There are many camera brands, but, there are only a few makers who knock things out of the park. These manufacturers bring the most advanced features and powerful specifications to the table. Whether you’re doing a research for your next camera and want to get a device from a reliable brand or are here just to know the most reputed camera brands, this article shall help you.
Purchasing a camera from a known brand comes with many advantages. Although, you may have to pay a premium price for the device, but the advantages outweigh the extra things you get. For instance, you get a lot of external lens options, robust build quality, accessories, and quick customer support (global coverage), etc.
Besides listing out the top-brands, I’ve also mentioned the type of cameras they make and their top-selling devices for that particular range. Although, it has taken huge amount of time, I’m pretty sure that it’ll really help you if you’re looking forward to purchasing a new camera.
- Best Camera Brands in 2021
- Other Camera Brands to Consider
Best Camera Brands in 2021
To select the best camera brand available right now, I’ve taken multiple factors into consideration. All the companies in the listing make great quality products. However, most of them have their strengths and weaknesses and some even specialize in something very specific. Whenever they are good at it, they do it at an excellent level.
Sony was renamed from Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo Ltd. in 1957. Although their first camera prototype surfaced in 1981, it was first made available 7 years after that in 1988. The first camera of the popular Cybershot series was first introduced in 1996. The first DSLR came in 2006 under the Alpha branding.
Both Alpha & Cybershot are leading the photography industry right now and Alpha’s shift to all-Mirrorless has made some serious strives, making Sony the current leader in the Mirrorless Camera space. Even the new RX series CyberShots are simply awesome point & shoots. Sony’s line-up also includes cinema cameras that are used in movie productions.
Sony’s current line-up of consumer Cameras
It’s safe to say that Sony’s popularity in the consumer cameras is increasing rapidly and that’s thanks to their amazing product line-up. Their latest offerings are knocking the competition out of the park and although these aren’t value-oriented anymore, there are multiple line-ups with devices in different price ranges.
Mirrorless Alpha Series: The Alpha series currently consists of Full-frame and APS-C type Mirrorless cameras. Devices in the α6X00 (e.g. α6400) range come with APS-C sensors while the αX series (e.g. α7 III) come with Full-frame sensors. Here are some of the best Alpha series Mirrorless cameras the company currently makes:
Full-Frame Alpha Cameras
Point & Shoot CyberShot Series: The CyberShot series has come a long way too. The latest devices in the line-up aren’t just quick photo snappers anymore. Their top-of-the-line stuff comes with similar features as the flagship Alpha series. Here are the most important devices in the Point & Shoot line-up.
Vlogging Series: This is a relatively new category for the company as the first camera from this series was launched just a while back. However, Sony definitely made a mark and the device turned out to be great.
That’s not all, Sony also makes one of the best camera sensors in the market and the best smartphone camera sensors available right now. The majority of smartphone OEMs currently use Sony’s sensors in their cameras.
One of the first names that come to mind when we say Cameras, is Canon and that’s for good reason. Canon has been making some incredible cameras over the years and this doesn’t just include your go-to digital options. The first camera from the company came in 1940 and it actually was an X-ray Camera.
The company was known as Precision Optical Instruments Laboratory and later got renamed as Canon. Although the consumer camera stuff kinda started off by imitating Leica, Canon took traction as a leading camera manufacturer in no time.
The company currently makes DSLR, Mirrorless, Point & Shoot, Cinema Cameras, Camcorders, and more. Both their DSLR & Mirrorless cameras come under the EOS branding and the point and shoots come under the PowerShot branding.
Canon’s current line-up of consumer cameras
When it comes to cameras, Canon has always been a front runner with their amazing lineup of DSLR cameras and funky point-and-shoots. Now with their latest Mirrorless offerings, with top-of-the-line features, they are one strong company to catch on to in the digital camera space.
Mirrorless EOS Series: Although Canon started out late In the mirrorless camera business, they currently make some of the most capable mirrorless cameras in the industry. The top of the line devices are packed with features like 8K video, Sensor-shift stabilization, and much more. Here are some of the major devices in the mirrorless lineup.
DSLR EOS Series: Perhaps the most popular Canon cameras are its EOS DSLRs. These exist in a wide range from Beginners to Pro and recently Canon is indeed making some serious improvements in their entire product range. Here are some of the major devices in the DSLR lineup:
Point & Shoot PowerShot Series: From the old school IXUS that everyone seemed to carry on trips, Canon has come a long way. The latest PowerShot devices not only excel at great point & shoot photography, but the company is now also pushing important video features as well. This includes capabilities like 4K Video Recording, 1080P slow-motion, direct streaming to YouTube, and more. These are some of the current major devices in the PowerShot series:
Canon also makes some amazing cinema cameras like the Canon EOS C700 FF and other professional cameras like the XA55. They still make camcorders that now record up to 4K video, but they are thy are losing popularity really fast. However, the overall scenario for Canon seems to be great in Mirrorless & Cinema cameras as the company is slowly moving away from DSLRs. Of course, their lenses remain excellent as well.
When it comes to photography a huge number of photographers seem to prefer Nikon over anything else. That’s thanks to a collection of extremely capable cameras & lenses coming together to capture some breathtaking images, all around the world. Nikon was founded in 1917 and they even supplied Biloculers, Periscopes, and more for the Japanese military during World War II.
The company currently makes great DSLR cameras in a wide variety of price points, which includes everything from beginner-level cameras to professional options. Recently, they also dipped their feet in the Mirrorless camera business and although they are late to the party, those cameras are pretty capable.
Nikon’s current line-up of consumer cameras
As mentioned earlier, Nikon has a large selection of consumer cameras including both DSLRs and the newly launched mirrorless cameras. Their popular COOLPIX lineup of Point & Shoot cameras are still here, but the popularity for those is slowly going down.
Nikon Mirrorless Cameras: When it comes to Mirrorless Cameras, Nikon is comparatively new to the game but, they have still managed to pull some great mirrorless cameras that are not just great for photography, but also come with good video capabilities. Nikon is currently launching these cameras under their new Z series. Here are the models the company is currently selling.
Nikon DSLR Cameras: The DSLRs are undoubtedly the most popular products of the entire Nikon line-up. Nikon specializes in photography and it makes some of the most capable DSLRs for the same. Their full-frame range is known as the FX series while the APS-C range is known as the DX series. Here are some of the latest & greatest DSLRs that the company is selling:
Nikon COOLPIX Point & Shoot Cameras: Nikon didn’t really innovate much in the Point & Shoot category and their COOLPIX lineup doesn’t really compete against Sony and Canon right now. But, they still brought some nice devices with support for 4K video and more. Here are a couple of the latest COOLPIX cameras from the company:
Nikon also makes some excellent lenses for their cameras under the Nikkor branding and they also have several other optical products. However, for photography, they still remain the go-to option for a large number of photographers worldwide.
Another big name in the professional camera space is Panasonic. Since the days of film cameras, Panasonic has been making some extremely capable cameras and even today it is one of the most capable camera makers out there, especially in the Mirrorless segment.
Previously the company was known as Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd and was founded in 1918. Several years later, in 2008, it was renamed Panasonic. The first DSLR camera from the company came out in 2006 and it was called the Lumix DMC-L1. The first G-series camera, the G1, came out in 2008.
The company currently sells both DSLR and Mirrorless cameras but, considering how much they have achieved in the Mirrorless space, they seem to be following Sony’s path and moving away from DSLRs entirely. Of course, they also sell their latest Point & Shoot cameras and 4K camcorders.
Panasonic’s current line-up of consumer cameras
Panasonic’s Mirrorless cameras offer excellent features food excellent prices. Their full-frame lineup is capable of taking great photos, excellent videos, and in most cases, they cost less compared to the competition with similar features. Their micro-four-thirds cameras are also great values as far as the feature set goes. The Point & Shoot line-up still stands but, again as an overall industry trend, they are losing their popularity, really fast.
Panasonic Full-frame Mirrorless Cameras: Panasonic has been taking some serious leaps in full-frame mirrorless cameras, and it’s clear that the company is targeting more & more video creators. Of course, photography also remains a focus, but the video features are way more aggressive at this point. Here are some of the latest full-frame cameras from the company:
Panasonic Micro Four Thirds Mirrorless Cameras: It pretty much feels like Panasonic is currently the best 4/3 Mirrorless Camera maker in the world right now. Ever since the arrival of the GH4, a lot of video creators have shifted to Panasonic, and the latest offerings have made the icing on the cake even sweeter. Here are the most impressive Micro Four Thirds available from the company right now.
Panasonic Point & Shoot Cameras: Even though point & Shoots aren’t a major focus anymore, Panasonic hasn’t fallen short on features on their latest offerings. Sure, they still can’t compete with Sony & Canon, but they did bring features like 4K video and way more to their point & shoots.
If you don’t mind spending a boatload of cash on photography, Hasselblad is one of the companies that makes some exceptional high-end cameras. After being established in 1841, Hasselblad has lived through a lot. Its cameras were used during World War II and during the first manned mission on the Moon.
On the consumer and prosumer sides, the company currently sells high-end Medium format cameras. This includes their X System, H System, and V system of devices. Hasselblad cameras are slower by design, but they produce some breathtaking super high-res images with one of the best dynamic ranges in the industry.
A lot of professionals have been using Hasselblad as their primary shooter and compact X System seems to be the most preferable choice. But, the H & V Systems are amazing too. H System cameras have those ultra high-res sensors including a 400MP one and the V series is more about those squared-off designs and the Hasselblad legacy. Here are some of the amazing devices the company currently makes:
Although these cameras cost a fortune, for the people who have the proper requirements, the Hasselblads quickly become a necessity. Also, no other company is making compact medium format cameras. They do require proprietary lenses though.
Another important name in the camera world is Leica. Also, specializing in photography, they make some of the most intense cameras in the entire industry. This includes a wide range of compact devices & and high-quality lenses for other cameras. Leica cameras are extremely popular among professional street photographers.
After being founded way back in 1869, the company Leitz was renamed Leica in 1986. The first official Leica camera, the “Leica I” was introduced in 1925. The company has evolved a lot since then and its modern cameras are absolute powerhouses. Here are a few of the major devices that the company currently makes:
Just like other highly reputed brands, Leica’s professional street photography cameras cost a lot, and the same goes for their lenses as well. However, professional photographers who are using Leica cameras or are aware of the capabilities seemed to really like what the company does with their products.
The company that’s making amazing cinema cameras and has Hollywood-level color grading hardware and software, is Blackmagic Design. They mostly produce high-end production cameras, but recently they have also brought their A-game to the consumer level.
The company was founded in 2001, so it’s relatively young compared to some of the competition. Their first cinema camera came out way later in 2012. Currently, the company sells the URSA lineup of production cameras and the Pocket Cinema Camera lineup for general consumers.
Blackmagic URSA: The URSA series is made for movie productions, so of course, these are the most powerful & feature-rich cameras the company currently makes. A lot of Hollywood studios use the URSA series to produce movies and television shows. Here are the two latest models currently being sold by the company:
Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera: The Pocket Cinema Cameras are mostly focused on general consumers, but filmmakers also make use of them for smaller-scale productions. The general idea here is to provide cinema-like high quality & high-resolution footage to a more mainstream user group. These are the current devices available in this range:
- Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro
- Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K
- Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K
Blackmagic cameras are great for shooting movies, short films, documentaries, and even high-quality YouTube videos. It also lets you seamlessly edit & color grade the footage using Davinci Resolve and their professional color grading hardware.
Other Camera Brands to Consider
There are also some other great manufacturers out there who are making great cameras. So, although they didn’t make the primary list, I want to mention them below:
- Fujifilm is making some great mirrorless cameras that are great for both photos & videos alongside the coolest instant cameras on the market.
- Olympus also makes capable mirrorless cameras and they have one of the cheapest cameras with In-Body Image Stabilization (IBIS).
- Polaroid still makes excellent instant cameras that hold on to that classic Polaroid look in the photos.
Other than all these brands, there are also several others but, I feel like they don’t really make as much of a sense right now, as they used to make before. So, I haven’t mentioned them here. That’s it for this article and if you found it useful, maybe consider checking out some of the other ones we have on the website on Cameras, Lenses, and more.