Sep 7, 2022
Take it from us, your music-producing and curating and filmmaking experts: There are a lot of great cameras out there for all your video-making needs. And, for anyone just starting out or simply trying to figure out the best cameras for your YouTube videos, it can be a lot to take in.
Not only do we have all these different types of digital video cameras from DSLRs to mirrorless, you also have to learn the differences between the different manufacturers. And while there is never a wrong answer as to which camera is right for you, we’re going to break down some of the current best Sony video camera options out there.
Long synonymous with televisions and PlayStations, the Sony camera line has been one of the best camera brands in the game. Sony cameras are known for their sharp image recording, quality color science, and impressive low light capabilities — and frankly, they're starting to become unstoppable.
So, regardless of your budget or needs, let’s highlight some of our favorite Sony camera selections which can help you launch your filmmaking and video career today.
Let’s start with some of the most basic — and most affordable — Sony camera options, which would be your point-and-shoot cameras. These digital cameras are noteworthy for their ease-of-use as they have pretty much everything you need built-in.
From the lens to the sensor to all the controls and functions, one of these point-and-shoot cameras could be an easy selection for the best Sony camera, or perhaps the perfect vlogging camera.
Our first choice to highlight out of the best Sony camera selections is the Sony ZV-1 Digital Camera. This point-and-shoot pick comes with a 20.1MP CMOS sensor and a 24-700mm-equivalent zoom lens with a bright f/1.8-2.8 aperture.
It also boasts great AF capabilities and benefits from Sony’s S-Log3/2 and HLG picture profiles so you can record cinematic looking footage in pretty much any situation. Of course, it is also a great vlogging camera capable of recording high quality videos.
We also have to highlight the Sony RX100 VII as one of the best Sony cameras from Sony’s Cyber-shot camera line. This pocket-sized point-and-shoot packs a similar 20.1MP CMOS sensor, although it features an even greater 24-200mm-equivalent ZEISS zoom lens.
This video camera also includes nearly all of the higher-end bells and whistles like fast AF, slow-mo recording, and a nice pop-up and tilting touchscreen that makes this one of the best point-and-shoot cameras on the market.
When working on our list of the best Sony cameras, we’re almost sad to report that we don’t have any DSLR cameras to include. The mirrorless system has truly replaced DSLR as the new norm — just ask Canon, for example.
However, luckily Sony has been ahead of the curve and has been producing some of the best mirrorless cameras for film and photo professionals for several years now.
Many of these selections are simply the most recent versions of their flagship cameras (like the A 7 or the new Alpha 1). However, you can also always look at older versions for cheaper prices without compromising quality.
Let’s start with Sony’s self-proclaimed “flagship in the truest sense.” The Sony a1 is an absolute beast with its 50MP Full-Frame CMOS sensor and up to 8K at 30fps video recording. This video camera is the true rival to the Canon R5 and the best mirrorless camera Sony currently has on the market without a doubt.
You might not like its in-body image stabilization compared to some other brands, but that might not matter depending on your setup for working with compact cameras like the Alpha 1.
Moving on from the Sony Alpha 1, we have several other Sony mirrorless cameras to highlight including the most recent edition of the a7R with the Sony a7R V.
While not quite as powerful as the Alpha 1, the a7R V still features a massive 61MP Full-Frame CMOS sensor that can shoot UHD 8K video at up to 24fps and includes 15-stops of dynamic range. It’s also almost half the price of the Alpha 1 (and even cheaper if you look at older versions of the a7R as well).
Also coming in at a similar mid-$3,000 price point, the Sony a7S III is another of the latest versions of a hallmark Sony mirrorless camera that is well-known — and well-used — in the professional film, video, and photo communities.
Its 12MP Full-Frame CMOS sensor packs a surprising amount of punch, with UHD 4K video at up to 120fps capabilities along with 10-Bit 4:2:2 internal recording.
We’d also be remiss if we didn’t include the a7 with its latest option, the Sony a7 IV, as it continues the strong legacy of one of Sony’s first mirrorless cameras.
This current a7 IV has a capable 33MP Full-Frame CMOS sensor, your expected 4K video at 60fps in 10-Bit, and also comes in around $1,000 cheaper than the current a7R or a7S options for those looking for a bit of a discount with their Sony mirrorless options.
The Sony a7 IV also has some super helpful optical steadyshot image stabilization for providing some impressive in-body image stabilization.
Finally if you’re looking for some compact cameras that represent the best value and savings (yet still offer pristine Sony 4K video recording) then look no further than the Sony a6600.
This 24.2MP APS-C-format camera is great for creators just breaking into professional video production with practically all the features of the other flagship mirrorless options, but a bit more beginner focused.
Alright, now we get to move on to the exciting stuff: Cinema cameras! And boy, has Sony made a name for themselves in this high-end cinema space over the past few years. We’re of course mainly talking about the Sony Venice behemoth, which has been used on some of the biggest videos, shows, and blockbuster movies over the past few years.
But we’re actually going to highlight the even newer Venice 2, as well as some other (see: more accessible) Sony cinema camera options.
While announced back in 2021, one of the highlights of NAB 2022 was being able to check out this super powerful (but quite expensive) new cinema camera on the market.
Of course the Sony Venice 2 isn’t a camera for everyone. It requires a huge budget and a highly skilled professional team to handle. However with an Interchangeable CMOS 8.6K sensor block capable of 8.6K video at up to 30fps, this high-end cinema camera blows any mirrorless camera options out of the water (as it should).
Don’t let the price fool you, as many filmmakers won’t seriously look at purchasing this camera. Instead, they’ll rent it for certain projects just like you would an ARRI ALEXA or the like.
Hopefully the Venice 2 (and its price) didn’t scare you away because we’re getting back to our regularly scheduled programming by highlighting video cameras which most filmmakers can actually afford.
The next pick from Sony’s cinema line is the Sony FX6, which has a 4K Full-Frame 10.2MP CMOS sensor capable of UHD 4K at up to 120fps. It also boasts 15+ stops of dynamic range and a great deal of functions and features. This combination makes it a great option for high-end video production that won’t climb to that uber-high-end Venice 2 range.
Let’s move even further down the cinema line and into more realistic territory.
For filmmakers looking to handle diverse projects mostly for online use, the Sony Alpha FX3 is actually a great bargain for a high-end 12.1MP CMOS sensor camera capable of UHD 4K at up to 120fps, but well within a comparable range to Sony’s popular mirrorless options.
These are just some of our current favorite Sony cameras which we chose to highlight for any interested filmmakers or videographers. There are many more cameras out there to consider and check out, but this is a great place to start.
If you’d like to read up on other buying guides and camera breakdowns, check out these additional articles from the Soundstripe blog: