From DSLRs to mirrorless, these are the best cameras you can buy right now

We’re a bit shocked to say it, but the best camera on the market right now is the Nikon Z 6 — although the competition is certainly very stiff. The Z 6 isn’t just a new camera, it’s one of the first models in an entirely new full-frame mirrorless system from Nikon. We would have forgiven it for not being perfect as a first-generation product, but Nikon really pulled out all the stops here. The Z 6 is both an incredible still camera and a very capable video camera, offering great performance, image quality, and design.

Just looking at full-frame mirrorless cameras, we’e reviewed seven models in the last 12 months; add in APS-C sensors and other camera types, and that number explodes. Clearly, it’s a very crowded market, and there is no shortage of great cameras. From DSLRs and mirrorless cameras to advanced point-and-shoots, here are the best digital cameras you can buy today — if the Z 6 isn’t for you, there’s a good chance one of the other models on this list is.

At a glance

ProductsCategoryRating
Nikon Z6Best overall4.5 out of 5
Sony A7 IIIBest full-frame mirrorless4 out of 5
Fujifilm X-T3Best crop-sensor mirrorless4.5 out of 5
Fujifilm X-T30Best sub-$1,000 camera4 out of 5
Nikon D850Best DSLR4.5 out of 5
Panasonic Lumix GH5Best photo/video hybrid4.5 out of 5
Sony RX10 IVBest non-interchangeable lens camera4 out of 5

 

Why should you buy this: Full-frame image quality with DSLR-like handling

Why we picked the Nikon Z6:

The Nikon Z6 is the mirrorless camera for the DSLR hold-outs. While smaller than Nikon’s full-frame DSLRs, the grip (and menu system) feels very much like a DSLR. With professional level weather-sealing, the Z6 is an incredibly well-made camera. While we haven’t always been fans of the early electronic viewfinder, the EVF on the Z6 is big and high resolution, while offering numerous advantages over an optical viewfinder, like focus peaking and an accurate exposure preview.

The Z6 sports a 24.5-megapixel sensor that’s better in low light than the 45MP. Mixed with the 5-axis in-body stabilization, the Z6 delivers impressive low light results — and can even outperform Nikon’s full-frame DSLRs at high ISOs. Colors are what we’d expect from a Nikon and the new Z lenses are very sharp. The Z6 and Z7 also make serious gains in video, including 10-bit 4:2:2 N-Log to an external recorder, something even Sony’s third-generation mirrorless cameras don’t have.

The Z6 also uses a 273-point hybrid autofocus system that, alongside the Z7, is the first on-chip phase-detection autofocus that Nikon has ever done. There’s still room for improvement, particularly when focusing in low light, but continuous autofocus is available even at the maximum 12-frame-per-second continuous shooting speed.

If the Z6 was Nikon’s second or third attempt at making a pro-level mirrorless, it would be less impressive. As an example of what Nikon can do with its first try, it’s quite the accomplishment — and we can’t wait to see what’s in store for the future. More than any other camera, the Z6 has finally given Sony some real competition in the full-frame mirrorless game and breathed new life into the camera market.