Mirrorless cameras were, until recently, not favoured by photographers for high-end professional work, owing to their sometimes smaller sensors and perceived lack of features. That’s no longer the case, with mirrorless technology has advanced to the stage where it’s almost indistinguishable from ‘full-sized’ pro cameras. Here’s our pick of the crop.

 

Canon EOS R/RP

If you believe the reviews, Canon has been lagging a bit in tech, particularly when it comes to video. There’s a lot of value in its competitors, and some of their decisions just seem weird. Still, they had to make a proper footprint in the full-frame business, so here it is the EOS R and the cheaper RP. With the EOS R and RP, you get relatively smaller and lighter bodies for semi-pros, but video options could limit the more demanding shooter, especially in the RP.

Canon is providing an all-new line of lenses and allows backward compatibility with your old Canon glass too. You still get the famous Canon colour science and crispy contrast, but for you new-media creator types, it’s not all that you’d expect.

Sensor: Full-frame, 30.3 MP

Price: Rs 1.75 lakh (R, body only), Rs 2.57 lakh (with RF 24- 105mm f/4L IS USM lens), Rs 1.10 lakh (RP, body only), Rs 1.99 lakh (with RF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens)

Recommended for: Canon shooters with new-media aspirations, pros looking for backup bodies/gimbal cams

 

Olympus OM-D E-M1X

The only camera in this roundup that makes do with a micro four-thirds sized sensor, because, for Olympus fans, it moves the game forward. It’s a 20 MP camera, but built with a proper vertical grip, so you don’t exactly get the petite dimensions that come with a mirrorless camera. It is, however, aimed at the pro sports shooter, so dimensions and weather-sealing are commensurate.

It can do an incredible 18 fps with autofocus, so that should get you at least a few keepers when you’re shooting sports. In fact, the E-M1X has a machine-learning-assisted focus tracking system that can currently understand motorsports, trains and planes. It also has a neat trick called “pixel shift”, which takes 16 shots and combines them into one high resolution 50 MP image – handheld. Put it on a tripod and enjoy 80 MP RAW files. You do get reasonably high bitrate video, but there are better and cheaper cameras for hybrid work.

Sensor: Micro four-thirds, 20 MP

Price: Rs 2.06 lakh (body-only)

Recommended for: Sports shooters, Olympus fans

 

Fuji GFX 50R

This camera is either going to be a weird novelty, an acquired taste or the considered decision of a well-placed pro. The GFX 50R is a rangefinder-style camera (in the digital age, this means the eyepiece is off-centre, and controls are arranged differently) and it uses a medium-format sensor, about 70 per cent larger than full-frame 35mm digital cameras.

It’s uncompromising in its image quality, but the law of diminishing returns will make it a hard sell to buyers who want to do more with their cameras. Forget about any reasonable video features – the autofocus is slow – but the pictures look great. It’s also the cheapest way to enter the Fuji medium format GF family, and the lenses will be an investment when the cameras start pushing 100 MP.

 Sensor: Full-frame, 24 MP

Price: Rs 1.58 lakh (body only), Rs 1.72 lakh (with 28-70mm lens)

Recommended for: Hobbyists, amateur filmmakers, semi-pro photographers

 

Nikon Z6/7

It’s a new world, and the old order must keep pace. Nikon just gave it away to Canon years ago with its lacklustre video capabilities, but the Z series is making the right noises – a new mount, new lenses, new video chops, a full-frame sensor in a mirrorless body. If you’re more of a video shooter, the Z6 is the better body, with full-frame capture.

On the other hand, the higher resolution of the Z7 is useful for epic prints. You also get 120fps capture in HD resolution, for those creamy slow-motion video clips, and 5-axis stabilisation to boot. The Z6 will also give pros extra high-quality video output if they choose to write to an external recorder. Images are excellent, as always.

Sensor: Full-frame 24 MP (Z6) / 46 MP (Z7)

Price: Rs 1.56 lakh (Z6, body only), Rs 1.98 lakh (Z6 with 24-70mm lens), Rs 2.48 lakh (Z7, body only), Rs. 2.89 lakh (Z7 with 24-70 mm lens)

Recommended for: Nikon loyalists looking to step into the mirrorless world, pros looking for a B-camera, advanced video hobbyists

 

Sony A7 III

Sony has been making waves with their Alpha line of APS-C (smaller sensor) and A-series (full-frame sensor) cameras for a few years now, chiefly for how good they are at hybrid shooting – photos as well as video.

Now in their third generation, Sony pitched a proper googly with the A7 III. Technically the “entry-level” full-frame camera in their lineup, it provides such incredible performance for video and photos that it’s become the well-heeled hobbyist’s choice. Even traditional wedding work that went to Nikon shooters in the past is being done with Sonys these days. And YouTube? Forget about it. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone *not* using an A7 III these days.

The choice of lenses is improving, and you can always use your old lenses on Sony bodies, with adapters. Autofocus is top-notch and low-light ability is great. Just watch out for that ‘jelly’ effect when you’re moving rapidly when shooting 4K video.

Sensor: Full-frame, 24 MP

Price: Rs 1.58 lakh (body only), Rs 1.72 lakh (with 28-70mm lens)

Recommended for: Hobbyists, amateur filmmakers, semi-pro photographers

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