You know what’s the least important part of taking a great photo? Gear. The vision you have and the work you put into realizing it are far more critical.
That’s not to say gear doesn’t matter, just that it’s best used in service of something larger. That’s why this guide doesn’t get too deep into the weeds of megapixel counts, sensor sizes, and pixel peeping. All these cameras are capable of producing amazing images. Which one is right for you depends more on your needs than on the size of the sensor.
Still, choosing the right one can be confusing. I’ve spent years testing dozens of cameras in all kinds of shooting scenarios to come up with what I think are the best choices for different types of photographers.
Updated March 2023: We added the Fujifilm X-T5, the new Sony A7RV, some notes on the Panasonic S5II and the Nikon Z5, and swapped the sold-out Fujifilm X-E4 for the X100V.
Special offer for Gear readers: Get a 1-year subscription to WIRED for $5 ($25 off). This includes unlimited access to WIRED.com and our print magazine (if you’d like). Subscriptions help fund the work we do every day.