Professional Camera To Buy
The main thing to look at when buying a digital camera is sensor size. Larger isn't always better, but it is a good guide to what kind of camera it is, how expensive the lenses will be, and who it's aimed at. In general, Micro Four Thirds and APS-C cameras are for both hobbyists and pros, while full-frame models tend to be strictly for advanced photographers with bigger budgets. Compact cameras with 1-inch sensors are for travel zooms and everyday photography.
professional camera to buy
DSLRs have long been a byword for 'serious' photography, but they're no longer at the top the camera tech tree. Mirrorless cameras, which replace the DSLR's optical viewfinder with a wholly electronic EVF, are now the beneficiaries of the camera giants' latest lenses and autofocus systems. Neither Canon nor Nikon has released a new DSLR in years. That's why our list above is dominated by mirrorless cameras, rather than DSLRs.
We've seen some impressive new high-end cameras like the Sony A7R V arrive recently, but it's also a great time of year to shop for more affordable photography companions. To help you create your plan and pick the right camera to buy (or look for deals on), we've gathered all of the best choices we've tested in the guide below, which is split into sections according to your level of experience. Happy camera shopping!
The best cameras for photography haven't forgotten their photography roots. Although cameras these days may be increasingly focusing on video, there are some seriously impressive new contenders with much improved autofocusing and burst shooting skills. So, if you're looking for a solid stills camera, you have plenty of excellent options.
Every camera for photography is a compromise in some way, so it's important to have a clear picture of what you're looking for. Is it a versatile camera for everyday shooting that you need? Or are you looking to specialize in a particular sub-genre? Is it speed, size, or style that's more important to you? Will you be needing something with interchangeable lenses or is a fixed lens better suited for you?
We've tested most releases out in the field, spending countless hours with all of the latest digital cameras from the biggest names in photography, including Canon, Sony, Nikon, Fujifilm, Panasonic, Leica and more. And, we gathered the best of them here, splitting this guide into three skill levels: enthusiasts, novices, and advanced. Each one contains our pick of the best cameras, and systems, for those experience levels and budgets. Use the quick links on the left to jump to the right section, and start your search from there.
Our overall pick for the title of the best camera for photography is the Sony A7 IV. It's a powerful all-rounder that's at home shooting pretty many any type of photography, from portraits to wildlife and weddings.
The Fujifilm X-T4, on the other hand, remains a strong alternative for the budget-conscious. Though rumors of an X-T5 are growing, it remains to be one of the best cheap cameras on the market. Hobbyist and street shooters should also definitely check out the Canon EOS R10 (our top pick for beginners), Nikon Zfc and Fujifilm X-S10.
Which camera is best for you? That ultimately depends on your needs, budget, and preferences. Luckily, our in-depth guide below narrows down your options, making it easier for you to decide. It'll even help you the right deal on the best camera for you.
No hybrid camera comes without compromise: there is a heavy crop on 4K footage and it isn't the simplest camera for beginners to use. The Canon EOS R6 also offers faster burst speeds for a similar price. But considering its powerful versatility and higher resolution, the Sony A7 IV deservedly takes our number one spot.
It isn't a full-frame camera, but the Fujifilm X-H2 takes APS-C ones to new heights. It combines an excellent new 40MP sensor with the handling of the X-H2S (its stacked sensor sibling) to create a brilliant all-round package for most kinds of photography, from landscapes to wedding snaps. Despite that resolution, the X-H2 offers 15fps burst shooting with its mechanical shutter, with an impressively deep buffer if you use CFexpress cards. This makes it impressively versatile and more than good enough for capturing action, if not quite as rapid as the X-H2S.
We reckon the X-H2's 40MP APS-C sensor is now class-leading for stills photography. In our tests it managed to offer that boosted resolution without incurring much of a downside in terms of dynamic range or noise. We also found the X-H2's autofocus to be much-improved from previous Fujifilm cameras like the X-T4, with its subject-tracking being a real boon in certain scenarios. Throw in IBIS and a deep grip that feels comfortable in the hand no matter which X-series lens you pair it with, and you have a recipe for a really enjoyable snapping companion.
While the Canon EOS R5 is overkill for most people, the EOS R6 is a more affordable full-frame alternative that is simply one of the best cameras for photography around. If you already own one of Canon's early mirrorless full-framers like the EOS R, or any of its DSLRs, this is a more than worthy upgrade. Based on our review, the EOS R6 brings best-in-class autofocus, a superb in-body image stabilization system, and burst shooting powers that mark it out as a very fine camera for wildlife or sports photography.
Despite its ability to shoot 4K/60p video, the EOS R6 lacks options like the ability to DCI 4K and we found it to have overheating limitations compared to video-focused rivals like the Sony A7S III, making it better suited to stills photographers. But for photography, it's an excellent (if pricey) option that delivers hugely impressive autofocus, handling and features that make it one of the best options around for anyone who needs a full-frame camera.
We found that the OM-1 performed well up to ISO 1600 and had slightly less aggressive noise reduction than its Olympus-made predecessors. Its computational modes are also the best you'll find outside a smartphone, with the likes of HIgh Res Shot, Live ND and in-camera Focus Stacking going some way to compensating for its smaller sensor. On the downside, its autofocus tracking isn't quite up to the level of Canon or Sony, and the controls can be a little fiddly. That 20MP resolution also isn't huge for a camera of this price. But if you can overlook those drawbacks, then the OM-1 (and its huge range of Micro Four Thirds lenses) will make a fine companion.
If you like shooting fast-moving subjects like wildlife and can't quite stretch to a full-frame Canon camera like the EOS R6, then the EOS R7 is great choice. It has a smaller APS-C sensor, so its high ISO performance isn't as strong as its full-frame siblings, but the benefit is that you can get longer reach from smaller lenses. The EOS R7 also packs in fast burst speeds, with our tests backing up its claims of 15fps continuous shooting (with the mechanical shutter) or 30fps if you switch to the electronic shutter. You can't sustain those speeds for quite as long as a camera like the EOS R6, but a few seconds is enough to capture most wildlife subjects.
Other big bonus of Canon's EOS R system are its subject-tracking autofocus skills and the EOS R7 inherits these, too. Our tests found this to be a dream for wildlife, action and sports subjects. We were also fans of its chunky grip, which makes it comfortable to hold with long lenses, and the inclusion of dual UHS-II card slots, which means it's a camera that could also tempt pros looking for a second body. The only downside right now is the lack of native lenses for the EOS R7's APS-C sensor, with only two available at the time of writing. Still, you can always mount today's full-frame RF lenses or adapt older EF lenses while you wait for Canon to make more.
It's hard to think of another camera that offers the same blend of size, performance, affordability and charm as the Fujifilm X-S10. For both hobbyists and pros looking for a small mirrorless camera, it's an excellent choice that covers all the bases for both stills and video. As our review discovered, you get a tried-and-tested 26.1MP APS-C sensor (the same as the one in the Fujifilm X-T4, see above) and, impressively for a camera this small, in-body image stabilization (IBIS).
It isn't the cheapest camera for beginners, but we think the Canon EOS R10 is the now best one for those starting their photographic journey. The spiritual successor to Canon's popular mid-range DSLRs, the EOS R10 has two standout skills: impressive, subject-tracking autofocus and speedy 15fps burst shooting, which was previously unheard of at this price.
Both of those combine nicely to make the EOS R10 a versatile little camera for shooting all kinds of subjects, from portraits to speeding pets and kids. During our autofocus testing, which we conducted on cats, deer and a speedy cockapoodle, the R10's found and tracked the subject's eyes very well, with the 15fps burst speeds producing a decent hit rate.
While it isn't a compact camera, the EOS R10 is very lightweight at 429g and has a deep grip that makes it feel well-balanced in the hand with all kinds of lenses. Unfortunately, the EOS R10 doesn't yet have many native lenses (just two at the time of writing) and lacks in-body image stabilization. But if you're happy to buy some of the many full-frame RF lenses that work well with the camera, or adapt old ones using an EF-EOS R adapter, then it's a versatile little sidekick that's ideal for fledgling snappers.
Looking for compact mirrorless camera to help develop your photographic skills? The OM-D E-M10 Mark IV is one of the best options around and offers great value considering its feature set. A useful flip-down touchscreen and good ergonomics make it a fine option for beginners who are moving up from a smartphone or compact camera. And because the E-M10 Mark IV is a Micro Four Thirds camera, it has one of the biggest selections of lenses around, which means it's a model that can really grow with you. 041b061a72