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Thread: Best camera released in 2012?

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Best camera released in 2012?

    I'm curious as to what folks think has been the best camera released in 2012.

    What(model) and why. What is it about the camera that makes is a step forward compared to it's peers and previous gen model.



    For me the humble Samsung Galaxy Camera just pips the D800E, as the camera that has changed the way we (may) use our cameras.

    While the Nikon coolpix s800 was the first Android based camera to market, it only has Android 2.3, and there are (or may be) some apps that require later versions of Android(than 2.3).
    The SGC uses the latest version of Android v4.1.1 and is a cinch to use. Has all the features that the impatient Gen Y will ever need and can be used for many other purposes as well.

    The only misgiving that this SGC instills is about the ultimate quality of the images it will produce.
    But even with that flaw, the use of a smart OS on a camera is definitely the turning point I thought it would be, as will allow infinite possibility when it comes to creating images.
    All that's needed now is for the smart programmer types to start producing apps that leverage the hardware to it's fullest extent.

    What this reminded me of was a post by William recently about uploading firmware to the 50D to allow it to capture video.
    The work involved in backward engineering a proprietary operating system seems to be a huge task, evidenced by the Nikonhacker group I've been following.
    Whereas it seems that Canon's operating system was either easier to reverse engineer, or that the community involved is much larger.
    Either way, having a smart and open operating system on the camera negates this need to hack and conquer.

    The point is that all that's needed is an app to take advantage of stuff not originally taken advantage of by the manufacturer, not a wholesale rewrite of the entire system.

    In a sense this is already done in the form of a few apps already available and the example I'll use is Camera FV-5 but there are many others too, it's just that this is the one I tried.
    This Camera FV-5 gives an Android or iOS camera more DSLR like control interface rather than the basic point and shoot interface.
    While the SGC comes with a 'full manual' control interface as a native option, the way it works is more annoying that helpful, so an app like FV-5 assists if this is important to the operator.

    Basically the idea is that the camera becomes extensible, you can add or remove features as required .. there is no compulsion to install apps but the option to do so is what's important!

    While the Android system is nowhere near as quick to react/respond as a DSLR is(or possibly ever will be) I'd expect that the processing power will be much greater in a DSLR based body than a small underpowered P&S.
    I've experienced a few mid to low end P&S cameras, and the SGC feels at least as fast, maybe even zippier to respond. Shutter lag is negligible to fast, and AF is quite nippy too .. of course nothing liek a good DSLR and good lens, but as good or better than any P&S.

    The other camera that came to mind as a candidate for one of the best cameras for 2012 is also the D600, whilst still a bit more expensive that it should be, it's a turning point for Nikon at least in that we now have a cheap full frame option, if that was important to a Nikon devotee.
    But of course again, it has to be seen in context of how the camera has changed the target market segment.
    Years before the D600 came the Sony A850, which ushered in the age of a cheap/affordable full frame camera(for some of us the full frame format was important).
    So, the D600 didn't really break any new ground, or won't be looked back fondly as a camera that changed it's market .. the Sony A850 will be!

    D800 changed the market significantly for this particular year, and may well become the catalyst for a new Mp race between the big two or three manufacturers .. I'm sure Canon won't be sitting back thinking a 30Mp camera is where it's at in two years time .. 45Mp will be the minimum required marketing hype .. and so it will go again.

    Ha the Nikon s800 used Android 4.1, as the Samsung does, I may have been inclined to go for that model in preference, but then again the massive 5" screen on the Samsung is also a compelling advantage.
    So in a sense this best camera laurel goes just as equally to the Nikon as it does the Samsung, it's just that the Samsung was slightly better marketed.
    I can't imagine the target market being too concerned about absolute image quality performance, and I'll bet that the Nikon produces better IQ, but the all round packaging of the Samsung, and it's eventual ease of usage is what places it ahead of the rest of the pack for 2012.

    Curious as to what others think a great camera released in 2012, and why ... even if they don't own that particular model.
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {Nikon} -> 50/1.2 : 500/8(CPU'd) : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8ais : 105mm f/1.8ais : 24mm/2ais
    {Sigma}; ->10-20/4-5.6 : 50/1.4 : 12-24/4.5-5.6II : 150-600mm|S
    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


  2. #2
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    What level?

    Entry level? Pentax K30
    Mid range?
    35mm? Nikon D800
    regards, Kym Gallery Honest & Direct Constructive Critique Appreciated! ©
    Digital & film, Bits of glass covering 10mm to 500mm, and other stuff



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    Hi Kym/Arthur,
    Interesting and I can see that the younger gen will be interested in this style of P&S.
    For me though, it has to have IQ otherwise its not worth doing and these cameras have issues in low light and at the other end of the scale DR and overall processing power when you want to stitch.
    For that end I would rate the D800 higher, of course i am biased owning one, but having had the D700 which in itself was a great camera and so to prise it out of my hands needed something really good and that is the D800.
    I also think that unlike in years gone past the D800 and for that matter the D600 are priced really well and I also think that while the Sony 850 is a good camera for lots of reasons, it could never be the same as a nikon or canon in this price bracket simply because of lenses and flashes to create a full system.
    This is still the downfall of Pentax and Sony although they have ground breaking models like the K10 and K5 for example they just don't have the full system.
    I certainly see some future in P&S using apps and so forth but I always think there are too many limitations and I also know they are like a Pentax Q, great for what they are but they will never match the IQ of a DSLR in the end.
    Having said that the convenience, novelty and accessibility could not only satisfy that market but have advantages for all shooters simply by convenience alone like a P&S has compared to a DSLR.
    For me -
    Retro - Fuji X series
    Entry - K30
    Mid - D600
    FF = D800
    Last edited by knumbnutz; 21-12-2012 at 8:25pm.
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    I didn't specify any level deliberately, because a great, or innovative camera shouldn't be restricted to any level.

    eg. a year ago, all the rage, and all ravings were about the latest/newest Fuji mirrorless release, and for a while, it seemed that all cameras would end up going the way of the mirrorless system.

    hardware technology marches on in leaps and bounds nowadays, and before you know it, we'll be shooting with 200Mp $899 full frame DSLR's in the near future, so the hardware itself in sense is pretty much obsolete a few hours after the announcement is made(yeah OK, a bit of an exaggeration, but you know what I mean).

    While Android powered cameras may now be a gimmicky based marketing ploy, the way they work, and the way we'll end up using them is what I see will change the way we use our cameras.
    And that's why the SGC came in as best camera so far for he year.

    eg. the camera doesn't come natively with a panorama ability, as most DSLR's don't. I know some P&S cameras do have a panorama feature(I think first seen by Sony in their NEX line).
    So, if creating panoramas is important to the operator, then this feature can be an important decision making point when purchasing their next camera.
    a minute after I finished the post, I ended up installing a panorama app, and had two panoramas made up and saved to the camera's gallery.
    That they both have quite average IQ, is not the point, so what the point is, that the feature can be updated/upgraded/installed/hacked in almost an instant.

    And while the feature available in the Sony NEX, and I believe in many other P&S cameras now .. they're stuck with the same(most likely error prone software) and not really have any option to choose any alternatives.
    That is, the feature that the would be owner really wanted and decided for a particular brand/model, may well end up as a useless feature in the end due to it's limitations.

    I chose a free panorama creating app(just trialling stuff), but I']m sure that some smart cookie will end up creating a 100% effective panorama making app, that works perfectly.

    So the person that chose the NEX due to it's feature, but becomes disillusioned by it's performance now has to deal with a product that does serve their purpose well at all.
    The person that chose the Android based camera simply fires up their favoured app searching tool, and downloads a new way to do it more effectively.

    Don't get me wrong here too tho, I also got a D800 this year, and it works just as the previous DSLR's I have. All it offers is more pixels to peep with, and in two generations time, those 36Mp will also seem ludicrously low.
    We know that more megapixels don't make for better images, but my belief is that better features allow the possibility to make better images(in some situations) .. I learned that in going from the D70s to the D300.
    But the D800 doesn't really offer all that much more in terms of features than the D300 did .. only more pixels and much better high ISO ability.
    Of course it has improved focusing compared to the D300, so there's another advantage. But overall, it still feels the same as the D300 does to use.

    But there's always possibility that some smart programmer can allow the Android based camera the ability to focus better, or lock up the mirror(if running on a DSLR), where these abilities were not available before.
    What Android represents is the ability to load up hacked firmwares, in the form of thirdparty apps, to your camera in a legitimate and safer manner .. than it may otherwise be.
    We know from history that most camera manufacturers are usually unlikely to upload new improved firmware for their older generation cameras. When they do, it takes years to surface. They're more interested in selling you the updated model instead.
    (another example .. D300 is surely able to use a firmware feature such as intelligent AutoISO just as the D800 is capable of. It's simply add on firmware code, but of course Nikon won't do it. They can, but they won't. Same with that type of feature on the D3200 .. it doesn't have much in the way of options for AutoISO .. it's on or off .. no variables to setup in any way.
    With an open OS, and app is all it needs, rather than firmware hacking.

    FWIW: the SGC is not mine, I got it for my daughter .. I'm just looking through as many of the possibilities that it allows, and the more I look, the more I want Android on my D800 too now .. touch screen would also be handy .. and it's not for the gimicky stuff. It's about the native ability to connect it to accessories, control it natively via accessories, and so forth.

    Have to say tho, in all my searching for various things to do with the SGC's camera, and hence for all manner of apps, they all have one thing in common.
    .... and that is this annoying ability to instantly share!

    It's an all pervasive aspect of this type of operating environment. and one which I just don't get!
    I don't share my images in that way. Couldn't give two hoots about instantly sharing my newly acquired images .. I do that in my own time based on various frames of mind, not the mindless way that most instant sharers seem to do it.

    But it's a common theme, and one that appears to be heavily tainting the smartphone operating system. While it's heavily biased to this instant sharing type of person, it's not limited to that type of person!
    It's a very user friendly system in the form of control and ability even for the likes of me .. the tinkerer.

    I've installed networking and file management/FTP uploading apps on the camera too, just as I have on my other Android devices. That's more my thing than this compelling need to share a minute or two before I press the shutter!
    So it's not just about the younger gen and their desire to be instantly famous via some sharing site, it's really about the power to get it to do the things you want it too.
    The D800 doesn't allow you to do that.

    So to answer the question a bit more accurately ... All Levels! .. best camera full stop(whether that be the most expensive of Hassleblads and Leicas, or the cheapest of cheapie P&S).

    I suppose I should have added all manner of photography related gear here, but then the thread may get out of hand .. I reckon an honourable mention should also go to the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 lens too.
    A lens that may well have changed the course of DLSR history too!
    We could start that sort of discussion in another thread if people are interested.

  5. #5
    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Fuji X-Pro1

    I have only had a brief in store play with one but have followed one particular photographer who is turning out some very very impressive images from it paired with the 35mm F/1.4 lens as wel as other lenses via an adaptor.
    Innovation with the sensor design and viewfinder, the ability to mount a wide range of lenses and it feels well built at a reasonably low price point.
    The only negative I can see at the moment is that to wring the best out of it there are very limited RAW converters to do a proper job.
    Andrew
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    Without a doubt the Sony RX100 in the compact space.

    Larger?....well I've not tested much - still happy with my D700 - but the RX1 looks mighty intriguing....
    Last edited by stillshunter; 22-12-2012 at 5:34am.
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    Yeah, I also thought about the RX100 too.
    Reminds me of the little Rollei 35 I have.
    It's a pity though that they didn't design it in a similar way with a pop out lens which allows or the camera to be more compact when stored away ...

    .. but this is another 'landmark' camera type, and again ..... from Sony!

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    Account Closed Wayne's Avatar
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    Nikon D800/D800E

    Medium format killer, excellent ISO performance, incredible dynamic range, excellent 1080P video including uncompressed output over HDMI, new focusing system stolen from the D4, lighter, cheaper (than predecessor).

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    Who let the rabble in? Lance B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne View Post
    Nikon D800/D800E

    Medium format killer, excellent ISO performance, incredible dynamic range, excellent 1080P video including uncompressed output over HDMI, new focusing system stolen from the D4, lighter, cheaper (than predecessor).
    Ditto. Simply an amazing piece of kit.

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    Ausphotography Regular swifty's Avatar
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    RX100, RX1, OMD-EM5, D800/E
    Each of them has set a new precedence as the benchmark camera in their respective segment IMO.
    I just noticed Sony has had a hand in each of these so by extension I'd have to say Sony was the manufacturer of the year.
    Nikon FX

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    Ausphotography Regular agb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swifty View Post
    RX100, RX1, OMD-EM5, D800/E
    Each of them has set a new precedence as the benchmark camera in their respective segment IMO.
    I just noticed Sony has had a hand in each of these so by extension I'd have to say Sony was the manufacturer of the year.
    And yet this is the way the company is headed. http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/ga...at-junk-status
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    I think everyone here has picked the cameras I'd consider the best of 2012. Overall though, the D800 ought to take the cake...

    I also like the Olympus OM-D. Pretty nifty camera, and I love the older style look to it.
    Cheers, Troy

    D800; AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G; AF-S 50mm 1.8G; SB-910; || 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM 'S'; APO Teleconverter 2x DG || Phantom 2; H32D Gimbal; 5.8Ghz FPV LCD GS

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    Ausphotography Regular swifty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by agb View Post
    And yet this is the way the company is headed. http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/ga...at-junk-status
    Think imaging (or wassit semi-conductor)'s actually doing alright. It seems the other area of business' what's pulling Sony down.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne View Post
    Nikon D800/D800E

    Medium format killer, excellent ISO performance, incredible dynamic range, excellent 1080P video including uncompressed output over HDMI, new focusing system stolen from the D4, lighter, cheaper (than predecessor).
    I'd vote for D800/E too, except its definitely no medium format killer.
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    Way Down Yonder in the Paw Paw Patch jim's Avatar
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    iPhone 5. Gottabe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jim View Post
    iPhone 5. Gottabe.
    Yes ..... ... but does it have a 24x zoom lens

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    What did Alpa release this year?

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    The 5Dmkiii
    Simply because I got it as my step into full frame this year and I love it! The iq with that nice spread of pixels on the sensor, and incredible high iso performance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Man from Mona View Post
    What did Alpa release this year?
    And the point of your post is? This thread is for discussing possible contenders. Perhaps if you think Alpa deserve a mention, then you need to tell us which camera model and why?
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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Man from Mona View Post
    What did Alpa release this year?
    And the answer is, a list of important changes within ALPA.

    Which of course is about as relevant to the original thread as your non contribution.

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