Menu

Camera Roundup: New DSLR’s From Sony, Nikon, and Lumix!

It’s been a big couple of weeks for cameras! Nikon, Fuji, Lumix and Sony have all released or announced new cameras and here is a breakdown on some of the highlights, specifically as they pertain to shooting video:

Nikon D5300

D5300

The Nikon D5200 had started to really make a name for itself as one of the best new DSLR cameras as far as video, so it’s no surprise that Nikon didn’t waste time putting out a new model. The D5200 has the ability to shoot in very low-light conditions, rivalling even some of the “low-light kings” like the 5D MKIII, and has a really crisp, sharp image. The D5300 is a step up from the D5200, using a new 24.2-medapixel sensor that allows for 1080/60p video which is huge! All DSLR’s need this feature in my opinion, as it is crucial to have for slow-motion. Some other highlights of the D5300 include WiFi capability (allowing you to control your phone from a smartphone or tablet), a larger 3.2-inch display and built in GPS. The price tag should be close to it’s predecessor, sitting at about $800 for the body when it’s released later this month.

Although in some ways this seems like an incremental update, if the image quality/dynamic range of the new sensor beats out the D5200, than it will be a no-brainer for D5200 users to upgrade, especially with the new 1080/60p capability.

Specs:

  • 24.1MP DX format CMOS sensor, without OLPF
  • EXPEED 4 processing
  • ISO 100-6400 standard, up to 25600 expanded
  • 5 fps continuous shooting
  • 39 point AF system, 9 sensors cross type
  • 2016 pixel RGB metering sensor
  • 1080p60 video recording, built-in stereo mic
  • 1.04M dot 3.2″ vari-angle LCD monitor

Sony Alpha 7 & 7R

Sony A7

Now these cameras are something to get excited about. They are the first compact full frame mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras, which is a huge deal for shooters that love the full frame look, but need a camera body that’s smaller than a traditional DSLR. The cameras are physically identical, but have different sensors which is the only thing that separates them. The A7 has a 24.3 megapixel full frame CMOS sensor with OLPF, and the A7R has a 36.3 megapixel full frame CMOS sensor with no OLPF. Time will tell how these different sensors perform in real life situations, but it is very possibly that in video mode they will perform very closely, considering they both record to 1080p.

Both cameras include mic/headphone jacks showing us that Sony have very much taken into consideration the video shooter with this camera. I am really hoping that the video performance on these cameras delivers, because this is the exact camera that I’ve been looking for in a lot of ways. I wish it had a higher bitrate codec (it’s still only using AVCHD), but it very well may deliver a fantastic quality image. Sony has also announced that they will be releasing new “FE” Lenses that will work on these cameras. Right off the bat the lenses available will be: 24-70mm f4, 70-200mm f4, 35mm f2.8, and 55mm f1.8. They have stated that by 2015 there will be 15 lenses in the “FE” lineup.

Specs:

  • 24.3 megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor with OLPF [A7]
  • 36.3 megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor with no OLPF [A7R]
  • E-mount with support for FE, E, and A-mount lenses (with adapter)
  • Bionz X image processor
  • Hybrid AF system with 25 contrast-detect and 117 phase-detect points [A7 only]
  • Weather-sealed magnesium alloy body
  • 3-inch tilting LCD with 1.23 million dots
  • XGA (2.4 million dot) electronic viewfinder
  • Diffraction correction technology
  • Full HD video recording at 1080/60p and 24p; uncompressed HDMI output
  • Wi-Fi with NFC capability and downloadable apps

Sony RX10

rx10

For those of you that are looking for a camera that provides superb quality while offering an ease of use unmatched by most other DSLR’s, this could be the camera for you. The newly announced RX10 features a fixed 23-200mm F2.8 constant zoom lens, which is perfect for users that typically only use a single zoom lens on their cameras. This is not interchangeable though, so be aware! One of the best functions of this camera is it’s built in ND filter which makes it one of the easiest DSLR’s to shoot with in situations where your light is changing. It also has a de-clicked aperture ring which shows that they seem to have the videographer/photojournalist in mind. It also features 1080/60p coming off of the 1″ sensor (which by the way is smaller than Micro Four Thirds, so expect a fairly  large crop!).

At $1300 this camera costs more than I would expect, but may be the best choice for a specific niche of shooters. For me personally, I need to swap out my lenses a lot, so this camera wouldn’t do it for me. With that said though, if I was a video journalist, this would be an excellent option (provided the video quality is up to spec), as the built in ND filter alone would make life a lot easier in tricky shooting situations.

Specs:

  • 20MP 1″-type BSI CMOS sensor (13.2x 8.8mm)
  • 24-200mm equivalent stabilized F2.8 lens
  • Built-in 3-EV Neutral Density filter
  • Flip-out, 1.3m dot (VGA resolution) rear LCD
  • 1.14m dot OLED viewfinder
  • ISO 125 – 12,800 (expandable down to ISO 80)
  • Approx 10fps continuous shooting in ‘Speed Priority mode’
  • Wi-Fi with NFC for easier connection (with compatible devices)

Lumix GM1

panasonic-lumix-gm1-00

This is a cool looking camera announced by Lumix recently that features a 16 megapixel sensor, 3 inch tiling LCD screen and 1080p video recording. The build of the camera is metal alloy, and it even has aluminum dials and a brushed steel finish which makes the camera not only look bold, but feel substantial as well. The camera is being released with a new 12-32mm F3-5.6 lens that is retractable and specifically designed to fit snugly on the camera body. Like most new digital cameras, it also has WiFi capability which will likely make many users happy, but more importantly for video shooters – it has a focus peaking option.

All in all, it looks like a solid all-round camera with decent video capabilities (although there is no 1080/60p option). I don’t think this will by any means be a go-to camera for video shooters, but for someone looking for a good all round camera in a solid body that has above average video capabilities, this camera might be the right choice.

Specs:

  • 16MP Live MOS sensor
  • Built-in WiFi (no NFC)
  • 3.0-inch, 1036K dot touch-sensitive LCD
  • 1080 HD video recording at 60i/30p
  • Built-in pop-up flash
  • 1/16,000 maximum shutter speed (with all-electronic shutter)
  • Focus peaking
  • Picture-in-picture magnification for manual focus
  • Micro HDMI output
  • Magnesium-alloy shell with aluminum top and bottom plates

Thoughts

Out of all of the cameras on here the only ones that really excite me are the Sony A7 and A7R. The rest on the list are solid cameras, most of which have some great features/functionality, but they are really nothing new. They are either incremental updates or slight innovations without truly offering any new value. The A7 and A7R offer a completely new format that has previously been unavailable – the mirrorless full frame camera. I’m sure Canon and Nikon will eventually follow suit, but it’s always great to see a company take the bull by the horns and do something new. If the camera had a higher bitrate codec that would sweeten the deal a lot for me, but I’m hoping Sony is able to pack a punch even with the included AVCHD.

What do you guys think? Do any of these cameras spark your interest? If so, let us know in the comments below!

I’ll have to revisit my post on The Top 5 DSLR’s For Video after I get my hands on some of these, but I have a feeling the A7/A7R might steal a place on the list.

About Author

Noam Kroll is an award-winning Los Angeles based filmmaker, and the founder of the boutique production house, Creative Rebellion. His work can be seen at international film festivals, on network television, and in various publications across the globe. Follow Noam on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for more content like this!

3 Comments

  • Flaaandeeers
    October 21, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    Horrible typos: by 7 i meant A7 and by RX100, i meant RX10 😉

    Reply
  • Flaaandeeers
    October 21, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    It seems that the 7 is terrible with moiré and also pretty soft. Considering the samples and comparisons, the image from the RX100 looks nicer and sharper.
    I have a lot of m43 glass though, so still waiting for my BMPCC!

    Reply
    • Noam
      October 24, 2013 at 6:04 pm

      Very good to know, I’ll have to seek out some footage. Thanks for the heads up!

      Reply

Leave a Reply