We’ve been ruthless in picking the best cameras on the market right now. The cameras in this list represent the best you can buy across the different key categories; DSLR, mirrorless (full-frame, APS-C or Four Thirds) and compact.
Basically, whatever kind of camera you’re likely to be in the market for, we’ve picked our favourite buys here. Or perhaps you already know what kind of camera you want to buy? In which case, you might want some more specific information from some of our other camera buyers’ guides:
- Best cheap cameras that are actually pretty awesome
- Best cameras for beginners
- Best travel cameras you can depend on
- Canon vs Nikon: how to choose the best DSLR
- Best mirrorless cameras in the world
- Best DSLRs you can buy today
- Best 360 cameras for capturing the wider world around you
- Best cameras for vlogging
Consumers are treated to more choice than ever before, which made narrowing down the choices for this tricky at times. In the end, it came down to cameras which provide the best set of features in that particular category, as well as those that yield the best quality images and have good handling.
Read on to find out which models made it to the final selection.
Packed full of exciting technology drawing professionals away from traditional DSLR shooting
Sensor: Full-frame stacked CMOS, Megapixels: 24.2, Lens Mount: Sony E-mount, AF System: Hybrid AF (693 phase detect points, 25 contrast detect points), Viewfinder: 0.5-inch 3,686,400-dot, electronic viewfinder, 0.78x magnification, Screen: 3.0-inch, 1,440k-dot, tilting, touch-sensitive, Max video resolution: 4K, Max frame rate: 20fps
- Pros: Fast, silent shooting, superb AF system
- Cons: Expensive, still quite limited lens range
Quite possibly the best camera in the world right now (of any type), the Sony A9 has a host of amazing specifications which appeal to professional photographers. Sports and wildlife photographers, in particular, are likely to be drawn to the 20fps silent shooting, which is achieved with continuous AF and without blackout in the viewfinder – something DSLRs can only dream of.
Being able to shoot silently is a real bonus for staying discreet during key moments, such as the swing of a golf club. Other plus points include an extremely capable AF system and 4K video recording. To date, Sony hasn’t released any fast aperture telephoto lenses, but we can’t imagine they’ll be too far off.
Want more information? Read our in-depth Sony A9 review!
If the A9 is a bit too pricey, take a look at the Sony A7 III. This fabulous camera has lots in common with its pro-level sibling but its price has been making other manufacturers lose sleep.
Canon 1DX Mark II
A reliable, solid performer to help professionals get the shot, every time.
Sensor: Full-frame CMOS, Megapixels: 20.2, Lens Mount: Canon EF-mount, AF System: Phase Detection AF (61 point), Viewfinder: Optical pentaprism, 0.76x magnification, 100% coverage Screen: 3.2-inch, 1,620k-dot, touch-sensitive, Max video resolution: 4K, Max frame rate: 16fps
- Pros: Excellent AF system, 4K video
- Cons: Fixed screen, very large and heavy
Canon’s top professional-level camera builds on the success of the existing 1DX to produce an extremely capable camera with a raft of specifications that high-end photographers need. There’s fast shooting of up to 14fps (via Live View), or 12fps through the viewfinder.
The AF system is fast and precise, while the body itself is robust and designed for extensive life in the field. There’s dual-controls with both a vertical and horizontal grip, making shooting in whichever orientation you need a dream.
It may not have the crazy high ISO capabilities of the Nikon D5, but it still performs extremely well in darker conditions. The screen is fixed, but it’s both touch-sensitive and boasts a very high-resolution.
- Want more information? Read our Canon 1DX Mark II review!
Nikon Z 7
The best handling of any Nikon camera and superb image quality
Sensor: Full-frame CMOS, Megapixels: 45.7, Lens Mount: Nikon Z-mount, AF System: Hybrid AF with 493 points, Viewfinder: 0.5-inch 3.6million-dot, electronic viewfinder, 0.8x magnification, Screen: 3.2-inch, 2,100k-dot, tilting, touch-sensitive, Max video resolution: 4K ((3840 x 2160), Max frame rate: 9fps
- Pros: Superb handling, excellent image quality, high resolution
- Cons: Expensive, single XQD card slot, images slow to appear after shooting
As much as we like the Sony A7R III, Nikon has done a better job with the handling of the Z 7, so it makes our choice of high-resolution mirrorless camera. The touch-control is very well implemented and a few of the issues we’ve had with Nikon’s DSLRs have been resolved to make the Z 7a more intuitive to use.
Despite its high pixel count, the Nikon Z 7 keeps noise under control well and the dynamic range is jaw-droppingly high. And although Sony may have the edge for AF tracking, Nikon’s AF system can keep pace with fast-moving subjects.
A blend of traditional and modern that will put a smile on your face
Sensor: APS-C X-Trans CMOS, Megapixels: 26.1, Lens Mount: Fujifilm X, AF System: Intelligent Hybrid with 425 points, Viewfinder: 0.5-inch Electronic with 3.60-million dots, 0.75x magnification, 100% coverage Screen: 3.0-inch, 1,04k-dot, touch-sensitive, Max video resolution: 4K (4096×2160), Max frame rate: 20fps at full-resolution
- Pros: Super AF system in good light, 4K video
- Cons: Viewfinder blocks the view of the screen from above, low light AF hesitant
If you want a camera that makes you feel in charge, take a look at the Fujifilm X-T3. We love its traditional exposure controls.
It also has an AF system that gets fast-moving subjects sharp and keeps them that way provided the light is half-way decent. There’s also a very good viewfinder and a touch-screen with a robust dual-tilting mechanism. In addition, Fujifilm has seriously up-rated the video capabilities on those of the X-T2, with internal 4k/60P 4:2:0 10bit recording.
Add in Fuji’s superb Film Simulation modes and sublime image quality and you start to see why we love the X-T3.
- For more information read our Fujifilm X-T3 Review
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II
The flagship Olympus model contains some seriously impressive specs for a range of different subjects
Sensor: Four Thirds type Live MOS, Megapixels: 20, Lens Mount: Micro Four Thirds, AF System: Hybrid AF, 121 point, Viewfinder: 2.36m-dot LCD Electronic Viewfinder, Screen: 3-inch, vari-angle, 1037k-dot, touch-sensitive, Max video resolution: 4K, Max frame rate: 60fps
- Pros: Incredible image stabilisation, vari-angle touchscreen
- Cons: Expensive, complicated menu system
By far the most contentious category in our list, the amount of excellent choice in the mirrorless market right now is incredible. We chose the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II thanks to its fantastic range of features, which includes a superb AF system and image stabilisation which gets sharp shots when shooting handheld at shutter speeds as slow as 2 seconds.
The E-M1 Mark II suits a huge amount of different subjects, including sports and wildlife, with an unrivalled 60fps available (with fixed AF), or 18fps with continuous AF. Other attractive models in this category include the Fujifilm X-T2 and the Panasonic GH5, but the OM-D E-M1 Mark II just pips them to the post for its all-round capabilities.
- Want more information? Read our in-depth Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II review!
A full-frame DSLR that combines speed with high resolution in a fantastic all-round performer.
Sensor: Full-frame CMOS, Megapixels: 45.7, Lens Mount: Nikon F Mount, AF System: Phase Detection AF, 153 point, Viewfinder: Optical pentaprism, 100% coverage, 0.75x magnification Screen: 3.2-inch, tilting, 2359k-dot, touch-sensitive Max video resolution: 4K/UHD (3,840 x 2160), Max frame rate: 7fps
- Pros: High-resolution BSI sensor, dual memory card slots
- Cons: High price, Live View and Video lags behind the competition
In some ways, the D850 can be seen as two cameras in one. It combines an excellent high-resolution BSI sensor with a superb 153-point AF system and an impressive frame rate that with the optional MB-D18 multi-power battery pack can be pushed to 9fps.
Thanks to it 45.7Mp megapixel resolution, the D850 is capable of capturing lots of detail. And that detail is maintained impressively well throughout the ISO 64-25.600 native sensitivity range. This helps to make the D850 an extremely capable all-rounder. It’s great for action and sports, but can also be used for weddings, portraits and landscapes.
The D850’s body is robust, which gives you the confidence to use it in a range of different situations.
Sony RX100 V
A pocket whiz with more technology than perhaps you’ll ever need, the ultimate compact camera.
Sensor: 1-inch stacked CMOS, Megapixels: 20.1, Lens: Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* Lens, 2.9x zoom (24-70mm equivalent), f/1.8-2.8, AF System: Hybrid (including 315 phase-detection points, 25 contrast detect points), Viewfinder: 0.39-inch, 2,359,269-dot, retractable viewfinder with 0.59x magnification Screen: Tilting, 3.0-inch, 1,228,800-dot, Max video resolution: 4K, Max frame rate: 24fps
- Pros: Fast lens, pocket-friendly
- Cons: Very expensive, no front-grip
As you might expect from a compact camera with an eye-watering asking price of £1,000, the RX100V is jam-packed with advanced technology. This pocket-sized powerhouse is extremely small, but still manages to fit in a one-inch sensor and a retracting viewfinder.
Even more impressively is the fact that the camera can shoot at 24fps and has 315 phase detection autofocus points – oh and it can shoot 4K video too. If you want to make sure you always have a very capable camera with you, but don’t want the bulk, the RX100V is the best you can buy.
- Want more information? Read our in-depth Sony RX100 V review!