The best camera of the year according to Digital Photographer magazine. 2021 was a difficult and quite interesting year in terms of mirrorless cameras. In the past year, a number of flagship mirrorless cameras and lenses were released.
Autofocus systems continued to be a key area of development throughout 2021, while artificial intelligence and machine learning were increasingly used to improve detection and tracking systems for the subject. There was also a significant emphasis on the possibilities of video shooting of lower-level mirrorless cameras.
And so the camera of 2021 according to Digital Photographer magazine — SONY A7 IV
Sony Alpha 7 IV full-frame mirrorless camera impresses with its characteristics that will attract not only photographers, but also videographers.
Main features of Sony A7 IV:
• full-frame 33MP BSI CMOS matrix
• shooting at speeds up to 10 fps in RAW format
• ISO 50 – 204800
• stabilization in the housing up to 5.5 EV
• 4K oversampling full matrix from 7K up to 30p
• 4K/60p mode with Super35/APS-C
• capture 10-bit video or pictures in HEIF format
• H. 265 video, color mode S-Cinetone
• the OLED viewfinder with a resolution of 3.69 million dots
• autofocus Real-Time Tracking with 759 AF points, covering 94% of the square matrix
• slots for two cards (1x Clear / UHS-II, 1x UHS-II SD card)
• permanent link Bluetooth LE.
The Sony A7 IV has an excellent autofocus system with 759 autofocus points with real-time phase tracking and autofocus on the eyes of people, animals or birds.
Cameras tied for second place
Nikon recently unveiled its flagship reporting mirrorless camera the Nikon Z 9. The Nikon Z9 is similar to Nikon’s DSLR cameras. Its controls are intuitive and straightforward. It is a great tool for those shooting in tough conditions, whether it is reportage or wildlife photography. It also has a high-precision autofocus system that can simultaneously detect up to nine different targets.
Main features of Nikon Z9:
• 45.7 MP multilayer CMOS matrix
• shooting in JPEG format at 30 frames per second
• shooting in Raw format at 20 frames per second (for more than 1000 compressed Raw files)
• shooting in JPEG format at 120 frames per second at a resolution of 11 MP
• capture 8K/30p and 4K-of-8K with ProRes 422 HQ option
• 8K/60p, 12-bit 8K N-Raw and 4K ProRes RAW will be added with f/w
• internal 10-bit N-Log and HLG capture
• OLED electronic viewfinder with a resolution of 3.69 million pixels with reduced latency and greater brightness
• rear LCD display XM dot with multidirectional tilt
• two slots for CF express type B cards
• permanent electronic shutter
• matrix protection when changing the lens.
Canon EOS R3
The Canon EOS R3 camera occupies an intermediate place between the Canon EOS R5 and the flagship Canon EOS-1D X Mark III. Canon EOS R3 was introduced as the flagship mirrorless camera. Its tracking system can detect vehicles, people or animals.
Main Features of Canon EOS R3:
• 24-megapixel multilayer CMOS matrix
• electronic shutter 30 frames per second (with full 14-bit RAW)
• electronic viewfinder with a resolution of 5.69 million pixels and autofocus on the eyes
• no dimming of the electronic viewfinder in electronic shutter
• mode OVF simulation mode using the HDR viewfinder
• electronic shutter with flash synchronization up to 1/180 s
• more realistic capture of PQ DRR in the form of 10-bit HE IF Dual Pixel AF files with improved object recognition
• autofocus is designed for an operating range up to -7.5 EV (with a F1.2 lens)
• CF express Type B and UHS-II SD
• slots DCI or UHD 4K video with resolution up to 120k/s, with oversampling up to 60k/s
• raw video (RAW) or 10-bit video capture C-Log3
• communication via Ethernet, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
Fujifilm FX 50S II
Fujifilm FX 50S II is a medium-format camera with a matrix resolution of 51.4 MP. Thanks to the larger matrix size than ff, the Fujifilm GFX50s II camera allows you to get images with a high level of detail, rich color tonality and a wider dynamic range. The Fujifilm FX 50s II has 6.5 stops exposure-corrected image stabilization and the same X Processor 4 chip as the recent GFX 100S camera. According to the company, it is the new chip that will increase the speed of autofocus and the effectiveness of face and eye recognition.
Main features of Medium Format Camera Fujifilm FX 50S II:
• 50-megapixel sensor
• matrix (IBIS) stabilization of 6.5 stops
• wider dynamic range
• GFX50SII has higher resolution than Sony A7RIV
• new processor that provides fast autofocus from 0.24 to 0.53 s.
• more efficient autofocus system
• creation of 200-megapixel images by combining 16 frames
• design similar to Fujifilm GFX100S camera.
Main features of Sony A1:
• full-frame CMOS matrix size 35.9 x 24.0 mm
• matrix resolution 50.1 MP
• ISO sensitivity 100-32 000 expandable from 50 to 102,400
• 8K recording support
• full-frame 759-point phase focusing
• 1200-zone exposure measurement
• electronic viewfinder with 100% coverage of the field of view with a resolution of 9.437 MP
• 1.44 MP LCD touch screen
• mechanical shutter 1/8000 — 30 s
• electronic shutter 1/32 000 — 1/2 s
• image stabilization due to matrix shift up to 5.5 steps
• built-in stereo microphone
• NP-FZ100 battery, provides shooting up to 430 frames when using the viewfinder and 530 frames when using the LCD screen
• charging is supported directly in the camera using the USB-C connector
• weight 737 grams with a battery and a memory card.
Reading the characteristics again, one does not get tired of wondering how much the technology has gone ahead. What other heights await us ahead, time will tell.