Using one of the best cameras for photos and videos gives us the greatest chance to capture awesome shots, whether you’re looking for full frame, crop sensor or micro four-thirds, mirrorless, or DSLRs. This guide pulls together the best of the best from brands including Canon, Sony, Nikon, Fujifilm and Olympus.
It can be difficult to know what you should be looking for and which camera to get, especially since there are so many models available on the market, and each manufacturer claims their camera is ‘the best’ in one area or another. To save you hours of trudging the internet to find the best cameras for photos and video to suit your needs, we’ve done the legwork for you and summarized our favorites and who would benefit most from them.
We have other guides too, such as the best cameras for astrophotography, the best mirrorless cameras or best DSLR cameras. You could even snag a bargain by checking out our camera deals hub. If you’ve already purchased your camera and are now looking to pair it with one of the best lenses for astrophotography or the best zoom lenses, we have guides for those too!
Best cameras for photos and videos deal April 2023
Best cameras for photos and videos 2023
Best cameras for photos and videos 2023 ranked
The Sony A7R IV can bring out the finest details, even in poor lighting conditions, thanks to its whopping 61-megapixel sensor, making it a great camera for astrophotography. In fact, it handles so well in low light it’s also a favorite in our best cameras for low light photography guide. But, if the 61 megapixels are a little too much for your memory card or computer to handle, there is an option to transform the camera into a more file-handling-friendly 26-megapixel APSC camera with a 1.5x crop factor.
In our hands-on Sony A7R IV mirrorless camera review, we found that even though the subtle upgrades following the Sony A7R III don’t look like much on paper, they made a world of difference when it came to using it in real life. The improved hand grip makes it much nicer and more comfortable to hold, it has more prominent and thus more tactile buttons, which are particularly helpful when operating with cold fingers or while wearing gloves.
The Sony A7R IV isn’t cheap, but for wedding photography, portraits, studio work and landscape photography where you really want to invest in your equipment, you won’t find much better.
We think the Nikon Z9 is one of the best-performing digital cameras ever made, and in our Nikon Z9 review, we gave it a solid 4.5 out of 5 stars. It is an expensive bit of kit, so it’s more suited to professionals who make money from photos or videos as it excels at both.
Thanks to its ‘market-leading’ burst shooting, the Z9 is ideal for sports and wildlife photography as well as catching those fleeting special moments at weddings or events. It shoots at 20FPS RAW and a blistering 120FPS to low-res JPEG. It’s also eerily good at picking out eyes and faces, something else that lends perfectly to weddings and sporting events. Never miss a shot.
While this camera is incredible, we don’t think it would be a good choice for astrophotographers who only shoot astro — but it would be fabulous for the occasional astro shoot combined with the abovementioned purposes.
The hefty battery on the Z9 is ridiculously long-lasting. Even when we tested it while shooting for over 3 hours of astro shooting, it only lost less than 20 percent juice. The range of connectivity options is also impressive. There’s Snapbridge file transfer, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth transfer, ethernet, and USB-C. What more could you want?
The Canon EOS R7 is Canon’s newest flagship APS-C mirrorless camera. During our Canon EOS R7 review, we were pleasantly surprised with the handling and image quality in several scenarios — it was a pleasure to shoot with.
Though it’s mainly touted as a camera for wildlife photographers, it’s versatile and can be used for most disciplines. We were particularly impressed with its low light capabilities; even when shooting with an ISO of around 6000, the visible noise was minimal, and the images were bright and true to color.
The camera is small and compact, so it would make a good option for travelers and vloggers. Vloggers will also benefit from eye tracking and autofocus (which it does effortlessly), as well as the fact there is no record limit and the footage is of excellent quality.
The only real disappointment was the buffer-clearing speed. Though, as we mentioned in the full review, it’s rare you’ll ever need to be shooting at 30FPS if you’re using this camera for astro or landscape photography. That said, if you’re looking for a camera to capture events like motorsports or wildlife, you’ll probably want to look elsewhere.
In all, this camera has almost everything a full-frame camera has but at a reasonable price and in a compact body — we think it more than holds its own in comparison.
Featuring an expandable ISO range of 204,800, an autofocus range of -3EV and a full-frame 35mm sensor, the Sony A7 III is ideal for photographers who shoot in low light. We don’t just mean night sky here, we mean indoor sports, portraits and generally unfavorable lighting conditions. Even though it only shoots 24.5MP stills, which seems low for this price point, this is the key to its ability to keep image noise incredibly low.
In our Sony A7 III review, we found that for such a small form factor, the remarkable images this camera can produce pack quite a punch. It’s a versatile shooter and we tested it in a range of environments including a week-long photo tour of London as well as a commercial portrait gig to give it a thorough review. We loved its versatility, and found the eye autofocus impeccable, although the AF tracking couldn’t quite keep up with our energetic puppy.
The A7 III also captures excellent video footage at 4K UHD 30FPS, though it does top out at ISO 51200 as it can’t use the expanded option that it can for stills. However, this thing can practically see in the dark so we can forgive it. On a full charge, it can capture approximately 710 still photos, which is impressive.
There is an extensive range of available E-mount lenses, which gives tremendous versatility for using this camera in any style shoot. The Sony A7 IV (opens in new tab) is the upgrade of this model, however, the A7 III is still a fantastic camera and a cult favorite among many photographers, and because it has been superseded, you could snatch yourself a bargain.
The Canon EOS R5 has outstanding features to suit a range of different photography styles and needs. It boasts a 45MP CMOS (APS-C) image sensor and, as we mentioned in our Canon EOS R5 review, has one of the best autofocus systems we have ever used.
For sports and action photographers, the tracking is best in class with spot-on face, eye and head detection. This camera is a dream for portrait photographers too, especially in events like weddings where you don’t want to miss a moment.
With its generous 15 stops of dynamic range and superb noise handling, it can pick out detail even in the deepest shadows. This means that more data is captured and can be recovered during post-processing, which is advantageous for astrophotographers. It also offers 8K RAW video recording.
Content creators and vloggers will love the sizeable flip-around screen, which negates the need for separate monitors while recording themselves. This is one of Canon’s most complete packages, and we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it, provided you can stretch your budget that far.
This is possibly the camera to rule above all others — albeit with a price point to match. At over $6000, this is realistically reserved for serious professionals who can earn money back from working in the business.
The huge 50.1MP stills resolution, along with the 8K 30p video, a generous 5.5 stops of image stabilization and a class-leading electronic viewfinder can all be utilized to produce incredible photos, in any environment. This thing can do it all.
If the 50.1MP resolution makes your computer sweat, you can also switch to Lossless compressed files where the image quality is practically the same as uncompressed raw files, but the file size is nearly halved once the camera intelligently removes unnecessary information from the image. This also helps the buffer clear quicker when out on shoots.
In our Sony A1 review, we especially liked the impressive dynamic range. It can happily handle different contrasts within an image, even if the foreground is shaded and the background is in sunlight. This lends itself well to astrophotography too.
It would also make a great camera for wildlife photography, as, in addition to human and animal eye AF, the Sony A1 also has bird mode which operates with the same level of accuracy as the former modes, regardless of how small the bird is!
If you need a camera that can do anything, and we do mean anything, then get yourself the Nikon D850. It has just passed its 5-year anniversary, but it still holds its own against the best mirrorless cameras available today. If you check out our Nikon D850 review, you’ll understand why you will also find it on our best cameras for astrophotography, best Nikon cameras for 2022 and best DSLR camera guides.
It’s totally at home when shooting wildlife or sports with up to 9FPS (with additional battery grip) or capturing portraits with stunning clarity when paired with one of the huge range of F-mount lenses in Nikon’s catalog.
Traditionalists will like the large optical viewfinder as it allows them to view the scene through their own eyes, rather than on a screen. With 4K UHD 30FPS video, the movie footage this camera can capture is impressive. You can also capture slow-motion with 120FPS full HD video, which allows fast-paced action to be slowed down four times for cinematic effect.
This camera is built for professional use and has a price tag to match. It’s weather-sealed and tough enough to withstand some rough and tough without compromising on performance. It even has backlit buttons so you can practice your astrophotography without impacting your night vision.
Another Nikon entry in this guide — and one that you’ll also find in our best beginner cameras guide — is the Nikon Z fc.
It’s a gorgeous, timeless-looking camera that is a joy to use. It’s very capable for casual users (this is what the ‘c’ in the name denotes) thanks to its simple useability and familiar approach to camera controls. The continuous shooting option could use some improvement, so professionals looking to shoot sports or action may want to look elsewhere.
For other types of shooting, the noise control is superb, which means you’ll be able to bump up the ISO in low lighting and still achieve beautiful results. We were pleasantly surprised during our Nikon Z fc review that we could push the ISO all the way up to ISO 12800 and still achieve acceptable images. The AF modes prioritize people, and the camera excels at tracking faces — perfect for candid street photography, portrait work or shooting events like weddings.
The touch screen is very responsive and intuitive with minimal lag, in fact, the whole camera is fast to operate — it’s ready to take photos in less than a second after starting the camera up, so you’ll never miss a spontaneous moment again.
The Fujifilm X-T5 is an ideal choice for photographers who appreciate convenience and versatility. It comes in a small, compact package, yet it packs seven stops of powerful image stabilization technology, plus impressive low-light capabilities and a quick processor that makes it perfect for capturing action or sports scenes.
The retro-looking body is ergonomic, and the manual control dials delight traditionalists. As we discussed in our full Fujifilm X-T5 review, they do take some getting used to, especially when you’re using them in the dark. If you’re used to a DSLR style of handling, having to adjust the aperture on the lens barrel will feel completely alien.
The Fujifilm X-T5 is also one of the best cameras available for timelapse photography. If you are looking for different options for this style of shooting, take a look at our list of the best cameras for timelapse videos.
For anyone looking to move up from beginner cameras or smartphones, the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV sets a high bar, especially for a micro four-thirds camera. You can achieve great results simply by staying in ‘auto’ mode, although you have all the manual dials and settings at your disposal when you want to venture into manual shooting.
After testing it for our Olympus OM-D E- M10 Mark IV review, we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it as an excellent camera for everyday use. It offers the perfect blend of usability, quality, and style, with an easy-to-use, beginner-friendly user interface, including 16 in-camera filters including HDR, Gentle Sepia and Instant Film.
This camera is tiny and easily pocketable, but this doesn’t mean it is lacking in features — there is a lot packed into this little body. Some smaller cameras are difficult to use due to their size, but this camera has a chunky feel and the ergonomically pleasing right-hand grip make one-handed operation not only possible but comfortable, too.
The surprisingly large LCD screen is remarkable, with excellent clarity and resolution with over 1m dots. All of the dials and menus are easy to navigate and feel pretty intuitive.
The Nikon Z6 (featured in our ‘honorable mentions’ below) is a great camera for astrophotography. However, the slightly more sophisticated Nikon Z6 II is worth considering as an excellent all-arounder if you plan to shoot a range of different photographic styles.
One of the enhancements of this newer model is a second memory card slot, offering an instant backup for peace of mind when on a shoot (or just additional storage). There’s also the faster burst rate of 14FPS for high-speed shooting, a greater buffer capacity, and a more immediate and snappier autofocus thanks to the dual processing engines.
The Z6 II offers a higher video frame rate of 4K at 60 FPS than the Z6’s 30 FPS, allowing for crisper footage, especially slow-motion video.
Something for the astrophotographers amongst you — the shutter speed range has been widened, and you can now take exposures of up to 900 seconds (15 minutes) with a countdown on the top LCD screen, so there’s no need to touch the camera to see how long is left and risk jogging the camera in the middle of taking an exposure.
As we explained in our Nikon Z6 II review, If you already own the Z6, the updates don’t warrant upgrading to this model, but the Z6 II is a serious contender.
Also known as the EOS 250D, the Canon EOS Rebel SL3 is suited to any photographer who wants to lose weight in their kit bag. Coined (and from our in-depth Canon EOS Rebel SL3 / 250D review feels like) the lightest DSLR in the world at just 459g which, isn’t much heavier than many mirrorless cameras, and with an articulating screen, it’s ideal for travel photographers with a restricted luggage allowance or for those whose gear acquisition syndrome has them bogged down with a camera bag full of heavy kit.
The fully articulating touchscreen makes it easy to compose images at any angle to provide fresh vantage points without having to contort yourself into uncomfortable positions — also helpful for shooting selfies or for vlogging.
Having only 9 AF points when shooting through the viewfinder, and only being capable of using UHS-I SD cards, this camera is predominantly for the beginner market, or for enthusiasts who don’t want to break the bank. It also features in our best beginner cameras guide.
There’s even a useful Guided UI mode that turns the camera into a guide to help users new to photography to get their settings correct. With the Creative Assist mode, you can add filters and color adjustments to get the effect you want while you shoot or edit them in-camera after taking the photo. This is especially helpful if you don’t want to start experimenting with third-party image editing software immediately, or you just want to be able to share your images quickly without needing to edit them on a computer.
When we reviewed the Nikon D3500 review, we found it to be a versatile entry-level camera, designed primarily for anyone wanting to get started in more advanced photography without having to spend big bucks. The D3500’s crop sensor means all lenses will have an extra 1.5x crop, which means more reach with cheaper lenses, allowing far-away subjects to appear larger within the frame. Especially useful for astrophotography, wildlife, and sports photography.
The Nikon D3500 has 11 autofocus points in the middle of the frame. While this sounds a little restrictive, it isn’t too much of a problem because once the camera has autofocused, you can then lock it and recompose your image. Though we should point out that it is possible that the focus can be missed slightly when using fast telephoto lenses because the movement between focus and shutter release alters the distance of the lens to the subject.
The 24.5MP stills produce more than enough detail in images for online and print use, matching that of many flagship DSLR cameras across different brands. This gives extra scope to crop in on subjects should the composition need tweaking post-capture. The D3500 records 60FPS full HD video footage which is surprising for a camera of this price point. It means smooth, professional-looking movie capture, perfect for YouTube and other social media. We think this is an ideal, affordable camera for beginners.
Though the Sony A6600 is nothing revolutionary, it is an excellent camera that punches well above its weight. It is incredibly intuitive (so suitable for beginners) that produces color-rich photos and accurate skin tones. It has the bonus of having in-body stabilization.
The tracking capabilities are flawless, so this camera is great for photographing sports (including motorsports). The eye tracking is also impressive, even when we performed the ‘Black Cat Test’ during our Sony A6600 review.
We found this camera to be excellent for astrophotography. You can pull out extraordinary detail from the darkest shadows and get pin-sharp points of light (e.g., stars) even after bumping up the ISO — unfavorable noise is kept to a minimum and can easily be removed in post-processing.
Video capabilities are good, though again, nothing exceptional. It has built-in cinematic modes and performs well for casual travel videos or vlogging, but the frame rates aren’t the fastest, so we wouldn’t recommend it if shooting movies is your main reason for purchasing a new camera.
Honorable mentions: Previously featured models
The cameras below are models that once sat in the best cameras for photos and videos guide but ones that have now been either superseded or discontinued and, therefore becoming increasingly difficult to get your hands on. That said, they are still available, even if you have to hunt a little harder to find them, and you might be able to pick up high-quality used models from retailers like B&H Photo (opens in new tab) and Adorama (opens in new tab).
Fujifilm has integrated a plethora of features and functions into the X-T4’s small body, proving more than capable for semi-professionals and perfect as a supplementary camera for professionals. Out of the box, it has the capacity to snap stills at a swift 15FPS or 30FPS using the electronic shutter with 1.25x crop mode. This makes it ideal for photographing sports, wildlife, or any other fast-paced activity (and even tracking solar or lunar events).
In our Fujifilm X-T4 review, we especially liked how it handled low-light shooting. The ISO goes up to a staggering 51200 using the ‘command’ setting, making it a great option for astrophotography.
The X-T4’s hybrid contrast and phase-detection autofocusing technology uses a huge 425 AF points for dependable focus in every shot. This camera comes with two SD card slots that are both UHS-II compatible, so you won’t have to worry about losing a shot with its fast burst mode and 60fps video.
The Fujifilm X-T4 blends a classic SLR look with modern mirrorless features, giving you all the benefits of a cutting-edge camera without any of the drawbacks. Boasting top-of-the-line specs, it is one of the finest APS-C cameras available. And, now that the Fujifilm X-T5 is available, you might be able to grab this older model as a bargain.
The Nikon Z6 is more financially accessible than its chunkier Z7 sibling. Although it has a smaller stills resolution, the Z6 has the same five-axis in-body image stabilization as the Z7, and because of its lower 24.5MP, it has much lower image noise, which is perfect for capturing the night sky when combined with an astro lens. We put the camera to the test in our Nikon Z6 review last year and loved its superb ISO range, excellent handling and easily navigable menu.
The Z6 is an excellent choice for almost any kind of photography, thanks to five stops of in-body image stabilization, sharp Z-mount lenses, and the ability to use Nikon’s back catalog of lenses through the FTZ adapter. Wildlife, sports, portraits, landscapes, product photography — you name it, the Z6 can do it.
Our favorite thing about this camera was the backlit sensor, which we thought was impressive and afforded us remarkable low-light image quality. We’d even go so far as to say this is one of the best cameras for astrophotography around and have placed it in our best cameras for astrophotography top eight.
For sports and wildlife photography, where you’re likely to encounter fast-paced motion, the Z6 shoots at a generous 12FPS. It also has eye/animal eye autofocus (once you’ve updated to the most recent firmware) to ensure you stay locked on target. If you need the professional video capture of ProRes RAW, then the Z6 outputs 12K raw video to an external recorder, but do note that you might need to have this set up at a Nikon service center first.
Best cameras for photos and videos 2023: What to look for
There are two main types of cameras on the market when advancing from compacts and smartphones: the DSLR and the Mirrorless. On DSLRs, the view through the viewfinder is piped up the lens by a mirror and prism arrangement, while on a mirrorless camera the viewfinder is simply a screen where a live feed from the sensor is displayed. Mirrorless cameras are newer tech and tend to be smaller and lighter. You can see more comparisons in our guide to DSLR vs mirrorless cameras.
Another thing to look for is the price point and fear not if some of the best cameras are a bit pricey as we highlight all the best camera deals with regular updates on our Camera deals: discounts on cameras page.
This guide is separate from our alternate article on the best cameras for astrophotography, as here we’ve focused on more versatile models which are suitable for broader photography types. If it is specifically astrophotography you want to dip your toe into, and you’re dreaming of getting awesome pictures of the night sky, you will want to have a flick through the aforementioned article. We have also rounded up some of the best lenses for astrophotography so you can choose the perfect setup.
If you’re looking for a good all-rounder camera suitable for multiple photography disciplines, we’re sure this guide has a model that you’ll love.
We have chosen a broad selection of models that will suit the needs and styles of different photographers. If you’re a beginner looking to get into photography for the first time you may want to get something a little less intimidating (and less expensive) and go for a compact mirrorless or entry-level DSLR that can guide you through camera settings to make the best creative choices, we’ve rounded up some of the best beginner cameras in a standalone guide. Those looking for a little more oomph from their kit can rely on the bigger mirrorless and DSLR camera bodies to benefit from powerful in-body image stabilization, fast burst shooting speeds, high-quality 4K video capture, and an interchangeable lens format to suit almost varied shooting conditions.
Unfortunately, the camera body isn’t the only thing you’ll need to choose. Lenses play a huge part in creating stunning images, so take some time to research what lens ranges are available (if the camera you’re looking at allows for interchangeable lenses). Depending on their mount, some cameras will have a more extensive range of compatible lenses than others. Wide-angle lenses offer a bigger field of view for landscapes and astro, but telephoto lenses can zoom in on far-away subjects like birds and athletes. Each will come with different maximum apertures, altering the camera’s settings whilst shooting to maintain good exposures.
As well as shooting on decent cameras with good lenses, you’ll probably need to invest in a tripod as well. This is crucial if you’re interested in astrophotography or landscape photography. Tripods keep the camera still throughout exposures, allowing longer shutter speeds and lower ISO sensitivity lower to get sharp images with minimal noise. This is also useful for shooting at slow shutter speeds to create artistic, blurred shots of subjects such as clouds or waterfalls. See our shortlist of best travel tripods, best tripods for astrophotography and how to do landscape photography to help you choose.
How we test the best cameras for photos and videos
To guarantee you’re getting honest, up-to-date recommendations on the best cameras to buy, here at Space.com we make sure to put every camera through a rigorous review to fully test each product. Each camera is reviewed based on many aspects, from its construction and design, to how well it functions as an optical instrument and its performance in the field.
Each camera is carefully tested by either our expert staff or knowledgeable freelance contributors who know their subject areas in depth. This ensures fair reviewing is backed by personal, hands-on experience with each camera and is judged based on its price point, class and destined use. For example, comparing a 60MP full-frame mirrorless camera to a sleek little crop-sensor DSLR wouldn’t be appropriate, though each camera might be the best-performing product in its own class.
We look at how easy each camera is to operate, whether it contains the latest up-to-date imaging technology, whether the cameras can shoot high-quality stills photos and high-resolution video, and also suggest if a particular camera would benefit from any additional kit to give you the best viewing experience possible.
With complete editorial independence, Space.com are here to ensure you get the best buying advice on cameras, whether you should purchase an instrument or not, making our buying guides and reviews reliable and transparent.