Facebook does not show all the posts we make, if you want to receive our excellent content and get an email when we make a new post click the Follow this Blog button. Don't bother with Facebook
insights into photography
Monthly Archives: December 2015
December 10, 2015Posted by on
You know this is a question that keeps cropping up because we hate the weight and bulkiness of our gear. I am currently in Thailand soon moving on to Myanmar and then Vietnam and the weight of my gear has already put me in pain. So I understand, I really do, the gear is a pain. But then when I look at a csc or mirrorless camera I am so underwhelmed. I do get to see them, people bring them to class so this is not an ill informed view but they just don’t do what a REAL camera does. Maybe if you have never owned a dslr you would not be disappointed but if you have you should seriously spend some time with one of these Johnny Come Lateleys to the game before deciding to ditch your old system. Find a camera shop, if you can, T4 Cameras in Witney are the last in Oxfordshire and really do more than just hold it, put it to you eye, see how it feels.
Anyway enough of my bias, here is a very good article on Digital Camera World that puts two of the heavy-weights against each other
There are highly attractive ‘all-rounders’ in both camps: cameras that don’t go overboard on megapixel count, yet aim to take everything from portraiture to landscape photography in their stride.
Two of our current favourites are the Canon 5D Mk III SLR, and the mirrorless Sony A7 II from Sony’s ‘ILC’ (interchangeable-lens camera) stable.
A major factor in choosing any ‘system’ camera is the depth and breadth of the system itself. You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to lenses and other accessories for the long-established line of Canon SLRs.
Sony’s mirrorless cameras are a much newer proposition, especially when it comes to full-frame models, but the range of compatible E-mount lenses has grown over the last couple of years, and an adaptor is also available for fitting A-mount lenses.
December 7, 2015Posted by on
From the excellent DP Review
In late 2015, many (if not most) consumers are likely to shop based on price and capability, rather than according to whether a certain model contains a mirror, or not. We think this is a good thing; with all the increased competition, cameras are improving more and at a faster rate than ever before. From the gear perspective, it’s certainly an exciting time to be a photographer.
In this category, you’ll find both mirrorless and DSLR cameras that are highly capable under a variety of shooting situations, offer built-in high-spec viewfinders – either optical and electronic – and an extensive array of external controls. The biggest differences in performance tend to come down to autofocus sophistication and video capability, but neither of those is dictated by the presence or lack of mirror.
The contenders are:
- Canon EOS Rebel T6s
- Canon EOS 70D
- Nikon 1 V3
- Nikon D5500
- Nikon D7200
- Olympus OM-D E-M5 II
- Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8
- Sony Alpha a77 II
- Pentax K-3 II
Most of the camera in this roundup are built around either Four Thirds or APS-C sensors. Sensor size plays a large part in determining the image quality a camera is ultimately capable of and, in general, the larger a camera’s sensor, the better the image quality and the more control you have over depth-of-field. APS-C sensors are larger than Four Thirds chips, but the differences are rarely huge. The outlier here is a single camera with a 1″-type sensor, a format that is significantly smaller than the other two.
Of course the sensor sizes and image quality of these cameras are not the only thing that varies; the feature sets and performance of each camera are also quite different across the board. Within this category you’ll find weather-sealed cameras, cameras that can capture 4K video, cameras that can shoot bursts at incredibly high speeds with autofocus, and cameras that are simply well-balanced all-rounders. Which one should you buy? Read on to find out…
December 5, 2015Posted by on
Like me you may be a bit confused by the very many Sony A 7 cameras, there seems to be many versions and understanding why and which you might want is a bit of a struggle. This review on the ever helpful DP Review might help you with the Sony Alpha 7R II
The Sony a7R II is a 42MP full frame mirrorless camera with 5-axis image stabilization, featuring the world’s first (and currently only) 35mm BSI CMOS sensor, and including a hybrid autofocus system and 4K video capabilities. It’s the fifth in the company’s a7 range of full frame cameras and the second high-resolution ‘R’ model. However, although its name and appearance are very similar to the first round of a7s, the R II arguably represents just as significant a step forwards as those first full frame mirrorless models did.
The reasons for suggesting this are two-fold. Although the a7R II’s body is essentially the same as that of the 24MP a7 II (albeit with more substantial magnesium alloy construction), the camera includes two significant changes:
The first is that this is the first full frame camera to feature a sensor based on BSI CMOS technology. Although Sony always stressed that the benefits of BSI designs are most valuable in small sensors, its application on larger scales should reduce the pixel-level disadvantages of moving to higher pixel counts (which means an improvement in quality when viewed at a standard output size).
Secondly, and perhaps, most unexpectedly: the camera’s phase-detection autofocus capabilities have been increased to the point that it not only focuses quickly and effectively with its own lenses but can also do so with lenses designed for other systems. This may not sound like a big deal until you think about what Sony needs to do to make the camera a success: win-over dedicated photographers, many of whom are already committed to other systems.
Sony a7R II Highlight specifications
- 42MP Full Frame BSI CMOS sensor
- 399 on-sensor Phase Detection points
- 5-axis image stabilization
- Internal 4K recording from full sensor width or ‘Super’ 35 crop
- Picture Profile system including ITU-709 and S-Log2 gamma
- Full magnesium alloy construction
- 2.36m dot OLED viewfinder with 0.7x magnification
- High speed AF with non-native lenses
|Sony a7R II||Sony a7R||Sony a7 II||Sony a7S II|
|Sensor||42MP full-frame||36MP full-frame||24MP full-frame||12MP full-frame|
|Image Stabilization||In-body||In-lens only||In-body||In-body|
|Electronic First Curtain Shutter||Yes||No||Yes||Yes|
|Silent (full electronic) Shutter||Yes||No||No||Yes|
|ISO Range (Stills)
Standard / Expanded
|100 – 25,600
50 – 102,400
|100 – 25,600
50 – 25,600
|100 – 25,600
50 – 25,600
|Continuous Shooting (with AF)||5 fps||1.5 fps||5 fps||2.5 fps|
|AF system||Hybrid (399 phase detect and 25 contrast detect points)||Contrast AF with 25 points||Hybrid with 117 phase detect and 25 contrast detect points||Contrast AF with 169 points|
|4K from Super 35 crop?||Yes||No||No||No|
|4K Movie specs||UHD 30/24p
XAVC S (100/60Mbps)
XAVC S (100/60Mbps)
|HD Movie specs||1080 60/30/24p
|1080 120p (100/60Mbps) 60/30/24p
|Front panel construction||Magnesium alloy||Magnesium alloy||Composite||Magnesium alloy|
|Optical low pass filter||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Battery life (CIPA)
|340/290 shots per charge||340/270 shots per charge||350/270 shots per charge||370/310 shots per charge|
|Weight w/ battery||625 g||465 g||599 g||627 g|
|MSRP||$3,199 body only||$2,299 body only||$1,699 body only||$2,999 body only|
December 3, 2015Posted by on
- Don’t think about taking the photo, just take it.
- Learn the rules. Understand the rules. Break the rules.
- Spend more time taking photos than money acquiring new gear with which to take those photos.
- You will never know it all; be open to the wisdom and experiences of others.
- Print your photos — your favorites, at least. And print them big.
- Get it right in camera rather than trying to compensate for poor technique in post. But…
- Don’t be ashamed to use post-processing. All photos are “processed” in one way or another.
- Challenge yourself. Step out of your comfort zone.
- Be your own worst critic.
- Technical perfection is often overrated.
- see the other 41 here
On another note here are some pictures by Jay Maisel
rather good don’t you think