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Best Sony digital camera

Which Sony digital camera is best?

If you’re ready to shoot higher-quality photos than a smartphone can achieve, but you don’t like the bulk and weight of DSLR cameras, there are other options. As a camera manufacturer, Sony focuses on the fixed lens and mirrorless interchangeable lens camera (ILC) part of the market.

Sony cameras are smaller than average in size, making them a nice choice for someone who is used to shooting with a smartphone. Yet, they have a strong list of features, delivering excellent image quality.

For the best Sony digital camera, we like the Sony a6500 Mirrorless Camera. It gives you 24MP of resolution and fast performance levels.

What to know before you buy a Sony digital camera

When shopping for Sony digital cameras, you’ll be picking among two designs: Fixed lens and mirrorless.

  • Fixed lens: With a fixed lens Sony camera, the lens is built into the camera body and cannot be removed. These lenses give you optical zoom measurements, and the larger the number, the greater the image magnification. A camera with 20X optical zoom or better will give you strong magnification options.
  • Mirrorless: The mirrorless ILC allows for lenses to be removed and swapped out for other compatible lenses. This gives the mirrorless camera plenty of versatility. Because you have to purchase additional lenses separately, though, the cost can add up quickly.

What to look for in a quality Sony digital camera

Following are some of the most important parts of a Sony digital camera. Understanding what they do will help you compare models and find the perfect camera for your needs.

  • Image sensor: The image sensor measures light in the scene, creating the digital representation of the photo. Large-sized image sensors, such as the APS-C sensor found in quite a few Sony mirrorless cameras, deliver excellent image quality. Smaller sensors, such as the 1/2.3-inch sensor often found in Sony fixed lens cameras, likely will struggle with image quality in low light.
  • Photo resolution: The number of pixels the image sensor can record is called the resolution. A Sony camera with 20 megapixels of resolution or more will deliver high-quality images. (Megapixels, often shortened to MP, are millions of pixels.) However, the image sensor’s physical size plays a greater role in image quality than the number of megapixels it can record.
  • Video resolution: Sony digital cameras create videos with excellent quality. You usually can find cameras with a maximum video resolution of full HD (1920x1080 pixels). However, some Sony cameras are able to record 4K movies (3840x2160 pixels).
  • Flash: The majority of Sony cameras have a flash unit built into the camera body, and it usually pops out of the top of the frame. If the Sony camera has a hot shoe, you can purchase an external flash to connect to the hot shoe.

How much you can expect to spend on a Sony digital camera

If you’re shopping for a fixed lens Sony camera, expect to pay $200-$500, although some models cost as much as $1,000. For a mirrorless Sony camera, expect to pay $400-$1,000, although some models cost as much as $3,000.

Sony digital camera FAQ

Q. What items ship with a Sony mirrorless camera?

A. The mirrorless Sony camera may ship with a starter lens and a neck strap. However, you’ll often have to purchase a memory card, extra lenses, and an add-on flash separately.

Q. As a beginner, how do I choose between the fixed lens and mirrorless Sony cameras?

A. For beginners, a fixed lens camera will be easier to learn to use, and it will be cheaper. However, if you aren’t afraid to learn how to use new technology and you want to create great-looking photos, a mirrorless camera is a great option for beginners.

What are the best Sony digital cameras to buy?

Top Sony digital camera

Sony a6500 Mirrorless Digital Camera

What you should know: Works quickly, so you won’t miss a spontaneous photo, but its image quality is also well above average.

What you'll love: Provides the ability to record 4K movies. Small camera body, yet it fits well in the hand.

What you should consider: The price is a little high. Might have too many features for inexperienced photographers to handle.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top Sony digital camera for money

Sony HX80 Fixed Lens Digital Camera

What you should know: If you want the simplicity of a fixed lens camera at a low price, this model delivers some great results.

What you'll love: With a 30X optical zoom lens, you’ll be able to shoot photos almost anywhere. Has a viewfinder, which is not common on fixed lens cameras.

What you should consider: Contains Wi-Fi technology, but it’s difficult to set up and use.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Sony a6000 Mirrorless Digital Camera

What you should know: Considering the price, you’ll pay, the image quality and performance levels are pretty impressive.

What you'll love: Offers 24 megapixels of resolution in a large-sized image sensor that simplifies low-light photography.

What you should consider: Battery life is a problem. Finding high-quality lenses is tough.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Kyle Schurman writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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