I have been looking at new cameras again, and thinking to myself: ‘if I was to start a fresh what would I buy today’.
Now I don’t want a lot.
A very good wide angle, and a very good portrait lens.
Something around 50 megapixels.
Very good flash support. TTL flash and good third party flash support for weddings and events where things change quickly.
So lets start at 35mm systems, the perfect allrounder most people think, unless you shoot Fuji or Micro Four Thirds, where you may want to place a valid argument.
We will start at the top of tree. A modern mirrorless design, with lens that could be considered the best in the world.
I would have this close to the top of my list if it was for not one issue. Third party TTL flash support. Not even ProPhoto do a TTL controller for the Leica range. Hot shoe flash does have Metz and Leica’s own flash units but that is it.
At 45.7 megapixels these are killer studio cameras, lots of glass available, some of it very good, and support from all the major third parties for TTL flash solutions. Support from third parties for accessories; the D850 also works well in the field for event, wedding and wildlife subjects, being very responsive, access to focus modes is better then its Z7II equivalent. The native Z glass is better.
Canon 5DS R
I have personal issues with Canon, I had a FD mount Canon A1 for many years and lots of prime glass. Unlike Nikon who managed to keep their mount making the transition to a new mount types easier, Canon just seem to leave you in the lurch. Yes now finally Nikon have jumped to a new mount but being a mirrorless, an adapter is available and some of the F mount glass actually focuses faster on a Z class camera then a F mount camera.
I’ll not argue if Canon or Nikon are the best; they are just about the same when it comes to quality and support. They continue to leap frog each other in terms of performance and their 5D range of SLR’s have always been about the best when it comes to high megapixel performance. The latest 5DS R at 50.6 mega pixels is another monster of a studio camera and like the D850 puts in a good show at also being an allrounder. Again lots of support from third parties.
Like Canon I am not a Sony shooter and do not follow them that closely. The cameras are generally very good but I have issues with the ergonomics for me. The few times I have used their leading mirrorless cameras I have just struggled with them. Most of the issues with their internal processing RAW files has been corrected, but they do see harder to process then Canon, Nikon or Leica. They can be considered to be the king of the megapixels. Owning their own silicon fab’s for manufacturing not just sensors for themselves but for most other camera manufactures, if you like Sony its a good choice. Their hot shoe is the old non-standard Minolta offering buts its been around a while and is supported. Turn up at a studio though and you better have your own converter for traditional hot shoe.
Panasonic (and L mount)
I’ll mention Panasonic as being a member of the L series mount alliance but their more video focussed than then still. It would be nice if the L series group got together and developed their own TTL standard and pushed others to support it. At this point I’ll mention Hasselblad, they license the Nikon standard which is what I wished Leica would do.
So what would I buy?
I would like to be able say the Leica SL, but I do events and weddings and need third party TTL flash support.
At the moment with the current level of technology I would likely pick up a Nikon D850. It could do everything I need, if I went for a Z7II then I would likely use that for landscape and studio and keep my D800 for event and weddings. The D800/D850 is still the king of fast focus and you can access and customise the focus faster on the old F mount camera then a current Z mount camera. I do think the eye select focus now available in many mirrorless cameras can make working in a studio easier and is something I wish to try.