A wide range of qual­i­ty lens­es for any task and any bud­get is one of the things that attracts both begin­ners and advanced pho­tog­ra­phers to Sony. Pho­to: pixabay.com

Sony is one of the most sta­ble play­ers in the pho­tog­ra­phy mar­ket, which at the same time is not afraid of inno­va­tion and bold deci­sions. Any, even the sim­plest cam­era of this com­pa­ny will serve you faith­ful­ly, and a bunch of cool optics, both native and from third-par­ty man­u­fac­tur­ers, makes the com­pa­ny’s cam­eras a par­tic­u­lar­ly inter­est­ing option even in times of cri­sis. Today we deal with the Sony mod­el range: we are look­ing for the right cam­era in the right for­mat.

Sony compact cameras

Camera for bloggers: Sony ZV‑1

We talked about this cam­era more than once. Sony ZV‑1 is per­haps the per­fect com­pact for a vlog­ger with a cool bonus — a cool effi­cient aut­o­fo­cus sys­tem. The devel­op­ers have pro­vid­ed many fea­tures that help novice blog­gers eas­i­ly get a cool pic­ture.

You can con­trol the expo­sure man­u­al­ly, or you can set every­thing to auto. There is auto­mat­ic blur­ring of the back­ground with one click, a prod­uct demon­stra­tion mode with smooth refo­cus­ing from face to prod­uct and back, built-in neu­tral den­si­ty fil­ters for shoot­ing out­doors. An effec­tive sta­bi­liza­tion sys­tem and a good stan­dard micro­phone are pro­vid­ed. There is every­thing to start shoot­ing video with­out addi­tion­al equip­ment.

The cam­era records detailed 4K at 30p, and there are spe­cial LOG pro­files for easy col­or grad­ing.

This com­pact for blog­gers has only a cou­ple of draw­backs — there is no viewfind­er and pro­tec­tion from bad weath­er. Oth­er­wise, if you’re look­ing for a sim­ple, easy-to-use mod­el for shoot­ing video, the Sony ZV‑1 is a good option.

Travel: Sony RX100 VII

The lead­ing aut­o­fo­cus sys­tem is anoth­er major sell­ing point for Sony. Pho­to: tecnomad.pro

If your inter­ests go beyond shoot­ing vlogs, Sony has a com­pact that can do it all. For a unique “soap box” Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 VII will have to pay about the same as for the flag­ship APS‑C cam­era.

The price for the VII gen­er­a­tion of the famous “cyber­shots” bites, but their char­ac­ter­is­tics are worth it. As with the ZV‑1, you get a bat­tle-ready device with a built-in 24–200mm f/2.8–4.5 uni­ver­sal zoom lens from ZEISS. In addi­tion to good optics, there is also a mul­ti­lay­er 20.1‑megapixel matrix. The cam­era can shoot bursts at 20fps with track­ing aut­o­fo­cus, so it’s suit­able for both fast action scenes and wildlife pho­tog­ra­phy, giv­en the lens’s range lim­i­ta­tions.

RX100 VII can shoot good video: on board detailed 4K with sta­bi­liza­tion and excel­lent con­trol over rolling shut­ter (when shoot­ing a mov­ing object, part of the matrix lags and fix­es its pre­vi­ous posi­tion, which leads to visu­al dis­tor­tions).

So if you’re look­ing for a ver­sa­tile com­pact trav­el cam­era but don’t want to car­ry around inter­change­able lens­es, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 VII is your option.

Sony APS‑C cameras

For beginner photographers: Sony a6100

The junior mod­el of Sony’s crop series is aimed pri­mar­i­ly at begin­ner pho­tog­ra­phers. But by pur­chas­ing such a cam­era, you also get a good head start — an impres­sive set of fea­tures is only slight­ly infe­ri­or to the flag­ship Sony a6600.

The a6100, like the old­er mod­el, uses a 24.2‑megapixel Exmor CMOS sen­sor and a nim­ble BIONZ X proces­sor. The cam­era focus­es instant­ly and cool­ly tracks mov­ing objects. Pro­pri­etary eye detec­tion sys­tem and track­ing aut­o­fo­cus Real-time Track­ing work great when shoot­ing peo­ple and when shoot­ing ani­mals.

The cam­era also has 4K video record­ing in Super 35mm for­mat with pix­el read­ing from the entire width of the sen­sor. There is a micro­phone jack, but there is no head­phone jack, as well as built-in sta­bi­liza­tion.

Another camera for bloggers: ZV-E10

If you are look­ing for a Sony APS‑C for­mat sharp­ened for video, the blog­ging ZV-E10 is a more inter­est­ing option. It’s sim­i­lar to the a6100 in specs, but in terms of spe­cial fea­tures and video capa­bil­i­ties, it’s more like the Sony ZV‑1.

Com­pared to the a6100, the ZV-E10 has a swiv­el screen, a head­phone jack and a micro-hdmi port. And unlike the ZV‑1, this blog­ging APS‑C allows you to change lens­es. This means that with fast lens­es like the Sig­ma DN 30mm f/1.4, you can get the beau­ti­ful­ly blurred back­ground that YouTu­bers love so much.

The larg­er for­mat sen­sor han­dles low light bet­ter, which is impor­tant when shoot­ing indoors. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, the same sen­sor, which is used in all the lat­est mod­els of the a6xxx and ZV-E10 series, is sus­cep­ti­ble to the rolling shut­ter effect. If you are going to move quick­ly or pan a lot while shoot­ing video, you can get notice­able dis­tor­tion in the pic­ture.

Universal crop camera: Sony A6600

Thanks to its com­fort­able grip, the a6600 has no prob­lem even with heavy lens­es. Pho­to: camerajabber.com

If you want a “uni­ver­sal sol­dier” in a com­pact APS‑C cam­era body, the Sony A6600 is your best bet. This flag­ship mod­el is aimed at advanced hob­by­ists and enthu­si­asts — both pho­tog­ra­phers and video­g­ra­phers. The cam­era is suit­able for any genre of shoot­ing and any sit­u­a­tion.

The Sony a6600 has a cool 5‑axis sta­bi­liza­tion sys­tem that pro­vides up to 5 stops of expo­sure com­pen­sa­tion, which is good for both hand­held pho­tog­ra­phy in low light and video shoot­ing.

At the same time, it still has the same cool aut­o­fo­cus sys­tem that allows you to focus on an object in 0.02 sec­onds, rec­og­nize eyes based on AI and tena­cious­ly fol­lows the object, even if it tem­porar­i­ly dis­ap­pears from the frame.

In terms of video, the a6600 offers 4K at Super 35mm, there are micro­phone and head­phone jacks on the body, and the aut­o­fo­cus sys­tem is as effec­tive for movies as it is for pho­tog­ra­phy. The dis­ad­van­tage of this cam­era in terms of video shoot­ing, as in the case of the a6100 and ZV-E10, is a pro­nounced rolling shut­ter.

If you want a ver­sa­tile inter­change­able lens cam­era but don’t mind pay­ing extra for a full frame, the a6600 is a great option.

Sony full frame cameras

Entry level full frame: Sony A7 III

If you’re look­ing for the eas­i­est and not too expen­sive entry into the “full frame cam­era club”, then the Sony a7 III is there for you.

Of course, this cam­era is not as fast as, say, the a9 II, and does not boast the res­o­lu­tion of the a7R IV, but the Sony a7 III received a bunch of fea­tures from its old­er broth­ers, the price tag for which, due to recent events, has become sim­ply pro­hib­i­tive.

The a7 III has a super-effi­cient aut­o­fo­cus sys­tem and a cool 5‑axis sta­bi­liza­tion sys­tem. Its 24.5‑megapixel back-illu­mi­nat­ed sen­sor (improves cam­era sen­si­tiv­i­ty) works in tan­dem with a pow­er­ful proces­sor to deliv­er a very wide dynam­ic range and high ISO per­for­mance with min­i­mal noise.

Despite the fact that this is a seri­ous full-frame cam­era, it has a com­pact body weigh­ing only 650 grams.

Other full-frame “generalists”

But if you’re look­ing for an even more com­pact full-frame body, Sony has a tru­ly unique mod­el. Sony a7C weighs 509 grams, and its dimen­sions are 124 x 71 x 60 mm, which is com­pa­ra­ble to crop cam­eras. Attach the Sony FE 28–60mm f/4–5.6 com­pact fold­ing zoom lens to it for one of the best com­bi­na­tions for trav­el and every­day pho­tog­ra­phy.

If the prices of the Sony a7 III and Sony a7C seem pro­hib­i­tive and you still want a full-frame cam­era, the old­er Sony A7 II is still an inter­est­ing option for most pho­tog­ra­phers. Of course, it is not as fast in terms of aut­o­fo­cus and does not sup­port 4K video, but it is sig­nif­i­cant­ly cheap­er than old­er mod­els.

But if you’re on a bud­get and want a ver­sa­tile start in full-frame pho­tog­ra­phy, the lat­est Sony a7 IV is the option for you.

For portraits and landscapes: Sony A7R IV

The Sony A7R IV has a mode that allows you to take 240MP pho­tos. For this you need a tri­pod. Pho­to: phillipreeve.net

And now let’s move on to spe­cial­ized full-frame cam­eras that are suit­able for pro­fes­sion­als in their genre.

For por­traits and land­scapes, we rec­om­mend the Sony a7R IV (and the upgrad­ed ver­sion of the a7R IVA with a cool­er dis­play), which boasts a 61MP sen­sor.

In addi­tion to a beau­ti­ful­ly detailed pic­ture, it is also dis­tin­guished from the pre­vi­ous­ly men­tioned mod­els by improved body pro­tec­tion, suit­able for work­ing in any loca­tion.

Land­scape pho­tog­ra­phers will appre­ci­ate the extend­ed ISO sen­si­tiv­i­ty range from 50 to 320,000 — the cam­era can be used in the most dif­fi­cult light­ing con­di­tions, includ­ing for shoot­ing night land­scapes with a star­ry sky.

If 60+ megapix­els is not enough for you, the a7R IV has a spe­cial mul­ti-frame stitch­ing mode for one huge 240-megapix­el shot. You can make incred­i­ble wall­pa­pers!

Inter­est­ing­ly, despite the insane detail that favors calm, judi­cious work, this pro­fes­sion­al cam­era sup­ports con­tin­u­ous shoot­ing at a good pace — up to 10 fps. It’s not super fast for sports or fast-paced action scenes, but it’s easy to cap­ture that moment in por­trai­ture.

Sony a7R IV is good in terms of video too, but we have a com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent mod­el in store for video pros.

For videographers: Sony A7S III

Many look at the 12-megapix­el Sony a7S III with bewil­der­ment. Of course, this res­o­lu­tion may not be enough for pho­tog­ra­phy, but the a7S III is not designed for pho­tog­ra­phy (although it still knows how to take pic­tures).

The matrix with a small­er num­ber of larg­er pix­els is designed specif­i­cal­ly for video: it sup­ports 4K video with a 1:1 pix­el read­out, which elim­i­nates moire-type arti­facts; it copes well with work in low light (for exam­ple, when shoot­ing indoors at con­certs or in the evening on the street); and a small­er amount of data allows you to work as quick­ly as pos­si­ble in all modes, which is very impor­tant for video sig­nal pro­cess­ing.

The a7S III’s 4K video qual­i­ty is the best in the entire line, there is prac­ti­cal­ly no rolling shut­ter effect, it has a con­ve­nient swiv­el screen and pow­er­ful sta­bi­liza­tion. Plus a lot of spe­cial­ized tools for video­g­ra­phers, sup­port for modes and codecs for pro­fes­sion­al work, and so on. In gen­er­al, if you need a cam­corder from Sony, choose the Sony A7S III.

For sports and wildlife: Sony A1 and A9 II

Sony a1 does not par­tic­u­lar­ly try to stand out in appear­ance — maybe it’s for the best, giv­en the cost of this “mon­ster”. Pho­to: techradar.com

But for sports, wildlife and high-speed shoot­ing, we have two options.

The first, less expen­sive, is the Sony A9 II. The cam­era can silent­ly shoot with an elec­tron­ic shut­ter at 20 fps, which is very cool for pho­tograph­ing ani­mals. It has the most effec­tive aut­o­fo­cus, advanced pro­tec­tion against bad weath­er and an excel­lent viewfind­er. What else is need­ed to sit in ambush with a 1200mm tele­pho­to lens at the ready and wait for a bear (or try to “hit” a foot­ball play­er from the oth­er side of the field)?

The sec­ond option is for those who need the best. This is, of course, our favorite Sony a1, which has repeat­ed­ly found itself in all sorts of rat­ings of the best mir­ror­less cam­eras. The alpha cam­era tries to be the best at every­thing (and it most­ly suc­ceeds), but because of this, the price of the Sony flag­ship reach­es cos­mic heights.

At the same time, con­tin­u­ous shoot­ing is one of its main fea­tures. The Sony a1 can cap­ture 155 con­sec­u­tive RAW pho­tos at 50.1MP at up to 30fps. Impres­sive? You can add 8K video at 30 fps and 4K video at 120 fps here, as well as a viewfind­er with a res­o­lu­tion of 9.44 mil­lion dots.