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The 7 best Sony cameras of 2024


Finding the best Sony camera can be challenging when you notice how many models the manufacturer offers. Luckily, this insurmountable task becomes quite manageable when you realize that Sony cameras are put into special categories to accommodate specific user needs and priorities.

However, variations between different models across categories mean some cameras are more favorable than others. So, we took it upon ourselves to test numerous Sony cameras in the field to uncover the top options for different photographer needs. Whether your priorities are budget, versatility, or performance, you’ll find the perfect camera choice in the list below.

Best Sony cameras of 2024: at a glance

How to choose the best Sony camera

As you can imagine, no single Sony camera can be considered suitable for every photographer. After all, everyone has different shooting goals, budgets, and preferences. Even your level of expertise is vital when trying to find the right camera. Thus, we compiled a list of things you should consider when choosing a Sony camera. Note that purchasing the Sony cameras mentioned in this list will net us a small affiliate commission.

  • Experience level. First, think about your level of photography knowledge and whether you’ll be able to take full advantage of the numerous features the best cameras include. If not, consider grabbing a Sony camera for beginners.
  • Budget. Cameras come in vastly different price ranges, so it’s best to decide on a rough budget before diving into the sea of options.
  • Goals. You can further narrow down your camera selection by picking a primary use case. Do you need an all-purpose camera or something specializing in photography or video content?
  • Camera type. The best Sony cameras are mirrorless, but you can also find DSLR and other build types if you prefer.
  • Viewfinder. Viewfinders can be electronic or optical. The critical difference is that electronic ones drain battery life and show changes to the final image whenever you make adjustments. Meanwhile, the optical ones display an unaltered image no matter what and don’t require energy.
  • Size. Frequent travelers might opt for a slimmer camera that fits in the back pocket. Meanwhile, enthusiasts may prefer a larger one with numerous knobs and buttons for making on-the-fly adjustments while shooting.

Top 7 best Sony cameras in 2024: reviews

We tested numerous Sony cameras before selecting 7 options that are considered the best overall.

The evaluation process began with an overview of the technical specifications, such as resolution, autofocus capabilities, sensors, and lenses, to get a well-rounded picture of their abilities. Then, we took them to the field to get a sense of how they feel and perform in various circumstances.

The cameras are categorized by best use case and recommended user level, making it especially easy to find the perfect Sony camera for your needs.

1. Sony A7 IV – best Sony camera overall

📷 Resolution:33MP
🎞 Sensor:Full-frame BSI-CMOS
👨‍🎓 Target audience:Enthusiasts
💵 Price range:$2,600 - $2,800

The Sony A7 IV is the undisputed best Sony camera in 2024. It has an impressive array of versatile and cutting-edge features, making it a well-performing hybrid both for stills and video. At the same time, the abundance of tools and above-average price make the Sony A7 IV less suitable for beginners.

Image quality. You’ll have plenty of room for cropping your still shots because the Sony A7 IV boasts a maximum resolution of 33MP. Meanwhile, the video is slightly cropped, maxes out at 4K/60p, and supports 10-bit color sampling.

Technical features. The interchangeable Sony E-mount lens gives plenty of customization room. You can mount full-frame and APS-C lenses with ease. Furthermore, the sensor is BSI-CMOS, measuring 35.9 x 23.9 mm in size. Regarding autofocus, the Sony A7 IV offers 759 phase-detection points and 425 contrast-detection points.

Size and connectivity. The Sony A7 IV is by no means made for travel with its 131.3 x 96.4 x 79.8mm size and 658g weight. Finally, you can connect the camera to other devices using Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and USB Type-C.

2. Sony ZV-E1 – compact Sony camera for on-the-go vlogging

📷 Resolution:12.1MP
🎞 Sensor:Full-frame BSI-CMOS
👨‍🎓 Target audience:Vloggers
💵 Price range:$2,000 - $2,400

The ZV-E1 is the best Sony camera for vlogging. Its small form factor and impressive 4K video capabilities make it perfect for creating top-quality content in any location. Moreover, this tiny beast includes AI-powered Auto Framing and Frame Stabilizer features, making subject tracking and handheld filming a breeze.

Image quality. Your footage will be pretty crisp with the 12.1MP sensor. Regarding video, the ZV-E1 manages 4K 120p, yet cannot record raw video. You can also live stream videos in either 4K 30p or FullHD 60p using USB-C.

Technical features. The most noteworthy perks of the Sony ZV-E1 are its AI capabilities from its modern chipset. Luckily, that’s not the only highlight of the camera. The interchangeable lens and full-frame sensor paired with 759-point phase detection autofocus make it a versatile choice for any photographer. Meanwhile, the viewfinder is replaced with a vari-angle screen.

Size and connectivity. The top vlogging camera weighs only 483 grams and occupies 121 x 71.9 x 54.3mm of space. Wireless connection options include Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, while direct alternatives are USB-C and mini HDMI.

3. Sony a7 III – top Sony camera for video content

📷 Resolution:24MP
🎞 Sensor:Full-frame BSI-CMOS
👨‍🎓 Target audience:Enthusiasts
💵 Price range:$1,800 - $2,000

The Sony a7 III is the previous generation model of the Sony A7 IV, which is the overall best Sony camera on our list. However, the camera is far from outdated and remains a popular choice, particularly among budget-conscious filmmakers.

Image quality. This camera offers a maximum resolution of 24MP for still photography. Meanwhile, video recording options include 4K/24p, 4K/30p, and full HD/120p – all uncropped.

Technical features. Autofocus is more than capable with its 693 phase-detection points and 425 contrast points. Furthermore, the lens is interchangeable, and with the Sony E-mount at the base, you won’t be strapped for powerful alternatives over the default lens.

Size and connectivity. The Sony a7 III is quite a handful, weighing 650g and measuring at 127 x 96 x 74mm. You can improve your workflow and connect to other devices using Wi-Fi, NFC, and Bluetooth. Finally, you can store your files using two SD card slots and transfer them to other devices using SuperSpeed USB 3.1 and USB Type-C.

4. Sony a6400 – affordable Sony camera for single-handed vlogging

📷 Resolution:24.2MP
🎞 Sensor:APS-C CMOS
👨‍🎓 Target audience:Vloggers, beginners
💵 Price range:$800 - $1,000

Although the Sony A6400 is relatively old at this point (released in 2019), it’s still popular among budget-conscious vlogging enthusiasts. It boasts great specs for video creation and includes a screen that you can flip 180 degrees for instant feedback while filming yourself. Additionally, the model’s interchangeable lens and affordable price make it a solid mid-range Sony camera.

Image quality. The APS-C 24.2MP sensor allows you to capture high-quality still images and videos. Speaking of which, supported video formats are 4K 30p or 24p plus full HD at up to 120 fps.

Technical features. The robust autofocus system boasts 425 both phase-detection and contrast points. Users can also enable the AI-powered Real-time Eye and Tracking AF to recognize and follow subjects.

Size and connectivity. The Sony A6400 is relatively compact with its 120.0 x 66.9 x 59.7mm size and 403g weight. Using Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, NFC, micro USB, or micro HDMI, you can connect to other devices to extract recorded photos and videos.

5. Sony a7R V – best Sony camera for sports

📷 Resolution:61MP
🎞 Sensor:Full-frame BSI-CMOS
👨‍🎓 Target audience:Professionals
💵 Price range:$3,700 - $4,000

The Sony a7R V is the camera for you if you need one of the most impressive megapixel counts on the market. Another mind-blowing feature is the AI-powered autofocus, which makes tracking various subjects an absolute breeze. Thus, the camera is a top choice for sports, wildlife photography, and other events where loads of people congregate.

Image quality. The full-frame sensor boasts an incredible 61MP resolution, one of the most significant counts among cameras from all manufacturers. This feature lets you shoot video at 8K 24p, although it is cropped at 1.2x. Uncropped recording is available at 4K resolution, but not at 60 fps, where cropping is the same as with 8K. Meanwhile, autofocus clocks in at 693 phase-detection and 425 contrast-detection points.

Technical features. This camera includes a potent AI-powered autofocus system, which recognizes a wide range of subjects, including various insects, animals, birds, and even vehicles like cars and planes. The Sony a7R V also doesn’t rely solely on faces to find human subjects.

Size and connectivity. The Sony a7R V weighs a hefty 723g and occupies 131.3 x 96.9 x 82.4mm of space. Users have many connectivity options, including Bluetooth, USB-C, micro USB, HDMI, Wi-Fi, and even external microphones and headphones.

6. Sony A1 – the ultimate professional Sony camera

📷 Resolution:50.1MP
🎞 Sensor:Full-frame Exmor RS CMOS
👨‍🎓 Target audience:Professionals
💵 Price range:$6,400 - $6,800

The Sony A1 is the overall best camera regarding versatility and technical specifications. It’s the ultimate all-in-one package made for professionals. It’s also priced at around $6,500, making it overkill for beginners and enthusiasts alike.

Image quality. The full-frame sensor boasts 50.1MP resolution and uses Sony’s proprietary Exmor technology for improved noise reduction. You can freely change the lens to another supported by Sony E-mount. Meanwhile, video is 10-bit, 8K recordings cap at 30 fps, while 4K and 1080p can reach 120 fps.

Technical features. This camera stands out with its swift 30 fps continuous shooting capabilities using the electronic shutter. On the other hand, the viewfinder is powered by OLED technology and sports 9.4 million dots for extreme accuracy.

Size and connectivity. All these impressive technical features fit neatly into an average-sized 128.9 × 96.9 × 80.8 mm camera, which weighs roughly 737g. Naturally, the specs will change if you grab the optional vertical grip. Finally, connectivity options range from USB-C, LAN, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and HDMI.

7. Sony A6100 – affordable Sony camera for beginners

📷 Resolution:24.2MP
🎞 Sensor:APS-C
👨‍🎓 Target audience:Beginners
💵 Price range:$600 - $800

Consider the Sony A6100 if you’re a photography beginner looking for an entry-level Sony camera. It offers significant improvements over its A6000 predecessor, such as 4K video support, better image quality, and robust autofocus. Most importantly, the starting price is relatively low (around $700), meaning you should also expect a handful of drawbacks.

Image quality. The APS-C sensor offers a solid 24.2MP resolution and allows you to connect any lens sporting the Sony E-mount. Autofocus is powered by 425 points of phase and contrast detection. Meanwhile, the top supported video quality is 4K 30p, although you may want to tone down to 25 fps to remove cropping.

Technical features. Burst shooting with the Sony A6100 goes up to 11 fps. A noteworthy upgrade over the A6000 is the touch-sensitive LCD screen, which supports tilting for easier selfies.

Size and connectivity. The Sony A6100 is fairly compact at 120 x 67 x 59mm and weighs 396g. Connectivity options are pretty solid, with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, micro USB, and micro HDMI support. However, USB-C is absent for swift charging with a more contemporary technology.

How we select these Sony cameras

Besides hands-on testing, we had to evaluate potential contenders by their various technical specifications. Here’s a summary of the most critical specs we couldn’t overlook:

  • Resolution. More commonly referred to as megapixels (or MP), the resolution indicates the maximum image size a camera can produce. Thus, a larger number is undeniably better, but it’s not the only metric buyers should pay attention to.
  • Sensor size. The sensor plays a vital role in determining the overall quality of a camera. A larger one allows the camera to gather more light and produce photographs with less image grain. However, this will also lead to a bulkier and pricier camera. Plus, you may want a smaller sensor for shooting distant subjects.
  • Form factor. You’ll most likely enjoy using a camera that looks and feels right in your hands (or on your tripod). That’s why we evaluated the grip and mounting options of every Sony camera.
  • Lenses. We had to evaluate the lenses that are included by default with the top Sony cameras and what customization options are available.
  • Connectivity options. Evaluating supported connection options is vital to ensure the camera you’re considering will be compatible with your overall workflow.

Which is the best Sony camera for beginners?

The best Sony camera for beginners is the A6100. It fulfills the main requirements that make it appealing to entry-level photographers. Namely, the camera is affordable and offers well-rounded specs for capturing high-quality stills and videos alike. Unsurprisingly, it doesn’t excel in any particular field and is a jack-of-all-trades option for trying out various photography types.

Beginners with a larger budget can also consider the Sony A6400 as a viable starting point. As the name suggests, it’s a few generations newer than the A6100 and offers better technical specifications. Most notably, the 180-degree screen makes it great for vlogging and on-the-go filming.

Conclusion

Finding the best Sony camera is straightforward if you know your photography goals. The top overall option is the Sony A7 IV, which is filled to the brim with cutting-edge features and boasts impressive specs for high-quality images. However, its hefty price tag and feature variety make it less appealing to beginners, who should opt for the versatile and affordable Sony A6100.

Finally, professionals looking for the most technologically advanced Sony camera should look no further than the Sony A1. While the cost is immense, the camera includes the most comprehensive feature arsenal and is suitable for virtually all scenarios.



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