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Tuesday, 28 February 2017


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The best all-round digital camera since 2005... The 5D. No competitors. 5D, 5D2, 5D3, 5DS, 5DSR, 5D4.... All basically the same, made for people who just want to take pictures, and aren't necessarily interested in cameras. Just like a Toyota pickup.

If you mean best 'all-around' camera for sports, weddings, portrait, landscape I have no idea? But if you mean best all round photographic tool, easy to carry, excellent IQ, beautiful to look at and hold, takes amazing black and white files, then the Fujifilm X100 series is hard to beat for "all around" general use...
I'm still using the original and still loving it.

On paper, I'd go with a m4/3 body. Small enough to slam a cheap collapsible lens and carrie it in my pocket, yet powerfull enough to use it with a high end pro grade lens and get astonishing results.

On my world (that is, livng in Argentina), I'd choose a smallish Canikon. If you browse the local ebay site you find thousends of canikon lenses and twelve (yes, twelve) with a m4/3 mount, and most of those are kit lenses.
Pretty much the same with Pentax, and God forbbid you are one of those Sigma shooters!

Overall, the Canon S110 for pocketability and it's front function ring.

For value, the older Canon SD880 pocket cameras. The pinnacle of Canon's consumer digicams with great menus and button layout. Only $50 to replace used, and sharing the same battery as my S110.

For dreaming, I second Pal's call for a digital clamshell Olympus Stylus Epic.

"is it possible to pick, out of current offerings, one best all-around all-purpose camera? "

You once wrote about lenses that 'all purpose = no prupose'.

I don't see why this doesn't apply to cameras. There's no camera that covers all grounds equally well.

The best camera is the one that fits the purpose.

The first few reactions mention D800/D810 and XT2/XPro2. Those are fine cameras but you would be unhappy with either if you were shooting sports.

The one which needs no service, no upgrades, no postprocessing, no appendix, no user guide. Hold on. That is the human eyes!

Hi Mike,
Great question.
My favorite best all around camera is most likely the next one I own !
They keep getting better !
Of the cameras I actually own, probably the D810.

For versatility and price, nothing beats an entry level Canon DSLR. Really.

Another vote for the Canon 6D.

It's not "best" at anything except being the lightest full-frame DSLR, but it's very, very good at many things, including everything I need it to do.

However, the lenses for it are not especially light, and as I approach my 80th birthday I frequently find myself carrying an Olympus OMD-EM5.

X-T2 - it's small, light, weatherproof, prints up to 24x36 easily (more pixels means an even bigger printer), an absolute joy to use, has a great lens line and even shoots 4K video if you care. The AF is more than sufficient for most any purpose (other than pro sports - if you need pro sports AF, double your camera weight and get the big Nikon or Canon - they are unique in their AF quality!).
The other two mirrorless systems are certainly honorable mentions, but m43 has just a bit too much compromise in image quality for my purposes, and Sony full frame is just a bit heavy (lenses) and fragile... If your purposes are somewhat different from mine, you might choose either one.
Canon and Nikon's entry-level DSLRs deserve mention, not as much for most people who read TOP, but for the versatility and quality they put in student hands. Yes, I like my Fuji system better than either, but my system didn't cost $400, and my students show up with lots of D3400s that DID, and that are great to learn on - the little Nikon has become today's K1000...


I think the best all round camera should be an enthusiast camera rather than pro, that doesn't need any 'maxed out' specs such as 10fps or 40mp, but is rather leaning towards the pleasure of photography rather than being strictly utilitarian. A camera that could become a favourite, as per the post a few days ago. I think it should be
- compact as possible without being cramped to use
- solidly build to last, preferably metal
- weather proofed
- have a decent amount of manual controls
- have a decent battery life
- have a decent optical viewfinder (okay personal preference but to me a connection to the film era that shouldn't be lost)
- have nice lens choices (not just in quality but compact size)

To me that's: Pentax KP

I can't recommend a camera, but I can recommend a solution to juggling items you want to remember: either a day planner or a journal to keep on your desk.

I've been doing that for a few years, not always successfully, but I find it a great help. Just get one that lays flat so you can write in it easily. And get whatever size fits your handwriting best.

If price/performance is to be taken into consideration, for most normal people (not enthusiasts or pros) then it is probably something like the iPhone 7 Plus.

Otherwise my vote goes to wifi capable compact cameras like the LX10, RX100, LX100 or Sonys RX10. You can get a used LX100 for a 500 USD now.

[I did say best camera, didn't I? I don't mean to pick on you in particular, Björn, but why do people keep suggesting the iPhone? --Mike]

The most versatile camera I've owned is the Olympus E-M5 II (with 12-40mm f/2.8). As far as a best camera, that depends on specific applications.

Impossible to answer without specifying the relative weights you assign to image quality, ergonomics, size, weight, cost, video capabilities, (prime) lens choice, available accessories, manufacturer support, etc., etc.

Mike: First, I am just an enthusiast, im not speaking for pro users. The quality that you can get out of the iPhone 7 Plus, because it has two lenses, a wide angle and a 56mm lens, is just outstanding, the problem with cameraphones has been that it is so restricting with just a wide angle lens but this is not true any more.

Its always with you, the processing power and versatility of its software makes it easy to use. Even for enthusiasts you can get images that are so good that having a dedicated camera will not make your photography better in most situation (80% of the time), in my opinion.

A step up to 1 inch or m43 for its sensors and lenses will cover 95% of most peoples camera needs, even enthusiasts, (this was not true in 2010, but it is now in my opinion).

If price is not part of the equation, my reasoning somewhat goes out the window.

When I look at what far better photographers than me can do with m43 I lose all my G.A.S and when I recommend cameras to novice users I try to impress this fact. So "Best All Around Camera on the planet" for the large majority of people will not be full frame because of the cost and the fantastic performance of smaller sensors/less expensive cameras.

On a side note. I used to have the Sony A6000 with the Zeiss primes and zoom. I sold them and got the LX100 recently and the quality of my photography has not gone down for what I do. (I am by no stretch of the imagination a "good" photographer) the pictures that I can get out of that camera is outstanding and I saved thousands of dollars by going with a smartphone and an LX100.

[I did say best camera, didn't I? I don't mean to pick on you in particular, Björn, but why do people keep suggesting the iPhone? --Mike]

You didn't ask me, but ...

People keep suggesting the iPhone because the segment of possible photographic activity for which it is arguably the best tool continues to grow, and will continue to grow. This is especially true with the 7+ and its moderate normal/telephoto lens.

The nature of and problem with the original question is in the malleability of the phrase "all around". There is no single definition of this phrase. You had what you meant in your head (all-around camera for what all-around professional photographers traditionally do with all-around cameras). But this is a fairly narrow view, IMHO.

Clearly the iPhone has limitations (control convenience, some aspects of image quality) when compared to (say) a Nikon D810 or Canon 5D. But those machines also have many reciprocal limitations (weight, weight, extremely inconvenient image processing workflows, weight) when compared to the iPhone.

It's not hard to argue that for general applications it's a wash and it's not until you get into certain specialties that the differences become apparent. Just my opinion.

Since your comments are more aligned with the digital imaging industry then my pick for the best camera is the Pentax Q or Q7. Very small but with great image quality, interchangeable lenses and shake reduction. The size makes it much easier to have it with me when needed.

In film, my best camera was built by Leica back in the 1930s, the Leica III. Combined with the omnipresent Leitz Elmar 50/3.5 this truly is a pocketable 35mm camera.

Finally, if image quality is important then I move ahead a few decades to the mid-2000s with the Wanderlust Travelwide. This is a very simple, 4x5 camera which is designed for the Angulon 90/6.8 lens. Just the ability to "point and shoot" 4x film is amazing all on its own but it is very easy to use the old Graflex Roll Film film backs as well which gives the added flexibility of 120 roll film.

Obviously too long, and just as obviously, way outside the box, but it is my current go to kit. And best of all, it all fits easily into one camera bag.

The one you have?

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