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20 Most Expensive Cameras in 2020: Discover the Priciest Models!

There is no hiding the fact that photography can be an expensive hobby and profession. But do you really know just how expensive? It may shock you to know that some of the most expensive cameras will set you back $20,000! Yes, that’s right, you can buy a camera for the same price as a car!

If you are serious about photography, either as a hobby or for professional reasons, we have found 20 of the most expensive cameras money can buy. We have only included viable mirrorless or DSLR cameras that you can actually use – there are some ridiculous vintage cameras available at auctions, too, which sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars, but only collectors would really purchase these.

To show you just how much you can pay for a quality camera, this article is broken into four price categories. The lowest is $2,000-5,000 and these cameras are realistically the best options available for hobbyists and professionals, although some in the $5,000-10,000 range are also epic.

The Bargain Range – $2,000 – $5,000

Let’s start gently with what we have dubbed the “bargain” range. These cameras represent some of the best models available, that are expensive, but still relatively affordable. If you are a serious hobbyist or want a top-range camera for professional usage, these cameras are ideal options

Canon EOS R5

  • Sensor – 45MP CMOS
  • Image Processor – DIGIC X
  • Video Quality – 8K UHD
  • Image Stabilization – Yes
  • Lens Mount – RF

The Canon EOS R5 represents the current pinnacle of Canon photographic technology. With a 45MP image sensor and the capability of recording 8K video, this mirrorless full-frame camera is an absolute beast. It also has a sublime autofocus system that is capable of tracking moving objects in real-time.

For handheld usage, this camera also has image stabilization that works for up to 8-stops – this is far beyond what most DSLR cameras can offer. It also has a great ISO range and has a solid continuous shooting mode of up to 20fps.

8K UHD video recording
Up to 8-stop image stabilization
When recording 8K it can overheat

Canon EOS R6

A powerful camera with impressive autofocus

  • Sensor – 20MP CMOS
  • Image Processor – DIGIC X
  • Video Quality – 4K UHD
  • Image Stabilization – Yes
  • Lens Mount – Canon RF

The Canon EOS R6 is the cheaper partner to the R5 but still features revolutionary technology and excellent performance. This mirrorless full-frame camera has an advanced 20MP sensor and features the latest DIGIC X image processor.

Canon EOS R6 Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera with 4K Video, Full-Frame CMOS Senor, DIGIC...
Canon EOS R6

It also has an insane autofocus system that features a host of advance settings like animal tracking. The AF cover’s nearly 100% of the area and has a whopping 1053 autofocus points. The autofocusing also has deep learning so that it can be adaptive to different situations. This is not one of the most expensive cameras, and for its price tag, you gain professional gear.

A superb autofocus system
20fps continuous shooting
Only has a 20MP sensor

Canon EOS 5D IV

Still a fantastic DSLR camera with excellent image quality

  • Sensor – 30.4MP CMOS
  • Image Processor – DIGIC X
  • Video Quality – 4K UHD
  • Image Stabilization – Yes
  • Lens Mount – Canon EF, Canon EF-S

The Canon EOS 5D IV is the latest iteration of the 5D camera and features a host of improvements. It has a fantastic ISO range that can be expanded to 102400 and also has a dual pixel CMOS AF system. This means you have fast and accurate autofocusing.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Full Frame Digital SLR Camera Body
Canon EOS 5D IV

It also benefits from a powerful 30.4MP CMOS sensor that allows you to take fantastic quality images. If you cannot quite afford the 1DX or the R5, or R6, the Canon EOS 5D IV is a fantastic alternative. It is also compatible with both EF and EF-S lenses.

High-quality 30.3MP CMOS sensor
Excellent dual pixel AF system
Quite heavy and bulky

Nikon Z7 II

The current best performing Nikon Z camera

  • Sensor – 45.7MP CMOS
  • Image Processor – EXPEED 6
  • Video Quality – 4K UHD
  • Image Stabilization – Yes
  • Lens Mount – Nikon Z

The Nikon Z7 II is the latest release of the popular Nikon Z7 mirrorless camera. It has a 45.7MP CMOS sensor which is one of the highest image resolutions available for Nikon cameras. It benefits from a sophisticated AF system that allows for quick and accurate focusing.

Nikon Z 7II FX-Format Mirrorless Camera Body with Nikon Mount Adapter FTZ
Nikon Z7 II

You can also record video at 4K UDH, at 60p, and 1080p at 120p which allows you to record super slow-motion footage. This camera also has a great design and is relatively easy to use. As it is a mirrorless camera, it is also much smaller and lighter than models like the Nikon D6.

Has a brilliant AF system
Excellent 4K UHD video at 60p
Still quite bulky compared to point and shoots

Nikon D850

45.7MP image resolution and a durable design

  • Sensor – 45.7MP CMOS
  • Image Processor – EXPEED 6
  • Video Quality – 4K UHD
  • Image Stabilization – Yes
  • Lens Mount – Nikon FX

The Nikon D850 is a brilliant camera with a host of useful features. It has a solid design and is easy to hold due to its ergonomic grip. It has an amazing 45.7MP CMOS sensor, combined with a versatile autofocus system. This camera really excels at photography, but it is also capable of recording 4K video too.

Nikon D850 FX-format Digital SLR Camera Body
Nikon D850

It is also compatible with Nikon FX lenses, and it remains one of the best quality Nikon DSLR cameras available for a reasonable price.

High-quality 45.7MP CMOS sensor
4K UHD video recording
Quite bulky and heavy

Nikon Df

A retro design that still gives good image quality

  • Sensor – 16MP
  • Image Processor – EXPEED 3
  • Image Stabilization – Yes
  • Lens Mount – Nikon FX

The Nikon Df has a great blend of retro design with decent technological features. It looks fantastic and is one of the most stylish Nikon cameras available. Aside from that, it has a respectable 16.2MP CMOS sensor, and a decent ISO range. Although it does use the older EXPEED 3 image processor.

Nikon Df 16.2 MP CMOS FX-Format Digital SLR Camera Body (Silver)
Nikon Df

If you want a traditional DSLR with some modern features like WiFi, and built-in HDR functionality, the Nikon Df is a great choice.

A superb retro design
Decent ISO range
Only has a 16.2MP sensor

Sony a9 II

The most powerful Sony mirrorless camera to date

  • Sensor – 24.2MP CMOS
  • Image Processor – BIONZ X
  • Video Quality – 4K UHD
  • Image Stabilization – Yes
  • Lens Mount – Sony Alpha

The Sony a9 II is considered a fantastic camera for sports and wildlife photography due to its superior speed and performance. It has an excellent autofocus system and can shoot in continuous mode up to a fantastic 20fps.

Sony a9 II Mirrorless Camera: 24.2MP Full Frame Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens...
Sony A9 II

The autofocus is also advanced and has real-time tracking, real-time eye tracking for humans, and animal tracking too. This gives you a versatile performance but also means you can effectively track moving objects to get the action shots you want. It also has an interesting voice memo function where you can attach .WAV voice files to your photos.

Has a fantastic autofocus system
Excellent continuous shooting mode
Only has a 24.2MP sensor

Sony a7R IV

Amazing 61MP resolution images

  • Sensor – 61MP CMOS
  • Image Processor – BIONZ X
  • Video Quality – 4K UHD
  • Image Stabilization – Yes
  • Lens Mount – Sony Alpha

The Sony a7R IV is the first full-frame mirrorless camera to feature a 61MP sensor. This offers staggering image quality and far beyond the resolution of what other cameras are capable of, all for a relatively reasonable price tag.

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Sony α7R IV Full-frame Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera (ILCE7RM4/B)
Sony A7R IV

This camera also has an excellent design that feels and looks like a traditional DSLR. For autofocusing, it has a hybrid system with 567 phase detection points, and 425 contrast AF points. It also has fantastic color reproduction and works well in low contrast and low light situations.

A staggering 61MP sensor
A fantastic autofocus system
Has a relatively complex control panel

Pentax K-1 II

A durable DSLR with 36MP image resolution

  • Sensor – 36.4MP
  • Image Processor – Pixel Shift II
  • Video Quality – 4K UHD
  • Image Stabilization – Yes
  • Lens Mount – K-Mount

The Pentax K-1 II is a relatively affordable DSLR that is one of the best in the Pentax range. It has a powerful 36.4MP image sensor and a brilliant ISO sensitivity range. Moreover, it has various design improvements so that it is weather and dust-resistant.

Pentax K-1 Mark II 36MP Weather Resistant DSLR w/ D-FA 28-105 WR Lens , Black
Pentax K-1 II

This flagship camera also has a dust-removal mechanism that automatically removes dust particles from the image sensor. This means that your images will always remain clear without any unwanted spots on the sensor.

Excellent weather-resistant design
Automatic dust removal from the sensor
Has a relatively old design

Mid-Price Mastery – $5,000 – $10,000

Moving up, we have the mid-price mastery. At the bottom end of this price you have the best quality DSLR cameras available from Nikon and Canon – these are really what many professionals will use. At the top end, we have some of the best quality cameras available from Leica which have a hefty price tag but really are sublime models.

Canon EOS 1D X III

Still the best Canon full-frame DSLR camera

  • Sensor – 20.1MP CMOS
  • Image Processor – DIGIC X
  • Video Quality – 4K UHD
  • Image Stabilization – Yes
  • Lens Mount – Canon EF

The flagship DSLR for Canon is the EOS 1D X III. This fantastic camera has long been the benchmark for DSLR-quality, although Canon’s release of the R6 and R5 has overshadowed it somewhat. With a 20.1MP CMOS sensor, it offers great raw image quality.

Canon EOS-1D X Mark III DSLR Camera | with CFexpress Card & Reader Bundle kit | 20.1...
Canon EOS 1D X III

It has an advanced AF system with up to 3869 manual focus positions. It can also shoot in continuous burst mode at up to 16fps, and 20fps in live view. The 1D X model has always been a favourite of professionals despite its hefty price tag.

An impressive autofocus system
Excellent burst-mode shooting
Relatively heavy and bulky

Nikon D6

Unrivalled quality and design from the best Nikon camera

  • Sensor – 20.8MP
  • Image Processor – EXPEED 5
  • Video Quality – 4K UHD
  • Image Stabilization – Yes
  • Lens Mount – Nikon FX

The Nikon D6 is the current flagship DSLR for Nikon and boasts fantastic image quality and a versatile design. Like other Nikon full-frame DSLR cameras, it benefits from a dual grip and a host of useful buttons and panels so that you have excellent control at your fingertips.

Nikon D6 FX-Format Digital SLR Camera Body, Black
Nikon D6

Although it only has a 20.8MP image sensor, it can still produce  professional-grade photos and it also excels at low light photography. Moreover, it has an advanced autofocus system, and is compatible with Nikon FX lenses. This is the pinnacle of Nikon DSLR technology.

A fantastic, ergonomic design
A great ISO range
Only has a 20.8MP sensor

Nikon D5

A slightly cheaper alternative to the D6

  • Sensor – 20.8MP
  • Image Processor – EXPEED 5
  • Video Quality – 4K UHD
  • Image Stabilization – Yes
  • Lens Mount – Nikon FX

The Nikon D5 is a slightly cheaper alternative to the ultimate Nikon D6. It still offers amazing image quality and design and has a 20.8MP sensor. In terms of design, it features Nikon’s dual grip so that you can comfortably use the camera vertically, or horizontally.

Nikon D5 DSLR 20.8 MP Point & Shoot Digital Camera, Dual XQD Slots - Black
Nikon D5

It has a brilliant ISO range which you can extend up to 3280000. This gives you amazing control for low light photos. The autofocus system is also great and has 153 focusing points. Two versions are available – one that accepts CF cards, and the other that accepts XQD cards.

A versatile ISO range
Excellent autofocus system
Quite bulky and heavy

Leica M10

Stunning design and build quality

  • Sensor – 24MP CMOS
  • Image Processor – Leica Maestro II
  • Image Stabilization – Yes
  • Lens Mount – Leica M

The Leica M10 is possibly the best-known modern Leica camera. It has been around for years, but Leica continually updates and reinvents this timeless classic. It features the iconic Leica design including the red Leica logo above the lens mount.

Leica M10 Monochrom Digital Rangefinder Camera Body 20050
Leica M10

Although it only has a 24MP CMOS sensor, it can still produce inspiring images. It is also highly usable and has a compact and lightweight design. The optical viewfinder is also impeccable and allows you to compose your photos with a high degree of control.

A fantastic and stylish retro design
Easy to use and compact
Only has a 24MP sensor

Leica M10-R

A retro design and an incredible quality camera

  • Sensor – 40MP
  • Image Processor – Leica Maestro III
  • Video Quality – 4K UHD
  • Image Stabilization – Yes
  • Lens Mount – Leica M

The Leica M10-R is an upgraded version of the standard Leica M10 and features a much higher 40MP image sensor. It still features the traditional M10 design and looks superb and stylish. It is also quite compact and lightweight to handle.

Leica M10-R 40MP Digital Rangefinder Camera (Body Only, Silver Chrome)
Leica M10-R

This portable camera also has a good ISO range for low light photography and a host of other useful features. You can also benefit from the silent mechanical shutter, an LCD touchscreen, and a level gauge for taking horizon shots.

Improved image sensor
An excellent design
Not as comfortable to hold as some DSLR’s

Leica SL2

47MP image resolution in a stylish body

  • Sensor – 47MP CMOS
  • Image Processor – Leica Maestro III
  • Video Quality – 4K UHD
  • Image Stabilization – Yes
  • Lens Mount – Leica SL

The Leica SL is slightly different and features a more modern design compared to the Leica M models. It has an impressive 47MP CMOS sensor and is capable of recording video in 4K UHD. It has a high-quality viewfinder and LCD touchscreen for ease of use.

Leica SL2 Mirrorless Camera Body
Leica SL2

It is compatible with the Leica SL lenses, and also compatible with the Leica FOTOS app. It has a brilliant and fast autofocus system with multiple detection points. If you want Leica quality with a more traditional DSLR design, this is an excellent option.

A brilliant autofocus system
A high quality 47MP CMOS sensor
Not the lightest camera to use

Hasselblad X1D II 50C

One of the best Hasselblad cameras that is still affordable

  • Sensor – 50MP CMOS
  • Image Processor – N/A
  • Video Quality – 4K UHD
  • Image Stabilization – Yes
  • Lens Mount – HC & HDC

The Hasselblad X1D II 50C is one of the best Hasselblad cameras that is reasonably priced compared to the highly expensive H6D models. For a relatively reasonable price, you gain an impressive camera that has a 50MP sensor.

Hasselblad X1D II 50C 50MP Medium Format Mirrorless Camera Body
Hasselblad X1D II 50C

It also features a more conventional design that most people will be comfortable with using. This includes a large grip and a solid lens mount. This full-frame camera will allow you to produce fantastic quality images with excellent control over contrast and colors.

A compact and ergonomic design
50MP CMOS sensor
Not a familiar manufacturer

The “Should I be Paying This” Range – $10,000 – $20,000

Next, we are moving into the realms of “now, I can either buy this camera or a new car” territory. Realistically, most people would never consider buying these expensive cameras, however, they do represent exceptional build quality and photo quality.

Leica M10-P

Ultimate style and performance from a trusted brand

  • Sensor – 24MP CMOS
  • Image Processor – Leica Maestro II
  • Video Quality – 4K UHD
  • Image Stabilization – Yes
  • Lens Mount – Leica M

One of the older Leica M models that is still quite expensive is the Leica M10-P. This features a smaller 24MP CMOS sensor in comparison to the other M10 models, but it is still an exceptional camera. It also features an LCD touchscreen and an impressive ISO range of 100-50,000.

Leica M10-P Digital Rangefinder Camera 20021 (Black Chrome)
Leica M10-P

For Leica enthusiasts, the style, compactness, and utility of the older M10-P is a big draw. It remains a timeless classic that has a gorgeous retro design. It also features the Leica Maestro II image processor and is compatible with Leica M lenses.

A smart and stylish design
Compact and relatively lightweight
Only has a 24MP CMOS sensor

Hasselblad H6D-50c

A unique design with excellent features

  • Sensor – 100MP
  • Image Processor – N/A
  • Video Quality – 4K UHD
  • Image Stabilization – Yes
  • Lens Mount – HC & HDC

The Hasselblad H6D-50c is an impressive camera with a unique Hasselblad design. It looks unique and has a DSLR build with some quirky features and differences. The 100MP sensor is one of the highest quality available and you won’t believe the quality of photos you can produce.

Hasselblad H6D-50c Medium Format DSLR Camera, Gray
Hasselblad H6D-50c

This camera is also compatible with the excellent HC and HDC range of Hasselblad lenses which offer superior quality compared to most other lens manufacturers. The price tag is pretty hefty, but it is a bargain compared to its companion, the H6D-100c!

100MP image sensor
A unique and ergonomic design
The price tag

Ok, Maybe Time to Stop – $20,000+

Finally, we have made it! If you don’t care about owning a house, or buying a car, these are the cameras for you! For $20,000+ you can walk away with the most expensive cameras money can buy! We must admit, the Phase One XF IQ4 is tempting – 150MP resolution for just $50,000? What a bargain!

Hasselblad H6D-100c

Ultimate quality and a unique Hasselblad design

  • Sensor – 100MP CMOS
  • Image Processor – N/A
  • Video Quality – 4K UHD
  • Image Stabilization – Yes
  • Lens Mount – HC & HCD

Building on the 50c, there is also a Hasselblad 100c model – the Hasselblad H6D-100c. This is an incredible piece of kit and performs like no other camera. It also features a unique design that is difficult to compare to other DSLR cameras.

Hasselblad H6D-100C Medium Format DSLR Camera, Gray
Hasselblad H6D-100c

With a 100MP CMOS sensor, the quality of images and the detail you can capture is exceptional. It also has a plethora of useful features such as a touchscreen, WiFi connectivity, and full USB 3.0 connections. If you have a spare $30,000, you would be silly NOT to buy this awesome medium format DSLR!

A powerful 100MP sensor
An incredibly stylish design
The price tag

Phase One XF IQ4

  • Sensor – 151MP CMOS BSI
  • Image Processor – N/A
  • Video Quality – 4K UHD
  • Image Stabilization – Yes
  • Lens Mount – XF Lens

Last but not least, we have one of the most expensive cameras we could find. The Phase One XF IQ4 is an absolute beast with a 151MP CMOS sensor. It also features a fantastic modular design and can be configured in numerous ways with different lenses and rear control panels.

It also has a host of advanced technical features such as Capture One RAW processing inside the camera for greater control over RAW images. The downside? This epic camera will cost you a mere $50,000 – we’ll take two, please!

152MP CMOS BSI sensor
Unrivalled technology and features
Incredibly bulky and cumbersome
The price tag!

Find the Best Professional Camera for you!

We hope you have found this guide on the most expensive cameras both interesting and fun. We appreciate that some of these cameras are simply unaffordable. However, it is interesting to see what money can buy, and the quality of cameras available.

For serious photographers or die-hard hobbyists, the first and second categories do provide a set of viable cameras. Models like the Canon EOS R5, Nikon Z7 II, and the Sony A9 II are some of the best cameras available that are within most people’s reach.

Author

  • Paul loves traveling and photography. He is also a Lightroom and Photoshop expert and likes to test new photo software, apps, and gear. Paul frequently shares his travel photography tips on his travel blog and writes for known photography publications.


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