Buyers Guides |Best cameras in 2022

The Buyers guide to...Best cameras in 2022

Whether you're a beginner or an experienced photographer, you'll find the best camera for you in our buyer's guide

best cameras
Buyers Guide

Selecting the best camera can seem like a daunting task and if you ask any photographers you know to recommend a camera, you’re likely to get different answers from each of them. Most photographers think the best camera is the one they own or the one they are going to buy next. And it probably is for them. But the truth is that it’s a very personal decision.

It’s also important to consider your level of photographic experience when you’re selecting the best camera. A professional photographer will be perfectly happy to spend upwards of £5,000/$5,000 on a big, heavy camera that can be used in all weathers and puts an emphasis on manual control with lots of buttons and dials plus advanced features such as the ability to send images via FTP to a news desk. A beginner, however, is more likely to fair better with a camera that has some automatic modes that they can use as they learn about photography, exposure and focusing, not to mention white balance and colour. And enthusiast photographers fit somewhere in between.

The size and weight of the camera is also important. A good full-frame camera may produce spectacular results, but if you hate carrying it and its compatible lenses, it’s not going to meet your needs.

The best cameras you can buy today

In this buyer’s guide to the best cameras, we list the cameras that we think best suit photographers at different stages of their photographic learning. There are cameras that make a great choice for beginners, cameras that make a nice upgrade and cameras that are aimed squarely at enthusiast, semi-professional and professional photographers.

For a deeper dive into the many different camera types and features available, check out our range of camera buying guides.

Best cameras for beginners

When you’re stepping up from a phone to take photography more seriously, you want a camera that is easy to understand and has straightforward controls, but it should also have features that let you be creative and enable you to grow as a photographer as you gain experience.

While we have included mirrorless and DSLR cameras in this list, mirrorless cameras now dominate the market and they offer some significant benefits to beginners. For example, they operate in the same way whether you’re composing images in the viewfinder or the on the screen on the back of the camera. Also, mirrorless cameras are capable of showing the impact of camera settings in the viewfinder, so if the exposure settings will underexposure the image, you will see a dark image. Because DSLRs have an optical viewfinder rather than an electronic one, they can’t interpret the camera’s settings unless you shoot using the screen on the back of the camera.

Canon EOS Rebel SL3 / 250D

Canon EOS Rebel SL3 / EOS 250D Review

Specification

  • Camera type: DSLR
  • Announced: 10th April 2019
  • Sensor: 24.1Mp APS-C CMOS
  • Lens mount: Canon EF-S
  • AF System: 9-point phase detection, Dual Pixel CMOS AF (via Live View or Video)
  • Viewfinder: Pentamirror 95% coverage optical viewfinder
  • Screen: 3-inch vari-angle touchscreen with 1,040,000 dots
  • Max video resolution: 4K (3840 x 2160) at 23.98, 25fps
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 122.4 x 92.6 x 69.8mm
  • Weight: Black/Silver 449g, White 451g

The Canon EOS 250D is called the Canon EOS Rebel SL3 and the EOS Kiss X10 in some territories and it’s built with beginner photographers in mind. It’s also the smallest DSLR with a moveable screen available and as it has a Dual Pixel CMOS sensor, its focusing system is snappy whether you compose images in the viewfinder or on the vari-angle screen.

With just 9 points available when you’re using the optical viewfinder, it’s often easier to use the screen to compose images as you can tap on the subject to get it in sharp focus.

The 250D makes a significant step up from the Canon EOS 4000D, and it’s a more versatile camera to use.

Canon has given the Rebel SL3 / 250D a choice of two interfaces that you can selected via the menu. The Guided interface which is great for beginners and the Standard interface which is better for more experienced photographer. They give the same type of information, but the Guided interface looks friendlier and is easier to understand.

There’s a 24.1Mp APS-C format sensor inside the Canon EOS Rebel SL3 / 250D and it delivers great results with a good level of detail. The camera also handles exposure and white balance well in the default settings so you can concentrate on getting the composition right.

Price when reviewed
£530
$599.99
Check current price

For

  • APS-C format sensor
  • Phase detection autofocus system in video mode
  • Vari-angle touchscreen

Against

  • Switch between using the viewfinder and screen isn't seamless
  • Viewfinder AF system has just 9 AF points

Fujifilm X-T200

Fujifilm X-T200

Specification

  • Camera type: Mirrorless
  • Announced: 23rd January 2020
  • Sensor: 24.2Mp APS-C format (23.5 x 15.7mm) CMOS sensor with primary colour filter array
  • Lens mount: Fujifilm X-mount
  • Sensitivity range: ISO 200-12,800 expandable to ISO 100-51,200
  • Viewfinder: 0.39-inch 2,360K-dot OLED electronic viewfinder with 100% view
  • Screen: 3.5inch 2,760K-dot vari-angle TFT LCD with 16:9 aspect ratio
  • Autofocus system: Intelligent hybrid with phase and contrast detection
  • Maximum continuous shooting rate: 8fps
  • Max video resolution: 4K (3840 x 2160) at 29.97P/25P/24P/23.98P for up to 15 min.
  • Storage: SD/SDHC/SDXC UHS-I
  • Dimensions (WxHxD): 121.0 x 83.7 x 55.1mm / 4.8 x 3.3 x 2.2inch
  • Weight: 370g / 13. oz. with battery and memory card, 321g / 11.3 oz. body only

The Fujifilm X-T200 sits between the entry-level Fujifilm X-A7 and the more enthusiast-orientated Fujifilm X-T30 in the company’s range of APS-C format interchangeable lens mirrorless cameras. It shares some similarities with the X-A7 but it adds an electronic viewfinder which makes a useful alternative to the vari-angle touchscreen for composing images.

As it’s aimed at beginners, the Fuji X-T200 is easy to use, but it can still produce impressive images and video.

Inside the Fujifilm X-T200 there’s a regular 24.2Mp APS-C format sensor with a Bayer coloured filter array rather than the 26.1MP X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor that’s found in more advanced X-series cameras such as the Fujifilm X-T4. In fact, it’s the same 24.2Mp CMOS sensor as is in the Fujifilm X-A7.

While the X-T200’s sensor has the same resolution as the X-T100’s chip, it has copper wiring to boost performance and the newer processing engine supports quicker readout speeds, better autofocus performance and reduced rolling shutter effect in video mode.

The X-T200 can also record 4K video at 29.97P/25P/24P/23.98P, that’s a big improvement on the 15P possible with the X-T100.

You can find the Fujifilm X-T200 at Amazon UK and Amazon USA.

Price when reviewed
£749
$699
Check current price

For

  • 3.5-inch vari-angle touch screen
  • The viewfinder is worth the extra money over the Fujifilm X-A7
  • Light and compact

Against

  • Fiddly power and video record buttons
  • Has a regular CMOS sensor rather than Fujifilm's X-Trans CMOS chip

Nikon D3500

Nikon D3500 Review

Specification

  • Camera type: APS-C (DX) format DSLR
  • Announced: 30th August 2018
  • Lens mount: Nikon F
  • Sensor: 24.2Mp APS-C (23.5 x 15.6mm)
  • Sensitivity range: ISO 100-25,600
  • Autofocus system: Viewfinder: 11-point with 1 cross-type, Live View: Contrast detection
  • Maximum continuous shooting rate: 5fps (frames per second)
  • Viewfinder: Optical with pentamirror 95% coverage
  • Screen: 3-inch TFT LCD with 921,000 dots
  • Storage: SD/SDHC/SDXC UHS-I
  • Dimensions: 124 x 97 x 69.5mm
  • Weight: 365g body only

While the Nikon D3500 is now listed as discontinued, no successor has been announced and it can still be found on sale.

Inside the D3500’s monocoque body is an APS-C (DX) format sensor with 24.2 million effective pixels. This is paired with an Expeed 4 processing engine and its a combination that’s capable of delivering excellent-quality images.

With just 11 individually selectable points, the D3500 AF system’s specification may seem unimpressive next that of the average mirrorless camera, but it’s fast and capable of getting moving subjects sharp.

As it’s a DSLR, the D3500 has an optical viewfinder so you see a natural view of the scene with no interpretation by the camera. There’s also a fixed 3-inch screen with 921,000 dots on the back of the camera which can be used to compose images in Live View mode (as well as review them), but the Live View autofocus system is quite sluggish.

One of the main selling points of the Nikon 3500 for beginners is its excellent Guide Mode that teaches the user about photography and the camera controls using non-techy language.

Price when reviewed
£479
$596
Check current price

For

  • Excellent 24Mp APS-C format sensor
  • Superb guide mode that teaches you about photography
  • Compatible with an extensive range of lenses and accessories

Against

  • Max video resolution is Full HD
  • Fixed screen

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III

Best cameras for beginners: Olympus OM-D E-M10 III

Specification

  • Camera type: Mirrorless
  • Sensor: 16.1Mp Four Thirds type (17.3 x 13mm) CMOS
  • Processing engine: TruePic VIII
  • Sensitivity range: ISO 200-25,600
  • Autofocus system: Contrast detection with 121 points
  • Max continuous shooting rate: 8.6fps in S-AF
  • Max video resolution: 4K at 30, 25 or 24p with 102Mbps
  • Storage: SD/SDHC/SDXC
  • Viewfinder: Electronic OLED with 2,360,000 dots
  • Screen: Touch-sensitive tilting 3-inch OLED with 1,037,000 dots
  • Dimensions: 121.5 x 83.6 x 49.5mm
  • Weight: 362g body only
Price when reviewed
£599
Check current price

For

  • Small body with Four Thirds type sensor
  • Viewfinder and tilting touchscreen
  • Extensive feature set and lots of customisation

Against

  • Not weather-proofed like more advanced models
  • Controls are fiddly for those with large hands
  • Sensor is smaller than APS-C format

Panasonic Lumix G100

Best cameras for vlogging

Specification

  • Camera type: Mirrorless
  • Announced: 24th June 2020
  • Sensor: 20.3Mp Four Thirds type CMOS
  • Lens mount: Micro Four Thirds
  • Screen: 3-inch 1,840,000-dot vari-angle touchscreen
  • Viewfinder: 3,480,000-dot electronic viewfinder
  • Key video specifications: 4K (3840x2160) at 24,25,30p and 100Mbps, V-Log L and Ozo Audio by Nokia
  • Weight: 310g body only, 352g with SD card and battery, 412g with the 12-32mm lens
  • Dimensions (WxHxD): 115.6x82.5x54.2mm

Panasonic designed the Lumix G100 as an entry-level vlogging camera but it also makes a good camera for beginner photographers and anyone looking to take a step up from their phone or a compact camera for shooting video.

The G100 has a 20.3Mp Four Thirds type CMOS sensor and the Micro Four Thirds lens mount. In addition to the vari-angle screen that allows vloggers to see themselves in front of the camera, the G100 has an electronic viewfinder built-in, which is good news for photography.

In addition to a 3.5mm port to connect an external mic, the G100 has a spatial audio recording system called OZO Audio by Nokia. This uses three internal microphones and can work in tandem with the face detection focusing to track the person talking and optimise the audio for them. It works very well provided that there’s no wind.

There are also some features for experienced videographers including V-Log L for creating low contrast, low saturation footage that’s suited to post-capture grading.

Control-wise the Panasonic G100 is fairly straightforward. There’s not an overwhelming array of buttons and dials, but you can access the key features quickly and there are twin dials for exposure control.

While the autofocus system isn’t quite as fast or decisive as the phase detection AF or hybrid systems in most other mirrorless cameras, and the eye AF isn’t 100% reliable, the G100 usually gets the subject sharp.

You can find the best deals on the Panasonic G100 at Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Price when reviewed
£590
$747.99
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For

  • Very compact
  • Viewfinder and vari-angle touchscreen
  • Clever Ozo Audio by Nokia onboard

Against

  • Crop in 4K mode

Sony A6100

Sony A6600, A6100: Specs, Price, Release Date Announced

Specification

  • Sensor: 24.2MP Exmor CMOS image sensor
  • Video: 4K movie recording with full-pixel readout
  • Screen: 180-degree tiltable, 3.0-type 921k-dot LCD touch screen
  • Autofocus: 425 phase-detection and 425 contrast-detection AF points

Aimed at beginner photographers, the Sony A6100 offers plenty of room to grow. Its impressive feature set nearly matches the fellow APS-C format Sony A6600.

Like its sibling, it boasts internal 4K movie recording in Super 35mm format with full pixel readout without pixel binning, to capture approximately 2.4x the amount of information required for 4K movies. Budding videographers will also appreciate the integrated microphone input and built-in interval shooting.

Again, like the A6600, the A6100 incorporates a 24.2MP Exmor CMOS image sensor, the latest BIONZ X image processor and a front-end LSI. AF acquisition is lightning fast at 0.02secs via its 425 phase-detection AF points covering approximately 84% of the image area and 425 contrast-detection AF points.

Sony’s Real-time Tracking and Real-time Eye AF modes are also on-board, delivering faster and more accurate AF performance when photographing humans and animals.

Price when reviewed
£830
€900
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For

  • Real-time Tracking and Eye AF
  • 4K video
  • Very fast AF

Against

  • No stabilisation
  • There's a mic input but no headphone port

Best upgrade cameras

These cameras offer a bit more than those aimed at beginners, giving you greater functionality and more creative options. We’ve included Micro Four Thirds, APS-C and full-frame format cameras which make a step up without costing as much as a higher-level camera.

Fujifilm X-S10

Fujifilm X-S10

Specification

  • Camera type: Mirrorless
  • Announced: 15th October 2020
  • Sensor: 26.1MP X-Trans CMOS 4 APS-C sensor
  • Processing engine: X-Processor 4
  • Lens mount: X-Mount
  • Sensitivity range: ISO 160-12,800 expandable to ISO 80-51200
  • Viewfinder: 2.36-million-dot EVF (100% coverage) with 0.62x magnification
  • Screen: Vari-angle 3-inch 1.04million-dot touchscreen LCD
  • Autofocus system: Intelligent hybrid with up to 425 selectable AF points
  • Continuous shooting: Mechanical Shutter: 8fps, Electronic Shutter: 20fps continuous shooting at full resolution with AF
  • Max video resolution: DCI 4K (4096 x 2160) at 29.97/25/24/23.98fps, 4K/30p 4:2:0 8-bit, 4K/30p 4:2:2 10-bit video via the HDMI, Full-HD at up to 240p
  • Storage: SD/SDHC/SDXC UHS-II
  • Dimensions (WxHxD): 126.0x85.1x65.4mm
  • Weight: 465g including battery and card

The Fujifilm X-S10 is the first in a new line of X-series cameras from Fujifilm. It’s aimed at experienced DSLR users who are looking to switch to a mirrorless camera but who don’t fancy the traditional exposure controls of models like the Fujifilm X-T4 and X-T3.

Consequently, the X-S10 has an exposure mode dial on its top-plate and although it’s compatible with Fujifilm lenses with an aperture ring, it has dual control dials to adjust exposure via the camera.

Inside the X-S10 there’s the same 26.1Mp APS-C format X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor as X-Processor 4 as is in the Fujifilm X-T4, which means it can capture the same quality images. It also means that the X-S10 has 425 individually selectable AF points available for use with its hybrid autofocus system – and it’s a snappy performer.

The X-S10 has in-body image stabilisation (IBIS) on board and it can deliver up to 6EV shutter speed compensation.

Naturally, Fujifilm’s Film Simulations modes are available for use, in fact, there are 18 on the X-S10, so you should always find an image style to suit your mood and the subject.

Further good news about the X-S10 is that its touchscreen is mounted on a vari-angle hinge, which makes it ideal for vlogging and shooting selfies. It can also shoot good-quality uncropped DCI 4K video (4096 x 2160) at 29.97/25/24/23.98fps. Internal recording maxes out at 8-bit 4:2:,0 but if there’s an external storage unit connected via HDMI it’s possible to record in 4:2:2 10-bit. A 3.5mm microphone port is built in and a USB-C adapter is included in the box to connect headphones.

You can find the Fujifilm X-S10 on Amazon UK and Amazon USA

Price when reviewed
£949
$999
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For

  • In-body image stabilisation
  • Vari-angle touchscreen
  • Excellent sensor and processor combination

Against

  • Not weather-sealed
  • Complex collection of continuous shooting options

Nikon Z5

Nikon Z5 review

Specification

  • Camera type: Full-frame (FX) mirrorless
  • Announced: 21st July 2020
  • Lens mount: Nikon Z
  • Sensor: 24.3Mp full-frame CMOS
  • Autofocus system: 273-point Hybrid (combines phase and contrast detection) with Eye AF for humans and animals
  • Stabilisation: 5-axis in body
  • Viewfinder: Electronic 0.39-inch 3,690,000-dot OLED
  • Screen: 3.2-inch 1,040,000-dot tilting touch-screen
  • Maximum video resolution: 4K (with 1.7x crop)
  • Maximum continuous shooting rate: 4.5fps
  • Storage: Dual SD/SDHC/SDXC UHS-II
  • Connectivity : Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, SnapBridge
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 134 x 100.5 x 69.5mm (5.3 x 4.0 x 2.8inches)
  • Weight: 590g/ 1 lb. 4.9 oz body only, 675g / 1 lb. 7.9 oz with battery and memory card but without body cap

Combined with the compact Nikkor Z 24-50MM F/4-6.3 kit lens, the Nikon Z5 makes a very attractive camera for everyday photography and travel as, despite it’s full-frame sensor, it’s smaller than some APS-C format DSLRs.

While the maximum continuous shooting rate of 4.5fps doesn’t really impress in 2021, the Z5 still has a good 273-point phase detection AF system with Eye-detection AF for humans and pets. There’s also an excellent 5-axis image stabilisation system built-in and, of course, the Nikon Z mount which means that the Z5 is compatiblae with Nikon’s growing range of Z optics as well as F-mount lenses via the Nikon FTZ adaptor.

Despite being Nikon’s ‘entry-level’ full-frame mirrorless camera, the Z5 has dual SD card slots that are UHS-II compatible and there’s a tilting touchscreen on the back that makes using the camera intuitive.

Price when reviewed
£1719
€1999 / $1397
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For

  • Compact size and full-frame sensor
  • Nikon Z mount
  • Best in class viewfinder

Against

  • Maximum continuous shooting of 4.5fps (frames per second)
  • 1.7x crop applied to 4K video
  • 24-50mm kits lens is compact but has a limited zoom range

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III Review

Specification

  • Camera type: Mirrorless camera
  • Sensor: 20.4Mp Live MOS Micro Four Thirds sensor
  • Lens mount: Micro Four Thirds
  • Processing engine: TruePic VIII
  • Sensitivity range: ISO 64-25,600
  • Autofocus system: Hybrid with 121 (all cross-type) phase-detection AF points
  • Maximum continuous shooting rate: Mechanical shutter: 10fps with focus and exposure fixed at the start of the burst, 6fps with C-AF, Electronic Shutter 30fps and 10fps
  • Max video resolution: C4K 24p at up to 237Mbps / 4K 30p, 25p, 24p at 102Mbps
  • Live Bulb Shooting Options: Live Composite, Live Time, Live Bulb, Focus Bracketing, Focus Stacking, 50Mp High Res Shot modes
  • Viewfinder: 2,360,000-dot electronic viewfinder
  • Screen: Vari‑angle 3.0-inch 1,037,000-dot touchscreen
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 125.3 x 85.2 x 9.7mm
  • Weight: 414g including battery and memory card, 366g body only

The Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III sits below the OM-D E-M1 Mark III in Olympus’s interchangeable lens camera lineup. It has a smaller body, which makes it a great choice for travel. It also produces nice images and the stabilisation system is incredible, enabling you to hand-hold the camera and get sharp images with exposures measured in whole seconds. In addition, it does a good job with video; although if you’re really serious about shooting moving images you might want to look at the Panasonic Lumix G90 which has a true Log mode.

Olympus has given the E-M5 Mark III the same 20.4Mp Live MOS sensor as the OM-D E-M1 Mark II. The processor is also listed as the same TruePic VIII engine, but Olympus tells us it’s been updated for a bit more oomph.

Like the OM-D E-M1 II, the OM-D E-M5 III has a 121-point (all cross-type) phase-detection autofocus (AF) system. There are also clever shooting options such as Live Composite, Live Time, Live Bulb, Focus Bracketing, Focus Stacking and a 50Mp High Res Shot mode.

As with its predecessor, the OM-D E-M5 II, the High-Res Shot mode is a tripod-only option. When this mode is activated, the E-M5 III shifts the imaging sensor by 0.5-pixel movements between 8 shots. These are then merged into one image that’s equivalent to 50Mp.

Olympus has upgraded the video capability of the OM-D E-M5 Mark III in comparison with the Mark II model. The new camera is capable of shooting C4K 24p video at up to 237Mbps or 4K 30p, 25p, 24p video at 30p 102Mbps.

What’s more, Full-HD video can be shot at up to 120p for slow-motion playback.

Read our buyer’s guide to the best Olympus cameras

Price when reviewed
£1100
$1199.99
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For

  • Images full of detail
  • Low noise at higher ISOs
  • Superb stabilisation

Against

  • Image quality can't quite match full-frame
  • Dynamic range could be better

Best cameras for enthusiast photographers

Enthusiast photographers are a demanding bunch. Most want to be able to shoot a wide range of subjects so they need a camera that’s capable of capturing the detail and subtle tonal gradations of a landscape while having an autofocusing system that can keep up with fast sport and action.

Fujifilm X-T4

Fujifilm X-T4

Specification

  • Camera type: Mirrorless
  • Announced: 26th February 2020
  • Sensor: 26.1MP X-Trans CMOS 4 APS-C sensor
  • Processing engine: X-Processor 4
  • Lens mount: X-Mount
  • Sensitivity range: ISO 160-12,800 expandable to ISO 80-51200
  • Viewfinder: 3.69-million-dot high resolution EVF (100% coverage)
  • Screen: Vari-angle 3-inch 1.6 million dot touch screen LCD
  • Autofocus system: Intelligent hybrid with up to 425 selectable AF points
  • Continuous shooting: Mechanical Shutter: 15fps, Electronic Shutter: 20fps continuous shooting at full resolution with AF
  • Max video resolution: C4K (4096×2160) at 59.94p/50p/29.97p/25p/24p/23.98p 400Mbps/200Mbps/100Mbps, 4:2:0 10bit internal SD card recording; 1080/240p
  • Storage: 2x SD/SDHC/SDXC UHS-II
  • Dimensions (WxHxD): 134.6x92.8x63.8mm (37.9mm at the thinnest point)
  • Weight: 607g including battery and card, 526g body only

It may have the same 26.1MP X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor and X-Processor 4 processing engine as the Fujifilm X-T3, but the Fujifilm X-T4 also has 5-axis in-body image stabilisation with a shutter speed compensation value of 6.5Ev, a quieter shutter, a bigger battery, a great new Film Simulation mode and a vari-angle touchscreen.

Like the X-T3, the X-T4 can shoot C4K (4096 x 2160) MOV video at up to 60p. However, it can also record in MP4 format.

In addition, its possible to record Full HD video at up to 240p (with continuous focusing), twice the rate possible with the X-T3. That’s great news for those who like to see action in slow-motion.

All this combined with Fujifilm’s image-quality knowhow makes the X-T4 the company’s best X-series camera to date, not to mention one of the best mirrorless cameras you can buy today.

It may not be an automatic upgrade choice for X-T3 users, but X-T1 and X-T2 photographers will love it. More significantly, it’s very attractive to anyone contemplating their first serious Fuji camera.

You can find the latest deals on the Fujifilm X-T4 at Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Price when reviewed
£1549
$1699
Check current price

For

  • In-body image stabilisation
  • Vari-angle touchscreen
  • Excellent viewfinder

Against

  • Complex array of continuous shooting options
  • Some may miss the metering mode switch/dial of the X-T3

Nikon Z6 II

Specification

  • Camera type: Full-frame mirrorless camera
  • Announced: 14th October 2020
  • Lens mount: Nikon Z
  • Sensor: Full-frame (FX 35.9 x 23.9mm) 24.5MP backside illuminated (BSI) sensor
  • Processing engine: Dual Expeed 6
  • Stabilisation: 5-axis in-body VR
  • Sensitivity: ISO 100-51,200, expandable to ISO 50-204,800
  • Maximum continuous shooting rate: 14fps for up to 200Jpegs or 124 12-bit uncompressed raw files
  • Autofocus system: Hybrid with phase and contrast detection
  • Phase detection points: 273
  • Video resolution: 4K (3840 x 2160) 30/25/24p (60P to come with free firmware update in Feb 2021), Full-HD (1920 x 1080) 120/100/60/50/30/25/24p, Slow-motion mode 1920 x 1080 30p x4/25p x4/24p x5
  • Viewfinder: 0.5-inch 3.69-million-dot electronic viewfinder
  • Screen: 3.2-inch 2,100,000-dot tilting touch-screen
  • Storage: Dual slot 1 XQD/CFexpress and 1 SD/SDHC/SDXC
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 134 x 100.5 x 69.5mm / 5.3 x 4 x 2.8-inches
  • Weight: 705g with battery and memory card but without body cap, 615g body only

While it has the same 24.5Mp backside-illuminated full-frame sensor as the original Nikon Z6, the Nikon Z6 II has two Expeed 6 processing engines instead of one. Nikon also added an SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-II) card slot alongside the XQD/CFexpress card slot of the original camera to address one of the concerns that many photographers raised about the original camera.

Thanks to the extra processing power, the Z6 II has a maximum continuous shooting rate of 14fps, 2 fps higher than the Z6, with full autofocus and metering capability. That rate can be maintained for 200 Jpegs or 124 uncompressed 12-Bit raw files.

Like the Z6, the Z6 II has a native sensitivity range as the Z6, ISO 100-51,200 (expandable to ISO 64-204,800) and a 273-point hybrid focusing system that covers 90% of the sensor.

However, the tracking and low-light AF performance of the Z6 II has been improved and the newer camera can focus at -6EV with an f/2 or faster lens.

In addition, the Z6 II’s human and animal eye AF operates in video mode as well as in stills mode.

You can find the Nikon Z6 II on eBayJohn Lewis & PartnersWex Photographic and Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Price when reviewed
£1999
€2262
Check current price

For

  • High-quality sensor
  • Excellent user interface and control layout
  • Weatherproof build

Against

  • Eye detection can be unreliable in video mode
  • Video Info menu not customisable
  • 4K 60fps shooting will incur a 1.5x crop factor

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III

Specification

  • Camera type: Mirrorless
  • Lens mount: Micro Four Thirds
  • Sensor: Four Thirds type 20.4 MP Live MOS sensor
  • Announced: 12th February 2020
  • Processing engine: TruePic IX
  • Autofocus system: Hybrid with 121-point all cross-type focus points
  • Max continuous shooting rate: 18fps AF/AE mechanical shutter (C-AF), 60fps in electronic shutter (S-AF)
  • Max video resolution: C4K (4096 x 2160) at 30/25p
  • Viewfinder: 2,360,000-dot electronic viewfinder
  • Sensitivity range: ISO 64-25,600
  • Screen: Vari‑angle 3-inch 1,037,000-dot touchscreen
  • Storage: 2x SD/SDHC/SDXC (1 UHS-I and 1 UHS-II)
  • Dimensions (LxHxW): 134.1 x 90.9 x 68.9mm
  • Weight: 504g body only, 580g with battery and SD card

Some of the new features in the E-M1 III come as a result of the uprated processing engine. Live ND mode, for example, uses similar technology to Live Composite mode, but it enables you to preview the impact of a long exposure.

That demands a lot of processing power, but it’s a useful feature for landscape and creative photography. It also means that you don’t need to carry any ND filters with you as the exposure can be extended by up to 32x using the camera’s inbuilt system.

Olympus has given the OM-D E-M1 III’s sensor a new coating, which was introduced with the E-M1X. This reduces the likelihood of dust sticking, making the advanced SSWF (Super Sonic Wave Filter) technology, which vibrates the filter over the image sensor filter 30,000 times per second, even better at keeping the sensor clean.

In some respects the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III might look like a fairly modest upgrade from the OM-D E-M1 Mark II. However, it feels more refined and has some great features that make shooting in tricky conditions a little easier.

It also enables photographers to travel lighter, not just by being relatively small and light itself, but by allowing tripods and ND filters to be left behind in many situations.

Olympus also offers an extensive array of superb lenses and the 2x focal length magnification factor is especially useful for sport and wildlife photographers. While existing OM-D E-M1 Mark II may not want to upgrade, the OM-D E-M1 Mark III makes a very attractive option for enthusiast photographers looking to switch to a mirrorless camera.

Price when reviewed
£1600
$1499
Check current price

For

  • Compact size with vari-angle screen
  • Great feature set
  • Excellent lens range

Against

  • Sub-APS-C size sensor
  • Uses the same sensor as its predecessor
  • Lacks the subject recognition system of the E-M1X

Sony A7 III

Specification

  • Announced: 26th February 2018
  • Camera type: Full-frame mirrorless
  • Sensor: 24.2Mp Full frame (35.6×23.8mm), Exmor R CMOS sensor
  • Processor: Bionz X
  • Lens mount: Sony E
  • Sensitivity range: ISO 50-204,800
  • Maximum continuous shooting rate: 10fps with full AF and metering
  • Maximum video resolution: 4K (3840 x 2160)
  • Autofocus system: Hybrid with 693 phase detection points and 425 contrast detection points
  • Viewfinder: 0.5-inch OLED with 2,359,296 dots
  • Screen: 3-inch 921,600-dot tilting touchscreen
  • Storage: Dual Slot, Slot 1: SD (UHS-I/II), Slot 2: Multi slot for Memory Stick Duo/SD (UHS-I)
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 126.9 x 95.6 x 73.7mm
  • Weight: 650g

The Sony A7 III is the ‘all-rounder’ in the current Sony A7-series of full-frame cameras. It’s aimed at enthusiast photographers but it has features that will also keep many professional photographers happy. It also has a good collection of video specifications (including S-Log3 gamma and clean HDMI output), which means it can be used for professional shoots as well as for fun.

While the A7 III doesn’t have exactly the same autofocus system as the Sony A9, that requires the same sensor, it has the same number of autofocus points: 69 phase-detection points and 425 contrast AF points.

These points cover 93% of the imaging area. This makes it easier than with the A7 II to track moving subjects. In addition, the system is sensitive down to -3EV, which means it should be effective in low light.

There’s also Sony’s Eye AF mode that helps you target the most important part of a portrait subject.

In addition to its excellent autofocus performance, the Sony A7 III is capable of capturing a wide range of tones and images have plenty of detail while noise is controlled well throughout the native sensitivity (ISO) range.

Find the latest deals on the Sony A7 III at Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Price when reviewed
£1699
$1999
Check current price

For

  • Good-quality 24Mp full-frame sensor
  • Excellent autofocus system
  • Attractively priced in the full-frame market

Against

  • Minimal use of the screen's touch-sensitivity
  • Tilting rather than vari-angle screen
  • Complex menu

Best cameras for semi-professional photographers

Experienced enthusiast photographers and professional or semi-professional photographers don’t always want or need the flagship cameras. In fact, until the Sony A1 came along, opting for a flagship camera usually meant taking a step down in resolution from a semi-pro model.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

Canon 5D Mark IV front

Specification

  • Camera type: DSLR
  • Announced: 25th August 2016
  • Sensor: Full-frame (36 x 24mm) 30.4Mp CMOS
  • Processor: Digic 6+
  • Lens mount: Canon EF
  • Autofocus system: Viewfinder: 61 points with a maximum of 41 cross-type points including 5 dual cross type at f/2.8 and 61 points with 21 cross-type points at f/8, Live View: Dial Pixel CMOS AF
  • High-Speed Continuous Shooting Mode: 7fps
  • Low-Speed Continuous Shooting Mode: 3fps
  • Silent Continuous Shooting: Mirror raised slowly for less noise
  • Maximum video resolution: 4K (17:9) 4096 x 2160 at 29.97, 25, 24, 23.98 fps
  • Viewfinder: Pentaprism optical with 100% coverage
  • Screen: 3.2-inch Clear View LCD II with 1,620,000 dots
  • Storage: Dual: 1x CompactFlash and 1x SD/SDHC/SDXC
  • Dimensions: 150.7 x 116.4 x 75.9mm
  • Weight: 800g

Canon’s EOS 5D range of DSLRs has been popular with advanced enthusiasts and professionals looking for something which can cope well with a range of different subjects. The most recent in the line, the Mark IV, has a collection of useful features that make it well suited to demanding photographers.

While the 5D Mark III offered 22.3 million effective pixels, the Mark IV has 30.4 million, marking a significant jump up in resolution.

However, the inclusion of Digic 6+ processing technology enabled Canon to push the Mark IV’s native sensitivity range up from ISO 100-25,600 to ISO 100-32,000, with expansion settings taking this to ISO 50-102,400 – the same as the 5D Mark III. In video mode sensitivity can be set in the range ISO 100-102,400.

Interestingly, the Canon EOS 5D IV has dual processors, as the Digic 6+ unit is accompanied by a Digic 6 processor. The Digic 6 processor takes care of the exposure metering while the Digic 6+ engine takes care of image capture and processing.

It enables a maximum continuous shooting rate of 7fps (frames per second) with continuous autofocus and metering for up to 21 raw files or an unlimited number of jpegs. In live view mode the camera can shoot at up to 4.3fps.

Canon hasn’t given the 5D Mark IV more autofocus points than the 5D Mark III, but the 61 points are spread further up and down the frame. Also as before, there are 41 cross-type points; however, 21 of them are cross-type down to f/8 (rather than f/4).

There are also 5 dual cross-type points that are sensitive down to f/8 (with the 5D Mark III these are dual cross-type at f/2.8). The system also operates down to -3EV, 1EV darker conditions than the 5D Mark III’s system. This all adds up to make the Canon 5D Mark IV’s autofocus system more sensitive and better able to detect a subject.

Videographers have long enjoyed using the 5D range, and to that end, the Mark IV is capable of recording 4K video and has a range of useful video functions.

Find the latest deals on the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV at Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Price when reviewed
£1799
$2499
Check current price

For

  • 30Mp full-frame sensor
  • ISO 100-32000 (expands to 50-102400)

Against

  • Touchscreen is fixed
  • 4K video for internal recording only

Canon EOS R5

Canon EOS R5 review

Specification

  • Camera Type: Mirrorless
  • Announced: 9th July 2020
  • Sensor: 45Mp Full-frame Dual Pixel CMOS AF II
  • Processor: Digic X
  • Lens mount: RF
  • Sensitivity range: Stills: ISO 100-51,200 expandable to ISO 50-102,400, Movies: ISO 100-25600, expandable to ISO ISO 51,200
  • Metering: 384-zone metering with Evaluative metering (linked to All AF points), Partial metering (approx. 6.1% of viewfinder at centre), Spot metering: Centre spot metering (approx. 3.1% viewfinder at centre), Centre weighted average metering
  • Shutter speed range: 1/8000sec-30 seconds and Bulb
  • File formats: Raw + Jpeg/HEIF, MP4
  • Maximum continuous shooting rate: Mechanical shutter: 12fps, Electronic shutter: 20fps
  • Maximum video resolution: Uncropped, internal raw recording 8K video at up to 29.97fps in 4:2:2 10-bit in Canon Log (H.265) or 4:2:2 10-bit HDR PQ (H.265), Uncropped internal recording 4K video at up to 119.88fps in 4:2:2 10-bit in Canon Log (H.265) or 4:2:2 10-bit HDR PQ (H.265) 4:2:2 10-bit in Canon Log or 4:2:2 10-bit HDR PQ, 4K output over HDMI at up to 59.94fps
  • Autofocus system: Dual Pixel CMOS AF II phase detection with 5940 points in stills and 4500 points in movie mode
  • Viewfinder: 0.5-inch 5.76million-dot OLED electronic viewfinder with 120fps display and 0.76x magnification
  • Screen: 3.15-inch 2.1-million dot vari-angle touchscreen
  • Autofocus: Dual Pixel CMOS AF II with Advanced Animal AF (recognising dogs, cats and birds) supported in all video modes with 100% coverage and up to 1053 'AF segments'
  • Stabilisation: In-body image stabilisation (IBIS) that works with lens IS and enables up to 8-stops of shutter speed compensation
  • Storage: Dual slots, 1x CFexpress, 1x SDXC UHS-II
  • Dimensions: 135.8 x 97.5 x 88mm
  • Weight: 650 g / 738 g with card and battery

Although its position was technically usurped by the Canon EOS R3, the Canon EOS R5 is Canon’s flagship mirrorless camera and it was the most exciting camera announced in 2020.

Its 8K video capability stole most of the headlines when it was revealed, but the Canon R5 is at heart a 45Mp stills camera with an incredible autofocus system. This Dual Pixel CMOS AF II system has 5,940 selectable AF points and superb eye detection AF for humans, animals and birds that works in both video and stills mode.

Like the Canon EOS R6 announced at the same time, the EOS R5 has 5-axis in-body image stabilisation. In the R5 it enables shutter speed compensation of up to 8EV.

Canon pitches the R5 at around the same level as the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, which means it’s designed for use by experienced enthusiast and professional photographers. It combines a healthy collection of button and dial controls with an excellent touch-control interface on the 3.15-inch 2.1-million dot vari-angle screen.

While 8K video is of limited appeal, the R5 is capable of producing superb results with the 4K HQ (High Quality) mode especially impressing. The still image quality is also excellent all the way up to around ISO 25,600.

Find the latest deals on the Canon EOS R5 at Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Price when reviewed
£4199
$3899
Check current price

For

  • 45Mp full-frame sensor with full AF coverage
  • 12fps/20fps continuous shooting with continuous AF
  • Uncropped internal 8K video recording for up to 20 minutes

Against

  • 8K video will require lots of storage capacity

Nikon Z7 II

Nikon Z7 II price, specs, release date

Specification

  • Camera type: Full-frame mirrorless camera
  • Announced: 14th October 2020
  • Lens mount: Nikon Z
  • Sensor: Full-frame (FX 35.9 x 23.9mm) 45.7MP backside illuminated (BSI) sensor
  • Processing engine: Dual Expeed 6
  • Stabilisation: 5-axis in-body VR
  • Sensitivity: ISO 64-25,600, expandable to ISO 32-102,400
  • Maximum continuous shooting rate: 10fps for up to 200Jpegs or 77 12-bit uncompressed raw files, 9fps with 14-bit raw files
  • Autofocus system: Hybrid with phase and contrast detection
  • Phase detection points: 493
  • Video resolution: 4K (3840 x 2160) 60/50/30/25/24p, Full-HD (1920 x 1080) 120/100/60/50/30/25/24p, Slow-motion mode 1920 x 1080 30p x4/25p x4/24p
  • Viewfinder: 0.5-inch 3.69-million-dot electronic viewfinder
  • Screen: 3.2-inch 2,100,000-dot tilting touch-screen
  • Storage: Dual slot 1 XQD/CFexpress and 1 SD/SDHC/SDXC
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 134 x 100.5 x 69.5mm / 5.3 x 4 x 2.8-inches
  • Weight: 705g with battery and memory card but without body cap, 615g body only

While the 45.7Mp Nikon Z7 II has a lot in common with the excellent Nikon Z7 and uses much of the same technology (including the same sensor), the mark II camera has a second memory card slot which means it addresses the main concern that photographers had about the original camera. One slot accepts XQD or CFexpress cards while the other is for SD-type cards and is UHS-II compliant

Nikon also doubled the Z7 II’s processing power in comparison with the Z7 II by giving it two Expeed 6 processing engines. This enabled a boost in the continuous shooting rate from 9fps to 10fps and enables 4K shooting at 60P.

That extra processing power also enables Eye-detection AF for humans and animals in video mode as well as stills, and enhances the low-light capability of the autofocus system.

The Nikon Z7 II has the same build and handling as the Z7, Z6 and Z6 II, and it’s the best interface available in a Nikon camera to date.

You can find the latest deals on the Nikon Z7 II at Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Price when reviewed
£2999
€3442 / $2996.95
Check current price

For

  • High-quality sensor
  • Excellent user interface and control layout
  • Weatherproof build

Against

  • A vari-angle screen is of more use than a tilting screen for portrait orientation images
  • The viewfinder resolution is no longer class-leading
  • The Eye-detection AF isn't a match for Sony's or Canon's most recent systems

Sony A7R IV

Sony A7R Mark IV: price, specs, release date confirmed

Specification

  • Camera type: Full-frame mirrorless
  • Announced: 16th July 2019
  • Sensor: 61MP BSI full-frame sensor
  • Lens mount: Sony FE
  • Autofocus system: Hybrid with 567 phase detection + 425 contrast detection AF points
  • Continuous Shooting: 10fps burst shooting with full AF / AE Tracking
  • Video: 4K video with S-Log2/3, HDR
  • Sensitivity range: Still images: ISO 100-32000 (expandable to ISO 50 to ISO 102400) Movies: ISO 100-32000
  • Viewfinder: 0.5 type 5,760,000-dot OLED
  • Screen: Tilting 3-inch 1,440,000-dot touchscreen
  • Storage: 2x SD/SDHC/SDXC UHS-II
  • Battery: Rechargeable NP-FZ100 battery supplied, Life Stills: 530 shots (viewfinder) / 670 shots (LCD), Movies: 90mins (viewfinder) / 105mins (LCD)
  • Dimensions (WxHxD): 128.9 x 96.4 x 77.5mm
  • Weight: 665 g / 1lb 7.5oz with battery and SD card

The Sony A7R Mark IV’s 61-million-pixel 35mm sensor is a world first, which the company says delivers ‘medium format quality’.

The sensor is back-side illuminated, and it provides 15 stops of dynamic range. As well as 61-megapixel images, the Sony A7R Mark IV can also produce images with 26 million pixels in APS-C crop mode.

What’s more, its revampled Pixel Shift Multi-Shooting mode can produce images at 240-megapixel resolution. It does this by capturing 960 megapixels worth of data from 16 images, which it then composites together using Sony’s Imaging Edge software.

The A7R Mark IV boasts 567 phase-detection AF points in full-frame mode, which cover 74% of the frame. In the camera’s APS-C mode it has 325 AF points which then cover nearly the entire frame. There’s also Sony’s excellent AI-driven Real-time Eye AF (for humans and animals ins stills mode) and Real-time Tracking modes, which is invaluable for portrait, wedding, sport, pet and social photography.

Depsite its high resolution, the Sony A7R IV is also built for speed and can capture full-resolution 61-megapixel images in continuous shooting mode at up to 10fps, and up to 68 images per continuous burst.

Also among its key features is 5.5-stop, 5-axis in-body image stabilisation, wireless tethering capability, faster USB connection, 802.11ac Wi-Fi plus Bluetooth and studio lighting support.

It all adds up to make the Sony A7R IV one of the best cameras available right now.

Find the best deals on the Sony A7R IV at Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Price when reviewed
£3500
$3500
Check current price

For

  • Superb detail resolution
  • Excellent autofocus system
  • High-resolution electronic viewfinder

Against

  • Limited use made the touch-control
  • Tilting rather than vari-angle scree
  • High price

Best camera for professional photographers

Professional photographers need a camera that can stand up to heavy use and doesn’t mind a few raindrops. It needs to a be solid, dependable camera that delivers the results they expect every time they press the shutter release or start recording video.

Canon EOS-1D X Mark III

Canon EOS-1D X Mark III review

Specification

  • Camera type: DSLR
  • Announced: 7th January 2020
  • Sensor: Full-frame (24x36mm) 20.1Mp CMOS
  • Lens mount: Canon EF
  • Processing engine: Digic X
  • Sensitivity range: Stills: 100-102400, expandable to ISO 50-819,200, Video: ISO 100-25600, expandable to ISO 100-204,800
  • Autofocus system: Viewfinder: phase detection with 191 points, 155 cross-type AF at f/4 including 1 dual cross type at f/2.8, Live View: Dual Pixel CMOS AF with Face+Tracking and 3,869 points
  • Max continuous shooting rate: Viewfinder: 16ps, Live View: 20 fps with mirror locked up with exposure and AF tracking
  • Max video quality: 4K raw (5496x2904) at 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 50, 59.94fps, 4K DCI (17:9) 4096x2160 at 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 50, 59.94fps intra or inter frame
  • Viewfinder: Optical, pentaprism type with 100% coverage, 0.76x magnification and 20mm eyepoint
  • Screen: Fixed 3.2-inch / 8.01 cm TFT with 2,100,000 dots
  • Storage: Dual CFexpress 1.0 Type B
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 158 x 167.6 x 82.6mm
  • Weight: 1250g body only

The Canon EOS-1D X Mark III is Canon’s flagship DSLR and its the best professional DSLR currently available.

Its AF system, which is designed with pro sports photographers in mind, is superb and the 1D X Mark III can shoot at up to 20fps to capture once in a lifetime moments.

Thanks to its 20.1Mp full-frame (36x24mm) CMOS sensor, which has a new High Detail Low-Pass Filter, and the Digic X (8) processing engine, the 1D X Mark II controls noise very well up to around ISO 51,200.

The EOS-1D X Mark III is also Canon’s most advanced interchangeable lens video camera outside the Cinema EOS series. It can shoot 4K 12-bit video with raw internal recording. It can even record raw and MP4 video simultaneously to two separate memory cards.

In addition, 4K video can be video can be oversampled at 5.5K (5472×2886) and recorded as 12-bit CRM files highly-detailed footage.

As a twin-gripped camera, the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III is big and heavy but it’s also very robust.

Find the latest deals on the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III at Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Price when reviewed
£6499
$6499
Check current price

For

  • 16/20fps continuous shooting with a massive burst depth
  • Excellent AF system
  • Great new Smart Controllers

Against

  • Huge price
  • Fixed screen is frustrating in Live View and video mode
  • Big and heavy

Fujifilm GFX100S

Fujifilm GFX 100S

Specification

  • Camera type: Medium format mirrorless
  • Announced: 27th January 2021
  • Sensor: 102Mp Medium format (43.8 x 32.9mm) CMOS with Bayer colour filter array
  • Maximum image size: 11648 x 8736
  • Processor: X Processor 4
  • Lens mount: Fujifilm G
  • Autofocusing: Intelligent Hybrid with up to 425 AF points
  • Autofocus system: Intelligent Hybrid AF (contrast AF / phase-detection AF) with up to 425 selectable AF points
  • Viewfinder: Fixed 0.5-inch 3.69million-dot EVF with 0.77x magnifications 85fps
  • Screen: 3-direction tilting 3.2-inch 2.36million-dot touchscreen
  • Continuous Shooting: 5fps for 42Jpegs, 16 compressed raw, 15 lossless compressed raw or 14 uncompressed raw
  • Sensitivity range: Standard ISO 100-12,800, expandable to ISO 50-102,400
  • Image stabilisation: In-body 5-axis giving 6EV compensation, Plus Digital IS and IS Boost for video
  • Max video resolution: 4K (4096×2160) 29.97p 400Mbps up to 120min recording, Digital IS (1.1x crop), F-Log, HLG, ProRes Raw (12-bit HDMI)
  • Film Simulation Modes: 19 modes: Provia/Standard, Velvia/Vivid, Astia/Soft, Classic Chrome, Pro Neg.Hi, Pro Neg.Std Classic Neg., Nostalgic Neg., Eterna/Cinema, Eterna Beach Bypass, Acros, Acros + Ye Filter, Acros + R Filter, Acros + G Filter, Black & White, Black & White + Ye Filter, Black & White + R Filter, Black & White + G Filter, Sepia
  • Storage: SD/SDHC/SDXC UHS-II
  • Battery: NP-W325 460 images
  • Dimensions: 150 x 104 x 44mm
  • Weight: 900g including battery and card

The Fujifilm GFX100S is a medium format camera that doesn’t feel like a medium format camera. With the right lens, it can blend in with full-frame DSLR and mirrorless camera yet it has a sensor that’s 1.7x the size.

It has the same 102Mp back-illuminated CMOS sensor as the Fujifilm GFX100, which means it can produce images that measure 98.62 x 73.96cm or 38.8 x 29.1-inch when printed at 300ppi. And there’s Fujifilm’s Pixel Shift Multi Shot mode that enables it to produce 400Mp images with a little help from a computer running Fujifilm’s Pixel Shift Combiner software.

If you look at images shot at the top native sensitivity setting of ISO 12,800 at 100% on screen, you’ll see a fair amount of luminance noise in the raw files, but as you zoom out, it disappears and there’s a long way to zoom out! Of course it depends what you want to do with your images, the the Fujifilm GFX100S is one of the few cameras that we’d feel reasonably happy about using the upper sensitivity expansions settings.

While the GFX100S’s AF system is a bit fidgety, it’s responsive and can get moving subjects sharp. The Eye AF isn’t the best around, but it’s useful for portraits and the level of detail captured in low to mid-range ISO images is fantastic.

Price when reviewed
£5499
$5999 / €5999
Check current price

For

  • Superb sensor
  • Phase detection autofocus system
  • Small for medium format

Against

  • Doesn't have all the traditional exposure controls of the GFX 50S
  • The eye AF isn't very assured

Sony A1

Sony A1

Specification

  • Camera type: Full-frame mirrorless
  • Announced: 26th January 2021
  • Sensor: 50.1Mp full frame (35.9 x 24.0mm), Exmor RS CMOS sensor
  • Lens mount: FE
  • Sensitivity range: Stills: ISO 100-32000 (expandable to ISO 50 to ISO 102400) Video: ISO ISO 100-32000 (expandable to ISO 100-12800)
  • Still Image format: Jpeg, HEIF, raw (Sony ARW 4.0)
  • Video format & compression: XAVC S: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264, XAVC HS: MPEG-H HEVC/H.265
  • 8K Video (XAVC HS): 7680 x 4320 (4:2:0, 10bit, NTSC) (Approx.): 30p(400Mbps / 200 Mbps), 24p(400Mbps / 200 Mbps), 7680 x 4320 (4:2:0, 10bit, PAL) (Approx.): 25p(400Mbps / 200 Mbps)
  • 4K Video (XAVC HS): 3840 x 2160 (4:2:0, 10bit, NTSC) (Approx.): 120p (200Mbps), 60p (150Mbps / 75Mbps / 45Mbps), 24p (100Mbps / 50Mbps / 30Mbps); 3840 x 2160 (4:2:0, 10bit, PAL) (Approx.): 100p (200Mbps), 50p (150Mbps / 75Mbps / 45Mbps); 3840 x 2160 (4:2:2, 10bit, NTSC) (Approx.): 120p (280Mbps), 60p (200Mbps / 100Mbps), 24p (100Mbps / 50Mbps); 3840 x 2160 (4:2:2, 10bit, PAL) (Approx.): 100p (280Mbps), 50p (200Mbps / 100Mbps)
  • 4K Video (XAVC S): 3840 x 2160 (4:2:0, 8bit, NTSC) (Approx.): 120p (200Mbps), 60p (150Mbps), 30p (100Mbps / 60Mbps), 24p (100Mbps / 60Mbps); 3840 x 2160 (4:2:0, 8bit, PAL) (Approx.): 100p (200Mbps), 50p (150Mbps), 25p (100Mbps / 60Mbps); 3840 x 2160 (4:2:2, 10bit, NTSC) (Approx.): 120p (280Mbps), 60p (200Mbps), 30p (140Mbps), 24p (100Mbps); 3840 x 2160 (4:2:2, 10bit, PAL) (Approx.): 100p (280Mbps), 50p (200Mbps), 25p (140Mbps)
  • 4K Video (XAVC S-I): 3840 x 2160 (4:2:2, 10bit, NTSC) (Approx.): 60p (600Mbps), 30p (300Mbps), 24p (240Mbps); 3840 x 2160 (4:2:2, 10bit, PAL) (Approx.): 50p (500Mbps), 25p (250Mbps)
  • Movie functions: Audio Level Display, Audio Rec Level, PAL/NTSC Selector, Proxy Recording (1280 x 720 (6Mbps), 1920 x 1080(9Mbps), 1920 x 1080(16Mbps)), TC/UB, Auto Slow Shutter, Gamma Disp. Assist, raw output(HDMI)
  • Autofocus system: Hybrid AF with 759 phase detection points and 425 contrast detection points, Still images: Human (Right/Left Eye Select) / Animal (Right/Left Eye Select) / Bird, Movie: Human (Right/Left Eye Select), sensitive down to -4EV
  • Maximum continuous shooting rate: Mechanical shutter: 10fps, Electronic shutter 30fps
  • Viewfinder: 0.64-inch 9,437,184-dot EVF with 100% coverage and up to 0.9x magnification. It also offers 0.90x viewfinder magnification, 41° diagonal field of view with 25mm-high eyepoint
  • Screen: 3-inch 1,440,000-dot tilting touchscreen
  • Stills shutter speed range: Mechanical shutter: 1/8000-30sec plus Bulb, Electronic shutter: 1/32000-30sec plus Bulb
  • Max flash sync speed (full-frame): Mechanical shutter: 1/400 sec, Electronic shutter: 1/200 sec
  • Image stabilisation: 5-axis giving up to 5.5EV compensation
  • Storage: Dual SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-I/II) & CFexpress Type A slots
  • Connection ports: Sync, 3.5mm headphone, 3.5mm mic, LAN
  • Battery: NP-FZ100 rechargeable Li-ion battery giving 400 shots with the viewfinder or 530 with the screen
  • Dimensions (WxHxD): 128.9 x 96.9 x 80.8mm / 5 1/8 x 3 7/8 x 3 1/4 inches
  • Weight (including battery & memory card): 737g / 1 lb 10.0 oz

The Alpha A1 is Sony’s most advanced camera to date, it combines a high-resolution full-frame sensor with high-speed performance. It features a new 50.1Mp full-frame stacked Exmor RS image sensor and can perform up to 120 AF/AE calculations per second.

Thanks to its impressive processing power, the Sony A1 can shoot at up to 30fps (frames per second) while its large buffer allows for sequences of up to 155 full-frame compressed RAW images or 165 full-frame JPEGs to be shot at that rate.

In addition to improved Real-time Eye AF for humans and animals, the Alpha 1 uses high-level subject recognition technology for Real-time Eye AF for birds. Algorithms also maintain the AF tracking if a sitting bird takes off or the framing changes.

The Sony A1 is the first Sony Alpha series camera to feature 8K 30p 10-bit 4:2:0 XAVC HS video recording. It’s also capable of shooting 4K 120p / 60p 10-bit 4:2:2 video and offers S-Cinetone colour. It uses 8.6K oversampling for enhanced resolution and, naturally, the 8K footage can be used for 4K editing during post-production.

The Sony A 1 has a 9.44 million dot OLED Quad-XGA electronic viewfinder, with a refresh rate of up to 240 fps, ensuring no blackout, delivering the highest resolution in its class. In addition, there’s a 3-inch 1,440,000-dot tilting touchscreen that features the revised menu arrangement and more extensive touch-control that was first seen in the Sony A7S III.

In case a resolution of 50Mp isn’t enough, the Sony A1 has Sony’s Pixel Shift Multi Shooting mode onboard to enables 16 full-resolution images to be composited.

You can order the Sony A1 from Wex Photo Video and Park Cameras in the UK and Adorama or B&H Photo Video in the USA. You can also find the latest Sony A1 offers at Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Price when reviewed
£6500
$6500
Check current price

For

  • Excellent combination of speed and resolution
  • Great range of video features including 8K video
  • Superb electronic viewfinder

Against

  • It takes a while to figure out the optimum settings
  • Underwhelming screen specification
  • Manual switching between the Eye AF subjects
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