It’s incredible how great photographic equipment is these days—there are very few subpar products on the market. Partially, this is due to the maturity of the camera market—a lot of the dominant players have been building gear and honing it since at least the 1960s. They, and the many companies that have sprung up to fill needs in the digital era, have really paid attention to customers more than any other time in the history of photography.
Sony a7S II
Built around a 35mm full-frame, 24.3-megapixel Sony Exmor CMOS sensor and housed in a strong, but lightweight magnesium-alloy body, the Sony a7S II, the latest iteration in the Alpha line, features 5-axis image stabilization, 1200-zone evaluative metering, speedy hybrid AF and 5 fps shooting with predictive autofocus and accurate follow-along auto exposure. The short flange-back distance of the E-mount enables a broad assortment of compatible lenses directly or via adapters. It features a high-contrast, high-resolution XGA OLED viewfinder and a tilting LCD screen that rotates upward 107º and downward 41º to facilitate flexible composition angles. It’s also WiFi-compatible. Videographers take note: The a7S II can record in the high-bit-rate XAVC S format based on the professional XAVC 4K/HD format in Full HD (1920×1080) 60p and offers enhanced linear PCM sound recording. It also records in MP4 and AVCHD. For still image capture, the camera offers 14-bit RAW and a useful Extra Fine JPEG output at reduced compression.
Featuring a 36.3-megapixel, full-frame CMOS sensor with no low-pass (anti-aliasing) filter, the D810 uses a 51-point auto-focus system with the Group Area AF mode found on the more expensive D4S. A magnesium-alloy frame provides weather and dust protection, and the shutter has been tested to 200,000 cycles. Built-in stereo mics record broadcast-quality audio, with 1080p capture uncompressed to an external device, compressed to an internal CF/SD card or both simultaneously. Add an EXPEED 4 image processor, a 1.2M-dot LCD monitor, ISO to 12,800 (51,200 expanded), 5 fps shooting at full resolution and 14-bit RAW files with optional space-saving 12-bit RAW Small format. The D810A has an optical IR cut filter optimized for astro-photography.
Canon EOS 5DS
The EOS 5DS is a category-disruptive, breakthrough camera due to its 50.6-megapixel, full-frame CMOS sensor. Working in combination with twin DIGIC 6 image signal processors and a new Picture Style called Fine Detail mode, it renders fine edges and patterns or textures more sharply than conventional cameras. The 5DS features a 61-point high-density reticular AF system (41 cross-type AF points), low-pass filter-effect cancelation mode, 3.2-inch LCD monitor, near-100% viewfinder precision, Full HD 1080p video recording at 30 fps, 5 fps continuous shooting, user-selectable shutter release time-lag option and 150K-pixel RGB plus IR metering sensor. The powerful DPP (Digital Photo Professional) software is included. The EOS 5DS R has the low-pass (anti-aliasing) filter disabled for maximum resolution.