IP ratings and what they mean to your gear. Camera makers, please be clear!

Posted by on Apr 2, 2016 in Featured, pentax, Photography Tips

IP ratings and what they mean to your gear. Camera makers, please be clear!

We’ve seen how being weather sealed or weather resistant becomes a factor in modern days sales. This, of course, goes for actions cameras like the GoPro, but this also go for DSLRs and lighting equipment. The rugged Pentax k5 for example which was ruggedly abused tested is rated at IPX2. What does it mean, though X2? […] The post IP ratings and what they mean to your gear. Camera makers, please be clear! appeared first on DIY Photography.        Share...

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3 Reasons Why Mirrorless Cameras are Better than Digital SLRs for Focusing

Posted by on Mar 30, 2016 in canon, Featured, landscape, nikon, pentax, Photography Tips, portrait, sony, Wildlife

3 Reasons Why Mirrorless Cameras are Better than Digital SLRs for Focusing

A lot has been written about the drawbacks of autofocus performance from mirrorless cameras. Most of this focuses on the tracking of moving subjects – an area where the phase detection autofocus found in digital SLRs is still superior (although the gap is closing). But when it comes to focusing on still subjects, the mirrorless camera is a better tool. Surprised? If you’ve never used a mirrorless camera, you may be. Let’s take a look at the reasons why. 1. Phase detection versus contrast detect autofocus Mirrorless cameras have a different autofocus system than digital SLRs. In a digital SLR most of the light coming through the lens is reflected up by the mirror, into the pentaprism and through the viewfinder. A small part is deflected downwards to a dedicated autofocus sensor. It uses a system called phase detection autofocus to calculate the camera to subject distance, and tell the lens where to focus. The red lines in this diagram show the path that light takes through an SLR camera with the mirror in the down position. Most of the light is reflected into the pentaprism and the viewfinder. Part of it is reflected downwards towards the autofocus sensor. The advantage of phase detection autofocus is that it’s fast (generally speaking – but it also depends on which camera you have) and very good at tracking moving subjects. It’s the best system anyone has managed to come up with for an SLR camera. However, phase detection autofocus has a significant weakness – lack of accuracy. There are two main reasons for this. The first is that most digital SLRs have a combination of cross-type and single line autofocus points. Cross-type autofocus points are the most accurate, and should always be used when focus is critical (for example, when using a prime lens at its widest aperture), otherwise the camera may not focus where it is supposed to. Your camera’s manual will tell you which of its AF points are cross-type. Whenever you use a non cross-type autofocus point, you cannot rely on the camera to focus accurately. This is fine when using small apertures, which give you plenty of margin for error, but not when focus and accuracy is critical. The second reason is to do with camera and lens calibration. Even when you use a cross-type autofocus point your camera may not focus exactly where it is supposed to. For accurate focus, every part of your camera setup – from the autofocus sensor, to lens and autofocus motors that tell the lens where to focus – must be working in perfect harmony. It only takes a small degree of misalignment to throw the accuracy of the system out. Most of the time you won’t notice, because there is sufficient depth-of-field to make the focusing inaccuracies irrelevant. But if you use a wide aperture, especially with a telephoto lens,...

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Nikon Raw NEF File Quality Option Comparison Testing | 14-bit Lossless VS 12-bit Compressed

Posted by on Mar 12, 2016 in canon, Featured, landscape, lightroom, nikon, pentax, Photography Tips, portrait, sony

Nikon Raw NEF File Quality Option Comparison Testing | 14-bit Lossless VS 12-bit Compressed

The following results are from a 2 EV underexposed scene, with +2EV added to the same set of Lightroom edits: The following results are 2 EV over-exposed scene, with -2EV added to the original set of Lightroom edits: Another thing to note is that these images have been overedited on purpose, in order to exaggerate any potential differences. Then again, if you frequently “go crazy” on your raw files in Lightroom, you might be used to such maxed-out sliders. You may even ask, what if we completely trash the images? I’m glad you asked. Even when I intentionally destroy the images, (and attempt to make the smooth sky posterize), they still look nearly identical: Oppositely, if your editing style is relatively natural and minimal, for subjects like portraits and weddings, then you’ll be far less likely to ever notice a difference. For example, here are 100% crops of the unedited files. Can you see a difference at all? Nikon Raw File Compression Sample Images Available In an effort to avoid receiving numerous comments disputing these results or even accusing me of doctoring them (what nefarious reason could I possibly have for lying to you?), here’s an offer: If you’re either fascinated or curious, feel free to send me a message on Facebook if you’d like to play around with all these original NEF files yourself! Nikon NEF Settings Verdict Overall, I’m just astonished that these files held up so well, period. Having performed a Canon Raw CR2 quality test over three years ago, and having edited raw files from innumerable other cameras including Sony, Pentax, Olympus, Fuji and Panasonic, I’ve seen just how funky it can get when you mess with your raw file options, let alone over-edit them in post-production. Personally, I’d rather have a compressed NEF file that is still full-resolution, than a downsized raw file that barely saves any file space and yet compromises on shadow quality! So, kudos to Nikon for offering these options in the first place. No other digital camera maker offers this many options, as far as I know. (It might be important to note, however, that Nikon’s new small NEF file which debuted in the Nikon D810, has so far been underwhelming; it sacrifices tons of resolution and file editability, yet barely any filesize! Hi there, Nikon owners! Have you ever noticed that your camera has a menu option called NEF (RAW) recording? It controls the raw file quality, giving you a choice between 14-bit and 12-bit, as well as (depending on which camera you have) a choice of uncompressed, lossless compressed, and compressed. If you’ve ever wondered how big of a difference all of these options could make, keep reading, and watch the video below. The truth may surprise you! [Rewind: MT WHITNEY SWITCHBACKS UNDER THE STARS] Nikon D800e, Tokina 11-16mm @16mm 4:5 aspect FX mode, Lightroom CC Disclaimer: Memory...

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Olympus 25mm F/1.2, LAOWA 105MM F/2, Great Vintage Lenses Under $80 {Daily Roundup}

Posted by on Mar 11, 2016 in Bokeh, canon, Featured, nikon, pentax, Photography Tips, sony

Olympus 25mm F/1.2, LAOWA 105MM F/2, Great Vintage Lenses Under $80 {Daily Roundup}

Welcome to our roundup series where we will hit on several gear news and rumor topics each day. This gives you a chance to get caught up on all of the day’s news and rumors in one place. Make sure to check back daily for the latest gear news, rumors, and announcements. Olympus F/1.2 Announcement Will Be 25mm We have talked about this Olympus F/1.2 lens series rumor a few times now over the last several months, and today we finally have an idea what the first lens in this new series will be. According to a new report over on 4/3 Rumors, which cites a reliable and credible source, the first lens in this upcoming F/1.2 lens series will be a 25mm. I think that is a good choice; it’s fairly wide and is also pretty much interchangeable with the popular 24mm focal length. The question now is, will this be a full frame lens as some of the rumors have suggested, or will this be a micro four thirds lens? Personally, I would love to see Olympus make some full frame E-mount lenses, but I fully admit that is sort of a far-fetched idea at this point. Regardless, this F/1.2 lens series from Olympus looks to be off to a good start, and I am excited to see what comes next. Venus Optics Announces New Laowa 105mm F/2 Our friends over at Venus Optics have a new lens announcement for us this morning, in the form of the new Laowa 105mm F/2 Smooth Trans Focus Lens. Smooth trans focus may not mean anything to you, but basically, this is similar to Fuji’s 56mm APD F/1.2 lens. This means that your bokeh is smoother, creamier if you will. The lens features 11 elements in 8 groups, with the key feature being that apodization element, which is responsible for the smooth and creamy bokeh the lens is hoping to be known for. The new lens will retail in the US for $699 and is going to come in Canon, Nikon, Sony A, Sony E, and Pentax K mount options. You can check out some sample images shot with the lens below: The new lens can be pre-ordered now over on the Venus website for those of you interested in giving this new lens a try. Three Vintage Lenses Under $80 Caleb Pike from DSLR Video Shooter has another great video out this week, this time featuring three vintage film lenses that are great for video that you can find each for under $80. I have one of the Olympus 50mm F/1.8 lenses that he mentions in this video, and I can confirm that it is everything he says it is. I absolutely love it, and it’s dirt cheap on eBay as well. What are your thoughts on today’s roundup? What news/rumors did we miss? What would you like to...

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50MP Fuji MF System Incoming? GH5 To Shoot 6k? Phottix Teases Odin II for Sony! {Daily Roundup}

Posted by on Mar 3, 2016 in canon, Featured, nikon, pentax, Photography Tips, sony

50MP Fuji MF System Incoming? GH5 To Shoot 6k? Phottix Teases Odin II for Sony! {Daily Roundup}

Welcome to our roundup series where we will hit on several gear-news and rumor topics each day. This gives you a chance to get caught up on all of the day’s news and rumors in one place. Make sure to check back daily for the latest gear news, rumors, and announcements. 50MP Fuji MF System Coming Next Year? One of the more intriguing rumors that we have heard over the last year was that Fuji may be thinking about going full-frame or even medium format as they expand their offering beyond their APS-C based X System. Today, those rumors were bolstered with a few fresh medium format rumors from the Fuji camp. According to the report over on Fuji Rumors, a new source (so extra salt here) has indicated that Fuji will produce an MF camera utilizing a 50MP Sony sensor and that it would be available in 2017. Another, previous rumor, has indicated that Fuji would be showing their new MF system at Photokina this fall. This new rumor lines up perfectly with that, as Photokina is exactly the show you would expect Fuji to make this sort of an announcement. I don’t know about you, but I would love to see Fuji’s take on a medium format system, especially if they took more of the Pentax approach vs the Hasselblad/Phase One approach, in terms of affordability. Panasonic GH5 Rumors There are some rumblings about the possible feature set of Panasonic’s next flagship camera, the GH5. The very top of that list includes a 6K video recording feature that would certainly set it apart in the industry at this point. 6k recording at 30fps and 4K at 60fps Each 6K frame has 18 Million Pixels. this means you can screen grab 18MP photos from each 6K recorded frame If the camera records 6K than the Four Thirds sensor will have 20+ Megapixels in “normal still photo mode” The rumor is that this could be announced as soon as Photokina this fall. Which would be a really interesting proposition, considering that we are still complaining about the lack the 4K in most of Canon’s latest offerings. I am not sure that 6K would even be usable at this point, other than for increased 4K quality (similarly to how some downsample from 4K to 1080 now for better 1080 quality). But it would certainly be a headline, head-turning feature that would solidify Panasonic’s place in the video market. Phottix Teases New Odin II for Sony Phottix has teased a Sony version of their Odin II advanced wireless triggering system. This would be a huge announcement for Sony shooters, who at this point have had pretty limited options. Assuming the new Sony version had the same feature set a the Canon/Nikon versions that are already available, the Sony version will feature: Works with Indra, Mitros, Other Systems 2.4 GHz Frequency, 328′...

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More Details About Sigma’s MC-11 Lens Converter, Pentax Lens Roadmap, SD Cards for Video {Daily Roundup}

Posted by on Feb 29, 2016 in canon, Featured, pentax, Photography Tips, sony

More Details About Sigma’s MC-11 Lens Converter, Pentax Lens Roadmap, SD Cards for Video {Daily Roundup}

Welcome to our roundup series where we will hit on several gear news and rumor topics each day. This gives you a chance to get caught up on all of the day’s news and rumors in one place. Make sure to check back daily for the latest gear news, rumors, and announcements. Sigma MC-11 Adapter Is More Advanced Than We Thought When Sigma’s MC-11 was initially announced, we were under the impression that it was ‘just another EF-E’ lens adapter. But as more information is coming out, we are seeing that it is actually a bit more than that. It also appears that my question regarding if it would be compatible with all EF lenses or just Sigma glass has been answered. You see, unlike a traditional lens adapter, which takes Sony signals and converts them to EF signals (and vice versa), this Sigma adapter actually overrides the firmware in that Sigma lens (while it’s attached to the converter) and allows it to ‘speak’ with the Sony camera directly. So, to keep up my language analogy, while a Metabones adapter (for example) acts as a translator between a Canon lens and the camera, this new Sigma adapter actually teaches (temporarily) the Sigma lens the new language. As we all know, it’s much easier to communicate with your own tongue than through a translator, and this is the concept that Sigma hopes will allow for better-converted lens performance on Sony cameras. I am even more excited to get my hands on this adapter now, given that we know it’s something unique. The below test footage looks like the performance is ok, you can see it having some issues in a few spots, but we don’t know what camera it is on or what lens. I will hold off judgment until I can get it into my own hands to test. The MC-11 adapter is expected to begin shipping in April, as per the B&H website. If you are interested in pre-ordering one, you can do so here. New Pentax 2016 Lens Roadmap for K Mount and 645 I am a big fan of the lens roadmaps that companies have started putting together in recent years. It is really nice knowing what is coming so that you can plan for upgrading or expanding your kit ahead of an announcement. Over at CP+ in Japan, Ricoh announced their updated Pentax lens roadmaps for the K mount and 645 lens systems. I am looking forward to getting a chance to give the new Pentax K-1 a try. It looks like it could be a killer option for full frame shooters who have some nostalgia from the Pentax name. The K-1 is expected to begin shipping towards the end of April, but those who want one should consider putting in a pre-order ahead of time. If you are interested, you can do so here....

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