Equipment Reviews

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Edited by George Schaub Posted: Apr 18, 2013 Published: Mar 01, 2013 0 comments
The Sony A37 is an SLT system with a fixed and translucent mirror. Because of this setup it is able to produce a Live View image even while recording still images or shooting video. At the same time, the camera is able to use its Phase Detection AF system because the mirror reflects the image onto the AF sensor. This allows the use of the AF system even in continuous shooting mode. The camera offers a high-speed burst mode of up to 7 frames per second, which is a very high result for an entry-level system.
Edited by George Schaub Posted: Jun 24, 2014 Published: May 01, 2014 0 comments
The Sony A7 and A7R are the first mirrorless system cameras with a full-frame sensor. The A7 offers a sensor size of 35.8x23.9mm and a resolution of 24MP, while the A7R has a slightly larger sensor at 35.9x24.0mm and 36MP resolution. Both cameras use the E-mount lens system that was introduced with Sony’s NEX cameras. Because NEX cameras use APS-C-sized sensors all previous E-mount lenses have smaller image circles, thus the full-frame models require new E-mount lenses, which cover the larger image circle of a full-frame sensor.
Edited by George Schaub Posted: Jun 14, 2013 Published: May 01, 2013 6 comments
The new SLT-A99 is Sony’s first full-frame camera with an electronic viewfinder. While former Sony full-format cameras like the A900 or A850 offered a standard SLR system, the new A99 offers an electronic viewfinder with extremely high resolution (2.3 million RGB dots). Due to the SLT system with fixed mirror, which allows use of a classic AF system based on phase detection, the camera is very fast and can even utilize the AF system while recording videos.
Edited by George Schaub Posted: Jul 27, 2012 40 comments
The Sony HX200V is a compact bridge camera with an SLR-like design. It offers an extreme zoom lens that is able to cover wide angle shots with a focal length of 27 mm and tele photos with an extreme tele of 810mm (35 mm film equivalent). The camera offers an integrated image stabilizer (Sony’s “Steady Shot”) to allow shooting with this extreme zoom range. This stabilizer works fine, but can’t really help if you are using the digital zoom function, which allows a 60x zoom, an equivalent of 1620mm.
Edited by George Schaub Posted: 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 George Schaub Posted: 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.
Edited by George Schaub Posted: Oct 08, 2013 Published: Sep 01, 2013 0 comments
The RX1 is the first time Sony has combined a compact camera system with a fixed lens system that includes a full-frame sensor that’s nearly the size of classic 35mm film material (35.8x23.9mm). The basic camera concept combines elements of digital compact cameras with features of classic viewfinder cameras, but leaves out an optical or electronic viewfinder. In its stead Sony offers an LCD screen on the back, similar to what you’d find in an entry-level compact camera. The screen is very large (3”) and offers a very high resolution (1.28 million RGB dots). The resulting image preview and the representation of the menu structure is crisp and clear. Sony does offer an optional optical viewfinder, which is mounted on the hot shoe. Just like the camera itself, it is quite expensive. Most users will also be surprised by the battery recharger system of the RX1. It’s equipped with a USB recharger and the user is forced to recharge the battery in the camera. An external recharger and additional batteries are offered as an option.
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Jack Neubart Posted: May 06, 2013 Published: Apr 01, 2013 3 comments
The difference between a “constant” aperture zoom and other standard zooms is that when you increase the focal length on the standard zoom the maximum aperture narrows. This might make the difference between being able to hand hold or not when zooming in, and may indeed force the use of higher ISOs. Known as “fast” lenses, constant aperture zooms are pricier and bulkier than their variable-aperture counterparts. And to sweeten the pot, we’ve seen more and more fast lenses with built-in image stabilization, which gets you even more low light and steady shot capability.
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George Schaub Posted: Dec 17, 2013 Published: Nov 01, 2013 1 comments
The 70-200mm focal length has been the standard tele-zoom choice for many years, offering near normal to a good tele range that suits many practical purposes. Yet, quite a few stock-in-trade 70-200mm lenses had been slow or lost significant aperture as soon as you left the shortest zoom setting, making them a real challenge for handheld, low-light, or even max focal length shooting. Certainly, improvements in sensors and processors in terms of the high ISO/image quality ratio have helped. If you’re too slow on shutter speed with a variable aperture zoom you can always jack up the sensitivity. But that’s not always a great choice and it seems to force you to compromise image quality just to make up for the lens losing “speed” just when you need it most.
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Jack Neubart Posted: Mar 17, 2014 Published: Feb 01, 2014 1 comments
When my fascination with macro began all my work was done by available light. Getting sharp images at life-size magnification took all the resolve I could muster, especially when dealing with heat and humidity or frigid conditions. It’s tough to hold a camera steady in those situations. What I wouldn’t have given for image stabilization!
Tom Harms Posted: May 27, 2014 Published: Apr 01, 2014 0 comments
As image resolution keeps getting bigger and better, photographers are challenged storing their images. One cost-effective solution that’s gaining in popularity and offers good protection is a Network-Attached Storage (NAS) server. However, they are a relatively unfamiliar option for most photographers who aren’t IT-oriented, so we thought it would be a good idea to get guidance on them from an expert.—Editor
Edited by George Schaub Posted: 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.
Edited by George Schaub Posted: Feb 14, 2013 8 comments
The Samsung Galaxy is a new type of camera that’s more like a tablet computer with an integrated camera system. However, rather than using a small low resolution camera module (like smart phones and tablet computers) it offers a “real” camera module with an ultra zoom lens. This lens system offers a 21x zoom lens with a focal length of 23 to 483mm (35mm film equivalent).
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Jack Neubart Posted: Nov 01, 2013 Published: Oct 01, 2013 0 comments
As billions of images are produced by millions of devices, the demand for bigger capacity storage, faster memory cards, and speedier methods of transferring huge files has become apparent. Cloud storage has become a standard offering among many camera makers; so independent cloud services have grown. Essentially branded server farms, the competition for your data is increasing, as are capacities of desktop backups.
John Wade Posted: Jul 08, 2014 Published: Jun 01, 2014 0 comments
In the days before the 35mm Single Lens Reflex (SLR) rose to prominence, the 35mm viewfinder camera reigned supreme. Unlike the reflex viewing system of the SLR, this camera type used a separate optical viewfinder with a slightly different view to that of the lens. Some featured built-in coupled rangefinders to aid accurate focusing, and many stood at the center of versatile systems of lenses and accessories.

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