Monday, April 21, 2014

Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II ISO Samples

The following are ISO samples from the Canon Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II. In case you missed the press release, these are the pertinent specs:

  • Multi-aspect ratio 12.8 megapixel  1.5-inch CMOS sensor
  • f/2.0 -f/3.9 maximum apertures
  • 35mm film equivalent focal length: 24-120mm

The second generation G1 X blurs the lines between the advanced compact and mirrorless category; it's built like the former but has image quality and a feature set to rival the latter.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Fujifilm X-T1 Review

The sign of a successful launch is if the pre-order season is successful. That certainly has been the case for the Fujifilm X-T1 here in Canada, though it helps that Fujifilm Canada was including free vertical grips with camera pre-orders. Even if that weren't the case, the X-T1 (from a product design standpoint) is still a success that can stand on its own two feet. With the X-T1 one, Fujifilm has simultaneously managed to step closer to the mainstream middle of serious-enthusiast photography while further cementing their unique take of doing things.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC HSM Review

When laypeople talk about extremely wide-angle lenses, they will invariably use the word "fish-eye" in the same way that many people colloquially use the word "migraine" to describe any type of major headache. In both cases, the intent is commonly understood but the accuracy of the terminology is suspect. "Fish-eye" is properly used to describe a specific type of wide-angle lens in the same way that "migraine" is medically descriptive of a specific subset of headaches. 

Ultra-wides are the go-to lens below the 16mm APS-C (24mm full frame) focal length. They are eminently more-practical than fish-eyes, if somewhat less dramatic. "Practical" is a good term to use to describe the Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC HSM, which upholds the traditional virtue of costing less than the equivalent first-party equivalent. However, traditional Sigma lenses have also not met the same performance standards as those set by Canon and Nikon. To that end, does the benefit of better affordability hamper the quality of this lens?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Leica D-Lux 6 Review

There is no denying that Leica's are beautiful. Leica knows this as well, and as is the case with modern luxury, it must maintain the air of exclusivity while being accessible to as many people as is possible without damaging that exclusivity. This is known as having your cake and eating it too, and is something that BMW does well with their 3-series cars, which somehow manage to maintain both high-margin and respectably high production volumes as well. The Leica D-Lux 6 is the camera equivalent affordable luxury. Like many  "high end" women's handbags, it is very plainly expensive but not so expensive that it is unattainable by middle class consumers. For many people (though not the same ones), Leicas are objects of both scorn and lust. They are undeniably beautiful but obviously pricey. Disregarding the Leica C, the D-Lux 6 is the most "affordable" Leica camera for serious photographers.. but how much value is there in a camera platform that is near the end of its lifespan (as of this writing in 2014)  and which is is at heart, indistinguishable from its Panasonic cousin?

Monday, April 7, 2014

Nikon D610 Versus D7100

Left: Nikon D610     Right: Nikon D7100

Now that the D600 has been updated to the D610, the question of which 24mp Nikon DSLR to get comes up again: the D610 or the D7100. With these two cameras we have one of the most level playing fields in comparing FX and DX. Both have 24mp, both with near identical control layouts. These are essentially the same camera with different sensors... that's it. This is about as equal a playing field as possible between full frame and crop sensors. The real question, of course, is not about debating the merits of these two. When most people ask this question, what they are really asking is: is there a way to justify the full frame camera, which costs nearly double the price.  As they say, bigger is always better... until it isn't.

Updated April 2014. New ISO samples and various additions.