Updated: December 10, 2023
The tech market is flooded with different types of cameras that it is almost impossible to select one model or brand that meets your eyes. There is no dearth of great and amazing digital cameras. They may start from the basic range models to full-frame models that are expensive. There is a digital camera for everyone and at every price point. Always there is confusion on what model or brand to buy that will meet your price point and still take stunning images or videos. There will always be some models that will stand out from the rest so much so that they become a benchmark for other brands to follow.
Every best digital camera has a good mix of features like improved image quality, new and innovative sensors, ease of use or simply great features at an attractive price point. Year 2018, has started witnessing these innovative features in the digital camera space that promises a wealth of change.
The following list of best digital cameras are some path breaking models that have placed themselves as the benchmark for the futures new digital cameras that will come to the market.
The A9 is the flagship full-frame mirrorless interchangeable lens camera from the house of Sony. The A9 comes with the best of technological features be it mirrorless or DSLR and nicely crams into a compact body that is smaller than most DSLRs that are available in the market. The Sony A9 has features that are suitable for enthusiasts and professionals who want to invest in the latest technologies that provide great performances.
Some of the major highlights of the Sony A9 are high-speed, blackout free continuous shooting at up to 20fps, 60 AF/AE tracking calculations per second and a maximum shutter speed of 1/32,000 second. The important feature of the A9 is the new 35mm full-frame stacked 24.2 megapixel Exmor RS sensor that enables data processing speeds that go up to 20x faster compared to the previous models.
The Sony A9 comes with a 693 phase detection AF points that covers approximately 93 percent frame ensuring faster tracking of moving subjects. The A9 comes with a vibration free, fully electronic anti-distortion shutter with no mechanical mirror. This avoids shutter sound when capturing an image. The camera has a sensitivity of ISO 100-51,200, 5-axis image stabilization, a tilting 3 inch touchscreen display, EVF, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 4k video recording at 30fps or Full-HD at 120fps and NFC.
Most of the features that are found in the Sony A9 may not be used by most photographers, but it is a technical powerhouse in the photographic world that cannot be ignored. Costing $4500 approximately for the body, the A9 is a dream camera for most professional photographers.
2: Sony A7 III
The Sony A7 III was launched with features that were appreciated a lot on the A9 flagship and the A7RIII last year. The features that come with the A7 III are quite impressive for the price point it is being sold at. This new full-frame mirrorless camera offers an enhanced video recording along with tons of still photography features. These include burst shots at up to 10fps speed and AF coverage of up to 93 percent.
This one is designed for the enthusiast photographers who want an all-round camera that is capable of capturing different subjects. While Sony may have placed the A7 III as a basic full-frame camera, but in reality the new A7 III is actually a mix of A9 combined into a full-frame mirrorless camera, which costs much less than the flagship counterpart.
At the heart of this camera is the brand new 24.2MP backside illuminated CMOS sensor. The sensor is paired with the five-axis optical image stabilization. The sensor comes with an ISO range of 100-51200, which is expandable to ISO 50-204800 for still images. It also supports 15-stop dynamic range at low sensitivity settings. Under the hood lies the updated BIONZ X processing engine that is touted to improve the processing speed by 1.8 times compared to the previous version that was powering the A7 II.
According to Sony, the A7III is capable of shooting still images at up to 10fps in RAW or JPEG format with continuous AF/AE tracking for up to 177 standard JPEG files, 40 uncompressed RAM files and 89 compressed RAW files. The most standout feature of the A7III is the 693 point hybrid autofocus system first seen in the model A9. Another feature that is borrowed from the A9 is the inclusion of dual memory card slots (one is UHS-1 and the other UHS-II). The camera also comes with an improved battery, thanks to the NP-FZ100 battery. The A7 III takes 710 shots per charge, which is quite good.
As with any good mirrorless camera, the Sony A7 III comes with features like 4K recording at 30fps. If you drop your resolution to 1080p, then you can capture slow motion footage at 120fps. In terms of connectivity, Sony has provided a USB Type-C port and Wi-Fi. The camera is not completely weather proof, but is dust and moisture resistant.
Compared to the A9 and the A7R III, the Sony A7 III is an inferior option. Features like large electronic viewfinder are missing, but it still includes all the basic features making it a serious contender in this segment.
3: Nikon D850
Nikon has always been good with their cameras and the new Nikon flagship DSLR boasts of 45.7 Megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor. The sensor on this camera is completely new and backside illuminated, making it the second sensor since the Sony 42MP camera, the A7R Mark-ii. The BSI sensor, thanks to the circuitry is placed backside and is more sensitive to light. It uses Nikon’s famous EXPEED 5 image processor which enables full resolution with 7fps burst shooting. The camera comes with an ISO range of 64-25,600, which can be expanded to ISO 32 and up to ISO 102,400. The D850 has 153 point autofocus system with 99 cross-type autofocus points. It has the ability to shoot 4k videos at 30fps or 1080p videos at 120fps.
All the high resolution, 4k videos and speed will require quite a good amount of storage, which is why the D850 comes with the SDXC and QXD card slots. The D850 includes an electronic shutter for live view mode for silent shooting, choice of three size RAW files, dual memory slots, and backlit buttons. HDMI output is present and so are the inputs for microphone and headphone. The D850 is also compatible with a wide range of FX-format lens.
The D850 does not come cheap and with the above battery of features, it is best suited for taking professional photographs of studio, portrait, wedding, wildlife and even sports.
4: Panasonic Lumix GH5s
It was just last year when Panasonic add the Lumix GH5 camera into their stable that was aimed at professional photographers and videographers. This year the company unveiled the new Lumix GH5s a video centric edition of the camera in the market. The GH5s is considered as the answer to Sony’s A7S II mirrorless camera. The Lumix GH5s is designed especially to shoot in low-light conditions and supports a number of professional recording formats and connectors that will be required to shoot with this type of camera.
The Lumix GH5s is certainly not suitable for everyone, but if you want a high quality video camera that shoots professional quality images and videos and price is not a big issue for you, then you must go for this camera. The GH5s comes with an all new 10.2 MP multi-aspect sensor. The large sensor means it is physically larger than the normal micro four thirds sensors.
The GH5s also gives you an option to shoot 14-bit RAW files and the reduction in resolution has allowed Panasonic to improve the maximum ISO of 25,600 in GH5 with an ISO of 51,200 in the GH5s. Panasonic has also included the Dual Native ISO Technology to reduce the risk background noise in low-light condition. The GH5s shoots at world first 4K 60/50p recording in cinema 4K.
With the GH5s you can record in both 4k video and Full-HD as long as you want, as there is no time limit. It is also compatible with Timecode in/out making it easy to synchronize multiple compatible devices when filming. This reduces the time on post production editing. You get an OLED electronic viewfinder which delivers 100 percent field of view. It comes with a 3.2 inch decently large touchscreen and has a 1.6 million dot resolution.
The Panasonic Lumix GH5s is easily the best digital camera for low-light photography with an impressively high ISO performance. Moreover, the body is weather resistant and has good battery life.
5: Sony RX 100 IV
The Sony Cybershot RX 100 IV has an assortment of features and technologies meant to enhance the photography experience of the users. The RX 100 IV retains the nice design perks like a pop-up electronic viewfinder found in the earlier RX100 models. This is an advanced compact camera designed for video enthusiasts. Though the camera is expensive, it has an array of video capabilities and delivers some very high quality still photographs.
Despite using a new, but same size and resolution sensor the images taken from the RX 100 IV looks very similar to the M3. The new CMOS sensor, branded Exmor RS gives the photosites their own layer while the circuits occupy the layer beneath. These subtle changes have had no big impact on the photo quality. It displays better noise performance above ISO 800.
The photo quality is still quite good, sharp and has decent color and tonal range. The video quality is very good and sharp as you would find in a 4k enabled camera. The Sony RX100 IV has a 2.46m-dot EVF that pops out of the top-plate.
The Sony RX100 IV has a decent and modest zoom range. It has a 24-70mm equivalent lens, which is ideal for capturing street photography, landscape shots and portraits. This camera though provides decent flexibility for most situations. The RX100 IV offers plenty of features like Wi-Fi and NFC, which allows it to connect the camera to a phone for transferring images and a remote shutter control. There is a 3-stop ND filter that enables you to cut down the light that travels through the sensor. This allows long exposure times during daylight and uses the lens to its full capabilities while shooting. The only drawback is the battery life, which are 280 shots per charge.
For charging the RX100 IV, Sony has provided a micro-USB slot that enables you to use as a phone charger. You can even connect a power bank to this slot and top-up your tablet or phone.
The RX100 IV is a supremely fast camera with a stacked CMOS sensor design and new processor/DRAM combo making it one of the fastest cameras around. The camera is fast to focus too and relies a lot on the contrast detection AF system, instead of the more advanced hybrid one that also includes the phase detection points.
The Sony RX100 IV is a great compact camera and appeals to serious photographers. This phone is a star, but it doesn’t come cheap. If you want a top notch Sony Camera, then it’s worthwhile to save for this one.
6: Canon 5D Mark IV
The 5D Mark IV from the house of Canon offers a plethora of innovative features and performance upgrades. Canon has left all the functionalities and features simple to use even though the camera looks redesigned. The fourth generation of Canon’s popular 5D series gains a new, higher res sensor, a fast processor, an impressive touchscreen interface, built-in wireless connectivity and cinema 4K video recording.
The 5D Mark IV is aimed primarily at advanced enthusiasts and professionals. The 5D Mark IV offers a range of performance and features for a large variety of subject matters both with video and still photography making it an all-round DSLR in the market. The most important change is the brand new full-frame sensor instead of the earlier 22.3 megapixel chip used in the previous models. The 5D Mark IV has an effective resolution of 30.4 megapixels. It also has support for the company’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF System. Along with the new image sensor is an upgraded image processor, which has enhanced the performance despite the increase in the pixel count.
The previous DIGIC 5+ chip is replaced by the new DIGIC 6+ image processor. According to Canon, this camera is capable of up to seven frames per second in burst shooting, which is a notch higher than the previous that was 6fps. Along with higher resolution and swift performance, the new image sensor and processor allows an improvement in sensitivity. Overall the expanded sensitivity range of ISO 50 to 102,400 equivalents is the same. The camera also has an updated metering and autofocus system too. Just like its flagship sibling, this one has a touchscreen to help you get the most from this new feature.
The most significant change in this camera is the 4k video capture. The image quality in the 4k mode is good. You can shoot 1080p Full HD at up to 60 fps instead of the earlier limit of 30fps and if you drop the resolution to 720p, you will get 120fps capture.
The only drawback for this camera is that the JPEG files look soft at default settings, 4k video codec is cumbersome. Leaving a few issues, the 5D Mark IV captures superb image quality from RAW files with improved dynamic range, excellent high ISO performance, fast burst rate with unlimited JPEG buffer, high quality 4k video, built-in Wi-Fi and Dual Pixel CMOS AF is also pretty good.
7: Sony RX10 IV
DSLR and mirrorless camera offer a lot of flexibility if you are able to spend a lot of money and time to bother with multiple interchangeable lenses. But, if you need a camera that has solution to meet the multiple needs of your photographic challenges, then the Sony RX10 IV is the answer. At the price point it is available, the RX 10 IV isn’t exactly an advanced point and shoot camera.
The RX10 IV is a 20MP 1 inch type sensor, same stacked CMOS sensor from the RX100 V, which means you get great image quality and a blazing fast performance. The sensor is matched with a massive 24-600mm, which is full-frame equivalent. The Autofocus speed is the fastest according to Sony, taking just 0.03 seconds to acquire focus. Thanks to the Hybrid AF system that combines the 315 phase detection points with standard contrast detection.
The 4k video mode is capable of recording full-width video at 100 megabits per second. The camera also features S-Log3 gamma profile from Sony for maximum dynamic range, making it an ideal option for high-end productions like documentaries and travel diaries.
Photo Source: Amazon