Year after year, Sony puts out the best digital camera. They've been ahead of the pack for more than a decade, deep-diving into the mirrorless world when other manufacturers stuck to antiquated DSLRs with outdated specs. What's the best Sony digital camera? That depends on what you shoot. Today, we're taking a fresh look at the best Sony has to offer photographers.
Most affordable full-frame
When you're ready to make the jump to full-frame, Sony's A7 III is one of the best Sony digital cameras around. This small interchangeable lens model made our best mirrorless cameras list this year, and with good reason. You'll get beautiful color from the 24MP sensor and capture every second of the action with the 693-point autofocus system. Still shots are cleaner than ever, too, thanks to 5-axis in-body stabilization. There's a mature lens collection for the Sony A7 III, and it's priced just right for hobbyists who are ready to upgrade.
Everyone will feel at home using the Sony DSCW830. This tiny point-and-shoot has an 8x optical zoom, shoots 720p, and has 20.1 MPs. Optical Steady Shot stabilizations your video and photos, and you can do 360-degree panoramas thanks to the internal software. There's no eyepiece in this model, but the back panel offers a generous display, and the price is unbeatable.
Best vlogging camera
The 20.1MP Sony ZV-1 is built for content creators. Autofocus is fast and accurate, honing in the eyes in a split second. And built-in image stabilization also makes this tiny camera a good fit for action photographers. This kit includes a rechargeable battery, micro USB, neck strap, and a windscreen for the microphone. The flip-out LCD on this unit adjusts for selfies or portrait shooting, and the whole setup is compact enough to tuck in your pocket and go.
Best IBIS crop sensor
The Sony a6600 is a miniaturized interchangeable lens camera. It comes with a 24.2 APS-C sensor, 425-phase, and contrast-detection AF points and has real-time eye AF tracking. Combine all that with 5-axis in-body stabilization, and you get a compact camera that wows. You can shoot up to 11fps with the a6600, making it a good fit for action and wildlife photographers and those who take portrait or vacation shots.
Best for high resolution monster
The Sony A7R IV is a pro-grade, full-frame camera with specs that best most DSLRs and mirrorless cameras on the market. With 61MPs, the Sony A7R IV takes big, detailed images that can be cropped down small without losing anything. This model also has 567 phase-detection AF points and 425 contrast AF points, so it covers a lot of ground. Color reproduction is accurate, and with 15 stops of dynamic range, this is a dream camera for landscape photographers.
Best action camera
If you shoot sports or wildlife, the Sony A9 II is the camera you want. The sensor is 24.2MP, and the autofocus is blazing fast, able to capture 20fps at full resolution with 60AF tracking calculations per second. Real-time tracking and eye AF pinpoint human and animal movements, always keeping your subject in focus. This model has built-in 2.4 or 5 GHz Wi-Fi for speedy file transfers.
If you don't fancy changing lenses but still want a powerful zoom, go with the Sony DSCH300/B. This is an all-in-one camera that features a long-reaching 35x optical zoom. Built-in SteadyShot provides image stabilization to keep shots tack-sharp near and far. The inexpensive Sony DSCH300/B is a good pick for birders, hobbyists, and young photographers who are just learning the ropes.
It's not the newest camera in Sony's arsenal, but it's still one of their best. The rightly popular Sony Alpha a6000 is a 24.3MP workhorse. The a6000 has a 24.3MP sensor, 3-inch LCD on the back, and 179 focus points. The battery lasts up to 360 shots, and it takes any lens in Sony's extensive collection. If you're looking for your first interchangeable mirrorless camera, this is the one to get.
Sony's A7C is the freshest release in their full-frame catalog. It's a small camera, mirroring the size and shape of the 6000 line while still giving you a bigger sensor. The 7C has a 24.2MP BSI sensor, does 4K, and has 693 focus points. Perfect for vacationers or those who prefer a light kit, this impressive camera won't weigh you down.
If you like the feel of a full-size camera and its big grip, you're going to love the all-in-one Sony Cyber-Shot RX10 IV. It feels good in the hand and pushes out amazing images. With a fast .03-second AF and 25X optical zoom, this 20.1MP shooter is ideal for events, vacations, landscape and action photography, and more.
Best premium compact
The Sony RX100 VII is a miniaturized point-and-shoot with a big learning curve. It may look and feel small, but this Sony is big on features. It has a 20.1 stacked CMOS sensor, Zeiss Vaio Sonnar zoom lens with variable aperture, 20fps blackout-free shooting, IBIS, and 4K with real-time tracking. This is a capable camera for beginners who want to learn about photography and experts who need a pocketable powerhouse.
The best of the best Sony digital cameras
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And there you have it, our picks of the litter for the best Sony digital cameras this year. Sony has a mature line of cameras, lots of available accessories, and a lens collection that impresses. Our top pick is the Sony A7 III. It's a small interchangeable lens camera with a full-frame sensor and IBIS. And unlike other full-frame models, Sony's files are easy to work with in Photoshop.
If you're a vlogger, set your sights on the Sony ZV-1. It has a flip screen for perfect framing of selfies and videos and comes with a windscreen and fast hybrid AF.
Professionals with big dreams and big budgets will love the Sony A7R IV. It's the world's first 61MP full-frame mirrorless camera, and image quality is on a whole different level.
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Jodi Owan works behind a keyboard and a camera. She's a freelance writer for iMore, Android Central, and Windows Central.