This is an in-depth review of the Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM with a built-in 1.4x extender, a telephoto zoom lens targeted at enthusiast and professional action photographers. For many years, Canon users shooting serious wildlife and sports photography had come to accept that the only telephoto lenses on offer by Canon that achieved top of the line performance were their prime lenses. At the time, the only Canon zoom lens in the telephoto range was the Canon EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS, a solid, if unspectacular lens with an outdated design. On the other hand, and much to Canon users’ envy, Nikon had given its customers something wholly different in 2003 when they released the Nikon 200-400mm f/4G VR, a professional-quality constant aperture super telephoto zoom lens. While Nikon’s 200-400mm had its faults (namely lack of sharpness when photographing distant subjects), it was the perfect lens to take on an African Safari or to a sports game. With fast autofocus, a constant aperture and good sharpness all packaged into a zoom lens, the Nikon lens was perfect for situations which required versatility and the ability to change focal lengths, while still maintaining high image quality. Nikon’s monopoly on professional grade super telephoto zooms would thankfully change in 2011 when Canon announced the development of its own 200-400mm f/4 lens which was also going to be the first telephoto lens of its kind to utilize a built-in teleconverter.
The simplest question in photography is also the most complex: What makes a good photo? It isn’t enough to say that a good photo comes from its lighting, composition, subject, and so on; this question has a deeper answer. Good images – as different as they may be from one another – all stem from the same roots: The photographer has a strong goal for the photo, then expresses that goal in the most effective possible way.
This is an in-depth review of the Fujifilm XF 56mm f/1.2 R lens made for Fuji’s line of X-Series cameras. This short telephoto lens (85mm full-frame equivalent) was released in February of 2014 and quickly became known as one of the best prime portrait lenses on the market, mirrorless or otherwise. This lens is not to be confused with Fuji’s other 56mm, the XF 56mm f/1.2 R APD. The APD version incorporates a controllable apodizing filter into its design, for even more pleasing bokeh! However, this comes at a cost, both from a technical point of view and a financial one. The APD lens does not use phase detect AF, which is a detriment in low lighting and it also costs $500 more than the regular version. This review only discusses the Fujifilm’s XF 56mm f/1.2 R lens.
Adobe Lightroom is known to be a disappointingly slow post-processing tool, especially when it comes to basic operations such as importing, preview generation and image culling, as well as more advanced operations that involve using features such as spot healing. Adobe’s development team is aware of these issues and the company says that it is committed in delivering updates that will make Lightroom faster. The latest version of Lightroom Classic CC 7.2 has been delivered a couple of days ago and it seems like this release is mostly focused on improving Lightroom performance. I decided to see how much faster Lightroom has actually gotten by measuring its performance on a typical laptop, as well as on a desktop PC. Let’s take a look at how Lightroom 6 and CC 7.1 stack up against the most current version CC 7.2.
The Fujifilm X-H1 is the top of the line camera in Fuji’s X-series line-up. But before its release, the Fuji X-T2 was arguably the most feature-rich choice and certainly a popular mirrorless cameras among many enthusiast and professional photographers. As a current or prospective X-T2 owner, or potentially as someone interested in the new Fuji X-H1, you might be wondering how it compares to the X-T2 in terms of features, ergonomics and specifications. We have put together this X-H1 and X-T2 comparison specifically to help you make the right choice, so let’s get started!
Today Fujifilm unveiled yet another line in the X-series mirrorless cameras, the Fuji X-H1. This is a significant release for the company, because the X-H1 is the first Fuji camera to feature a 5-axis in-body image stabilization (IBIS), something many Fuji photographers have been waiting for. Fuji has long been criticized for not incorporating IBIS into its camera bodies to take advantage of its lenses that do not have optical image stabilization, so the company responded with a camera that is capable of providing up to 5.5 stops of stabilization. When compared to the Fuji X-T2, the X-H1 gains quite a few new exterior and interior features. It has a larger, heavier and more durable magnesium alloy construction, a higher resolution electronic viewfinder and a touchscreen tilting LCD. The big changes, however, are mostly in the internals of the camera. Aside from IBIS, the X-H1 has a powerful dual processor, allowing up to 4K video at up to 29.97p @ 200 Mbps with an internal F-Log capability, which is impressive (although the recording time is limited to 15 minutes – 30 minutes with a grip). The Fuji X-H1 now features an electronic front-curtain shutter feature, which was previously only available on the Fuji GFX 50S. Lastly, the X-H1 has a superior autofocus system, with improved phase detection AF sensitivity and other autofocus tweaks to make it both faster and more reliable. Price-wise, the X-H1 will retail for $1,899 MSRP and if you want to add the vertical grip that can accommodate two additional batteries, you will be able to purchase the combo at $2,199.
One of the most amazing things about Fuji as a company, is their commitment to photographers who invest in their systems. Each time Fuji makes a camera announcement, it also goes back and adds some features to some of its existing cameras. A number of cameras have been previously improved with the “Kaizen” philosophy and I have seen cameras completely transform thanks to continuous firmware updates. Last year, after having a chance to test and review the GFX 50S, I decided to invest in my first medium format system. I fell in love with this camera and its superb image quality, and I have been using it ever since when traveling all over the world. Today, Fujifilm announced a firmware update version 3.00 for the GFX 50S, which adds a new “Focus Bracketing” feature, which allows automatic focus stacking of images through the camera.
Aviation photography is definitely more challenging and creative than one might think at first glance. But it’s one of the most rewarding and simply fun type of shooting I do. Basically, there are two kinds of airplane photographers: those with airfield/aircraft access (airport workers, pilots, commercial photographers etc) and those without (all the rest of us). This is for all of us peering through a fence or piece of dingy airport glass at those exciting flying machines and trying to photograph them. And while I could write on and on about technical requirements, this article focuses more on the inspiration and photographic possibilities with airplanes and airports. But feel free to leave your questions or comments below and I will do my best to answer them!
This essay is for amateurs who have been shooting a while and feel the desire to push the envelope by going to manual mode. For those who are dedicated auto shooters and never want to change, I respect and endorse your choice, and wish you all the good shooting in the world. But this essay is not for you, so you need not read any further. Why go manual mode? Well, there are some very good reasons to do so. I believe that all the fun is in manual shooting, and I also believe that you can unleash your creativity by shooting manual.
As you might already know, Lightroom is extremely slow when it comes to image culling. Although Adobe updated Lightroom CC to be able to fetch embedded JPEG previews from RAW files for the sole purpose of speeding up image culling, the process is still painfully slow when going through many images. In addition, looking at the embedded JPEG previews from the camera is far from ideal due to the fact that JPEG images do not contain enough information to be able to judge underexposure and overexposure. On top of that, if one has particular color, sharpness and other settings set on their camera, those settings could seriously impact JPEG previews and lie about what’s actually contained within the RAW file. In order to avoid such issues and move away from Lightroom’s horrid performance, I have completely moved my image culling process to FastRawViewer. Thanks to this lightweight and powerful software, I am able to cruise through hundreds of images and select the ones that I will import and edit, while making sure that bad images never make it into my post-processing software in the first place.