DXOMark: The 10 Best Cameras Money Can Buy (August 2020)

If you need a new camera and want the cream of the crop, look at this roundup of the 10 best cameras you can buy per DXOMark.

If the time has come for you to buy a new camera, you have come to the right place. Before dropping vast sums of money, it’s always worth spending time researching first. It’s easy to spend multiple thousands of dollars on cameras. Fortunately, DXOMark and ourselves spend quality time with cameras so we can tell you how well they perform. If you have the money and need the best of the best, this roundup of the 10 best cameras will interest you. When combined, our reviews will help guide you in your decision-making process. Check out the 10 best cameras money can buy after the break.

As you go through this roundup, remember, the 10 best cameras are listed in order from best to worst based on DXOMark’s reviews. If you’d like to find out what these cameras can do in the wild, check out our review section. The cameras listed below are all top performers in many areas, as we have found out. DXOMark, however, rates cameras based on sensor performance only, and a few cameras on this list might surprise you. The Sony a7r II and the Nikon D810, which can both be had for bargain prices these days, are here. So, if you have a smaller budget, but still want top performance, check them out. Let’s take a look at the 10 best cameras, according to DXOMark.

Hasselblad X1D-50C

Pros

  • Small size and weight makes it easy to handle
  • Feels nice in hand thanks to the great grip
  • Autofocus is fast enough even for street photography
  • Easy to navigate menu system
  • Exceptional image quality with gorgeous colors

Cons

Check out our full review

Buy now: $6,495

Pentax 645Z

Pros

  • The excellent high ISO performance
  • Out of this world dynamic range
  • Incredible detail can be captured
  • Despite its size, the camera is nice to hold

Cons

  • Only 27 autofocus point and they’re all in the center
  • Autofocusing is a slow affair which is limiting
  • This camera is huge and weighs a fair amount
  • No rear joystick

Check out our full review

Buy now: Used from $3,499.959

Panasonic S1R

Pros

  • Good image quality
  • Decent autofocus but not great by any stretch
  • Weather sealing throughout the body and the lenses
  • Direct buttons to get you exactly what you want
  • We really like the top LCD screen

Cons

  • The buttons and switches can probably get in the way of your shooting unless you thoroughly memorize them
  • It’s big, and when you put a lens on it, it gets bigger
  • Abysmal battery life

Check out our full review:

Buy now: $3,699.10

Nikon D850

10 best cameras

Pros

  • Fantastic image quality
  • Built like a tank
  • Buttons that light up
  • The touch screen makes the menu navigation so much better
  • Great color depth and versatility
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • Putting the ISO button on the right side of the camera by the grip is the better long term strategy
  • Weather sealing
  • Lots of video options
  • Dual card slots
  • The best viewfinder of any DSLR we’ve used

Cons

  • Slower autofocus than the Nikon D810 in some situations
  • We wish the white balance levels were a bit more adjustable
  • Sort of shocked the dual card slots aren’t both SD; we don’t know anyone that used XQD. Sony, the developer of the card, doesn’t even use them in their still cameras.

Check out our full review

Buy now: $2,996.95

Sony A7r III

10 best cameras

Pros

  • Weather sealing
  • Lots of RAW file versatility
  • Sony a9’s autofocus
  • Nice ergonomics
  • The new battery makes shooting with it for prolonged periods much better
  • RAW files work fantastic with Capture One
  • Touch screen capabilities for shooting
  • Fast shooting capabilities
  • Silent shooting abilities

Cons

  • No one is going to actually use the Pixel Shift imaging mode because it’s complicated to work with and few people want to use Sony’s own software
  • We’d love a top LCD screen
  • We’d love to navigate the menus with the Touchscreen capabilities
  • Sony got rid of the PlayMemories apps and therefore all abilities to do more with the cameras such as the touchless shutter
  • Wireless flash capabilities need to be enabled via the menu in order to use them

Check out our full review

Buy now: $2,498

Sony A7R IV

10 best cameras

Pros

  • Improved ergonomics
  • Blazing fast autofocus
  • Excellent weather sealing
  • Anti-flicker shooting
  • Dual UHS-II SD card slots
  • More resolution than most photographers will need

Cons

  • Limited touchscreen functionality: You still can’t navigate the menus or interact with the display
  • Large file sizes (to be expected)

Check out our full review

Buy now: $3,198

Nikon Z7

10 best cameras

Pros

  • Good feeling in the hand
  • Solid weather sealing
  • Lots of focusing points
  • Good high ISO output
  • Lots of resolution
  • A touch screen
  • Image stabilization is very good
  • The viewfinder is beautiful
  • We genuinely appreciate the top LCD screen
  • Outstanding battery life

Cons

  • Little things annoy us, like not being able to push the joystick in to bring the focusing point back to the center
  • Why the hell is there an XQD card slot?
  • We’d really prefer dual card slots
  • Changing the white balance is the slowest thing
  • While we understand Nikon’s philosophy in putting a dedicated ISO button, we’d have preferred a dial of some sort
  • Nikon created a brand new camera system, and yet they decided to keep the single most awkward mounting system
  • The muscle memory learning curve is steeper than with most other cameras
  • Expensive

Check out our full review

Buy now: $2,796.95

Sony A7r II

10 best cameras

Pros

  • The best image quality that we’ve seen from a camera yet
  • Surprisingly good high ISO results
  • Very good RAW file versatility, but not the best
  • Feels great in the hand
  • Fastest autofocus of any Sony ILC camera body
  • Improved battery life over previous generations
  • 4K video is a nice addition

Cons

  • Really, really want a direct joystick of some sort to move the focusing points rather than pressing a button and then moving them around
  • Sony could use better weather sealing for a camera body this expensive

Check out our full review

Buy now: $1,398

Nikon D810

10 best cameras

Pros

  • Probably the only DSLR you’ll ever need
  • Absolutely, positively, amazing high ISO performance
  • Great color output
  • Some of the most versatile RAW files that we’ve ever seen in Adobe Lightroom 5
  • Fast autofocus in great lighting even with third party lenses
  • Build very solidly yet isn’t too heavy
  • The small RAW mode can be a lifesaver when you don’t have high capacity cards
  • Same old simplistic Nikon menu system
  • Quiet shooting mode makes this one of the most stealthy DSLRs that we’ve tested. But the shutter is already much quieter than previous Nikon DSLRs

Cons

  • Price point
  • Autofocus in extremely low lit situations (we’re talking about candlelit events) is inconsistent and requires lots of thought to carefully place a focusing point on a high contrast spot
  • A tilting LCD screen when shooting timelapse videos would have been really, really useful
  • AF assist lamp is in a weird spot that doesn’t always help enough
  • Wish there was WiFi transmission built-in instead of needing to use an external dongle

Check out our full review

Buy now: Used from $1,299.59

Sony RX1r II

10 best cameras

Pros

  • Excellent image quality
  • Fast-focusing
  • Great lens
  • Small
  • Lightweight
  • For most of us, it’s all the camera you’d possibly need
  • EVF addition is welcome.
  • Fair battery life for a Sony camera

Cons

  • Sometimes very hard to hold and shoot with when doing street photography
  • When used with a radio flash trigger, the EVF can get in the way

Check out our full review

Buy now: $3,298