Pro­fes­sional cam­eras

If you’re look­ing for a pro­fes­sional-level cam­era there’s no short­age of mod­els avail­able. Here we look at a se­lec­tion of durable, ro­bust work­horses

Amateur Photographer - - Testbench Top Cameras & Lenses 2018 -

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV ● £3,249 ● www.canon.co.uk

Canon’s EOS 5D se­ries has been one of the most pop­u­lar ranges among en­thu­si­ast pho­tog­ra­phers since its launch in 2005. This ver­sion has a 30.4MP full-frame sen­sor de­liv­er­ing higher dy­namic range and su­pe­rior low-light per­for­mance over its pre­de­ces­sor. It’s ca­pa­ble of shoot­ing at 7 frames per sec­ond, and is one of only a hand­ful of full-frame DSLRs to sup­port 4K video cap­ture. With great build qual­ity and stun­ning per­for­mance, plus Wi-Fi, GPS and touch­screen con­trol, this is one of the most de­sir­able DSLRs avail­able.

Fu­ji­film X-T3 ● £1,349 ● www.fu­ji­film.eu/uk

The X-T3 takes ev­ery­thing we loved about the X-T2 and trans­forms it into an even bet­ter per­former, ca­pa­ble of black­out­free 30fps burst shoot­ing with su­pe­rior AF cov­er­age and re­sponse. It has the most im­pres­sive video spec we’ve seen from an X-se­ries cam­era, sup­port­ing broad­cast- qual­ity 4K/60P 4:2:2 10-bit HDMI out­put and 4K/60P 4:2:0 10-bit in­ter­nal record­ing. And thanks to its 3.69-mil­lion- dot EVF and three-way tilt screen you’re guar­an­teed a first- class view­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. Quite sim­ply, it’s the best APS- C cam­era ever made.

Le­ica M10 ● £5,699 ● uk.le­ica-cam­era.com

The red Le­ica badge may be a sym­bol of qual­ity, crafts­man­ship, and lux­ury, but the cam­era it’s af­fixed to is not just a rich man’s neck­lace. Le­icas have been the work­horses of some of the world’s great­est pho­to­jour­nal­ists for decades. The M10 se­ries is the lat­est in the iconic rangefinder line- up, pack­ing in a 24MP sen­sor, 5fps burst shoot­ing and Wi- Fi. On top of this, the up­dated M10- P adds in a qui­eter, more dis­creet shut­ter. But that’s al­most ir­rel­e­vant – it’s the feel of a Le­ica M and the joy of shoot­ing with it that will sell it to those who can af­ford one.

Nikon D500 ● £1,719 ● www.nikon.co.uk

The D500 makes a strong case for be­ing the world’s best APS- C DSLR. It has a 20.9MP DX­for­mat CMOS sen­sor, 10fps burst shoot­ing, an as­ton­ish­ing max­i­mum ISO of 1,640,000, plus 4K UHD video, along­side Wi- Fi and Blue­tooth con­nec­tiv­ity. As a long-awaited suc­ces­sor to the hugely pop­u­lar D300, the D500 of­fers most of the spec of Nikon’s full-frame pro DSLRs but with a smaller DX sen­sor – thus cost­ing less. If you fancy the per­for­mance of a pro- DSLR but don’t want to have to up­grade all your DX glass, then this is the cam­era for you.

Nikon Z 7 ● £3,399 ● www.nikon.co.uk

Nikon fans who’ve been wait­ing for a se­ri­ous mir­ror­less model have fi­nally had their pa­tience re­warded with the su­perb Z 7. In­cred­i­bly re­fined for a first­gen­er­a­tion prod­uct, it sports a 45.7MP full-frame sen­sor that gives stun­ning im­age qual­ity un­der any light­ing con­di­tions. In-body, 5-axis im­age sta­bil­i­sa­tion keeps shots sharp at slow shut­ter speeds, while the su­perb 3.69-mil­lion- dot viewfinder gives an ac­cu­rate pre­view of how im­ages will turn out. The cam­era is com­pat­i­ble with F-mount DSLR lenses via the FTZ mount adapter, too.

Nikon D850 ● £3,299 ● www.nikon.co.uk

This 45.7MP pow­er­house is much more than a sim­ple up­grade of the ground-break­ing D800 and D810 full-frame DSLRs. It com­bines the high-res­o­lu­tion virtues of the D810 and the speed of the D500 in a sin­gle body, and is in­cred­i­bly ver­sa­tile. High ISO and AF per­for­mance are also up there with the very best. Add in a tilt­ing touch­screen and 4K video ca­pa­bil­i­ties and you can see why AP’s Michael Topham de­scribed it as ‘one of the finest DSLRs ever made’. Nikon’s re­cent im­prove­ments to its SnapBridge con­nec­tiv­ity have made it even bet­ter.

Olym­pus OM-D E-M1 Mark II ● £1,499 ● www.olym­pus.co.uk

This weath­er­proof, 20.4MP all- rounder is as fast as it is stylish, cap­tur­ing 60 raw frames per sec­ond in sin­gle AF Mode and 18fps in con­tin­u­ous AF track­ing mode, backed up by an im­pres­sive on- chip phasede­tec­tion aut­o­fo­cus sys­tem. The OM- D E- M1 Mark II also boasts so­phis­ti­cated in-body im­age sta­bil­i­sa­tion, al­low­ing sharp shots hand­held at speeds where you’d nor­mally be reach­ing for a tri­pod. Im­age qual­ity is very re­spectable, and a great choice of high­qual­ity Mi­cro Four Thirds lenses is avail­able.

Pen­tax K-1 Mark II ● £1,699 ● www.ri­coh-imag­ing.co.uk

If you want a rugged, fully fea­tured full-frame DSLR, then this up­dated Pen­tax flag­ship may be just the ticket. Its ro­bust, weather sealed body is bristling with but­tons and di­als, while the 36MP sen­sor gives un­par­al­leled lev­els of de­tail for the price, along with vast dy­namic range. The long-run­ning K-mount pro­vides com­pat­i­bil­ity with a huge range of lenses, while the 5-axis in-body sta­bil­i­sa­tion helps keep hand­held im­ages sharp. The large, clear viewfinder is joined by a flex­i­ble-tilt rear LCD.

Sony Al­pha 7R III ● £2,899 ● www.sony.co.uk

Sony’s third- gen­er­a­tion high-res mir­ror­less model com­bines a 42.4MP full-frame sen­sor with 10 frames-per-sec­ond shoot­ing and highly ef­fec­tive in-body im­age sta­bil­i­sa­tion. Its so­phis­ti­cated hy­brid aut­o­fo­cus sys­tem is ef­fec­tive across al­most the en­tire frame, and in­cludes Sony’s peer­less eye- de­tec­tion fo­cus­ing. The up­rated NP- FZ100 bat­tery gives im­pres­sive stamina, while twin SD card slots al­low im­age backup while shoot­ing. An ex­cel­lent 3.69-mil­lion- dot elec­tronic viewfinder rounds off a hugely ac­com­plished pack­age.

Sony Al­pha 9 ● £3,699 ● www.sony.co.uk

This pow­er­ful 24.2MP con­tender is be­com­ing the toast of sports pho­tog­ra­phers, thanks to its si­lent op­er­a­tion and blis­ter­ing 20fps burst rate. The AF is no slouch ei­ther, as 693 fo­cal-plane phase- de­tec­tion AF points mean that around 93% of the frame is be­ing mon­i­tored at any given mo­ment. There’s also con­tin­u­ous AF/AE track­ing for up to 241 raw im­ages, or 362 JPEGs. But while Sony now makes a de­cent range of high- qual­ity full-frame lenses, it still lags be­hind when it comes to of­fer­ing a com­pre­hen­sive set of tele­photo zooms and primes for ac­tion pho­tog­ra­phy.

The Fu­ji­film X-T3 is a fast per­former, ca­pa­ble of 30fps shoot­ing when its elec­tronic shut­ter is used Fu­ji­film XF 50-140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR, 1/2900sec at f/2.8, ISO 200

Low-light scenes don’t faze the Sony Al­pha 7R III. Its sen­sor per­for­mance com­bined with ef­fec­tive 5-axis im­age sta­bil­i­sa­tion make hand­held night shots like this pos­si­ble with­out the need of a tri­pod Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 G Mas­ter, 1/13sec at f/4, ISO 2000

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