This guide will help you select which camera is best for you and your needs! No matter what your level I’ve got you covered.
I separate the cameras into nice easy categories that will help you make the best choice. I am a big fan of mirrorless cameras because they can do everything that DSLR’s can do but have about half the weight!
Mirrorless cameras are the way of the future and many PRO photographers have already converted, so whether you are jumping in for the first time OR wanting to get a 2nd camera these suggestions will make sure you get the most value for your dollar.
APS-C MIRRORLESS CAMERAS
These Sony a5100 mirrorless cameras are amazing quality for the price! We own one and the reason it’s popular with us is that the LCD screen can tip straight up 180° and you can use it as a selfie cam for photos or video! So it can be used to make Youtube videos or used a live cam for Twitch for example. We also love how inconspicuous it is, like it doesn’t scream big professional camera as it is compact in size, so you get away with having it in a restaurant or show without drawing attention whilst getting supreme quality photos.
It is an interchangeable lens camera so it will support all the lenses you use on the larger Sony A7 – 7iii systems. So it’s a great backup camera too! It has the exact same high quality 24.3MP Exmor APS-C CMOS sensor as the Sony a6000 but differs by not having a viewfinder. This means it’s a much smaller and versatile camera and it packs a serious punch! As with other Sony cameras you can get adaptors to other lense systems like nikon or canon. This is an invaluable system that Sony created so you can use all your other lenses on here.
The camera comes with a 16-50mm lense which is the perfect starter lense.
The Sony a6000 and α 5100 share the same sensor hence the similar price point, but the α 6000 will offer more pro features. The extra features will cost you a little more than the a5100, but it feels more robust to hold and supports a viewfinder which helps when shooting out in bright sunshine. I can talk highly of the image quality on these cameras as you get beautiful 24MP images. The α 6000 does not have the 180° tilt screen though like α 5100 if that was a feature you were set on having you should go for the α 5100. The α 6000 also supports the lenses from the Sony A7 series, so this is a great a little feature as you get more into photography you could get the FE Sony lenses and upgrade to a Full Frame body later like the. If you want to get into mirrorless and are on a budget or plan to upgrade later then theα 6000 is a good choice. Also get this camera if you want an amazing quality backup to a gig as the beefy 24MP is an excellent 2nd camera to have. It’s small in size but offers amazing performance.
The eagerly awaited update to sony’s APS-C line of cameras has been released and it’s boasting some very powerful features- The Sony a6500! Without getting too complicated, the Key features are and these are pretty amazing in an APS-C camera!
- 24MP APS-C CMOS sensor with 425 phase detection points
- 2.36M-dot OLED EVF
- Tilting rear touchscreen
- 5-axis in-body image stabilization
- 11 fps continuous shooting for up to 300 JPEGs / 100 Raws
- 1/4000 sec maximum shutter speed
The 425 phase detection points is actually how many points on the sensor are used when computing the autofocus, that’s insane! + it has in-camera 5-axis image stabilization. So, the camera actually is able to adjust to movement from the user and make a steady photograph, another insane feature! All these features combined with many others like 4k video shooting and 25600 ISO make the Sony a6500 camera the best Sony APS mirrorless camera on the market. This would suit any photographer! Check out my lens section for the best landscape and walk-around lenses to pair with this camera.
FULL FRAME MIRRORLESS CAMERAS
The Sony A7 is the company’s most affordable full frame mirrorless camera makes it a very attractive option. So, if you are one of those photographers dying to make their way into full frame photography, this camera is your chance! The Sony A7 has made Full Frame photography available to everyone! It was released along with the Sony A7R and there is so much to love about this camera coming with a Full frame 24MP sensor that allows up to 4 FPS in Speed Priority Continuous shooting, pretty impressive! There’s plenty of amazing Sony FE lenses and the list keeps growing- check out the lenses here. This camera offers that full frame sensor and you will love editing the large images, 24MP is just the right amount that won’t require too much computer processing power, many photographers believe 24 to be the magic number actually.
The Sony A7 ii is a great mirrorless camera offering the complete package! Many would consider 24MP Full Frame to be the perfect amount of pixels to shoot with and the incredible part about this camera is that it has image stabilization built in to the body. This was a huge upgrade from the A7 because in the A7 ii has become an incredible walk around camera and be confident to get a sharp image. This may very well be my next camera when my Sony A7R dies. It’s an all round camera and this price it is a steal for people wanting to get into the full frame market. You can use all your nikon, canon, sigma lenses with this mirrorless camera using convertors so it makes the transition easier than you think.
The Sony A7r II is dropping in price as time goes by and it is an excellent landscape full frame mirrorless camera that produces stunning 42MP images. Currently it is significantly cheaper than the A7R III and if I were to replace my A7R I would probably go for the A7R II due to the price and how most of my images are shot on a tripod. This is the 2nd version of the camera and improvements made it faster and added in-body image stabilisation which is an incredible addition to an already amazing camera. If you have the budget, than you should drop the hammer!
The Sony A7r III offers some serious hardware and is Sony’s flagship camera. If you want the best then this is it, simple as that! Sony stuck with the perfect 42MP number and made major improvements to fix focus systems and limitations that the previous model had in order to promote a better experience for the photographer, which is what it’s all about. And I have to say that the A7R mark III does exactly that. The newer Sony A7r III can offer 425 contrast detection AF points, up from 25 on the A7R MkII, so if focus is important to you than you can see how this was a quantum leap. Mirrorless cameras have Electronic View Finders, known as EVF’s, and so when you look through the viewfinder you are actually looking at a small LCD screen displaying what the sensor is recording. These are way cooler than DSLR viewfinders because with digital the operating system can put any information on the display it wants from numbers like exposure values, show you live areas where the image is clipped, overlay any information you can think. The resolutions of both the EVF and rear LCD tilt screened improved with the EVF now at 3686k-dot (compared to the a7RII’s 2359k-dot) and the LCD resolution now 1440k-dot, up from the Sony a7RII’s1229k-dot resolution. The Sony A7r III also has a higher dynamic range, so this means that there are more details in the shadows and highlights, as well as you being able to recover more in the RAW image editing. The mk III can offer the newer S-Log 3 and HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) profiles in video mode, and shoot at 120fps in full HD. Other improvements are to the battery life, bluetooth and NFC for transfering images.
So you can see there were some significant increases in the Sony A7r III camera performance which equates to a better and more seamless experience for the photographer, which is exactly what you need when you are trying to stay in your creative zone.