One of the reasons I love shooting with Sigma camera bodies is the combination of the Foveon sensor that delivers great color and image detail with high quality and large aperture lenses like the Sigma 50-100mm f1.8 “Art.” that let me isolate a subject while turning the background into dreamy bokeh-filled canvas like this shot of my daughter.
With the recent release of the Leica’s new M10 I noticed an interesting commonality amongst the reviews. Almost all of them tested the camera in sunny, dry, or interior environments. Now I understand that Leica’s are expensive cameras and that reviewers and owners may not want to risk their equipment, but it strikes me that it might be worth knowing what kind of abuse these cameras can take given the high price they command.
Additionally, I’ve seen Leica’s treated with a sort of reverence that often influences the types of shots photographers are willing to risk taking. And it strikes me this reverence may be preventing some from fully taking advantage of what the camera can offer. Furthermore, if all you see coming out of Leica reviews are sunny shots in a neighborhood park, low light shots of a guitarist at a hip venue in Austin, or converted black and white street photography from an afternoon stroll around Florence, then you may come to think that’s what a Leica is for. For photography that is safe, secure, dry, or climate controlled.
When it comes to DSLR and audio you really don’t want to use the microphone in your camera. It involves echo, directionality, mic quality, sound bouncing and more. The short version is that it just sounds crap.
We compared three options for DSLR audio (four if you count the crappy in-camera sound) and we wanted to put it out there. Of course, you want to get the best microphone out there, but there are other aspects than sound quality, like budget, intended usage, power and wired vs wireless.
The three microphones we are comparing are:
I’ve been a photographer that has specialized in sports for some 30 years, which means, by default, that I have been a Canon (19 yrs) and Nikon (twice in 9 yrs) shooter for that time. When I first got the Sony A6000 in my hands and found the same “live wire” feel of the 1D and D3-4 series cameras, I knew Sony was really on to something when they could pack 11 fps into a pack of cigarettes.
Continuing the 11 fps tradition of the A6000, the A6300 brought us a better sensor that was good in low light and other refinements. The advent of the A6500 brought on a big buffer (“front end LSI”) and In Body Image Stabilization (IBIS), but Sony still lacked a full-frame A7 platform solution for shooting fast action.
Back in 2009, I learned to shoot video on the now-classic Panasonic HVX200.
At that time shooting HD video to memory cards was pretty new in the video world. The HVX was released just a couple of years before the Canon 5d Mark II changed the whole video market. The HVX200 recorded SD (standard def) video to DV tapes, but 1080i recorded to Panasonic’s early flash storage, the P2 card. The problem was that our (only) 8gb P2 card could only store 11 minutes of HD video at a time at a cost of well over $1000! These days you can buy over 500gb of some of the fastest SD cards on the market for that for that much.
The fact that I’m writing this review is the result of someones slip up, a happy accident and unexpected windfall for a mate. The VILTROX NF-E mount Focal Reducer Speed Booster.
Here’s the backstory, a close friend ordered a Viltrox basic adapter to use Nikon Ai lenses on his Sony A6000. We got him a great price on eBay, about $32.00 as I recall, and the adapter promptly arrived almost exactly on the due date. It sat on his bedroom cupboard along with a little Nikon 35-70mm zoom he bought at the same time for several weeks, then a few days ago he finally brought the camera/lens/adapter combo to the coffee shop so I could show him how to shoot using manual focus with his A6000.
The Irix 11mm f/4 isn’t quite available yet, but the reviews have started coming in already. First mentioned at The Photography Show last year, it’s a much anticipated lens by landscape, architecture and astrophotographers looking to get ultrawide with full frame bodies. Depending on the brand of camera you’re using, this is the widest non-fisheye full frame lens you can get.
You’ve seen many photographers switching from DSLR to mirrorless. Manny Ortiz did the same thing and switched to this system completely. After shooting with Sony mirrorless camera for a year, he gives an honest review of the system. He is very satisfied with it, and as you know, he makes awesome photos. But, he speaks honestly and mentions both advantages and disadvantages of this camera. So, if you’re thinking of switching to Sony mirrorless, you should definitely watch this.
Choosing your portrait lens is not a trivial thing. most good portrait lenses are not cheap, and they will probably serve you for a long time. Preferences may depend on budget, size, focal length, aperture and any other number of factors.
Photographer Manny Ortiz has a quick video up comparing two fo the more Sony popular portrait lenses: The 85mm 1.4 GM and the 70-200mm 2.8 GM. While this is not a pixel peeping kind of review (frankly they are both really nice lenses), it sheds some light on how each one performs and how they feel in the real world.
This Valentine’s day, I got a little present from my love, Wacom. It was the brand new Intuos Pro!
They refreshed the product line this year so I got a chance to check it out. Surprisingly, I found the update to really tighten up on a lot of areas. I didn’t have to do a review, but I actually felt it should be done since they improved this product in a lot of ways. If you’ve been wondering about it, this is for you.