PortraitPro 21 - 50% OFF + an EXTRA 20% OFF! Use Code: EPZJS

The Best Gear Of The Year Awards 2020

The best cameras and photography kit of 2020, as chosen by ePHOTOzine. Find out what we think is the Best Gear Of The Year 2020 here!

|  Nikon Z6 II in Digital Cameras
 Add Comment

GEAR OF THE YEAR 2020

 

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 Tg6 Underwater
 

Waterproof Camera of the Year 2020Olympus 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, and since there hasn't been a better waterproof camera released this year, the TG-6 wins for the second year running.

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 (2)
 

Travel Zoom of the Year 2020Panasonic 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. Since there hasn't been a better travel zoom released this year, the TZ95 wins for the second year running.

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 - Nikon Coolpix P950

Nikon Coolpix P950 (4)
 

Ultra-Zoom of the year Nikon Coolpix P950 - The Nikon Coolpix P950 offers an impressive 83x optical zoom lens, 4K video recording, a 3.2inch vari-angle screen, an improved electronic viewfinder, and the camera adds a flash hot-shoe, a microphone socket, and raw support.

Here's what we had to say about the P950:

"The Nikon Coolpix P950 is Nikon's update to the P900, and offers the same 83x optical zoom lens, but improves it with 4K video, a flash hot-shoe, microphone socket, and raw shooting. We test the P950 in a variety of places and find that the optical zoom, whilst impressive, needs care to get the best results. With a 2000mm equivalent reach, you may need to use a tripod to get the best results, and you'll definitely want to use a tripod for video. In good conditions, the images look good, and the camera offers a lot."

 

Read the Nikon Coolpix P950 Review

Buy on Amazon UK   Buy on Amazon USA

 

 

Best Serious Compact - Fujifilm X100V

DSC02116
 

Serious Compact of the Year 2020The Fujifilm X100V - offers a new lens, a tilting screen, and new design - making this, perhaps, one of the best street photography cameras available. It looks gorgeous as well, with direct control for a number of settings, including the aperture, shutter speed, ISO and exposure compensation.

Here's what we had to say about the X100V:

"The X100V introduces a completely new lens, and although it's still a 23mm f/2.0 lens, the optical elements in the lens are completely new, giving improved macro performance as well as taking the image quality to the next level. The design of the camera has been improved as well, with a more angular design, as well as a tilting rear screen.

The camera is ideally suited to street photography, or as a general camera that you can take with you where ever you may go. It's built to last, and thanks to weather-sealing should survive for many years to come, making the relatively high-price easily justifiable. The camera oozes quality, with external controls that make the camera a real joy to use."

Read the Fujifilm X100V Review.

Buy on Amazon UK   Buy on Amazon USA

 

 

Best Vlogging Compact Camera - Sony ZV-1

P1010243
 

Vlogging Compact of the Year 2020Sony ZV1 - The Sony ZV-1 is a compact camera, with a 20mp 1inch BSI CMOS sensor, and the camera has literally been designed for vlogging and video recording. With 4K video and easy to use features, as well as a compact size, and a vari-angle screen, this camera is the first choice for vlogging. However, whilst it is great for video, we wouldn't necessarily recommend it for stills photography, as there are better cameras available for the price.

Here's what we had to say about the ZV-1:

"What's difficult to find fault with, is the quality of video recorded with the camera. Even in lower light conditions, the camera delivers great-looking video, and with a bright f/1.8 aperture, it certainly gives mirrorless cameras a run for their money, giving better background blur than many kit lenses.

You've got high-speed video recording, albeit at a lower resolution, with less detail. Focus is fast and reliable, and there are easy to use features that produce excellent results, with blurred background if you want it, or a clearer background when needed. Ultimately, the Sony ZV-1 is the best compact camera we've seen for vlogging and entry-level video work. The quality of output is clear to see, and the camera makes it incredibly easy to get great footage!"

Read the Sony ZV-1 Review.

Buy on Amazon UK  Buy on Amazon USA

 

 

Mirrorless / ILC Cameras

 

Best Compact Mirrorless Camera - Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV

OM-D E-M10 Mark IV

 

Compact Mirrorless of the Year 2020 Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV - The Olympus OM-D E-M10 IV shows that you don't have to spend massive amounts of money to get a great camera. The Mark IV offers a 20mp sensor, 4K video recording, in-body image stabilisation, and a compact, well-designed camera body. As part of the Micro Four Thirds system, there are literally hundreds of lenses to choose from, from compact, budget lenses, to large telephoto zooms.

Here's what we had to say about the E-M10 Mark IV:

"The handling of the camera is particularly good as well, with a well-thought-out handgrip, and dual command dials making it easy and quick to change settings.

There are a number of advanced shooting features that make it easier to get night photos, and low-light photos will be exposed correctly thanks to Live composite / Live time. The in-camera image stabilisation helps with slower shutter speeds and works with any lens. Speaking of lenses, you'll find there's a huge range of Micro Four Thirds lenses available, with bright primes, all the way to long telephoto zooms available, many quite affordable compared to some."

Read the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV Review.

Buy on Amazon UK   Buy on Amazon USA

 

 

Best Advanced Mirrorless Camera - Fujifilm X-T4

Fujifilm XT4 Black (1)
 

Advanced Mirrorless of the Year 2020 Fujifilm X-T4 - The Fujifilm X-T4 introduced a number of new things to the X-Mount system, including a new, larger battery for improved battery life (up to 600 shots in economy mode), it also features in-body image stabilisation, 4K video at 60fps, high-speed continuous shooting, and a vari-angle touch-screen. The camera is also weather-sealed.

Here's what we had to say about the X-T4:

"The camera is well suited to a wide variety of photography, with good noise performance and IBIS making it better in low-light situations, great colour reproduction making it suited to portraits and other photography, and high-speed shooting further expands the camera's appeal in particular for wildlife or sports photography.

For anyone wanting the best the X-Series has to offer, the X-T4 is it, with a great 26mp sensor, great colour reproduction, and high-quality video recording, the X-T4 has it all, including high-speed autofocus and continuous shooting. Add in-body image stabilisation, along with improved battery life, and you have the complete package."

Read the Fujifilm X-T4 Review.

Buy on Amazon UK   Buy on Amazon USA

 

 

Best Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera - Nikon Z6 II

Nikon Z6 II (12)
 

Full-Frame Mirrorless of the Year 2020The Nikon Z6 II updates the Z6, which is still available, but adds in some extra speed, and features, including a second card slot, so that you can now use SD cards with the camera. The continuous shooting speed has been increased to 14fps, and 4K 60fps video (cropped) will be coming with a future firmware update due in Feb 2021. Battery life is slightly improved, but still relatively short compared to some other cameras. However, we feel that the most impressive feature of the Nikon Z6 II (and the Z series) is the range of very high-quality lenses available for the camera, which results in some exceptional image quality, with fantastic levels of detail, and Nikon's great colour reproduction.

Here's what we had to say about the Z6 II:

"Like the Nikon Z6, the Z6 II offers great image quality and great handling, but with added "oomph" as well as the convenience of an SD card slot. The Nikon Z6 II and the other camera's in the Z series offer great handling, and the Z6 II offers a full-frame 24mp BSI CMOS sensor that is able to offer great noise performance. When combined with the extremely high-quality Z series lenses, you'll find your self extremely impressed by the image quality on offer from the camera. The images produced offer a level of sharpness and detail that is not always seen."

Read the Nikon Z6 II Review

Buy on Amazon UK   Buy on Amazon USA

 

 

DSLR

 

Best Entry-level DSLR - Canon EOS 850D

Canon EOS 850D (13)

Entry DSLR of the Year 2020Canon EOS 850D - The Canon EOS 850D is the latest update in the xx0D range, and offers 4K video and a number of other updates, including improved battery life, and improved handling and controls, that make this a really good entry into the Canon EOS DSLR line-up.

Here's what we had to say about the Canon EOS 850D:

"Handling and ergonomics is a strong point of the camera, with a large, comfortable grip, and the addition of a second command wheel on the back is a welcome addition which makes the shooting experience better.

If you're looking for a DSLR, and want to use one of the many EF/EF-S lenses available, then the 850D is a very good DSLR, with good battery life, and great image quality."

 

Read the Canon EOS 850D Review

Buy on Amazon UK   Buy on Amazon USA

 

 

Best Full-Frame DSLR - Nikon D780

Nikon D780 (1)
 

Full-Frame DSLR of the Year 2020Nikon D780 - The Nikon D780 - For people who are familiar with Nikon DSLRs, the 24mp D780 will feel like "an old friend", with excellent handling and ergonomics, along with the latest technology and advances borrowed from the Nikon Z mirrorless range. This gives you the ability to benefit from eye-detection focus, a wider focus area, as well as faster continuous shooting at 12fps, using the electronic shutter. There are other benefits to be found, including focus shift shooting, which also uses the electronic shutter.

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

"The Nikon D780 copes with almost everything you throw at it and produces excellent results. If you're in the market for a full-frame Digital SLR, then the Nikon D780 should be very high on your list, particularly if you shoot in low-light conditions, as you'll benefit from the low noise levels on offer. It's going to be particularly beneficial for people who regularly shoot weddings, portraits, or shoot at night, where low-light performance is key. Ultimately the combination of an excellent 24mp BSI CMOS sensor and high-quality lenses delivers exceptional image quality in a variety of conditions, with the addition of further shooting features and performance from the Nikon Z6 being the icing on the cake."

Read the Nikon D780 Review.

Buy on Amazon UK   Buy on Amazon USA

 

 

Smartphones

 

Best Budget Smartphone (under £300) - MOTO G PRO

Moto G Pro
 

Budget Smartphone of the Year 2020 Moto G Pro - The Moto G Pro is available for around £230, and comes with a large screen, multiple cameras, and even comes with a Stylus! We were impressed by the value for money on offer from this smartphone, and the inclusion of a stylus, especially considering the price!

Here's what we had to say about the Moto G Pro:

"The Motorola Moto G Pro is a great choice for those whose primary consideration in a smartphone is the camera capability. The Moto G Pro offers front and back full-manual modes, which is rare. It also offers RAW capture capability in manual mode. 

It's a really nice looking handset with a beautiful rear colour that handles very well. Anyone looking for a decent smartphone for photography for a reasonable price would be hard-pressed to find a better option."

Read the Moto G Pro Review

Buy on Amazon UK   Buy on Amazon USA

 

 

Best Mid-level Smartphone - Google Pixel 4A 5G

Image P4a5G 2020Q2 RTQ BTQR Black 20 0099 0436 02a R03 SIMP

 

Mid-range smartphone of the year 2020 Google Pixel 4a 5G - The Google Pixel 4a 5G offers a great main camera, plus an ultra-wide-angle camera. The smartphone doesn't offer a telephoto camera but does have an impressive digital zoom, that gives results that are on par with a 2-3x optical zoom camera.

Here's what we had to say about the Google Pixel 4a 5G:

"if you want a mid-range smartphone with 5G and some clever camera technology then they Pixel 4a 5G would be a good choice. Plus, as we said in our quick summary if you're going to buy a new Google Pixel smartphone this year, the Google Pixel 4a 5G should be it as it's cheaper than the Pixel 5 but shares the same cameras, and other technology, while offering 5G connection. It also has a larger display than you find on the Pixel 5, it looks great and has a brilliant price point. We're a fan of the Google Pixel 4a 5G and we think you will be too."

 

Read the Google Pixel 4a 5G Review.

Buy on Amazon UK   Buy on Amazon USA

 

 

Best Premium Smartphone - Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G


 

Premium Smartphone of the year 2020 Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G - The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra is jam-packed with Samsung's best camera technology - there's a 103mp f/1.8 standard wide-angle camera with OIS, a 48mp f/3.5 telephoto (4x) camera with OIS, a 12mp ultra-wide, and a TOF 3D depth camera. You can also record 8K video at 24fps, 4K video at 60/30fps, and FullHD video at 240fps. There's even a 40mp selfie camera!

Here's what we had to say about the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G:

"If you're the type of person who needs a smartphone that offers the best and is always looking for more in terms of performance, battery and, well, most other features you look for in the smartphone you're going to love the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra. However, it comes at a price that most probably won't be able to afford. Yes, the camera is great as is the screen and battery life but when you think you've got to pay the equivalent of a 2-week holiday away for the privilege, you've got to really want the 'biggest and the best'. If you can afford the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, you won't be disappointed. For everyone else, you do have the Galaxy S20+ and S20 to look at, too. "

Read the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G Review.

Buy on Amazon UK   Buy on Amazon USA

 

 

Lenses

 

Best Telephoto Zoom Lens - Nikon Nikkor Z 70-200mm f/2.8 S

Z70 200 2
 

Telephoto Zoom Lens of the Year 2020Nikon Nikkor Z 70-200mm f/2.8 S - The Nikkor Z 70-200mm f/2.8 S telephoto zoom lens is Nikon's premium telephoto zoom lens for the Nikon Z system, with a constant aperture of f/2.8, the lens should give great results even when light levels dip. There's also an OLED display on top, and multiple Fn buttons.

Here's what we had to say about the Nikkor Z 70-200mm f/2.8 S lens:

"The quality is there, so much quality, and basically this is a truly outstanding zoom lens. The focal length range is highly desirable, giving so much scope and versatility in subject matter from portraits to landscapes to sport and much more. Sometimes lenses with such high sharpness can be a bit ragged in terms of bokeh, but here even the bokeh is as smooth as butter. The cost may be high, but falls within expectation and what we get in return for our cash is a lens that is outstanding in every respect. Without doubt an Editor's Choice."

Read the Nikon Nikkor Z 70-200mm f/2.8 S Review

Buy on Amazon UK

 

 

Best Super Zoom Lens - Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD

Tamron 28 200mm With Hood On Sony A7R III
 

Super Zoom Lens of the Year 2020Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD - The Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD offers a wide zoom range and aims to be the all-in-one lens for full-frame Sony E-mount cameras, with a relatively bright f/2.8 aperture at the wide-angle end of the lens.

Here's what we had to say about the Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD:

"This lens is very impressive indeed. The quality of results is far better than we might expect, and extremely well held even at the longer focal lengths, often a weak spot with zoom lenses. There is also the option of switching in the in-camera corrections if desired. It seems that Tamron are firing on all cylinders at the moment, and they well deserve here the accolade of an Editor's Choice."

 

Read the Tamron 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6 Di III RXD Review.

Buy On Amazon UK   Buy On Amazon USA

 

 

Best Budget Portrait Prime Lens - Samyang AF 75mm f/1.8 FE

Samyang AF 75mm F1,8 Front Element View

Budget Lens Of The Year 2020Samyang AF 75mm f/1.8 FE - Samyang's 75mm f/1.8 lens for full-frame E-Mount cameras, is a great budget prime portrait lens and offers auto-focus, an appealing focal length of 75mm, 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 75mm f/1.8 FE:

"As for performance, this is just exemplary, the Samyang AF 75mm f/1.8 FE is an outstanding lens indeed. Along with a moderate, realistic price tag, compact size and great handling, the only caveat is the lack of sealing against water and dust. This still leaves us with a superb lens and an obvious Editor's Choice."

 

 

Read the Samyang AF 75mm 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 2020Samsung 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

 


Drumroll, please...

ePHOTOzine's Camera Of The Year 2020:

 

Camera Of The Year 2020The Nikon Z6 II

The Nikon Z6 II may be a version II, of the Z6, but it reminds us again of the high-quality range of Z-mount lenses available from Nikon, with the camera producing exceptional image quality, with a few tweaks and updates, making an already great camera (the Z6), even better, with the Z6 II. The camera has a full-frame 24mp BSI CMOS sensor, has in-body image stabilisation, and offers a rapid 14fps continuous shooting speed. The camera records 4K video, and this will be updated to record 4K video at 60fps with a future firmware update. With the Nikon Z6 II you also get great handling, with excellent ergonomics, easy to use controls, and a solid dependable, weather-sealed camera body. You can also use Nikon F-mount lenses with an adapter to widen up the range of lenses available.

Z6II FTZ Fisheye 8 15 |

And on the subject of lenses, you've got a choice of a range of EXCELLENT lenses, including the Nikon Nikkor Z 70-200mm f/2.8 S, 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.

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 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, and 2011.

Support this site by making a Donation, purchasing Plus Membership, or shopping with one of our affiliates: Amazon UK, Amazon US, Amazon CA, ebay UK

It doesn't cost you anything extra when you use these links, but it does support the site, helping keep ePHOTOzine free to use, thank you.

Buy Now

Nikon Z6 II Mirrorless Camera Body (24.5 megapixel, Ultra wide ISO, 14 fps Continuous Shooting, Duel Processor, Duel Card Slots, 4K Full HD Video)
HIGH
£1999.00
LOW
£1999.00
BUY NOW £1999

Got your eye on a camera or lens?

Sign up to create a price drop alert and we'll email you when it's cheaper!

Other articles you might find interesting...

Top Essential Tips On Choosing And Buying A Digital Camera
Olympus OM-D Firmware Updates Coming - Including Bird Detection
Olympus Sign Transfer Of Imaging Business To JIP
Canon EOS Webcam Utility Officially Released
New Canon Cinema Camera To Be Announced At Canon Vision
Nikon Release WebCam Software For Mirrorless And DSLRs
Nikon Z Series Mirrorless Camera Firmware Update
Canon REIMAGINE Event Coverage - Live Updates

Comments


cindyme 6 1
1 Jan 2021 11:49AM
What have you against Canon R5?
1 Jan 2021 4:36PM
Re: Best Entry-level DSLR - Canon EOS 850D.

How the hell is £930 "Entry-level"?

Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.