For a number of years now, I have been a big fan of network attached storage (NAS) in order to keep all of my data in one place and simplify my photography workflow. Having access to the same fast storage from multiple machines, as well as the Internet, is important for my needs, so I have been utilizing NAS heavily at my home office. Ever since I got a hold of the Synology DS1815+, I have been a big fan of Synology products. However, there has been one main limitation that I have been struggling with when processing large files or accessing storage from multiple computers, and that is network throughput limitations. With the DS1815+ model only featuring 1 Gbit Ethernet ports, I have been limited to a maximum total of 100-120 MB/sec transfers, which is simply insufficient in today’s high-resolution photo and video environments. So as soon as Synology announced its DS1817+ unit with the capability to add a 10 Gbit network card, I knew I had to move up to it. In this review, I will provide detailed information on the Synology DS1817+ NAS and provide detailed information on what one can expect from it in terms of performance and network throughput.
In this in-depth field review, we are going to have a look at the new Nikon wide-angle DX lens Nikkor 10-20mm f/4.5 – f/5.6 AF-P ED VR, which was launched in June 2017. This lens was announced among two other professional wide-angle lenses (FX Nikkor Fisheye 8-15mm and FX Prime Nikkor 28mm f/1.4). While those bigger brothers raised a lot of expectation for full-frame shooters, the plastic entry level 10-20mm DX lens hardly caused any excitement. In this review I will show that this lens deserves the attention of both amateur and semi-professional photographers.
Backpacks are a sore spot for many photographers. Personally, I’ve owned so many different types over the years that I truly can’t remember them all. I know photographers who have entire gear closets filled with bags, and nothing else. The problem here, I think, is that bags look amazing online (or in a store) — seeing them, reading reviews, and even trying it on for a few minutes — but then reality kicks in a few weeks later, and you realize that your new purchase isn’t all that spectacular. That brings me to the company Peak Design. I’m sure you’ve heard of them; they made headlines a couple years ago after fundraising millions of dollars on Kickstarter for their lineup of bags. We haven’t yet reviewed one of their bags on Photography Life, so, when they reached out to send a copy for testing, I decided to see how it measures up. This review specifically covers the 20 liter version of the “Everyday Backpack.” So, does it live up to the hype? Can you finally clean out your closet of bags and turn it into something more productive? The answers are more nuanced than you might think.
Both Hasselblad and Fuji got quite a bit of buzz in 2016 when they introduced the first mirrorless medium format cameras. The Hasselblad X1D-50c stole the show with its beautiful design, compact build and leaf shutter lenses, whereas the GFX 50S got Fuji fans excited with its functional camera body, modular EVF, tiltable LCD screen and a lower price point. Both cameras compete head to head when it comes to image quality, since they feature a very similar 44x33mm sensor, which is why I will be bringing them up quite a bit for side-by-side comparisons in this Fuji GFX 50S review. I have now been shooting with the GFX 50S for approximately six months, so the experience that I am sharing with our readers is based on quite a bit of field work, including international travel.
Less than a year ago, Apple introduced the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus phones to the market. The iPhone 7 Plus was the first Apple phone to have a dual lens design (28mm wide-angle and 56mm telephoto equivalent), so Apple put quite a bit of emphasis on photography with this model. Although I was quite happy with my iPhone 6 Plus at the time of the announcement, I decided to upgrade to the latest version, primarily because of these camera features the phone offered. Since then, I have captured thousands of images in different environments, which not only allowed me to get a deeper understanding of the camera capabilities of the phone, but also understand its many issues and limitations. In this review, I will be going over my experience with the iPhone 7 Plus camera and discuss its pros and cons.
It is a fact that as content creators, we are always in need for more storage. Thanks to all the latest and greatest cameras on the market that offer incredible detail with their high resolution sensors, we find ourselves constantly reassessing our storage requirements. Old computers are getting too slow to handle all the media and data we have to deal with, while storage solutions that used to be good enough a few years back do not seem to cut it anymore. Our clients have become technology-savvy and they are now demanding to see high resolution media files to deliver exceptional experience to their viewers, so we have to keep up. While building a fast computer for photography needs is definitely not for everyone, one does not have to go through the same process when assessing storage needs. Since there are a number of great, low-cost storage solutions out there that do a phenomenal job and provide excellent connectivity options, I have been in favor of such arrays instead of running a beefy tower computer. One such array that I recently have been introduced to, is the QNAP TVS-882T. In this review, I will provide detailed information about the TVS-882T and compare it to my Synology DS1815+ that I have been running for the past few years, along with the latest DS1817+ that I will be thoroughly testing soon.
This is an in-depth review of the flagship Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR lens that was released in October of 2016. Every seven to ten years, Nikon updates its top-of-the-line lenses with the most current technology and tries to push the performance envelope to a whole new level. After a long wait, Nikon finally delivered the new generation 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR in a lighter and more versatile package. Nikon completely redesigned the lens from the ground up, featuring a fluorite lens element to make it roughly 100 grams lighter, an “E” type electronic diaphragm, an updated Vibration Reduction / Image Stabilization mechanism and a drastically different optical formula featuring a total of 22 elements to deliver superior sharpness across the frame. The lens elements have also been treated with all the latest lens coating technologies, including Nano Crystal Coat and fluorine coating in order to reduce ghosting and flare, as well as repel dust and moisture from its front element. Based on user feedback, Nikon also took care of the focus breathing issue that was present on the VR II version of the lens. Ever since the lens was introduced to the market, I have had a chance to shoot with a couple of samples of the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E FL VR, so my experience and review are based on many months of shooting with this lens.
This is an in-depth review of the Fuji X-Pro2 mirrorless camera, an upgrade to the top-of-the-line X-Pro1 of the X-series cameras that was announced in January of 2016. It is hard to believe that it has been five years since Fuji first announced its mirrorless X system with the launch of the Fuji X-Pro1, along with the first three lenses. It was a pretty rough ride for Fuji, since the system looked very appealing and yet the initial feedback and reviews indicated that the camera was full of bugs and autofocus issues. But despite the negative reactions, Fuji did not give up, since it wanted to make the X system successful at all costs. Within a year, the X-Pro1 was transformed into a whole different camera – major firmware issues were taken care of and the AF system became much more polished and reliable. Fuji decided not to leave its original customers behind, letting them get the latest and greatest through “Kaizen” firmware upgrades. And although Fuji released a bunch of new X-series cameras, the X-Pro1 continued to receive firmware feature upgrades for another 4 years, something no other manufacturer has done in the past. That level of commitment did not go unnoticed by the photography community, creating a large and loyal Fuji fan base. After a long wait, Fuji finally revealed the much anticipated X-Pro2 that many photo enthusiasts and professionals have been waiting for. Last Christmas, an amazing gift from FujiFilm Italia gave me the opportunity to experience the Fuji X-Pro2. Since Nasim also had some thoughts to share with PL readers after using the camera for a few months, we decided to combine our efforts into a single review.
Some of you may remember how pleased I was with how my little Fujifilm X100T performed on my trip to France last June (My Self-Imposed 23mm Challenge with a Fuji X100T). As an experiment, I limited myself to just this camera and its fixed 23mm focal length (35mm equivalent) lens. At that time I was feeling like my creativity was waning. However, after limiting myself to this small, light-weight camera, I began to have fun with my photography again. I also began to realize that lugging my heavy pro-Nikon camera and glass around with me was becoming less and less enjoyable! Since writing that article, I have found myself using my DSLR less and less. My go-to camera is my X100T. This Christmas though, I found a new toy under the tree. A Fuji X-T2! The X-T2 is one of Fuji’s new flagship mirrorless cameras. It has the same 24MP APS-C X-Trans sensor that the X-Pro2 has. It has a huge and bright electronic viewfinder, and a 3-inch tilt screen. It is weather-proof, has two SD card slots, and its autofocus speed has been significantly improved over the older X-T1.
For most photographers, especially those who shoot landscapes, it is crucial to have a good set of filters at your disposal. Filters come in two types: screw-on filters (attaching directly to your filter threads) and square filter systems (sliding into a holder on the end of your lens). A lot of landscape photographers move to a square filter system over time — they have a wider selection of filters, and they let you move your filters from lens to lens more quickly. The main companies that make square filter systems are Lee, Cokin and HiTech, all of which are well-known among landscape photographers. There are a few other companies in the marketplace, too, including a relatively new brand called NiSi. Recently, NiSi has been contacting photography websites for reviews, and they contacted us as well. I have used the Lee system for a while, and experienced a few problems with it, so I wanted to review these NiSi filters and see how they stack up. This review covers the NiSi filter system, along with a few specific filters.