Best cameras for friends and family photos

Updated Nov 22

Family moments are precious, and sometimes you want to capture that time spent with loved ones or friends in better quality than your phone can manage. We've selected a group of cameras that are easy to keep with you, and that can adapt to take photos wherever and whenever something memorable happens.

We've looked for cameras that make it easy to focus on people, perform well in low light and are small enough that you might have them with you when spending time with family and friends.

Best camera for family photography: Sony a6100

What we like:

  • Excellent autofocus system
  • 4K/30p video recording
  • Tilting touchscreen LCD

What we don't:

  • Less robust build quality
  • Rolling shutter 'jello effect' present in 4K video
  • Crop when recording 4K/30p video

The Sony a6100 has been our number one pick for a while and retains its position. It looks a lot like the less expensive a6000 but brings substantially better autofocus that will automatically engage its face and eye tracking system if you ask it to focus on a person.

It's this simplicity, along with its compactness and the availability of a wide range of lenses for it, that make it our first choice. Stick on something like a Sigma 23mm F1.4 lens and it'll take great photos in a wide variety of situations including low light. We're not the biggest fans of its menu system, but with a couple of quick changes when you first use it, you'll rarely need to mess about with the settings.

Richard Butler

Also consider:

These are the other models we think lend themselves to family/friend photography:

Why should you trust us?

Our Buying Guides are based on extensive use and testing of the cameras included. We only recommend cameras once we know how they compare to their peers in a variety of shooting situations. All selections are made solely by our editorial and video teams and are the models we'd buy or recommend to friends and family. We gain no financial advantage from recommending one camera over another, either as individuals or as a business.