Published Sep 18, 2019
If you’re a serious enthusiast or working pro, the very best digital cameras on the market will cost you at least $2000. That’s a lot of money, but generally speaking these cameras offer the highest resolution, the best build quality and the most advanced video specs out there, as well as fast burst rates and top-notch autofocus.
Competition in this market segment is fierce, and honestly, there’s no such thing as a ‘bad’ camera at this price-point. As such, we’ve picked two winners, both of which earn our wholehearted recommendation for slightly different reasons.
To keep these cameras as comparable as possible, we’ve set a top price limit of around $4000.
Our pick: Sony a7R III
The Sony a7R III is a versatile camera, more than capable of capturing excellent images in a wide range of shooting situations. We picked it as our joint-winner in this category for several reasons—among them, its excellent resolution, in-camera stabilization, effective autofocus and advanced 4K video capabilities.
With the a7R III you’ll be able to switch from high-resolution stills to 4K video in an instant without compromising usability. Fast, accurate Eye-AF is a major advantage for portraiture, allowing you to quickly place critical focus exactly where you need it—on your subjects eyes. When paired with one of Sony’s high-end G Master lenses, the a7R III is an incredibly flexible, powerful tool, and its lens-mount is incredibly adaptable, being capable of supporting multiple third-party optics via adapters.
Our pick: Nikon D850
The Nikon D850 is the most advanced DSLR that we’ve ever seen, which essentially means that it’s the most advanced DSLR ever made. It’s also one of the toughest and nicest to use.
That’s not to say it’s a perfect camera of course. The D850’s 4K video specification is pretty solid, but it can’t hold a candle to the implementation in Sony’s mirrorless a7R III (and several other mirrorless competitors) and its generally excellent 153-point autofocus system can be a bit ‘fidgety’, but for most photographers, these are likely to count as minor complaints. As an all-round performer for a stills-focused photographer, the D850 is hard to beat and should remain current for many years to come.
While we’ve given our top recommendations above, keep reading this buying guide to see if another camera might be the right one for you.
* This camera has not been reviewed and is thus not eligible for an award.
Our Buying Guides cover virtually every major camera on the market, most of which we’ve tested in-depth. This includes testing of sensor performance and image quality, experience with the video shooting and extensive real-world photography in a range of situations. We selected our recommendations by prioritizing the features and performance aspects central to video shooting.