With the GFX100 Fujifilm has created a revolutionary model that’s as well suited to being used on a high-end commercial shoot in the studio as it is on location at the top of a mountain to capture landscapes in astonishing detail. Fast focusing, courtesy of on-sensor phase detection, as well as in-body image stabilisation transforms its performance compared to earlier GFX models. Image quality and dynamic range is out of this world and other than a few control quirks and inconsistencies between shooting in landscape and portrait format, it’s an outstanding medium format camera. We love that there’s no limitation as to where it can be used.
Canon has thrown everything but the kitchen sink at the EOS-1D X Mark III to create their finest DSLR ever made. Professionals get Canon’s latest technology that includes a powerful Digic X processor, which facilitates 16fps continuous shooting via an optical viewfinder that offers clear viewing with no infuriating electronic lag. Greater dynamic range and detail is recorded in HEIF files than JPEGs, it has an initiative smart controller for rapid focus point positioning, and records full-width 4K/60p video. It’s larger and heavier than its mirrorless competition, however it benefits from a huge battery (2850 shots with the viewfinder) and presents everything a working pro needs. It’s an extraordinarily impressive and class-leading DSLR.
The a7S III takes the S series to a whole new level of full-frame movie expression. Spectacular new speed combines with supreme sensitivity and ultra-low noise to put previously impossible 4K movie shoots on the menu, with high dynamic range, breathtaking focusing, and extra-strong image stabilisation. Full-frame E (FE) mount.
Canon’s premium full-frame model in the EOS R series, the EOS R5, is a masterstroke. It delivers a powerful combination of high resolution and high speed, capable of rattling out 45MP still images at up to a staggering 20fps, with its subject recognition and deep-learning AI technology making light work of focusing. The detail in its files leaves nothing to be desired and we are astounded by what’s possible at high sensitivity settings. It’s not adverse to overheating when recording lengthy 8K and 4K 120p video, but this point aside it’s an astonishing high resolution full frame camera you can’t fail but fall in love with.
Though a minor update to Nikon’s magnificent Z 7, the Z 7 II introduces important revisions that enhance performance. By uniting a pair of Expeed 6 image processors together it can shoot continuously at up to 10fps for longer. There’s the option to ouput ProRes raw video via HDMI to an external recorder and the addition of 4K/60p video is well received. The Z 7 missed a trick by only having a single XQD card slot, The Z 7 II addresses this by adding a second SD card slot. The camera can be charged when it’s powered and having the option to select face and eye tracking during video recording video is another advantage.
Nikon kick-started its Z-series with the Z 7 – a camera we regard as a high-resolution mirrorless marvel. To make a camera as special as the Z 7 at the first time of trying is a credit to Nikon and users will be gob smacked by the fine detail and outstanding noise response that’s resolved by its 45.7MP CMOS sensor. Its rigid body withstands the severity of professional use, it boasts extensive weather sealing, positions its buttons across the body extremely well for intuitive control and offers a handling experience as good as any full-frame mirrorless camera we’ve used. It’s surpassed only by the Z 7 II.
Canon has hit the sweet spot of what serious enthusiasts and professionals are after from a general-purpose full-frame mirrorless camera. Built around the same weather-sealed magnesium alloy chassis as the EOS R5, it doesn’t skimp on advanced features or functionality and its 5-axis in-body stabilisation provides a staggering 8 stops of compensation with selected RF lenses. It feels every bit like a true EOS camera when it’s being used and presents the benefits of mirrorless with the only drawback being the time you need to give it to cool between 4K video recordings. As a stills camera it ticks all the right boxes if you don’t require the EOS R5’s resolution output.
Canon hits the sweet spot of what serious photographers look for from a versatile DSLR with the EOS 5D Mark IV. It builds on the success of the EOS 5D Mark III, but goes to the next level in terms of image quality and performance thanks to its sensor, which provides a superior low-light performance and wider dynamic range. Videographers can take advantage of pre-installed C-Log for generous exposure latitude and easy colour grading during post processing, however the crop it applies when recording 4K video and its fairly restrictive fixed screen are two areas where the EOS R6 and EOS R5 present an advantage.
The Z6 II takes Nikon’s sensational 24MP full-frame all-rounder to the next level. It introduces the updates photographers and videographers had been hoping for, namely a second card slot to enable crucial back up while shooting, 4K/60p video recording (available in February 2021 via a firmware update) and support of a dedicated battery grip (MB-N11) that replicates controls in the portrait format and accepts two batteries to enhance stamina. Face and eye tracking is made available during video recording and by incorporating not one but two Expeed 6 processors, it can shoot 125 raw files or 200 JPEGs at up to 14fps, which is 2fps faster than the original Z 6.
Extremely portable are words rarely used to describe medium format cameras, but they can be in the case of Fujifilm’s rangefinder-style GFX 50R, which is as easy to carry around and use as a full-frame DSLR. Supported by an ever-growing range of GFX lenses, it’s a wonderfully tactile camera to use thanks to its arrangement of analog control dials and returns amazingly high levels of detail in its files. Fujifilm’s attractive film simulation modes, which mimic the colour of famous analog films, are also just a button press away. If a portable medium format camera for documentary, street and other outdoor use appeals, the GFX 50R has your name written all over it.