Canon’s most powerful mirrorless camera records in 8K

Canon’s first attempt at a full-frame mirrorless camera, the EOS R was a strong rival, but it left plenty of room for Sony and Nikon. It also didn’t do much to give Canon DSLR camera users a reason to switch to a mirrorless one.

Available in late July 2020 for $ 3,899, the EOS R5 is the new flagship in the EOS R line and Canon’s second most expensive camera, behind the $ 6,500 EOS 1D X Mark III, a digital SLR. While its powerful video mode was previously detailed: 8K RAW, 4K at 120 frames per second, we now know that its still photo characteristics will be just as impressive.

It uses a Canon genuine 45 megapixel sensor and Digic X image processor. The ISO range is 100 to 51,200. The continuous shooting speed is astonishing: 12 frames per second with the mechanical shutter, 20 fps with the electronic shutter. To support that speed, it offers two card slots, one for standard SD cards and the other for the CFexpress format, which offers fast transfer speeds.

In addition to RAW and JPEG, the R5 will also allow shooting in HEIF (High Efficiency Image File Format). First introduced on the iPhone, HEIF produces files that are smaller than RAW, with better compression and color depth than JPEG. The R5 can record 280 HEIF photos in a single burst using a CFexpress card.

The CFexpress card will be a requirement for 8K video, either RAW or h.265. If 8K is not for you, you can capture 4K with subsampling processing from full 8K resolution, in a special “high quality 4K” mode. However, RAW video is only available in 8K, as is the wider DCI aspect ratio. The 4K format is limited to 10-bit Canon Log and Ultra HD 16: 9.

The R5 is Canon’s first camera with In-Body Image Stabilization with Sensor Shift (IBIS), a feature shared with the R6.

Canon claims this system is good at achieving up to 8 stops of shake reduction when combined with a compatible optically stabilized lens (the maximum will be 6 stops with other lenses). This beats all other IBIS systems, even the 7.5-stop Olympus OM-D E-M1 X.

The R5 also features Canon’s Dual Pixel Autofocus II (DPAF II), with 100 percent frame coverage from 1,053 AF areas. You can now track the eyes, face, or head of a subject for human subjects, or the eyes, head, or body of an animal.

Physically, the R5 takes on a more professional shape than Canon’s previous mirrorless endeavors, offering an autofocus joystick, a superior LCD information display, three command dials, and a larger capacity battery. It also moves to a 5.7 million pixel electronic viewfinder, which matches that of the Panasonic Lumix S1R and Sony A7R IV. A new battery grip, the BG-R10, will also be available.

All of this comes together in a camera that is smaller, lighter, and cheaper than the EOS 1D X Mark III DSLR and offers high-resolution video, twice the megapixels for still photos, and nearly the same speed. The 1D X series is likely to continue to appeal to its target demographic of professional sports photographers for its superior battery life and build quality, but outside of that niche, Canon’s DSLRs are starting to look dated.

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EOS R6

While the cheaper of the two, make no mistake: the EOS R6 is not an entry-level camera. Priced at $ 2,499 and with availability late August 2020, it is aimed at fans and advanced professionals.

Physically, the R6 has a lot in common with the R5, including the battery grip holder. It forgoes the superior LCD screen and gets by with a 3.69 million-pixel EVF, but photographers shouldn’t be left with nothing when it comes to control.

The biggest problem may be the drop to 20 megapixels. I’m not sure if the sensor is a new design or was borrowed from the 1D X Mark III, but either way it feels a bit odd here given that even the lower-end EOS RP has a 26MP sensor (although, certainly no Canon is stronger in terms of dynamic range or noise performance).

Resolution, of course, isn’t everything, and the R6 has other specs to boast about, like a wide ISO range of 100-102,400, one stop higher than the R5. ISO values ​​don’t always equate to a real-world difference after resolutions normalize, but the R6’s smaller but larger pixels seem to help it get a low-light advantage over the 45MP R5.

It also maintains the same 12 or 20 fps shutter speed with the mechanical or electronic shutters, respectively. However, the R6 doesn’t get the CFexpress card slot from the R5, instead it uses dual SD cards. Thanks to the low-resolution sensor, however, you can take more photos in one burst: up to 240 RAW or 1,000 HEIF. Combined with the DPAF II’s improved subject tracking, this should make the R6 an attractive sports camera.

The R6 also offers a solid video mode, capturing 4K oversampled from 5.1K across the width of the sensor. If it weren’t for the R5, it would be Canon’s best video mode in a mirrorless camera. It can’t shoot RAW, but it does offer 4K at up to 60p with 4: 2: 2 10-bit color and Canon Log.

The best video cameras of this 2020

Even though 8K cameras are here, 4K is still more than enough resolution to record your videos, and in fact the best video cameras today are 4K. The new Sony A7S III takes the top prize. After a development cycle of 5 years, this Sony model meets the list of features of a professional videographer, offering 4K up to 120 FPS, 4: 2: 2 10-bit color, four-channel audio recording, stabilization 5-axis body image (IBIS), H.265 compression, and more.

As a pro-level camera, the A7S III doesn’t come cheap, and its price tag will keep it out of reach for many. Fortunately, there are other great 4K cameras, from action cameras to other mirrorless models, all in a wide variety of prices.

The best overall video camera
Sony A7S III

Why should you buy this? Exceptional full-frame 4K video quality.

For whom it is? Those who are not afraid to invest some cash to obtain excellent image quality.

Sony didn’t rewrite the entire formula for the A7S III. Like the previous A7S II, it uses a new 12-megapixel full-frame sensor, now backlit and with a lower base ISO of 80, features that should slightly improve noise levels and dynamic range. Measuring 4,240 pixels wide, the sensor actually delivers 4.2K video, though you can go for basic 4K with a slight 1.1X crop. Even at 4.2K, the camera can record at 60 FPS, but you’ll have to go down to normal 4K to hit 120 FPS.

Besides the resolution of the sensor, everything else about this camera has changed, starting with how the video is processed. Previous Sony mirrorless cameras were limited to 8-bit video, the A7S III finally gains in 10-bit color depth with 4: 2: 2 subsampling, up to 4K at 120 FPS.

Combined with Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) or Sony’s S-Log3 color profiles, it means the A7S III is now ready for high dynamic range (HDR) production.

Video can be recorded in H.264 or H.265 compression at up to 280 MBps, or in a new codec at up to 600 Mbps, which will generate larger files but be lighter when it comes to editing. on your computer.

But it gets even better. If you choose to record externally via the HDMI port, the A7S III can channel 16-bit RAW video. That should mean greater dynamic range and color depth when paired with an Atomos Ninja V or other RAW-compatible external recorder.

Even the best camcorder is nothing without great audio, and the A7S III offers that here too. By using the optional XLR microphone adapter, this model can record four independent sound channels internally. A common use for this feature would be to combine two external microphones with the built-in stereo microphone. And yes, there is a headphone jack.

There are also several features that photographers and videographers alike will appreciate, one of which is the new electronic viewfinder that boasts over 9 million pixels. It’s the highest resolution EVF of any manufacturer, offering a bright, detailed view of the scene.

The sensor shift stabilization system is good with 5.5 steps of shake deduction and works in conjunction with Sony’s optically stabilized lenses for the best results.

The autofocus system is also completely new, with on-chip phase detection with eye and face tracking that aligns the A7S series with Sony’s other mirrorless cameras.

Finally, the menu system has been completely redesigned and allows you to store separate photo and video settings. This may seem like a minor change, but a more efficient menu eliminates one of the biggest problems we’ve had with Sony cameras.

The best 4K video camera
Sony AX700

Why should you buy this one? Beautiful 4K images from a large 1-inch sensor and a bright zoom lens

For whom it is? Those who are not afraid to invest some cash to obtain excellent image quality.

We are not big fans of video cameras, and we believe that your smartphone is a suitable substitute for many situations. But, the Sony AX700 is a solid case on its own with a good balance of portability and image quality. Camcorders are also a good option for live events, from weddings to sports, where you need a camera that can continue to record without interruption for a long period of time.

1-inch Sony-type sensors have dominated the compact camera market for years, and while those same sensors are newer than camcorders they are no less impressive here, where they offer superior image quality than usual from sensors 0.5 inches or less, found in camcorders.

The 1-inch sensor on the AX700 helps by capturing a greater amount of light, providing a serious increase in image quality. Combined with the S-Log flat color profile, you can preserve a dynamic range to further boost exposure and color in your post, if you want to get that depth.

The bigger a sensor, the harder it is to put a long zoom lens in, but Sony managed to add a 12X zoom to the AX700. The f / 2.8-4.5 aperture is brilliant for the category, working together with this new sensor to improve image quality in low-light scenes.

On the other hand, a built-in neutral density filter will help when the environment is too bright, helping to keep the shutter speed low so that the video does not lose quality due to data loss.

The sensor and lens work together with a 273-point phase-detection autofocus for smoother focus with more precise subject tracking. 4K video is recorded at 100MBps, not as high as the Blackmagic PCC4K, but higher than the average consumer video camera.

With additional capabilities like HDR (high dynamic range) mode, 960 frames per second super slow motion, and a connection for hot shoe flash mounting, they complement this camera’s feature set.

On the outside, the camera offers a handful of manual controls including a multi-function lens ring that can control focus or zoom. Dual SD card slots allow for plenty of storage and uninterrupted recording.

The price is a bit high for many buyers, but it is in line with class.

Canon has a slightly more affordable alternative that can compete with this model, the Vixia HF G60. It also offers a 1-inch sensor, with an even longer 15X zoom and the same f / 2.8-4.5 aperture. But, it lacks the super slow motion mode and some other advanced features from Sony.

The best video camera for YouTube
Sony A6600

There are many great options when it comes to choosing a video camera to help take your YouTube channel to the next level, but none that make capturing images as easy as the Sony A6600. While this camera is loaded with tons of powerful features, there is one that really stands out at recording videos for YouTube. That’s Sony’s Real-Time Eye and Real-Time Tracking autofocus, which is hands down the best continuous focus technology we’ve seen. For YouTubers who need to be in front of the lens and cannot afford to work with a videographer, Real-Time Eye will keep you focused even if you need to move within the shot.

That’s not the only thing that makes the A6600 a great camcorder. It also records 4K video oversampled from its APS-C sensor for detailed output. The LCD screen can rotate 180 degrees so you can monitor yourself while on scene.

Dedicated microphone and headphone jacks allow you to upgrade audio quality without bulky accessories. The five-axis sensor shift stabilization system keeps your videos smooth and stable when you shoot hand-held (think vlogging).

The Sony E mount’s short registration distance also makes the A6600 highly adaptable to other lenses, including those on Canon and Nikon DSLRs, opening up a world of creative lens options.

In addition to all this, the A6600 is also a top-notch still camera and is compact enough for travel. For jobs that require photography and video, you can perform both tasks with the same tool.

But, let me tell you about the elephant in the room. The Panasonic Lumix GH5 offers higher quality 10-bit video files and some other pro-level features that the A6600 lacks.

We think it’s a great option, but Panasonic’s contrast-detection autofocus just doesn’t keep up with Sony’s best technology, and the average YouTuber will find the A6600 a bit easier to work with because of this.

The best video camera for traveling
Sony RX100 VII

While Sony recently announced a vlogger-oriented spin-off of the RX100 called the “ZV-1,” we haven’t had a chance to test it out yet. For now, this model remains on this list. Regardless of how good the ZV-1 turns out to be, the RX100 has at least one potential advantage for travel videos: a lens with a longer zoom.

The class-defining seventh version of Sony’s RX100 is packed with a host of advanced features for a compact camera. The RX100 VII not only offers the most extraordinary set of video features in the series, but it also excels at still photos, giving you a one-of-a-kind device on every journey. It uses a 1-inch, 20-megapixel sensor (the same physical size as the AX700 above) combined with a fast Bionz X processor for detailed images and great performance.

The 24-200mm 8X zoom lens isn’t long compared to a camcorder, but it’s an impressive range for a camera that can easily slip into a jacket pocket.

4K video can be recorded at 30 or 24 FPS, Full HD 1080p up to 120 FPS, and super slow motion up to 960 FPS at lower resolutions. Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG) and S-Log profiles are also included to capture greater dynamic range and create videos suitable for playback on HDR televisions.

New to the Mark VII is Sony’s Real Time Tracking and Real Time Eye AF, the same focusing technology found in the A6600 mirrorless camera. It uses artificial intelligence to track moving subjects and keep them sharp, both in still and video mode.

Also new is a microphone connector (finally), which allows you to connect external microphones for better audio quality. All of these features mean that the RX100 VII isn’t cheap, but unlike traditional point-and-shoot cameras, it’s built to last and should be seen as an investment.