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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
56789
ChrisKramer1
By ChrisKramer1 (Jan 1, 2013)

LOL!

2 upvotes
Mescalamba
By Mescalamba (Jan 1, 2013)

I think Olympus deserves that. And one special award should go to Sony for RX1, it needs some courage to try to fight mainstream and in same time Leica with such camera. Despite lack of native EVF, it actually does it pretty well..

3 upvotes
JadedGamer
By JadedGamer (Jan 1, 2013)

Why not make your own award for it then? After all it's just a web site poll, anyone can make those.

1 upvote
RBFresno
By RBFresno (Jan 1, 2013)

The best camera for me has been the D4. But that's just me! For others, there are other "best cameras" including the Oly :-) The

2 upvotes
iAPX
By iAPX (Jan 1, 2013)

Clearly, the OM-D is not a camera for me, but as @MacX stated it "every camera is a compromise", and this is an interesting compromise for many of us!

Having more Mega Pixel, or better low light handling is just improvment on preceding cameras, and thus a step forward, but game changers such as Fuji X100 (in 2011), Fuji X-1 PRO, Sony RX1 or Olympus OM-D should be honored.

For myself I would have chosen the Sony RX1 if the autofocus were simply correct (and not a total failure!).

Comment edited 39 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
IrishhAndy
By IrishhAndy (Jan 1, 2013)

Has any one noticed that the big cameras are straight on while the om-d is at an angle. Are they trying to make them look bigger?

0 upvotes
illy
By illy (Jan 1, 2013)

yes it's a huge conspiracy against m4/3rds, some of these comments are getting tenuous to say the very least. Can't those that voted for the EM-5 just be happy that their choice won.
Not interested in the m4/3rds mantra and sermons and endless posts of "why i bought the EM-5", some of it comes across a bit smarmy and justification for their buying choices.
2013 is here and lets see what new and exciting products us consumers can spend out fiscally challenged money on

3 upvotes
Josh152
By Josh152 (Jan 1, 2013)

Yeah the comments about this and the other article really shows how insecure many m 4/3 users are. They are desperate to prove, mostly to themselves, that m 4/3 cameras are as good or better than DSLRS as if there's some kind of competition. The truth is every camera is good at somethings and not so good at others. It is really matter of what compromises you personally want to make. It is such a personal decision that there is no need to justify it to anyone. So people just need to chill out.

Comment edited 9 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Josh152
By Josh152 (Jan 1, 2013)

About the picture, Many camera product shots have the camera at an angle like that. It is because it is more dynamic and give a sense of action and movement. It feels less formally composed. Like the camera has just been set down and will be picked up and used again at any moment. Just compare it to the picture of the D800 which looks dull and static by comparison. The D800 shot doesn't really say anything other than "this is what a D800 looks like from the front."

1 upvote
James70094
By James70094 (Jan 1, 2013)

@Josh152, "Yeah the comments about this and the other article really shows how insecure many m 4/3 users are." Really? It seems to me there are far more people against m4/3 than for it. What do all those comments show? Perhaps how insecure others are and how threatened they feel by m4/3.

4 upvotes
Husaberg Grok
By Husaberg Grok (Jan 1, 2013)

I started with 120 film and have continued to look for compact, high-quality photographic solutions. Right now I am enjoying the OMD.
In 20 years, photographers will defending and rationalizing the large and cumbersome m4/3 format cameras.
Progress marches on, get used to it.

3 upvotes
Josh152
By Josh152 (Jan 2, 2013)

Actually I have read far more people defending the omd. For every person who says something critical about it like 3-5 jump on them to defend the camera often with personal attacks. Even just a cursory reading of these comments makes it clear who the insecure fanboys who can't stand something bad being said about their beloved camera are.

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

the OM-D or the RX1 should be the camera of the year.

the 5D3 and the D800(I have both) are not really revolutionary by any mean , they are just evolution of old boring D-SLR products.

And the sensor is not as much better as DXO says than that of the old 5D2 or the D3X.
the recent sensor quality ,especially DR and high ISO improvement over a just a generation old FF sensor is exaggerated and the D800E is nothing close to the Phase or the Hassy that I sometimes rent and use for my studio work.
I think DXO and most of online review sites(IR for obvious one) clearly biased towards Nikon.. if you once use the Phase One , you never think the cheap D800E is as good or better than that in DR , it is ridiculous ans I dont even call these sites as review sites.

I think DPR is now one of a few very honest sites out there , still doing fair and honest reviews and I think you guys should be respected for that great work!

thanks DPR for being really honest and sincere to all of us.

13 upvotes
JadedGamer
By JadedGamer (Jan 1, 2013)

"the 5D3 and the D800(I have both) are not really revolutionary by any mean"

Well, good thing the award was not called "most revolutionary" then.

1 upvote
Josh152
By Josh152 (Jan 2, 2013)

Photography wise the sensor in the D800 is the most revolutionary thing released this year. It has literately redefined what was possible with a FF sensor. It set a new, previously unattainable standard to measure DSLR IQ by.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Gunston Gun
By Gunston Gun (Jan 1, 2013)

i vote for Fujifilm X-pro1/X-E1

2 upvotes
IrishhAndy
By IrishhAndy (Jan 1, 2013)

They are very slow and noisy. I find the jpegs to be poor.

0 upvotes
Mescalamba
By Mescalamba (Jan 1, 2013)

Both are pretty good, unfortunately Adobe sorta sabotaged it. Might be interesting after Capture One 7 will have RAW support.

Otherwise yes, very interesting cams as usually with Fuji.

0 upvotes
stevielee
By stevielee (Jan 1, 2013)

@IrishhAndy:

"They are very slow and noisy. I find the jpegs to be poor."

Sometimes performing quite slow they very well might suffer from. But to call either of the Fuji APS-C cameras "noisy" - as compared to the popularity contest winner: the Olympus OM-D, just shows that you have little factual substance of what you are talking about. Both of the APS-C Fuji's have at least one-half-to-one-stop superior high ISO performance than the Oly does.

And as far as overall image quality is concerned (DR,Color, and yes..noise), the X-Pro 1/X-E1 pretty handily beat the OM-D - albeit with a far larger sensor to work with.

So if you do really "find" the Fuji's OOC JPEG's to be that "poor", pray tell what current cameras OOC JPEG's do you think are better in color, DR, detail..etc? Surely not the Pop Champ Oly?

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
ThePhilips
By ThePhilips (Jan 1, 2013)

Unexpected poll results.

That as if in car magazine poll for the best vehicle, suddenly VW Golf had won, trailed by Hummer and Bugatti.

Despite the deeply rooted FF-fanboism, for a more affordable and more versatile camera to win popularity contest on DPR is truly an achievement. More so for the DPR community itself - than for the Olympus.

P.S. Happy new year!

5 upvotes
Mike_PEAT
By Mike_PEAT (Jan 1, 2013)

No, the results were totally expected, DC Watch members a week prior also selected the OM-D as camera of the year, with the D800e in second:
http://dc.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/special/20121221_579830.html

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
MichaelKJ
By MichaelKJ (Jan 1, 2013)

@Mike_PEAT. The DC Watch poll separated the D800e and the D800. The combined total for those two cameras was 4,242 versus 3,032 for the OM-D

2 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Jan 1, 2013)

Irony: Motor Trend Car of the Year 2012 is the VW Passat.

0 upvotes
Macx
By Macx (Jan 1, 2013)

It seems a lot of people really don't "get" the Olympus, and that's fine, of course. There is no "best" camera for everybody: All have different needs and tastes. But the argument put forth that the Olympus is essentially inferior to the Nikon D800 or the Canon 5D3 is nonsense. It does things that neither of them is able to: It's discreet, both in size and with it's soft shutter sound. It can be carried along with several lenses without any fatigue for days on end, and an entire system can fit in a small bag. This gives it a better functionality than the bigger, heavier and more intrusive cameras. If you weigh megapixels or auto-focus tracking higher than that, that's fine, of course. Every camera is a compromise.

13 upvotes
zxaar
By zxaar (Jan 1, 2013)

Pentax Q must be better than OMD then because it is even smaller and you can carry its lenses in pockets rather than a small bag.

4 upvotes
Macx
By Macx (Jan 1, 2013)

No, you didn't get it. Or maybe you got bored before reading it all. Let me try to explain it again, but start with the end this time.

Every camera is a compromise. And because of that, there is not a single feature of a camera that makes it better or "the best". Not the mega-pixel count. Not the size. Not the low-light performance.

For some people the Pentax Q will be a better choice than the OMD, but there is no "must" about it.

7 upvotes
nikvis
By nikvis (Jan 1, 2013)

Great job Oly!

2 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Jan 1, 2013)

"About the only thing the OM-D can't do well is continuous autofocus"

Well, actually it can, at least after firmware 1.2. And at 4 fps with AF with tracking, it is not slower than D800 in this regard.

2 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Jan 1, 2013)

" it is not slower than D800 in this regard. " - here you lost any value your words had.

2 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Jan 1, 2013)

Did you try it? I did. It does what it does - the box is on the target, the target is sharp, at 4 fps. What else is there?

Of course it can acquire target once and shoot at 9 fps and D800 cannot. Would have missed the moment when my daughter just enters the water in that dive, right? Extra $2K and 2 kg and sore back would not helped me with that, right? Would have needed D4 for that?

0 upvotes
Stephen_C
By Stephen_C (Jan 1, 2013)

Which one made the most money?

1 upvote
IrishhAndy
By IrishhAndy (Jan 1, 2013)

Olympus must have a very high margin when you consider the lens hoods.

11 upvotes
designdef
By designdef (Jan 1, 2013)

Certainly not the best from a product design perspective. When will this harking back to retro styling boredom end???!!! 2013?

8 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Jan 1, 2013)

Yeah, Pentax k-01 was the best "from a product design perspective", right? :) :) :)
Is your name Marc Newson?

2 upvotes
Macx
By Macx (Jan 1, 2013)

Yeah, the K-01 was among the few interesting cameras from a product design perspective, I guess.

At least the Olympus didn't go with the horrible, melted soap-bar style. Talk about last century-styling!

1 upvote
Mike_PEAT
By Mike_PEAT (Jan 1, 2013)

Re:"When will this harking back to retro styling boredom end???!!!"

As someone who has done photography since the 70's, the OM-D was the first camera in ten years (since I stopped using my film SLR) that felt RIGHT in my hands, and was actually FUN to use.

dSLRs in the early days had to be big, bulky, and heavy due to all the circuit boards and electronics in it, but it just doesn't make sense to make humongous bodies these days...Olympus has proved a few years ago that NORMAL sized dSLRs are possible...removing the IBIS hardware would leave room for a 135/35mm sized sensor.

If Nikon/Canon produced a NORMAL sized 135/35mm dSLR, they wouldn't be losing sales to Olympus (not that I mind as an Olympus user).

2 upvotes
MichaelKJ
By MichaelKJ (Jan 1, 2013)

Given how ugly and boring the standard DSLR design is, I consider the retro styling and added bonus. However, the only effect it had on my decision was to get the silver instead of the black OM-D.

4 upvotes
James O'Neill
By James O'Neill (Jan 1, 2013)

Best anything polls are mostly for fun, and from the comments we can see they generate more heat than light. Interesting that the winner of this one is not from the big two, is not a huge seller, and it carries a price tag close to that of FF models - which simply by the laws of physics will get better dynamic range, better high ISO performance and more recorded detail.

So it seems DPR readers voted for something they respected rather than bought. My own bias is against small sensors, and for true SLRs, but this gives me pause. 2 of the top three were FF - which is getting cheaper. The winner was a small sensor mirrorless which is plenty good enough for many. Is then end in sight for the APS-C sensor true SLR ?

6 upvotes
flipmac
By flipmac (Jan 1, 2013)

The E-M5 is less than $1k, almost as low as 1/3 the price of the 5DIII and D800. How are they close on price?

1 upvote
James O'Neill
By James O'Neill (Jan 2, 2013)

I went to http://www.wexphotographic.com/ On the home page Canon 5D MK II (old stock I guess) £1249 body only OMD EM5 £1148 with kit lens. And the D600 is £1450.
The Olympus is more expensive than almost every APS-C camera out there - which are the ones it really competes with

0 upvotes
JPR.lda
By JPR.lda (Jan 1, 2013)

Thanks for the pole.
But you should not compare cameras of diferent type and sensor sizes.
Please make a new pole by type of camera:
SLR, full frame and APS
M43
Mirrorless

This should give some interesting insights

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

Also add amateur, enthusiast, semi-pro and pro categories. Yu also need to add a 'medium-format' category to the sensor sizes. Plus removable or fixed lens categories.

If we get it right, every camera can be in it's own, unique category and can be a winner!

10 upvotes
highwave
By highwave (Jan 1, 2013)

can we include color categories too?

I think the Nikon J2 would wipe the floor of FF in these categories with its gummy bear selections.

Comment edited 10 seconds after posting
1 upvote
JaFO
By JaFO (Jan 1, 2013)

if you were to do that then it would be like the MTV movie awards where everyone is a winner in at least one category.

1 upvote
ThePhilips
By ThePhilips (Jan 1, 2013)

> But you should not compare cameras of diferent type and sensor sizes.

Where would be fun in that? There are already plenty of publications (magazines, newspapers) who do such lists. Yet totally unscientific, pure popularity contests are rare.

> SLR, full frame and APS

FF would win every time. Literally every APS owner dreams of FF - because Canikon marketing made sure that they feel sorry for not owning FF camera.

1 upvote
Heie2
By Heie2 (Jan 1, 2013)

This APS-C owner has zero desire for FF. Why should I when Pentax makes such incredible APS-C cameras and APS-C lenses? No need for FF here, so please do not speak for everyone.

2 upvotes
Josh152
By Josh152 (Jan 1, 2013)

If anything this discussion only proves how silly and useless such a poll is.

2 upvotes
Heie2
By Heie2 (Jan 1, 2013)

Agreed

0 upvotes
Roland Schulz
By Roland Schulz (Jan 1, 2013)

In my eyes the Nikon D4 is the best camera of 2012, but as with the EOS 1dx and others only few people can afford one, others don´t want to carry that heavy equipment.

BTW: "Best professional camera" is the highest possible rating for a camera, EISA found the D4 to be the best at least of 2012.
There was also a big sticker with this statement on my D4 box, so that must be right ;-)!!
*ironic* *ironic* *ironic*

The best camera for you is the camera that meets your demands best and in the end that you can afford.

Wish you all a Happy New Year, with great health, luck, good light and beautiful pictures!!

Roland.

4 upvotes
sderdiarian
By sderdiarian (Jan 1, 2013)

"The best camera for you is the camera that meets your demands best and in the end that you can afford."

Right on the money, Roland. Happy New Years as well!

1 upvote
QuarryCat
By QuarryCat (Jan 1, 2013)

Hope all buyers get lucky with the OM-D or D800 - I don't like the Nikon, don't need the pixels and the problematic AF - neither the bulky feeling in hand.
The 4 month with the OM-D left me, hating the expensive camera - the materials are cheap, the IBIS is unpredictable and the price is far to high.
I found a very satisfying camera in the Canon Eos 5D3 - the first and the best digital Eos yet - I made the best pictures of my lifetime with it.
So get lucky with your stuff!

3 upvotes
Josh152
By Josh152 (Jan 1, 2013)

The VAST VAST majority of D800s do not have "problematic" AF. It is in internet fantasy that the issue was ever very wide spread.

1 upvote
ogl
By ogl (Jan 1, 2013)

Funny....

0 upvotes
xmeda
By xmeda (Jan 1, 2013)

Pentax K5IIs

2 upvotes
Nikonworks
By Nikonworks (Jan 1, 2013)

I almost went for the OM-5 but upon further evaluation I found it extremely over priced.
Not knocking the camera or the available glass, just the price.
I wondered how much of the price was to recover the cost of recent financial scandal.

The D800 has about 50,000 pieces with alignment problems, good luck.

I used to be a Canon guy. One switch over from Canon to Nikon is enough for one lifetime. The Canon seems worthy of a 'first place' rating.

Did the respondants indicate if they owned their choices?

......"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 you filtered out the non-constructive comments from respondants to avoid any negativity in your result announcement?

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 7 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
illy
By illy (Jan 1, 2013)

I think the EM-5 is sooooo last year, can we get on with 2013 please

3 upvotes
Joe Ogiba
By Joe Ogiba (Jan 1, 2013)

Whatever floats your boat and my latest camera does that for me..the Sony NEX-VG900.
https://vimeo.com/54180819

2 upvotes
nevercat
By nevercat (Jan 1, 2013)

The best camera doesn't exist at all!
What makes a camera the best? The best IQ? The fastest frame rate? The fastesrt AF? The best tracking? The smallest size? The largest size? The most lenses? The best lenses? Must the best camera be an ILC? Is it the Ceapest? Is it the most expensive? Is it the best Price/quality?
In fact there is no "best camera" at all! It
This is nothing more then a popularity poll.
People can vote for their camera (the camera they own, or the camera the wanted to own when they had the $$)
This is a useless poll!

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

Hasselblad is even bigger camera compare to FF, bigger sensor, better studio quality and higher price. So what? Is it a better camera? Dependent to what you are looking for.

6 upvotes
Vlad4D
By Vlad4D (Jan 1, 2013)

So why NEX-6 was excluded from the list?
OM-D is good but NEX-6 is even better :)
and ... Happy New Year !!!

4 upvotes
Mike_PEAT
By Mike_PEAT (Jan 1, 2013)

One more time:

If you had read the text with the poll, you would know you could have had any camera that came out in 2012 added to the list if you had asked!

5 upvotes
JaFO
By JaFO (Jan 1, 2013)

Why would we need to ask ?
You'd think that a dedicated camera/photography website could make a honest selection ?

0 upvotes
highwave
By highwave (Jan 1, 2013)

the NEX6 was included in another Poll conducted by DC.Watch

The OM-D won that one as well and the NEX6 wasn't even in the top ten.

1 upvote
Jens_G
By Jens_G (Jan 2, 2013)

There were numerous objections re the exclusion of the Nex 6 in the comments on the poll, DPR didn't bat an eyelid.

0 upvotes
Marty4650
By Marty4650 (Jan 1, 2013)

Has anyone noticed that the OM-D has been on the list of "Cameras receiving the most clicks in reviews and specs in the last five days" continuously for the past eight months?

I don't think this was ever done before by a niche camera from a minor player in the market. Every new camera seems to make the list just because it's new... and then fades away, unless it is a Canon or Nikon big seller. But the OM-D has been there for quite a while now.

I think the OM-D gets a lot of interest because:

1. It really is a great camera. No one can deny that.
2. It really does have broad appeal.
3. Ahhhhhhh... those nice prime lenses.....
4. The backstory. It's the underdog redeeming itself after the scandals.

19 upvotes
Mike_PEAT
By Mike_PEAT (Jan 1, 2013)

Scandals?

0 upvotes
James O'Neill
By James O'Neill (Jan 1, 2013)

Olympus had a British CEO who was fired because he brought to light large multi-year accounting frauds . I think that is what is being refered to.

1 upvote
Mike_PEAT
By Mike_PEAT (Jan 1, 2013)

I was thinking of the complaints of canvasing for votes that some here are calling scandalous.

1 upvote
itsanewdawn
By itsanewdawn (Jan 1, 2013)

I call BS who would be so desperate for their fav camera to win that they would actively attempt to canvas for votes. You are right it would be scandalous I just don’t think anyone did it. The OMD is an awesome camera and won by right. It may not have the very best image quality but it is more than good enough and unlike the FF models does not weigh you down like a bag of rocks. Mirrorless is the future and the O-MD is the first step

3 upvotes
Marty4650
By Marty4650 (Jan 2, 2013)

I agree completely.

You have to go well beyond "fanboy" to create multiple accounts from multiple email addresses just to vote in a stupid poll!

I'm not saying this never happens... just that it has to be really rare. Not many people are that sick.

The OM-D won fair and square. And this should be no surprise since it was on the "most clicked reviews" list for the past 8 months, and was selected as Camera of the Year by MANY other websites and magazines too.

The Nikon gang needs to learn to lose one graciously. It's really not the end of the world for them, even if they feel that way right now.

0 upvotes
bossa
By bossa (Jan 7, 2013)

"The Nikon gang needs to learn to lose one graciously. It's really not the end of the world for them, even if they feel that way right now."
I own two D800E and a Pentax K-5 and I DON'T feel like a looser. I don't buy cameras to join the "me too" club. I buy cameras and lenses to take photographs.

0 upvotes
Toccata47
By Toccata47 (Jan 1, 2013)

My vote would have gone to the k-01 if it dpreview had included it on the list of appropriate selections.

It's a perfect bridge camera in the sense that it combines the best iq available in a 16m sensor with full manual controls with the advantage of a 40 year backlog of available lenses....and it's the size of the omd and 1/3 the price.

It's a camera that is easy to miss the point of, obviously.

1 upvote
Mike_PEAT
By Mike_PEAT (Jan 1, 2013)

Re:"if it dpreview had included it on the list of appropriate selections"

If you had read the text with the poll, you could have had any camera that came out in 2012 added to the list!

2 upvotes
WartyMcFly
By WartyMcFly (Jan 1, 2013)

The K-01 is a great bargain right now. But it has its fair share of problems, most of which stem from the decision to keep the K-mount. The autofocus is quite bad, the body is bigger than most other mirrorless options, and most find it awkward to operate. If you already own some of the nice limited primes, the K-01 is a cheap and reasonable choice, but I would not suggest anyone buy one that does not already own Pentax lenses.

2 upvotes
Heie2
By Heie2 (Jan 1, 2013)

"most of them stem from the decision to keep the k-mount"

ARE YOU NUTS?! The K-01 is the most lens compatible MILC out of any mirrorless in existence...and by exponential differences. Common sense suggests the exact opposite of your suggestion.

3 upvotes
rogerstpierre
By rogerstpierre (Jan 1, 2013)

Fair share of problems ? Misconceptions or dislikes perhaps, but problems I am not aware of a single one. AF is as good if not better than the OM-D, size in this case is a real advantage, obvious to anyone that actually held it with a larger lens on it, IQ the best of its class, lens compatibility the best of its class, but it's a different look and design than all others I'll admit, and leaves no one indifferent that's for sure, including DPR.

Comment edited 11 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
PerL
By PerL (Jan 1, 2013)

Another way to look at it is that the FF trend is very strong, with some 55 percents of the votes.

0 upvotes
illy
By illy (Jan 1, 2013)

it does seem the strongest trend in the voting that the FF sensor size is the most popular

0 upvotes
MartinsB
By MartinsB (Jan 1, 2013)

Sorry dpreview, it isn't USER poll for Best Camera of 2012.

1 upvote
Mike_PEAT
By Mike_PEAT (Jan 1, 2013)

"dpreview user poll"..users of DPReview!

3 upvotes
MartinsB
By MartinsB (Jan 1, 2013)

Sorry dpreview, it isn't user poll for Best Camera of 2012.

0 upvotes
LeitzKameraAktion
By LeitzKameraAktion (Jan 1, 2013)

My vote went to the OMD, and I was pleased to see it win. I bought one back in August, and overall am very satisfied with it; fast accurate AF, excellent high ISO performance, incredibly effective IBIS, great screen, compact size, and so on. I just wish its image quality at base ISO had the stellar colour and 3D tonality of some earlier Oly models like the E1. Then it really would be my all-time favourite camera!

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Jan 1, 2013)

Try to turn off Auto gradation. It compresses too much DR into the JPEG-representable and screen-and-paper visible range.
If it is still not enough, dial in some saturation. Everything is configurable.

0 upvotes
IrishhAndy
By IrishhAndy (Jan 1, 2013)

Few cameras give the tonality of the E1 and D7oo.

0 upvotes
Marty4650
By Marty4650 (Jan 1, 2013)

What does this poll really mean?

Well... it doesn't mean "I want to buy this camera" because the OM-D got 12 times as many votes as the Canon T4i. And we all know the T4i will sell 20 times as many copies as the OM-D sells.

And it doesn't mean "this camera has the best IQ" because all of the FF cameras on the list will do better, and a few of the APSC cameras will do as well.

And it doesn't mean "this is the most expensive camera" because 7 of the 14 listed cameras cost more.

What I think this poll means is.... that when 15,000 die hard camera enthusiasts are asked "which camera released this year is the most significant" then a slim plurality picked the OM-D. This means that the largest group of them thought the OM-D was the most interesting and most innovative.

And that is quite an accomplishment for Olympus, considering how stiff the competition was in 2012.

This is significant, but it isn't a landslide victory. After all, 77% of them selected "something else."

9 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Jan 1, 2013)

"Well... it doesn't mean "I want to buy this camera" because the OM-D got 12 times as many votes as the Canon T4i. And we all know the T4i will sell 20 times as many copies as the OM-D sells."

Not among the people who participated in the poll.

1 upvote
Plastek
By Plastek (Jan 1, 2013)

I'm quite sure that "among the people who participated in the poll" most bought RX100. Certainly not the OM-D in any way.

2 upvotes
Rolo King
By Rolo King (Jan 2, 2013)

Well, it refelects what I've seen during my last visits to a major local camera store. I saw the OM-D come out from behind the counter much more often than any other cameras but it didn't reflect the lineup at the cash register, which is sad. People like to go with brands they're familiar with.

0 upvotes
Aramiss
By Aramiss (Jan 1, 2013)

Olympus OM-D EM-5 is the most favourite camera. Wich is the best? There is no the best. Different leaques, different purposes. D800, Mk3, Oly, RX1, Nex 6, Fuji X-E1 and many others all really good , all are joyful to use, all are for different user styles. Thanks the developers for them. My favourites are the RX1 and my NEX6 . . . and of course my Canon Eos 1DsIII from 2007 and Nikon Fm3a from 2005 : )
Thank you all for voting and discussing, it was interesting an amusing : )
Happy new year!

1 upvote
Tom Horton
By Tom Horton (Jan 1, 2013)

The best camera is the one that the best photographer has in his/her hand at the moment. Thus these kind of polls will never be about the "best" camera.

0 upvotes
MarcMedios
By MarcMedios (Jan 1, 2013)

LOL. It's funny, but that's about it. DP Review readers tend to value form over function, it seems.

4 upvotes
JadedGamer
By JadedGamer (Jan 1, 2013)

All the top three have plenty of "function".

0 upvotes
pdelux
By pdelux (Jan 2, 2013)

the OMD is a beautiful camera we know.... but it certainly does not lack in function.

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

What an incredible amount of angst over a poll of a small number of photographers by one of many many websites. Who cares what dpreview deems the best camera of 2012, the best camera of the decade or the best camera in the whole wide world in the entire history of humankind? The very best camera ever is the one that happens to be at hand when someone decides to take a picture. Everything else is fluff and window dressing.
I think that readers and browsers of this site have collectively forgotten to take their medication ...

2 upvotes
u8myshorts
By u8myshorts (Jan 1, 2013)

yah but you are just too smart for the rest of us...I guess they should just delete this post it means nothing to no one. dam :(

2 upvotes
JaFO
By JaFO (Jan 1, 2013)

it's the internet ... dumb discussions about meaningless results are to be expected
;-)

0 upvotes
Greynerd
By Greynerd (Jan 1, 2013)

You seem to have a great deal of interest and passion about something you do not care about.

1 upvote
cloud_kim
By cloud_kim (Jan 1, 2013)

where is my X-E1...

1 upvote
JaFO
By JaFO (Jan 1, 2013)

I hope it's still in your hands ;-)

0 upvotes
kiswani
By kiswani (Jan 1, 2013)

I think Sony RX1 is the best camera of 2012 :)

2 upvotes
Thorgrem
By Thorgrem (Jan 1, 2013)

Congratulations Olympus with this triumph. It's nice to see that more and more people are convinced that quality can be delivered in a small package and that m4/3 delivers. Just like in the film day's it doesn't have to be huge and heavy to take good photo's. To bad Canikon users can't take there loss and be happy for Olympus, a leading company in innovation but a small one in market share.

13 upvotes
Deleted pending purge
By Deleted pending purge (Jan 1, 2013)

It's such an elastic word, "The Best"...
Best for what? Best to whom? Best until when? Who voted by what criteria? I doubt it's measurable at all. Maybe the sales stats are the only element worth looking at.
See the "Cameras receiving the most clicks in reviews and specs in the last five days" on the right side. It shows something completely different.
It's a good thing, actually, in only one sense: manufacturers are going to compete, and maybe there will be even more models to pick among.
Me, I'm waiting for someone to repeat Nikonos qualities and success in digital version...

2 upvotes
Mike_PEAT
By Mike_PEAT (Jan 1, 2013)

The Olympus was reviewed in Apri, the Nikon in November...obviously the Nikon review is going to receive more clicks in the last five days as it's newer. I bought my E-M5 in April, and I'm not going to revisit the review, certainly not in the last five days!

It would only be valid if they calculated number of clicks divided by the number of days the review has been on the site.

7 upvotes
Deleted pending purge
By Deleted pending purge (Jan 2, 2013)

Sure, but then it wouldn't mean much more than interest shown. All cameras show their worth only after they've been used, anyway. But if any percentage of the clicks / decisions have been received based upon advertising, announcements, or some attractive feature, manufacturer preference or pure wish, it slants the objectivity and can't be significant.
Now if the candidates have been all reviewed in the proper, neutral and professional manner, and also if all those reviews have been read by voters, that kind of voting might prove something. The way we do it here is mixing facts with fiction.
Someone saiid elsewhere, "the best camera is the one you have with you"... and that's the ultimate truth... :)

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

Looks many people forgotten about evolution and what has happened to dinosaurs ;-)

7 upvotes
JaFO
By JaFO (Jan 1, 2013)

And yet even today people think that dinosaurs are cool and everyone knows at least one by name ...

4 upvotes
papillon_65
By papillon_65 (Jan 1, 2013)

Is it really that much of a surprise that the OMD pipped the D800? The D800 is a camera that most people can't afford or don't really need, it's also just another FF camera with higher resolution. If you read the m4/3's forum you will see a large number of people buying the OMD and giving up the larger formats because they believe the OMD has now made M4/3's a viable alternative. A combination of the innovative 5 axis stabilisation and excellent image quality, all wrapped up in small stylish body with great lens choices makes the OMD a ground breaking camera. It's been widely lauded by many people and reviews all over the net. So no, not really a surprise.
Ultimately the OMD is a worthy winner and if people disagree then they just need to get over it, it's just a poll, not a cure for cancer.

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

I think its more FF people adding the OMD because its a great camera, but keeping their DSLR's because sometimes they shoot stuff that move.

2 upvotes
papillon_65
By papillon_65 (Jan 1, 2013)

There's been quite a few people who've given up their FF cameras completely because they see the OMD as "good enough", especially when coupled with the best m4/3's primes. There are undoubtedly some who keep their FF gear but the comment is often made they end up not using it and then sell it off, mainly due to size and weight.

11 upvotes
Mike_PEAT
By Mike_PEAT (Jan 1, 2013)

I've done birds in flight with the E-M5...with its 9 frames per second, lighter weight and NORMAL size (compared to the film SLRs I used to use) I have no desire to go back to a heavy, bulky, oversize dSLR.

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

Long fast glass? Superior AF? Would you shoot a high school football game with it under poor lighting? Again, its a great camera but not great at everything. Give them a few years though. The reason the OMD is a great camera IMO? It brought OLY back from the brink and gave their userbase a real reason to stay with OLY, a camera that for the most part gives them equal footing with the best crop sensor cameras, except for fast sports. And its real cool looking, love well engineered small things.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
sgoldswo
By sgoldswo (Jan 2, 2013)

Sandy, you can shoot sport with the E-M5. Yes it's SAF is superior to the SAF on your average DSLR, no its CAF isn't as good. By the way, before buying the E-M5 I wasn't part of the Oly "userbase" you talk of like some vanishing tribe, I previously owned a FF DSLR...

1 upvote
Draniki
By Draniki (Jan 1, 2013)

This result isn't blow to prestige of the Canon and Nikon cameras, but blow to prestige of a site DPReview.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
7 upvotes
Phil of Cilcain
By Phil of Cilcain (Jan 1, 2013)

You presumably haven't tried one!

17 upvotes
Barry Fitzgerald
By Barry Fitzgerald (Jan 1, 2013)

I have it's not bad..but not great either
Cramped controls and weak handling. Trying to retro a 35mm body into the digital age didn't work.

Basic 35mm cameras needed few controls v digital ones I can see the charm appeal, but on a practical level it didn't quite work.

Might have caused a storm if it had a real 35mm FF sensor, nice as the newer micro 4/3 sensor is you can get as good if not better IQ for half the price of the Olympus.

3 upvotes
Draniki
By Draniki (Jan 1, 2013)

Yes, Phil of Cilcain, I use Pentax K20D and K-30.
I'm not a revolutionary.

0 upvotes
NJHr
By NJHr (Jan 1, 2013)

I agree with Barry 100% and I am a long term Olympus user, and short term EM-5 owner. Everything good written about the camera is true but equally I feel a lot of the negatives are valid. The first thing one notices actually is how heavy it is for something so tiny (same weight as X-Pro1 but miles smaller) I preferred the ergonomics/usability of my old e-p2 more and would have preferred an update to that camera with the new sensor. Easy to forget as well that both Nikon and Pentax have been selling DSLR bodies with the same or better IQ this year for 1/3 the price of the OMD.

2 upvotes
Draniki
By Draniki (Jan 1, 2013)

to Phil of Cilcain

Only what's in store B&H, I looked camera EM-5.
Therefore I won't be change in my first comment.

0 upvotes
Ergo607
By Ergo607 (Jan 1, 2013)

It's heartening to see that the Olympus came first. I bought the camera in april, and never looked back since then. It's a remarkable little gem which doesn't stop to amaze me. In my book this is the camera of the year for various reasons, but above all because it is the first time in the digital area that a small camera doesn't have to be ashamed to offerings that are bigger and cost double or more. This is an achievement in itself.

I think no one who has used these camera's will doubt this poll, maybe not even the order of the results. These three camera's are the benchmarks to future camera's...

21 upvotes
PowerG9atBlackForest
By PowerG9atBlackForest (Jan 1, 2013)

I couldn't agree more.

3 upvotes
highwave
By highwave (Jan 1, 2013)

same here

preordered it as soon as it was available for preorder

funny thing. back then everyone would chop off their right hand in claims of it using the Panasonic G3 sensor without doubt. What a surprise it turned out to be looking back now.

What's even funnier, I bought it thinking it had the G3 sensor and was more than satisfied. Big surprise to see what kind of beast it turned out to be.

1 upvote
keeponkeepingon
By keeponkeepingon (Jan 1, 2013)

So if this is a poll with 15,000 votes.... what are the numbers?

Exactly what percent of the vote did the OM-D/5DMKIII/D800 get, and where's the rest of the data?

Or is this simply dpreviews pick based on suggestions by the readers?

Thanks!

0 upvotes
AntonyVance
By AntonyVance (Jan 1, 2013)

http://www.dpreview.com/news/2012/12/21/best-camera-2012-poll

3 upvotes
keeponkeepingon
By keeponkeepingon (Jan 1, 2013)

Thanks AntonyVance

But you have to wonder why it's not included in the article. Looking at the numbers the Nikon and Olympus are practically tied while the Canon is a distant also ran

0 upvotes
noodle yum
By noodle yum (Jan 1, 2013)

Obviously EM-5 can't compete in term of features and picture quality to those two FF Canon and Nikon DSLRs, but EM-5 is the most significant consumer digital camera that changes the way a lot of photographers (i.e. DLSR users) using their camera system. I was a Canon DSLR user myself but I couldn't ignore the significance of EM-5 last year and I had to buy one myself. Very good image quality, very good high ISO performance, IBIS, weather-proofing, solid-built, good choices of lenses and the oh-so-gorgeous retro design (especially the silver model) make it the winner. All the sour grapes posters here can continue to eat their sour grapes.

25 upvotes
MoPet
By MoPet (Jan 1, 2013)

Hast Du exakt getestet und verglichen, oder bist Du nur der Meinung? Ich kenne außer meinen Test und Praxis auch die Ergebnisse anderer Nutzer von C5M3 und D800. Diese fotografieren jetzt auch vorrangig mit der OM-D! Wir sprechen von der IQ!

3 upvotes
Mike_PEAT
By Mike_PEAT (Jan 1, 2013)

It's abut more than IQ, it's ergonomics, user interface, and coming up with new features that didn't exist before, like Olympus' Live Bulb/Time.

7 upvotes
exifnotfound
By exifnotfound (Jan 1, 2013)

I voted the 5D III and I use a D700 & still it came third.
Apparently the Olympus is pretty good but I'd rather one of the other two if it were my only camera.

1 upvote
Davidgilmour
By Davidgilmour (Jan 1, 2013)

Any top3 without the Fuji X-E1 can't be taken serious.

6 upvotes
urolaz
By urolaz (Jan 1, 2013)

This is just great... Fuji stays is second league. It is truly better as Fuji will keep to be more innovative than other (top) brands.

Can't wait to see X-Pro2 and X-E2 :)

0 upvotes
Jemes Hsu
By Jemes Hsu (Jan 1, 2013)

This is a user poll result. X-E1 is available only in December, hardly anytime left in 2012 for it to make any impressions.

0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Jan 1, 2013)

Apparently it can, look at the numbers. Most people can only afford one system and they want it to be more versatile than the X-E1. That's why cameras like it tend to stay as niche products.

0 upvotes
JadedGamer
By JadedGamer (Jan 1, 2013)

Alternative view: A small-volume camera with a system that lacks third-party lens support can't be taken "serious"... even NEX gets some love from Tamron and Sigma but not on Canikon or mFT levels.

0 upvotes
IrishhAndy
By IrishhAndy (Jan 1, 2013)

That's number wan !

0 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Jan 1, 2013)

in summary:

"Favorite camera of 2012"

0 upvotes
MoPet
By MoPet (Jan 1, 2013)

Ich habe die C5M3, ND800/800E und OM-D E-M5 parallel verglichen. Bis Ausgabe A2 und ISO 1600 ist die Olympus auch wegen der Zuiko- Objektive bei der IQ im Vorteil. Dynamik unerwartet hoch, Auflösung/Schärfel im Rand- und Eckbereich besser al bei FF. Kontrast AF sicherer als Phasendedektion und
außer Continu-AF genau so schnell.

3 upvotes
Goffen
By Goffen (Jan 1, 2013)

Stå på. Ikke bry deg om at de andre bruker engelsk. Fra nå av skal jeg bare bruke norsk !

1 upvote
ThePhilips
By ThePhilips (Jan 1, 2013)

Я согласен с вами абсолютно, товарищ Гоффен.

1 upvote
T3
By T3 (Jan 1, 2013)

Maybe if the award was "Most Notable (or Most Significant) Camera of the Year" rather than "Best Camera of the Year", then maybe so many people wouldn't be so upset. And frankly, I think a lot of voters took "Best Camera" to mean "Most Notable or Significant Camera." The reality is that the OM-D is quite a notable camera on many levels, even just from the looks of it, whereas the other cameras are just the latest evolutionary iteration of previous models. I think the OM-D is a watershed camera, signifying a notable point in camera history, where past and future meet in the form of a "retro" body (paying homage to where cameras have been) with all-new "mirrorless" technology (that indicates where cameras are headed). Yes, the 5D MKIII and D800 are excellent cameras. But ultimately, they are simply iterative and incremental in nature.

18 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Jan 1, 2013)

Actually, the best is "the best for you". And a lot of features matter, not only sensor resolution or DR at base ISO (which are, frankly, more than enough for years now, and DR in E-M5 beats all Canons, even 1Dx). 9 fps, stabilization with all lenses (even manual), light weight and small size (especially the size and weight of lens system), use of viewfinder in video, fast and quiet AF (including in video) SIMPLY MATTER MORE.
Is it so hard to believe for pixel-counters?

1 upvote
peevee1
By peevee1 (Jan 1, 2013)

Actually, the best is "the best for you". And a lot of features matter, not only sensor resolution or DR at base ISO (which are, frankly, more than enough for years now, and DR in E-M5 beats all Canons, even 1Dx). 9 fps, stabilization with all lenses (even manual), light weight and small size (especially the size and weight of lens system), use of viewfinder in video, fast and quiet AF (including in video) SIMPLY MATTER MORE.
Is it so hard to believe for pixel-counters?

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Jan 1, 2013)

Sorry for the double post, DPR was misbehaving.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 1412
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