The best camera company

Started Apr 23, 2013 | Discussions thread
cptrios
Senior MemberPosts: 1,347
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Re: The best camera company
In reply to Jay Paul H, Apr 24, 2013

In the OP's original order (therefore "no particular order")

Olympus

+ IBIS in every camera

+ Decent styling on most of their bodies

+ Very solid collection of m4/3 lenses with few duds

- Not very nice build quality on most of their bodies

- Complete nightmare in business terms

- Little in the way of innovation

Sony

+ Some awesome bodies. The NEX-6 and NEX-7, while not perfect, are fantastic, compact tools.

+ Makes the sensors for many of the OP's list of companies

+ Willing to try at least a few relatively new things

- Still a weak NEX lens lineup

- Subjectively, the SLT experiment is "blah" at best

- As a massive megacorporation, the photography department is never going to be as robust as it could be.

- None of their NEX bodies don't involve some sort of sacrifice in terms of IQ or functionality

- The NEX cameras are (again subjectively) rather soulless

Fuji

+ Fantastic lenses thus far for the X system

+ Great styling and fantastic manual controls

+ Commitment to some level of innovation with the X-Trans sensor

+ Unwillingness to compromise IQ for the sake of small size

- X-Trans is still having plenty of growing pains

- Premium pricing makes the system less accessible than it perhaps should be

Panasonic

+ Decent bodies that offer genuine alternatives to Oly's

+ Real attention to video quality with the GH series

+ Some excellent lenses

+ Some nice P&Ss

- Abandoned GF1 lovers for years with a series of dumbed-down bridge cameras

- SLR-style (and -size now with the GH3) m4/3 bodies are, in my opinion, defeating the purpose

- Just, well, not particularly exciting

Leica

+ Fantastic lenses

+ The only interchangeable mirrorless FF body available

- Insanely high prices

- Their bodies offer very little in the way of features

Pentax

+ The K-5 II/S is the very best APS-C DSLR available, and is reasonably priced

+ A few awesome lenses

+ Native-mounting capability with hundreds of legacy Pentax K lenses

- Big swings and misses in the mirrorless department with the Q and K-01

- A comparatively weak AF lens lineup in which most of the well-performing models are very expensive

Nikon

+ Probably the best overall lineup of higher-end DSLRs

+ Loads of good lenses

+ Like Pentax, native access to tons of legacy Nikon glass

- A few serious QC issues

- While it has its place, the 1 system is nowhere near the type of mirrorless effort of which Nikon is capable

- Lenses are comparatively expensive

- The Coolpix A is very overpriced, especially in light of the GR

Canon

+ A great consumer body lineup

+ My personal favorite SLR control layout (and entry-level Canon models are much easier to use, in my opinion, than entry-level Nikons)

+ A flange distance that's receptive to almost every major legacy SLR mount

- Hasn't designed a new APS-C sensor since 2009, and it shows

- Overpriced the 5D3 and dumbed down the 60D

- Their mirrorless effort was even worse than Nikon's

- Has gotten sedentary in its old age

Samsung

+ Some really excellent mirrorless lenses. The 30/2 is probably the best pancake out there at the moment.

+ Bodies are surprisingly capable and have good manual controls

+ iFn is nifty

- Awful marketing and distribution ensures that their system isn't going to grow the way it should

- Terrible customer service

- No RAW compression on some of their bodies means huge files, and their JPEG engine is terrible

And, while you didn't list it despite its potentially being the best: Ricoh

+ Constantly trying out new ideas even in the face of mixed results. See: the GXR

+ Fantastic control layout and unique features like Snap Focus

+ Genuine and evident photographer-inspired design

+ The GR looks great and is priced where it should be

- Low profile and light marketing mean a lower chance that new concepts like the GXR will take hold

- Not all of their stuff is as fairly priced as the GR

- Subjectively, they don't make particularly attractive cameras

Moral of the story? They all have their positives and negatives, and there'll never be an answer to this question!

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