There are many underrated cameras that are overlooked for some truly ridiculous reasons. It only has a 20-megapixel sensor, the autofocus system is too slow, there’s no flippy screen, and on and on we go. The truth is, there are no bad cameras on the market. In fact, there hasn’t been for the last decade or longer.
The problem is that a few people put ideas into photographers’ heads because they have personal issues with companies that make the products. I can guarantee you that here, at Photofocus, we will always give an unbiased look at any products we review or recommend.
Today, we’re going to take a look at five underrated cameras that have received bad press, or that are held in bad light for no good reasons. If you’re in the market for a new camera, don’t just write off the five underrated cameras listed below. If you do, you’ll be missing out on some cameras that are far better than some would have you believe.
Underrated cameras — Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III
The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III is a professional grade micro four-thirds camera that throws punches with the big boys. Unfortunately, because it’s micro four-thirds many photographers won’t even give it a chance, and this is a real shame. I have used the E-M1 III in my professional life and so have many others without problems.
The 20-megapixel sensor delivers detail-rich images with gorgeous colors and plenty of dynamic range. The autofocus system is fast and accurate, the IBIS is some of the best you’ll ever use and it’s built like a tank. The weather sealing is incredible. Throw in dual card slots, a fully articulating screen, live comp modes and a very affordable price point, and you have a camera that will not let you down or destroy you financially.
Unpopular cameras — Canon EOS R6
Unfortunately, a camera can be judged solely on how many megapixels it’s packing. So, to many, the 20-megapixel Canon EOS R6 was dead on arrival. Don’t make the mistake of writing this camera off, though. This underrated camera delivers more than enough for most photographers.
The Canon sensor produces the glorious colors we have come to know and love. The sensor also delivers lots of dynamic range and plenty of detail. The R6 is solidly built and features tons of weather sealing. The autofocus system is the best on the market and the IBIS in this camera is exceptional. It’s so good that I was able to handhold this camera and capture the Milky Way. No joke. Dual card slots, a fully articulating screen and a great EVF round out this camera nicely. Don’t overlook it.
It’s better than many believe — Pentak K-3 III
DSLRs are dead, right? Wrong. They’re alive and well and Pentax’s latest offering has proved this. The fact is, there’s simply nothing wrong with DSLR technology. It’s fast, it’s reliable, and honestly, DSLR camera bodies are much more robust than mirrorless cameras. DSLRs can take a beating and keep on clicking. The Pentax K-3 III is weather-sealed to the nines and is incredibly rugged.
The Pentax K-3 III offers photographers some of the best DSLR autofocus technology out there. It’s fast, and it’s accurate. This 26-megapixel camera boasts great IBIS, a responsive touchscreen, a self-leveling sensor, a gorgeous 100% coverage optical viewfinder, two SD card slots, fantastic high ISO performance and so much more. Check out the image samples in my full review. It’s not cheap, but this is definitely one of the underrated digital cameras that you need to take a closer look at.
Show it some love — Panasonic Lumix S5
Many write the Lumix S5 off because of Panasonic’s contrast-based autofocus. Is it as fast as Canon’s or Sony’s autofocus? No, but it’s not far off, and I can tell you, it’s just as accurate. Whether you shoot street photography, wildlife photography, landscapes, portraits and more, it won’t let you down. So, don’t believe the naysayers.
Image quality is outstanding. The IBIS performs miracles, the weather sealing is fantastic, the fully articulating screen and EVF are also both great. There are dozens of fantastic video recording options, battery life is stellar and it’s small. In fact, it’s one of the smallest full-frame cameras on the market, which makes it a delight to use. It’s incredibly affordable, too!
Underrated cameras — Nikon Z 5
Nikon’s Z 5 slipped out into the wild and wasn’t met with much fanfare. It’s just another one of the unpopular cameras out there that more people should be talking about positively. This entry-level full-frame camera costs under $1,400, and its 24-megapixel sensor is capable of greatness.
The reason why so many ignore this camera? Once again, a belief that autofocus performance is subpar. The truth is that Nikon’s autofocus has come on in leaps and bounds since the original Z 6 and Z 7. It’s more than good enough for most genres of photography. It’s rapid and accurate with 273 selectable focus points. The native ISO goes up to 51,200, you can fire off 4.5 frames per second, there are five stops of IBIS goodness, a large touch screen, dual card slots and more. All for under $1,400! Give it a break and show this unpopular camera some love.