The Best and Worst Cameras and Lenses of 2023

Where has the time gone? It’s been ten years since Jordan and I started our annual roundup of the best and worst products in our industry. Every year we give our opinions on the cameras we feel deserve the top spot as well as any honorable mentions that have also made a positive impression. Perhaps even more exciting, though, is our vote for the most infamous photo and video products of the year.

We limit our choices down to the cameras we’ve tested ourselves, so while you may think that there are others that deserve to be lauded or hazed even more than what we talk about, these are our picks.

But the annual “Best and Worst” extravaganza isn’t just an awards show — it is also a drinking game contest where we choose a challenging pastime to go along with a signature drink unique to that year. From drunken chess to movie trivia, to spelling bees and lens pong, we challenged both the body and mind for your entertainment.

Jordan, Alex, and Chris back together again.
Alex made this day possible and kept Jordan and I from killing each other.

This Wouldn’t be Possible Without Our Friends

Last year, we had one of our favorite competitions ever with our good friend Alex Mitchell and he curated a selection of retro video games for us to do battle with. Spanning multiple consoles and emulators, we had one of our closest battles ever, and all while consuming house party Margheritas. We had such a good time with competitive Street Fighter bouts and Golden Eye slappers-only deathmatches. In the end, Jordan took the final win with his naturally good rhythm and defeated me on the Dance-Dance Revolution dance floor.

Levi Holwell behind the camera.
It was a full setup with lights and green screens. Always the consummate professional, Levi Holwell manned the multiple cameras.

Usually, we shoot our best and worst episodes in the comfort of our own homes so we can pass out directly afterward but because of conflicting schedules, we changed it up this year. Starting at 10 AM was way too early to start drinking, but we wouldn’t have it any other way because we have another friend named Levi Holwell who has been behind the camera for so many best and worst episodes before. He was able to give us a narrow window of time and we took it happily. It was wonderful to have the whole crew back together again.

Best and Worst guess who
We had a brand new game to ring out 2023. It was the only challenge I won.
Best and Worst operation
What’s a better challenge for inebriated players than a round of operation?

For 2023 we knew we wanted Alex Mitchell back to act as a referee in our matches, but also to choose for us four of his favorite games from past episodes as well as a new challenge we have never faced. And so, our tenth-anniversary episode would have Jordan and I do battle in matches of lens pong, movie trivia, the tabletop board game Operation, the classic video game Super Monkey Ball, and a never-before-seen battle of camera Guess Who. One of our favorite local beer breweries in Calgary, Tool Shed Brewing Company, was kind enough to host us, feed us, keep the beers coming, and tolerate our loud shenanigans.

Tool Shed Brewing company
Huge thanks go out to Tool Shed Brewing Company for making our event possible.

The Stage Was Set:

Annual best and worst 2023 chris loses.
I gave it my all this year but in the end, I conceded victory.

In another adjustment for this year, we decided to streamline our categories and combine both prime and zoom lenses together into one category. We chose our three favorite photographic cameras of the year with a couple of honorable mentions, as well as our three favorite lenses of 2023. We also awarded three coveted top spots to the best video cameras of 2023.

But our famous end-of-the-year episode would not be complete without also putting the worst photo and video cameras into the doghouse. There is some discussion about the latest photo trends as well, along with copious amounts of good-natured fun to be had by all.

Best and worst 2023 winner is Jordan
Congratulations to Jordan for his victory in 2023. I’ll get him next year.

However, I’m not just going to reveal the final winners and losers here, so watch the above video and join in on the festivities as we end another great year in the photo industry. Don’t forget that we still have plenty more to come before the New Year arrives, along with some end-of-the-year video specials that you won’t want to miss.