Monday, December 30, 2013

Sony A7 Review

Given the critical success of the RX1 (and RX1r variant), it was only a matter of time before Sony proliferated the concept of a compact full-frame camera into the more mainstream interchangeable lens format. Fujifilm first tested the waters with the X100 only to expand to a full line of X-System cameras, and now Sony has done so with the A7 and A7r. Predictably, Sony has done full frame in their own style. For many photographers, the lure of having a full frame system is an irresistible draw, so does packaging a large sensor in a smallish) body make for a winning combination?

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

It's time to wish everybody a very Merry Christmas (and happy holidays), as well as all the best in the New Year. There has certainly a lot to have been a lot to be thankful for this year.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Sony A7 and Nikon Df

Launched within weeks of one another, the Nikon Df and the Sony A7/A7r could not be more different cameras. Even though they are conceptually "smaller" full frame cameras, the design that each camera is built off of shows that there is more to a camera than just its sensor. The differences are quite stark when the two cameras are put side-by-side with their respective kit lenses.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Nikon 35mm f/1.8 AF-S DX Review

Nikon 35mm f/1.8 AF-S DX on D7000

The Nikon 35mm f/1.8 AF-S DX is as close to a no-brainer purchase as there is in all of Nikon's DX lens catalogue. It's the modern day equivalent of the nifty-fifty that graced film era cameras, and is something of antidote to the kit zoom lenses with restricted apertures. Given those qualities, the typical buyer will likely be interested in two things: shedding weight and shooting in low light.

Updated March, 2014

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Buyer's Remorse: Leica X2 À la Carte

File this under inauspicious purchases... The follow post showed up on our local Craigslist this week; it's likely that the purchasing wisdom (or lack thereof) speaks for itself:

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Nikon Df Review

The Nikon Df is an odd duck in the Nikon DSLR lineup. It's certainly a premium product, at the $2,999 kit price that Nikon is asking for, but it's definitely not a professionally-oriented camera. However, there's no denying that it's a pretty camera, the silver/black version even more so than the all-black. Hence, the all-black tester; our hosts were long since out of the silver version by the time I got around to trying the new camera.

That in itself is indicative that Nikon nailed the marketing for the Df. It's aimed at the traditional high-end camera buyer... though the D4-evolution sensor at this price point is impressive, Nikon has been fairly consistent since launch about de-emphasizing the specs of this camera and selling purely on emotional appeal. Hence, why silver has been the more popular colour since launch; it's the one that creates the most emotional appeal when lined up with the rest of Nikon's basic black cameras.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Nikon 1 AW1 Review

When considering a vacation camera, the first choice for the shooter is to decide between quality or portability, with many people concluding that a DSLR is too heavy to bring on a family vacation. However, when it comes to durability and ruggedness, there isn't much choice at all. Almost all of the waterproof cameras on the market are small point-and-shoots like the Pentax WG-3, Canon D20 or the Nikon AW110. For better image quality, there aren't a lot (if any) choices, except to use a specialized underwater case with a DSLR. The Nikon 1 AW1 comfortably bridges that gap, being a completely submersible camera that is also somewhat drop proof as well. It has two compatible waterproof lenses, an 11-17mm f/3.5-5.6 standard zoom and a 10mm f/2.8 prime. The camera itself will also take standard Nikon 1 lenses, with the provisio that the camera would no longer be waterproof. The headline specs are:

  • 14.2mp sensor
  • 15 fps burst rate
  • Waterproof to 15m for up to 60min
  • Can operate in temperatures to ‐10°C 
  • Can be dropped from a height of 2m

Needless to say, there are a lot of caveats surrounding how much abuse this camera can take. Nikon does not guarantee that the camera will be completely damage-proof if you do take it into these conditions. Complete details regarding the durability of the camera can be found on Nikon USA's website.