Our best-buy professional cameras
December 24, 2018
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
Canon’s EOS 5D series has been one of the most popular ranges among enthusiast photographers since its launch in 2005. This version has a 30.4MP full-frame sensor delivering higher dynamic range and superior low-light performance over its predecessor. It’s capable of shooting at 7 frames per second, and is one of only a handful of full-frame DSLRs to support 4K video capture. With great build quality and stunning performance, plus Wi-Fi, GPS and touchscreen control, this is one of the most desirable DSLRs available.
The X-T3 takes everything we loved about the X-T2 and transforms it into an even better performer, capable of blackout-free 30fps burst shooting with superior AF coverage and response. It has the most impressive video spec we’ve seen from an X-series camera, supporting broadcast-quality 4K/60P 4:2:2 10-bit HDMI output and 4K/60P 4:2:0 10-bit internal recording. And thanks to its 3.69-million-dot EVF and three-way tilt screen you’re guaranteed a first-class viewing experience. Quite simply, it’s the best APS-C camera ever made.
The red Leica badge may be a symbol of quality, craftsmanship, and luxury, but the camera it’s affixed to is not just a rich man’s necklace. Leicas have been the workhorses of some of the world’s greatest photojournalists for decades. The M10 series is the latest in the iconic rangefinder line-up, packing in a 24MP sensor, 5fps burst shooting and Wi-Fi. On top of this, the updated M10-P adds in a quieter, more discreet shutter. But that’s almost irrelevant – it’s the feel of a Leica M and the joy of shooting with it that will sell it to those who can afford one.
Nikon Z 7
Nikon fans who’ve been waiting for a serious mirrorless model have finally had their patience rewarded with the superb Z 7. Incredibly refined for a first-generation product, it sports a 45.7MP full-frame sensor that gives stunning image quality under any lighting conditions. In-body, 5-axis image stabilisation keeps shots sharp at slow shutter speeds, while the superb 3.69-million-dot viewfinder gives an accurate preview of how images will turn out. The camera is compatible with F-mount DSLR lenses via the FTZ mount adapter, too.
The D500 makes a strong case for being the world’s best APS-C DSLR. It has a 20.9MP DX-format CMOS sensor, 10fps burst shooting, an astonishing maximum ISO of 1,640,000, plus 4K UHD video, alongside Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. As a long-awaited successor to the hugely popular D300, the D500 offers most of the spec of Nikon’s full-frame pro DSLRs but with a smaller DX sensor – thus costing less. If you fancy the performance of a pro-DSLR but don’t want to have to upgrade all your DX glass, then this is the camera for you.
This 45.7MP powerhouse is much more than a simple upgrade of the ground-breaking D800 and D810 full-frame DSLRs. It combines the high-resolution virtues of the D810 and the speed of the D500 in a single body, and is incredibly versatile. High ISO and AF performance are also up there with the very best. Add in a tilting touchscreen and 4K video capabilities and you can see why AP’s Michael Topham described it as ‘one of the finest DSLRs ever made’. Nikon’s recent improvements to its SnapBridge connectivity have made it even better.
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II
This weatherproof, 20.4MP all-rounder is as fast as it is stylish, capturing 60 raw frames per second in single AF Mode and 18fps in continuous AF tracking mode, backed up by an impressive on-chip phase-detection autofocus system. The OM-D E-M1 Mark II also boasts sophisticated in-body image stabilisation, allowing sharp shots handheld at speeds where you’d normally be reaching for a tripod. Image quality is very respectable, and a great choice of high-quality Micro Four Thirds lenses is available.
Pentax K-1 Mark II
If you want a rugged, fully featured full-frame DSLR, then this updated Pentax flagship may be just the ticket. Its robust, weathersealed body is bristling with buttons and dials, while the 36MP sensor gives unparalleled levels of detail for the price, along with vast dynamic range. The long-running K-mount provides compatibility with a huge range of lenses, while the 5-axis in-body stabilisation helps keep handheld images sharp. The large, clear viewfinder is joined by a flexible-tilt rear LCD.
Sony Alpha 7R III
Sony’s third-generation high-res mirrorless model combines a 42.4MP full-frame sensor with 10 frames-per-second shooting and highly effective in-body image stabilisation. Its sophisticated hybrid autofocus system is effective across almost the entire frame, and includes Sony’s peerless eye-detection focusing. The uprated NP-FZ100 battery gives impressive stamina, while twin SD card slots allow image backup while shooting. An excellent 3.69-million-dot electronic viewfinder rounds off a hugely accomplished package.
Sony Alpha 9
This powerful 24.2MP contender is becoming the toast of sports photographers, thanks to its silent operation and blistering 20fps burst rate. The AF is no slouch either, as 693 focal-plane phase-detection AF points mean that around 93% of the frame is being monitored at any given moment. There’s also continuous AF/AE tracking for up to 241 raw images, or 362 JPEGs. But while Sony now makes a decent range of high-quality full-frame lenses, it still lags behind when it comes to offering a comprehensive set of telephoto zooms and primes for action photography.