Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Best Of The Best

By The Editors Published in Cameras
The Best Of The Best


Quick Summary: The Credo 80 is a digital back that features a 53.7x40.3mm, 80-megapixel Dalsa CCD sensor, and is available on its own or bundled with a Mamiya 645DF+ body. Like Phase One backs, Leaf Credo backs are available for a number of popular medium-format cameras (Phase One now owns Leaf and Mamiya).

Special Strengths: The Credo 80/Mamiya 645DF+ combination is a powerful tool in and out of the studio, with a 12.5-EV dynamic range, exposure times of 120 to 1⁄10,000 sec., ISO settings from 35-800, shooting at 0.7 fps, live view on the 3.2-inch screen, and built-in wireless connectivity to iPad and iPhone. The Credo back is also available in 60- and 40-megapixel versions. Credo backs cost less than Phase One IQ2 backs, but don't have the latter's Sensor+ feature. The 645DF+ camera is virtually identical to the Phase One 645DF+ except for the nameplate. Estimated Street Price: $37,995 (body with back and 80mm lens).

Also Consider: Mamiya DM 80. The DM 80 is essentially the same camera, but with an 80-megapixel Leaf Aptus back instead of the 80-megapixel Leaf Credo back, at a cost savings of around $4,000. Aptus backs lack the Credo's live-view capability. Estimated Street Price: $33,995 (body with back and 80mm lens).


No, it's not a DSLR; it's a mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera. But the new OM-D E-M1 is not only the flagship model in Olympus' mirrorless line, it's the replacement for the company's last pro DSLR, the E-5, and thus, its presence here.

Special Strengths: As a Micro Four Thirds camera, the E-M1 is smaller and much lighter than the other cameras in this article, yet it features a pro-quality, magnesium-alloy body that's splash-, dust- and freezeproof. It has a state-of-the-art eye-level EVF and a 3.0-inch, 1037K-dot tilting touch-screen LCD monitor. For manual focusing, focus peaking is available. The new 16.3-megapixel Live MOS image sensor features on-chip DUAL FAST AF, with 37-point phase-detection AF used when a Four Thirds System lens is attached and 81-point contrast AF when a Micro Four Thirds lens is attached. (When continuous AF is selected with an MFT lens, then both systems work together to improve tracking performance.)

Olympus' 5-axis sensor-shift image-stabilization system works with all lenses. Built-in WiFi lets you upload images to your smartphone wirelessly, operate the camera from your smartphone and geotag images using the smartphone's GPS. The E-M1 can shoot 10 fps (6.5 fps with continuous AF) in bursts of up to 45 RAW or 95 JPEGs in H advance mode. There's also in-camera HDR, an intervalometer and multiple-exposure capability. Video capabilities include 1080p, 720p and 640x480, all at 30 fps. Sound is stereo via a built-in or an external microphone. Estimated Street Price: $1,399 (body only).

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