Best Professional Cameras

Which are the best professional cameras – that’s a question that needs to be answered with at least three different answers! If you’re a commercial, travel, landscape, or fashion photographer, you’ll probably prefer high resolution to continuous shooting speed. If you’re a sports photographer, it’s the shooting speed and autofocus that outweigh everything else. And if you’re a photographer/videographer, some of the best professional cameras can be found in the emerging market of mirrorless cameras.

Professional sports cameras took a hit in 2020 when the entire sports calendar was locked down. The top three competitors are the incredible Canon EOS-1D X Mark III, the updated and improved Sony A9 Mark II, and the new Nikon D6, but we may have to wait until 2021 to see which one will be the best – although we’ve made our own epic Olympic shot.

Best Professional Cameras

Of course, choosing the best professional cameras is not just a matter of choosing the one with the best or most attractive features. It’s about looking at the system as a whole, its lenses, its other models, and what’s planned for the future.

1. Canon EOS R5

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Canon EOS R5 Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera with 8K Video, 45 Megapixel Full-Frame...

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Last update was on: 2021-01-14 9:40 am
$3,899.99

As a camera, the Canon EOS R5 is quite simply Canon’s best product. It is the perfect fusion of the shape of the EOS R, the function of the EOS 5D, and the professional-quality autofocus of the EOS-1D X. If you’re a photographer or a hybrid photographer who’s somewhere between photography and video, this is one of the best cameras you’ll ever have the pleasure of using. It has attracted attention for the wrong reasons, such as overheating (or the threat of overheating) when recording 8K videos, but that should not diminish the extraordinary capabilities of this camera. It is not perfect in every way, but considering its resolution, frame rate, and video capabilities combined, it is truly a reference camera. Overall, this is one of the best professional cameras.

2. Canon EOS-1D X Mark III

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Canon EOS-1D X Mark III DSLR Camera | with CFexpress Card &...

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Last update was on: 2021-01-14 9:40 am
$6,499.00

With the Canon EOS1-D X Mark III, Canon has released a camera with cutting-edge technology, including deep-learning AF, an optical Smart Controller, HEIF and HDR PQ support, CFexpress, 12-bit internal 4K RAW, head tracking, and more. Canon has combined the advantages of DSLR and mirrorless to produce a hybrid body that can shoot depending on the situation. While it lacks some of the luxuries of mirrorless models, this camera does so much that no other system can do – it’s a true glimpse into the future.

Offering the best of both worlds, with the pure speed of an optical DSLR and the advanced precision of mirrorless, it is a true hybrid system that adapts to the needs of every professional and every shooting scenario. The DSLR is not dead. The EOS-1D X Mark III, which looks like a tank, has absorbed the technical advances of mirrorless cameras and added some of its own to produce a great tool for professional sports and action photography. Overall, this is one of the best professional cameras.

3. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

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Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Full Frame Digital SLR Camera Body

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Last update was on: 2021-01-14 9:40 am
$2,499.00

On paper, the EOS 5D Mark IV is clearly second only to competing cameras, with higher resolutions, faster frame rates, and better 4K video features. The EOS 5D Mark IV applies heavy 4K video cropping that makes “wide” shots more difficult. Nevertheless, the 5D Mark IV has proven to be a highly effective, durable, and versatile camera for countless professional photographers, and its dual-pixel AF technology gives it highly dynamic autofocus performance in both live view and video modes. This camera was launched in 2016, and since no replacements have been announced or even made, it is increasingly difficult to recommend this rugged but aging camera. Overall, this is one of the best professional cameras.

4. Canon EOS R

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Canon Full Frame Mirrorless Camera [EOS R]| Vlogging Camera (Body) with 30.3...

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Last update was on: 2021-01-14 9:40 am
$1,799.00

The EOS R is Canon’s first full-frame, mirrorless camera, and while it has received a mixed reception in some sectors of the camera community, it remains a powerful and effective tool for professionals who want to migrate to mirrorless, or even switch to full-frame from Canon’s smaller APS-C models. It offers the same resolution and 4K crop factor as the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV and has only one memory card slot, but features a more powerful dual-pixel CMOS autofocus system and promises the same kind of versatile capability as the 5D Mark IV.

The good news is that after the launch of the EOS R5 and EOS R6, prices for the EOS R are steadily eroding and it is becoming an increasingly attractive purchase. It may no longer offer state-of-the-art technology, but the EOS R could still offer very interesting value. Overall, this is one of the best professional cameras.

5. Nikon D6

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Nikon D6 FX-Format Digital SLR Camera Body, Black

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$6,496.95

If you are a professional photographer, if you mostly (or entirely) photograph pictures and if you already own a lot of Nikon lenses, the D6 is an obvious choice. This high-performance camera tank will do everything you need and more, with a powerful camera housed in a rugged, impact-resistant body. It will shoot and shoot, accurately and reliably. However, with professional cameras like this one, it’s worth considering them in the context of their competition – and if you’re looking to upgrade to a professional model for the first time, the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III and Sony A9 II both offer better features, with better video specifications and faster frame rates. Overall, this is one of the best professional cameras.

6. Nikon D850

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Nikon D850 FX-format Digital SLR Camera Body

Last update was on: 2021-01-14 9:40 am
$2,996.95

Fans of mirrorless cameras often complain about the size and weight of DSLRs, and they are right. The Nikon D850 is a camera that makes a lot of noise compared to the new Nikon Z models. But this size works in your favor if you photograph with big and heavy lenses, and most pro lenses are big and heavy! This is a handling factor that many users without mirrors do not take into account. As a digital SLR, the D850 has a bright, clear optical viewfinder that many photographers still prefer to a digital display, no matter how good it is.

The D850’s 45.7-megapixel sensor produces fairly superb image quality, but it can still maintain a shooting speed of 7 frames per second or 9 frames per second with the optional battery handle. Even without the handle, the D850 has an incredible 1,840 shots – more than any of its competitors without the mirror – and is equipped with two memory card slots: one for the new XQD card format and one for regular SD/SDHC/SDXC cards. Overall, this is one of the best professional cameras.

7. Nikon Z7

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Nikon Z7 FX-Format Mirrorless Camera Body w/ NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/4 S

Last update was on: 2021-01-14 9:40 am
$3,096.95 $3,396.95

Like the company’s D850 DSLR (below), the Z7’s trump card is that it manages to combine a high-resolution sensor with fast burst shooting and a rich 4K video recording option, making it versatile enough to be used in all kinds of applications. Key advantages over its D850 cousin include 493 phase-detecting AF points that span 90% of the vertical and horizontal axes and 5-axis vibration reduction that can be used with a variety of lenses.

As we found in our study, the handling is excellent and the 3.69 million-dot viewfinder is a pleasure to use, while the video quality is also very good. Only a few native lenses have been developed so far, although it is possible to use F-mount lenses through an adapter, and although some may be hindered by the presence of a single XQD card slot, this should not be an obstacle considering all that Nikon has managed to achieve here. Overall, this is one of the best professional cameras.

8. Sony A9 Mark II

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Sony a9 II Mirrorless Camera: 24.2MP Full Frame Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Digital...

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$4,498.00

The Sony A9 II is the fastest and fiercest full-frame sports camera we’ve ever used. Its blazing speed and autofocus performance are matched only by its phenomenal connectivity, which promises to be a game-changer for professional shooters. We would have liked to see Sony implement something similar to Olympus’ Pro Capture feature so that we never miss the critical moment. However, if our most damning criticism is that the A9 II is too fast for us to keep up, then surely this is just a mission accomplished for Sony.

Mirrorless cameras still have a lot to prove in the professional sports photography market, where DSLR titans like the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III and the new Nikon D6 seem to be on the way to dominating for some time to come, but the Sony A9 and A9 II have convinced more than one professional that mirrorless cameras can (and will!) compete here as well. Overall, this is one of the best professional cameras.

9. Sony A7R Mark IV

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Sony α7R IV Full-frame Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera (ILCE7RM4/B)

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$3,498.00

The “R” models of the Sony A7 series cameras are designed primarily for resolution – and the Sony A7R Mark IV camera certainly meets this requirement. The previous A7R Mark III set the standard for some time, but it has recently been surpassed (by a small margin) by the Nikon Z 7 and the Panasonic Lumix S1R. The A7R addresses this – and how – with a record-breaking 61-megapixel sensor that offers the highest resolution of any full-format camera.

The rendering of detail is spectacular, although it may not be as obvious as the numbers might suggest, and the layout of Sony’s controls is starting to look outdated and complicated compared to what Nikon and Panasonic have done with their new models. Nevertheless, thanks to its superb Eye AF system, its 10 frames per second continuous shooting (yes, with 61 Mpx!) and its 4K movies, the Sony A7R Mark IV is now the high-resolution professional camera to beat, and some might say the best Sony camera so far. Overall, this is one of the best professional cameras.

10. Fujifilm X-T4

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Fujifilm X-T4 Mirrorless Camera Body - Silver

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Last update was on: 2021-01-14 9:40 am
$1,699.00

The Fujifilm X-T3 has been hard to keep up with, with high-speed continuous shooting, advanced autofocus, and class-leading 4K video capabilities, but the Fujifilm X-T4 takes it to the next level. Almost everything we wanted in the X-T3 is there, including body stabilization, a variable-angle touch screen, and increased battery life. We still want more (of course), including better buffer depth in continuous shooting mode, but that would be just the icing on the cake.

The X-T4 isn’t just a great camera, of course. It also has state-of-the-art 4K video performance, with 60p 10-bit internal recording. It’s a shame that Fujifilm dropped the headphone plug (you’ll need an adapter now). Overall, this is one of the best professional cameras.

11. Fujifilm GFX 100

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Fujifilm GFX 100 102MP Medium Format Digital Camera (Body Only),Black

Last update was on: 2021-01-14 9:40 am
$9,999.00

The GFX 100 is expensive compared to ordinary cameras, but in the world of medium format photography (sensors larger than 35mm full-frame), it’s a good deal. It’s also a revolutionary camera that changes our expectations of what medium format cameras can do. Its 100-megapixel resolution has defied our own test procedures, its internal stabilization is a first in medium format, and its hybrid AF (thanks to a recent firmware update) is a big step forward.

The downside is that the stabilization inside the body is a valuable additional assurance, but it would be unwise to rely on it, and although the body is relatively compact, when combined with Fujifilm’s medium-format lens, the combination becomes quite tiring for prolonged use by hand. But the image quality of this camera is simply spectacular, and once you’ve seen what it can do, all the handling difficulties are instantly forgotten. Overall, this is one of the best professional cameras.

12. Panasonic Lumix S1R

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Panasonic LUMIX S1R Full Frame Mirrorless Camera with 47.3MP MOS High Resolution...

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Last update was on: 2021-01-14 9:40 am
$3,697.99

The new Lumix S range is a very interesting proposition for professional photographers, especially now that the range of L-mount lenses available is quite good, and is growing rapidly. The Lumix S1R is the most attractive proposition for professionals, combining 4K video capture with a high-speed 6K photo mode and a huge 47.3MP resolution. The 5.76 million-dot electronic viewfinder is amazing, and the S1R performs very well too. The 24MP Lumix S1 is cheaper and a little better in the video, but it’s a question of cost – if you’re really serious about video, the more expensive Lumix S1H is the one for you. Overall, this is one of the best professional cameras.

13. Panasonic Lumix GH5

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Panasonic Lumix GH5 4K Digital Camera, 20.3 Megapixel Mirrorless Camera with Digital...

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Last update was on: 2021-01-14 9:40 am
$1,397.99 $1,997.99

If 4K video is at the top of your wish list, in front of high-resolution photos, the GH5, weatherproof, dustproof, and even frostproof, is a very serious competitor (there is also the GH5S, even more, video-oriented, but limited to 10 Mpx photos). You benefit from fast continuous shooting and Panasonic’s 6K photo mode to extract 18 MP photos from a 30 fps capture. The GH5 can’t compete with others for photos, but for early video users, it’s a much cheaper alternative to full screen.

It also benefits from strong discounts these days, which allows it to go into professional-level video without paying the usual prices. It seems like it’s been around forever, but if you compare the video specifications of the GH5 with those of its competitors, it’s clearly still at the top. Overall, this is one of the best professional cameras.

14. Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III

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Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III Black Camera Body

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Last update was on: 2021-01-14 9:40 am
$1,556.79

If anyone thought that Olympus couldn’t compete on the professional stage, the OM-D E-M1 Mark III did put them in their place. There are many specialized cameras that can do a variety of things better than the E-M1 Mark III, it’s fair to say. However, there are very few that can do everything they can do. If you’re a professional who shoots a lot of different types of images and is in a lot of different shooting situations, it’s a surprisingly good choice.

Image stabilization in 7.5 steps, the best in the business? Check it out. Continuous burst shooting at 60 frames per second? It’s a sure thing. High-resolution shooting at 80MP? Yes, it does. Let’s imagine a hypothetical day of photography: you get up early and crawl up a hill to photograph a beautiful landscape in the morning light, using enough megapixels to get a beautiful print. You then head to a sporting event to take fast-action photos, requiring both a fast burst speed and a tracking AF system. Overall, this is one of the best professional cameras.

15. Olympus OM-D E-M1X

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Olympus OM-D E-M1X

Last update was on: 2021-01-14 9:40 am
$1,994.00 $2,999.00

Olympus raised eyebrows with the launch of the OM-D E-M1X, a new professional camera for the sports market, but with features very similar to the existing E-M1 Mark II. But if you dig a little deeper, you’ll find that the E-M1X is a very different beast, with an integrated handle for greater battery capacity and duplicate horizontal/vertical shooting controls and a dual processing system that greatly improves the game for autofocus tracking, with a new AI system for subject recognition and tracking.

What many people won’t realize either is that Olympus has a very compelling range of professional lenses, especially for telephoto, and although Olympus’ MFT sensor is smaller than the full-frame sensors used by pro-Canon, Nikon, and Sony cameras, it will cost much less to build a complete professional system – and it will be much lighter to carry. Of course, the camera has been replaced a bit by the E-M1 Mark III, but it is still one of the best cameras for professionals.

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