It’s the time of year when a lot of people get new gear, so it’s time for a shopping guide. What makes this article different from most of similar ones is that I will recommend gear I have reviewed personally and liked it enough that I would consider buying it myself. That means I will skip a lot of good cameras because they have something that would bother me if I had them; it doesn’t mean cameras not listed here suck: they are just not to my personal taste. If for some camera category I think there are no good cameras I will simply recommend avoiding purchase and saving the money towards something better.
I will focus down to what is available on the market right now and at current price points. That means some good but currently in my opinion overpriced cameras might not be recommended at all. Sorry but for most of us money dictates what we can afford.
I have been and still am the strong supporter of mirrorless camera concept and systems from its very first days, yet recently I’ve made a transition that contradicts my own opinions. I’ve sold my Sony NEX mirrorless camera with a few lenses and got a traditional full frame DSLR. So what’s the catch?
Camera manufacturers are sneaky bastards: they will do anything to force you buying overpriced original equipment and accessories. That includes writing a piece of code in camera firmware which will make cameras incompatible to some 3rd party flash units, what I found out earlier this afternoon in a very annoying way: buying a flash which would not work on my Canon EOS 6D. It’s a Yongnuo YN468 speedlite flash that I bough second hand for around $50. The guy that sold it to me said he hardly ever used it. It sure does looks like new and when I tried it before buying, it worked just fine. The problem was I tried it in daylight on a parking lot and could not know that there will be issues in real use.
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.
Photographing the moon might sound like a pretty straightforward photo assignment, but in reality needs a bit more attention in order to get a photo that really stands out. Since I recently had Sony DSC-HX300 on review it was an obvious choice for this kind of photo since it has 50x optical zoom which gave me field of view equal to 1200mm on full frame. This allowed me to frame a shot in such a way no crop will be required (except for different image ratios).
Most photographers tend to shoot moon during night when the sky is black, but I opted for a different solution this time. I took several shots during dusk in order to get blue sky to make the image stand out in the crowd of similar ones on the internet. Finally I chose one with the shade of blue sky I liked most, but this was still far from splendid (out of camera images are almost always boring looking), so I did some post processing.
Mirrorless cameras have gained a respectful base of followers in less than 4 years since first introduction. Panasonic and Olympus were first to break the ice and remove the mirror from interchangeable lens cameras. It proved to be a successful idea, quickly gaining market shares and other manufacturers soon followed with their own systems. One of the main early criticisms was toward the lack of native lenses, but those day are long past. Today, 38 lenses are available for use on Panasonic and Olympus micro 4/3 bodies. If you are tired of heavy DLSR cameras or lenses and ready to jump into mirrorless world, micro 4/3 system is your best gamble.
Therefore, I’ve assembled this guide of the best micro 4/3 lenses. Please note that this is not a music chart and the first on the list is not necessarily the best one (just like J.B.) . All of the lens here recommended are excellent performers and you should choose them regarding your shooting style.
Vivian Maier was an American street photographer, completely unknown until 2007. Her huge opus of around 100,000 photographs was discovered by historian John Maloof who bought boxes stuffed with negatives from auctioned storage locker. After realizing the quality of photographs, he spent past few years bringing Vivian Maier street photography opus to public via books, website and soon to be released documentary.
SLR type cameras have firmly dominated the second part of the 20th century. They proved to be the best camera design for widest range of applications.
The ability to see what the lens sees in the viewfinder was the closest thing to final result (image) at the time. You could preview focus, DOF and exactly see what fits the frame (no parallax error like rangefinder style cameras). Yet, everything else remained a mystery. Is the exposition just right, how the scene will look like on black and white film and what if I missed the focus just a little bit but enough to ruin shallow DOF portrait…
A very common dilemma amongst inexperienced photographers is whether to shoot in JPEG or RAW format. Most of them decide to use JPEG and I don’t blame them; it has smaller file size and is compatible with all PC applications, unlike RAW format which requires special attention. But if you care for image quality and wish to control the way final photo will look like, RAW is essential.