CAMERA OF THE YEAR! 2021 Pixel Awards
We do this every year and we pick the best of the best computers, the best pro cameras, the best consumer cameras, the best innovations, the biggest disappointments were going to tell you the camera of the year out of everything weve seen this year, but first a word From our sponsor squarespace, whether you need your own website portfolio store a place to sell your prints, you can make it happen with squarespace and you can do it for free with a 14 day free trial, no credit card needed just go to squarespace.com, chelsea and use The coupon code, chelsea thats c h, e l s e, a and theres a link down in the description. Thank you. Squarespace all right lets go over the smartphone cameras. First tony, this is the new consumer camera. This is the what most people start with and i insist they are real cameras. Our second place, runner up is the sony xperia. I a pretty amazing and unique take on a smartphone camera that was very much based on the sony, alpha conventional cameras and then they sort of packed that into a smartphone foam form factor with uh one instance, a big sensor that doesnt totally use and then all These, like traditional sony, alpha controls like a real shutter button, that you can half press and a user interface thatll, be very familiar to any sony. Camera user was pretty amazing to have that manual. Camera experience the next runner up is the iphone 13 pro.
This is my own personal smartphone, and i absolutely love it for the camera that you have with you at all times. The advancements in the 13 pro and 13 pro max are pretty amazing. The low light capability is absolutely fantastic and its enough that it will beat your typical under a thousand dollar camera kit in just about every scenario. No more motion blur, even if the subject is moving astro photography like its absolutely stunning, but it was still just the first runner up. The portrait mode looks really good too its very good yeah, but it didnt win. The winner was the google pixel 6 pro. This was blowing me away. This had some really cool, like software based photo stuff like motion blur, so we were able to track our car and get that cool, panning effect and long exposures. So we took pictures of a waterfall in our review and it looked really good. I was so impressed by the image quality in this phone. So congratulations, google! Last night, i put it on a tripod and it took four minute exposures of the stars, but with astro tracking in, like you had a proper tracker on it, so no star trails, but a four minute exposure, its like its stunning. What theyre doing all right! Tony you love this category and its the drones. Everybody should have a drone, its a camera that floats it lets you get perspectives that you could not otherwise get, but theyre still pretty expensive and complicated, but every year we see new innovations.
Unfortunately, it all really comes from one company dji yeah, so the runner up is the air 2s. This is a great compact drone, and this is the one that i would recommend to someone looking for something more affordable, yeah its only about a thousand bucks, but it does 4k 60 and thats what weve been using for our channel like all year. So all the drone footage youve seen has pretty much been filmed with this and nobody ever complained, even though its 999 dollars, okay, but the fun sexy drone is the dji fpv, which you flew 60 miles per hour into our tree and into our neighbors tree. And you were doing flips and we made an obstacle course. This drone is a really good time and you can put your goggles on so that its like youre, a pilot. This is a really fun toy yeah. The air 2s got the work done, but the fpv actually like made my heart race, literally its just its a lot of fun but its a very expensive toy, but its really fun also dangerous. We crashed it into our new neighbors tree and when they moved in, we had to be like before you moved in. We took out some of your trees with our drone. We apologize thats gon na happen. If you buy that happen, the north ropes are annoying all right, so the lens of the year lets get to the runner up, which is the sony 70 to 200 f28 g master ii.
This is a beautiful portrait lens its got that diverse focal length. You could use it for landscapes too, and it was just a good, clean lens, even with back lighting, and we put it up against a few other 70 to 200s and it was amazing yeah. It absolutely won everything, and maybe the most striking thing was how they improved the auto focus speed because the previous generation had really held back our 30 frames per second a1, but this one, just it kept doing 30 frames per second, even at close range ive been Trying to buy one but theyre not actually really shipping in any sort of volume you want it, though, maybe for christmas yeah and the winner, the lens of the year, the tamron 150 to 500 e mount lens for sony. Finally, like a good, affordable, mirrorless wildlife lens that autofocused accurately and produced nice, sharp results were always looking for recommendations for that, like small and light wildlife kit that doesnt break the bank – and this was it yeah if youre looking for more about this lens, we did Do a video about more affordable wildlife, lens, so search our channel, and this will show up and well have way more information and sample photos for you, congrats tamron, all right, so the greatest accessory of the year tony now theres one that we use all of the Time – and that is the rode wireless go to mic packs, and these are amazing, theyre, so small theyre, smaller than a tic tac container theyre light they dont have batteries in them.
You charge them with what usbc yeah and they sound great. So congratulations rode! You made a really good portable light mic pack and its like they designed it for us because were a team of two, whereas most microphone, manufacturers dont think about needing to record two separate channels, but they did it. Thank you and then the winner is the macbook pro with the new m1 chip, its so much faster. Tony youve been timing, it and doing all sorts of tests to see how it improves your workflow lightroom imports three times faster. Final cut exports twice as fast thats. A huge number: normally you get a new computer, its like 10 faster, so to suddenly have everything be 300 faster, fantastic, especially now that our cameras are like an absurd amount of megapixels. You really need that speed or else youre just sitting there forever waiting to unload your photos yeah when we get that new 8k 60 frames per second nikon z9 and were glad i have that we just did the canon r3 review and we took like 4 000 Pictures in under an hour i mean thats, not typical for us dont come for me. We had 16 000 pictures so far for that project. Thats a lot of research were going to get back to the camera of the year. But first i want to thank our sponsor. Squarespace squarespace makes award winning websites totally possible, go to squarespace.com chelsea drag your pictures in set up a portfolio for your business, create an online store, take appointments view detailed analytics.
You will absolutely love it. You have a 14 day free trial afterwards use the coupon code chelsea and youll get 10 percent off. Thank you, squarespace youre! Not even going to spell my name c h, e l s e, a all right were going to get a little salty a little sassy. Now cause a little fight, the biggest disappointments of the year lets get into it. The runner up is the super resolution feature in lightroom. We love lightroom, weve written several books on the topic were also we absolutely love resolution and pixels. So when adobe came out and said, hey we have this software trick. It uses artificial intelligence, it extends your resolution. It quadruples your resolution. Suddenly, your 12 megapixel a7s can be a 48 megapixel camera. So what do you do as a nerd tony? I think i need to objectively test this. I need a control right, so i take a standard picture with a 12 megapixel camera and with a 50 megapixel camera, and i try comparing them with super resolution. Doesnt, compare doesnt seem to add any detail, and so then i take a single picture and i quadruple the size using standard scaling and i crank up the sharpness and it seems, like all super resolution, does, is scale it up and then just crank the sharpness to 11., actually, it cranks it way too far. It accentuates noise, it doesnt add any detail. There doesnt seem to be any hint of intelligence, artificial or otherwise.
Just like scaling and sharpening okay, not a fan. No and then our biggest disappointment is the ship day on the nikon. Z9 weve been talking about this camera since march im so excited. I just want to get my hands on it and it was supposed to ship earlier in december, and now shipping is being pushed to december 24th, which is like who whos getting stuff, then thats going to probably push it out till january 20, 22 like when. Am i going to get this thing and for the sake of these awards, it means we cannot consider it for the 2021 pixel awards. It has to be pushed back to 2022 because were not going to be able to get our hands on it and actually test it, yeah. So sorry, nikon lovers, we we reached out to nikon more than a dozen times yeah, also like hey. We want to test this and make it eligible for the pixel awards, but they did not reply. Okay, so maybe next time and then the winner that wasnt, even the runner up the winner, our biggest disappointment is that camera theft has been like through the roof. Our own friend got robbed and a bunch of photographers asked for anti theft, technology and cameras, and we reached out and they didnt even respond. None of them brought it up. So i thought somebody would like call lewis up and be like hey lets. Have a zoom meeting: we just want to hear what we can do better yeah, nobody even bothered to contact him.
They dont even theyre, not even talking about it. No im furious were going to make it happen. The anti theft technology is going to happen, but did they mention it this year no and were disappointed? If you want to be a part of the solution to let camera manufacturers know that you dont, like getting robbed in public places head to sdp.io soc for save our cameras yeah. Is it going to fix all the problems now, but is it going to make your camera less appealing to steel? Yes, all right so lets get on to the next category and thats the wtf of the year and the winner. Oh, take a sip of your martini. Adding drama the sigma fpl now last years, winner was the sigma fp, a camera that was very expensive and yet lacked a lot of basic features and so 2021 sigma decided to update it. And how did they update it? They added some resolution, but they didnt address some other things, just minor things that you might expect in a 2500 camera like it, doesnt come with a viewfinder, it doesnt come with a grip or stabilization or a mechanical shutter. It has appalling rolling shutter. That makes it absolutely useless for any sort of moving subject: much less video yeah it has it shoots at 10 frames per second, which is good right, but it has a 12 shot raw buffer. So it fills up in about one second of shooting: okay, its sync speed, maybe its a studio camera.
Maybe you want to hook it up to some strobes, the sync speed 1 15 of a second so useless. It doesnt have a hot shoe built into it. Anyway, you have to like stick a hot shoe on the side um. What is this for? Actually, nobody knows thats why it is the 2021 wtf winner. If you have a good application for this camera, you like it, you use it. You figured out its niche. Let us know in the comments im curious, sigma, rep, okay, so the firmware update, stop it. We cannot burn any more bridges. We have burned every bridge signal lenses, but i dont get those cameras at all were on northrop island. Okay, the firmware update of the year is the canon, r6 and r52 canon did us a true solid and they issued a firmware update. That would improve things generally, but in particular gave us the ability to write video to both card slots. That had been one of our huge complaints with these cameras and they fixed it. And it was enough that i switched from filming our videos with sony to filming our videos with canon, because now i can write two card slots. Oh now i hear you complain all the time it doesnt autofocus right. Well, save that for another video another firmware update. Okay, the best vlogging camera of the year. I added a drum roll now: okay, our runner up the sony zv e10 yeah, so they took the zve1 that we liked, but didnt have the right lens on it and they made it interchangeable lens and its like.
A good all around vlogging camera its good. My little short arms can vlog with this camera now, because i can put a wider lens on it, because it was what 24 millimeters before on the fixed lens. It was more like 28 yeah thats, true yeah, and the winner, the panasonic gh5 mark ii, a micro, four thirds camera the original gh5. We used it for a long time, but we really struggled with the autofocus and in this revision, panasonic really improved the autofocus enough. That, in at least in our testing, it did a pretty good job of tracking us. They also released some new lenses that gave us some shallow depth of field and other effects that we wanted. It was like a really good improvement and a good choice for people. Vlogging, i think, congratulations and thanks for the updates, youre doing a stellar job, okay, the greatest innovation of the year. Now there wasnt a lot this year, its been a tough year, its been a tough year for innovation. Understandably, everything is wild and unpredictable, but there was one company that came up with something kind of new, and that was canon, and that is the new canon eye control. Auto focus you look through the viewfinder, you calibrate it to the way your eye is looking and then you can move your auto focus point to where youre looking and its pretty cool. Now. This feature originally came out from canon in like what, like 2000 or something yeah.
I had the elan 2 e and the e stood for eye control and i hated it but trying it out in the r3, its pretty cool yeah, its pretty like you at first youre like how does it know where im looking and then pretty soon it just Becomes unconscious and wherever it is, you just look at something and it focuses on it. Yes, we have a full review of the r3. Its coming out coming out. Well, talk more about that, because there are some caveats to it, but still it is a cool innovation and im so glad to see a camera company doing something other than just increasing the numbers higher yes and it doesnt have to be perfect. The first time i like the direction this is going in, and i also feel like its a good exercise for someone with a lazy eye, just be like consumer camera of the year. The runner up is the nikon zfc. I, like this camera a lot i like, where theyre going with it its actually beautiful im gon na you know, im gon na make a whole new category right here, most beautiful camera of the year. It definitely was, and just like a fun camera, because photography should be fun. These things dont have to be all serious. They all come dressed in just totally black. Looking 80s slr, looking like some sort of technology funeral, you know we dont have to be sad. Its beautiful its fun, it worked really.
Well, congratulations! Nikon! We love this camera. I want to see more of this from you. These are my words of encouragement. First talk to me. Second, more of this and the winner is the sony a74, just a great all around versatile camera. They took the a7 iii and fixed the biggest complaints. They gave it a flip screen. They uh increased the resolution. Its now like pretty high end camera, and we call it a consumer camera, but really, i would totally recommend this to professional videographers to portrait and wedding photographers it we found no flaws in it. It was just like a good camera congrats sony. This is the biggest category of the year. The final category, the best professional camera pixels doing a drum roll. The runner up is the canon r 3. Not only did they have the amazing innovation of the eye control autofocus, its an overall great camera, its, i think, going to be an amazing camera for sports photographers, in particular its got that great battery life, the big battery its light, considering its size, its got 30 Frames per second, the r3 is what has convinced me that the dslr is dead and thatll have to be a separate podcast, but it is so much better than the 1dx that its really replacing its absolutely amazing, and i i think in any other year. It probably would have won this final category except, but you know who snuck in with a new camera january.
They got it in just in time for 2021 thats, the sony a1. This is our pick for the best camera of the year. Weve been shooting them side by side for wildlife. I love it. The auto focus is amazing. The resolution is incredible. The tracking is incredible. Battery life is great. I love this camera. It is the best camera ever made. I think weve been putting it through the most intense uses possible, which are like fast flying birds and stuff. Just in our daily life. We do it for fun. We love it and its fantastic, but also ill use it for portraits and landscapes and its the one camera that can really do everything except except i wish i had a flip screen, but it is the winner of our camera of the year. Yeah, congratulations! Sony! You made what i think is the greatest camera ever made and you did it at the beginning of the year you had a real head start there. I was thinking about stealing yours and switching. Oh, no youre thinking about switching from canada. I tell everybody they say i change my cameras like they change their underwear, which first of all gross yeah. You only do it like once every six months or so, but also on poly cameras. You know i like to shoot with all different cameras, and this one is incredible, so congratulations put a pin pad in this and youll have a 100 from me.
Oh, oh, a pin pad for security yeah for security for security. Tony all right are there any that we missed put it in the comments down below. If you think we missed the mark. I know you do im giving you im giving you an outlet to vent and uh yeah. This has been a pretty fun year: huh congrats to sony, nikon, canon, panasonic, dji and all the winners and runner ups well see you next year and congratulations to squarespace for being the best sponsor of this podcast. If you want, your very own website store a portfolio gallery where you can sell your prints, they make it so easy to do. Go to squarespace.com, chelsea use the coupon code chelsea and you can get 10 off. Thats c h e l s e a, and it makes a great gift too ive made them for family members. So thank you and see you next time happy holidays.