Well that is a lot of acronyms, but right now if you are last generation camera owner, that is have a 20MP or so full frame like a Canon 5D Mark II, it’s been pretty unclear where to go, but right now there are 2 1/2 entrants to consider and some great choices. Personally, I’d wait until Nikon fires their 1/2 to see how things go, but it does feel like the next 6 months is the time to step up to a 40MP plus resolution camera, so I kind of stack ranked them. These new sensors do require new glass to get maximum resolution, but it sure is good to use old glass in the mean time:
- Canon 5Ds R. Wow that a name, but this is a 50MP dSLR which is ergonomically identical to the 5D2 and the easiest in some ways to switch to. The main drawbacks are that Canon has a high resolution sensor, but their color depth and low noise continue to lag behind the Sony sensors (Nikon uses them as well). But it is compatible with previous Canon lens of course and has 61 autofocus points. It also isn’t 4K video capable and has its ISO (artifically?) limited to 12800. OK I can’t believe I just said ISO 12800 was a limit?! Next step is to rent and try this camera out.
Sony A7R ii. This is the technological wow of the bunch with 42MP sensor. It is mirrorless, small and with an adapter focuses Canon lens!? It has 399 autofocus points and 4K recording. The only real disadvantage of this camera is that it uses a lossy compressed RAW format, but there rumor is Sony is working on a true RAW format which would remove the last limitation. This also goes on the list of cameras to try as preorders are just starting on it.
Nikon D900? I tried the 36MP Nikon D810 and was quite amazed by the quality, but the main thing I noticed was that it hits exposure dead on, something the Canon 5D2 doesn’t do super well (it tends to my eye) to over expose by 1/3 which can blow out highlights. It doesn’t require completely new glass for a Canon user, but we have to assume that Nikon will pick up the A7 ii sensor and ship a D900 sometime soon and also go to 4K video recording.
Right now I don’t know what the right choice is, but the fact that Sony has both their own lens family, third parties and can use Canon glass plus the fact that it is small and with a pancake lens could nearly be an everyday carry item make it very attractive.