Best Camera For Creative Photography

DSLR cameras still exist, but the mirrorless cameras are increasingly emerging. Mirrorless cameras are usually a lot more compact and lighter. Cameras of today are easier to take with you during your walk or photo trip. But which camera should you choose? Canon and Nikon are now also in the line of high-quality system cameras. There are price differences between mirrorless system cameras. It depends on your purpose of use, user-level, and budget. We have made a top of the system cameras in 2020. This is a list of the best cameras for capturing your art photo series or your documentary storytelling, Best system cameras 2020.

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Best Camera For Creative Photography

The 10 best system cameras for creative photographers in 2020

cameras for capturing your art photo series or your documentary storytelling.

Artdoc

1. Sony Alpha 7R αIV Full-frame Mirrorless Interchangeable-Lens Camera

Beyond Detail – Resolution and Speed
Thanks to an evolutionary leap in image processing power and efficiency, the Alpha 7R IV combines world’s first1 high-resolution 61MP2 back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS image sensor with impressive shooting speeds at up to 10 fps4 with full AF/AE tracking, as well as beautiful 4K8 HDR video, wide 15-stop3 dynamic range and high sensitivity with area specific noise reduction.

World’s first1 61MP2 pixels full-frame sensor
The Alpha 7R IV features the world’s first1 35mm full-frame back-illuminated CMOS image sensor with 61MP2 effective pixels, delivering depth and dimension that was once only available in medium-format cameras. The back-illuminated structure and effective area specific noise reduction techniques combine to deliver an extraordinary blend of low noise and high sensitivity for enormous imaging potential. As of July 2019, based on Sony survey of digital cameras with a full-frame image sensor.

  • Stunning resolution: world’s first 61MP full frame 35 millimeter back illuminated Exmor R CMOS Image Sensor
  • High speed: up to 10Fps continuous shooting at 61MP with AE/AF tracking; 26.2MP in APS C crop mode
  • Fast Hybrid Autofocus: 567 Phase detection AF points and 425 contrast AF points to cover more area
  • Advanced subject recognition: real time tracking and real time eye AF for humans, animals and movies
  • Accurate color reproduction: 15 stop dynamic Range at low sensitivities for greater Color accuracy
  • Incredible detail: see fine details with area specific noise reduction from Sony BIONZ X processor
  • 4K video: full pixel readout without binning in super 35 millimeter mode; S log and HLG recording features
  • Electronic viewfinder: compact cameras with a high resolution 5. 76 million dot UXGA OLED true finder
  • Specs: 14 bit raw output, ISO 50 102400, wireless PC remote function, max 5GHz Wi Fi, FTP transfer

Sony α7R IV Full-frame Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera (ILCE7RM4/B)$2739.63$3499.99Rated 4.8 out of 5 by 268 reviewers on Amazon.com Buy Now

2. Sony Alpha 9 II Full-frame Mirrorless Interchangeable-Lens Camera

Created specifically to support working professionals in the fields of sports photography and photojournalism, the Alpha 9 II delivers unmatched performance including blackout-free continuous shooting8 at up to 20 frames per second2 with Auto Focus and Auto Exposure tracking at 60 calculations per second3, plus continuous shooting at up to 10 fps with mechanical shutter. Evolved Artificial Intelligence autofocus with Real Time AF tracking6 for accurate image acquisition and built-in connectivity and file delivery for the professional’s workflow with file transfer over SSL or TLS encryption (FTPS) for increased data security (shown here with the SEL2470GM lens, sold separately).
From the world’s largest sensor manufacturer comes the fastest 35mm full-frame 24.2 MP1 stacked Exmor RS CMOS sensor, w/ incredible high-speed performance and outstanding image quality. Separate circuit and pixel layers allow for a significant increase in processing speed for the large volume of data that can also be temporarily stored in internal memory, contributing to a substantial increase in overall pixel readout speed. The combination of this advanced sensor and evolved BIONZ X processing enables blackout-free8 continuous shooting at up to 20 fps2with up to 60 AF/AE tracking calculations per second3, silent vibration-free electronic shutter speeds up to 1/32000 sec, Anti-Distortion Shutter operation14, and other capabilities that add up to unprecedented speed from a full-frame camera without interference from mechanical devices.

  • SONY ALPHA A9 II: Compact professional cameras mastered for sports photography and photojournalism
  • SUPERIOR SPEED: Fastest 35mm full-frame 24. 2MP stacked Exmore RS CMOS sensor with integrated memory
  • FASTER AUTO FOCUS: Up to 20fps at full resolution with 60 AF/AE tracking calculations per second
  • ADVANCED SUBJECT RECOGNITION: Real-time Tracking and Real-Time Eye AF for humans, animals and movies
  • VOICE MEMO FUNCTION: Attach a voice memo (. wav) to photo files or use voice to text for IPTC data
  • HIGH LUMINANCE VIEWFINDER: Continuous view blackout free OLED True-Finder with 100% frame coverage
  • UPGRADED CONNECTIVITY: High speed 2. 4 or 5 GHz Wi-Fi, up to 1 Gbps Ethernet and secure FTP transfer
  • 4K RECORDING: Interval shooting, S&Q Motion, 2. 4x oversampling, full pixel readout without binning
  • MORE FEATURES: Touch screen, Bluetooth, image stabilization, anti flicker, dual UHS-II SD card slots

Sony a9 II Mirrorless Camera: 24.2MP Full Frame Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera with Continuous AF/AE, 4K Video and Built-in Connectivity – Sony Alpha ILCE9M2/B…$4498.00Rated 4.7 out of 5 by 26 reviewers on Amazon.com Buy Now

3. Nikon Z7 FX-Format Mirrorless Camera


Greater performance from the lenses you love.
When used with the optional Mount Adapter FTZ, more than 90 F-Mount Nikkor lenses maintain all of their sharpness, resolving power and functionality and gain the advantages of the Z 7’s in-body VR, silent shooting, PDAF focusing system*, 4K video and more. Approximately 360 F-Mount Nikkor lenses can be used. Compatibility as only Nikon can deliver.

New Z Mount
A breakthrough in optical design. 17% larger internal diameter than Nikon’s acclaimed F-Mount. Wider than any full-frame mount available*. It totally changes what’s possible with lens design. Enhanced low-light performance. Even illumination from corner-to-corner. Maximum apertures as wide as f/0.95. Faster data transfer between camera and lens. This is the ideal balance between mount diameter, large image sensor and flange focal distance. *As of 8/23/18

ISO 64 (Expandable to ISO 32)
Lower sensitivity. Greater sensibility.
Increased light capture means you can shoot at lower sensitivity more often. And the lower the sensitivity, the greater the detail, color range and contrast.

  • New larger Z mount for revolutionary optical performance
  • Nikon-designed 45.7MP backside Illuminated image sensor with no optical low pass filter (OLPF)
  • 493-Point on-sensor phase detect AF system and up to 9 fps; Detection Range: -1 to +19 EV (-4 to +19 EV with low-light AF) Detection range (ISO 100, f/2.0 lens, 20 °C/68 °F)
  • 4K ultra-HD video; 8K time-lapse; 120/1080P slow motion
  • Compatible with new Z nikkor lenses, over 360 F-mount nikkor lenses and a variety of Nikon system Accessories

Nikon Z7 Full-Frame Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera with 45.7MP Resolution, Body, Black, 1591$2496.95Rated 4.6 out of 5 by 123 reviewers on Amazon.com Buy Now

‍4. Panasonic LUMIX S1R Full Frame Mirrorless Camera

Ultimate Resolution and Professional Performance.
With a 47.3MP CMOS sensor for realistic detail, focus and image stabilization systems for incredible clarity and more, this full-frame mirrorless camera transports you to new world of image creation.

47.3MP CMOS Sensor for Expressive Power
With Panasonic’s highest level of resolution,* a 47.3-MP full-frame (36mm x 24mm) CMOS sensor produces finely detailed and stunningly realistic images without any low-pass filter to get in the way.

Built Tough for Rugged Conditions
The durable magnesium alloy die-cast frame is sealed to help protect every seam, dial and button. The camera is dust and splash-resistant* and designed for use in temperatures as low as -10°C.

High Resolution Mode for Ultra-Detailed Imaging
Capture eight consecutive images automatically with Body I.S. (Image Stabilizer) and high-speed processing Venus Engine for 187-megapixel equivalent (16,736 x 11,168-pixel) RAW file.

  • Full frame sensor- 47.3-Megapixel full-frame MOS sensor that provides a wide dynamic Range and excellent performance at high sensitivity (is 25600 Max sensitivity)
  • 4K video – up to 4K 60P/50P recording plus 6K PHOTO functions and HLG photo.
  • 187MP high resolution mode – a sensor shift technology suitable for taking very high-resolution Landscapes and fine art photos via tripod with toggleable motion correction capabilities
  • Monitor and LVF – 3.2″ 2,100k-dot RGBW LCD monitor (3: 2 aspect Ratio) with triaxial tilt moving element, plus large 5, 760k-dot high-resolution OLED eye viewfinder
  • Rugged Mirrorless camera design – dust/splash*/freeze-resistant design withstands heavy field use under harsh conditions for high mobility. Image File Format: JPEG, RAW

Panasonic LUMIX S1R Full Frame Mirrorless Camera with 47.3MP MOS High Resolution Sensor, L-Mount Lens Compatible, 4K HDR Video and 3.2” LCD – DC-S1RBODY$3697.99Rated 4.4 out of 5 by 19 reviewers on Amazon.com Buy Now

5. Sony a7 III Full-Frame Mirrorless Interchangeable-Lens Camera

Gain control of expressive freedom
With outstanding imaging capability and high-speed performance contained in a compact body, the α7 III gives you the power, precision, and flexibility to capture once-in-a-lifetime moments just as you like.

Rendering scenes in realistic detail
A newly developed back-illuminated image sensor and evolved image processing system fulfill various shooting needs with high-quality imaging capabilities that you would expect only of a full-frame camera.

Reducing noise in high-resolution images
Up to 1.5-stop improvement in image quality. Standard ISO range is extended to ISO 100-51200 (expandable to ISO 50-204800 for stills), while Detail Reproduction and Area-specific Noise Reduction technologies maintain image details and cut noise. With highly effective performance in mid-to-high sensitivity ranges, you can shoot at high ISO with no concerns about noise or image deterioration.

  • Advanced 24.2MP BSI Full frame Image Sensor w/ 1.8X readout speed Advanced 24.2MP Back Illuminated 35 millimeter Full frame Image Sensor Sony test conditions. Compare to the 7 II
  • 15 stop dynamic range, 14 bit uncompressed RAW, ISO 50 to 204,800. Compatible with Sony E mount lenses. Can be connected via Bluetooth with smartphones featuring (as of the date of release)- Android (Android 5.0 or later, Bluetooth 4.0 or later), iOS (Bluetooth 4.0 or later)
  • Up to 10fps Silent or Mechanical Shutter with AE/AF tracking. Battery Life (Still Images): Approx. 610 shots (Viewfinder) / approx. 710 shots (LCD monitor), Battery Life (Movie, continuous recording): Approx. 200 min (Viewfinder) / Approx. 210 min (LCD monitor)
  • 693 phase detection / 425 contrast AF points w/ 93 percent image coverage. Focus Sensor: Exmor R CMOS sensor

Sony a7 III ILCE7M3/B Full-Frame Mirrorless Interchangeable-Lens Camera with 3-Inch LCD, Body Only,Base Configuration,Black$1998.00Rated 4.8 out of 5 by 1707 reviewers on Amazon.com Buy Now

6. Fujifilm X-T3 Mirrorless Digital Camera


The X-T3 is a high performance premium camera that will become an inseparable partner in your artistic journey. Everything about this camera has been designed to completely satisfy your photography and videography needs in a robust magnesium alloy body that is ready for the toughest of conditions.

Film Simulation modes for a variety of color tones and gradations
The FUJIFILM X-T3 offers 16 Film Simulation modes so that you can match your true photographic intention in a similar way to how photographers used to choose purpose-specific photographic films. This unique philosophy reflects Fujifilm’s heritage and color science know-how, nurtured by over 80 years of film manufacturing.

X-Trans CMOS 4: The First X Series model featuring a new back-illuminated sensor
The FUJIFILM X-T3 features a newly-developed back-illuminated ‘X-Trans CMOS 4’ sensor, the fourth generation to feature in the X Series. Boasting a resolution of 26.1MP, the sensor uses a unique color filter array, synonymous to X-Trans CMOS sensors, to control moiré and false color without the use of an optical low-pass filter. Its back-illuminated structure enhances image quality while maintaining a high S/N ratio. Furthermore, ISO160, previously available only as extended ISO, is now part of the normal ISO range, allowing you to achieve incredibly clean, noise free images.

  • New 26.1MP X Trans CMOS 4 sensor with X Processor 4 image processing engine
  • 4K movie recording internal SD card 4K/60P 4: 2: 0 10bit recording and the first Mirrorless digital camera with APS C or larger sensor that is capable of 4K/60P 4: 2: 2 10bit HDMI output
  • 2.16M phase detection pixels across entire frame and Low light phase detection limits has been increased over X T2 by 2 Stops, from 1EV to 3EV
  • 3.69 million dot OLED Color viewfinder with 0.75x magnification and blackout free burst shooting
  • 16 film Simulation modes: including eterna/cinema, B and w adjustment: 9~+9
  • 3 optical Zoom; Weather resistant structure

Fujifilm X-T3 Mirrorless Digital Camera (Body Only) – Silver$1499.99Rated 4.8 out of 5 by 607 reviewers on Amazon.com Buy Now

7. Nikon Z6 Mirrorless Digital Camera with FTZ Mount Adapter Bundle


Nikon has just revolutionized mirrorless cameras. The amazing new Z series is here to usher in the new age of high-performance mirrorless imaging systems. The Nikon Z6 is an all around amazing camera giving you all around amazing performance . Boasting an impressive 24.5MP BSI FX-Format image sensor along with Nikon’s signature EXPEED 6 processor, this mirrorless digital camera is a fantastic leader in modern full-frame imaging. Nikon understands that more light means more detail, which is why they have packed this camera capable of an ISO 100-51200 so that you can bring your vision to life. Ultra HD 4K video recording at 30fps create a portable cinematic powerhouse.

Incredible Imaging
The Nikon Z 6 is one of the most adaptable mirrorless cameras around. The 24.5MP BSI FX-Format illuminated CMOS sensor creates more opportunities for incredible image quality by bringing in more light and capturing more detail. The EXPEED 6 image-processing engine works in perfect partnership with the image sensor to increase sharpness, minimize noise, and help your camera achieve a maximum standard sensitivity of ISO 51,200. Continuous shooting up to 12 fps at full resolution give you the power and speed for any situation. The 55mm full frame mount that is 17% larger than the Nikon F Mount and wider than any other full-frame mount available.

Fantastic Focus
The Nikon Z6 has a 493 on-sensor autofocus system that covers up to 90% of the frame. An intuitive AF algorithm has been optimized for the Z 6’s FX-format sensor so that the camera switches between focal-plane phase-detect AF and contrast-detect AF in order to fine-tune your focus and give you the best image every time.

  • CMOS SENSOR: The 24.5MP BSI FX-Format illuminated CMOS sensor creates more opportunities for incredible image quality by bringing in more light and capturing more detail
  • EXPEED 6 IMAGE PROCESSOR: he EXPEED 6 image-processing engine works in perfect partnership with the image sensor to increase sharpness, minimize noise, and help your camera achieve a maximum standard sensitivity of ISO 51,200
  • IMAGE STABILIZATION:Powerful in-body 5-axis VR image stabilization gives you up to five stops of image stabilization in up to five directions—yaw, pitch, roll, X and Y
  • BUNDLE INCLUDES: Nikon Z6 Mirrorless Digital Camera (Body Only) / Nikon FTZ Mount Adapter
  • NIKON Authorized Dealer – Includes USA Manufacturer’s Warranty

Nikon Z6 Mirrorless Digital Camera with Nikon FTZ Mount Adapter Bundle (2 Items)$1693.90Rated 4.7 out of 5 by 95 reviewers on Amazon.com Buy Now

8. Panasonic LUMIX S1 Full Frame Mirrorless Camera

Hybrid Full-Frame Camera for Stills and Video
Go beyond the boundaries with the LUMIX S1. A full-frame camera with 24.2MP CMOS sensor for incredibly realistic detail. An hour of 4K video recording complements pro-level video performance.

Subtle gradation from shadow to highlight
Dynamic range of up to approx. 5-stop dynamic range at low-sensitivity settings is achieved, thanks to a revamped CMOS sensor and image processor that provide for smooth gradation from shadow to highlight. This gives you greater freedom of creative imaging.

Built Tough for Rugged Conditions

The durable magnesium alloy die-cast frame is sealed to help protect every seam, dial and button. The camera is dust and splash-resistant* and designed for use in temperatures as low as -10°C.

  • Full frame sensor – 24. 2-Megapixel full-frame (35. 6mm x 23. 8mm) MOS sensor that provides a wide dynamic Range and excellent performance at high sensitivity (is 51200 Max sensitivity)
  • Lumix s camera lens – easy-to-use 24-105mm standard focal macro zoom F4 l-mount for Lumix s Series full-frame l-mount digital Mirrorless cameras
  • 4K HDR VIDEO – 4K 60p/50p, 4K 24/30P unlimited recording, 4K60P 29: 59 min limited recording. HDR Mode and Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG). V-Log with Internal 4: 2: 2 10-bit 4k30/24p (4K60p output only) available via optional software upgrade key.
  • 96MP high resolution mode – a sensor shift technology suitable for taking very high-resolution Landscapes and fine art photos via tripod with toggle able motion correction capabilities
  • RUGGED MIRRORLESS CAMERA DESIGN – Dust/splash*/freeze-resistant design withstands heavy field use under harsh conditions for high mobility (*See PDF in & Support)

Panasonic LUMIX S1 Full Frame Mirrorless Camera with 24.2MP MOS High Resolution Sensor, L-Mount Lens Compatible, 4K HDR Video and 3.2” LCD – DC-S1BODY$1695.00$2497.99Rated 4.6 out of 5 by 38 reviewers on Amazon.com Buy Now

9. Fujifilm GFX 50R 51.4MP Mirrorless Medium Format Camera

Featuring a large 51.4MP G Format CMOS image sensor and X-Processor Pro image processing engine, the GFX 50R delivers superior image quality in a compact and lightweight body reminiscent of their renowned medium format film cameras widely used in street and documentary photography. The GFX 50R is equipped with a 0.77×3.69M-dot organic ‘OLED’ electronic viewfinder for accurate focusing and framing images. Weighing approximately 145g less than the GFX 50S, this camera offers intuitive handling in a rugged, weather-sealed body to meet the varying needs of photographers.

  • 51.4MP medium format 43.8 x 32.9mm sensor for superior sharpness and image quality w/ X-Processor Pro Imaging processor
  • Fujifilm g mount with short Flange back distance of just 26.7mm
  • Weather and dust- resistant; operation to as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit \ -10 degrees Celsius; Operating Humidity: 10 – 80% (no condensation)
  • Equipped with Dual memory card Slots – uses SD cards (UHS-ii recommended)
  • Lightweight body weighs approximately 27.3oz./ 775G

Fujifilm GFX 50R 51.4MP Mirrorless Medium Format Camera (Body Only)$2999.00$4499.00Rated 4.2 out of 5 by 35 reviewers on Amazon.com Buy Now

10. Canon EOS R Mirrorless Camera Body

The full-frame mirrorless EOS R camera is the first in Canon’s new EOS R system. With a new mount, a variety of dedicated lenses, full compatibility with EF/EF-S lenses* and significant achievements in handling and performance, the EOS R leads a new chapter in Canon’s legacy of imaging excellence.

Large 54mm Diameter and Short Back Focus Distance
The EOS R system has a large 54mm diameter and decreased distance between the rear lens element and sensor, which enable a compelling combination of image quality, performance and compact lens design.

  • 30. 3 Megapixel Full frame CMOS Sensor and DIGIC 8 Image processor
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF with 5, 655 manually selectable AF points
  • 4K 30P with Canon log and 10 bit 4: 2: 2 HDMI output; Dust and Drip Resistant
  • Built in EVF with 3. 69 million dots, Vary Angle Touchscreen LCD and dot matrix LCD panel
  • Magnification Approx. 0.76 (with 50 millimeter lens at infinity 1 m 1)

Canon EOS R Mirrorless Full Frame Camera – Vlogging Camera 4K, Content Creator Camera, Wi-Fi, 30.3 MP Full-Frame CMOS Sensor, Dual Pixel CMOS AF (Body Only)$1799.00Rated 4.8 out of 5 by 471 reviewers on Amazon.com Buy Now

The Best Camera In 2022

Canon

(Image credit: Virojt Changyencham via Getty)

Whether you’re a beginner or professional, the best camera for your particular needs is the most important investment you can make for your photography. And often upgrading your camera can mark a major step on in developing your own photography or video. Our guide below examines the best cameras for a range of uses – and while smartphone cameras are getting better all the time, all of them offer a significant upgrade in quality and versatility compared to a smartphone.

We’ll start with the best cameras for beginners, which are perfect for getting to grips with how photography works and for honing your skills. If you’ve already been taking photos for some time and you’re looking to upgrade, then you’ll want to take a look at the best cameras in the enthusiast section. And finally, we’ve included a few professional cameras that are some of the best cameras ever made for photography and video alike. 

The best cameras can be expensive, and we’ve factored in price when making our choices, so there are some older options mixed in with newer models since they tend to be still available at a discounted cost. If you’re new to photography and video and need some pointers to get behind the jargon and understand the differences in the various types of camera, skip to the section on what to consider when buying a camera. There, we outline the key factors that differentiate the various types of cameras and make some suggestions for what to look for.

At the end of the day, there is no one “best” camera since every photographer, beginner or expert, has different needs. Professionals will want to choose the best camera for their niche, whether that’s portrait photography, sports photography, landscapes, interiors or anything else, and increasingly video is becoming an important feature, with some of the best cameras for photography also now able to capture stunning 8K footage. 

If you want more choices for those just starting out, see our guide to the best cameras for beginners. We also have a guide to the best point-and-shoot camera if you’d prefer an all-in-one model.

The best cameras available now

FOR BEGINNERS

Just starting out? If you’re new to photography and video, here are the best cameras for learning the basics. We haven’t simply picked bargain-basement cheapo cameras here – rather we’ve gone for cameras that are on the affordable end of the scale, but provide enough image quality and depth of control to be worth the money. 

01. Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV

The best mirrorless camera for beginners

SPECIFICATIONS

Type: Mirrorless Sensor size: Four Thirds Resolution: 20.3MPLens mount: Micro Four Thirds Monitor: 3-inch tilting touchscreen, 1,040,000 dots Viewfinder: EVF, 2,360,000 dots Continuous shooting: 5fpsMovies: 4K UHD at 30pUser level: Beginner TODAY’S BEST DEAL.

REASONS TO BUY

+Gorgeous build and feel+Useful beginner modes…+… with room to grow

REASONS TO AVOID

-Only 5fps burst

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV is, as the name implies, the fourth iteration of Olympus’s series of E-M10 mirrorless cameras, which are the junior, beginner-oriented members of the OM-D family. Over time, this series has only got better and better, and we thoroughly recommend this camera as one of the best models for any starting photographer. 

The E-M10 Mark IV is a Micro Four Thirds camera – this means it has a smaller sensor than many other cameras (though still a larger one than a smartphone), however it has a huge lens selection, with both Olympus and Panasonic lenses available for the mount. This means that once you’ve got a feel for the kind of shooting you want to do, you can craft a lens setup around your preferences. 

The aforementioned sensor is a 20MP Live MOS sensor, and produces fantastic images full of colour and detail. The camera is easy for new users to get to grips with, with, thanks to its well-laid-out controls. Having 5-axis stabilisation on a camera at this price point is also excellent, making it easier to shoot at slow shutter speeds without needing a tripod. Video, too, is top-notch, with 4K UHD available on the camera. 

We love the E-M10 Mark IV, from its high-quality electronic all across its retro-styled body. Fun to use, with lots of room to learn and grow, this is an ideal starting point for pretty much anyone. 

02. Canon EOS Rebel SL3 / EOS 250D

The best entry-level DSLR around gets updated with 4K video

SPECIFICATIONS

Type: DSLR Sensor size: APS-C Resolution: 24.1MPLens mount: Canon EF-S Monitor: 3-inch tilting touchscreen, 1,040,000K dots Viewfinder: Yes, optical Continuous shooting: 5fpsMovies: 4K UHD at 25pUser level: Beginner TODAY’S BEST DEALS VIEW AT AMAZON

REASONS TO BUY

+Great choice for students+Massive lens range+Tiny, light body

REASONS TO AVOID

-Mirrorless rivals offer stronger specsAdvertisement

DSLRs are still some of the best cameras you can buy. While the professional world is slowly but inexorably switching to mirrorless, the good old DSLR is still a terrific choice for a huge plurality of users. Built tough, with chunky hand-grips and satisfying handling, DSLRs also have the advantage of an optical viewfinder, rather than an electronic one. This is still the most immediate way to compose an image, and as far as some shooters are concerned, the only one.

The Canon EOS 250D is an excellent beginner’s DSLR. With guide modes and tutorials to help you understand the basics of exposure, the EOS 250D also gives you the benefit of the huge range of Canon EF-mount lenses, a stable that dates back for decades – and has lots of cheap but good optics to choose from.

The APS-C sensor of the EOS 250D is larger than that of the E-M10 Mark IV, which gives you more dynamic range to play with and makes the camera better in low light.  Being able to burst shoot at 5fps is decent too for a camera at this price, and having Canon’s Dual Pixel Autofocus means you can be confident you’ll nail even fast-moving subjects.

FOR ENTHUSIASTS

For those who are a little more experienced and know their way around a camera, these are the best cameras in the mid-range right now. Offering high-quality images at a reasonable price, these are the ideal points of upgrade for someone who is outgrowing a beginner camera, or who is already a seasoned smartphone shooter and doesn’t need hand-holding through the basics.

03. Fujifilm X-T30

One of the best all-rounder cameras ever made

SPECIFICATIONS

Type: Mirrorless Sensor size: APS-C Resolution: 26.1MPLens mount: Fujifilm X Monitor: 3-inch tilting touchscreen, 1,040,000 dots Viewfinder: EVF, 2,360,000 dots Continuous shooting: 8fps (20fps with electronic shutter)Movies: 4K UHD and DCI at 30pUser level: Beginner to intermediate TODAY’S BEST DEALS

REASONS TO BUY

+Gorgeous JPEGs+Snappy, reliable AF

REASONS TO AVOID

-10-minute limit for 4K-No weather sealingAdvertisement

One of the best mid-range mirrorless cameras around, the Fujifilm X-T30 has actually received a minor update in the form of the X-T30 II. We’re sticking with the original as our recommendation for now, as it’s still widely available at a discounted price, but if you want a newer camera with faster operation and a high-resolution LCD screen, and don’t mind paying a bit more, consider the newer version.

So what makes the X-T30 so good? Well, let’s deal first with that gorgeous retro styling – plenty of manufacturers imitate this, but Fujifilm by far does it best, and its cameras do a tremendous job of looking and feeling like film SLRs of yesteryear while still having all the latest digital conveniences.

Its APS-C sensor is an X-Trans model that produces images of sublime quality, and there are loads of great film simulation modes built in, allowing you to give your images a real retro flavour. With 8fps continuous shooting it can keep up with most subjects, and having access to the Fujifilm X series of lenses is a tremendous boon for any photographer – these super-sharp optics are simply sublime. 

04. Nikon Z fc

Nikon’s new mirrorless on the block is styled with retro cool

SPECIFICATIONS

Type: MirrorlessSensor size: APS-CResolution: 20.9MPLens: Nikon Z Monitor: 3-inch vari-angle touchscreen, 1,040,000otsViewfinder: EVFMax burst speed: 11fpsMovies: 4KUser level: Enthusiast TODAY’S BEST DEALS VIEW AT AMAZON

REASONS TO BUY

+Great handling and looks+Handy vari-angle display

REASONS TO AVOID

-Only takes UHS-I cards-Few DX-format Z lensesAdvertisement

While flagship mirrorless systems tend to steal the headlines as far as professional users are concerned, the manufacturers are also looking to entice a few more casual shooters with more budget-friendly models. Case in point, the Nikon Z mirrorless system and the Nikon Z fc. One of the newer cameras for the range, it’s an APS-C model, very similar to the previous Z50, but with retro styling that gives it points for the cool factor.

With 11fps burst shooting, a 2.36-million-dot electronic viewfinder and the ability to shoot 4K 30p video, this is a camera that’s got it where it counts. The hybrid autofocus system is also a considerable feather in its cap, ensuring you’ll generally have a pretty easy time capturing most subjects. 

It’s missing a few things that the bigger cameras have. We might have liked a weather-sealed body or internal image stabilisation, but these are reasonable enough compromises to keep the camera at a relatively low price. One thing to note though is that the Nikon Z system doesn’t have a huge number of natively DX-format (APS-C) lenses for its Z system. We’d expect this problem to correct itself over time as the system expands, but it’s something to be aware of. You can use FX-format lenses on the Z fc, just be aware that they’ll give you a longer equivalent focal length than is on the box – and will cost a pretty penny. 

05. Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III

One of the best compact cameras for serious enthusiasts

SPECIFICATIONS

Type: Mirrorless Sensor size: APS-C Resolution: 24.2MPLens: 24-72mm equivalent f/2.8-5.6Monitor: 3-inch vari-angle touchscreen, 1,040,000 dots Viewfinder: EVF, 2,360,000 dots Max burst speed: 9fpsMovies: Full HD User level: Enthusiast TODAY’S BEST DEALS.

REASONS TO BUY

+Superb image quality+Small and weather sealed

REASONS TO AVOID

-Limited zoom lens-200-shot battery 

Many serious enthusiast photographer disdain compact cameras owing to the fact that they tend to have smaller sensors. This means less dynamic range, poorer low light performance, and overall worse image quality than most interchangeable-lens cameras. The Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III, however, is a different story. This pocketable shooter packs in an APS-C sensor, the size that’s often found on enthusiast DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. It makes the most of it too, producing beautiful image quality and hugely impressive Full HD video (though no 4K).

The body of the G1 X Mark III may be small, but in an impressive touch, it’s weather sealed, making for a highly capable outdoor camera for shoots that take you into challenging conditions. Having a high-quality electronic viewfinder too is a great touch, and cements the status of the G1 X Mark III as a camera for enthusiasts. 

The one main drawback is that the lens is pretty limiting, with an equivalent focal range of 24-72mm and a maximum aperture range of f/2.8-5.6. Neither of these specs are bad per se, but if you’re aiming to capture distant subjects, shoot in low light, or produce images with a shallow depth of field, you may find yourself struggling. 

06. Nikon D780

A newer DSLR for serious photographers

SPECIFICATIONS

Type: DSLRSensor: Full frameMegapixels: 24.4MPMonitor: 3.2-inch, 2359k-dot tilting touchscreenViewfinder: OpticalMax burst speed: 7fps (viewfinder), 12fps (live view)Movies: 4KUser level: EnthusiastTODAY’S BEST DEALS

REASONS TO BUY

+Excellent 4K video+Dual UHS-II card slots

REASONS TO AVOID

-Relatively expensive (new)-Chunky design

Nikon proved the DSLR was well and truly alive and kicking with its 2020 release, the D780. A mid-range full-frame DSLR, this camera has that rugged, chunky handling that DSLR photographers love, but also packs in loads of great features cribbed from mirrorless cameras, making it a superb combination of the two. And access to the incredible stable of F-mount lenses is the icing on the cake that makes the D780 a truly tempting choice for creatives looking for a camera with real versatility to it.

It’s designed to handle both stills and movies with aplomb, producing uncropped 4K video that’s downsampled from 6K capture. If your work involves video content in any way, this is a superb choice of camera; if it doesn’t, consider the lower-priced Nikon D750 which is a great low-cost full-frame DSLR that is still in production.

The D780 borrows a few top-of-the-line features from its more expensive siblings, including the 180k RGB metering and scene recognition system from the D850 above, so you can be sure you are still getting plenty of bang for your buck. As it’s a DSLR, the body is unavoidably large, so those who want a more portable system will want to consider one of the mirrorless or compact options on our list. 

FOR EXPERTS

Whether you’re shooting photos or video, these are the pro-spec cameras that will deliver the high-quality results you need. For content creators, pro photographers, and serious enthusiasts who are looking for the best, these are the dependable cameras at the upper end of the scale. They come at a high price, but earn every penny. 

07. Panasonic Lumix GH5 II

The best 4K camera for video and filmmaking gets a refresh

SPECIFICATIONS

Type: MirrorlessSensor size: Micro Four ThirdsResolution: 20.3MPLens mount: Micro Four ThirdsViewfinder: EVFMonitor: 3-inch vari-angle display, 1,840,000 dotsMax burst speed: 12fpsMovies: 4KUser: ExpertTODAY’S BEST DEALS

REASONS TO BUY

+Excellent video control+6.5-stop stabilisation+Large stills buffer

REASONS TO AVOID

-Sensor struggles in low light

The original Panasonic Lumix GH5 was one of the most highly regarded consumer video cameras around. Panasonic has given it a quick, light, 2021 refresh in the form of the GH5 II, and while it doesn’t reinvent the wheel, it does make another compelling argument for being one of the best, most cost-effective video cameras you can get right now.

Producing pristine 4K video, the GH5 II offers 60p video capability, the V-Log L profile, VFR (Variable Frame Rates), 10-bit internal recording and more. It’s no slouch with stills either; while 20MP might be a little limiting for some, the GH5 II can shoot at up to 12fps and has a big stills buffer capacity. The headline specs might not be the highest around, but in truth the GH5 II is one of the most capable all-rounders available right now.

The GH5 II uses the Micro Four Thirds sensor and lens mount. This means there are a huge number of lenses to choose from, with the ability to use Olympus lenses as well as Panasonic. The sensor is smaller than full-frame or APS-C, which some will turn up their noses at, but the GH5 II provides many features to compensate, such as 6.5-stop image stabilisation. This is a powerful camera, especially for hybrid photo/video content creators. 

08. Sony Alpha A7 IV

The pro mirrorless camera for all purposes, a near-perfect balancing act

SPECIFICATIONS

Type: MirrorlessSensor: Full-frameMegapixels: 33MPLens mount: Sony E-mountMonitor: 3in fully articulating touchscreen, 1,040k dotsViewfinder: EVF, 2.36m dotsMax burst speed: 10fpsMovies: 4KUser level: Enthusiast/professionalTODAY’S BEST DEALS

REASONS TO BUY

+Amazing burst mode+Class-leading Sony AF

REASONS TO AVOID

-Needs fast (expensive) cards-Prices out casual users

The Sony A7 cameras used to be pitched as relatively entry-level full-frame mirrorless cameras, in contrast to the more specialist A7R and A7S models. With the fourth in the series, that’s no longer really the case. The Sony A7 IV is an absolute beast of a camera, sporting a 33MP sensor and incredible buffer capacity. It can shoot at 10fps and just… keep on doing that, for ages. For 828 consecutive uncompressed RAW + JPEG files, no less. Pair this with Sony’s class-leading autofocus and improvements across the board, and it’s clear that this is a mirrorless camera for a huge range of professional and semi-professional users.

One thing to bear in mind is that shooting all those high-resolution images at fast burst modes will require a memory card that’s capable of keeping up with the high volumes of data involved. You’re probably looking at a CF Express Type A card rather than SD; check out our guide to the best memory cards for cameras if you need to go more in-depth on this. 

You could argue that it’s a shame that casual and amateur users are being somewhat priced out of the A7 line, but the A7 III and even A7 II are still available and are still fantastic cameras in their own right. 

09. Canon EOS R6

The best balance of features and price, the EOS R6 is a near-perfect all-rounder

SPECIFICATIONS

Type: Mirrorless Sensor size: Full frame Resolution: 20.1MPLens: Canon RF Monitor: 3-inch fully articulating touch display, 1,620,000 dots Viewfinder: 0.5-inch OLED EVF, 3,690,000 dots, 100% coverage, 0.76x magnification, 120fps refresh rate Max burst speed: 12fps mechanical shutter, 20fps electronic shutter Movies: 4K UHD User level: Enthusiast/expert TODAY’S BEST DEALS

REASONS TO BUY

+Exceptional autofocus+Does basically everything well

REASONS TO AVOID

-Pretty expensive-Only 20.1MP

Though it isn’t the super-star headline-grabber of the EOS R series (that honour belongs to the EOS R5), we reckon the Canon EOS R6 is the best all-around camera you can buy right now. A superbly speedy machine, it takes full advantage of the sophisticated RF lens mount to deliver lightning-fast autofocus, with exceptional communication between camera and lens. 

With twin card slots and some of the best in-body stabilisation in the business, the Canon EOS R6 ticks pretty much all the boxes for any working professional or enthusiast photographer. It lacks the 8K video and 45MP resolution of the EOS R5, meaning it’s a substantial cost-saving for those who don’t need such things. One could argue that 20.1MP is perhaps a smidge too low, but as long as you aren’t committed to making huge prints of all of your images, this should be more than enough for most purposes. 

Lightweight, snappy and sophisticated, the Canon EOS R6 is on the cutting edge of photo technology. We can’t wait to see what comes next!

10. Nikon Z7 II

The flagship full-frame mirrorless from Nikon, one of the best professional cameras

SPECIFICATIONS

Type: Mirrorless Sensor size: Full frame Resolution: 45.7MPLens mount: Nikon Z View finder: EVF Monitor: 3.2-inch tilting touchscreen, 2,100,000 dots Max burst speed: 10fpsMovies: 4K UHD User: Expert TODAY’S BEST DEALS

REASONS TO BUY

+Superb images+More affordable than rivals

REASONS TO AVOID

-Display not vari-angle-So-so electronic viewfinder

The flagship full-frame mirrorless camera from Nikon, the Z7 II, is designed to woo photographers who might have been swayed by showboaty mirrorless models from Canon and Sony. So it’s got similar specs to the likes of the EOS R5 or A7R IV, with 45MP of resolution, speedy burst shooting and high-quality 4K video. It may not have headline-grabbing specs like 8K video, but it is more affordable than its rivals in the same class.

Overall, the Nikon Z7 II is a very impressive all-around package. It handles like a dream and produces images that look seriously impressive. Any pro or serious enthusiast photographer will find this camera does everything they could need and more, and does so with welcome extras like an upgraded battery that lasts longer compared to the original Z7. Dual card slots too! Very nice.

Any negatives? The monitoring situation is a little disappointing, with an LCD screen that only tilts and isn’t fully articulated, and an EVF that’s lower resolution than some rival cameras. None of this is deal-breaking though, and if you’re looking for a full-frame mirrorless system to jump into, Nikon’s Z series is definitely worth considering.

09. Canon EOS R6

The best balance of features and price, the EOS R6 is a near-perfect all-rounder

SPECIFICATIONS

Type: Mirrorless Sensor size: Full frame Resolution: 20.1MPLens: Canon RF Monitor: 3-inch fully articulating touch display, 1,620,000 dots Viewfinder: 0.5-inch OLED EVF, 3,690,000 dots, 100% coverage, 0.76x magnification, 120fps refresh rate Max burst speed: 12fps mechanical shutter, 20fps electronic shutter Movies: 4K UHD User level: Enthusiast/expert TODAY’S BEST DEALS.

REASONS TO BUY

+Exceptional autofocus+Does basically everything well

REASONS TO AVOID

-Pretty expensive-Only 20.1MP

The best camera: What to consider

When determining which is the right camera for you, one of the first things to suss out is which type you want to use. Consumer cameras can be broadly divided into two categories. There are further sub-categories of course, which we’ll get to, but right off the bat, it’s a good idea to decide whether you want:

compact camera. This term refers to cameras that have a fixed lens on their front, which can’t be changed. The focal length/range and maximum aperture settings that are listed on the box are all you’re getting. While this does restrict versatility, it is simpler and more convenient, and tends to make the camera more affordable. While many compacts are oriented towards beginners, there are plenty of premium compacts for more advanced users. 

An interchangeable-lens camera. These cameras have a lens mount that allows you to swap lenses at will, provided they fit of course. Having to buy lenses as well as a camera body does drive the cost up, but you gain an immense amount of flexibility, and the ability to use lenses with specialist focal lengths (such as super-telephotos or fisheyes) and larger maximum apertures. 

Interchangeable lens cameras comes in two main types, which are as follows:

DSLRs. These are the direct successors of film SLRs, and the acronym stands for digital single-lens reflex camera. They are bulkier and heavier than other types of camera, but also tend to be hardier and more weatherproof. They also contain an internal mirror system that allows for the fielding of an optical viewfinder, meaning you can press your eye to the camera and see exactly what you’re shooting. The main manufacturers of DSLRs are Canon and Nikon.

Mirrorless cameras. As the name implies, these cameras forgo the mirror system of a DSLR. This means no optical viewfinder, but allows the body to be smaller and lighter. Plus, most now field electronic viewfinders that are virtually lag-free. Mirrorless cameras are where the most exciting advancements in camera technology are happening, especially in terms of video. They run the gamut from entry-level to high-end professional. 

When considering which type and model of camera is right for you, it’s worth considering what you want to shoot with it, as this will help you narrow down which specs are important and which are not. Do you need fast burst speeds for capturing fast action? Do you require weather sealing for outdoor shooting? Do you like the sound of a convenient, portable compact, or does the versatility of being able to invest in a lens system sound more like your speed?

In the guide above, we’ve listed all the key specs and main pros and cons of each camera we’ve picked, as well as the price, to help guide you to the right camera for you. 

The best cameras: frequently asked questions

Which camera sensor is best?

Sensor size is an important metric in the world of cameras. Cheap cameras and smartphones will have smaller sensors, while professional cameras will have larger ones. Why does it matter?

It’s not about resolution per se, but rather to do with the size of the pixels on the sensor. A 16-million-pixel sensor that’s a 1/2.3-inch type (commonly found on smartphones) will have smaller, crammed-in pixels, compared to a 16-million-pixel full-frame sensor, which is the type found on professional cameras, and is considerably larger. This means a noisier image, especially in low light.

Smaller sensors also incur what’s called a “crop factor”, meaning they narrow the effective focal length of a lens. For example, APS-C sensors have a 1.5x crop factor compared to full-frame, meaning they increase the focal length of a lens by about 1.5x. A 50mm lens mounted to an APS-C camera will behave like a 75mm lens. This can be quite useful, as it allows you to get closer to a subject without having to shell out for expensive telephoto lenses.

Large-sensor cameras have their advantages, and will produce generally better images and videos, but they are bulkier and more expensive than small-sensor camera. It’s all about weighing up your needs and your budget.

Which camera do YouTubers use?

If you’re looking for a good YouTube camera, then it’s worth taking a careful look at the video specs. You’ll want to think about things you may not consider when looking for a photography camera: does it have an input socket for a mic? Can it live-stream? How is the video autofocus?

One of the most popular cameras among YouTubers is the Canon Power Shot G7 X Mark III, a capable compact that does everything video users need, for a competitive price. Check out our guide to the best cameras for YouTube where we have plenty more choices. 

What camera lens do I need?

If you’ve bought an interchangeable-lens camera like a DSLR or a mirrorless camera, then you’ll be faced with the question of which lenses to buy. As there’s a huge amount of choice here, it’s worth thinking about what you need before you buy.

Wide-angle lenses (8-35mm) are great for landscapes and architecture, as they fit a lot into the frame and exaggerate lines for visually striking effects.

Standard lenses (35-70mm) are good for street and day-to-day shooting, as they provide a naturalistic perspective.

Telephoto lenses (more than 70mm) are good for wildlife and action, and any kind of shooting where you can’t get close to your subject. Short telephotos (around 85mm) are also good for portraiture, as they provide a flattering perspective for your subjects.

There’s also the question of zooms and primes. While zoom lenses provide much greater versatility and allow you to experiment with different perspectives, prime lenses (that is, lenses with a single fixed focal length) offer much greater optical quality, resulting in sharper images. 

Also read:

  • The best cameras for vlogging
  • Best memory cards
  • The best monitors for photo editing

Round up of today’s best deals

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV

US$699VIEWSee all prices

Canon EOS 250D

US$699VIEWSee all prices

Fujifilm X-T30

US$929VIEWSee all prices

Nikon Z fc

US$959.95VIEWSee all prices

Nikon D780

US$2,296.95VIEWSee all prices REDUCED PRICE

Panasonic GH5 Mark II

US$1,699.99US$1,497.99VIEWSee all prices

Sony A7 IV

US$2,498VIEWSee all pricesREDUCED PRICE

Canon EOS R6

US$2,899US$2,799VIEWSee all prices

Nikon Z 7II

US$3,804.95VIEWSee all prices We check over 250 million products every day for the best prices POWERED BY

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