No matter your budget, you want to capture the moments that matter most. That’s why our experts managed to find the best cameras for photography in 2021. We also prefer cameras that are simple and easy to use.
Our recommendations April 2021
- Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-W800 – The Sony DSC-W800 is a great camera for the budget because of the image quality. It’s cheap, cheerful and the best affordable camera for attractive images.
- Nikon D3500 – Professionals favor the D850, but the beginners option should always be the Nikon D3500. Easy, versatile and lightweight, this camera captures what you need.
- Panasonic LUMIX DMC-TS30 – This point and shoot option is the best one around. It’s a tough camera considering its size and it can handle 26 feet of water and can drop up to five feet to harder surfaces.
- Canon EOS Rebel SL3 – The Canon EOS Rebel SL3 is one of the best cameras for photography that equals an all-rounder. It comes with a 24 megapixel APS-C sensor that can deliver excellence in your photography results.
- Nikon D850 – Professional photographers choose the Nikon D850 every single time when they’re looking for a professional, advanced camera option.
- Fujifilm X-S10 – A broad appeal as one of the very best cameras for photography makes sense given the quality and the value in the APS-C mirrorless camera market.
- Sony A7 III – The Sony A7 III is rated as the best all-rounder for full-frame camera lovers. It’s no surprise given the breathtaking image quality on offer.
Best of the rest April 2021
- Fujifilm X-T4 – This camera is known as the best rated mirrorless camera that allows the user to truly explore their creativity.
- Nikon Z6 – For a camera with the best full-frame option for beginners, the Nikon Z6 is one of the best out there with some of the most advanced optical technology possible.
- Sony A6100 – Beginners who are looking for a mirrorless camera option will be thrilled to find the Sony A6100 is the best 2021 option to try out today.
- Fujifilm X100V – Taking your photography journey outside is just a part of being a photographer. The right camera will make a huge difference here, and the Fujifilm X100V is where to begin.
- Panasonic Lumix G9 – Action shots are always tricky, but they’re far easier with the Panasonic Lumix G9. It has super fast shooting to keep up with moving people and animals, giving you the best shot every time.
- Sony ZV-1 – Vloggers have a new favorite – the Sony ZV-1! It comes complete with a vari-angle screen and recording lamp for shooting perfect selfies.
Which types of cameras are best for photography?
There are four different types of digital cameras out there: compact, DSLR, bridge and mirrorless. The type that you go for really depends on what you want to photograph, how portable you want your camera to be, the quality of the image you’re looking for and more. The factors that matter will dictate exactly the camera that you choose and it’s not alway easy to decide which of the cameras on the market out there will be the best cameras for photography.
There are so many different uses for cameras, from vlogging to ones for the kids, and choosing the right one is not an easy decision. The chances are that you’ll end up with more than one camera to play around with! There are a few categories to consider when you are choosing the best cameras for photography and those include:
- Beginners – If you’re just starting out in photography and you want to learn more, you need to know what the best cameras are for your skill level. It should be an affordable option but advanced enough that you don’t have to replace it too fast when you get started.
- Enthusiasts – If you have a camera and you’re aware of all the basics of photography, then you’ll be an enthusiast! You may be in the market for a new camera to match your growing skillset, and understanding sensors and autofocus systems will really help.
- Vloggers/Outdoor Options – There is nothing quite like traveling and capturing moving wildlife, but for this, you will need to have the best interchangeable lens cameras around. You get to capture things on the move, and the image quality will remain sharp.
- Point & Shoot – Not everyone out there wants to be a photography expert: some people just like to have a great shoot camera to capture what they need to capture. Choose affordability for your point and shoot camera.
- Going Pro – If you’re looking to turn professional with your photography, then choosing the right DSLR cameras will be all you need to do! Find those with comprehensive touchscreens and upgrade to high-quality autofocus.
Ask yourself why you plan to buy a camera, and then choose from the list to ensure that you are meeting your photography needs.
Technical Information You’ll Want To Know
Before you go down the rabbit hole of the best cameras for photography – and it is a rabbit hole given the depth of choices out there – it’ll be helpful to know the specifications that can really tell you all that you need to know about your camera. You need to know about the image quality potential, the weight and more to know what the best cameras are for your needs this year. Some of the technical information that you need to know before you make any purchasing decisions include:
When you take a photo of anything, the sensor of the camera is exposed to the light and the other components in the camera then records what it sees. Digital camera sensors are basically the film of old school options, and there are a lot of different types of camera sensors out there. There are four different sensor types that you should know about if you are exploring the best cameras for photography. These include:
- Smartphone Sensors – Both smartphone sensors and the sensors found in the “point and shoot” camera range are quite tiny. However, that doesn’t mean that they can’t pack in a lot of information into their little size. Often, the image quality is poorer as a result as the sensor can only cope with so much. The quality is sacrificed because there isn’t enough light, which means that the smaller sensors find it hard to see. As smartphones and point and shoot cameras develop, the sensors are getting better, and they’re getting slightly bigger, too.
- Micro-4/3rds Sensors – This system was invented to be the compromise in size between the tiny sensors in the point and shoot/smartphone cameras, and the larger DSLR. The system is more compact, and there is an interchangeable lens that offers a much higher image quality. You can choose your lenses and get the best quality images that are still portable.
- APS-C Sensors – These are the most common sensors found in DSLR cameras. They can be found in some of the compact ranges, but they’re much bigger than a smartphone or point and shoot camera. They bring in more light and with the right lens, things are zoomed in a little more than you think they’ll be. If you want the wider image, you need a wider lens.
- Full Frame Sensors – Remember the old 35mm films? Well, the full frame sensors are the digital upgrade of these. The Canon 5D series offers this sensor and the biggest benefit is that there is no crop factor. You can get some of the best possible quality images from the full frame sensors. The biggest sensors out there often produce images of the best quality.
The Image Processor
If you want to know how to ensure that your camera has the best quality, you want to know what the image processor is. If you are using a point and shoot camera and you want to shoot JPEGs, the processor really does matter. There are a range of cameras out there that will fix issues with lighting and make your image look sharp and a good image processor allows you to handle this with ease.
The image processor also enables you to capture images quickly, and while this doesn’t affect the quality of the image itself, it does mean the difference between a good and a great shot. Even if you don’t need to shoot in quick succession, don’t bypass how an image processor can help you. The speed of your new camera is important, as the faster image processors can help in those conditions where lighting is a problem.
The lens of the camera is as important as any other piece of the puzzle when it comes to finding the best cameras for photography. This is your eye to see your subject and take the perfect photograph. If your lenses are unable to see properly, the images won’t be as good as you want it to be. The optics on a regular point and shoot camera won’t be as great as on a full frame camera, as the lenses are tiny and fixed to the camera itself.
With larger DSLR options, you can have interchangeable lenses which allow you to take better photographs with more light. the bigger the lens, the more light you have, which will give you the best possible quality. The lens should be sharp and while you won’t find this in online specification lists, you will need to test out a few lenses to know which ones are best for you as you explore the best cameras for photography.
How To Choose The Best Cameras for Photography
The biggest question for any wannabe photographer is how to choose the best camera for you – it’s a big question! You need to be able to answer the following questions to know how to choose the best camera for you:
- What do you want to photograph?
- Are you looking at snapping stills or moving subjects?
- How much can you afford to spend?
- What skill level are you at?
- What features do you need?
- Are you planning to share your images?
- How big are your hands? (Really, it matters!)
- What brands have been recommended to you already?
These are the basic questions that you should be able to answer before you go ahead and make a decision about which model you choose to buy. There are some factors to consider before you go and buy, as well, and we’ve got some of those things for you below:
Type of Device
The best cameras for photography come in many forms, from mirrorless to compact, superzoom to DSLR. The choice of camera that you make depends on where you will use it. You may find that low cost and professional leads you to a DSLR option or a mirrorless camera, allowing you to change optics when you need to and it’ll last long.
Compact cameras are a great option for those who want to simply use a camera on a day trip. They’re easily placed into a pocket and can be used no matter where you are. Some cameras are used by professionals, such as the medium format cameras with a higher resolution. The only issue with these ones is the cost, but if you don’t have a budget, you’re more likely to buy something like this if you are looking to be a professional photographer. The type of camera that you buy really matters for what you want to achieve with it.
The main characteristic to look for in every camera is the matrix. The bigger it is, the better sensitivity and the quieter it is – perfect for those wildlife shots.
The Megapixel Rate
If you find that your camera has a small matrix, the megapixel number won’t matter. If you’re looking for convenience in your photography, then looking at 18-20 megapixels is the norm. By comparison, 30 megapixels gives you the pictures ready to print.
Let’s be honest: some cameras are very noisy. If you want to ensure that your camera is quiet, you need higher sensitivity.
Half the fun of choosing a new camera is in the features. For example, if you’re an event photographer you can benefit from a camera with good support for Wi-Fi connectivity. Having GPS, remote control, computer control and more will make working with cameras much more convenient. This is especially the case if you are shooting in a studio.
Reviews of the Best Cameras For Photography April 2021
Now that we’ve discussed a range of different options and gave you the insight on how to choose the right camera for your photography needs. Below, we’ve put together the best of the best for a range of different categories, complete with pros, cons, specs and a little information on each one. Let’s dive in to our reviews of the best cameras for photography!
Best Affordable Camera for Photography
Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-W800
The Sony DSC-W800 is a great camera for the budget because of the image quality that it can deliver. It comes in a compact package and weighs only 3.5 ounces. When you switch it on, the telescope lens comes out of the front of the camera and offers a 5x zoom which is perfect for taking pictures from a distance. It offers 20.1 megapixel images and you can save it to an SD card sold separately.
The battery is slim and the 2.7-inch liquid-crystal display is a good size but it’s not the easiest to see in direct sunlight. If you have larger hands, it’s easy to put your fingers over the flash without intending to.
The pictures that you capture with the Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-W800 are strong in color and detail even in bright light. It’s cheap, cheerful and the best affordable camera for attractive images. It’s a great step up from a smartphone camera and that’s why it made our list of best cameras for photography.
Resolution: 20.1 MP l Optical Zoom: 5x l Focal Length: 26 – 130mm (35mm equiv.) l Video (Max): 720p (1280p x 720p) l Size: 2.1 x 2 x 0.9 inches lWeight: 3.5 ounces
- It’s compact
- It’s lightweight and easy to hold
- Affordable for anyone who wants to take photos
- No Wi-Fi capability
- No Bluetooth
- Cheap finish
Best Digital Cameras For Beginners
It’s a known favorite for most photographers for a reason: it’s a versatile, easy option to use which is perfect when you haven’t taken photographs before. It’s not the most advanced of the DSLR range, but it’s a good one to get you started and get you familiar with photography. It handles well and is very easy to use, and it’s more powerful than it looks! It offers a 24 megapixel sensor for super sharp and excellent quality images. The new AF-P retracting kit lens is fantastic and it focuses exceptionally fast.
Type: DSLR | Sensor: APS-C | Megapixels: 24.2MP | Lens mount: Nikon F | Screen: 3-inch fixed, 921,000 dots | Viewfinder: Optical | Max video resolution: Full HD | User level: Beginner
- Excellent detail in the sensor
- Autofocus is super fast
- Offers silent shooting in Live View
- Fast AF point positioning
- Excellent battery life.
- No adjust key exposure settings on touchscreen
- SnapBridge connectivity is weak
- Doesn’t have on-chip phase detection AF during Live View
Best Cheap, Point-And-Shoot Cameras
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS30
For those who are not interested in being a professional photographer, this point and shoot option is the best one around. It’s a tough camera considering its size and it can handle 26 feet of water and can drop up to five feet to harder surfaces. You will find that it’s an easy point and shoot camera option and is one of the favorites for outdoor cameras.
Type: Mirrorless | Sensor: Micro Four Thirds | Megapixels: 20.3 | Lens mount: MFT | Screen: 3-inch vari-angle, 1,840k dots | Viewfinder: EVF, 3.69m dots | Max continuous shooting speed: 10fps | Max video resolution: 4K UHD | User level: Beginner/enthusiast
- High quality images – both video and stills
- Smart audio recording
- Articulated LCD
- Bright EVF
- Blocky screen
- Cheap quality casing
Best DSLRs For Most People
Canon EOS Rebel SL3
The Canon EOS Rebel SL3 is one of the best cameras for photography that equals an all-rounder. It’s not the most advanced DSLR but when you’re looking for something to suit most people, you don’t need advanced: you need easy.
It has a lot of features that make taking photos easier and more exciting than ever before. It comes with a 24 megapixel APS-C sensor that can deliver excellence in your photography results. It also has an advanced Dual Pixel CMOS AF system. This gives the live view autofocus the chance to be extremely fast.
This camera has the potential to help you to take on more advanced photography as your skills develop. The rear screen is articulating and touch sensitive, so the pictures you take can be done at all angles.
Type: DSLR | Sensor: APS-C | Megapixels: 24.2MP | Lens mount: Canon EF-S | Screen: 3in vari-angle touchscreen, 1,040,000 dots | Max burst speed: 5fps | Max video resolution: 4K | User level: Beginner
- Simple and easy to use no matter the skill level
- Great Live View autofocus
- 4K video option
- Much bigger than a mirrorless model
- Could be better quality
Best Advanced DSLRs
This is the best DSLR option for advanced photographers shooting at a professional level. The image processor is faster than most and there is an extra wide lens with 45.7 megapixels. This allows the user to take clear, crisp photos silently, capturing 7 frames per second with a fast and revolutionary shutter. With inbuilt Bluetooth and Wi-Fi capability, it’s easy to connect to modern devices for sending.
Sensor info: 35.9 x 23.9 mm CMOS sensor | 43.13 mm diagonal and crop factor of 1 | Pixel pitch is 4.34 µm.
- Ergonomic design
- Strong magnesium alloy body
- Good in all weather conditions
- Great dynamic range
- Nice ISO performance
- Excellent quality
- AF shutter speed is excellent
- Low shutter noise
- High-resolution LCD touchscreen can be tilted to 3.2-inch
- Great battery life
- Auto fine-tuning per lens
- Illuminated buttons
- Easily shoots 4K videos at 30 FPS
- No phase detection AF in Live View
- Bad wireless SnapBridge connection
- No key exposure settings
Best Mirrorless Cameras
Not an amateur camera in the slightest: it’s got fantastic build quality, excellent handling and it stands out right away. A broad appeal as one of the very best cameras for photography makes sense given the quality and the value in the APS-C mirrorless camera market. It has a wide vari-angle screen, too, which is why it’s rated so highly.
Type: Mirrorless | Sensor: APS-C | Megapixels: 26.1MP | Lens mount: Fujifilm X | Screen: 3-inch vari-angle touchscreen, 1.04m dots | Viewfinder: EVF, 2,360k dots | Max continuous shooting speed: 30/8fps | Max video resolution: 4K | User level: Intermediate/Expert
- Small with an excellent build quality
- Conventional mode dial
- Great image stabilisation in body
- Vari-angle touchscreen
- Autofocus doesn’t rival the DSLR range
- Expensive option
- Sensor issues
Best Full Frame Camera
Sony A7 III
This upgrade compared to the Sony A7 II is palpable! The sensor on offer has the same resolution, but the new BSI design offers a high ISO performance that is much improved. There is an improved autofocus system, too, and the body is sturdy and compact. It’s no wonder this dynamic yet durable device made its way onto our list of best cameras for photography.
15-stop dynamic range | 14-bit uncompressed RAW | ISO 50 to 204,800 | Up to 10fps Silent or Mechanical Shutter with AE/AF tracking | Advanced 24.2MP BSI Full-frame Image Sensor w/ 1.8X readout speed | Advanced 24.2MP Back-Illuminated | 35mm Full-frame Image Sensor
- Dynamic range
- Excellent body to shoot in all conditions
- High resolution images
- No in-body flash
- Dense menu system
- Screen not a proper vari-angle
Whether you are just beginning or really starting to invest time and money into your passion, we hope that you found everything you needed as you explored our expert reviews of the best cameras for photography in 2021.