2013 has been a good year for photography hobbyists and professional alike. In this post, we look back at the best cameras of this year that either trumped all of its rivals on its respective category or totally changed the game with its groundbreaking feature.
Best Full-frame dSLR camera: Nikon D610
Nikon nabbed the Best Full-frame dSLR award with the D610 not because it’s the best out there, but there isn’t much to choose from. Besides the D610, the only other candidate is the recently launched Nikon Df which some people may find a bit limiting because of the lack of video recording capability.
So unless you’re buying a full-frame camera purely for its looks, then the Nikon D610 is the better option compared to its “Pure Photography” counterpart.
Best Full-frame MILC: Sony A7
Sony stunned the photography world when they unveiled the CyberShot DSC-RX1; the world’s smallest full-frame digital camera. But apparently, the RX1 was just a primer for better things to come.
A year later after the RX1’s debut, the Japanese company came with not one, but two full-frame mirrorless cameras with an interchangeable lens feature to boot. But although the two MILCs are nearly indistinguishable in terms of feature set, we gave the award to the Sony A7 for giving the most bang for the buck.
Best cropped-sensor dSLR camera: Nikon D7100
Of all the categories in this list, selecting the best dslr camera with a cropped-sensor has got to be the toughest one. That’s because we’ve seen quite a handful of formidable candidates like the Canon EOS 70D and the Pentax K-3.
With all features taken into consideration, we think that the Nikon D7100 is the better camera among its peers. Sure it doesn’t have the Vari-angle touchscreen display or the Dual-Pixel CMOS AF of the Canon 70D (not to mention the lack of built-in Wi-Fi which is becoming a standard for modern cameras), but when it comes down it, the D7100 has the better OVF (100% coverage, 0.94x magnification), more AF points (51) and better construction (Magnesium alloy body).
Other benefits that the D7100 has over the 70D includes a spare slot for SD card, higher Megapixel count (24MP vs 20MP) and the lack of Optical Low-Pass filter on the sensor which, in theory, should account for sharper images.
Best cropped-sensor MILC: Fujifilm XE-2
After a period of hiatus, Fujifilm has recently been very aggressive in reasserting its place amongst the best camera makers through their X-Series cameras. And what they’ve come up with (X-Pro1, X-E1 and the X100) was no push-over and it hit the ground running, captivating the prying eyes of photography enthusiast all over the world.
The company is looking to have that same success with the second wave of X-Series cameras like the X100S and the X-E2 which sports all the bells and whistles of its predecessor, plus a handful of new optimizations that makes it an easy-pick in this category.
Best Prosumer Digital camera: Olympus Stylus 1
Due to the rise of smartphones with decent cameras, one can make the argument that Point-and-Shoot cameras are no longer relevant in this day and age. But that didn’t stop Olympus from releasing what is to us the best fixed lens camera to date – the Olympus Stylus 1.
With a body that’s reminiscent to the gorgeous OM-D E-M1, coupled with a groundbreaking 28-300mm f/2.8 lens, Olympus proves that the bridge camera segment isn’t going anywhere just yet.
Best Consumer Digital camera: Nokia Lumia 1020
Interestingly, the last award goes to a smartphone not a camera. But as you may know, the Nokia Lumia 1020 is not your ordinary camera-equipped-smartphone because it has the same 41MP sensor of the PureView 808 which we reviewed in the past.
We acknowledge the fact that there are other great point-and-shoot cameras out there, maybe even better than the Lumia 1020 in terms of image quality. However, we can’t disregard the fact that you not only have a device the can pretty much do almost everything that a digital camera can, but you also have a smartphone (or is it the other way around?)
In any case, the whole point of owning a camera is
to take selfies to document life as it happens. The difference though with the Lumia 1020 is that it gives you the ability to share those most moments almost instantaneously without the need of another device.
That sums up the Best Camera of this year. We can’t wait to see what’s in store in 2014, but it sure looks promising!