Gear Reviews

5 older cameras that are still hot in 2020

On a tighter budget but need new gear? These older cameras offer great features and should make any shopping shortlist…

Camera brands have brought out some amazing cameras over the last 12 months. However, if the prices of box-fresh gear are a little out of reach, you can still bag some amazing equipment by snapping up a camera that’s been on the market for a little longer. We’ve drawn up a shortlist of five great cameras that have all been on sale for over three years, but still offer some amazing features to create both stills and video…

Canon 5D Mark IV

Can you believe the current 5D model came out way back in 2016? Despite being over four and a half years old, the 5D Mark IV still represents a tempting purchase for pro photographers who want a full-frame body that offers decent megapixels for stills and high-quality video capture. Built around that full-frame 30-megapixel CMOS sensor, the 5D Mark Iv boasts a weather sealed body, a long battery life of 900 shots on a single charge, an advanced autofocus system that includes 61-points (with 45 of those points being the more sensitive cross type), Canon’s Dual Pixel AF technology and face-detection.

With a decent burst rate of 7 frames per second, the 5D Mark IV offers two card slots (one SD, one CF) so users can make an instant back-up, a 3-inch touch-sensitive LCD with 1620k dot resolution and a fast maximum shutter speed of 1/8000sec.

When it comes to video, the 5D Mark IV can capture ultra high-quality 4K footage up to 30p, Full HD to 60p and a 720p fast frame mode to capture slow motion sequences. What’s more, the 5D Mark IV includes ports for external mic and headphones, enabling enhanced audio to be both captured and monitored.

 

Panasonic GH5

Viewed as the king of Micro Four Thirds, the Panasonic GH5 was launched in January 2017 and is still the brand’s flagship MFT model. Packing a 20-megapixel sensor, wildlife and sports photographers benefit both from the 2x crop factor that doubles the effective focal length of the lens (changing a 200mm optic into a 400mm lens) and the fast burst rate of 12 frames per second. The sensor features no Anti-Aliasing filter, which sharpens up imagery and boasts a 3.2-inch vari-angle touch-sensitive LCD, which will come in handy when setting up those awkward high/low compositions.

At the heart of the GH5 is an advanced IBIS (In Body Image Stabilisation) system, that uses a 5-axis design to help keep both images and video steady when the camera is moving. With a weather-sealed body and dual-SD cards for professional use, the GH5 is also lightweight, tipping the scales at just 725g.

The GH5 is also acclaimed for its video specifications and the camera can capture ultra high-quality 4K footage at 60p – still impressive even three years down the line. There’s ports for headphones and an external mic and the GH5 also offers a 180p fast frame mode for epic slow motion sequences.

Pentax K-1/MkII

First introduced way back in February 2016, the Pentax K-1 is one of those cameras that flies under the radar, despite offering a huge amount of professional-spec features. Built like a tank, the intense weather sealing makes the K-1 suitable for use in the harshest of environments and the 36-resolution from the full-frame sensor is still impressive by today’s standards, enabling photographers to make big prints from their images.

One of the few full-frame DSLR to offer IBIS via a 5-axis system, the K-1 is a camera full of quirky technology, including the innovative 3.2-inch LCD that sits on moveable stilts and the operation assist lights that illuminate areas like the lens mount and dual SD card clots to make life easier in low light shooting conditions.

With an autofocus system that offers 33-points and Face Detection, the K-1 can fire off a burst rate of 4.4 frames per second but this is a camera better suited to landscape professionals, especially when you consider the K-1’s Astrotracer feature that enables the camera to shift its sensor, tracking the movement of the stars.

Sony a6500

Sony’s range of mirrorless APS-C camera blazed a trail for the sector, with other brands scrambling to catch up, but the a6500 was the first model to really make people drop their jaws. Launched way back in October 2016, the a6500 was Sony’s flagship APS-C model in the range until the a6600 was released in August 2019. Offering a resolution of 24-megapixel (which is coincidentally what the newer a6600 offers), the Sony is incredibly well-specced for both stills and video and packs features including IBIS, a 3-inch touch-sensitive LCD with a tilting design and a native ISO range of 100-25600 that can be expanded up to 51200.

With Sony’s E-mount, there is now a huge selection of lens choice available for the a6500 and the compact Sony (which tips the scales at just 453g) will attract sports shooters thanks to its rapid maximum burst rate of 11 frames per second, with possibility to capture up to 301 JPEGs in one go.

Autofocus is taken care of thanks to a 425-point phase detection system which includes face-detection and the built-in Wi-Fi enables photographers to share images quickly to their smart devices so they can be shared online. When it comes to video, the a6500 scores big, with 4K video up to 30p on offer, along with Full HD to 60p and a full HD slow motion mode. What’s more, the a6500 also includes Sony’s S-Log profile technology and port for an external mic, making the small Sony a perfect choice for a lightweight B-Camera that videographers can carry around all day.

 

Fuji X-T20

Dating back to January 2017 and now superseded by the X-T30, the tiny X-T20 is a APS-C sensor mirrorless that is small in size but big on features. Built around Fuji’s acclaimed 24-megapixel X-Trans CMOS sensor, the X-T20 tipped the scales at just 383g, but has everything most photographers and videographers could wish for. The sensor features no Anti-Aliasing filter to deliver sharper imagery and benefits from Fuji’s cool Film Simulation modes so photographers can get creative in-camera. The Fuji features a blistering maximum burst rate of up to 14 frames per second, making the camera suitable for action photography and images can be composed using the 2360k dot OLED Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) or via the 3.2-inch LCD that offers a tilting design.

Using Fuji’s popular X-mount, there is a huge selection of lenses available for the X-T20 and the autofocus system uses 325 points and includes face-detection technology. One for the photo purists, the X-T20 features a classic retro-chic design and images/video are recorded to a single SD card slot. The decent native ISO range of 200-12800 can be expanded to 100-51200 and the 24-MP sensor can shoot both JPEGs and RAW, creating a maximum file size of 6000×4000 pixels – more than enough to make prints up to A3 in size.

Using Fuji’s popular X-mount, there is a huge selection of lenses available for the X-T20 and the autofocus system uses 325 points and includes face-detection technology. One for the photo purists, the X-T20 features a classic retro-chic design and images/video are recorded to a single SD card slot. The decent native ISO range of 200-12800 can be expanded to 100-51200 and the 24-MP sensor can shoot both JPEGs and RAW, creating a maximum file size of 6000×4000 pixels – more than enough to make prints up to A3 in size.

Videographers will be pleased to hear the X-T20 shoots ultra high-quality 4K video up to 30p and the tiny Fuji enables movie shooters to use the Film Simulation modes when capturing footage, too.