Best 4K camera 2019


#1 Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II

One of the criticisms hurled against MFT cameras is that the sensor can’t capture lots of information compared to a full-frame sensor. Despite that, Olympus is sticking with the sensor format with the successor to their flagship MFT camera, the E-M1. Even though they are using a sensor that is outmatched by full frame variants, Olympus found ways to make things better. With 4,000,000 more pixels added to the sensor, the camera’s resolution increases from 16MP to 20MP. The enhancements don’t just stop there: the E-M1 Mark II has 40 more autofocus points than the E-M1, a new battery, a new image processor and can shoot 4K video.

The E-M1 Mark II can definitely make an argument for being fast. Here’s how fast it is: the succeeding frames will look similar to the previous ones. In short, it looks like nothing changed at all when shooting multiple frames. The camera also has 121 cross-type AF phase detection points. Then again, Sony’s A6500 has 425 while Fujifilm’s X-T2 has 169. However, Olympus says that the new autofocus system of the E-M1 Mark II was built to ensure better tracking.

Shooting in low-light conditions bring out the flaws of the E-M1 Mark II’s MFT sensor. This kind of sensor is small and can’t take in much information and as such, photo quality tends to suffer in badly lit environments. However, Olympus provides a solution for certain cases with in-body 5-axis stabilization.

The E-M1 Mark II is the first of Olympus’ cameras to offer 4K UHD video at 30, 25 and 24 fps. It’s also the first to offer Cinema 4K capable of capturing 4096 x 2060 pixel footage at a bitrate of up to 237 mbps.

One other feature that the E-M1 Mark II has going for it is its build. Made of magnesium alloy, the camera looks and feels tough despite its small size. The camera also features an all-weather design which makes it an ideal companion no matter the weather condition.

#2 Canon EOS M50

This is Canon’s first mirrorless camera capable of filming 4K and aren’t we glad it’s finally available. With a fold out and variable-able touchscheen, the Canon EOS M50 Mirrorless Camera also autosaves to your phone while shooting, features Canon’s latest DIGIC 8 image processor and distills DSLR power into a tiny body.

#3 Fuji X-T2\

The X-T1 was well received when it was first released and thankfully, the X-T2 doesn’t disappoint as its successor. While it still bears the SLR-like body of its predecessor, this model features improvements in areas that matter most. The 24.3MP APS-C X-Trans III CMOS sensor is a step up from the 16.MP sensor of the model that came before it. With a much improved sensor, images taken with the X-T2 offer more detail than what the X-T1 can take. ISO sensitivity ranges from 200 to 12,800 but can be expanded to 100 to 51,200 even when shooting in RAW.

The electronic viewfinder of the X-T2 is brighter and has an automatic brightness adjustment function. It has a baseline frame rate of 60fps which can be increased to 100fps in Boost Mode to ensure that fast-moving subjects are rendered properly. A drawback of this feature is the need for more power which drains the battery.

The X-T2’s rear display also received a minor facelift. Although Fujifilm decided not to go with a 1.62 million dot resolution present in the X-Pro2, they did improve on the articulated display. This model is equipped with a double-jointed display that can be pulled away from the body when the camera is used in portrait mode. Fujifilm also missed an opportunity to not include touchscreen capability with the X-T2 when that feature was well received with the X70.

Although the X-T2 can shoot video at 4K UHD with a bit rate of 100Mbps at 30, 25 or 24fps, it can only record up to 10 minutes of video. However, recording time can be extended to 29 minutes when the optional battery grip is attached.

#4 Sony A6400

On the surface, the Sony A6400 is just another variant in Sony’s long-running A6000-series of cameras that first appeared in 2014, but with the company’s latest high-tect AF system and a flip-over screen for selfies. But while these features might leave regular stills photographers unmoved, they are great news for videographers – especially vloggers.

Flip-over screens used to be considered a gimmick  for selfie fans, but they’re really useful for vloggers who need to film a piece to camera.  The same goes for Sony’s latest eye AF and eye AF tracking capabilities, because when you’re in front of the camera rather than behind it, you need to be sure it’s going to keep you in focus. The A6400 is not the cheapest 4K vlogging camera, but it is very effective and it’s a pretty decent stills camera too, especially for action subjects.

#5 Panasonic Lumix GX80/GX85

The GX85 (GX80 in the UK) provides great features in a compact, rangefinder-style body but also leaves questions. For instance, why didn’t Panasonic include an anti-aliasing feature present in the bigger GX8 – its larger sibling – into this model? With that in place, a lot more detail could have been captured despite the GX85 having a resolution 4MP less than that of the GX8.

There are other features from the GX8 that didn’t make its way to the GX85 as well. One of this is the tilting viewfinder but keeping costs down is a suitable explanation for its absence. Despite the shortcomings of the GX85’s electronic viewfinder, it is bright and detailed. Although it shares the same 3-inch 1,040,000-dot touch screen LCD of the GX8, it has a tilting one instead of a fully articulated version.

In terms of features, there’s a lot of the GX8 in the GX85 including 4K video and photo modes. With this feature, you can shoot in 4K video at 30fps then extract an 8MP still image.

Panasonic first introduced the 5-axis dual IS with the GX8 and that feature also makes its way to the GX85. This stabilization system works when shooting video and capturing stills. The system works on all five axes and corrections are applied in-camera as well as two in-lens to provide greater stabilization for optimum shake correction.

The GX85 has a sensitivity range of ISO 200 to 25,600 which allows clear pictures to be taken even in low-light conditions. Coupled with the 5-axis stabilization system, the GX85 increases the chances of taking quality photos with minimal shake even when shooting handheld at night.

Apart from being able to shoot 4K video, the GX85 also supports Full HD. The camera is also equipped with built-in WiFi that allows easy transfer of images as well as remote camera control when linked with a smartphone or tablet.

#6 Nikon Z 6

There are lots of reasons to love the Nikon Z 6. It has the same build quality and controls as the more expensive Z 7, it can capture full-width oversampled 4K video and it’s better at high ISO settings. And thanks to some aggressive recent pricing by Nikon, it’s a whole lot cheaper. Stills photographers might prefer the extra resolution of the 45.7-megapixel Z 7, but for 4K video the Z 6 is clearly the better camera.

Nikon’s in-body image stabilisation is really effective, and if you connect an external recorder you can record high-quality 10-bit 4:2:2 footage – and Nikon also includes a high dynamic range F-Log mode for those who want the flexibility to carry out colour grading work later. The only things you don’t get are 60p 4K capture (though it can do 1080 video at 120p) and a flip-around front-facing screen (it simply has a tilting mechanism).

#7 Sony A7R II

Mirrorless cameras are seen as alternatives to DSLRs. These devices tend to be smaller and lighter compared to the hulking DSLR – and that’s not even counting the number of lens one has to pack for a particular shoot. While most mirrorless variants have smaller sensors, Sony changed the game by introducing a full-frame sensor into compact system cameras. The A7R II is the newest member of that family.

The A7R II is Sony’s highest-resolution model yet with a 42.4 million effective pixel count. For comparison, here’s how the two models that came before it stacked up: the A7 has 24 million pixels while the A7R has 36 million pixels.

Combine the nearly 43 million pixel count with a Bionz X processor, which offers an ISO sensitivity range of 100 to 25,600 and expandable to 50 to 102,400, the room for creativity is endless. For even added detail, the A7R II’s sensor doesn’t have an optical low pass filter.

Sony also increased the readout speed of the sensor by using copper instead of aluminum wiring. As a result, image transfer time is increased, autofocus speed is improved and the rolling shutter effect in video mode is effectively dealt with.

The A7R II features a hybrid autofocus system that combines both contrast and phase-detection focusing. This is unlike the previous A7R model which only had a 25-point contrast-definition autofocus system.

With a new sensor design, the A7R II’s autofocusing system is 40% faster than what’s offered by the previous model. In addition, new algorithms also allow for improved motion tracking. As a result, the A7R II offers a lot more focusing modes compared to its predecessors.

The A7R II also has in-body 5-axis image stabilization which helps cure blur whether taking still images or videos. This is also the first full-frame compact system camera that offers 4K recording in-camera.

#8 PANASONIC LUMIX GH5 

Pick up a Lumix GH5 Body 4K Mirrorless Camera from Panasonic and you gain access to a world of professional quality. Features include a 20.3 MP Micro Four Thirds sensor with no low pass filter, variable video frame rates, 5-axis photo/video dual image stabilisation, and 4K video at rates of 4k60/50P and 4k30/25P/24. That and much more makes it one of the best mirrorless cameras you can find.

#9 Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II

From the heights of Olympus comes the OM-D E-M1 Mark II Mirrorless Camera. It offers 121-Point Dual Fast AF with Cross-Type On-Ship Phase Detection focusing, and a 20.4 MP Live MOS sensor. That makes it able to capture full resolution RAW images at the breakneck speed of 60 fps in S-AF and 18 fps in C-AF Tracking using the silent electronic shutter. Activate Pro Capture mode to snag not just the image you were aiming for, but the 14 frames that came before it as well. Suffice to say, this is one 4K mirrorless camera that leaves no shot behind.

#10 Fujifilm X-T20

Another cost-effective triumph, the Fujifilm X-T20 comes equipped with a 24.3 MP X-Trans CMOS III APS-C sensor with no low-pass filter. The wildly popular camera delivers a lightning fast start-up time of .4 seconds, a shutter time lag of .05 seconds, shooting intervals of .25 seconds, and 5.0 fps. Pair all that with 4K video and the brand’s innovative suite of simulation modes, and you’re just a few great ideas away from being able to make your own professional grade movies.