Did you know that you don’t have to buy a full-frame — or larger — sensor camera to get professional results? That’s right, crop sensor cameras are more powerful than ever and can do everything their supposedly bigger, better brothers and sisters can do.
Unfortunately, crop sensor cameras still get a bad rap. Back in the day, APS-C and Micro Four Thirds sensors were genuinely behind larger sensors and what they could do. However, times have changed. The problem is that many creators’ perceptions of them have not. This is a real shame because today’s crop sensor cameras are now more capable than ever.
Today you can get crop sensor cameras with stacked and BSI sensors, incredible IBIS, tons of dynamic range, much improved low-light performance, more powerful image processors and AI. On top of this, crop sensor cameras now have the same build qualities as cameras with larger sensors.
In this roundup, we’ll look at five newer crop sensor cameras that will blow you away. On top of being just as capable as their larger counterparts, crop sensor cameras are easier on the wallet and easier on you, too, as they’re often much more compact and lightweight. So, let’s take a look at a few great options.
Canon EOS R7 — For professional wildlife and sports photographers
One of the newest kids on the crop sensor camera block is the Canon R7. This camera is an ode to the EOS 7D II, a powerhouse APS-C DSLR that served professional wildlife and sports photographers well for many years. The R7 features a 32.5-megapixel sensor, which is the largest crop sensor in terms of pixel density (at the time of writing). In addition, the sensor is paired with Canon’s incredible Dual Pixel CMOS AF II, which is turning out to be one of the fastest, most accurate autofocus systems available.
The EOS R7 can rattle off 30 frames per second with its electronic shutter. In addition, the mechanical shutter fires off 15 frames per second. Performance like this is impressive for a camera that costs less than $1,500. On top of the above features, you’ll also get Canon’s incredible IBIS, dual UHS-II card slots, a 2.36-million dot OLED EVF, weather sealing and fantastic ergonomics. The price-to-performance ratio of the EOS R7 makes this a no-brainer for wildlife and sports photographers who cannot afford to miss the shot.
OM SYSTEM OM-1 — A crop sensor camera that’s incredibly versatile
The OM SYSTEM OM-1 makes all types of photography easy thanks to its size, weight, excellent ergonomics, and autofocus system. On top of all of these features that help make the OM-1 one of the best cameras all around crop sensor cameras, OMDS gave the OM-1 IP53-rated weather sealing. This means the OM-1 will keep clicking even when the going gets beyond tough.
The OM-1 uses OMDS’ BLX-1 battery, which gives the OM-1 brilliant battery life. There’s an articulating screen. A new, stacked 20-megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor offers increased dynamic range and low light performance. You’ll also find dual UHS-II card slots. Class-leading IBIS, 120 FPS burst modes with the electronic shutter, 50 fps of continuous shooting with autofocus and more. The crystal clear 5.76-million dot EVF and a high-resolution LCD round out the camera nicely. Be sure to read our full review of the OM SYSTEM OM -1.
Fujifilm X-H2S — This camera fulfills your need for speed
Fujifilm has built the Fujifilm X-H2S for professional photographers who need a camera that offers incredible responsiveness and speed. The X-H2S is the first camera from Fujifilm to feature a stacked X-Trans Sensor. Coming in with 26.1-megapixels, the X-H2S offers users fantastic dynamic range, and images and videos (including ProRes and Blackmagic RAW) that are detail-rich.
The Fujifilm X-H2S is packed to the brim with tech. The IBIS in this camera offers 7-stops of stabilization. The EVF is crisp, thanks to its 5.76-million dot resolution. The 425-point autofocus system incorporates AI subject detection. The X-H2S can fire off 40 frames per second with its electronic shutter and 15 frames per second with the mechanical shutter. All of the images get written to either a CFexpress or UHS-II SD card, and everything is protected with robust weather sealing. When it comes to crop sensor cameras, the Fujifilm X-H2S is as pro as they come.
Panasonic GH6 — One of the best options for hybrid content creators
The Panasonic GH6 is a camera that many professional photographers, videographers and hybrid content creators were looking forward to. The wait was worth it. The Panasonic GH6 came to town sporting a new 25-megapixel sensor. There are new video modes, a more robust body and IBIS that enables god-like handheld stabilization.
The GH6 is built for professional use. The shutter is good for 200,000 clicks. The weather sealing and build quality are outstanding. During our review, we subjected the camera to harsh conditions and took it on several mountain bike rides to test its durability. The camera never broke a sweat. In addition, the GH6 has excellent ergonomics, incredible handheld hi-res shooting modes, an articulating screen and dual card slots. Couple this with class-leading 4K video specs, and you have a reliable camera that won’t let you down.
Pentax K-3 III — The new king of DSLR crop sensor cameras
The latest in the lineup of Pentax cameras is the K-3 III. While critics out there will complain about it being a DSLR (get over it), this camera is impressive and is here on merit. The K3-III is possibly the most ergonomically pleasing camera I have ever held. The K-3 III packs enough tech to please, and who can argue with the gorgeous optical viewfinder?
This 25.7-megapixel APS-C camera boasts 5-axis IBIS. There’s a responsive touchscreen, a self-leveling sensor, an excellent live view mode, two SD card slots and fantastic high ISO performance. I shot this camera up to ISO 25600, and the results were stunning. Don’t believe me? Check out the image samples in our full review. In addition, fast burst modes and the SAFOX 13 autofocus system, which includes eye detect AF in the optical viewfinder, makes the Pentax K-3 III perfect for fast-paced genres like wildlife, birding, sports and portraiture.