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Best camera in the UAE for 2022: the top cameras you can buy right now

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REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
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REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
Best camera for photography
(Image credit: Future)

Looking for the best camera for photography? You aren't short of choices in 2022. It's been a strong year so far for Micro Four Thirds and APS-C cameras, which now offer a fine alternative to the many full-frame options we've seen arrive recently. The difficult bit is deciding the best camera for you, but luckily that's where we can help. Based on countless hours of testing out in the field, we've created this ranked list of the finest cameras for photography. (Looking for the best video cameras instead? Check out our separate guide on those).

We've split this guide into three skills levels, so you can choose the right section for your experience and budget. Want to know our overall best camera for photography right now? That's the Sony A7 IV. It's a super-powerful all-rounder that feels at home shooting most types of photography, from portraits to weddings and wildlife. You can certainly rely on it for video, too.

The Sony A7 IV is certainly a pricey camera, though, so we've also included lots of options that offer better value for money in these financially trying times. For those on a tighter budget, the Fujifilm X-T4 remains a strong alternative. Meanwhile, hobbyist and street shooters should check out the Nikon Zfc and Fujifilm X-S10. We're also in the process of testing the Canon EOS R7 and EOS R10, which are both very promising affordable options. If none of those take your fancy, then have a leaf through our guide to the best cheap cameras you can buy right now.  

Our in-depth guide is based on hours of testing with all of the latest digital cameras from the biggest brands in photography, including Sony, Canon, Nikon, Fujifilm, Panasonic, Leica and more. This means you can be sure that only the best models are included here. And thanks to our price comparison tool, you can also be sure that you're getting the best deal on the best camera for you.

The best camera for photography in 2022:

The best enthusiast cameras for photography

The front of the Sony A7 IV camera on a bench

(Image credit: Future)
A near-perfect all-rounder that’s great for stills and video

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

Following Sony’s fantastic A7 III was never going to be easy, but the A7 IV is a worthy successor. Equipped 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 support and a seemingly endless buffer depth with a CFexpress card. Our tests found this buffer to be more generous than most shooters will need, with image quality leaning more towards resolution than low-light performance. 

No hybrid camera comes without compromise: there is 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. 

The Fujifilm X-T4, one of the world's best cameras, on wooden block

(Image credit: Future)
The best all-round camera for most people

Specifications

Sensor size: APS-C
Resolution: 26.1MP
Viewfinder: 3,690K dots
Monitor: 3.0-inch tilt-angle touchscreen, 1,620K dots
Autofocus: 425-point AF
Maximum continuous shooting rate: 15fps (mechanical shutter), 30fps (electronic)
Movies: 4K at 60p
User level: Intermediate

Reasons to buy

+
Superb image quality
+
IBIS a big bonus for video

Reasons to avoid

-
No headphone jack
-
Video recording limit

It isn't a full-frame camera, but in our review we called the Fujifilm X-T4 the best APS-C camera we've ever tested – and its blend of features, size and value make it a fine choice for hobbyist shooters. The X-T4 builds on the Fujifilm X-T3's impressive foundation by adding in-body image stabilization (IBIS), faster burst shooting and some successful design tweaks. Adding to its all-rounder skills are a bigger battery (which keeps it going for 500 shots per charge) and some improved autofocus, which our tests found to be fast and reliable in most scenarios. 

We think the X-T4's 26MP APS-C sensor is class-leading for stills photography, but the X-T4 is also a superb video camera. The in-body image stabilization (IBIS) is a big bonus here, and the X-T4 backs that up with a huge range of tools and a great shooting experience, including a fully articulating touchscreen. It might cost the same as some full-frame cameras, but the X-T4 and its fine range of X-series lenses make a great, smaller alternative for those looking for a mirrorless all-rounder. Despite the looming possibility of a Fujifilm X-H2, it remains one of the best cameras for photography.  

The Canon EOS R6 on a wall with the 24-240mm lens

(Image credit: TechRadar)
A superb camera with best-in-class features

Specifications

Sensor size: Full-frame
Resolution: 20.1MP
Viewfinder: 3,690K dots
Monitor: 3.0-inch tilt-angle touchscreen, 1,620K dots
Autofocus: 6,072-point AF
Maximum continuous shooting rate: 12fps (mechanical shutter), 20fps (electronic)
Movies: 4K at 60p
User level: Professional

Reasons to buy

+
Class-leading autofocus
+
Excellent full-frame IBIS
+
Dual card slots

Reasons to avoid

-
Video recording limits
-
20MP resolution

While the Canon EOS R5 is overkill for most people, the EOS R6 is a more affordable full-frame alternative that is simply one of the best cameras for photography around. If you already own one of Canon's early mirrorless full-framers like the EOS R, or any of its DSLRs, this is a more than worthy upgrade. Based on our review, the EOS R6 brings best-in-class autofocus, a superb in-body image stabilization system, and burst shooting powers that mark it out as a very fine camera for wildlife or sports photography.

Despite its ability to shoot 4K/60p video, the EOS R6 lacks options like the ability to DCI 4K and we found it to have overheating limitations compared to video-focused rivals like the Sony A7S III, making it better suited to stills photographers. But for photography, it's an excellent (if pricey) option that delivers hugely impressive autofocus, handling and features that make it one of the best options around for anyone who needs a full-frame camera.

The OM System OM-1 camera on a wooden table

(Image credit: Future)
A brilliant all-rounder for those who don't need full-frame

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

Not everyone need a full-frame camera – and like the Fujifilm X-T4 (see no.2 above), the OM System OM-1 harnesses the benefits of its smaller sensor to create a compelling alternative for those whose priorities are size, versatility and a fun handheld experience. Thanks to its new stacked Micro Four Thirds sensor, which is the first of its kind, and a speedy TruePix X processor, the OM-1 performed admirably in most our tests. Quite simply, it's the one of the most enjoyable cameras you can buy. 

We found that the OM-1 performed well up to ISO 1600 and had slightly less aggressive noise reduction than its Olympus-made predecessors. Its computational modes are also 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. On the downside, its autofocus tracking isn't quite up to the level of Canon or Sony, and the controls can be a little fiddly. That 20MP resolution also isn't huge for a camera of this price. But if you can overlook those drawbacks, then the OM-1 (and its huge range of Micro Four Thirds lenses) will make a fine companion. 

The Nikon Z6 II on table with the Z 50mm f/1.8 lens

(Image credit: Future)
No longer the mirrorless king, but not far behind

Specifications

Sensor size: Full-frame
Resolution: 24.5MP
Viewfinder: 3,690K dots
Monitor: 3.2-inch tilt-angle touchscreen, 2,100K dots
Autofocus: 273-point hybrid AF
Maximum continuous shooting rate: 14fps
Movies: 4K at 30p
User level: Intermediate/expert

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent image quality
+
Great handling

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the most advanced AF
-
Screen isn't vari-angle

The Nikon Z6 reigned as the king of this list for a long time – and while the Z6 II is only a modest successor, it should definitely be on the shortlist of anyone who's looking for a full-frame camera. The Z6 continues to offer great value, but we think the Z6 II is worth the extra cost if you can afford it - it's one of our favourites from our reviewing experience.

Its extra Expeed 6 processor brings a host of improvements, including new 14fps burst mode (up from 12fps on the Z6) and some handy autofocus boosts (particularly for animal eye/face detection). You also get an extra UHS-II card slot, which joins the existing XQD/CFexpress slot, and a firmware update has delivered a new 4K/60p video mode. 

Our tests found in a range of scenarios found that the 24MP full-frame BSI CMOS sensor performs well at high ISOs. The Z6 II also has class-leading build quality that feels more substantial in the hand than its rivals. 

The Fujifilm X-S10 on a wall with the 18-55mm kit lens

(Image credit: Future)
An affordable, versatile all-rounder for hobbyists

Specifications

Sensor size: APS-C
Resolution: 26.1MP
Viewfinder: 2.36m dots
Monitor: 3-inch articulating touchscreen, 1.04m dots
Autofocus: 425-point hybrid AF
Maximum continuous shooting rate: 8fps (mechanical), 20fps (electronic shutter)
Movies: 4K at 30p
User level: Beginner/intermediate

Reasons to buy

+
Superb image and video quality
+
IBIS in a small body
+
Excellent handling

Reasons to avoid

-
Not weather-proof

It's hard to think of another camera that offers the same blend of size, performance, affordability and charm as the Fujifilm X-S10. For both hobbyists and pros looking for a small mirrorless camera, it's an excellent choice that covers all the bases for both stills and video. As our review discovered, you get a tried-and-tested 26.1MP APS-C sensor (the same as the one in the Fujifilm X-T4, see above) and, impressively for a camera this small, in-body image stabilization (IBIS). 

This feature, which helps you preserve image quality while shooting handheld, can also be found in some small Sony and Olympus cameras, but none of those offer the X-S10's excellent handling or range of features, based on our testing. It has a handy vari-angle screen, great build quality, and shoots impressive 4K video, too. Pair it with a prime lens and you have a fine travel or street camera – thanks to X-S10's large grip, though, it'll also match nicely with longer lenses as well.

The Nikon Z5 with the compact Z 24-50mm kit lens

(Image credit: Future)
The best entry-level full-frame camera you can buy

Specifications

Type: Mirrorless
Sensor size: Full-frame
Resolution: 24.3MP
Viewfinder: 3.69million dots
Screen type: 3.2-inch tilting touchscreen, 1.04m dots
Maximum continuous shooting speed: 4.5fps
Movies: 4K/30p
User level: Beginner

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent viewfinder
+
Very capable AF system
+
Comfy grip and solid build

Reasons to avoid

-
Lacklustre burst rate
-
Cropped 4K video

Despite not being perfect, the Nikon Z5 is the best entry-level full-frame model you can buy right now, making it a great option for those looking to upgrade to the larger sensor for the first time. With a 24.3MP that reliably produces vibrant, sharp and clean images, a reliable autofocusing system and a comfy and well-built body, there's a lot we liked about the Nikon Z5 during our testing. 

Equipping it with the same high-resolution viewfinder as its more advanced Z6/Z7 siblings is a nice touch that adds a touch of premium quality to proceedings. What lets the Z5 down are things that some might not even be too bothered about – the 4.5fps maximum frame rate being underwhelming for action shooters, and the crop applied to 4K video being frustrating for vloggers. Not bothered by either of those things? It's one of the best cameras for photography and a fine choice for those who want full-frame on a budget.

Best starter cameras for photography

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV mounted on a tripod in a garden.

(Image credit: Future)
Still one of the best cameras around for beginners

Specifications

Sensor size: Micro Four Thirds
Resolution: 20.3MP
Viewfinder: 2,360K dots
Monitor: 3-inch tilting touchscreen, 1,037K dots
Autofocus: 121-point Contrast Detection AF
Maximum continuous shooting rate: 15fps
Movies: 4K at 30p
User level: Beginner

Reasons to buy

+
Good sensor
+
Compact body
+
Useful image stabilization

Reasons to avoid

-
No microphone input
-
No USB-C port

Looking for compact mirrorless camera to help develop your photographic skills? The OM-D E-M10 Mark IV is one of the best options around and offers great value considering its feature set. A useful flip-down touchscreen and good ergonomics make it a fine option for beginners who are moving up from a smartphone or compact camera. And because the E-M10 Mark IV is a Micro Four Thirds camera, it has one of the biggest selections of lenses around, which means it's a model that can really grow with you. 

On the downside, it lacks a microphone or USB-C ports, and the autofocus lags a little behind rivals like the Sony A6100 (see below). So while the latter is a better bet for sports or action shooting, we felt like the E-M10 Mark IV is a more fun camera to use in our review and is one of the few at this price point to bring in-body image stabilization, a very handy bonus for handheld shooting.

The Nikon Z fc camera on a park bench

(Image credit: Future)
A heady blend of retro design and mirrorless shooting power

Specifications

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
Sensor size: APS-C
Resolution: 20.9MP
Viewfinder: EVF, 2,360K dots
Monitor: 3.0-inch vari-angle touchscreen, 1,040K dots
Autofocus: 209-point AF
Maximum continuous shooting rate: 11fps
Movies: 4K at 30p
User level: Enthusiast

Reasons to buy

+
Stunning retro design
+
Vari-angle touchscreen

Reasons to avoid

-
Lack of native lenses
-
No UHS-II support

In our review, we called the Nikon Z fc a "beautiful, casual camera with a capable specification". Under its stunning retro skin, the Nikon Z fc is essentially identical to the Nikon Z50. That’s no complaint, given that the Z50 is a mid-range mirrorless marvel. It shares the same 20.9MP APS-C sensor, hybrid autofocus system and performance stats. That means 11fps burst shooting, detailed stills and solid 4K footage at 30fps. What’s new is the physical build. An homage to the Nikon FM2, the Nikon Z fc features broadly the same dimensions as its analogue ancestor – and an equally arresting shell. From the dials to the typography, there are countless throwback cues. 

The improvements are more than skin-deep, though: unlike the tilting touchscreen of the Z50, the Nikon Z fc features a vari-angle display. That unlocks plenty of flexible framing options, plus it can be used with a tripod – or flipped away for the full eighties experience. What’s lacking is the deep DSLR-like grip of the Z50, so handling fans may still prefer its predecessor. But paired with the new Nikkor Z 28mm f/2.8 SE prime lens, the Nikon Z fc makes for a compellingly creative proposition. Plus it’s surprisingly affordable for a camera with dedicated exposure, ISO and shutter speed dials.

The Fujifilm X100V compact camera in front of flower pots

(Image credit: Future)
The best camera for street photography

Specifications

Type: Premium compact
Sensor: APS-C X-Trans CMOS
Resolution: 26.1MP
Lens: 23mm, f/2
Viewfinder: Hybrid EVF
Screen type: 3.0-inch tilt-angle touchscreen, 1.62m dots
Maximum continuous shooting speed: 11fps
Movies: 4K
User level: Beginner/enthusiast

Reasons to buy

+
Tilting touchscreen
+
Improved sensor and autofocus
+
4K video

Reasons to avoid

-
Needs filter for full weather-sealing
-
Expensive

On paper, the Fujifilm X100V shouldn’t make sense: a compact camera styled like something from the 1950s, with a fixed 23mm f/2 lens and a premium price tag. Yet the model’s predecessors have become iconic among street photographers – and the X100V follows in their spirit. Understated and timeless, there’s something very special about that compact retro body that we loved in our review. 

The X100V keeps what works, only tweaking what it needs to: there's now a very handy tilting touchscreen and a weather-resistant body (although you need to add a filter to the lens to get full weather-sealing). The series’ fixed aperture lens setup has always been fantastic for street and portrait photography, and the results are only better now that Fujifilm’s added a new 26.1MP APS-C sensor paired with the latest X-Processor 4. Autofocus is faster, noise control better and image quality improved. Sure, it’s niche and certainly not cheap, but there’s nothing else quite like it.

Hands holding the Nikon D3500 with its kit lens

The best beginner-friendly DSLR you can buy

Specifications

Type: DSLR
Sensor: APS-C CMOS, 24.2MP
Lens mount: Nikon F
Screen: 3-inch, 921K dots
Viewfinder: Optical
Continuous shooting: 5fps
Movies: 1080p
User level: Beginner

Reasons to buy

+
Huge battery life
+
Massive lens selection available

Reasons to avoid

-
No 4K video
-
Screen not touch-sensitive

This list is dominated by mirrorless cameras, but if you still prefer the benefits of DSLRS – namely, their handling, superior battery lives and value – then the Nikon D3500 is the best one around for beginners. Taking the baton from the hugely successful Nikon D3400, it brings a 24MP APS-C sensor and an incredible 1,550-shot battery life that beats the stamina of most mirrorless cameras by about three times. 

The useful Guide mode is there to walk beginners through creating effects like a blurred background, while the Nikon DX system has a vast array of lenses. If you're starting out, we'd recommend buying the D3500 with the AF-P DX 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens, as its brings handy vibration reduction for very little extra cost. Those looking for a travel-friendly camera should still consider mirrorless alternatives like the Fujifilm X-T200 and Canon EOS M50 Mark II, but otherwise this remains a brilliant way to learn the photographic basics and start your new hobby.

The Fujifilm Instax Mini 11, the best instant camera you can buy, sat on a tree branch

(Image credit: TechRadar)
The best instant camera for retro snappers

Specifications

Lens: 60mm
Focusing: Normal and macro
Flash: Built-in
Self-timer: None

Reasons to buy

+
Largely accurate auto exposure
+
Easy for beginners
+
Compact design

Reasons to avoid

-
Instax Mini prints rather small
-
No advanced features for pros

The Instax Mini 11 certainly doesn't compete with its more esteemed company here when it comes to pure photo quality. But is it one of the most affordable, fun ways to get into instant photography? Definitely. It doesn't have the more advanced controls or modes of pricier instant cameras, but that's also part of its appeal – thanks to its auto-exposure system, you can just point-and-shoot to get lovely, credit card-sized prints.

Naturally, it's a great option for kids and parties, and the relatively affordable film means you won't regret seeing it passed around among family and friends. The pop-out lens barrel and little mirror built into the front of the camera means it's good for selfie duty, and it's available in a range of fun colors, too. If you need a gift for a photography fan, look no further.

The Sony A6100 camera sat on a table with the 16-70mm lens

(Image credit: Future)
Offers great value for beginners and hobbyists alike

Specifications

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

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent tracking autofocus
+
Compact yet feature-packed

Reasons to avoid

-
Takes time to understand capabilities
-
Relatively low-res LCD and EVF

Since its launch five years ago, the entry-level Sony A6000 has proven a hugely popular mirrorless camera. Its successor, the A6100, takes its recipe and adds several helpful tweaks. Compact yet capable, based on our review 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 subject-tracking powers and, paired with a good lens, images with plenty of detail and 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.

Best advanced cameras for photography

Canon EOS R5 sitting on a wall with the 24-105mm lens

(Image credit: Future)
The best stills camera Canon has ever made

Specifications

Sensor: Full-frame CMOS
Megapixels: 45
Autofocus: 5,940-zone AF
Screen type: 3.15-inch tilting touchscreen, 2.1m-dots
Continuous shooting speed: 20fps
Movies: 8K
User level: Enthusiast / expert

Reasons to buy

+
Superb autofocus
+
Solid IBIS system
+
Good battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
CFExpress cards can be costly
-
Some limitations for video

If you see the Canon EOS R5 as a pro stills model with some impressive video features, then it's one of the best cameras the photography giant has ever made. There's no doubt it has video limitations compared to a rival like the Sony A7S III, particularly for shooting longer clips. But after our review, we found it great for anyone looking to shoot mind-blowing stills in almost any situation, whether that's wildlife or studio work, it's a hugely impressive achievement. 

Particularly worth of mention is the EOS R5's autofocus, which offers very accurate and reliable subject-detection and tracking – particularly when its comes to people or animals. You also get a superb 5.76-million pixel EVF, a body design that will be comfortably familiar to those coming from DSLRs, and the ability to shoot bursts at 12fps with the mechanical shutter (or 20fps with the electronic equivalent). The video performance, while limited to relatively short bursts, remains superior to the likes of the Nikon Z7 and Sony A9 II, too. With a growing collection of (albeit pricey) RF lenses, the Canon EOS R5 is the next-gen mirrorless camera that pro photographers have been waiting for. 

The Sony A7R IV with a 24-70mm lens sitting on a tree trunk

(Image credit: Future)
Still a brilliant choice for landscape photographers

Specifications

Sensor size: Full-frame
Resolution: 61MP
Viewfinder: 5,760K dots
Monitor: 3-inch tilt-angle touchscreen, 21,400K dots
Autofocus: 567 PDAF + 425 CDAF
Maximum continuous shooting rate: 1fps
Movies: 4K at 30p
User level: Expert

Reasons to buy

+
Improved ergonomics
+
Fast, intelligent AF
+
Brilliant viewfinder

Reasons to avoid

-
Rolling shutter noticeable in videos
-
No in-camera RAW processing

Landscape photographers often demand megapixels, dynamic range and weather-proofing – and the Sony A7R IV ticks all of those boxes in style. Its 61MP sensor delivers incredible detail, and you can bump up that resolution with its Pixel Shift mode. Not that it's only comfortable shooting spectacular scenery – you also get Sony's excellent Face and Eye AF tracking for human subjects.

A deep grip makes the A7R IV comfortable to use during long days out in the field, while the weather-sealing is a big step up from the A7R III. You also get a bright, sharp 5.76 million-dot electronic viewfinder, although the touchscreen controls are a bit more limited than more recent Sony cameras like the A7S III. Still, this doesn't stop the A7R IV from being the most desirable in its class, and based on our experience, it even shoots decent video (albeit with some rolling shutter). For scenic trips, it remains one of the best cameras for photography.

The front of the Canon EOS R3 mirrorless camera

(Image credit: Future)
A mirrorless monster for sports and wildlife photographers

Specifications

Sensor size: Full-frame
Resolution: 24.1MP
Viewfinder: 5,760K dots
Monitor: 3.2-inch vari-angle touchscreen, 4,300K dots
Autofocus: 1,053-point AF
Maximum continuous shooting rate: 12fps (mechanical shutter), 30fps (electronic)
Movies: 6K at 60p
User level: Expert

Reasons to buy

+
Seriously speedy sensor
+
Powerful AF features
+
Impressive video specs

Reasons to avoid

-
Big for a mirrorless model
-
Relatively low resolution

It might look like a DSLR from a decade ago, but the Canon EOS R3 is the current pinnacle of mirrorless performance. Blending the hybrid smarts of the EOS R5 with the chunky form factor of the 1D X Mark III, it also adds a whole host of innovative tech into the mix. Its 24.1MP CMOS sensor might seem low-res for the price, but its stacked design translates into rapid 30fps raw burst shooting. The EOS R3 can also capture 6K raw video internally at 60p. 

Backed up by enhanced AF tracking (including Eye Control AF that lets you choose focus points just by looking at them through the viewfinder), the EOS R3 is one of the most advanced fast-action mirrorless cameras ever made. Built tough with magnesium alloy, its articulating touchscreen is sharp and useful, while its control layout will be familiar to pros. Yes, it’s big, expensive and clearly overkill for amateurs. But for paid photogs who refuse to compromise on quality, speed or performance in the field, our review process showed us that it is the new default option and undoubtedly one of the world's best cameras for photography.

The Sony A1 sitting on a wooden table in front of a wall

(Image credit: Future)
Astonishing performance at an astonishing price

Specifications

Sensor size: Full-frame
Resolution: 50.1MP
Viewfinder: OLED EVF, 9.44m dots
Monitor: 3.0-inch tilt-angle touchscreen, 1.44m dots
Autofocus: 759-point phase-detection AF
Maximum continuous shooting rate: 30fps
Movies: 8K at 30p
User level: Professional

Reasons to buy

+
Captures incredible detail
+
Blisteringly fast performance

Reasons to avoid

-
Prohibitively expensive
-
Overkill for most

Sony’s undisputed flagship, the A1 is probably the most versatile professional camera ever made - in our review, we called it "more than capable of holding its own". Offering a heady combination of high-res stills, 8K video and blistering speed, it’s as capable in the studio as it is on safari, in a stadium or shooting out in the street. With a continuous frame rate of 30fps and sensor resolution of 50.1MP, it even outperforms Canon’s photography powerhouse, the EOS R5. 

Whisper quiet when shooting, it’s capable of capturing incredible detail, aided by extremely rapid and incredibly powerful hybrid autofocus. And while the screen is only average, the 9.44-million dot OLED EVF more than compensates (particularly with its 240fps refresh rate). So what’s the catch? Price. Starting at $6,500 / £6,500 / AU$10,499 body-only, the Sony A1 is an extraordinarily expensive camera. If you’re looking for a camera to fill just a single niche, there are less expensive ways to do it. But if money is no object and you want the very best all-rounder on the planet right now, look no further.

Hands holding the Nikon Z7 II with its Z 85mm f/1.8 lens

(Image credit: Future)
The best landscape photography choice for Nikon fans

Specifications

Sensor: Full-frame CMOS
Megapixels: 45.7MP
Autofocus: 493-point AF
Screen type: 3.2-inch tilt-angle touchscreen, 2,100K dots
Maximum continuous shooting speed: 10fps
Movies: 4K at 60p
User level: Enthusiast

Reasons to buy

+
Superb handling
+
Speedier performance than Z7

Reasons to avoid

-
Relatively modest update of Z7
-
Rivals have superior action AF

It's not a huge leap forward from the Nikon Z7, but then the Z7 II didn't really need to be. With a blend of subtle but important upgrades, including improved autofocus and a deeper buffer, this full-frame mirrorless camera is a very fine choice –particularly if you're making the move from an older Nikon DSLR. The Z7 II combines Nikon's signature handling with an excellent 45.7MP full-frame sensor, which is the same as the one we loved in its predecessor. 

This means you get class-leading dynamic range, sharp edge-to-edge detail and a handy 19MP APS-C crop mode, for sports or wildlife shooting. Some rivals may offer more in the way of video features and autofocus performance (for action shots in particular), but the Nikon Z7 II brings internal 4K/60p video and remains one of the best full-frame cameras you can buy today. With the Z system's lens collection also slowly growing this year, now is the time to make the switch from your DSLR.

Angled shot of the Panasonic Lumix S5 in front of a white wall

(Image credit: Future)
A compact full-frame all-rounder for both stills and video

Specifications

Type: Mirrorless
Sensor size: Full-frame
Resolution: 24.2MP
Viewfinder: 2.36million dots
Screen type: 3.0-inch vari-angle touchscreen, 1.84m dots
Maximum continuous shooting speed: 7fps (mechanical shutter), 30fps (6K photo mode, 18MP)
Movies: 4K/60p 10-bit 4:2:0
User level: Intermediate/professional

Reasons to buy

+
Small for a full-frame camera
+
Great video specs
+
Good range of controls

Reasons to avoid

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Not the best autofocus system
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Not for sports photographers

Looking for a small full-frame camera that can help you shoot an even mix of high-quality video and still photos? The Panasonic Lumix S5 is one of the best options around, based on our experience in testing. Smaller than the Panasonic Lumix GH5, which has a much smaller Four Thirds sensor, the S5 is particularly talented when it comes to shooting video, offering an uncropped 4K/30p mode and other high-end specs that include V-log recording and Dual Native ISO. 

With a pretty modest burst shooting rate of 7fps, it's not the best choice for sports or action photography, but its 6K photo mode (which lets you extract 18MP stills from video) compensates to an extent, and it otherwise offers impressive image quality and a much-improved autofocus performance. This feels like the camera Panasonic should have launched its S series with, and there are very few rivals at this price point that offer its blend of size, performance and video features.

The Fujifilm GFX50S II camera on a wooden table

(Image credit: Future)
Medium format has never been closer to the mainstream

Specifications

Sensor size: Medium format
Resolution: 51.4MP
Viewfinder: 3.69m dots
Monitor: 3.2-inch tilting touchscreen, 2.35m dots
Autofocus: 425-point contrast AF
Maximum continuous shooting rate: 3fps
Movies: 1080p at 30fps
User level: Professional

Reasons to buy

+
Impressive dynamic range
+
Effective image stabilization
+
Relatively affordable

Reasons to avoid

-
Lacks 4K video
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Slightly sluggish AF

If you want to go a step beyond full-frame, at least in sensor size terms, then the medium format Fujifilm GFX50S II could well be the camera for you. We found that its huge sensor, which is around 1.7x larger than full-frame, produces impressive detail, dynamic range and low-light performance, which makes it ideal for anyone who specializes in shooting landscapes, architecture and even portraits.

Naturally, there are drawbacks, and the GFX50S II certainly isn't an all-rounder – the burst shooting speeds top out at 3fps and there's no 4K video, so it's very much a camera for photography. But these limitations have enabled Fujifilm to keep the price down to a level that was unheard of for medium format cameras only a few years ago. Pair it with Fujifilm's excellent (if expensive) GF lenses, and you have a camera that's surprisingly at home with handheld shooting – and certainly one of the best around for outright image quality.

How to choose the best camera for photography

The main thing to look at when buying a digital camera is sensor size. Larger isn't always better, but it is a good guide to what kind of camera it is, how expensive the lenses will be, and who it's aimed at. In general, Micro Four Thirds and APS-C cameras are for both hobbyists and pros, while full-frame models tend to be strictly for advanced photographers with bigger budgets. Compact cameras with 1-inch sensors are for travel zooms and everyday photography. 

Other features to look out for are viewfinders (electronic or optical), which are considered essential by most photographers, and handling. If you're likely to want to use longer lenses, then a good grip is essential. You should also consider which lenses you're likely to need for your favorite types of photography – for example, bright prime lenses are better for portraits and street shooting, while wide-angle zooms are more useful for landscapes. Deciding which camera system, including lenses, is the best for you is often better than choosing a camera in isolation.

The top of the Sony A1 mirrorless camera

(Image credit: Future)

Are DSLRs best for photography?

DSLRs have long been a byword for 'serious' photography, but they're no longer at the top the camera tech tree. Mirrorless cameras, which replace the DSLR's optical viewfinder with a wholly electronic EVF, are now the beneficiaries of the camera giants' latest lenses and autofocus systems. Neither Canon nor Nikon has released a new DSLR in years. That's why our list above is dominated by mirrorless cameras, rather than DSLRs. 

That doesn't necessarily mean you shouldn't consider buying a DSLR for photography. Their main benefit now is value for money – their lack of an electronic viewfinder means they're usually cheaper than mirrorless equivalents, and their maturity means they have a wide range of affordable lenses. Classic DSLRs like the Canon EOS 6D are also excellent second-hand buys. But the smarter long-term investments are now mirrorless cameras.

The Canon EOS 6D DSLR on a glass table

(Image credit: Future)

How we test cameras

Buying a camera these days is a big investment, so every camera in this guide has been tested extensively by us. These days, real-world tests are the most revealing way to understand a camera's performance and character, so we focus heavily on those, along with standardized tests for factors like ISO performance.

To start with, we look at the camera's design, handling and controls to get a sense of what kind of photographer it's aimed at and who would most enjoy shooting with it. When we take it out on a shoot, we'll use it both handheld and on a tripod to get a sense of where its strengths lie, and test its startup speed.

When it comes to performance, we use a formatted UHS-1 card and shoot in both raw and JPEG (if available). For burst shooting tests, we dial in our regular test settings (1/250 sec, ISO 200, continuous AF) and shoot a series of frames in front of a stopwatch to see if it lives up to its claimed speeds. We'll also look at how quickly the buffers clears and repeat the test for both raw and JPEG files.

In various lighting conditions, we also test the camera's different autofocus modes (including Face and Eye AF) in single point, area and continuous modes. We also shoot a range of photos of different styles (portrait, landscape, low light, macro/close-up) in raw and JPEG to get a sense of metering and its sensor's ability to handle noise and resolve fine detail.

If the camera's raw files are supported by Adobe Camera Raw, we'll also process some test images to see how we can push areas like shadow recovery. And we'll also test its ISO performance across the whole range to get a sense of the levels we'd be happy to push the camera to.

Battery life is tested in a real-world fashion, as we use the camera over the course of the day with the screen set to the default settings. Once the battery has reached zero, we'll then count the number of shots to see how it compares to the camera's CIPA rating. Finally, we test the camera's video skills by shooting some test footage at different frame-rates and resolutions, along with its companion app.

We then take everything we've learned about the camera and factor in its price to get a sense of the value-for-money it offers, before reaching our final verdict.