it is not very impressive when it comes to videos as it only offers 4K at 30 FPS. On the other hand, Sony A7 III offers the right balance between videos and stills that will benefit most users.
The first thing you need to consider before buying a Sony camera is your skills. The same goes for other brands. Find the one that complements your capabilities and knowledge in photography. If you are a pro, you might want to go for more complex models that will allow you to grow further. However, if you are a novice, find the one that is user- or beginner-friendly. Sony a wide range of camera models, so it could mean some work. Make sure to research some beginner-friendly cameras that often come with intuitive functions, buttons, and helpful features.
Bigger Sony cameras often come with a bigger set of features to enjoy. However, if gripping a huge cam can be a concern, opt for smaller units with buttons and functions that are easier to reach. This should allow you to have a lighter camera with a smaller body allowing better hold and control. However, this comes with the possibility of the camera being stripped off of some features. If that doesn’t bother you, it won’t be a problem.
Just like other brands, the price of the Sony cameras differs depending on the model and the type of the camera. One of the most expensive models the brand offers is the Sony A7R Mark IV which comes with a 61 MP resolution. Of course, this might be overkill for those who just need a decent camera. There are, nonetheless, other affordable options available like the Sony A6000 mirrorless camera and most of the brand’s compact models.
Best Sony Cameras - FAQs
Sony A7 III doesn’t have the 61 MP resolution of Sony A7R Mark IV, but it boasts of a great set of features inspired by other excellent camera models of Sony. It includes the 24 MP sensor with a back-illuminated design, BIONZ X processor, front-end LSI, 693 phase-detection AF, 425 contrast-detect AF points, 10 FPS continuous shooting, 4K video, 5-axis image stabilization capability, and more.
Sony offers a wide range of cameras from mirrorless to compact designs. While the cameras don’t have that wide variety of options for lenses and other accessories, the range of camera bodies Sony is offering is getting wider and better. Also, keep in mind that the brand offers good sensors which makes it a worthy option for those looking for reliable cameras.
Sony is now focusing on widening the range of its mirrorless cameras. The last model announced by the brand was the 42-megapixel A99 II which was in 2016. Also, cameras like A68, A99 II, and A77 II have already been removed from the site.
Yes, it does. One of the cheapest full-frame cameras Sony is offering is the original Sony A7. However, looking for one isn’t so easy. With this, you can opt for Sony A7 II which is a better alternative. Besides the price, you also get loads of features.