posted Thursday, November 19, 2020 at 11:00 AM EST
For eight years we’ve been bringing you our Camera of the Year awards to showcase the best of the best that passes through our lab and the field. This year we wanted to turn the reigns over to you, the readers, and get your take!
A few weeks ago we put together a poll featuring eight of the top cameras from 2020, which included entries from all of the Big 6 camera manufacturers. In the running, we had the Canon R5, the Canon R6, the Fujifilm X-T4, the Nikon Z5, the Olympus E-M1 III, the Panasonic S5, the Sony A7C and the Sony A7S III — just to refresh your memory.
The votes have now been tallied, and boy oh boy, did you all come out to have your say! The response to the poll was incredible, with an impressive number of votes cast and with entries from over 80 countries and regions around the world!
So, without further ado, let’s see what rose to the top of the ballot boxes…
Reader’s Choice, Third Place: Olympus E-M1 Mark III
You can say similar things about the Olympus E-M1 III as the Fujifilm X-T4. Like the X-T4, the E-M1 III builds upon an impressive predecessor while adding meaningful improvements and new features. It’s an evolution, rather than a revolution, but the result is an excellent addition to the OM-D family.
Many of the E-M1 III’s improved performance features are due to the influence of the flagship Olympus E-M1X camera. The E-M1 III includes several improvements borrowed from its bigger brother, including better image stabilization, handheld High-Res mode, Live ND and improved durability. The all-new image processor let’s this smaller camera offer many of the E-M1X’s features and performance in a more compact form factor. Plus, the E-M1 III offers new focusing features such as advanced face- and eye-detection AF and a new Starry Sky AF mode. Altogether, these additions and improvements give the E-M1 III one of the most impressive and varied feature sets on the market and make it an excellent choice for nearly every scenario.
The Olympus E-M1 III capitalizes on many of the strengths of the E-M1 II, such as a rugged and compact design, great ergonomics and an impressive array of shooting features. There was no need to reinvent the wheel, so Olympus didn’t. Instead, they doubled down on what made the E-M1 II such a great camera for travelers and wildlife photographers. With its new E-M1X DNA, the E-M1 III is a fast, capable and highly versatile Micro Four Thirds camera.
Olympus E-M1 III
Olympus E-M1 III Best Prices • Gallery
Reader’s Choice, Second Place: Fujifilm X-T4
The Fuji X-T4 builds upon what made the X-T3 an excellent camera in 2018 and expands upon some key features yet maintains much of what made its predecessor such a popular choice among both enthusiast and professional photographers.
The X-T4 retains the imaging pipeline of the X-T3, meaning it relies upon the same excellent 26-megapixel APS-C image sensor. The resulting image quality is excellent, even when shooting at high ISO. The X-T4 also packs quite the punch for video performance and features, offering 4K/60p recording, F-Log, 10-bit internal recording, 1080/240p video and improved usability while recording video over its predecessor. Further, the X-T4 addresses one of our biggest complaints against the X-T3, a lack of in-body image stabilization.
Ultimately, there is much to like about the X-T4. The Fujifilm X-T4 is an excellent camera for stills and video, and it can handle nearly every situation with aplomb. It’s certainly no wonder our readers rated it so highly.
Fujifilm X-T4 Best Prices • Gallery
Reader’s Choice, First Place: Canon EOS R5
The readers have spoken! Canon’s high-performance, high-resolution, professional-level full-frame mirrorless camera, the EOS R5, takes the top spot as the Reader’s Choice winner for 2020. With a rugged, durable build plus a high-resolution image sensor and super-fast processor, the Canon R5 has versatility written all over it. Officially teased earlier in the year, Canon’s latest full-frame mirrorless camera, the EOS R5, is based around an all-new high-resolution 45MP sensor, which puts it just under the 5DS/R DSLRs as one of Canon’s highest-resolution cameras yet. Plus, it has the same DIGIC X image processor as the new flagship 1D X III DSLR, making the surprisingly compact Canon R5 feature-packed for both serious photographers as well as videographers.
For photographers, resolution and image quality aside, the R5 features an updated Dual Pixel CMOS AF system with approx. 100% frame coverage and nearly 6000 user-selectable AF point positions, plus Eye Detection for humans and animals as well as bird-detection AF. Of note, too, is the R5’s inclusion of in-body image stabilization (finally!). Along with the R6, the R5’s powerful IBIS system offers impressive stabilization performance with up to 8 stops of rated correction. On the video side of things, the EOS R5 is a beast, with video resolutions up to 8K with 8K RAW recording at 30fps. It also has 4K up to 120sp, 10-bit 4:2:2, Canon Log support and more.
Designed for professionals and serious enthusiasts, the Canon R5 is more than up to the task for high-res creative disciplines, such as portraiture and landscapes, yet it has the performance chops to tackle high-speed action and wildlife endeavors. Plus, with excellent video features, it’s a fantastic choice for those looking for seriously high-quality video.
Canon EOS R5
Canon EOS R5 Best Prices • Gallery
Thanks very much for your votes, photo world!
-The IR Editorial Team
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Imaging Resource Camera of the Year 2020:
Readers’ Choice! (this page)
Best Overall Camera 2020! (coming soon)