Thursday, July 30, 2015

Sony RX100 Mark IV Review

Sony RX100 Mark IV

The Sony RX100M3 was one of the best received cameras for first time shoppers and young families looking for something to take quality photos with.

Wait, what?

The RX100 cameras have never been inexpensive, but since the very beginning they have been universally well regarded. Even if they are loaded with specs that appeal to hardcore enthusiasts, the product line has successfully crossed over from high-end enthusiast to mass-market consumer. This is is no small feat; there are many good cameras, but few at the higher end compel casual shooters.

Taking a step back, the camera industry has gone through a sea-change these past few years. It used to be that if you wanted quality you bought a DSLR, and if you wanted portability you bought a compact. Mirrorless and high end compacts have changed that and made for more choice in between. Whereas before casual shoppers spend somewhere between $500 to $700 USD for an entry-level DSLR, they are now more likely to spend the same amount on a mirrorless camera or a RX100M3. It's a rational choice; for almost the same quality as a DSLR from 3-4 years previous, you get a smaller and more compact system.

The RX100M4, however, will likely not follow in that tend. When it comes to high end products, Sony deliberately aims for the top of the market with their halo products. That was true for the previous iterations of this camera, but there are diminishing gains to contend with. the RX100M4 has cutting edge technology and performance. Conceivably, one day it too will be an older camera that is overshadowed by the next biggest thing, but even when that day comes, its  biggest competition will still be its predecessor.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Nikon ME-W1 Review

Nikon's ME-W1 is an affordable wireless microphone that has some interesting options. The device works by BlueTooth and has a transmitter with an omni-directional microphone; both transmitter and receiver have input ports for hooking up other microphones to the apparatus. It's a promising option for the hobbyist, but does it deliver?

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Fujifilm X-T1 vs Nikon D7200

Fujfilm X-T1

Time for a check-up. Fujifilm's X-Trans sensor was introduced back in 2012 and allowed for a 16mp APS-C sensor to punch above its weight in terms of image quality. If you took a X-Pro1 when it first came out, there was something about it that made it stand out from the the Nikon D7000... and a case could be made that it could stand its ground against the 1st generation of APS-C sensors from the likes of the Sony NEX-7 and Nikon D3200.

However, amongst enthusiasts, the benefits of the image output was contentious depending on who you talked to, but amongst the general population the X-Trans sensor is a crowd pleaser. Since then, there have been several iterations of higher resolution 24mp sensors from the competition, whereas X-Trans has remained at 16mp. If it were purely about the numbers, it would be one story, but when it comes to image quality it is never that simple.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

So You Want to buy a Leica: A Beginner's Guide to the M240

Leica M240, 35mm Summilux and Ona Berlin messenger bag

One does not simply walk into a Leica store.

Unless you are a person of means, buying a Leica M camera is usually not an easy decision. There are many reasons to own one; some of them aren't particularly good or beneficial to your wallet. If you can get past the shortcomings, then you can arrive at a place where you no longer need to justify having one; you simply enjoy it. Yes, that means a Leica M is an indulgence. The extravagance isn't that the camera is merely expensive, it's that it is expensive in an impractical way. Nobody needs a Rolex, but that doesn't stop many from appreciating them. A Ferrari is obviously under-used when it is crawling through city traffic, but that won't stop people from turning their heads when one goes by. The same applies to Leica cameras: everybody has their indulgence and if you are photographer, this might be yours.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Canon EOS 5Ds vs Nikon D810

Left: Canon EOS 5Ds   Right: Nikon D810

There's a phrase that is used every so often around here, and that would be "beyond the scope of this blog". As in "getting the best out of the Canon 5Ds and the Nikon D810 are beyond the scope of this blog". If you know why you need one or the other of these cameras you likely will have decided by now; otherwise, if you have to ask, you probably don't need either. Nonetheless, lets see how the very best stack up against one another.