Equipment Reviews
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Edited by Georg... Jun 22, 2012 Published: May 01, 2012 13 comments
The Sony A65 is a feature-reduced version of the company’s A77 model. It offers a nominal resolution of 24MP (just like the A77). The A65 uses Sony’s SLT system, which combines a semi-translucent mirror system and an electronic viewfinder. The semi-translucent mirror reflects a part of the light to the Phase Detection AF sensor, which is located in the penta-prism bulge on the top of the body and allows for very fast focusing. At the same time, the image sensor is able to generate a digital live preview for the LCD on the back or on the mini LCD screen of the ELV. Both monitor systems use high-resolution LCDs. The large monitor on the back offers 921,600 RGB dots; the AMOLED ELV offers 2.3 million dots for a brilliant and crisp image.
Edited by Georg... Jun 13, 2012 Published: May 01, 2012 14 comments
The Fuji X10 offers a 4x zoom lens with manual zoom control. The zoom lens ring is also used as the On/Off switch. The photographer has to turn the zoom ring to unlock the lens and to start the camera, which we found to be a very handy feature. We also feel that manual zoom control allows for a more precise and fast adjustment of the focal length compared to the servo zooms of some other compact cameras.
Edited by Georg... Jun 12, 2012 2 comments
The Nikon D800E contains a 36MP full-format FX sensor, a resolution normally associated with digital backs. This makes the D800E a competitor with medium format cameras made by Hasselblad or Phase One. The “E” version of this camera is contsructed without a low pass filter, used in many digital cameras to avoid color moiré but that can create a certain softening of image details. To avoid this soft look, many medium format cameras or digital backs do not utilize this filter. In cameras that use the filter, moiré effects are filtered in their raw converter software.
Equipment Reviews, Lenses
Stan Trzoniec Jun 06, 2012 Published: May 01, 2012 2 comments
Out of all the telephoto focal lengths, the 400mm is my favorite, so I looked forward to Canon’s updated 400mm f/2.8L. At about $11,499 list price (slightly less on searched street prices) it’s for those who absolutely need a fast, fixed focal length lens in their still and/or video work, and that’s work that pays well.
Edited by Georg... May 25, 2012 Published: Apr 01, 2012 29 comments
The Sony NEX-7 is a compact camera with an E-mount system and an extremely high resolution (24MP). The metal body is very robust and sports a stylish retro design, which offers new features like two additional setup dials to change image parameters. These setup dials, located on the camera back and accessed using the right-hand thumb, are integrated seamlessly into the body and nearly invisible when looking at the camera from the top.
Equipment Reviews, Lenses
Stan Trzoniec May 16, 2012 Published: Apr 01, 2012 2 comments
There are two general classifications of lenses that define how you use them in the field—zooms and single focal length, the former being a variable focal length lens that has many convenient advantages, and the latter being a single focal length that, in the group we’re covering here, is what’s known as a “fast” lens. Fast doesn’t mean that it focuses quicker than its zoom cousins, though it might—it usually means that it offers a wide maximum aperture, anywhere from f/1.2 to f/2.8, and that aperture stays put, unlike some zooms where the aperture varies by going narrower as you zoom into longer focal lengths. And to help refine the group we’re covering here we’re also topping out the focal length at 50mm, which makes these lenses prime for street and low-light photography, candid and photojournalism work.
George Schaub May 11, 2012 Published: Apr 01, 2012 1 comments
In this and a continuing series of articles in the coming months we’ll bring you the news and innovations from the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES) held earlier this year in Las Vegas. While the show floor was dominated by “smart” this and that, from phones to TVs and tablets, we’ll concentrate on those items of most interest to photographers. This report is on the new and recently introduced D-SLRs and interchangeable lens mirrorless cameras.
George Schaub May 09, 2012 Published: Apr 01, 2012 9 comments
The Samsung NX200 is a Compact System Camera (CSC) with an interchangeable lens system. It is based on an APS-C-sized sensor and Samsung’s NX-mount system, which currently comprises nine Samsung lenses. The range of lenses will be expanded this year, with the latest being the Samsung 85mm f/1.4 ED SSA, which is a fast portrait lens that supports Samsung’s i-Function technology. The lens ring—which is normally used for manual focusing—can be used for i-Function settings, a very handy feature that can be programmed by the photographer to change various settings right from the lens.
George Schaub May 03, 2012 Published: Mar 01, 2012 1 comments
The compact Olympus E-PL3 has a retro body design and is available in different colors. The camera has a large swivel LCD on the back which allows the user to flip the monitor up and down. This is handy but is not as flexible as a swivel monitor that allows side-to-side movement. The LCD screen is a standard TFT screen instead of the OLED system used by the Olympus E-P3.
Edited by Georg... May 01, 2012 0 comments
The X-S1 is Fujifilm’s newest bridge camera based on the same large EXR sensor (2/3 in) used in the company’s X-10 camera. The camera offers an extreme zoom lens (26x) for a (35mm equivalent) range of 24mm-624mm. An optical image stabilizer aids in preventing motion blur when using the extreme tele setting or shooting under low light conditions.
Edited by Georg... Apr 23, 2012 1 comments
The new Canon G1 X quite an extraordinary camera. It has thecompact body of a high-end point and shoot camera with a large CMOS 18.7x14mm sensor delivering 14 MP. This sensor is larger than Micro Four Third sensors (17.3x13 mm) in Panasonic or Olympus CSC cameras.
Steve Bedell Apr 18, 2012 Published: Mar 01, 2012 0 comments
The Aurora Orion light kit arrived on my doorstep at the busiest time of the year for me. At the end of the summer I take hundreds of high school seniors and thousands of “one shot” photos of the underclass students at high schools. So while it has taken me a while to get around to writing the report, I have used these lights to take thousands of pictures, and I was really glad to have a light kit that I could just pick up and walk out the door with and have all I needed in one really nice travel bag.
Equipment Reviews, Lenses, News
George Schaub Apr 11, 2012 104 comments
The new super wide angle Distagon T* f/2.8 15mm lens for Canon and Nikon mounts is neither lightweight nor inexpensive (1.6 lb for Nikon, 1.8 lb for Canon mount, $2950) but what you get from this manual focus lens is exceptional image quality and facility that is perhaps unmatched by any other lens in its focal length class. With a 95mm filter thread and integral and fully compatible lens shade, the lens offers an extraordinary 110-degree angle of view that is pleasure to work with on a wide variety of subjects. The fast f/2.8 aperture is matched on the narrow end by a minimum aperture of f/22, which at 15mm means there’s potential for extraordinary depth of field effects using the 10-inch closest focusing range. While decidedly not a portrait lens, the 15mm is ideal for landscape, street photography and creative advertising work, as well as architectural and urban photography, as I discovered in mybrief time working with it.
Joe Farace Apr 10, 2012 Published: Mar 01, 2012 0 comments
“Lighting is really common sense and personal observation. This is applied to a few rules of photography which cannot be broken and to others which I tend to bend a little.”—Paul Beeson

A monolight or monobloc to our European friends is a self-contained studio flash that is typically, but not always, powered by an AC power source and allows for different light modification devices, including reflectors, light banks, or umbrellas. The key phrase in that last sentence is self-contained. To my way of thinking the biggest advantage monolights possess is just that—if you’re shooting on location or for that matter anywhere and the power pack in a pack and head system stops working, so do you. If you have a couple of monolights and one of them fails, you can still shoot.

George Schaub Apr 09, 2012 Published: Mar 01, 2012 6 comments
The diminutive Nikon 1 series of cameras, including the J1 reviewed here and the coming V1, introduces the new CX-format CMOS sensor to the interchangeable lens, mirrorless camera field, which we dub Compact System Cameras. The sensor is smaller than APS-C and Micro Four Thirds sensors, coming in at a 2.7x multiplication factor using standard 35mm focal length designations. The 10.1-megapixel sensor has a native speed of ISO 100, with speeds up to 3200, and 6400 with a 1 EV push.