« Computer Update (OT) | Main | Wednesday Open Mike: Car Shows, Movies, the World's Most Well-Corrected Lens, and the Stealth Ferrari »

Tuesday, 28 February 2017


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I don't have a suggestion but I do remember you saying, soon after you got your Nikon D800, that it was the single best photographic device ever (or something like that) - yet you stopped using it. That might suggest that it's impossible to pick a single best. It depends. I only have two main cameras at the moment and I can't even choose between those two.

For me personally, the Fuji X-T2. It's more or less my perfect camera and will hopefully last me many years to come (famous last words, I know).

It has good AF speed, excellent durable build quality, good size and weight, good viewfinder, good controls, good lens options and good image quality. Maybe there's cameras better in certain areas, but the X-T2 is just good at everything, pretty much.

"is it possible to pick, out of current offerings, one best all-around all-purpose camera? With everything in the best possible balance—image quality and printability, price and value, operational strengths, versatility and utility, dealer network and service, system, functionality, and user experience?"

In a word Mike, no.

To me, there is no question that the Nikon D810 is the best all-around camera currently in production (or ever made, I guess). Extremely solid, weather proof, really good if not excellent at pretty much everything. I even used it as my second camera during the Rio Olympics and though it couldn't quite match the D5 in AF speed and burst rate, it more than held its own for everything else. And image quality is second to none.

I'm a Fuji guy, and before that shot Canon for several decades. So that's my bias. I suppose I should immediately push for a Fuji XT2 or the X Pro 2, both of which I enjoy shooting, but I don't think they are the right choice given the criteria.

Taking into account everything you listed:

1. It needs to be Canon or Nikon, to get the largest system, best service, etc.

2. It needs to be a DSLR for versatility, user experience, functionality. I love me some Fujis, but they are not as versatile yet as a basic DSLR.

3. Full frame for the best compromise on image quality and printability, and the best choice of lenses -- sadly, Canikon is still falling down on providing a full range of lenses for their APS sensors. Medium format would be great for image quality, but it falls down in a lot of other areas.

4. So, IMHO the best pick is the Nikon D750. It's under 2 grand, has a terrific sensor, and opens up the entire world of Nikon lenses and accessories. The user interface is easy and well laid out.

My 2 cents.

I've already decided. My next, and maybe last camera will be an iPhone. First a 7+, then an 8, 9, 10, etc, etc. New phone and camera every year.

I'm much more interested in video, I see a lot of 60, 90 and 120 second videos in my future. But 12x15 prints can be made from the 12Mp camera, if I ever have the need.

I'll be moving FCP X, Affinity Photo, Affinity Designer and Pixelmator to a next generation Mac Book Pro.

For 75% to 90% of what most people do with a camera (family shots, vacation shots, selfies, etc) ... iPhone 7+ (the second lens makes a big difference).

For 75% to 90% of what camera nerds do with cameras: Any m4/3rds body with a wide to short telephoto zoom lens glued to the front. There are many examples of these, get whatever you want.

For the other 10%, I have no idea anymore.

I cheated and gave two answers. Sorry.

I'll have to agree with Thom Hogan's idea of comparing DSLR's to SUV's, all purpose tools that are great at nothing in particular, but sufficient at most everything. Right now that would be Nikon D810 or Canon 5D MkIV. The extensive accessory list is as important as the body in this regard. Crop frame DSLR's are out due to lack of lenses.

Isn't the best all-around all-purpose camera the one used by the best all-around all-purpose photographer?

Well, depends on if I were buying for pure professional or personal use.

Pro: Hasselblad x1d and the three lenses they're planning for it.

Personal: Olympus Pen F with the classic set of 12, 25 & 45 lenses for it.

But one and only one? The Pen F. I could do 90% of what I could do with that newest Hassy for lots less money and anything I actually couldn't do, I could probably find a way to "fake it till I make it" and accomplish the task some way.

Thing is I don't have any rational reasoning behind these choices, It's just a feeling and that means as little as you paid for it ;D

Ask newspaper photographers this question. After all they have to photograph just about any situation.

The EOS 5D series is pretty versatile, in my opinion. It offers enough resolution for most peoples' needs. The auto-focus on the mark II and III possibly isn't good enough for sport or shooting a fashion show but that's rather specialist stuff.

Just like I have no qualms about recommending a Toyota, I have no qualms about recommending a Canon entry level dslr. Both are well supported, known to be reliable, and have good dealer networks. And there are many lenses to choose from (the analogy falls apart here).

These days, in most cases, I will recommend they keep using their cell phones instead of buying a compact camera, unless I know they are gear-head enthusiasts, but if they are gear-head enthusiasts they already have their own opinions.

There are still a large number of photographers out there who shoot with enthusiasm and success and only partially know how their dslr works. It works for them. I have a friend who, when it comes to shooting pets for her pet portrait business, sets her Canon to the "sports" mode for higher shutter speed. It works.

The best "all-around" camera, for me, is the Nikon D750. Especially paired with any of the 1.8G prime lenses, which in my case is the 24mm/35mm/85mm troika. I know this is highly subjective, as we all value different things in a camera, but the D750 checks most all the boxes for me. My iPhone 6s isn't half-bad either, but I only get to choose one, haha.

For me (love to start with a qualification), this is an easy answer. The Fuji X-T2. After selling two unloveable, soulless Sony NEX 7s despite their wonderful image quality over these past few years, the Fuji is a throwback joy more than any other camera I've recently laid hands on. I don't think it's a particularly good bargain; in fact, I think it's a bit overpriced. I purchased mine when it was on sale bundled with the battery grip and for me, it then was an OK deal. Just OK though. Also, I probably wouldn't otherwise have purchased the grip but I'm glad I have it. Makes the camera much easier to hold.

Best all-rounder? I guess I'd go with the current generation of Olympus top-o'-th'-line m4/3. In Camera Image Stabilization, weather sealing, fast motor drive, good high-ISO performance, decent resolution, m4/3 backwards compatibility with most lenses ever made . . . what's not to like? As you have heard me say (rant? pontificate? opine? aver?) _ad nauseum_: I am now a generation or two behind in my digi-ware, but if I had to trade it all in on one image-maker to do it all (for me), that would probably be it. Now then, I don't do landscape, I don't do small birds at a distance, I don't really do anything macro, micro, or meecro, but I think a pro with one of these cameras could do those things with Oly's current offering. I haven't jumped though, due to price.

Just to put my money where my mouth/pen/keyboard is: when I travel these days, I generally take a Leica M9 (28/35/50) and an Olumpus OM-D with a Panasonic 20/1.7 and an Olympus 45/2 in a small satchel with a monopod. I really think that covers 99% of what I do. I will also take a Leica-to-m4/3 adapter if I am feeling paranoid.

Fun question, Mike -- I can think of a dozen ways to answer it. The above is probably the most direct and boring way to do so, as least by my lights. However, the real answer for me is: whatever I have, I'll make it work. This has historically been true for me whether the actual camera in question was a Hassie with an 80mm lens, a Leica with a 35mm lens or a Zone VI 4x5 (God help me) with a 150mm lens. As usual, it is what is going on between the photog's ears that is the most important. But, yeah, I'm a gearhead and I'd stick by my Olympus answer over a carbonated or caffeinated beverage.

All-purpose for photography (i.e. not video): Nikon D750. Price, performance (focus, sensor, etc.), wide lens choice, and ergonomics are "just right."

Fujifilm X-T2 for all the reasons Andy F gave. Especially with the Vertical Power Booster Grip, which turns it into a veritable peformance beast.

The best digital camera is the one that does everything photographic you need a camera to do at a price you can afford. It will be different for everyone.

Right now, for me, it is the Fuji X-T2. The T2 meets all my personal and professional photographic needs and is affordably priced.

Pentax K3 because it's cheap, works after you drop it, and makes nice pictures. There, that answers it.

I always remember that the best all around camera is the one that you have with you.

The 'best' camera is whatever I have to hand.

For the last ten years that has been Pentax, with their compact prime lenses.

No regrets; nothing but joy.

As a Fuji user, I would say the X-T10/20 for a camera and brand with lenses that cover the popular focal lengths. I also found Fuji to be responsive for service when I had an issue with my X-E1.
However, for the criteria you mentioned, it's either an iPhone or a Canon Rebel that would also have a widely available dealer base and service .


Joking of course, tho for me it's the best (of the ones which I can afford).

However, I'd say for a general purpose do-it-all camera, the current D750/6d/A7Mk2 would be contenders - whatever your preference might be.

Or maybe a X-Series Fuji.

If - like me - you don't mind smaller, then the current µ43rds are of course good enough.

There are a lot of really really good cameras. Anyone of them could make it onto the list.

For me it would be a Sony Rx10 mk3 - its got pretty much everything you could want except maybe ultimate image quality but I suspect even that is good enough.

I confess to owning a Panasonic FZ2000 - I really love the way Panasonic's operate, they are made by people who take photographs.

With the right lenses, my candidate is the Nikon D810. It has the best image quality I've seen (short of medium format, perhaps), an extensive array of features that can be used or ignored, it's just the right size (for me, anyway), it works seamlessly with Nikon's super-capable flash system, and it gives access to the vast array of current and legacy Nikon lens and accessories. I can't speak to its video capabilities, but then I don' buy stills cameras for making videos anyway.

Taking into account everything you have listed, and it all makes sense, the "best" all-around camera would not necessarily be any given photographer's favorite, or a sexy choice. It would be a functional choice. As such, I would argue such a (full frame) camera would be (in alphabetical order) the Canon 6D, or the Nikon D750. For those with a more limited budget, or requiring something smaller/lighter/APS-C, it would be the current Canon Rebel.

These cameras offer the biggest line-up of current lenses, state of the art technology, largest dealer and repair networks, intuitive and quick operation, good value and flexibility.

For those deciding to go the Canon route, these cameras can be used with all sorts of other maker lenses. I used Pentax K and M42, Nikon F, Yashica C/Y, and some others with my 10D. One can get a split image screen for them, too. That, of course, is for those who like to play around.

iPhones are great. Never tried shooting an airshow with one.

Canon 10D + Nikkor 50-300 f4.5 Ai

The D750. Besides what everyone else says about it, it fits my hand so well that I occasionally forget I'm holding it.

Frankly, without specialized needs, one of the better one-inch sensor cameras is probably the answer. No? Then one of the better micro four-thirds cameras.

I'm tempted to nominate the easily overlooked Panasonic G85. A near-perfect balance of image quality (even the 16mp sensor approaches medium-format film quality), price and value, and utility. It has DFD, IBIS, weather resistance and even the new shutter.

Why not the GH4/5 or Olympus E-M1 Mark II? Frankly those cameras are larger and heavier - and seem to have more-targeted missions. Plus, most people can afford the G85.

Frankly, most DSLRs are a fail when it comes to portability. Oh, you need a big, heavy body and big, heavy lenses? The specialized line is over there. Portability is a big part of utility. Ultimate image quality? Sure, but it's all about balance to me.

I write all of this as a person with a Pentax DSLR kit, a smaller Fuji kit (X-T10 and X100T), micro four-thirds gear and even one, lone full-frame Sony A7. I love them all for different reasons but micro four thirds strikes the best balance for me.

That's my story and I'm sticking with it.

My ever faithful, always near me camera is the old fashioned Nikon D700. Nikon just hasn't come out with something more compelling other than the D810, but the price point is off-putting.

My second best "all around" camera for comfort, and versatility would be the Panasonic Lumix FX1000; I just spent two weeks wandering from Charleston to Savannah and the Lumix is just no problem at all.

I have never used the Fuji cameras that everyone seems to love. I just don't want to get into a new system of lenses, accessories, etc. I have used just about everything else pretty extensively including top of the line Canons, Panasonics, Olympi, Nikons and Sonys. I have no interest and have not owned digital Leicas. I have a Canon 5D MKIII and a 5DSR. A Panasonic GH4, Nikon 810, a Sony A7RII. I also have a bunch of "lesser" cameras. (I am sort of a camera collector). The one I always grab is the Sony A7RII. Of course, I am one of those traitors to photography who likes the option of good video occasionally, and that does play into it a little. But I would still pick the Sony as the best stills camera with the 50mp Canon a very close second. I actually prefer the Canon for portraits and landscapes and the Sony for just about everything else.

My recent ebb and flow of shooting needs has the Fuji x100t close by, but it will be a different shooting situation with a different tool tomorrow (for sure).

The Toyota of cameras is probably the Canon 5D series. When I was living in Ethiopia both Land Cruiser and 5D MkII served me perfectly - built for the job.

Now I want something more exciting but still comfortable and reliable - I am thinking BMW 530D and Fuji X-T2. The perfect combo for the almost 60s?

For the average user who just wants to go and shoot and be able to take the camera anywhere I would say that the Sony RX100 V would be the one. It has astounding video, good low light performance and it fits in your pocket. Always having a camera with you makes you a better shooter. What good is a large DSLR if you don't have it with you for those once in a lifetime shots that occur all the time? BTW I don't own the mark V but have the original version and always keep it in the glove box of my car.

Best all round camera? The one I have with me.
Memory? Suggest putting up a "storyboard" near your workstation, revise as projects start and complete

I think you'll have to define "best".

Mike, I relate to your age related complaints of the mind. I seem to have zillions of things on my to do list that I have compiled over decades to do during my retirement. But everyday I think so some other thing I should be working on. Don't feel bad, you are not an exception.

As for the best all around camera, I will vote for the Olympus EM1 or some variant of it. Of course I am looking at it from my perspective in which I put a high premium on size and weight. The lens selection is more than I need and I take advantage of the tilting LCD screen every time I take it out. If you live long enough with the camera you eventually figure out the menu and how to set it up to your needs. The image quality is not as good as my full frame Nikon D600 and f2.8 zooms but it stays home most of the time due to the weight and size.

Without specifying the KIND of photography and range of assignments, then it has to be something like a D810 or 5D mk VI because they have the capability to do anything and a range of specialty lenses to back that up. (And why they still sell in very large numbers)
If you mean what's the best for personal work as defined by the user, then its anything that floats your boat
If it is image quality alone, then it's the 100mp Phase one
If it's the best mix of convenience and capability perhaps an olympus or Fuji
But then , you knew all that ; -))

How about Fuji X100 (any version) plus TCL-X100 teleconverter?

this is a very versatile and light package, ideal for traveling, reportage, portraits and stills, covering 35mm and 50mm equiv. focal lengths. With f/2.0 and high ISO it is equiped for all lighting situations. Other benefits flash sync up to 1/2000s due to leaf shutter and built-in ND filter.

I use this combo myself, and it is great!

Alternatively, Sony RX1 (a bit too expensive) or Sigma DP 2 Quattro (very affordable and fantastic low ISO image quality), with a nice small external flash (the Foveon sensor loves flash!).
The quattro DP2 renders similarly as the classic DP2 which was a very handy travel camera (with a great lens!). Just look at this or this gallery!

If I could build a camera myself, I would go for a X100-style camera, with 40-45mm focal length... The DP2 quattro comes very close, but is not really compact (but still lightweight).

I have no doubt of the camera industry collusion to keep the perfect camera locked up in a safe. And we like Sisyphus are fated to endless hope and disappointment for the hubris of wanting it all.

OK, the Nikon D750 is my choice. Perfect, no. But I'm tired of watching the boulder roll back down.

I'm mainly a photographer of (mini) landscapes and portraits. For me any 4/3 camera could do the job. My favourite lens is a 45 mm, f/1.8. Long enough to isolate objects and to blur the background. Short enough to produce panoramas with only a few shots.

For me, it's the Fujifilm X-Pro2. This despite the fact that I've never even seen one in the flesh, so to speak. Why? Because the X-Pro1 is the most enjoyable camera I've used since I sold my 35mm Leica equipment. But the X-Pro1 doesn't have an adjustable diopter. I wear progressive lenses and I have to be careful with eye placement when I use the OVF. I cannot use the EVF at all unless I switch to reading glasses. So, for my purposes, the best camera on the planet would be a Fuji X-Pro1 with an adjustable diopter. That's called "Fujifilm X-Pro2" these days.

Canon AE-1, which I still have.

Oops! You said "digital." Dang! I have no idea.

With my own money? I guess that would be what I'm using now, a Sony A7, especially if "all round" means it can do anything including a lot of stuff that is pretty hard to do with other cameras. Sort of like the old miniature Speed Graphic*, it might not be the first choice for some things but it's the only choice for a lot of things.

With someone else's money? Leica S2 with the CS lenses.

*AKA the Slow Graphic

My problem with your question is I can't answer it without inserting a special bias! But its not a product bias such as Canon vs. Nikon, etc., or which camera has all the best features. It is more an issue of where you are in your life? Even a working pro will eventually retire and maybe just want to grab an iPhone to get shots of his kids he never saw while he was a pro. So even his or her "best" camera just changed, due mostly to age factors.

So if the best camera in the world - in terms of absolutely being able to capture many different scenes in unimaginably trying conditions - was very heavy and, when coupled with a good group of lenses and accessories, was even heavier - then it CAN'T be my best all around camera, because of my age. I'll bet, in fact, that age of the user, coupled with their current physical abilities, does more to determine "realistically the best" camera there is more than any other factor.

So there are two absolutely "best" cameras out there - the one I described above that is most capable in the greatest number of settings of getting the shot AND the one fit to your current needs and abilities. So a pro could have started out life with the former and retired into the latter.

For me, now at 74, I'll squirm a little and list two "cameras": a Fuji XT-20 with one IS equipped zoom lens and an iPhone 7 Plus. The two most critical criteria evident here are size and weight while keeping image quality reasonable. Nowhere in this discussion have I included $$$ as part of my reasoning. And I once did own a digital medium format system that weighed a ton :-)

The answer to this question changes after every major trade show. Right now the best all-rounder is the Olympus EM1 ii. This camera seems to be the Master of All Trades but champion of none, as opposed to (say) something like a Nikon D750 or a Sony A7ii, which are truly a Jacks of All Trades.

The case can be made for the Nikon D810, but its size disqualifies it as a street shooter, even if a pancake lens is used. Ditto the Pentax K-1.

The case can also be made for the Sony RX10 iii, but just look at the size of it! Again, a street shooter fail.

Many will say Fuji XT-2, but on the lens front it is not as versatile as Micro Four Thirds or Canikon when you consider super teles and third party offerings. Ditto the Pentax K3ii.

The Olympus will be superseded by the EM5 iii, just because it will be a better value.

When going out and not knowing what I'll run into or even where I might end up I grab the Sony RX10. Since I have 8 cameras to chose from ranging from 2/3 sensor to full-frame that must be my 'all rounder'.

In my case it's the Nikon D800e but I'd bet the 810 would be even better for my use. Maybe some day. I'm not in a hurry to replace it with the next shiny camera shaped object. For me it's perfect. I like the viewfinder, it's not too big. I've had mine for several years. I like to print my stuff using an Epson 2880 which pairs perfectly with the D800 files: max print size 12x18 inch at 360 dpi is about the resolution that the D800e sensor produces. My workflow set up is fairly well balanced. I use a NEC P221W color managed screen to work on and what I see on it generally come out of the printer thanks to Qimage print management software. Everything's working pretty smoothly. I've probably jinxed it now.

I think it depends on where you come from in photograph, and more importantly where you are headed. The single biggest question should be what do you do with your images? I still have a wet darkroom capable of printing 20x24 images. i still own an 8x10 sinar, 4x5 sinar, leica m4 and lenses, a rolleiflex sl 66 system a mamiya 6 with lenses, an rx1, x pro 1, and just acquired an x pro 2 and sold a nikon d 800 with 5 lenses recently. To put this in perspective i'm 64 yrs old and had a commercial studio for 16 years so and all the cameras i've ever owned have been well used. I'm at the point in my life where only one camera and a small set of primes is going anywhere with me. It doesn't mean i won't continue to use my film cameras, but i'm no longer lugging an 8x10 with all the accessories to the wilderness like 30 yrs ago. So every camera in my opinion has an intended purpose, as for one that can do it all none of them. I'm going to use the one i can lift:)

My 7200 it it for me. Fantastic bargain 1.5 aspect ratio and can use an astounding range of lenses (several decades worth). Fits my hand like a glove and performs very well in low light. Exceptionally capable in a very wide range of disciplines.
2 cents.

The Canon 6D

Good value, long battery life, fine image quality and lenses available for anything you would wish to photograph.

I use mine with Canon TSE lenses for architecture, to macro clinical ringflash, with most of everything else in between.

I must agree whith Michael Roche: there is no such thing as a best all-around all-purpose camera. That's why I own and use several.

I wonder how many people are answering this as "all around" for themselves or "all around" for everyone. I think that, at last at this point in time, my answer to both of those would be the same. One of the Sony RX10 models. Or an FZ1000. Not for everyone; no camera is, but a very central compromise.
I don't actually own one. Any one camera would be too much of a compromise right now. But something like that sounds about right.

At this point in my life, the family/photography balance has shifted far to the family side. This has sidelined the aged DSLRs as the need to be less encumbered by bulk/weight has increased in importance. I thought perhaps the RX100 series was the answer, and in many respects it is. But that short zoom on the RX100 II is quite limiting. Cameras like the RX10 II/III are both two big and too expensive. Maybe the Panasonic ZS100 is the better route? I just don't know if there is a camera out there that can meet my current needs with my current budget. As a result, I find the momentum of inaction carrying me farther and farther away from what was once a significant passion.

I imagine the answer will depend a lot on whether you are a professional or an amateur, who in general place different weights on the categories you mentioned.

From the latters perspective, I'd go with the Ricoh GR. As an amateur, all recent cameras offer high enough image quality. However, the portability combined with its great lens and functional menu, offer in my opinion no excuse not to have a camera ready and taking pictures wherever you go.

I was tempted to also say a "smartphone", but given the choice between a high end smartphone and the GR at its current street price. I'd go with the latter. I guess this is what I'd define as "user experience" when taking photos with a phone compared to a proper camera.

1) Nikon D810

2) Olympus OMD E-M1 (Mk 1)

3) Fuji X-T20

Can anyone be a expert on this subject? The field is so vast and the requirements so individual and varied that the mere question boggles the mind, well my mind anyway. And the answer, if there is one, is a moving target.

My gut reaction is to buy a used aps format DSLR that accepts a legacy native 35mm lens mount, that limits the choices to;
1. Nikon F, body must support mechanical aperture linkage of manual focus lenses.
2. Pentax K, body must support mechanical linkage of manual focus lenses.
3. Sony, models that support Minolta autofocus lenses.
4. Canon EF, supports Canon autofocus lenses

This would be two or three models past and would I think, give the biggest bang for the buck, a factor in choosing the 'best'

Of the four selections I would lean toward Nikon or Pentax, although I've never owned either, because of available manual focus lenses. I'm not sure which specific body models support mechanical linkage to older manual focus lenses. Probably former 'prosumer' models.

"Just to put my money where my mouth/pen/keyboard is: when I travel these days, I generally take a Leica M9 (28/35/50) and an Olumpus OM-D with a Panasonic 20/1.7 and an Olympus 45/2 in a small satchel with a monopod."

This is me, too. So yeah. Leica and Olympus!

Duh, almost forgot,
interchangeable focusing screens a highly desirable feature if I could get that to.

The besst all-ROUND camera of all times:

. . . best all-around, all-purpose camera . . . With everything in the best possible balance -

• image quality and printability

• price and value

• operational strengths

• versatility and utility

• dealer network and service

• system

• functionality

• user experience

I feel it important to list these categories and criteria, otherwise it's too easy to choose merely a favorite camera, or the one I use now, or the one I want to buy. The Best, All-Around Digital Camera on the Planet, using the criteria laid out here, could just as easily be called "best camera for making a living with".

In virtually all these categories, but especially operational strengths, versatility and utility,
dealer network and service, and system, Canon and Nikon DSLRs know no peer. It's not even a contest.

For working photographers, buying decisions are heavily weighted towards dealer network and service. And in that case Canon usually wins. You really just can't beat their responsiveness and generosity when it comes to service, and anyone can get into their Professional Services group, for even greater responsiveness and generosity. I'd argue that these facts have sold more cameras for Canon, and retained more customers for them, than their cameras have.

But I'm the one inferring professional use from the question - it isn't specified - and besides, there are other categories to consider.

After years and years of insisting on full frame and only full frame, I've come around. With today's technology I'm not sure it's any longer the way to go. The bodies and lenses are too large and heavy, and the file sizes likewise. In terms of image quality, APS-C has matured, and leaves nothing wanting. And nowadays there are plenty of lenses available for the format, from the manufacturers and third parties.

We bang on, a few of us, about how Nikon has never fleshed out its APS-C prime lens lineup, which they haven't, but a quick perusal of their offerings reveals that Nikon has four APS-C primes to Canon's two, and twenty APS-C zooms to Canon's eighteen. Both companies are in this boat then, but Sigma, Zeiss, Tamron, and others step in, in both cases, to more than make up the deficit. Again, plenty of lenses available.

In terms of specifications, build quality, performance, and capability, the Nikon D500 stands alone among APS-C DSLRs. I came very close last year to ditching my Fuji gear in favor of this wonder-beast, but decided to wait for the X-T2 (which I've yet to lay hands on).

If Canon had something comparable to the D500, their superior service might seal the deal in their favor. But it's not like Nikon doesn't have service at all, and their D500 is unrivaled.

So I'll call the Nikon D500: Best, All-Around Digital Camera on the Planet.

In related news, Nikon just issued a press release announcing that they are going "back to basics", focusing their efforts henceforth on mid-to-high level DSLRs and mirrorless cameras.

Leica MP, a fridge stock with Tri-X, enough coffee bean to make Caffenol, and you can be in a desert paradise with no access to other modern technology and still create the best works the world would have ever seen.

The Panasonic G85/80. Fantastic capability and modest price. Excellent lenses from Panasonic and Leica. The Olympus lenses are also there. The only caveat for me is that they stuck with the 16MPX sensor for this camera instead of giving it the 20MPX. The 16MPX does the job, but the 20MPX s marginally better.

Maybe the GX9 -- if t appears -- will be a step further, but I;m not sure. In the meantime, the G85 will do me for the next 10 years!

With the lovely little GX7 backing it up. :)

Cheers, Geoff

Given that your "dealer network and service" requirement effectively eliminates all but Canikon, and "price and value" makes many a full frame model too hard to justify, then I am looking at the Nikon D500.

Personally, my ideal camera would feature 52 weeks of paid vacation per year. That way I have time to put interesting places, people, and things in front of it.

Right now I am stuck on the Canon EOS M3. I know they just came out with the M5 But the only real difference (one that would affect my choice) is the inclusion of Bluetooth. That would be nice but it isn't enough to make me upgrade at this point.

Pros: The same (physical) size sensor as my 7D but with 24 MP instead o 18. Very good/sharp small lenses plus an adapter that allows the use of any of my other EOS lenses. Good modest sized body with well-placed controls.

Cons: The LCD only flips up/down, not fully articulated. Had they made the LCD fully articulated on the M5 along with the addition of Bluetooth, I might have been tempted.

I think that the best digital camera on the planet is the Nikon D810. There might be sexier cameras, there might be faster cameras, there might be cheaper cameras, there are even cameras with more megapixels, but a camera that does so much so well, I doubt there is.

And I am fully convinced of this after a week in May 2016, When on Monday evening I was shooting college theater with the D810 and a rented 35mmf1.4, then on Tuesday afternoon I was shooting family photos in harsh light with the 18-35mm, on Wednesday night I was shooting star trails with the Samyang 14mm f2.8. Thursday afternoon was reserved for portrait session using the Samyang 135mmf2.0. On Friday morning i was up early for sunrise landscape without ND filters and on Saturday I was rattling away 30 frames bursts at 6fps trying to catch BeeEaters stealing food in flight from other Bee Eaters with a 300mm and 1.4 TC.

One camera... a lot of photography.

Also, IMHO, a close second is any Panasonic GX-line camera that is end of life. They end up being very good cameras at bargain prices. Again, not sexy or best in class in any respect, but competence for dollar ratio is off the charts.

Hmmm... I guess when I answered the question I really focused on "all-around" rather than "best." I have no doubt that the Nikon 810 is superior to the Olympus OM-D [Whatever number we are up to now]. But for the phrase "all around" to be doing any work in the question, I think you have to interpret the question as "most versastile," rather than "highest IQ" or "allows the biggest enlargements" or "best low light performance." The answer to the "best" in any of those other categories may be different than "all around" - this is a long-winded defense of my choice, which may not be best in class for anything, but it good-enough-in-class for nearly everything. Same would go for any other m4/3 camera with in body image stabilization.

'Good' system cameras are now too expensive. On balance most needs could be met by a Panasonic LX 100. Then, if your interests dictate a specialist lens go for the camera it best fits on.

No camera and any camera.

Everybody is different and everybody will want something different.

But any modern digital camera is good enough for most people most of the time.
For many people this is a smartphone camera.

Nope. There are too many best cameras. That's too much to choose from.

Well I think here you mentioned value ...and that is critical.

So either the XT20 or the Panasonic G80 ....

The former for unrivalled image quality .... the latter for astonishing alround value .... great image quality .... IBIS ...weatherproofing .... good simple usage and flexibility .... good menus ..... good hand grip ..... flexible screen ... with touch facility ..... 4K video

Its extraordinary value though not a thing of beauty.

Best all-around camera would be one that does 360 degrees.


+1 for the K3 and its range of accessories which will meet all contingencies.

When I go through my collection of images taken over a nearly 50 year span of time and pick out the best of the best images I have made over the years using an amazing assortment of different cameras, three cameras stand out: my Nikon F, my Mamiya 6's (I actually use two of them always together), and my Fuji S3. My newest Nikon dSLRs (D800E and D810) are gaining in stature on that former group, but they have a way to go before they displace any one of the other three older models.

I have my iphone 6 with me each and every day. Yet it wlll neveror be a favorite because I don't use it all that much even though it's always in my pocket. A big part of the reason is that i simply can't stand to use any camera with "bar of soap" ergonomics. If I have to hold a camera and chimp on the rear display like I am holding a bar of soap up in the shower and looking at the soap's embossed brandname, then it has "bar of soap" ergonomics, IMHO ! That includes pretty much excludes each and every digicam ever made as well as all smartphones from my favorite cameras list.

Do I have a sentimental favorite? Yes, the one I"m going to purchase next, but I don't know what it is!

My two cents. It seems that what one thinks about this must be reflected pretty much in what one buys. That is the most important vote. If that criteria is not applied, then I think I would say a Nikon D810, but I voted with my money for a Nikon D750, but that vote was because of the $1000 difference between the 810 and the 750. I would have bought a Nikon D7200 if the situation with the lenses were better. Size of lenses has become a leading concern. I bought an Olympus OM M-1 because of the quality and size of the lenses, especially the 24-70 2.8 (24-80 in Olys case) equivalent. But the body is too small. So I guess my vote is for Nikon D750.

Most fun and enjoyable for me would be a toss up between the X100 or X Pro Fujis. But I wonder if the best digital camera is one that does most things easily, conveniently, compactly and well enough. For me that's probably the Panasonic LX100/Leica D Lux twins; they cover most of the bases admirably.

The Canon 5D Mark IV wins because of the T-SE 17mm. I don't use that lens all the time but it is the deal maker. Also the camera is very fast and easy to use. The excellent auto white balance and good looking colour profiles make post processing fast as well. Fast = good, gives me time to work on more interesting things.

I have a Sony A7 and MFT.

I like the Sony for image quality and for using old manual lenses but it's not fast enough in operation to be the perfect camera for me and with some lenses it's a bit too bulky so I'll say that MFT is probably best for me but which one?

I used to have a G7 and the only things wrong with it were the grip which I found uncomfortable and shutter shock with some lenses. Maybe the G80 would be better as they fixed the shutter shock but if the grip is the same that'll lose it points for me.

I have a Panasonic GX80 and it'd be near perfect if it had a better EVF and a physical AF/MF switch like the GX7.

So nothing is perfect for me yet but maybe the GX80 and G80 are best.

Well, as a personal choice, from a novice who has experienced a bit of frustration with, to me, incomprehensible features that seem innate to gestault "modern digital camera,"but yet, still wishes to have the best results from using the basic aspects of photography I do understand, I would have to say Leica M-D.

I know, the "value" thing is kind of hard to attach to the camera; but when the amount of money I have spent chasing the latest and greatest, i.e. "the closet," is considered, it stacks up OK there, too.

Whatever I have on hand when I need to take a photograph. Which is, in most cases for me a Sony A7ii as it is the camera I have with me most of the time. That and the camera in my phone.

Hi Mike,

Sticking with what I know from experience, the now-discontinued OM-D E-M1 is the best all-around camera at present. Its replacement, while an across-the-board improvement still comes at a price premium and the usual firmware teething period, while anybody in the market can still pick up an E-M1 refurb or even NIB E-M1 for a fraction of the original price. I also don't know of another camera so vastly improved by relentless firmware updates over its lifespan. (One wonders if the Mkii will see a similar transformation.)

It's as versatile as my changing needs require, coaxing excellent performance from not only the full m4/3 lens suite but the many 4/3 lenses as well--the first m4/3 camera fully able to do so. I use lenses ranging from four-pound adapted 4/3 f:2.0 teles to a minuscule four-ounce f:1.8 prime, and sometimes in a downpour at that. It goes on travels, multi-day backpacks, theater, school events and my kid's sports (lots and lots of sports).

There may well be a better camera at the same size and weight that handles all those tasks and environments, but it doesn't do so with the many amazing 4/3 and m4/3 lenses.

Fuji X100F

For a variety of reasons I only have one camera at the moment - the x100 - and, other than the buggy autofocus that comes with the original version, it mostly meets my needs quite nicely.

My Leica M7 because it has all the technology I need. I send the negs to Precision Camera along with a flash stick. In a week or so I get digital photos on my stick. At this point, I am as digital as the next guy.

Actually it is not that complicated at all: stuff that NASA ships on orbit to take photos with ... I believe these are mostly Nikon bodies and lenses (after extensive QA checks).

For normal people alike: I would love a digital version of Olympus Epic [mju:II](35mm f2.8 lens/weather proof) in my pocket. The catch is: nobody makes one. The closest thing is Leica Q (which sells like hot cakes according to their financial statements), but is unfortunately above my price range. Currently using NIKON Coolpix-A instead and I would love to see a MkII version of it.

The Nikon D750 is my choice. I am one with this camera. I live in Vermont and do a lot of winter photography and I've not met a smaller camera that is as easy to use with gloves. As I approach my 68th birthday I find myself wishing it was a lighter kit, but until I buckle under the load I'll carry on with the D750.

I thought the Fuji X30 the best "all-around" camera when I bought one a couple years ago. To me it hit the sweet spot between camera size, lens quality/zoom range, overall image quality, and price. It was my let's-get-back-into-photography camera and I've been very happy with it. And, since I bought it about the time I retired, I guess I can say it also came with 52 weeks of paid vacation!

A tough question, but I think I'll put in a vote for a camera/lens combination I no longer own. The Olympus E-M5 with the 12-50mm kit lens was pretty versatile. It's a combo that could produce good images under just about any conditions, good IS, decent range and close up ability and easy to carry around. If only the dials hadn't had a habit of falling off.

I turned away from Canikon when I realized how much money and time I'd tossed away on accessories. I chucked my big black gear after hauling a bag of lenses all over the world, to show my pictures only on digital screens, where the added image quality didn't matter. So I'm perfectly happy with my Panasonic G85 and a couple of relatively tiny lenses, virtually the ideal combination of size, features and image quality - for me.

Me thinks this post and the previous one- your computer update- are related. Like computers, digital camera development has become asymptotic- it's slowing down so that technical development has become incremental and most cameras and computers have been "good enough" for the last few years.
I use a 4 year old iMac and a 2 year old Macbook, two four year old Oly E-P3s and of course a new iPhone 7, all of which are good enough to cause pause about any upgrades.
So my answer to your question is "any one you like"!

"What's the Best All-Around Digital Camera on the Planet?"

For the vast majority of people it's the smart-phone that's intuitive to use, provides acceptable image quality, is easy to carry, and allows them to quickly share their favorite images with friends and family.

For the rest of us creative types who are willing to do a little work and are looking to create something tangible, its what makes us happy and suits our sensibilities. For me that's a full frame sensor and a lens that allows me to shoot unobtrusively in low light.

Nikon D750 or Fuji XT-2 - the750 is simply a great camera, with the best new feature it's grip - the ergonomics over a D600 alone make it sublime. The XT-2 has a few advantages, despite the smaller sensor - lens choice(in the sense of classic MF lenses), size, size, size, and able to act as a fully automatic or manual camera without penalty. I've chosen Fuji over Nikon, having a 5 and 10 year old, size won out, but I could be quote happy with either.

The contenders for the Best All-Round Digital Camera on the Planet are:

Nikon D810
Nikon D750
Fujifilm X-T2
Olympus OM-D EM1 II
Apple iPhone 7

And the winner is ... (drumroll)

I'll add my vote for the X-T2 before the envelopes get mixed up ;-)

Wow, that's a tough question for a diehard gearhead, but since I started shooting with the Olympus OM-D MkI and II, my Canon gear has become the red headed stepchild of my collection. If I was a portrait guy, that might flip, and there are some cases the full frame gear just wins outright. And honestly, Canon makes some great lenses as well, and I have a real love affair with the 21mm manual focus Zeiss lens for my Canon...But all around? I'm strongly leaning towards the Oly gear now. Plus, it lets me try any old combo of old lenses with a proper adapter, which keeps the gearhead in me excited about undiscovered opportunities yet to be realized. And believe me, I try all kinds of crazy combos, bokeh champs, macro challenges, anamorphic adaptations, telescopes!?!, I'll try 'em all. And have a great time. The current Oly pro glass is just outstanding, and I'm convinced the m4/3 sensor size will meet my needs in most cases going forward with the right combo of new or old glass in front as appropriate.

As much as I love my X-T1 for its small size, quality (and compact) lenses and outstanding image quality (all of which make it a joy for travel photography); it is not the best all-purpose camera. For me, that honor goes to the D750 because of its completeness as a system (lenses, autofocus, CLS), excellent handling (despite the weight, it feels one with my hand) and incredible battery life (I rarely need to use the spare battery and don't own 3 spares like I do for the X-T1). Bottom line, if I were forced to part with one, it would have to be the Fuji; luckily, nobody's forcing me to do so....;)

Putting value aside, I would say the core product from any of the major camera companies. Canon 5D Mk 4, Nikon D810, Olympus EM-1 Mk 2, Fuji XT-2, etc.

Taking value into consideration, I would say take a camera body from one of the majors that costs less than $1,000. They seem to work amazingly well and at the lower price, don't include unique selling proposition features not needed in a well-rounded camera.

I've come around to low price as a feature in itself. I don't worry about losing or breaking low cost cameras, so I'm able to use them without thinking about preserving them.

My budget won't stretch to an M10 with a 35 Summicron, until I win the lottery. Meanwhile, the Sony RX1R II is my camera of choice and the one I have and use. Manual focusing is not really on the cards, which is a drawback versus the Leica but the silent shutter and 42 Mp balance it out. Were Sony to produce one with a fixed 105mm f3.2 or f4 pancake lens à la Pentax I'd carry one in each pocket and sell the rest. I mean it.

I love my OM-D E-M5ii with the 12-40mm. If i were to start all over again, I'd be hard pressed to go with something else - however the Canon 6D would come close, as would the Fuji XT-2. A little more sensor real estate and file latitude (when travelling, light(weight) is great, but you often only get one chance at a shot. When editing back at home, being able to pull highlights or push shadows on those shots that weren't quite right is a bonus. But I am still finding the limits of my Olympus and don't need anything else.

The comments to this entry are closed.



Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 06/2007