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.
|Nectar Dancing by Lensmate|
from A Big Year - birds
|Sad clown by PEB|
|Mtl Gen X 2015 DP by MarioSS|
from - Gen X - (In Full Colours+ Border)
DJI's new firmware makes it difficult to fly in restricted airspace, even when you have proper clearance. Is DJI placing themselves between professionals and the FAA?
Go behind the scenes with National Geographic photographer Renan Ozturk and see what it takes to capture a dangerous, harrowing, stunning Nat Geo photo essay.
Erez Marom tells the story behind this ominous photo of the sand 'reaching up' towards the mountains at Skagsanden beach in Norway. He calls this photo 'Torment.'
DPReview staffer Carey Rose has taken the Panasonic Leica DG 15mm F1.7 along for everything from a city-side boat ride to a bachelor party across the mountains. Find out how the little Leica fared.
Canon just unveiled the largest 12-ink printer on the market. The new imagePROGRAF PRO-6000 printer can make prints from 17 all the way up to 60 inches wide.
"Standing in one of the holiest places on earth, I felt uneasy," writes Wired's Jason Parham. "Most of my fellow visitors, I realized with a brief bloom of nausea, were taking selfies."
Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk has been receiving great reviews, but it's a challenge to see it in its full glory. This handy infographic reveals the aspect ratio chaos that is wrought as the industry retreats from film.
Anti-bullying organization Ditch the Label's Annual Bullying Survey 2017 reveals yet again that Instagram, more so than any other social network, has a the worst effect on youth mental health.
It's been a crazy day for innovative patent news. Apparently Sony is thinking of developing a medium format curved sensor camera.
An update to the Silkypix Raw converter fixes some bugs and adds support for several popular new cameras.
This crazy custom-built underwater camera shoots 8x10 large format film. It's supposedly "the first successful underwater 8x10 ever made," and it can be yours for $5,800... plus shipping.
Blackmagic just reveled a new accessory for their Cintel Film Scanner. The Cintel Audio and KeyKode Reader can capture KeyKode data and high-quality audio from film in real-time as it is being scanned.
A new Nikon patent shows a lens designed for a curved full-frame sensor. Could this be the high-end Nikon mirrorless camera people are hoping for?
The ability to shoot images at 1,000 fps first appeared in a Sony smartphone sensor. Now the Japanese manufacturer is using the same feature for industrial applications.
Astronomy expert and photographer Dr. Tyler Nordgren thinks you should "see your first eclipse, photograph your second." But if you do plan on taking photos this August, here are a few tips from someone who's been there.
How confident are you that you can spot a manipulated photo? A recent study at the University of Warwick shows that many people are pretty bad at it.
If you purchased a Leica TL2, do NOT attach Leica's Visoflex electronic viewfinder. Leica is working on a fix, but for now, it's possible the viewfinder will break your camera.
Google just released Motion Stills for Android. Unlike the iOS version, the Android app uses a redesigned video processing pipeline that processes each frame of a video as it is being recorded, creating instant results.
A huge copyright lawsuit between photography firm VHT and Zillow Group is heating up again, as both sides appeal a court ruling that granted VHT $4 million in damages.
European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet spent 6 months on board the International Space Station where he worked with Google capturing spheric panorama images that are now available in Street View.
It's official. PDN has confirmed with parent company Aurelius that 94-year-old lighting company Bowens is indeed going out of business.
The newly launched firmware version 1.06 fixes AF-issues that can occur with some lenses that are not officially compatible with the MC-11 converter.
Voyager is a waterproof smart light stick you can control entirely from your phone. The light has already blown past its $300K funding goal on Indiegogo.
2018 is the last year Photokina will take place during the traditional end-of-September dates. In 2019, Photokina will take place from the 8th to the 11th of May.
The Canon IXUS 50 (known as the SD400 Digital ELPH in North America) was one of a string of high-performing, pocketable PowerShots of the mid-2000s. In this week's throwback Thursday, Barney casts his mind back to 2005.
A close look at the EOS 6D II's Raw files suggest its dynamic range has taken a significant step backwards compared with the company's recent DSLRs. We look at how much difference this might make for your photos.
With a full-production review unit in our hands, we've got over 100 production samples from the new Canon EOS 6D Mark II to share.
Need a break from your day? Kick back and watch the making of a somewhat unconventional mojito filmed on Canon's new EOS 6D Mark II.
The Bonfoton Camera Obscura Room Lens can turn any room into a camera obscura, projecting the view from your window onto the walls of your room.
Adobe just released version 2015.12 of Lightroom CC, adding support for several new cameras and lenses, and baking in several important bug fixes while they were at it.