Fuji X-Trans Flare / Ghosting Issue

I love Fuji X-series cameras – they have exceptionally good image quality, superb handling and they are just a lot of fun to shoot with. I have completed reviewing all Fuji X cameras that I have had during the last few months, including the X-Pro1, X-E1, X-M1 and the X100S. In short, an amazing array of cameras from Fuji. One issue that I overlooked while reviewing the cameras though, was the spotted ghosting issue caused by the X-Trans sensor in rare situations, as demonstrated below (shot with the Fuji 60mm f/2.4 Macro lens).

UPDATE: this turned out to be an issue with all mirrorless cameras that have a short flange distance. Please read this post to understand the issue in detail.

Fuji X Flare Ghosting Issue

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Fuji X-E1 vs X-E2

Now that the new Fuji X-E2 is officially released (see our announcement post with a short preview), it is time to compare the camera to its predecessor and see what has changed. In this article, I will show feature differences between the Fuji X-E2 and the older X-E1, which we have recently reviewed (and really liked). And by the way, we are giving one away this December! Please keep in mind that this comparison is purely based on specifications. A detailed comparison with image samples and other comparisons will be provided in the upcoming Fuji X-E2 review.

Fuji X-E1 vs X-E2

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Nikon D610 Review

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This is an in-depth review of the Nikon D610, a very minor update that replaced the existing Nikon D600. Since full-frame DSLR cameras typically have a 2-3 year life cycle before they are refreshed with newer models, the D610 was an unusual update, as it replaced a camera that was only 13 months old – something that typically only happens with entry-level/consumer DSLRs. The thing is, the Nikon D610 is what the D600 should have been when it was initially launched. Plagued by a shutter mechanism issue which shred small particles from the shutter that fell directly onto the camera sensor (causing “dust bunnies” visible at small apertures), the Nikon D600 got a lot of negative press from its owners and camera reviewers. We were among the first ones to report the dust issue in our Nikon D600 review and later received many reports from our readers that confirmed the same issue. In a couple of months, the Internet was full of all kinds of examples of the same issue. Nikon ended up issuing a service advisory that categorized the behavior as “natural accumulation of dust” and suggested to try using the “Clean Image Sensor” feature of the camera, along with manual cleaning with a blower bulb. As a last resort, if those two options failed, Nikon recommended to consult with service centers to get the camera examined and serviced. Unfortunately, despite all the reported issues, service orders and returns from unhappy customers, Nikon never acknowledged the problem.

Nikon D610

The Nikon D610 was announced on October 8, 2013. To make it seem like it was a real upgrade over the D600, Nikon threw in a couple of extra changes to the camera, such as faster frame rate, quiet continuous shooting mode and improved white balance. Nikon also lowered the MSRP price of the camera to $1999 from $2099 that the D600 initially sold for. This was done for two reasons – the Nikon D600 was already discounted by $100 for a while, and Nikon wanted to stay competitive with the Canon EOS 6D during the holiday shopping season.

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Nikon D610 Does Not Have a Dust Issue

I have been testing the new Nikon D610 that I received today for the past 5 hours, running all kinds of tests on it. And by now, I have over 10 thousand actuations on the camera. The goal of this particular test was to see if the updated Nikon D610 has any dust issues as the Nikon D600 it replaced. Armed with the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II, I have been shooting the Nikon D610 at f/22 (minimum aperture) in my lab continuously. I am happy to report that Nikon seems to have addressed the dust issue, thanks to the new shutter mechanism that they are now using on the camera. Take a look at the below before and after shots (left: Before, right: After):

Nikon D610 Sensor Dust Before Nikon D610 Sensor Dust After

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Nikon D610 is already in stock!

It has not even been two weeks since the Nikon D610 was announced and B&H already has some units in stock! I have also been notified that my sample has been shipped out, so I should be able to get my hands on one next week. Obviously, a rigorous test of the shutter is awaiting the D610 to make sure that there are no problems with dust or oil this time. Considering the fact that the D610 has a brand new shutter mechanism, I am sure that I will not see any of those issues, but I still want to check. I also want to make sure that there are no other potential flaws with the camera and compare the noise and fps speed right next to my D600.

Nikon D610

If you have pre-ordered your copy of the D610, it should ship today. Otherwise, you can order yours today and have it ship out first thing next Monday morning from the B&H warehouse.

Sony A7 vs A7R

With Sony taking over the major headlines this week, a number of our readers have been asking about the differences between the Sony A7 and A7R – two new full-frame interchangeable lens mirrorless cameras. As I have written in this article, Sony’s full-frame mirrorless cameras are shaking up the camera market and could potentially influence the future development and pricing of full-frame DSLRs in the future. Boasting impressive 24 and 36 megapixel sensors, the Sony A7 and A7R cameras are attracting a lot of potential buyers from different camps. But one question remains: what is the difference between the A7 and the A7R and which one should one pick? Although both cameras look very similar, there is a big difference in price: the A7 is priced at $1700, while the A7R is at $2300. In this article, I will go over the feature differences between the two cameras and provide personal recommendations on what lens(es) to choose. I believe the two cameras are targeted at completely different audiences. Please keep in mind that this Sony A7 vs A7R comparison is purely based on specifications. A detailed comparison with image samples and ISO comparisons will be provided in the upcoming Sony A7 and Sony A7R reviews.

Sony A7 vs A7r

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Nikon D5300 vs D3200

In this article, I will show feature differences between the new Nikon D5300, which is considered to be an upper-entry level DSLR and the current entry-level D3200 (see our review). What does the higher-end D5300 bring to the table and what are the key differences between these models? Let’s take a closer look. Please keep in mind that this Nikon D5300 vs D3200 comparison is purely based on specifications. A detailed comparison with image samples and ISO comparisons will be provided in the upcoming Nikon D5300 review.

Nikon D5300 vs D3200

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Nikon 58mm f/1.4G High Resolution Image Samples

Now that the Nikon 58mm f/1.4G lens is out (check out our detailed preview), more and more information is showing up on this very interesting lens, including high resolution image samples. Unfortunately, Nikon did not provide any high-resolution images on its product page, so I thought it would be a good idea to post other images that I was able to find through Nikon Asia’s website. Although I thought that the sample images were not a very good representation of the lens performance (f/1.4 samples do not appear to be perfectly focused), the images definitely do have that 3D look to them. Bokeh looks exceptionally good, even stopped down to f/2! Check out the below high-resolution image samples:

Nikon 58mm f/1.4G Image Sample (1)
Link to download the image | Shutter Speed: 1/1000, Aperture: f/2, ISO: 100

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Nikon 58mm f/1.4G Announcement

The most exciting announcement of the week for me personally, is the new Nikon 58mm f/1.4G, a lens that I have been waiting for many years now. This is a specialized, one of a kind lens that is basically the modern version of the Noct NIKKOR 58mm f/1.2, a legendary manual focus lens with extreme performance that still sells for over $3000 used today. Although Nikon currently offers two f/1.4 and f/1.8 modern 50mm primes with autofocus capability in its lens lineup, the 58mm f/1.4G is a lens at a whole different level that is specifically designed to yield maximum sharpness and microcontrast, along with beautiful bokeh at the maximum aperture of f/1.4.

Nikon 58mm f/1.4G

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Nikon D5200 vs D5300

In this article, I will show feature differences between the new Nikon D5300 and the previous generation D5200. What does the updated D5300 bring to the table and what are the key differences? Let’s take a look! Please keep in mind that this Nikon D5200 vs D5300 comparison is purely based on specifications. A detailed comparison with image samples and ISO comparisons will be provided in the upcoming Nikon D5300 review.

Nikon D5300 vs D5200

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