The 10 Best Performing Camera Sensors Per DXOMark (May 2019)

panasonic s1r

There’s a newcomer in this months DXOMark top 10 camera sensor list!

Things are starting to move and shake over at DXOMark. A new camera has bullied its way into the top 10 performing camera sensor league table, and the new camera has left seven other cameras in its wake as it shot up the charts to third place. The Panasonic S1R scored a whopping 100 overall in the tests that DXOMark perform, and they said in some cases it performed better than the two Medium Format cameras that sit above it in the league table. Join us after the break to see the new standings.

As we have stated before, the results that DXOMark obtain and publish are not the be all and end all when it comes to camera reviews, but the information DXOMark shares can, and will help you make more informed purchasing decisions. Couple the DXOMark findings with the real world reviews that we do, and you will be able to go to the store confident in your decision to buy the camera that sparkles in your eye. Check out the top ten performing camera sensors per DXOMark for May 2019 below.

 

Hasselblad X1D-50C

 

Pros

  • Small size and weight makes it easy to handle
  • Feels nice in the hand thanks to the great grip
  • Autofocus is fast enough even for street photography
  • Easy to navigate menu system
  • Exceptional Image quality with gorgeous colors

Cons

  • Poor battery life

Check out our full review

Buy now ($5,495): Amazon

 

Pentax 645Z

 

Pros

  • Excellent high ISO performance
  • Out of this world dynamic range
  • Incredible detail can be captured
  • Despite its size the camera is nice to hold

Cons

  • Only 27 autofocus point and they’re all in the center
  • Auto focusing is a slow affair which is limiting
  • This camera is huge and weighs a fair amount
  • No rear joystick

Check out our full review

Buy now ($5,499.90): Amazon

 

Panasonic S1R

 

panasonic s1r

The Panasonic S1R has surged into third place. We’re still waiting on our review unit so here’s an excerpt from the DXOMark review:

“With its combination of high pixel count, low noise, and exceptional color sensitivity, the Lumix DC-S1R is likely to appeal to the most demanding studio photographers. And when conditions require it, its excellent dynamic range means the S1R should be a viable candidate for interior, wedding, and landscape photographers. Finally, its competitive price will also strongly appeal to keen amateurs who are looking for a solid all-rounder.”

Buy now ($3,697.99): Amazon

 

Nikon D850

 

Pros

  • Fantastic image quality
  • Built like a tank
  • Buttons that light up
  • Touch screen makes the menu navigation so much better
  • Great color depth and versatility
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • Putting the ISO button on the right side of the camera by the grip is the better long term strategy
  • Weather sealing
  • Lots of video options
  • Dual Card slots
  • The best viewfinder of any DSLR that I’ve used, but still not as great as many older medium format DSLRs and SLRs.

Cons

  • Slower autofocus than the Nikon D810 in some situations
  • We wish the white balance levels were a bit more adjustable. Many of you may groan about fixing it in post and we know photographers who would want to smack you, accordingly. But we maintain the judgement that having a consistent, film-like white balance can help you in the editing process so much more when it comes to both exposures and working with color channels.
  • Sort of shocked the dual card slots aren’t both SD; we don’t know anyone that used XQD. Sony, the developer of the card, doesn’t even use them in their still cameras.
  • We’re over DSLRs at this point except if they’re medium format. The viewfinders are bugging me now.

Check out our full review

Buy now ($2,996.95): Amazon

 

Sony A7r III

 

dxomark

Pros

  • Weather sealing
  • Lots of RAW file versatility
  • Sony a9’s autofocus
  • Nice ergonomics
  • New battery makes shooting with it for prolonged periods of time so much better
  • RAW files work fantastic with Capture One
  • Touch screen capabilities for shooting
  • Fast shooting capabilities
  • Silent shooting abilities

Cons

  • No one is going to actually use the Pixel Shift imaging mode because it’s so complicated to work with and few people want to use Sony’s own software
  • We’d love a top LCD screen
  • We’d love to navigate the menus with the Touchscreen capabilities
  • Sony got rid of the PlayMemories apps and therefore all abilities to do more with the cameras such as the touchless shutter. It absolutely baffles me as to why Sony doesn’t just put all that stuff into the cameras.
  • Wireless flash capabilities need to be enabled via the menu in order to use them

Check out our full review

Buy now ($2,598): Amazon

 

Nikon Z7

 

Pros

  • Good feeling in the hand
  • Solid weather sealing
  • Lots of focusing points
  • Good high ISO output
  • Lots of resolution
  • A touch screen
  • Image stabilization is very good
  • The viewfinder is beautiful
  • We genuinely appreciate the top LCD screen
  • Outstanding battery life

Cons

  • Little things annoy me, like not being able to push the joystick in to bring the focusing point back to the center
  • Why the hell is there an XQD card slot?
  • We’d really prefer dual card slots
  • Changing the white balance I feel is the slowest thing
  • While we understand Nikon’s philosophy in putting a dedicated ISO button, we’d have preferred a dial of some sort
  • Did we mention the autofocus isn’t up to par?
  • Nikon created a brand new camera system and yet they decided to keep the single most awkward mounting system that, like their DSLRs, requires you to screw the lenses in to the left instead of to the right like LITERALLY EVERYONE ELSE DOES!
  • The muscle memory learning curve is steeper than with most other cameras
  • Expensive

Check out our full review

Buy now ($3,396.95): Amazon

 

Sony A7r II

dxomark

 

Pros

  • The best image quality that we’ve seen from a camera yet
  • Surprisingly good high ISO results
  • Very good RAW file versatility, but not the best
  • Feels great in the hand
  • Fastest autofocus of any Sony ILC camera body
  • Improved battery life over previous generations
  • 4K video is a nice addition

Cons

  • Really, really want a direct joystick of some sort to move the focusing points rather than pressing a button and then moving them around.
  • That cost…
  • Sony could use better weather sealing for a camera body this expensive

Check out our full review

Buy now ($1,498): Amazon

 

Nikon D810

 

Pros

  • Probably the only DSLR you’ll ever need
  • Absolutely, positively, amazing high ISO performance
  • Great color output
  • Some of the most versatile RAW files that we’ve ever seen in Adobe Lightroom 5
  • Fast autofocus in great lighting even with third party lenses
  • Build very solidly yet isn’t too heavy
  • Small RAW mode can be a lifesaver when you don’t have high capacity cards
  • Same old simplistic Nikon menu system
  • Quiet shooting mode makes this one of the most stealthy DSLRs that we’ve tested. But the shutter is already much quieter than previous Nikon DSLRs

Cons

  • Price point
  • Autofocus in extremely low lit situations (we’re talking about candlelit events) is inconsistent and requires lots of thought to carefully place a focusing point on a high contrast spot
  • A tilting LCD screen when shooting timelapse videos would have been really, really useful
  • AF assist lamp is in a weird spot that doesn’t always help enough
  • Wish there was WiFi transmission built in instead of needing to use an external dongle

Check out our full review

Buy now ($2,796.95): Amazon

 

Sony RX1r II

 

dxomark

Pros

  • Excellent image quality
  • Fast focusing
  • Great lens
  • Small
  • Lightweight
  • For most of us, it’s all the camera you’d possibly need
  • EVF addition is welcome.
  • Fair battery life for a Sony camera

Cons

  • Sometimes very hard to hold and shoot when doing street photography
  • When used with a radio flash trigger, the EVF can get in the way

Check out our full review

Buy now ($3,298): Amazon

 

Pentax K1

 

dxomark

Pros

  • Weather sealing
  • Great, versatile image quality
  • Composition adjustment is awesome for studio shooting on a tripod
  • Fast autofocus in most situations
  • Programmable dial is a very nice feature, and Pentax’s execution of it is quite unique and innovative
  • Nice feel in the hand

Cons

  • Viewfinder doesn’t let the autofocus points to be easily seen in some situations
  • LCD screen sometimes feels like it’s going to break off
  • We’d love a direct joystick to change the AF points like Canon, Nikon, and Sony have vs pressing a button and then changing them

Check out our full review

Buy now ($1,450): Amazon

Brett Day

Brett Day is the Gear Editor at The Phoblographer and has been a photographer for as long as he can remember. Brett has his own photography business that focuses on corporate events and portraiture. In his spare time, Brett loves to practice landscape and wildlife photography. When he's not behind a camera, he's enjoying life with his wife and two kids, or he's playing video games, drinking coffee, and eating Cheetos.