Content creators are spoiled for choice when it comes to affordable options, especially thanks to some recent additions from Sony. Which of these three cameras is the best option?
The recently released Sony ZV-E10 demonstrates how manufacturers are creating products aimed squarely at vloggers, although in this video, Jared Polin kicks off by making a very good point: however much either term might make you cringe, vloggers have been replaced by content creators. Sure, there are plenty of people out there vlogging their lives, but these tools from Canon and Sony actually have broader appeal than just filming yourself.
This comparison raises some interesting questions. Firstly, what is Canon planning for its M-mount? Polin seems confident that it’s about to be ditched, but its popularity in Japan seems to suggest otherwise. I wonder whether Canon will seek to push the entire line further from photography and more towards content creation, removing the EVF and introducing more features that compare with the Sony ZV cameras. The other question is when Sony is going to improve its in-body stabilization. I expected the ZV-1 to show some advances, especially due to its smaller sensor. I certainly didn’t expect the ZV-E10 to leave it out completely.
Which would be your choice? Let us know in the comments below.
Macro photography in the field is not always easy or comfortable, often requiring long hours outdoors in the heat. So now more than ever, I’m seeing the benefits of lightweight lenses and bodies. Something as simple as being less burdened by a heavy camera in the field can help you brave the heat just a bit longer, and get more successful shots.
As a long-time Pentax user, I’ve become reliant on heavy traditional DSLRs and their pentaprism viewfinders, and haven’t gotten too deep into the mirrorless game yet. Although, a few years back, I did buy an old used Canon EOS M body (Canon’s first mirrorless offering) off eBay on which I installed Magic Lantern so I could use it to shoot RAW video.
Despite the poor ergonomics, lack of a viewfinder, and being a bit dated now, at only 262 grams, the Canon EOS M is still one of the lightest APS-C camera bodies (with a hot-shoe!) you can find out there. From the moment I got it, I dreamt of making a tiny lightweight macro setup with it. So when 7Artisans reached out asking if I wanted to review an EF-M mount version of their upcoming mkII 60mm macro, I jumped at the opportunity.
At only about 340 grams, the lens feels very lightweight, and paired with my Canon EOS M and Meike MK300 flash, I can get a very capable (and cheap!) macro setup that only weighs a total of about 800 grams.
Although the overall quality is nowhere near as good as the full-frame Pentax (largely a fault of the Canon’s dated APS-C sensor), the little setup is a welcomed relief from my usual Pentax K-1 setup, which weighs in at a whopping 2,200 grams!
This has honestly changed the way I shoot this summer, as opting for a lighter-weight mirrorless setup has made spending more time outdoors less of a burden. I can’t overemphasize how valuable a lightweight macro setup is when you’re out in the sun for hours, covered in sweat and battling mosquitos!
I also appreciate the simplicity of the lens: it has no shake reduction, no autofocus, and no electronic coupling. These things are nice, but just add weight and cost, and are not necessary to take nice macro photos.
Maybe I’m a bit spoiled and used to higher magnification lenses now, but the max magnification of 1x feels a little basic or underwhelming with so many nice 2x macros on the market right now. If anything though, the lens has got me more excited about mirrorless setups and little lenses, notably the 335 gram Laowa 65mm 2x macro. I’m sure there are even smaller, lighter macro setups to be achieved in the Micro Four Thirds realm, but I’m not sure if I’m willing to compromise with a sensor that small just yet.
In summation, the 7Artisans 60mm f/2.8 Mark II Macro Lens is a sharp, small, lightweight, and inexpensive macro that would pair well with a modern mirrorless body and has got me hooked on putting together smaller macro photography setups. One of the primary joys in macro photography for me is the time spent outdoors enjoying nature at my own pace, so any tool that can help me do that more comfortably is a huge plus.
About the author:Thomas Shahan is an artist and photographer based out of Tulsa, Oklahoma, who specializes in high-magnification macrophotography and has a particular interest in Oklahoma’s jumping spider diversity. He has worked as a co-instructor of BugShot macro photography workshops, imaging specialist for the Oregon Department of Agriculture, video game artist, and book illustrator. For more from Shahan, subscribe to his YouTube Channel.
On the outside, the new Pentax K-3 Mark III DSLR looks extremely familiar. On the inside, however, this APS-C DSLR camera has undergone a total HGTV-grade makeover since its predecessor dropped roughly six years ago. With mirrorless cameras pulling away from DSLRs when it comes to popularity and hardware support, how does a new enthusiast-grade, mirror-toting camera measure up? Surprisingly well.
What is the Pentax K-3 Mark III DSLR?
Pentax K-3 Mark III DSLR
It’s a tried-and-true DSLR with advanced features and a very familiar feel. Stan Horaczek
Pentax camera fans are a dedicated bunch. Pentax originally teased the K-3 Mark III’s development literally years ago, but delays have pushed it up to this year. The line was once flush with different options representing granular market segments, but it has since shrunk, which puts a lot of the Pentax burden on this 1.8-pound camera body.
The Pentax K-3 Mark III DSLR offers a 25.7-megapixel BSI sensor with 5-way stabilization. That feature is particularly notable here in the Pentax lineup because the lenses themselves don’t offer optical IS. The shifting sensor does all the work in that regard.
The AF system now covers more of the sensor than the Pentax K-3 Mark II did, and it’s quite a bit faster to boot. The body offers Pentax’s trademark weatherproofing and you can feel it when you pick it up. It’s chunky and substantial. It feels good at the end of a long, heavy lens.
Pentax K-3 Mark III DSLR layout and design
If you have been around cameras for a long time, you could probably recognize this as a Pentax DSLR without any of the branding. While the company has added plenty of new features, the layout should feel very familiar.
The back of the camera has a five-button pad, as well as a nub for select AF points. It offers a familiar array of buttons, including conveniently placed AE- and AF-lock buttons. The 3.2-inch screen offers a solid 1.62-million dot resolution, but it doesn’t tilt or rotate. The top of the camera includes a mode dial, a live view dial (which feels unnecessarily large for only offering three options, two control dials, and a lit display.
Digging into the Autofocus system
If you’re shooting on an old K-3 Mark II, the new AF system in the Mark III will feel like a revolution. The Mark III offers 101 selectable AF points spread across the frame.
I tried the AF system with several lenses and it was speedy, responsive, and accurate. In short, it focuses where you point it. When DSLRs ruled the camera landscape, that was the highest praise an autofocus system can get. Now, however, it feels decidedly old school. Mirrorless cameras can lock onto a person’s face or eye and track it with meticulous accuracy even when it’s moving at high speeds. Keep your subject in the frame and the mirrorless camera will probably nail it. The Pentax will make you work a little more for it.
With its relatively small sensor, the Pentax K-3 Mark III DSLR offers impressive image stabilization. With a wide-angle lens, you can let your shutter speeds creep worryingly slow and still get a usable image. I don’t have steady hands (thanks, nagging neck injury) but I managed a few sharp frames at 1/8th sec. and I imagine others could get even slower and still feel confident in their images.
The new 25.7-megapixel sensor inside the Pentax K-3 Mark III offers excellent image quality for its class. On paper, it can be a little tricky to get ahold of what it’s trying to do. It boasts ISO speeds all the way up to 1.6 million, but even a high-end full-frame camera can’t squeeze any reasonable image quality out of a setting that high.
You can push the sensor harder than you might expect. While shooting at dusk, I could push all the way up around 6400 before things got too gnarly for my taste. You can even go higher if you plan to go to black-and-white where the noise can masquerade as grain.
When it comes to overall image quality, I don’t really have any complaints, but you also won’t be blown away. Pentax has long held a reputation for solid reliability and that’s exactly what this camera offers.
If you want the best performance out of the Pentax K-3 Mark III for shooting video, you’ll want to stick to 1080p instead of jumping up to 4K. At 1080p, you can shoot 24, 30, or 60 fps using the whole width of the sensor. You can shoot 4K at 24 or 30 fps, but it crops into the sensor, which can be awkward depending on your lens selection.
Overall video image quality is fairly standard. It offers pleasing colors and smooth footage, but video is clearly not the focus with this camera body.
A DSLR in a mirrorless world
In the past year, the only DSLR I’ve spent any real time with is my Canon 1D X Mark II. I’ve used a ton of other cameras, but they have all been mirrorless. A lot has changed since the Pentax K-3 Mark II showed up back in 2015.
Even looking at the K-3 Mark III’s direct competition provides even more evidence of how much things have changed. Its closest real competition comes in the form of the Nikon D500, which debuted at CES back in 2016.
In that comparison, the Pentax predictably wins on image quality and other features like memory card speeds. But, the Nikon still offers more total AF points (It has 153 to the Pentax’s 101). The D500 also has a tilting screen, which really comes in handy in some situations.
Who should buy the Pentax K-3 Mark III DSLR?
If you’re a committed Pentax fan, then you’re going to love this thing. It works seamlessly with all of your old lenses. The AF system is as good as anything Pentax has offered so far. The body is rugged, and the image quality is excellent well beyond the ISO range of the older model.
If you’re just looking to jump into the world of advanced cameras, however, the K-3 Mark III DSLR is a very hard sell. Modern mirrorless cameras offer features like face-detect focus tracking that the K-3 Mark III (or any DSLR) can touch.
The K-3 Mark III is an even tougher sell because of its $2,000 price tag, which puts it in direct competition with really excellent cameras like the Sony A7 III and the even cheaper Fujifilm X-T4.
I’m still glad the Pentax K-3 exists
Go scroll through the B&H reviews of the Pentax K-3 Mark III and you’ll find at least two people who start their review with, “I’ve been shooting Pentax for forty years.” Pentax cameras have some of the most dedicated photographer fans that you’ll ever meet. And while so many camera lines and lens mounts have been relegated to the trash heap (or Facebook Marketplace), I give Pentax a lot of credit for keeping its DSLRs alive.
It’s not just lip service for fans, either. Pentax clearly put time and effort into making this a truly excellent camera. Picking it up may feel dated here in 2021, but it also feels old school. Choosing an AF points and deftly maneuvering your fingers across familiar controls is a really wonderful experience.
If you’re a hard-core Pentaxian, then this one is for you. And it’s a good one.
This happened today at 1pm, organised by sister-in-law Diane, and we walked around Pennington Flash as a tribute to Sue’s late brother Mark. There was quite a group gathered, and I made a group shot to commemorate the event.
After the walk, the magnetic attraction of an ice cream van overcame most of us.
Until there was but one buyer left.
Also at Pennington Flash was the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service.
It was good to see such a great turnout and a great opportunity to share thoughts and memories.
Pentax put a lot of time and effort into making the K-3 Mark III, and it shows: it’s a huge leap in tech for a DSLR. But it’s still a DSLR in a mirrorless world, and that perception combined with a premium price might hold back Pentax’s latest $2,000 APS-C camera.
The APS-C K-3 Mark III from Pentax was in development for quite a while before it launched, and after many teases and then delays, the system was finally released.
Pentax’s latest comes loaded with improvements over the previous Mark II, including a new autofocus engine, an improved set of tools for video, a built-like-a-tank rugged and all-weather build that loyalists to the brand have come to know and love, as well as even a few interesting features that take advantage of the modern technology built into current smartphones.
Where the system doesn’t seem to keep up to date is with the price. Sitting at a lofty $1999.99 just for the body, the K3 Mark III is one of the more expensive APS-C bodies currently on the market, especially when you consider it is a DSLR system and not mirrorless like most of its competitors.
Build Quality and Design
The new K-3 Mark III is actually just slightly heavier than its predecessor by a mere 20 grams, but considering the body as a whole is made with magnesium allow and this system has a dual memory card slot, the extra weight is a small price to pay.
With the Mark III, Pentax has added a new dial on the top right of the camera body that can change various settings on the camera. This would be a nice addition, however, the default is set to crop modes and no matter how many times I took the camera out during my time with it, my muscle memory kept attempting to use it to change the aperture (instead of the one on the back of the camera) since it actually sits closer to where my thumb naturally rests when shooting. A small annoyance that probably gets worked out over a longer time with the camera, but I thought it worth noting.
The viewfinder has a 1.05x magnification with what Pentax says is improved diopter adjustment that allows for better visual accuracy (handy for a glasses wearer like myself), and an almost 10% increase in brightness from the Mark II, which the company hopes will allow shooters to get a much clearer view of what they are aiming at. I would agree, these are nice improvements in practice.
Another noticeable difference in design from the Mark II vs the Mark III is the eight-way controller/joystick for direct control of the autofocus area sitting on the back of the camera just above the familiar “green” button. This additional tool makes it very easy to make AF selection adjustments quickly when shooting and is a very welcome and useful tool.
As you would expect with a DSLR, the battery life with the Pentax K-3 Mark III was impressive. During my entire time testing the camera, I never charged it other than its initial unboxing, and after shooting two timelapses and many test shots, there is still more than half a charge left on the battery.
The official manual states the battery is officially rated for 800 shots per charge, but in practice, I’ve found I’ve been able to get many more shutter actuations than that. If you need more life, the system also has an optional battery grip available for those who know they may have an extra-long day of shooting ahead. It is worth noting that the K-3 Mark III battery can be charged in-camera using a USB-C cable connected to a computer or a power adapter, which is becoming more common on mirrorless cameras, making it a nice competitive feature to find here.
Using the Pentax K-3 Mark III was pretty straightforward and easy to get used to. The menu and information displays on the rear of the camera are very informative. It has options to show either the live view or a sort of “heads-up-display” with any and all the relevant information you’d need for your settings that is then easily and quickly accessed.
What was even more impressive (at least to me) was the 3.2-inch touch screen display will automatically rotate from horizontal to vertical based on the orientation of the camera to the ground, ensuring it is always easy to see, read, and make adjustments as needed. The speed of this auto-orientation was also outstanding and appears to be so responsive that it does it even faster than my iPhone. The touch screen will also allow you to quickly select focus points by tapping the screen in live view mode, and they can trigger the shutter from here as well should you want to select focus and get the shot immediately.
My only grievance with the display is that it doesn’t tilt or pivot at all like most modern mirrorless systems, meaning, if you have to get a low/difficult angle for a shot, you’re back to crawling through the dirt to get it if you want to see what you’re getting. It’s a bit of an odd design decision since Pentax has integrated some really unique and cool articulating designs on its past cameras. To ditch those entirely here feels like a missed opportunity, especially since some kind of articulation is pretty much standard on all new cameras.
Alternatively, you could opt to use the mobile app — available for Android and iPhone — to control the camera when shooting at the more difficult angles and positions if you find yourself in a tough spot.
The K-3 Mark III definitely feels as though it would work well for either a travel or action photographer, since it boasts a burst speed of 12 frames per second, an increase over the 8.3 frames per second in its predecessor. It also has an impressive buffer size to go alongside it.
During some testing of surfers at the beach, it took about 25 to 30 RAW plus JPEG frames before it started to slow down. Once you fill up that buffer from continuous shooting, you’ll need to wait about 10 to 20 seconds with a modern UHS-II card before the shots fully clear, so keep that in the back of your mind if you’re going to be shooting a high volume of burst shots. As a note on this, only the primary card slot is UHS-II compatible. The backup slot only writes at UHS-I speeds.
Given this is an APS-C system, the 1.5x crop factor will make you adjust the way you shoot if you’ve gotten used to full-frame setups like me. To be honest, I thought shooting on a crop sensor would bother me more, but the K-3 Mark III was honestly so easy to shoot with, I quickly forgot those worries especially since I was shooting action from afar and the system doesn’t skimp on the resolution.
Speaking of resolution, the K-3 Mark III has an effective resolution of 25.7 megapixels and a maximum file size of 6192 x 4128 pixels, which is more than enough to let you get everything you would want out of a print.
The system has a five-axis “Shake Reduction System” capable of handling up to 5.5 stops, with a quick access button to enable/disable and switch between modes right on the side of the camera. Having in-body image stabilization is great, but it’s a bit strange on a DSLR where you can’t actually see it in action while shooting since the camera uses a pentaprism, not an electronic viewfinder. I found that it works quite well, on par with the stabilization found in other manufacturers’ systems, it just took some getting used to since — at least for photos — you can only see the results after the fact.
In some photos below, I was zoomed in as far as 300mm in some cases and my hands were quite shakey, but the system corrected for it beautifully.
Image Quality and ISO
The Pentax K-3 Mark III boasts an impressive native ISO range of 100 to 1,600,000. Obviously, most of us would never ever have reason to go this high for our shooting, but it is very nice to know that should you ever be in a situation where you need it, the camera is quite capable of delivering at that range.
The images above have no noise reduction applied and, as you can see, the details even up to iso 102,400 are pretty decent, especially considering this is an APS-C system. While the small details are missed when shooting at this high an ISO, it is actually quite nice to see the colors come through accurately. It is not until you hit ISO 204,800 that the colors (along with the details) start to muddy. The good news is the camera has some pretty decent noise reduction filters built into it that, once enabled and adjust to your taste, should make it a better experience to shoot at these high ISOs.
While the K-3 Mark III is mainly a stills shooter’s camera, it can also shoot 4K video at up to 30 frames per second. The body includes ports for both external headphones and an external microphone for improved audio recording and monitoring as well and while a DSLR is not typically the go-to system for videographers on the go and its recording specs aren’t particularly impressive compared to the field, it is nice to know that If you need to shoot some 4K footage at a moment’s notice, the K-3 Mark III can deliver.
I found that the colors rendered on the K-3 Mark III sensor are accurate even in harsh bright lighting conditions to dark settings (you can see this in the sample photos below), and if you happen to be an astrophotography fan, the camera still supports the AstroTracer star tracking function that moves the sensor slightly while shooting to compensate for the earth’s rotation which allows for longer night sky shots with pinpoint stars. Granted, to take full advantage of this feature, shooters will need to add the Pentax O-GPS1 tool for $196.95.
Pentax says the K-3 Mark III has a greatly improved autofocus system compared to its predecessor. Where the Mark II had 27 AF points, the Mark III multiplies this to 101 phase-detection AF points, with 25 of these points being the more sensitive cross-type that are capable of performing pretty accurately even down to -4 EV. Also available in the Mark III is support for eye detection in the viewfinder. While not as accurate as Canon or Sony systems and their more advanced mirrorless tech, it is still a useful feature on the DSLR camera, especially when doing portraits.
During my testing, I used the 55-300mm f/4.5-6.3 lens which may not be a premium lens, but autofocus was still fast and pretty accurate. It did well for action shots, which I tested with surfers. There were a few missed focus moments throughout my testing, but nothing out of the ordinary when shooting from a distance or with a lot of motion in the frame. Pairing the improved autofocus with the camera’s stabilization system makes it possible to capture almost half-second exposures while shooting hand-held for wider shots.
Worth the Wait….For Existing Pentax Shooters
For Pentax shooters, the K-3 Mark III marks a long three-year wait for an update, and the system does deliver several reasons for those shooters to make the upgrade including improved autofocus, 4K (cropped) video, a much higher ISO capability, faster burst shooting speeds, and an overall improved image sensor all with the continued compatibility with lenses dating back 50 years. Enthusiasts and brand loyalists will definitely love everything this new system has to offer, especially after such a long wait. It is officially Pentax’s fastest camera to date, and it offers a good alternative for wildlife and action shooters that would prefer to stick with DSLRs instead of making the leap into mirrorless and EVF systems.
I should note that with the disadvantages stacked against it (it’s a DSLR, it’s a crop-sensor, and Pentax only supplied one entry “all-in-one” lens for me to test it with), that I still really liked the camera. That is saying something. I just don’t think it’s going to sway anyone already invested in another system to pick up a Pentax. It’s a great love letter to current owners, but that’s it.
Are There Alternatives?
Comparing features straight up, there are many alternatives to the K-3 Mark III, most of which are available at a significantly lower cost of entry. For those looking to stick with the DSLR system, the Nikon D500, while significantly older, offers many similar features to the K-3 Mark III and it only costs $1499. Making the leap over to the mirrorless world, you have several options including the Fujifilm X-T4 for $1699, the Sony Alpha 6400 for just $898, and the Nikon Z50, similarly priced at $859.
Should You Buy It?
Maybe. If you already own Pentax cameras and lenses, then the update to the K-3 Mark III is worth it despite the premium price for an APS-C DSLR. The features and components that have been updated work very well and provide a lot of new and improved tools to the Pentax shooter’s arsenal. For everyone else, this system will be a hard camera purchase to justify.
A new report suggests that Fujifilm’s next medium format camera will be announced this September. The GFX50S Mark II is expected to look identical to the GFX100S and cost $4,000.
According to a report on FujiRumors that the publication is putting a high-degree of certainty behind, the camera will start shipping in September. Also of note, the publication believes that despite rumors stating the camera would be announced on August 27, FujiRumors does not believe this to be the case.
The Fujifilm GFX50S Mark II is expected to use the exact same body as the GFX100S and as such will feature in-body image stabilization (IBIS). Its inclusion is noteworthy because the camera is expected to cost significantly less than the GFX100S and any other GFX50 camera at $4,000, which is extremely aggressive for Fujifilm. If true, it would put a camera with a very large, 50-megapixel sensor stabilized with IBIS at a lower price than some full-frame cameras like the 50-megapixel Sony Alpha 1. It would be comparable in price to the Canon EOS R5.
While its utility would certainly be different than both those cameras, the sheer size of the sensor grants photos a “look” that is difficult to match with full-frame cameras.
The original GFX50S was announced five years ago in 2016 and became available the following year. Given its age and the fact that the GFX100 has seen two iterations in that time — the GFX100S and the GFX100IR — it is certainly due for a refresh. At the time, Fujifilm touted it as a new Fujifilm G format sensor that measured 43.8×32.9mm and offered 51.4-megapixels of resolution.
“It’s a fantastic landscape camera, but it’s not just a landscape shooter. It’s good for other stuff like portraits,” Kai Wong said in his review. “It’s just as versatile as any other camera.”
It still sells for $5,500 which is $1,500 more than the rumored price for its successor, and if IBIS does indeed come to the system in its second iteration, its lauded versatility will only become more impressive.
While a new camera would be nice to see, Fujifilm, like most electronics manufacturers, has been struggling to produce enough products to meet demand with its current offerings. In February, the company issued a formal note that it was unable to make enough GFX100S cameras to meet market demand, an issue that still plagues the camera five months later. Even if the company does release the GFX50S Mark II in the fall, it will likely prove quite difficult to obtain one for some time.
According to data on Photons to Photos, while the Panasonic GH5 Mark II uses the same sensor as the previous GH5, the company has somehow managed to squeeze even more dynamic range out of it and notably surpassing the original GH5.
As spotted by 43Rumors, from data derived from DXOMark’s Photographic Dynamic Range Chart, Photons to Photos shows that the GH5 II offers a notable bump in performance over the original GH5, which may be surprising considering that the sensor found in the camera is no different than the one in the original GH5.
In the first leaks of the GH5 II, most were disappointed to find what appeared to be nearly nothing new in the specifications sheet. However, when the camera launched it was revealed that while the GH5 Mark II at first seemed to be a rehash of the original, it offered several new features. First, the on-sensor image stabilization jumped from 5 stops to 6.5 stops, the autofocus algorithms were improved, the rear LCD resolution was improved, and multiple new recording options were added thanks to the latest image-processing Venus Engine that the company slipped into the body.
The other changes were all on the software side, and makes the GH5 Mark II a streaming powerhouse, and was able to remove a lot of the hassle and wires needed for streaming on YouTube or Twitch.
But it appears that Panasonic did not just upgrade a few things and add streaming-focused support, but also somehow managed to squeeze a bit more dynamic range out of what is considered to be an old and tired 20.3-megapixel GH5 sensor. In the Photons to Photos graph below, the new Venus Engine appears to have had a notably positive effect on the GH5 II’s dynamic range:
Not only that, but it outperforms even the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III, which uses a 20.4-megapixel sensor that is more tuned to photo capture:
While most fans of the GH series will be waiting for the GH6 that Panasonic has promised is coming later this year, this data shows that while the sensor is not new, Panasonic continues to find ways to get more performance out of it. Since the GH6 will be graduating to a newly developed high-speed Micro Four Thirds sensor, fans should be excited to see what kind of performance Panasonic can produce when given something brand new to work with.
After listening to user feedback, Canon has updated the firmware of three of its cameras to make them more appealing to people who capture video.
The new firmware update brings the highly requested Canon Log 3 (C-Log 3) to the EOS R6 and EOS-1D X Mark III (it’s already available on the EOS R5) which expands the dynamic range and offers more colour space options. This logarithmic gamma curve also increases the compatibility of these models with cinema production workflows, making it easier to colour match footage captured with Canon’s Cinema EOS Series cameras.
Alongside the availability of C-Log 3, these firmware upgrades add dual card recording to all three cameras. Users can now record the same video file – resolution, fps and codec – to both memory cards, ensuring that if one card is corrupted there is still a backup of their footage. The firmware update for the EOS-1D X Mark III and EOS R5 also adds support for the new industry standard CFexpress VPG400 cards.
For those who use Canon’s Cine Lenses, the firmware update for the EOS R5 introduces compatibility to Canon’s CN-E18-80mm T4.4 L IS KAS S and CN-E70-200mm T4.4 L IS KAS S Cine servo zoom lenses. With the new firmware, EOS R5 operators can control exposure, focus and zoom from the body, as well as start recording using the record button on Canon Cine servo zoom lenses.
Canon’s new EOS R5 firmware also makes external full-frame 8K ProRes RAW and 5K cropped ProRes RAW recording possible when connected to the Atomos Ninja V+ recorder and 5K cropped ProRes RAW recording with the Atomos Ninja V recorders. When combined with the EOS R5, the Atomos Ninja V+ is able to record 8K recording at 30 fps, unlocking new possibilities for filmmakers and videographers. These professional recording formats also allow the white balance and ISO to be seamlessly changed during processing.
The firmware updates (EOS R5 & EOS R6 firmware v1.4 and EOS-1D X Mark III firmware v1.5) are available now as a free download from the Canon website for the EOS R6 and EOS 1-D Mark III. The update for the EOS R5 will be available later this summer (2021).
As part of our second-hand classic series, we pay homage to Olympus’s entry-level mirrorless model from 2015
Shutter speeds are 60-1/4000sec using the mechanical shutter and can be pushed as high as 1/16,000sec using the electronic shutter
The E-M10 Mark II, which was launched in August 2015, benefited from a good number of changes to make it significantly different to the original OM-D E-M10. It gained a similar 5-axis image stabilisation system to the version seen in Olympus’s more advanced OM-D E-M1 and E-M5 Mark II models and received improvements to its electronic viewfinder and video functionality.
The E-M10 Mark II shoots 22 raw files, or an unlimited number of JPEGs at its maximum 8.5fps continuous shooting speed
It combines a 16.1MP Four Thirds sensor with a TruePic VII image processor, culminating in an ISO range of 100-25,600 and burst shooting at up to 8.5fps. Its electronic shutter permits silent shooting and the battery lasts for up 320 shots.
What we said ● ‘Despite being a junior model in the OM-D lineup, it defies its billing by offering many of the key features found in its more advanced siblings’ ● ‘Detail is well preserved up to ISO 1600, beyond which it slowly starts to tail off’ ● ‘It’s undeniably a handsome, well-built and highly specified camera that’s capable of taking fine images’
How it fares today Despite many of today’s APS-C and full-frame cameras being capable of resolving finer detail and outperforming the E-M10 Mark II at high ISO, the image quality output from the Micro Four Thirds sensor is good enough for amateurs and casual users. If it’s dual card slots, weather-resistance and a faster burst you’re after, you’ll want to look at more expensive models in the OM-D lineup.
What to pay The camera cost £550 (body only) new when we reviewed it. Since then the price of used examples has dropped gradually to the point where excellent condition cameras with their original packaging, battery and caps can be picked up for £189.
Like-new used examples cost £200-220, with those deemed to be in good condition with a few scuffs to the body being sold for £170.
New alternatives The E-M10 III arrived two years after the E-M10 Mark II, and was superseded by the E-M10 Mark IV in 2020. Updates to the latter include a new 20MP sensor, improved handgrip, 15fps burst shooting and built-in Bluetooth.
It forgoes on-chip phase detection and relies on a 121-point contrast detection system for autofocus. A simplified menu also makes it more approachable to novices.
At-a-glance £189 (excellent used condition) 16.1MP Four Thirds sensor ISO 100-25,600 (extended) 2.36-million-dot EVF 3in, 1.04m-dot fully articulated touchscreen 390g (body only)
For and against + Robust body and attractive design + 5-axis in-body image stabilisation + Huge selection of MFT lenses + Available in all-black or silver and black finishes
– Lacks input for a microphone – No weather-sealing – No 40MP High Res Shot mode – Lacks 4K video (Full HD at 60fps)
What the owners think
Three Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II users give their verdict…
As Maria has discovered, the highly effective in-body image stabilisation (IBIS) can save you having to carry a tripod. Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/4-5.6 R, 1/125sec at f/9, ISO 500
Maria Nikolouzou In 2016, I decided I’d try and improve my Facebook page with higher-quality photos. The camera I upgraded to was the OM-D E-M10 II. I purchased the silver edition at an affordable price and instantly fell in love with its beautiful retro design.
Compact and very well constructed, but unfortunately not weather- sealed, it fits nicely in my hands without being too cumbersome. Buttons and controls are well positioned across the body, it offers good customisation, but is let down slightly by its menu, which isn’t particularly intuitive. Being lightweight was an advantage for my off-road hiking trips and the most valuable feature has been its in-body image stabilisation. I rarely find myself using a tripod any more.
The focus bracketing has helped with my macro photography and I’ve been impressed with its electronic viewfinder and the touch-enabled screen that lets me tilt it and shoot easily from low angles. The camera has a wide range of available lenses, creating pictures with recognisable Olympus colours. The battery life isn’t the best, however that is easily solved by packing a few spares.
My overall experience with the camera has resulted in a deeper passion for photography. More of my images can be viewed on Instagram @mnikolouzou.
An example showing how the OM-D E-M10 II handles noise at ISO 1600. Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75-300mm f/4.8-6.7 II, 1/6sec at f/4.8, ISO 1600
For and against + 5-axis in-body image stabilisation – No weather-sealing
Nick likes how compact and portable the OM-D E-M10 Mark II is for gig photography. Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm f/1.8, 1/100sec at f/1.8, ISO 400
Nick Barber A combination of GAS (gear acquisition syndrome), favourable exchange rate with the Canadian dollar and discounting of the Mark II after the release of the OM-D E-M10 Mark III saw me hand over my cash. I love its raised and tactile controls which compensate for its small form factor.
On its first challenging run out, it performed solidly paired with the 12-40mm F2.8 Pro lens and various fast primes. While it’s not the best in low light in the Olympus, or indeed Micro Four Thirds, range, its raw files hold up enough detail to rely on it to get acceptable shots in the kind of poorly lit music venues I often visit. More of my images can be found by visiting www.nickbarberphotography.co.uk. I am also on Instagram @efsb.
For and against + Small form factor – Battery life
Menegatos finds the size of the OM-D E-M10 Mark II complements his love of street photography. Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/4-5.6 R, 1/800sec at f/4.5, ISO 200
Menegatos Christos I bought the OM-D E-M10 Mark II in 2018. It is a beautiful silver retro-like, small and lightweight camera that’s supported by a vast number of Micro Four Thirds lenses from Olympus, Panasonic and other manufacturers. It has a 16MP sensor, IBIS, an excellent viewfinder, Wi-Fi, Full HD video at 60p, a 4K time-lapse mode and a flexible touchscreen.
It can shoot as high as ISO 25,600, but I’ve learnt its low-light performance isn’t its strong point. I love street photography and use it with my 40-150mm zoom lens most of the time. Autofocus is fast and accurate and it returns nice and crisp images.
I like the fact the camera feels light yet stable in my hands, which makes me want to pick it up and use it. I get around 280 shots on a single charge. To sum up, the E-M10 II is a camera that I thoroughly enjoy using outdoors and would highly recommend it to others.
For and against + No shortage of MFT lenses – Lacks 4K video and microphone input
Further reading What are the best mirrorless cameras you can buy?
It’s all about full frame mirrorless cameras nowadays. If you don’t go for such a camera, you are not taken seriously. Why not choose a mirrorless crop camera? I have six reasons to go for the new Canon EOS M50 Mark II.
Everyone is talking about the Sony Alpha, the Nikon Z, or the Canon EOS R series. Even Panasonic is aiming at the full frame market with the Lumix DC-S1 and DC-S5. This has a reason, of course. These cameras each are wonderful machines capable of incredible results under very challenging conditions.
Autofocus is swift and accurate, even under low-light conditions. The eyes of people, animals, and birds are recognized. Tracking keeps the focus on the right place no matter what. The dynamic range is pushed with every new model. You can get 13 stops, 14 stops, or even 15 stops.
But these cameras come at a price. Literally. You need to spend almost $4,000 on a Canon EOS R5. The Sony Alpha 1 is $6,500. The Nikon Z7 II will set you back for almost $3,100. These are the top models, of course. Even the cheapest full frame models are at least $1,000 dollars, which is still a lot for a lot of people.
But do you need a full frame mirrorless camera? Is your photography depending on a full frame sensor? Or do you need all the groundbreaking possibilities these top models offer? Perhaps you could do with a mirrorless camera that has a smaller sensor. For one reason, these cameras are much cheaper compared to their full frame siblings, bringing them within reach of most photographic enthusiasts.
The New Canon EOS M50 Mark II
Canon Netherlands asked me to review the new Canon EOS M50 Mark II a while ago. It is the follow-up of the Canon EOS M50 that was launched in 2018. It’s a pity this mirrorless crop camera is almost overlooked due to the mirrorless full frame wars that have been raging for a few years.
With the new Mark II version, Canon has implemented a couple of enhancements that make this small mirrorless camera a good choice for many. Instead of another review, I decided to write down six reasons why this small but capable camera might be a good choice for you.
1. It Has All the Important Features
Let’s be honest. What do you need in a camera, except a good exposure metering system and the possibility to use aperture priority, shutter speed priority, and manual mode? I think the answer is a good autofocus system that is fast and accurate.
The Canon EOS M50 Mark II has all that. It offers eye, face, and body autofocus. You can choose servo AF with the ability to touch and drag your autofocus point on the LCD touchscreen, even if you use the electronic viewfinder. It uses Dual Pixel CMOS AF with 143 AF points that cover almost the whole viewfinder.
If you fancy a good stabilization system, the EOS M50 won’t let you down with its five-axis IBIS and digital IS. You can shoot up to 7.4 frames per second with full AF capabilities or 10 frames per second when the AF lock is activated. The AF and metering work up to -4 EV with an f/2.0 lens attached, which is more than sufficient on most occasions.
2. It Is Made for Video
The small size and lightweight camera body make it easy to carry the Canon EOS M50 Mark II with you. Put it on a simple selfie stick and use the fully articulating screen for your personal vlogging. Place the camera on a small tripod or Gorilla Pod, and with the handy movie self-timer, it is easy to start your own video.
The camera offers 4K 24p, FHD 60p, or HD 120p high frame rate video. If combined with the IBIS system and digital IS, it is easy to walk around while filming without getting seasick while watching the results afterwards. The touchscreen makes operating the video functions easy. If you like, the Canon EOS M50 Mark II also offers time-lapse possibilities.
The recorded sound from the built-in microphone is of great quality. A wind filter can be activated if needed. You can improve the sound with an external microphone if you need the best quality available.
3. A User-Friendly Menu
Although this may be a very personal opinion, I do find the Canon menu the best available at this moment. The Canon EOS M50 Mark II also has the same menu structure as the other EOS models. There is a big difference, though.
The Canon EOS M50 Mark II is also for the amateur photographer who wants an even more accessible menu structure. You can choose between the easy one, with graphics and examples of the setting you have in front of you, or the more traditional menu structure.
Everything can be operated by the touchscreen, not only in the menu, but also on the LCD screen while photographing. Just press the Q button on the back of the camera or on the screen, and you can adjust the settings that are available on the screen.
4. The Image Quality Is Good
Perhaps the Canon EOS M50 Mark II doesn’t have the best sensor available, but it produces good results. You have to weigh it against the price you pay for this small but capable camera. It is said this camera outperforms the Canon EOS 80D on a lot of occasions, but I don’t have a comparison myself.
The ISO performance is good as long as you stay below ISO 3,200. ISO 6,400 shows noise, but on a lot of occasions, it is still usable. Although the camera goes all the way up to ISO 51,200, that won’t produce an attractive result. But it is available on the rare occasion you might need it.
5. Use Almost Any Canon Lens You Want
Well, perhaps not every lens you want, because RF lenses can’t be used on the Canon EOS M50 Mark II. But if you have an EF, EFs, TS-E, or MP-E lens, just get the EF-M adapter and you can use it without problems.
But it isn’t always necessary. Canon offers a nice range of lenses that are designed for the Canon EOS M system. These are small, compact, and easy to carry with you in a small camera bag. But if you want to use a Canon EF 500mm f/4L II IS USM on your Canon EOS M50 mark II, that won’t be a problem. It might just look a little funny.
6. It’s Relatively Cheap
Don’t buy a camera you can’t afford. It might be tempting to go for an expensive full frame mirrorless camera because everyone seems to have one. But if you don’t have the money, why don’t you take a step back and go for a cheaper solution that still has good quality?
For less than $700, you have a very capable camera with great image quality. You won’t break the bank and, although it isn’t full frame, you won’t notice this on most occasions.
I Can Recommend the Canon EOS M50 Mark II
When I used the first version of the Canon EOS M50 back in 2018, I was positively surprised by its performance and how much fun it was. I’ve experienced something similar while using this second version. It is the same camera in a lot of ways, but with many improvements made internally.
This time, I also made a video with the Canon EOS M50 Mark II. I would love to show it to you, but be warned the language is Dutch; I hope you don’t mind. I recorded the footage in FHD 50p with the built-in microphone. It gives an idea of what this camera is capable of, even if you don’t understand the Dutch language.
Bottom line, I love this small mirrorless crop camera. It produces great quality photos and good video quality. It is a small camera that has a lot of features to make it a very capable companion for your photography and video adventures.
What do you think about the Canon EOS M50 Mark II? Would you consider buying such a camera, or do you prefer some other similar type of camera from another brand? Please share your thoughts in the comments below and feel free to share what camera you find the ideal for both photography and vlogging.
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