While 2020 hasn't been a great year for traveling, there have been plenty of great camera and photography releases that will help you capture the moment when you can get back on the road again. Here are the highlights.
Moment Magsafe Camera Accessories
Moment is probably the best-known gadget manufacturer of smartphone photography accessories, and it just released a MagSafe case for the iPhone 12 along with a host of MagSafe accessories, including tripod, a light, microphone, a car vent and even a wall attachment.
The case starts at $20.
The Instax Square SQ1, on the other hand, shoots 2.5-inch square photos that offer way more in terms of lasting appeal as an actual photograph, and an aspect ratio that's second nature to any Instagrammer. The Square SQ1 (and its film) are a bit more expensive than the Mini, but it's worth it for pictures that are more "photo" than "gimmick."
Peak Design Travel Tripod
The Peak Design Travel Tripod can be purchased in two different constructions: carbon fiber or aluminum alloy. The carbon fiber model is lighter and significantly more expensive, but both models weigh less than four pounds but can handle up to 20 pounds of camera. Also, both models will work with both DSLR or mirrorless cameras; a smartphone mount is also included. The Travel Tripod has latches to extend the legs instead of traditional twist locks, which makes it quicker to set up. It has a quick-release button that makes attaching and removing a camera fast and easy. And there are small levers that let you spread the legs wide for low-angle photos.
iPhone 12 Pro Max
The iPhone 12 Pro and the iPhone 12 Pro Max both have triple rear-camera systems consisting of wide (main), ultra-wide and telephoto lenses. The ultra-wide lens is the exact same on both smartphones, but the Pro Max has superior wide and telephoto cameras. Specifically, the Pro Max's wide lens has much larger sensor — 47-percent larger, to be exact — which allows it to take better photos in low-light situations. And the Pro Max has a longer telephoto lenses (2.5x vs 2x) with slightly better optical zoom (5x vs 4x range) and digital zoom (up to 12x vs up to 10x).
Nikon Z 5
the Z5 is primarily notable for two things in combination: sensor size and price. At a list price of $1,399 (body only), the Nikon Z5 is not the cheapest mirrorless full frame camera available. Options like the Canon RP (which you can find for about $899 these days) and various pre-owned or older-model options of various higher-end bodies have it beat. Not to mention you always could get a DSLR. But the Z5's suite of features and general performance make it an especially enticing gateway drug for potential crop sensor converts. And maybe more crucially, a sign of things to come.
Olympus OM-D E-M1 MKIII
The E-M1 Mark III, the product of more than a decade of refinement throughout the OM-D lineage, shows just how myopic that pixel-peeping perspective can be. Cribbing a suite of professional-grade features from the bulkier, pricier, awkward-ier E-M1x and squeezing them into the E-M1 line’s tight, tidy body, Olympus has put together a package that carries its 20.4MP sensor (and matching suite of affordable, portable Micro Four Thirds lenses) so much further than any inveterate spec nerd would ever expect them to go. It's just a shame Olympus went and sold off its camera division.
Sony Alpha 7c
The A7C is the smallest and lightest full-frame interchangeable lens cameras that the company has ever created. Combined with its big 24-megapixel full-frame sensor, the Sony A7C looks poised to put some real pressure on the APS-C compact cameras (including Sony's own A6400). The Sony A7C looks to be a smart repackaging of the A7III. Although you're most likely going to need a lens like f/2.8 or faster to that full frame advantage. Pair it with a 50mm f/1.4, and it A7C could make an awesome travel camera.
Canon's new flagship juggernaut is a best-in-class beast, and earned its spot on Gear Patrol's GP100 because of it. Its new 45-megapixel full-frame sensor captures stunningly high-quality, high-resolution photos at speeds of up to 20 frames per second, with awesome autofocus and excellent ergonomics. The guinea pig for Canon's new in-body image stabilization, the R5 can offer up to eight stops of stabilization under optimal circumstances and with compatible lenses.
In a move reminiscent of the Canon EOS R6, Nikon Z6 or Sony A7s, Leica has announced a lower resolution, lower cost version of the stellar SL2 that manages to incorporate some killer specs. A stabilized 24-megapixel backside illuminated sensor (down from 47 in the SL2) allows excellent low-light performance and 4K 10-bit 4:2:2 video capture up to 30fps (soon to be 60 with a coming firmware update). Another small news-bit that comes with the SL2-S's announcement: the SL series (as well as the bonkers, medium-format S3) are now supported in Capture One - industry standard software for many pros.