Best cameras for photos and videos 2024: From beginner to pro models

Owning one of the best cameras is a must whether you're a professional photographer or videographer, or simply looking to break into shooting as a hobby. But with so many cameras on the market, sorting the good from the bad can be difficult. We're here to help: drawing on the reviews from our in-house experts, we've rounded up the best cameras for photos and videos.

There are lots of choices to make when choosing a camera. Do you go for a DSLR or mirrorless camera? What sensor size is going to be right for you: full-frame, APS-C/crop, or micro four thirds? Is shooting video important to you? How about battery life? Do you need a camera that performs well in low-light?

That's why we're here. You'll find all the information you need on the best cameras in this guide, so whether you're looking for your first camera or you want an upgrade, each entry here will take you through the benefits and drawbacks and explain why we think it's worthy in this guide.

All the cameras on this list have been reviewed by experts, who have tried and tested them out in the field on a range of different subjects to put them through their paces. Every camera is one that our reviewers would personally recommend and use, so you can be sure you're buying a reliable and quality product. We've included models to suit all different skill levels and budgets, ensuring that there's something on the list for everyone.

If you already have some idea of what you'd like, you can check out our more specific guides on the best beginner cameras, best mirrorless cameras and best cameras for astrophotography. We also have several guides on camera accessories that you might need to complete your kit, including the best zoom lenses, best lenses for astrophotography and best tripods.

The quick list

Here are our top picks in a 'quick view' layout. For more information about each camera, click 'read more below'.

Best cameras we recommend for photos and videos 2024

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Best overall

The best camera overall on the market today

Specifications

Type: Mirrorless
Sensor: Full-frame
Lens mount: Nikon Z
ISO Range: 64-25,600 (expandable to 102,400)
Viewfinder size/resolution: 3.2-inches, 3.69m-dot
Video capability: 8K 60p 12-bit
Weight: 2.01 lb (910g) inc. battery
Size: 5.6 x 4.7 x 3.3-inches (144 x 118.5 x 83 mm)
Memory card type: Single SD UHS-II and single CFexpress/XQD card

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent low light performance
+
Incredible FPS burst speed
+
Extremely detailed images

Reasons to avoid

-
Very expensive
-
Overkill for many casual shooters
-
Much bigger than its predecessor
Buy it if:

You can afford it: This is a big investment but it's worth it if you'll be in the industry for years to come.

You shoot stills and video: This camera is just as impressive at both of these tasks 

Don't buy it if:

You're looking or something lightweight and portable: This model is significantly heavier and bigger than its predecessor. It looks and feels like a professional camera.

The bottom line:

🔎 Nikon Z8: Professionals need to look no further — if you combined all the best parts of the flagship Nikon Z9 and the best DSLR in the world, the Nikon D850, you'd be left with this heavy-hitter; the Nikon Z8. ★★★★★

If you're a beginner photographer, you'll likely be put off by the price tag of the Nikon Z8 — it comes in around $4,000. But if you can afford it, this is an absolutely excellent camera that doesn't disappoint in any way. If you're a professional or a serious enthusiast with a big budget, the Nikon Z8 does everything you could possibly want it to with gusto.

Our full Nikon Z8 review is seriously gushing, and the bottom line is that this is the best camera body on the market right now. We think it has all the best bits from Nikon's flagship Nikon Z9 and the excellent Nikon D850 DSLR. No matter what type of shooting you prefer, this beast is up for the job.

Whether you're interested in shooting stills or video, the Z8 excels at both. It's a great all-rounder, but it's more than capable of focusing on one or the other. In terms of video, it's able to support numerous high-quality formats such as N-Log, ProRes and RawHQ, and for shooting stills, it can shoot at speeds of up to 120FPS — that's blisteringly fast, in case you weren't sure, and ideal for capturing fast-moving subjects like sporting events.

The Nikon Z8 is also a powerhouse in low-light conditions, making it a great choice for astrophotography. We particularly appreciate its night vision mode which, when activated, dims the rear screen and uses only red pixels, helping users to maintain their night vision. It's a very nifty feature that we wish more cameras would offer.

The one minor downside of the Nikon Z8 is its size and weight — it's a bit bulky and heavy. So, if you're looking for something compact and easy to carry while traveling, this might not be the best choice. However, considering its impressive power, we think this trade-off is definitely worth it.

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Nikon Z8
AttributesNotes
DesignOutstanding build quality, but it's big and heavy.
PerformanceStarlight mode enables autofocus detection down to an unheard of -9EV.
FunctionalityNight vision mode for astrophotographers.

Best autofocus

Best autofocus: This powerhouse features groundbreaking AI-based autofocus to never miss a shot and incredible full-frame resolution

Specifications

Type: Mirrorless
Sensor: Full-frame
Lens mount: E mount
ISO Range: 100 - 3200 (expanded 50 - 102,400)
Viewfinder size/resolution: 3.2-inch / 9.44M dot
Video capability: 8K/25p video recording
Weight: 1.59 lbs / 723 g including battery
Size: 5.16 x 3.82 x 3.23-inch / 131 x 97 x 82 mm
Memory card type: Dual UHS-II SD/CFexpress Type A slots

Reasons to buy

+
AI-based autofocus system is on another level
+
Beautifully detailed, amazingly versatile LCD screen
+
Stunning high-resolution images

Reasons to avoid

-
Files are huge — your computer will need to be able to process them
-
High ISO images are noisy
Buy it if:

You shoot portraits or weddings: The new AI-based autofocus system is on another level and makes shooting people easier than ever.

You shoot multiple styles: This camera excels at most photographic styles and video, so if you like to shoot many different subjects then this could be the camera for you.

Don't buy it if:

 You mainly shoot astro: We noted that due to so many megapixels, the images were very noisy. Fine for occasional astro with AI denoise in post-processing, but there are better options for astro.

The bottom line:

🔎 Sony A7R V: The Sony A7R V builds on the power of its predecessor with its higher resolution EVF and LCD screen, more stops of image stabilization and a new AI autofocus unit, but the massive 61MP sensor provides too much noise for astrophotography. ★★★★½

We love the Sony A7R V. It's one of the best all-rounder cameras on the market for a multitude of reasons. Its huge 61MP sensor is practically unrivalled, able to capture incredible detail in every shot. And in terms of video, it's capable of shooting in 8K. It's bolstered by a revolutionary and powerful AI-powered autofocus system too, which really sets the A7R V apart from the competition.

Known as Real Time Recognition, the autofocus technology here uses deep learning to distinguish between a range of subjects. It can pick out subjects like vehicles, animals, people and insects — and if you're shooting people, it can even distinguish between body parts, being able to tell a neck from a nose and an eye from an elbow. It makes focusing an absolute dream, and in use it's a real game-changer.

Another new feature that we loved is the 4-axis, multi-angle 3.2-inch LCD screen, which is a vast improvement over the tilt-only screen featured on its predecessor, the A7R IV. This screen is extremely versatile and can handle just about any angle you might choose to shoot at with no neck craning needed. You can flip it out to the side and spin it around to shoot vlogs or selfies, or you can tilt it down and out to bring the screen away from the ports when you're connecting up microphones or monitors. To top it all off, it's 63% higher in resolution than the screen on the A7R IV, making it vivid and detailed to use.

In terms of performance, we found the color depth and dynamic range to be impressive, even when shooting in sunny conditions with sharp shadows. It also has a whopping eight stops of image stabilization, which is great for low-light shooting and even enabled us to shoot cityscapes handheld under street lighting at night. However, it does suffer from a bit of image noise when taking the ISO above 6400, so it may not be the best choice for specialist astrophotographers.

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Sony A7R V
AttributesNotes
DesignMost versatile LCD screen yet.
PerformanceSony's autofocus just keeps getting better thanks to the new AI system.
FunctionalityEight stops image stabilization proves great for low light.

Best for beginners

Best for beginners: Great snaps and vlogging thanks to its excellent tracking capability

Specifications

Type: Mirrorless
Sensor: 34.4MP APS-C
Lens mount: RF (or EF and EF-S with adapter)
ISO range: 100-32,000, expandable to 51,200
Viewfinder size/resolution: 0.39-in, 2.36 million dots OLED EVF
Video capability: 4K UHD 60p
Weight: 1.17 lbs (530g)
Size: : 5.20 x 3.56 x 3.61-inches (132 x 90 x 92mm)
Memory card type: 2x SD/SDHC/SDXC and UHS-II

Reasons to buy

+
Small and lightweight
+
No record limit
+
Excellent autofocus and tracking

Reasons to avoid

-
Not compatible with battery grip
-
Slow buffer speed
Buy it if:

You're a casual vlogger: The screen fully articulates which is great for vlogging and selfies. No more guesswork.

You want to produce razor-sharp images: This camera's performance is incredible. You'll be able to shoot beautiful color-rich images, even in low light.

Don't buy it if:

You are a filmmaker: There have been problems with overheating when recording lots of video.

You are an astrophotographer or want lots of lenses: The range of APS-C lenses (RF-S) is seriously limited. You can use full-frame RF lenses but you'll have to be mindful of the 1.6x crop factor, not good for astro.

The bottom line:

🔎 Canon EOS R7:  A powerful crop sensor camera that can get near full-frame results and can handle almost anything you throw at it with ease. We love it. ★★★★½

The EOS R7 almost feels like a rival to most full-frame cameras despite having a crop sensor. That makes it more compact and more affordable, but it's surprisingly powerful and an utter joy to use. While professionals will likely be put off by its APS-C sensor, it's a fantastic choice for photography beginners, offering them a great set of tools to master the medium with.

You'll find seven stops of in-body image stabilization (IBIS) in the R7, an unusual (but very welcome) feature for a crop sensor camera. IBIS means you can achieve sharper, steadier images in lower light and at longer exposures even when you're holding the camera in your hand, which can be a lifesaver if you're in a pinch without a tripod setup.

There are other neat features here too, like dual SD card slots (again, something rarely seen in crop-sensor cameras) which allows you to either back up your shots or choose to save across two different memory cards. We also love its autofocus, which works fantastically well, even in low-light situations.

The camera is small and lightweight, which makes it comfortable to hold and ideal for traveling, although it might feel a little too small for those with larger hands given that it is not compatible with a battery grip. It comes with a fully articulated screen which is great for vlogging or shooting selfies and also makes it easy to shoot low to the ground or at unusual angles without having to contort yourself to check your composition.

The 32.5MP sensor offers extremely sharp images and pleasing colors, with very little noise on images even when shooting at ISOs of around 6000. For a camera at this price point, we were very impressed with the autofocus and eye tracking on both human and animal subjects. It also produces crisp, clear 4K video, with the autofocus and eye tracking working well on video, too.

One of the only downsides to this camera is the limited options of APS-C lenses (RF-S) currently available. Since Canon is producing such high-quality crop sensor cameras like this one, we hope It will expand its range of compatible lenses soon.

If you want a lightweight Canon that's also full-frame, take a look at our Canon EOS R8 review. We gave it four and a half out of five stars.

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Canon EOS R7
AttributesNotes
DesignSmall and lightweight for travel.
PerformanceImpressive tracking.
FunctionalityUp to 30FPS — provided you have a fast card.

Best hybrid camera

Best hybrid camera: The A7R IV offers good value for money and all-round performance

Specifications

Type: Mirrorless
Sensor: Full-frame
Lens mount: Sony E
ISO Range: 100-32,000 (expanded 50-102,400)
Viewfinder size/resolution: 0.5-in, 5.76 million dots OLED EVF
Video capability: 4K 30FPS
Weight: 23.5 oz (665g)
Size: 5.1 x 3.8 x 3.1-inches (129 x 96 x 78 mm)
Memory card type: Dual UHS-II SD

Reasons to buy

+
In-body Optical Steady Shot
+
Outstanding image quality

Reasons to avoid

-
Massive RAW files will need lots of storage space
-
Expensive, but good value
Buy it if:

If you shoot lots of portraits, weddings or studio work: The autofocus is incredible, and it has many customizable buttons to get your setup just right.

You dabble in astrophotography: This camera would be a perfect match for astrophotographers of any skill level. You can use the shots right out of the camera up to ISO 6400 before you start to see any unfavorable noise.

Don't buy it if:

61 megapixels might be overkill: Many photographers won't need this level of detail (or file size) and can save money on lower-resolution cameras.

You want to shoot fast action sports: There are other cameras with higher burst speeds.

The bottom line:

🔎 Sony A7R IV: Despite the big price tag, this is an incredible camera in a class of its own. For landscape photographers, studio portraits, or professional wedding photography, this is a fantastic choice. ★★★★½

While the Sony A7R V may have stolen the limelight from the A7R IV, this is still an excellent camera. And its lower price point means it still has an audience. As long as this camera is still available, it's going to impress whoever picks it up.

One of our favorite things about the Sony A7R IV is its huge 61-megapixel sensor. It's great at picking up small, intricate details and it handles low light conditions extremely well. 

It's a great choice for astrophotography too, and it performs so well that it's secured a place in our best cameras for low-light photography guide.

In our Sony A7R IV review, we compared the camera to its predecessor, the Sony A7R III. Even though some of the upgrades may not seem significant at first glance, they make a considerable difference in practical use. Even subtle changes, like the more prominent and tactile buttons, greatly enhance the camera's usability, especially if you're wearing gloves or shooting in low-light environments.

Despite being a generation old now, the Sony A7R IV is still an excellent camera and, as such, it still carries a hefty price tag. It's still a worthwhile investment though even though the A7R V is on the market, the A7R IV will remain relevant for a long while — and very few cameras will be able to handle shooting weddings, portraits, studio work, and landscapes quite as well.

We should add that we used the Sony A7R IV when we reviewed the Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM, and we think this camera and lens pairing is a match made in heaven.

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Sony A7R IV
AttributesNotes
DesignSuperb build quality.
PerformanceBright, sharp and colorful images.
FunctionalityHigh megapixel sensor means more image noise.

Best budget camera

Best budget camera: The Z fc is a delight to use and is beautifully stylish

Specifications

Type: Mirrorless
Sensor: 21MP APS-C
Lens mount: Nikon Z
ISO range: 200-51,200 (expanded 204,800)
Viewfinder size/resolution: 0.39-in, 2.4 million dots OLED EVF
Video capability: 4K UHD 30p
Weight: 0.98 lbs (445g)
Size: 5.31 x 3.7 x 1.73-inches (135 x 94 x 44mm)
Memory card type: SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-I supported)

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent touchscreen
+
Retro design
+
Great sensor

Reasons to avoid

-
Geared to beginners
-
Continuous/burst modes could be better
Buy it if:

You want something stylish: The classic aesthetic of this camera is very appealing and timeless.

You're a beginner: This camera is easy to get to grips with, even for total newcomers, its also reasonably priced.

Don't buy it if:

You're a professional: The 'c' in the name signifies this camera was designed with casual shooters in mind. Pros will find it limiting so should opt for another model.

The bottom line:

🔎 Nikon Z fc: The Nikon Z fc is an impressive bit of design and a gorgeous camera to look at and use. On the inside, it's capable and easy to get to grips with for most casual users. ★★★★½

We've got another Nikon entry in our list of best cameras for photos and videos — and the Nikon Z fc has earned its place with gusto. It's also topped the list in our best beginner cameras guide too, and for good reason. It's a gorgeous, timeless-looking camera that is a joy to use. It's well-suited to casual users (which is what the 'c' in the name signifies) thanks to its straightforward use and user-friendly approach to camera controls.

We think Nikon could do with improving the continuous shooting option mode, so if you're a professional looking to shoot sports or action, you may want to choose a different model. However, for other types of photography, the noise reduction performance is outstanding. Even in low-light situations, you can raise the ISO and still capture remarkable photos. We tested this in our hands-on Nikon Z fc review and could push the ISO to ISO 12,800 and still achieve acceptable images with minimal unwanted noise — very impressive.

The autofocus is designed to prioritize people, maintaining pin-sharp focus on their faces. This feature is ideal for capturing candid street photos, portraits or important events like weddings, where capturing fleeting moments is crucial. The quick and responsive touchscreen ensures you won't miss any spontaneous shots, and the camera is fast overall, ready to start shooting in less than a second after turning it on.

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Nikon Z fc
AttributesNotes
DesignRetro styling is incorporated tastefully.
PerformanceNoise control works superbly.
FunctionalityLens options suit a range of content creators.