The Best Sony Mirrorless Cameras: Which One Is Right for You?

Written by Matic Broz Updated on November 6, 2021

The Best Sony Mirrorless Cameras: Which One Is Right for You?

Sony has been a leader in the field of cameras for a long time. In recent years, it’s been making a lot of headway with mirrorless cameras. The Sony a7 series stands out as one of the best. But among the a7 models, there are a few I recommend.

In this post, I review the best Sony mirrorless cameras and help you decide which to buy. I also discuss the best use cases for each of these cameras.

The best Sony mirrorless camera

Sony A7 III

IMAGESony a7 III ILCE7M3/B Full-Frame Mirrorless...
SPECIFICATIONSLens Mount: Sony E
Sensor:
35.6 x 23.8 mm (Full-Frame) CMOS
Resolution:
24.2 Megapixel (6000 x 4000)
Crop Factor:
None
Bit Depth:
14-Bit
Image Stabilization:
Sensor-Shift, 5-Axis
ISO:
100 to 51200 (Extended: 50 to 204800)
Shutter Speed:
1/8000 to 30 Seconds
Continuous Shooting:
10 fps at 24.2 MP
TODAY’S BEST DEALS$1,798.00See at Amazon
REASONS TO BUY+ Wide AF coverage
+ High dynamic range
+ Good high ISO performance
+ 5-axis image stabilization
+ High level of customization
REASONS TO AVOID– Underperforming buffer
– Only one card slot supports UHS-II

Sony’s a7 III is a superb camera, despite being more costly than its rivals. It’s a perfect balance of features and price.

It has a 24MP sensor, the same as a7 II, but a higher ISO range (up to 204,800 vs 51,200). Sony A7 III features a powerful BionzX image processor. Why is this important? First used in Sony A7R III, it boasted a fantastic image quality. And that’s what you get in Sony A7 III now, but at a lower cost.

Thus, the A7 III sits in the middle of the A7 camera line. With its 24.2MP full-frame sensor, it’s not as powerful as the 42MP A7R III. But it has more resolution than the 12.9MP A7S II, making it a great option if you want prints larger than 13×19.

The a7 III also has a fast and accurate autofocus system. But it doesn’t have a touchscreen, which is a shame.

Its battery life is longer than a7 II’s (610 vs 350 shots). Plus, a new joystick in the back is easier to control. A new a7 III autofocus mode, “lock-on AF,” is ideal for wildlife photographers. This feature helps track fast-moving objects.

The a7 III is a great camera with a superb sensor. But if you’re into video, check out Sony A7S III.

SALE
Sony A7 III
  • Advanced 24.2MP BSI full frame Image Sensor w/ 1.8X readout speed
  • 15 stop dynamic range, 14 bit uncompressed RAW, ISO 50 to 204,800. Compatible with Sony E mount...
  • Up to 10fps silent or mechanical shutter with AE/AF tracking. Battery life (Still Images): Approx....
  • 693 phase detection / 425 contrast AF points w/ 93 percent image coverage. Focus sensor: Exmor R...

Best lenses for Sony A7 III

The best full-frame (expensive)

Sony A7R IV

Sony A7R IV is the best full-frame Sony mirrorless camera available. It even beats the rivals Nikon Z7 and Canon EOS R5.

It has an astonishing 61MP sensor, ideal for landscape photography. The new in-body stabilisation system (IBIS) is more proficient in low-light conditions. Sony A7R IV features a more durable shutter with a max speed of 1/8000 seconds.

Sony A7R IV
  • Stunning resolution: world’s first 61MP full-frame 35mm back-illuminated Exmore R CMOS Image...
  • High speed: up to 10Fps continuous shooting at 61MP with AE/AF tracking; 26. 2MP in APS-C crop mode
  • Fast Hybrid Autofocus: 567 Phase detection AF points and 425 contrast AF points to cover more area
  • Advanced subject recognition: real-time tracking and real-time eye AF for humans, animals and movies

The improved subject tracking in continuous shooting mode allows up to 10 FPS. But it’s not good at the video; it does only 4Kp30.

It has the same LCD screen (1,400k dots) as Sony A7R III. Yet, the viewfinder is way better (5,760k dots vs 3,686k).

Sony A7R IV comes with the same Wi-Fi/NFC/Bluetooth, weather-sealing, and twin SD card slots as the A7R III.

The best for video & streaming

Sony A7S III

A new Sony A7S III is a fantastic camera that goes beyond the Sony A7S II. While the Sony A7S II was already one of the best cameras for video, the Sony A7S III is better in almost every way. It’s worth buying, especially for video recording, as it captures A7S III 4K video at 60 fps.

SALE
Sony A7S III
  • Advanced 24.2MP BSI Full-frame Image Sensor w/ 1.8X readout speed Advanced 24.2MP Back-Illuminated...
  • 15-stop dynamic range, 14-bit uncompressed RAW, ISO 50 to 204,800
  • Up to 10fps Silent or Mechanical Shutter with AE/AF tracking
  • 693 phase-detection / 425 contrast AF points w/ 93% image coverage

The A7S III has a 12-megapixel full-frame sensor that can shoot at up to 10 frames per second. The Sony A7S III has a massive dynamic range, which makes it a great video camera. Its ISO expands to 409,600.

The Sony A7S III is the best video camera for both professionals and hobbyists. It’s the most popular camera for YouTubers and vloggers alike.

The best for beginners

Sony Alpha a6500

Sony has announced a new version of their Alpha a6400 camera, Sony a6500. It’s a premium mirrorless camera ideal for advanced photographers. However, beginners with a higher budget also enjoy it.

Sony Alpha a6500
  • 24.2MP APS-C Exmor sensor w/ advanced processing up to ISO 51.200
  • Wide 425 phase detection AF points, Fast 0.05 sec. AF acquisition
  • 5-axis in-body image stabilization steadies every lens. Silent Shooting. Noise Reduction :Long...
  • 11fps continuous shooting to 269 frames at 24.2MP w/ AE/AF tracking

The Sony a6500 is a well-built camera that is comfortable to hold, but it is also one of the most advanced Sony cameras to date. It has many high-end features, but it also has a few drawbacks.

It comes with a 24.2-megapixel APS-C sensor, 425 focus points, and 11fps continuous shooting. It can record 4K movies and has an ISO range of 100-51,200.

Although the Sony Alpha a6500 is an impressive camera, it’s not as good as the competition. For example, Panasonic Lumix G9 has a better EVF and better AF. Sony Alpha a6500 is the ultimate Sony camera for those who own a lot of Sony lenses. But those who don’t own many Sony lenses enjoy the better EVF and AF of Panasonic Lumix G9.

The Sony Alpha a6500 is a well-rounded camera that both experienced and budding photographers can use.

The best for under $1000

Sony Alpha a6400

Sony released the Sony a6400 as a successor to Sony a6300. It’s one of the best mirrorless cameras for under $1000. In fact, you can even get it for as low as $900 sometimes.

Sony a6400 has been designed for those who want a lightweight mirrorless camera that takes excellent photos. It is a serious advancement from its predecessor, the a6300.

Sony Alpha a6400
  • Next Gen speed: experience the world’s fastest 0. 02 sec AF with real-time AF and object tracking
  • Enhanced subject capture: wide 425 Phase/ 425 contrast detection points over 84% of the sensor
  • Fast & accurate: up to 11Fps continuous shooting at 24. 2MP raw with crisp, clear natural colors
  • Multiple movie functions: make time lapse movies or slow/quick motion videos without post processing

The a6400 has a 24.2 MP APS-C sensor that boasts a burst speed of 11fps. It’s a camera well-suited for action photography and vlogging. A flip-out touchscreen is another excellent feature that’s going to help you. A premium design makes it fit even in smaller hands. It’s so lightweight you might even forget that you’re holding a camera.

The a6400 is a camera that is a great choice for those who want a camera that takes outstanding photos. The Sony a6400 can compete with other professional cameras that cost much more.

The best for under $500

Sony Alpha a6000

The best Sony mirrorless camera under $500 is the Sony Alpha a6000. It combines a 24.3MP APS-C sensor, a rear-illuminated Exmor CMOS sensor, a BIONZ X image processor.
A tiltable 3-inch 922k dots LCD touchscreen nicely complements the OLED viewfinder with 1,440k dots.

Sony Alpha a6000
  • Next Gen speed: experience the world’s fastest 0. 02 sec AF with real-time AF and object tracking
  • Enhanced subject capture: wide 425 Phase/ 425 contrast detection points over 84% of the sensor
  • Fast & accurate: up to 11Fps continuous shooting at 24. 2MP raw with crisp, clear natural colors
  • Multiple movie functions: make time lapse movies or slow/quick motion videos without post processing

For a sub-$500 camera, a max ISO of 25,600, 11 fps continuous shooting, and 4K video recording are spectacular features. Besides, it has impressive AF options and takes high-quality photos.

It’s the perfect option for anyone looking to shoot high-quality photos and videos without spending much money.

The best for wildlife & sports photography

Sony A9 II

Sony a9 II is a versatile full-frame mirrorless camera designed to be a jack-of-all-trades. The a9 II is a follow-up to the original a9. It was a full-frame mirrorless, one of the fastest cameras you could buy when it launched in 2017.

Now, the a9 II is faster, better, and more capable than ever. It has a new 24-megapixel sensor, a new focusing system, and a mechanical shutter designed to keep working even in the cold.

Sony A9 II
  • SONY ALPHA A9 II: Compact professional cameras mastered for sports photography and photojournalism
  • SUPERIOR SPEED: Fastest 35mm full-frame 24. 2MP stacked Exmore RS CMOS sensor with integrated memory
  • FASTER AUTO FOCUS: Up to 20fps at full resolution with 60 AF/AE tracking calculations per second
  • ADVANCED SUBJECT RECOGNITION: Real-time Tracking and Real-Time Eye AF for humans, animals and movies

Sony claims the a9 II can burst at 20 fps and take high-speed videos at 120fps. It uses a new algorithm to predict subject motion and can detect and track both faces and colours. It has a new ultra-high-speed image processing engine that can record and process data at 30 times the speed of the A9. Also, it has a new anti-distortion shutter that can shoot at an ultra-fast 1/32,000th of a second.

That’s fast, and it’s one of the reasons why the a9 II is such a versatile camera. Based on that, Sony A9 II is the best Sony mirrorless camera for wildlife photography.

What is a mirrorless camera?

A digital camera uses a sensor to capture images rather than film. It is the digital equivalent of a film camera. Compared to DSLRs, mirrorless cameras use electronic viewfinders (EV) instead of optical viewfinders.

Along with this, mirrorless cameras are often smaller and lighter than DSLRs. They are becoming popular among photographers due to their many advantages.

Based on several parameters, including pricing, build, and image quality; these are the best Sony mirrorless cameras:

The best Sony mirrorless cameras FAQs

Frequently asked questions

Which is the best Sony mirrorless camera to buy?

I’ve researched the Sony mirrorless system and decided that A7 III is the best Sony camera. It’s the best all-around mid-range system. It’s not cheap, but it has all the features that most people would ever need. Recently, Sony released an updated version: Sony A7 IV. If you can afford it, it’s even better than the A7 III.

What is the difference between a DSLR and a mirrorless camera?

DSLRs use a mirror to reflect the light up into the viewfinder, which gives you a preview. Mirrorless cameras don’t have a mirror, so the light hits the image sensor directly.

Why should you buy a Sony mirrorless camera?

The primary reason why Sony cameras have been so popular is that they offer exceptional features. And Sony has been updating them at have been expanding from one model to another. Apart from this, Sony has developed many cameras, which prioritise customers.

Are Sony mirrorless cameras good?

Sony has been doing great in the last few years after it has released some of the best mirrorless cameras on the market. Sony’s mirrorless cameras aren’t only good looking but perform well too. Not only that, they are pretty affordable, especially considering what you get. They are also easy to use, which makes them perfect for beginners.

What is a Sony mirrorless camera?

Sony mirrorless camera is a system of digital cameras that use a mirrorless system to produce images. They are different from DSLR cameras in that they are smaller, lighter, and more compact. You can recognise Sony mirrorless cameras by the Greek letter “alpha” in the name. When writing, we often swap it with an “a” in English.

Are Sony mirrorless cameras worth it?

Sony has been steadily improving its alpha series. With each new release, the cameras get better by packing new features. However, the prices are also increasing. Thus, Sony’s cameras are amazing, but there’re are better alternatives. I recommend Nikon Z6 II and Canon EOS R5.

Conclusion

Sony cameras have come a long way from where they started, and they continue to impress. If you’re looking for a camera with great image quality without sacrificing too much budget, you can’t go wrong with the Sony alpha series.

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