Best New Video and Photo Products of 2023
Each year. we page through many Excel sheets and analytics to bring you the most popular rentals for the calendar year. If you missed last week’s post, we went over all of the most popular products for 2023 – and this week, we will focus our attention on new products, and ask the staff at Lensrentals.com to give us their favorite new products for 2023. So let’s dive into it, and look at the list of the most popular new products for 2023.
And while we look over the best new products of 2023, let’s also post the table from last week showing the most popular gear rented in 2023 to compare.
|Canon EOS R5
|Canon EOS R6
|Canon RF 28-70mm f/2L
|Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS
|Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS
|Sony FX3 (Body Only)
|Sony Alpha a7S III
|Canon 5D Mark IV
|Sony FX6 Full-Frame Cinema Camera
|Canon EOS R6 Mark II
|Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II
|Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM II
|Canon RF 24-70mm f/2.8L IS
|Sony FX3 Full-Frame Cinema Camera
|Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III
|Sony Alpha a7 IV
|Canon EOS C70 Cinema Camera (RF)
|Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM
|Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS II
|Canon RF 100-500mm f/4.5-7.1L IS USM
As you can see, none of the new gear for 2023 made our top 20 of all products for this year – which makes sense for a different reason. The reason is down to release cycles – many of these lenses and camera bodies were released in the middle of the year, meaning there is far less data to collect on them over the other gear available. For example – the Canon R8 is a popular budget-friendly option from Canon, but it wasn’t released until mid-April, and was limited stock up until early May, so while the Canon R5 had an entire year of rentals, the Canon R8 only had 8-9 months. For that same reason, the latest releases from Fujifilm with their GFX 100 II, and the Sony a9 III didn’t even brace the top twenty, because they were announced at the end of the year, and have yet to be released.
But as we parsed through all the data we’ve collected for this post, we did our annual tradition of asking the staff here at Lensrentals.com to see which new product was their favorite for the year, because, after all, the workers of Lensrentals.com probably handle more photo and video gear more than just about anyone else in the world….if nothing else, by fulfilling orders and testing the gear to make sure it works properly. So let’s dive into the staff picks for 2023.
This year, we decided to put together a series of questions in a form for the staff to fill out so that we get an even broader output of gear. We placed the survey in an internal message and welcomed staff members to fill it out and share their experience with the gear this year, giving us over 25 different perspectives. So let’s dive into the questions asked.
The first question is to get a good baseline, and I was pretty impressed with how even it generally was. Overall, of those who filled out the poll, we had a fairly even split between photo and video as their choice of medium. So let’s now look at their favorite camera for 2023.
Best New Camera of 2023
Much to my personal surprise, the best new camera of the year this year is the Fujifilm GFX 100 II, as voted by the staff of Lensrentals.com. To be clear, my surprise isn’t that I have a different opinion, I voted for the GFX 100 II as well, but I’m a medium format fanboy, and I fully expected the hype of the Sony a9 III to overtake all other competitors – but that camera hasn’t gotten in our hands yet, so it’s fair to contain judgment until it becomes available. Second on the best camera poll is the impressive Canon R8 – which is Canon’s budget-friendly release into the full frame mirrorless category. The remainder of the category is rounded out with a lot of personal opinions, as there were quite a few cameras released this past year.
Best New Lens of 2023
When it comes to lenses, there were a lot of new releases as brands like Canon and Nikon race to fill out their mirrorless lens lineup, but the frontrunner for best new lens is the Canon RF 24-105mm f/2.8 L IS. Not really a surprise, as Canon has taken a pretty mediocre kit lens with the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4, and turned it into a fast and nimble (at f/2.8) while maintaining the original range of the popular lens. While it’s priced high, I suspect a lot of people will be choosing this lens over the incredibly popular Canon RF 24-70mm f/2.8 IS.
In second place is a three-way tie with our most popular new rentals in the Sony FE 50mm f/1.4 GM, the Canon RF 135mm f/1.8L IS, and the Canon RF 100-300mm f/2.8L IS. And in third place is the Nikon Z 135mm f/1.8 S Plena, and Nikon Z 85mm f/1.2 S.
Best Overall Product of 2023
When combining the ‘Best Camera’ and ‘Best Lens’ categories, we still see the Fujifilm GFX 100 II taking the crown as the best overall new product for 2023. An exceptional camera that I’ve written a quick first impression on already (and our video crew is going to have a YouTube video on the video functionalities on it soon), the GFX 100 II brings a featureful camera to the market, that also has the exceptional image quality that comes with medium format. In second place for the best overall product are the Canon R8, and the Sony a9 III – taking the glory from the lenses and other options in the category.
Best Camera/Lens Feature of 2023
While there were a lot of really great products announced and released in 2023, perhaps what was more impressive was the leaps in technology found in these new cameras, so we figured it was worth looking into the features of each camera to see which one has our staff the most excited. As a surprise to no one, the voted best feature for 2023 comes with Sony’s global shutter found in the Sony a9 III. We’ve talked about what makes a global shutter special for video, but it also removes any flash sync barriers for studio photographers as well, and we suspect all brands will be adopting global shutters in the coming years. As a few quotes from staff as to why they’re excited for the global shutter on the new Sony a9 III —
“We’ve been waiting a long time for mass adoption of the global shutter in photo cameras. Sony has the best current implementation of it, and it’s living up to the hype. Looking forward to many more cameras moving in this direction.”Joey Miller | Repair Dept.
“The global shutter is a great market breakthrough in my opinion, while global shutter has existed, it has felt like a premium option that only cinema cameras and the like can do, and I think this gives me hope that this is the beginning of a transition where more and more cameras will have the tech for it and it will become more of an accessible and common practice for cameras.”Derik Keeslar | Gear Inspection
A close second on the list is Canon’s new f/2.8 aperture on their RF 24-105mm. With mirrorless cameras, we can expect faster lenses and this latest release from Canon shows us a very exciting future of fast lenses with large focal ranges. Rounding out the top three is the GFX 100 II’s incredible color science and Sony’s a9 III’s blazingly fast 120 fps shooting speed.
What Feature/Product You’re Looking Forward to in 2024?
And finally, we asked the staff what feature they’re most excited for in 2024, and got a two-way tie for the first spot – the implementation of a global shutter in cameras, and higher dynamic range in-camera systems. Both features make sense for quality-of-life updates to digital cameras, a global shutter removes a lot of limitations in both photo and video, and dynamic range translates nicely to general image quality. In second place were improvements to the already incredible in-body stabilization systems found in cameras, with a pretty even spread with features both adding and protecting AI, as well as in general improvements to resolution in photo and video.
But what about you? What was your favorite product for 2023? What features do you want to see implemented into cameras and lenses in 2024? Chime in with your favorite picks in the comments below. And if you missed our article last week, be sure to check out the remainder of the data for 2023.
- First Impressions With the Fujifilm GFX 100 II
- Biggest Photo & Video Announcements for Late 2023
- Finding the Best Action Camera for 2023
- Helping Determine the Correct Focal Length for Photography & Videography