A jack-of-all-trades with the best amateur video available
This is the most significant DSLR Canon has introduced since the 7D. It's the first one I've reviewed without some major caveat. And that's unusual. Canon doesn't often make game-changing cameras. They do what they did with the 30D, T3i, T5i, and 6D: make incremental improvements and leave a lot on the table. That's not what happened here, and so much the better.
Good still image quality, Good ISO noise performance
Is the 70D an automatic "must have" for 60D owners? If they shoot a lot of video, almost certainly - in video performance alone the 70D really outclasses the 60D, in no small part due to the lack of continuous AF in the 60D to begin with. Primarily shoot stills but a lot of bursts for sports or wildlife photography? Maybe - those extra 2 fps are a fairly significant jump over the 60D. Looking for your first DSLR and want/expect to shoot a lot of video?
Excellent image quality
Indeed, until we see Dual-Pixel CMOS AF inevitably make its way across the EOS range, we'd recommend the new Canon EOS 70D as the APS-C camera to go for if you're currently considering a mid-range DSLR camera. It offers a winning blend of features, performance and image quality that is hard to beat, both by its EOS brothers and other manufacturers' offerings. The new EOS 70D marks a real step forward for both Canon and the venerable SLR camera.
Great image quality, high resolution and low noise
Many cameras involve some compromises in what you can take, but the 70D suffers from little if any of those limitations. It can quickly respond to a wide variety of situations, taking high quality stills, tracking fast action through the viewfinder, shooting high speed bursts and confidently refocusing for movies. These make the 70D one of the most capable all-round cameras I've tested, even if the star of the show is the continuous movie AF.
Great touchscreen performance
The Canon EOS 70D is a real step forward in the world of DSLR photography, and if you shoot a lot of video, or find yourself using live view image capture with any regularity, it's a great choice. But It's not without its faults, with a few bugs in the Creative Filter settings proving particularly disappointing, although on the whole it's an impressive bit of kit that will change the way DSLRs handle AF technology in the future.
Excellent colour, Excellent vari-angle 3inch touch screen
The new dual pixel AF feature noticeably improves focus during video and live view, as promised, this will be particularly impressive and useful for those who shoot with Canon lenses for video or live view use, although at the expense of battery life, which drops dramatically from the otherwise excellent 920 shots offered.
7fps burst at full resolution with decent buffer, great image quality
Great new technology, great image quality, and great in use - there are only a few nitpick shortcomings to the Canon EOS 70D. Otherwise it's as close to redefining the mid-level DSLR sector as we've seen in recent years. It sure does earn its stripes; this is the colonel of cameras and deservedly so.
As with all new technology.. there are always some glitches
As far as picture quality (the lens does work with the exception of the two things mentioned) I have been very happy. I do feel like adding a few steps of sharpness helps the images (custom picture settings are available for user to define), but I am wondering now if that may also be the lens issue.
Excellent image quality, straight-forward handling and quick performance
So while the Nikon D5300 doesn't add that many new features to the year-old D5200, what it does add makes it a unique product at the mid-range price-point, offering something genuinely different to the likes of the Canon EOS 650D, Pentax K-5 II and the Sony A65. The combination of a free-angle screen, great video mode, high-quality stills and new connectivity options mean that the Nikon D5300 is a worthy winner of our Highly Recommended award.
1080p60 HD video mode, Excellent image quality
The Nikon D5300 is what's often referred to in the technology world as an 'evolutionary' upgrade. Nikon has abandoned the D5200's optical low pass filter, which might have been considered revolutonary a year ago, but now looks, to borrow a fashion industry term, 'on trend'. That's not to say it's frivolous or unwarranted, given that it improves the D5300's image quality with no apparent drawbacks (Moire wasn't an issue in any of my test shots) it's absolutely the right move.
Built-in Wi-fi addition, Good build quality
Although the Nikon D5300 certainly isn't perfect, with the lack of a touchscreen and a high price-tag at launch two noticeable issues, it's among best DSLRs on the market and is certainly worthy of consideration if you're in the market for an upgrade from your first DSLR, CSC or advanced compact.
Built in Wi-Fi and GPS, Improved ISO performance
The Nikon D5300 takes the tried and tested Nikon D5x00 series and updates it with a new more compact body, upgrading the screen in the process to a larger 3.2inch version and adding built in Wi-Fi and GPS into the mix. Along with this the 24 megapixel sensor now features no optical low pass filter, which will give improved image quality when shooting with high quality lenses, and we would recommend using prime lenses to get the best out of the camera.
Delivers great performance, weather-resistant build quality
We really can't think of anything bad to say about the new Pentax K-3, other than it deserves a better lens than either the 18-55 or 18-135mm kit lenses to realise its true potential. Pentax may not be as big or have the kudos of Nikon and Canon, but in the new K-3, they definitely have a fantastic semi-pro DSLR camera that's worthy of our highest Essential! award.
Superb clarity in image quality with 24MP sensor
Pentax have been consistently producing outstanding DSLRs, well specified and rugged. The K-3 continues that tradition, but honing areas that needed attention such as the AF tracking system and the video capability. The increased resolution and the clean images it produces all set off a well-rounded package that comes very close indeed to challenging very much more expensive kit.
A 'Fixed' D600 but a Failed Nikon Brand
I purchased the Nikon D600 when it first came out and THANKFULLY returned it when the dust/oil began to pop up on the sensor. I feel horrible for anyone that kept the D600 and now has a faulty camera out of warranty that has (essentially) been decommissioned from Nikon as a faulty product they don't want to fix. Thus the D610: a Nikon D600 with no dust and oil issues.
Great, responsive and versatile tool
That the D610 is lighter than any other Nikon FX digital SLR camera is a real boon to anyone planning to use it for extended periods of time, though be prepared that it's still quite a handful and noticeably heavier than the cheapest auto focus SLRs of the film era (then again, it's a much higher specified model than any of those). The Nikon D610's mirror is surprisingly quiet for a full-frame SLR camera and in normal use it produces only minimal viewfinder blackout.
High build quality, Excellent quality images
While the Nikon D610 is an excellent camera that's capable of recording plenty of detail in images with rich tones, good exposure and pleasant colours it is considerably more expensive the Canon 6D which can be bought for around $1899/£1475.
Those photographers who aren't tied to Nikon by a stash of lenses may feel tempted to invest in the Canon camera instead.
Excellent image quality, Excellent noise performance
The Nikon D610, like the D600 before, is a full-frame 24.3 megapixel camera with excellent image quality and performance. It offers excellent noise performance, excellent image quality with good detail even as the ISO setting increases, and puts it all into a rugged weather sealed body with a great 3.2inch screen. The camera offers advanced Full HD video recording with both microphone and headphone sockets, and video benefits from the full frame sensor in low-light situations.
Perfect Upgrade from D5100
If you're starting to outgrow your lower tier DX camera, get this one - you won't be disappointed. I already have quite a few DX lenses and don't feel like replacing them with FX lenses and I actually prefer the crop factor (1.5x teleconverter in effect) on my big nasty 70-200 2.8.
Sharpness was very strong
Aside from white balance, the D7100 leaves us with little to complain about. Videography is definitely improved over previous models, but there are some strange control quirks, and plenty of better video-oriented SLRs already exist on the market. Nikon could also do a much better job communicating its "unique" control techniques to new users.
Excellent build quality
There isn't much that we can say is wrong with the D7100 except for a couple of minor quibbles. But in the end, this may just be the best darned ASP-C DSLR that we've seen in a while. The fast fps shooting abilities will appeal to birding shooters, the dad photographing their kid's basketball game (and this is probably the perfect camera for it, and for the weekend landscaper.
Exposure, colour and white balance were all uniformly reliable
In summary the new Nikon D7100 further improves on the already excellent D7000 in several key ways and many minor ones, all adding up to make this the best DX-format DSLR to date. Nikon may be focusing on a full-frame future, but the D7100 clearly shows that they haven't forgotten the cropped sensor market. It may look almost identical to its predecessor, but the Nikon D7100 certainly proves that first impressions can be very deceiving.
Outstanding low ISO performance in both JPEG and Raw files
The D7100 is a well-built enthusiast DSLR that offers impressive image quality and easy access to shooting parameters along with a high degree of customization options. Video output is a bit disappointing and a very small image buffer limits sports shooters to JPEG-only mode.
Excellent LCD screen
There's no denying that the D7100 is an incredibly well-rounded DSLR with one of the most complete enthusiast DSLR feature-sets we've seen to date. The lack of an anti-aliasing filter gives images a pleasing crispness, while metering and White Balance systems are also difficult to fault.
Despite all of this, there are faults. Most noticeably, the high saturation of pixels on the sensor means that images are nosier at lower ISO settings then one would hope.
Excellent image quality and detail
The Nikon D7100 offers a compelling set of features, in a well built weather sealed body with a great looking 3.2inch screen. An updated 51 point focus system ensures focus is rapid and reliable, with the camera responding quickly. The camera features 6fps shooting in JPEG for 99 shots, which can be increased to 7fps when using 1.3x crop mode, although this isn't as quick as the Canon EOS 7D, or the Sony Alpha A77 with 12fps shooting.
Decent sharpness when on point
All in all we're impressed with the D7100 - it delivers great images, has an extensive autofocus system with 1.3x crop option, a long-lasting battery life and both the viewfinder and LCD screen are decent. What we'd like to see is yet more sensor improvements and a more capable buffer for burst shooting in the future - that would elevate this series to the next level.
Excellent image quality, Fast operation including upgraded AF
We have in the Pentax K-500 an entry level model punching some way above its weight. Very well made, an excellent performer and ergonomically one of the best designs around. We still have here a 16.28 megapixel sensor, but this is well proven and produces superb results. Noise control is outstanding, colour quality is superb.
Prices may yet fall as this model is new, but outgoing Pentax K-30 and K-5 DSLRs may offer, temporarily, some keen competition themselves.
Good value for money, Decent resolution
If you're in the market for an entry-level DSLR such as the 16.2 megapixel Pentax K-500 there's a good chance that you're not going to be yet wedded to either the Canon or Nikon brands, which means that this easy-to-use means of getting more professional results stands a good chance of a fair hearing.
Spectacular image quality
The Nikon D600 was one of the worst-kept secrets in the industry this year, and the enthusiast and prosumer crowd has been foaming at the mouth to see what an affordable full-frame camera from Nikon would look like. The Nikon D600 does not disappoint, offering nearly every bit of control that the impressive D800 offers, with comparable features.
Excellent image quality, Full feature set, Dual SD card slots
The Nikon D600's release (along with that of the Canon 6D) has made full-frame shooting available to a broader market than ever before. This is particularly important for Nikon users since photographers with DX cameras don't have to buy new lenses when stepping up to the D600.
Additionally, the D600 offers a 24 megapixel sensor, a full complement of features that almost rival those of the more expensive D800 and performance that will meet the needs of most photographers.
Great, responsive and versatile tool
If you think you can live with that and a few other limitations / omissions versus the D800; the smaller, lighter and cheaper Nikon D600 will serve you just as well as the more expensive model - and even give you faster frame rates and more manageable raw file sizes as an added bonus.
Built-in AF motor for non AF-S lenses
From Nikon's point of view, the D600 has a tough role to fulfill. Primarily, it's an 'entry level' full frame DSLR designed to appeal to enthusiast photographers looking for the kind of build, image quality and features provided by pro DSLRs at a more affordable price. It's also got to function as a pro model backup, able to tick the same boxes as high end models like the D800 and D4, without being so good it begins to look like an attractively priced replacement rather than a supplement.
Outstanding low and high ISO performance in both JPEG and Raw files
There's a lot to like in the Nikon D600. In fact, really, there are very few areas in which it can be legitimately criticized given its market position and price point. Being a mid-range DSLR (albeit towards the top end) it lacks the customization options of the D800 (and D300S) and borrows its operational ergonomics primarily from the D7000.
Compact and light, Outstanding sensor performance
The superb sensor, extensive yet accessible features and compactness make the Nikon D600 an exceptionally user-friendly full-frame.
It's a pity the Nikon D600's larger sensor commands such a price premium over the Nikon D7000, but assuming it sees the kind of price reductions that the D800 has undergone, we're in for a treat.
But Nikon won't have this sector to itself for long. Canon's new full-frame EOS 6D will undercut the Nikon D600 on size, weight and price. Let battle commence.
Compact design may well appeal to many
On paper the D600 looks to be an attractive proposition and Nikon's attempt to once again bring an affordable full-frame DSLR to the enthusiast market is certainly to be applauded. There are, however, two things that may hold it back. The first of these is its closeness in price to the higher-spec and more robust D800, although given time we wouldn't be surprised to see the gap in price widen between the two models.
Excellent image quality, Excellent noise performance
The Nikon D600 is a full-frame 24.3 megapixel camera with excellent image quality and performance. It offers excellent noise performance, excellent image quality with good detail even as the ISO setting increases, and puts it all into a rugged weather sealed body with a great 3.2inch screen. The camera offers advanced Full HD video recording with both microphone and headphone sockets, and videos benefit from the full frame sensor in low-light situations.
Excellent image quality, small and light for a full-frame camera
The D600 opens the full-frame door to many that would never otherwise be able to afford such a DSLR. It's not exactly cheap, but it's great value for money when considering both the build and image quality. The feature set is much like a D800 mashed up with a D7000 - an excellent blend of pro and consumer features therefore kit out this full-framer and it definitely gets our seal of approval.
Full 1080p movie recording with stereo sound
£469 / $549 is undoubtedly a lot of money to pay for a compact camera with such a small image sensor, but if the image quality meets your requirements then the HS50EXR makes a compelling argument to be the only camera that you need. Super-zooms remain one of the few growth areas in the compact camera world, and its easy to see why when cameras as good as the Fujifilm FinePix HS50EXR are being released. Highly recommended!
Good viewfinder, Pleasing handling, Impressive focus performance
There a lot to like about the HS50 EXR. Not only is it one of the best-specified superzoom bridge cameras on the market, but it also has the performance to match. It has an excellent viewfinder, lightning-quick focusing system and truly ergonomic design, and is only really let down by poor video quality and a few usability issues. Although it's far from the smallest and lightest superzoom bridge camera available, at its current price it's certainly one of the best on the market.
Good colour reproduction
The Fujifilm FinePix HS50 EXR updates the HS30/35 and offers a longer 42x optical zoom lens with manual zoom control, and is quite large compared to the previous model, with other cameras offering 50x optical zoom lens, such as the Fujifilm FinePix SL1000, and Canon Powershot SX50.
Decent image quality, raw capture option
We like the FinePix HS50EXR a lot: it's an accomplished superzoom that's put Fujifilm right back up there and in the mix and shown just what this brand can do. It can hold its head up side by side with the levels of its nearest competitors, it just ought to be a touch more cost effective by comparison.
Very fast focus, AF system
The HS50 EXR is one of the most fully-featured superzoom cameras currently available, with a superb focusing system, excellent viewfinder and ergonomic design to recommend it.
Despite sub-par video quality, images are detailed and relatively noise-free throughout the range and the ability to capture and process Raw files only furthers the standard achievable from the camera.
This is a great camera
The sensor is very good. Maybe two thirds to a full stop better than the a57 at ISO 3200. The EVF is now OLED so it's clearer, brighter and more detailed than the LCD finder in the a57 it replaces. In my week of use I've found the finder to be really good and the performance of the sensor to be equally good. I am not a beginner and also own Sony's full frame a99 and their previous full frame camera, the a850. I've owned the a77 camera as well.
Excellent OLED electronic viewfinder
The new Sony A58 offers most of its predecessor's design, features and performance at an aggressive price-point, which can only be good news for us consumers. Look under the hood and you do find a few corners have been cut to keep the cost down, but all things considered, this is simply a very good interchangeable lens camera at a very attractive price.
Picture Effects, Low light performance
Overall, Sony has produced a very good camera in the Alpha a58, and we're sure that anybody who buys one will be very pleased with its performance. At its current retail price of £449 / US$599.99 / AU$799 with the 18-55mm kit lens, it also offers excellent value for money, especially compared with its closest rivals.
Comfortable handgrip and handling
The entry-level DSLR market is one of the most competitive in photography and, as a result, anything that a camera can do to stand out is more than welcome. Sony had achieved this with past SLT range cameras, but the Sony A58 is a step back. The full resolution continuous shooting rate of 5fps isn't even best in class - other similar DSLRs shoot faster and maintain that speed for longer.
Good image quality
The screen on the A57 was a very nice 3inch screen with 921k dots, and it's a shame to see a smaller, lower resolution screen on the A58. However, with a low introduction price of roughly £440 with 18-55mm kit lens, the A58 feels more like a replacement for the A37 rather than a replacement for the A57, with those looking for a more advanced camera better off looking at the Sony Alpha A65.
Good levels of detail, Comfortable handgrip
The Sony A58 seems to be a muddied compromise between the two cameras it replaces, but it just doesn't do enough to excel in any one area, and with such stiff competition in the shape of the Canon EOS 650D, Nikon D3200 and Pentax K-30, it's hard to recommend the A58 above them.
Superb video quality, Excellent grip design and button layout
Compact system cameras have always been the product of compromise; smaller sensors allow for a smaller package, but a smaller package means less physical control. The GH3 compromises very little, with image quality and video capability matching cameras that cost quite a bit more. It's a fine camera in every right with enough features and control to satisfy photographers of any level.
Fantastic camera in its own right
Overall the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 is a fantastic camera in its own right, transcending the boundaries of mirrorless, DSLR, Micro Four Thirds, stills and video. The compelling mix of outstanding image quality, ease-of-use, intuitive design and a rich feature-set makes it very easy for us to highly recommend the new Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 - only that eye-watering price prevents us from awarding it our highest Essential rating.
Sensational video quality, Good stills image quality
The GH3 offers the best video quality of any camera we've ever seen and does a pretty good job of making it available to a wide range of users. This footage is available without external recorders, making it ideal for in-the-field shooting as well as more formal rigged-up setups. It's also a pretty handy stills camera with plenty of external controls, making it an impressively flexible package, overall.
Responsive touchscreen, Quick and easy controls
The Panasonic GH3 offers all modern conveniences we want in a digital compact system camera these days; a decent EVF, an articulating capacitive touchscreen, Wi-Fi connectivity and a fast autofocus system.
It may be a little larger than most compact system cameras, but it has a superb featureset in a very well-made body that is compatible with a wide variety of lenses. This makes it more versatile than most CSCs on the market and it turns out high quality images in most situations.
Class-leading touchscreen control
As Panasonic's flagship digital single lens mirrorless (DSLM) camera (more commonly referred to as a compact system camera) the Lumix GH3 has come on a long way from the two-year-old GH2 and brings with it a generous range of improvements. Indeed, with its larger hand grip, bigger battery, superb touchscreen and integrated Wi-Fi connectivity we don't have any hesitation in saying the GH3 is one of the most intuitive CSCs we've used.
Excellent range of lenses, Excellent handling
The Panasonic Lumix GH3 with a rugged weather sealed body and Digital SLR styling and controls, is one of the most advanced Micro Four Thirds cameras available, and has an extensive range of useful photographic and video upgrades in comparison to previous Panasonic cameras. In fact, it's one of the most advanced Full HD video recording cameras available at the moment.
Video capture is as good as it gets, feature-packed
Packed with features, exceptional on the video capture front, but otherwise a bit bulky and certainly pricey. Despite the GH3's obvious improvements over its predecessor, including in the image quality department, it's the significant price jump which sees the score slip.
A solidly built camera for professionals
The Lumix DMC-GH3 has all sorts of buttons and dials that can help you set the scene for your photos. If you use them correctly, you'll end up with images that are clean, highly detailed, and a pleasure to look at. You could also just plonk it in Intelligent Auto mode and let it do all the work for you, but that would go against the grain of the camera's design, which is meant to be a playground for pros and enthusiasts.
Very low image-noise until ISO 800
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 takes over the GH2 as Panasonic's flagship mirrorless camera. Its large body is weather-sealed and features triple control-dials among a plethora of buttons to make it efficient in use. The built-in EVF has been upgraded to 1.7 MP and the LCD to 610K pixels to improve viewing.
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