What It Is: The 16.0-megapixel GX7 is Panasonic's top "flat"-style mirrorless camera.
Who Is It For?
Nature photographers who want to produce high-quality stills and videos easily will like the GX7.
The 2764K-dot, eye-level EVF tilts up to 90° for easy off-angle shooting and is complemented by a 3.0-inch, 1040K-dot tilting LCD monitor with touch AF. Light Speed contrast-based AF (camera and lens exchange data at up to 240 fps) works in light levels as dim as EV -4. The camera can shoot 4.3 fps with AF and 40 fps with focus locked. Sensor-shift image stabilization (a first in a Panasonic mirrorless camera) works with all lenses. The GX7 can do time-lapse, stop-motion animation and in-camera HDR. Video capabilities include 1080/60p and 24p, with stereo sound via a built-in mic. As a Micro Four Thirds system camera, the GX7 can use all MFT lenses. Panasonic offers 22, from a 7-14mm superwide zoom and an 8mm fisheye to a 100-300mm supertele zoom. With the MFT sensor's 2.0x focal-length factor, this provides focal lengths equivalent to 14mm through 600mm on a 35mm camera.
What It Is: The 24.3-megapixel SLT-A77 is Sony's top APS-C "DSLR," featuring the company's translucent mirror technology (TMT) with a fixed semitranslucent mirror that transmits most of the light to the image sensor while simultaneously directing a portion up to the phase-detection AF sensor. This provides the user with two great benefits: quick phase-detection AF that can track birds in flight and eye-level viewing (via the OLED electronic viewfinder), even for video.
Who Is It For?
Combined with its excellent image quality, the TMT makes the A77 a fine choice for the nature generalist, landscape through wildlife action. The Sony SLTs are the only cameras we've used that can do good videos of birds in flight.
The A77 can shoot full-resolution images at 12 fps with full-time continuous phase-detection autofocusing. SteadyShot INSIDE sensor-shift image stabilization works with all lenses. The camera and DT 16-50mm ƒ/2.8 kit zoom (and optional vertical grip and flash unit) are sealed against moisture and dust. With Auto HDR, one push of the button produces three bracketed exposures, which are combined in-camera to increase detail from shadows through highlights. There's even a built-in GPS to geotag images as you shoot. The A77 can do 1080 video at 60p as well as 24p.Sony offers more than 30 lenses for the A77, from an 11-18mm superwide zoom through a 500mm supertelephoto, including more than 10 DT lenses designed specifically for the APS-C format. Sony A-mount cameras can also use legacy Konica Minolta Maxxum lenses.
Sony NEX-6. The 16.1-megapixel, APS-C "flat"-style mirrorless NEX-6 features a built-in high-res OLED electronic viewfinder (the same one in the NEX-7 and SLT-A77 and A65) and a tilting 3.0-inch, 921K-dot LCD monitor. It combines good image quality with the ability to shoot at 10 fps with continuous focus tracking, thanks to its hybrid AF system, with 99 phase-detection AF sensors at the focal plane working with 25-area contrast AF. The NEX-6 can also shoot 1080 video at 60p and 24p, with continuous AF. Built-in Wi-Fi lets you transfer images wirelessly to your smartphone or computer, and add camera apps.