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Dhiram Shah | Updated on April 25, 2019 Published on March 02, 2019

The best cameras in the market, and why Sony gets the top spot among the Nikons and Canons

The year 2018 was huge for the world of camera gear and photography. With some of the biggest announcements made over the past year, 2018 can be called the year of mirrorless cameras. It would be remembered as the year when the world finally began the transition to mirrorless from DSLR cameras. Expectedly, some of the biggest launches involved these systems. Here are five of the best mirrorless cameras in the market right now.

Sony a7R III - ₹2.65 lakh

It was eight years ago when Sony ditched the mirror in interchangeable-lens cameras to start its own line of mir- rorless shooters. For many years, the mirrorless technology was underestimated by the industry as some- thing best suited for amateur photographers. However, Sony focused its entire research and development effort on evolving the technology to a point where professional photographers now swap their full-frame DSLRs for mir- rorless cameras.Sony is now the undisputed leader in the segment. Sony a7R III and its predecessor, a7R Mark II, are widely regarded as the two full-frame mirrorless cameras that convinced professional photographers about the technology’s benefits over standard DSLRs and set the new standard for professional full-frame systems. The ‘R’ in the name stands for high resolution and the a7R III is a highly versatile camera with features that suit profes- sional landscape, portrait, and studio photographers, as well as videographers. The camera has one of the best autofocus systems, while the image processing from the 42-megapixel sensor is blisteringly quick. Improvements over the previous generation camera come in the form of a larger battery, a second memory card slot, 10 frame-per- second shooting for sports photography, and a rear joy- stick to improve usability. The highlight of its multidi- mensional features is the ‘Pixel Shift Multi Shooting’ that combines four RAW images for one vivid and high-resolu- tion photo. To top it all, the camera supports 4K video shooting at 30 frame-per-second and 1080p clips at a max frame rate of 120 fps for butter smooth slow motion.

Nikon Z7 - ₹2.7 lakh

Nikon and Canon, the two heavyweights of the camera industry, have been criticised for being slow to jump into the mirrorless game. A few months ago, Nikon finally lif- ted the cover of its first ever professional-grade full-frame mirrorless cameras, the Z6 and Z7, the latter being the higher spec-ed model. The Nikon Z7 is a direct competitor to the Sony a7R III, with similar looks, specs, and even a close enough price tag. For the two new full-frame mirror- less cameras, Nikon introduced a completely new Z Mount System which will support three newly announced lenses built specifically for them, with a fourth one in the works. The Nikon Z7 fea- tures a 45.7 megapixel (MP) BSI-CMOS sensor along with a hybrid AF system with 493 points that offers a brilliant 90 per cent coverage. Additionally, the camera comes with a five-axis, in- body image stabilisation. In terms of styling and ergonomics, the Z7 has been designed with a rugged body similar to that of the D850 DSLR, and it is fully sealed against dust and mois- ture. The Z7 can shoot photos continu- ously at 9 fps with AE locked, and 5.5 fps with continuous AF/AE. As far as shooting videos is concerned, it can capture 4K video at up to 30fps and 1080p video at up to 120 fps.

Fujifilm GFX 50S - ₹5.11 lakh

In the last few years, Fujifilm has introduced some incredible compact cameras as a part of its X-series. The camera brand now finally recreated the magic in a medium- format set-up that features all the fantastic qualities of the smaller X-series siblings with a 43.8 × 32.9 mm CMOS sensor offering 1.7 times the surface area of a full frame. The sensor has a resolution of 51.4 MP resolution, which is nearly identical to most of the other medium format di- gital cameras on the market. The GFX 50S also introduces a completely new ‘G’ mount system which will support a set of brand new lenses.

In terms of design, it has the same likable retro-styling with the traditional shutter speed and ISO dials on top. The medium-format mirrorless camera also gets the same amazing always-on E-ink display as the X-T2. As you would expect from a Fujifilm camera, the colour science at work on the GFX 50S in one of the best out there, creating stun- ning photos. The max frame rate is a dismal 3 fps, which makes it great for landscape and portrait photography. It can capture video at 1080p at 30 fps.

Canon EOS R - ₹1.9 lakh

Just like Nikon, after years of anticipation and rumours Canon released its very first full-frame mirrorless camera in 2018 in an attempt to challenge the domination of Sony in the segment. To make it easier for DSLR users to transition to mirrorless, Canon has tried to style and spec the EOS R as similar to its popular full-frame DSLRs as possible. The camera directly competes with the Sony a7 RIII and the newly launched Nikon Z6 with similar specs but a slightly higher price tag. The EOS R features the same sensor from the 5D Mark IV, only in a smaller body. The 30.3-megapixel full-frame sensor features Canon’s famous Dual Pixel system, which gives it one of the fastest and most accurate autofocus. The system has 5,655 selectable AF points and can function well in dark conditions. However, it can only shoot continuously at 8 fps in single AF and 5 fps with con- tinuous AF, which is not the best out there. The cam- era can record 4K videos at 30 fps, but has compromised with a 1.7x crop factor (the ratio of sensor size as compared to the standard 35 mm film frame). The lack of in-body stabilization is its biggest limiting factor.

Panasonic GH5S - ₹1.73 lakh

Panasonic has been making some of the finest video-making cameras as a part of its GH-series, and the GH5S is no dif- erent. The Panasonic GH5S is an incredibly powerful tool for making profes- sional-grade films on a relatively low budget. The mirrorless camera prioritises video-mak- ing over shooting pho- tos, and the result is it produces the best qual- ity videos compared to similarly priced and spec-ed cameras. Panasonic ditched the 20.3 MP Micro Four Thirds Live MOS sensor from the GH5 with an all-new oversized 10.2 MP multi-aspect sensor for the GH5S. This allows the camera to shoot in several different aspect ra- tios with the same angle of view. While the GH5 was the first mirrorless to shoot 4k footage at 60 fps, the GH5S even betters it by becoming the world’s first to shoot 4K 60/50 fps in Cinema 4K (4096 x 2160). The camera is de- signed like a DSLR and has high-quality weatherproof metal body. The downside is the lack of in-body stabilisation.

Dhiram Shah is the Mumbai-based founder of Luxur

Published on March 02, 2019
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