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Best prosumer cameras compared: Canon vs. Fujifilm vs. Olympus vs. Nikon vs. Sony

By Marcus Wong - 10 Dec 2017


Note: This article was first published in the February 2017 issue of HWM.

Prosumer camera shootout: 2017 edition

Smaller, lighter, and more affordable while offering professional-level performance. Those are the hallmarks of prosumer cameras that appeal to both professionals and serious enthusiasts alike. You may recall that we did a similar shootout just last year between the Canon EOS 80D, Nikon D500, and Sony A6300 just last year. Well it seems we might have been a little too hasty there, as both Canon and Sony surprised us with year-end additions to their lineup in terms of the Canon EOS M5 and the Sony A6500. Fujifilm also was ready to join the fray with the release of their own flagship APS-C DSLR-style offering - the X-T2, and Olympus also had their new flagship camera, the Micro Four Thirds O-MD E-M1 Mark II. So here's a more complete roundup of the prosumer offerings in the camera world today.

Bear in mind that one of our key criteria is that cameras compared in this roundup must be released in the year of 2016. So while there may be other suitable contenders price-wise, they aren't new and may not compete favorably in terms of features offered.

Here's a quick round up of how the cameras stack up against each other in terms of specifications:-

2017 Prosumer Camera Comparison
  Canon EOS M5 Fujifilm X-T2 Nikon D500 Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Sony Alpha 6500
  Canon EOS M5 Fujifilm X-T2 Nikon D500 Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Sony Alpha 6500
Launch SRP
  • From S$1499
  • From S$2599
  • From S$2999
  • From S$2848
  • From S$1949
Effective pixels
  • 24.2 Megapixels
  • 24.3-megapixels
  • 20.9 Megapixels
  • 20.4MP
  • 24.2 Megapixels
  • APS-C X-Trans III CMOS
  • CMOS sensor (Nikon DX format)
  • 4/3-inch Live MOS Sensor
  • APS-C Exmor CMOS
Focal Length Multiplier
  • 1.6x
  • 1.5x
  • Approx. 1.5x
  • 2x
  • 1.5x
ISO rating
  • 100-25,600
  • 200 to 12,800 (expandable to 51,200)
  • 100 to 51,200 (expandable to ISO 50 to ISO 1,640,000)
  • ISO 64 - 25,600
  • 100-25,600 (expandable to 51,200)
Shutter speed
  • 1/4000s-30s
  • 1/32,000s -30s
  • 1/8000 to 30s in steps of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV, bulb, X250
  • 1/32,000 - 60 seconds
  • 1/4000s-30s
Auto Focus
  • Dual pixel CMOS AF with 49 AF points
  • Intelligent Hybrid AF (TTL contrast AF / TTL phase detection AF) with a total of 325 points.
  • Nikon Advanced Multi-CAM 20K autofocus sensor module with TTL phase detection, fine-tuning, 153 focus points (99 cross-type with 15 that support f/8)
  • 121-point cross-type phase detection AF and 121-point contrast AF
  • Fast Hybrid AF(phase-detection AF/contrast-detection AF) with a total of 425 points
Exposure Control
  • Program AE, Shutter priority AE, Aperture priority AE, Manual exposure
  • P(Program AE) / A(Aperture Priority AE) / S(Shutter Speed Priority AE) / M(Manual Exposure)
  • Programmed auto with flexible program (P); shutter-priority auto (S); aperture-priority auto (A); manual (M)
  • iAuto (Live Guide can be used), P: program AE (programme shift can be performed), A: aperture priority AE, S: Shutter priority AE, M: Manual (Live Bulb, Live Time and Live Composite are available), Custom 1~3, Art Filter, Underwater wide / Underwater macro
  • AUTO (iAuto/Superior Auto), Programmed AE (P), Aperture priority (A), Shutter-speed priority (S), Manual (M), Movie /
Exposure Compensation
  • Manual: ±3 stops in 1/3-stop increments
  • AEB: ±2 stops in 1/3-stop increments (Can be combined with manual exposure compensation)
  • -5.0EV - +5.0EV, 1/3EV step
  • -5 to +5 EV in increments of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV
  • ±5 EV, adjustable by 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV steps
  • When shooting in HDR or in video, only adjustable up to ±3 EV steps
  • Live View only reflects up to ±3 EV steps
  • +/- 5.0EV(1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps selectable)
  • Real-time metering with the image sensor
  • • Evaluative metering
  • • Partial metering
  • • Spot metering
  • • Center-weighted average metering
  • TTL 256-zone metering, Multi / Spot / Average / Center Weighted
  • TTL exposure metering using RGB sensor with approximately 180K (180,000) pixels
  • Matrix, center-weighted, or highlight-weighted
  • 324-area multi pattern metering
  • 1200-zone evaluative metering
Recording Formats
  • MP4,JPEG, RAW (14-bit Canon original)
  • Still image
  • JPEG (Exif Ver.2.3)*2, RAW : 14bit RAW(RAF original format), RAW+JPEG
  • Movie
  • Movie File Format: MOD
  • Movie Video Compression: MPEG-4 AVC / H.264
  • Audio: Linear PCM/ Stereo sound 48KHz sampling
  • MOV (using H.264/MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding)
  • 3840 x 2160 (4K UHD): 30p, 25p, 24p; 1920 x 1080: 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p; 1280 x 720: 60p, 50p
  • RAW, JPEG,XAVC S, AVCHD format Ver. 2.0 compliant, MP4
  • 3.2-inch TFT colour liquid-crystal monitor with approx 1.62mil dots
  • 3.0 inch, aspect ratio 3:2, approx. 1,040K-dot,
  • 3.2-inch, 2359k-dots, tilting TFT LCD with touch, 170° viewing angle, 100% frame coverage, and manual monitor brightness control
  • 3-inch vari-angle monitor, approx. 1,037k dots
  • 3.0-inch wide type TFT with touch
  • Viewfinder: XGA OLED Tru-Finder
Storage type
  • SD memory card, SDHC memory card, SDXC memory card
  • * Compatible with UHS-I
  • 2 x SD Card (-2G) / SDHC Card (-32G) / SDXC Card (-256G) UHS-I / UHS-II*1
  • XQD, SD, SDHC (UHS-II compliant), SDXC (UHS-II compliant)
  • 2 x SD Card slots (SD, SDHC, SDXC, Eye-Fi Card compatible)
  • Slot1:UHS-I,II compatible, Slot2:UHS-I compatible
  • Memory Stick PRO Duo, Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo, Memory Stick Micro(M2), SD, SDHC (UHS-I compliant), SDXC (UHS-I compliant), microSD, microSDHC, microSDXC
  • Wireless IEEE 802.11 b/g/n
  • IEEE 802.11b / g / n (standard wireless protocol)
  • Wireless 802.11b/g Wi-Fi supported
  • USB 3.0 Micro-B connector
  • Type-C HDMI connector
  • Stereo mini-pin jack (3.5mm diameter)
  • Ten-pin remote terminal
  • Wireless 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi
  • USB Type-C
  • micro-HDMI (type D)
  • hot shoe/sync terminal
  • 2.5mm pin jack
  • 3.5mm stereo mini mic jack
  • 3.5mm stereo mini headphone jack
  • Wi-Fi Compatible, IEEE 802.11b/g/n (2.4GHz band), Bluetooth 4.1, NFC, micro HDMI, 3.5mm microphone input
  • Battery Pack LP-E17
  • Approx. 295 shots (CIPA standard)
  • Approx. up to 90 minutes of video (CIPA standard)
  • NP-W126S Li-ion battery
  • Li-ion EN-EL15 battery (allows for 1,240 shots or approx. 50 min. of video)
  • Approx. 440 shots (using BLH-1 and Toshiba SDHC UHS-I Card Exceria with IS ON, no flashes attached, CIPA test standards)
  • Approx. 950 shots (using quick sleep mode, under Olympus testing conditions based on CIPA test standards)
  • NP-FW50
  • Approx. 310 shots (Viewfinder) / approx. 350 shots (LCD monitor) (CIPA standard)
  • 115.6 x 89.2 x 60.6mm
  • 132.5mm x 91.8mm x 49.2mm
  • 147 x 115 x 81mm
  • 134.1 x 90.9 x 68.9mm
  • 120.0 x 66.9 x 53.3mm
  • Approx. 380g (Body only, excluding battery and memory card)
  • Approx. 427g (CIPA standard: Body + Battery Pack + Card)
  • Approx 457g(excluding battery and memory card)
  • 760g (body only)
  • Approx. 498g (body only)
  • 453g (with battery and card)
Image Stabilization
  • Built-in 5-axis sensor-shift image stabilization
  • 5-axis in-body
Flash Modes
  • Redeye, Fill-in, Flash Off, Red-eye Slow sync.(1st curtain), Slow sync.(1st curtain), Slow sync.(2nd curtain), Manual(1/1(FULL)~1/64)
Specialty Shooting Modes
  • Sl&Q Motion (Programmed AE (P) / Aperture priority (A) /Shutter-speed priority (S) / Manual (M) ), Sweep Panorama, Scene Selection