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ePHOTOzine Gear Of The Year Awards 2018

We have searched through our reviews to find the best cameras, smartphones, lenses, and accessories. With an emphasis on image quality and performance, we've found the best of the best!

|  Nikon Z7 in Digital SLRs
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GEAR OF THE YEAR 2018

Every year we search through our reviews to find the best cameras, smartphones, lenses, and accessories. With an emphasis on image quality and performance, we're looking for the best of the best, and we've found them. Without further ado! Simply click the links below to jump to a section, or scroll down to read more.

Compact Cameras | Mirrorless | DSLR | Smartphones | Lenses | Accessories

 

Compact cameras:

Best Waterproof - Olympus Tough TG-5

Olympus Tough TG 5 (3)
 

Waterproof Camera of the Year 2018Olympus Tough TG-5 - With the Olympus TG-5, Olympus are offering a number of features that help this compact waterproof camera stand out. There's a bright f/2.0 lens, a 12mp sensor (for improved low-light performance), 4K video recording, and manual controls. 

Here's what we had to say about the TG-5: 

"The Olympus Tough TG-5 builds on the TG-4 before it, adding a new 12mp sensor, that not only improves noise performance, but in combination with a new image processor, offers high-speed shooting, 4K video, and improved image quality. You can also record high-speed video, with FullHD video recording at 120fps possible. The camera offers a bright f/2.0 lens, making it more suited to underwater photography compared to other waterproof cameras."

 

 

Read the Olympus Tough TG-5 Review.

Buy On Amazon UK | Buy On Amazon USA

 

Best Travel Zoom - Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VI

Sony Cyber Shot RX100 VI (15)

 

Travel Zoom of the Year 2018Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 VI - The Sony Cyber-shot RX100 Mark VI impressed us with the image quality on offer from a travel zoom, although with only an 8.3x optical zoom lens, the camera doesn't offer as much optical zoom as other travel zoom cameras. There's also a fairly hefty price, but if you're looking for the best image quality possible while travelling, then this camera delivers.

Here's what we had to say about the RX100 VI:

"The RX100 VI is an expensive camera, but for the size, it is, without doubt, one of the most capable cameras available. Delivering high-speed shooting, a high-quality zoom lens, and excellent image quality. There's a high-quality electronic viewfinder, with a high resolution and a clever pop-up mechanism."

 

 

Read the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VI Review.

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Best Ultra-Zoom / Bridge Camera - Sony Cyber-shot RX10 IV

Sony RX10 Mark IV (1)
 

Ultra-Zoom of the yearSony Cyber-shot RX10 Mark IV - The Sony Cyber-shot RX10 IV may not offer the same amount of zoom as some ultra-zoom cameras, but instead offers excellent image quality with a 1inch 20mp BSI CMOS sensor, and a 25x optical zoom lens. 

Here's what we had to say about the RX10 IV:

"Like the RX10 Mark III, the Sony Cyber-shot RX10 IV continues to offer the excellent 25x optical zoom Zeiss lens with a bright f/2.4 aperture at the wide-angle end of the lens, and a bright f/4.0 at the telephoto end of the lens. The use of a 1inch, high-speed 20 megapixel BSI CMOS sensor means you'll able to shoot at high speeds, whether shooting still photos, high-speed video or 4K video. Image quality is excellent, with the lens performing well, producing images with good colour and detail. We'd recommend having a look at the camera in person if you can, as it's quite large and heavy."

 

Read the Sony Cyber-shot RX10 IV Review

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Best Serious Compact - Panasonic Lumix LX100 II

Panasonic Lumix LX100 II Hands On (1)
 

Serious Compact of the Year 2018Panasonic Lumix LX100 II - The Panasonic Lumix LX100 II serious compact camera, with a Four Thirds size sensor, as well as full manual controls on the exterior of the camera. There's no need to dive in to the menu system when you can change everything using tactile switches and controls.

Here's what we had to say about the LX100 II:

"Shooting with the Panasonic Lumix LX100 II is a pleasing experience, as the camera makes it easy to change settings, without having to dive into the menu system. Focus is rapid and exposure is reliable, meaning that you can shoot confidently, and trust that you are going to get good results when you view the photos later."

 

 

Read the Panasonic Lumix LX100 II Review.

Buy on Amazon UK | Buy on Amazon USA

 

 

Mirrorless / ILC Cameras

Best Entry-level Mirrorless Camera - Panasonic Lumix GX80

Panasonic Lumix GX80 Silver (6)
 

Compact Mirrorless of the Year 2018Panasonic Lumix GX80 - The Panasonic Lumix GX80 continues to offer excellent value for money, and if you're looking for a compact mirrorless camera, then the GX80 certainly hits the mark. As part of the Micro Four Thirds system, there is a wide range of compact lenses available. 

Here's what we had to say about the GX80:

"The 12-32mm kit lens produces good images, and is particularly convenient thanks to the extremely compact size, turning the GX80 into a camera you can easily take with your where-ever you go. For those that want some of the best features available in a mirrorless compact system camera, the Panasonic Lumix GX80 certainly ticks a lot of boxes, and with a wide range of Micro Four Thirds lenses available, it's difficult to resist this camera!"

 

Read the Panasonic Lumix GX80 Review.

Buy on Amazon UK | Buy on Amazon USA

 

 

Best Advanced DSLR-Style Mirrorless Camera - Fujifilm X-T3

Fujifilm X T3 Black (1)
 

Advanced Mirrorless of the Year 2018Fujifilm X-T3 - This year Fujifilm released the Fujifilm X-T3 - a super-charged high-nitro maximum caffeine high-speed, higher resolution, DSLR style mirrorless camera. The X-T3 is the first APS-C camera to have a BSI CMOS sensor, the camera features a 26mp sensor.

Here's what we had to say about the X-T3:

"The Fujifilm X-T3 delivers a cutting-edge camera, at a price point that is extremely competitive. In fact, the X-T3 is likely to deliver far beyond what most people will need, which should mean it will keep buyers very happy for many years to come."

 

 

 

Read the Fujifilm X-T3 Review.

Buy on Amazon UK | Buy on Amazon USA

 

 

Best Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera - Sony Alpha A7 Mark III

Sony Alpha A7 III Taken With A7III (Custom)
 

Full-Frame Mirrorless of the Year 2018Sony Alpha A7 III - The Sony A7 III was released with a £2000 price point, and reset what you could expect from a camera at this price point. Featuring a 24mp Full-frame BSI CMOS sensor, 10fps continuous shooting, dual SD card slots, improved battery life, 5-axis in-camera image-stabilisation, 4K video recording, a 3inch touch-screen and USB tethering. The camera also has a wide range of lenses available. 

Here's what we had to say about the A7 III:

"The Sony Alpha A7 Mark III, on specifications alone, offers everything you could possibly want from a camera, including low noise at higher ISO speeds, high-speed continuous shooting, rapid focus, and numerous focus points. Thankfully the camera also performs as well - with excellent image quality, thanks to reliable exposure, excellent lenses, great dynamic range and rapid focus performance. High quality 4K video recording is just icing on the cake."

Read the Sony Alpha A7 Mark III Review

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DSLR

Best Entry-level DSLR - Nikon D3500

Nikon D3500 (9)
 

Entry DSLR of the Year 2018Nikon D3500 - The Nikon D3500 may seem the same as previous Nikon's but offers a new more compact camera body, plus impressive battery life of an incredible 1550 shots! It would make a great first DSLR, but more advanced users will want to look at models further up the range. 

Here's what we had to say about the Nikon D3500:

"The Nikon D3500 is a very compact Digital SLR, and offers DSLR quality images, thanks to a large APS-C CMOS sensor. The 18-55mm kit lens performs reasonably well for a kit-lens. The most impressive feature of the Nikon D3500 is the incredible battery life, with the camera offering up to 1550 shots! If you're sick of having to charge batteries, change batteries, or if you travel a lot, then this camera may be the ideal camera for you."

 

Read the Nikon D3500 Review

Buy on Amazon UK | Buy on Amazon USA

 

 

Best Mid-level DSLR (APS-C) - Nikon D7500

Nikon D7500 DSLR

 

Pro APS-C DSLR of the Year 2018Nikon D7500 - For the 2nd year running - and due to the fact that nobody has released mid-range APS-C DSLRs this year - the D7500 is our choice: 

The Nikon D7500 offers a 20 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, 8fps continuous shooting, 4K video recording and built-in Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. The camera offers an impressive ISO range from ISO50 to a massive ISO1,640,000 (1.6 million!). The camera has a tilting 3.2inch touch-screen, 51 AF points, and 950 shot battery life.

Here's what we had to say about the Nikon D7500:

"With the Nikon D7500 featuring the same image sensor as the Nikon D500, you are getting the same D500 image quality, at a lower price point, and in a more compact camera body. This means you can benefit from the best-in-class noise performance, giving usable ISO up to ISO25600."

Read the Nikon D7500 Review

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Best Full-Frame DSLR - Nikon D850

Nikon D850 (1)
 

Full-Frame DSLR of the Year 2018Nikon D850 - For the 2nd year running the Nikon D850 is our choice - With the Nikon D850 Nikon introduced a full-frame 45.7mp BSI CMOS sensor, giving both high-resolution images, but also excellent noise performance, and up to 9fps continuous shooting (with the optional battery grip), along with a range of advanced photo and video features.

Here's what we had to say about the D850:

"The Nikon D850 does everything you could ask of a new Digital SLR, whether you want high resolution images, or high speed shooting, it will do both, without complaining. The camera delivers 45.7mp images, and thanks to a new BSI CMOS sensor, noise performance is excellent, giving you have a wide ISO range, unlike some high-resolution competitors."

 

 

Read the Nikon D850 Review.

Buy on Amazon UK | Buy on Amazon USA

 

 

Smartphones

Best Budget Smartphone (under £300) - Honor 9

Huawei Honor9 (1)
 

Budget Smartphone of the Year 2018Honor 9 - The Honor 9 offers a dual-camera with a secondary monochrome camera, giving you a true monochrome sensor, and available for under £300 it offers excellent value for money. The camera offers 4K video recording as well as continuous shooting at 10fps. 

Here's what we had to say about the Honor 9:

"The Honor 9 offers a dual camera smartphone, plenty of ram and storage, a stylish and good looking design, and offers all of this for a much lower price than you would expect. The dual camera offers a “Hybrid Zoom” giving a 2x zoom, with only a slight loss in image quality. The black and white camera takes impressively sharp and detailed 20mp images, and noise is well controlled whether shooting colour or black and white."

 

 

Read the Honor 9 Review

Buy on Amazon UK | Buy on Amazon USA

 

 

Best Mid-level Smartphone - OnePlus 6

OnePlus6 Red (2)

 

Mid-range smartphone of the year 2018OnePlus6 - The OnePlus 6 is almost half the price of premium smartphones, yet offers premium features including a top of the range processor, and optical image stabilisation (OIS) for the camera. The phone also benefits from updates introduced with the OnePlus 6T, so even if you bought the OnePlus 6, you still benefit from the latest updates released by OnePlus, which includes an updated camera app, with a new multi-shot Night mode. 

Here's what we had to say about the OnePlus 6:

"The main camera performs really well and we really like the camera app which is really intuitive and easy to use. It's a shame the second rear camera doesn't give a longer focal length or something a bit different like a black and white camera (as Huawei do) but with how well the lenses that are built in perform, it's not really a complaint, more of an 'it would be nice'. The screen size is excellent and viewing isn't a problem and the phone looks smart, particularly the red version which is definitely eye-catching."

 

Read the OnePlus 6 Review.

Buy on Amazon UK | Buy on Amazon USA

 

 

Best Premium Smartphone - Samsung Galaxy Note 9

Samsung Galaxy Note9 Blue (1) (Custom)
 

Premium Smartphone of the year 2018Samsung Galaxy Note9 - The Samsung Galaxy Note9 features the same dual-camera setup as the Galaxy S9 Plus, but with an updated camera app designed to give you the best photos. It's got an impressive 6.4inch screen, a bluetooth stylus that can be used for drawing, taking notes, and even as a remote shutter release for photos. It's got large storage options, plus MicroSD expansion, as well as a large 4000mah battery. 

Here's what we had to say about the Samsung Galaxy Note 9:

"The Samsung Galaxy Note9 offers the largest screen, the latest camera, and the unique Samsung S-Pen, which actually provides some useful advantages, both when using the phone, and when taking photos. The phone is large, with a 6.4inch screen, but for those who like the Samsung Galaxy Note series, this will be welcomed. The cameras perform very well, with useful wide-angle and telephoto cameras on the back, both with optical image stabilisation, and a selfie camera with Auto-Focus, so that no matter what distance you are from the camera, you will look good."

Read the Samsung Galaxy Note9 Review.

Buy on Amazon UK | Buy on Amazon USA

 

 

Lenses

Best Wide Angle Lens - Samyang AF 14mm f/2.8 F

AF 14mm f/2.8

 

Wide-angle lens of the Year 2018

Samyang AF 14mm f/2.8 F - Samyang's ultra-wide-angle auto-focus lens for Nikon cameras, the Samyang AF 14mm f/2.8 F full-frame lens offers silent focus, excellent central sharpness, a high standard of manufacture, and remarkable value for money making this a definite 5 star lens.

Here's what we had to say about the Samyang AF 14mm f/2.8 F:

"With a highly competitive price tag, high quality all around and an especially fine optical performance, the Samyang AF 14mm f/2.8 lens for Nikon F certainly more than justifies its cost. Against the competition, it holds its head up high and hits a very sweet price/performance point that makes it a very serious contender for those seeking a 14mm lens. A definite Editor's Choice."

 

 

Read the Samyang AF 14mm f/2.8 F Review.

Buy on Amazon UK | Buy on Amazon USA

 

 

Best Prime Lens - Zeiss Batis 40mm f/2

Zeiss Batis 40mm F2 Front Oblique View
 

Prime Lens of the Year 2018Zeiss Batis 40mm f/2 Close Focus - The Zeiss Batis 40mm f/2 Close Focus lens offers Sony E mount users a unique lens with closer focus than is normal. This 40mm f/2 lens offers excellent sharpness, pleasant bokeh, and fast, silent auto-focus.  

Here's what we had to say about the Zeiss Batis 40mm f/2 CF lens:

"Quality, lack of compromise and elegance of design. These are the things that characterise the new lens, one which I have found very exciting to use. The lens manages to be crisp and clean in terms of its images, but they also have the sparkle that gives that emotional element. Thus the new Zeiss Batis 40mm f/2 CF lens justifies its price tag and it has that extra quality that makes it an Editor's Choice."

 

 

Read the Zeiss Batis 40mm f/2 Review

Buy on Amazon UK | Buy on Amazon USA

 

 

Best Telephoto Lens - Nikon 500mm f/5.6E 

AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR

Telephoto Lens of the Year 2018Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR - The Nikon 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR uses a PF element to produce a more compact and lightweight telephoto lens, whilst still delivering impressive image quality. The built-in Vibration Reduction (VR) gives sharp images, and the lens impressed us with its image quality, build quality, and performance. 

Here's what we had to say about the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR:

"It's a powerful package; light, compact, efficient and very high quality. It is probably one of the easiest 500mm lenses to use as a consequence of the reduced weight and size, as they are specialised lenses that challenge us photographically to get the best out of them. All in all, the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR is a tremendous ultra-telephoto lens that is Highly Recommended."

 

 

Read the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR.

 

 

 

Accessory: 

Best Memory Card - Samsung EVO Plus 512GB MicroSDXC

Samsung EVO Plus 512GB

Accessory of the Year 2018

Samsung EVO Plus 512GB SDXC Memory Card - When we reviewed the Samsung EVO Plus 256GB MicroSDXC memory card, we were impressed by the fast read and write speeds, as well as the 10 year warranty offered with the card. The memory cards are also waterproof, temperature proof, x-ray proof, and magnet proof. Samsung increased the size available to a MASSIVE 512GB this year making it possible to store vast amounts of data, photos, video and more.

Here's what we had to say about the 256GB version of the card:

"The Samsung EVO+ 256GB microSDXC UHS-I U:3 memory card offers some of the fastest read and write speeds available as well as offering a 10 year warranty that is also backed up by the card being waterproof, temperature proof, x-ray proof and magnet proof making it much more likely to survive when compared to more fragile cards. "

 

Read the Samsung EVO Plus 256GB MicroSDXC Review.

Buy on Amazon UK | Buy on Amazon USA

 

 

 

Best Innovation of 2018: Google Pixel 3

Google Pixel 3 (2)

Innovation of the Year 2018Google Pixel 3 - Every year we look at the market to find where the most innovation is visible, and this year has got to go to mobile phone companies, with almost every company making a big deal about technological advancements made in photo processing, all in order to give you better photos. 

Apple, Huawei, OnePlus are all offering new technologies for improved photography... 

But where we've seen the most impressive results, are from Google. Not only does the night shot mode combine a number of photos for impressive night photography, but the "Super Res" technology is also used, to give improved resolution and detail in night shots as well! The "Super Res" technology is used to give 2x zoom with the wide-angle camera, and a Top Shot feature means you get the best shot every time. They've also included an extra ultra-wide-angle selfie camera, for improved group shots. 

Here's what we had to say about the Google Pixel 3:

"The Google Pixel 3 is a great smartphone with an even more impressive camera. It might not have a dual-lens set-up but in all honesty, it doesn't need it as Google has done some impressive things with technology to make sure you're not missing out. Image quality is excellent, portraits 'pop' and the fact you can 'choose the best shot' after you've hit the shutter button is a brilliant feature that's particularly useful at sporting events."

Read the Google Pixel 3 Review

Buy on Amazon UK | Buy on Amazon USA

 

 

And ePHOTOzine's Camera Of The Year 2018:

 

Camera of the Year 2018

 

 

Drumroll please...

The Nikon Z6 and Nikon Z7

The new Nikon Z Series was introduced with not just one new full-frame mirrorless camera, but two, with the best of Nikon's technologies, including excellent ergonomics and handling, as well as great design, making the cameras easy to use, familiar for Nikon users, and not cut-down in any way. Nikon truly have "hit the ground running" with a range of compact lenses that perform well. They have also released a lens roadmap showing the next lenses to be released, which shows they are committed to the camera system. 

 

Nikon Z7 With 24 70mm (2)

Here's what we had to say about the 45.7mp Nikon Z7:

"Image quality is excellent, easily matching the D850, with good noise performance, and Nikon's tried, tested (and loved) colour reproduction. With a camera this good, it's clear to see that the Nikon Z series is the future direction for Nikon's full-frame cameras - and one we'll be watching with close interest."

Read the Nikon Z7 Review.

 

Here's what we had to say about the 24mp Nikon Z6:

"With the choice of a 24mp Z6 or a high-resolution 45mp Z7, Nikon is offering a very good line-up of cameras, with the Z6 offering very good value for money, particularly when you consider that the camera offers 12fps continuous shooting, beating the full-frame competition at this price point. We expect Nikon to have great success with the Z series, and as new lenses (and camera bodies) are introduced the appeal of the system will grow."

Read the Nikon Z6 Review.

 

 

Want more help finding the right camera? Have a look at our complete Camera Buying Guide. Don't forget to pick up a bag to protect your kit - have a look at our complete guide to bags. If you want a memory card for your camera or smartphone, have a look at our complete guide to memory cards.

This is the 8th year of the ePHOTOzine Gear of the Year Awards! If you'd like to have a look back at previous winners, or simply have a trip down memory lane, then you can view previous winners from 201720162015201420132012, and 2011.

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Photographs taken using the Nikon Z7

Towards the lightSt. Pauls CathedralUluru - Ayers RockKata Tjuta - The Olgas, Central Australia.Royal Spoonbill. Platalea regiaSpotted Pardalote, Pardalotus punctatus.Chariot horsesMurmurationSassy flapperLooking in....looking outCity lightsIn hidingThoughtfulThe look outFeeling rosy

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Comments


marlin50 8 3 United Kingdom
1 Jan 2019 11:42AM
What no Canons

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