This time, TechRadar has published their top gears of the year 2012. Out of this list, they have 3 categories for cameras as follows:
Best compact camera: Fuji X10 – The Fuji X10 is our favourite compact camera of the year and absolutely deserves the honour of being named Best in Class. Just as it did with the FinePix X100, Fuji managed to make a camera in the X10 that not only looks the part, but delivers on image quality and handling too. The well-constructed metal body is robust, easy to use and looks very smart. Image quality is as good as any high-end compact camera can deliver at the moment, especially if the EXR modes are used to their strengths, though the zoom is limited and battery life is a little short if we’re being picky. It’s a little pricey, but it’s worth every penny.
Best DSLR: Nikon D800 -For those interested in stepping up to a full-frame camera, the D800 represents a cracking investment. You get pretty much all of the best features of the Nikon D4 in a more compact and lighter body, with a much higher pixel count for just shy of half of the price. You’ll find that the D800 isn’t just a triumph of numbers and that the 35.3MP sensor actually delivers on its promise – capturing bags of detail. The surprise bonus is that noise is very well controlled and the dynamic range is very impressive indeed.
Best CSC: Panasonic G5 – We had to include a CSC in our list, and featuring a newly designed 16 million pixel digital sensor and the latest Venus Engine VII processor, Panasonic’s G5 delivers images which are cleaner and freer of noise than we’ve seen before on a G series camera. Purchasing the camera as a twin lens kit, with the new ultra-portable 45-150mm lens would arguably make this the ultimate holiday combination.
It really is interesting to see how others differ in their opinins. Fuji X10 might have been very good at the time when it was introduced, but we have pretty good alternatives now, at a cheaper price. I would have picked Sony RX100 instead of Fuji X10.
As for the best CSC, I would place quite a few other models above Panasonic G5, especially if value isn’t weighed heavily. I can start off with Olympus E-M5, Fuji X-E1, and Sony NEX-6, NEX-7 pair. If the value is important, then you can make some case for the G5 – it is a decent camera for the asking price but they did pick X10 as the winner of compacts while pointing out that the X10 is pricy. My vote? Olympus E-M5! But Fuji X-E1 and NEX-6 are very close. If X-E1 operates a bit faster or NEX-6 had more native lens selection, this would be a very tough decision indeed.
As for the best DSLR, I agree with the D800. But I moved out of DSLR system long time ago. Bulk & weight means less shots, even if it means better quality images. IMO, today’s M43 and APS-C bodies are capable of producing more than satisfactory pictures, even under challenging conditions!