Equipment Reviews

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C.A. Boylan Posted: 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.
Edited by George Schaub Posted: Aug 27, 2013 Published: Jul 01, 2013 13 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.
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George Schaub Posted: Aug 12, 2013 Published: Jul 01, 2013 5 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.
Jack Neubart Posted: 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 George Schaub Posted: Jun 04, 2013 0 comments
The Fujifilm HS50EXR is a bridge camera with an SLR-like design and a super zoom lens. The camera has very good workmanship/finishing; the body and the lens system are large and robust.
Edited by George Schaub Posted: 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).
Joe Farace Posted: 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.
Edited by George Schaub Posted: Jul 26, 2013 Published: Jun 01, 2013 3 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 George Schaub Posted: Jul 16, 2013 Published: Jun 01, 2013 7 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.
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George Schaub Posted: Jul 05, 2013 Published: Jun 01, 2013 1 comments
I don’t think there’s much doubt that, all things being equal, larger sensors are capable of delivering superior image quality. The very fact that more sensor sites are available means that there’s better performance in low light, less noise in shadow areas, and that cropping does not mean making compromises in the image’s integrity. Now that the megapixel race has settled down, somewhat, and compact system cameras allow for lens interchangeability without requiring large packs to accommodate gear, a new trend is emerging where the classic D-SLR form is seeing more and more full-frame models aimed at attracting the enthusiast photographer.
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: 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.
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Joe Farace Posted: Jul 09, 2013 Published: Jun 01, 2013 1 comments
When creating their mirrorless camera system, Panasonic wisely, I think, chose the Micro Four Thirds format rather than designing an all-new proprietary lens mount. The system includes two dozen or so Lumix lenses, including conversion lenses, along with adapters for Leica R and M mount lenses, Four Thirds digital SLRs, plus the ability to use lenses from Olympus, Sigma, and Tamron. The Micro Four Thirds system is here to stay and the Lumix DMC-G5 seems a perfect way to jump on board.
Edited by George Schaub Posted: May 17, 2013 1 comments
The Sigma DP3 Merrill is the latest Sigma camera with the new Foveonsensor.
With this sensor, the camera can capture complete RGB information for every single pixel and doesn’t need to interpolate colors like all other digital cameras with Bayer pattern sensors. The APS-C sized sensor offers a resolution of 14.7MP, referred to by Sigma as equivalent to 45MP resolution of a standard sensor ((4704 x 3136 pixel x 3 RGB data per pixel).
Edited by George Schaub Posted: May 03, 2013 2 comments
The X20 uses an X-Trans sensor just like all new Fujifilm X cameras. Instead of an APS-C-sized system it’s a 2/3 inch sensor, which is slightly smaller than APS-C, but still very large for a compact camera. In combination with the moderate resolution of 12MP the camera offers very clean and noise-free images.

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