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The 10 Most Important Cameras of 2012

Illustration for article titled The 10 Most Important Cameras of 2012

This was a banner year for photo gear. We saw some of the most-anticipated camera refreshes in years (a new 5D, finally!) not to mention some groundbreaking technologies (that weird little Lytro!). Here's a rundown of this year's ten hottest cameras.

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10. Panasonic Lumix LX7

Anyone in the market for a top point-and-shoot camera is probably deciding between Canon's S100 and Sony's RX100. But Panasonic is back in the game with the Lumix LX7, a sequel to one of the top shooters of 2010, the wildly popular LX5. Does Panasonic's latest have what it takes to beat these pocket titans? [More]


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9. Canon Powershot S110

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The Canon S110 is the most refined little pocket camera Canon has ever made. The core design of the S110 remains unchanged from previous iterations. But with a little streamlining and some key new features, it's inched one step closer to perfection. Are you looking for the highest quality possible in a small point-and-shoot? Check out your new camera. [More]


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8. FujiFilm X-Pro1

Mirrorless cameras are generally geared toward the enthusiast or semi-pro consumer. Some companies, like Canon with its new EOS M offering, are seeking to cater to a broader market in features and styling. [More]

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7. GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition

Yes, it's action cam season. Sony's entered the market, Contour has updated its line with the Contour+2. But what about the latest from the brand that's come to define the category—the Kleenex of action cams, if you will? [More]

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6. Olympus OM-D E-M5

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Olympus and Panasonic had an uphill battle in front of them with their micro four thirds system. Other brands were using larger sensors that simply performed better. But when Olympus revealed the OM-D EM-5, people fell in love not only with the vintage style, but with the crisp image quality and best autofocus around. [More]


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5. Sony NEX-5R

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Over the last year, Sony's NEX cameras have been our favorite of the compact, mirrorless lot. They just handle so well. And on a small camera with big DSLR flexibility, the way you hold, adjust, and operate it makes a huge difference. [More]


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4. Lytro Light Field Camera

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It isn't very often we encounter technology that is really, truly new. PCs, cellphones, the Internet, multitouch. Those all changed our world when they were first introduced. Not to overstate it, but Lytro may well be the latest member of that clique. The selling point is simple: you no longer have to worry about getting a shot in focus, because any part of the photo can be brought into focus after the fact. Magic. [More]


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3. Sony RX100

Turns out, this camera is a significant achievement for Sony. In fact, it makes you remember that Sony is still capable of making some amazing things. [More]

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2. Nikon D800

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The Nikon D700 was the last great pre-video DSLR. It was an excellent and very boring camera. Nikon's newest, a $3,000 body called the D800, introduces two major features: HD video and a 36-megapixel sensor. [More]


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1. Canon EOS 5D Mark III

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It's been four years since Canon released the EOS 5D Mark II, the camera that turned digital still cameras into affordable workhorses for videographers and indie filmmakers. And this next evolution was definitely created with those filmmakers in mind. [More]


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DISCUSSION

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panicproduct

You really ranked the 5D Mk III above the D800?

I shoot with a 5D Mk II (I'm a Canon guy through-and-through) but I have borrowed my roommate's D800e on multiple occasions, have read the reviews, and seen the test shots: 5D Mk III image quality, IQ, and resolution don't compare!