Sony offers a wide variety of digital cameras and photography products. Sony's Cyber-shot models are usually aimed at beginners, although some advanced Cyber-shot cameras provide high-end features, such as the new Sony 3D cameras. Sony also creates alpha DSLR cameras as well as DIL cameras.
This list of the best new Sony cameras includes models that have been released in the past 18 months.
If mirrorless digital interchangeable lens cameras (also called DILs or ILCs) are the wave of the future in advanced photography, Sony is getting a jump on the competition when it comes to the upper end of the market with its now available Sony a7R.
This DIL model carries quite a few options that you might expect to see in a DSLR camera ... and some even better options. The a7R, which is one of the smallest full-frame image sensor interchangeable lens cameras ever created, offers 36.4 megapixels of resolution in its CMOS image sensor. The Sony a7R also offers a 3.0-inch articulated LCD, built-in Wi-Fi and NFC, a viewfinder, and full 1080p HD video recording.
The full frame Sony Alpha a99 DSLR camera provides quite a few high-end features that will appeal to intermediate- and advanced-level photographers.
The full-frame, interchangeable lens camera includes a large image sensor, which contributes to high-end image quality. It can shoot at up to 24.3 megapixels of resolution, full HD 1080p video capability, up to 10 frames per second in burst mode, and a 3-inch LCD that can tilt and swivel away from the camera.
Although most manufacturers of mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras look to create cameras that are smaller than DSLR models, Sony has chosen to go the other direction and make its recently released a3000 DIL camera of a similar size and style to a DSLR camera.
The a3000, which will work with Sony E-mount lenses, offers a 20.1 megapixel APS-C sized CMOS image sensor, which should provide outstanding image quality. This camera also includes the full range of shooting modes, both automatic and manual control, as well as a 3.0-inch LCD and full 1080p HD video capabilities.
The starting price for the a3000 provides a pretty good value for a beginner level interchangeable lens model. Carrying through on the DSLR design-like theme, the a3000 is only available in black.
The HX50V, which is a EISA award-winning model, is a powerful performer, offering 20.4MP of resolution, a 30X optical zoom lens, strong manual control modes, full 1080p HD video recording, built-in Wi-Fi, and a high-resolution 3.0-inch LCD screen. The only advanced feature the HX50V is missing is a large image sensor.
The HX50V measures only 1.2 inches in thickness and is available in black.
With its Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 camera, Sony has hit two interesting numbers that no other camera on the market has hit -- a 50X optical zoom lens and 20 megapixels of resolution.
Along side the 50X optical zoom lens, the Cyber-shot HX300 has a 3.0-inch LCD screen that tilts and can shoot at 1080p HD video resolution.
The Sony HX300's price may seem a bit high for a camera with a small image sensor. However, no one else can pair the 50-20 numbers that are found with the HX300.
Sony created a bit of buzz in the camera marketplace with the introduction of two lens-style digital cameras, and the first is now available for sale, the Sony Cyber-shot QX100.
This lens-style camera looks like a lens but contains all of the components needed to record photos. With the QX100, you can attach it to a smartphone port, add a Sony PlayMemories Mobile app to your smartphone, and begin shooting images using the lens-style camera and using the smartphone screen to frame the image. The app gives you the ability to control the camera's settings.
The QX100 has an expensiveprice tag, but it also includes some really nice items in its specification list, including a 1-inch 20.2MP CMOS image sensor and a 3.6X optical zoom measurement. There's also a manual focus component. This is a very interesting camera ... even if looks more like a lens.
If the QX100's price is out of your budget, you can consider the entry-level QX10 lens-style camera for about half the price.
Inexpensive waterproof cameras are starting to appear with more regularity in the digital camera marketplace, and Sony has joined the fray with its Cyber-shot DSC-TF1.
The TF1 has some very basic photographic capabilities, including a 16.1MP CCD image sensor, a 4X optical zoom lens, a 2.7-inch LCD, and 720p HD video capabilities.
This camera's tough options include the ability to work in up to 33 feet of water depth, survive a drop up to 5 feet, and work in temperatures as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit. Those are pretty solid waterproof capabilities in an inexpensive camera. Look for the TF1 in red, blue, or black camera body colors.
Sony has attempted to match style with toughness in its recently released touch-screen and waterproof camera, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX20.
The TX20 is definitely one of the more interesting looking tough cameras around, offering five different color combinations -- green/silver, pink/red, black, orange/silver, and dark/light blue. It shoots at 16.2MP of resolution, includes a 3.0-inch touch screen LCD, full HD video capabilities, and a 4X optical zoom lens.
The TX20 is waterproof up to 16 feet, can survive a fall up to 5 feet, and is dust-proof. It's tough to find a waterproof camera with a touch screen LCD, so this model deserves consideration.
The Cyber-shot WX9 includes a CMOS image sensor, which improves the camera's low-light performance. And, as I found in my WX9 review, this camera does a nice job in low light, with or without the flash.
Sony included limited wide angle capabilities in the WX9's 5X optical zoom lens. This camera can shoot 16.2MP still images and 1080i HD video. Look for the WX9 to be available in black, red, and silver.
If you like thin, small cameras, Sony's WX80 model is going to give you the size you want with some nice photography features.
The WX80 measures only 0.91 inches in thickness, but it offers an impressive 8X optical zoom lens. In addition, the WX80 has a 16.2 megapixel CMOS image sensor, a 2.7-inch LCD, built in Wi-Fi capabilities, and full HD video recording.
You'll find the WX80, which I have named as one of 2013's best cameras, in red, black, or white camera bodies.
11. Sony NEX-5T DIL
The Sony NEX-5T mirrorless interchangeable lens camera has quite a few advanced features for such a small camera, including NFC and Wi-Fi wireless connectivity.
The NEX-5T includes a 16.1MP APS-C sized image sensor, which is similar to what you'd find in some DSLR style cameras, leading to high-end image quality. You'll also have a 3.0-inch touchscreen articulated LCD, which is a nice feature as the small NEX-5T has no viewfinder.
You'll find the NEX-5T in black, white, or silver camera bodies.
12. Sony NEX-7 DIL
Sony's latest DIL camera, the Sony alpha NEX-7, will offer 24.3MP of resolution. In addition, the NEX-7 features 1080p HD video, an electronic viewfinder, 25-point autofocus, and a high-resolution 3.0-inch LCD.
All of these features are in a camera body that measures only about 1.7 inches in thickness, before you attach the interchangeable lens. The thin camera body is the key design feature of DIL cameras. The NEX-7 is available in black only.