Posts Tagged ‘Best’

2017 Buying Guide: Best cameras for sports and action

10 Dec

Are you a speed freak? Hungry to photograph anything that goes ‘zoom’? Or perhaps you just want to get Sports Illustrated-level shots of your child’s soccer game. Keep reading to find out which cameras we think are best for sports and action shooting.

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2017 Buying Guide: Best cameras for video

09 Dec

Video features have become an important factor to many photographers when choosing a new camera. Read on to find out which cameras we think are best for the videophile.

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2017 Buying Guide: Best consumer drones

09 Dec

Last year, the DJI Mavic Pro and the Phantom 4 Professional took top honors in our end of year buying guide. Read on to find out who it this year for beginners, consumers, prosumers, and professionals at a price tag less than $ 2,000.

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Affinity Photo named Best iPad App of 2017, celebrates with 50% off sale

09 Dec

When Affinity Photo for iPad first launched, it touted itself as a game changer: “the first full blown, truly professional photo editing tool to make its way onto the Apple tablet.” And ever since, people (DPReview included) have been confirming that this app is, indeed, a really impressive iPad image editor.

Well, if you needed just a little more convincing, there’s one more data point to consider: Apple just named Affinity Photo for iPad its “Best iPad App of 2017.” That’s pretty great, and to celebrate the folks at Affinity Photo are hosting a 24-hour flash sale, knocking the price down 50% to just $ 10 bucks on the iTunes App Store.

As of this writing, the flash sale will end in 17 hours and 35 minutes, so if you’ve been considering a solid iPad photo editor, check out our Affinity Photo for iPad review by clicking the big blue button below. Then head over to the Affinity Photo website to learn more or get a copy for yourself.

Affinity Photo for iPad Review

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2017 Buying Guide: Best fixed prime lens cameras

07 Dec

The fixed prime lens camera market may be a bit niche, but it’s here that you’ll find some of the best cameras you can buy. Sensors ranging from APS-C to full-frame are designed to match their lenses, which cover ranges from 28-75mm equivalent, so image quality is top-notch.

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2017 Buying Guide: Best enthusiast long zoom cameras

06 Dec

Long-zoom compacts fill the gap between pocketable cameras and interchangeable lens models with expensive lenses, offering a great combination of lens reach and portability. Here’s a look at the category’s current offerings and which ones we like best.

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Nikon D850 vs Sony a7R III: Which is best?

05 Dec


2017 has seen the release of some interesting cameras, but the two that have generated the most buzz, the most traffic and the most questions are Nikon’s D850 and the Sony a7R III. They’re both rather exotic creatures, not quite as other-worldly as D5s and a9s, but hardly the sorts of cameras we’re all going to rush out and buy. So why the excitement?

Both high res models are among the fastest in
their line-ups

What’s interesting about both is just how much better they are than their predecessors, despite superficially looking like subtle re-shuffles of the specifications. The give-away of this leap forward is hidden in plain sight: they may both be updates of their makers’ high-res models, but both are also promoted to being among the fastest-shooting models in their respective line-ups.

That makes them much more appealing, well-rounded cameras than their predecessors, which is perhaps why they’ve generated so much interest. And why everybody wants to know which is best…

It’s not about the mirror (or lack of it)

We ended our D850 review by calling it “the best DSLR on the market today” and summed up the Sony by saying it was “the most well-rounded mirrorless camera on the market,” but you should take that to mean it’s simply a question of whether you prefer a mirror in your camera or not. Mainly because, when you use them, it really doesn’t make much difference.

Closer to a sports camera than anything with 46 megapixels has the right to feel

Long gone are the days when you could say ‘DSLRs are better at autofocus’ or ‘Mirrorless are smaller, and more convenient.’ No-one who’s held a Sony a7 series with a GM lens on is likely to find the words ‘small’ or ‘lightweight’ springing into their minds. Equally though, I doubt many people who’ve used an a7R III in a tight spot are going to think ‘I’d have got that shot with an SLR.’

Similarly though, the D850 is the kind of DSLR that could make mirrorless stalwarts consider changing their minds. It’s not quite D5-level good but the D850 feels closer to a sports camera than anything with 46 megapixels has the right to. All those ‘you have to imagine you’re shooting medium format’ reservations that we’ve had about previous high-res DSLRs start to evaporate. With a recent Nikon VR lens on the front, you can shoot the D850 without too much thought and it’ll simply get the job done.

Image Quality

It should go without saying that both cameras produce spectacular image quality. Their sensors both offer tremendous resolution and dynamic range. They’re among the best sensors we’ve ever shot with, putting them within the same realm as the Hasselblad X1D, Pentax 645Z and Fujifilm GFX 50S: company that suddenly makes both cameras seem unexpectedly good value.

Among the best sensors we’ve ever shot with

The Sony demands you shoot uncompressed Raw to get at its full capability, whereas the Nikon has some of the smartest Raw compression on the market (even its ‘lossy’ compression is essentially only throwing away spurious data), but that ends up being a question of storage and workflow, not of the photographic process itself. The pictures themselves are similarly good.

Anyone who’s shot them side-by-side won’t be at all surprised to find that DxO has given their sensors the same score: there’s virtually nothing to choose between them. Slight differences in dynamic range and high ISO performance are just that: slight. If anyone tells you that one camera is better than the other, for any particular activity based on image quality, you should laugh at them. In their face, if possible.

Verdict: no clear winner


Unsurprisingly perhaps, the a7R III is the better video camera. Its video quality is higher, its range of features and supporting tools is wider and its video autofocus, while still frustratingly inconsistent with the behavior in stills mode, is actually useable for all but the most demanding of projects. Realistically, if video is one of your primary needs, the Sony is the clear choice, even before you consider its ability to accept, via adapter, just about every dedicated cinema lens you might chance across.

However, the D850 isn’t utterly left for dead. Its video quality isn’t half bad and, so long as you have some experience of focusing and exposing video, it’s pretty adept at quickly jumping back and forth between stills and video shooting. In fact, because it retains separate exposure settings for stills and video mode, it can actually be easier to switch between the two than it is on the Sony. To match this behavior, you need to configure one or more of the Sony’s Memory Recall modes, to ensure you don’t find yourself with a card full of stop-motion-like video clips shot at your ‘freeze the action’ shutter speed.

Verdict: Sony a7R III wins

Autofocus – Action

The D850 3D Tracking performance doesn’t quite match the D5, but it’s still capable of a very impressive performance. 3D Tracking will generally do a good job of recognizing the subject you initially point it at, then track it around the scene, using whichever AF point is closest to your subject’s current position. It’ll occasionally fall off the precise point you chose, and you’re limited to the camera’s comparatively small focus sensor region, but it’ll generally do a great job and offers enough configuration options to cope even with complex action.

The Sony does a great job of keeping things in focus if you can keep the AF point over them, but its subject tracking isn’t as surefooted as the D850’s. Worse still, unlike Nikon’s system, you can’t specify which part of the subject you wish to track: the camera tries to identify the subject and then tracks all of it. This usually means focusing on whatever element is closest. Depending on your subject, that may not be good enough.

Verdict: Nikon D850 wins

Autofocus – People

Wedding photographers and just about anyone needing to shoot pictures of people will find the a7R III’s Eye AF feature is a huge advantage. Sony wasn’t the first to offer an AF mode that detects the subject’s eyes but the implementation is pretty clever: in single AF mode Face Priority will focus on your subject’s eye, but the clever stuff happens in C-AF mode. Here, you hold down a configured button and the camera focuses on your subject’s eye, regardless of what AF area mode you were in.

This means that you can compose your image without having to perfectly position your AF, knowing that hammering down the Eye AF button will all-but ensure perfectly focused images on whichever eye is nearest your AF point.

Anyone needing to shoot pictures of people will find the a7R III’s Eye AF feature a huge advantage

The above shot was achieved while holding a video camera to the a7R III’s viewfinder, waving both devices around to show the degree to which Eye AF works, and where it fails. Despite all attention being on shooting this demonstration, rather than any photos, a handful of the resultant shots proved to be of a high enough standard to include in our samples galleries. Each of them pin sharp.

The D850 has no option to find eyes in the scene and its 3D Tracking, while good, can’t be relied on to follow the subject’s eye even if you point the camera to it. Beyond this, even when working with calibrated lenses, we simply wouldn’t expect an off-center DSLR AF point to match the focus precision that the Sony will effortlessly achieve.

Verdict: Sony a7R III wins

Configuration and operation

Perhaps because the a7R III has such an extensive video and stills feature set, it absolutely demands that you spend time learning and configuring the camera. It’s a complaint we’ve regularly leveled at Olympus, over the years, and it’s just as true here. The a7R III can do so much that you really need to decide how you want to shoot, which tools you want access to, then carefully consider how to set the camera up to give easiest access to all these things. But taking this time is worth it, since there are some very powerful customization options available.

Even simple things like having a physical AF/MF switch count in the Nikon’s favor. But, while its ability to change all key functions by holding a button and turning a dial is a highly efficient and effective way of working (once you’ve become familiar with it), it’s a system that, for now, works primarily for stills. Not having things like a Log profile, much less a mode to offer a corrected preview mean there are fewer functions the Nikon needs to give quick access to.

Verdict: no clear winner


Both makers have spent the past few years going all-out to flesh-out their lens lineups. Nikon has an inherent advantage, of course, offering at least some degree of compatibility with a decades-deep back-catalog of lenses, the vast majority designed to be useful on full frame.

This advantage remains even if you limit yourself to the lenses Nikon says are well suited to the demands of 46MP, but Sony has an increasing number of the ‘essential’ bases covered. The new 24-105mm F4, for instance, seems great (though there’s a hefty price tag associated with this apparent excellence), and we’ve been impressed by the 85mm F1.8.

And, while we wouldn’t recommend buying an a7R III if you plan only to shoot with adapted lenses (tilt-shifts aside, perhaps), it’s true that the Sony can at least make use of just about any lens you care to mount on it. So while you significantly reduce the camera’s maximum shooting speed, you do at least retain functions like Eye AF.

Verdict: no clear winner

Operational speed

The D850 still has a slight edge in terms of operational speed over the a7R III. Sony has made great strides to remove the lags and delays from its menus and operation, but the D850 just feels like a more responsive camera. It could be a matter of perception, and I very much doubt the difference is within the realms of practical measurement, but what feels like the cumulative effect of fractions of a second here and there make me think of the D850’s operation being near-instantaneous in a way that I don’t get with the Sony.

Verdict: Nikon D850 (just)

The tiniest of margins

As we said earlier in this slideshow, you can no longer summarily decide which camera is going to be better for a given situation, based simply on whether it’s Mirrorless or a DSLR. But with these two cameras it’s near impossible to find any situation in which one definitively outshines the other.

You can no longer summarily decide which camera is going to be better for a given situation, based simply on whether it’s Mirrorless or a DSLR

Landscapes? the DR differences are small enough that it comes down to a question of whether the weight difference or the built-in intervalometer swings it for you. The Sony is better at video in several respects, but if video isn’t your primary concern, the D850 makes it so easy (out of the box) to jump from stills to video to stills that even that’s not going to be a decisive victory for those just shooting the odd clip.

What’s most striking about both cameras is how good they are across a range of subjects and shooting types, making them very hard to tease apart. The differences in video and in the areas of autofocus in which each excels (the Nikon for action, the Sony for pictures of people), apart there’s no clear winner. This isn’t fence-sitting on our part: they’re genuinely two of the best cameras the world has ever seen.

Overall verdict: No clear winner

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2017 Buying Guide: Best cameras over $2000

05 Dec

The very best digital cameras on the market will cost you at least $ 2000. That’s a lot of money, but generally speaking these cameras offer serious enthusiasts and working pros the highest resolution, best build quality and most advanced video specs out there. Here are our picks in the group.

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2017 Buying Guide: Best cameras under $2000

04 Dec

As you approach the $ 2000 price point you’ll find flagship APS-C and Four Thirds cameras, built for speed and durability. You’ll also find a handful of full-frame ILCs and DSLRs, with their own unique selling points. Find out which cameras are best-in-class in this price range.

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These are the best cameras you can buy right now

03 Dec

Best cameras you can buy right now

Suppose you’re the kind of person who reads movie spoilers online, or unwraps all of your presents on Christmas Eve. Does that make you a monster? Sure, but we’re not here to judge. You’d probably also like to know which are the very best cameras on the market right now without reading our meticulously prepared and exhaustively researched buying guides. That’s fine. You can cut right to the chase and find out which cameras we picked as category winners right here, you utter fiend.

Canon EOS M6

It’s light, offers a healthy dose of direct controls and includes Canon’s excellent Dual Pixel autofocus technology. It’s our pick for parents, but it’s a great option for someone who wants DSLR-like capabilities and controls in a compact package.

Read more about the Canon EOS M6

Canon EOS M100

It’s an incarnation of the M6 with less direct control, but it’s also several hundred dollars cheaper. We think it’s an ideal lightweight point-and-shoot and it’s our top pick if you’re looking to spend around $ 500 on a new camera.

Read more about the Canon EOS M100

Canon EOS Rebel SL2

Beginners looking for an unfussy DSLR to get started will feel right at home with the SL2. We think its Feature Assistant is useful, and it offers all of the same guts of the M6 in a more approachable form.

Read more about the Canon SL2

Fujifilm X100F

You love it. We love it. Everyone loves the X100F. It’s truly the photography press’s darling, and it’s our pick in the fixed prime lens category thanks to its excellent JPEG processing and dreamy form factor. To a large chunk of the photo-taking population it’s an impractical novelty, but it sure is nice if you just want to enjoy the heck out of making photos.

Read more about Fujifilm X100F

Nikon D5600

The D5600 is our pick for both photography students and anyone looking to spend less than $ 1000. It’s not sexy, but it’s reliable, versatile, and offers modern refinements like a touchscreen and Wi-Fi with Bluetooth.

Read more about the Nikon D5600

Nikon D7500

We recommend the D7500 in the sub-$ 1500 category for many of the reasons we picked the D5600 in the category below it: it’s just an extremely well-rounded camera. Impressive subject tracking, good AF, and a proven 20.9MP sensor all contribute to making this the best buy in its price category.

Read more about the Nikon D7500

Nikon D750

Speaking of cameras that just don’t quit, the D750 is over three years old but it’s still competitive – and is attractively priced lately. Despite its age we think it’s the best you can do for under $ 2000 thanks to reliable autofocus and excellent image quality.

Read more about the Nikon D750

Nikon D850

The D850 shares a spot with the Sony a7R III as a top pick for landscape photographers and cameras over $ 2000. ISO 64 gives it a slight edge for photographers who need the ultimate in dynamic range, and it inherits a highly capable autofocus system from the D5. It comes up a little short in terms of pro video capabilities, but outside of that it’s simply one of the best all-around performers you can buy now.

Read more about the Nikon D850

Nikon D5

For sports, the D5 is hands-down the most capable camera out there. It’s ultra-tough and couples 14 fps shooting with the best phase-detection AF on the market. Plenty of shooters would find its smaller sibling, the D500 to be more than enough to suit their needs, but for the pro who needs the absolute best, there’s nothing to top it at the moment.

Read more about the Nikon D5

Panasonic Lumix GH5

If you’re serious about video and you want the best hybrid camera money can buy, get the GH5. It’s outfitted with pro-level tools and boasts excellent stabilization for handheld shots. Oh, and it’s a pretty darn good stills camera too.

Read more about the Panasonic GH5

Sony a7R III

The a7R III ranks as one of the very best cameras we tested this year, tying the equally impressive Nikon D850 as winner in the best for landscape photography and $ 2000 and up category. It’s also our top pick for event photography, thanks to incredibly fast and accurate Eye-AF.

Read more about the Sony a7R III

Sony Cyber-shot RX10 III

Our top pick for travelers is the previous-generation RX10, which saves you several hundred dollars off the price of the Mark IV if you can live without a touchscreen and state-of-the-art autofocus. You’ll still get that generous 24-600mm equiv. zoom range and top notch 4K video capture for all of those vacation memories.

Read more about the Sony RX10 III

Sony Cyber-shot RX10 IV

If we’re going to talk about the very best cameras available now, we do need to mention the latest and greatest in the RX10 series. If there’s a superzoom that can convince us we’re shooting with a pro sports camera, this is it. It’s incredibly pricey but its hybrid AF, 24 fps shooting and oversampled 4K are unparalleled in its class.

Read more about the Sony RX10 IV

Sony Cyber-shot RX100 V

Ten years ago, if you’d told us that a camera that fits in your pocket can record incredible 4K video, shoot 24 fps, and offer 315 point phase detection AF we’d have laughed in your face. Yet here we are in the year 2017, and the RX100 V has made fools of us all. Do you pay handsomely for all of that cutting edge technology? Of course. But if you’re looking for the best of the best, look no further.

Read more about the Sony RX100 V

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