As we come to the end of another year it’s a good time to look back on some of the great cameras released over the last 12 months.
Here’s our definitive list to some of the new releases but don’t worry if you are not in the market for a new camera yet, or are keen to save cash: a new release often pushes down the price of its predecessor.
There’s a lot of excitement about the Fujifilm X-T5, for example, which means prices are now falling on the still very capable X-T4, including buying used. Indeed, when people get a new camera they often trade in their old one, so it’s a good time to think about buying second hand – preferably from a decent dealer, such as MPB or Park Cameras, who will carefully check the gear and give you a warranty.
Coming in at £1700 body only, this is a fantastic choice if you already own Fujifilm X series lenses. It has a lovely retro design and while some pundits may tell you that you need to buy full frame, the X-T5 has a 40Mp APS-C sensor, which will be more than enough resolution for many people.
As well as the high-resolution sensor and beautiful styling, the X-T5 can shoot at 15 frames per second in full resolution, so it’s good for most action shots. Wildlife fans will also appreciate the subject-recognition autofocus, which encompasses animals and birds as well as human faces, cars, trains and planes. If you prefer to shoot in JPEG rather than raw, the camera produces beautifully toned JPEGs too. Fujifilm X-T5 on Amazon
Canon EOS R7
You can get this new Canon APS-C mirrorless cameras for under £1400 and its another strong performer. The sensor delivers 32.5Mp images, which strike a good balance between resolution and economy of storage, and you can shoot up to 30 frames per second using the electronic shutter. ISO (low light) performance is impressive, too, and you can push the light sensitivity to 51,200.
While the EOS R7 lacks the style of the Fujifilm X-T5, it’s a powerful camera that also offers 4k 60p video for fantastic movie results. Just be aware that the choice of lenses is somewhat restricted. Amazon: Canon EOS R7
OM Digital Solutions OM-1
When the Olympus brand effectively died off, there was a lot of gloom and doom, but OM Digital Solutions is continuing the proud tradition. Coming in at just under £2000, this is an excellent all-rounder and further proof that the Micro Four Thirds sensor format still has life in it yet. Key attractions include a 20Mp stacked CMOS sensor and beefed-up image processor, which enables the camera to shoot at an impressive 50 frames per second (full resolution raw files). The subject recognition autofocus is also very reliable and the excellent image stabilisation means you can shoot handheld at shutter speeds as slow as a second and still keep the rest of the shot relatively sharp.
Micro Four Thirds lenses are good value, and there’s a wide range, so even if you are new to OM cameras, you can build a decent system relatively cheaply. Amazon: OM Digital Solutions OM-1
Panasonic Lumix GH6
Staying with Micro Four Thirds, this attractive, £1,999 Panasonic offers the highest resolution so far, at 25Mp. Note that you can also use Olympus/OM lenses on it too, so as with the OM-1, this camera can form the foundation of a very capable system, without spending a bomb.
If you are interested in video, the GH6 is a no-brainer, as it records 5.7k footage at 60 frames per second. Returning to stills photography, there’s also a handheld multi-shot mode that can give you much larger resolution files, of 50Mp to 100Mp. The lens choice, as mentioned, is decent, and Panasonic is putting out some very high-quality glass through its partnership with Leica. Amazon: Panasonic Lumix GH6
So what if you decide to buy second-hand instead? As mentioned, we recommend buying from a dealer rather than eBay.
The gear will have been carefully checked and graded, and you get a warranty.
Things to watch out for include shutter activation count – as with car mileage, the lower the better – and scuffs and dings, as rough handling might have had an adverse effect on the autofocus or image stabilisation.
Non full-frame mirrorless cameras are great value used, particularly those from Fujifilm or Olympus, as are full-frame DSLRs – mirrorless may be where the action is, but there are many highly capable used SLRs out there from Canon, Nikon and Pentax, with a wide choice of lenses.
Header picture credit Park Cameras
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