In this article we’ll discuss about professional cameras and their rating and reviews according to professional photographers, also the professional cameras buying guide. The success of a shot depends on the photographer, but also on his equipment. Cameras are currently facing strong competition from smartphones. However, they are still widely appreciated among professionals in the field. It can be difficult to choose from all the families of professional cameras. However, you have to identify your needs and choose accordingly. The Sony ILCE-6500ZBDI model has very fast autofocus. The autofocus is also very precise. With Canon EOS 5D MARK IV, low light is no longer a concern with high stability.
Strength: Autofocus is one of the strengths of this mirrorless camera. Focusing is fast and precise. The touch screen for this operation is also convenient. This equipment is also excellent, whether for photos or videos.
Weakness: The handling of this device model is not easy. As this is professional equipment, the use of the various functions and buttons is not within the reach of beginners. The battery is also not too resistant.
Conclusion: This mirrorless camera is resolutely professional. It provides very good quality images in a compact body. The interchangeable lens increases the possibilities.
Strength: This digital SLR perfectly supports low lights. Even with a high ISO value, digital noise is not marked. Additionally, users appreciate that there is little change in the overall look from the MK II and MK III.
Weakness: The price of this device is quite prohibitive. Its professional quality is responsible for this. Some also regret that the display screen is not swiveling. You also need a very fast card for this device.
Conclusion: Among the SLRs, this model has a good reputation. It has high performance which can fully satisfy professionals.
Strength: The full frame format is excellent on this digital SLR. The 24 megapixel sensor is perfectly sufficient. In addition, it is possible to go up to ISO without having much noise. The speed of the autofocus and the responsiveness of the camera are also appreciated.
Weakness: Compared to other models in the range, the trigger is a little louder. However, the noise level remains acceptable. Autofocus, while fast, does not perform as well in video or screen display.
Conclusion: This professional camera has excellent value for money. Its performance is quite satisfactory from every point of view.
The 9 Best Professional Cameras (Reviews & Tests) of 2020
1. Sony Alpha-a6500 Hybrid Digital Camera
Hybrid models such as this Sony α6500 are currently on the rise. If you are looking for the best brand of professional cameras, this manufacturer offers this powerful model. It has a 24.2 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor.
The box incorporates a 5-axis stabilization system. You can take pictures at high zoom or low light without the risk of camera shake appearing. The BIONZ X image processing engine combined with the sensor produces crisp, noise-free images, even at high sensitivity.
As for focusing, it is very fast, of the order of 0.05 s. It is also very precise thanks to the 425 points of automatic autofocus.
Thanks to the touchscreen, adjusting the focal point is intuitive and smooth. With all its features, you can also shoot videos in 4K.
Autofocus: This camera has responsive, fast and precise autofocus. This is one of the major assets of this model for taking excellent photos in unfavorable conditions.
Good Videos: Video recording is very good quality with high speed. 4K resolution is very real with this device.
Practical: The dimensions of this equipment make it compact and easy to transport. In addition, the tilting screen is useful for photos on the ground.
Navigation: Using the buttons and functions of this hardware can be a real challenge. This is reserved for professionals.
2. Canon EOS 5D MARK IV Digital Cameras
This Canon professional camera is part of the brand’s prestigious line of DSLRs. Compared to its predecessors, the 5D Mark IV turns out to be the most efficient. It has a resolution of 30.4 megapixels. The photos obtained with this device are thus very precise.
The autofocus has 61 points. So you have a wide choice of tune-ups. With the CMOS sensor and the DIGIC 6+ processing engine, the images are of high quality. You can also shoot at 7 fps. These can obviously be edited, especially with the RAW format.
GPS data can be incorporated into the images. You also have the possibility to share your achievements via wifi. The sensitivity varies from 100 to 102400 ISO.
When looking for where to buy a new professional camera, also consider the video aspect. This is capable of producing footage at maximum 4K resolution.
Excellent Sensitivity: With this SLR, it is possible to take good shots, even in low light. Digital noise remains low even with a high ISO value.
Autofocus: Focusing is responsive and fast. The numerous collimators also allow precise adjustments.
Good Resolution: The sensor of more than 30 Megapixels is of excellent quality. The photos are sharp, even in bursts. The videos are also in high definition.
No Swivel Screen: While this might seem like a gimmick on a business device, the swivel screen is still useful in some situations.
3. Nikon D750 Digital SLR Camera
Located between the entry-level models and those of the very expensive ranges, the Nikon D750 is an excellent compromise. It has high performance while being cheaper. It has a full frame FX format sensor.
Its resolution is 24.3 megapixels. This device thus produces clear and precise images. They are all the better as the sensitivity extends from 100 to 12800 ISO. Combined with efficient AF, this system helps to take good shots, even on moving subjects or in low light.
In burst mode, this camera can capture 6.5 fps. The speed of the sensor also makes it possible to shoot Full HD videos at 1080p. Various parameters such as aperture and sound levels can be adjusted.
The Expeed4 system also improves the rendering of images. With the screen tilting up or down, you are free to move around.
Good Value for Money: This professional SLR camera is more affordable than other cameras in the same series with comparable quality. It saves money for goals.
Versatile: With this professional camera, it is possible to take pictures of landscapes, animals or even portraits. The other models are more specialized.
Good Images: The resolution is excellent with this camera. Whether it’s videos, bursts or low-light photos, the device is at home.
Loss of Focal Length: For long focal lengths, this camera gives the equivalent of lower zoom.
4. Fujifilm X100V Digital Camera
If you check out a price comparison, you will find this Fujifilm professional digital camera. It is a 23mm fixed focal length camera. This model is equipped with the APS-C X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor. This has a resolution of 26.1 megapixels.
An X-Processor 4 processor is built into this device. So you can be sure to take professional-quality photos in a compact size. Fujinon optics, through its improvements, increase the sharpness of the resolution. The aperture can be set from f2 to f16.
As for aiming, you have the choice between the direct optical sight and the electronic one. They have a magnification of 0.25x and a resolution of 3.69M pixels respectively.
This X100V model is equipped with a tilting touch screen. You can set the autofocus here. As for the case, it is tropicalized in particular thanks to the WR kit consisting of a ring and a filter.
Compact: The dimensions of this model make it a piece of equipment to take with you on all trips. In addition, it fits well in the hand.
Image Quality: The renewed optics provide excellent results. Moreover, even the JPEG format is of good quality on this model. The same goes for videos.
Design: The style of this camera is elegant by mixing the classic and the modern. The tilting screen doesn’t mar the look.
Autofocus: Autofocus is a bit noisy on this model.
Heats Up: The battery tends to heat up on some devices.
5. Nikon F6 Digital Camera
Film photography or filming has not had its last word with this professional Nikon camera. This F6 model is the worthy heir to the series equipped with the Nikon F mount. If using film is your preferred area, purchasing this material is right for you.
It incorporates high-tech mechanics allowing fast and precise shots. The shutter and the pendulum mirror benefit among other things from this quality. Thus, the shutter speed can reach 1/8000 second. Each system is designed to be robust and reliable.
Their operation is also silent. As for the focusing, it is reinforced by the AF Multi-CAM2000 on 11 zones. You can choose from the 4 available modes.
They are very fast and very precise. This material has an aluminum frame and a magnesium housing. Then you know which professional camera to choose in terms of robustness.
Very Good Grip: This model is very comfortable to handle. It has an almost perfect balance. It is very easy to hold.
Excellent Mechanics: The operation of this film SLR is very pleasant. Every action is silent. Everything is well balanced and it is a fast device.
Compatibility: The fact that it is an analog device does not necessarily make it incompatible with modern accessories. Many lenses can be mounted there.
Weight: This case is much heavier than a digital model. However, this weight can be useful in certain situations.
6. Sony α6000 Hybrid Digital Camera
The Sony α6000 is an inexpensive professional camera. Especially since 2 lenses are delivered with. It is a 16-55mm and a 55-210mm zoom. It answers the question of how to buy a better value professional camera.
Its case is equipped with a 24.3 Mp Exmor CMOS APS-C sensor. Together with the processing of the BIONZ X, the device produces excellent images. This quality is enhanced by noise reduction, regardless of sensitivity. Moreover, this parameter is adjustable from 100 to 25600 ISO.
The AF is super fast on this model with its 0.06 s. It has 179 phase detection points and also quickly locates contrasts.
This precision is valid even at high speed. In this case, the device is capable of capturing 11 images per second in burst mode. The Tru-Finder OLED viewfinder lets you accurately view your subject in high resolution.
Space-Saving: During a walk, for example, this model is ideal. It avoids cluttering up with a heavy reflex while having the same or even better performance.
For Experienced & Beginners Both: This inexpensive equipment is perfect for amateur or professional photographers. The controls are not too complicated.
Versatile: Whether for landscapes or other subjects, all you need is the right lens to take excellent quality photos.
Battery: Many users regret that the battery drains too quickly. You must therefore get a spare for long days of shooting.
7. Panasonic Lumix DC-LX100 II Digital Camera
The LUMIX DC-LX100 II achieves the performance of the best professional camera in a mini size. It is equipped with the type 4/3″ MOS sensor of 17 megapixels. Wider than a 1 inch sensor, it is more sensitive to light.
The device can therefore capture images in low light. This feature is all the more effective as the housing is fitted with a very bright LEICA DC Vario-Summilux F/1.7-2.8 lens.
This has a focal length of 24-75mm. With this camera, you no longer have to worry about focusing. This is because the Post Focus function allows you to adjust the focus after taking the picture.
In burst mode, you can take up to 30 frames per second. The resolution is then 8 MP. With the 2 aiming modes, you can directly compare the rendering to the original. The touch screen allows you to view the image, but also to make certain adjustments.
Full Control: With this camera, all settings are at your fingertips. All parameters are adjustable since this is an expert compact.
Bright: The lens is bright and the sensor is large for a device of this size. It therefore allows you to take photos and even panoramas at night.
Touch Screen: The touch screen is convenient for making various adjustments like focus or shutter release.
Slow Zoom: The zoom goes from one end to the other in a long time.
No Automatic: All settings are manual except for Auto Intelligence.
8. Sony Alpha 7 III Full Frame Hybrid Camera
The Sony A7 III is a great piece of equipment when you’ve figured out where to buy the best professional camera. It is the versatile model of the Alpha 7 range. It is equipped with the BSI CMOS Exmor R sensor and its 24.2 MP.
This 24 x 36 mm sensor is combined with the BIONZ X processor. The images produced are then of high quality. The sensitivity also covers a wide range from 100 to 204800 ISO. When you increase this value, electronic noise doesn’t really become a concern until ISO 12800.
As for the focus, it is very responsive thanks to the 4D AF technology. This has 425 contrast detection focus points and 693 phase detection points.
This model is also equipped with Eye AF to follow the eyes. This unit can record videos in 4K.
Good Sensitivity: No matter the lighting of the environment, this camera stays in its element. Even at high ISO sensitivity, noise remains acceptable.
Satisfactory Autonomy: The battery that equips this model allows you to take several hundred pictures before needing to be recharged.
High Resolution: The sensor and AF allow for excellent quality images. In photo or video mode, in view by view or in burst, the pictures are clear and precise.
Touch Screen: The screen is really only used to adjust the focus. It cannot be used to navigate the menus.
9. Panasonic Lumix S5 Hybrid Digital Camera
Panasonic and its Lumix S5 are among the serious competitors in determining which is the best professional camera on the market. This model is a full frame hybrid. It is equipped with a 24 x 36 mm 24.2 MP sensor.
This is equipped with native dual ISO technology. This allows the device to increase in sensitivity without generating noise. The result is high quality images. Regarding the case, it is built on a magnesium base. This gives it strength and compactness.
This device is thus tropicalized and its weight is around 700 gm. It is equipped with a touch screen mounted on a ball joint. It can therefore rotate according to your needs.
This model does not only perform well in photos. It is also in videos with the possibility of recording in 4K without time limit. You can also opt for slow motion at 180 frames per second.
Ergonomics: Smaller than the hybrids of other ranges, this one has an excellent grip. It is also light and compact enough to avoid the use of heavy SLRs.
Video Mode: This camera is also intended for those who are interested in making videos. These are high definition on this model.
Sturdy Housing: The construction of this model is made of quality materials and high-tech assembly. It is therefore resistant and provides beautiful images.
Card Slot: Of the 2 SD card slots, UHS-II is only available on one.
Buying Guide for Professional Cameras
Choosing a professional camera can become a daunting task. Certain types of equipment are emerging while others tend to disappear. Among the many brands and models, however, you have to make your selection. This buying guide to the best professional cameras gives you some pointers on that.
Categories of Professional Cameras
Professional cameras can be classified into 4 main families. Each of them has its advantages and disadvantages. Despite this, the final choice depends entirely on your needs and preferences.
Compact – The smallest models are the compact ones. As their name suggests, they have a minimal footprint. Entry-level devices face strong competition from smartphones these days. Their sensor is generally small in size and they are not suitable for professional use. The possibilities are indeed very limited. Compact experts are excellent alternatives. Despite a fixed lens, they allow you to take very beautiful shots.
Bridge – Bridge cameras have roughly the same characteristics as compacts, but with a larger zoom. Strictly speaking, these are not professional devices.
SLRs – According to expert advice, SLRs are good options, even entry-level. They allow you to take better quality photos. The settings are more numerous and more precise and the devices are more responsive. They are however more bulky with their independent lenses and heavier as well.
Hybrid – Hybrids are currently taking up more space on the market. They are also called compacts with interchangeable lenses. They pride themselves on offering the performance of SLRs, but with a smaller format. Some even claim that they surpass the latter. However, the lens can be just as bulky as that of an SLR.
The real quality of the sensor lies in its size rather than the number of megapixels. Indeed, this quantity is more than sufficient in the great majority of professional cameras. On the other hand, the physical size of the sensor influences several parameters and therefore the quality of the images produced.
A large sensor is always a better option, regardless of the type of device. The tolerable minimum in the professional camera category is the 4/3″ microphone. Larger than the 1″, it equips some hybrids. It constitutes an interesting alternative in terms of quality-compactness ratio.
APS-C sensors are installed in the vast majority of DSLRs, whether entry-level or mid-range. This is an advantageous material in terms of cost and rendering. Some hybrids and even compact experts have it. With this type of equipment, photos can be sharper, even in reduced light. Sensitivity and contrasts are also better managed.
If you want to know how to choose the best professional cameras, go for an even bigger sensor. This is full frame or full format. 24 x 36 mm is the format of silver film. Several SLRs integrate this sensor in their housing. This is increasingly the case with hybrids as well. Sensitivity is optimal with this material. The depth of field is smaller, but it allows more artistic possibilities.
Take Care of Weight & Dimensions
You have a choice of dimensions when it comes to professional cameras. Although hybrids are popular, SLRs keep their fans. Compactness isn’t everything. In addition to consulting a comparison, the best is to actually hold the device in your hands. The feeling is a very important element when choosing a model. The outfit should be comfortable, as you won’t always be using a tripod. In addition, depending on your preferred field, you may need to travel frequently. Weight and bulk therefore matter.
In addition to that, also consider the aiming mode. Some people prefer the optical viewfinder of SLRs while others lean more towards digital sights. Again, it depends on how you feel. The main thing is to see what you are going to photograph.
The presence of a screen is becoming the norm on the majority of professional devices. It may or may not be tactile. This feature is an advantage for some and for others not. The same goes for tilting and / or rotating. A screen that rotates can be an advantage in certain situations such as shooting low to the ground. It can also be handy for taking videos. However, some photographers consider it a gimmick.
You may also like to read: Camera Lens Guide for Beginners: How to Choose a Lens for Your Camera?
How to Use a Professional Camera?
What sets a professional camera apart from an amateur model is the ability to play around with the different settings with precision. There are 3 main parameters to take into account when you want to take a professional photo. These are shutter speed, aperture and sensitivity.
It is a kind of slatted curtain that can be opened and closed. It is located in the lens of the camera. It regulates the amount of light that reaches the sensor through the larger or smaller hole that composes it. The larger the opening, the smaller the value indicated. The depth of field is also shallow. Thus, at f2, the sensor will receive more light than at f11 for example. At this large aperture, it is possible to create a background blur. This parameter can be adjusted using a dial or a ring depending on the lens and camera model.
Normally, on a professional camera, there is an aperture priority mode denoted A or Av. You then adjust the aperture as you like and the camera automatically determines the correct shutter speed. This mode is useful for emphasizing backgrounds.
This item is located in the device housing. It also determines the amount of light that will impress the sensor. It is more precisely the exposure time. It is an opaque valve that swings or opens to let light through for a fixed period of time.
It is noted in seconds or fraction of a second. The higher this speed, 1/2000 for example, the less light the sensor will receive. In low light, however, a longer exposure is necessary. The trigger speed can be up to 30 seconds or more.
High speed is recommended for moving subjects. Speed priority, also indicated by S or Tv, is fitted to most devices.
It is expressed in ISO and is generally understood to be from ISO 50 to over ISO 102000. This is the sensitivity of the sensor to light. For weak lighting, this sensitivity must therefore be increased and therefore the value. Conversely, in a bright environment, this value should be reduced. Be careful, when you go up in ISO, noise starts to appear. This results in colored dots and loss of detail. It is therefore better to play on the aperture and speed than to increase the sensitivity excessively.
Even though the JPEG format is currently of excellent quality, it is better to use the RAW format for taking a photo. Heavier, this type of file allows however a greater freedom of treatment, in the manner of a silver lab which develops the film.
Manual mode allows you to adjust each of these parameters. Taking a photo with it is like playing with light. It takes a lot of time to master it. However, at this point, you will get pictures with your professional camera that meet your expectations.