The 10 Best Sony Cameras of 2020

Check out the best DSLR, mirrored and budget options from this well-known brand

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Best Overall: Sony a7 III

Sony a7 III

Courtesy of Amazon

The Sony a7 III is the latest model in Sony’s lineup of powerful a7 cameras, which aren’t quite the top tier but also cost a little less. It boasts a 35mm full-frame back-illuminated CMOS sensor, and a still photo capture resolution of 24.2 megapixels. If you want to shoot video, you’ll be happy to know it’s also capable of 4K recording with high dynamic range (HDR).

Despite being a full-frame camera, the A7 III is still compact, with a thin magnesium alloy body, a textured handgrip, a low-profile electronic viewfinder, plus a 2.95-inch LCD monitor. As this is an interchangeable lens camera, you can swap in and out Sony E-mount and FE-mount lenses, though using E-mount lenses will crop the picture.

The a7 III has plenty of features to help you capture professional photos in any setting, with a fast hybrid autofocus, a wide sensitivity range from ISO 50 to ISO 204800, 10 frame-per-second continuous burst shooting, as well as five-axis stabilization.

Runner-Up, Best Overall: Sony a6400

Sony a6400

 B&H Photo

Sony's latest addition to its camera line sits just below the "pro-sumer" a6500 and above the 6300. It offers an interesting range of features that place it near the top of our list. It works in the Sony e-Mount space, sporting an APS-C sensor to give you a 24.2MP resolution capability. The 11fps shutter speed and the ISO range of 100–32000 ensure that this camera fits in at the top of the space. The AF engine is also a standout feature here as it offers 425 phases of detection which covers about 84% of the viewing range. This is great not only for still photo accuracy, but it also does wonders when you’re videotaping moving subjects.

Sony gives the video capabilities on this camera an upgrade as well with the ability to shoot in 4K. There still isn’t any in-body image stabilization, and though the screen does fully articulate forward for vlogging, the hot shoe that accommodates an external boom mic ends up blocking that screen when it’s facing forward. These drawbacks might seem minor to most users, but if you want this camera for vlogging, it’s an important consideration. Round all of this out with a really compact size and high-end touches like intelligent eye-detection software, and it’s a formidable option in an otherwise crowded mirrorless space. 

Best Budget: Sony Cyber-shot HX80

For something a bit more on the budget spectrum, Sony’s Cyber-shot HX80 is a compact point-and-shoot with some features that make it stand out from the pack of other point-and-shoot cameras.

The Cyber-shot HX80 has a 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor with 18.2 megapixels, and that’s seated behind a Zeiss lens boasting a dazzling 30x optical zoom. To help you take your pictures, the Cyber-shot HX80 also has a 180-degree tiltable LCD screen and a retractable electronic viewfinder.

You can capture 10 photos in a one-second burst, or record video in Full HD at 60 frames per second. And, with Wi-Fi and NFC pairing, you can quickly transfer your footage over to your phone or tablet, or even use those devices to control your camera shutter remotely.

Best for Speed: Sony a9

The Sony a9 is an incredibly powerful pick for pro photographers. It’s a compact interchangeable lens camera with a 35mm full-frame back-illuminated CMOS sensor that’s stacked directly onto memory for extra fast image processing.

It can capture 24.2-megapixel photos, and with its fast auto-focus and speedy image processing, it can shoot continuous bursts at 20 frames per second. Add in the electronic shutter, and it can shoot those bursts without any blackout between each capture. The electronic shutter can also help quietly capture photos of subjects that might react to noise, and you can use it to prevent shaking or vibration that would normally be caused by the shutter release.

The Sony a9 has plenty of other pro features as well, such as an ethernet port for FTP file transfer, five-axis image stabilization, dual slots for media storage and 4K video recording functionality. Professional photographers planning to shoot a lot of high-speed subjects, such as athletes, can greatly benefit from all the speed the Sony a9 offers.

Best Prosumer Model: Sony a65000

The Sony a6500 is a strong pick that blurs the line between a pro camera and one meant for consumers. It has plenty of features that compare with Sony’s best offerings, like 5-axis image stabilization so you can shoot even if you don’t have the steadiest hands.

It also has an electronic viewfinder and LCD monitor, so you see what you’re shooting in any light condition. Further helping you capture great photos and videos, the Sony a6500 features 425 phase-detection auto-focus points and 4K video recording.

The Sony a6500 uses an APS-C CMOS sensor and supports Sony E-mount lenses. It captures photos at 24.2 megapixels​ and can shoot continuous bursts at up to 11 frames per second. With the a6500, you get a sleek magnesium alloy body with a textured handgrip, an incredibly low-profile viewfinder, multiple customizable dials, and a much lower price tag than Sony’s latest a7 or a9 models.

Best Mirrored Camera: Sony a99 II

While Sony is doing an incredible job showing off the capabilities of its mirrorless interchangeable lens camera systems, it hasn’t ignored the market for mirrored cameras. However, the Sony a99 II isn’t your typical SLR, as it uses a stationary translucent mirror that enables Sony’s Hybrid Phase Detection AF System.

This auto-focus system uses the camera’s image sensor for 399-point auto-focus, but the translucent mirror bounces light up to a dedicated 79-point auto-focus sensor that can continue to focus on your subject between shots, something SLR camera don’t do as well with their mirrors flipping up between shots.

The a99 II features a back-illuminated 35mm full-frame CMOS sensor with 42.4 megapixels. The camera body is made from magnesium alloy and supports Sony A-mount, Minolta, and Konica Minolta lenses. It includes an electronic viewfinder and a tiltable LCD screen. With 12 frame-per-second burst shooting, 5-axis image stabilization, and 4K video recording, the Sony a99 II is ready for just about any photographs you’re trying to capture.

Best Action Cam: Sony Cyber-shot RX0

The Cyber-shot RX0 is Sony’s take on an action camera. It has an ultra-compact design similar to GoPro’s action cams and has the rugged specs you’d expect from this type of camera: waterproofing down to 33 feet, shockproofing for falls from up to 6.5 feet, and crush-proofing for up to 440 pounds of pressure.

Inside that durable housing, the Sony Cyber-shot RX0 packs a one-inch CMOS sensor with 15.3 megapixels behind a 24mm f/4.0 Zeiss lens. The camera is capable of shooting in continuous 16 frame-per-second bursts, can record video in Full HD (1080p) and capture slow-mo video at 1,000 frames per second.

On top of its impressively large camera sensor, it also has a color LCD display on the back, so you can easily see what you’re shooting. And, with autofocus and assisted manual focus, you should have an easier time capturing exactly what you set out to capture.

Best Pocket-Friendly Camera: Sony Cyber-shot RX 100 VI

One of Sony’s strongest selling points for its cameras is the balance between quality and size. That’s shown off to a great extent in the Cyber-shot RX line of cameras that come fully kitted with their own lenses. The Cyber-shot RX 100 VI looks like a simple point-and-shoot camera, but it takes the concept to another level with a Zeiss 24-200mm lens for 8x optical zoom, optical image stabilization and a 20.1 megapixel one-inch CMOS sensor. It also features a three-inch LCD display on the back and a retractable electronic viewfinder.

The Cyber-shot RX 100 VI can capture 4K HDR video, has fast auto-focus with 315 focal-plane phase-detection AF points, has a sensitivity range from ISO125 to ISO12800 and can shoot continuous bursts at 24 frames per second. All that capability and the Cyber-shot RX 100 VI is still a pocket-friendly size at about 4 x 2.63 x 1.69 inches.

Best for Built-in Zoom: Sony Cyber-shot RX10 IV

The Sony Cyber-shot RX10 IV blends the simplicity of a point-and-shoot camera with the capability of a much more complex camera. The Cyber-shot RX10 IV uses a 1-inch CMOS sensor with 20.1 megapixels seated behind a 24-600mm zoom lens that offers 25x optical zoom. If you need to capture pictures of subjects up close or off in the distance, this lens is ready.

It features a sturdy build made to resist dusty and moist weather, making it a worthy companion for nature and wildlife photography. It also has both an electronic viewfinder and tiltable LCD display on the rear, so you can shoot in bright settings or at tricky angles with equal ease.

With its fast autofocus, the RX 10 IV can snap 24 frame-per-second continuous bursts, and it can also record 4K video that gets compressed from an even higher resolution for extra clarity. The Cyber-shot RX 10 IV also supports Bluetooth, NFC, and Wi-Fi, giving you many options for transferring data, or you can use your smartphone as a remote shutter button.

Best All-in-One: Sony Cyber-shot RX1R II

Sony’s Cyber-shot RX1R II gets really serious while staying really small. If it weren’t for the lens, the Cyber-shot RX1R II would be fairly pocketable, and even with its lens, it still measures just 2.57 x 4.46 x 2.83 inches.

The Cyber-shot RX1R II comes decked out with a 35mm full-frame CMOS sensor boasting 42.4 megapixels. It has a fixed 35mm F/2.0 Zeiss lens capable of shooting macro photos of subjects just 7.9 inches away. And, a retractable electronic viewfinder and tiltable LCD screen give you plenty of flexibility in how you shoot.

The Cyber-shot RX1R II can shoot at five frames per second, which might seem slow, but keep in mind that’s at its full resolution. It can also record Full HD video at up to 60 frames per second with a high bitrate of 50Mbps for high-quality visuals.