Gear of the Month | January 2023


Happy 2023, photographer friends! The year has already started with a bang, as we’ve seen a lot of exciting kit released and it’s only the first month of the year. Probably the most interesting release we’ve seen is Panasonic’s latest full-frame mirrorless camera for its Lumix S series, but plenty of new lenses and accessories have come as well.

Here, we’ve compiled all the photo and video gear you need to know about from January 2023. No need to waste any time – let’s dive straight in.

(Remember, as ever, that photo and video kit will regularly come in and out of stock as supply chains adjust. If something you’re hankering after isn’t in stock now, it likely will be soon, so be patient!)

So, here's the best new gear for photographers in January

Panasonic Lumix S5 II Digital Camera Body

£1,999.00 View

Panasonic opened up proceedings for 2023 in fine form by taking the wraps off the Lumix S5 II, its latest full-frame mirrorless camera. A highly capable stills and video hybrid camera, the Panasonic Lumix S5 II uses a brand new 24MP sensor that comes equipped with phase-detection autofocus – a first for the series.

The new focusing system uses 779 AF areas to track moving subjects, even in poor light or when subjects are backlit. Video-wise, it’s very highly specced, capable of shooting 4:2:0 10-bit 6K video at 30fps, as well as plenty of other frame rate and aspect ratio options at lower resolutions. Stills haven’t been forgotten, however, with a 9fps burst rate, and a 96MP high-resolution mode.

It’s easier to show than tell, so to see how the Lumix S5 II performs for yourself, check out our review video where we put it through its paces in the cold mountains of Norway. We were particularly impressed with how the solid magnesium-alloy body held up in the challenging conditions – and what’s more, even in the cold, we got pretty impressive shooting times out of the 2200mAh high-capacity battery.


Panasonic LUMIX S 14-28mm f4-5.6 Macro Lens

£699.00 View

As well as releasing new cameras, Panasonic is also fast filling out lens options for the growing L-mount system. The Lumix 14-28mm f4-5.6 Macro is a useful wide zoom with impressive close-up capabilities, its minimum focusing distance measuring just 15cm. Given that manual focus is so important in macro photography, we also appreciate the level of care and attention that has been paid to the manual focus experience. The sensitivity of the focus ring can be very precisely adjusted, meaning you can get the lens working just the way you want it to.


Sony FE 20-70mm f4 G Lens

£1,399.00 View

This is an interesting new release from Sony, a lens covering a fairly standard zoom range, but with a little more play at the wide end (20mm rather than 24mm). The maximum aperture of f4 runs through the entire zoom range, giving the user plenty of shooting flexibility, and the autofocus system is powered by two linear motors for additional speed. The Sony FE 20-70mm f4 G is also hardily built, with a moisture-resistant construction and fluorine coatings on its front elements that repel water, oil and other contaminants.


Sigma 60-600mm f4.5-6.3 DG DN OS I Sports Lens for L-Mount

£1,999.00 View

Sigma 60-600mm f4.5-6.3 DG DN OS I Sports Lens for Sony E

£1,999.00 View

Welcome news for sports and action shooters, as Sigma adapts a popular DSLR lens for full-frame mirrorless systems. Now available for L-mount and Sony E-mount, the Sigma 60-600mm f4.5-6.3 DG DN OS I Sports Lens is a 10x optical zoom with a premium construction consisting of 27 glass elements in 19 groups, including low-dispersion elements to correct for aberration and distortion.

Also, should you need to get in close, the lens manages a respectable close-focusing distance of 45cm, while its splash- and dust-resistant build give it some rugged protection against the elements.


Laowa 6mm f2 Zero-D Lens for Micro Four Thirds

£539.00 View

We love the look of this creative lens from Laowa – it’s officially the widest rectilinear lens available for Micro Four Thirds users. With a 121.9° angle of view, it’s ideal for capturing architecture and cityscape imagery, and should easily find a home in the kit bags of urban photographers using Panasonic and Olympus/OM System gear.

Incredibly, despite its ultra-wide field of view, the Laowa 6mm f2 has been engineered to produce almost zero distortion (hence the name “Zero-D”). And with a 9cm close focusing distance and an f2 aperture, the user has real shooting flexibility.


Kase Revolution Magnetic Circular Filters 82mm Pro Kit

£355.00 View

This comprehensive filter kit is an excellent all-in-one pack for photographers and videographers alike. It includes a polarising filter, an ND8, an ND64, and an ND100, and they’re colour-coded for easy selection out in the field. The magnetic design means the filters can be stacked to compound their effects, and the high-grade construction ensures there’s no discernible colour cast. We particularly like the inlaid ring, which prevents vignetting even on wide-angle lenses.

DJI Mini 3 Pro (DJI RC)

£859.00 View

DJI is back! The drone-maker introduced its first sub-250g quadcopter back in 2019, and the latest DJI Mini 3 Pro somehow manages to stay beneath that weight threshold despite packing in a ton of new features. With more propellers, an overhauled body design that’s more aerodynamic than ever, and an upgraded Intelligent Flight Battery that delivers up to 34 minutes of continuous flight time, this is a fully-featured drone for any aerial image-maker.

The Mini 3 Pro is the flagship version, with a 48MP stills camera, the ability to shoot 4K 60p video, 8km transmission distance and a tri-directional object sensing system. If you’re working to a budget, there’s also the DJI Mini 3, a slimmed-down version with a less sophisticated camera and fewer safety features – though it does actually achieve a slightly longer flight time of 38 minutes.

The 48MP RAW photos captured by the Mini 3 Pro provide exceptional clarity and detail, and having an aperture of f/1.7 gives you real flexibility in challenging light. The suite of creative options includes time-lapse, panorama, and True Vertical Shooting for a TikTok-friendly format. If you’re a novice to drone shooting, you may want to try out DJI’s MasterShots system, which allows you to pick a subject, then instructs the drone to seamlessly perform a series of manoeuvres around it to generate a short cinematic video clip.

An entry-level drone without the basic spec sheet one might associate with that moniker, the DJI Mini 3 Pro is a fantastic starting point for anyone who wants to experiment with airborne imagery. 


Of course, there are lots of accessories and gear that were released in January, but these are our favourites. As mentioned, this year has already started with a bang and if this selection of kit is anything go by, we can expect great things to come in 2023!