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Panasonic Lumix BS1H review

Panasonic Lumix BS1H review

Digital Camera World Verdict

The Panasonic Lumix BS1H is a very compact, powerhouse cinema camera targeted at true filmmakers. It provides a small form factor with outstanding spec and I/O that means it can be used by solo filmmakers right up to big productions. Not every cinema camera is as tiny as the BS1H and that’s where it shines. It provides the smallest form factor possible with the highest full frame specs any filmmaker could want and is a very competitive alternative to the Super 35 RED Komodo, which is double the price!

Pros

  • +All-in-one package
  • +5.9k capture
  • +Uses inexpensive media
  • +Solo or crew operation

Cons

  • -Slight learning curve
  • -Only available in Leica L-mount
  • -No V-mount battery option

The Panasonic Lumix BS1H is an example of a square box-style camera that has become an increasingly popular choice amongst filmmakers at all skill levels shooting various genres – but one thing remains consistent across the board; they all choose it for its convenient go-anywhere form factor.

This isn’t the first try for Panasonic. In 2020 Panasonic announced the Panasonic Lumix BGH1, its first box-style camera body featuring a Micro Four Thirds sensor. Fast forward to November 2021, and the BS1H was announced, with the same body style, but now with a more powerful full frame sensor that can provide up to 5.9K full frame video recording. Let’s find out how this mini powerhouse stacks up in today’s market.

Panasonic Lumix BS1H review

SPECIFICATIONS

Sensor: Full frame CMOS
ISO range: 100 to 51,200 (Extended: 80 to 204,800)
Dynamic range: 14 stops
Lens mount: Leica L mount
LCD: no
Auto focus: Contrast detect, tracking
Recording format: H.265/H.265 Long GOP/MOV 4:2:2 10-Bit
4096 x 2160 at 23.98p/25p/29.97p [100 to 400 Mb/s]
3840 x 2160 at 23.98p/25p/29.97p [100 to 400 Mb/s]
3328 x 2496 at 23.98p/24.00p/25p/29.97p [150 to 400 Mb/s]
1920 x 1080 at 23.98p/29.97p/59.94p [100 to 200 Mb/s]
1920 x 1080 at 50i/59.94i [50 to 100 MB/s]
H.265/H.265 Long GOP/MOV 4:2:0 10-Bit
5952 x 3968 at 23.98p/24.00p/25p [200 Mb/s]
5376 x 3584 at 25p/29.97p [200 Mb/s]
5888 x 3312 at 23.98p/25p/29.97p [200 Mb/s]
4096 x 2160 at 23.98p/24.00p/29.97p/48.00p/50p/59.94p [200 Mb/s]
H.265/H.265 Long GOP/MOV 4:2:0 10-Bit
1920 x 1080 at 100p/119.88p [150 Mb/s]
1920 x 1080 at 47.95p/48.00p [100 Mb/s]
Connectivity: USB-C, HDMI, 3.5mm mic, 3G-SDI, BNC timecode, BNC Genlock, RJ45 LAN, 2.5mm Sub-mini LANC control input
Storage:  Dual SD/SDHC/SDXC slots
Battery: Panasonic AG-VBR
Dimensions (WxHxD): 3.7 x 3.7 x 3.1″ / 9.3 x 9.3 x 7.8cm
Weight: 1.3lb / 585g

KEY FEATURES

Panasonic Lumix BS1H review

The first thing that many will wonder is how small is “small” with these box-style cameras, and in fact the size of the Panasonic Lumix BS1H is tiny, measuring just 3.7 x 3.7 x 3.1″ / 9.3 x 9.3 x 7.8 cm. It’s truly a small camera body. Packed inside this incredible package is a full frame 24.2 megapixel sensor that is able to capture 5.9K in 10-bit 4:2:2 up to 25p, while 4K Cine and UHD 4K can record up to 60p. All of that in a package that is hardly more bulky than your favourite coffee mug – it’s very impressive.

But what makes this camera so special is its ability to become a multimedia tool, not just for solo filmmakers, but industry professionals too. With multiple recording formats and resolutions from 5.9K to 4K anamorphic support, this box-style camera really can pack a punch to the bigger, bulkier, and far more cumbersome names familiar in Hollywood or on film sets around the world. 

Also, the ability to have an extremely portable video solution that records on highly available media – SD cards with a dual slot configuration – is a godsend, and a highly practical alternative to the more expensive CFExpress cards options out there. 

Panasonic Lumix BS1H review

There is also a great layout of I/O ports of the kind normally found on cameras 10x the price of the BS1H. From 3G-SDI out, HDMI, BNC timecode, BNC Genlock, RJ45 LAN for streaming, you name it the B1SH has it, and that’s why this camera can be picked up by a solo filmmaker or a whole production team and produce something spectacular!  

The cherry on the cake is that the Panasonic Lumix BS1H can be powered off a single Panasonic AG-VBR59 battery and will last a good 2 hours or more before depleting…. That is mind-blowing!

Oh course we have to talk about mounting options as this is basically a box wrapped around a sensor. The BS1H accommodates nine ⅜” mounting options across its three prominent positions at the top, left, and right sides of the camera. It also features two ⅜” tripod mounting options so you can fit a number of quick release plates to the bottom and be sure it will fit with your chosen fluid head system.

Panasonic Lumix BS1H review

BUILD AND HANDLING

Panasonic Lumix BS1H review

The overall build of the Panasonic Lumix BS1H is outstanding. At first glance you might think its construction would be plastic, but in fact it’s constructed of aluminium, which provides a good weight in the hand, while not actually being heavy to hold – body only the BS1H weighs in at just 1.3lb/20.64oz. However, to use the body you will need to add a battery, lens, monitor, and possibly a handle to get a run-and-gun go-anywhere camera rig, which will naturally increase that overall weight by quite a bit.

I personally used a Portkeys LH5P II 5.5” monitor and the Panasonic 50mm f/1.8 to conduct this review and thought the size to weight ratio was perfect. The only thing I would change would be to add a side handle to give myself a bit more stability when shooting, but knowing that’s how most solo filmmakers will rig this out, there is nothing to complain about with its overall layout.

Panasonic Lumix BS1H review

Navigating the menus has also been thought about logically by Panasonic. This being a smaller than normal cinema camera, eight buttons have been conveniently placed around the body to help the user quickly navigate through menus at a push of a button. Some are even located around the mount of the camera and act as customizable function buttons.

Top left on the BS1H is the scroll wheel and menu select and set controls. This is incredibly user friendly and does help you to scroll through the menus at pace when needed or to use the scroll wheel as an aperture adjustment for Panasonic lenses or for ISO settings. One remark I will make is if you do not have a swivel head mount on your monitor and you are using a more traditional cold-shoe adapter, it might become a little tricky to use this scroll wheel, and I would recommend mounting the monitor to the front mounting option on the top of the body.

Panasonic Lumix BS1H review

The shooting experience is a great one, once you realize this is not your typical cinema camera, by that I mean you have to make sure your settings are dialed in before shooting. Being such a tiny design, the 8 function buttons paired with the scroll wheel can do most things, but it can only be used with one function at a time, whereas traditional cinema cameras have multiple buttons, scroll wheels etc due the the larger size of the devices. This isn’t a knock against the BS1H’s practicality, but you have to think differently when using a small box-style camera.

PERFORMANCE

Running a standard one person interview test and a YouTube style to-camera piece I can say I was impressed by the on-board microphone. It will produce wonderful “scratch” audio, I would even go as far to say you could probably use it for a full YouTube setup. However, plug in a shotgun microphone and the preamps pick up sound wonderfully, and of course this would be the recommended approach for any filmmaker, but it’s nice to know that the microphone is good to handle those times when you don’t have an external microphone to hand

VERDICT

Panasonic Lumix BS1H review

The Panasonic Lumix BS1H is a very compact powerhouse cinema camera, targeted at true filmmakers. It provides a small form factor with outstanding spec and I/O that means it can be used by solo filmmakers, right up to big productions without skipping a beat. It might seem to be highly-priced for essentially an S1H sensor in a box, but the price totally makes sense when you see the possibilities that such a camera can provide to the user.

Yes, you will have to buy external accessories to get it rigged up to perform, such as a monitor, media, side handle, battery etc. BUT you have to do this with every cinema camera however, not every cinema camera is as tiny as the BS1H and that’s where it shines. It provides the smallest form factor possible with the highest specs any filmmaker could want and is a very competitive alternative to the RED Komodo that is double the price!

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Canon EOS R7 review

Canon EOS R7 review

Digital Camera World Verdict

The Canon EOS R7 is the first camera you will reach for if you want the advantages of APS-C combined with pro-level speed and AF, with big-time image resolution. It’s a fantastic addition to the EOS R ecosystem and a worthy successor to the 90D and 7D lines, making a great proposition for wildlife enthusiasts and anyone who wants to get the most out photography.

Pros

  • +32.5MP resolution
  • +Up to 30fps bursts
  • +7K oversampling
  • +Accepts RF lenses

Cons

  • -Not the biggest buffer
  • -Unusual control wheel

The Canon EOS R7 is a camera we’ve been waiting for since the launch of the R system back in 2018. The long-awaited first APS-C member of the EOS R family, it asks questions of the (distinctly much smaller and more compact) EOS M system but gives Canon the most powerful APS-C camera on the market.

Offering speed that matches (and, mechanically, beats) the Canon EOS R3, and resolution second only to the Canon EOS R5, the Canon EOS R7 is a technical marvel. Following in the footsteps of the Canon EOS 90D and Canon EOS 7D Mark II, shooters will leverage its 1.6x crop factor to amplify the effective focal length of full frame lenses.

As such, this could become the best camera for wildlife photography thanks to its unique combination of resolution, crop factor and sheer speed.

Canon EOS R7 review

Canon EOS R7 review

Canon EOS R7 review

Canon EOS R7 review

Canon EOS R7 review

Canon EOS R7 review

Canon EOS R7 review

Canon EOS R7 review

Canon EOS R7 review

CANON EOS R7: SPECIFICATIONS

Sensor: 32.5MP APS-C
Image processor: Digic X
Mount: Canon RF
AF zones: 651 Dual Pixel CMOS AF II divisions
ISO range: 100 to 32,000 (exp to 51,200)
Image stabilization: 5-axis IBIS, up to 8 stops (lens dependent)
Max image size: 6.960 x 4,640
Max video resolution: 4K 60p, 4K 30p (oversampled 7K), 1080p 120p
Viewfinder: 2.36m dot, 120fps
Memory cards: 2 x SD/SDHC/SDXC, UHS-II
LCD: Articulating touchscreen, 1.62m dots
Max burst: 30fps electronic, 15fps mechanical
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 2.4Ghz, Bluetooth, USB-C, headphone jack, microphone jack
Size: 132 x 90.4 x 91.7mm
Weight: 612g (with battery and memory cards)

Canon EOS R7 review

CANON EOS R7: KEY FEATURES

The R7 is built around a 32.5MP APS-C sensor, which packs more resolution than any cropped sensor camera on the market – which is something that will come as music to the ears of wildlife photographers and birders, always keen for more freedom to crop in. 

While it’s not a completely new sensor (built on the same architecture as the 32.5MP sensor in the 90D and Canon EOS M6 Mark II), it features optimized wiring layer and microlens technology to deliver improved signal readout. 

It also features staggering shooting speeds of 15 frames per second mechanically – faster than any other Canon EOS camera, including the R3, R5 and R6 – and 30 frames per second electronically – which matches the R3, Sony A1 and Nikon Z9 (unless you factor in the latter’s 11MP crop mode). 

Canon EOS R7 review

This is Canon’s first ever APS-C camera to feature in-body image stabilization – a 5-axis system that delivers up to 8 stops of compensation, depending on the lens (it offers 7 stops, for example, on the new Canon RF-S 18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM). 

It also boasts the R system’s newest, most sophisticated autofocus developments: Dual Pixel CMOS AF II, with human, animal and vehicle subject recognition, case studies, and AF acquisition down to -5EV.

In terms of video the R7 is quite the powerhouse, capable of uncropped 4K 60p, 4K 30p oversampled from 7K, and 1080p up to 120p – and Canon tells us that you can record around 60 minutes of video before overheating and record limits come into play. The camera features Canon Log-3, clean HDMI out, as well as a microphone input and headphone jack. 

Canon EOS R7 review

CANON EOS R7: BUILD AND HANDLING

The R7 is smaller and lighter than the 90D, offering a compact chassis that’s still somehow reassuringly chunky thanks to its thick grip. It also features the same weather sealing as the 90D, along with dual UHS-II SD memory card slots.

Perhaps more than any other R system camera, it feels most like the EF body it’s replacing when held and used, with the familiar grammar of the EOS menu system making this feel like an old friend – and a natural way to graduate from a Canon DSLR.

Something that’s going to take a little getting used to is the new arrangement of joystick and control wheel – the latter of which has moved from its familiar position to the lower-right of the camera rear, and now encircles the joystick at the top next to the EVF.

The control wheel is smaller and more delicate than on other EOS bodies, and may threaten to feel a bit fiddly if you have large thumbs. You’ll also need to adjust your muscle memory if you’re used to spinning the wheel to adjust settings mid-shoot. 

Canon EOS R7 review

Once your hands are used to the new layout, though, it actually feels logical and sensible to have the wheel and the joystick in the same place – and it’s a very efficient way to maximize space on the smaller body. 

Obviously the body is smaller thanks to the smaller sensor. And to accommodate the smaller sensor, Canon has introduced a new line of lenses with the APS-C format in mind: RF-S lenses (taking their name from the EF-S standard, which was the APS-C version of EF-mount glass). 

The reduced sensor size and throw of the APS-C format means that smaller, lighter lenses – such as the new Canon RF-S 18-45mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM – can be mounted on the system. However, the Canon EOS R7 uses the same RF mount as its full frame counterparts – which means that existing full frame RF lenses can be used natively, while EF and EF-S lenses can also be used via the Mount Adapter EF-EOS R.

Do note, however, that EF-M lenses (APS-C optics designed for Canon’s other APS-C line, the EOS M system), will not work with the R7, despite them sharing the same sensor format. 

Canon EOS R7 review

CANON EOS R7: PERFORMANCE

In a lot of ways, shooting with the R7 really does feel like shooting with a mirrorless (read: sleeker and smaller) 90D – but with way more bells and whistles. 

The camera really feels tailor made for the RF-S 18-150mm lens (or, rather, the lens for it), and the pair make a formidable combination for run-and-gun, travel and everyday photography – and even videography. This is a great tandem for all-purpose shooting and content creation.

However, if you want to get serious, the R7 has the speed and resolution to make the most of premium full frame glass like the Canon RF 85mm f/1.8L USM. Certainly the bigger L-series glass is oversized for the svelte APS-C body, but you really can’t fault the results. 

Where this camera really comes into its own is in its amplification of focal lengths, and how this benefits wildlife shooters. Mount the Canon RF 800mm f/11 on this and you’ve got an effective 1280mm lens with 32MP of resolution to crop in further – all powered by killer Animal AF.  

The subject detection and tracking are, as you would expect of the brilliant Dual Pixel AF II technology, superb. We shot a range of subjects, from fast-moving ice skaters to static models to a variety of waterfowl, and the autofocus never let us down.

It was sticky and adaptive when flitting between eye, head and body detection while shooting skaters doing tricks, and incredibly instinctive when shooting all manner of birds waddling and swimming erratically through the frame. The AF also performs brilliantly when shooting video, not even being fooled by subjects disappearing behind foreground obstructions. 

While it possesses lightning-fast shooting speeds, the buffer is limited by the choice of SD cards over CFexpress, with maximum bursts hitting 46 RAWs and 184 JPGs. But that’s still enough to get controlled salvos of shots, and we didn’t miss anything we were aiming for. 

Canon EOS R7 review

CANON EOS R7: LAB RESULTS

For our lab data comparison, we compared the EOS R7 to its flagship rival APS-C mirrorless cameras from Fujifilm and Sony: the X-T4 and a6600. Nikon’s best APS-C offering is the Z50, but this is a closer rival to the EOS R10. We instead opted to include the Nikon Z5, as despite being full-frame, it costs about the same as the R7, making it an intriguing alternative.

We test resolution using Imatest charts and software, and dynamic range and signal to noise ratio with DxO Analyzer.

Resolution:

Canon EOS R7 review

Despite its 32.5MP sensor being the most pixel-packed here, the R7 only ties with the 26.1MP X-T4 and 24.2MP a6600 when it comes to resolving fine detail. At really high sensitivities, the Canon even falls slightly behind the competition, due to high ISO image noise obscuring fine detail.

Dynamic range:

Canon EOS R7 review

Dynamic range at lower sensitivities is excellent, on par with the X-T4 and the full-frame. However at ISO 800 and above, the R7 struggles to capture as much dynamic range as its rivals.

Signal to noise ratio:

Canon EOS R7 review

This test compares the amount of random noise generated by the camera at different ISO settings as a proportion of the actual image information (the ‘signal’). Higher values are better and we expect to see the signal to ratio fall as the ISO is increased.

Compared to the Z5 and X-T4, the R7’s images display more image noise at mid and high ISO sensitivities. The noise itself doesn’t look particularly ugly or distracting to the naked eye though, so take this result with a pinch of salt…. or grain!

CANON EOS R7: EARLY VERDICT

All things considered, we’re very impressed with what the Canon EOS R7 can do. It’s lightning fast both mechanically and electronically, the resolution offers glorious detail as well as the opportunity to crop into your wildlife shots, and the 1.6x crop factor makes your lenses even longer for shooting faraway subjects.

There’s plenty of play in the files, giving you lots of leeway for post production, and the video quality is crisp and clear in both 4K and 1080p, with autofocus performance that won’t let you down.

Lab results aren’t quiet a clean sweep for the Canon, but while the Fujifilm X-T4 does technically still have the edge in terms of outright image quality, the real world differences will be subtle. We don’t think this is even close to a deal-breaker when you factor in everything else the R7 has to offer. Quite simply, the R7 is the new king of APS-C mirrorless cameras.

 

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Canon EOS R10 review

Canon EOS R10 review

Digital Camera World Verdict

The Canon EOS R10 – with professional-level autofocus and speed, 4K 60p imaging and 120p slow-motion at 1080p – offers performance that punches well above its weight class. It seems churlish to bristle at the lack of in-body image stabilization or the crop at 4K 60p, but those are really the only drawbacks to what is a fantastic APS-C body for hybrid shooting.

Pros

  • +Pro-grade autofocus
  • +Pro-grade burst shooting
  • +4K 60p and 1080p 120p

Cons

  • -No in-body stabilization
  • -4K 60p is cropped
  • -No weather sealing

Canon never ceases to surprise us, but with the Canon EOS R10 it has truly outdone itself. Here we have a body that’s priced at under a grand in the US and UK, yet it offers shooting speeds that match or exceed those of the top pro sports cameras on the market.

No, we’re not suggesting that the Canon EOS R10 is the best professional camera you can buy. However, it is mechanically faster than the Canon EOS R3 and Sony A1, and it beats the Canon EOS R5 and Canon EOS R6 when shooting both mechanically and electronically.

We weren’t surprised to see an entry level EOS R camera, and we weren’t even surprised to see it in the form of an APS-C body. However, for it to pack this much firepower – making it, sensor size notwithstanding, a faster and higher resolution Canon camera than everything except the R5 and R3 – is quite extraordinary.

This does make for an interesting quandary for new Canon users. Do you get the technologically advanced EOS R10 with a smaller sensor, or the more basic full frame EOS RP for just a little more. See our Canon EOS R10 vs EOS RP comparison for more.

The manufacturer may have been late to the mirrorless dance, and it may have muddled some of the steps between the new APS-C EOS R line and the existing APS-C EOS M line. Now, though, seems to have a clear idea of the road ahead – and the Canon EOS R10 could be the ultimate Trojan horse to get people invested in its mirrorless vision.

Canon EOS R10 review

Canon EOS R10 review

Canon EOS R10 review

Canon EOS R10 review

Canon EOS R10 review

Canon EOS R10 review

CANON EOS R10: SPECIFICATIONS

Sensor: 24.2MP APS-C
Image processor: Digic X
Mount: Canon RF
AF zones: 651 Dual Pixel CMOS AF II divisions
ISO range: 100 to 32,000
Image stabilization: No
Max image size: 6,000 x 4,000
Max video resolution: 4K 60p, 4K 30p (oversampled 6K), 1080p 120p
Viewfinder: 2.36m dot, 120fps
Memory card: 1 x SD/SDHC/SDXC, UHS-II
LCD: Articulating touchscreen, 1.04m dots
Max burst: 23fps electronic, 15fps mechanical
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 2.4Ghz, Bluetooth, USB-C, microphone jack
Size: 122.5 x 87.8 x 83.4mm
Weight: 429g (with battery and memory card)

Canon EOS R10 review

CANON EOS R10: KEY FEATURES

Aimed at enthusiasts, travel photographers and lifestyle content creators, the R10 is designed to pack all the features that a photographer could want or need when graduating from a smartphone or DSLR while retaining a light, compact footprint.

Which, in some ways, creates something of an overlap with the EOS M series of cameras… but more on that later.

At the heart of the Canon EOS R10 is a reworked version of Canon’s familiar 24.2MP APS-C image sensor, which has been re-engineered to deliver improved readout speeds – culminating in the lightning-fast 15fps mechanical / 23 fps burst shooting. 

In an astonishing move for an entry level camera, the R10 features the same Dual Pixel CMOS AF II found in the high-end R3, R5 and R6 bodies, with full subject tracking for humans, animals and vehicles. 

Not only was the latter was previously exclusive to the pro-grade Canon EOS R3, but the camera also features AF case studies and can achieve autofocus down to an impressive -4EV.

The R10 can capture 4K 60p, though this invokes a 64% crop (giving a frame similar to Super 35), and can capture 4K 30p oversampled from 6K, along with 1080p at 120p for slow-motion. Canon claims around 60 minutes of this kind of high-intensity shooting before overheating / recording limits kick in.

Canon EOS R10 review

CANON EOS R10: BUILD AND HANDLING

The R10 is an incredibly small and lightweight camera, at just 122.5 x 87.8 x 83.4mm and 429g, giving it a feel not unlike the Canon EOS Rebel T8i / 850D. Pair it with the new Canon RF-S 18-45mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM kit lens or the Canon RF 16mm f/2.8 STM and you’ve got an ultra lightweight powerhouse.

Obviously it isn’t as robust as something like the Canon EOS R7, and doesn’t boast any weather sealing, so don’t get too cocky with it in extreme environments.

You’ll find a joystick on the back of the camera – which is a big addition for a body at this price point – though the Canon control wheel is absent. However, front and rear exposure dials give you full control over your imaging if you want to venture into full manual shooting. And quick-draw one-handed shooters will be happy that the power switch is on the right-hand side, on the rear dial.

The camera also includes a microphone jack, which complements the fully articulating touchscreen to make it vlogging- and video-friendly, and also includes a pop-up flash built into the viewfinder hump.

Canon EOS R10 review

CANON EOS R10: PERFORMANCE

The first thing we noticed about the R10 is just how effective the subject tracking and AF is. We’ve done a lot of shooting with the Canon EOS R5, to the point where we take for granted just how good the market-leading autofocus is (which is, effectively, a cheat code for wildlife photography).

For an entry level camera have an autofocus system this sophisticated… it’s just unheard of. This really is pro-level performance at an unbelievable position in the market, and it’s a potential game changer for your photography.

That said, while the burst speed is of a pro standard, the buffer capacity (21 RAWs / 123 JPGs) obviously isn’t going to rival that of the best professional cameras. That said, while photographing professional ice skaters and skittish wildfowl alike, we were able to capture every frame we wanted – so the performance is definitely not to be underestimated.

While there isn’t as much latitude here when pushing the ISO, particularly with slower lenses, there is plenty of pin-sharp detail in the images especially when you treat the sensitivity with respect.

Canon EOS R10 review

The 4K 60p crop is, in one sense, profoundly unwelcome, rendering your already 1.6x compromised lenses by a further 64% in terms of their focal length – so if you want to shoot wide, you’re going to need a very wide lens as it is going to be much effectively longer. 

At the same time, though, the same benefit of APS-C cameras to wildlife shooters – the way that the crop factor amplifies focal length – is only further embellished by the 4K crop, meaning that you can artificially extend your reach even further when shooting video. And of course, you can always shoot in 4K 30p to avoid the crop.

Canon has introduced a new line of lenses with the APS-C format in mind: RF-S lenses (taking their name from the EF-S standard, which was the APS-C version of EF-mount glass). However, the Canon EOS R10 uses the same RF mount as its full frame counterparts – which means that existing full frame RF lenses can be used natively, while EF and EF-S lenses can also be used via the Mount Adapter EF-EOS R.

Do note, however, that EF-M lenses (APS-C optics designed for Canon’s other APS-C line, the EOS M system), will not work with the R7, despite them sharing the same sensor format. 

Canon EOS R10 review

CANON EOS R10: LAB RESULTS

For our lab data comparison, we compared the EOS R10 to three rival APS-C mirrorless cameras in the same price range: the Fujifilm X-T30 II, Nikon Z50 and Sony a6400. We test resolution using Imatest charts and software, and dynamic range and signal to noise ratio with DxO Analyzer.

Resolution:

Canon EOS R10 review

All four cameras resolve a similar amount of fine detail, though the 26MP X-T30 II inevitably leads the pack thanks to its higher outright megapixel count. It’s a little disappointing that the 24.2MP EOS R10 can’t resolve appreciably more detail than the 20.9MP Z 50, and image noise from the Canon actually obscures more detail than it does in the Z50’s equivalent shots at high sensitivities.

Dynamic range:

Canon EOS R10 review

The EOS R10 gets off to a good start, capturing excellent dynamic range at low sensitivities. However, at ISO 800 and beyond it lags behind the competition by as much as 3 stops.

Signal to noise ratio:

Canon EOS R10 review

This test compares the amount of random noise generated by the camera at different ISO settings as a proportion of the actual image information (the ‘signal’). Higher values are better and we expect to see the signal to ratio fall as the ISO is increased.

In this test all four cameras are quite closely matched, though the EOS R10 can’t quite match the clarity of images from the Nikon and Fujifilm cameras. It does at least produce images with marginally less noise than those from the a6400.

CANON EOS R10: VERDICT

The Canon EOS R10 is a brilliant value proposition, offering some seriously advanced specs in a light, affordable, novice-friendly body. If you know what you’re doing with this camera, you can get some very impressive results – and if you have no idea what you’re doing, it will help you develop your skills. 

It’s a fantastic all-purpose camera, with powerful stills specs and impressive video capabilities – though if you want to shoot 4K 60p, this probably isn’t going to be an ideal vlogging / presenting camera due to the combination of 1.6x APS-C effect and 64% additional crop. 

If you’re an existing APS-C mirrorless shooter, you probably want to look to the Canon EOS R7 as it’s looking to be the best body on the market right now. If you’re stepping up from an APS-C DSLR or smartphone shooter, though, this is a brilliant option to push your creativity and get great results from your photo and video.

 

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Sony A7C review

Sony A7C review

Digital Camera World Verdict

The Sony A7C’s specifications are unambitious to say the least, particularly in terms of its video capabilities, but its practical performance, from its handy vari-angle screen to its excellent AF system, make it effective enough as a camera. We will leave it to you to decide if its two-tone design is appealing, but for us it does not have the quality ‘feel’ of the other A7 models. Does the Sony range and the full frame mirrorless camera market need this camera, though? It’s not cheap, it’s not pretty and its not even technically very advanced.

Pros

  • +Small(ish) body
  • +Excellent retracting lens
  • +Side-hinged vari-angle screen
  • +Autofocus performance

Cons

  • -Unambitious video specs
  • -Unappealing silver and black finish
  • -Not especially cheap

The Sony A7C answers a burning question. What if you could have the full frame sensor of Sony’s A7 mirrorless cameras but in the more compact rangefinder-style body of the APS-C A6000 cameras? It looks like that’s what you get, but things aren’t always what they seem.

The Sony A7C is like a compact version of the Sony A7 III with some advances in design, ergonomics and autofocus. The resolution is the same, however, at 24 megapixels, and the video tops out at a relatively unambitious 4K 30p.

Sony is aiming the A7C at a new, younger market, but placing its faith in a steady evolution of its digital capture technologies rather than any headline-grabbing technical breakthroughs.

The biggest news around the Sony A7C is its design, which is like a fusion of the Sony A7 III and the Sony A6600. Lots of people have made lots of fuss over how small this camera is. It’s true that the rectangular body is smaller than that of the A7 III but bigger and thicker than Sony’s APS-C cameras.

The flip-out screen is a major ergonomic leap forward, though, and the A7C also has a brand new retracting 28-60mm kit lens to go with the camera’s downsized dimensions.

Sony A7C review

SONY A7C SPECIFICATIONS

Model number: ILCE-7C
Sensor:
 24.2MP full frame Exmor R CMOS BSI
Image processor: BIONZ X
AF points: 623-point phase AF, 425-point contrast AF
ISO range: 100-51,200 (exp. 50-204,800)
Metering modes: Multi-segment, Center-weighted, Spot, Avg., Highlight
Video: 4K UHD up to 30p
Viewfinder: EVF, 2,359k dots
Memory card: 1x SD/SDHC/SDXC, UHS-II
LCD: 3-inch vari-angle touchscreen, 921k dots
Max burst: 10fps, 115 raw, 223 JPEG
Connectivity: Wi-Fi
Size: 124.0 x 71.1 x 59.7mm
Weight: 503g (body only)

SONY A7C KEY FEATURES

Sony A7C review

From the outside, the Sony A7C is radically different to the regular Sony A7-series cameras. The viewfinder housing on the top is gone, replaced by a viewfinder eyepiece in the top left corner of the body on the rear. The rear LCD screen now flips sideways via a vari-angle pivot that gives a much wider range of movement, and the camera’s two-tone black and silver finish is very different to the all-black livery of the other A7 models – though Sony says a limited-edition all-black version is coming.

Inside, though, the A7C is rather conventional. The 24MP sensor is the same as (or a close relative of) the sensor in the A7 III, and the video is capped at 8-bit 4K at 30p. By today’s standards this is very ordinary indeed, though Sony says the bit depth has been kept to 8-bit to produce manageable file sizes for capture and editing. The relatively low processing demands mean the A7C does at least have no recording limits – and its 4K video is ‘oversampled’ full width 6K, so the quality should be good.

You do at least get Sony’s S-Log2, S-Log3 and HLG modes, together with both mic and headphone sockets, not to mention 120p full HD.

What you also get is Sony’s latest and best autofocus technologies, with 693 phase AF points and 425 contrast AF points, between them covering 93% of the frame. Sony’s AF system is arguably the most advanced and effective on the market, and this one has the Real Time Eye AF, human/animal, left/right eye and Real Time Tracking seen on the flagship Sony A7R IV, and the AF speed and sensitivity adjustments of the new Sony A7S III.

The A7C is just as effective at stills photography, especially if you shoot sports and action. Its 10fps continuous shooting speed is pretty impressive, but its buffer capacity – the number of shots it can take before slowing down – is better still. Sony says it can capture 115 raw files or 223 JPEG images in a burst; 115 raw files is 3-4 times more than most general-purpose cameras can manage.

Sony A7C review

BUILD AND HANDLING

There’s no denying The A7C appears compact, for a full frame camera. However, and this is where it gets subjective, it’s not pretty. It does have a magnesium alloy body, but the silver finish makes it look and feel plastic.

And although the A7C is smaller than other A7 cameras when you compare the measurements, if you put it side by side with a regular A7 body, the difference doesn’t seem that great. The A7C is smaller, for sure, but you still couldn’t call it a small camera. Imagine an A7 III with the top viewfinder housing removed and a thinner grip, and bar a few millimetres here and there you’ve got the A7C.

We tried an experiment. We put the A7C and its kit lens alongside an A7R II and Sony’s 24-105mm lens. As you’d expect, there’s a big size difference. Then we put the 24-105mm on the A7C and the new retracting kit lens on the A7R II – the size disparity now favors the A7R II by almost as great a margin.

The fact is, it’s the new 28-60mm kit lens that makes the A7C seem small. Put any other regular Sony zoom on it and any size advantage the body might have becomes largely academic.

The vari-angle screen is a welcome feature, however, especially for vertical shooting – and the A7C now supports vertical video, so if you shoot video for smartphone or tablet display, it stays vertical – you don’t have to rotate it later in post production.

There is a prominent Record button on the top of the camera, but no front control dial on the front grip. Instead, you control the camera with a single rear control dial and a beefed-up multi-function dial/navigation pad on the back. We’d rather have two dials.

The grip on the front of the camera gives you a reasonable hold without protruding too far from the camera body, though it doesn’t feel as ‘grippable’ as a regular A7 camera. The Menu button feels a bit of stretch for your thumb, positioned over the rear screen, but the EV compensation dial on the top plate is useful to have.

The menu system has the same rather complex and long-winded layout as other A7-series cameras, and Sony says it would have taken too much hardware re-engineering to bring it in line with the new menu structure on the Sony A7S III – which supports our assumption that the A7C is more of a physical reskinning (of the A7 III) rather than a brand new camera from the ground up.

Sony A7C review

The A7C is not bad to hold, handle and operate, but it’s not as small as it looks. Sony has used that old design trick of using a slim silver top plate on a black camera body that’s actually a good deal thicker. This may be, as Sony says, the smallest, lightest full frame camera with in-body-stabilisation yet, but it doesn’t particularly feel it.

The retracting/extending action of the new 28-60mm kit lens is nice, though. It has a mechanical action with no locking button but a well-weighted locking/unlocking detente that’s quicker to use and very positive – and so much better than electrically-powered zooms.

Sony A7C review

PERFORMANCE

Sony A7C review

Sony A7C review

The Sony A7C has the same impressive performance as the Sony A7C before it, which is not surprising given that so much of the technology is the same. And while a retracting kit lens doesn’t sound like a recipe for optical excellence, the FE 28-60mm f/4-5.6 delivers edge-to-edge sharpness right across the zoom range.

This is a pleasant surprise, and contrasts with the Sony E 16-50mm pancake zoom you get with Sony APS-C cameras, which isn’t very good at all.

The FE 28-60mm f/4-5.6 performs really well – though its specifications aren’t that demanding. Most kit lenses offer a 3x zoom range, and many offer more than that. But this lens has a pretty restrictive 2.1x zoom range, so while it’s sharp enough, it doesn’t have the versatility that you might expect from an all-purpose walk-around lens. In this respect, it’s like the equally restricted but somewhat wider 24-50mm kit lens for the Nikon Z5.

Sony A7C review

Sony A7C review

The autofocus, as we’ve come to expect from Sony cameras, is stellar. The 28-60mm kit lens focuses quickly and silently, both for stills and video, and the camera’s AF system is extremely effective, especially for vlogging use, where it refocuses rapidly but smoothly between the speaker’s face and objects held close to the camera, or between the speaker’s face and the background if they speak to the camera and then move out of the frame.

Sony A7C review

The in-body stabilisation mechanism has had to be redesigned for the smaller A7C body, but still delivers up to 5 stops of compensation and 5 axes of movement. It works well for handheld shooting if you are not moving, but for walking and shooting you will still need a gimbal.

Sony A7C review

VIDEO

Video performance will be a key part of the Sony A7C’s appeal, as a camera aimed strongly at vloggers and content creators. The 4K video specs may be unadventurous by today’s standards, but the Sony produces sharp, detailed video and has an very responsive autofocus system – though it may take you a while to find the settings you need in the long and complex menu system, particularly the face and eye-tracking options.

The in-body stabilization works well for static handheld shots, but for any which require any kind of camera movement you’ll need a gimbal or a slider. The Sony’s SteadyShot system is good at managing ‘jitters’ but not larger camera movements.

If you want to keep things simple and predictable by selecting an AF point you’ll find the A7C delivers a fast but smooth refocusing action, or you can trust to luck and use the auto area AF to let the camera figure out what to focus on – that could be the best option for rapid, unpredictable movement.

LAB DATA

Resolution:

Sony A7C review

Resolution is measured in line widths/picture height, a widely used standard for resolution measurement that’s independent of sensor size.

Sony’s A7-series cameras have traditionally been strong when it comes to resolving fine detail, even when compared to other full-frame cameras with a similar megapixel count. The A7C is no exception here, and only the Canon EOS RP is able to match it in our test.

Dynamic range:

Sony A7C review

Dynamic range is measured in EV (exposure values, or ‘stops’). It’s a measure of the camera’s ability to record detail in extremely bright and dark areas of the scene; the higher the value, the better.

The A7C performs strongly in this test as well, with consistently wide dynamic range from ISO 100 through to ISO 1600. The new Sony can’t quite match the Panasonic S5 for dynamic range at high ISOs, however, though the difference is marginal at all but ISO 25600.

Signal to noise ratio:

Sony A7C review

Our signal to noise test measures image clarity – specifically the ratio of the actual image ‘data’ you want to capture versus the image noise that you don’t want, but will inevitably be visible when shooting at higher ISO sensitivities. The higher the score at a given ISO sensitivity, the better.

Here all four comparison cameras are closely matched. The A7C never quite gives the cleanest images of the bunch at lower sensitivities, with the EOS RP setting the benchmark for noise control. At ISO 3200 and beyond, we see the A7C producing slightly higher levels of image noise than its rivals, meaning low light shots will be marginally grainier than equivalent shots taken by the Z 5, S5, and EOS RP.

SONY A7C VERDICT

The Sony A7C performs well, especially in our lab tests, but is disappointing on a number of levels. It’s smaller than a regular A7 but not by enough (in our opinion) to make up for the worse viewfinder. Its size advantage really comes from the new 28-60mm kit lens, not from the new body design. Its specifications are unambitious to say the least, particularly in terms of its video capabilities, but its practical performance, from its handy vari-angle screen to its excellent AF system, make it very effective at what it’s designed to do.

We will leave it to you to decide if its two-tone design is appealing, but for us it does not have the quality ‘feel’ of the other A7 models. It currently costs more than Sony’s existing entry-level A7 III and, apart from the vari-angle screen, it feels like a step back in appearance, materials and design, and it lacks any kind of technical ambition. 

 

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Nikon Z6 II review

Nikon Z6 II review

Digital Camera World Verdict

The Nikon Z6 II is a light refresh of the original Z6, with a second memory card and processor bringing a bump to burst shooting and the promise of 4K 60p video. However, the latter is cropped (and not here until February) and the camera still lacks an articulating screen, limiting its appeal for video and vlogging. At its price it’s a very capable camera, though certain of its specs are outperformed by rival systems.

Pros

  • +Two memory card slots
  • +Improved burst shooting
  • +Superior AF performance

Cons

  • -No articulating screen
  • -Other bodies are faster
  • -4K 60p will be cropped

The Nikon Z6 II replaces the original Nikon Z6 from 2018 as the Big N’s enthusiast level full-frame mirrorless camera. With a 24MP sensor, it hits the sweet spot between resolution and processing power, and for many users is a preferable option to the professional grade Nikon Z7 II, which comes with approximately double the megapixel count.

The original Z6 ticked most of the right boxes, and so what we see here is very much a refinement rather than anything radically new. It receives incremental improvements to speed and functionality, after Nikon listened to user feedback and complaints leveled at the first version of the camera.

Externally there is very little difference between this new camera and its predecessor. The only giveaways are the “II” nomenclature next to the Z 6 logo, and a marginally deeper battery door. It’s a couple of millimeters deeper, and weighs in at 20 grams heavier, to accommodate some of the internal changes.

The question is, with the Z6 II being a modest update of a 2018 camera, how does it compare to its 2020 contemporaries like the Canon EOS R6, Sony A7C and Panasonic S5?

Nikon Z6 II review

NIKON Z6 II SPECIFICATIONS

Sensor: 24.5MP CMOS BSI
Image processor: Dual Expeed 6
AF points: 273 hybrid AF points
ISO range: 100-51,200 (50-204,800 exp)
Max image size: 6048 x 4024px
Video: 4K UHD at 30/25/24p • 1080p (FullHD) at 120/100/60/50/30/25/24p
Viewfinder: 3690k-dot OLED EVF, 100% coverage, 0.8x magnification
Memory card: 1x SD UHS-II, 1x CFexpress (Type B) / XQD
LCD: 3.2-inch tilting touchscreen, 2100k dots
Max burst: 14fps
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 2.4GHz and 5GHz, Bluetooth 4.2, USB-C, mini HDMI, GPS, microphone, headphone
Size: 134 x 101 x 70mm
Weight: 615g body only (705g with battery)

NIKON Z6 II KEY FEATURES

The Nikon Z6 II comes with two card slots, rather than the single XQD of the original. Here we have a dual XQD / CFexpress card slot, along with the more commonplace SD format, able to take the fastest UHS-II variety, and this is undoubtedly due to the criticism leveled by some at the original camera.

The other major change under the hood is that there are now not one but two Expeed 6 processors, providing double the processing grunt. Creating images from the raw data captured by the image sensor is a processor-intensive task, and turning a series of static images into smooth video is even more so. This extra processing power translates to faster shooting frame rates and improved low-light performance, as well as better video.

As such, the Z6 II receives an increased continuous shooting speed of 14fps, up from 12fps on its predecessor – and the extra horsepower means that it can buffer 124 12-bit raw files or 200 JPEGs. However, shooting at 14fps restricts you to single-point AF; you’ll need to drop to 12fps to receive the benefits of tracking AF.

For video the camera currently maxes out at full-readout 4K 30p, but will be receiving 4K 60p (albeit with a 1.5x crop) with a firmware update in February. You’ll be able to shoot video for longer, though, thanks to the USB-C ‘hot charging’ support, which enables you to power the camera while it’s in use. 

Everything else here is exactly as it was with the original Z6, from the 24.5MP sensor to the 120fps in 1080p to the resolution of the electronic viewfinder and LCD screen. 

Nikon Z6 II review

Nikon Z6 II review

Nikon Z6 II review

NIKON Z6 II BUILD & HANDLING

The camera control layout is identical to the original Z6 (and the Nikon Z5 and Nikon Z7, for that matter). The deep grip makes the body comfortable to hold, and the scrolling front and rear dials are in easy reach of the forefinger and thumb, as are all the other essential controls such as the shutter, ISO and exposure compensation buttons.

That said, the sheer number of inputs is limited compared to those available on some more upmarket DSLRs, due mainly to the physical size of the camera body. For example, switching between continuous / single / timer shooting requires bringing up an onscreen menu, rather than selecting it on a dial. 

There are a pair of user-definable Fn buttons on the front of the camera, but most people will be happy with their preset functions of selecting white balance on Fn1 and focus mode / area on Fn2. A welcome improvement over the Z6 is that animal and human face / eye detection is directly selectable along with the area AF modes; previously this was buried in the custom functions.

The rear LCD and electronic viewfinder are unchanged, which is a bit of a missed opportunity. The OLED EVF is clear enough, with 3.69 million dots, but its 60Hz refresh rate is starting to feel creaky next to the 120Hz offered by rival bodies. Likewise it is curious that Nikon has decided to stick with a tilting rear LCD, rather than taking the opportunity to add a fully articulating screen – something that hobbles portrait and video shooting. 

Like the original, the Nikon Z6 II possesses weather sealing for all-purpose shooting, and features a joystick for precise autofocus (though you can obviously still select your focus point by tapping the touchscreen).

Nikon Z6 II review

NIKON Z6 II PERFORMANCE

As noted, the improved maximum burst rate put the Z6 II on similar footing with other speed-focused cameras – though with other mirrorless cameras offering up to 20fps, it’s a shame that Nikon hasn’t pushed the processing power a bit more here (especially since 14fps is restricted to single-point AF). 

Still, a fast framerate for action photography is nothing without snappy autofocus – and the hybrid AF system, which spreads 273 AF points across the entirety of the image sensor, locks onto subjects with unerring accuracy. It’s still a half step behind the phase-detect systems employed by other cameras, but it’s not far off.

The human / animal face and eye detect modes are impressive, locking onto two- and four-legged subjects even against the busiest of backgrounds, and switching automatically between faces or individual eyes depending on their proximity. Again it’s a hair behind Canon and Sony’s AF systems, but it’s still remarkably good and extremely reliable at both finding and tracking subjects. 

The original Z6 was already a low light specialist, and performance here also sees a boost; exposure metering now works all the way down to -6EV, enabling the Z6 II to practically see in the dark. And shooting in the dark is one of the areas where the in-body image stabilization comes into play.

Though the performance of the IBIS feels largely unchanged, Nikon’s system is right up there with Canon and Panasonic in terms of full-frame stabilization, leaving Sony in the rear-view mirror.

Nikon Z6 II review

NIKON Z6 II VIDEO

We’ll obviously have to reserve judgement on the promised 4K 60p shooting when it arrives in February, but it’s already disappointing that this will invoke a 1.5x crop as opposed to a full-sensor readout. 

As far as the Z6 II’s 4K 30p video goes, you’re looking at in-camera 8-bit with a flat video profile or 10-bit via HDMI with N-Log and HLG. If you want to capture external 12-bit RAW video, however, you’ll still need to pay $200 for the ProRes RAW upgrade (as was the case with the original Z6 and Z7).

Video files are subject to the usual 29m 59s recording limits, but thankfully you won’t bump into the same austere 4K restrictions as certain other cameras; we were able to continuously record 1h 17m 29s of 4K 30p video before the camera shut down due to overheating. 

The brilliant AF performance carries over to video, and Animal eye-AF is now enabled when recording – the previous Z6 could only track whole animal faces, rather than their eyes, when shooting video. 

As was the case with the original camera, the IBIS isn’t a magic bullet for eliminating camera shake – but when you are used to the way the camera makes micro adjustment for low frequency movements, you can work in tune with it for gimbal-like performance in certain circumstances.

Support for assists like peaking and zebras is always welcome, as is timecode, but a huge drawback with the Z6 II is its tilting screen. A fully articulating LCD would have made a huge difference to video shooting, but as it stands this does rather limit the camera’s versatility – particularly to vloggers and content creators.

Nikon Z6 II review

NIKON Z6 II LAB DATA

We tested the Nikon Z6 II against two 2020 contemporaries, the Canon EOS R6 and Panasonic S5, along with the venerable Sony A7 III. 

Nikon Z6 II review

Resolution:

Resolution is measured in line widths/picture height, a widely used standard for resolution measurement that’s independent of sensor size.
 
Despite having almost the same megapixel count, the Z6 II isn’t quite able to resolve the same amount of fine detail as the A7 III. For reference, the original Z6 was able to equal the Sony in this test. The difference here is very slight, make no mistake, but nevertheless the Z6 II’s resolution shots are marginally softer than those from its predecessor. 

We can only speculate as to the exact reasons for this but, given the camera’s corresponding improvement in high ISO image clarity, we’d speculate that Nikon may have tweaked the Z6 II’s image quality to give slightly less noise at the expense of some fine detail capture.  

Nikon Z6 II review

Dynamic range:

Dynamic range is measured in EV (exposure values, or ‘stops’). It’s a measure of the camera’s ability to record detail in extremely bright and dark areas of the scene; the higher the value, the better.
 
The Z6 II is capable of capturing excellent dynamic range, beating its main competitors at all but our lowest and highest tested ISO sensitivities. Also worth noting is how consistently high its dynamic range is from ISO100 right through to ISO6400, giving you plenty of scope for capturing high-speed or low light shots without having to sacrifice highlight or shadow detail.

Nikon Z6 II review

Signal to noise:

Our signal to noise test measures image clarity – specifically the ratio of the actual image ‘data’ you want to capture versus the image noise that you don’t want, but will inevitably be visible when shooting at higher ISO sensitivities. The higher the score at a given ISO sensitivity, the better.
 
All four comparison cameras are very closely matched in this test. The aging Sony A7 III still has the edge at lower sensitivities, but it’s at the higher ISOs where you’ll really see a difference in image noise between cameras in real-world shooting – and it’s here that the Z6 II comes into its own. At ISO 6400 and above, its images are consistently cleaner than those from its rivals. 

In case you’re wondering, the original Z 6 scores identically to its replacement up to ISO 6400, but the Z6 II performs significantly better at ISO12800 and above. At these sensitivities, the old Z6 scores are comparable to the A7 III. It’s clear that despite the Z6 II inheriting the same sensor as the Z6, Nikon’s Expeed processing tweaks have helped improve high ISO image clarity.

Nikon Z6 II review

NIKON Z6 II VERDICT

Nikon Z6 II review

The Nikon Z6 II answers the main criticism of its predecessor – namely the single card slot and the decision to exclusively use eye-wateringly expensive storage media – and also adds some modest performance boosts. 

Otherwise, however, it has exactly the same sensor, in-body image stabilization, electronic viewfinder, rear LCD, control layout and extensive weather sealing as its 2018 predecessor – and that doesn’t stand it in the best stead next to the R6s, S5s and A7Cs in the class of 2020.

In and of itself, the Z6 II is a formidable stills camera with impressive image quality, solid stabilization, incredible ISO performance, accurate autofocus, sturdy 12fps burst shooting with tracking AF (or 14fps with single-point) and respectable video. 

Taken out of its own context, though, it starts to feel a little lacking. That burst looks quite modest next to what other mirrorless models are capable of, the lack of an articulating screen limits its appeal for video work, and the promise of cropped 4K 60p in 2021 feels behind the times despite being in the future.  

Make no mistake, the Z6 II is still a very capable camera – we just feel that it could have stretched that little bit more to become the ultimate option at this price point. 

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Canon EOS R5 review

Canon EOS R5 review

Digital Camera World Verdict

As a stills camera, the Canon EOS R5 is simply Canon’s finest product ever. It’s the perfect amalgamation of the EOS R’s form, the EOS 5D’s function, and the professional-grade autofocus of the EOS-1D X. If you’re a stills or hybrid shooter who flits between photography and videography, it’s one of the best cameras you will ever have the pleasure of using. Alas, we can’t recommend the R5 if your primary interest is pure video shooting. Don’t get us wrong, its video is incredible – but having to navigate the overheating restrictions prohibits it from being your A-camera (unless you only shoot 4K 30p, in which case you don’t need this anyway).

Pros

  • +Pristine image quality
  • +Best AF on the market
  • +Best full-frame IBIS
  • +8K video is astounding
  • +Lightning-fast burst

Cons

  • -Recording limitations
  • -Standard 4K is just okay

The Canon EOS R5 is finally here after months of waiting and masterful teases by the – there’s no other word for it – exceptionally canny manufacturer.

No camera in recent memory has received or, dare we say it, deserved this amount of hype. The Canon EOS R5 is a powerhouse performer in every possible respect; its 8K video outclasses many of the best cinema cameras, its shooting speed puts it on par with the best cameras for sport, and its 45MP sensor outmuscles all but a few of the best mirrorless cameras, and its 8-stop in-body image stabilization is the new IBIS champion.

Of course, something had to be too good to be true. No sooner had the camera been revealed than the realities hit home regarding the headline video capabilities – and ironically, those red-hot specs are literally too hot for the camera to handle, as the R5 is subject to recording limitations to prevent it overheating.

So, just how painful is this sting in the tail – and is there anything else on that remarkable spec sheet that has also proved too good to be true? With the R5 otherwise having all the ingredients to be the best Canon camera we’ve ever seen, let’s see if it can possibly live up to the ridiculous hype…

SPECIFICATIONS

Sensor: 45MP full-frame CMOS 36 x 24mm
Image processor: Digic X
AF points: 5,940 Dual Pixel CMOS AF II
ISO range: 100-51,200 (expandable to 50-102,400)
Stabilization: 5-axis, up to 8 stops
Max image size: 8,192 x 5,464px
Metering zones: 384
Video: 8K DCI or UHD at 30p, 24p / 4K DCI or UHD at 120p, 100p, 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p / 1080p (FullHD) at 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p
Viewfinder: 0.5-inch OLED EVF, 5,690k dots, 100% coverage, 0.76x magnification, 120fps refresh rate
Memory card: 1x CFexpress type B, 1x UHS-II SD/SDHC/SDXC
LCD: 3.15-inch fully articulating touchscreen, 2,100k dots.
Max burst: 12fps mechanical shutter, 20fps electronic shutter
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 5Ghz and 2.4GHz, Bluetooth 4.2, USB-C (USB 3.1 Gen 2), micro HDMI (type D), microphone, headphone, N3 remote, flash sync, gigabit ethernet (via WFT-R10 grip)
Size: 135.8 x 97.5 x 88mm
Weight: 650g body only (738g with card and battery)

Canon EOS R5 review

Canon EOS R5 review

Canon EOS R5 review

KEY FEATURES

Such are the lofty specs of the Canon EOS R5 that virtually every feature is a key feature. Obviously the headline attraction here is the remarkable video capability. The R5 can capture full-width (uncropped) raw 8K video using the entire readout of the 35mm sensor – and it does so internally at up to 29.97fps in 4:2:2 12-bit Canon Log or HDR PQ (both H.265) in both UHD and DCI.

Its 4K capture is every bit as ferocious, recording at up to 119.88fps (in the same 4:2:2 Canon Log or HDR PQ, in UHD or DCI) with external HDMI recording up at up to 59.94fps. However, the R5 is much more than just a video behemoth.

Since the 8K DCI video has a resolution of 8,192 x 4,320, the camera has a Frame Grab function that enables you to take high-resolution 35.4MP stills (as JPEGs) from your footage – which is 5.1MP greater resolution than the Canon EOS R.

All of this is thanks to the brand new 45MP image sensor, which Canon claims makes the R5 “the highest resolution EOS camera ever” – supposedly resolving even greater detail than the 50.6MP Canon EOS 5DS / R. This is thanks to the new low-pass filter design, which was introduced in the flagship Canon EOS-1D X Mark III.

Traditional low-pass filters (employed to get rid of moiré) employ dual-layer, four-point subsampling and introduce a layer of softness to images. Canon’s new tech features quad-layer, 16-point subsampling and combines it with a Gaussian distribution technique to deliver sharpness rivaling the 5DS / R. (Our lab results for the 1D X Mark III didn’t quite bear this out, and we’re currently testing the R5 to see if it comes true this time).

Canon EOS R5 review

The flagship 1D X has served as donor for much of the tech in the EOS R5. The AI-powered Deep Learning AF system has been transplanted, enabling the new camera to perform spookily accurate eye, face and head tracking. However, the R5 has a trick that even the Mark III doesn’t have; it is also capable of Animal AF that can track the eyes, faces and bodies of dogs, cats and birds – including birds in flight.

Underpinning the autofocus is the brand new Dual Pixel CMOS AF II – the latest generation of Canon’s much-lauded AF system. And best of all, all these autofocus technologies are available in stills as well as all video resolutions and frame-rates – with a staggering 5,940 AF points for photography and 4,500 for filming.

And the continuous shooting speed is also on par with the 1D X Mark III, as the R5 matches the flagship’s top speed of 20fps via the electronic shutter (and 12fps using the mechanical shutter). Backed up by dual card slots, including lightning-fast CFexpress support, this means that the R5 can stand toe-to-toe with sports cameras, video cameras and medium format cameras alike.

Most excitingly, for long-suffering Canon users, the EOS R5 features the company’s agonizingly overdue implementation of 5-axis in-body stabilization. The wait, however, has been worth it, as Canon is now officially the king of IBIS – the R5 (and the Canon EOS R6) boasts up to 8 stops of CIPA-rated stabilization, depending on the lens.

While you get the top stability when using specific RF-mount glass, the IBIS also works with EF lenses, EF-S lenses, as well as ‘dumb’ lenses with no electrical contacts – that means vintage lenses, cinema lenses, lenses adapted from other camera systems… essentially any lens.

Canon EOS R5 review

BUILD AND HANDLING

In the hand, the EOS R5 feels like a slightly beefier EOS R. It’s almost imperceptibly thicker (literally just 3.6mm), but it has notably more heft, weighing about 70g more. The weight is very evenly distributed, though, and the body feels very well balanced – indeed, the extra mass makes it feel a better match for some of the notoriously larger RF lenses. 

From the top, the R5 is very similar to the EOS R and bears the same top OLED screen and mode button within the rear control dial. It’s the rear where the differences start to come into play, and the first thing you’ll notice is that the love-it-or-loathe it M-Fn touchbar has been abolished; in its place is a familiar joystick, with the AF-ON button assuming its more traditional position. 

A control wheel has also replaced the individual D-pad buttons seen on the EOS R and Canon EOS RP, all of which makes the R5 feel much more like using a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV – fitting, as this is a 5-series camera intended to sit alongside its DSLR counterpart.

Thankfully the camera retains the fully articulating touchscreen seen on the EOS R and RP, which is obviously important for recording video (as well as taking stills from elevated or low angles). 

Being a 5-series camera, you can expect the same robust weather sealing – though invariably, given that the mirrorless model is daintier (and also features an articulating screen), it doesn’t feel as sturdy as the 5D. For sure it will withstand some knocks, but unlike the DSLR you really wouldn’t want to drop it or leave it in the hands of children.

The R5 also features a brand new 2,130mAh battery, the LP-E6NH, which features 14% greater capacity than the LP-E6N that it replaces – and it’s backwards-compatible with any camera that accepts the LP-E6 family of batteries, so you can use it with your other cameras as well. 

Canon EOS R5 review

PERFORMANCE: VIDEO

Okay, let’s deal with the thing everyone’s talking about right away: yes, shooting anything above standard 4K 30p video will cause the Canon EOS R5 to heat up internally, thus necessitating recording limits to prevent overheating. 

Shooting 4K 30p causes no overheating issues whatsoever, so you can shoot as much video as you like (all recordings are subject to the usual 30-minute limit per single file, but you can record as many 30-minute files as you like). However, limitations will be incurred the more demanding your video settings. So shooting 4K 60p will cause the camera to overheat in about 35 minutes, while shooting 8K 30p will result in overheating in about 20 minutes – after which you will need to allow the camera to cool down before recording again (a breakdown can be found here).

If you regularly shoot video above 4K 30p, this is definitely an issue. While it’s unusual for any production to shoot single 20-minute takes, the overheating issue is cumulative – so if you shoot a series of shorter videos, or if you shoot a lot of stills, the camera innards will already start to heat up, making it very difficult to gauge how much time you can actually record for. This is also affected by the temperature of your location; hot outdoor settings and direct sunlight will sap the record times further, making things unpredictable unless you’re in a cool, controlled environment.

Again, none of this applies to 4K 30p – and we happily spent days on end shooting both 8K 30p and 4K 60p clips in-between stills without a single issue. However, if your primary interest is video first and stills second (if at all), we don’t think the R5 will be fit for purpose – and we strongly recommend taking it for a test drive to make your own determination. 

If you don’t fall foul of the recording limitations, though, you will behold 8K video that is astoundingly rich and detailed (and of course, 20 minutes of 8K is still 20 minutes more than any other camera right now), while the oversampled 4K modes produce some of the best footage we’ve ever seen. The standard line-skipped 4K feels a bit pedestrian, however, and the Canon EOS R6 is actually superior in this regard as it doesn’t feature line-skipping.

As you can see in the sample 4K videos above (at 60fps) and below (at 120fps), the quality is crystal clear and the powerful IBIS truly enables you to shoot gimbal-free in most situations. Just bear in mind that if you’re going to be filming 8K, oversampled 4K or 4K 120p, you will need to invest in one of the best external hard drives because you will fill up memory cards and disc space fast. You’ll also need a very beefy computer to actually process 8K, as some won’t even open the videos – let alone handle editing and grading the footage.

There are other video restrictions worth being mindful of – you can’t record the more demanding video modes (RAW, 8K 4K 120p and so on) unless you’re using a CFexpress card, so bear that in mind if you’re using SD.

Accordingly, you can’t record your video to both cards, to create a redundant backup, so you will need to get comfortable working with proxies – and with the idea that should you have a card failure, you will lose your work. And of course, you can’t record 8K or 4K footage using EF-S lenses, as this crops the recording area, or with movie cropping enabled (which obviously does the same).

PERFORMANCE: STILLS

So, aside from the video restrictions, are there any other stings in the tail? In short, no – everything else behaves exactly as we all hoped and expected it would. 

The 45MP photographs are stunning, with crisp detail that may or may not match the 5DS/R in terms of pure resolution, but taken side-by-side they certainly pass the eyeball test and look every bit as good. That said, we were surprised that the 5D Mark IV actually outperforms the R5 when it comes to ISO performance and dynamic range. If you’re somebody who wants maximum play from your files in post production (such as for landscape photography), or if you want the cleanest files at high ISOs, the four-year-old DSLR will give you slightly better results.  

A more pleasant surprise are the 35MP Frame Grabs that you can extract from 8K video. This is technology that has been seen in other cameras before, but never with the level of detail and fidelity seen here. Simply scrub through your 8K footage on the back of the camera, pinpoint the frame you want as a still, and push a button to produce a 35MP image – and it isn’t the kind of blurry, low-res still you get when you screenshot a YouTube video; it’s a pristine high-resolution file that looks like it was taken as a photograph on a camera with a very, very good 35MP sensor. 

Of course, being that it is a JPG taken from a video, you get virtually zero dynamic range to play with – the video exposure is baked in, so you can’t recover anything from blown-out highlights (though there is still data to recover in the shadows). Still, provided that your lighting is right in the first place, yes – you can literally now film your photoshoot as a video, and simply pull the still frames you want from it afterwards. Cheating or not, it works and it’s brilliant. 

Speaking of cheating, that’s what the new Animal AF is: it’s literally a cheat code for wildlife photography. Canon’s new Deep Learning algorithm is so good that all you have to do is point your camera at an animal and the R5 will recognize, track it and even focus on the eyes. 

Canon EOS R5 review

No need to move any focus points, no need to touch the joystick at all; just set the camera to ‘Subject: Animals’, stick it in C-AF and hold it towards an animal. Canon only certifies it for dogs, cats and birds, but we successfully tested it on lions, monkeys, turtles, iguanas, fish, skunks, meerkats, raccoons, sand squirrels, Fennec foxes… if it’s got eyes and a face, the R5 will almost certainly recognize it.

No exaggeration, this is genuinely game-changing technology that is probably going to put a lot of wildlife photographers out of business. Because you could put this camera in the hands of your children, and they would come home from the zoo with a whole load of in-focus pictures of animals. It’s that easy and that good. 

And obviously the AF is even better when it comes to shooting human subjects, with a witchcraft-like ability to find and focus on faces and eyes in an instant – even when features are obscured or your tracking gets interrupted by hands, objects or passers-by. You can safely tell your Sony-owning friends that, yes, Canon now has the best autofocus in town – it really is black magic.

Best of all, these autofocus functions are all 100% available and effective when shooting video as well. So whether you’re filming videos of the bride and groom at a wedding, or footage of wild animals chasing each other across the Serengeti, the Canon EOS R5 will find your subjects and focus on them. The AF is spookily good – it’s just a shame that the R5 is haunted by the specter of its video.

Worth mentioning is the latest implementation of Canon’s Dual Pixel RAW tech. This feature, which makes use of both photodiodes on a single pixel, was previously seen on the 5D Mark IV to ever-so-slightly change the focus in your images. While that was mostly unconvincing, here the technology is much more mature – and actually could be incredibly useful. 

On the R5 you can change the clarity of your backgrounds (as if adjusting the same slider in Photoshop), but more impressively you can add a lighting source and modifier to change the lighting of your images in camera. So, if you have an underexposed face and you want to add a key light with barn doors to selectively brighten it, you can do it without Photoshop – and it works pretty well, especially using the touchscreen. 

LAB DATA

We tested the Canon EOS R5 alongside the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, as the R5 could well be the indirect replacement for the DSLR. The Nikon Z7 and Sony A7R IV are obvious mirrorless rivals to the EOS R5, at least for stills shooting.

Resolution:

Canon EOS R5 review

Our resolution test results mostly reflect what you’d expect from the varying megapixel counts offered by each camera. Unsurprisingly, the 61MP Sony A7R IV comes out on top and is the camera of choice for resolving the finest details. With 45.7 megapixels on tap, the Nikon Z7 comes in second to the Sony, yet it manages to score significantly higher than the 45MP EOS R5 – something we weren’t expecting, given the two cameras have almost identical megapixel counts. 

The reason for this discrepancy seems to be the Nikon’s slightly better resistance to moiré interference, which is more prominent in the EOS R5’s resolution chart images, and it affects our scoring. The EOS R5’s real-world images are comparably sharp to those from the Z7. Predictably, with only 30.4MP, the 5D Mark IV can’t quite compete with its mirrorless counterparts for fine detail capture.

Dynamic range:

Canon EOS R5 review

At lower sensitivities, up to ISO1600, the EOS R5 is capable of capturing similarly high dynamic range to its 5D IV DSLR sibling and the Nikon Z7. However, at higher sensitivities the new Canon can’t quite stay at the top of the pile, with the 5D IV and Z7 capable of up to 2 stops more dynamic range than the R5. It’s worth noting that any in-camera dynamic range enhancement is disabled for our lab testing, in order to get a level playing field.

Signal to noise ratio:

Canon EOS R5 review

Our signal to noise test measures image clarity, specifically the ratio of the actual image ‘data’ you want to capture, versus the image noise that you don’t want, but will inevitably be visible when shooting at higher ISO sensitivities. The higher the score at a given ISO sensitivity, the better.

Here the EOS R5 scores well, level-pegging with the Z7 and A7R IV throughout most of the tested sensitivity range. However, the good old 5D Mark IV generates cleaner images than the newer mirrorless cameras at ISO200 and above. This isn’t all that surprising, as the DSLR’s lower megapixel count is spread over the same full-frame sensor area, meaning that it has larger individual photosites that can be more light-sensitive and therefore generate less image noise.

Canon EOS R5 review

VERDICT

The Canon EOS R5 is a real Jekyll and Hyde product. For photography, it is absolutely the camera to beat. Though the A7R IV has more megapixels, and while we’re surprised that the 5D Mark IV has superior ISO and dynamic range, the gestalt properties of the R5 – the resolution, frame rates, IBIS, autofocus – make this hands-down the king of all-round, high resolution, high-speed photography. 

The autofocus really can’t be overstated. If you take pictures of people or animals, you will automatically benefit from the advantages that the R5 delivers. We’d go so far as to say that not only is it the best camera for wildlife photography, but that any serious wildlife shooter should really think about adopting it.

The image stabilization in the EOS R5 is the finest we’ve used on any full-frame system and is only bested by Micro Four Thirds cameras from Olympus and Panasonic (which feature superior IBIS because their sensors are so much smaller). It makes such a difference whether you’re shooting in low light, with long shutter speeds, on long lenses, or filming video without a gimbal.

Alas, the video is the Mr. Hyde of the equation. The reality is that we can’t recommend the Canon EOS R5 if your primary interest is pure video shooting. Don’t get us wrong, its video is incredible – but having to navigate the overheating restrictions prohibits this from being an A camera (unless you only shoot 4K 30p, in which case you don’t need this anyway). 

It’s perfectly possible to never once run into the recording limitations if you only film videos that are a few minutes long, which for many people will actually be fine. And in short bursts, its top-tier 4K and 8K modes are truly stunning – but the more video you shoot, the less usable it becomes, making it hard to recommend for video-first use when there are other cameras that shoot above 4K 30p with no limits. Sadly, it’s not the magic camera that content creators and cinematographers hoped for.

However, as a stills camera, the R5 is simply Canon’s finest product ever. It’s the perfect amalgamation of the EOS R’s form, the EOS 5D’s function, and the professional-grade autofocus of the EOS-1D X. If you’re a stills or hybrid shooter who flits between photography and videography, the Canon EOS R5 is a remarkable piece of technology and one of the best cameras you will ever have the pleasure of using. 

 

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Sony ZV-E10 review

Sony ZV-E10 review

Digital Camera World Verdict

The ZV-E10 is a very likeable little camera that doesn’t really break any new ground technically, and even ditches a few features that stills photographers would like to have, but for novice vloggers it’s a pretty good camera. It has 4K video, Sony’s excellent autofocus system, a vari-angle screen and a clip on muffler to cut wind noise. Best of all, against a backdrop of steadily climbing prices, it’s rather good value too. The lack of in-body stabilization and noticeable rolling shutter are downsides, though.

Pros

  • +Autofocus features and performance
  • +Vari-angle screen
  • +Clip on wind muffler

Cons

  • -No viewfinder
  • -No in-body stabilization
  • -Rolling shutter/’jello’ effect

Sony has called its new camera the ZV-E10, presumably to distinguish it from its long running series of A6000 cameras. It did the same with its pocket-sized Sony ZV-1, which is essentially a cheaper vlogging version of the rather pricey RX100 series cameras.

It’s a smart move. We’ve (almost) lost count of all the Sony A6000-series cameras has launched, each somewhat more expensive than the last and culminating in the $1,400 Sony A6600. This new model is cheaper than all of them, even the entry level Sony A6100, and yet does everything a vlogger could ask for – which is a market Sony has been targeting all along. Previously, we might have put the mid-range Sony A6400 forward as the best camera for vlogging in the Sony range, but now we’re tempted to go with the ZV-E10.

SPECIFICATIONS

Sony ZV-E10 review

Sensor: 24.2MP APS-C CMOS
AF points: 425 phase detect + 425 contrast detect
ISO range: 100-32,000
Stabilization: EIS, video only
Max image size: 6,000 x 4,000px
Video: 4K UHD up to 30p
Viewfinder: No
Memory card: 1x SD/SDHC/SDXC, UHS-I
LCD: Vari-angle touchscreen
Max burst: 11fps for 116 JPEGs
Size: 113.0 x 64.2 x 44.7mm
Weight: 346g body only

KEY FEATURES

Sony ZV-E10 review

As far as we can tell the 24.2MP CMOS sensor is from the same family used in the A6xxx series all along. This camera is a few millimetres smaller in width than the existing models, though about the same in weight. As an E-mount camera, it takes both Sony APS-C E-mount lenses and full frame Sony FE lenses too.

There are important differences, though. One is that the ZV-E10 has a fully-adjustable variety-angle screen for the first time on a Sony APS-C mirrorless camera – so far, all the rest have had tilting screens only. This is a big advantage for video because it means the screen won’t foul on microphones or tripods when it’s flipped to face forwards.

Another difference is the inclusion of a 3-capsule directional mic in the top of the camera, which accepts a clip-on wind-muffler included with the camera. It also has a regular mic socket and the accessory shoe also works as a digital audio interface.

The third difference might be less welcome – there’s no viewfinder. Vloggers and videographers probably wouldn’t use one anyway, but for stills photographers this will be a drawback.

BUILD AND HANDLING

Sony ZV-E10 review

The existing A6xxx cameras are pretty small already, so the ZV-E10 feels especially compact. Even so, the good-sized grip on the front makes it feel pretty secure in your hand.

There’s no mode dial on this camera – you have to change modes using the menus – which is another negative point for stills photography – and while the button on the top for toggling between Stills, Video and Slow/Quick mode is straightforward enough, it would have been much, much better to have a physical lever so that you can see at a glance which mode you’re in.

Sony’s rear screens have always been on the small side, and this one seems no better. It’s adequate, no more. It’s not very bright, either, so if you intend to use this camera outdoors, you’ll probably want to enable the ‘Sunny’ display mode – and leave it there.

Otherwise, this little camera handles just fine. Sony recommends the 10-18mm F4 wide-angle for self-vlogging at arm’s length, just to get in some of the background too, but the familiar Sony 16-50mm power zoom kit lens is especially useful here because it works with the zoom lever set around the ZV-E10’s shutter release.

PERFORMANCE

Sony ZV-E10 review

Sony ZV-E10 review

Sony ZV-E10 review

Sony ZV-E10 review

Sony ZV-E10 review

Sony ZV-E10 review

Sony’s autofocus system is the best there is amongst APS-C mirrorless cameras. It’s fast and positive for stills photography, but excels in video mode. The Face/Eye detect AF is very fast and tracks even rapid movements. The Presentation Mode is equally impressive, rapidly refocusing on objects you hold up in front of the camera – though you can’t have Face/Eye AF and Presentation Mode at the same time. Finally, the Tracking mode is activated simply by tapping your subject on the screen, and ‘sticks’ to them really well, only losing contact if they are momentarily obscured or leave and re-enter the frame.

This still image quality looks very much as we’d expect from Sony’s APS-C mirrorless cameras. It’s probably best not to expect too much from the Sony 16-50mm lens, though. The lens that came with the ZV-E10 had better edge sharpness than our pretty awful office lens, but it’s still not great, even by kit lens standards.

VIDEO

The video quality looks good at first glance, as we’ve come to expect from Sony’s APS-C mirrorless cameras. We couldn’t test the wind muffler, alas, because our sample camera didn’t come with one in the box – though we did find this really effective on the Sony ZV-1.

Video is a bit of a mixed bag, however. The 4K quality is very good, and we’ve already mentioned the stellar AF system, but this is a camera that doesn’t like sudden movements. It has no in-body stabilization, so it relies on lens stabilization or in-camera digital stabilization, neither of which seems as effective. There is an ‘active’ stabilization mode for run and gun style video (we presume) but it just adds a heavy crop without appearing to help much.

Worse, like other Sony A6000-series cameras, this one shows a prominent rolling shutter or ‘jello’ effect if you move it too quickly. This can give handheld video an even more jerky appearance.

The lack of in-body stabilization and the rolling shutter effect are not such an issue if you use a gimbal or a tripod, but they are not really what you want in a camera aimed at novices, whose technique is not likely to be so polished.

This is an issue mirrorless camera makers need to take on board. If they want to pitch an entry level mirrorless model as an ‘upgrade’ to a phone, action camera or gimbal camera, then it does actually have to be better. With the ZV-E10, the quality is certainly there, but it takes a lot more nursing to get smooth looking shots than camera phone or a GoPro.

Ultimately, you CAN shoot handheld with the ZV-E10, but you have to be very steady, and there may be too many times when you kick yourself for not using a gimbal or a video tripod.

LAB DATA

For our lab data comparison, we compared the ZV-E10 with three of its key APS-C mirrorless rivals with a focus on vlogging: the Canon EOS M50 Mark II, Fujifilm X-S10, and Nikon Z50.

Resolution:

Sony ZV-E10 review

Resolution is measured using standardized text charts which give results in line widths / picture height, which is independent of sensor size.

The ZV-E10 shares a similar sensor resolution as the Canon EOS M50 Mark II, but the Sony’s images tend to be noisier at higher ISOs, obscuring some fine detail. It also means the lower megapixel Nikon Z50 actually maintains better detail than the Sony at higher ISOs.

Dynamic range:

Sony ZV-E10 review

Dynamic range is a measure of a camera’s ability to record extreme brightness ranges and still retain detail in the brightest and darkest parts of the scene. It’s measured in EV (exposure values, or ‘stops’).

The ZV-E10 can capture a reasonably wide dynamic range, roughly equivalent to the EOS M50 Mark II at lower sensitivities, and around one stop more at higher ISOs. However, the Sony can’t compete with the Fujifilm and Nikon cameras when it comes to capturing extreme highlight and shadow detail. The sensor family used across Sony’s APS-C mirrorless cameras is quite old now, and it looks like this is affecting both the noise control and readout speeds.

Signal to noise ratio:

Sony ZV-E10 review

This test compares the amount of random noise generated by the camera at different ISO settings as a proportion of the actual image information (the ‘signal’). Higher values are better and we expect to see the signal to ratio fall as the ISO is increased.

The ZV-E10’s images show slightly more noise than its main rivals, especially at higher ISOs.

VERDICT

Sony ZV-E10 review

The Sony ZV-E10 is unadventurous in many respects, even a little limited. Sony doesn’t seem to have moved on its APS-C 4K video tech very far at all in the past couple of years, and its 4K 30p capture is now the norm. There’s no viewfinder, and the controls are less well suited to stills photography than other Sony APS-C mirrorless cameras.

But the vari-angle screen, the in-built mic and muffler and Sony’s class-leading video AF make this camera perfect for new vloggers, or smartphone shooters who want to up their game. Best of all, Sony has chosen a realistic price point that makes this camera accessible to novice vloggers yet still gives them everything they need. It’s just a pity that handheld video footage isn’t more stable, and this might be an unpleasant surprise for vloggers trying their first mirrorless camera. 

The ZV-E10 doesn’t break new ground technically, but as a product designed to suit a specific audience, it pretty much hits the nail on the head.

 

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Sony A7 IV review

Sony A7 IV review

Digital Camera World Verdict

Don’t think of the A7 IV as Sony’s new ‘entry level’ full frame mirrorless camera. It’s both too powerful, too complex and, yes, too expensive for that. It’s more like a mini-A1 that’s terrifyingly good at everything but less than half the price. Stills photographers can revel in its 33MP resolution and incredible burst mode, while videographers get a camera that leaves the previous A7 III far behind.

Pros

  • +Unprecedented buffer capacity
  • +10-bit 4:2:2 video and 4K 60p
  • +Super-responsive AF
  • +Extensive external controls

Cons

  • -Priced for semi-pros, not beginners
  • -Needs a fast card(s)
  • -Cropped S&Q mode

The Sony A7 IV signals a step up in ambition for Sony’s ‘vanilla’ A7 model. Traditionally, the Sony A7 has been the range’s entry-level camera, with the ‘R’ models adding resolution and the ’S’ models adding speed/sensitivity. But there’s nothing ordinary about the Sony A7 IV, and while it does technically superseded the A7 III, it’s an altogether more advanced camera that, we think, targets a higher-level audience.

The Sony A7 III will continue for now and we have a Sony A7 IV vs A7 III article that spells out the differences. The Sony A7C will offer an additional ‘beginner’ option for the full frame Sony camera system going forward.

SPECIFICATIONS

Sony A7 IV review

Sensor: 33MP full frame Exmor R CMOS
Image processor: BIONZ XR
AF points: 759-point hybrid phase/contrast-detect
ISO range: 100 to 51,200 (exp. 204,800 stills, 102,400 video)
Max image size: 7,008×4,672
Metering modes: Multi-segment, Center-weighted, Spot (Standard / Large), Avg, Highlight
Video: 4K 30p full width, 4K 60p Super35 crop
Viewfinder: 0.5 type Quad VGA OLED, 3.69m dots, 100% coverage
Memory cards: 1x CFexpress Type A/SD UHS-II, 1x SD UHS-II
LCD: 3-inch fully articulating touchscreen, 1.04m dots
Max burst: 10fps, up to 828 raw+JPEG (with CFexpress Type A card)
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Size: 131.3 x 96.4 x 79.8mm
Weight: 658g (with card and battery)

KEY FEATURES

Sony A7 IV review

Where do we start? How about the sensor? The A7 IV’s new 33MP sensor is hardly headline news by today’s mirrorless camera standards, but it’s a big step up from the 24.2MP of the A7 III and A7C, and it puts a bit of distance between the A7 IV and powerhouse APS-C cameras like the Fujifilm X-T4.

And then there are the enhanced video features. Again, the A7 IV does not challenge the big hitters in the mirrorless video camera market, but it’s a big step forward from the A7 III. Its 10-bit 4:2:2 capture makes the Sony S-Log3 mode much more useful for color grading later, and while the 4K 60p capture does mean switching to Super35 crop mode, the A7 III couldn’t do 4K 60p at all (come to that, 4K 30p comes with a 1.2x crop factor on that camera, and only 25/24p 4K is full width).

Sony A7 IV review

Perhaps the most spectacular advance, however, is the least obvious. The A7 III brought 10fps continuous shooting and an above-average buffer capacity for a general-purpose camera – but the A7 IV’s buffer capacity is just extraordinary. The combination of the new sensor, BIONZ XR processor and CFexpress Type A storage, give the A7 IV an essentially unlimited buffer capacity. It does have a limit of 828 consecutive uncompressed raw+JPEG files (828!) – but it’s effectively unlimited with a CFexpress Type A card. Effectively, this camera can keep going until the card fills up, the battery runs out or everyone else has gone home…

The autofocus has benefited from Sony’s continued technical development, with faster re-focusing (no more ‘hunting’ when the subject hasn’t moved) and two new features for video: AF Assist for quick manual focus interventions to make the camera’s AF swap subjects, and a Focus Map mode which shows a blue overlay for subjects ‘behind’ the depth of field limits and a red overlay for subjects in front. It’s also the first Sony to offer human, animal and bird eye AF for video.

BUILD AND HANDLING

Sony A7 IV review

The Sony A7 IV is clearly part of the Sony A7 family, but with the chunky handling and bigger grip of the A7S III. The top plate looks relatively uncluttered for such a sophisticated camera, with no controls at all to the left of the viewfinder housing.

To the right is the main mode dial (with a Still/Video/S&Q dial stacked underneath, two control dials, a Record button and a C2 custom button. It sounds a lot, but everything is well spaced and accessible.

There’s quite a lot going on around the back of the camera too, but again, all the controls are pretty well spaced, with room for a multi-controller that also acts as a dial, an AF joystick and six buttons, including C1 and C4 function buttons, an AF-ON button and an Fn button for calling up a quick settings screen.

Sony A7 IV review

The vari-angle LCD screen is another big step forward from the A7 IV, which only has a tilting screen – but what’s made Sony so mean with its LCD screens? Even the A7 IV has to make do with a 3-inch screen with just 1.04m dots, where rival cameras have bigger 3.2-inch screens and/or twice the resolution.

There’s a further control dial at the front of the grip to bring the total to four. Add in all the custom buttons and you’ve got a camera that can be set up just about any way you want.

Sony A7 IV review

However, all this power and control brings complexity. The matrix of codecs, frame rates, resolutions and crops makes the video settings highly complex, especially if you’re using a slower memory card, which will bring its own limits. Sony’s video formats include XAVC S, XAVC HS, XAVC S-I… so if you’re new to the brand you will have to do your own bit of jargon decoding to work out what you need.

If you shoot video with this camera all the time, you’ll soon have it eating out of the palm of your hand, but if you’re a once-a-month video dabbler, you’re going to have to put some time in learning exactly what’s what, and where it is.

The crop factors are another thing. If you want to shoot 4K 60p, the camera switches to a Super35 crop (roughly APS-C) to do it, and – annoyingly – it also crops in when you switch from regular video mode to the S&Q mode. So you can’t just switch over to grab a bit of fast or slow-motion footage because your framing will change. Ultimately, you could just switch to Super35 mode from the outset to avoid these mid-shoot crop changes, but then you lose the advantage of full-width capture.

The A7 IV is a very powerful video tool, but it has its limitations and you will need to remember them.

Sony A7 IV review

The autofocus looks complex initially, but proves very straightforward to use. Sony’s eye AF and Real-time Tracking truly are excellent, and they just work brilliantly. Likewise the AF tracking, which is activated by a tap on the screen and sticks to your subject like glue.

This is not a beginner camera, however. There is a lot of co-dependency between the camera settings and features. In order to do one thing, often you have to go somewhere else and do another thing first. Experienced shooters will learn it soon enough, though, especially if they’ve moved up from another Sony.

PERFORMANCE

Sony A7 IV review

Sony A7 IV review

The still image quality is quite superb. If you want better than this you’ll need to step up to a 40-60MP camera, and you won’t get the A7 IV’s video features if you do. Quite apart from the outright resolution, the A7 IV produces excellent color rendition in its JPEGs. Sony says its color rendition is improved over that of the A7 III, and while these things are hard to measure scientifically, the A7 IV’s JPEGs do look very good indeed.

The video is oversampled from 7K down to 4K (the A7 III uses oversampled 6K). In theory, the A7 IV’s video should be sharper, if only imperceptibly. Played back full screen on a 4K monitor, our sample footage looked pretty spectacular. 

Sony A7 IV review

Sony A7 IV review

We’re not so convinced about the A7 IV’s stabilization, though. Sony claims a 5.5 stop shake advantage, compared to 5 stops for the A7 III, and the A7 IV adds Active Mode digital stabilization with a slight crop for even steadier footage – as found on the Sony A1, for example.

But while our A7 IV steadied up perfectly for relatively static shots, it did seem pretty poor at run-and-gun style camera movements (or even walk-and-gun). Video pros will almost certainly shoot with more skill and smoothness than a photography journalist (ahem) but even so, we’d recommend you don’t pack away that gimbal just yet.

We’ve no such complaints about the autofocus. The eye AF is just uncannily good, and Sony’s remarks about fast refocusing are justified. 

LAB RESULTS

For our lab data comparison, we compared the Sony a7 IV to its main full-frame mirrorless rival cameras at a similar price point: the Canon EOS R6, Nikon Z6 II, and Panasonic Lumix S5.

Resolution:

Sony A7 IV review

Resolution is measured using standardized text charts which give results in line widths / picture height, which is independent of sensor size.

Here we can clearly see the advantage of Sony’s new 33MP sensor versus the lower-resolution competition. Only the 24MP Nikon Z 6II can get close, and only at high ISO sensitivities. However, the extra resolution does mean some compromises….

Dynamic range:

Sony A7 IV review

Dynamic range is a measure of a camera’s ability to record extreme brightness ranges and still retain detail in the brightest and darkest parts of the scene. It’s measured in EV (exposure values, or ‘stops’).

The first compromise with the A7 IV is dynamic range, which is noticeably weaker than the competition once you exceed ISO 400. It’s worth noting that Sony’s DRO dynamic range enhance is disabled for this test, but then so too are the competing enhancement systems in the rival cameras on test.

Signal to noise ratio:

Sony A7 IV review

This test compares the amount of random noise generated by the camera at different ISO settings as a proportion of the actual image information (the ‘signal’). Higher values are better and we expect to see the signal to ratio fall as the ISO is increased.

The a7 IV’s raw files appear a little noisy to the naked eye, which explains why the Sony can’t quite match the scores from the Canon, Nikon and Panasonic cameras in this test. To a degree we would expect this – all other things being equal, more megapixels means smaller photosites which means more noise. 

VERDICT

Sony A7 IV review

The Sony A7 IV is an extremely powerful, extremely advanced camera with state of the art autofocus, a huge buffer depth and very good video features. It can also be quite complex to set up and use. The A7 IV makes extraordinary things possible, but it doesn’t necessarily make them easy. 

If you come to this camera from another Sony model, you will find its settings and controls a logical extension of what you know already, and its performance and capabilities an absolute revelation.

The still image quality from the 33MP sensor is excellent and visibly better than the 20-24MP rival cameras in this price bracket. The video quality is also very good indeed. However, Sony’s image stabilization, even in Active mode, seems to lag behind that of rival cameras, so while it copes very well with static shooting, you’d be unwise to attempt any run-and-gun style filming.

The Sony A7 IV has big shoes to fill as its predecessor, the A7 III, is/was a terrific all-rounder. It is better than the A7 III in just about every respect – however, given current A7 III prices, the A7 IV is also considerably more expensive.

The Sony A7 IV is due for release in December 2021, but you can pre-order it now. Given current camera stock and supply issues, getting in early may be the best chance of getting this new camera. Just saying!

 

We hand-pick everything we recommend and select items through testing and reviews. Some products are sent to us free of charge with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions and do not accept compensation to review products. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

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Fujifilm X-T4 review

Fujifilm X-T4 review

Digital Camera World Verdict

We can’t help but give the Fujifilm X-T4 a five-star rating. Practically everything we wanted in the X-T3 is here, including in-body stabilization, a vari-angle touchscreen display and better battery life. We still want more (of course), including better buffer depth in continuous shooting mode, but that would just be the icing on the cake. The X-T4 isn’t just a terrific stills camera, of course. It also has cutting edge 4K video performance, with 60p 10-bit internal recording. It’s just a shame Fujifilm dropped the headphone socket (you’ll need an adaptor now).

Pros

  • +6.5-stop in-body stabilisation
  • +Classic controls and layout
  • +60p 10-bit 4K internal video

Cons

  • -The EOS M6 II has more megapixels
  • -Complex burst & video fps options
  • -No sensor advances over the X-T3

The Fujifilm X-T4 is the new flagship camera in the Fujifilm APS-C X-mount mirrorless camera range. It takes over from the X-T3, adding a series of key features that make the X-T4 perhaps the most advanced, most desirable and most powerful APS-C camera on the market right now.

Full-frame mirrorless cameras may be the ones that grab all the headlines, but APS-C cameras offer almost the same image quality, and pretty well all the features and performance, at a much lower price. And right now, the brand-new Fujifilm X-T4 looks to have everything that any amateur, enthusiast and expert could want.

The Fujifilm X-T4 is one of the best mirrorless cameras on the market, undoubtedly one of the best Fujifilm cameras and almost certainly on our list of the best cameras for enthusiasts. It could also prove to be one of the best 4K cameras for filmmaking as well as the best cameras for vlogging. As you’ll have gathered, the Fujifilm X-T4 is an important camera!

Of course, it’s been upstaged in 2022 – potentially – by the X-H2S, so you might want to check out our Fujifilm X-H2S vs X-T4 comparison.

Fujifilm X-T4 review

SPECIFICATIONS

Sensor: 26.1MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor
Image processor: X Processor 4
AF points: 117/425/91 point hybrid contrast/phase AF
ISO range: 160 to 12,800 (exp 80-51,200)
Max image size: 6,240 x 4,160
Metering modes: 256-zone multi-pattern, center-weighted, spot
Video: 4K & UHD at 60/50/30/25/24p
Viewfinder: EVF, 3.69m dots
Memory card: 2x SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS II)
LCD: 3-inch vari-angle touchscreen, 1.62m dots
Max burst: 30fps (electronic shutter, 1.25x crop mode) 15fps (mechanical shutter)
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Size: 134.6 x 92.8 x 63.8mm
Weight: 607g (body only)

Fujifilm X-T4 review

KEY FEATURES

The Fujifilm X-T3 had so many advanced features it was hard to know where to start… and the X-T4 makes this harder still.

We’ll begin with the things that are the same. The X-T4 uses the same 26.1-megapixel X-Trans sensor as the X-T3, with the same X Processor 4 image processing and the same hybrid phase detection/contrast AF system. The video specifications are largely unchanged too, but the X-T3’s 60p 4K video and 10-bit internal recording was so far ahead of its time – and still is –  that the X-T4’s video capture is still very advanced for this market.

The things that are new are mainly physical, but at least as important as megapixels and autofocus points.

First, the X-T4 now has in-body image stabilization. Fujifilm first used this on its bigger and heavier X-H1 model, but the IBIS unit in the X-T4 is smaller, lighter and more efficient – and Fujifilm claims up to 6.5 stops of shake compensation even with unstabilised Fujinon prime lenses. 

Second, a new shutter unit offers a much quieter action and a higher continuous shooting speed of 15fps, compared to 11fps on the X-T3. You can use the electronic shutter at up to 30fps in the camera’s 1.25x crop mode, but the mechanical shutter is better suited to fast-moving subjects. The new shutter also has a much longer life – 300,000 actuations compared to 150,000 on the X-T3.

Fujifilm X-T4 review

Third, there’s a new NP-W235 battery that offers up to 500 shots on a charge in normal mode and 600 in ‘economy’ mode. It’s not quite up to DSLR standards, but it’s a big improvement over the 390-shot battery life of the X-T3. 

Fujifilm has added another new feature to the X-T4 – a vari-angle screen. It’s not the 3.5-inch 16:9 screen seen on the Fujifilm X-A7 and X-T200, but Fujifilm says it needed to use a regular 3-inch screen to allow enough room for the D-pad controller on the back of the camera.

Other improvements include a new ETERNA Bleach Bypass cinematic Film Simulation mode, a new autofocus algorithm for better face and eye detection and some revised external controls, notably a new Still/Video lever on the top of the camera.

Fujifilm X-T4 review

BUILD AND HANDLING

The Fujifilm X-T4 has the same classic rectangular design and external exposure controls of previous Fujifilm X-series cameras. It’s a paradox of modern camera design that it takes a mirrorless camera like this one to truly replicate the handling of a classic 35mm film SLR – digital SLRs are just too bulky.

Where other cameras use mode dials, Fujifilm’s exposure controls are strictly old school. There’s a shutter speed dial on the top and a physical ISO dial and most (though not quite all) Fujifilm lenses have manual aperture rings. Each of these controls has an ‘A’ setting, so you can quickly swap between full manual control, aperture priority, shutter priority, program AE and auto ISO. 

This design means the camera settings are always visible and can be changed even without switching the camera on. You don’t need a mode dial, and this leaves the twin control dials available for other functions.

Best of all, this control layout really encourages you to think properly about exposure control and the camera settings.  It’s not old fashioned for the sake of it. We would say it’s a more expensive but better way to design a camera’s controls.

Fujifilm X-T4 review

The X-T4 is a little bigger than the X-T3, but not by much. It’s a couple of millimetres wider and a few millimetres thicker, but this doesn’t hamper the handling at all – if anything, the extra size makes the X-T4 that little bit ‘grippier’ and gives the controls more room to breathe. However, if you have a SmallRig video cage for an X-T2 or X-T3, the extra few millimetres means the X-4 won’t fit.

The shutter action is extremely quiet. Mirrorless cameras use focal plane shutters which normally make a bit of noise, but this one is extremely unobtrusive.

For horizontal shooting and video, the new vari-angle screen won’t offer much advantage over a tilting screen, as used by the X-T3, but it comes into its own for vertical shots and generally when shooting in tight corners at awkward angles.

There is a new VG-XT4 battery grip accessory for the X-T4 which adds duplicate vertical controls and two extra batteries to effectively triple the battery life to 1,450 shots. Once attached to the base, it feels a very snug fit on the X-T4 body, and although the grip is available only in black, it suits the black and silver bodies equally well.

The dual card slots sit behind a separate door to the battery compartment, which we like. The battery itself is physically larger than the NP-W126S cell used in the X-T3 and other X-series cameras, so they are not interchangeable, but the longer life of the new NP-W235 battery is important, so it was a change worth making.

Fujifilm X-T4 review

PERFORMANCE

Here’s a gallery of images we shot with a pre-production version of the X-T4 for a short time at the launch event. We now have a full production version for testing (see below).

Fujifilm X-T4 review

Fujifilm X-T4 review

The image quality from the X-T4 is everything we’ve come to expect from Fujifilm – and we have seen the results from this sensor before, in the X-T3, X-Pro3 and X-T30. Fujifilm’s film simulations offer an excellent choice of in-camera ‘looks’ and its dynamic range expansion and shadow/highlight tone settings increase its ability to cope with high brightness ranges to the point where you may not need to shoot raw files at all.

If you do shoot raw, you’ll find Adobe Camera Raw and Lightroom give their own excellent renditions of Velvia, Astia, ACROS and Fujifilm’s other film simulations, but our advice would be to get the free Capture One Express for Fujifilm to see just what this camera is capable of.

Fujifilm X-T4 review

Fujifilm X-T4 review

Fujifilm X-T4 review

We’re told the autofocus is now faster, with improved face and eye tracking, though the X-T3 did get a firmware update which boosted AF performance too, so there may not be too much difference in practice.

The autofocus is certainly fast with Fujifilm’s latest and best lenses, though some older primes may be a little slower and noisier through not having the same high performance AF actuators. The X-T4 proved very good at tracking eyes and faces in our tests, though it could lose contact with sudden and erratic movements. As with any autofocus system, you need to learn the camera’s responses to get the best from it and anticipate which AF mode is going to work best in any given situation.

Here are some more sample images from the X-T4:

Fujifilm X-T4 review

The 15fps burst mode is very impressive, though you’re better off swapping to JPEG only capture for longer bursts – otherwise, the camera will start to slow after just three seconds or so.

The 6.5-stop in-body stabilisation sounds great, though we didn’t get very close to that figure in our tests. It is very dependent on the lens and body combination being used and the conditions. We tried it with the Fujinon 16-55mm f/2.8 red badge lens set to 55mm at at a range of shutter speeds. 1/30sec was about as slow as we could go with reliably sharp results, though there were some successful shots at much slower shutter speeds, down to 1/8sec in some instances.

VIDEO

The changes between the X-T3 and X-T4 for video are substantial. The basic video specs are the same, but the addition of in-body-stabilisation and the longer batter life make a huge difference.

The in-body stabilisation is terrific. It doesn’t do the same job as a gimbal for smoothing sweeping cinematic camera movements, but for slower movements and static shooting, it’s as effective as a gimbal. The X-T4 also has DIS (digital image stabilization) which you can use in conjunction with the IBIS, though we didn’t see a whole lot of difference in the results. In some frames it seemed to give a ‘wavy’ look, but we’d need carry out more checks to be quite sure. In practice, the in-body stabilisation feels effective enough to use on its own.

The changed position of the stills-video lever doesn’t make much difference to usability, though it does emphasise the X-T4’s dual role. What is useful, though, is the way the menus switch according to which of these options you’ve selected. 

The new vari-angle monitor is a big step forward from the old tilting screen, especially when working with a gimbal, where you can turn it any way you need to in order to see the screen – and, of course, it flips round for when you need to film yourself. The touchscreen control is useful too with more ‘swipeable’ options. 

The new, bigger battery is extremely welcome for videos. The X-T2 and X-T3 tore through batteries in the past, especially when shooting 4K, but the whole video in this review was shot on a single charge and the battery levels was still at 80%.

However, the lack of an external charger is annoying, especially at this price. Yes, the X-T4 offers in-camera charging, but if you’re shooting a lot of video you’ll need one battery in the camera and another charging. You can’t have your camera out of action just because you need to charge a battery. You can get an external charger, that’s not a problem, but surely it could have been included?

The Bleach Bypass film simulation looked interesting, but the sample video was shot on Fujifilm’s Eterna profile, which is flat enough to give good overall dynamic range without needing too much post production work. The X-T4 also comes with Fujifilm’s F-Log profile – and a handy preview option to show you how your log footage will look in the edit, which helps with exposure settings when shooting.

The two main benefits with the X-T4 are the very effective in-body stabilisation and the much better battery life.

LAB TESTS

The Fujifilm X-T4 is a quite advanced stills and video camera so we hand to think long and hard to find three rivals to stack it up against that were in the same market and at a similar price. We went for The top of the range APS-C Sony model, the Sony A6600, the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III and, as a wildcard, the similarly priced but full frame Nikon Z 6.

Fujifilm X-T4 review

Resolution:
The X-T4, Nikon Z 6 and Sony A6600 all resolve equivalent amounts of fine detail up to ISO3200, after which the X-T4 manages to equal the full-frame NIkon Z 6 up to ISO 12800 for detail retention – an impressive result. The OM-D E-M1 Mark III with its lower resolution 20MP sensor is of course at a disadvantage here and can’t quite resolve as much detail as the other three cameras.

Fujifilm X-T4 review

Dynamic range:
The X-T4 performs very well for dynamic range, equalling the Olympus OM-D E-M1 III throughout its entire sensitivity range. The full-frame Nikon Z 6 also largely performs on par with the Fujifilm and Olympus cameras, apart from between ISO 3200 and 12800 where it can capture around 1 stop more dynamic range. The Sony A6600 is  outclassed by the other three cameras across all sensitivities.

Fujifilm X-T4 review

Signal to noise ratio:
Our signal to noise test measures image clarity, specifically the ratio of the actual image ‘data’ you want to capture, versus the image noise that you don’t want, but will inevitably be visible when shooting at higher ISO sensitivities. The higher the score at a given ISO sensitivity, the better.
 
Just as with dynamic range, the X-T4 runs mostly level with its rivals from Olympus and Nikon – noise is well controlled throughout its sensitivity range. The A6600 starts strongly at ISO 100 and 200, but as the ISOs increase, noise becomes much more apparent than in images from the other three cameras.

Fujifilm X-T4 review

VERDICT

The 2018 Fujifilm X-T3 was such a great camera that it was hard to find any fault with it at all. The only thing it lacked that we really wanted was in-body image stabilization, and the X-T4 has it. The X-T4 also brings a vari-angle screen and a faster, quieter, longer-lasting shutter mechanism. In many ways it feels like a successor to the Fujifilm X-H1 too. We would like a bigger buffer depth in continuous shooting mode, and it’s a shame the X-T3’s headphone socket has been lost, but the improvements to this camera more than make up for that.

 

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Fujifilm X-H2S review

Fujifilm X-H2S review

Digital Camera World Verdict

The Fujifilm X-H2S boasts the highest performance for stills and videos in the history of the X Series. With double the processing power of its predecessor, it offers a class-leading 40fps continuous shooting with full autofocus functions. The video specs are spectacular at 6.2K 30p uncropped, and with the option of three Apple ProRes codecs. For sports photographers, bird enthusiasts and users who do a lot of on-location work and don’t want the size or price of a full-frame sensor, the Fujifilm X-H2S is a terrifically powerful companion.

Pros

  • +Up to 7 stops of stabilization
  • +Continuous shooting at 40fps
  • +6.2K 30p and 4K 120p video

Cons

  • -No eye Control AF
  • -May need optional cooling fan

The Fujifilm X-Summit is always full of surprises, and the company used its most recent global event to announce the Fujifilm X-H2S. With it was the announcement of a brand-new fifth generation sensor and processor, the X-TransTM CMOS 5 HS and X-Processor 5 respectively. With the X-H2S, Fujifilm looks to have created a camera that high-speed photographers of sports, wildlife and action should love – and be well served by.

We gave the Fujifilm X-H1 top marks when it was released more than 4 years ago, and we couldn’t help but give the Fujifilm X-T4 a five-star review back in 2020 (see our Fujifilm X-H2S vs X-T4 comparison). But does the Fujifilm X-H2S do enough to warrant its place as the manufacturer’s latest flagship? And, since we’re wondering, does it outsmart competitors such as the OM System OM-1?

Fujifilm X-H2S (HDR Black) at Amazon for $2,499
The Fujifilm X-H2S is certainly one of the best professional cameras you can buy. Its continuous shooting speed using the electronic shutter is a staggering 40fps – that’s 10 to 20 fps faster than any full-frame stacked sensor camera currently on the market, including the Canon EOS R3 the Sony A1 and the sports-centric Nikon Z9.

Thanks to the rumor mill surrounding Fujifilm’s May 2022 X-Summit event, we thought we were getting a 40MP Fujifilm X-H2 (we now learn that’s coming later in 2022) but the X-H2S surpasses many of our expectations – especially when it comes to its impressive video specs. We’ll delve into these more below, but needless to say that 10bit video at 6.2K 30p and 4K 120p internally, the addition of three Apple ProRes codecs, and an improved sensor readout speed during video recording (to suppress rolling shutter effects) are all things that serious video creators will look for.

Fujifilm is a bit late to the high-speed party, having traditionally aimed its cameras squarely at the lifestyle end of photography – think food, portrait and travel. However, the manufacturer might now have done enough to be considered a serious contender among those who rate speed as a priority when it comes to choosing a camera. And to be honest, speed aside, the the Fujifilm X-H2S is a brilliant camera in its own right – both for stills and video.

Fujifilm X-H2S review

Fujifilm X-H2S review

Fujifilm X-H2S review

Fujifilm X-H2S review

Fujifilm X-H2S review

Fujifilm X-H2S review

SPECIFICATIONS

Sensor: 26.1MP 23.5mm x 15.6mm (APS-C) X-Trans CMOS 5 HS
Image processor: X-Processor 5
Mount: Fujifilm X-mount
ISO range: 80 to 51,200
Shutter: 30 secs to 1/8000sec.
Image stabilization: 5-axis IBIS
Max image size: 6,240 x 4,160
Max video resolution: 6.2K 30p, 4K 120p, 1080 240p
Viewfinder: 5.76-million-dot OLED
Memory card: 2 x CFexpress Type B/SD UHS-II cards
LCD: Vari-angle touchscreen, 1.62m dots
Max burst: 40fps electronic, 15fps mechanical
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, HDMI, USB-C
Size: 136.3 x 92.9 x 84.6mm
Weight: 579g (body only)

KEY FEATURES

Fujifilm X-H2S review

Aimed at pro photographers who need high-speed performance for tracking wildlife, sports or action, the Fujifilm X-H2S is designed to pack all the features that a photographer could want or need when shooting at a race track or tucked away in a bird hide. It’s also a powerful machine, catering to the diverse needs of the modern content creator as well as hybrid shooters.

At the heart of the camera is a brand-new X-Trans CMOS 5 HS sensor. It has a signal readout speed that’s roughly four times faster than the Fujifilm X-T4 but the same 26.1MP resolution. The sensor has a stacked-layer structure, and this is what enables the photographer to achieve blackout-free continuous shooting up to a sort-of-ridiculous 40 frames per second. By comparison, the flagship Nikon Z9 and Sony A1 both max out at 30fps continuous shooting when using the electronic shutter. You’ll actually get over 1,000 frames when setting the high-speed burst shooting mode to 30 frames per second in JPEG, or 20 frames per second in RAW mode.

To keep up with such speed, the camera features dual memory card slots now supporting CFexpress Type B and SD UHS-II cards, as CFexpress Type B cards can process high-speed data – allowing the H2S’s fast continuous shooting and video performance to reach its full potential. The Fujifilm X-H2S also shoots 10 bit HEIF (High Efficiency File Format) files, which are more efficient than JPEGs when it comes to storage space and capturing greater color depth.

In terms of autofocus, Fujifilm says that an “improved prediction algorithm for AF” has led to a big boost in the X-H2S’s ability to track a moving subject. The camera uses an Intelligent Hybrid AF system (a mix of through the lens contrast and phase detection). Continuous autofocus is absolutely imperative for sports and wildlife photographers whose subjects often move erratically, and the processor now features subject-detection AF that’s been developed with Deep Learning technology to improve tracking in Continuous AF mode.

This autofocus system can lock onto a myriad of subjects such as faces, animals, birds, bikes, planes, cars and trains. The aim is that the photographer can focus on the creativity of the shot and the composition while the AF system will keep things sharp. It’s worth pointing out that with the AI learning, the camera uses information from a massive database and doesn’t actually learn from the user, but obviously that’s something that Fujifilm has the potential to update over time.

Fujifilm X-H2S review

When it comes to video, the Fujifilm X-H2S represents a potentially massive upgrade for pros. The new sensor/processor combo enables recording of 10bit video at 6.2K 30p, as well as high-speed 4K/120P video which will allow fast-moving subjects – birds, planes, runners – to be captured in slow-motion.

What’s more, the Fujifilm X-H2S supports three Apple ProRes codecs; ProRes 422 HQ, ProRes 422, and ProRes 422 LT. If you’re not familiar with Apple ProRes and why it’s important for many pros, it essentially streamlines the overall workflow from shooting to editing, as it’s a more efficient codec.

F-Log2 capability is another new video feature on the camera, which preserves up to 14+ stops of dynamic range from the camera sensor.

In recent years the phenomenon of mirrorless cameras overheating and limiting video recording has been a notorious and even amusing source of contention, so what about maximum recording times? Well the Fujifilm X-H2S has been designed with a built-in heat-dissipating structure which increases the maximum video recording time to 240 minutes of 4K/60P video. This is only the quote for reasonable temperature climates, and to ensure longer video recording in high-temperature conditions, photographers will probably have to buy and attach Fujifilm’s new optional cooling fan (catchily named FAN-001) which extends the video recording further – priced at $199/£169.

ACCESSORIES

Fujifilm X-H2S review

Fujifilm X-H2S review

The Fujifilm X-H2S has been released with several optional add-on accessories that could definitely enhance the shooting experience – depending on your genre of photography. These include a Vertical battery grip (VG-XH) that fits two high capacity batteries, and File transmitter (FT-XH) due to be released in Sep 2022, which features wired LAN connectivity and high-speed wireless communications capability.

There’s also the cooling fan (FAN-001) that we mentioned earlier, which has been designed exclusively for the the Fujifilm X-H2S to allow it to record continuously for longer in high temperatures without shutting down. This small and portable fan clips onto the back of the camera body without cables, and it runs off the camera’s battery.

BUILD AND HANDLING

Fujifilm X-H2S review

In many ways the X-H2S feels similar to the Fujifilm X-H1 when it’s in your hand. However it is slightly smaller, even though it uses a bigger battery with a capacity up to 720 frames in economy mode – a full day, in other words. It features a chunky and pleasing grip that works well to give you a secure hold even in smaller hands. Just like its predecessor, it has a monochrome LCD display on the top panel that displays at a glance the key exposure settings and camera modes.

Fujifilm has taken on board feedback from its users and made some small but welcome changes that enhance handling, refining the modes and dials to improve operability. Some the switches and dials from the X-H1 have been removed entirely, so that you’re more reliant on the custom buttons for control, but this leads to a less cluttered design – where everything you need feels accessible and sensibly placed.

For example, the focus select switch has now gone, and a function button is in its place. The actual dials themselves feel more robust and nicer to press, and half-pressing the shutter button is so much smoother. Even the eyelets on the top plate have changed so that you can now fit larger straps on the camera.

One obvious change is the addition of a dedicated record button on the top of the camera plate next to the shutter. This – alongside the 1.62-million-dot vari-angle LCD touchscreen – could cement the Fujifilm X-H2S as a more than decent hybrid camera.

Fujifilm X-H2S review

Fujifilm X-H2S review

PERFORMANCE

Fujifilm X-H2S review

Sample images gallery

The first thing you noticed about the Fujifilm X-H2S is how tactile it is, and how enjoyable the handling. The slightly larger grip allows you to grab onto it comfortably even when using it with very long lenses such as the new Fujifilm XF150-600mmF5.6-8 lens (which was announced at the May 2022 X-Summit at the same time).

As well as a street photography session around London’s Covent Garden, we got the opportunity for some action photography and video at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, where the frankly phenomenal burst speed wowed us most of all.

The effective in-body image stabilization and, where available, lens stabilization too, makes it much easier to get sharp shots handheld from a static position. Our panning experiments worked out pretty well too, and while even with subject detection enabled the X-H2S didn’t offer a 100% hit rate, it did enable a good percentage of sharp shots at very slow panning speeds.

Fujifilm X-H2S review

Fujifilm X-H2S review

Although we know that the name of the game with the Fujifilm X-H2S is speed, it also handled portraits well. Fujifilm is well known for its color science and color profiles, and the camera rendered skin tones accurately and smoothly. 

Thanks to the 5-axis in-body image stabilization, we found that we were able to capture sharp handheld shoots indoors and as the weather turned grim, so we’d likely have no qualms about taking the camera on a low-light shoot without a tripod – especially given the ISO capabilities of up to 51,200.

FUJIFILM X-H2S: LAB RESULTS

For our lab data comparison, we compared the X-H2S to rival cameras which are strong performers for both still and video shooting, as well as being capable of fast burst shooting. Given that the price of the Fujifilm puts it in the realms of full-frame camera territory, we’ve included two full-frame cameras in the comparison.

We test resolution using Imatest charts and software, and dynamic range and signal to noise ratio with DxO Analyzer.

Resolution:

Fujifilm X-H2S review

Resolution is measured using standardized text charts which give results in line widths / picture height, which is independent of sensor size. We chose three rivals based on price and broad capabilities – the full frame Canon EOS R6 and Nikon Z6 II, and the APS-C Sony A6600.

The results here are broadly in-keeping with each camera’s sensor resolution, with the R6 resolving slightly less detail than the Nikon, and the 26.1MP X-H2s coming out on top. The surprise performer is the 24MP A6600, which manages to equal the Fujifilm’s resolving power at lower sensitivities, and even resolve more detail at higher ISOs.

Dynamic range:

Fujifilm X-H2S review

Dynamic range is a measure of a camera’s ability to record extreme brightness ranges and still retain detail in the brightest and darkest parts of the scene. It’s measured in EV (exposure values, or ‘stops’).

At lower sensitivities, the X-H2S can capture an almost identical amount of dynamic range as the EOS R6 and Z6 II, which both have full frame sensors. It remains level-pegging with Canon right through our tested ISO range, though the Nikon manages to record as much as 1EV broader dynamic range at ISO 6400 and above. The A6600 has an older sensor design and can’t match the other three cameras for dynamic range across the ISO scale.

Signal to noise ratio:

Fujifilm X-H2S review

The X-H2S has the highest resolution in this group and is also up against two full frame cameras, so it does well to stay only slightly behind for noise. The A6600 trails by some margin.

VERDICT

Fujifilm X-H2S review

We’ve now been able to spend some time with a production version of the X-H2S and it’s clear that Fujifilm’s new flagship will be an excellent choice for pros who are keen to stick with the APS-C format but want a camera that breaks new speed barriers – all without breaking the bank. It’s not cheap for an APS-C model, but it is when you put it against comparable full frame models.

The other key factor is that Fujifilm has built a very convincing array of lenses for all manner of photographic genres – including pro sports photography – and in the APS-C market only Sony has come close to matching that. And Sony’s best APS-C camera, the A6600, is no match for the Fujifilm X-H2S.

The initial price point is around $2499/£2499, which is a touch more than some of the best hybrid cameras and the much-loved Fujifilm X-T4, one of (in our opinion) the best APS-C hybrid cameras ever made, but the performance and capabilities of the X-H2S easily justify that price tag.

If you already shoot with the Fujifilm X-H1 or Fujifilm X-T4, you might not find enough of a reason to upgrade to the H2-S just yet unless your work involves shooting fast subjects (in which case the X-H1 might not be the best choice anyway).

But if you want to experience the latest and greatest Fujifilm X-series flagship and potentially future-proof yourself with a stills and video camera that will last for many years to come, the Fujifilm X-HS2 looks to be a very good buy indeed, especially if you’re already an X-system user looking for the next step up.