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Cinematography

Buy Guides 2022: The Best Sony Video Cameras for Video Creators

Jourdan Aldredge

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 and brands for you, 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, today 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.

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.

 

Point-and-shoot Sony cameras

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.

Sony ZV-1

Sony ZV-1

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.

  • 20.1MP 1" Exmor RS BSI CMOS Sensor
  • ZEISS 24-70mm-Equiv. f/1.8-2.8 Lens
  • UHD 4K30p Video w/ HLG & S-Log3/2 Gammas
  • 3.0" Side Flip-Out Touchscreen LCD
  • Real-Time Tracking & Eye AF
  • Background Defocus & Face Priority AE
  • BIONZ X Image Processor & Front-End LSI
  • Directional 3-Capsule Mic & Mic Jack
  • Multi-Interface Shoe, Built-In ND Filter
  • Product Showcase Setting

Price: $748.00

Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VII

Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VII

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.

  • 20.1MP 1" Exmor RS BSI CMOS Sensor
  • BIONZ X Image Processor & Front-End LSI
  • ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T* f/2.8-4.5 Lens
  • 24-200mm (35mm Equivalent)
  • Up to 20-fps Blackout-Free Shooting
  • UHD 4K30p Video with HLG & S-Log3 Gammas
  • 0.39" 2.36m-Dot OLED Pop-Up EVF
  • 3.0" 921.6k-Dot 180° Tilting Touchscreen
  • Fast Hybrid AF, 357 Phase-Detect Points
  • Real-Time Tracking and Eye-AF

Price: $1,298.00

Mirrorless Sony cameras

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.

Sony a1

Sony Alpha 1

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.

  • 50MP Full-Frame Exmor RS BSI CMOS Sensor
  • Up to 30 fps Shooting, ISO 50-102400
  • 8K 30p and 4K 120p Video in 10-Bit
  • 4.3K 16-Bit Raw Video Output, S-Cinetone
  • 9.44m-Dot EVF with 240 fps Refresh Rate
  • 759-Pt. Fast Hybrid AF, Real-time Eye AF
  • 5-Axis SteadyShot Image Stabilization
  • Dual Drive Mech. Shutter, 1/400 Sec Sync
  • 5 GHz MIMO Wi-Fi, 1000BASE-T Ethernet
  • Dual CFexpress Type A/SD Card Slots

Price: $6,498.00

Sony A7R IVA

Sony Alpha 7R IVA

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 IVA. 

While not quite as powerful as the Alpha 1, the a7R IVA still features a massive 61MP Full-Frame CMOS sensor that can shoot UHD 4K video at up to 30fps 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).

  • 61MP Full-Frame Exmor R BSI CMOS Sensor
  • BIONZ X Image Processor & Front-End LSI
  • 567-Point Phase-Detection AF System
  • UHD 4K30p Video with HLG & S-Log3 Gammas
  • 5.76m-Dot Tru-Finder OLED EVF
  • 3.0" 2.36m-Dot Tilting Touchscreen LCD
  • Up to 10 fps Shooting, ISO 100-32000
  • 5-Axis SteadyShot INSIDE Stabilization
  • 240MP Pixel Shift Multi Shooting
  • Bluetooth & Wi-Fi, Dual UHS-II SD Slots

Price: $3,498.00

Sony A7S III

Sony Alpha 7S III

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.

  • 12MP Full-Frame Exmor R BSI CMOS Sensor
  • UHD 4K 120p Video, 10-Bit 4:2:2 Internal
  • 16-Bit Raw Output, HLG & S-Cinetone
  • 759-Point Fast Hybrid AF
  • 9.44m-Dot QXGA OLED EVF
  • 3.0" 1.44m-Dot Vari-Angle Touchscreen
  • 5-Axis SteadyShot Image Stabilization
  • Extended ISO 40-409600, 10 fps Shooting
  • Dual CFexpress Type A/SD Card Slots

Price: $3,498.00

Sony Alpha 7 IV

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.

  • 33MP Full-Frame Exmor R CMOS Sensor
  • Up to 10 fps Shooting, ISO 100-51200
  • 4K 60p Video in 10-Bit, S-Cinetone
  • 3.68m-Dot EVF with 120 fps Refresh Rate
  • 3" 1.03m-Dot Vari-Angle Touchscreen LCD
  • 759-Pt. Fast Hybrid AF, Real-time Eye AF
  • Focus Breathing Compensation
  • 5-Axis SteadyShot Image Stabilization
  • Creative Looks and Soft Skin Effect
  • 4K 15p UVC/UAC Streaming via USB Type-C

Price: $2,498.00

Sony Alpha 6600

Sony Alpha 6600

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.

  • 24.2MP APS-C Exmor CMOS Sensor
  • BIONZ X Image Processor
  • UHD 4K30p Video with HLG & S-Log3 Gammas
  • XGA Tru-Finder 2.36m-Dot OLED EVF
  • 3.0" 921.6k-Dot 180° Tilting Touchscreen
  • 5-Axis SteadyShot INSIDE Stabilization
  • Up to 11-fps Shooting, ISO 100-32000
  • 4D FOCUS with 425 Phase-Detect Points
  • Real Time Eye AF for Stills and Video
  • Headphone & Mic Ports, Wi-Fi & Bluetooth

Price: $1,398.00

Cinema Sony cameras

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.

Sony Venice 2

Sony Venice 2

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.

  • X-OCN Internal Recording
  • 4K ProRes 4444/422HQ Internal Recording
  • Interchangeable CMOS 8.6K Sensor Block
  • 16 Stops of Dynamic Range,
  • 800/3200 Base ISO Range
  • Removable PL Mount, Cooke /i Protocol
  • Sony E-Mount with Electronic Contacts
  • 8 x Integrated ND Filters Plus Clear
  • Integrated Assistant-Side Info Screen

Price: $58,000.00

Sony Cinema Line FX6

Sony Cinema Line FX6

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.

  • 4K Full-Frame 10.2MP CMOS Exmor R Sensor
  • DCI 4K60p | UHD 4K120 | 1080p240
  • 15+ Stops of Dynamic Range in S-Log 3 EI
  • Compact Form Weighs Just <2 lb
  • Phase Detection AF/Face Tracking/Eye AF
  • Base 800-12,800 ISO / 320-409,600 Max
  • S-Cinetone, S-Log3, HLG Modes
  • 10-Bit 4:2:2 XAVC-I/16-Bit Raw Output
  • Dual CFexpress Type A/SDXC Card Slots

Price: $5,998.00

Sony Alpha FX3Sony Alpha FX3

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.

  • 12.1MP Full-Frame CMOS Exmor R Sensor
  • UHD 4K up to 120 | 1080p up to 240
  • Compact Form for Cage-Free Operation
  • 10-Bit 4:2:2 XAVC S-I,16-Bit Raw Output
  • S-Cinetone/S-Log3/HLG, 15+ Stops DR
  • Detachable 2 x XLR/TRS Adapter Handle
  • Phase Detection AF/Face Tracking/Eye AF
  • 80 to 409,600 Expanded ISO Range
  • Dual CFexpress Type A/SDXC Card Slots

Price: $3,898.00

Further reading

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: