Canon and Sony Cameras Declared “Best Inventions of 2023” By TIME

A man holding a camera in front of a building.

Dedicated fans of either Sony or Canon cameras can feel vindicated in knowing that the influential magazine TIME agrees with their preferences.

Both of these brands had select cameras from these manufacturers selected by TIME Magazine for listing among its 200 best inventions of 2023.

This of course doesn’t mean that other Sony or Canon cameras aren’t inferior to say, certain Fujifilm or Nikon brand machines. Also, some fans of either Sony or Canon might wonder why the magazine made the specific selections that got listed.

For Sony these were the brand’s A7R V full-frame mirrorless camera and its FX3 cinematic camera, and for Canon its MS-500 ultra-high-sensitivity interchangeable lens camera with SPAD image sensor. If you’re wondering what SPAD sensors are, here’s a brief intro to this fascinating technology.

Canon was also listed in TIME’s 2022 rankings with its unique RF 5.2mm f/2.8 L Dual Fisheye lens for VR work.

Other consumer tech brands included in the 2023 rankings were LG’s Signature OLED M TV with its colossal 97-inch screen and Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip5 smartphones.

As you might have guessed, Sony’s A7R V was selected because of its powerful AI processing unit, which was one of the first of its kind in a consumer mirrorless camera.

The sony a7rV camera with a lens attached.

TIME’s selection of the Sony FX3 on the other hand was because of the camera’s high-quality filmmaking specs at an affordable price in a compact device. Worth noting is that this small camera was even used to make two major motion pictures: “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” and “The Creator”.

This doubtless influenced Time’s ranking of the FX3, which has been acclaimed by many video production professionals for its lightness, compact size and extremely good low-light performance.

Canon’s MS-500 on the other hand is a wholly unique device in certain ways that made time call it an extremely powerful camera.

The main reason is its SPAD sensor, which is completely different in many ways from what you’d find in any consumer mirrorless or other camera.

As we explain in further detail here, the SPAD sensor has a resolution of only 3.2-megapixels but this doesn’t stop it from seeing subjects clearly even at distances of several miles with absolutely incredible light sensitivity.

A black camera with a lens on it.

Unlike CMOS sensor technology, SPAD tech measures each light particle that touches the sensor surface, creating a much sharper image in extremely low light.

As Canon itself explains about SPAD,

“The SPAD sensor uses a technology known as ‘photon counting,’ which counts light particles (photons) that enter a pixel. When incoming photons are converted to an electric charge, they are amplified approximately one million times and extracted as digital signals, making detecting even small amounts of light possible,”

While Sony’s cameras for the 2023 TIME magazine listing are impressive, Canon’s SPAD sensor is a technology that particularly impresses with its innovation.

You can check out the rest of the TIME 200 best inventions list here.

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