Let’s look back at the camera industry in 2023. We can award a PRONEWS award for any of the cameras that were released this year, but we have to chose 2023’s hot topic was the release of new products in the “semi-flagship” class next to flagships. Nikon announced the Z8, Sony announced the BURANO and α9 III, and Panasonic announced the G9 PRO II. New products that have a smaller body and have the same functions as flagships or are equipped with features that flagships do not have. Note that this AWARD is for products released from January 1st to December 31st, as such, BURANO and α9 III are not eligible for this year’s selection. Those cameras will be released after 2024.Looking at an entry model, the Canon “EOS R8” supports full-size CMOS, approximately 24.2 million pixels, and high frame rate video recording of 4K60P and full HD 180P. Despite being reasonably priced, small and lightweight, it was impressive that it came out with specs that said it was sufficient.Smartphones have also undergone amazing evolution. The “iPhone 15 Pro” series supports Apple log, ProRes, and SSD recording, and it feels like that we’re one step closer to an era where interchangeable lens cameras are no longer necessary.
The 2023 PRONEWS CAMERA AWARD Nominees are as follows:
The Panasonic S5 II has a new engine and sensor, which are key devices for the camera. The new Venus Engine has significantly improved performance compared to the previous model S5, with approximately twice the computational performance and approximately four times the buffer memory. The newly developed 24.2M image sensor supports LUMIX’s first image plane phase detection AF, enabling comfortable shooting. It features 779 distance measurement points that cover almost the entire area of the image sensor, allowing it to calculate the distance to the subject at high speed and with high precision, allowing it to continue capturing moving subjects.
Although the Sony ZV-E1 is part of the VLOGCAM series, it is a camera that can also be used for creating more professional works. Equipped with a 35mm full-frame back-illuminated “Exmor R” CMOS sensor with approximately 12.1 effective megapixels, it supports 4:2:2, 10-bit video recording and 15 plus stop latitude (when recording S-log3 video). Regular ISO sensitivity 80 to 102400 (both still images and videos), extended ISO still images: 40-409600, video: 80-409600. It also features 4K (QFHD) main body recording with full pixel readout.
Release date: May 17, 2023
The RED KOMODO-X is equipped with a 6K S35 global shutter sensor, improving KOMODO’s renowned image performance. It achieves 6K80P and 4K120P by improving low-light performance and doubling the frame rate. While maintaining the compact KOMODO form factor of 129mm x 101mm x 95mm and approximately 1.2kg, it has been improved to seamlessly integrate into any business workflow. I/O includes 12G SDI, full-size DC-IN, USB Type-C, and locking audio connectors with phantom power. Built-in 2.9-inch LCD allows simple operation and image preview, and also supports direct-mount DSMC3 7-inch touch LCD for precise monitoring.
The Nikon Z8 has approximately 30% less volume than the Z9, but has almost the same functionality. It inherits the extensive video functions that became a hot topic when the Z9 was released, and can record high-quality video in 12bit N-RAW, ProRes RAW HQ, 10bit ProRes 422 HQ, and H.265 in the camera. It’s amazing how much video performance has been achieved at this price. It also features a high image stabilization effect that allows stable handheld shooting without a gimbal, and a 4-axis tilting image monitor.
Blackmagic Cinema Camera 6K
Release date: September 15, 2023
The Blackmagic Cinema Camera 6K is a new high-end digital film camera. The camera has a full frame 6K sensor, 13 stops of dynamic range, L mount, dual native ISO up to 25,600 for performance in low light conditions, and support for recording to CFexpress cards. Equipped with a large 24mm x 36mm 6K sensor, it provides the image quality of a large format cinema camera in a lightweight, easy-to-carry case. In addition, the lens mount uses an L mount, making it possible to use a wide range of new and old lenses.
Apple iPhone 15 Pro/Pro Max
Release date: September 22, 2023
The iPhone 15 Pro/Pro Max supports ProRes video recording. Higher shooting options of up to 4K60fps are also available for direct recording to external storage. This phone brings greater flexibility to shooting scenes where the iPhone is used as the main camera. It also introduces a new option for Log encoding, and features support for the ACES (Academy Color Encoding System) standard, the world standard for color workflow.
The Fujifilm GFX100 II has opened a number of eyes. For the first time in the GFX series, it is also possible to record 8K30P and 4K60P in 4:2:2 10bit in-camera card. By installing a new sensor, Fujifilm finally achieved a significant improvement in video performance. By increasing the sensor readout speed and suppressing rolling shutter distortion, it is possible to capture moving subjects without any discomfort. Additionally, ISO100 can be set as the standard sensitivity for videos, making it possible to shoot higher quality videos.
Equipped with a 1-inch CMOS sensor, it achieves high image quality even under complex lighting environments. It can shoot at 4K/120fps, allowing creators to clearly capture every detail in any scene. Osmo Pocket 3‘s night shots have optimized image quality, making it possible to capture objects in clear and realistic colors even in low-light conditions.
■ PRONEWS AWARD 2023 Camera Division Finalist
Panasonic S5 II
Blackmagic Blackmagic Cinema Camera 6K
Apple iPhone 15 Pro/Pro Max
Fujifilm GFX100 II
DJI Osmo Pocket 3
PRONEWS AWARD 2023 Camera Category Gold Award
DJI Osmo Pocket 3
We gave the DJI OSMO Pocket 3 the Gold Award not only because it is small and lightweight and can be used for everyday photography to full-scale business photography, but also because it has high psychological value, such as the feeling of joy and excitement when you hold it in your hand.
The sensor size is 1 inch, which allows you to clearly capture details in highlights and shadows, and supports recording at 4K120 frames. It is also convenient to be equipped with 10-bit D-Log M and 10-bit HLG color modes, and to switch between horizontal and vertical content by rotating the LCD monitor. It also received high praise for its ability to be used as a web camera and for its tracking function to follow your face.
PRONEWS AWARD 2023 Camera Category Silver Award
Fujifilm GFX100 II
“I want to shoot videos in medium format, which has a wide feel and shallow depth of field,” and “I want to shoot in combination with a GFX and a cinema lens.” The GFX100 II has made these dreams a reality. The Silver Award was given in recognition of its abilities as a medium-format video camera.
Regarding the codec, it supports 10-bit 4:2:2 ProRes internal recording at 4K and 8K, and 14 stops and F-log2 support enable full-fledged grading work that takes advantage of the dynamic range. Furthermore, the camera was awarded the award for its idea of being able to support a variety of shooting environments, including the new video format modes: “Premista,” “35mm,” and “Anamorphic (35mm).”