Each month we poll a list of journalists, photographers and experts from around the world on what still cameras they think are the best on the market right now for working professionals. Though the gear is only a fraction of the equation, most of us who are deep in this industry face a daily onslaught of questions from our friends and their friends: What camera should I buy? What do pros use? Though the answers are always more nuanced than they expect, we generally try and help. This list helps narrow the list, put a finger on the pulse of the industry, and serve as a decent “overall these are your best options” for just about anyone serious about photography.
In short, this is a list to show what cameras have the current most hype and “rah rah rah” from a list of experts from the community.
Last month we saw the surprising result of the Fuji X-T1 taking top marks, largely due to the incredible firmware update it saw. This month, that hype has died down a bit and allowed some of the mainstays to climb back up, with no surprise as to what the new #1 ended up being:
#1 – Sony a7R II
(Up 3) Lensrentals editor Zach Sutton summarized this best: “Every manufacturer competing against Sony should be trembling at this point. While their lens lineup still is lacking, their sensors are among the very best available – and the competition knows this, as Nikon has Sony develop their sensors. The a7R II continues to impress, with an unbelievable amount of focus points (serious, I still don’t believe it), and some pretty incredible low light performance.”
Many still haven’t had a chance to see the Sony in person, only going on publicly released tests and specs. We are pretty confident this is a rank the Sony a7R II will keep though, as it’s highly unlikely the camera won’t live up to expectations.
#2 – Nikon D810
(No Change) The Nikon D810 has been hanging around the top area since we started this poll, and that’s not unexpected. As far as traditional DSLRs go, it’s still the best around. The D810 sees no movement from last week, and that’s to be expected.
(Up 2) I’ll defer to Zach again on why the 5Ds/ 5Ds R continues to climb the rankings: “The 5Ds is the camera that many of us didn’t even know we wanted. But since its announcement, people have become interested more and more, and even more interested as reports and reviews start coming out. A common complaint is that a number of us believed that resolution wold be a problem when it came to sharpness and many of the lenses in the Canon lineup, and that rumor seems to be moot. The Canon 5Ds is an incredible camera with an incredible sensor, giving many medium format bodies a run for their money.”
#4 – Fuji XT-1
(Down 3) Still a great camera, still a great deal, but the overwhelming support for the X-T1 thanks to the firmware update last month has settled a bit. This isn’t taking anything away from the Fuji, however. It’s still the only camera with a sensor smaller than full frame on this list, and it’s still listed in the top five.
#5 – Canon 5D Mark III
(Up 2) Another camera that maintains its place on the list is the Canon 5D Mark III, a solid and totally reliable camera that Canon fans still love, and has its place separate from the new 5DS. It’s still a solid, do it all camera that we still recommend.
#6 – Pentax 645z
(Down 3) Falling a bit this month, due in part to the rise of the Phase One XF, is the Pentax 645z. Being a bit older and less shiny than the other medium format camera on this list and the fact that the Sony a7R II is commanding so much attention, despite how amazing this camera is we have to ask… is medium format still worth it when we have sensors like the a7R II?
#7 – Phase One XF
(Up 3) Jumping up from #10 last week, the Phase One XF is seeing a lot more hands as the months go by. We haven’t had a single user complain about the experience thus far, and the fact that it is such a vast improvement over the former Phase One offerings sees this camera jump up in response.
#8 – Sony a7 II
(Down 2) Still a fabulous camera, and one that you should not overlook. With all the glitz and glam of its new brother the a7R II, it’s easy to forget about how amazing this camera is. Don’t.
#9 – Nikon D750
(Down 1) With price cuts, advisory notes and overall bad PR, the D750 has had a rough life of late. But those of us who have used this camera know how great it is. Don’t be put off, this is one of the best DSLRs on the market.
#10 – Sony a7s
(Down 1) Still hanging in there, the video-centric a7s still rounds out our top 10 due to that amazing ISO performance. If you plan to shoot at night, especially the stars, you’re going to want this camera… or perhaps the new A7R II since we’ve been told to expect the ISO performance there is nearly as spectacular.
- Roger Cicala, LensRentals
- Jaron Schneider- Resource Magazine, Commercial Videographer
- Zach Sutton, Portrait Photographer & Editor of LensRentals
- David J. Crewe- Portrait and Landscape Photographer
- Blair Bunting – Advertising Photographer
- David Kai-Piper- Fashion Photographer
- Adam Ottke- Fstoppers, Portrait and Travel Photographer
- Hanssie Ho- Portrait Photographer, SLR Lounge
- Mike Wilkinson- Fstoppers, Resource Magazine, Commercial and Adventure Videographer
- Casey McCallister- Landscape and Adventure Photographer
- Michael Bonocore- Resource Magazine, Commercial Videographer and Travel Photographer
- Karaminder Ghuman- Resource Magazine, Headshot Photographer
- Adam Sherwin- Resource Magazine
How are votes calculated? Each voter submits his/her top ten cameras. Each #1 pick gains 10 points, #2 picks gain 9 points, and so on and so forth. All values are calculated together and a final score is given to each camera.