It is that time of year again, at least for those of you living in the USA! Amazon has a black friday deals week, and there is plenty of rebates on all products, not only camera deals. So if you have something special in mind for you or someone you hold dear, please buy it after going to Amazon following links on my blog.
It seems that the next “big thing” most photographers missed in Smartphone cameras is finally coming – RAW file format support. Up until now, we have seen many camera-phone combinations; with optical zoom (Samsung S4) or insane resolution (Nokia Pureview), but none of these allowed shooting in RAW file format. I am a big advocate of RAW since it is the only format that allows reaching maximum image quality any given camera or sensor can produce. I wrote on this topic already on my blog, so please click here to learn more on RAW file format.
Due to popularity of my guide for micro 4/3 lenses, I’ve decided make a similar guide for Sony NEX users. This is a list of what I believe are the best lens choices for Sony NEX mirrorless system and is based mostly on my personal experience. Lenses that I reccomend in this article are the ones I allready own or the ones I would buy for my personal use without hesitation.
Australian photographer Murray Fredericks has undertaken sixteen trips over the course of eight years to the Lake Eyre in Australia to take a set of incredible photographs.
Samsung has been a player in mirrorless market almost since the first mirrorless cameras arrived. It has released a number of cameras and a range of lenses in the last few years but it seems it cannot grab a hold of significant market share nonetheless. The new NX2000 is positioned at the bottom of the Samsung mirrorless lineup and I was anxious to see what it has to offer.
Sony is on rampage. Right next to A7 and A7R, the company released another beautiful and capable digital camera – the DSC-RX10. It’s a camera that really has no direct competitor. With the big 8x zoom lens it could hardly be called as ultra zoom, but it looks like one. The main feature that sets it apart from other ultra-zooms is the sensor. It is the same unit used in RX100 II camera; smaller than APS-C sensors in mirrorless cameras, but still significantly bigger from those found in other ultra-zooms. The result is exceptional image quality. Besides that, RX10 can record in RAW format, has a high level of customization and it could actually be the only camera an advanced amateur could need. No fuss with exchanging lenses and all of the manual controls at the fingertips.
Finally, I had the opportunity to play with some new Sony gear. Yes, it’s the new A7 I’m talking about. Mirrorless and full frame at the same time, A7 is the camera many photographers dreamed about for a long time. Full frame cameras are around for years, but not until recently all of them were either big and heavy DSLR models or insanely expensive Leica. Just around last Christmas, Sony released RX1, a full-frame compact with fixed 35mm F/2 lens. Nothing like this was produced before and it became apparent it is only a matter of time Sony would release full frame mirrorless cameras. So now we have A7 and A7R which are very similar models. A7 has 24 megapixels, 117 phase detect AF points on the main image sensor and can shoot 5fps. A7R has 36 megapixel sensor with AA filter removed, 25 contrast detect AF points, shoots at a bit slower 4fps and has more magnesium parts (dials, back plate…). Both cameras are weather sealed, have tilt LCD, 2.5 million electronic viewfinders, 1/8000 shutter speed and records videos up to 1920 x 1080 @ 60p. Impressive.
Canon EOS 70D is the latest model that stands in the middle of current Canon DSLR lineup. You could call it a sort of advanced amateur or semi-professional camera, but there’s no such thing in real life: it is the photographer who defines how and for what purpose the gear is used. Theory aside, 70D distinguishes itself from more affordable 700D by many features like higher burst frame rate, more focus points and by the physical size and control layout. Also, there is a new 20 megapixel sensor inside, pretty impressive live view focusing system and a superb swivel LCD with touch control.
I’ve prepared another camera bag review and this time its CapDase mKeeper 320A shoulder bag. This is a classic shoulder bag made specifically for photographers. It has one main compartment with removable internal dividers, extra pockets for small thighs like filters, memory cards or chargers and a rain cover. It is available in grey color and has an average retail value of $55. This camera bag is also made in three sizes; I reviewed the largest one this time.
Olympus OM-D E-M1 is the latest mirrorless offering from Olympus. It is not a E-M5 successor but a higher-end model aimed especially at classic 4/3 users with 4/3 lenses. It has a sophisticated AF system with on-sensor phase detection pixels which should provide fast AF with 4/3 lenses. With native micro 4/3 E-M1 will use contrast detection focus which already proved to be very fast and reliable. There is also a range of other improvements over E-M5; 1/8000 shutter speed, 2.3M EVF, 10fps burst mode, bigger grip and a wide range of customization options. I had the privilege to be the first to try the new E-M1 in Croatia (yeah, we get new gear with a delay compared to the USA and most of EU) what came at the price: camera was with me only three days but this was enough to get a general feel of the new E-M1. As soon as I get an opportunity, I will test it in detail.