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.
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.
Generally impressive image quality
For those with prior lens family affiliation, your decision is already made. Almost all the praise we have for the Nikon D600 also applies to the 6D. We think the autofocus system does lag behind - only by a little - but enough to make this camera a slightly inferior choice for action photography. Otherwise, the Canon EOS 6D is tied for the best entry point for new full-frame photographers, and yes, represents a fantastic value, even at $2100.
Outstanding pictures in both good and bad light
Compared to the 5D Mark III's official price of £2999 / $3499, the 6D is something of a bargain at £1799 / $2099, especially as it delivers very similar image quality to its big brother. The only fly in the ointment in terms of price is the Nikon D600, which due to being released earlier now typically undercuts the 6D by a couple of hundred pounds / dollars. Still, the EOS 6D should also drop in price once the novelty has worn off.
Tough, moisture and dust resistant body, Built-in Wi-Fi and GPS
The Canon EOS 6D is an extremely capable and well-designed full-frame digital SLR that provides a clear upgrade choice for anyone looking to graduate from an APS-C model to a full-frame DSLR. It combines excellent image quality with superb high ISO noise performance, has an AF system that works in very low light levels and adds built-in GPS and Wi-Fi features in a tough, moisture and dust resistant body that's lighter and more compact than other full-frame bodies.
Excellent detail in raw file output across ISO range
The EOS 6D ticks off many of the things an APS-C DSLR owner could want in a full frame upgrade: great image quality, excellent handling, light weight and a sub-$2100 price tag. The challenge for Canon, of course is that the 6D does not exist in a vacuum.
Enthusiast-centric controls, Remote control via Wi-Fi
All things considered, the Canon EOS 6D is an excellent choice for the enthusiast and club photographer looking for a full-frame DSLR. These users will find that they have just about everything they need, and a bit more besides.
It may take them a while to get to grips with the subtleties of the camera's AF system, and they will have to remember some of the basics of metering when using the iFCL evaluative system in high contrast conditions, but they will appreciate the end results.
Excellent image quality, Excellent high ISO performance
The Canon EOS 6D feels like it's an improvement over the Canon EOS 5D Mark II, and gives most of what you get with the 5D Mark III, but with the addition of GPS and Wi-Fi, as well as the excellent 20.2 megapixel sensor for improved noise performance, but with a fraction of the price of the 5D Mark III, making this an excellent camera for those wanting a full-frame Digital SLR.
Full-frame image quality, EOS Utility wireless shooting via computer has potential
The EOS 6D delivers the image quality, but is paired with a focus system that's a game of two halves: it's great in low-light, but lacks the extended number of AF points that we'd like to see. A partially restricted viewfinder is also a downside, while the likes of Wi-Fi and GPS, "nice" though they are, would have been better off replaced by a more detailed core spec. Some good points and some lessons to be taken from Canon's budget full-framer.
Image quality, Full frame sensor, Built in wifi
It isn't pocket money, but the EOS 6D nonetheless puts full-frame features within reach of the more ambitious enthusiast photographer. I'd have happily swapped the GPS and Wifi for more autofocus points, but it's nonetheless a great body that captures great colours and very detailed shots.
Excellent image quality, Very high resolution
All in all, there's little doubt that, Sony has created a DSLR that's packed with revolutionary technology, one that many pros will fall in love with instantly, and that many more will learn to love over time. For the first time, Sony has a full-frame SLR (more properly, SLT) to challenge Canon and Nikon, and even win a few rounds in the process.
Excellent full-frame sensor
All in all, there's very little to dislike about the new Sony A99. It may have a very similar design to the much cheaper A77, but then we really liked that camera's handling. It may have an electronic viewfinder, but it is one of the best on the market, so good that you may not even realise that it isn't an optical model.
Excellent high ISO output in both JPEG and Raw images
The SLT-A99 is a feature-rich camera that still provides a wealth of easily accessed manual user controls. It stands out as the only full frame camera to offer in-body stabilization, an EVF and articulated rear screen. Budding videographers will enjoy brisk AF performance as well as the option to output uncompressed video.
Noise under control, AF Range control
There's no question that video is becoming an increasingly important feature for DSLR-style cameras. Sony's DSLT design makes the new Alpha cameras more suited to video shooting than more traditional cameras with a reflex mirror.
With a tilting screen, audio in and out ports, the Silent Multi-controller and its collection of video options, the Sony Alpha a99 is particularly well suited for creating movies.
Excellent noise performance, Great image quality and excellent colour
The Sony Alpha A99 is literally packed with features with built in image stabilisation, GPS, high speed shooting, HDR modes, a high resolution OLED EVF, a tilting / swivelling 3 inch screen (unique in full frame DSLRs), electronic level, and weather sealed body to name just some of the features.
The camera provides good handling, with rapid speed and a relatively easy to use menu system and controls.
Fast burst mode beyond its rivals, continuous autofocus in good light
The fast burst mode may be one of the A99's killer modes, as that's what SLTs can do so well, but it's partially maimed by the camera's limited buffer. We're sure Sony could have squeezed more out of this, as it's not even as rapid as the Alpha A77.
Advanced autofocus system handles moving subjects beautifully
When we first saw the Canon 1D X way back in the fall of 2011, it became immediately clear that Canon was looking to produce a camera that would be right at home in the bags of world-class photographers and videographers alike.
Even amongst pure still photographers, the Canon 1D X's dove-tailing of the sports-centric 1D Mark IV and the studio-centric 1Ds Mark III lines seemed to be an ambitious move designed to capture the majority of the pro market with a single professional body.
Performs exceptionally well in low-light situations
At around £5,300 for the body-only the Canon EOS-1D X doesn't come cheap, but if you're a professional photographer who makes a living from photography then the 1D X is one of the best tools that money can buy. Put simply the Canon EOS-1D X is remarkable camera and we have no hesitation in saying it's the best Canon DSLR we've ever used.
Exceptional high ISO performance, Excellent image quality
If you're looking for the ultimate in speed, image quality, and performance, as well as exceptional low light performance then the Canon EOS 1D X certainly delivers in abundance. With extremely high ISO settings available it's possible to shoot in low light situations hand-held where you would normally have to setup a tripod and timer, as long as you don't mind using these higher ISO settings.
Super fast burst rate, incredible battery life
Fast, tough, long-lasting and able to produce exceptional images. Some other full-frame models outperform in the resolution stakes, and Canon's lost its formerly enviable "movie king" hat, but otherwise the 1D X is as good as professional full-frame DSLR cameras get.
Fast and accurate focusing, high burst speeds and a generous buffer capacity
Arguably, the EOS 1D X is Canon's most versatile camera to date and there are few situations in which it won't shine. Sports and wildlife photographers will relish the new AF system, high burst speeds and clean films at high sensitivity settings. (With a caveat to photographers who use extender lenses, as explained above.)
Recorded spectacular video
There's no question the Canon 1D X is capable of recording excellent video images, but that's what you should expect from a camera that costs in excess of 6000 dollars. The multiple compression options (ALL-I or IPB), as well as the numerous record modes and extensive manual video controls offer everything the professional videographer needs to capture high-quality video. But the camera isn't marketed to video users as much as, say, the Canon 5D Mark III or the Panasonic GH3.
Excellent low-light, High ISO performance
The Canon 1D X is certainly an exciting new addition to the Canon line-up. It raises the bar in a number of areas such as speed and customisability. I also have high hopes that the image quality and low-light performance will live up to the hype.
faster processor, a more advanced metering system and a more extensive AF system
The previous 1D Mark IV was no slacker in this regard but the Canon EOS 1D X offers a new faster processor, a more advanced metering system and a more extensive AF system. This should not only cope with the higher resolution full-frame sensor but offer greater performance too.
Compact for a full-frame SLR
The Canon EOS 5D Mark III looks a lot like its predecessor on the outside, but offers plenty of improvements under the hood. It's a solid option for advanced shooters with an investment in Canon glass, but doesn't match the rapid-fire shooting capabilities of the EOS-1D X or Nikon D4.
Has many of the 1D X's best video features
All in all, the 5D Mark III may not turn the photography world on its ear the way the Mark II did, but it's a worthy update that adds many of the features Mark II users have been asking for. What's more, it represents a real and valid alternative to the Canon 1D X at a little more than half the cost. With performance upgrades also in tow, we're excited to see just how far Canon has pushed the 5D series in its third iteration.
Excellent build quality
On paper, the Canon 5D Mark III may not seem like a huge step up from the 5D Mark II especially given all the rumors (and long-time anticipation) surrounding its release. In some ways, the Mark III on the surface doesn't dazzle with additional bells and whistles or even any huge leap forward in technology.
61-point auto-focus system
The Canon EOS 5D Mark III builds on the success of its popular predecessor with a series of improvements that add up to a much better all-round camera for stills and video alike. The 61-point auto-focus system in particular is very welcome, along with the excellent performance at higher ISOs, faster continuous shooting and a much more refined movie making interface. Only a sharp increase in price prevents us from recommending this new model quite as enthusiastically as we did the 5D Mark II.
Good ergonomics, build quality and twin card slots
The Canon EOS 5D Mark III is a very satisfying all-round DSLR. It feels tough, handles quickly and delivers great-looking photos and video. Canon has pretty much addressed all the complaints of the Mark II and also included all the nice extras commonly offered by Nikon, like 100% viewfinder coverage, twin card slots, deep bracketing and an AF system packed with points.
Good color and tonality across the ISO range
Since the launch of the original EOS 5D in 2005 Canon's 5D series has become extremely popular with enthusiast photographers and for many has been the gateway to the world of 'full-frame' photography. Unsurprisingly, more than 3 years after the launch of the EOS 5D Mark II, the latest model in the line, the Canon EOS 5D Mark III, was one of the most eagerly awaited cameras that we can remember.
Excellent HDR mode
While the key specification changes since the 5D Mark II largely just bring the Canon EOS 5D Mark III into line with Canon's existing DSLRs, we're impressed with the results from the new camera. Raw and JPEG images have plenty of detail, noise is well controlled at the higher native sensitivity settings and colour and exposure are generally very good.
Vastly improved AF module
The Canon 5D Mark III is a professional-grade full-frame DSLR that builds on the strengths of previous models in the range to deliver an impressive looking camera that is sure to appeal to video enthusiasts as much as stills shooters. With the recent arrival of the Nikon D800, Canon needed a bit of a showstopper model with the 5D Mark III, the company appears to have delivered one.
Excellent noise performance
The Canon EOS 5D Mark III is an excellent camera, capable of taking stunning photos in a wide variety of situations and has a wealth of lenses available to go with it. The 5D Mark III may not be as ground-breaking as the 5D Mark II, but this is simply because the Mark II was so good, and where the Mark III has been improved is noticeable.
Fast focus and performance, Excellent viewfinder.
The full-frame Nikon D800 manages to deliver 36 megapixels of resolution, without sacrificing image quality at high ISOs. It only shoots 4 frames per second, but that should be sufficient for event photographers, landscape shooters, and well-heeled enthusiasts.
Solid handling and ergonomics while shooting
The Nikon D800 is a beast of a camera, an extraordinarily high-resolution anachronism dropped into a supposedly post-megapixel world. The 36.3-megapixel sensor of the D800 defines it; it is the camera's greatest asset, making it one of the most flexible, enjoyable cameras we've ever shot with.
In actual use, the Nikon D800 is a fantastic tool that seldom disappoints
The Nikon D700 has been a hot seller ever since it was introduced back in the summer of 2008. It had a great sensor, a robust but relatively lightweight body and a comprehensive feature set, and was sold at a price that many thought was reasonable for all the goodness it offered.
The D800 combines swift operation and well-designed controls with outstanding image quality
The D800 combines swift operation and well-designed controls with outstanding image quality that is particularly impressive at high ISO settings. Expanded video capabilities hold appeal those who need to produce both stills and video while on assignment. The camera's 36MP sensor allows for class-leading resolution in a 35mm format camera...if you're prepared to hold your technique and equipment to the highest standards.
Extensive dynamic range, Large images, Superb AF system
Many see the Canon EOS 5D Mark III as the D800's natural competitor. While the average serious enthusiast is likely to think long and hard about switching manufacturer, professional photographers are less loyal and will go with whichever option works best for them.
Best DSLR: top cameras by price and brand
The D800 will be very attractive to photographers who need a comparatively light camera that is capable of capturing a lot of detail and producing large prints.
Delivers phenomenal image quality at around half the price of Nikon's flagship D4 model
The Nikon D800 is a professional-grade 36.3MP DSLR that delivers phenomenal image quality at around half the price of Nikon's flagship D4 model. Overall, it's a fantastic addition to the Nikon range that easily justifies its £2,600 price tag. Build quality is superb, handling is excellent and despite the huge range of customisation on offer the D800 remains relatively intuitive and easy to use.
Excellent image quality, Extremely high resolution images
To me, this camera is essentially the one I'd been hoping Canon would release for over a year now! Good image size, decent ISO performance, nice video capabilities and at a very reasonable price for the specs, it just happens to be a different manufacturer. What's interesting is that now I own one, I've found that I'm not shooting with the Nikon all the time...
Camera layout is practical and simple to use
A week was all the time it took for us to fall in love with the D800. And we were starting to get butterflies when we first took it out of the box. This is the camera we'd get if money were no object. While the D4 has a lot to offer in terms of speed, the resolution of the D800 is its main selling point, and it really is a game-changer in our view.
Considerably higher resolution than peers
The Nikon D800 has impressive specifications but that is just the beginning. Its 36 MP sensor with ISO 50-25600 sensitivity is capable of shooting at 4 FPS and capturing full 1080p HD. It includes a 51-point autofocus system and all features expected from a professional DSLR, including a large 100% coverage viewfinder and sturdy weatherproof body with dual control-dials.
Excellent high-ISO-sensitivity photos
As I haven't tested the Canon EOS-1D X yet, I can't really draw any comparative conclusions, but I doubt it's so much better that it's worth tossing all your Nikon lenses and changing systems. Similarly, it's unlikely the D4 is worth putting all your Canon gear on eBay and jumping the fence. But those are pretty mundane conclusions.
Unless you really need the speed and resolution boost, improved video, or better connectivity, I don't think the D4 is a must-have replacement for the D3S.
Every physical control you could ever want
The Nikon D4 is a pro shooter's dream, with controls galore, and a big, bright optical viewfinder. This fully loaded full-frame D-SLR rattles off shots at a quick 10 frames per second, but all of this comes with a rather high sticker price and a steep learning curve.
Incredible low light sensitivity in video
At $6000 body-only ($2500 more than the Mark III) the Nikon D4 is not going to be the first choice for most videographers. For the ever-converging world of media, though, it's certainly going to look appealing. That price is going to put it out of reach for many, and for video alone the Mark III is a better buy, but if you need a device that does stills and videos at a pro level with pro-level control, the D4 is as the best we've seen to date.
Extremely well built
Like its forebears, the Nikon D4 is an extremely well built and responsive camera that seems to react instantly to anything you throw at it. Start-up feels instantaneous, there is no shutter lag to speak of and with the right lens mounted, focusing is also very fast. The camera is about as rugged as it gets, and the ergonomics is first class. There is a multitude of ways to check and modify settings, and you can set up the camera to work just about any way you like it.
Excellent weather sealed build
The Nikon D4 shows a good level of detail, excellent colour, low noise, and offers extremely rapid focusing and continuous shooting. What's even more impressive is the cameras ability to keep on taking high speed photos and when set to 9fps it will shoot 199 shots at 9fps without slowing down when shooting JPEG! This is extremely impressive and this camera would make the ideal sports or wildlife photography camera.
Superb autofocus system in all conditions
There's no doubt that the Nikon D4 is an incredible camera. D3S owners might not see enough of an image quality improvement to make the upgrade (ignoring resolution difference), but everywhere else the camera is a stunner. A world-class autofocus system, super-fast burst mode, great movie mode and design are all huge plus points.
Class-leading image noise
It is hard to describe the D4 without superlatives. This large professional DSLR has a full-frame 16 megapixels sensor which reaches a class-leading ISO 204,800 and can shoot continuously at 11 FPS for over 15 seconds.
Image quality from the Nikon D4 is among the very best in all areas. Image noise is extremely low and dynamic-range is exceptionally high.
Excellent shooting performance
The Nikon D4 offers many significant improvements from previous professional-grade SLRs, such as the D3s, as well as excellent shooting performance, autofocusing speed and video recording. This is a serious pro tool designed for the likes of sports and editorial photographers, and its many usability tweaks will ensure that every shooting situation is catered for.
Excellent shooting performance
The Nikon D4 offers many significant improvements from previous professional-grade SLRs, such as the D3S, as well as excellent shooting performance, autofocusing speed and video recording. This is a serious pro tool designed for the likes of sports and editorial photographers, and its many usability tweaks will ensure that every shooting situation is catered for.
Excellent image quality, Great high ISO performance
We've come to expect follow-on cameras to generally out-do the camera they're replacing features-wise, and the 60D follows suit in most cases compared to the 50D. Sensor resolution is up and an HD video capability exists where none did before. The 3.0-inch LCD monitor is movable and viewfinder coverage is improved, albeit only 1% and only to 96% overall.
Compositional advantage of a tilt and swivel LCD
Canon's robust enthusiast targeted EOS 60D is a more consumer-friendly version of the 50D it replaces. It slots into the current range between the Canon EOS 550D, of interest to those stepping up from a compact, and the semi-professional Canon EOS 7D.
Shoot both still pictures and HD video clips
A DSLR camera for photo enthusiasts who also want to be able to record Full HD video clips.Replacing the popular EOS 50D, Canon's new EOS 60D sits between the EOS 550D and EOS 7D and appears to have the same sensor as its 'siblings'. The company is clearly aiming this model at photo enthusiasts, adding some new features that will attract those upgrading from an entry-level DSLR or Advanced digicam, the most visible being a vari-angle LCD monitor.
Excellent balance, great choice of lenses
The EOS 60D costs a pretty penny, but you'll be rewarded with fine handling, Canon's superb selection of lenses, and excellent video capabilities. We wish the user interface was a little less awkward and some of the key features present in the older 50D had been retained, but you'll get great photos and videos with the EOS 60D.
It features good imaging specs, improved battery life and HD video
This camera performs well with its DIGIC 4 technology, and the Canon EOS 60D professional DSLR camera is a solid choice for anyone looking to take high-quality pictures. We are disappointed that the speed has dropped to 5.3 images per second, while the 50D shoots 6.3 images per second.
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