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Best Camera of 2012: And the Winner is...

By dpreview staff on Jan 1, 2013 at 01:10 GMT

Just before Christmas we invited you, our readers to tell us what you thought was the best camera of 2012. This year was one of the busiest that any of us can remember, and saw serious new products from all the major manufacturers. This was the year of the groundbreaking 36MP Nikon D800, the incredibly ambitious Olympus OM-D as well as an all-new system cameras from Fujifilm, with the innovative X-Pro 1 and X-E1. Sony had an amazingly busy year as well, bringing us the great value SLT A-57 and the feature-packed SLT-A99, along with a host of NEX upgrades. Canon wasn't idle either, and consolidated its enthusiast-oriented DSLRs with the long-awaited EOS 5D Mark III and, at the end of the year, the EOS 6D. Meanwhile, Pentax revamped its popular K-5 with the new K-5 II and K-5 IIs and introduced its first large-sensor mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, the K-01 which was... interesting.

Our shortlist didn't contain the K-01, but we've gone over the figures, made a list and counted it twice, read most of the comments (and thanks to the majority of you who kept them constructive) and now we're ready to give you the results! So without further ado, with almost 15,000 votes and almost 1500 comments, here are the top three cameras of 2012, as voted by you, dpreview readers. 

In third place... Canon EOS 5D Mark III 

Canon's EOS 5D and 5D Mark II were hugely successful cameras, making the 5D Mark III one of the most anticipated new releases of the year. The 5D Mark III has a 22MP full frame sensor in a body that's based on the EOS 7D design, and with a 61-point AF system borrowed from the flagship EOS-1D X. Compared to its predecessor the Mark III is essentially a completely new model, with every major system upgraded and updated. 

When we reviewed the 5D Mark III back in March we praised its excellent Raw image quality, reliable metering and fluid ergonomics. Thanks to its greatly improved AF system and a few well thought-out tweaks to the rest of the feature set the 5D Mark III is in many ways the camera we wanted the 5D Mark II to be, and it was easily one of the top cameras of 2012. 

In second place... Nikon D800 / D800E

Purely from the point of view of specification, Nikon's D800 and its sister model the D800E drew a lot of attention in 2012. Successor to the venerable D700, the D800 tripled that camera's pixel count and included several features borrowed from the professional D4, at around half the price. The D800E variant offers improved resolution for $300 more, thanks to an innovative sensor design that has the effects of its anti-aliasing filter cancelled out. Both cameras offer a very compelling video specification, too. 

We were highly impressed by the D800 and D800E when we tested them in June, both by the performance of their 36MP sensors, and also their handling, which on the whole, improves upon previous models in some meaningful ways. Of all the cameras we tested during 2012 we kept going back to the D800 because of its addictive blend of excellent performance, solid image quality and pleasant ergonomics. This is one camera whose specification is unlikely to look out of date anytime soon. 

And in first place... The Olympus OM-D EM-5

Pipping the Nikon D800/E by one percentage point in the overall count, the Olympus OM-D EM-5 won out in this year's poll by a whisker. Although a very different camera to the D800, the OM-5 EM-5 is a seriously impressive product. With the launch of the E-M5, Olympus harks back to one of its most fondly-remembered camera systems - the Olympus OM range of 35mm SLRs. Initially the E-M5 looked like it might simply be an upgraded E-P3 with a built-in viewfinder, but in use it proved much more than that - probably the most competent enthusiast mirrorless camera so far.

When we reviewed the OM-D in April we commented on its excellent image quality which at that point set a benchmark for Micro Four Thirds cameras. As we'd expect from Olympus it's also an incredible customizable camera, and with the huge range of compatible Micro Four Thirds lenses available it's also one of the most versatile. About the only thing the OM-D can't do well is continuous autofocus, but if you can live with this limitation, it stands as one of the best cameras currently on the market, and a worthy winner of our poll.


Thanks so much for voting, for reading, and for commenting.

Barnaby Britton - reviews editor. 

Comments

Total comments: 1412
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2eyesee
By 2eyesee (Jan 1, 2013)

A poll like this is meaningless as you’re comparing cameras in completely different categories.

For me, the game-changer this year was the RX100. I moved to DSLR about 6 years ago, thinking I’d never use a pocketable camera gain, and since have owned an NEX and Micro 4/3.
But in the RX100 we have a product that is able to hold up well against these much larger cameras in a form factor compact enough to have it on you wherever you go. So for MY purposes that makes it a far better camera than, for example, the OM-D. Others will have different requirements and the OM-D will be a better fit for them.

I read the forums widely before getting my RX100, and time and time again I would come across people who had given up lugging around their NEX/M43/DSLR and were now happy RX100 owners. That’s something I’ve never seen before, which is why I regard the RX100 as such a game-changer and therefore the camera of the year.

5 upvotes
Tape5
By Tape5 (Jan 1, 2013)

The pocketability of RX100 is the best among all others. The point with RX100 is that it is very easily taken to places and occasions where one has no plans to take any photos. You are less likely to take your OM-D to those places.

3 upvotes
sgoldswo
By sgoldswo (Jan 1, 2013)

Don't get me wrong, the RX100 is a nice camera and I bought one for my other half as her main camera, but for those who want a VF and equivalent image quality to a APS-C DSLR you need to go mirrorless. And yes, I do take a camera with me everyday and sometimes it is an E-M5. I think the RX100 is perfect for those who found the jump to mirrorless too much of a hurdle. For everyone else it's just another compact with slightly better IQ.

0 upvotes
Ray Sachs
By Ray Sachs (Jan 1, 2013)

The RX100 breaks some ground by jamming a pretty large sensor into a very small package. It's a game changer and I look forward to the fallout as other manufacturers come up with their own ways to use similar sensors in small cameras. So I'm glad Sony is pushing the envelope. That said, I had one and found it to be a horribly unpleasant camera to actually USE if you like to adjust parameters while you shoot and like to control the camera. The lens is also quite slow as you move up the zoom range and pretty distorted in the edges - prices for shoving too much into too small a package. I gave it to my wife - it's perfect for her to leave on auto all the time. But I hated shooting with it. Groundbreaking and important, yeah. Camera of the year - no way.

1 upvote
2eyesee
By 2eyesee (Jan 2, 2013)

@sgoldswo:
"RX100 is perfect for those who found the jump to mirrorless too much of a hurdle"
"For everyone else it's just another compact with slightly better IQ"

These comments are simply not true.

I moved from mirrorless to RX100 and I can assure you it was nothing to do with mirrorless being "too much of a hurdle". Mine was a decision borne out the adage "the best camera is the one you have with you".

I have a young family and to take my mirrorless out with us was another bag I would have to make a conscious decision to take. The RX100 just sits in a tiny belt pouch and I hardly know it's there.

I also don't have time to swap lenses, so it seemed pointless having an interchangeable lens camera when I was just using the kit lens.

The other comments by you and Ray Sachs are perfectly valid, but they just reinforce my comment about such a poll being meaningless. We all have different requirements in a camera, so the best camera is the best one that meets those requirements.

Comment edited 15 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
sgoldswo
By sgoldswo (Jan 2, 2013)

2eyesee - if you only used your mirrorless camera with the kit lens then you weren't utilising its full potential, therefore I think my comment stands. To me you are a classic candidate for the RX100 or other large sensor compacts like the Fuji X10 etc.

0 upvotes
Aleo Veuliah
By Aleo Veuliah (Jan 1, 2013)

Great first place, an Micro 4/3 camera. People are understanding that mirrorless systems are a pleasure to use, and have good IQ.

Congratulations to Olympus.

Micro 4/3 with the Panasonic Lumix and Olympus cameras and lenses, are showing to people that it is a very good camera system to have.

Best.

Aleo

20 upvotes
No Panicas
By No Panicas (Jan 1, 2013)

For those disappointed high specs. FF-lovers: You're probably right! But nor the C or N camera should have won from your point of view, but the Hubble.

Only not affordable and maybe not portable......

Happy shooting in 2013!

2 upvotes
c_henry
By c_henry (Jan 1, 2013)

I think the most interesting observation to come out of this poll is that a disturbingly large percentage of posters took the poll way too seriously.

10 upvotes
Infared
By Infared (Jan 1, 2013)

That naughty poll just rumpled up their little camera panties! LOL!

Comment edited 10 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
Tape5
By Tape5 (Jan 1, 2013)

The best cameras are nearly always in the hands of the best photographers. I think the best cameras are the ones that seek and convince the best photographers to use them. The same best cameras are the ones in every generation that end up producing the largest body of superior quality photographs.

So IMO to really get to compare the OM-D to D800, we need to wait for a couple of decades and rank the two cameras in relation to the quality of the work that they have created. But what is quality?

More than 99% ( I would guess ) of all photos taken these days are for personal pleasure. No claim to art or commercial objectives. It is a vast ocean and any little camera can become number one.

4 upvotes
sderdiarian
By sderdiarian (Jan 1, 2013)

"Amadou, Kelcey, Lars, Richard, Jeff, Shawn and me are looking forward to delivering some great content for you in 2013."

And me? Hey, Ed, need an editor :-) ? Couldn't resist, must have been a long night. Happy New Year to DPR and its worthy staff!

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
YouDidntDidYou
By YouDidntDidYou (Jan 1, 2013)

this article was written a few weeks ago :p

2 upvotes
MikeStern
By MikeStern (Jan 1, 2013)

You know what's so unacceptable?
The company who manufactured the sensor inside the so called "the camera of the year", also designed a camera which made it to "50 best inventions of the year" by Times magazine. It was the only digital camera made it in the list.

I will listen to Times magazine and i do find dpreview: ridiculous to be listing Oly as the camera of the year.

3 upvotes
Infared
By Infared (Jan 1, 2013)

Magazine?....what is that? :-)

0 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (Jan 1, 2013)

Grow up, moron. The results are from the DPR poll. These cameras were not picked by DPR. Read before posting.

20 upvotes
MikeStern
By MikeStern (Jan 1, 2013)

Something you can't read.

0 upvotes
MikeStern
By MikeStern (Jan 1, 2013)

ET2 leave the comments and go to sleep while repeating calling yourself moron.

1 upvote
sgoldswo
By sgoldswo (Jan 1, 2013)

Don't believe in awarding the win to the top of the popular poll Mike?

Comment edited 16 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
Airless
By Airless (Jan 1, 2013)

HAHAHAHA WE ARE ALL WITNESS TO THE EPIC COLLAPSE OF THE CANIKON COLOSSUS! FILM IS DEAD! LONG LIVE MIRRORLESS!!!!!

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 44 seconds after posting
5 upvotes
Infared
By Infared (Jan 1, 2013)

...but the DPReview editors chose to put the canikon photos and write-ups above the little camera that could...hmmmmmmm (I smell a rat...).

2 upvotes
limlh
By limlh (Jan 1, 2013)

I almost bought the E-M5 because of its IBIS and good enough IQ at high ISO, but in the end good enough is just not good enough.

3 upvotes
sgoldswo
By sgoldswo (Jan 1, 2013)

Have you actually tried one? The High ISO performance at 1600-3200 is on a par with cameras sporting the Sony 16mp APS-C sensor.

1 upvote
sadwitch
By sadwitch (Jan 1, 2013)

You almost bought? so do you mean you didn't and you concluded it's not good enough? I can also say I almost bought the Sigma DP merrills cos' it easily trash the 5Ds and D800 at 1/4 of their price in IQ.

0 upvotes
HansJN
By HansJN (Jan 1, 2013)

Not sure what the point of an election like this really is. Has anybody who voted used all those camera's? Or even a small subset?

So these results either represent sales numbers (people voting for the camera they own), fanboyism (people voting for the brand they are invested in), or what people feel is probably a good camera (people voting for review scores) - but one they have never used.

5 upvotes
Chekr
By Chekr (Jan 1, 2013)

Personally I've used the xpro, xe1, 5dmkIII, D800 and own an OM-D.

It's a photography website, I posit that a substantial fraction would have at least tried some of these cameras in a store or used a friends...

4 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Jan 1, 2013)

I would have liked to see the Samsung NX series in the voting choices... and of course, like most of you, would have voted for what I own. We make a choice, then keep on justifying our decision after purchase. But I still think I have an awesome mirrorless with my NX20 :D

Comment edited 20 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
JadedGamer
By JadedGamer (Jan 1, 2013)

Yeah, and voters in the presidential election should study and understand every candidate's program, and not just vote Democrat because that's what they usually do...

0 upvotes
Ronald A Yorko
By Ronald A Yorko (Jan 1, 2013)

Editors choices, not the readers. All fine cameras- but so were many others. Issue for Micro Four Thirds IS the limited lens choices and their prices- as compared to Sony, Pentax, Nikon & Canon. While the OM-D is a cool camera- I can't say the image quality is up to the level of dslrs.

1 upvote
c_henry
By c_henry (Jan 1, 2013)

"I can't say the image quality is up to the level of dslrs."
Does it have to be? I mean, I know a FF DSLR will outperform it, but how many people actually push a modern camera to the limit where the differences become noticeable? Some do, I admit, but the majority probably wouldn't.

I feel it's a bit like PC's. How many people *really* need the absolute fastest CPU? Do people really notice if MS Word opens 0.02sec faster than the next CPU?

I bought the OM-D as it offered pretty much everything my 5D and 1Ds MKII offered in a significantly smaller package. I know the 1Ds MKII is an 'old' camera, but it still produces results that are very impressive, for me.

2 upvotes
sgoldswo
By sgoldswo (Jan 1, 2013)

" While the OM-D is a cool camera- I can't say the image quality is up to the level of dslrs."

Yes it is, APS-C DSLRs. That is the section of the DSLR market that will eventually be killed by mirrorless.

2 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Jan 1, 2013)

"While the OM-D is a cool camera- I can't say the image quality is up to the level of dslrs."

Well, it is up to the quality of APS-C DSLRs,which represent something like 90%+ of DSLR market. It is actually beyond the IQ of all Canon APS-C DSLRs, and in some matters, like DR at base ISO, is even better than Canon 1Dx and Canon 5D3.
http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Cameras/Compare-Camera-Sensors/Compare-cameras-side-by-side/%28appareil1%29/795|0/%28brand%29/Canon/%28appareil2%29/793|0/%28brand2%29/Olympus/%28appareil3%29/619|0/%28brand3%29/Canon

0 upvotes
Ray Sachs
By Ray Sachs (Jan 1, 2013)

As the owner of a few cameras and user of several others, I can fully understand why some users would prefer a DSLR to an OMD. And why for many of us, the OMD is a much better set of trade offs. I'm curious, though, how many people who are bitterly denouncing the OMD in these comments have actually spent any real time shooting with one? Unless you're a serious action photographer (sports and wildlife mostly), where DSLRs are clearly still the best choice, the OMD is extremely good except at the most remote margins of performance. If you've used one and don't like it, explain that, but just trashing another camera that a LOT of people like because you chose something else for your own reasons is pretty childish.

BTW, so is denouncing a poll as "just a popularity contest" - isn't it understood that this is what a poll is? How is that a bad thing? It's not a technical review - those exist also. But this was a POLL!!!

26 upvotes
Delpartal
By Delpartal (Jan 1, 2013)

For me the best is ... Canon 1D X and far ahead of the rest.

2 upvotes
Michael S.
By Michael S. (Jan 1, 2013)

Despite BEING a good camera, the OM-D for sure is not the "BEST" of the year 2012.

Just mobilized the whole Oly/m4/3 forum very good.

1 upvote
OneGuy
By OneGuy (Jan 1, 2013)

Dpr asked the readers alright but then it could not help but editorializing in the (especially OM-D) results. Looks like dpr still doesn't respect its readers.

1 upvote
pdelux
By pdelux (Jan 2, 2013)

LOL!

0 upvotes
Footski
By Footski (Jan 1, 2013)

Maybe itis just me, but I think that Olympus is a beautiful looking camera.

4 upvotes
pdelux
By pdelux (Jan 2, 2013)

Not just you, I'm sure its part of why it won...

Like a nice looking car, lets face it, all cars do the same thing ultimately...

0 upvotes
keeponkeepingon
By keeponkeepingon (Jan 1, 2013)

Wow. No RX100?

And what's with the title "Best Camera".

This is a popularity contest plain and simple, there is not one photographer that would argue the OMD-5 is better than any of the other contenders in this short list.

And what's wrong with the K-01? Bigger sensor and better IQ and better MF (with focus peaking) at 1/4th the cost of the OMD-5 ($316 @ amazon with the 40mm prime right now). Sounds like a winner in my book.

5 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Jan 1, 2013)

"And what's wrong with the K-01?"

Compared to the E-M5? No viewfinder, not weather-sealed magnesium body, no fast AF, no articulated screen, no 9 fps shooting. And the MSRP is not that low. It is just that E-M5 held the price, while k-01 tanked, due to the aforementioned deficiencies.

1 upvote
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Jan 1, 2013)

Some people are a bit too hung up on the term "Best Camera". They seem to think it means the one with the highest resolution or the fastest fps burst. But that's no more true than saying the "best car" has to be the Bugatti Veyron. Sure it's fast, but it's too freaking expensive, sucks for dirt roads and where do the kids sit? Best just means "best for my set of requirements". The fact that the Olympus won means many people consider the best camera to be one that has good enough image quality, good enough portability and a attainable price. Much like how the Motor Trend 2012 car of the year was the VW Passat. I doubt it has the highest specs in any category, but it's a cool, yet practical car many people can afford.

Comment edited 41 seconds after posting
33 upvotes
c_henry
By c_henry (Jan 1, 2013)

You must be new. Presenting a logical and well thought out argument won't win you any friends here.

15 upvotes
Infared
By Infared (Jan 1, 2013)

Henry...Best comment so far!

Comment edited 38 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Jan 1, 2013)

This favorite camera contest certainly is good insight for the manufacturers, to give them a sense of direction as to what consumers want.

2 upvotes
nevercat
By nevercat (Jan 1, 2013)

This contest will give the manufacturers not very much insight in the wishes of the consumers. The group is too small (just 15000 people) and, even more important, the group is not selected well, it is a very onsided, gear orientated, group. This tells them NOTHING about the (much larger) group of camera users, people who are result orientated.

0 upvotes
gotak
By gotak (Jan 1, 2013)

It does give some insight for manufacturers.

Most people ask their friend who takes photos what camera to get. I actually turn a friend onto the O-MD over the black fridays sales when he was considering getting a point and shoot lumix.

If the experienced shooters thinks it's good they will tell people when asked. It's as simple as that.

0 upvotes
forpetessake
By forpetessake (Jan 1, 2013)

Unlike boring predictable Canons and Nikons, Olympus OM-D created a cult following, that's for sure, the poll is yet another evidence.

6 upvotes
Pal2012
By Pal2012 (Jan 1, 2013)

Yeah, better inform the "cult" to start actually buying the camera...just sayin.

4 upvotes
c_henry
By c_henry (Jan 1, 2013)

@Pal2012 - a lot of the comments I've read seem to be saying that people voted for the camera they owned, rather than the 'best' camera. Which would suggest that Olympus sold more OM-D's than Nikon sold D800's.

1 upvote
Mike_PEAT
By Mike_PEAT (Jan 1, 2013)

Other sites have also picked te E-M5, like DC Watch and Nikon user Thom Hogan?,

1 upvote
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Jan 1, 2013)

The D800 and 5Dmk3 had more combined votes than the OM-D, so clearly "boring and predictable" with great image quality, complete lens lineups and pro quality features are still highly popular.

I voted for the OM-D, too, but that doesn't mean I sold my Canon for it.

1 upvote
Daniel Mouton
By Daniel Mouton (Jan 1, 2013)

Highly significant that a mirrorless camera - in tha face of excellent competition - came out tops. That surely points to the important role mirrorless will play in the future of serious photography.

10 upvotes
pdelux
By pdelux (Jan 2, 2013)

The future is already here my friend....

1 upvote
Heie2
By Heie2 (Jan 1, 2013)

The Pentax K-01, while many hate on the basis of looks alone, is BY FAR the greatest value for money to hit the world of photography in a very long time.

The Pentax K-30 mirrors that sentiment for DSLR's.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
5 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (Jan 1, 2013)

How is K-01 the greatest value? It was launched at $800. After Pentax failed to sell many, and after bad reviews, the prices dropped to $400. Even at $400 street prices, it's still more expensive than Nex-C3, Nikon V1. Panasonc G3, etc

3 upvotes
Heie2
By Heie2 (Jan 1, 2013)

Pentax K-01 + 40mm f/2.8 XS Pancake Lens (9mm thick)

$316 total for the package. Like I said - best photographic value available.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B00740MRBE/ref=dp_olp_new?ie=UTF8&condition=new

3 upvotes
grantbush
By grantbush (Jan 1, 2013)

"best photographic value available" Intrigued by this value i followed the link looking to purchase. It's out of stock

0 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Jan 1, 2013)

It only ended up being a "best photographic value" when they decided to slash the price to fire sale levels in order to move stagnant inventory. It was never meant to be such a "value". It just ended up that way because no one was buying it.

Remember that it's original list price was $749, but then people realized that it was such a poor value because it was just a boxy camera that had no DSLR mirror, but still retained the thickness of a DSLR with a mirror, while not having any eyepiece viewfinder. When it proved to be a sales flop, Pentax slashed the price by more than half. They may even be selling it at a loss. I can't imagine they are making much profit, if any, at those prices. This was certainly not by design!

Your argument might (barely) have merit if they had planned to sell the K-01 + 40mm pancake for $316 from the beginning. But that certainly wasn't the case.

2 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Jan 1, 2013)

the price drop might be from distribution's end too, not just the manufacturer. distis taking a loss on inventory that isn't moving. I sure wouldn't buy it. it's ugly as hell. plus, for old lenses compatibility, I'd much rather use an adapter that I can remove, as I do with my more compact NX20 and the nice 50mm f1.4 Minolta lens I have.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
rogerstpierre
By rogerstpierre (Jan 1, 2013)

It is indeed, right now, a great value regardless of the circumstances that brought the price down, and now that more people are actually owning and using it, the feelings towards it are also changing for the more positive.

1 upvote
keeponkeepingon
By keeponkeepingon (Jan 1, 2013)

" sure wouldn't buy it. it's ugly as hell. plus, for old lenses compatibility, I'd much rather use an adapter that I can remove,"

yes because more of a hassle is better and we all know your camera has to look good to take good pictures.

0 upvotes
zygh
By zygh (Jan 1, 2013)

I think this ranking is a laugh. Where is the RX100? the RX1? These two cameras alone redefined the market as we know it; the future will prove it...
The 5D3 and the OM-D shouldn't even be there; the D800 sure, because of it's novelly sheer detail resolving prowness.
The RX100 solely gave a new purpose to the pocket camera market, enhanced by a terrific lens.
The RX1, need I say, set out a new line of cameras single-handedly.
In conclusion I want to say I own neither of these cameras, however the writing is clearly on the wall.

3 upvotes
Infared
By Infared (Jan 1, 2013)

Fringe cameras. (Albeit, fine performing ones).

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
1 upvote
highwave
By highwave (Jan 1, 2013)

Now if only you would laugh less and read more you would notice that the RX100 and RX1 were included in the poll. You just didn't look low enough near the bottom of it.

The only clear writting on the wall is what type of people such cameras are targeted at. But never mind that. You'll be fine.

8 upvotes
pdelux
By pdelux (Jan 2, 2013)

LOL @ ZYGH

The only thing laughable is the hilarious side comments made by people who have not even considered reading reviews of other cameras.

"The RX1, need I say, set out a new line of cameras single-handedly"

Umm what kind of achievement is that, releasing a new line of cameras (or new mount). The same could be said of any first of its line..

0 upvotes
Infared
By Infared (Jan 1, 2013)

…I could not agree with the results more. I bought 3 cameras this year..
Panasonic GX-1
Olympus O-MD
Canon 5D MarkIII
…in that order. Now don’t get me wrong, I am a huge Canon Fan…but out of the three, the only one that I keep saying “I can’t believe how GREAT this little camera performs!”, just about every time I use it is the OM-D. No doubt. Maybe if Canon had put 3-axis IBIS in the 5DIII body someone might have an argument..but Olympus DEFINITELY delivered the most innovative product of 2012 for my money with a great and ever growing selection of lenses to back it up…And if you want to talk about intro price, Canon just has to zip it up and hang its head down. I love my 5DIII ..it’s a nice upgrade…but not even close for the most important camera of 2012.
If you have not actually used the OM-D and some of the fantastic prime lenses available for it perhaps you should give it a try before condemning it...you may be surprised!

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 13 minutes after posting
19 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Jan 1, 2013)

IBIS:
The ibises (collective plural ibis;[1] classical plurals ibides[2][3] and ibes[3]) are a group of long-legged wading birds in the family Threskiornithidae.
They all have long, down-curved bills, and usually feed as a group, probing mud for food items, usually crustaceans. Most species nest in trees, often with spoonbills or herons.

1 upvote
YouDidntDidYou
By YouDidntDidYou (Jan 1, 2013)

Weird how come 2nd and 3rd place get equal coverage and 1st place coverage is near the bottom of the article???
And the winner is mentioned in the title of the article???

5 upvotes
Infared
By Infared (Jan 1, 2013)

I agree...that is more than a little suspicious! :-)

1 upvote
sderdiarian
By sderdiarian (Jan 1, 2013)

Yes, I'm disappointed DPR couldn't find their way to stating in the headline that the OM-D had won, and then compounded this by making it appear the third place camera in their article by its placement way at the bottom. Sorry to see this, comes across as DSLR snobbery.

5 upvotes
Infared
By Infared (Jan 1, 2013)

Sderdiarian...I think it has more to do with "who pays the bills at DPReview". ;-)

Comment edited 52 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Jan 1, 2013)

just b!tching to b!tch at something. do you guys call up all the shows, like american idol, masterchef, etc etc, complaining that they start with third place, then second, then first? do you also call up the IOC to complain that the gold medalist goes on the podium last? COMON GUYS! get some sleep and come back when you're lucid.

3 upvotes
illy
By illy (Jan 1, 2013)

wow what weird remarks, it's obviously a conspiracy, if i was a DPR staff member who put this together i would be highly offended at the mere suggestion of any bias

0 upvotes
Michael Yung
By Michael Yung (Jan 1, 2013)

I wonder ... if the winner is Canon, Nikon, or Sony, would people say the "poll" is "meaningless" ?

8 upvotes
Zerg2905
By Zerg2905 (Jan 1, 2013)

I don't know about the others, but as a Canon 5D Mk III user, I will. Because only THE OWNER can define the BEST CAMERA for its needs. If printing on A2 format and above is what I will ever need, then Nikon D800 (or medium format) might be the answer, and I will certainly buy one. If photographing my kids or other "reasonably fast" moving objects (or low light items) is my primary need, then I will stay with the 5D III. And for me, that is THE BEST CAMERA (a compromise, obviously). Fiat Panda might be The CAR of the YEAR, but what if I need 7 places? Happy New Year & Cheers! :)

1 upvote
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Jan 1, 2013)

@Zerg: all I could afford was an NX20... so I'm finding it a little strange to read that something so high end as a 5D-III is a compromise.

0 upvotes
Zerg2905
By Zerg2905 (Jan 1, 2013)

@Timmbits: there is no such thing as the "perfect" camera, therefore each camera is a compromise. For instance, I also shoot macro (I am a big fan of it, and I am using the Canon MP-E 65 f/2.8 & 100 f/2.8 IS & the Tamron 180 f/3.5), and cropping "ability" is an important factor (for me, anyway). The bigger the resolution of the sensor, the better. Cheers! :) (P.S.: again, please don't get me wrong, 5D III is outstanding, but not "perfect").

Comment edited 16 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
olypan
By olypan (Jan 1, 2013)

"Pipping out", "one percentage point", "by a whisker". Wow don't over do the enthusiasm Barnaby. Unusual reverse wining list too?

6 upvotes
sderdiarian
By sderdiarian (Jan 1, 2013)

Last I looked the E-M5 was leading by 1.3%, more points than some cameras garnered, yet this is described as "by a whisker" and "pipping out." DPR, seriously, you should rewrite this article and its headline lest you be accused of blatant bias. It's akin to having a banner headline stating "Mitt Romney places second" followed in small type by "Barack Obama wins."

This was a reader's choice poll, please accurately represent the majority of voter's sentiment.

Comment edited 11 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
f8andshowup
By f8andshowup (Jan 1, 2013)

The Olympus may be super cool and great, but I really think it got number one for being the latest (newest) cool thing, rather than actually being the best camera of the year.

0 upvotes
sderdiarian
By sderdiarian (Jan 1, 2013)

It was introduced before the D800 or 5DIII, would you say the same of them? It also lead to 3 pages of posts in a 24 hour period in the mFT forum for many weeks, I think this shows an impressive level of interest now reflected in this vote.

4 upvotes
Biggiep
By Biggiep (Jan 1, 2013)

Right, and if you created a poll that asked which of these three cameras someone would rather OWN, at least 100% of them would go to either of the full frame DSLR's. The OM-D is a novelty, a throwback to a simpler time that gives older photographers a warm and fuzzy feeling in their private parts. This kind of poll result is not based on substance - just one of superficial amusement.

2 upvotes
Paul JM
By Paul JM (Jan 1, 2013)

absolute rubbish. I own a full frame camera (5Dmk2) and the OM-D. Since I bought the OM-D the 5D has barely emerged from the cupboard. The combination of usability, size and IQ is unbeatable. No just a point of 'superficial amusement' but a serious tool.

18 upvotes
pdelux
By pdelux (Jan 2, 2013)

BiggieP got told.

0 upvotes
G G
By G G (Jan 1, 2013)

My choice for the best camera would have been the NEX5R. But I'm glad to see a so called "mirrorless" camera win the poll, even if there is a lot of "retro" in it.

1 upvote
WCguy
By WCguy (Jan 1, 2013)

New rules have been set in place for the poll to be redone, everyone must use every camera made in 2012 that was rated at 70 or over by Dpreview ,using each camera for a min. of 1 week.Then you will be eligible to vote for what you consider to be the best camera for 2012.
This existing poll that has been put on by Dpreview proves nothing more than fanboyism, voting more for what they own,than what they know. Many cameras brought out at the end of the year haven't been in many hands compared to the earlier year models, so this vote for best camera is just pure fanboy nonsense.

4 upvotes
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (Jan 1, 2013)

i think you may have misunderstood the thinking behind this poll

8 upvotes
Mike_PEAT
By Mike_PEAT (Jan 1, 2013)

I presume I'd get two votes then since I own TWO E-M5's!!!

3 upvotes
eaa
By eaa (Jan 1, 2013)

@ WCguy said:
"everyone must use every camera made in 2012 that was rated at 70 or over by Dpreview, using each camera for a min. of 1 week."

BS. That's like saying that before voting, everyone should at least live one week together with the candidates for precedency!

What people have voted for here, is what they find the most innovative, revolutionary and trend setting camera of the year. As opposed to iterative and incremental evolution of current mainstream tech. In that respect the OMD surely wins.

0 upvotes
Antony John
By Antony John (Jan 1, 2013)

It would be interesting if DPR were to reveal the total 'clicks' on camera reviews for 2012 as a means of comparison.
This would at least reveal peoples 'interest' in the different cameras.

0 upvotes
Mike_PEAT
By Mike_PEAT (Jan 1, 2013)

But that wouldn't be fair as the E-M5 was reviewed in April, and the Nikon just in November. DPR does list clicks of reviews in the last five days, but that also isn't fair because a newer camera will get more clicks in the last five days.

2 upvotes
Boris F
By Boris F (Jan 1, 2013)

Let's see, what make a human attractive?
Is it only beauty or only soul?
The answer is alltogether. OM-D EM-5 it is!!!!
Very good sensor + IBIS best on the market + JPEG engine, one of the best + soul (yes soul) make it.
OM-D, enjoying use it, despite of it was a bit out of my budget.
Thanks, Oly.

10 upvotes
Spectro
By Spectro (Jan 1, 2013)

lytro.. enough said

0 upvotes
Russell Dawkins
By Russell Dawkins (Jan 1, 2013)

Too much said!
Happy New Year!

0 upvotes
chillgreg
By chillgreg (Jan 1, 2013)

Why wasn't the FZ200 at least on the list? A 600mm f2.8 Leica (designed) lens for five hundred bucks is not worthy?

I don't think it would have won, but can't fathom why it wasn't included. Barnaby?

1 upvote
fakuryu
By fakuryu (Jan 1, 2013)

The Oly EM5 is a brilliant camera, well built and great IQ, a formula for success. I just hate the EVF.

I personally voted for the Pentax K30

Medium format, FF, APSC, m43, 1", PnS, a camera is often times limited by the one using it.

3 upvotes
Ian Leach
By Ian Leach (Jan 1, 2013)

The words best and popular have different meanings. While I’m on the subject the word awesome should be reserved for things like volcanic eruptions not the colour of ones socks.

0 upvotes
Pat Cullinan Jr
By Pat Cullinan Jr (Jan 1, 2013)

Neon green isn't awesome?

1 upvote
budi0251
By budi0251 (Jan 1, 2013)

welcome 2013, any scheduled nikon dslr release this year??? :D
D400? D500? D7100?

Anyway, congrats on Olympus for such a good & brilliant market wise product.

Eventhough so, technical issues like diffractions on m4/3 (thus 16MP limits) is something from the book of Laws of Physics, so... that's it.
Good camera needs a good lens, smaller sensor (with high MP count) would needs an even better (if not near perfect) lens, possibly with big aperture (to compensate stopping down for better IQ).

full frame 12MP DSLR like 5D Mk. I and D700/D3s is way much more forgiving towards lens quality, I suspect even fullframe D800 or 5D Mk. III with high MP count would still handle not-so-perfect lens better.

1 upvote
pharding
By pharding (Jan 1, 2013)

The Olympus OM-D EM-5 also gets the prize for the stupidest camera name ever. What an awful name for an otherwise fine, innovative camera.

Comment edited 18 seconds after posting
12 upvotes
magneto shot
By magneto shot (Jan 1, 2013)

and would u suggest OMG HI-5 ?

6 upvotes
discbrake
By discbrake (Jan 1, 2013)

It's OM-D E-M5 not OM-D EM-5 ;)

9 upvotes
Infared
By Infared (Jan 1, 2013)

Love it! (It's posted at the top of the page and he still got it wrong)

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
Hannu108
By Hannu108 (Jan 1, 2013)

@magneto shot: OMG HI-5 is the best!

1 upvote
Mike_PEAT
By Mike_PEAT (Jan 1, 2013)

Well, the OM-D part is the camera series name like PEN, Stylus, or mju (now there is a stupid name), and E-M5 is the model (but it's a pain the type on the iPad).

1 upvote
discbrake
By discbrake (Jan 1, 2013)

@Infrared, if you read carefully what's on top you'll notice the people of DPReview go it wrong too. I love the name of the camera!

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
pdelux
By pdelux (Jan 2, 2013)

I kind of this the Rebel Kiss is a stupid name..

0 upvotes
offtheback
By offtheback (Jan 1, 2013)

Wrong year but the Kodak Retinette 1A is my choice for camera of the year.Manual everything.Lean how to take photographs.Low res emphasis on composition+light.I love my OMD #10 art filter like a crutch.Happy New!

0 upvotes
Mike_PEAT
By Mike_PEAT (Jan 1, 2013)

Nah, the Retina Reflex III is a much better camera (and my favorite film camera).

0 upvotes
Ray Sachs
By Ray Sachs (Jan 1, 2013)

I either own or have owned four of the listed cameras and shot a fair amount with a couple of others. I've been a mirrorless user for a couple of years (including m43 but not limited to it) and this is the first m43 camera that I'd have voted for as camera of the year. It's the first one that convinced large numbers of DSLR users to convert to mirrorless, including a few of my friends who wouldn't have considered it before. It's not as absolutely top-end capable as the highest end DSLRs, but considering all of the trade offs, the innovations in this camera, and how close it finally comes to the best available image quality, I think it's a good choice and represents something of a tipping point for mirrorless in general.

9 upvotes
beckmarc
By beckmarc (Jan 1, 2013)

I agree I think we will look back on the OMD as the tipping point in mirrorless acceptance. I think we will be in for exciting times in the next few years as mirrorless improves further and starts replacing pro DSLRs. The first full frame mirrorless that is affordable and has good autofocus will be a game changer like the OMD has been this year.

8 upvotes
sunnycal
By sunnycal (Jan 1, 2013)

This is not the poll for best camera. It is poll for camera of the year. The camera of the year does not have to be the best camera, just one which turned most heads and raised most eye brows.

I think both Om-D and D800 share the cake this year.

8 upvotes
ElginC
By ElginC (Jan 1, 2013)

Urging others to vote is easy. It is after all just a click or two.
But going all the way to leave a positive comment at the poll? No way!
One doesn't have to wait till the end of the poll to know which is the "best" camera. Just count the number of positive comments and you know that is the EM-5. Fair and square.

6 upvotes
Sosua
By Sosua (Jan 1, 2013)

Well this was predictably controversial.

Loving the OMD, it's the smaller camera that 'could'.

7 upvotes
mrmeng
By mrmeng (Jan 1, 2013)

Olympus OM-D EM-5, its really good! Happy new year!

6 upvotes
Docno
By Docno (Jan 1, 2013)

Absolutely ridiculous poll in the first place. Might as well ask people what is the best motor vehicle in the world or the best airplane or the best food. The results would be just as meaningful. All we get out of this are brand preferences for the particular category of camera the voters are interested in. If the majority of members here were compact users, then perhaps the s110 or RX100 would come out on top. The whole enterprise is misguided.

4 upvotes
Infared
By Infared (Jan 1, 2013)

Sore loser?

3 upvotes
ThePhilips
By ThePhilips (Jan 1, 2013)

> The whole enterprise is misguided.

It's not misguided. This was popularity contest. And like any other popularity contest, it is it tells quite a lot about the participants. And the participants, members of the DPR community, are the people who make DPR into what it is.

> If the majority of members here were compact users [...]

Then it wouldn't have been The DPR? Wouldn't it?

1 upvote
Rod McD
By Rod McD (Jan 1, 2013)

There is no "best" camera - except the one you have with you. It seems meaningless to me to a) run a poll of members but limit their choices and b) to rank very different cameras with different purposes. What meets one person's needs is unlikely to fulfill everyone else's. We live in an era where it's hard to buy a bad camera. There's probably more choice than ever before - that can only be good for us as photographers.

2 upvotes
skimble
By skimble (Jan 1, 2013)

Happy New Year to all and don't worry to much about the results. I voted for the D800 and the OMD was right next to it but would I buy the OM-D no I rather go for the next generation Fuji X cameras. The D800 yes but I'm to lazy to carry around the bulk and weight.
To many really good cameras out there and it is what suits the individual which makes them buy one or the other camera. Only when you feel comfortable with your choice of camera you will go out and take the shots you be happy with.

4 upvotes
sandy b
By sandy b (Jan 1, 2013)

Don't think there was a loser in the bunch, would be happy to own any of them. Pretty good time to be in this hobby. Happy new year to you all, may 2013 bring you much good light.

13 upvotes
Ubilam
By Ubilam (Jan 1, 2013)

Happy New Year to you too.

0 upvotes
Combatmedic870
By Combatmedic870 (Jan 1, 2013)

I agree.

Happy new year.

2 upvotes
RedDog Steve
By RedDog Steve (Jan 1, 2013)

I voted with my heart and still came in next to last.
Happy New Year to all !

rd

Comment edited 25 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
Peiasdf
By Peiasdf (Jan 1, 2013)

I just searched the term "poll" in the micro 4/3, NEX, Fujifilm X, EOS-1D, Nikon FX forum and limits the result to the last 30 days.

micro 4/3 - 245 results
NEX - 11 results
Fujifilm X - 10 results
EOS-1D - 31 results
Nikon FX - 30 results

I know m4/3 forum has more people but unless it actually has 3 times the member of NEX, X, Canon and Nikon FF forum put together, I think my earlier statement and many others' statement about forum's mobilization is justified.

11 upvotes
mytake
By mytake (Jan 1, 2013)

Maybe...but...your username has seven letters, where as, mine has only six, so...our posts are equally meaningless....

4 upvotes
highwave
By highwave (Jan 1, 2013)

A little bit of a straw man argument there if you pardon the accusation.

I looked at those search results for the m43 forum. The thread "best of 2012 Poll" alone has over 80 replies and was created AFTER the end of the poll.

I tried to look at the rest of the search results but I seem to have a bug that limits me to the first 50. So I can't make conclusive statements about it. However I am a forum member and off the top of my head I remember only one thread calling for votes. The rest are oohs and awws about the OM-D competing against the D800. Rightfully so, a lot (me included) didn't expect it to compete at all let alone win.

Bare in mind, the micro four thirds forum is one of the largest forums on Dpreview and probably the fastest growing. And this is even before the times of the OM-D which in itself caused such a stir on the forum as to make some members call for splitting it.

So even if there is forum mobilization, it's nowhere near as large as you make it out to be.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
RedDog Steve
By RedDog Steve (Jan 1, 2013)

I sensed that there might have been some "mobilization" but my vote had been cast.
If m4/3 is becoming the 'the format' maybe it's time for another brand to enter the field ? Pentax ?
rd

2 upvotes
Heie2
By Heie2 (Jan 1, 2013)

Nope...Pentax doesn't have the breadth of funds to start an entire new crop and lens line - let Pentax continue doing what they are doing - making the best APS-C cameras money can buy.

4 upvotes
linux99
By linux99 (Jan 1, 2013)

You have too much time on your hands and clearly need a hobby.

Could I suggest you try taking pictures?

1 upvote
dark goob
By dark goob (Jan 1, 2013)

Anyone who says the OM-D is not full frame is retarded. It is full frame, by definition.

2 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Jan 1, 2013)

Actually, no. The conventional understanding is that "full frame" refers specifically to "35mm full frame", which came about in order to distinguish the fact that original interchangeable lens camera systems all initially used APS-C sized sensors (ie, sub-35mm sensors). Therefore, the "frame" of reference in the term "full frame" is the 35mm film "frame." If you have a sensor that is equal to 35mm, then you have a sensor that is the "full 35mm frame", or "full frame" for short. Since a 4/3 sensor is only half the size of a 35mm frame, at best it can be called a "half frame sensor", but definitely not a "full fame sensor."

8 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Jan 1, 2013)

If we used your revisionist logic, then EVERY sensor in just about EVERY camera, including compacts, should be referred to as "full frame". But obviously, we don't do that...for the reason that I just discussed above. Indeed, we don't even refer to medium format sensors used in medium format camera systems as being "full frame" either, because as I already mentioned, "full frame" specifically refers to "35mm full frame."

5 upvotes
Sam Carriere
By Sam Carriere (Jan 1, 2013)

People who call people who disagree with them "retarded" deserve to be dismissed as ... well ... idiots.

9 upvotes
mytake
By mytake (Jan 1, 2013)

True, we need a "dismiss as idiots" button...

8 upvotes
Pal2012
By Pal2012 (Jan 1, 2013)

Anyone retarded who says the OM-D is full frame -is.

3 upvotes
mytake
By mytake (Jan 1, 2013)

where is that button...

1 upvote
robmanueb
By robmanueb (Jan 1, 2013)

Full frame m4/3 will be a useful term of reference when they start to make m4/3 lens mounts on cameras that have a smaller sensor than m4/3.

0 upvotes
dark goob
By dark goob (Jan 1, 2013)

Actually, 135 format is the proper name for 135 format. Calling it "full frame" no longer serves a relevant purpose. If you cannot revise your use of language to reflect reality then you are indeed retarded, intellectually. That's not meant to insult people who are actually mentally handicapped. It's just meant to state a fact, using language in the way it is meant to be used: in accordance with the actual meaning of the words, instead of speaking in colloquialisms, slang, and jargon, as you would that we do.

1 upvote
dark goob
By dark goob (Jan 1, 2013)

retarded: slow or limited in intellectual or emotional development or academic progress

Let me say that your understanding of the industry is retarded if you think "full frame" is a relevant term. And yes, there are formats that are smaller than Micro Four Thirds. Note: Nikon 1 series, Pentax Q.

Technically it would be possible to adapt a Four Thirds lens to a Nikon 1 body, in which case, the field of view of the Four Thirds lens would be cropped. However if the Four Thirds lens is on a Four Thirds body, this is a full frame relationship.

You are all idiots.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Pat Cullinan Jr
By Pat Cullinan Jr (Jan 1, 2013)

Happp-pppy new year.

0 upvotes
Pal2012
By Pal2012 (Jan 1, 2013)

@dark Idiot

Sure budy, in your little world maybe, just inside your little head.

Squish squish, I pinch your little head! Squish Squish! LOL

1 upvote
RedDog Steve
By RedDog Steve (Jan 1, 2013)

Even the most liberal interpretation of "full frame" would only include a format served by a full frame lens mount, such as the "full frame crop" sensors.
rd

0 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Jan 1, 2013)

@dark goob- the term "full frame" is as relevant as ever since we currently have many APS-C and 35mm FF sensor cameras living side by side within multiple (Canon, Nikon, Sony) DSLR systems. So nothing has changed: "full frame" still refers to the 35mm format (of which there are 35mm format sensors) to distinguish them from the sub-"full frame" (APS-C) sensors that are also available in these major camera systems.

2 upvotes
eaa
By eaa (Jan 1, 2013)

Technically speaking, all sensors that are fully utilizing its area for capturing incoming light are full format. They only become cropped if i.e. using another aspect ratio for the picture than their physical size (IOW masking the full format). Thus m4/3 is also full format.

But for the sake of comparison, the term FF is used for the old 135 film format (24x36mm), to be compared to the physical size of other sensor formats. Which is more than OK, as almost any photographer is familiar with that format. Which in the end makes it easier to compare and understand the different formats, w/ their inherent cons and pros...

So again, any non-masking sensor (by aspect ratio change) is full format. Yet the term FF is usually used as a synonym for 24x36mm sensors today. So everybody are actually right then. Happy now? :-D

0 upvotes
Total comments: 1412
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