Camera Reviews

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We use a lot of GoPros here at Gizmodo. We use them to shoot timelapse battery tests for phones and 360 degree videos of multibillion dollar transit hubs and test runs of quarter million dollar cars on a dirt track. So a new GoPro action camera with a lower price tag and badass features has us pumped. We'd love for this to be the camera we choose to update our own fleet of GoPros — more on that in a second — but the Hero5 is definitely the one we'd recommend to a bike nut friend who wants to get into the action cam game.

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Here's my camera wishlist: I want it to be easy to use, not overly complicated, take great images that don't need a lot of post-processing in a range of environments, be portable (as in small enough to pop in my bag comfortably, rather than needing a bag of its own) and not — possibly most importantly — die immediately if I accidentally drop it.

The Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II promises to deliver on this wishlist of mine — not only is it sturdy (read on to find out just how sturdy) and compact, it boasts Canon's new DIGIC 7 processor, coupled with a 1-inch 20.1 megapixel CMOS sensor and 4.2x optical zoom lens — which makes for a photographic package that all but eliminates the need for anything but the most basic editing.

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In 2008, Polaroid announced it would no longer produce instant film. Then, the Impossible Project took the opportunity to buy up what little was left of this division of the company and has spent the last eight years reformulating and reviving the once-popular original format instant film. The I-1 ($US300) is Impossible's first proprietary camera, and it has done an excellent job of marrying the old school format with new school technology. It's basically a funky-looking Polaroid camera you can control with your phone.

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Leica is a respected institution in photography, and rightly so. Over the last 100+ years, the company has mastered the crafts of making exceptional lenses, designing beautiful bodies, and creating a palpable aura of superiority around all of its products. That's what it wants to do with the Leica X-U too. It's the camera Leica wants you to own if you're already loaded down with cameras and need a great running around shooter that can also get slapped, dropped, and drowned. This isn't a first camera to own. It's a second or third. Unfortunately the Leica X-U might be at home in the wet, but falls short as a speedy spare.

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A sharper picture is a welcome addition to this tiny action camera with eyes in the back of its head. I'm still not convinced that your average punter will rush out and embrace 360-degree video, but if you're keen to be an early adopter then the 360fly should certainly be on your short list.

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If you've been using a digital SLR for the last couple of years, you might not have realised just how advanced new cameras have become. And Sony's a7R Mark II is just about the most advanced of them all — apart from one small but surprisingly annoying issue, it's just about the best camera you can get for capturing super-detailed high-res photos.

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You have to marvel at the way Leica dives in to things unapologetically, even when its choices seem like those of a madman. Consider the Leica SL, an entirely new full-frame mirrorless camera. Bundled with a lens it runs over $US12,000, and it weighs more than some small boulders. I got to use it for a weekend, and here's what it's like.