Best Camera of 2020? IR Camera of the Year Reader Poll [Update: Poll Closed]


posted Tuesday, October 27, 2020 at 8:59 AM EST


We began awarding a Camera of the Year in 2012, and since that time we've seen some awesome cameras come through our lab. Now we've decided to put you, our esteemed readers, in the driver's seat in casting a ballot for your favorite camera from 2020!

Camera of the Year Reader Poll 2020

The year 2020 has seen a wealth of terrific camera gear released from our manufacturer colleagues in Japan, and it's been an honor testing them on your behalf both in the lab and in the field. You've now done the reading, you've poured through the images, and some of you have shot with these models as well, and so now it's time to make YOUR decision on what the best new model really is.

To simplify the process we've narrowed the selection window down to the eight best models released this year, The Super 8, and it's an amazing group of camera bodies indeed. All of the Big 6 camera manufacturers have a product in this grouping, so you super-fans out there won't need to be worried that your "team" has been left out of the finals.

A few manufacturers have more than one product on the ballot, and for a reason, as we felt these products all were deserving of a shot at the big crown. We'll be unveiling our own Camera of the Year awards as well, so stay tuned for that as we'll have many more categories included, and the top lenses for you as well.

But for now, it's your turn. So take a close look at the ballot box and get your votes in today!
*(Voter deadline is end of the day November 12th!)*


Super 8: The Candidates

 *Candidates are listed in alphabetical order by manufacturer name to avoid any bias*

Canon EOS R5

Canon EOS R5 • 45mp Full Frame ILC

The Canon EOS R5 checks off so many boxes for excellence in the enthusiast and professional camera segments. While the Canon EOS R series had been plagued with a few notable complaints since its launch a few years ago, the new R5 (and R6 seen below) from Canon address all of these concerns and bring new advancements to the R-series table as well.

Our Field Tester found the camera to be terrific in the field for image quality, general handling and overall performance, and our lab First Shots showcase a ton of detail and high IQ from the generous 45mp sensor housed inside. In addition, the camera ushers in 8K video shooting to the stills camera world for the first time.

[Image captured by IR Senior Editor William Brawley]

Is the EOS R5 your choice for Camera of the Year 2020? (Scroll to the bottom to vote now!)

• • • • •

Canon EOS R6

Canon EOS R6 • 20mp Full Frame ILC

Announced alongside the EOS R5, the Canon EOS R6 shares a nearly identical design yet keeps things more modest when it comes to both image resolution and price point. Sporting a 20mp full-frame sensor and more palatable $2,500 USD price, the EOS R6 is designed as an enthusiast photographer's dream camera -- rugged design and ergonomics combined with fantastic image quality, performance and speed. On the video side, the R6 doesn't get the 8K capabilties as its R5 sibling, but still manages to be quite capable with 4K 60p video.

In testing, the R6 proved similarly impressive, much like the higher-end R5 model. In fact, our field tester said it "may be Canon's best all-around mirrorless camera to date." If you don't need a ton of megapixels and want a highly capable and versatile full-frame camera that doesn't completely wipe out your budget, the EOS R6 is one to consider.

[Image captured by contributing writer Jeremy Gray]

Does the Canon EOS R6 tick all the boxes for your ideal enthusiast camera? (Scroll to the bottom to vote now!)


• • • • •

Fujifilm X-T4

Fujfilm X-T4 • 26mp APS-C ILC

The predecessor to the Fujifilm X-T4 won our Camera of the Year awards in 2018 for good reason. It checked off almost every box we had for what makes a camera great: excellent image quality, solid ergonomics with an old-school touch and increased performance via much better C-AF algorithms. And this was all at an incredible price for an enthusiast-grade camera body.

All the X-T3 really lacked was IBIS, and now the X-T4 brings it solidly to the line. Add to this increased performance numbers across a few significant arenas and phenomenal image quality, and what you now have is a real powerhouse of a camera, still housed in that super-retro-cool package that Fujifilm lovers crave. And it's a dream camera to have out in the field, bringing home color rendering like only an X-trans sensor can.

[Image captured by IR Managing Editor Dave Pardue]

The Fujfilm X-T4 is truly a rare gem. Is it your pick for the Best of 2020? Head below to cast your vote!


• • • • •

Nikon Z5

Nikon Z5 • 24mp Full Frame ILC

Just $1300 for a full frame camera that does all this? Are you kidding? That's the Nikon Z5, folks. In a day and age where lots of hobbyist and enthusiast photographers are trading up to the enticing world of full frame, the Nikon Z5 makes the entry into this realm a relative breeze.

The new Z5 offers 5-axis IBIS, robust weather sealing, 4K/30p video, dual card slots and much more... and our field tester called it a terrific option for the price. It truly sets a new bar for value in the full frame world and simply defies its low price point.

[Image captured by contributing writer Jeremy Gray]

Will this "entry-level" full frame camera be the surprise winner in our Reader Poll for Best Camera 2020? You tell us!


• • • • •

Olympus E-M1 Mark III

Olympus E-M1 III • 20mp Micro Four Thirds ILC

Nobody packs more advanced features and capabilites into a small system better than Olympus. They've conquered the camera world in the IBIS realm, their lens selection is supreme, and the overall weight of the system is simply a delight in the field. And the camera is a joy to hold and use.

The Olympus E-M1 Mark II won our Best Overall Camera of 2016 hands down in a landslide, and now four years later we're at last treated to the follow-up model, the Olympus E-M1 Mark III. It continues in the fine tradition of the E-M1 II and brings more power and performance across the board. And while it houses the smallest sensor found in this competition, we still find the image quality to be quite impressive.

[Image captured by IR Senior Editor William Brawley]

Does the Olympus E-M1 Mark III check all the items on your wish list? Head below to cast your vote!


• • • • •

Panasonic S5

Panasonic S5 • 24mp Full Frame ILC

The Panasonic S-series offers enthusiast photographers so much in the way of amazing hybrid capabilities, and supreme levels of heartiness and versatility, yet these models have historically come in weighing significantly more than the competition. Say hello to the Panasonic S5, which changes this equation and brings a camera of comparable weight and price to the full frame hybrid field, yet still sports all the feature sets we've come to love about the line.

With the incredible versatility provided by the L-mount platform including some amazing lens options from Sigma, and new features such as the first full frame camera to sport Live View Composite in addition to solid IBIS and other high-end performance chops, the Panasonic S5 aims to please the pickiest hybrid creators out there with a super-solid feature set, in addition to simply terrific image quality.

[Image captured by IR Managing Editor Dave Pardue]

Will the Panasonic S5 take home the top prize in our Reader Poll this year? Vote away, Panasonic fans!


• • • • •

Sony A7C

Sony A7C • 24mp Full Frame ILC

The characteristics of "compact" and "lightweight" were not normally used to describe full-frame cameras, but Sony has managed to change that with their A7C model. The newest addition to their Alpha 7 series, the Sony A7C is essentially a Sony A7 III crammed inside an A6600-sized body. The result is a camera capable of high-quality images thanks to its 24mp sensor and BIONZ X image processor. Plus, with the A7 III's hybrid AF system with phase-detect AF and newer features like Eye AF for animals and humans, the svelte A7C is quite the portable performer. Thanks to its flip-out screen, on-board IBIS and 4K video recording, the A7C is pretty feature-rich for video creators and vloggers, too.

At $1,800 body-only, it's not the most affordable new full-frame camera on the market, but for those that put a higher priority on portability and light weight -- yet who still want a large, full-frame sensor -- the Sony A7C answers the call. 

[Image captured by IR Senior Editor William Brawley]

Does the new Sony A7C strike your fancy for the best camera of 2020? Do you love the portability and the big sensor? Cast your vote down below!


• • • • •

Sony A7S Mark III

Sony A7S Mark III • 12mp Full Frame ILC

One of the most anticipated camera in recent years finally arrived in 2020! The long-awaited successor to the popular A7S II is here. The new Sony A7S Mark III, much like its predecessors, maintains its unique 12-megapixel sensor resolution, which gives it an edge up on both high ISO and low-light sensitivity as well as dynamic range. This new model ups the performance, however, adding a BSI design to the sensor and pairing it to a all-new image processor. The result is a full-frame camera that despite a clear focus on video recording, is quite impressive for stills as well, with 10fps burst shooting and over 1000 frame buffer performance. Plus, it's new AF system sports 759 phase-detect AF points!

For video, the A7S III is, unsurprisingly, impressively well-versed. But unlike some other full-frame mirrorless cameras, the A7S III is squarely focused on being a premier 4K-shooting camera, with 4K recording up to 120fps with full pixel readout and no pixel binning. That's the highest resolution this camera records. However, you have three recording formats to choose from, including a ALL-I option with up to 600Mbps bitrate. Ther's also 4Kp60 16-bit RAW video out via HDMI, as well as 4:2:2 10-bit options for all recording modes. If you shoot 4K, this camera has plenty of bells and whistles -- as well as quality -- for enthusastis and professional users, alike.

[Image captured by IR Senior Editor William Brawley]

Does the Sony A7S III live up to the long wait? Visit the poll down below to cast your vote!


• • • • •

Ready to cast your ballot? Just click below! And thanks for your vote.
*(Voter deadline is end of the day November 12th!)*

IR Reader Poll 2020 - Vote Now

(Co-written with William Brawley)

[Special Editor's Note: We would have loved to include models like the new Fujifilm X-S10, Nikon Z6 II and Z7 II, but we were not treated to final production samples in time to test and showcase these cameras for you. Rest assured they will be at the top of the list in 2021 for consideration in our awards!]

Sony A7S III • 12mp Full Frame ILC
[Image captured by IR Senior Editor William Brawley]