Best Sony Digital Cameras iMore 2020
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for more than a decade, deep-diving into the mirrorless world when other manufacturers stuck to antiquated DSLRs with outdated specs.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: Sony A7 III
- Best value: Sony DSCW800/B
- Best vlogging camera: Sony ZV-1
- Best IBIS crop sensor: Sony a6600
- Best point and shoot: Sony DSCHX80/B
- Best for pros: Sony A7R IV
- Best action camera: Sony A9 II
- Best zoom: Sony DSCH300/B
- Best all-arounder: Sony a6400
- Beginner ICL camera: Sony a6100
- Best premium compact: Sony RX100 VII
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 bokeh out of 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.
If you want a basic point-and-shoot camera that you can tuck in your front pocket and take on a hike or on vacation, the Sony DSCW800/B is for you. There's no eyepiece on this model, but there is a large LCD on the back for framing images and scrolling through pics. This model has a 5x optical zoom, a 20.1MP sensor, and does 720p HD movies. This is a fun little camera that's perfect for beginners or to use on vacation.
The 20.1MP Sony ZV-1 is hot off the press and built for content creators. Autofocus is fast and accurate, honing in the eyes, so it's ideal for vloggers. 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.
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.
Experts and beginners will both feel at home using the Sony DSCHX80/B. There are fully automatic shooting modes for beginners and hobbyists, and longtime shooters can switch over into manual mode. There's a 30x optical zoom and a 60x digital zoom, so you can get close-ups of birds far away or take photos of the action on a football field. This is a top of the line point and shoot that caters to all skill levels.
The Sony A7R IV is a pro-grade, full-frame camera with specs that best all 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.
If you shoot sports or wildlife, there is no better camera today than the Sony A9 II. 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 was the popular Sony a6000 line that introduced the world to what mirrorless could do. The newly released Sony a6400 is a compact APS-C interchangeable lens camera with a few new tricks up its sleeve. The screen flips up, so you can see yourself as you film or take selfies, and the 425 AF points help you track objects and people easily. It also does 4K. For vacations, hiking, walks around the neighborhood, or shots of the family. The a6400 is a clear winner.
Similar in features to the a6400, the Sony a6100 is the priced-right camera of the year in the interchangeable lens department. It has 24MP, a 3-inch tilting screen, shoots 4K, and comes with built-in Wi-Fi for easy file transfers. The biggest differences between models is the price tag and the weight. The a6100 weighs in a bit lighter than its big brother because it has a plastic body, and won't cost you as much at the register.
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
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.
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 camera, and image quality is on a whole different level.
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