The Wacom Cintiq Pro 16 is Wacom’s latest creative pen display that photographers can use to perfect their photos.
With the new Wacom Cintiq Pro 16, you get improved ergonomics along with the company’s most natural and precise pen-on-screen performance and 4K resolution. Plus, the Wacom Cintiq Pro 16’s thin design makes it easy to slip into a laptop bag or backpack.
Wacom’s latest touch screen technology on the Cintiq Pro 16 offers better performance over previous generations and users will be happy to hear that as well as using the pen, you can still pinch, zoom and rotate photos with your fingers. For those who prefer just to use the pen, there’s a switch on the top edge of the screen’s bezel for turning multi-touch on or off.
Talking of the pen, Wacom’s Pro Pen 2 provides four times greater accuracy and pressure sensitivity than the previous Pro Pen and optical bonding greatly reduces parallax for better performance when working with fine lines or details.
To speed up workflow, eight ExpressKeys for integrating and customising keyboard shortcuts and modifiers are available. These are placed on the rear edge sides (four on each side) of the display.
The Wacom Cintiq Pro 16 is expected to be available on the Wacom eStore and at select retail locations in November priced at £1349.99.
Here are 16 photography projects for you to tick off your photo list this Autumn. Think we’ve missed one? Add your suggestions in the comments. You can also find tips related to each subject by clicking on the headings.
When you’ve captured your shots of forests and national parks, focus your attention on one tree, shooting under the canopy or try using a lonely tree in a wide, sweeping landscape shot of a crop field.
Instead of focusing on scenes as a whole, look for areas where you can strip your image back to shape, patterns and form which will give you an image that’s still very much Autumn themed but it’s different from the norm. Why not go against the rule that everything has to be sharp and create an Autumnal drag landscape? The warm shades of leaves which turn into long lines of colour help create striking pieces that are perfect for wall art.
When in the woods with your camera kit look upwards and capture a shot of the trees with a wide-angle lens. When you do, you’ll produce a shot that looks as if the trunks of the trees are almost falling out of the image due to the effect wide-angle lens have on verticals and the trees will seem a lot taller, too. This technique can produce great results at all times of the year but when you have the orange tones set against a blue sky it’s particularly eye-catching.
You could also apply this technique in towns and cities where parks can be surrounded by tall modern structures that contrast well against the trees.
Use slower shutter speeds to turn the movement of the clouds to create leading lines to guide the eye through the photograph or how about waiting for a colourful sunset to compose your Autumn scene against?
One way to exaggerate the colours of Autumn is with backlit leaves. Plus, it’ll really make the intricate pattern of veins stand out and focus the viewer’s attention. You can also shoot some Autumn themed outdoor portraits with backlight to make your subject ‘pop’ from the frame.
Make the most of the fallen leaves starting to decorate the land and use them in your landscape shots. If you’re working by water where leaves are decorating the land surrounding it or are floating along the surface of the water as it flows downstream, experiment with longer exposure times to blur the water’s movement.
As evening temperatures begin to fall the sight of morning dew decorating grass and other plants is something that will become a regular occurrence. As dew can add extra interest to your macro garden shots, it’s well worth getting up early and taking some shots of morning dew.
When you mix early morning fog with the rising sun you get a recipe for strong beams of sunlight appearing in woodland areas. These beams of light bursting through trees make an early morning rise from your bed covers well worth it.
Pumpkins, leaves, conkers and berries can all be used in still life set-ups when you’re looking for something to keep you occupied on a rainy day. Play around with compositions, props and backgrounds to see what interesting still life creations you can create.
The mirrorless camera, or compact system camera (CSC), lets you change lenses, as well as providing DSLR sized sensors with DSLR image quality in a much more compact camera body. With a rapid refresh cycle, there is a number of new cameras introduced each year, with many offering innovative new features. Here we highlight the best advanced Compact System Cameras with an APS-C or Micro Four Thirds sensor and a built-in electronic viewfinder (EVF).
Click the camera names to read our full reviews of these cameras to see how they have scored, as well as the pros and cons of each model.
Here we highlight the best APS-C and MFT Premium Compact System Cameras, starting with Number 1:
1. Panasonic Lumix G9
The Panasonic Lumix G9 offers a wealth of features, including extremely rapid shooting, and a great design that makes the camera enjoyable and easy to use. Winning an Editor’s Choice award, the Panasonic Lumix G9 produces great images with good noise performance (up to ISO6400), excellent IS, rapid focus and 60fps continuous shooting. You get in-camera raw editing, Wi-Fi / Bluetooth, 4K video, a large EVF and a design that’s comfortable to hold. Some may not like the size, but apart from this negative, there’s lots to like about the Lumix G9, including the price, which has come down to make it a bit of a bargain!
You also get access to Micro Four Thirds lenses, and there is a lot to choose from! The Micro Four Thirds lens mounts let you use Panasonic, Olympus, and other lenses using the Micro Four Thrids lens mount.
“The Fujifilm X-T3 offers specifications and features beyond what is expected at this price point, and results are equally impressive.” That’s what we say in our review where the Fujifilm X-T3 received an ‘Editor’s Choice’ award and impressed us with its 4K 60fps video, 26MP BSI CMOS sensor, excellent colour reproduction, high-speed focus and 30fps/20fps continuous shooting. The camera is also solidly built with good ergonomics but the battery life does let it down a little and touch-screen functionality could be better.
The camera’s 26mp BSI CMOS sensor and image processing is known to produce excellent image quality, and continue to do so, with exceptional colour reproduction and dynamic range. For those looking to upgrade from an earlier X-T1, or X-T2 camera, the X-T4 offers a compelling set of features, and if you’ve ever been frustrated with battery life from your camera, then the X-T4 offers a great option for you.
The X-T4, with high-speed continuous shooting (up to 30fps), is up there with the quickest, with only the E-M1 II / III and G9 offering quicker continuous shooting (at 60fps), and in terms of video, it’s only the G9 of these that also offers 4K 60fps video. The switch between stills and video is a great idea, and will benefit video and stills photographers greatly.
The camera is well suited to a wide variety of photography, with good noise performance and IBIS making it better in low-light situations, great colour reproduction making it suited to portraits and other photography, and high-speed shooting further expands the camera’s appeal in particular for wildlife or sports photography.
For anyone wanting the best the X-Series has to offer, the X-T4 is it, with a great 26mp sensor, great colour reproduction, and high-quality video recording, the X-T4 has it all, including high-speed autofocus and continuous shooting. Add in-body image stabilisation, along with improved battery life, and you have the complete package.
The Fujifilm X-T30 offers the same 26mp BSI CMOS image sensor, and image processor, from its bigger brother, the X-T3, meaning you get the same excellent image quality, at a much more wallet-friendly price. Images have great colour reproduction, with low noise levels, even when using higher ISO speeds, and dynamic range performance is very good. Video quality is impressive, offering CINE 4K video and plenty of options. However, the camera does not offer In-Body Image Stabilisation (IBIS).
If you’re looking for a great digital camera, with excellent handling, but don’t want to spend £2000 on a camera, then the Fujifilm X-S10, with its price of around £1000 (depending on lens choice), would be a great choice. The camera is great value for money, being available for £999 with the 15-45mm lens, although it’s worth noting that if you want the 18-55mm f/2.8-4 lens, then the kit price is £1299. You’re getting the same excellent image quality at Fujifilm’s flagship camera, the X-T4. Albeit without the weather-sealing of the more expensive model, and without 4K 60fps video. You still get in-body image stabilisation (IBIS), 4K CINE video at 30fps, and a high-quality metal body, as well as high-speed continuous shooting options. We are happy to highly recommend this camera, with the only negatives being relatively minor complaints.
The 16 megapixel Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II is an impressive camera, with a range of features to suit all aspects of photography, from the video enthusiast, who will benefit from the 5-axis image stabilisation, or someone looking for high resolution (stills) photography, the 40-megapixel mode will be very appealing. The camera produces excellent images, with an abundance of options and settings available. There is a large, high-resolution electronic viewfinder (2.36m dots), ISO100 to ISO25600, a vari-angle touch-screen, built-in Wi-Fi, 10fps continuous shooting, and a weather-sealed camera body. The 16mp sensor has been surpassed by 20mp alternatives, and the lack of 4K video could make this less appealing.
The Panasonic Lumix GH5 II has an updated 20-megapixel sensor, improved 5-axis image stabilisation, and a 3.0-inch vari-angle touchscreen. The GH5 II is capable of shooting in 6K (photo) at 30fps and offering 18 megapixel still images from this, as well as 4K CINE video at 60fps, with V-Log, HLG, and an abundance of video options. There’s also 12fps continuous shooting at 20mp. The updated GH5 II offers improved image quality, as well as Live Streaming Support, making this a great choice for anyone passionate about video.
As well as the GH5, and GH5 II, the Panasonic GH5S is also available which is designed for low light video as well as capturing stills.
The Panasonic Lumix G90 offers a compelling set of features, combined with excellent handling, and a weather-sealed magnesium alloy body. In-camera image stabilisation results in sharp photos, and using the Micro Four Thirds system means there’s an abundance of lenses available, both compact and professional. Whilst the battery life is a little short, the power saving option promises to extend this to 1000 shots.
Overall, the Panasonic Lumix G90 offers compelling video features, and great image quality is possible.
If you have a desire for a more compact camera system, compared to the DSLRs and APS-C cameras available, then the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III has a vast range of interesting and appealing features and can deliver excellent images, as well as access to a vast array of relatively compact Micro Four Thirds lenses.
With still subjects, you also have the option of 50mp (handheld) or 80mp (tripod) high-resolution shots. This makes it particularly suited to high-detail product photography, and other still life photography.
The fast, rapid focus and face and eye-detection focus make it suitable for a wide range of shooting scenarios, including street photography, family and portrait photography, and we were impressed by the updated face and eye detection focus being noticeably quick and rapid.
If you’re in the market for a mirrorless camera that you can easily take with you everywhere you go, then the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III is an excellent choice. With weather sealing, a compact camera body, in-camera image stabilisation, 30fps high-speed continuous shooting, and 4K CINE video recording, the E-M5 III offers a compelling, and somewhat unique offering, for the price point. The camera also benefits from the Micro Four Thirds system, which has possibly the widest range of native fit lenses of any mirrorless camera system.
The camera now uses a plastic construction, which will be off-putting for some, however, this has allowed the camera to be lighter. Time will tell whether the camera will survive the same level of abuse as the E-M5 II and E-M5.
The Nikon Z50 has hit the ground running, so to speak, with a camera body that has excellent ergonomics, a solid design, great handling, and easy to access settings. The body is compact, giving you the benefits of a mirrorless camera system, but not too compact, and not at the expense of handling and ease of use. There’s a larger than normal 3.2inch touch-screen, with easy to access zoom controls (for playback), and the electronic viewfinder gives a good view of the scene, with a decent resolution of 2.36m dots.
One thing to be aware of, is the lack of DX (APS-C) lenses available for the system, and we’d always recommend looking at what lenses you want (and whether they are available) before buying into a camera system. If you do go for the Z50, then you’ll find a high-quality 20mp APS-C CMOS sensor, that gives excellent noise performance, great colour reproduction, rapid focus, and pretty much everything else you could want from a new camera.
The Panasonic Lumix GX9 updates the GX8, with a more compact camera body, a tilting screen, and smaller electronic viewfinder (EVF), which is most likely unavoidable due to the smaller body size. The 3inch tilting touch-screen has a good resolution of 1270K dots, and continuous shooting speed has been improved to 9fps. In-camera image stabilisation has been updated to 5-axis image stabilisation and can be used in combination with lens-based image stabilisation when using Panasonic lenses. Image quality has been improved with slightly better noise performance, and colour reproduction is now better than ever with Panasonic’s latest cameras.
The Fujifilm X-E4 looks like the X100V, but with the added bonus of letting you change the lens to your own personal preferences. With a compact lens like the XF 27mm R WR, the camera is a compact and easily pocketable camera. The looks get instant reactions from anyone who sees it, with the question being “Is that an old camera?”
Handling will be greatly improved with the optional accessory kit, as the camera has no front or rear handgrip without these. Without these, the camera is best suited for use with a compact lens like the XF 27mm f/2.8 R WR, which is offered as a neat kit. It’s unfortunate there are not more controls on the camera, and adding the optional grips doesn’t help with this.
For video use, the lack of image stabilisation will be of concern, and the X-S10 is likely to be a better option. In fact, the logical choice would be the X-S10, for its better handling, and in-body image stabilisation, but based on looks alone, the X-E4 is hard to ignore.
With great image quality, thanks to using the same 26mp BSI CMOS sensor and image processor as the flagship X-T4, combined with a compact and stylish camera body, the X-E4 is a desirable little camera, that is also great value for money.
If you’re looking for something small, with an excellent range of lenses then the Sony Alpha A6600 offers a compelling option, as one of the smaller APS-C mirrorless cameras available. It offers excellent battery life, which would make it a great choice for travel and documentary use. For many, the oddities of Sony cameras will be something worth living with, and for Sony users, it’s probably something they’re already familiar with.
“The Sony Alpha A6600 offers a compact 24mp APS-C mirrorless camera, with excellent battery life.”
The compact size of the Sony Alpha A6400 makes it a great choice for travel compared to a larger full-frame camera. Image quality is impressive, with the camera delivering great image quality, with improved noise performance. The 18-135mm lens performs well for a super-zoom lens, giving very good results, and it makes for a good travel combination
If you have a much older Sony E-mount camera, and you’re looking to upgrade, then the A6400, as the most recent APS-C camera makes a lot of sense, particularly if you have a range of lenses to go with the camera. Even if you don’t have lenses already, then the Sony Alpha A6400 could make a good option, particularly if you’re looking for something compact, with unlimited video recording, and great image quality.
The Fujifilm X-Pro 3 updates the X-Pro 2 with the internals from the X-T3, adding a number of new features along the way. Some of these, such as the great new film simulation mode, and additional options will find their way to the other cameras in the range via a firmware update. But for those wanting a digital rangefinder with an optical viewfinder / updated electronic viewfinder, the X-Pro 3 offers a unique shooting experience.
The Fujifilm X-Pro 3 offers a unique shooting experience, one that isn’t designed to appeal to every photographer. In fact, it’s always been about giving a rangefinder experience, and the X-Pro 3 continues to do this.
A city or town offers a photographer a plethora of potential photographic subjects, making them a great location for an afternoon, morning or even a whole weekend of photography.
To give you some inspiration next time you’re out in a city with your camera, we’ve put together a list of 16 top photographic subjects you can find in a city / town, plus links to top tutorials that’ll help you perfect your shots of them. But first, let’s take a look at some of the kit you may want to consider taking next time you’re off for a photography walk around a city’s streets.
What Gear Will I Need?
Of course, you’re going to need a camera and this can be anything from a DSLR to a smaller compact. If you’re planning on taking some shots after the sun has set you may want to consider carrying a support, particularly if you’re going to be capturing light streaks. Do remember that some locations, such as cathedrals and stations, won’t allow you to use a support so do take this into consideration when planning your day.
ND and polarising filters don’t take up too much room and could come in useful as too would a variety of lenses if you’re not planning on using a compact camera. Consider taking a wide, tele-zoom and macro lens along if you have room in your camera bag for them. When it comes to bag choices, everyone is different so the best advice we can give you is take a bag that’s comfortable, will hold all the kit you’ll need easily and that’s easy to access. Sling style bags are popular in city locations due to how easy it is to access kit without having to remove the bag but an everyday backpack will be just as fine.
Buildings, old and new, surround our streets so you can’t really visit a city and not shoot some building-themed images. Click the link above for more tips on photographing architecture or visit the technique section to see the full list of architecture photography techniques we have on site.
One of the simplest ways to change the way your city image looks is to get up high. So climb a mountain, stand on some steps or use a lift to get to the top of a tower to give your images a different perspective.
These structures make great subjects for architectural shots but if the weather turns or you want a break from walking along the streets with your camera gear, the inside of these buildings is well worth capturing, too.
Museums are not only educational and interesting, but they offer plenty of photographic opportunities. Plus, many are free to enter which is always a bonus! Have a look around the outside of the museums too for interesting architectural shots worth capturing.
There are few towns and cities that do not have a station and they are fantastic places to take pictures. Interesting architecture, people to capture candids of and close-ups of interesting detail are just some of the shots you can capture around these locations.
Stairs may sound a little boring but if you start thinking about the materials they’re made from and the shapes and styles that exist, you’ll soon realise there’s plenty of steps to keep you and your camera occupied.
Canals were once used to transport goods to towns and cities right across the UK and as a result, there are still plenty of waterways running through our city streets. The long canals, bridges and lock gates that once supplied goods now supply ample photography opportunities and as they all have public walkways, you’re not going to upset anyone if you spend an hour two with your camera at the side of one.
Spend some time in your town and capture some interesting images of displays and signs. They’ll be plenty of interesting signs, plus head back out at night and the shop fronts will have a completely different look to them.
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Spoilt for choice this week, we managed to get out on 3 walks on Dartmoor so plenty of shots to be had. One of the walks was the first outing this year for my Fuji GFX 50S kit for some “serious” landscape shooting at Venford Falls on Tuesday.
Combestone Tor near to Venford Reservoir.
First though we went with friends to Burrator Woods for a look at some of the more obscure areas since they live very close and know the woods intimately, I only took my Leica M9s.
This is the remains of the old Blasting Powder Bunker from the quarrying days.
Found this old gnarly tree.
And one of the 3 Redwoods in the wood.
And yesterday we went for a walk along the old railway line that has been converted to a cycle/foot path, again Leica M9.
At one point doubts were being raised about the suitability of CDs for archiving. Some were becoming unreadable due to the layers breaking down. Before we used portable drives for backup, we put most of our stuff (maybe all of our stuff!) onto CD, and later onto DVD. I have looked into that archive before and found everything was still readable, and I’ve now found early CD backups from 2004, so thought that might be intereresting. First off, the CDs seem fine. They are Verbatim Datalife 48x 700MB.There is no sign of corrosion and all the files are readable. My only wish was that I had archived everything as JPEGs rather than the huge TIFF files that I was told I needed.
On this particular CD I found a set of images, shot on the two cameras that started off our serious love of digital photography. The Fuji S602 Pro was the first and was a very likeable bridge camera. The Fuji S7000 doubled the resolution and cemented our progress into the digital world. It was when I looked at an A3 print of a clock from the S602 Pro and realised it looked sharper than medium format film, without the dust spots as well, that I reached the tipping point. The future was bright, the future was Pentax digital SLRs.
Let’s have a look at the portfolio of images from that early CD.
Red boat at the quayside. Very vivid colour with minimal adjustment needed Fuji S602 Pro, f/5.6, 1/320s, ISO 200, 27 03 2004
Blue 2. Digital bridge cameras are brilliant for close-ups. Fuji S7000, f/7, 1/50s, ISO 200, 05 09 2004
Blue. Fuji S7000, f/4.5, 1/60s, ISO 200, 05 09 2004
Enter today’s Christmas Prize Draw for the chance to win either an XP-Pen Innovator 16 or Artist 13.3 Pro Holiday Edition Graphics Tablet!
Introducing The Artist 13.3 Pro Holiday Edition & Innovator 16 Graphics Tablets
XP-Pen are honoured to be giving away their best-selling Artist 13.3 Pro holiday edition and the Innovator 16 as prizes in the ePHOTOzine Christmas Prize Draw!
The Artist 13.3 Pro holiday edition features specially-designed packaging that XP-Pen introduced recently and, as well as offering professional features and portable size, they have included lots of extra goodies including a poster and jigsaw puzzle. The Innovator 16 is another popular graphics tablet that has a unique, stylish design and excellent performance.
XP-Pen also has a wide range of other graphics tablets for you to take a look at this Holiday Season.
Win either an XP-Pen Innovator 16 or Artist 13.3 Pro Holiday Edition Graphics Tablet!
XP-Pen recently introduced the Artist 13.3 Pro holiday edition to its graphics tablet line-up and it’s equipped with professional features such as 8192 pen pressure, pen tilt and a wide colour gamut. Plus, with its reasonable price, the Artist 13.3 Pro holiday edition will make a great gift option for beginners and professionals alike.
As well as the Artist 13.3 Pro, XP-Pen also offer the 15.6″ Innovator Display 16 with its industry-leading 9mm profile and a sleek black/silver design. Perfect for drawing on the go, the Innovator Display 16 equips both a mechanical and a virtual wheel with full lamination technology, allowing you to zoom in/out of your canvas. Plus, by using two wheels, it creates a minimal parallax visual experience.
Enter below to be in with a chance of winning an XP-Pen Innovator 16 or Artist 13.3 Pro Holiday Edition Graphics Tablet!
P.S. a huge ‘thank you’ to all of our members for being part of our amazing community and to those clients who have supported us through these unprecedented circumstances. It’s been a tough year, so ‘thanks’ – we couldn’t have made it through 2020 without you!
Wishing you all a lovely Christmas and here’s hoping 2021 will be healthy and happy all round.
The mirrorless compact system camera (CSC) lets you change lenses, as well as most of them using DSLR sized sensors with DSLR image quality in a much more compact camera. With a rapid refresh cycle, there are a number of new cameras introduced each year, with many offering innovative new features. Here we highlight the best budget-friendly, entry-level Mirrorless Compact System Cameras.
Why Can’t I See My Favourite Camera?
If you don’t see your favourite camera on this list it’s either because we’ve not reviewed it or it’s simply not scored high enough.
Let’s countdown the best Entry-Level Mirrorless Compact System Cameras:
1. Fujifilm X-T20
The Fujifilm X-T20 offers a number of features from the more expensive X-T2, but at a lower price point, and without the weather-sealed camera body. For those that want the image quality from the 24 megapixel Fujifilm sensor, then the X-T20 certainly delivers, with excellent image quality and great noise performance. You also have the option to shoot at up to 14fps using the electronic shutter, as well as record 4K video (for up to 10 minutes).
The most noticeable difference between the X-T20 and X-T2, if you’ve used both, is the smaller size of the electronic viewfinder on the X-T20. However, the 3inch touch-screen certainly helps make up for this. Focus is rapid, and you have a camera that feels good in the hand with great external controls, making it a desirable choice for many. The camera offers good value for money, for a very capable digital camera.
The 16 megapixel Panasonic Lumix GX80 offers 4K video recording, 5-axis image stabilisation sensor, a built-in electronic viewfinder (EVF), a 3inch tilting touch-screen and built-in Wi-Fi. There is an ISO range of ISO100 to ISO25600, 8fps continuous shooting, and 4K Photo which offers 30fps continuous shooting. The Panasonic Lumix GX80 uses Micro Four Thirds lenses.
The 16 megapixel Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II is the entry-level Olympus OM-D model, yet features the same 16-megapixel sensor as the E-M5 Mark II, as well as 5-axis image stabilisation, and built-in Wi-Fi, at a competitive price. There is a large, high-resolution electronic viewfinder (2.36m dots), ISO100 to ISO25600, 8.5fps continuous shooting and built-in Wi-Fi. Although the camera is not weather-sealed, it does have a tilting touch-screen and uses Micro Four Thirds lenses.
The 16 megapixel Olympus PEN E-PL8 features a tilting 3inch selfie screen, 3-axis in-camera image stabilisation, and records FullHD video. The ISO range is ISO100 to ISO25600, and the camera features built-in Wi-Fi, 8.5fps continuous shooting, and a metal camera body. The E-PL8 uses Micro Four Thirds lenses. It’s also worth looking at the previous version, while it’s still available, the Olympus PEN Lite E-PL7.
The 24 megapixel Sony Alpha A6000 offers high-speed shooting, at 11fps with continuous AF, a 3inch tilting screen, a built-in electronic viewfinder (EVF), ISO100 to ISO25600, and offers built-in Wi-Fi and NFC. The camera uses Sony E-mount lenses.
The Olympus PEN E-PL9 continues to deliver the same high image quality of other Olympus Micro Four Thirds cameras, giving excellent colour reproduction and great JPEG images straight from the camera. Noise performance is good, although doesn’t quite match the performance of some APS-C cameras. The E-PL9 is now a more complete camera than any previous Olympus PEN camera, with the built-in pop-up flash a great addition. 4K video makes it competitive with the Panasonic Lumix cameras, and combined with built-in 3-axis IS, this is better than most other entry-level mirrorless cameras and will make your video look better than non-stabilised cameras.
The Olympus PEN E-PL9 is likely to be a popular camera, particularly thanks to the 3-axis image stabilisation system, and 4K video recording. The biggest competition is the E-M10 Mark III, with built-in electronic viewfinder, the Panasonic Lumix GX80, and the Sony Alpha A6000, which both also feature a built-in electronic viewfinder. The updates to the user interface is a very welcome addition, however, the more advanced menus could still do with a refresh. The E-PL9 solves most of the complaints we had regarding the E-PL8, with a built-in flash, built-in automatic panoramic mode, as well as new, easier to use modes. As part of the Micro Four Thirds system, it also has access to the widest range of lenses available for a mirrorless system.
The 16 megapixel Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III is the third entry-level Olympus OM-D model and features the same 16-megapixel sensor as the E-M5 Mark II, as well as 5-axis image stabilisation, built-in Wi-Fi, and 4K video recording at a competitive price. There is a large high-resolution electronic viewfinder (2.36m dots), ISO100 to ISO25600, 8.6fps continuous shooting and is designed to be easier to use. Although the camera is not weather-sealed, it does have a tilting touch-screen and uses Micro Four Thirds lenses.
The 16 megapixel Fujifilm X-A2 shoots at 5.6fps in continuous mode, and there is a tilting 3inch selfie screen, ISO100 to ISO25600, built-in Wi-Fi, Flash and a flash hot-shoe. The Fujifilm X-A2 uses Fujifilm X-Mount lenses.
The 24 megapixel Sony Alpha A5100 offers an APS-C CMOS sensor, a 3inch tilting selfie touch-screen, ISO100 to ISO25600, 6fps continuous shooting, built-in pop-up flash, plus built-in Wi-Fi and NFC. The A5100 uses Sony E-Mount lenses.
Panasonic’s entry-level Lumix GX800 sits at the bottom of the Lumix GX range, replacing the GF7, with a new design and styling. The camera features a 16-megapixel sensor, 4K photo and video, a 3inch tilting touch-screen and built-in pop-up flash. The camera looks better than the GF7 it replaces, with a better feel in the hand as well. The Panasonic Lumix GX800 is available for £499 with 12-32mm kit lens, making it good value for money as one of the cheapest 4K capable mirrorless cameras. For those who on a tight budget, the GX800 offers a lot of features, fast performance, and excellent image quality, all for less than £500.
It’s also worth looking at the previous version, while it’s still available, the Panasonic Lumix GF7.
The Canon EOS M50 offers a compact, DSLR styled mirrorless camera, with an updated 24mp APS-C CMOS sensor, which gives excellent image quality, with the same excellent colour reproduction that you get with Canon EOS DSLRs. You also get high-speed continuous shooting, 143 focus points, and a high-resolution electronic viewfinder. It’s also one of the cheapest Canon cameras to record 4K video, and the side mic socket will make it appealing for those who want to record video.
If you want to use Canon EF lenses, with an adapter, on a smaller camera body, or want to use one of the EF-M lenses, then the Canon EOS M50 is a compact option with great levels of performance, and is an enjoyable camera to use. It’s just frustrating that in order to get the best from the camera you have to use the EOS-EF-M adapter, due to the lack of native Canon EF-M lenses available.
It would be nice to see Canon introduce new lenses more often than they have, as the last new lens was announced in September 2016. Considering the EOS M system has been around since 2012, and there are still only 7 Canon EF-M lenses available says a lot. Consider Sony’s FE mount camera system, released in 2013, now has 24 Sony FE mount lenses, Fujifilm has 28 lenses for their system, Olympus offers 28 lenses, and Panasonic offers 37 lenses, it’s unfortunate that a camera as good as the M50 doesn’t also benefit from such a wide choice of lenses (without having to rely on an adapter).
If you’re going to buy a mirrorless camera system, which gives you the ability to change lenses when needed and think about what lenses you’d buy for the camera, the Canon EOS M50 comes up short. Which is a real shame, as the Canon EOS M50 is the best value for money out of all of the Canon EOS M cameras, is great fun to use, and is capable of taking some excellent shots. Perhaps we’ll see the lens range increase in future, and if it does, then the Canon EOS M50 could be a real winner.
Like the E-PL9, the E-PL10 delivers great image quality, excellent colour reproduction, rapid focus and continuous shooting speeds, and has good noise performance. There’s a built-in pop-up flash, 4K video recording, and with built-in 3-axis IS, videos have a good level of image stabilisation, making even handheld videos look great.
The Olympus PEN E-PL10 like the E-PL9 is a great little camera, and that’s the biggest issue currently, the E-PL10 is so similar to the E-PL9, that the higher price of the E-PL10 makes it difficult to justify.
Despite being designed as the “perfect vloggers” camera, we were more impressed by the camera’s still photo ability. It consistently produced images that look great, with good detail, accurate focus, and great colour. The camera also gives a great shooting experience, thanks to a high-quality, high-resolution screen, and high-resolution and large electronic viewfinder. Handling is good, with a good rubber grip and there’s a good number of external controls. For those looking for a compact mirrorless camera, with access to a vast array of relatively compact lenses, then the Panasonic Lumix G100 makes a great camera.
As a vlogging camera, we were left fairly disappointed in a number of ways. Electronic image stabilisation struggles, focus is frustrating as the camera’s focus drifts from the main subject (and hunts for focus), and the heavy crop gives a soft-looking image. We were left disappointed in the audio quality, despite OZO Audio promising high audio quality. The kit lens gives us a camera that struggles in low-light. For a little bit more, you can get the Panasonic Lumix G90, which features real 5-axis in-body image stabilisation, rather than digital, as well as mic/headphone sockets, and unlimited video recording.
The X-T200 updates the X-T100 in a number of useful ways. 4K video recording has been greatly improved, offering 30,25,24fps video recording and a microphone socket has been added to the side. A larger, improved grip has been added to the camera, and there’s a new, larger, high-resolution 3.5inch vari-angle touch-screen. Face and eye detection is included and gives good focus performance in most situations.
In terms of value for money, the X-T200 offers a lot, however, alternatives from other companies, such as Sony, Olympus, Panasonic, offer a wider range of lens choices, particularly if you’re looking for budget options, and this is something to factor in when looking at the overall cost if you do go for this camera. The majority of lenses available from Fujifilm are not budget options, however, the new XC 35mm f/2.0 is one lens to look at. You could also look at the X-T30, a higher spec camera in many ways, currently available for less than the X-T200.
For wildlife or high-speed sports photography, you will be better served by other Fujifilm X series cameras, such as the X-T30, or X-T3/X-T4 with much faster continuous shooting speeds. But for everything else, the Fujifilm X-T200 makes a compelling all-round camera for general photography. For video the X-T200 delivers good-looking 4K video footage, and the screen is definitely impressive. The vlogger kit is great value for money, for an extra £50, you get a RODE Mic, a JOBY tripod, and a memory card, with the microphone giving a noticeable improvement in audio quality.
The Fujifilm X-A7 gives pretty much everything you could want from an entry-level mirrorless camera. There’s a 24mp APS-C CMOS sensor, 4K video recording, and usefully a large 3.5inch vari-angle touch-screen. For those interested in the video side of things, there’s HDMI out, as well as a microphone socket (albeit a 2.5mm jack – an adapter is provided in the box). For vlogging, the large screen, and face detection focus will also add to the camera’s appeal.
The image quality delivered is very good, and excellent when using prime lenses with the camera. Despite the lack of Fujifilm’s X-Trans CMOS sensor, you still get excellent Fujifilm colour reproduction, and a good number of film simulations and options so that you can customise the results to your liking. Dynamic range recorded is good, and again, there are a number of options to improve this. In-camera raw processing makes it quick and easy to correct or change any image you want, and we’re a big fan of this being built-in to the camera.
The Canon EOS M200 is a neat little budget mirrorless camera, with a range of matching budget lenses that make it an easy to use compact system. If you want to access more advanced controls it can be time-consuming (several button presses and menus need to be scrolled through to find the switch between MF and AF), but it’s not really designed for advanced shooters, so this can be forgiven.
For those looking for an easy-to-use, compact, “point-and-shoot” style mirrorless camera, the Canon EOS M200 could be an excellent option, particularly as it’s got the same colour reproduction as other Canon EOS cameras and a 24mp APS-C CMOS sensor. We liked shooting with the camera, even though, it’s not designed for the traditional photographer, it’s simplicity and ease of use makes for a somewhat fun camera to simply use, and not worry too much about.
ePHOTOzine has reviewed every serious/advanced compact camera available and here, we reveal the best cameras, based on our in-depth reviews. Below, we highlight some of the best features of each model so you should be able to find a camera capable of delivering high image quality and speedy performance.
The cameras on this list have a larger than normal sensor built-in and we’ve not included bridge cameras as these don’t tend to be very compact in size and we’ve also left out travel zooms. We do have top tens which look at bridge cameras and travel zooms, though, so do check them out if this is the type of camera more suited to you. Plus, a number of these types of cameras now feature larger than normal sensors as well as manual controls.
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Why Is My Favourite Camera Not On The List?
This is because we’ve either not reviewed it, yet, or it’s simply not scored high enough in its review to be featured in the countdown.
1. Fujifilm X100V
The biggest complaints we had with the previous X100 series cameras was the lack of a tilting screen, as well as the poor macro performance of the lens. These issues have been completely resolved with the X100V. For those that wished the camera had weather-sealing, this has also been answered, as long as you purchase the optional kit.
The Fujifilm X100V delivers pretty much everything you could want from a premium classic style camera. There’s a high-resolution 26mp sensor, with excellent noise performance. Colour reproduction and options are outstanding, and the camera gives a unique hybrid optical/electronic viewfinder so that you can truly have the best of both worlds.
If you’re a fan of video, then the camera almost gives you what you want. There is high-resolution CINE/4K video recording, as well as high-speed FullHD video, however, the lack of image stabilisation and the time-limits are going to be issues for some.
The camera is ideally suited to street photography, or as a general camera that you can take with you where ever you may go. It’s built to last, and thanks to weather-sealing should survive for many years to come, making the relatively high-price easily justifiable. The camera oozes quality, with external controls that make the camera a real joy to use.
The Panasonic Lumix LX100 is a large sensor (Micro Four Thirds) compact camera, with a f/1.7 – 2.8 Leica lens equivalent to 24-75mm in 35mm terms, built-in Wi-Fi and an electronic viewfinder. Even though we reviewed the camera back in 2014, it’s still sitting as reigning champion in our top ten thanks to its impressive line-up of features, 4K video capture, bright lens and stylish metal body. In fact, we were that impressed with the LX100, we gave it our ‘Editor’s Choice’ award.
The Canon Powershot G5 X is a development of the G7 X, and features the same large 20-megapixel 1inch BSI CMOS sensor and bright 4.2x optical zoom f/1.8-2.8 lens, but adds a tilting vari-angle touch-screen, electronic viewfinder and updated design. The G5 X gives more optical zoom than most of the competition with the same sensor and anyone who is looking for a compact camera that delivers excellent image quality, good control and handling, as well as a built-in electronic viewfinder (EVF), the G5 X certainly offers the complete package.
The Leica D-Lux (Typ 109) is based on the Panasonic Lumix LX100 and features a large 12.8 megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor, built-in Wi-Fi, an electronic viewfinder, and 4K video recording. The Leica lens is the equivalent to a 24-75mm lens and features a bright f/1.7-f/2.8 aperture giving high image quality, and a large Micro Four Thirds sensor ensures that noise performance is good even at higher ISO settings. The built-in electronic viewfinder is another useful feature, particularly if regularly shooting outdoors in bright sunny conditions. With a number of external controls, along with a compact and stylish metal body, the Leica D-Lux (Typ 109) is a pleasure to use and we were happy to ‘Highly Recommend’ it.
The Fujifilm X100F is the latest fixed lens premium compact to join Fujifilm’s popular line-up of retro-inspired compacts. Inside the X100F you’ll find a 24.3Mp APS-C CMOS sensor and new features include an ISO dial built into the shutter speed dial (like the X-Pro2) and a focus joystick which allows you to change the focus point without taking your eye off the viewfinder. The 100F is actually the 4th generation of the X100, updating the X100T, and in the evolved version you’ll also find the hybrid viewfinder that can switch between optical and electronic views.
Overall, the camera feels great and is a joy to use so if you get the chance to try it out, we highly recommend that you do.
The Ricoh GR II is an update to the Ricoh GR and features a number of updates including built-in Wi-Fi and NFC, improved white balance, noise performance, effects modes, as well as the capability to wirelessly control external flash units. Features carried over from the GR include a 16 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, plus a 28mm equivalent f/2.8 GR lens which produces images that are very sharp and detailed. The Ricoh GR II may seem like a subtle update to the previous camera, however, the camera offers built-in Wi-Fi and NFC, bringing the camera more up to date. Improvements have been made in continuous shooting and the camera feels very rapid in use. For those that want a pocketable camera that can deliver high image quality, without the need for optical zoom, then the Ricoh GR II would make an ideal solution.
The Canon Powershot G7 X Mark II is the update to the G7 X, and as a serious compact camera with a larger than normal 20-megapixel 1inch sensor and it provides excellent image quality, with a bright 4.2x optical zoom lens, whilst still being pocketable. For those who want a compact camera with a larger than normal 1inch sensor, and a longer zoom than most other serious compacts, then the G7 X Mark II certainly delivers high image quality and rapid speed. With Wi-Fi and NFC built-in, there is very little lacking from the G7 X Mark II, and it’s easy to transfer images, as well as control the camera with your smartphone remotely. The Canon Powershot G7 X Mark II would make an excellent choice for those that don’t want to take a bigger camera with them but also don’t want to compromise on image quality or control.
Shooting with the Panasonic Lumix LX100 II is a pleasing experience, as the camera makes it easy to change settings, without having to dive into the menu system. Focus is rapid and exposure is reliable, meaning that you can shoot confidently, and trust that you are going to get good results when you view the photos later. The screen and EVF are both very good, which means you can use these to confirm the quality of your shots while out and about. Colour reproduction was very good, and we were impressed by the results we got back from the camera, with the new sensor and lens combination delivering sharp detailed photos.
A tilting screen would be nice, as would a built-in flash. There will be times when there just isn’t enough light, and the separate flash unit is another thing to forget or lose.
4K video recording produces good-looking video, with good levels of detail, however, the crop factor is something to be aware of, as the lens becomes equivalent to 30 to 94mm, instead of 24-75mm.
The camera gives mirrorless / DSLR image quality, with a bright f/1.7 zoom lens, in a compact, pocketable metal body, making it easy to fit into jacket pockets and take with you where you might not want to take the bulk of a DSLR.
The Canon Powershot G1 X Mark III features the same 24-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor as Canon EOS Digital SLRs but in a much more pocket-friendly size. There’s a wide-angle 3x optical zoom lens on the front, equivalent to 24-72mm, with an f/2.8 aperture at the wide-angle end of the lens. There’s a built-in electronic viewfinder (EVF), plus a 3inch vari-angle touch-screen. Noise performance and colour reproduction are excellent, with true DSLR image quality, and similar controls to those found on a Canon DSLR.
The Leica Q (Typ 116) features a fixed 28mm f/1.7 Summilux ASPH. lens, a 24 megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor, full HD video recording, a 3inch touch screen and an electronic viewfinder with 3.686 million pixels. The Leica Q (Typ 116) offers rapid performance, excellent image quality, and good handling. If you wanted one camera to use, and like the idea of one focal length, then the Leica Q Typ 116 is an excellent camera. If however, you are wanting to change lenses, then perhaps the Leica Q might not be the one for you. Overall, the camera makes full-frame photography more accessible with a Leica lens, without the expense of having to buy a Leica M rangefinder and lens, whilst also making it easy to use with autofocus and other beginner-friendly features such as auto and scene modes available. For the professional photographer or those that simply want to get back to the core controls of photography, there are a number of external controls giving direct access to aperture, focus, and shutter controls. This makes it a joy to use the camera.
The Sony Cyber-shot RX100 III is designed for those that want better landscapes and portraits and is only 9g heavier than the RX100 Mark II. The Mark III features a new 24-70mm equivalent wide-angle lens and a built-in pop-up viewfinder. As well as improved auto-focus modes, the camera features a tilting screen that tilts to face you. The Sony Cyber-shot RX100 III features a 1inch 20.2 megapixel backlit CMOS sensor that delivers impressive noise performance and excellent image quality. The RX100 III takes the already impressive RX100 II image quality and gives an impressive new 24-70mm lens, that is brighter at the telephoto end, and for those that want an electronic viewfinder, the EVF in the RX100 III is excellent, larger than most, and very neatly tucks away keeping the camera compact and pocketable.
The Canon Powershot G9 X Mark II updates the Canon Powershot G9 X and offers a 3x optical zoom lens, a 20.2 megapixel BSI CMOS sensor, a 3inch touch-screen, and manual controls, whilst being compact and offering built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC. It features the same control ring as the original G9 X around the lens but adds Bluetooth, a new image processor and faster continuous shooting.
The Canon Powershot G9 X Mark II is compact and stylish, and one of the smallest cameras available that delivers high image quality, thanks to the use of a 1inch BSI CMOS sensor. The camera also offers improved continuous shooting with an improvement in JPEG shooting, as well as a massive improvement in continuous raw shooting speed. Above all, the G9 X Mark II delivers great image quality and is a pleasure to use.
The Canon Powershot G5 X Mark II offers an updated high-speed 20mp 1inch sensor, with up to 30/20fps depending on whether you are shooting raw or JPEG, and 4K video recording. There’s a new 5x optical zoom lens, with an f/1.8 to f/2.8 aperture, and the lens is equivalent to 24-120mm in 35mm equivalent terms. Image quality is very good, and the camera has great noise performance. The new design is more compact than the previous version, with a built-in pop-up electronic viewfinder (EVF).
The Canon Powershot G7 X Mark III offers a new design compared to the previous model, 4K video recording and a 20 megapixel stacked BSI CMOS sensor, allowing higher speed continuous shooting. It is capable of up to 30fps RAW shooting, and features a microphone socket for video recording. It features excellent colour reproduction, and an easy to use interface although you might find it a little soft towards the corners of the frame when shooting wide-angle.
It’s good to see Ricoh continues to offer a unique, compact, camera with high image quality, and they are to be commended to releasing a product that offers something different to the norm. The Ricoh GR III has one main aim, and that’s to be a compact camera with a high-quality lens, and high image quality, and it accomplishes this very well.
Overall, the Ricoh GR III is a compact camera with a high-quality wide-angle lens, and a large sensor, and delivers excellent images.
It’s easy to find little quirks and oddities, and things that you wish that Sony would fix. NTSC/PAL switchover being the most annoying of them in my opinion. If you want to switch from 25fps, to 30fps, you need to switch from PAL to NTSC, and the camera requires a different memory card, or for the memory card to be formatted before you can record video in a different frame rate. This has been partially fixed with the new A7S III, as you no longer need to format your memory card, but you do still need to switch between the modes.
There are other issues, the tripod socket is too close to the battery/memory compartment, so if you’re using the camera on a tripod you’ll have to take the camera off the tripod before changing the battery or memory card. If you’re recording video, then it’s likely you’ll want to change the battery and memory card at some point.
If you’re a stills photographer and want a good, general, all-purpose camera, then the lack of built-in flash could be an issue, and images from other cameras are going to be sharper and clearer.
However, what’s difficult to find fault with, is the quality of video recorded with the camera. Even in lower light conditions, the camera delivers great-looking video, and with a bright f/1.8 aperture, it certainly gives mirrorless cameras a run for their money, giving better background blur than many kit lenses.
You’ve got high-speed video recording, albeit at a lower resolution, with less detail. Focus is fast and reliable, and there are easy to use features that produce excellent results, with blurred background if you want it, or a clearer background when needed. Ultimately, the Sony ZV-1, is the best compact camera we’ve seen for vlogging, and entry-level video work. The quality of output is clear to see, and the camera makes it incredibly easy to get great footage!
A good mid-range smartphone offers you a number of premium features, but without the high price of the latest and greatest premium smartphones. Some of these were previously premium smartphones, but as the price has dropped over time, they have become more affordable. Some of these offer incredible value for money starting from £219. Some are even waterproof, giving them extra versatility.
There are a number of things you’re more likely to find with a mid-range smartphone, that put them ahead of many of the budget smartphones for photography. The inclusion of these high-end features will improve your results, and you want to be looking for smartphones with Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS), 4K video recording, a secondary lens (for depth effect, background blur, or telephoto zoom, or even a black and white secondary camera), a handheld night mode for better low-light shots. For the more advanced photographer, you might want to find a model with manual controls, raw support, and a MicroSD card slot for increased storage space.
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1. Google Pixel 3a / 3a XL
Being able to get one of the best smartphone cameras available, for almost half the price of the flagship version, the Google Pixel 3, is quite simply a “no-brainer” and some may even prefer the Pixel 3a for its headphone socket.
The Google Pixel 3a (and 3) show that you don’t necessarily need a larger sensor to get better results, with Google’s computational photography, you’re able to get some incredible results. In fact, it would be nice if some of the more traditional camera manufacturers took a leaf out of Google’s book, and started introducing similar features into their cameras. In the meantime, you’ll simply have to experience the future of photography, on a smartphone, such as the Google Pixel 3a.
Whether you choose the Pixel 3a or the Pixel 3a XL will be down to whether you want a larger screen, and a larger battery, or want the smaller option.
Camera features at a glance: 12.2mp f/1.8 standard camera, with OIS, PDAF, 1.4um pixels, 8mp f/2.0 selfie camera, 24mm equivalent, 6inch OLED 18:9 screen, 1080×2160, 4K 30fps video, AI photography, headphone jack, 3700mAh battery
Inside and out, the Honor 20 Pro is an impressive bit of kit. It looks good, performs really well and has a price tag that will please most people. If you’re a bit picky, the screen quality and side-mounted fingerprint sensor might make the Honor 20 Pro lose a couple of points but in reality, you’re getting a smartphone with premium features for a price that, really, when compared with other brands, Honor shouldn’t be able to offer it to you at.
Overall, the Honor 20 Pro certainly puts up a good fight in a very crowded market and is certainly worthy of featuring on our ‘best mid-range smartphone’ top list.
Camera features at a glance: 16mp ultra-wide-angle camera, f/2.2, 48mp main camera, f/1.4 with 4-axis OIS, 8mp 3x telephoto camera, f/2.4 with 4-axis OIS, 2mp macro camera, f/2.4, 4cm macro focus, 3x optical, 5x hybrid, 30x digital, 2mp f/2.4 depth assist, 4000mAh battery, night mode, 6.26-inch screen, bokeh effects
The Samsung Galaxy S8 uses the same, already excellent, camera as the S7, with a 12-megapixel rear camera with dual pixel technology and a bright f/1.7 aperture, and improves the phone with an upgraded 8mp selfie camera with Auto Focus (AF). The screen is an impressive 5.8inch Quad HD+ screen that dominates the front of the phone, whilst maintaining the same compact size as the previous phone! The phone can capture 4K video as well as 9-megapixel stills when in video mode. It’s dustproof and waterproof to a depth of 1.5m for up to 30 mins. With the ability to expand the memory with a microSD card and tough Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on the screen and back on the phone, it’s ideal for those who love to get out and about and take lots of images, no matter the weather. It operates at a very impressive speed and you can use the volume control as a shutter button. ISO speeds from ISO50 to ISO800 are selectable in manual mode.
Camera features at a glance: 12mp, f/1.7 lens, 26mm equivalent, Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS), 4K video recording, Slow-motion video, MicroSD slot, raw.
This one just squeezes into the mid-range smartphone section, with a price point of £439. It offers premium smartphone features, but at a price point that’s almost half that of many premium smartphones.
The OnePlus 6 smartphone can be described as an affordable flagship that has premium features at a not so eye-watering price. Image quality is excellent, the camera app gets the ‘thumbs-up’ and the red version is particularly stylish. We think the OnePlus 6 smartphone is an excellent buy!
The OnePlus6 is a reasonably priced smartphone with specs that make it fit right at home alongside the likes of premium Samsung, Apple and Sony devices. Yes, it doesn’t have the kerb appeal an iPhone does but a sensible person can push this to one side and be impressed by what the OnePlus 6 has to offer them.
The main camera performs really well and we really like the camera app which is really intuitive and easy to use. It’s a shame the second rear camera doesn’t give a longer focal length or something a bit different like a black and white camera (as Huawei do). The camera has been updated to include a multi-shot Night mode.
The 6.28inch screen is excellent and viewing isn’t a problem, with a fairly small notch at the top.
There’s no microSD slot which is surprising for an Android phone, there’s no official IP rating (so don’t get it too wet) and there’s a lack of stereo speakers but apart from that, we think the OnePlus 6 smartphone is an excellent buy.
Camera features at a glance: Dual 16mp and 20mp f/1.7 lenses, 27.22mm equivalent, Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) & Electronic Image Stabilisation (EIS), 4K video recording, High-speed / Slow-motion video up to 480fps.
The Huawei P20 is a powerhouse of a phone with excellent camera ability and plenty of camera options including RAW ability and manual controls, all in a stunningly sleek body.
The Huawei P20 is a well-built smartphone offering an outstanding set of cameras, which are sure to please even the most discerning of smartphone photographers. With lightning-fast reaction times and plenty of shooting options including a Pro mode that lets you shoot RAW images and offers full manual control, the phone is a great choice for those that want a phone that’s designed with the photographer in mind. There’s a handheld night mode, so you can take night shots without a tripod.
The secondary monochrome camera offers sharp detailed photos and a bright f/1.6 aperture. The phone comes with plenty of RAM and storage, and at this price, it’s one of the more affordable premium smartphones
Camera features at a glance: 12 megapixels RGB f/1.8 and 20 megapixel BW f/1.6 dual Leica rear cameras, Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS), 4K video recording.
The Honor 9 from Huawei offers a dual camera smartphone, plenty of ram and storage, a stylish and good looking design with a 5.15inch screen, and offers all of this for a much lower price than you would expect. The dual camera offers a “Hybrid Zoom” giving a 2x zoom, with only a slight loss in image quality. The black and white camera takes impressively sharp and detailed 20mp images, and noise is well controlled whether shooting colour or black and white.
Whilst the smartphone doesn’t feature a waterproof body, there are few smartphones at this price point that do. The camera also records 4K video, and results are good. The biggest shortcoming is the lack of optical image stabilisation (OIS) which not only affects photos, but also video, and at this price point, you should be able to find an alternative with OIS, although most likely without a dual-camera.
If you want to try true black and white photography, and don’t quite have the money for a Leica M Monochrom, then the Honor 9 smartphone with a black and white camera, would make an excellent choice.
Camera features at a glance: 20mp mono camera, 12mp colour camera, f/2.2 max aperture, 27mm equivalent, 8mp selfie camera, 4K video.
The Huawei Mate 10 Pro was Huawei’s top of the range flagship smartphone, not only does it feature dual Leica f/1.6 cameras with colour and black and white sensors, but also features a top of the range processor, that includes a “Neural Processing Unit” designed to speed up “Artificial Intelligence” (AI), for both smartphone and camera features. The Huawei Mate 10 Pro is a large smartphone, thanks to a 6inch screen, and it’s set up with a 12mp f/1.6 colour camera, and a 20mp f/1.6 black and white camera, both lenses equivalent to 27mm in 35mm terms. The main 12mp colour camera features optical image stabilisation, and there is prominent Leica branding next to the cameras on the back, as well as a Dual LED flash. The camera can record 4K (UHD) video, as well as high-speed video at 120fps at FullHD resolution.
If you’re looking for a large smartphone, with an emphasis on the camera(s) included, then the Mate 10 Pro certainly offers a complete package.
Camera features at a glance: Dual cameras 12mp colour, 20mp black and white, f/1.6 lenses, 27mm equivalent, Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS), 4K video recording, MicroSD slot, raw.
The OnePlus Nord is a mid-range smartphone that, for the price, offers some really great things. You get a decent camera and other flagship features bundled up in a great looking smartphone for under £400 but the problem is, they’re not the only company doing this any more so it’s hard for the Nord to standout. However, it’s affordable, it looks great and is feature-packed (particularly the camera app) so if you are looking for a new smartphone that offers all of this and is not too expensive, the OnePlus Nord is an excellent choice.
OnePlus describe the Nord as a smartphone that gives you ‘pretty much everything you could ask for’ which might sound bold but actually, they’re not far wrong. Price, performance and features make the OnePlus Nord a smartphone we’re happy to ‘Recommend’.
Camera features at a glance: Rear Camera: 48MP wide-angle f/1.74 with OIS and EIS, 8MP ultra-wide-angle f/2.25 with 119-degree FOV, 5MP f/2.4 depth sensor and a 2MP f/2.4 macro lens, Front Camera: 32MP f/2.5 fixed focus with EIS and 8MP f/2.45 lens ultra-wide-lens with 105-degree FOV, Video: 4K 30fps, 1080p 30/60fps, super slow motion and time-lapse, Camera Features: CINE aspect ratio video recording, UltraShot HDR, Nightscape, Super macro, Portrait, Pro mode, Panorama, AI scene detection, RAW image, Filters, Quick share
The Google Pixel 4a is an inexpensive smartphone with a camera that’s ideal for ‘point-and-click’ photographers who aren’t too fussed about multiple cameras and lots of options. However, if you’re going to be doing more than just sharing images on social media, you might want to see what else Google, or another brand, has to offer as detail does fall off quickly when you start adjusting the zoom (even just a little bit). The low light mode is pretty good, though, and colour accuracy is pretty much spot on.
Away from the camera, the Google Pixel 4a has a small display but the compact size of the smartphone does mean it’s easy to operate and it will fit in your pocket so it could be ideal for someone who’s not into the ‘bigger is better’ motto some other phone manufactures tend to follow. However, when you compare the Pixel 4a with other smartphones in the, what is, a very competitive field, it just doesn’t have the same amount or quality of features. The battery isn’t quite as good as those seen on rival smartphones at this price point, too.
That said, those looking for a basic, compact smartphone with a modern clean design which has a camera they can simply press the shutter button on to produce a decent photo for sharing on social media will find the Google Pixel 4a appealing. In conclusion, if you’re into affordable prices and no-frills, the Google Pixel 4a could be for you.
Camera features at a glance: Rear Camera: 12.2MP, f/1.7, Autofocus with dual pixel phase detection, optical & electronic IS, 77-degree FOV, Front Camera: 8MP. f/2.0, fixed focus, 84-degree FOV, Camera Features: Live HDR+, Night Sight, Portrait Mode, Portrait Blur and Super Res Zoom
If you’re looking for a smartphone that stands out from the crowd then the Asus ZenFone 6 could be a perfect choice. The flip camera is unusual, cool and it actually captures pretty good images. Yes, the 48MP images aren’t great and there’s no optical zoom but portraits look good (so long as you don’t over bake them) and colours are excellent. The main camera performs better than the ultra-wide-angle lens but it’s still handy to have nonetheless.
If you don’t want to spend a fortune on a smartphone but want a cool bit of tech that will make your friends go ‘oh, wow’ then the Asus ZenFone 6 could be the smartphone for you.
Camera features at a glance: Flip Camera: 48MP f/1.79 main camera and 13MP f/2.4 125-degree ultrawide secondary camera, Phase Detection Auto Focus, Motion Tracking
The Honor 10 is a reasonably priced smartphone with cameras and performance capability to rival today’s premium smartphones. If lack of waterproofing and the ability to insert a MicroSD card don’t put you off, it’s an excellent phone at an excellent price point.
Overall, the Honor 10 offers good specifications, a good camera with AI capability to recognise scenes, fast processing power and plenty of storage space. This makes the phone very desirable, especially for those that love to take photos on the go. There are a good amount of filters and editing capability within the phone for your images. However, the lack of optical image stabilisation (OIS) is a shame and will put this phone at a disadvantage for video recording. Noise would also be lower if the camera used a 12mp main camera, rather than 16mp.
However, excellent pricing can’t be overlooked. Yes, the camera doesn’t carry the hallowed Leica branding, but it does offer similar features, with 2 rear cameras, one of these being a 24mp monochrome camera, and there’s also a 24mp selfie camera.
The Honor 10 is a stunning looking phone, with the iridescent back being a real eye-catcher. Slim, well made and offering high-performance capability, the only things it’s missing are waterproof / dustproofing and the ability to insert a MicroSD card if you wanted to. Other than this, it’s definitely a more budget-friendly rival to many premium offerings.
Camera features at a glance: Dual rear camera – 24mp f/1.8 black and white, 16-megapixel f/1.8 colour, 24-megapixel front camera, 4K video recording.
The Nokia 7.1 has an excellent 5.84inch screen, a dual-camera set-up and can shoot 4K video which are all features you don’t always see in budget-friendly smartphones. Image-wise, they’re pretty decent but it’s no surprise that when light levels drop, so does the quality of the photo you can capture.
If you’re looking for a smart-looking smartphone that can take good photos, has 4K video built-in and has a good screen, the Nokia 7.1 could fit the bill. It’s a budget-friendly smartphone that improves on its predecessor so if you’re not brand-loyal and simply want a good performing phone, the Nokia 7.1 might be the smartphone for you.
Camera features at a glance: Rear Camera: 12MP, f/1.8 main lens and a 5MP, f/2.4 secondary lens (ZEISS optics), Front Camera: 8mp, f/2.0 (ZEISS optics), Video: 1080p (both cameras), 4K (rear camera), Pro Mode, ISO 50-3200
Under the £300 mark, at £269, the Nokia 7 Plus is capable of capturing pleasing images in good light. Plus, the live bokeh feature adds a lovely layer of bokeh to portraits. However, in low light, quality does start to waver and niggles such as the smartphone struggling to lock focus can get annoying. Is it a standout phone that will make you go ‘oh,wow’? Probably not, but if you’re looking for a reasonably priced smartphone without too many frills that still performs really well, the Nokia 7 Plus is well worth considering. The Nokia 7 Plus has a 6inch screen.
Camera features at a glance: Rear Camera: 12MP f/1.75 & 13MP f/2.6 2x telephoto lenses (ZEISS optics), Front Camera: 16MP f/2.0 lens, Dual tone LED flash, 4K video recording, Live Bokeh, Pro Mode, ISO 100-3200
The Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact is one of a very small number of premium / mid-range smartphones that is also compact in size, without compromising on features and specifications, giving the same performance as it’s bigger brother, the XZ2.
The XZ2 Compact has a 5inch screen and is capable of producing images with excellent colour reproduction, although noise can be an issue when shooting at full resolution, and when you view images at full size. The camera app is intuitive and hasn’t changed much through the generations, making it familiar to use for those upgrading from older Sony handsets. Video recording is good, offering 4K HDR video, although the smartphone doesn’t offer 4K video at 60fps. The lack of optical image stabilisation hampers low-light performance, however, this is partly made up for by the use of electronic image stabilisation, which does a good job, particularly for video recording.
Camera features at a glance: 19 megapixels f/2.0 rear camera, 5mp selfie camera, Electronic Image Stabilisation (EIS), 4K HDR video recording, dedicated shutter release button.
The Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018) offers three cameras on the back, including an ultra-wide-angle 8mp camera, a standard (wide-angle) 24mp f/1.7 camera, and a third for depth/background blur and bokeh. There’s a 24mp f/2.0 selfie camera on the front. Unfortunately, the smartphone doesn’t offer 4K video recording, instead just offering FullHD video, with electronic image stabilisation.
There’s a 6inch screen, and the smartphone has a stylish design that’s available in a number of different colours. It features plenty of storage, a MicroSD card slot, and even a headphone socket.
Camera features at a glance: Triple cameras: 24 megapixels f/1.7 wide-angle camera, 8mp ultra-wide-angle camera, 5mp depth camera, and 24mp f/2.0 selfie camera, FullHD video recording.
Another fairly compact smartphone, the Nokia 8 Sirocco offers a compact body, with a 5.5inch screen, and ultra curved edges which some may love, and others hate. This smartphone is for those who want something a little bit different, with a more square look compared to the usual tall phones available. The smartphone offers a 12mp wide-angle camera, as well as a 13mp telephoto camera, although, unfortunately, neither of them offer optical image stabilisation (OIS). The selfie camera is a 5mp unit. The smartphone was released as a premium model, with a price tag to match, but it has become much more reasonably priced over time, is available from around £349.
Camera features at a glance: 12-megapixel f/1.8 rear camera, 13mp f/2.6 telephoto camera, 5mp selfie camera, 4K UHD video recording.
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