Learning to use to a ‘proper’ camera after just using a smartphone can look intimidating, but that’s the market Olympus is targeting with the PEN E-PL9. It has some interesting features for experienced photographers too, but it’s really designed to appeal to nervous first-timers who want to step up to the bigger sensor, better quality, more powerful features and interchangeable lenses of a mirrorless camera.
It follows the standard format for a beginner-friendly compact system camera. It doesn’t come with a viewfinder – you’d need the OM-D E-M10 Mark III for that – but the rear screen does have a tilting mechanism which lets it flip upwards and downwards. In fact it swings out on a hinge which offers a full 180-degree downward flip so that the screen faces forwards for selfies.
It’s got a touchscreen display too, so that if you&rsqu[……]
The Canon EOS Rebel T6i (known as the EOS 750D outside the US) was until only recently Canon’s key entry-level DSLR, taking the fight to the likes of the Nikon D3300 and D5600.
[Update: The EOS Rebel T6i / EOS 750D is now over three years old having been launched back in early 2015. Since then, it’s been replaced by the EOS Rebel T7i (known as the EOS 800D outside the US). The newer model features a number of improvements, including a better sensor and much better focusing during Live View shooting (when you shot using the rear display as opposed to the viewfinder). The EOS Rebel T6i / EOS 750D is no longer officially in Canon’s line-up of DSLRs, but is available at some retailers still. It’s still a good camera if you’re on a budget, but you can do better elsewhere.]
- 24.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor
- Useful 3.0-inch, vari-angle touchscreen
- 1080p video capture – no 4K
Canon’s 5D series of cameras has a rich heritage – the original EOS 5D bought full-frame photography to the masses, the Mark II unleashed Full HD video capture for the first time on a DSLR, and while the Mark III didn’t have quite the landmark features of its predecessors, its improved AF system made it one of the most complete DSLRs of recent times, loved by enthusiasts and pros alike.
Despite the range deviating a little since then, with the arrival of the 50.6MP 5DS for those wanting even more pixels, the arrival of a new generation of the 5D is a big deal.
- All-new full-frame CMOS sensor
- 3.2-inch touchscreen, 1,620,000 dots
- DCI 4K video capture
The 22.3MP sensor in the 5D Mark III was starting to look a little dated compared to some of the competition – it was actually only a minor bump-up in resolution from the 5D Mark II – so it’s nice to see a notable jump t[……]
Cameras with a one-inch type sensor are a popular choice right now thanks to their superior image quality over most other compact cameras.
Sony and Panasonic have included them in their premium compact cameras, while the PowerShot G7 X Mark II from Canon is its latest camera to feature one of these chips. A 1.0-inch sensor is typically about 4x larger than the sensor in a typical compact camera, which sees much better detail produced, while low-light shooting is also improved.
- 1.0-inch CMOS sensor, 20.1MP
- 24-100mm f/1.8-2.8 zoom lens
- 1080p video capture
The G7 X Mark II succeeds the G7 X in the middle of Canon’s high-end G series range of compact cameras. Not a huge amount has changed from the previous version, but there are some significant, if incremental, updates.
There’s still the same 20.1 million-pixel CMOS sensor, and a 4x optical zoom lens that offers an equivalent foc[……]
Nikon’s entry-level DSLRs can be split into two groups: the D3xxx series, epitomised by the excellent D3300, offering a very affordable way into DSLR photography; and the D5xxx range of DSLRs designed for those looking for a few more features and greater creative control.
The D5600 is the latest camera in this latter series, replacing the 18-month-old D5500, which is now getting hard to track down.
As we saw with the recent D3400 upgrade to the D3300, rather than usher in a host of sweeping changes Nikon has opted for a more modest update, with the most notable new feature being the inclusion of Nikon’s SnapBridge technology, which facilitates easy and automatic transfer of images directly from camera to smart device.
- Excellent APS-C CMOS sensor with a 24.2MP resolution
- Nice and large 3.2-inch, vari-angle touchscreen
- Only 1080p video capture
As far as features go,[……]
Roughly two years have elapsed between the introduction of the Nikon D7100 and the arrival of its successor, and on the surface the new D7200 seems more like an incremental update than a major overhaul.
The D7200 is built around a sensor with a resolution of 24.2 million pixels, a tiny increase on the D7100’s 24.1 million pixels, while the body is pretty much identical, with the same weight and dimensions, and the same viewfinder.
[Update: The D7200 has since been replaced in the Nikon line-up by the D7500. The newer camera sports a slightly reduced pixel-count of 20.9MP, but offers an improved ISO performance, as well as a number of other tweaks and refinements. That’s not forgetting a tilt-angle touchscreen and 4K video recording. That does mean that the D7200 can be snapped up for a good price, while it’s still one of our favorite enthusiast DSLRs.]
- APS-C CMOS sensor, 24.2MP
In many ways the Canon EOS 6D is the Canon’s first true enthusiast level full-frame digital camera. While the Canon EOS 5D Mark III and Canon EOS 1DX also have a full frame sensor, the Canon EOS 6D’s design and handling is far closer to that of the APS-C format Canon EOS 60D.
[Update: The EOS 6D is now over six years hold and has since been replaced by the much better EOS 6D Mark II. This has seen a boost in performance and an overhauled AF system, making it a much more advanced and up-to-date DSLR. The EOS 6D is old, and unless you can find a brilliant deal on one, we’d recommend you look elsewhere. Here’s our pick of the best full-frame cameras.]
In a mix of numbers, the Canon 6D sits just below the Canon EOS 7D and above the Canon EOS 60D, despite the Canon 7D being considerably cheaper. But then the Canon EOS 7D was launched back in 2009, and although it has high-end features that are[……]
The Sony Alpha A9 has quite a job on its hands. While the likes of Fujifilm’s X-T2 and Sony’s own Alpha A7R II have tempted some pros, particularly studio and landscape photographers, to trade-in their DSLR kit, it’s been a harder challenge to get sports and action photographers to give up their Canon and Nikon gear.
[Update: Sony’s just announced a new Firmware update for the Alpha A9, with version 2.00 offering a number of tweaks and refinements. For Continuous AF, performance has been improved when tracking moving subjects, while there’s enhanced stability of the AF-C when zooming. There’s also now the option to protect images to a custom button, as well as the ability to transfer (via FTP) all protected files at once, overall operational stability has been improved.]
Rather than being cosseted in a comfy camera bag, the gear of those action photographers is going to get bashed about on[……]
The new EOS 80D, which replaces the 70D launched in July 2013, sits smack in the middle of Canon’s SLR line-up, above the 760D and below the 7D Mark II.
[Update: The Canon EOS 80D is one of Canon’s older DSLRs, having been launched in 2016. However, it’s still a very good enthusiast DSLR that offers the photographer an array of advanced features. A great option if you’re looking to upgrade from an entry-level, beginner model.]
That puts it in prime enthusiast territory, which means it needs to appeal to people who want to shoot a range of subjects in a variety of conditions. These users also want an extensive feature set with plenty of control options, but they don’t need a full-on professional-grade camera.
Pricing and availability
The Canon 80D (body only) originally launched at $1,199 (£999, AU$1,599) on February 18, 2016 and since then it has seen several discounts in the years t[……]
The simple square box style has been growing in popularity for action cameras, and with the HERO4 Session GoPro becomes the latest manufacturer to launch a camera of this style, following the likes of Polaroid’s Cube and Cube+, and the Rollei 500 Sunrise.
[Update: the Hero Session has now be discounted by GoPro, with it’s cube design no-more. If you’re looking for an decent entry-level action camera, your best bet is the latest GoPro Hero7 White. It doesn’t shoot 4K video, but has a solid overall spec.]
The design certainly has its advantages – it’s 50 percent smaller and 40 percent lighter than previous HERO4 cameras – and it incorporates other improvements as well: the Session is waterproof to 10 metres without a housing, and a simple one-button operation makes capturing the action easier than ever.
Build and handling
There’s little to fault with the design of the Sessi[……]