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ePHOTOzine Gear Of The Year Awards 2019

ePHOTOzine's coveted camera and gear of the year awards, for 2019. Find out what cameras, lenses, accessories and systems impressed us the most this year.

|  Samyang AF 45mm f/1.8 FE in Digital Cameras
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GEAR OF THE YEAR 2019

 

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-6

Olympus Tough TG 6 In The Rain
 

Waterproof Camera of the Year 2019Olympus Tough TG-6 - With the Olympus TG-6, Olympus has updated the TG-5 to make its excellent macro capabilities even easier to access. There's a bright f/2.0 lens, a 12mp sensor (for improved low-light performance), 4K video recording, and manual controls. There's also a range of accessories available for the camera.

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

"If you're in the market for a tough waterproof camera, then the Olympus Tough TG-6 offers the best "bang for your buck", with the brightest lens of all waterproof compact cameras, high-speed continuous shooting, 4K video, and particularly impressive macro performance. "

 

 

Read the Olympus Tough TG-6 Review.

Buy On Amazon UK   Buy On Amazon USA

 

 

Best Travel Zoom - Panasonic Lumix TZ95

Panasonic Lumix TZ95 (16)
 

Travel Zoom of the Year 2019Panasonic Lumix TZ95 - The Panasonic Lumix TZ95 offers a 30x optical zoom lens, 4K video recording, and there's even a built-in electronic viewfinder (EVF) which has been improved over the last model. With 5-axis hybrid image stabilisation, 10fps continuous shooting, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, 3cm macro, the camera is a great all-in-one package.

Here's what we had to say about the TZ95:

"The Panasonic Lumix TZ95 builds on a tried and tested formula, and more importantly, a trusted 30x optical zoom lens. They've added Bluetooth, for low-power image transfers. The electronic viewfinder has been improved with a higher resolution, and importantly, a larger size and magnification. Image quality remains similar to the TZ90, but there are a number of subtle but useful improvements, most noticeable in the white balance options. The camera also offers high-quality 4K UHD video recording, with excellent video quality, as well as great audio quality."

 

Read the Panasonic Lumix TZ95 Review.

Buy On Amazon UK   Buy On Amazon USA

 

 

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

Sony RX10 Mark IV (9)
 

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, as well a high-speed shooting. 

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 - Canon Powershot G5X II

Canon Powershot G5X MarkII (6)
 

Serious Compact of the Year 2019The Canon Powershot G5 X Mark II - offers a new 5x optical zoom lens, which offers sharp results at all zoom positions, has a 20mp 1inch BSI CMOS sensor and features 4K video recording, as well as high-speed continuous shooting.

Here's what we had to say about the G5X II:

"The Canon Powershot G5 X Mark II takes the G5 X, and takes a big step forward in terms of speed and performance, with up to 30fps continuous shooting (in raw), and 20fps continuous shooting in JPEG/raw. The lens has been updated, and the camera now offers 5x optical zoom lens, giving a useful range of 24mm to 120mm in 35mm equivalent terms. The ISO range has been extended, and noise performance is very good, thanks to the use of a 1inch BSI CMOS sensor."

 

 

Read the Canon Powershot G5 X Mark II Review.

Buy on Amazon UK   Buy on Amazon USA

 

 

 

Mirrorless / ILC Cameras

 

Best Compact Mirrorless Camera - Fujifilm X-T30

Fujifilm X T30 (3)

 

Compact Mirrorless of the Year 2019Fujifilm X-T30 - The Fujifilm X-T30 offers the same 26mp BSI CMOS APS-C sensor as the X-T3, plus 4K video recording, and high-speed shooting, but in a more affordable camera body. There's a range of appealing X-Mount lenses.

Here's what we had to say about the X-T30:

"The Fujifilm X-T30 offers the same 26mp BSI CMOS image sensor, and image processor, from its bigger brother, the X-T3, meaning you get the same excellent image quality, at a much more wallet-friendly price. Images have great colour reproduction, with low noise levels, even when using higher ISO speeds, and dynamic range performance is very good. Video quality is impressive, offering CINE 4K video and plenty of options."

 

 

Read the Fujifilm X-T30 Review.

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Best Advanced Mirrorless Camera - Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III

PA160160
 

Advanced Mirrorless of the Year 2019Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III - The Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III offers a lot of the features found in cameras higher up in the Olympus range, and the camera features 4K CINE video recording, 30fps continuous shooting, a weather-sealed camera body, and access to the wide-range of Micro Four Thirds lenses.

Here's what we had to say about the E-M5 III:

"With weather sealing, a compact camera body, in-camera image stabilisation, 30fps high-speed continuous shooting, and 4K CINE video recording, the E-M5 III offers a compelling, and somewhat unique offering, for the price point.

The camera also benefits from the Micro Four Thirds system, which has possibly the widest range of native fit lenses of any mirrorless camera system."

 

Read the Olympus OM-D E-M5 III Review.

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Best Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera - Sony Alpha A7R Mark IV

P7160058
 

Full-Frame Mirrorless of the Year 2019Sony Alpha A7R Mark IV - The A7R IV offers a 61mp full-frame BSI CMOS sensor, giving high-resolution images, and making it easier to achieve high-quality results. The release of the A7R IV and it's specifications were unexpected, and Sony's "G Master" lens range makes a great option for this camera, helping get the most out of the sensor. Assuming you need or want so much resolution.

Here's what we had to say about the A7R IV:

"Sony continues to innovate with the latest high-resolution, high-speed, BSI CMOS sensors, and this means they're able to offer high-resolution 61mp images, with low noise. The A7R IV also benefits from 5-axis image stabilisation, and this makes it easier to get high-quality results, and with a more stable (softer) shutter release, you can use the camera without having to worry about shutter shock.

If you're looking for a high-resolution full-frame camera, then the Sony Alpha A7R IV gives high-resolution 61mp images, with ease, and a high level of success. You don't need to use a tripod (unless you want to), you don't need to use a self-timer, or worry about shutter shock, instead, you can simply concentrate on your photography, framing, and composition, and shoot away. The camera has a reliable focus system and gives good JPEG results straight from the camera. If you pair the camera with a high-quality zoom lens or a prime lens, then you can quickly get great results."

Read the Sony Alpha A7R IV Review

Buy on Amazon USA

 

 

DSLR

 

Best Entry-level DSLR - Canon EOS 250D

Canon EOS 250D Black (1)

 

Entry DSLR of the Year 2019Canon EOS 250D - The Canon EOS 250D is a compact DSLR that makes it easy to take with you, with Canon's great colour reproduction, and low-noise levels, this camera is well worth a look.

Here's what we had to say about the Canon EOS 250D:

"The Canon EOS 250D offers a compact DSLR, with Canon’s typical, and excellent, colour reproduction. Noise performance is improved compared to other entry-level Canon, and Nikon DSLRs. For those that want the true DSLR experience, with an optical viewfinder, and the impressive battery life that goes with it, the EOS 250D offers a very neat little package.

The camera also benefits from the vast array of Canon EF and EF-S lenses available, with the 50mm f/1.8 STM lens being a particularly good value option. In fact, the wide choice of lenses remains a key advantage of choosing a DSLR from Canon."

 

Read the Canon EOS 250D Review

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Best Mid-level DSLR (APS-C) - Canon EOS 90D

Canon EOS 90D DSLR (2)
 

Pro APS-C DSLR of the Year 2019Canon EOS 90D - The Canon EOS 90D offers a 32 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, 9fps continuous shooting, 4K video recording, and built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

Here's what we had to say about the Canon EOS 90D:

"From the outside, the EOS 90D may look just like every other Canon DSLR, with conservative design, but inside is where most of the differences can be found. Canon has developed a new 32mp APS-C CMOS sensor, yet don't seem to have been massively hit by increased noise, when compared to other Canon DSLRs. It offers a higher resolution sensor than others, and the 4K video using the full width of the sensor will be a massive positive for many."

 

 

Read the Canon EOS 90D Review

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Best Full-Frame DSLR - Nikon D850

Nikon D850 (1)
 

Full-Frame DSLR of the Year 2019Nikon D850 - For the 3rd 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, it continues to be the best full-frame DSLR available.

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 9x

Honor 9X
 

Budget Smartphone of the Year 2019Honor 9x - The Honor 9x offers a triple-camera setup, with a 48mp main camera, an ultra-wide-angle, and a bokeh camera, and available for under £250 it offers excellent value for money, with a generous amount of storage at 128GB. There's also a pop-up selfie camera, and a large 6.59inch screen.

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

"The Honor 9X is a cool-looking smartphone with a good camera and when you combine this with the good battery and a very reasonable price-point - you can't go far wrong with the Honor 9X if you're on a budget. 

Do you really need the 48MP option? Probably not and it would have been nice to see a metal/glass design but this doesn't change the fact that the Honor 9 is a lovely looking smartphone that has a fun pop-up camera, a big screen, feature-packed camera app and, rather importantly for some, a headphone socket."

 

Read the Honor 9x Review

Buy on Amazon UK

 

 

Best Mid-level Smartphone - Google Pixel 3A XL

Google Pixel 3A XL (1)

 

Mid-range smartphone of the year 2019Google Pixel 3a / 3a XL - The Google Pixel 3a and 3a XL offer the same excellent camera as the Pixel 3, but at almost half the price. Even though it's only got one camera, it will offers a decent 2x telephoto zoom, using "computational photography" to produce an image that can look as good as 2x telephoto cameras.

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

"Being able to get one of the best smartphone cameras available, for almost half the price of the flagship version, the Google Pixel 3, is quite simply a "no-brainer" and some may even prefer the Pixel 3a for its headphone socket.

Sure it may not have the ultra-wide-angle or telephoto cameras of other flagship smartphones (but again, these many of these cost twice the price) but with the one camera, it delivers some of the best night shots, best portrait shots, and generally just some of the best photos possible from a smartphone. Whether you choose the Pixel 3a or the Pixel 3a XL will be down to whether you want a larger screen, and a larger battery, or want the smaller option."

Read the Google Pixel 3a XL Review.

Buy on Amazon UK   Buy on Amazon USA

 

 

Best Premium Smartphone - Samsung Galaxy Note 10/+

Samsung Galaxy Note10+
 

Premium Smartphone of the year 2019Samsung Galaxy Note10 - The Samsung Galaxy Note10+ features a triple camera setup, the latest video processing offering video with background blur (bokeh) effects. It's got an impressive 6.8inch 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 4300mah battery. 

Here's what we had to say about the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus:

"The Samsung Galaxy Note10+ smartphone is a premium smartphone with a premium price but you often get what you pay for and this is pretty much spot-on with the Samsung Galaxy Note10+. Overall, it's well-made, feels premium and packs specs you can't help but be impressed with."

 

Read the Samsung Galaxy Note10 Review.

Buy on Amazon UK   Buy on Amazon USA

 

 

Lenses

 

Best Wide Angle Lens - Zeiss Batis 18mm f/2.8

Zeiss Batis 18mm F2,8 Without Hood On Sony A7III
 

Wide-angle lens of the Year 2019

Zeiss Batis 18mm f/2.8 - Zeiss' ultra-wide-angle auto-focus lens for Sony FE cameras, the Zeiss Batis 18mm f/2.8 FE full-frame lens offers high-quality optics, and an innovative OLED display on top that can be used to show different information, useful for shooting.

Here's what we had to say about the Zeiss Batis 18mm f/2.8:

"There is no doubt that Zeiss makes some very fine lenses. It is also a pleasure to have a range of AF lenses as well, and the Batis 18mm fits beautifully on the Sony E system cameras."

 

 

Read the Zeiss Batis 18mm f/2.8 Review.

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Best Portrait Lens - Nikon Nikkor Z 85mm f/1.8 S

Nikkor Z 85mm F1,8S On NikonZ7 No Hood
 

Portrait Lens of the Year 2019Nikon Nikkor Z 85mm f/1.8 S - The Nikon Nikkor Z 85mm f/1.8 S is the classic portrait lens, and designed specifically for the Nikon Z-Mount it offers impressive image quality and performance.

Here's what we had to say about the Nikon Nikkor Z 85mm f/1.8 S lens:

"What a cracker of a lens the Nikon Nikkor Z 85mm f/1.8 S has turned out to be. With outstanding performance, outstanding handling and its diminutive size and weight there is a lot to like, in fact a lot to find that is highly desirable. The cost is at the higher end of such lenses, although nowhere near the cost that an f/1.4 version would result in. It might be an inspired decision by Nikon to keep their lens to be smaller, lighter but to ensure the highest level of quality."

 

 

Read the Nikon Nikkor Z 85mm f/1.8 S Review

Buy on Amazon UK   Buy on Amazon USA

 

 

Best Standard Prime Lens - Tamron SP 35mm f/1.4 Di USD (F045)

Tamron 35mm F1,4 Front Oblique View
 

Prime Lens of the Year 2019Tamron SP 35mm f/1.4 Di USD - The Tamron SP 35mm f/1.4 Di USD lens is weather-resistant, delivers excellent sharpness, with excellent bokeh, and minimal flare, offering excellent value for money.

Here's what we had to say about the Tamron SP 35mm f/1.4 Di USD:

"The performance is excellent, the handling is excellent and this puts the Tamron on a par with the best alternative 35mm f/1.4 lenses, and, it must be said, at an attractive price. Yes, it is still expensive, but that is the price we have to pay for such high quality."

 

 

Read the Tamron SP 35mm f/1.4 Di USD Review.

Buy On Amazon UK   Buy On Amazon USA

 

 

Best Budget Prime Lens - Samyang AF 45mm f/1.8 FE

Samyang Af 45mm F1,8 Fe Front Oblique View
 

Budget Lens Of The Year 2019Samyang AF 45mm f/1.8 FE - Samyang's 45mm f/1.8 lens for full-frame E-Mount cameras, offers auto-focus, an appealing focal length of 45mm, and a nice f/1.8 aperture, along with an affordable price tag, and a compact design.

Here's what we had to say about the Samyang AF 45mm f/1.8 FE:

"With a high level of performance and a pleasing character, the Samyang AF 45mm f/1.8 FE lens has plenty of potential to become a favourite. It is light and compact and generally just delivers the goods in a simple, discrete package. When used for street photography, it can be an advantage to use an unobtrusive lens."

 

 

Read the Samyang AF 45mm f/1.8 FE Review.

Buy On Amazon UK    Buy On Amazon USA

 

 

Accessory: 

 

Best Memory Card - Samsung EVO Plus 512GB MicroSDXC

Samsung EVO Plus 512GB

Accessory of the Year 2019

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 whopping 512GB 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 2019: Fujifilm GFX100

GFX100 Moody 03 Edited
 

Innovation of the Year 2019Fujifilm GFX 100 - The Fujifilm GFX 100 is a 100mp medium format camera, that has made it high-resolution medium format photography (more) accessible, first with the sub £10,000 price point. Secondly, by making the camera as easy to use as a DSLR, with built-in image stabilisation, you can take the camera out and about and shoot photos, as though you are using a DSLR or Mirrorless camera, and not have to worry about tripods, self-timers, focus calibration, the camera simply takes incredible photos, leaving you to enjoy the results.

Here's what we had to say about the Fujifilm GFX 100:

"The Fujifilm GFX 100 offers a whole host of groundbreaking features, starting with an excellent 100mp BSI CMOS medium-format sensor, combined with high-quality lenses and excellent image processing (and colour reproduction), and you get exceptional results. What's even more impressive is how easy the camera is to use, whilst still obtaining results that impress. Thanks to the in-body sensor-based image stabilisation, you don't have to worry about taking all your shots on a tripod, or using a self-timer. "

Read the Fujifilm GFX 100 Review.

 

 

And ePHOTOzine's Camera System Of The Year 2019:

 

Camera of the Year 2019

 

Drumroll, please...

 

The Nikon Z System

We've been reviewing Nikon Nikkor Z mount cameras, and lenses, and every single Z mount lens from Nikon that we've reviewed has performed EXCEPTIONALLY.

The Nikon Z series offers a choice of high-quality full-frame mirrorless cameras, the 24mp Nikon Z6, and 47mp Nikon Z7, and these were the camera of the year winners last year, in 2018. This year as the range of lenses has increased, we've seen Nikon's admirable choice to release compact lenses, that match the size of the camera system, and give a more compact overall option than equivalent DSLRs.

Some companies have gone for large DSLR bodies, and lenses, whilst others have small bodies, and larger lenses, instead Nikon has gone for lighter, smaller lenses, with exceptional image quality, introducing brighter lenses later, giving you the choice of small and light, or brighter and larger lenses.

 

Nikon Z Series Lenses - Editor's Choice

 

We've reviewed the: Nikon Nikkor Z 58mm f/0.95 Noct, Nikon Nikkor Z 24mm f/1.8 S, Nikon Nikkor Z 14-30mm f/4 S, Nikon Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S Pro, and Nikon Nikkor Z 85mm f/1.8 S. All of them scoring 5 stars, and an Editor's Choice award. Each lens delivering excellent sharpness, low chromatic aberration, pleasing bokeh, and resistance to flare.

More recently, Nikon has introduced the Nikon Z50 with a Z-Mount, the camera uses the same Z-Mount so can use the already available, and excellent Z series lenses, in cropped mode, and has been introduced with 2 zoom lenses, offering an impressive range from 16mm to 250mm, with more Nikon lenses on their way for both DX (APS-C) and full-frame.

The Z series offers a more compact mirrorless camera body, but even with the new Z50, offers excellent DSLR style handling, with a compact zoom lens that matches the camera.


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 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, and 2011.

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