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.
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.
I’m busy working on a project at the moment, so I don’t have a lot of time to do a full write-up, but I did want to offer a few thoughts on the latest releases from Canon and Fuji. Canon launched its full-frame mirrorless system at an event in Hawaii yesterday, and today, Fuji announced the latest in its X-Series lineup, the X-T3.
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.
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.
So today, Nikon finally announced the company’s new Mirrorless cameras, the Z7 and Z6. I say finally because the leaks and rumours seem to have been going on for months, not to mention Nikon’s own teasing of the new system. So now that they’re official, what do I think?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
I was recently contacted by a representative from K&F concept who wanted to know if I would be interested in reviewing one of their camera bags. I actually have some of their other products, in particular some of their adaptor rings, and I’m really impressed with the quality for the price. So I said sure, why not! so they sent me one of their DSLR backpacks to try.
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.
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.
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.