Which Sony Camera to Buy in 2020? Best Sony Mirrorless Cameras

Another year is upon us and Sony released many new cameras recently, which is why we decided to make an up-to-date buying guide for Sony mirrorless cameras. We realize the year is just starting out and that’s exactly why you should check back – we’re going to be updating this article when new cameras get released. Whether you’re an amateur, enthusiast or an advanced shooter, we’re going to cover the best Sony mirrorless cameras you can buy in 2020.

which sony mirrorless camera buy

image source: Michael Soledad

Full-Frame vs APS-C Sony Mirrorless Cameras and Which One to Get

Before we get into specific models, we want to briefly talk about two different lineups that Sony makes. Their full-frame cameras include A7III, A7RIV, A9II and are aimed at more advanced users and enthusiasts who don’t mind paying a bit more. Full-frame sensors are bigger, provide you with better low-light performance and are able to separate subjects from the background more easily, resulting in those beautiful blurry backgrounds.

However, if you’re just starting out, buying a more affordable APS-C camera (also known as cropped sensor camera like A6600, A6400, A6100) is more than good enough. Sony makes some of the best APS-C mirrorless cameras on the market and if you go the APS-C route, you’ll easily save quite a bit of cash, which leaves you with more money to spend on some cool lenses. With that in mind, let’s start with our recommendations.

Sony A7III – Best Value Sony Camera

a7iii best value sony camera

image source: Markus Lompa

Although released in late 2018, this is still Sony’s best mirrorless camera in terms of value. For the price you pay and the features you get, there is simply no equivalent camera on the market yet. It’s an excellent choice for photography as well as video. The A7III comes with a 24MP full-frame sensor that’s great in all situations including low-light. The camera has 693 phase-detection AF points that cover 93% of the image and as a result – the autofocus works flawlessly. Features that are also worth mentioning include 5-axis in-body image stabilization, bigger battery with excellent battery life and dual SD card slots.

Quite a few people made the transition from DSLRs and A7III was their first mirrorless camera, not only because it takes good photos, but for sharp 4K videos and the ability to shoot slow-motion videos in 1080p (at up to 120 fps). All of these features make Sony A7III a great hybrid camera.

Sony A7III Pros

  • Excellent autofocus
  • Sharp 4K video (downscaled from 6K)
  • Supports 120 fps in 1080p
  • 10fps burst shooting
  • Great battery life
  • Two SD card slots, one of which supports fast UHS-II cards

Sony A7III Cons

  • Touchscreen controls are limited (mainly for focusing)
  • Menus could be better
  • The screen can’t be flipped around to face you

Sony A7RIV – Best Camera for Landscapes and Portraits

sony a7riv landscapes portraits

image source: Sony

The A7RIV is almost identical to the A7III in terms of size and weight, but instead of a 24MP sensor, it features a full-frame sensor with a breathtaking resolution of 61MP. This makes it the absolute king of resolution when it comes to Sony cameras (and most other cameras as well). Landscape and portrait shooters will love this camera because it allows them to capture every little detail and resulting sharpness is incredible. Despite the high resolution, the A7RIV can shoot at up to 10 fps with autofocus in burst mode. It also records 4K videos without crop and 1080p videos at up to 120 fps. We shouldn’t forget the 16-shot high-resolution mode that allows you to take 16 photos and generate 240MP photos (keep in mind that this only works with static scenes).

Sony A7RIV Pros

  • Incredible 61MP sensor
  • 10fps burst shooting despite high resolution
  • Sharp 4K video recording and slow-motion in 1080p
  • Great battery life
  • Better weather sealing than before
  • 240MP high-resolution mode
  • Two UHS-II SD card slots

Sony A7RIV Cons

  • Large file sizes chew through memory
  • Limited touchscreen controls
  • Files are a bit noisier than on the A7RIII

Sony A9II – Great for Sports and Action

sony a9ii sports action

image source: Sony

Just like Sony A7III, the A9II also features a 24MP full-frame sensor, but it has a slightly bigger and heavier body. It also has 5-axis in-body image stabilization, along with 693 hybrid autofocus points. So what’s the biggest difference between these two cameras? Well, the A9II offers blackout-free continuous shooting at up to 20 fps with a silent electronic shutter or up to 10 fps with a mechanical shutter. This makes it a perfect choice for action and sports photographers and even some wildlife shooters. If you’re not in one of these categories, you’re far better off investing in an A7III or A7RIV. The A9II doesn’t even have S-log support when recording videos, so it’s definitely not meant to be used for professional video shoots. Having said that, if burst shooting is important to you, then the A9II is one of the best options around.

Sony A9II Pros

  • Even better AF performance than before
  • Weather sealing has been improved
  • 20 fps continuous shooting
  • Improved battery efficiency
  • Two UHS-II SD card slots

Sony A9II Cons

  • Still uses the old sensor
  • Limited touchscreen controls
  • Menus could be better
  • Sensor protection when changing lenses would be useful

Sony A6600 – Best Sony Camera for Enthusiasts

a6600 best enthusiast sony camera

image source: Sony

If you’re an enthusiast and don’t think you need a full-frame camera just yet (or simply want a lighter camera/lens combo), the A6600 is currently the best Sony APS-C camera you can get. It is a younger sibling of the A6500 and they share the same 24MP sensor, in-body image stabilization, and video recording capabilities (4K at up to 30 fps and 1080p at up to 120 fps), but it packs many new features. Some of these include a completely new autofocus system that is even faster and more accurate in different situations and has support for real-time object tracking and Animal Eye-AF. Then there’s a flip-up touchscreen that allows you to easily frame the shot when filming yourself.

The A6600 packs a bigger battery and the byproduct of that is the bigger and better grip. It’s the same bigger battery found on Sony’s new full-frame mirrorless cameras, and it provides more than double the battery life (it’s rated at 810 still shots and 250 minutes of video). This camera is an excellent choice for videographers who do a lot of handheld shooting (because of IBIS – in-body image stabilization), as well for the fact that it has not only a microphone jack but a headphone jack as well. If you think a cropped sensor camera is good enough for your needs, you do both photography and videography and value the extra battery life – Sony A6600 is a fantastic choice!

Sony A6600 Pros

  • Best battery life out of pretty much any APS-C camera
  • Excellent autofocus and eye-tracking capabilities (works with humans and animals)
  • In-body image stabilization
  • Weather sealing
  • Flip-up screen
  • Good grip

Sony A6600 Cons

  • Somewhat heavier than other Sony APS-C cameras
  • Expensive

Sony A6400 – Best Value Sony APS-C Camera

a6400 best value sony aps-c camera

image source: Sony

Sony A6400 is an update to the popular A6300 and in our opinion, it is the best Sony APS-C camera in terms of value. It has the same 24MP sensor as the A6600, along with great autofocus, identical video recording capabilities (4K at up to 30 fps and 1080p at up to 120 fps), same flip-up screen, as well as a mic input. What it doesn’t have is the in-body image stabilization, but you can overcome this by using lenses with OSS (Optical SteadyShot). It also comes with a smaller battery, found in every other Sony APS-C camera other than the A6600. You also lose the headphone jack with the A6400, but unless you’re super serious about videography that won’t be an issue and even then it depends on your type of shooting.

Overall, the A6400 has the best price-performance ratio out of all Sony APS-C cameras, in our opinion. It is affordable, compact, snappy, and takes great photos and videos. What else can you ask from a sub $1,000 camera?

Sony A6400 Pros

  • Great autofocus capabilities with Eye-AF and object tracking
  • 4K and slow-motion video in 1080p
  • Flip-up screen
  • Very compact
  • Weather sealing
  • Affordable

Sony A6400 Cons

  • No in-body image stabilization
  • Uses smaller and older batteries
  • The grip could be better

Sony A6100 – Best Sony Camera for Beginners

sony a6100 camera for beginners

image source: Sony

If you want to save some money compared to the A6400 (perhaps you’d rather use that money towards buying an additional lens) and still get 90% of the features, the A6100 is the camera for you. They share the same 24MP sensor, autofocus capabilities, compact size, 4K and slow-motion video recording etc. However, the A6100 doesn’t have a magnesium alloy body found on the A6400 and is not weather sealed. The A6100 also has lower resolution Electronic Viewfinder (1,440,000 vs 2,359,296 dots). There’s one more difference, but it concerns only more advanced video shooters. Essentially, the A6100 doesn’t support S-Log and HLG (HDR) picture profiles when you’re shooting videos, a feature that’s found on the more expensive A6400 (and A6600, of course). That being said, if you’re OK with the lack of these features, the A6100 is a very good choice.

Sony A6100 Pros

  • Excellent autofocus capabilities, just like on the A6400/A6600
  • 4K and slow-motion video in 1080p
  • Flip-up screen
  • Small and lightweight
  • Affordable

Sony A6100 Cons

  • No IBIS
  • Uses smaller and older batteries just like the A6400
  • No weather sealing
  • No S-log in video

Sony A6000 – Cheapest Option

a6000 cheapest sony camera

image source: Daniel J. Schwarz

Yes, the A6000 is old (more than five years old at this point!), but there’s a reason it still remains one of the best-selling mirrorless cameras. The 24MP sensor, although older than on the previously mentioned cameras, is still decent and autofocus is great for photos but not as good in video. Essentially, this camera is an excellent choice for beginner photographers, but we wouldn’t recommend it to video shooters. It doesn’t record 4K or 120 fps in 1080p (the A6000 is limited to 1080p at up to 60 fps). The beauty of this camera is that it allows people to get into mirrorless camera photography at a very low price. On top of that, if you buy a lens for it, you’ll be able to use it with A6400 or A6600, if you ever decide to upgrade.

Sony A6000 Pros

  • Although five years old now, the 24MP sensor is still a good performer
  • The smallest of all cameras on this list
  • Solid autofocus
  • Very affordable

Sony A6000 Cons

  • The processor is older, so the camera doesn’t feel snappy like previously mentioned cameras
  • No 4K video
  • No weather sealing

Which Sony mirrorless camera to buy is the question we often get asked on our social media accounts, which is why we decided to write this guide. Hopefully, you found it useful and we helped you pick the right Sony camera for your particular needs.

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