What’s the best camera you can buy right now? The answer to that question will be different for every person. It really depends on what and how you like to shoot, as well as your budget, size and performance needs. But finding your ideal camera doesn’t need to be a daunting task – which is exactly why we’ve put together this buying guide.
From entry-level cameras for novice photographers to high-end equipment for enthusiast shooters, to find the right camera you have to know what you want – and accept a few compromises. No camera will ever be completely perfect and you’ll usually need to measure certain expectations, whether on weight, size, features or price.
We’ve accounted for all of that in creating our list of the best cameras you can buy. Each of the models featured below is brilliant in some way – whether because of a groundbreaking feature, an affordable price-tag or impressive all-round performance. With that in mind, we’ve selected the best options in each of the three key categories: DSLR, mirrorless and compact.
Want to know which camera we think is the top all-rounder you can buy right now? That’s the Nikon Z6. It’s a small, lightweight and relatively affordable full-frame camera, with the option to use hundreds of different lenses with a simple adapter. For most people, it’s all the camera you'll need.
That said, it’s still worth having a look at the list, because we haven’t simply picked the latest photographic kit. Sometimes previous models offer better value, especially when upgrades are marginal, which is why we’ve included a handful of older cameras with prices that have now dropped to enticing levels. We’ve hand-picked the latest and greatest cameras on the market today, so you’ve got the all the options for your next purchase.
Best camera 2020 at a glance:
- Nikon Z6 (our top all-round camera)
- Fujifilm X-T30
- Sony A7 III
- Nikon D850
- Nikon Z50
- Sony A6100
- Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III
- Canon EOS Rebel SL3 / EOS 250D
- Panasonic Lumix ZS200 / TZ200
- Panasonic Lumix G95 / G90
Along the way we'll explain some of the jargon and the differences between cameras, though if you need a bit more help deciding what kind of camera you need, you can get a lot more information from our special step-by-step guide: What camera should I buy?
On the other hand, you may already have a clear idea of the kind of camera you want, in which case you could go straight to one of our more specific camera buying guides at the bottom of the page. Otherwise, read on to find out our picks of the best cameras available right now.
The best cameras 2020:
1. Nikon Z6
A brilliant full-frame all-rounder mirrorless
Type: Mirrorless | Sensor size: Full-frame CMOS | Resolution: 24.5MP | Lens: Nikon Z mount | Viewfinder: EVF | Screen type: 3.2-inch tilting touchscreen, 2,100,000 dots | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 12fps | Movies: 4K | User level: Intermediate/expert
Now just over a year old, the Z6 still retains its position as our best camera. Being a fantastic all rounder with superb handling, there's nothing yet which beats it in terms of versatility, usability and affordability. The Z6 combines both excellent stills and 4K video quality with everything else that's key for a full-frame mirrorless camera. That means we get a lightweight and compact body that still manages to handle beautifully on account of a substantial and ergonomically designed grip. There's also a sharp and crisp 3.69-million dot viewfinder along with a responsive, and tilting touchscreen. The native lens range for the Z mount is expanding rapidly, but if there's something you need that's not covered then you can use F-mount optics via the optional FTZ adapter ($245 / £270 / AU$180). We've also been treated to features such as Eye AF for the past few months, which helps it to compete even more strongly against Sony's Alpha line. We love the Z6 – though the Sony A7 III (see below) isn't too far behind it.
- Read our in-depth Nikon Z6 review
- Also consider: Sony Alpha A7 III
- Buying guide: Best mirrorless camera
2. Fujifilm X-T30
This ravishing retro option squeezes in plenty of high-end tech
Sensor size: APS-C | Resolution: 26.1MP | Viewfinder: 2,360K dots | Monitor: 3.0-inch tilt-angle touchscreen, 1,040K dots | Autofocus: 425-point AF | Maximum continuous shooting rate: 8fps | Movies: 4K at 30p | User level: Expert
Fujifilm's X-T3 may still one of the most capable APS-C mirrorless cameras around, but that fact that the company managed to incorporate so much of its tech inside the smaller and cheaper X-T30 makes this our recommendation for most people. A solid 26.1MP X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor, popular Film Simulation modes, excellent 4K video capabilities and a hybrid AF system with 425 phase-detect AF points stand out as highlights from its strong spec sheet, while improvements to overall speed and face/eye detection (with more to come via scheduled firmware updates) make for a slightly more polished performance over the previous X-T20. Our only gripe is the small viewfinder magnification, but there's enough handling prowess to still make it one of the best APS-C options out there. Hot on its heels is the newly-announced Nikon Z50, which may just push the X-T30 out of this list once we've had chance to test it properly.
- Read our in-depth Fujifilm X-T30 review
- Also consider: Fujifilm X-T3
- Buying guide: Best mirrorless camera
3. Sony A7 III
Quality results partnered with speedy operation
Sensor size: Full-frame | Resolution: 24.2MP | Viewfinder: 2,359K dots | Monitor: 3.0-inch tilt-angle touchscreen, 921K dots | Autofocus: 693-point AF | Maximum continuous shooting rate: 10fps | Movies: 4K at 30p | User level: Intermediate/expert
We love the A7 III. The original A7 and A7 II showed Sony was moving in the right direction and making all the right noises. But despite being over 18 months old, it's this third iteration that still stands out in the full-frame mirrorless market. The core of the camera – namely a 24MP full-frame sensor, 4K video, sensor-based image stabilisation, 10fps burst shooting and a 693-point hybrid AF system – is strong enough, but with two card slots and a 710-shot battery life on top of that, you're getting excellent value for money as well as top performance. We have some reservations with the viewfinder and weather-sealing, but this is still one of the most versatile cameras around right now, mirrorless or otherwise.
- Read our in-depth Sony Alpha A7 III review
- Also consider: Nikon Z6
- Buying guide: Best mirrorless camera
4. Nikon D850
Resolution, speed and traditional controls - this DSLR still delivers
Type: DSLR | Sensor size: Full-frame CMOS | Resolution: 45.4MP | Lens: Nikon F mount | Viewfinder: Optical | Screen type: 3.2-inch tilting touchscreen, 2,359,000 dots | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 7fps | Movies: 4K | User level: Intermediate/expert
You'd be forgiven for thinking that mirrorless is the only option right now for class-leading tech, but the Nikon D850 still manages to hold its own as one of the best cameras on the market. It has a well-rounded feature set which means it appeals to a diverse range of users, particularly those who are already heavily invested in the DSLR space. If you need high resolution, it's got it with a 45MP full-frame sensor. If you need speed, it has that too with a 7fps burst shooting option which can be boosted to 9fps with a battery grip. OK, that's reasonably modest compared with the likes of the 20fps Sony A9 II, but it's still good enough for capturing most kinds of action. On top of that you also get 4K video recording options, as well as a rugged body protected against inclement weather. One feature which is definitely king over its mirrorless rivals is battery life – with a massive 1800 frames per charge, you shouldn't need to worry about the camera dying in the middle of the decisive moment.
5. Nikon Z50
The perfect mid-range mirrorless upgrade for DSLR owners
Type: Mirrorless | Sensor size: APS-C | Resolution: 20.9MP | Lens: Z-mount | Screen type: 3.2-inch tilting touchscreen, 1,036,080 dots | Viewfinder: EVF | Maximum continuous shooting rate: 11fps | Movies: 4K | User level: Enthusiast
Looking for a smaller, more affordable version of the full-frame Nikon Z6 for travel and general shooting? The Z50 fits the bill and is an excellent entry into mid-range, APS-C cameras from Nikon. It's particularly suitable for those looking to move to mirrorless from a Nikon DSLR as, unlike more petite rivals like the Fujifilm X-T30, it prioritizes handling thanks to its large, deep grip. The Z50 produces great photos and has the same excellent autofocus system as the Nikon Z6, which works very well for static subjects, but can't quite match the performance of something like the Sony A6400 when it comes to sports and action. With an impressive viewfinder and tilting touchscreen, though, the Z50 is a great camera for travel and general shooting, and is compatible with older F-mount lenses via an optional adaptor, along with Nikon's new Z-Mount glass.
6. Sony A6100
A fine mirrorless camera for beginners and hobbyists alike
Type: Mirrorless | Sensor size: APS-C | Resolution: 24.2MP | Lens: Sony E-mount | Viewfinder: EVF | Screen type: 2.95-inch tilting touchscreen, 921,600 dots | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 11fps (mechanical) | Movies: 4K | User level: Beginner
Since its launch five years ago, the entry-level Sony A6000 has proven a hugely popular mirrorless camera. Its successor, the A6100, takes the existing recipe and adds several tweaks that help it compete with today’s mirrorless pack. Compact yet capable, the A6100 pairs a beginner-friendly build with a feature set that won’t disappoint the more adventurous. It can take time to understand the camera’s potential, but there’s plenty of it: the APS-C sensor is the same 24.2MP chip found in Sony’s more premium cameras, while the autofocus system is shared with the flagship Sony A6600. The result is excellent continuous tracking abilities and, paired with a good lens, images with plenty of detail and generally accurate colors. Battery life is also decent and the tilting screen is now touch-sensitive, though its functionality is fairly limited. Certain performance and handling quirks are shared with its more expensive siblings – Auto ISO doesn’t suit fast-moving subjects, for example – but these are more forgivable on an entry-level model, especially such a solid all-rounder as the A6100. It deserves to be just as popular as its predecessor.
7. Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III
One of the best travel cameras you can buy today
Type: Mirrorless | Sensor size: Four Thirds | Resolution: 20.4MP | Lens: Micro Four Thirds | Viewfinder: 2.36M-dot OLED EVF | Screen type: 3-inch vari-angle touchscreen, 1,040,000 dots | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 30fps | Movies: 4K | User level: Intermediate
No camera can give you everything, but a rare few do come close – and the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III is in that class. Its polycarbonate shell might feel like a step down from the body of its predecessor, but in the hand this mirrorless snapper is Goldilocks stuff: just right. Lighter than ever and fantastic to handle, the Mark III backs up its good looks with a powerful processor, superlative image stabilization and shooting modes to suit every skill level and style of shooting. There’s no escaping the fact that its Four Thirds sensor is behind the times on outright image quality, struggling to match larger formats for dynamic range, depth of field and low-light performance. Yet its combination of speed, style and sheer versatility make it a winner. Add on-chip phase detection autofocus and 4K video chops to the mix and you’ve got yourself one of the best all-rounders on the market today.
- Read our in-depth Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III
- Also consider: Nikon Z50
- Buying guide: Best mirrorless camera
8. Canon EOS Rebel SL3 / EOS 250D
Looking for a first DSLR? The Rebel SL2 ticks plenty of boxes
Type: DSLR | Sensor: APS-C CMOS | Resolution: 24.2MP | Lens mount: Canon EF | Viewfinder: Optical | Screen type: 3.0-inch vari-angle touchscreen, 1,040,000 dots | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 5fps | Movies: 4K | User level: Beginner
The best two beginner DSLRs we've seen recently are the Nikon D3500 and Canon Rebel SL3 / 250D. While the former wins out for value, for this list we've gone for the slightly pricier 250D. Having the rather dubious moniker as the world's smallest DSLR with a fully-articulating screen, the 250D is still a great option to learn with. Thanks to that screen, it's also a decent option for vloggers or video fans. Being an upgrade from the popular 200D, it brings with it some new features such as 4K video recording and a new processor. If your budget is limited and you don't need 4K video, the older SL2 / 200D is a good option, putting the cash you save towards a new lens. If you're new to a "proper" camera, the 24.2 megapixel sensor of the EOS 250D will give your photography a good step-up, while the fluid AF system comes into play when shooting live view and videos. There's also an easy-to-understand interface, which is great for those who are just starting out. The number of lenses available for Canon's EF mount is almost endless, while accessories are also numerous.
- Read our in-depth Canon EOS Rebel SL3 / EOS 250D review
- Also consider: Nikon D3500
- Buying guide: Best entry-level DSLR
9. Panasonic Lumix ZS200 / TZ200
The perfect travel camera - small, versatile and with a decent zoom
Type: Travel compact | Sensor: 1-inch type CMOS | Resolution: 20.1MP | Lens: 24-360mm, f/3.3-6.4 | Viewfinder: EVF | Screen type: 3.0-inch touchscreen, 1,240,000 dots | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 10fps | Movies: 4K | User level: Beginner/enthusiast
Panasonic keeps hold of its best travel-friendly compact camera title with the Lumix ZS200 (known as the Lumix TZ200 outside the US). It pairs a large 1.0-inch sized sensor with a flexible 15x optical zoom lens in a package which is just on the right side of affordable (an area where Sony's RX100 series falls down). There's a built-in electronic viewfinder which you can use in bright conditions if the touch-sensitive screen is difficult to see. Other useful features include 4K video recording, as well as Panasonic's 4K Photo modes which enable you to extract 8MP images of fleeting moments. There are undoubtedly more powerful pocket-friendly compacts currently on the market – if you have very deep pockets, then the Cyber-shot RX100 VII is the best available. For most ordinary people who don't have such enormous budgets, the ZS200/TZ200 is the much more sensible option.
- Read our in-depth Panasonic Lumix ZS200 / TZ200 review
- Also consider: Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VII
- Buying guide: Best travel camera
10. Panasonic Lumix G95 / G90
A great all-rounder well-suited to vloggers
Type: Mirrorless | Sensor size: Micro Four Thirds | Resolution: 20.3MP | Lens: Micro Four Thirds | Screen type: 3.0-inch vari-angle touchscreen, 1,040,000 dots | Viewfinder: EVF | Maximum continuous shooting rate: 9fps/30fps | Movies: 4K | User level: Intermediate
If you're looking for a solid all-rounder and like to shoot video as well as stills, the G90 / G95 is a great option. Inheriting a lot of features from both the G85 and the video-orientated GH5S, this is a camera which manages to cram a lot into its relatively small body. The design is well-considered which means the G90 / G95 handles very well, while Micro Four Thirds lenses are so small that the overall system is very neat and compact. For video shooters, there's 4K video with V-LogL profile, in frame rates including 24p, 25p and 30p, while Full HD recording is up to 120fps in the High Speed Video mode. Microphone and head-socket ports also round out the video-centric features, but stills shooters needn't feel left out either as it's also very capable in that area too.
- Read our in-depth Panasonic Lumix G90 / G95 review
- Buying guide: Best 4K camera
- Buying guide: Best camera for vlogging
Honorary mention: Fujifilm GFX 100
This megapixel monster is the most exciting medium format camera yet
Sensor size: Medium format | Resolution: 102MP | Viewfinder: 5,760,000 dots | Monitor: 3.2-inch three-direction tilt display, 2,360K dots | Autofocus: Hybrid AF | Maximum continuous shooting rate: 5fps | Movies: 4K | User level: Professional
Fujifilm may not have full-frame cameras like many of its rivals, but it's managed to build on its successful X-series cameras with some impressive medium format alternatives. And with its GFX 100, it shows just how successful the marriage between X-series technology and a larger sensor can be, bringing together many well loved features with a 102MP (yes, 102MP) sensor that performs to an exceptional standard. While there are other medium format cameras that exceed it for sensor resolution, none can match the kind if usability we have here, with masses of control over your shooting together with a stunning 5.76 million-dot electronic viewfinder and great 4K video quality to boot. It's not perfect, and it'll cost you dearly, but it's unquestionably the most well-rounded medium format camera we've seen yet.
- Read our in-depth Fujifilm GFX 100 review
- Also consider: Fujifilm GFX 50S
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