CANON EOS M3
Estimated Street Price: $579.99 (body only); $749.99 (with18-55mm EF-M kit zoom)
Canon’s newest mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera, the EOS M3 has been available for a while outside the U.S., but now it’s available here. Like the original EOS M, it’s a very compact, “flat”-style design that uses EF-M lenses and (with the optional Mount Adapter EF-EOS M), a wide range of Canon EF and EF-S DSLR lenses. Inside are the company’s highest-resolution APSC sensor (24.2-megapixel Canon CMOS) and a DIGIC 6 image processor that combine to deliver high-resolution photos and Full HD videos. The sensor incorporates Canon’s 49-point Hybrid CMOS AF III system, with phase-detection pixels right on the sensor, as well as contrast-detection AF; it’s up to 6.1X faster than the AF system in the original EOS M.
The tilting, 3.0-inch, 1040K-dot LCD monitor has touch capability for simple menu navigation and playback, and quick touch focusing for stills and video. Video capabilities include 1080 Full HD at 30p/25p and 24p, 720 HD video at 60p/50p and a 640×480 mode.
The camera can shoot full-resolution stills at up to 4.2 fps, 2.4 fps with continuous AF. The optional Electronic viewfinder EVF-DC1 provides eyelevel viewing and also features an external mic jack. Built-in WiFi with NFC makes it easy to connect and share photos and operate the camera remotely via your smartphone or tablet.
Estimated Street Price: $799.95 (body only); $899.95 (with XC 16-50mm kit zoom)
The X-T10 brings much of the magic of the flagship X-T1 mirrorless camera to a wider audience, with a price about two-thirds that of its "big brother." The X-T10 uses the same 16.3-megapixel APS-C Fujifilm X-Trans CMOS II sensor as the X-T1. This features a unique RGB filter array that minimizes moiré and false colors, allowing Fujifilm to do away with the sharpness-robbing optical low-pass filter required by most Bayer-sensor cameras. The sensor also incorporates more than 100,000 phase-detection pixels for quicker AF in good light (the camera automatically switches to contrast-based AF in dim light).
A 2360K-dot OLED electronic viewfinder complements the tilting 3.0-inch, 920K-dot external LCD monitor, making for easy eye-level or odd-angle shooting. The viewfinder has a lag of just 0.005 seconds for near-real-time response, and features both natural and auto brightness modes so you can view the image as the eye sees it or as it will be recorded (including white balance, exposure comp and effects).
Like the X-T1, the X-T10 can shoot at 8 fps with focus tracking (3 fps with full-time live view), plus both 1080 Full HD and 720 HD video at 60p, as well as 30p. New AF Zone and Wide/Tracking focus modes enhance performance, as does a new algorithm for smoother AF in video shooting. A new electronic shutter with speeds up to 1/32,000 complements the conventional shutter, which tops out at 1/4000.
Built-in WiFi and the Fujifilm Camera Remote App let you control the camera from your smartphone or tablet, and make it easy to transfer images from the camera and even geotag images using the smartphone’s GPS.
Estimated Street Price: $549 (with XC16-50mm OIS II kit zoom)
Fujifilm’s X-A2 replaces the X-A1 as the entry-level model in the company’s popular X-series mirrorless camera lineup, at almost exactly the same size as the X-A1, and with the same sensor. Unlike Fujifilm’s
pro cameras, which use a Fuji-designed X-Trans sensor, the X-A2 uses a standard Bayer filter sensor.
The 3.0-inch LCD monitor now can tilt 175° for easy selfies. Eye-detection AF automatically focuses on the eyes (you can choose auto, left-eye priority or righteye priority).
Forty-nine-point contrast-based AF includes face detection and subject tracking, as well as a new Multi-Target multi-AF mode.
Like its predecessor, the X-A2 is quick:It starts up in 0.5 seconds, autofocuses in 0.3 seconds and can shoot up to 5.6 fps. Built-in WiFi allows for easy wireless image transfer to smartphone or tablet. All dials
and buttons are positioned on the right for easy one-handed operation.
Fujifilm was a major fi lm manufacturer before digital imaging, and the X-A2 offers the company’s fi lm simulation modes, including Classic Chrome (muted tones), Provia (neutral colors), Velvia (dramatic, rich colors) and Astia (beautiful skin tones). The camera can do multiple exposures, using the fi rst image as a guide to position the second on the LCD monitor.
Video capabilities include 1080 HD at 30p with stereo sound via builtin microphone.
NIKON 1 J5
Estimated Street Price: $499.95 (with 10-30mm kit zoom)
The Nikon 1 J5 features a new 20.8- megapixel CX-format, 1-inch (13.2×8.8mm) backside- illuminated CMOS sensor and EXPEED 5A processing to deliver impressive image quality, a standard ISO range of 160-12800 and 1080 Full HD video at up to 60p (also 4K, but at just 15p). There’s also superfast still shooting: up to 20 fps with continuous AF and up to 60 fps with AF locked at the fi rst frame. The quick hybrid AF system features 171 contrast-detect and 105 phase-detect AF points, all on-sensor. Shutter speeds run from 30 to 1/16,000 seconds, thanks to an electronic shutter. The 3.0-inch, 1037K-dot touch-screen LCD monitor tilts 180° for easy low-angle and selfie shooting.
Built-in WiFi (with NFC for Android devices) makes it easy to send photos wirelessly from the camera to a smartphone or tablet, share images on the Internet and even operate the camera remotely. A new EN-EL24 battery provides up to 250 shots per charge (per CIPA standard) or 60 minutes of 1080/30p video.
Like all Nikon 1 cameras, the J5 can use all Nikon 1 Nikkor lenses and (via optional FT-1 Mount Adapter) many AF-Nikkor DSLR lenses. Currently, there are 13 native 1 Nikkor lenses, from a 6.7-13mm VR zoom to a 70-300mm VR zoom; with the sensor’s 2.7X focal-length factor, this provides native focal lengths equivalent to 18mm through 810mm on a full-frame camera.
OLYMPUS OM-D E-M5 MARK II
Estimated Street Price: $1,049
Olympus has included nearly every feature under the sun in their OM-D E-M5 Mark II. The dust-proof and splash-proof body features a 2.36M-dot electronic viewfinder and a tilting 3.0-inch vari-angle touch-screen display, as well as a full complement of manual controls.
The camera uses a 16-megapixel Micro Four Thirds Live-MOS sensor, which can capture images up to 40 megapixels with its High Resolution Shot Mode, which combines eight images captured while the sensor moves to capture more color information.
The E-M5 Mark II’s 81-point Fast AF can provide continuous AF at 5 fps (the camera can do up to 10 fps with focus locked at the fi rst frame). Top mechanical shutter speed is 1/8000; silent mode provides a 1/16,000-second electronic shutter for silent shooting. The E-M5 Mark II can do 1080 video at 60p (and slower rates), and you can adjust such things as AF point, exposure, electronic zoom, Movie Teleconverter, audio volume and art effects, all while recording
, using the touch screen.
The camera has built-in WiFi for easier image transfer to mobile devices, and a host of special effects modes for creative imaging.
Like all Micro Four Thirds cameras, the E-M5 Mark II can use all MFT lenses and just about any lens for which an adapter can be found. Current Olympus MFT lenses range from a 9mm fi sheye and 9-18mm zoom through a 75-300mm zoom, providing, thanks to the MFT sensor’s 2.0X crop factor, 35mm-camera-equivalent focal lengths from 18mm through 600mm.
OLYMPUS OM-D E-M10 MARK II
Estimated Street Price: $649.99 (body only); $799.99 (with 14-42mm EZ kit zoom)
Olympus has made a number of improvements to this entry-level mirrorless model, including a new (Voice Coil Motor) sensor-shift image stabilization (vs. 3-axis for the original E-M10). Contrastbased AF is very quick, and more accurate with night scenes. Live composite mode lets you do stacked night scene photography incamera at a press of a button; there’s no need to shoot multiple frames manually and then combine images in Photoshop.
Focus bracketing lets you shoot up to 999 frames focused at different distances (you can choose the initial focusing point and the increments) for convenient macro stacking (this feature works with Micro Four Thirds lenses only). 4K time-lapse mode lets you shoot up to 199 still images at five-second intervals, then turn them into a 4K time-lapse video file. The camera can shoot full-res still images at 8.5 fps with focus locked at the first frame (4 fps with AF).
The E-M10 Mark II can shoot 1080 Full HD video at 60p/50p/30p/25p/24p (up from 30p for the original E-M10), and is compatible with UHS-II SD media. The touch panel can be used to control the smooth and simple electronic zooming during video.
Built-in WiFi makes it easy to upload images and video to a mobile device wirelessly and control the camera remotely via Olympus Image Share. There are now 14 Art filters (12 in the original E-M10). Like its OM-D brethren (and all Micro Four Thirds cameras), the E-M10 Mark II can use all MFT lenses and just about any lens for which an adapter can be found.
PANASONIC LUMIX DMC-GF7
Estimated Street Price: $499 (with 12-32mm kit zoom)
Even smaller than its tiny GF6 predecessor, the DMC-GF7 offers a host of features that make it easy to take great selfies. The 3-inch, touchscreen LCD monitor tilts 180°, and when so positioned, puts the camera in Self Shot Mode, enabling a number of selfie functions. Face Shutter trips the shutter when you wave at the camera. Buddy Shutter trips the shutter when you bring two heads close together. Three Beauty functions produce more attractive selfies: Soft Skin, Slimming and Defocusing modes. And Jump Snap uses your smartphone’s accelerometer to trip the shutter at the high point of a group jump.
The GF7’s built-in WiFi capabilities also make it easy to share images, and allow you to zoom, focus and fi re the camera wirelessly via your mobile device.
There’s more to the GF7 than just selfies, of course. New sensor technology and Venus Engine processing get the most out of the 16-megapixel Micro Four Thirds image sensor. The Light Speed contrast AF system is very fast (camera and lens exchange signals at up to 240 fps), and the camera can shoot at 5 fps in AFC mode, 5.8 fps in AFS and 40 fps using the electronic shutter. Video capabilities include 1080 Full HD at 60p/60i/30p/24p, with stereo sound. Touch AF makes it easy to do pro-style rack focusing.
Like all Micro Four Thirds cameras, the GF7 can use all MFT lenses, along with pretty much any lens for which an adapter is available.
PANASONIC LUMIX DMC-GX8
Estimated Street Price: $1199.99
The new DMC-GX8 combines the highestresolution sensor in a Micro Four Thirds camera (20.3 megapixels) with the ability to record 4K (3840×2160) video at 30p/24p direct to UHS Speed Class 3 SDHC cards, no external recorder required. Special 4K modes give you 8-megapixel-equivalent still images from 30 fps videos. There’s also an intervalometer for time-lapse photography.
A high-eyepoint, 2.3-million-pixel OLED electronic viewfinder provides handy eye-level viewing for stills and video, and tilts up for easy low-angle shots, while the 3.0-inch, 1040K-dot vari-angle OLED monitor provides touch AF, handy for odd-angle still and video shooting.
Panasonic’s DFD (Depth From Defocus) contrast-based AF system with a new AF tracking algorithm and 240 fps digital signal communication provides very quick, accurate autofocusing for stills and video (and 6 fps still shooting with AFC, 8 fps with focus locked at the fi rst frame). The AF system works in light levels as dim as E -4, and a new Star Light AF mode lets you photograph the night sky with AF. A new Dual IS system provides sensor-shift image stabilization for still images and can work in conjunction with in-lens stabilization to provide Dual IS when compatible (fi rmware-upgraded) Panasonic O.I.S. lenses are used. For video, there’s a 5-axis Hybrid O.I.S.+ system from Panasonic’s pro video cameras.
Built-in WiFi with NFC allows for easy wireless transfer of images to a smart device or computer, and remote control of the camera. All this is packed in a rugged splash/dust-sealed body.
PANASONIC LUMIX DMC-G7
Estimated Street Price: $799.95 (with 14-42mm kit zoom)
Panasonic’s DMC-G7 retains the “mini-DSLR” form factor of the original mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera—the company’s DMC-G1 from 2008—but includes a latest-gen 16-megapixel Micro Four Thirds image sensor that can deliver 4K and HD video in a number of different formats. In QFHD mode (4K), the camera can capture 3480×2160 video at 30p or 24p; in FHD mode, it can capture Full 1080 HD at 60p. It also captures a number of lower resolutions. The G7 can record video to a UHS Speed Class 3 in-camera SDHC/SDXC memory card—no external recorder required. A 4K Photo function lets you record 4K (8 MP) images at 30 fps or pull 4K still images from video during playback, time-lapse, stop-motion and more. The G7 can shoot full-res 16-megapixel stills at 10 fps (6 fps with continuous AF/ live view). The contrast-based AF system is very fast and can function in light as dim as EV -4. Focus peaking is provided as an aid when focusing manually. The 3.0-inch, 1040K-dot vari-angle LCD monitor features touch AF, while the 2360K-dot OLED electronic viewfinder provides handy eye-level viewing for stills and video.
Built-in WiFi lets you control the camera via a mobile device, using the Panasonic Image App, and share your images directly from your device.
Like all Micro Four Thirds System cameras, the G7 can use all MFT lenses, regardless of manufacturer. Panasonic currently offers about 20, from a 7-14mm superwide zoom and an 8mm fi sheye to a 100-300mm supertele zoom. With the MFT sensor’s 2X crop factor, this provides full-frame-equivalent focal lengths of 14mm to 600mm.
Estimated Street Price: $
Samsung’s flagship mirrorless model, the NX1 features the highest- resolution sensor allowed in APS-C, a 28.2-megapixel, backsideilluminated CMOS sensor complemented by 14-bit DRIMe V processing. There are two options for 4K video: 3840×2160 UHD 4K at 30p can be recorded directly to the SD card in the camera and higher-resolution 4096×2160 4K at 24p to an external recorder. The NX can also do Full HD and lower-res video.
The hybrid NX AF System III features 205 on-sensor phase-detection points (153 of them cross-type), plus 209 contrast-detection points, working together to bring you the speed of phase-detection AF and the accuracy of contrast-detection AF. A 221-segment TTL metering system and ISO settings from 100-25,600 (expandable to 51,200) provide ample exposure control. The 3-inch, tilting touch-screen Super AMOLED monitor is complemented by an XGA OLED eye-level electronic viewfinder. It’s all contained in a durable, weather- and dust-resistant magnesium-alloy body.
Built-in WiFi, with easy-connect NFC and Bluetooth, makes it simple to transfer images wirelessly to a smartphone or tablet, or geotag images using the smartphone’s GPS. There’s also USB 3 for quick wired transfer of images.
Like all NX-system cameras, the NX1 can use all NX lenses. These currently range from a 10mm fisheye and 12-24mm superwide zoom to the 18-200mm, 50-200mm and new 50-150mm ƒ/2.8 S OIS zooms.
Estimated Street Price: $799 (with 16-50mm power zoom and electronic flash)
If you’d like the core features of Samsung’s flagship NX1 mirrorless camera, but in a more compact body, the new NX500 is the camera for you. It has the same 28.2-megapixel BSI sensor as the NX1, a powerful DRIMe 5s processor, and can do 4K 4096×2150 at 24p and UHD 3840×2160 video at 30p straight to the internal memory card; it can also capture 1080p HD video. (Note that the NX500 captures a 4K area in the center of the sensor, so the angle of view is narrower than with the NX1, which captures the full 28 megapixels and resizes to 4K.) The NX500 doesn’t have the NX1’s electronic viewfinder, but its 3.0-inch touch-screen AMOLED monitor tilts 180° for easy selfie shooting.
A hybrid AF system works in light as dim as EV -4, and you can shoot action at up to 9 fps. SMART mode automatically sets the camera for Action Freeze, Beauty Face, Fireworks, Landscape, Light Trace, Multi-Exposure, Night, Panorama, Rich Tones, Silhouette, Sunset and Waterfall photos, and there’s a UHD Time-lapse Video mode, as well.
Like the NX1, the NX500 offers built-in WiFi, with NFC setup, as well as Bluetooth for connections to mobile devices. So it’s easy and quick to send large photos and video files to other smartphones and tablets, and operate the camera remotely from your device. And like all NX-system cameras, the NX1 can use all NX lenses. These currently range from a 10mm fi sh-eye and 12- 24mm superwide zoom to the 18-200mm, 50- 200mm and new 50-150mm ƒ/2.8 S OIS zooms.
SONY a7 II
Estimated Street Price: $1,699
In Fall 2013, Sony shook up the mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera world by introducing the fi rst full-frame-sensor model— two, actually—the 24-megapixel a7 and 36- megapixel a7R. In Spring 2014, they added the low-light/4K video specialist a7S and now have introduced the successor to that fi rst a7 model, the 24.3-megapixel a7 II. And where the original a7 was a very good camera, the new a7 II is an even better one.
For starters, there’s now 5-axis SteadyShot INSIDE sensor-shift image stabilization, which compensates not only for up-down and left-right camera shake, but also pitch, yaw and roll. The feature works with all lenses, even in conjunction with stabilization built into Sony OSS lenses (but note that, with some lenses, especially manual-focus thirdparty lenses, you don’t get all five-axis stabilization).
The Hybrid AF system still uses 117 on-sensor PDAF points (77 in APS-C mode) and 25 contrastdetect AF points, but features new algorithms that make it 30% faster and 1.5X more accurate than the original a7’s. AF and auto exposure are provided even during the camera’s fastest 5 fps shooting rate. The a7 II also starts up 40% faster than the original a7.
The Bionz X processor allows for enhanced video capability, including 1920×1080 at 60p using the fast XAVC S codec, picture profiles and Sony’s S-Log2 gamma for wide dynamic range.
All of the a7 cameras share the same compact form factor and take Sony FE-mount full-frame lenses (of which there are currently seven, from a 16-35mm ƒ/4 to a 70-200mm ƒ/4, with more on the way), plus other lenses via adapters.
SONY a7R II
Estimated Street Price: $3,199
Sony’s second-generation flagship a7R model, the a7R II is loaded with excellent features, starting with a new 42.4-megapixel back-illuminated fullframe Sony Exmor R CMOS sensor with no low-pass filter, improving sharpness. The new sensor and Bionz X processor can deliver huge image files at 5 fps with continuous AF, as well as 3840×2160 4K video at 30p and 24p (and processing every pixel, with no binning, for much better video quality). The new Fast Hybrid AF system features 399 on-sensor phase-detection points (357 in 18-megapixel APS-C mode), plus 25 contrast-detection points.
A new shutter cuts vibration by about 50% over its predecessor, and has been tested to 500,000 cycles. Silent mode with electronic front curtain eliminates vibration and noise. The upgraded 2.36M-dot OLED eye-level Tru-Finder features 0.78X magnification.
The a7R II also features the five-axis (pitch, yaw, roll, up-down and left-right) SteadyShot INSIDE sensor-shift image stabilization introduced in the recent a7 II. Like all a7-series cameras, the a7R II features built-in WiFi with NFC for easy connection and wireless image transfer and camera control (via compatible mobile device).
Like its siblings, the new a7R II can use all Sony FE lenses, which were designed for Sony’s high-res full-frame sensors. It can also use Emount lenses (the camera will automatically crop to APS-C format when one is attached) and, with the LA-EA4 adapter, Sony A-mount and legacy Konica Minolta DSLR lenses, with phase-detection AF. It can also use Canon EF lenses (with AF, via a Metabones adapter), as well as many other lenses, via adapters, with manual focusing (focus peaking makes that easy).
SONY a7S II
Estimated Street Price: $2,499
At 12.2 megapixels, the a7S II has many fewer pixels than the a7 II or a7R II, which translates to better dynamic range and better sensitivity than those models. For many photographers, this is likely to be a sweetspot, just big enough for any commercial jobs, and with a dynamic range and sensitivity not matched in the company’s other offerings.
The a7S II has sensitivity up to 409,600 in expanded mode (ISO 100 to 102,400 in native mode) and can record 4K video internally. The need for an external 4K recorder was a limitation to the adoption of the a7S for video work, and internal 4K recording was the most often heard request for the a7S line.
New features aimed at advanced video users include S
-Gamut3.Cine/S-Log3, a new Gamma Assist Display and an enhanced Zebra Function. The camera can also capture Full HD video at 120 fps and 4x/5x slow-motion when using the full range of pixels on the sensor, making it the most versatile camera-style video device in the class.
Video is recorded without pixel binning and inherits the same 5-axis stabilization and fast focusing systems as the a7R II. It also will be the first Sony to ship with 14-bit uncompressed RAW support for incredible fi delity. Like all a7 models, the a7S II can use Sony E-mount lenses, Sony A-mount DSLR lenses (with a Sony adapter) and a wide range of third-party lenses via third-party adapters.