Equipment Reviews
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Jack Neubart Sep 06, 2013 Published: Aug 01, 2013 0 comments
In this update on new bags and cases, with information gathered by reporter Jack Neubart at the CES/PMA show, we’re seeing even more innovative styles and practical solutions for carrying our gear. Backpacks, sling bags, and messenger bags garnered most of his attention, along with a sampling of hard cases.–Editor
Equipment Reviews, Lenses
Jack Neubart Sep 03, 2013 Published: Aug 01, 2013 0 comments
While the Sigma 150mm f/2.8 lens has been out for a good while we decided to take a closer look at one of the most interesting pro-oriented products in their lineup. One of the key selling points in this lens is built-in optical image stabilization (“OS” in Sigma-speak) to aid in achieving camera-shake-free, handheld exposures. Granted, image stabilization in a macro lens is not the be-all and end-all of successful close-ups, though it sure gives added insurance. And because the Sigma 150mm OS macro is optimized for full-frame D-SLRs, it allows for use at the stated focal length with such cameras and provides even greater effective focal length with APS-C-type SLRs.
Jack Neubart Aug 30, 2013 Published: Jul 01, 2013 0 comments
The Nissin MF18 fully supports Nikon’s i-TTL autoexposure as well as Canon’s E-TTL system. I tested with the Nikon 60mm Micro, but also had success with a zoom, namely the Tamron 70-300mm with a Marumi DHG Achromat Macro (plus-diopter) lens attached, both on my Nikon D300. Much of my close-up work with the MF18 involved Manual shooting mode set on the camera for tighter exposure control, and manual focus.
Edited by Georg... Aug 27, 2013 Published: Jul 01, 2013 3 comments
The Panasonic GH3 has a brand-new body based on a magnesium-alloy chassis. This Micro Four Thirds camera is bigger than its forerunner and has nearly the same dimensions as a small APS-C SLR system; in fact, it is even bigger than the Nikon D3200. The body is very robust and has numerous functional elements for comfortable handling, including up to five user-defined Fn buttons. Large mode and parameter dials allow for fast setup of all parameters such as shutter speed and aperture settings.
Edited by Georg... Aug 23, 2013 Published: Jul 01, 2013 0 comments
The D5200 follows Nikon’s D5100 and offers a new sensor with higher resolution (24MP instead of 16MP in the D5100). The new camera has an APS-C-sized CMOS sensor and uses a fast and reliable AF system with 39 focus sensors, including nine cross-type sensors. The photographer can toggle between different AF modes with nine, 21, or 39 points with dynamic-area mode and use predictive focus tracking for moving subjects.
Edited by Georg... Aug 20, 2013 Published: Jul 01, 2013 0 comments
The X-E1 is the second mirrorless system camera made by Fujifilm. In contrast to the X-Pro1, it has an electronic viewfinder with ultrahigh resolution (2.3 million RGB dots) instead of the X-Pro1’s hybrid viewfinder (combination of optical viewfinder and electronic viewfinder).
Equipment Reviews, Lenses
George Schaub Aug 12, 2013 Published: Jul 01, 2013 0 comments
There’s something about a fixed focal length lens that brings the photographer out in me. It forces me to move in and back from compositions without resorting to a zoom. Yes, there are times when a zoom is most appreciated—especially the fast constant aperture zooms now available—but a prime puts me in a mindset that a zoom has yet to match.
C.A. Boylan Aug 09, 2013 Published: Jul 01, 2013 2 comments
Hoodman Custom Finder Kit
Hoodman’s Custom Finder Kit for up to 3.2” viewfinders includes a H32 HoodLoupe with German glass optics, a +/- 3 diopter adjustment, and a 1/4”-20 mount. Designed to fit all D-SLR cameras, the milled black anodized aluminum base plate is made in the U.S.A. (by Custom Brackets) and allows you to mount the HoodLoupe to your camera for video capture and live view. The base plate also features anti-twist bars, two 1/4”-20 tripod mount holes, a hand strap slot, and a camera sling strap attachment point. Hoodman’s Custom Finder Kit has a retail value of $199.99; the base plate may be purchased separately for $99.99.
Equipment Reviews, Lenses
Jack Neubart Aug 06, 2013 Published: Jul 01, 2013 5 comments
There are a number of new lenses, including those for “full-frame,” Micro Four Thirds, and “mirrorless” compact system cameras debuting this year, listed in alphabetical order. Here’s a sampler, with a sprinkling of filters thrown in for good measure. We’ve shown prices when available at press time—if not, check the websites of the companies for updates.
Edited by Georg... Jul 30, 2013 Published: Jun 01, 2013 0 comments
The NEX-6 offers an APS-C-sized CMOS sensor with 16MP resolution, the Sony NEX E-mount system, a large swivel screen on the back, a high-resolution electronic viewfinder, and a Wi-Fi module for wireless data transfer or remote control. This very small system camera uses a large mode dial on the top to set up exposure modes directly instead of using the menu on the screen (unlike other NEX cameras). Directly below this mode dial there is an additional dial to change image parameters. The photographer can use this second dial and the third dial (which encircles the cursor field) to change aperture and shutter speed settings directly, which makes it as comfortable to operate as an SLR system.
Edited by Georg... Jul 26, 2013 Published: Jun 01, 2013 2 comments
The Panasonic LX7 is the top model of Panasonic’s compact camera range. It uses a (large) 1/1.7” image sensor and has a moderate image resolution of 10MP, the same resolution as the forerunner LX5 but with a new lens system with outstanding speed capabilities. It offers a maximum aperture of f/1.4, with only f/2.3 when using the maximum focal length of 90mm (35mm film equivalent). This allows the user to shoot images with a shallow depth of field—something compact cameras have often failed to offer. To change the aperture setting the photographer uses a very handy lens ring on the front of the camera. When using M mode the shutter speed is changed with a comfortable setup dial on the back.
Edited by Georg... Jul 23, 2013 Published: Jun 01, 2013 1 comments
The Olympus XZ-2 is the successor of the XZ-1 which was the first compact camera made by Olympus with a large sensor (1/1.63”). The new camera has a new CMOS sensor (the XZ-1 had a CCD sensor) which is slightly smaller but has a slightly higher resolution (12MP instead of 10MP).
Edited by Georg... Jul 19, 2013 Published: Jun 01, 2013 0 comments
Compared to the first generation of Nikon’s compact system cameras, the V1, the design of the V2 has changed radically. Instead of a small body with minimized dimensions, it has attained extra girth, although we feel it has also acquired better handling agility as well.
Edited by Georg... Jul 16, 2013 Published: Jun 01, 2013 2 comments
The Canon G15 follows the G12. The new model has a massive, robust, and heavy body and has major changes from its predecessor.
The G15 is Canon’s newest high-end compact system with a 12MP sensor (1/1.7”), a large LCD screen, and a lot of manually controlled image parameters. It allows the user to shoot Full HD video.
Joe Farace Jul 11, 2013 Published: Jun 01, 2013 1 comments
Instead of trying to be just another me-too camera, the K-30 from Pentax Imaging is trying to be different, and that’s a good thing. First, there was the introduction of the K-01 mirrorless camera and now there’s the K-30 SLR, for when the going gets wet and not-so-wild. The rugged Pentax K-30 is designed for photographers who enjoy outdoor lifestyles and combines a weather- and dust-resistant compact body, HD video recording capabilities, and a glass prism optical finder with a 100 percent field of view, something most welcome in the small SLR category. To keep itself high and dry, the camera has 81 seals and is built to be cold resistant and function in temperatures as low as 14˚F, which is a number not all that uncommon here on Daisy Hill, Colorado, in the winter.