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The cameras that will dominate the industry in 2017

3 minute read

ShutterstockFill in the blanks: what is coming in the DSLR and MILC world in 2017?

2017 promises to be an exciting time for DSLR and Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Cameras, with 4K being the driving force behind the latest budget and prosumer platforms. So what's on the horizon? George Shaw takes a speculative look into the near future.

Starting with Nikon

With the 100th Anniversary of Nikon coming this year, it stands to reason that the camera company that is actually responsible for the birth of DSLR video would want to make a big statement with a DSLR that can take advantage of the birthday hype. To that end, the talk is that Nikon will announce a special edition Nikon DF camera and lens, plus two additional DSLRs including the Nikon D760, the full frame Nikon D5X and the Nikon 1 J6.

Specs are mum on the Df, but Nikon D760 promise 4K at 30 frames per second and 1080p up to 60fps, plus a crazy peak ISO rating of over 3,280,000, giving it the ability to see in darkness. Other specs include:

24 MP sensor
4K up to 30fps
1080p up to 60fps
ISO 102700-3280000
14-bit RAW

The Nikon 1 will have a smaller 20.8MP sensor, but still offers 4K video and a pull-out tilting LCD screen. Look for it in February.

I'm a little disappointed with the rumoured specs of the Nikon D5 though. Although full frame, the flagship Nikon DSLR will still be stuck shooting video at 1080p. Honestly, I expected more for the 100th anniversary. But it's only a rumour, so maybe we'll be surprised with a full frame sensor shooting in ultra high definition when it comes to market. Nikon, of course, has never given us any cause to think that video is a priority. 

Coming from Canon...

Traditionally conservative with camera development, Canon finally broke the 4K ceiling with the 5D Mk IV in 2016. Now it's time to bring that capability to some of it's other DSLR platforms including the full frame 6D Mk. II. In addition to 4k at 30 fps, the 6D may also shoot 1080p at 60fps and have a modest upgrade to a 25MP sensor. Other specs include:

4K up to 30fps
1080p up to 60fps
25 MP sensor
Dual SD Card slots
Articulating screen
New super-telephoto lens
To be announced Spring/Summer 2017

The entry level Rebel line might also get the next generation T7i and T7s, though will probably continue to max out at 1080p.

Canon may also bump it's 1D line up to 8K (really? - Ed), which would be fantastic, and since its letting its mid-range DSLRs go into 4K, it makes a lot of sense that it would want to give its top end DSLR an 8K makeover. Other specs for the 1D C Mk. II include:

8K video recording up to 30fps
4K up to 60fps
1080p up to 120fps
15 Stops
EF Mount
ISO 409,000
Dual CFast

Moving into the Cinema EOS level, Canon will possibly bring a third generation update to the C100, with 4K at 60p with Raw capture from an optional external recorder. Specs:

4K video recording up to 60fps
1080p up to 120fps
Super 35mm CMOS Sensor
PL + EF Mount
ISO 100-102,400
CFast + SD Card Slots
XF-AVC/MPEG-4 AVC/H.264/ProRes
RAW capture with external recorder
New anamorphic lens announced alongside its release
To be announced in April (ahead of NAB)
Canon also plans to launch a new anamorphic lens being released alongside.

Sony & Blackmagic

Sony is cornering the market on full frame mirrorless cameras, and the next generation Alpha line is bound to make a splash sometime this summer with the ability to record 4K internally. The A7 III might get a larger 24.3 Exmoor sensor, as well as being able to shoot in 422 Raw for better colour gamut. But can it go further with electronic variable ND filter, larger upgraded image processor and widescreen aspect ratios?

To be honest, I would only be guessing trying to prognosticate what camera upgrades BMD will put out this year. It would be like throwing a dart at a dart board with their camera names on it. A 4K Pocket Cinema Camera? A 6K URSA? Maybe an upgrade of the Production Camera? Or a completely new model? 8K? Throw a dart and take your pick! But what we do know is that Blackmagic always leaves us stunned with something or other come Monday morning of NAB, and I expect we'll see something exciting coming from Down Under. 

There are bound to be others, but I doubt we'll see a new RED or ARRI this year. 2017 belongs to the mid range, and it's going to be interesting see just how it shakes out, who will win and who will take it on the chin.


Camera graphic: shutterstock.com

Tags: Production