Revisiting the best prosumer cameras from 2017 for a great bargain

By Marcus Wong - 13 Apr 2021


Note: This article was first published in the February 2017 issue of HWM, published online on 4th June 2017 and is now updated for relevancy.

Revisiting the best prosumer cameras from 2017 for a great bargain

While mobile phones get phased out as soon as half a year, case in point is Oppo's (confusing) Reno series and Sony's Xperia phones, traditional digital cameras have a pretty long usable lifespan and it is why investing in a good camera has much better value than many other gadgets these days. After all, learning good photography skills is as much a life skill as it is to learn how to ride a bicycle.

Getting a good camera though is a steep investment. Thankfully you don't necessarily need to go for the latest as older, reputable models are perfectly good considerations. As such, we thought of revisiting our 2017 shootout for the best prosumer cameras and see if they can be had for a good bargain. For those who would like to find out more about each of the camera options and how they've fared, you may continue reading the full article for our findings and recommendation.

However, our aim for this revisit is to check if these models are still available for your consideration and hopefully at a good offer too. Here then are our findings:-

  Canon EOS M5 Fujifilm X-T2 Nikon D500 Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Sony A6500
Status Available Available Available Available EOL
Original Price (body) S$1,499 S$2,599 S$2,999 S$2,848 S$1,949
Current Offer (body) From S$799 From S$1,900 S$2,399 From S$1,668 Get the A6600
for the
same price
E-store purchase links Shopee Alanphoto store Lazada Harvey Norman

Lazada Sony LazMall Store

In a nutshell, if you're not too fussy, the Canon EOS M5 is going for nearly half the price it first debuted and it could be a decent entry option into the world of a capable mirrorless camera at just under S$800 for the body, without the lens.

What if you want the best? The Nikon D500 was a great shooter when it debuted in 2016, but it was outclassed by Fujifilm in our 2017 re-test. Considering that the Nikon D500 is now officially selling for S$600 less, it's still no match for the Fujifilm X-T2 that can be had for about S$1,900 and is our easy recommendation if you need to get one of these cameras. Of course, it has now been eclipsed by the X-T3 and the X-T4, but you might not find them at prices like the X-T2.

For something more specialised such as a camera that can excel in high-speed photography, that's the domain of the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II. Considering its original price, it can now be had for quite a 'bargain' at just under S$1,700. Its camera system of choice also means it's also one of the most compact and portable of the bunch, plus it has an excellent weather sealed body, ready for the outdoors.

Lastly, the Sony A6500 has long been out of the retail market that you would be hard pressed to find anyone selling a new set locally. Instead, you can get its successor, the A6600 for the same price if you are a fan of Sony's A-series camera lineup for design and UI choices. The A6600 improves upon the predecessor with better battery life, a speedy 0.02-second autofocus acquisition time, offers eye autofocus tracking, 4K movie recording and 180-degree tiltable scree for easy selfies. It's surely a versatile and competitive option to the Fujifilm if you prefer Sony's handling.

<<== Note: The following contents and the pages thereafter are as published online from 4th June 2017 ==>>


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

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