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2023 DA Awards – Best Lenses and Cameras

Dustin Abbott

January 10th, 2024

In the course of any given year, I review a LOT of gear. In 2023 I reviewed 52 lenses and cameras with a lot of other gear besides. At this stage of my career, I have reviewed hundreds of lenses and many dozens of cameras. We are, I believe, in a golden age of photography. Despite the rise of cameras in phones and the resulting declining sales of traditional gear, we are seeing an unprecedented amount of new cameras and, in particular, lenses, and 2023 was the year in which at least one relatively unknown brand elbowed their way into the spotlight.

So check out the 2023 DA Awards in the video below.

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If you just want a summary of what I covered in the video, you can can see the list of contestants in each category below along with the slide of the winner and a photo taken with each winner. Just to clarify: these are my top picks among the lenses I personally reviewed. I review Canon, Sony, and Fujifilm (APS-C and medium format), so there aren’t any Nikon, M43, or Leica gear here…even though I’m sure there are several deserving products from those brands.

DA Awards 2023 – Top Camera

List of contestants:

  • Fuji X-T5
  • Sony a7RV
  • Canon R6 II
  • Fuji X-H2
  • Fuji X-S20
  • Fujifilm GFX-100 II
  • Sony a7CII

You can see my review of the Sony a7RV here…and here’s one photo sample from the camera.

DA Awards 2023 – Top Zoom Lens

List of contestants:

  • Sigma 60-600mm Sport
  • Fujinon 150-600mm
  • Fujinon 100-400mm
  • Sony 24-70mm F2.8 GM II
  • Sony 70-200mm F2.8 GM II
  • Tamron 11-20mm F2.8 X-mount
  • Tamron 17-70mm F2.8 X-mount
  • Sony 70-200mm F4 G II
  • Fujinon 18-120mm F4
  • Tamron 150-500mm X-mount
  • Sony 24-70mm F4 G
  • Sigma 100-400mm X-mount
  • Tamron 70-180mm F2.8 G2
  • Tamron 17-50mm F4
  • Sigma 10-18mm F2.8
  • Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 Sport
  • Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 X-mount

You can see my review of the Sony 70-200mm F4 Macro G II here, along with a favorite photo from it below.

DA Awards 2023 – Top Budget APS-C Prime Lens (Under $600)

List of contenders:

  • Fujinon 30mm F2.8 Macro
  • Sigma 23mm F1.4
  • Fuji 8mm F3.5
  • Viltrox Pro AF 75mm F1.2 E-mount
  • Viltrox Pro AF 27mm F1.2
  • TTArtisan 35mm F1.8
  • Sirui Sniper 23mm F1.2
  • Sirui Sniper 33mm F1.2
  • Sirui Sniper 56mm F1.2

You can find my review of the Viltrox Pro AF 27mm F1.2 here…and here’s a favorite photo.

DA Awards 2023 – Top Budget Full Frame Prime Lens (Under $600)

Here’s the list of contenders:

  • Laowa Argus 28mm F1.2
  • Sigma 50mm F2
  • Sigma 17mm F4
  • Samyang V-AF 24mm T1.9
  • Samyang V-AF 35mm T1.9
  • Samyang V-AF 75mm T1.9
  • TTArtisan 100mm F2.8 Macro Tilt Shift
  • Viltrox 16mm F1.8
  • Pergear 14mm F2.8 II
  •  Viltrox AF 28mm F1.8
  • Canon RF 28mm F2.8
  • Viltrox AF 20mm F2.8
  • Brightin Star 28mm F2.8

You can find my review of the Viltrox 16mm F1.8 here…and here’s a favorite photo.

DA Awards 2023 – Premium Full Frame Prime Lens

List of contenders:

  • Sigma 50mm F1.4 DN
  • Sony 50mm F1.4 GM
  • Fujinon XF 33mm F1.4 (APS-C)
  • Sigma 14mm F1.4 DN
  • Fujinon XF 23mm F1.4 (APS-C)
  • Fujinon GF 55mm F1.7 (MF)

You can find my review of the Sony FE 50mm F1.4 G Master here…and here’s a favorite photo.

DA Awards 2023 – Which Company Had the Best Year?

All of Viltrox’s lens releases of 2023 were good (Pro AF 75mm F1.2 E-mount, AF 16mm F1.8, AF 28mm F1.8, Pro AF 27mm F1.2, and Viltrox AF 20mm F2.8), and most of them were exceptional for their class.

DA Awards 2023 – Which Lens Surprised Me the Most?

The inexpensive Pergear 14mm F2.8 II (my review here) was my biggest surprise. I had low expectations for this inexpensive, very wide angle lens from a company typically associated with low budget lenses, but this lens fully resolved my 61MP Sony a7RV and produced a lot of beautiful images…like this one.


So there you have it! Here’s hoping that 2024 produces as many (or more!) standouts as 2023. Thank you for your support over the years!


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Keywords: Full Frame, Review, Sony Alpha 1, Sony a7RV, Review, Hands On, Dustin Abbott, Real World, Comparison, Sharpness, Bokeh, Flare Resistance, Autofocus, Image Quality, Sample Images, Video, Photography, let the light in, weathersealing, #letthelightin, DA Awards, Best, 2023

DISCLAIMER: This article and description contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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