All in Gear

Signal to Noise Ratio: Why some camera comparisons are wrong

An age-old measure of the performance of many types of recording is “signal to noise ratio”. In essence, it looks at how much noise there is compared to useful signal in any given medium, whether it’s an analogue transmission or even a digital recording. There’s one thing that I’ve noticed a lot recently, and that is when people compare cameras they often look at 1:1 crops to compare the results. In particular, they use this to compare noise performance between cameras. However, when comparing cameras of different resolutions, this may not actually give you an accurate comparison. The reason for this is that when doing this you’re only looking at one part of the equation, the noise, without considering the other part: the signal. 

Shooting Light: Capturing Sunset with the Sony A6000 and Kit Lens (and a Canon G7XII)

A few weeks ago I wanted to photograph something a little different, so we headed out to a place in North County Dublin where you can see Dublin Port from the far side, as well as watch the boats come and go. We timed the trip so that we would arrive as the sun begins to set, and I was only travelling light camera wise. I went equipped with the Sony A6000, with the only lens being the kit lens. I also had the Canon G7XII with me, which I had initially brought just to shoot video, but I ended up shooting stills with it too.

Two Street Photo Lenses for the Sony A6000 (Sigma 30mm & 19mm)

When I did a recent episode of my “Street Photo Diary” series of videos, in which I shot with the Sony A6000, I got a lot of questions about the lenses that I use. The two that I probably use the most when shooting street photography, str two Sigma Lenses, the 30mm and 19mm f/2.8. In this video, I go shooting with these lenses and give you a quick review as well as showcasing the process.

An Interesting New Lens for Sony E-Mount from Rokinon

While Sony’s APS-C E-mount lineup is known for not exactly having an exciting lineup of lenses, people often forget that you can use full frame E-mount lenses on these cameras too. Having said that, many of Sony’s full-frame E-mount lenses are quite expensive and heavy or both. However, there are a few new third party lenses coming out that are designed for full frame but I can see actually working really well on cropped sensors too. One of those is the new 24mm Autofocus lens from Rokinon.

Some Bits and Pieces

I’ve come across a few interesting tidbits-bits of information over the past week that I wanted to share, but none of it was long enough to put into individual blog posts, so I thought I’d compile it all into a singe compilation. This is pretty random, but anyway.

These maybe the last photos I’ll ever take with my Canon 5d Mark 1

I was up early the other day, and it was a lovely sunny, albeit cold May morning here in Dublin. I headed into the city with the intent of making a video I’d been planning for a little while. I wanted to do a “retro review” of the original Canon 5D, which I still own, and I’ve been shooting with on and off for 12 years or so. It was going really well too, that was until something broke inside my camera. That turned out to be the mirror. It fell off.

Sony A7III: Redefining “Basic”

Sony has just announced the newest iteration of their full frame “A7” series. The A7III is the new “basic” model in the A7 lineup. This is the third generation of Sony’s first full frame mirrorless camera, and it feels like the line has reached a level of maturity with this new version. Sony may call it “basic”, but based on the specs it is anything but.

Eos M-50: Canon’s Almost perfect Vlogging Camera

Canon has just announced the company’s newest mirrorless offering, the Eos-50. While Canon hasn’t exactly excited the photographic community with their previous offerings, apparently they do sell well. The new Eos-m has some nice new features, including 4K video, which will have many Canon fans saying “finally”, although it does come with a lot of caveats. They have also changed the form factor slightly, and put a proper articulating screen on the camera, as opposed to the weird flip down model which was on the previous Eos M-5. While some people might scoff at this camera compared to those from Sony or Fuji, it does seem to be perfectly suited to the one market most other manufacturers seem to be ignoring: Vloggers. Well, almost perfect.

K&F Travel Tripod Review

Sometimes I think a tripod is like a good pair of shoes. While anyone that fits will do for walking around, you really need to find the right one for you in order to be comfortable with it. I have three different tripods, all of which work perfectly fine, but none are exactly comfortable. With that in mind, I’ve been looking for something that fits my needs a little better, so when the folks at K&F sent me a tripod to review I thought that this was a combination of good timing and good fortune, as I wanted to try out this exact type.

New Vlogging Camera: Canon G7X Mark II

As mentioned in several previous posts, I’ve been planning to do some more vlogging and videos, and I’ve wanted to get a small and unobtrusive camera for that purpose. I’ve been trying out several options, and so I used a christmas gift voucher haul to splash out on a new one. I settled on the Canon G7X Mark II. It’s a small, 1inch sensor compact camera, that does good video, and it has a flip over screen for self monitoring. 

A Camera is more than the sum of its specs

With cameras constantly being released, I have found that a lot of the commentary around certain brands and models revolves around comparing the tech specs. People argue about things like minute differences in dynamic range or noise response as reasons to pick one camera over another. But there's so much more to choosing a camera. 

Thoughts on the new Nikon D850

When Nikon pre-announced the D850 a little while ago, I was filled with a mix of excitement and a sense of trying not to get my hopes up. I have long been an owner of the Nikon D700, which was Nikon’s first model in this style of full frame smaller body cameras. I love the D700 and I still use it all the time, but it’s starting to show its age. I really want a high resolution camera for landscape and nature work, but I also want one that does video. I had hoped when the rumours started of the D850, that Nikon would come out with something similar to the Sony A7RII. I was not disappointed.

Street Photography with an Ultrawide Lens

Last week I posted the latest issue of my on-going Street Photo Diary series to my PhotoJournal blog. I had taken those shots in a single session and I felt that they worked well together as a set, however, I have a few more images that I took recently too. They didn’t really fit into the narrative that I was going with, so I thought that I would share them here in a separate post, with a bit more info on how I shot them. 

Video: Shooting with the SonyA6000 and Adapted Lenses

A while ago I attempted my first “blog” style video, where I filmed myself shooting street photography and editing the results. I’ve done another similar video and in this one I spent some time shooting with the Sony A6000 using adapted lenses. I used two different lenses on this shoot: an old Nikon 105mm f2/2.8 macro lens, and a Canon 17-40 f/4 L wide angle lens. I started in a local park shooting some flowers and then did a little bit of street photography too.

Sony A6000 and Canon 5D: Second Hand Cameras for Street Photography

I recently watched a video on YouTube where the use of a SonyA6000 was discussed as a low cost entry into shooting video. In the video they acquired an A6000 second hand for a very reasonable price, and it got me thinking that this makes a really good entry level camera for street photography. I have kept a lot of my old cameras over the years, and it got me thinking as to what else would work well too. So after doing a bit of research, here are my two suggestions.