Camera Reviews

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Every week a handful of emails hit my inbox about a new backpack on Kickstarter or Indiegogo, complete with a flashy video and promises of revolutionising how I carry all my toys. I'll be the first to admit that I've been tempted to donate to quite a few of them. But it's hard to be pulled away from the Lowepro camera bags I've owned over the years. If you're a photographer, there's a good chance that at some point you've carried a DSLR and a myriad of lenses in one of Lowepro's packs. The company's spent the past 45 years coming up with ways to protect and haul camera equipment. With its new Urbex bags, the company reinvents that camera-focused legacy with a line that's focused on being the bag for all of your gadgets, and the clutter that comes with them.

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DSLR cameras, the big bulky Nikon and Canon cameras you see photographers and your cousin Mimi rocking at weddings, aren't going to go away any time soon, but mirrorless cameras, like the excellent Sony A9, have gotten good enough to make the Nikons and Canons of the world scared. So Nikon's latest full frame professional camera, the D850, borrows some pro experiences from it's mirrorless rivals: Including a tilting display, focus stacking, and mirror-free shooting.

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Small drones are not new. Toy-sized quadcopters have been on the market for years helping kids (and dads) start flying for a relatively reasonable price and not much expertise. Yet small drones that can do almost anything a big drone can do? That's new. And that's what makes the DJI Spark so exciting.

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If you've ever wondered how a photographer managed to capture the exact moment of an incredible end zone reception or the instant a bird takes flight, the answer, in part, is that the photographer's camera also captured the garbage moments directly before and after that golden frame, with a very expensive camera rattling off photos at tommy gun speeds.

For these professional sports and nature photographers there are two widely accepted options: The tippy top cameras from Canon and Nikon, with their big bulky bodies, incredible power, and the most advanced image sensors. Well, Sony finally has an answer to the incumbents in its A9. Not only is this full-frame, mirrorless camera smaller, lighter, and cheaper than the Nikon and Canon competition, it absolutely blows their doors off when it comes to speed.

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Sony's brand new A9 is the most advanced camera that the company has ever made. In a lot of ways, it's the most advanced camera ever. It's a hell of a lot of power in a relatively small and unassuming camera. It's built for the highest of high-end professionals, sports photographers with the need for speed and the need for quality. It can fire off 20 frames in a single second, before you even realise that you're pressing the shutter button.

I, however, am just some Guy With Camera; I do not deserve a camera of this quality and with this feature-set. Nonetheless, here's what I learned in my time with a $7000 camera and even more than that again in high-end lenses.

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GoPro's long-awaited drone has finally reached Australian shores. It's not made necessarily for drone enthusiasts, but for GoPro enthusiasts — the company's fanatic fanbase who already document everything they do on the ground and in the sea. But what's it like to actually fly?

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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.

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There's a sweet spot when you're buying a camera, where you get amazing image quality and an excellent feature-set without having to splash out maximum cash on a top of the line, chunky pro-grade digital SLR, lenses and accessories. Nikon's D7200 is just about as refined as a digital SLR for non-professionals can get.

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As an Apple-toting photographer, the thing I look forward to most about each iPhone update is the camera. This year's 6s and 6s Plus promised not only higher resolution, but better all-around pics, 4K video, and more. Now that there are other terrific smartphone cameras in the mix, the iPhone has to try extra hard to capture your photo-loving heart.