2018: the year of full-frame mirrorless
‘MIXED fortunes for camera makers’ ran the headline in the lead story in our December 2017 news review, and while some things haven’t changed, quite a lot has. Times remain tough amidst economic uncertainty, and the threat from smartphone makers became even more intense in the second half of the year (see below). That said, there’s a lot of excitement about the new generation of full-frame mirrorless cameras.
Nikon had a good year, with the Z 6 and Z 7 gaining pretty much universally positive reviews; some social- media blowhards got upset about the lack of a dual memory card slot, but they soon ran out of steam. The combination of excellent sensor performance, effective 5-axis image stabilisation, fast, silent AF and legacy lens flexibility looks like being a winner, with retailers reporting robust demand for the 45.7MP Z 7 in particular as it has been on sale longer.
Canon arrived later to the full-frame mirrorless party with its EOS R. While it also impressed our testing team – ‘delivering stunning images on a par with the EOS 5D Mark IV’ – the high body- only price (£2,349) could be an impediment. The EOS range, however, still has a lot of potential.
Sony had a good year for full-frame models too, with the 24.2MP Alpha 7 III winning plaudits for its 10fps continuous shooting and sophisticated AF system. Meanwhile Fujifilm may not be going full frame, but there’s a lot of excitement around its GFX 50R 51.4MP medium-format mirrorless model – look out for a full review in AP soon.
Photographers looking for higher- end mirrorless cameras are increasingly spoilt for choice. It now seems the DSLR’s days as the default tool for pros are numbered.
The EOS R: well received but still with a fight on its hands for market share