Sony has made a name for itself making some of the best mirrorless cameras, and nowhere is that typified more than with the Sony a6100. This camera isn't the flashiest — it doesn't have a full-frame sensor or in-body image stabilization — but what it does have is a solid feature set ideal for a wide range of photographers. And that makes it an easy pick for the first-ever Tom's Guide Award for best camera.
The a6100 is part of the latest generation of Sony's APS-C mirrorless cameras, bringing with it many of the features found in the previous top-end cameras. That includes a comprehensive autofocus system with 425 phase and contrast detection points, real-time tracking, eye autofocus, and even the ability to use an animal's eye for autofocus.
It has a three-inch touchscreen display that tilts up 180 degrees and down 74 degrees, and can also record video at a resolution of 4K (there's even an external mic jack for capturing better audio). And, with the exception of the a6600, which costs $500 more, it has the best battery life of all of Sony's cameras in this class.
In our Sony a6100 review, we were impressed with the camera's ability to capture excellent photos in a variety of conditions, as well as its super-fast and responsive autofocus system. We also appreciated its solid magnesium-alloy frame, as well as its somewhat dated, but still functional, compact design. And, with the ability to use the camera in full-auto mode, or customize the buttons to your exact specifications, this camera has something for photographers of all skill levels.
For all these reasons, the Sony a6100 gets our nod for Tom's Guide's inaugural cameras award.