Olympus OM-D E-M1
Key specs: 16.3mp 4/3' Live MOS sensor, TruePic VII, Dual Fast AF, 2360k-dot EVF, tilting touchscreen, weatherproof, Wi-Fi
Price: US$2,096 / £1,299.99 /AU$2,233 (body only)
Advanced photographers looking for a more compact companion or alternative to a traditional DSLR should definitely take a closer look at the E-M1.
The latest addition to the prestigious OM-D family of cameras, this CSC sits above the E-M5 in the range, bringing to the table an innovative dual AF system that combines contrast and phase detection systems and is designed to be compatible with the full spectrum of MFT and FT lenses.
The removal of the usual low pass filter enables the best level of image quality and detail to be captured, with the up-to-date TruePic VII processor proving its worth when it comes to rendering this detail and suppressing noise.
The weather-sealed body boasts plenty of well-placed controls in addition to the touchscreen and there's an extensive set of advanced functions on hand, too.
- Weather sealed body
- Plenty of physical controls
- Top-notch EVF
- Superb image quality
- Screen not fully articulated
- Some operational niggles
Key specs: 24.3mp sensor, Full HD movies with AF Tracking, OLED Tru-Finder, 10fps burst mode, built-in flash
Price: US$1,369 / £849 /AU$1,458 (body only)
This svelte CSC packs plenty of functionality into its tiny frame, with lots of high-end specifications that are worth shouting about.
In addition to its excellent 24.3mp DSLR-sized sensor, the NEX-7 is equipped with the means to shoot Full HD movies with AF Tracking and full manual control over settings while filming.
Fast, continuous shooting at 10fps and an array of accessible manual controls and customisable function buttons make the NEX-7 a camera that's as quick to respond as it is simple to use.
The built-in OLED EVF is a further standout feature, plus there's a hotshoe and a jack for attaching an external mic: all welcome additions that bolster this camera's appeal to advanced enthusiasts.
- Decent built-in EVF
- Large, high-resolution sensor
- Lots of manual functionality
- Advanced videography features
- Low-light AF performance is sluggish
- Fewer optics on offer compared to competition
Key specs: 16.3mp APS-C X-Trans CMOS, dual AF mount, Hybrid viewfinder, Full HD movies
Price: US$1,774 / £1,099.99 /AU$1,887 (with 18mm lens)
Attracting acclaim from the photographic community, the Fujifilm X-Pro1 flagship model represents the manufacturer's first foray into the world of CSC development.
Inside its beautifully engineered, retro-styled body there's an APS-C sized 16.3mp X-Trans CMOS with the unusual 6 x 6 RGGB filter system that Fuji has employed to reduce the risk of moiré patterning - the resulting removing of the anti-aliasing filter that would otherwise sit in front of the sensor means that the X-Pro1 is capable of producing truly exceptional images, imbued with a very high level of detail.
Designed with manual photography in mind, the X-Pro1 lacks the gimmicks and frills seen on lower-end CSCs, concentrating instead on advanced functionality. Its hybrid viewfinder combines the best features of an OVF and an EVF to provide a unique feature that backs up the 3-inch LCD admirably.
- High quality, film-like images
- Buttery smooth bokeh
- Excellent hybrid viewfinder
- Plenty of advanced features
- Manual focus with EVF could be slicker
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7
Key specs: 16mp Live MOS sensor, flip-up EVF, 3-inch tilting LCD, built-in flash, Full HD movies, Wi-Fi, NFC
Price: US$1,613 / £999 /AU$1,714 (with 20mm f/1.7 II lens)
Delivering the same 16mp resolution as other current G-series cameras, Panasonic states that the GX7's version is - however - new, incorporating less circuitry to make room for larger and more numerous photodiodes and micro lenses.
Photography's retro revolution explored
The result is expanded dynamic range and improved noise suppression at high ISOs, producing better overall image quality.
A quirky feature worth noting is the GX7's pop-up EVF, which can be tilted up through 90-degrees for easy viewing from above, coupling with the tilting 1040k-dot tilting touchscreen to deliver a pleasurable shooting experience.
Wi-Fi connectivity with NFC opens options for remote camera control and instant sharing, enhancing the appeal of the GX7 as an up-to-date advanced model.
- Fast contrast detection AF system
- Responsive touchscreen
- Pop-up EVF
- Wi-Fi with NFC
- Screen not fully articulated
- Tracking AF is sluggish
- Viewfinder refresh rate needs improvement