Buying guide: best cameras over $2500

Updated Dec 22

Let's start by saying that cameras can go much higher than $2500; however, we don't think our buying guides are an appropriate place to discuss the merits of pro-focused gear, so we've cut off this list at $4000. There are some exceedingly good cameras available above that price, but we suspect most people have already chosen a specific model before committing to spend that much money.

As soon as you venture above the $2500 mark you start to reach not just the highest-spec cameras but also increasingly specialized models that excel in some regard (resolution, speed, video) at the expense of all-round ability. This makes it a difficult price range in which to select a single 'best' camera, so we've focused on ones that are the most adaptable.

Best camera above $2500: Sony a7R V

What we like:

  • Very detailed Raw files with excellent dynamic range
  • Tilt/articulating display suits both photo and video
  • Very reliable autofocus, especially for human subjects

What we don't:

  • Pixel shift high res and focus stacking require desktop s/w
  • Severe rolling shutter for e-shutter and many video modes

The Sony a7R V is a high-resolution camera with one of the most sophisticated AF systems on the market. It's well suited to a wide range of photographic challenges, from landscapes to portraiture, events to architecture. Its ability to shoot at up to ten frames a second with flash extends this flexibility, as do features like focus bracketing and pixel-shift high-resolution shooting. Details such as its tilt/flippy screen help make it adaptable to a wide range of buyers and situations.

Video is probably the a7R V's least strong area. It offers 8K capture but shows very high levels of rolling shutter. The 4K captured by sub-sampling the full sensor width is better in this regard, but with less detail and potentially more noise than some of its peers. But as a photographic tool, the quality of its images and the range of tasks to which it can apply itself is excellent. A large battery, high-resolution viewfinder and access to the broadest range of native full-frame lenses all help to support it as our top pick.

Richard Butler


Also available:

These are the other models we considered when selecting our recommendation:

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.