Best camera 2020: the 10 best cameras you can buy right now

Nikon Z6 mirrorless camera, the best camera right now

The finest DSLRs, mirrorless cameras and compacts right now
What’s the best camera you can buy right now? The answer to that question will be different for every person. It really depends on what and how you like to shoot, as well as your budget, size and performance needs. But finding your ideal camera doesn’t need to be a daunting task – which is exactly why we’ve put together this buying guide.
From entry-level cameras for novice photographers to high-end equipment for enthusiast shooters, to find the right camera you have to know what you want – and accept a few compromises. No camera will ever be completely perfect and you’ll usually need to measure certain expectations, whether on weight, size, features or price.


We’ve accounted for all of that in creating our list of the best cameras you can buy. Each of the models featured below is brilliant in some way – whether because of a groundbreaking feature, an affordable price-tag or impressive all-round performance. With that in mind, we’ve selected the best options in each of the three key categories: DSLR, mirrorless and compact.
Want to know which camera we think is the top all-rounder you can buy right now? That’s the Nikon Z6. It’s a small, lightweight and relatively affordable full-frame camera, with the option to use hundreds of different lenses with a simple adapter. For most people, it’s all the camera you'll need.
That said, it’s still worth having a look at the list because we haven’t simply picked the latest photographic kit. Sometimes previous models offer better value, especially when upgrades are marginal, which is why we’ve included a handful of older cameras with prices that have now dropped to enticing levels. We’ve hand-picked the latest and greatest cameras on the market today, so you’ve got all the options for your next purchase.

Best camera 2020 at a glance:

  1. Nikon Z6 (our top all-round camera)
  2. Fujifilm X-T30 
  3. Sony A7 III 
  4. Nikon D850 
  5. Nikon Z50
  6. Sony A6100
  7. Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III
  8. Canon EOS Rebel SL3 / EOS 250D
  9. Panasonic Lumix ZS200 / TZ200
  10. Panasonic Lumix G95 / G90
Along the way we'll explain some of the jargon and the differences between cameras, though if you need a bit more help deciding what kind of camera you need, you can get a lot more information from our special step-by-step guide: What camera should I buy?
On the other hand, you may already have a clear idea of the kind of camera you want, in which case you could go straight to one of our more specific camera buying guides at the bottom of the page. Otherwise, read on to find out our picks of the best cameras available right now.
Type: Mirrorless | Sensor size: Full-frame CMOS | Resolution: 24.5MP | Lens: Nikon Z mount | Viewfinder: EVF | Screen type: 3.2-inch tilting touchscreen, 2,100,000 dots | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 12fps | Movies: 4K | User level: Intermediate/expert
High-resolution EVF
Familiar and refined handling
XQD card format has limited support
Limited buffer depth
Now just over a year old, the Z6 still retains its position as our best camera. Being a fantastic all-rounder with superb handling, there's nothing yet which beats it in terms of versatility, usability and affordability. The Z6 combines both excellent stills and 4K video quality with everything else that's key for a full-frame mirrorless camera. That means we get a lightweight and compact body that still manages to handle beautifully on account of a substantial and ergonomically designed grip. There's also a sharp and crisp 3.69-million dot viewfinder along with a responsive, and tilting touchscreen. The native lens range for the Z mount is expanding rapidly, but if there's something you need that's not covered then you can use F-mount optics via the optional FTZ adapter ($245 / £270 / AU$180). We've also been treated to features such as Eye AF for the past few months, which helps it to compete even more strongly against Sony's Alpha line. We love the Z6 – through the Sony A7 III (see below) isn't too far behind it.

2. Fujifilm X-T30

This ravishing retro option squeezes in plenty of high-end techs
Sensor size: APS-C | Resolution: 26.1MP | Viewfinder: 2,360K dots | Monitor: 3.0-inch tilt-angle touchscreen, 1,040K dots | Autofocus: 425-point AF | Maximum continuous shooting rate: 8fps | Movies: 4K at 30p | User level: Expert
Superb value for money
Excellent images and lovely videos
The small body can be fiddly
One card slot
Fujifilm's X-T3 may still one of the most capable APS-C mirrorless cameras around, but that fact that the company managed to incorporate so much of its tech inside the smaller and cheaper X-T30 makes this our recommendation for most people. A solid 26.1MP X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor, popular Film Simulation modes, excellent 4K video capabilities and a hybrid AF system with 425 phase-detect AF points stand out as highlights from its strong spec sheet, while improvements to overall speed and face/eye detection (with more to come via scheduled firmware updates) make for a slightly more polished performance over the previous X-T20. Our only gripe is the small viewfinder magnification, but there's enough handling prowess to still make it one of the best APS-C options out there. Hot on its heels is the newly-announced Nikon Z50, which may just push the X-T30 out of this list once we've had the chance to test it properly.

3. Sony A7 III

Quality results partnered with speedy operation
Sensor size: Full-frame | Resolution: 24.2MP | Viewfinder: 2,359K dots | Monitor: 3.0-inch tilt-angle touchscreen, 921K dots | Autofocus: 693-point AF | Maximum continuous shooting rate: 10fps | Movies: 4K at 30p | User level: Intermediate/expert
Great 24MP sensor
Sensor-based stabilization
Weather-sealing could be better 
Some EVF tearing
We love the A7 III. The original A7 and A7 II showed Sony was moving in the right direction and making all the right noises. But despite being over 18 months old, it's this third iteration that still stands out in the full-frame mirrorless market. The core of the camera – namely a 24MP full-frame sensor, 4K video, sensor-based image stabilisation, 10fps burst shooting and a 693-point hybrid AF system – is strong enough, but with two card slots and 710-shot battery life on top of that, you're getting excellent value for money as well as top performance. We have some reservations with the viewfinder and weather-sealing, but this is still one of the most versatile cameras around right now, mirrorless or otherwise. 

4. Nikon D850

The resolution, speed and traditional controls - this DSLR still delivers
Type: DSLR | Sensor size: Full-frame CMOS | Resolution: 45.4MP | Lens: Nikon F mount | Viewfinder: Optical | Screen type: 3.2-inch tilting touchscreen, 2,359,000 dots | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 7fps | Movies: 4K | User level: Intermediate/expert
Stunning image quality
Excellent performance
Slow Live View AF speed
SnapBridge connectivity
You'd be forgiven for thinking that mirrorless is the only option right now for class-leading tech, but the Nikon D850 still manages to hold its own as one of the best cameras on the market. It has a well-rounded feature set which means it appeals to a diverse range of users, particularly those who are already heavily invested in the DSLR space. If you need high resolution, it's got it with a 45MP full-frame sensor. If you need speed, it has that too with a 7fps burst shooting option which can be boosted to 9fps with a battery grip. OK, that's reasonably modest compared with the likes of the 20fps Sony A9 II, but it's still good enough for capturing most kinds of action. On top of that, you also get 4K video recording options, as well as a rugged body protected against inclement weather. One feature which is definitely king over its mirrorless rivals is battery life – with a massive 1800 frames per charge, you shouldn't need to worry about the camera dying in the middle of the decisive moment.

5. Nikon Z50

The perfect mid-range mirrorless upgrade for DSLR owners
Type: Mirrorless | Sensor size: APS-C | Resolution: 20.9MP | Lens: Z-mount | Screen type: 3.2-inch tilting touchscreen, 1,036,080 dots | Viewfinder: EVF | Maximum continuous shooting rate: 11fps | Movies: 4K | User level: Enthusiast
Great, DSLR-style handling
Excellent viewfinder and screen
Limited range of native lenses
Tilt-screen can't be used with the tripod
Looking for a smaller, more affordable version of the full-frame Nikon Z6 for travel and general shooting? The Z50 fits the bill and is an excellent entry into mid-range, APS-C cameras from Nikon. It's particularly suitable for those looking to move to mirrorless from a Nikon DSLR as, unlike more petite rivals like the Fujifilm X-T30, it prioritizes handling thanks to its large, deep grip. The Z50 produces great photos and has the same excellent autofocus system as the Nikon Z6, which works very well for static subjects, but can't quite match the performance of something like the Sony A6400 when it comes to sports and activities. With an impressive viewfinder and tilting touchscreen, though, the Z50 is a great camera for travel and general shooting, and is compatible with older F-mount lenses via an optional adaptor, along with Nikon's new Z-Mount glass.

6. Sony A6100

A fine mirrorless camera for beginners and hobbyists alike
Type: Mirrorless | Sensor size: APS-C | Resolution: 24.2MP | Lens: Sony E-mount | Viewfinder: EVF | Screen type: 2.95-inch tilting touchscreen, 921,600 dots | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 11fps (mechanical) | Movies: 4K | User level: Beginner
Excellent tracking autofocus
Compact yet feature-packed
Takes time to understand capabilities
Relatively low-res LCD and EVF
Since its launch five years ago, the entry-level Sony A6000 has proven a hugely popular mirrorless camera. Its successor, the A6100, takes the existing recipe and adds several tweaks that help it compete with today’s mirrorless pack. Compact yet capable, the A6100 pairs a beginner-friendly build with a feature set that won’t disappoint the more adventurous. It can take time to understand the camera’s potential, but there’s plenty of it: the APS-C sensor is the same 24.2MP chip found in Sony’s more premium cameras, while the autofocus system is shared with the flagship Sony A6600. The result is excellent continuous tracking abilities and, paired with a good lens, images with plenty of detail and generally accurate colours. Battery life is also decent and the tilting screen is now touch-sensitive, though its functionality is fairly limited. Certain performance and handling quirks are shared with its more expensive siblings – Auto ISO doesn’t suit fast-moving subjects, for example – but these are more forgivable on an entry-level model, especially such a solid all-rounder as the A6100. It deserves to be just as popular as its predecessor.

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