The best camera for photography 2024: top picks for every budget

PRICE
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID

Here’s something we’ve learned from hundreds of camera reviews: when it comes to choosing the best camera for photography, there’s no one right answer for everyone. Sure, we can recommend our favorite stills camera. But the best choice for you will depend on what and how you like to shoot. That’s why our list below covers everything from the best travel cameras to top options for sports photography.

If we had to pick the camera most likely to work for everyone, it would be the Sony A7 IV. Based on many hours of in-depth testing, we’ve found it to be a well-rounded full-frame camera with impressive autofocus performance and excellent image quality. But we know it won’t be perfect for everyone. If you’re new to photography, for example, we think you’d be much better off with something like the Canon EOS R10, which is our favorite camera for beginners.

We suggest reading all of our expert guide to get a full picture of the cameras available in 2024. Every entry below offers a summary of our testing feedback, based on extensive real-world reviews. Our experienced team checks everything from handling and build quality to autofocus and image quality – all to form a picture of what and who each camera model is good for. We’re honest about the best bits and drawbacks, to make your decision easier.

Written by
Tim Coleman
Written by
Timothy Coleman

Tim is TechRadar's Cameras editor, with over 15 years in the photo video industry and most of those in the world of tech journalism, Tim has developed a deeply technical knowledge and practical experience with all things camera related. He notes, "there are so many excellent cameras out there for photographers. In compiling this guide, we've included specific options that suit different types of photography. There's often value to be found in choosing one specific to your genre of choice – particularly if that means you don't need a hybrid."

The quick list

The summary below will give you a quick overview of the best cameras for photography right now. When you find one that fits your requirements, follow the links beneath each entry for an in-depth summary of our feedback.

The best camera for photography 2024

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

Below you'll find full write-ups for each of the best cameras in our list. We've tested each one extensively, so you can be sure that our recommendations can be trusted.

The best full-frame hybrid overall

The front of the Sony A7 IV camera with a zoom lens

(Image credit: Future)
The best full-frame hybrid for enthusiasts

Specifications

Sensor size: Full-frame
Resolution: 33MP
Viewfinder: 3,690K dots
Monitor: 3.0-inch vari-angle touchscreen, 1,037K dots
Autofocus: 759-point AF
Maximum continuous shooting rate: 10fps
Movies: 4K at 60p
User level: Intermediate

Reasons to buy

+
Impressive 33MP sensor
+
Class-leading autofocus
+
Vari-angle screen

Reasons to avoid

-
Heavily cropped 4K footage
-
Complex for beginners

Sony A7 IV sample images

Buy it if:

✅ You need an all-rounder for stills and video: There are better specialist cameras out there, but as an all-rounder the A7 IV is the best mirrorless camera you can buy.

✅ Your Sony A7 III is starting to feel its age: The A7 IV is a big upgrade on the A7 III in almost every respect, including resolution, autofocus, usability and video. 

Don't buy it if:

You mostly shoot sports and action: While the Sony A7 IV is by no means a slow coach, there are better cameras out there for pro sports performance.

❌ Value is your main priority: You'll get more bang for your buck with a more specialist camera and an extra lens or two with the money saved.

Following the fantastic A7 III was never going to be easy, but the A7 IV is a worthy successor. With a new 33MP sensor that’s solid for both stills and video, it’s a compelling mirrorless option for hybrid shooters. In our review, we called it a "brilliant blend of photographic power and video versatility". A price hike does mean it’s no longer an entry-level full-frame camera like its forebear, but a Bionz XR processor powers solid performance that broadly justifies the extra expenditure. 

The A7 IV also benefits from Sony’s class-leading autofocus skills, plus upgrades like 10-bit video and an almost endless buffer depth with a CFexpress card. Our tests found this buffer to be more generous than most photographers will need, with image quality leaning more towards resolution than low-light performance. There are compromises elsewhere, as well: there's a heavy crop on 4K footage and it isn't the simplest camera for beginners to use. The Canon EOS R6 also offers faster burst speeds for a similar price. But considering its powerful versatility and higher resolution, the Sony A7 IV deservedly takes our number one spot. 

Read our in-depth Sony A7 IV review


The best pro camera for stills

The Sony A7R V on a table angled front with lens

(Image credit: Future)
The best photography camera for most professionals

Specifications

Sensor size: Full-frame
Resolution: 61MP
Viewfinder: 9.44m-dot EVF
Monitor: 3.2-inch articulating touchscreen, 2.1m dots
Autofocus: 693 PDAF + 425 CDAF
Maximum continuous shooting rate: 10fps
Movies: 8K at 24p
User level: Expert

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent autofocus
+
Impressive ISO handling
+
High-resolution EVF

Reasons to avoid

-
Inescapably expensive
-
Demands high-quality lenses

Sony A7R V sample images

Buy it if:

✅ You shoot landscapes, portraits or studio photography: With a 61MP sensor and a powerful processing engine, image quality is excellent.

✅ You need subject the best autofocus: AI subject detection AF provides more reliable autofocus for more subjects in more scenarios.

Don't buy it if:

You don’t have or can’t afford the best optics: A 61MP sensor is unforgiving of any lens deficiencies, so you'll also need expensive high-end pro lenses.

❌ You don’t need the resolution: Do you need 61MP? If not, you'll save a packet by opting for the A7 IV instead. 

The Sony A7R V takes up the mantle from the A7R IV as Sony’s sharpest full-frame mirrorless camera. As we found in our review, it also solves several of the A7R IV’s drawbacks to become a more complete professional camera. A new 61MP sensor and Bionz XR processor team up to deliver remarkably detailed stills. Eight stops of image stabilization made it easy to shoot handheld in testing, too. We were also impressed by the effectiveness of Real-rime Recognition AF. It’s not perfect, but it can generally detect a range of subjects and capture them crisply.

From our time with the A7R V, we think its level of detail makes it best suited to landscape and studio work. Do keep in mind that it only produces its best results when paired with top-spec lenses, which will add heavily to the already high price tag. The A7R IV offers the same resolution, but we do think the A7R V is the better camera overall, particularly with a sharper EVF that makes framing a joy. That said, if you don’t need so many sensor pixels, you’ll find better value for less elsewhere.

Read our in-depth Sony A7R V review


The best mirrorless camera for beginners

Best camera for photography Canon EOS R10 camers sitting on a wooden bannister

(Image credit: Future)
The best camera for beginners overall

Specifications

Sensor size: APS-C
Resolution: 24.2MP
Viewfinder: 2,360K dots
Monitor: 2.95-inch articulated touchscreen, 1,040K dots
Autofocus: 651-area AF
Max continuous shooting rate: 15fps (mechanical), 25fps (electronic)
Video: 4K at 60p
User level: Beginner

Reasons to buy

+
Compact and lightweight
+
Modern autofocus abilities

Reasons to avoid

-
No in-body image stabilization
-
Crop on 4K/60p footage

Canon EOS R10 sample images

Buy it if:

✅ You're shopping for your first camera: Powerful autofocus, good handling and strong burst speeds put the R10 top of the pile for beginners.

✅ You need an affordable sports camera: Its burst speeds and autofocus make the R10 worth the price if you're looking to shoot moving subjects.

Don't buy it if:

You need a wide choice of native lenses: Right now, the EOS R10's main weakness is a lack of native lenses for Canon's RF mount.

❌ You'll be mostly shooting video: No headphone jack for monitoring audio, nor any in-body image stabilization to keep things steady. This isn'y a vlogging camera.

It isn't the cheapest option for beginners, but we think the Canon EOS R10 is the best camera for those starting their photographic journey. Spiritual successor to Canon's popular mid-range DSLRs, the EOS R10 has two standout skills: impressive subject-tracking autofocus and speedy 15fps burst shooting, which was previously unheard of at this price. Both combine nicely to make the EOS R10 a versatile little camera for shooting all kinds of subjects, from portraits to speeding pets. During our autofocus testing, which we conducted on cats, deer and a rapid cockapoodle, the R10 found and tracked subjects' eyes very well, with 15fps burst speeds producing a decent hit rate. 

While it isn't a compact camera, the EOS R10 is lightweight at 429g and has a deep grip that makes it well-balanced in the hand with all kinds of lenses. Unfortunately, the EOS R10 doesn't yet have many native lenses (just two at the time of writing) and lacks in-body image stabilization. But if you're happy to buy some of the many full-frame RF lenses that work well with the camera, or adapt old ones using an EF-EOS R adapter, then it's a versatile sidekick that's ideal for fledgling snappers.

Read our in-depth Canon EOS R10 review


The best APS-C camera for enthusiasts

The Canon EOS R7 camera sitting on a stone step

(Image credit: Future)
The best APS-C camera for enthusiasts

Specifications

Type: Mirrorless
Sensor: APS-C
Resolution: 32.5MP
Autofocus: 5915 AF points
Screen type: 2.95-inch vari-angle touchscreen, 1.62m-dot
EVF: 0.39-inch, 2.36m-dot
Continuous shooting speed: 15fps (mechanical), 30fps (electronic)
Movies: 4K
User level: Enthusiast

Reasons to buy

+
Rapid burst speeds
+
Excellent handling
+
Impressive autofocus

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited native lenses
-
Average viewfinder
-
4K limited to 60fps

Canon EOS R7 sample images

Buy it if:

✅ You want performance on a budget: If you can't shell out for Canon's full-frame models, the EOS R7 is a more affordable route to excellent subject-tracking autofocus.

✅ You want a travel-friendly camera: Its small proportions and fantastic handling make the EOS R7 a lovely all-rounder to travel with.

Don't buy it if:

You want to buy a lot of native lenses: At the time of writing, the native RF-S lens range is limited; rivals like the Sony A6600 and Fujifilm X-H2S are better served.

❌ You want the full-frame experience: The EOS R7 works wonders with its APS-C sensor, but it can't compete with full-frame alternatives when it comes to low light.

If you don’t need full-frame, we think there’s no crop sensor camera that can currently beat the Canon EOS R7. In our review, we highlighted its superb autofocus performance, excellent in-body image stabilization and the class-leading detail delivered by its 32.5MP sensor. Its full-frame cousins still have the edge in low light, but the EOS R7 produced lovely images across a range of scenarios in our real-world tests. We were also impressed by its 30fps burst speeds, which make it a great choice for sports and wildlife enthusiasts.

Our tests also found the EOS R7 a nice camera to hold and use, with a decent grip and generous spread of direct-access controls. Dual UHS-II card slots are a welcome bonus, while the ability to record uncropped 4K/60p video output makes the EOS R7 a tidy all-rounder. The only major drawback at present is the continued lack of native lenses, an issue not suffered by alternative APS-C cameras such as the Sony A6700 and Fujifilm X-T5.

Read our in-depth Canon EOS R7 review


The best Micro Four Thirds camera for enthusiasts

OM System OM-1 II mirrorless camera resting on a mossy rock

(Image credit: OM System)
The best Micro Four Thirds camera for enthusiasts

Specifications

Sensor size: Micro Four Thirds
Resolution: 20.4MP
Viewfinder: 5,760K dots
Monitor: 3.0-inch tilt-angle touchscreen, 1,620K dots
Autofocus: 1,053-point AF
Maximum continuous shooting rate: 10fps (mechanical shutter), 120fps (electronic)
Movies: 4K at 60p
User level: Intermediate/Professional

Reasons to buy

+
Stacked sensor boosts performance
+
Impressive stabilization
+
Useful computational modes

Reasons to avoid

-
Only 20MP resolution
-
Slightly fiddly controls

OM System OM-1 II sample images

Buy it if:

✅ You want value for action photography: A stacked sensor, subject detection AF and wildlife photography-friendly MFT format make this is an outright action camera.

✅ You don't want to be weighed down with kit: A like-for-like full-frame system will likely be twice the size, weight and price.

Don't buy it if:

You want high-resolution images: These days, 20MP in a photography-centric flagship camera with this price tag is modest.

❌ You want the best single-shot image quality: The OM-1 II's multi-shot computational workarounds are good for specific scenarios, but they can’t be used for everything.

Not everyone needs a full-frame camera and OM System has carved out a micro four thirds (MFT) niche especially for those that want a high-performing, rugged and lightweight system, especially outdoors photographers. The OM System OM-1 II is a flagship MFT model and compelling alternative for photographers who prioritize size, versatility and a fun handheld experience. Thanks to its stacked Micro Four Thirds sensor inherited from the OM-1, and a speedy TruePix X processor, the OM-1 performed superbly in most of our tests, especially wildlife photography. It has a swathe of subject detection modes, for example you'd struggle to find a more capable autofocus system for bird photography. 

There's also unique computational photography modes that are the best you'll find outside a smartphone, with the likes of High Res Shot, Live ND and in-camera Focus Stacking going some way to compensating for its smaller sensor. OM System also added Live Grad ND – a graduated filter perfect for landscape photography. 

It's not all good news, though. This second-gen model is but a mere refresh of the now cheaper OM-1, we think it's updates could have been added to the OM-1 by a firmware update rather than making a new, pricier model. The MFT sensor and 20MP resolution are modest for a camera at this price, with low light image quality not quite up to the level of full-frame rivals. If you can overlook those drawbacks, then the OM-1 II (and its huge range of Micro Four Thirds lenses) will make a fine companion. Quite simply, it's the one of the most enjoyable cameras you can buy. 

Read our in-depth OM System OM-1 II review


The best premium compact

Top plate of theFujifilm X100VI in the hand

(Image credit: Future)
The best premium compact for most people

Specifications

Sensor: 40.2MP X-Trans CMOS
Lens: 23mm, f/2
Monitor: 3.0-inch tilt-angle touchscreen, 1.62m dots
Viewfinder: EVF
Continuous shooting: 11fps (mechanical), 20fps (electronic)
Movies: 6.2K
User level: Intermediate

Reasons to buy

+
Best-in-class 40MP sensor
+
In-body image stabilization
+
Film Simulations

Reasons to avoid

-
More expensive than X100V
-
Only one UHS-I card slot
-
Needs filter for weather sealing

Fujifilm X100VI sample images