It’s been a pretty interesting few months for camera owners. Almost every major manufacturer has announced an exciting new camera. Unless you need a new camera right this very instant, this is a great time to wait and see how things shake out.
Here’s a quick rundown of what’s recently launched or just about to come out, and why it matters.
Why it matters: This is Nikon’s first foray into mirrorless full-frame cameras. The 24.5MP Z6 ($2,000) is the more affordable option, while the Z7 ($3,400) sports a Sony-competitive 45.7MP sensor and 493-point phase detection autofocus. (Note: the Z6 has the faster burst speed, as expected with the smaller sensor.)
Important: The new Z cameras use the new Z mount, which launched with three lenses: the 24-70mm f/4 S ($1,000), the 35mm f/1.8 S ($850), and the 50mm f/1.8 S ($600). Thankfully, Nikon has also released an adapter for F-Mount Nikkor lenses: the FTZ ($250).
Bummer: 4K video only goes up to 30p, but hey, it has 4K video! And it will provide 10-bit video via external HDMI.
Why it matters: Like their competitor Nikon, this is Canon’s first foray into full-frame mirrorless territory. The EOS R ($2,300) is lighter and smaller than Canon’s market-defining DSLRs, with that lovely, lovely phase detect autofocus and C-LOG for video. It’s also the first Canon full-frame camera with a flip-out touchscreen.
Important: The EOS R uses the new RF mount, which launches with four lenses. Thankfully, Canon has one EF-to-RF adapter available — the $100 Canon Mount Adapter — which Canon claims maintains autofocus and image stabilization. Two more interesting adapters will be out in the coming months in the form of the Canon Control Ring Adapter ($200), which adds a customizable control ring for changing exposure settings such as ISO or aperture, and the Drop-In Filter Mount ($400), which allows for shooters to insert various filters, and comes with a variable ND filter.
Also worth noting: the EOS R is supposed to be the lower-end Canon full-frame mirrorless offering, and we may see a higher-end model in the next year or so.
Bummer: The camera has a crazy 1.8x crop on the 4K video, and only shoots up to 30p at 4K. It can do 120 fps at 720p, but who the hell shoots 720p?! It also re-uses the 5D mark IV sensor. Basically, Canon leaves videographers in the dust yet again.
Why it matters: Panasonic, along with Olympus, led the charge in the mirrorless field with their micro four thirds (MFT) cameras, but this is their first attempt at putting together a mirrorless full-frame camera. The S-series uses the Leica L-mount and represents a promising partnership between Panasonic, Leica, and lens-maker Sigma.
The series comes in the form of the S1 (“ultimate picture creation”) and S1R (“hybrid photo and video creation”). Details are still a little thin on the ground, but we’ve been promised 4K 60p video, dual image stabilization, and dual slot for XQD and SD cards. We’ve also been promised adapters for lenses from other companies. Given the GH5’s stellar reputation as a hybrid shooter, we have high hopes for the S1 and S1R.
Important: It uses the L-mount, which fit the ludicrously expensive full frame Leica lenses, but Sigma will be releasing (almost certainly cheaper) options.
Bummer: The S-series uses contrast detect autofocus, which has historically lagged behind phase detect autofocus. Time will tell, though. It also has a really weird, fragile-looking rear screen. As for a release date, expect the S-series to launch in “early 2019”.
Why it matters: Fujifilm is yanking down the medium format price ceiling with its extremely affordable (by medium format standards) GFX 50R — a medium format camera in a rangefinder body. It’s sort of like putting a Ferrari engine in a Volkswagen chassis. 51.4 megapixels! Only $4,500! That’s the cost of a Sony a9, or less than a Canon 1DX mark II! Expect it in November.
Fujifilm also announced the ginormous GFX 100S, with a 100MP sensor and 4K video recording. This is the Cadillac of the line, expected to sell for around $10,000, but it’s still cheaper and smaller than a 100MP Hasselblad, which goes for $33,000.
Fujifilm also seems happy to cede the bloody, crowded full-frame battleground, recently releasing a new crop sensor Fujifilm X-T3 ($1,500). It’s a hybrid photo/video camera with 4K60p 10-bit interal. Phase detection autofocus, too. So, you’re getting a lot for the price with this camera.
Remember: People complain about crop sensor cameras, but remember, most high-end video cameras have Super 35 crop sensors!
Bummer: No 4K video on the GFX 50R, but you aren’t buying it for that anyway. You’re here for the huge sensor and all 50 of those megapixels.
Why it matters: Did you want to own a medium format DSLR camera worth more than a decent mid-sized car? Leica’s got you covered. The S3 hasn’t had its price announced yet, but its predecessor, the S Typ 007, costs $20,000. So, what do you get for that price tag? A 64MP medium format sensor, to begin. With 15 stops of dynamic range and a burst of 3 fps, the S3 should be more viable as an action/run-and-gun option compared to almost any other medium format camera. And if the S Typ 007 is any indication, it will be built like a 3-pound tank. Expect it in Spring 2019.
Remember: You still have to feed and house yourself after you buy this camera.
Bummer: You still have to FEED and HOUSE YOURSELF after you buy this camera.