Photokina has come and gone for the biennium, and we're now entering the season of the holiday consumption orgy. To assist gift-givers and gift-demanders, below is a chart of the available (or announced and shipping before Christmas) interchangeable-lens cameras (ILC). There are a slew of newcomers this time, and I have added a row for entry-level full-frame digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras to accommodate what seems to be a new market category. I also added a row to the rangefinder-style mirrorless system camera (MSC) section because Sony filled a gap in their pricing structure. I've left in place the row for the now-empty full-frame flagship studio DSLR category as I anticipate Canon and Nikon will fill it again. I am still excluding Fuji's X-series (I am so, so tired of "X" everything) even though a second, less expensive model was added because... well, because it would screw up my chart. Maybe next time.
On to the newcomers, with the old models in parentheses. Canon introduced the EOS-M (n/a), EOS 650D/T4i (600D/T3i), and EOS 6D (n/a). Nikon introduced the J2 (J1), V2 (V1), D3200 (D3100), and D600 (n/a). Sony introduced the NEX-F3 (NEX-C3), NEX-5R (NEX-5N), NEX-6 (n/a), and SLT-A99 (n/a). Pentax introduced the Q10 (Q), K-30 (n/a), and K-5 II (K-5). Olympus introduced the E-PM2 (E-PM1) and E-PL5 (E-PL3). Panasonic introduced the DMC-GF5 (DMC-GF3), DMC-G5 (DMC-G3), and DMC-GH3 (DMC-GH2). And, finally, Samsung introduced the NX1000 (NX100), NX210 (NX200), and NX20 (NX10). Canon discontinued the EOS 1100D/T3 and reduced the price on the EOS 600D/T3i to replace it. There are no direct replacements for the Canon 1Ds Mk.III, Nikon D3x, Olympus E-P3, Olympus E-620, and Pentax K-r. As always, older models are often still available new, and (initially) at a discount relative to current models. (Old new stock tends to get more expensive several years out.)
A previous version of this chart is here, and a general background post can be found here. If you're a first-time ILC buyer, remember that cameras are just tools, and the raw pixel count is very likely not the most important selection criteria. Along with selecting a body, it's also important to consider what gets attached to the front of the camera: glass. And one shouldn't forget to budget for accessories when making a decision. A minimal accessory package should include two storage cards, one spare battery, a UV filter (a.k.a. scratch protector) for the lens, and a basic carrying case.
|Big 2||Upstart||Little 4|
price w/ zoom 1
DSLR / SLT /
price w/ zoom 1
DSLR / SLT
price body only
|Flagship action||1D X|
1 - If multiple zoom kits are available, the price is for the cheapest, which usually includes an 18-55mm (equivalent) lens.
2 - dual-lens kit
3 - Sony's web site is horrible so I'm not linking to it.
4 - prime not zoom lens
5 - The K-5 II and D800 are available without an anti-aliasing filter for a modest additional price.