Earlier in the week we saw Carey Rose's surprising selection of the Sony 85mm f/1.8 lens as his DPReview Gear of the Year Winner. Another pick for 2017 has rolled in and this one might surprise you even more! Richard Butler of DPReview has chosen the Sony NP-FZ100 as his winner for Gear of the Year. Not recognizing this product code? That might be because it's a battery – but not just any battery. It's the battery you'll find inside the Sony α9 and α7R III.
So why did Butler deem a battery worthy of his top gear pick in 2017?
"The simple reason for this is the role it plays in rendering the difference between mirror-less and mirror-full cameras moot."
Butler discusses his personal experience using the battery along with the α7R III.
"I recently spent a morning shooting both stills and video of a cyclocross race with the α7R III. Shooting a mixture of JPEGs, uncompressed Raws and 4K video, I comfortably churned out more than the 64GB capacity of my memory card and had to switch to a second. What I didn’t come close to doing was running the battery out. At the end of the racing, I still had more than 27% charge left, despite the sub-10°C temperatures."
The elimination of this battery anxiety he's felt with previous cameras is a huge deal to Butler, "Because when I’m shooting, I don’t ever want to be worrying about whether I’ve brought enough batteries, and which ones are charged. I don’t even want to have to think about it."
"So, as a technology that allows mirrorless cameras (hopefully of all brands) to offer the same practical benefits as their DSLR rivals, my gear of the year is a battery. Because it makes the α9 and α7R III into significantly better cameras, not just because it pulls another leg out from under all those tired ‘mirrorless vs DSLR’ arguments."