The EOS 70D is a mid-range SLR for enthusiast photographers that from the outside looks like a sensible, indeed desirable upgrade to the EOS 60D. It borrows many of the best bits from Canon’s existing SLRs, including the autofocus sensor from the EOS 7D, the fully articulated touchscreen from the EOS 700D (Rebel T5i), and built-in Wi-Fi from the EOS 6D. But on the inside it sports an entirely new sensor that is, potentially, revolutionary. It offers 20.2MP resolution, but uses a ‘Dual Pixel CMOS AF’ design in which every single pixel is split into two separately-readable photodiodes, facing left and right. This means that in principle they are all capable of phase detection autofocus in live view and movie mode.
In 2014, Sony launched what would soon become one of the most successful mirrorless cameras ever sold: the Sony Alpha A6000. The A6000 was built on a simple premise: a compact interchangeable lens camera with big performance and an extremely affordable price tag. In the two years that it has reigned as Sony’s mid-range champion, photographers have been anxiously awaiting a follow-up to the camera. Well Sony has finally opened the curtain to reveal the new Sony Alpha A6300 (MSRP $999 body-only). While it’s similar in design to the A6000, it sports an improved sensor, blazing-fast autofocus speeds, 11 frames per second burst shooting, and the ability to record 4K video. While Sony has billed it as the successor to the A6000, we think it’s more like a big brother–largely due to the improved performance and, subsequently, the inflated price.
While flagship cameras like the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II and Nikon D5 are exciting, I’m almost always more intrigued by stellar entry-level options. A lot of people seem to lose their minds over cameras like theSony A7R II that come loaded for bear and promise you the moon, but how many people can afford one? Not many, that’s for sure. So when a camera like Panasonic’s Lumix GX85 ($799 with 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens) comes along with 4K video, top-of-the-line image stabilization, and a boatload of forward-thinking features; it’s got my undivided attention. If you’re okay without weather-sealing, this is the diamond in the rough—the GX85 has all of Panasonic’s high-end features and decent performance all at an accessible cost. For anyone looking to save a buck and go with a sub-$1,000 camera, you’re not going to find a more affordable option with this many features.