Cameras of the Year, 2014

Cameras of the Year 2014

The premise of the camera is simple: it's a box that allows a measured amount of light into it in order to create an image on a photo-sensitive material. Stroll through the B&H Photo SuperStore and you'll see there are literally thousands of different interpretations of how to best do this. Cameras of all shapes, sizes, and colors are on the shelves—all of them begging to be held and used to make photographs.


The camera, one of the world's ultimate gadgets, has an appeal that transcends a great cross section of the human race. Artists, visual poets, professionals, amateurs, old, young, and more use the camera to record their lives, express themselves, and show the world what and how they see.


In 2014, not only did many of the world's top manufacturers provide exciting updates to their existing stables, but some manufacturers pushed the boundaries of resolution, capabilities, and design.


We asked some of our in-house photography experts to create a list of the top new cameras of 2014. Some who were polled looked at the incredible capabilities of the new cameras and others were drawn to the design and feel, but the list below represents a consensus of sorts from the experienced and knowledgeable staff of B&H Photo.


Fujifilm X-T1

"'s the ergonomics and user interface that make the camera
truly become a part of me when I’m shooting." —Gabriel Biderman

Fujifilm has made quite a splash in the mirrorless camera market over the past several years. The core of this lineup has featured beautiful cameras that brought the timeless rangefinder design into the digital age. The X-T1's SLR-like form represented a departure from the rangefinder design for Fujifilm, while presenting a decidedly manual feel with multiple control dials atop the camera. The classic looks were matched with eye-popping performance, with a beautiful electronic viewfinder, highly capable APS-C sensor, and tons of cutting-edge features.


“The Fujifilm X-T1 is truly an inspirational camera. It provides outstanding image quality, clean high ISOs, and incredibly fast autofocus. But it's the ergonomics and user interface that make the camera truly become a part of me when I’m shooting. There is no menu digging, as all the main functions are easily accessible and laid out simply on the top plate. I also love the digital split-image focus, which makes manual focus a breeze.” —Gabriel Biderman


Standout features of the X-T1:


  • An exceptionally fast electronic shutter enables you to use fast lenses in direct sunlight
  • Design reminiscent of classic SLR film cameras
  • "Old-school" control interface with top dials used for settings
  • Weather-resistant body construction


Learn more about the Fujifilm X-T1 in this original content from B&H: our announcement article, which features a detailed specifications chart, and our hands-on review video.

Nikon D810

"... how does one improve upon a camera that was viewed by many as
still the top in its class? Nikon’s answer was to... add in some of the
missing features many seemed to be clamoring for." —Bjorn Petersen


While not technically the flagship of the Nikon line, the D800 has been the world's standard bearer for a mega-resolution DSLR camera. If it is not broken, do not fix it. And the D800 is far from broken. The new D810 does nothing more than improve an already impressive chassis. The resolution remains the same, but the sensor has been improved and the engines that drive all the electrons through the camera are also newer, better, and faster than before.


“Nikon set out to challenge the bounds of hyperbole by upping some of the most impressive specs of the D800: a welcome one-stop boost in ISO sensitivity; an added frame per second in continuous shooting modes; full HD 1080/60p video recording, up from 30p; extended battery life; a RAW SIZE S format; and other improvements to AF performance, color balancing, and overall handling. And in regard to the D800E, the D810 improves upon it by entirely removing the optical low-pass filter in order to attain even greater sharpness and resolution.” —Bjorn Petersen


Standout features of the D810:


  • Class-leading 36.3MP full-frame sensor
  • Optical low-pass is completely removed for increased sharpness
  • Robust image processor to handle continuous shooting to 5 fps
  • Electronic front curtain shutter


Learn all about the D810 in this original content from B&H: our in-depth hands-on review article that features sample images and sample video footage shot with the D810; our hands-on review video; and our detailed announcement article, which features a chart that compares the specs of the D810 with the D800 and D800E.


Panasonic GH4

"Although still photography has not taken a back seat to the
video functionality, it is in the latter area that the majority
of the advancements have been made..." —Jurek Ugarow


It is difficult, at times, to keep pace with technology. Those who try are usually frustrated by the rate at which money flies out of their wallets. The speed at which computer processors, camera megapixel counts and, now, digital video resolution evolve is an incredible thing to behold. It seems like HD just appeared a few short years ago. Now, when we talk video, we speak 4K, and this new Panasonic camera is designed not only to make great photographs, but to deliver amazing 4K video resolution that's recorded natively without breaking a sweat. The newest evolution of the Panasonic GH body, the GH4 represents a notable increase in performance across the board.


“Available to anyone, but positioned for the advanced amateur, indie, and professional photographer and filmmaker, the camera’s 17.02-megapixel (16.05 effective) Live MOS Micro Four Thirds sensor is supported by the Venus Engine image processor running on a quad-core CPU. This combination delivers approximately 50% higher speed signal readout, which aids in suppressing rolling shutter artifacts when using the electronic shutter or recording video. And for professional photo performance, moiré suppression has been improved, along with superior noise reduction that allows for exposures of up to sixty minutes.” —Jurek Ugarow


Standout features of the GH4:


  • 4K video capability without the need for an external recorder
  • Micro Four Thirds 16MP Digital Live MOS Sensor
  • High-Speed Autofocus
  • Magnesium-alloy, weather-sealed body


Learn all about the Panasonic GH4 in this original content from B&H: our live GH4 webcast; the GH4 announcement article, which features a detailed specifications chart; and our hands-on review video.

Pentax 645Z

"... the Pentax 645Z blends an air of intuitiveness with a
host of technological advancements designed to make
the medium format camera an even more efficient and
contemporary digital-imaging solution."  —Bjorn Petersen


Back in the heyday of film, for many SLR shooters, medium format seemed to be a bridge too far in terms of cost, complexity, and size. The digital revolution did nothing but extend that gap as medium format digital cameras, while offering blistering resolution and performance, were priced well out of the budgets of most photographers. Ricoh, however, had other ideas. In 2014, the 645D moved to a price point that gave pause to many DSLR shooters. Now, featuring an all-new design that builds on the 645D's success, the 645Z, Ricoh has brought us an incredibly capable photographic machine that not only performs beautifully, it does so at a much friendlier price when compared to its competition.


“Inside the large yet ergonomically designed body is a 51.4MP CMOS sensor measuring 43.8 x 32.8mm, making it approximately 1.7x larger than 35mm format, full-frame image sensors. Moreover, the 645Z's sensor omits the conventional optical low-pass filter from its construction for even greater resolution and detail-rendering capabilities. Making use of the sensor's output, RAW files can be recorded at 14-bit and saved using either the proprietary PEF format or Adobe's DNG format for greater post-production control and flexibility.” —Bjorn Petersen


Standout features of the 645Z:


  • 51MP medium format CMOS sensor
  • Full HD video capability
  • ISO sensitivity up to 204800
  • Magnesium-alloy, weather-sealed body


Learn all about the Pentax 645Z in this original content from B&H: our announcement article, with a detailed specification chart, and our impressions from the Pentax booth at Photokina 2014.

Sony a7S

"The upgraded performance and enhanced technology found in the a7S are
capable of delivering an extended dynamic range, notably low image noise,
and an extended sensitivity range of ISO 50-409600." —Bjorn Petersen


Sometimes lost in the "Great Quest for More Megapixels" is the fact that, when it comes to low-light performance, the combination of a large sensor with a relatively small number of pixels is the best formula. Sony certainly knows this and, to prove it, the company has released the a7S, with an eye on low-light image and video capture. A full-frame sensor allows a lot of real estate for only 12 million pixels, and the result is a camera with superb dynamic range, 4K video capability, and unbelievable ISO sensitivity range. The "S" in the camera's name stands for "sensitivity" and that is what this camera delivers—especially in the dark corners of our world, where so many amazing images have been waiting to be captured by a capable machine.


“Like the a7R, the a7S's sensor structure incorporates the unique on-chip gapless lens design to help increase light-gathering efficiency and promote greater image quality across the entirety of the sensor plane. The combination of the processor and sensor also accentuates performance-related attributes throughout the camera system, including an apt 25-point contrast-detection AF system, which is sensitive to light levels as low as -4 EV; a top Speed Priority continuous shooting rate of 5 fps, as well as a 2.5 fps shooting rate with maintained autofocus; and support for an array of advanced video-recording capabilities.” —Bjorn Petersen


Standout features of the a7S:


  • Considered by many to be the best low-light video camera ever made
  • Shoots 4K video with an external recorder
  • 12MP full-frame Exmor CMOS sensor
  • ISO sensitivity to 409600


Learn all about the Sony a7S in this original content from B&H: our announcement article, which features a video from NAB 2014, shot the morning the a7S was announced; our "Which Model Suits You Best" post, which explains the differences between the Sony a7, a7R and a7S, and includes comparison photos and videos; and our dedicated hands-on review video.

Panasonic Lumix LX100

" intuitive and intimate shooting experience
not found on many point-and-shoots." —Justin Dise


The point-and-shoot camera market is, thanks to the digital revolution, caught in a strange void between the high-performance and capable world of cellular phone cameras and the ultra-versatile high-resolution realm of the DSLR. It's a tough spot to be in, but that has not stopped manufacturers from creating some amazing picture-making tools for those who crave the best balance of portability, technology, capability, and image quality. The LX100 brings delightful manual-control options, a gorgeous wide-aperture Leica lens, second-to-none electronic features, and 4K video capabilities to a compact, elegant shape.


“One of the highlights of the camera is its 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) video recording at 30 and 24 fps in MP4 format, in addition to Full HD video at 60 fps in MP4 and AVCHD. 4K video not only produces high-resolution video, but it can also be used as a pseudo high-speed-burst photo mode, capturing 30 still images at 8 megapixels every second. Photos can then be extracted directly from the 4K footage; a great option for users who want to cover an entire scene and not worry about missing a moment.” —Justin Dise


Standout features of the LX100:


  • First truly compact camera with a Micro Four Thirds sensor
  • Fixed 24-75mm equivalent Leica lens with f/1.7-2.8 maximum aperture range
  • 4K Ultra HD video capability
  • Manual control rings and dials and an electronic viewfinder

Learn more about the Lumix LX100 and watch our exclusive hands-on review video in this B&H post.


Canon 7D Mark II

"There are some fun new features to play with here,
useful for students, videographers, and professionals
who are in need of a secondary camera." —Kelly Mena


Just when you thought that the full-frame sensor was driving the APS-C format to extinction, Canon created an instant winner with its new 7D Mark II camera—not just a refresh of the original version, but a virtually new camera in terms of capabilities, performance, and features. When you peel back the cover, you will not find too many similarities to the 7D. More megapixels is not the only upgrade to the 7D; the Mark II brings expanded low-light performance, higher-resolution video capture, faster processors, improved autofocus, and more in a camera that makes no apologies to its full-frame stable mates.


“I was happy to see that with the new 7D Mark II you can shoot at 1080 60p. This is great for those who would like to capture footage and then slow it down in post without losing any resolution. On the original Canon 7D, you could only shoot 720 60p. The new camera also has two card slots (one SD and one CF). This allows the shooter to save to both cards or jump recording from one to the next. This is definitely useful for filming events and run-and-gun type shooting.” —Kelly Mena


Standout features of the 7D Mark II:


  • 20MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • Dual image processors
  • Full HD video and movie servo autofocus
  • Dual-Pixel CMOS AF with 65-point all cross-type AF system and live view

Learn all about the Canon 7D Mark II in this original content from B&H: our announcement article, which features an exclusive hands-on review video and a chart that compares the specifications of the 7D Mark II and the original 7D; and our "Candid Thoughts from the Specialists at B&H" post, which shares the personal impressions of the 7D Mark II from some of the same people who helped compile this list of the Cameras of the Year.


Several of the cameras listed by our staff are, as you probably know, updated versions of existing platforms. In the camera business, there is often no need to up-end a formula that is already working extremely well. The D810, GH4, 7D Mark II, and others prove that the package can continue to be successful with updates, as opposed to complete redesigns.


Nonetheless, B&H Photo would like to give a nod of appreciation to the camera manufacturers who took it upon themselves to push the boundaries of camera design. It is these explorations of the design world outside of what is familiar to us that will ultimately lead to further advances in the art of photography. Cameras like the Leica T and Sigma dp1 Quattro and dp2 Quattro have elegantly changed how a camera looks to the eye and feels to the hand, while helping us capture exquisite images.


Opinions are just that. We welcome your feedback on our selections and would like to know what new cameras inspired you and your photography this past year. Please let us know in the Comments section, below. 



Interesting list. I guess it's the one best camera from each manufacturer, not really "Cameras of the Year, 2014".

Even so, Nikon's D750 is a much more impressive camera (for 2014) than the slightly tweaked D810. And Canon shouldn't even have an entry, it should have been sacrificed to Sony, which had at least 3 truly "game changing" cameras in 2014. The a77 mkII is better than the 7D mkII in almost every way, and where's the full frame, sensor-stabilized a7 mkII?

I like all the other pics though. Good listicle.





Hey Trevor,

Thanks for the comments! Unfortunately, we assembled this list before some cameras came out. I guess we could be like the Academy Awards and see what the 11th hour has in store for us before polling the photographers here!

Thanks for reading!

I was surprised not to see any mirrorless cameras.  I've been looking for one for quite a while to accompqany my Sony R100Mkll.  My D90 was tyo heavy for me and I want something that is light weight with interchangeable lens.  As for the weight,  it seems to me that the mirrorless camera is the way to go.  What do you think?  JOE<>

Hi Joseph!

The Fuji XT-1 is a mirrorless camera and first on our list above.

Mirrorless is definitely the hot new genre of camera and it looks like the future of mirrorless is very bright. It is up to you when you want to jump on the bandwagon!

Thanks for reading!

Hi Todd,I know that the olympus omd 1 is last year's but if you have to pick between the omd 1 , the pana gh 4 and the fuji xt 1 which one would be your first,second and third pick and why. I'm trying to decide here where my money goes.thanks

Hey j.p,

Way to put me on the spot! 

All three of those cameras are very good. Please see my suggestions to Sue up above...

My advice, to you, is to get to the store (or a camera store) and hold each one in your hand, take some photos, go through the menus, change aperture and shutter speeds, etc. I think ergonomics and interface are extremely important in the purchase of any camera. If it feels great in your hands, you will be more inclined to carry it around with you, regardless of the features or megapixel count.

Let us know what you decide on! Thanks for reading!

I purchased a Fujifilm XT-1 this year to compliment my Fujifilm Xpro-1. the XT-1 is a joy to use. It makes you want to pick it up and take pictures. I had been a Canon 5D user for years, having invested heavily in L series lenses. My Fujifilm gear inspires me to create. The intuitive manuel controls on the camera make it fun to use, no searching through menues. It is great being able to set it before you even turn it on. The Fuji XT-1 is a fantastic camera.

Hey Stephen,

Thanks for sharing! I am glad you are enjoying the Fuji! Taking photos is the most important part of the ownership of a camera!

D 810 or D750, how do you decide?

Coin toss? 

Hi Steve. Check out my comments to Sue above. Thanks for reading!

Samsung NX1 isn't mentioned I think it beats the Canon 7d mark II hands down.

Nope. Not even close. To begin with: choice of native glass is laughable.

Hi Sky and Tony,

Thanks for reading and commenting! They NX-1 arrived after the chosen ones had voted. However, Samsung was at B&H not too long ago and I got to handle the NX-1. It has great ergonomics and the build quality appeared to be very solid. I was definitely impressed with the camera after getting to play with it for a few minutes.

Thanks for the article and insights - always looking for the thoughts of those in the know!  I was almost sold on the Nikon D750 until I read this...  should I be desuaded and stick with the D810?  I want to use the camera as a "general" camera (landscape/animals/people in all situations etc.) , I am not a professional, yet I do have a passion for architectural photography and wonder if the loss of detail in low light (do I have that right?) will make me regret the D750 in years to come.  My current camera is on my iphone (ha! though I have posessed a few decent canons in the past) so either one will be one some might call a small step up.  I wont be purchasing another camera for a good ten years, so I'd like to through the thousands at the right tool!  Thanks for your thoughts! (btw, the other option was the Canon 5D Mark 3...which might give me better lens options...though I may never shell out a couple thousand for a pc lens...) 


Hi Sue,

Both the D750 and D810 are good cameras. Honestly, the D750 arrived after we had finalized the list for this article, so there is a chance we could have made the decision even harder by including both!

I am often asked by friends and family, "How many megapixels do I need and what kind of camera should I get?"

My answer to the first question is: 6 megapixels. Yep, in my opinion, that is all you need to make great prints (up to 13x19") and that is what National Geographic used to require their photographers to carry. Good enough for National Geographic? Good enough for me.

The second answer is much more complex. What I recommend to you is that you come to B&H and put your hands on the cameras you are considering. How do they feel in your hands? Turn them on. Use the menus. Does one seem more intuitive than the others? Look at lenses. How do they feel? Check out mirrorless cameras too!

Buying a camera based on megapixel count is akin to shopping for a car based solely on the amount of horsepower its engine produces. As you know, there are many more factors that go into the driving experience than horsepower. The same applies to photography. The best camera for you is the one that you love to carry, to hold, and to make great pictures with.

The other thing to keep in mind about digital is that the half-life of these cameras, technologically speaking, is much shorter than back in the days of film. New and improved versions come out every few years and the advances are, at times, profound. There is nothing to say that you cannot use a digital camera purchased today for 10 years or more, but, along the same lines, you probably would not consider buying a computer or a cell phone to use for a full decade. Such is the curse of technology.

Feel free to send follow-up questions if you have some and I will try to point you in the right direction. Thanks for reading and commenting!

Some wonderful camera's on your list. I shoot with the Nikon at on of BnH classes and recieved some wonderful files. Would love to play around with the Sony and Pentax. I purchaced the Canon 7D Mark 2 and am very satisfied. 

Great lineup, you had me drooling from the start. However, someday when you join the rest of the us, you might come up with a few more cameras under $1000. Please retitle your article "2014 Cameras of the Year for Professionals or the Top One Percent".

Trust me, Donald, I cannot speak for those who voted on the cameras to make the list, but I know that I am not in a position to afford all of the newest and hottest stuff. That is why I am shooting a camera that was made in 2008!

You do make a great point, I will forward an idea up the chain to see if we can do a separate list in the future for the budget minded (like me!).

Thanks for reading! 

Oops, some how you omitted the Sony A-77 II.

Hi Arthur,

The A-77 II is a great camera, but did not get the votes from our panel of photographers. Sorry!

Thanks for reading!

the 645D can you up load a canon lens into it.

No, unfortunately there are not any adapters made to allow one to mount a Canon EOS lens onto the Pentax 645D camera or any other medium format cameras.

A Nikon d3200 with a 18 to 200 lens how much? This is the camera I want


"Steven myers", I am predominantly a motorsports and nature photographer. I have never been sold on Nikon as my competitors have displayed way too many problems with their Nikon stuff.

However, upon a long research and using some equipment before finally going all digital in 2007, I decided on buying an all new line of Canon. Overall, I have been pleased. 

Currently my bottom end camera is a Canon 60D usually coupled with the Canon 18-200. I will greatly recommend that combo to you.

Currently, according to the B&H webpage, they are offering a $200 rebate on the 60D plus provide you over $140 of usuable merchandise to enhance the camera. Thus the net differnece in pricing the 60D versus the D3200 is a $100 more for the Canon which is a great deal for I think a much better setup.

What's the difference between the 7D Mark II and the 5D Mark III?

In a nutshell, the 5DMIII is a full frame camera--which is commonly used for landscapes and portraits, the 7DMII is a cropped sensor camera that is commonly used for wildlife and sports.  

What the diffent from EOS 6D or 5d markll and 5d mark lll

Great job guys. this would also be my list . I just have one of the list for this year , a Fuji X-T1. but I also have a Sony RX1 and a old Sony A77. My next camera "from " B&H will be a Sony A7 mark II. Look forward to a great year of business with you. May you all have a great year. Happy Hanukkah & Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.

                                                                                   A loyal customer

                                                                                      Paul Randall

Hi Paul!

Thanks for reading. Thank you for your thoughts. And, thank you for your patronage!

Happy Holidays to you!

I think the FZ1000 should also be on this excellent list. It's truly a groundbreaking camera either from a stills or video standpoint, the first real long zoom digicam that can give pause to interchangeable lens camera system owners. Using this and the RX10 side by side, the Pana is more versatile, cabable, better balanced, and a much better bargain. There is a huge difference between 200mm and 400mm in the telephoto space, and that plus the added functionality, faster AF speed, video and timelapse features, etc, make the FZ1000 a league above the RX10. So for those making the argument that the RX10 could be the first to challenge a DSLR- real world shooting with the FZ1000 ends that argument. Period.



Hi Carl!

Thanks for your comments and thoughts. The FZ1000 is a great camera too. This and a lot of point-and-shoot super-zooms have gotten really good lately. Thanks for reading!


This always seems like a problem when a new camera comes on the market. On the plus side I'm hearing a lot of good reviews on the new Canon 7D mark II. Enjoy your new camera, I'm going to be getting one before the end of the year.

Looking forward to your order, Tony! Thanks for reading!

           This year I finally settled on a Sony A7r with the LAEA 4 adaptor and a Tamron F2.8 28-75 for my every day walk around. It is just an incredible package...relatively small and light...eye popping 36 mp sharpness with a lens that can use it...very high dynamic range combined with sensitive rendition of colors...and good low light performance...

Hi Howard,

There are a lot of very happy Sony A7 users making great photographs as I type this!  Thanks for reading/writing!

BH Photovideo does one little-big mistake: 

645Z' ISO rating is not converted / translated / made equivalent into other formats to be comparable or understandable. Its maximum ISO 204+K is some ISO 300+K in 35mm terms, and much more in APS-C terms (~ ISO 500K). It would be good if you include correct equivalent numbers. Thank you.

Thank you for reading and thank you for your comment.

I understand what you are saying, but, after doing some homework, we cannot provide an "equivalent ISO" based on sensor format.

ISO is a number calculated from a set standard to determine the sensor's sensitivity to light. The ISO figured is assigned a number based on the old days of film speed. That number allows exposure calculations to be made using EV's (exposure values) or "stops" and is interchangeable with the other variables of aperture and shutter speed.

In order to be compatible with EV calculations, ISO is a constant regardless of sensor size/format. Therefore, an image taken at 1/500 sec, f/8, and ISO 200 should have the same EV on a point-and-shoot, APS-C, full-frame, medium format, or large format camera. Light is light, regardless of the size of the photosensitive surface. This is why light meters do not have different settings or modes for different camera formats. This is also why Pentax, and other medium format camera manufacturers simply provide a "standard" set of ISO numbers in their specifications.

What I think you are alluding to is low-noise ISO performance. In digital photography, the larger the pixel, the better noise performance for a given ISO. A photo taken on a point-and-shoot 24 megapixel camera at ISO 6400 should show more sensor noise than the same photo taken at ISO 6400 on a 24 megapixel medium format camera of the same "generation" because of the performance gain due to pixel size.

In the days of film, the same happened with grain. Films of the same speed (ISO/ASA) were known for their different grain "feel."

Because of all of the factors that affect sensor noise, I know of no easy way to mathematically form an equivalent that would allow a simple conversion for noise production in sensors of different sizes and pixel sizes. Regardless, ISO remains a constant.

Thanks for reading and commenting!

Where is Olympus O-MD E-M1 which is the best of mirrorless cameras based on many reviews in 2013 & 2014 with a good price,excellent quality for body and its whole line of Zuiko Lenses M.Zuiko Lenses ?

May be B&H marketing strategy to maximize profit taking in this presentation ?

Canon made a very nice improvement with the 7D mark 2.  I wonder what is it going to take for Nikon to get there head out of there butt and make the D400.  There management when presenting the D750 says the APS sensor is a beginners camera.  They discount the fact wild life photographers prefer the APS  sensor  for reach.


As a D300 user, I will welcome a D400....if it ever comes!

But...I just want 16MP and awesome low-noise performance on an APS-C sensor....amongst other things!

....don't get me started! 

You completely left the Olympus line of cameras out of this article. no mention of the Olympus OMD em1 at all. So my question is is this camera not worthy?

Since when did Ricoh make the Pentax 645Z ?

Hi Tim! Ricoh aquired Pentax on July 1, 2011.

On October 1, 2011, Ricoh acquired all shares of Pentax Imaging Corp. and renamed the new subsidiary Pentax Ricoh Imaging Company, Ltd.. On August 1, 2013, the company name was changed to Ricoh Imaging Company Ltd. (Wikipedia)

Show older comments