Best cameras in 2014

Written by Gary on September 25th, 2014

Its 2014, and compact, light, fun, versatile, high image quality mirrorless cameras, in particular, Micro Four Thirds cameras are perhaps the best options for most people rather than dSLRs.

There are now only a few areas where dSLRs outperform these mirrorless cameras:

  • extremely shallow depth of field or very shallow DOF with zoom lenses  – here a full frame camera – such as a mirrorless Sony or a full frame dSLR, is the way to go
  • the best AF tracking of fast moving subjects – although the GH-4 and E-M1 have made great improvements in this area
  • radio remote TTL flash – there are no systems currently compatible with Micro Four Thirds cameras and flashes as yet, but you can still do remote TTL flash or manual radio triggered flash

If the above are not a priority to you, then a Micro Four Thirds camera will be a much better choice as:

  • they and their lenses allow a much more compact and lighter kit better suited to travel and hiking, and you are more likely to take them with you
  • they are not a burden and weigh you down
  • the image quality is perfect for most situations, and most people will not be able to tell any difference from a dSLR image
  • they are fun to use with their touch screen controls, full remote control by smartphones where you can view the image on the phone, select a subject to AF on, the trigger the shutter and the image is sent back to the phone so you can upload to the internet – fantastic for holidays or for group selfies
  • AF is not only FASTER it is more accurate for portraits – they can even detect the subject’s closest eye and focus on it
  • video and live view is far easier to use
  • there are so many choices of camera and lenses to suit everyone – you can even use them with almost any lens ever made – albeit in manual focus mode

 

Sports, action or wildlife:

  • Canon 7D Mark II – perhaps the only cropped sensor dSLR worth considering in 2014
  • Nikon D4S – very expensive pro dSLR
  • Canon 1D X – very expensive pro dSLR
  • Panasonic GH4 – has the BEST video – 4K capable and has the best AF tracking of the mirrorless cameras (when used with Panasonic lenses)
  • Nikon D7100 – cropped sensor dSLR for Nikon fans
  • Olympus OM-D E-M1 – great weatherproofing, the best image stabilisation, and like the GH-4, the best hand holdable telephoto reach and lightest for hiking

General purpose, high image quality, versatile camera, great for travel or hiking :

 Relatively compact interchangeable lens travel cameras with viewfinders:

  • Olympus OM-D E-M1pro features, weatherproof, freezeproof, smartphone control, fast AF, reasonably good AF tracking, fantastic image stabilisation but largest of this group
  • Olympus OM-D E-M5inexpensive, weatherproof, compact, fast AF for static subjects, great image stabilisation, but poor AF tracking and not great for AF of fast moving subjects
  • Olympus OM-D E-M10inexpensive, compact, fast AF for static subjects, good image stabilisation, smartphone control, but not weatherproof and poor AF tracking and not great for AF of fast moving subjects
  • Panasonic GH-4 – larger dSLR styling, no sensor based IS, but still Micro Four Thirds and has the best video and AF tracking
  • Fuji XT-1 stylish, but lacks many features of the OM-D cameras such as touch screen, IS, etc and lens range is far less, but otherwise, a nice camera
  • Panasonic GM5very compact, smartphone control, good video, but minimal physical controls and poor flash x-sync speed

Relatively compact fixed lens cameras with viewfinders:

  • Panasonic LX-100large sensor, smartphone control, excellent 3x zoom lens, 4K video, fast AF
  • Fuji FinePix X100Tlarge sensor, smartphone control, excellent lens for low light but no zoom

Relatively compact cameras with viewfinder AND long zoom ranges:

  • Panasonic FZ1000 –  small 2.7x crop sensor, smartphone control, 16x zoom lens, 4K video

Pocketable cameras but no viewfinder:

  • Panasonic GM-1ultra-compact Micro Four Thirds interchangable lens camera, large sensor, compact 3x zoom lens, WiFi, touch screen
  • Sony RX110 – ultra-compact 4x zoom, fixed lens, small 2.7x crop sensor, improved version of the popular RX100 adding tilting LCD and WiFi
  • Olympus PEN E-PL7 – compact Micro Four Thirds interchangable lens camera, large sensor,  new “selfie” mode, great image stabilisation, WiFi, touch screen, optional EVF

 

 

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