Cameras and Photography Explained

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bythom US AK Denali 2004-08-12-0029

Nap time. Okay, an admission. Before I got to my summer siesta (see next paragraph), I had to finish up editing a bunch of reviews, which managed to slip a few days past my self-imposed deadline. Thus, below you'll now find a bunch of new Fujifilm reviews posted on August 6th. These will be my last posts in August, I promise...

As has been my custom for most years, I'm taking an Internet-free month-long vacation. I started a variation on this custom back in 1990. Call it Thom Unplugged. That means that I won't be posting additional articles in August, but will return to posting new material and answering emails on September 3rd. Don't worry, if something happens in August, I'll catch up with it in September. I highly recommend a yearly disconnect of at least two weeks from the Internet, as it pulls your brain back out of the weeds and looking at the real landscape when you return. Try it, you might be surprised.

In the meantime, I'd appreciate it if you'd continue to support this site by starting your purchase by clicking on any of the B&H links on my sites to start you B&H order session. 

I'd also encourage you to take some time browsing the menus of the and sites. You might be surprised at the depth and breadth of information I've accumulated. You could read two Technique articles on dslrbodies a day and still not exhaust it all while I'm disconnected ;~).

>>> This Week's Articles: 

August 6

Rounding Up the Fujifilm XF Cameras. t’s hard to believe it’s only been five years, but we’ve now had three X-T#'s, three X-T#0’s, an X-H1, and even an X-T#00 filling out this SLR-like line. That’s a lot of iteration and extension in the SLR-like space in a very short period of time. I’ve been a bit behind in reviewing models for a couple of camera companies, and decided that the Fujifilm APS-C mirrorless lineup was a very good place to start trying to correct that. Article on

Fujifilm X-H1 Camera Review. The X-H1 was an unexpected camera. Fujifilm had already seemed to build and increment T#, T##, E#, and Pro# lines in their mirrorless lineup, so getting a new "1" level camera was not at all expected. That this new model appeared just prior to the X-T3 (by seven months) also was a bit of a head scratcher. Article on

Fujifilm X-T3 Camera Review. The X-T3 is the third in the line that seems to be driving much (if not most) of Fujifilm's camera improvements. The single digit X-T's are arguably Fujifilm's top APS-C cameras (despite the appearance of the X-H1 and the seminal nature of the X-Pro1). If you don't call the single digit X-T's "top", then you should probably call them "most important." Article on 

Fujifilm X-T30 Camera Review. The X-T30 shares a lot of the specification of the X-T3, but in a smaller, lighter, somewhat less robust body. The underlying chassis is still metal, but there's less weather-sealing and fewer and smaller controls on the X-T30 than on its bigger brother, the X-T3. Coupled with the smaller size, the body ends up weighing less, too. Article on 

Fujifilm 16mm Lens Reviews. The 16mm f/1.4 R WR lens is Fujifilm's fast wide angle lens (24mm equivalent) with an emphasis on light collection and bokeh. The 16mm f/2.8 R RW lens has the same focal length, but is designed to be small and light, almost, but not quite, a pancake lens. Article on 

Fujifilm 16-55mm f/2.8 Lens Review. The 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR lens is what Fujifilm calls their "flagship standard zoom."  Article on 

May I ask that you start your photographic-related shopping by clicking on any of the B&H links on this site, such as the following one. B&H is this site's exclusive advertiser. Starting a purchase at B&H from a link on this site helps support this site.

Some of you probably aren't aware that I've long had a dedicated B&H Landing Page [advertiser link] where the items in each of four different "gear bags" I use lives. We've just updated that page and the underlying pages, as well.


>>> Recent Articles: 

July 31

Nikon introduced the 85mm f/1.8 S lens for the Z cameras (they also did a bug fix firmware update for the Z6 and Z7 to version 2.01). 

July 30

Sony Reports Quarterly Earnings. Sony has once again reorganized its many component parts into "logical" divisions. Actually, to some degree, the new divisions make more sense than any previous organization they've used. The net result, however, is to bury some key data deeper away from where most can see it. Article on

July 29

Mirrorless Notes. Some random notes about mirrorless at the moment. Article on

July 25

Do You Need "That" To Be Better? Today's announcement of the Sony RX100 Mark VII (I abbreviate this RX100m7) has me raising a question to camera makers that I've been seriously pondering for some time: do I need that to be better? Article on

July 23

What is Tack Sharp? You hear the term all the time, what does it mean? Unfortunately, different things to different people. Article on

Canon earnings report: "...the level of camera inventory was high due to a slowdown in sales. We will, however, work to lower this to an appropriate level by the end of the year..."  Canon mostly talked about how low-end consumer DSLRs were the source of their contraction issues.

July 22

More Sampling is Always Better. It seems that the Sony A7Rm4 has raised the same questions I get every time we get cameras with more pixels: have we out-resolved lenses? Are more pixels useful? Article on

July 18

The Full Frame Game is Fully Afoot. Sony’s announcement of the A7Rm4 seemed a little early—cameras won’t be available for almost two months—but that’s not totally unexpected. The full frame mirrorless game now has six players, and trying to get a quiet period where you can garner all the attention is going to get tougher and tougher. Article on

Fujifilm announced two more consumer-friendly lenses, the 16-80mm f/4 for the APS-C cameras, and the 50mm f/3.5 for the medium format cameras.

July 16

Sony Adds Pixels to the A7R. Sony this morning announced the A7R Mark IV (I abbreviate this as A7Rm4). In essence, this camera appears to take the Sony Semiconductor 26mp APS-C Exmor sensor and scale that up to full frame, producing approximately 60mp. Article on sansmirror.comA7Rm4 data page.

July 15

I'm busy helping my mom this week, so there won't be much in the way of posts (if any). Thus, I thought I'd try something a little different: a new teaching point!  

July 11

Sigma's Different Approach to Full Frame. Sigma today announced a number of interesting things—FE and L mount lenses, and the DC DN primes now in EOS M mount—but the product that probably caught the most curious attention was the development announcement of the Sigma fp camera. Article on sansmirror.comfp camera data page35mm f/1.2 data page45mm f/2.8 data page14-24mm f/2.8 data page. (Other Sigma lens data pages updated to reflect EOS M mount lenses.)

July 10

Canon Matches Camera and Lens Better. I've been a harsh critic of Canon's mismatched RF products: low-end bodies and high-end lenses. Today, that problem began its inevitable demise. Article on sansmirror.com24-240mm lens data page.

July 8

Let's Dip into the Hype and Myths. A number of things that are being said that need deeper examination rather than absolute acceptance. Article on

Pro Gear Revisited. Earlier, I wrote about what I felt constituted full frame mirrorless pro gear. Today I'll take up the crop sensor portion of the mirrorless market. Article on

July 1

The 20 Year Anniversary. June 15th marked the twenty-year anniversary of Nikon's announcement of the D1, the camera that most feel kicked off the DSLR era. The camera actually didn't ship to customers until early 2000, but a number of us got a chance to use it briefly in 1999. Article on

The Coming Cameras. I like to do a "thought piece" every now and then premised on what I did through most of my career in Silicon Valley: look five to ten years out and try to understand what developing or new technologies could be used to solve current user problems. Article on

Are You Following Your Heart or Head? It's a simple thing, really: if you're confused about what to do and are contemplating changing gear, do you know whether you're following your heart or your head in your thinking? Article on

June 25

Fujifilm 80mm f/2.8 Macro Lens Review. The XF80mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR is a modest telephoto macro lens with a lot of acronyms in its name. XF is the Fujifilm APS-C mount. R indicates the lens has an aperture ring. LM means the lens has a linear motor. OIS is Optical Image Stabilization. Finally, WR means that it has a weather resistant design. Article on

June 24

What Constitutes Pro? A legitimate question is starting to appear now that full frame mirrorless is starting to flesh out: what is it that constitutes "pro gear"? Article on

About Lens Reviews. It seems that my review of the 14-30mm f/4 S Nikkor for the Z mount set off a wave of questions and comments. In particular, many pointed to my seemingly contradictory statement that landscape shooters might very well like it but I wasn't unequivocally recommending it. Article on

Added Hasselblad X1DII and 35-75mm f/3.5-4.5 lens to the databases.

I've completed the 2nd Edition of the Complete Guide to the Nikon Z6 and Z7. New purchasers can already get it. It'll take me a few days this week to sort out the updating process for previous purchasers, as it's gotten a bit complicated using my current server. Be sure to check you Spam/Junk folder at the end of the week if you don't see an email message from me.

June 17

Is Disinformation a Problem? Have you ever thought about whether or not misinformation might be harming the photography market? Article on

How Do You Make the Mirrorless/DSLR Choice? It seems that despite my repeated efforts to try to put things into perspective, a number of people are still asking the same questions, typically along the lines of "should I buy a D750 or Z6"? Article on

June 10

Is Landscape Photography Done? A long-term recently wrote to me about how they had stalled when it came to shooting landscapes. Some of it was due to restrictions on where he could be (e.g. no off-trail shooting in some areas he visited now), but much of his reaction was due to a sense of "having seen it all." We all hit plateaus like that if we do something long enough. But is it a summit or a plateau? Too many think that it's a summit and get depressed that there isn't any further to go. This leads to thoughts like the one in the headline: landscape photography is done. Article on

Frustration Versus Reality. I've been encountering a lot of very frustrated—and in some cases, angry—folk lately. Moreover, the press sometimes seems to pile on without actually doing much in the way of fact checking or logical analysis. Article on

Cameras Shouldn't Dictate Self-Esteem. One thing that becomes obvious very quickly when reading various comments across the Internet (or in my In Box), is that there's a very large proportion of active participants that have linked their self-esteem to their camera brand (or model, or type). Article on dslrbodies.comJune 7

The final comments in Your Z Questions Answered article were made. Hope you enjoyed Z Week.

All the previous articles for my sites can be found in the Articles Index.

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