Last updated: August 9, 2021

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Sony is a major competitor to Canon and Nikon in the camera market, although Sony's core business was not initially cameras. Sony was founded in 1946 and through its long existence in the market, Sony has established itself in the minds of customers. Sony digital cameras are often praised by customers and test reports.

With our big Sony digital camera test 2021 we want to help you find the best Sony digital camera for you. We have compared different models with each other and listed the respective advantages and disadvantages. This should make your purchase decision as easy as possible.




Summary

  • Sony is a competitor for well-known camera manufacturers such as Canon.
  • Sony digital cameras are available in many price ranges, so that everyone can find a suitable model for themselves and their budget.
  • Sony digital cameras are compact, lightweight and easy to carry in your pocket.

The Best Sony Digital Camera: Our Choices

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a Sony digital camera

Before you decide on a Sony digital camera, there are a few points and questions you should look at to get an idea of Sony digital cameras.

What makes Sony digital cameras different from other manufacturers?

Sony was founded in 1946 and has enjoyed growing popularity for its products. Sony digital cameras are often praised by reviews and customers. This makes Sony a major competitor for camera manufacturers such as Nikon or Canon.

Sony attaches great importance to affordable prices and modern production. The cameras are available in different price ranges and thus Sony meets its corporate goal of offering affordable cameras.

Sony Digitalkamera-1

Sony attaches great importance to affordable prices. The digital cameras are becoming increasingly popular.
(Image source: unsplash.com / Markus Lompa)

What price range are Sony digital cameras in?

Sony digital cameras are available in different price ranges. Models like the Sony DSC-W830 shoot sharp images at a low price and are therefore well suited for casual photographers. Models like the DSC-HX350 bridge camera are more expensive. They have many extras and are therefore suitable for more advanced hobby photographers.

Type price range
Sony digital cameras with good value for money 114 - 180 euros
Sony digital cameras for hobby photographers 250 - 320 euros
Sony digital cameras in the upper price segment up to 500 euros

What are the advantages and disadvantages of Sony digital cameras?

Sony digital cameras are characterised by high-quality materials and a high light intensity. Thus, Sony digital cameras are convincing in terms of image quality, although they also offer cameras at an affordable price. Sony produces interchangeable lens cameras, mirrorless system cameras, SLR cameras and compact Cyber-shot models.

Sony digital cameras are convincing in terms of image quality.

The cheapest models start at 115 euros, like the Sony DSC-W830. Here, however, the quality of the pictures leaves a little to be desired, because most smartphones shoot pictures that are of the same quality or even better.

Higher-quality Cyber-shot models, such as the RX series, offer professional-quality images. α camera models from Sony are suitable for more advanced amateur photographers, because these models are significantly more expensive than the Cyber-shot models.

What are the alternatives to Sony digital cameras?

Sony's two main competitors are Canon and Panasonic.

Canon

Is the largest camera manufacturer in the world. Offers a wide range of different camera models and a cheap range of third party accessories. In terms of price, the digital cameras range from 100 to 1000 euros and are thus more expensive than Sony models.

The ISO values of the Canon digital camera models are a little higher than those of Sony, which makes it easier to shoot pictures in low light conditions.

Panasonic

Has been producing cameras since 1982 and has a wide range of different camera models.

Sony Digitalkamera-2

Panasonic has been producing digital cameras under the Lumix name since 1982.
(Image source: unsplash.com / ShareGrid)

The digital cameras are priced between 130 and 450 euros. Many Panasonic digital cameras offer 4K video resolution, fast autofocus and excellent image quality at lower prices than Sony.

However, the picture quality is not as good as Sony digital cameras. Panasonic models often lack an electronic viewfinder.

Type Advantages and disadvantages
Canon cameras Advantages: low-priced range of third-party accessories, ISO values higher than those of Sony

Disadvantage: more expensive than Sony digital cameras

Panasonic cameras Advantages: good pictures at a reasonable price, fast autofocus

Disadvantages: viewfinder often missing, picture quality could be better

Decision: What types of Sony digital cameras are there and which one is right for you?

What makes the Sony DSC-HX350 digital camera stand out and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The DSC-HX350 digital camera from Sony can capture very distant objects with its Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lens with a powerful 50x optical zoom and is comparable to an SLR camera in this respect.

The digital camera's Exmor R CMOS sensor with 20.4 megapixels and the BIONZ X image processor enable detailed images. This makes it possible to take realistic pictures with even more lifelike colours.

AF focusing adjusts the size of the shot to the size of the subject, helping to enhance autofocus. Aperture and shutter speed can also be controlled. The camera has a 3-inch high-resolution screen and an electronic viewfinder that simplifies focusing.

Videos can be shot in Full HD in 24p recording mode with optical SteadyShot (Active mode). This makes it possible to shoot pictures even while walking. The camera weighs approx. 630 g, is handy and costs approx. 280 euros.

Advantages
  • AF focusing
  • zoom strength excellent
  • electronic viewfinder
Disadvantages
  • Most expensive model
  • heavier than other cameras

What distinguishes the Sony DSC-WX350 digital camera and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The Sony DSC-WX350 digital camera has a 20x zoom lens for taking detailed pictures even from far away. The BIONZ X image processor and the EXMOR R CMOS sensor with 18.2 megapixels enable high-quality and realistic photos and Full HD videos.

Shots can be easily shared via smartphone using Wifi and One Touch NFC. The lens on this small and compact camera covers a wide range of focal lengths from 25mm wide-angle to 500mm telephoto for detailed images. This model weighs 163 g and costs 180 euros.

Advantages
  • great zoom power at a low price
  • sharing possible via Wifi or NFC
Disadvantages
  • no electronic viewfinder
  • small ISO range

What makes the Sony DSC-W830 digital camera special and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The DSC W830 digital camera from Sony has a Super HAD CCD sensor with 20.1 megapixels, which makes it possible to create clear images and HD videos. With the 8x zoom and the SteadyShot optical image stabiliser, blur-free pictures can be taken.

The automatic mode quickly adjusts settings to environmental conditions, resulting in optimally exposed images. The built-in retouching feature lets you quickly enhance images before sharing them. The camera is lightweight at 118 g and costs about 115 euros.

Advantages
  • super price-performance ratio
  • automatic mode automatically adjusts lighting conditions
Disadvantages
  • no electronic viewfinder
  • small ISO range

What distinguishes the Sony RX100 digital camera and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The Sony RX100 has a wide ISO range, which allows for sharp images even in low light. This is self-adjusting and you can also set it yourself. The F1.8 Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T lens with a wide aperture contributes to high-quality images. The Exmor Cmos sensor with 20.2 MP captures light more effectively.

This camera model has professional features in a pocket size. The high ISO range allows you to capture detailed images.

On the lens, you can adjust the aperture, exposure and zoom via an adjustment ring. This camera model weighs 240 g and costs 315 euros.

Advantages
  • High ISO range
  • exposure, aperture and zoom can be adjusted
Disadvantages
  • not suitable for occasional photographers because of the price
  • no electronic viewfinder

Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and rate Sony digital cameras

Megapixel count

The number of megapixels is the most important buying criterion for many people, because the higher the number of megapixels, the more detailed the pictures. The Sony digital cameras presented here have 18 - 20 megapixels.

For people who only take pictures now and then, a megapixel count of about 4 is already sufficient. For advanced hobby photographers, a model with at least 18 megapixels is recommended. The same applies to pictures that are to be printed out.

Zoom level

Sony digital cameras are available with 8 - 50x zoom. For casual photographers, an 8x zoom is more than sufficient. For amateur photographers, a 20x zoom is recommended.

The DSC-HX350 from Sony has the highest zoom. With the 50x zoom, even professional photographers can work very well.

Did you know that you can calculate the zoom factor of a camera yourself?

You can calculate the zoom factor of a camera with the initial and final focal length. For example, if a camera has a focal length of 24 to 120 mm, you divide 120 / 24 and get 5. This is a 5x zoom, because the final focal length is five times as large as the initial focal length.

Electronic viewfinder

An electronic viewfinder brightens up the image. This avoids bad pictures in the twilight. The image colours can also be changed directly in the viewfinder.

An electronic viewfinder brightens up images at twilight.

If you want to take pictures at dusk, we recommend the DSC HX350, which has an electronic viewfinder.

However, electronic viewfinders also have disadvantages, such as the sensor displaying too dark areas brightly and therefore image noise.

Wifi

The Wifi function in the camera makes transferring photos easier and faster. If sharing pictures and videos quickly is important to you, then the DSC WX350 with Wifi is a good choice. With an app, you can also retouch photos and expose portraits.

Facts worth knowing about Sony digital cameras

Which memory card can I use for a Sony digital camera?

A normal SD memory card will fit Sony digital cameras. If you are unsure which one you need, you can search the web for the camera model. There you will find compatible memory cards.

What can I do if the Sony digital camera no longer turns on?

  1. Check that the battery is charged and inserted correctly.
  2. If the light does not flash during charging, the connections may be dirty.
  3. In this case: Clean the contacts with a dry cloth.
  4. The use of foreign battery devices can lead to malfunctions.

Where can I buy accessories/spare parts for a Sony digital camera?

You can buy accessories and spare parts, such as a charging cable, for your Sony digital camera from the Sony online shop. You should avoid using charging cables etc. from other manufacturers, as this can damage the camera and, in the worst case, invalidate the warranty.

Sony Digitalkamera-3

You should not use charging cables from other manufacturers, otherwise you risk damaging the device and invalidating the warranty.
(Image source: unsplash.com / Markus Winkler)

What can I do if the lens is stuck?

  1. Switch off the camera, remove the battery and reinsert it.
  2. Turn the camera on and see if the lens moves.
  3. If it does not move, reset it or contact Sony customer service.
Did you know that replacing the lens is often not worth it?

Having digital cameras professionally repaired is expensive in itself, but replacing the lens requires almost complete disassembly of the camera and this is reflected in the repair price. If, on the other hand, the lens has only been dented by a fall, you can try to repair the camera yourself.

Image source: Luchschen/ 123rf.com

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