Best cameras for photos and videos 2023: From beginner to pro level

Main with one of the best cameras for photos and videos at a harbour
(Image credit: Future)

Using one of the best cameras for photos and videos gives us the greatest chance to capture the desired shot. This guide pulls together the best of the best from a wide range of camera brands from Nikon, Canon, Sony, Fujifilm and more. 

There are so many cameras on the market, from DSLRs to mirrorless, that it's difficult to know what you should be looking for and which one to get, especially since 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 here.

We have other guides too, to help you decide on the best cameras for astrophotography, or find a discount with our camera deals hub. Discover the best mirrorless cameras or best DSLR cameras if you want something specific. Or pair a camera with one of the best lenses for astrophotography or the best zoom lenses.

Today's best cameras for photos and videos 2023 deal right now:

Why you can trust Space Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Panasonic Lumix G100 (opens in new tab)

Panasonic Lumix G100: was $799.99, (opens in new tab)now $597.99 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
Aimed at vloggers and beginner photographers this Lumix G100 camera and lens bundle is reasonably priced and it has been reduced by just over $200 (opens in new tab). Perfect for YouTubers and other social video creatives it captures UHD 4K30p video. This bundle also comes with a 12-32mm lens.

Best cameras for photos and videos in 2023

front view of the sony a7r iv

A front view of the Sony A7R IV from our full review. (Image credit: Kimberley Lane)
We think this is the best, good value for money all-rounder


Type: Mirrorless
Sensor: Full frame
Lens mount: Sony E
ISO Range: 100-32,000 (expanded 50-102,400)
Viewfinder size/resolution: OLED 5.76M dots
Video capability: 4K 30FPS
Weight: 23.5 oz / 665g
Size: 5.1 x 3.8 x 3.1 in. (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

The Sony A7R IV boasts a whopping 61-megapixel resolution and can bring out the finest details, even in poor lighting conditions. In fact, it handles so well in low light it's also a favorite in our best cameras for low light photography guide. If the 61 megapixels are too much to handle, you can 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 the subtle upgrades following the Sony A7R III made a world of difference in real life, despite not looking like much on paper. The improved hand grip makes it much nicer and more comfortable to hold, it has more prominent and thus more tactile buttons, which are especially handy 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, you won't find much better.

Nikon Z9 on a wooden table in front of a window

The Nikon Z9 mirrorless camera placed on a wooden table from our full review. (Image credit: Andy Hartup)
Best for pros — Nikon's flagship mirrorless camera body is packed with enviable functionality


Type: : Z-series mirrorless
Sensor: : 45.7MP, stacked full-frame
Lens mount: : Nikon Z mount
ISO range: : 64-256,000 (expandable up to 32-102,400)
Viewfinder size/resolution: : LCD, 3.68 million dots
Video capability: : 8K 60FPS, 4K 120FPS
Weight: : 1340g
Size: : 149 x 150 x 91mm (5.9-inch x 5.9-inch x 3.6-inch)
Memory card type: : CFexpress type B or XQD card

Reasons to buy

Unrivaled burst shooting speed
Excellent battery life
Fantastic build quality

Reasons to avoid

Pretty heavy
Possibly overkill for astro
Not a fully articulating screen

After our Nikon Z9 review, we gave it a solid 4.5 out of 5 stars, and we think it is one of the top-performing digital cameras ever made. It is an expensive bit of kit, so more suited to professionals who make money from photos or videos as it's incredibly capable at both.

The camera is perfect for sports and wildlife photography and capturing those fleeting special moments at weddings or events thanks to its 'market-leading' burst shooting. It shoots at 20FPS RAW and a blistering 120FPSP to low-res JPEG. The Z9 is also eerily good at picking out eyes and faces, something else that lends perfectly to weddings and sporting events. Never miss a shot.

We don't think this is 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.

More impressive functionality is the range of connectivity options. There's Snapbridge file transfer, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth transfer, ethernet, and USB-C. What more could you want?

A photo of the Nikon Z6 ii

The Nikon Z6 II photographed on a wooden surface taken during our full review of the camera. (Image credit: Jacob Little)
An excellent all rounder, and more sophisticated than its older brother


Type: : Mirrorless
Sensor: : BSI-CMOS 24.5MP
Lens mount: : Z-mount
ISO range: : 100-51200 (expanded 50-204800)
Viewfinder size/resolution: : 3.6-million dot
Video capability: : 4K 60p
Weight: : 1.5lbs/675g
Size: : 134 x 101 x 68 mm
Memory card type: : 1x CFexpress/XQD, 1x UHS-II SD

Reasons to buy

Good in low-light
Excellent build quality

Reasons to avoid

Lower priced competitors
Only small improvements over the Z6

The Nikon Z6 (featured in our 'honorable mentions' below) is a great camera for astrophotography. Still, if you are going to be shooting a range of different styles, the slightly more sophisticated Nikon Z6 II is worth considering as an excellent all-rounder.

One of the enhancements is a second memory card slot, offering an instant backup for peace of mind when on a shoot. Then there's 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 is no need to touch the camera to see how long is left.

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.

Sony A7 III review: image shows Sony A7 III camera outside

The Sony A7 III mirrorless camera atop a Manfrotto tripod out in the landscape, taken during our full review. (Image credit: Lauren Scott)
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The Sony A7 III can practically see and focus in the dark, a dream for astrophotographers


Type: Mirrorless
Sensor: 24.2MP, Full-frame 35mm
Lens mount: E-mount
ISO range: 50-51200 (204800 for stills)
Viewfinder size/resolution: 0.5-inch, 2.35 million dots
Video capability: 4K UHD 30FPS
Weight: 650g
Size: 126.9mm x 95.6mm x 73.7mm
Memory card type: 1x SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-I/II compliant) 1x Multi slot for Memory Stick Duo/SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-I compliant)

Reasons to buy

-3EV Autofocus range
93% AF point coverage

Reasons to avoid

Only 24MP stills
Older model mirrorless

Featuring an expandable ISO range of 204,800 and an autofocus range of -3EV, the Sony A7 III with its full-frame 35mm sensor 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 the relatively small form factor doesn't echo the remarkable images this camera can produce. It is 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. It can capture approximately 710 still photos on a full charge, that is impressive.

Users can choose from the 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 because it has been superseded, you could snatch yourself a bargain. 

The Canon R5 from above

The Canon EOS R5 mirrorless camera as viewed from the top, including camera buttons, hot shoe and top LCD screen, taken during our full review. (Image credit: Jacob Little)
Canon's best ever camera, with outstanding features to suit all styles of shooting


Type: Mirrorless
Sensor: 45MP CMOS (APS-C)
Lens mount: Canon RF
ISO range: 100 to 51,200 (Extended: 50 to 102,400)
Viewfinder size/resolution: 0.5" 5.6 million dots
Video capability: 8K30 Raw and 4K120 10-Bit Internal Video
Weight: 1.62 lb / 738 g
Size: 5.43 x 3.84 x 3.46" / 138 x 97.5 x 88 mm
Memory card type: SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-II) and CFexpress Type B

Reasons to buy

8K video recording
Best-in-class ergonomics
Autofocus system is hard to beat

Reasons to avoid

Very expensive
Some known issues with overheating
Overkill for many photographers

The Canon EOS R5 features outstanding features to suit a range of different photography styles and needs. It boasts a 45MP CMOS (APS-C) image sensor and, as discussed in our 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 is a dream for portrait photographers too, especially in situations like weddings where you don't want to miss a moment.

For astrophotographers, its noise handling capabilities are excellent, along with its generous 15 stops of dynamic range, making it able to pick out detail even in the darkest shadows, with more data collected and able to be reclaimed in post-processing. It also offers 8K raw video recording.

Content creators 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 to the max.

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV sat on a table

A photo of the camera taken during our full review of the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV . (Image credit: Jacob Little)
A great option for every day shooting, this may be the best Micro Four Thirds camera for astro


Type: Mirrorless
Sensor: 20MP, Micro Four Thirds
Lens mount: Micro Four Thirds mount
ISO range: 200-25600
Viewfinder size/resolution: EVF OLED, 2.36m dots
Video capability: 4K UHD 30FPS
Weight: 383g
Size: 121.7 x 84.6 x 49mm
Memory card type: SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-II)

Reasons to buy

Lightweight and portable
Five stops in-body image stabilization
Fast AF system

Reasons to avoid

It doesn't feel premium in the hand
No microphone port

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV sets the bar high for people looking to move up from beginner cameras or smartphones. You can achieve great results simply by staying in 'auto' mode, although you have all the manual dials and settings at your disposal to be as creative as you wish.

We decided in our Olympus OM-D E- M10 Mark IV review that 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, but the pleasant chunky feel and the ergonomically pleasing right-hand grip make one-handed operation possible and comfortable.

The surprisingly large LCD screen is remarkable, with excellent clarity and resolution. All of the dials and menus are easy to navigate and feel pretty intuitive.

Review photo of the Sony A1

The Sony A1 pictured on a marble table, taken as part of our testing during our full review. (Image credit: Kimberley Lane)
Mindblowing specs and performance but with a price tag to match


Type: Full-frame mirrorless
Sensor: 50.1 MP
Lens mount: Sony E mount
ISO range: ISO 50 to 102400
Viewfinder size/resolution: 9.44M-dot (approx.) OLED viewfinder
Video capability: 8K 30P, 4K 120P
Weight: 726g (1.6lb)
Size: 149 x 150 x 91mm (5.9-inch x 5.9-inch x 3.6-inch)
Memory card type: 2x CFexpress slots

Reasons to buy

Extremely versatile
50.1 megapixels
8K 30P video

Reasons to avoid

Very expensive
More affordable competitors available

This is possibly the camera to rule above all others although unfortunately — it has a price point to match. At over $6000, this is realistically reserved for professionals who can earn money back from working in the business.

The huge 50.1MP stills resolution, along with the 8K 30p video, a class-leading electronic viewfinder and a generous 5.5 stops of image stabilization can all be utilized to produce incredible photos, in any environment.

Thanks to the Lossless compressed files, 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.

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.

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!

Side profile of the Nikon D850

The Nikon D850 DSLR photographed on a Gitzo tripod as part of our full review. (Image credit: Jason Parnell-Brookes)
The oldest model here, but reliable and rugged with incredible stills and video capability


Type: DSLR
Sensor: 45.4MP, Full-frame 35mm
Lens mount: F-mount
ISO range: 64-25600 (102400 expandable)
Viewfinder size/resolution: Optical, 0.75x mag
Video capability: 4K UHD 30FPS
Weight: 915g
Size: 146 x 124 x 78.5 mm
Memory card type: 1x SD/SDHC/SDXC and UHS-II, 1x XQD/CF Express

Reasons to buy

Capture huge images with 45.4MP stills
Impeccable weather sealing

Reasons to avoid

Larger and heavier than mirrorless
Can’t use latest Z-mount lenses

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 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 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 (something you can't do with mirrorless cameras). With 4K UHD 30fps video, the movie footage is impressive. You can also capture slow-motion with 120fps full HD video. This allows fast-paced action to be slowed down four times for cinematic effect.

This camera is built for professional use. It's weather-sealed and tough enough to withstand some rough and tough without compromising performance. It even has backlit buttons so you can practice your astrophotography without impacting your night vision.

Fujifilm X-T5 in-hand with author

(Image credit: Lauren Scott)
A great all-rounder with good low light performance.


Type: Mirrorless
Sensor: 40.2MP CMPS
Lens mount: Fujifilm X
ISO range: 125-12,800 (exp 64-51,200)
Viewfinder size/resolution: 0.5-inch, 3.69M-dot OLED EVF
Video capability: 10-bit 4:2:2 video at 6.2K/30P, 4K/60p webcam mode
Weight: 557g (1.23lb) with battery
Size: 130 x 91 x 64 mm (5.1 x 3.6 x 2.5 in)
Memory card type: 2 x SD/SDHX/SDHC slots

Reasons to buy

Classic aesthetic
Two SD memory cards
Seven stops of in-body stabilization

Reasons to avoid

Dials take some getting used to
Screen is tilt only

There is a lot packed into a compact body, making this camera an excellent choice for photographers who dabble in a variety of photography styles. It features seven stops of in-body image stabilization, boasts impressive low-light performance, and a very fast processing engine, making it ideal for action or sports photography. 

The retro-looking body is ergonomic, and the manual control dials delight traditionalists. As we discussed in our full Fujifilm X-T5 review, they take some getting used to, especially when using them in the dark. Having to adjust the aperture on the lens barrel will also feel alien to those used to a DSLR style of handling.

The Fujifilm X-T5 is also one of the best cameras available for timelapse photography. If you are looking for different options for this type of capture, take a look at our list of the best cameras for timelapse videos.

Canon EOS Rebel SL3 / 250D sat on a table

The Canon EOS Rebel SL3 (otherwise known as the 250D outside of the US) is pictured with its vari-angle screen flipped out as part of our full review. (Image credit: Tantse Walter)
An ultra-portable DSLR camera that beginners will love


Type: DSLR
Sensor: 24.1MP, APS-C
Lens mount: EF-S mount
ISO range: 100-25600 (51200 expanded)
Viewfinder size/resolution: Optical, 0.87x mag
Video capability: 4K UHD, 24fps, or Full HD 60fps
Weight: 449g
Size: 122.4 x 92.6 x 69.8mm
Memory card type: SD, SDHC, SDXC (UHS I only)

Reasons to buy

In-built tutorials
Small form factor
Useful vari-angle touchscreen

Reasons to avoid

Limited AF points when using viewfinder
Cramped button space on device

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 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 vari-angle touchscreen, which can flip 180-degrees, makes it easy to compose images at any angle to provide fresh vantage points without contorting yourself into uncomfortable positions. It is also especially good helpful for recording selfies.

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 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.

Image shows a front view of the Nikon D3500

This entry-level Nikon DSLR was photographed during testing in our full review. (Image credit: Jacob Little)
Best for beginners — a lightweight option for DSLR enthusiasts who want a camera that performs well and doesn’t break the bank


Type: DSLR
Sensor: 24.5MP, APS-C
Lens mount: F-mount
ISO range: 100-25600
Viewfinder size/resolution: Optical, 0.85x
Video capability: Full HD 60fps
Weight: 365g
Size: 124 x 97 x 69.5 mm
Memory card type: SD, SDHC, SDXC (UHS-I only)

Reasons to buy

Small and lightweight, supremely portable
APS-C image sensor

Reasons to avoid

Fixed rear screen
Only 5 FPS in stills mode

In our Nikon D3500 review, we found it to be a versatile entry-level camera, designed for those who want to get started in more advanced photography without spending having to spend big bucks. The D3500's crop sensor means all lenses will have an extra 1.5x crop. In turn, that 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 you can use autofocus, lock it and recompose. We should point out that it is possible that 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 for photographs for online and print use, matching that of many flagship DSLR cameras across 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. This is an ideal, affordable camera for beginners.

Honorable mentions:

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, 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 X-T4 camera review: image of Fuji X-T4

The Fujifilm X-T4 mirrorless camera as photographed for our full review. (Image credit: Diana Jarvis)
Best for street photography — classical styling meets excellent modern features


Type: Mirrorless
Sensor: 26.1MP, APS-C
Lens mount: X-mount
ISO range: 160-12800 (80-51200 expandable)
Viewfinder size/resolution: 0.5inch OLED, 3.69 million dots
Video capability: DCI 4K 60fps
Weight: 526g
Size: 134.6mm x 92.8mm x 63.8mm
Memory card type: SD, SDHC, SDXC (UHS-II and V90 compatible)

Reasons to buy

6.5 stops of IBIS
15fps stills shooting

Reasons to avoid

Limited ISO range
Not as high res as class competitors

Fujifilm has packed a lot of functions and features into the small body of the X-T4 and it certainly performs well enough for semi-pros to shoot with, or for professionals as a second body. As standard, it can capture stills at a blistering 15fps mechanically. Should you want to go faster, this little camera can use an electronic shutter with a 1.25x crop mode to reach up to 30FPS. That means sports, wildlife, or any fast-paced action (even tracking solar or lunar events) is a breeze for the X-T4.

In our Fujifilm X-T4 review, we especially liked how it handled low light. The ISO goes up to a staggering 51200 using the ‘command’ setting.

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 helpful 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 60 frames per second video. 

Because it is elegantly designed and has its latest mirrorless features, the Fujifilm X-T4 is reminiscent of old SLRs without any drawbacks. A delightful camera with great specs makes this one of the best APS-C cameras on the market. 

Nikon Z6 review

The Nikon Z6 is still a great camera, as we explain in our full review. (Image credit: Andy Hartup)
Best mirrorless camera — a beautifully clear EVF make composing scenes a breeze, it’s great at everything


Type: Mirrorless
Sensor: 24.5MP, Full-frame 35mm
Lens mount: Z-mount
ISO range: 100-51200 (204800 expandable)
Viewfinder size/resolution: 0.5-inch, 3.69 million dots
Video capability: 4K UHD 30FPS
Weight: 705g
Size: 134 x 100.5 x 69.5 mm
Memory card type: 1x SD/SDHC/SDXC and UHS-II, 1x XQD/CF Express

Reasons to buy

Good noise handling
Feels great to use

Reasons to avoid

Lenses are good, but limited range
Not as good as the Z6II for video

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 the superb ISO range, excellent handling and easily navigable menu.

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 mean the Z6 is an excellent choice for almost any kind of photography. Wildlife, sports, portraits, landscapes, product photography — you name it, the Z6 can do it.

Our favorite thing was the backlit sensor, which was impressive and afforded us impressive 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 motion is likely to be quick, the Z6 shoots at a generous 12FPS. It also has handy 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 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 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, 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.

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Jason Parnell-Brookes
Channel Editor

Jason Parnell-Brookes is an award-winning photographer, educator and writer based in the UK. He won the Gold Prize award in the Nikon Photo Contest 2018/19 beating over 90,000 other entrants and was named Digital Photographer of the Year in 2014. Jason is a Masters graduate and has a wealth of academic and real-world experience in a variety of photographic disciplines from astrophotography and wildlife to fashion and portraiture. Now the Channel Editor for Cameras and Skywatching at his speciality is in low light optics and camera systems.

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