All tagged Gear

K&F Concept TM2515T Tripod Review

One of the things that every photographer should have is a good tripod. Over the years I’ve collected many different ones, and I’m always trying different designs and different models. Some can be very expensive, especially if you want a good and light model. One of the problems that I’ve always had is finding one that is light enough to easily carry but sturdy enough to hold a good DSLR rig. So when K&F Concept wanted me to try one of their bigger compact models, I said, sure, why not!

Spyder X Capture Pro Rolling Review Part 4: Calibrating my lenses

One of the interesting things that comes with the Spyder X Studio Package is the Spyder LensCal. This is a special test chart that makes it easy to calibrate your lenses on a DSLR. Because of the way that autofocus works on a DSLR a lens can sometimes be off with its focus point, and when you focus on an object it can be either very slightly infant or behind the point at which you’re focussing. Most camera offer a way to offset the focus, and the Spyder LensCal provides a way to reliably measure and set it, at least in theory.

Upgrading the Graphics Card in My Mac Pro

I’ve finally gotten around to something I should have done a log time ago. I have finally upgraded the graphics card in my Mac Pro. I had been owing the original and extremely bad (by today’s standards) ATI 5770 and its paltry 1gb or ram. Amazingly enough I managed to get by all these years, but it was becoming increasingly problematic, so I finally ordered a replacement.

Datacolor Spyder X Rolling Review - Part 1

Having worked in both the print, photography and video industries for a long time, I’ve always appreciated the importance of having a properly calibrated display. It can actually make a huge difference, especially if you’re collaborating with others or having you work printed or so on. Over the years I’ve used a variety of calibration tools, and I’ve recently been trying out a new calibration system for my computer, the Datacolor Spyder X.

Continuing to prolong the life of my old Mac Pro

I’ve been managing to keep an ageing 2012 Mac Pro as my main computer for nearly 7 years now, and from time to time its really been a struggle. Over the years I’ve added various upgrades and replacement parts, and its somehow managed to keep going, despite getting a tremendous amount of use. Lately though it’s been driving me mad. It takes nearly an hour to reboot - from off to being useable. The OS comes up in about two minutes, but by the time everything loads and settles down and is useable - it’s nearly an hour. This is partly because of a slow system drive, and partly due to years of bits and pieces clogging the OS

The L-Mount Alliance, Some Thoughts

While the rumours of Panasonic planning to release a new full frame camera were fairly rampant in the lead up to Photokina, I think the announcement of a partnership between Sigma, Panasonic and Leica took many by surprise. Once you think about it, it makes a lot of sense. Panasonic and Leica already have a long partnership, and Leica have an existing mount and system, so using that makes a lot of sense for Panasonic. Sigma also joining this group is interesting, because it means that there will be the potential for the system to expand much more quickly than it would with just one manufacturer.

Editorial - New Mirrorless Cameras: It’s about choice

With the new mirrorless camera options from Nikon and Canon there has been a lot of discussions about the various specs and pros and cons of these new cameras. Now that the initial craziness has died down a bit we’re starting to see reactions from those actually using these cameras, and for the most part the opinion from those with real world experience seems to be mostly positive. Something struck me though when reading some of the reviews, and also readings some comments on my own content, is that people may be missing the most important thing about these releases: Its about choice.

One of my earliest lessons on Cameras and Gear

Many (too many) years ago, at the beginning of my career in television production, I did a government-sponsored course of film and video production. It was how I got started, and I loved every minute of it. I wouldn’t be where I was today without that course, and I’ll talk about that more at some point in the future, but there was one really important lesson I learned in the first week, which has stuck with me to this day and applies across all fields. 

A few more Nikon Z-Series Notes

After the initial hype (and the corresponding outpouring of disappointment and scorn) lots of details have begun to emerge about Nikon’s new mirrorless cameras, and there are a couple of interesting tidbits that I came across. So here are a few notes in no particular order.

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. 

Lensball Review

If you haven’t seen them before, a Lensball is basically a polished glass sphere. That’s pretty much all there is to it, but once you’re aware of it, you start to see them cropping up everywhere, in Instagram and other online photos. A little while ago, the company that makes them sent me one to review, and I’ve been having fun with it ever since.

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.