The best camera 2020

If you’re looking for a high-quality camera, you don’t need to spend a ton of cash, nor do you need to buy the latest and greatest new product on the market. What’s the best camera you can buy right now? Like finding the ‘best’ restaurant, the answer depends entirely on your tastes and budget. But that doesn’t mean we haven’t put together a guide to help you buy the right camera for you, based on your photographic preferences.

Nikon Z6

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

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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.

Canon EOS Rebel SL3 / 250D

Type: DSLR | Sensor: APS-C | Megapixels: 24.2MP | Lens mount: Canon EF-S | Screen: 3in vari-angle touchscreen, 1,040,000 dots | Max burst speed: 5fps | Max video resolution: 4K | User level: Beginner

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Easy to use
Excellent live view autofocus
4K video
Bigger than a mirrorless model

The Canon EOS Rebel SL3 (EOS 250D in the UK) is a terrific camera for beginners, because although it costs a little more than entry-level models like the Nikon D3500, it has lots of features to make picture taking easier and more exciting, and the potential to take on more advanced projects as your skills grow. The 24-megapixel APS-C sensor delivers great results, but the star of the show is Canon’s advanced Dual Pixel CMOS AF system, which makes the live view autofocus (when you use the rear screen rather than the viewfinder) extremely fast and responsive. Better still, the rear screen is both fully-articulating and touch-sensitive, so you can take pictures at all sorts of odd angles, and for the first time in a DSLR at this price it’s possible to shoot 4K video – this is the perfect DSLR for bloggers and vloggers, not just regular photographers.

Olympus OM-D E-M10 III

Type: Mirrorless | Sensor: Micro Four Thirds | Megapixels: 16.1MP | Lens mount: Micro Four Thirds | Screen: 3-inch tilting touchscreen, 1,037,000 dots | Viewfinder: Electronic | Max burst speed: 8.6fps | Max video resolution: 4K | User level: Beginner/enthusiast

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Very compact body
Extensive external controls
Tiny 14-42mm ‘pancake’ zoom
Only 16.1 million pixels

The Canon EOS Rebel SL3 / 250D is extremely compact for a DSLR, but the OM-D E-M10 III is smaller still, and shows off the size advantage of Olympus’s mirrorless Micro Four Thirds format. The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III is a jewel of a camera that’s easy to get started with but gives you unexpected power and features later on. It uses a smaller 16-megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor than most mirrorless cameras, but you shouldn’t read too much into that, and it does take a wide range of compact and affordable Olympus and Panasonic lenses. It also has an excellent 5-axis in-body stabilization system, shoots 4K video and comes with a wide selection of Olympus’s rather good Art Filters. It’s small but powerful and a great travel camera too.

Fujifilm X-T30

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

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Superb value for money
Excellent images and lovely videos
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.

Panasonic Lumix ZS200 / TZ200

Type: Travel compact | Sensor: 1-inch type CMOS | Resolution: 20.1MP | Lens: 24-360mm, f/3.3-6.4 | Viewfinder: EVF | Screen type: 3.0-inch touchscreen, 1,240,000 dots | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 10fps | Movies: 4K | User level: Beginner/enthusiast

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1.0-inch type sensor
Decent 15x zoom
EVF still feels a little cramped
Expensive

Panasonic keeps hold of its best travel-friendly compact camera title with the Lumix ZS200 (known as the Lumix TZ200 outside the US). It pairs a large 1.0-inch sized sensor with a flexible 15x optical zoom lens in a package which is just on the right side of affordable (an area where Sony’s RX100 series falls down). There’s a built-in electronic viewfinder which you can use in bright conditions if the touch-sensitive screen is difficult to see. Other useful features include 4K video recording, as well as Panasonic’s 4K Photo modes which enable you to extract 8MP images of fleeting moments. There are undoubtedly more powerful pocket-friendly compacts currently on the market – if you have very deep pockets, then the Cyber-shot RX100 VII is the best available. For most ordinary people who don’t have such enormous budgets, the ZS200/TZ200 is the much more sensible option.

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