Partying with 14mm? Thoughts from an Ultra-Wide Holdout

Five months ago, I bought my first ultra-wide lens — the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 — after holding out for years. I’ve always flirted with the idea of such a crazy perspective, but I kept finding reasons not to purchase one myself. A 24mm lens had worked well as my widest angle for years, and I rarely found myself wanting anything more. Now that I’ve seen the other side, though, Have my attitudes changed? After going on two major trips with the 14-24mm f/2.8, the insane perspective has started to grow on me, but I still have plenty of reservations. Here’s how I’d sum things up, including my recommendations for anyone else considering making such a leap for themselves.

[Read more…]

Sony A9 Image Samples

Now that the Sony A9 is announced, it is a good time to take a closer look at the image samples produced by this amazing mirrorless camera. Sony has made a total of 12 full size JPEG images available that we can pixel peep at, so below are the same images presented in their full resolution at different focal lengths, apertures and ISOs. Since the A9 is a sports and wildlife camera, the most used lenses for the sample images were the Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS and the new Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS.

[Read more…]

Nikon 19mm f/4E PC Review

This is an in-depth review of the Nikon 19mm f/4E PC, also known as PC NIKKOR 19mm f/4E ED, a special purpose wide-angle lens designed for architecture, cityscape and landscape photography. “PC” stands for “Perspective Control”, but I will refer to this type of lens as “tilt-shift” in this article. Architecture and cityscape photographers often work with straight lines and tilt-shift lenses give the ability to avoid the convergence of vertical lines by shifting the lens upwards or downwards. Landscape photographers often want to keep everything in focus, especially when dealing with close foreground objects. Stopping down to very small apertures results in diffraction, which impedes sharpness. Tilt-shift lenses offer an alternative to stopping down by tilting the plane of focus, putting both closest and furthest objects in focus. Focus stacking in post-processing software is another way to achieve maximum focus without stopping down excessively, however, the technique also has its pros and cons, making tilt-shift lenses unique in their own ways. The ability to apply selective focus on a particular part of the image via lens tilting allows distant subjects to appear “miniaturized”, although this effect can be reproduced in image editing software, as well.

[Read more…]

Nikon D500 vs D7500

Just over a year after Nikon introduced the highly anticipated D500, the company announced an upgrade to its D7200 enthusiast-level DSLR in the form of the Nikon D7500. Nikon decided to skip the model numbers in-between and go directly to the D7500 for a good reason – the camera inherits a lot of the features of its bigger brother, so this naming convention makes sense. So in a way, the Nikon D7500 is a mini-D500. However, to make sure that the cameras do not compete with each other, Nikon not only made sure to keep some of the premium features just on the D500, but it also stripped out some of the features previously seen on the D7x00-series cameras. Let’s take a look at how the two cameras compare with each other in terms of features and specifications.

[Read more…]

Nikon D7500 vs D7200

Now that the Nikon D7500 has been officially announced, it is a good time to see how it compares to its predecessor in terms of features and specifications. While Nikon definitely improved the D7500 on a number of different areas, whether it is the faster 8 fps continuous shooting, a larger buffer, better metering system or other ergonomic and firmware improvements, there are some definite drawbacks one needs to be aware of before deciding to upgrade. Let’s take a look at these changes in more detail and see how the two cameras tack up against each other.

[Read more…]

Last Camera Syndrome

For the past few years now, the digital photography camera market has been on a steady decline. Some people blame it on smartphones taking over the big chunk of camera sales, while others have related other factors to the decreased camera sales. While we have written a number of articles on this topic, I personally don’t think that there is only one factor that can be singled out as the root cause – I believe there are a number of different factors contributing to the shrinking sales. One of such factors could be “Last Camera Syndrome”, which many photographers seem to be experiencing lately. With image sensors pretty much hitting the innovation wall, we have only seen camera manufacturers pushing more resolution and feature upgrades lately, which does not seem to sit well with potential buyers. And if we take a look at the entry-level cameras, they all seem to only contribute to the camera pollution, with nothing new and exciting, just refreshed model numbers for the sake of grabbing news headlines. We no longer see big leaps in image quality as we had previously seen in the past, with more photographers settling on one camera – their last camera.

[Read more…]

What Camera Manufacturers Need to Learn from Fuji

Fujifilm has just announced yet another set of “Kaizen” firmware updates that will soon be available for the Fuji X-T2 and Fuji X-Pro2 cameras. This is a major firmware upgrade release consisting of a total of 33 (!) updates and new features, which is very exciting. It is nice to be able to go back to a camera and discover new things you can do with it – almost creates a feeling of owning something entirely new. After seeing the announcement (the details of which are provided at the end of the article), I thought about other camera manufacturers and what they could learn from Fuji.

[Read more…]

Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 G2 Review

When Tamron introduced the Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 VC a few years ago it really shook things up (Model A011, but hereafter I’ll call it the G1 for simplicity). Priced just over a grand, the G1 offered people the chance to get into wildlife photography without dumping five figures into a supertelephoto prime lens. Not only was it inexpensive, it was surprisingly sharp as well; much sharper than many of us expected a lens in that price range to be. Sigma followed up a few months later with not one, but two 150-600mm zooms, then Nikon joined the fray a year later with its Nikon 200-500mm zoom.

[Read more…]

How to Update Firmware on Nikon DSLR

One of the areas within the camera that rarely ever gets touched, is the camera software, also known as “firmware”. Most modern electronic gadgets provide the ability to update their firmware by downloading fixes and updates through manufacturers’ websites and applying those updates on the devices. The firmware updates not only provide important fixes for identified bugs, but also provide brand new features that were absent when the device was shipped from the manufacturer. This ability to be able to update and run the latest version of firmware has become a standard among DLSR manufacturers, allowing end users to run the latest and greatest firmware on their cameras.

[Read more…]

Nikon DSLR Buffer Capacity Comparison

In this article, we gathered and compiled the available information on buffer capacity of all current Nikon DSLRs. The below table outlines many of the current and discontinued Nikon DSLR models, along with such information as sensor resolution, continuous shooting speed (fps) and RAW / JPEG buffer capacities. While most of the RAW buffer information is included, we decided not to bother with smaller JPEG sizes, since most cameras presented below can accommodate 100 or more of smaller JPEG images in their buffers.

[Read more…]