Which is currently the best Sony camera? Here come my recommendations for the best Sony compact, APS-C and full-frame camera!
I have described the cameras in more detail below. If you don’t want to read everything, but rather look for an overview, you can find a quick overview here.
- Why Sony is currently ahead
- Excursus: Differences between APS-C and full-frame sensors
- Best Sony Camera – My Top 3 Recommendations
- Conclusion: What is the best Sony camera?
Of course, this article reflects purely my personal opinion.
Why Sony is currently ahead
Development and suggestions for improvement from photographers
Canon and Nikon have dominated the camera market in the past decades. But for the last 5 years or so, Sony has been mixing it up at the front. How did this happen? Sony has invested very heavily in the development of their cameras. They have listened to the market and implemented the photographers‘ suggestions for improvement in the next generation of cameras.
Sensors and image quality
But the most important point is the superior sensors and therefore the image quality. Especially in terms of noise-free and dynamic range, Sony has the best sensors in my opinion.
Focus on mirrorless cameras
The trend is now clearly moving towards mirrorless cameras. Sony has put the focus of their range on this area. The best mirrorless cameras currently come from Sony. The advantages are clear: smaller, lighter cameras with the image quality of an SLR camera.
Excursus: Differences between APS-C and full-frame sensors
Simply put, a crop sensor is smaller than a full-frame sensor. As a rule, full-frame sensors offer the better image quality. Full-frame means that the sensor is the same size as the negative of a 35 mm film from analog photography. A Sony crop sensor is 1.5 times smaller. However, this is not generally worse. Many photographers do not need the higher image quality of the full-frame sensor, for them a crop sensor is totally sufficient. For landscape photographers, for example, a crop sensor has the advantage that the depth of field is greater and thus the image is sharp from front to back. For portrait photographers, on the other hand, a full-frame sensor is more interesting because the background tends to blur due to the shallower depth of field.
Best Sony Camera – My Top 3 Recommendations
Below you will find my current recommendations for the best Sony cameras. I update this list regularly.
Best Sony compact camera: Sony RX100 VII
The Sony RX100 VII is currently the best compact camera from Sony. Despite the relatively large zoom range of 24-200 mm (calculated on 35mm), the manufacturer has managed to ensure that the fixed lens produces a good image quality. This zoom also makes the camera well suited for traveling, because it gives you flexibility in terms of shooting situations. The lens is also image stabilized.
A 20 megapixel sensor works in the very compact housing. From this resolution, you can easily produce a larger print without the image becoming blurry. The autofocus works very quickly and is accurate.
There is one add-on that I find useful with this camera: the Sony AG-R2 grip mount. I also use exactly this grip on my Sony RX100 VA. It makes holding and operating the camera much more comfortable and secure.
Best Sony APS-C mirrorless camera: Sony Alpha 6600
Currently, the best Sony mirrorless camera with an APS-C sensor is the Sony Alpha 6600. The body is pleasant to grip and houses a 24 megapixel sensor. One of the big advantages of the A6600 is the built-in image stabilizer (IBIS). So you get a stabilized image even if your lens doesn’t bring its own stabilizer.
The Alpha 6600 is a fast camera, which makes it suitable for subjects like sports photography. The autofocus is fast, as is the continuous shooting speed. It has no problems whatsoever with saving even longer image series without waiting times. In terms of image quality, we are also talking about one of the best mirrorless APS-C cameras.
The Sony Alpha 6600 has little room for improvement, only a sealed housing and a sharper viewfinder would be conceivable.
Best Sony full-frame mirrorless camera: Sony Alpha 7R IV
One of the best cameras at the moment is the Sony A7R IV. The heart of the camera is the 61 megapixel full-frame sensor with a resolution of 9504 x 6336 pixels. Just about all of the criticisms of the predecessor have been eradicated. There are two memory card slots and the battery life has been improved. The autofocus has improved and the continuous shooting function is faster.
The A7R IV also has an internal image stabilizer. Operation benefits from the new focus joystick. There are hardly any points of criticism on this camera – only the high resolution also brings disadvantages. You need high-end lenses and a fast PC for image editing. For me, the Sony A7R IV is currently the best Sony camera.
Why isn’t the Sony Alpha 7R IV with its 61 megapixels in this position? High-end lenses are needed to handle such a high resolution. Also, you can’t close the aperture much wider than F4.0 because of diffraction blur. In many areas, the performance also drops at higher ISO values compared to the competition. These factors greatly limit the usable range of the 61 megapixels.
Conclusion: What is the best Sony camera?
Overall, the Sony Alpha 7R IV is the best Sony camera for me. It’s fast enough for 95% of photographers, and its 42 megapixels allow for large prints and crops. The image quality is simply outstanding and is among the best currently available.
My personal tip: For many photographers, the Sony A7 III is a very good choice. It can do almost everything that the A7R IV can do, but has a much better price-performance ratio. Both cameras are represented in several best lists of mine.