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  1. #1
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    2010 Camera Of The Year - Your Picks?

    It's time to start looking back at the past year and evaluating the gear and our photos. For the past couple of years we've had a pretty informal "camera of the year" discussion and poll. I want to do that again. I have my own ideas, of course. But this is more about what the community thinks. I want to know what cameras you guys think were the most important this year. I'll take what you guys list in this post and make a poll and we'll see what comes out on top.

    Make sure to only list cameras that were available in 2010. If a camera was available in 2009 it doesn't qualify. This is only for new cameras. Personally, I favor innovation. But performance or design can count, too. What camera - or cameras - impressed you this year?
    Photo-John

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  2. #2
    Liz
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    Re: 2010 Camera Of The Year - Your Picks?

    Thanks John! I love this! I always find this thread interesting, informative - and fun.

    Objectively I would say the E5 might be "the" or "A" winner.

    I would also say the LX5 is a winner - although this may be more of a "subjective" vote since I have one and it is more of an upgrade to the LX3 (but it's awesome)! :thumbsup:

    Liz

  3. #3
    Senior Member jetrim's Avatar
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    Re: 2010 Camera Of The Year - Your Picks?

    Having the opportunity to test it for myself, I was very favorably impressed with the Leica S-2. Of course with a $30,000 price tag, it's unlikely I'll own one any time soon...

    The new Pentax 645 is also an important new medium format for the sheer fact that the entire setup is at a price point below the average digital back which is bound to force the "big dogs" like Hassleblad & Phase One to rethink their pricing structure going forward.

  4. #4
    Computer Support Tech MNRyan's Avatar
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    Re: 2010 Camera Of The Year - Your Picks?

    As much as I'm a Nikon guy I don't think they've done much that has really been worth writing home about, so, based on innovation I'd have to say the new Sony a33 and a55. These new translucent mirrors, I think, are going to change the way that all manufacturers make cameras. I also think that the Canon s95, SD4000, and SD4500 all have changed what we think of in a pocket P/S. The back-lit cmos sensor they use is amazing allowing them to capture great low light photos without flash.
    Feel free to edit my images, just let me know what you did.

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  5. #5
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Re: 2010 Camera Of The Year - Your Picks?

    I'm with you on the new Sony SLT Alpha cameras. Pop Photo named the Sony A55 their camera of the year and I'm leaning in the same direction. I need to get my hands on one to check the performance for myself.
    Photo-John

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  6. #6
    Senior Member OldClicker's Avatar
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    Re: 2010 Camera Of The Year - Your Picks?

    Well, you know I'm a Sony fan and they have introduced nine new ILC, SLT and SLR bodies this year with APS-C sensors...

    For innovation, you could choose from:

    - The NEX-3 and NEX5 - ILC with an APS sensor for excellent IQ that fits in your pocket.

    or

    - A33 and A55 SLTs- The first viable (i.e. they can sell a bunch of them) SL without the R since the 50's. These are not the final answer to getting rid of the mirror, but they are an answer that meets the needs of a lot of buyers.

    But my choice would be the A580. Not big on innovation, but putting the finishing touches on the things I want in a complete package.

    - In body stabilization. - Having those beautiful Minolta primes stabilized is pure joy.

    - Fast Focus Live View (PDAF) - This has become a necessity that users of the others brands (and other Sony models) never even know they've missed.

    - Main sensor Live View Magnified Focus (CDAF) - Oh macros!

    - Flip out LCD (with LV) - If the screen doesn't flip out, LV has about 10% of its value.

    - 7 fps - Sometimes I just want the machine gun.

    Terry
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  7. #7
    Senior Shooter Greg McCary's Avatar
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    Re: 2010 Camera Of The Year - Your Picks?

    I would give it to Olympus for the E5 But the Nikon D7000 looks to best a good choice too. But my vote goes to the E5.
    I am like Barney Fife, I have a gun but Andy makes me keep the bullet in my pocket..

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  8. #8
    drg
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    Question Translucent Mirrors as a negative with Sony

    I am going to start with a comment on the Sony Translucent Mirror camera and then make a separate post about the Camera of the Year.

    Sony is revisiting an old idea that in twenty plus year old technology worked but had some serious problems.

    Canon for those of you who do or do not remember made at least two cameras with the semi-translucent or pellicle mirror. They were the EOS RT and the EOS 1n-RS. The R was for Real Time and the design was intended to serve several purposes including simplification of the camera and thus enhance speed. Both cameras certainly could burn through film!

    I used an EOS 1n-RS for several dozen up to maybe an 100 rolls or so one summer and fall. About three years ago I got to shoot a couple of rolls in an original RT brought over from Asia as well. Great for framing on the fly as the image never disappears and you can always see what you are tracking and shooting! However, as the light goes, so goes the viewfinder as it isn't as bright as a conventional moving mirror. They have to share light with the image. The image in the viewfinder can in a lot of conditions actually be dim!! This also presents another problem that isn't usually brought up.

    The light path is always going to have that translucent (also known as a partially silvered mirror) element in the way. That's one more piece of glass in the path of every photograph taken. It also cuts the transmitted light by usually a half-stop or so to the film/sensor. Newer digital technology can easily boost the ISO enough for this to not be a major problem, but still there's a slight additional degradation to the image production in every shot.

    The EOS pellicle mirrored cameras were notorious for the mirror suddenly starting to degrade. The reflective coating would start to fracture or flake off. And it often wound up being visible on the film. As this is a fixed mirror, unless Sony has engineered a miracle of field replacement, this probably means a trip to the repair depot if this problem starts with the new alphas with this design for a new prismatic element.

    I'd like to play with one for a few days with a couple of top end lenses along with a similarly 'sensored' conventional DSLR body. If it works and is durable it could have a profound effect. But its going to take a year or so of beating this cameras up to see if they hold up and don't present other issues that caused the prior demise of this design.
    CDPrice 'drg'
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  9. #9
    drg
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    Re: 2010 Camera Of The Year - Your Picks?

    Now my two current picks for Camera of the Year are the Sony Nex-5 and the Nikon D7000.

    I've only briefly played with both of them so this isn't commentary with extensive testing behind it.

    The NEX-5 is well built, compact relatively speaking, and has full 1080p video. It's got all the bells and whistles including a large enough sensor to produce great images via RAW processing and most importantly, Sony behind it. A new design with a powerhouse of a marketing and technology behind it has far greater chance to succeed with future enhancements and in this case a larger selection of lens models than just any camera.

    The Nikon D7000 is the DSLR that wins for this past year if one just looks at the specifications. It's a sweet price, great accessory and lens selections available(none better), and is video capable. I was until not too long ago concerned that Nikon wasn't going to survive much longer in the Digital age. This and a few other recent cameras from them has made me believe that they will compete well for the foreseeable future. My only concern for this being the final Camera of the Year is that it is 'just' another DSLR, even if a very well featured one.

    I'm still thinking about the various Compact or smaller cameras I've seen and used this past year including a couple from Sony.

    One final thought, is this year about just new features or is it finally about the best combination of great Image production plus the best selection of special functions including in-camera filters, smile/face/blink detection, special AF modes, Image stabilization/shake reduction and many many others? Are we now going to look for the best option packages similar to buying an automobile??

    The one new feature I'm liking a lot is in-camera panorama or the Sony Sweep Pano modes. Not perfect yet. Except for the highest quality print work, these modes are very good already and it is available in a camera that slips in my shirt or jacket pocket!!
    CDPrice 'drg'
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  10. #10
    Senior Shooter Greg McCary's Avatar
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    Re: 2010 Camera Of The Year - Your Picks?

    I agree with Terry the Nex5 should be up there. I will probably wind up with one when Sony gets the firmware fixed so it is more user friendly, if they haven't already. That also hinges on what the next Pany/Oly offering is and the price.
    I am like Barney Fife, I have a gun but Andy makes me keep the bullet in my pocket..

    Sony a99/a7R

  11. #11
    Senior Member OldClicker's Avatar
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    Re: Translucent Mirrors as a negative with Sony

    Quote Originally Posted by drg
    I am going to start with a comment on the Sony Translucent Mirror camera and then make a separate post about the Camera of the Year.
    And I will reply on a couple misconceptions.

    Sony is revisiting an old idea that in twenty plus year old technology worked but had some serious problems.

    Canon for those of you who do or do not remember made at least two cameras with the semi-translucent or pellicle mirror. They were the EOS RT and the EOS 1n-RS. The R was for Real Time and the design was intended to serve several purposes including simplification of the camera and thus enhance speed. Both cameras certainly could burn through film!.
    I agree that the design needs to show how robust it is and, actually, it is probably only an intermediate step along the way. As for comparing it to 20 year old technology, things have changed.

    I used an EOS 1n-RS for several dozen up to maybe an 100 rolls or so one summer and fall. About three years ago I got to shoot a couple of rolls in an original RT brought over from Asia as well. Great for framing on the fly as the image never disappears and you can always see what you are tracking and shooting! However, as the light goes, so goes the viewfinder as it isn't as bright as a conventional moving mirror. They have to share light with the image. The image in the viewfinder can in a lot of conditions actually be dim!! This also presents another problem that isn't usually brought up.
    Do you realize that they have an EVF. It has problems, but it is nice and bright in low light long after an OVF is unusable.

    The light path is always going to have that translucent (also known as a partially silvered mirror) element in the way. That's one more piece of glass in the path of every photograph taken. It also cuts the transmitted light by usually a half-stop or so to the film/sensor. Newer digital technology can easily boost the ISO enough for this to not be a major problem, but still there's a slight additional degradation to the image production in every shot.
    The mirror only diverts enough for the phase detect AF as the mirror in a DSLR diverts it from the OVF to the AF sensor. There is about 1/2 stop of light loss. You see one more piece of glass in the light path; others see one less mechanical vibration at actuation. That there is detectable image degradation is speculation.

    The EOS pellicle mirrored cameras were notorious for the mirror suddenly starting to degrade. The reflective coating would start to fracture or flake off. And it often wound up being visible on the film. As this is a fixed mirror, unless Sony has engineered a miracle of field replacement, this probably means a trip to the repair depot if this problem starts with the new alphas with this design for a new prismatic element.
    Users are reporting popping the mirror out and back in without much problem, so a miracle is not required.

    I'd like to play with one for a few days with a couple of top end lenses along with a similarly 'sensored' conventional DSLR body. If it works and is durable it could have a profound effect. But its going to take a year or so of beating this cameras up to see if they hold up and don't present other issues that caused the prior demise of this design.
    SLT is not nirvana and does have its problems, but I think they have put together a great package for those who want a small, light body that takes great stills and has:

    - Phase Detect Auto Focus (PDAF) video
    - PDAF Live View
    - IBIS
    - 10fps and
    - GPS tagging
    - for $750.

    What can touch it at that price? I'm constantly seeing comparisons (like benjikan's) with $1000 to $1500 bodies.

    Terry
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  12. #12
    Senior Member OldClicker's Avatar
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    Re: 2010 Camera Of The Year - Your Picks?

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg McCary
    I agree with Terry the Nex5 should be up there. I will probably wind up with one when Sony gets the firmware fixed so it is more user friendly, if they haven't already. That also hinges on what the next Pany/Oly offering is and the price.
    Just think how good it looks to me already owning several very nice A-mount lenses that will AF with it! - Terry
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  13. #13
    Senior Member armando_m's Avatar
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    Re: 2010 Camera Of The Year - Your Picks?

    One more vote for the nex5

    Recently went to best buy and looked at the nex5 and the Oly EPL1 side by side, I liked the nex5 way more than the EPL1, it is tiny, neither had a working battery so I could actually play a bit with them but oh! the smallnes of the nex5 and it's good looks had me sold.

    I'm curious to know how the nikon lenses will work with the adapters sold for this purpose, I understand I will have to focus manualy, and probably guess at aperture, even with this difficulties I'm still interested in a nex5


    And another vote for the d7000, but I don't think I'll replace the D300 with it , until I actually have to

  14. #14
    n8
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    Re: 2010 Camera Of The Year - Your Picks?

    My vote goes to the d7000. I spent an hour writing a review to why.
    mostly Nikon gear

    Feel free to edit my images for critique, just let me know what you did.

  15. #15
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Re: 2010 Camera Of The Year - Your Picks?

    Thanks for your posts, guys! Here's our list so far:

    Sony NEX 5
    Sony Alpha SLT A55
    Nikon D7000
    Olympus E-5
    Pentax 645D

    Only a few compact cameras were mentioned. I'll put some out there and see what you guys think:
    Panasonic Lumix LX5
    Canon PowerShot SD4500 IS
    Sony Cybershot HX5V

    Maybe this isn't a year for a compact camera to win. Two of the cameras I just listed - the Canon SD4500 IS and the Sony HX5V - are pocket superzooms, my favorite point-and-shoot class right now. If you want to know more about them and why I through them in the mix, read the Pocket Superzoom Camera Guide I posted a couple of days ago

    Once we can finalize a list of competitors I'll make a Quick Poll and we can run it for two or three weeks.
    Photo-John

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  16. #16
    Mi tortuga es guapo. Kokopeli's Avatar
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    Re: 2010 Camera Of The Year - Your Picks?

    I will second the D7000, though I must admit that I know little to nothing about the two Sony bodies mentioned.
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  17. #17
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Re: 2010 Camera Of The Year - Your Picks?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kokopeli
    I will second the D7000, though I must admit that I know little to nothing about the two Sony bodies mentioned.
    Here's some reading for you, Brian:

    Sony Alpha A55 SLT Camera >>
    Sony Alpha NEX 5 >>

    Read carefully. There will be a test on Monday
    Photo-John

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  18. #18
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    Re: 2010 Camera Of The Year - Your Picks?

    I'll give my 2cents...

    First choice, Sony a55 for packing a ton of features and solid quality into a great priced DSLR. 10fps stills, smooth and accurate focus tracking in video.... The only thing keeping it from being undisputed is that lack of manual setting for both of these modes... Still, by controlling the details it insures some good results, but there are those that like more control...

    Nex-5 is the best image for the size/price, but not as innovative as the a55...

    My second place vote goes to the d7000 for it's price/feature set... Solid performer for the price with all the basics and perks you'd expect in the current generation mid level DSLR area...

    Other notable mentions are for the water/shock proof cameras from everyone this last year. I still lean towards the Pentax and Olympus ones, but really... You can take these just about anywhere in any conditions and get some solid result. In or out of the water, snow, rain, dust, etc...

    My vote for next year will be for Sony's compact cameras.. I think we'll see some pretty killer performance out of those in 2011...

  19. #19
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Re: 2010 Camera Of The Year - Your Picks?

    Quote Originally Posted by NoKnees
    My vote for next year will be for Sony's compact cameras.. I think we'll see some pretty killer performance out of those in 2011...
    Have you read my review for the Sony TX5 waterproof P&S? I think Sony is already doing pretty great things with point-and-shoot cameras. The TX5 is my favorite waterproof ever - and I've used pretty much all of them. It also made me take a closer look at the Sony HX5V pocket superzoom. I haven't used it but based on my experience with the TX5 and the HX5V;s feature-set, it's my pick for best of the pocket superzooms.

    Sony Cybershot TX5 Pro Review >>
    Pocket Superzoom Camera Guide >>

    It really does seem that the Sony A55 and the Nikon D7000 are coming out on top with the Nex-5 maybe placing 3rd. I think it's probably about time I put that poll together. No one has mentioned anything new for the past few posts.
    Photo-John

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  20. #20
    Senior Member jetrim's Avatar
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    Re: 2010 Camera Of The Year - Your Picks?

    Seems to me the average point and shoot customers aren't really in the market for a high end dslr or medium format setup, is there a reason there can't be categories instead of a single winner take all?

    Surprised nobody mentioned Fuji's 3-D offering yet...

  21. #21
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Re: 2010 Camera Of The Year - Your Picks?

    Quote Originally Posted by jetrim
    Seems to me the average point and shoot customers aren't really in the market for a high end dslr or medium format setup, is there a reason there can't be categories instead of a single winner take all?

    Surprised nobody mentioned Fuji's 3-D offering yet...
    There can be only one...

    CAMERA OF THE YEAR!

    sorry :blush2:

    As for the Fuji camera being mentioned, I believe you just did.
    Photo-John

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  22. #22
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    Re: 2010 Camera Of The Year - Your Picks?

    My choice for camera of the year has to be a carry over from last year!
    The Nikon D90 , is it's by far still the best camera on the market, From Price to quality of pictures to Kit lens available . it beats all other compatition iin it's class and then some .
    it's firmware has been dead on with no upgrades in two years

  23. #23
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Re: 2010 Camera Of The Year - Your Picks?

    Quote Originally Posted by veghead58
    My choice for camera of the year has to be a carry over from last year!
    The Nikon D90 , is it's by far still the best camera on the market, From Price to quality of pictures to Kit lens available . it beats all other compatition iin it's class and then some .
    it's firmware has been dead on with no upgrades in two years
    Welcome to the site, veghead! Thanks for your contribution to this discussion. Of course, the D90 won't be included in the poll because it's not new. But I totally agree with your assessment of it. I'd throw the D5000 into that mix, too. I think the D5000 was a very underrated camera. Anyway, I'm glad to hear your D90 is still getting the job done for you.

    Holding onto a good camera and keeping blinders on to the new stuff is a very good strategy. If it's not broke, don't fix it. Save your money for lenses and work on your technique. That's something it's easy for us to forget to do. New technology is so sexy it's hard not to get sucked in.

    If you haven't already, please visit our user review section and write a review for your D90. User reviews are what make this site tick and I like your perspective on the D90
    Photo-John

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  24. #24
    Senior Member racingpinarello's Avatar
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    Re: 2010 Camera Of The Year - Your Picks?

    I think the Iphone 4 camera phone should be included. It's probably the most utilized "camera" in 2010.

    I haven't had a new camera in 5 years so I have to go with this…


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  25. #25
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Re: 2010 Camera Of The Year - Your Picks?

    Thanks for throwing the iPhone into the mix, Loren. I think it's a good addition. "Ubiquitous," is the word that comes to mind.
    Photo-John

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