It’s 2020 and you’re buying your first camera or thinking about switching to another camera brand. Which one do you choose?
Choosing the right camera brand for yourself is the most important part of the process; you don’t want to keep switching between camera brands. This is an expensive process as their lenses are not interchangeable, so you’ll have to buy everything anew.
To help you make the decision let’s look at the best camera brands in 2020 and what you can expect from them.
Canon was founded in 1937 in Japan and is still one of the biggest electronics companies, when its first 35mm camera was prototyped. Canon makes a vast range of electronic devices, including SLR cameras and lenses.
There’s a good chance that if you’ve ever been buying a new camera, you’ve heard of the name camera brand Canon somewhere along the line.
Canon cameras are known for being well-built and user-friendly, and despite the high-end models being reasonably priced, Canon cameras are one of the best choices for both those who are just starting out or professionals who require the highest photo quality possible.
Popular Canon Cameras
- Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR
- Canon EOS 6D Mark II DSLR
- Canon EOS 90D
- Canon EOS R6 Mirrorless
- Canon EOS M50 Mirrorless
Founded in 1917 in Japan, Nikon is one of the biggest Canon rivals.
Nikon cameras are known for being ergonomic and high-quality, but this comes at a higher price.
Nikon makes a broad range of professional cameras that are used by some of the best landscape photographers, but Nikon also develops entry-level cameras for amateurs and beginners.
Moreover, Nikon and 3rd party companies provide an extensive range of lenses for the cameras, making Nikon suitable for any niche of photography.
Popular Nikon Cameras
Finishing with the big trio, Sony, is well-known for developing high-tech devices from TV’s to PlayStations, has had its ups and downs with cameras, but in the past years, it has released a series of mirrorless cameras that are unmatched in image-quality and price.
Sony’s investment into mirrorless cameras from the get-go is now paying huge dividends with its Sony a7 III winning Tipa World Award for the best mirrorless full-frame camera and being one of its best-sellers.
Popular Sony Cameras
- Sony Alpha a9 II Mirrorless Full Frame
- Sony Alpha a7R III Mirrorless Full Frame
- Sony Alpha a7 III Mirrorless Full Frame (Recommended by Otterreviews)
- Sony Alpha a6400 Mirrorless APS-C
- Sony Alpha a6000 Mirrorless APS-C
This Japanese company is the father of outstanding full-frame and cropped-sensor digital cameras branded as Lumix. What is more, Panasonic is also the manufacturer of state-of-the-art Leica lenses.
Panasonic is the leading camera manufacturer for video recording – some of their most recent cameras have been awarded for the extraordinary video performance.
Popular Panasonic Cameras
- Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5
- Panasonic Lumix DC-G9
- Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS50 Compact
- Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS70 Compact
Fujifilm doesn’t only create film and old-school cameras, but also modern mirrorless cameras with a vintage look.
Interestingly, Fujifilm decided not to create full-frame cameras but rather focused on perfecting APS-C sensors that are reportedly just as good.
Fujifilm might just be the perfect camera brand to start with; its digital cameras range from entry-level to professional, but they can all use the same Fujifilm lens.
A lot of professionals who don’t need full-frame cameras switched to Fujifilm cameras for their compactness and superb imaging capabilities.
Popular Fujifilm Cameras
It comes as no surprise that Olympus, another premium camera company, was also founded in Japan.
Back in ‘03, Olympus was the first camera producer to introduce a mirrorless camera that had interchangeable lenses.
Olympus might not be the biggest camera manufacturer; its cameras are still very sought after for their retro design and imaging capabilities.
Popular Olympus Cameras
- Olympus OM-D EM-1 Mark III
- Olympus OM-D EM-1 Mark II
- Olympus OM-D EM-1X M43
- Olympus OM-D EM-10 Mark III
Pentax is a fantastic camera producer established in Tokyo.
Although you won’t find Pentax at the tops of the sales charts for cameras, the photographic community owes it to them for making durable and weather sealed cameras that fill the void between low-end and top-tier photo gear.
One could say that Pentax cameras are build by photographers for photographers; and truly, most Pentax users never even think about switching to other brands.
Popular Pentax Cameras
- Pentax K-70 Compact DSLR
- Pentax KP Compact DSLR
- Pentax K-1 II Full Frame DSLR
- Pentax 645Z Medium Format
Everyone has heard of Kodak, but not recently. This American company was founded in 1888 and has long been a synonym for photography; however, it has lost a lot of its former success.
With the rise of digital cameras, Kodak failed to adapt to the new marketing demands, leading to its inevitable bankruptcy in 2012.
Nowadays, Kodak continues to sell digital and instant print cameras, but remains uncompetitive.
Popular Kodak Cameras
This German company is a synonym for top-notch cameras and lenses.
It’s fairly safe to say that Leica’s lenses are the best in the photography business. Their exceptionally build-quality and “Leica bokeh” will set you back a couple of tens of thousands of dollars – yes, really.
Leica cameras are not particularly beginner friendly as there is only manual mode.
What sets Leica apart from other camera brands are beautifully-designed and durable cameras, superb image optics, and price.
Popular Leica Cameras
GoPro has seen an increase in popularity in the recent years among action photographers and videographers.
GoPro makes small, compact, waterproof wide-angle cameras that are capable of producing high-quality images and videos. Adrenaline enthusiasts often mount these on their bikes, helmets, cars, and even drones.
While GoPro cameras aren’t the best choice for professional photography, I believe that they have their place in action photography.
Popular GoPro Cameras
Polaroid was an American company founded in 1937, and after it underwent major financial and leadership changes in the early 2000s, it has since regained some its former glory.
Although Polaroid dominated polaroid camera market for a good half of century it did not invent this kind of instant cameras.
To adapt to the current state of the camera technology, the new Polaroid company focused on creating portable printers that can be paired with smartphones.
Popular Polaroid Cameras
Ricoh was founded in 1936 when it split off its main company Rikagaku Kogyo as a sensitized paper division named Riken Kankoshi Co, Ltd.
In 1950, Ricohflex III camera was launched, paving Ricoh’s innovative path to success.
Over the last few years, Ricoh has produced and expanded its GR line of compact cameras; the fixed wide-angle lens of these small cameras are perfect for street and indoors photography.
Popular Ricoh Cameras
Leica isn’t the only expensive camera brand; Hasselblad, the Swedish manufacturer of medium format cameras is known for its extremely high resolution and high price cameras.
Did you know that virtually all photos of Apollo missions were taken by modified Hasselblad cameras?
With the release of X1D-50c in 2016, Hasselblad introduced the first digital compact mirrorless medium format camera. Its flagship H6D takes 100-megapixel photos but will set you back $33,000 – without the lens.
Popular Ricoh Cameras
About your guide
Matic Broz is a multifaceted creative professional, with experience as a photographer, graphic designer, and business owner. He has a decade of experience in helping other creatives improve their craft and start their own businesses. His writing and research have been featured in notable publications such as The Guardian, PetaPixel, and USA Today. Additionally, his scientific research has been recognized with a cover feature in the prestigious MDPI-owned journal. In his leisure time, he enjoys photography, hiking, and spending time with dogs. Read more
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