BEST CAMERAS OF 2022 ZOOM PICKS
2021 continued the trends of 2020. It turned out to be difficult for many manufacturers: photo business and the production of cameras also did not remain aloof from the general trends. Not many new cameras were released. We have selected for you models of different formats and price categories: from professional SLR and mirrorless to compact ones.
Pentax K-3 Mark III
Let’s start with the “classics” – SLR cameras. The Riko company in 2021 decided to please those who are professionally engaged in photography. The new flagship Pentax K-3 Mark III model with an APS-C sensor has entered the market. What does he promise his future owners? If you want a camera that can be customized to your needs as much as possible, then you are in the right place. The new Pentax camera allows for maximum customization.
The manufacturer has seriously thought about user convenience: the camera has a comfortable grip and many function buttons. All joints are closed with sealing gaskets that protect the case from dust and moisture ingress. With a 100% coverage viewfinder, you’ll be able to compose shots accurately and never miss anything. The Natural-Bright-Mate III focusing screen shows you exactly what bokeh will look like. Thanks to the shutter with a new mechanism, we get an improved response time. The presence of an SD-slot for UHS-II cards will give a greater speed of work. The camera focuses well on moving subjects with 101 AF points. Also, professionals and photography enthusiasts will appreciate the good image stabilization system – 5.5 stops.
The camera does not have a low-pass filter, there is only its imitation. On the one hand, this increases sharpness and detail, but at the same time, it can lead to the appearance of a moiré effect.
What is surprising is that the 3.2-inch LCD does not have a swivel mechanism. For a camera of this level and price range, this is at least strange.
Semi-professional full-frame camera – this camera was waiting for many fans of classic “mirror” technology. It combines the features of its predecessor, the Nikon D750, with the flagship Nikon Z6 mirrorless camera. The new model has the same matrix in common with the latter. The high-performance BSI CMOS image sensor allows you to work at high levels of light sensitivity without generating a lot of noise. Due to the presence of a low-pass filter, the likelihood of moiré effect is reduced. The new sensor has a higher reading speed, respectively, the burst speed will also be higher.
Both SD card slots accept UHS-II cards. At the same time, the camera allows you to record material on both cards in the same way, or write RAW files on one of them, and JPEG files on the other. The new shutter increased the shutter speed range from 1/8000 second to 900 seconds.
The camera has many rationally placed mechanical controls. The menu is made according to the scheme traditional for the manufacturer, it is possible to customize the quick menu. The model is equipped with a touch rotary display that allows you to shoot virtually any scene without having to lie down on the ground or perform even more complex body movements.
Among all the advantages of the Nikon D780, we would like to separately note shooting in HDR mode. This is a great option for those who like bright and contrasting shots, but do not want to waste time working in bracketing mode (which is really not always convenient and possible) and then merging frames in post-processing.
If you’re shooting video, the new camera will offer the ability to shoot in 4K resolution at up to 30 fps with face and eye tracking.
Nikon D780 will be an excellent companion for outdoor and travel enthusiasts. The model is protected from ingress of moisture and dust. Those who are accustomed to working a lot away from the outlet and charging, the camera will appreciate the long battery life – 2260 frames (of course, this applies to shooting through the viewfinder).
Canon EOS R3
For a smooth transition from classic “DSLRs” to cameras of other categories, we will talk about two mirrorless cameras that are in many ways not inferior to their SLR “sisters”.
Let’s start with a brand new camera from Canon. It seems that the manufacturer is going to declare the era of SLR cameras closed. At least, according to the statement of the head of the company. There is a chance that even in the professional camera segment, Canon will now bet on mirrorless cameras such as the Canon EOS R3.
New from Canon – our today’s record holder for the price. One carcass costs like a new domestic passenger car of the middle class. It is positioned by the manufacturer as a reporting camera. The user will get a high burst speed – up to 30 frames per second, as well as the Canon Eye Control function – focusing controlled by the photographer’s gaze (sounds almost like a miracle, right?). The new sensor guarantees fast reading and focusing, as well as excellent performance even in low light conditions. Where, due to darkness, an optical viewfinder would not cope, an electronic viewfinder works great.
Image stabilization up to eight stops is a photojournalist’s dream. The camera can be set to autofocus not only on people, but also on animals or moving sports vehicles. The new model is also great for videographers. The camera is capable of shooting video in 6K resolution at 60 frames per second.
In all respects, this mirrorless camera can compete with professional-level DSLRs. At the same time, it is lighter and smaller than SLR cameras. Controlling the camera is easy, and the swivel touch screen makes it possible to shoot from anywhere.
Despite its power and size, the camera promises a long battery life. On one charge, according to the manufacturer, you can take about 760 frames.
We continue our review with another powerful member of the family of full-frame mirrorless cameras. The dust and splash proof Panasonic DC-S5 is perfect for outdoor journalists. It features high-speed continuous shooting (up to 7 frames per second), five-axis image stabilization, very accurate autofocus that recognizes faces and eyes.
The camera has a relatively small body covered with non-slip material with a comfortable grip. The energy-intensive battery (2200 mAh) will allow you to shoot up to 1500 frames in power saving mode. A battery compartment can be connected to the device, which, however, must be purchased separately.
Thanks to Dual Native ISO technology, even at high light sensitivity levels, images will not seriously “noise”. The camera has a touch-sensitive rotary display, which is especially convenient when shooting outdoors.
The Panasonic DC-S5 is capable of shooting 4K video at 60 frames per second. 10-bit video with 4:2:2 color subsampling is written directly to the memory card. There are preset modes V-Log and V-Gammut, you can also shoot video with the effect of slowing down and accelerating motion.
The next in our review is the Sony ZV-1 camera, which is compact in fact, but not at all compact in function. The manufacturer itself positions it as a camera for vloggers, that is, it initially prioritizes video shooting. Compact, lightweight and pocketable, you can take it with you almost anywhere. In terms of weight and size, it is only slightly larger than a smartphone, but it provides much more opportunities.
It has a 13.2mm x 8.8mm Exmor RS CMOS sensor, much larger than smartphones. The maximum photo resolution is 20 MP, and the video is 4K. The camera works with SD memory cards or branded Memory Stick Duo.
The very name of its ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T* lens hints at quality. Despite its small size, it offers a 2.7x optical zoom and a good aperture of F1.8-2.8. Even in low light conditions, the footage will be bright and bright. The built-in ND filter will help you create an unexposed picture when shooting in bright sunlight. And the optical image stabilizer will make it possible to shoot on the go, compensating for camera shake.
For fans of shooting in difficult conditions, as well as fans of selfies, a touch rotary screen will come to the rescue. In addition, the swivel mechanism serves to protect the camera from damage. To transport the device, you can turn it inside with a touch layer and not be afraid that it will be scratched without a cover.
On the one hand, the Sony ZV-1 camera provides great opportunities for customization, and on the other hand, it allows you to get excellent results in automatic mode. The camera quickly automatically focuses on the person’s face and eyes. An inexperienced photographer will not have to think about f-number values to create beautiful bokeh, as there is a “magic” button by clicking on which you can get more or less background blur. A smart camera will adjust the aperture itself – and it will be the technology that will work, and not software, like smartphones.
Also, the model is equipped with a good built-in microphone: it is aimed at the object in front of the lens. This allows you to get decent sound even without additional equipment. But there is still a 3.5 mm jack for connecting an external microphone.
What is quite unusual for a compact camera – it has a hot shoe! You can connect an external flash, synchronizer or fluffy wind protection for the built-in microphone, which comes with the kit, to it. To post a photo or video on the Internet immediately after shooting, the Imaging Edge Mobile application installed on the smartphone, which works in conjunction with the camera, will help.
The first thing that draws me to the Fujifilm X100V is its design. The case is made in the classic retro style, due to which the camera visually differs significantly from its “colleagues in the shop”, resembling film classics. But appearance is, of course, not its only advantage. The Film Simulation mode is reminiscent of the good old days, with 18 options to choose from.
In contrast to the model discussed above, the emphasis in the creation of the Fujifilm X100V was made precisely on photography. Relatively small in size and weight, the camera can be carried with you every day, it is ideal for street and travel photographers. The model is responsive, and the X-Processor 4 sensor promises fast data reading. The camera’s autofocus, which has 425 focus points, combines contrast and phase systems.
Of course, a device in this price segment is simply obliged to shoot video in UHD 4K resolution, but the camera does not have an image stabilizer, so handheld video shooting will lead to very dubious results.
The camera is easy to use, and you can choose between an OLED optical or electronic viewfinder, or a tilting LCD display to compose your shot. When shooting with an optical viewfinder, you should not forget that you can see more space in it than actually fits in the frame. It takes some getting used to.
The camera is potentially protected from splashes and dust, however, there is one “but”. For its full protection, you will have to additionally buy a PRF-49 protective filter and an AR-X100 adapter ring for it. Agree, a rather strange decision, given the rather high cost of a camera designed primarily for street shooting. The body of the model is partially covered with a material that imitates the skin, and the grip has become somewhat larger and more comfortable than previous models in this series.
Among the best cameras of 2021, any amateur and professional photographer, vlogger or videographer will be able to choose the model that will become his faithful companion in the studio, during street reporting or sports matches. In the table, we arranged the models into categories, as they belong to different types of cameras.