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.
I have been looking for a small portable alternative to carting my tripod around with me for quite some time now. There have been many occasions when I’ve been out photographing and could have used the support that a tripod provides, but could not be bothered to lug my tripod with me. I have tried using a variety of small tabletop tripods. None of them were strong enough to support a DSLR and heavy lens. Beanbags are cumbersome to carry around as well. This past summer I stumbled upon a Kickstarter campaign for Platypod Pro Max, and I was intrigued. Could this possibly be the answer to my search?
I never did completely lose faith. I think in the end it was probably just myself, Thom Hogan and one or two others – the true believers. Nikon would give us a legitimate successor to the D300S. I think that the many who told us to give up and move on to FX because DX is dead, or that the D7200 was the real D300S replacement, perhaps missed the point. The D7200 is an absolutely excellent camera, but I have always thought it pretty obvious that Nikon was holding back on the D7x00 series. And as far as moving on to FX, well we were already there shooting D4s, D800s, etc., but looking back to DX for the potential advantages that a smaller format, high-performance body could bring to shooting wildlife and other action. There was room at the top of the DX model lineup for a specialist camera and now we have it – the
D400 D500. Nevertheless, I was caught off-guard, along with most people I think, when the D500 was announced alongside the D5 in early 2016. We all knew the D5 was coming, but just how did Nikon manage to keep the D500 a secret?
It’s been 9 months since I wrote my review of the Nikon 1 J5 and I finally gave in to a bout of GAS (gear acquisition syndrome) that has been lingering for some time, purchasing a J5 this week. I had resisted the temptation to buy this particular camera as I was waiting for the new 20.8MP BSI sensor to find its way into an updated Nikon 1 V-series camera. With the recent earthquakes in Japan delaying various Nikon products the timing seemed right to buy a J5. I have some things planned for the second half of the year where the improved sensor performance of the J5 will be appreciated. [Read more…]
MIOPS Smart Camera Trigger is a camera and flash trigger in a single unit. It provides seven different triggering modes, including lightning, sound, and laser. It also functions as an intervalometer for timelapse photography. It has an HDR mode, a scenario mode, and a DIY mode. With the smartphone app, you can also use the trigger in four shutter release modes: cable release, press and hold, press and lock, and timed release. The past few days I have had a lot of fun playing with my MIOPS Trigger, and I would like to share my experiences with you.
After reviewing Microsoft’s Surface machines, a number of our readers requested us to also review other competing products that sport enough processing power to run photo applications like Lightroom and Photoshop. Since in my past corporate life I spent quite a bit of time with Dell PCs and servers, it was my first natural selection. Having previously owned a Dell XPS 13 (when it was first introduced a while back), I wanted to take a look at the newest-generation version to see how well it would do for photography needs. Although a more direct competitor to Microsoft’s Surface Pro line would be the XPS 12, once I found out that it was maxed out at 8 GB of RAM and only 256 GB of storage, I had to move up in size. And since my goal was to find something light and compact to travel with, I did not consider the Dell XPS 15, which boasts the most power among the three models and comes with a dedicated GPU. When the Dell XPS 13 finally arrived, I got ready to put it through some tests to see how it would do. After a two-week trip to California and four more weeks of heavy work on the XPS 13, I decided to share my thoughts on the machine with our readers in a detailed review.