En­thu­si­ast cam­eras

Cam­eras la­belled as ‘en­thu­si­ast’ mod­els pro­vide the flex­i­bil­ity to shoot a wide range of sub­jects but with­out the high price of a pro-level model

Amateur Photographer - - Testbench Top Cameras & Lenses 2018 -

Canon EOS 6D Mark II l £1,549 l www.canon.co.uk

The EOS 6D Mark II serves as the en­try-point to Canon’s full-frame DSLR range, and is less than half the price of the next model up: the EOS 5D Mark IV. Built around a 26.2MP CMOS sen­sor and DIGIC 7 im­age pro­ces­sor, the EOS 6D Mark II uses the same 45-point AF sys­tem as the EOS 80D and em­ploys Canon’s Dual Pixel AF tech­nol­ogy for fast live view AF. On the back you’ll find a fully ar­tic­u­lated touch­screen.

Canon EOS 80D l £999 l www.canon.co.uk

Re­leased in 2016, the EOS 80D boasts an ex­panded fea­ture set, greater cus­tomi­sa­tion and more durable con­struc­tion than its cheaper EOS sta­ble­mates. Built around a 24.2MP APS- C CMOS sen­sor and Canon’s DIGIC 6 im­age pro­ces­sor, the EOS 80D also ben­e­fits from Canon’s Dual Pixel AF tech­nol­ogy, which de­liv­ers im­pres­sively fast fo­cus lock when used in live view mode. Ex­ten­sive phys­i­cal con­trols are com­ple­mented by touch­screen op­er­a­tion via the vari-an­gle rear LCD dis­play.

Fu­ji­film X-T20 l £749 l www.fu­ji­film.co.uk

The X-T20 is a small, at­trac­tive SLR-style mir­ror­less model that’s ca­pa­ble of ex­cep­tional im­age qual­ity, thanks to its 24.3MP APS- C X-Trans CMOS III sen­sor and X- Pro­ces­sor Pro im­age pro­ces­sor. It of­fers con­tin­u­ous shoot­ing at up to 14fps and a sen­si­tiv­ity range of ISO 20012,800 that’s ex­pand­able to ISO 100-51,200. Tra­di­tional ana­logue shut­ter speed and ex­po­sure com­pen­sa­tion di­als are joined by touch­screen con­trol via the tilt­ing rear LCD. Com­pared to its top- end cousin the X-T3, the X-T20 lacks weather-seal­ing and can­not be used with an op­tional bat­tery grip, but it does gain a small built- in flash unit.

Nikon D7500 l £1,099 l www.nikon.co.uk

The D7500 DSLR bor­rows some key hard­ware from the flag­ship D500, in­clud­ing its 20.9MP DX-for­mat CMOS sen­sor and Ex­peed 5 im­age pro­ces­sor. While the D7500 is not quite as fast as the D500, (8fps vs 10fps) and comes equipped with a less-ad­vanced AF sys­tem (51 AF points vs 153 AF points), it is nonethe­less an ag­ile and well-rounded DSLR. It of­fers a vast sen­si­tiv­ity range from ISO 100 to 51,200 as stan­dard, that can be ex­tended to fully ISO 1,640,000. Cru­cially, it’s £620 cheaper than the D500.

Nikon D750 l £1,599 l ww.nikon.co.uk

Re­leased to­wards the end of 2014, the D750 is a richly fea­tured and highly cus­tomis­able full-frame DSLR tar­geted at ad­vanced en­thu­si­asts. Built around a 24.3MP full-frame CMOS sen­sor and Nikon Ex­peed 4 im­age pro­ces­sor, it’s ca­pa­ble of 8fps con­tin­u­ous shoot­ing and of­fers a sen­si­tiv­ity range of ISO 100-12,800 with ex­panded set­tings up to ISO 51,200. The large, clear viewfinder is com­ple­mented by a tilt­ing LCD on the back, while built-in Wi- Fi pro­vides smart­phone con­nec­tiv­ity. There’s no 4K video sup­port, but the D750 can record 1,080p full- HD footage at up to 60fps.

Olym­pus OM-D E-M10 Mark III l £579 l www.olym­pus.co.uk

As with all Olym­pus OM-D mod­els, the E-M10 Mark III takes its de­sign cues from Olym­pus’s back cat­a­logue of 35mm film SLRs. How­ever, be­neath the neatly milled top-plate di­als and sculpted hand­grip lies a very mod­ern cam­era. Built around a 16.1MP Mi­cro Four Thirds sen­sor and TruePic VIII im­age pro­ces­sor, the E-M10 III ben­e­fits from a 2.36-mil­lion-dot EVF; a 3in, 1.04-mil­lion- dot tilt­ing LCD touch­screen; and a 121-point con­trast de­tect AF sys­tem. It’s a re­ally charis­matic lit­tle cam­era.

Olym­pus PEN-F l £999 l www.olym­pus.co.uk

The PEN- F is a stylish, light­weight mir­ror­less cam­era that’s de­signed to ape the look and feel of the clas­sic 1960s Olym­pus half-frame rangefinder cam­eras of the same name. It’s much more than just another hip­ster cam­era, though. It’s equipped with a 20.3MP Mi­cro Four Thirds sen­sor, 2.36-mil­lion- dot EVF, vari-an­gle touch­screen dis­play, built-in 5-axis im­age sta­bil­i­sa­tion and 1,080p full- HD video record­ing. ISO sen­si­tiv­ity ranges from ISO 80 to 25,600, while con­tin­u­ous shoot­ing is avail­able at up to 10 frames per sec­ond. The PEN- F pairs up par­tic­u­larly nicely with com­pact prime lenses.

Pana­sonic Lu­mix DC-G9 l £1,199 l www.pana­sonic.com/uk

Pana­sonic’s flag­ship Mi­cro Four Thirds stills cam­era of­fers a blend of ex­cel­lent im­age qual­ity from its 20.3MP sen­sor and high-speed per­for­mance, built around a body that of­fers ar­guably the best feel of any mir­ror­less cam­era. It shoots up to a blaz­ing 60fps, backed up by sprightly aut­o­fo­cus and a 5-axis im­age sta­bil­i­sa­tion sys­tem that of­fers up to 6.5 stops of com­pen­sa­tion. Its 3.69m- dot EVF makes track­ing sub­jects a breeze, while the 3in vari-an­gle screen is in­stru­men­tal for tricky com­po­si­tions. With so much to like, it’s a fine choice at this price.

Sony Al­pha 7 III l £1,999 l www.sony.co.uk

With the A7 III, Sony has hit the sweet spot of what se­ri­ous pho­tog­ra­phers want from a full-frame model that falls un­der £2,000. It plays the role of an all-rounder within Sony’s Al­pha 7 full-frame mir­ror­less range and comes well equipped with a 24.2MP sen­sor, 5-axis im­age sta­bil­i­sa­tion, 10fps burst shoot­ing and a su­pe­rior ar­range­ment of 693 phase- de­tec­tion points and 425 con­trast- de­tec­tion points cov­er­ing 93% of the frame. It ad­vances hugely from the A7 II, with a re­vised con­trol lay­out in­clud­ing an AF-area se­lec­tion joy­stick, an im­proved viewfinder and a longer-last­ing bat­tery.

Sony A6500 l £1,279 l www.sony.co.uk

The APS- C equipped A6500 pro­vides all the rel­e­vant tools re­quired by en­thu­si­asts, with its 24.2MP sen­sor, 5-axis im­age sta­bil­i­sa­tion and ca­pa­ble AF track­ing mak­ing it an ex­cel­lent per­former. Given its com­pact size and abil­ity to shoot 112 con­sec­u­tive im­ages in a sin­gle 11fps burst, the A6500 is equally well suited to street pho­tog­ra­phy as it is to ac­tion, while land­scape pho­tog­ra­phers will find that the A6500’s im­pres­sive dy­namic range gives it plenty of scope for shoot­ing beau­ti­ful scenery with. It is a su­perb all-round APS- C mir­ror­less model that of­fers some­thing for ev­ery­one.

Mother chee­tah and cub as cap­tured with the Pana­sonic Lu­mix G9 on sa­fari in South Africa Pana­sonic Le­ica DG El­marit 200mm f/2.8 Power OIS, 1/200sec at f/5.6, ISO 400

En­thu­si­ast DSLRs like the EOS 6D Mark II are usu­ally smaller than pro-spec al­ter­na­tives, mak­ing them well suited for times when you need a lighter model Canon EF 17-40mm f/4 L USM, 1/30sec at f/14, ISO 100

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