Which is the best camera at all? I’ll show you what to look for when buying and give you my current top 3 recommendations!
Below you’ll find detailed descriptions of my recommendations. If you don’t want to read everything, you can find a quick overview here.
Why should you trust me?
I’ve been taking pictures since 2005 and have used many different cameras and lenses during that time. I tried many different photo directions and then focused on landscape and architectural photography. I follow the market of digital cameras very closely, then here currently a lot of further development takes place.
Photography is by far my greatest passion. It has a permanent place in my life practically every day. For years I make almost no „normal“ vacations, I go away for photography.
The best camera – My top 3 recommendations
In current recommendations for the best camera are primarily SLR and system cameras. There are also very good medium format cameras, but I did not include them in the list. In my experience, medium format cameras are rather made for special applications and not for everyone. Curtain up for the best camera in my opinion!
1st place: Nikon D850
Nikon simply knows how to build SLR cameras. While Canon has hibernated in recent years in terms of further development, Nikon has listened to users and built the best camera. The Nikon D850 uses a 45 megapixel sensor from Sony. The camera delivers the best dynamic range and is also extremely well thought-out in terms of handling. A state-of-the-art autofocus system ensures constant sharpness. Again, in order for the camera to deliver the 45 MP, good lenses are a must. It is the perfect all-rounder, only the focus speed in videos is still expandable. Nevertheless, the Nikon D850 is currently the best camera for me.
2nd place: Sony Alpha 7R III
Camera number two is a system camera from Sony. While Canon and Nikon used to dominate the market, Sony has now fought its way very far ahead. One of the main reasons for this is the outstanding sensors, which are now also used by Nikon in some cameras. While the first Alpha 7R still had the feel of a prototype, the Sony Alpha 7R III is a superbly thought-out and advanced camera. As a system camera, it has the advantage of being smaller and lighter than an SLR. It houses a 42 megapixel sensor, is fast and offers great image quality. Sony’s own lens park is sufficiently large, and lenses from other manufacturers can also be used via an adapter.
3rd place: Sony Alpha 7R IV
Of all the current full-frame cameras on the market, the Sony Alpha 7R IV has by far the highest resolution. With the 61 megapixels, very large prints can thus be realized.
The dynamic range is very good, just like the handling of the camera. Of all system camera manufacturers, Sony currently has the largest assortment in terms of lenses. With this and adapters for other lens manufacturers, the right lens can be found for every focal length range and especially for every price range.
Due to the high number of megapixels, you need good lenses if you want to use the full resolution. Because of the diffraction blur, you should not close the aperture much further than F4, otherwise the images will be blurred again. Thus, the A 7R IV is not suitable for every photographic field. However, this makes the camera especially relevant for portrait photographers. In combination with good Zeiss lenses, poster-sized prints are also possible here.
What should the best camera be able to do?
Below you will find the points that are important to me when choosing the best camera.
Deliver fantastic image quality
If you’re looking for the best camera, then of course you want the best image quality. My recommendations here are all on a very high level. But one thing should be clear to you: To get the best image quality out of your camera, you also need very good lenses.
Speed of camera operation
When you take pictures with your camera, you don’t want to have to wait for the camera. This starts with things like the turn-on time and continues with the speed in the menu and the continuous shooting function. The camera should simply be able to react quickly in all situations.
A large dynamic range
This point plays a role for a very large target group. The point here is that the camera should be able to capture details in the brightest and darkest areas of an image. So that the sky is not just white and the shadows are not just black. Dynamic range plays a role for landscape photographers and wedding photographers, but also for reportage photography.
When it comes to handling, I’m talking in particular about a well thought-out layout of the controls, but also a menu structure that makes sense. The camera itself must feel good. It should be intuitive to use after not too long of an adjustment period. Over time, you will probably get used to the operating concept of a particular camera manufacturer here. For example, I shoot a lot with Canon. It’s hard for me to get used to Fuji because I’ve been shooting with Canon for years. So if you already have a camera and are looking for a new one, keep this point in mind.
Speed and precision of the autofocus system
When shooting fast subjects, the camera’s autofocus system must also be able to keep up, otherwise the images won’t be sharp. This is especially important in sports, wildlife and reportage photography. But even with children and pets, you sometimes need a fast autofocus.
The precision of the autofocus system is important in portrait photography. If you shoot a lot with fixed focal lengths with high speed, the focus area on the model is often very small. Depending on how precise the system is, it determines whether the focus is actually on the eyes or on the eyelashes. Autofocus accuracy also plays a big role for wedding photographers.
You probably want to use the camera primarily for taking pictures. But now video also plays a role. In times of vlogging and YouTube, the best camera also fulfills this area. Even parts of the last season of Dr. House were shot with an SLR camera. Of course, this also speaks for the outstanding image quality for videos.
4K videos are at least standard here, sufficient frames per second, different video formats and connections for external microphones are now also normal. Thus, the presented cameras are also very well suited for filming.
Further best lists
Since each type of camera has its respective merits, I have created best lists for the respective cameras:
- Best DSLR Camera
- Best Mirrorless Camera
- Best Compact Camera
- Best Bridge Camera
- Best Camera for Landscape Photography
- Best DSLR Camera for Beginners
- Best Mirrorless Camera for Beginners
- Best Canon Camera
- Best Nikon Camera
- Best Sony Camera
- Best Camera Phone
- Best Camera for Blogging
Maybe it is important to you that the camera is not quite as big and heavy as an DSLR camera. Then a system camera is interesting for you. If you need a camera for your pocket, then a compact camera is more suitable. Very universal cameras that have a fixed lens are called bridge cameras. For this, they can no longer be called compact. Since I come primarily from the field of landscape photography, I have also written a separate best list for this.
So it makes sense to think about what you want to do with the camera and which features are important to you.
Conclusion: Which is the best camera for me?
The best camera at the moment is the Nikon D850. Many megapixels, fantastic image quality, well thought-out operation and great autofocus make this Nikon camera so good. In addition, there is a large lens park from which you can choose very good lenses for really every area of photography.
Which is the best camera for you at the moment? Do you agree with my selection or do you see things quite differently? Write me in the comments!