Fuji 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS WR Initial Impressions

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I’m Paolo and I have been a Fuji user for a little over a year now. Just like everyone else I was a DSLR shooter before but the weight got to me and I thought of trying unconventional brands. Started with the awesome but slow to “everything” X100 – that is before the firmware updates that made the X100 what it was supposed to be like, now. Anyway, that’s where my love and hate relationship with Fuji started. Well not really hate, it is such a strong word, more of frustrations which I have already gotten over with. I got my hands on a Fuji XF 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR this February in time to shoot the famous Cebu City’s Sinulog Festival “Pit Senor!”. Thank you Marie Dela Cruz of Fuji Philippines for letting me try one!

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Best and Worst Sony FE Lenses for A7 Cameras

Sony FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS

While reviewing the Sony A7 II, I had a chance to test and play with every Sony FE lens made as of February of 2015. The list includes the following lenses: Sony FE 35mm f/2.8, Sony FE 55mm f/1.8, Sony FE 16-35mm f/4 OSS, Sony FE 24-70mm f/4 OSS, Sony FE 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS and Sony FE 70-200mm f/4 OSS. Since I also simultaneously had the Sony A7R and A7S bodies (reviews to follow soon), I decided to measure MTF performance of each lens using Imatest and see how they perform individually. While I am planning to review all of these lenses in detail within the next few months, I thought putting together some data for our readers might be helpful, perhaps for those of our readers who either already own the A7 system, or those who are planning to invest in it. The below numbers are based on two different samples of each lens (I always do my best to test at least two due to sample variation) and the numbers I present are for the lens that showed the best results. Unfortunately, due to the shutter shock issue of the Sony A7R camera, I was not able to reliably test the Sony FE 70-200mm f/4 OSS lens, particularly at anything longer than 100mm. I will have to retest that lens when Sony adds electronic front curtain shutter feature to the A7R, or releases a newer 36 MP+ body with built-in EFCS (yes, the shutter shock on the A7R is pretty significant). I don’t yet have access to the newly announced Sony FE lenses or the Zeiss Loxia lenses, so I will test those separately as soon as I get my hands on them.

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Birds in Flight with Nikon 1 V3

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I’ve been continuing my field work for my hands-on review of the Nikon 1 V3 and spent some time capturing images of birds-in-flight at Grimsby Harbour. This has been a particularly severe winter and some of the Great Lakes have frozen over completely. This is only the fourth time in the past 40 years that this has happened. As you can see from the image below, Grimsby Harbour is frozen solid out past the lighthouse. This made for some interesting captures of birds-in-flight.

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Nikon D7200 vs Canon 7D Mark II

Nikon D7200 vs Canon 7D Mark II

The D7200 is currently Nikon’s best DX camera for shooting action, but how does it compare to Canon’s speed demon, the 7D Mark II in features and specifications? The Nikon D7200 comes with a 24.2 MP sensor, 6 fps continuous shooting speed, 51-point AF system, 2x SD card slots and built-in Wi-Fi, whereas the 7D Mark II has a slightly smaller sensor with 20.2 MP of resolution, impressive 10 fps continuous shooting speed, 65-point all cross-type AF system, 1x CF + 1x SD card slots and a pro-quality build / ergonomics. Both have their strengths and weaknesses, but which one of these would be more suitable for capturing fast action? In this comparison, we will go over both feature and specification differences between the two cameras. Please keep in mind that this comparison is purely based on preliminary data. Further details and comparisons will be provided in our upcoming Nikon D7200 review later this year.

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Nikon D7200 vs D7100

Nikon D7200 vs D7100

Some of our readers might be interested in seeing how the newly announced Nikon D7200 compares to its predecessor, the D7100 in terms of features and specifications. With a faster processor, improved AF system, much larger buffer, Wi-Fi and a few other tweaks, the D7200 is currently Nikon’s best DX camera for capturing fast action such as sports and wildlife photography. Although the D7100 is still an amazing camera, many found its buffer to be underwhelming for continuous shooting, as it sported a fairly small buffer that accommodated even less images than the first generation Nikon D7000. In this comparison, I will first go into specifications, then talk about specific features that differentiate the two cameras. Please keep in mind that this comparison is purely based on specifications. Further details, our impressions, ISO comparisons and other useful information will be provided in our upcoming Nikon D7200 Review later this year.

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Nikon 1 V3 Initial Impressions and Sample Images

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This short article has a selection of sample images taken hand-held with the Nikon 1 V3 and Nikon 1 CX 70-300 lens at Bird Kingdom in Niagara Falls Canada. While I was intending on doing a full review of the Nikon 1 V3 a number of time sensitive client video projects have recently emerged. Unfortunately that means I will not be able to proceed with my planned full review any time soon. Instead I’ll provide a few initial impressions of this camera along with some sample images.

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Sigma 150-600mm Sport Goes on a Safari

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Earlier this year I had a chance to go on a safari to the Serengeti to see the Great Migration and other wonders. After reading Gord Aker’s excellent article about his trip to Africa I thought it could be interesting to make a field report and share my experience with the brand new Sigma 150-600mm Sport which accompanied me during the trip.

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Shooting Hand-Held with the Sigma 150-600mm Sport

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In advance of the Photography Life’s full review on the Sigma Sport 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM/S superzoom, I thought readers may like to see a few sample images along with some initial thoughts about shooting with this lens hand-held. Before getting into this brief article I’d like to extend a big ‘thank you’ to Photography Life reader Michael Wroblewski, who very generously let me borrow his copy of the Sigma 150-600mm Sport lens so I could do some shooting at Bird Kingdom in Niagara Falls, Ontario.

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Why 16 Megapixels, When I Could Have 50?

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If there was a 100 MP DSLR announced tomorrow, I would pre-order it, then spend many sleepless nights waiting for it to arrive. I’d suffer nightmares where Imatest monsters would kick Zeiss Otus’s around and laugh at their feeble attempts at keeping up with my high resolution camera. It would get even worse when I put a second mortgage on my house so I could afford the new supercomputer to crunch those images. I’d pace the halls of my house, past my favorite matted and framed 24”x36” lens chart prints, while wondering if I needed a car with a bigger trunk that could carry enough CF cards for a day’s shooting.

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How Much Resolution Do You Really Need?

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Each year camera manufacturers are pushing the limits of sensor technology and the latest trend has been to increase sensor resolution to numbers that were considered unfathomable before. With full-frame cameras reaching 50 megapixels (MP) and medium format cameras pushing beyond 80 MP, we now know that the megapixel race won’t stop there and we will most likely be seeing cameras with even more resolution in the future. But the big question remains – how much resolution does one truly need today? Is 12 MP too little? Is 50 MP too much? While it is a subject that can be open to endless debates, I have been working on a methodology to determine the ideal megapixel range for one’s needs. In this article, I will share what I came up with and it will hopefully serve as a good guide for our readers in deciding how to address the megapixel quench. I highly recommend to read my camera resolution explained article as a pre-requisite to understand the relationship of resolution to printing, cropping, display size and to understand such terms as down-sampling in more detail.

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