Cameras and Photography Explained

This page points to all recent articles published on, and, and is updated as new articles appear (most recent on top). For articles from previous months, check the Articles Index Archive. 

bythom INT BOTS Khwai 2019 Z6 72424

I know you're busy, but don't forget to pick up the children from day care... 

The Sony A7 m3 has now officially received a temporary discount of US$200. This puts it closer in current price to the Nikon Z6, which is still US$100 cheaper (and when bought from B&H nets you an FTZ Adapter, camera bag, and XQD memory card). [Links are to this site's exclusive advertiser, B&H]

>>> This Week's Articles: 

Nov 11

Followup on Nikon's Financials. It's always fascinating to watch discussions of hot topics. Last week's hot topic was Nikon's surprise financial presentation projecting a loss for the imaging group for the year. Before I get back to what Nikon said, let's first clear up a couple of the discussion points that keep coming up. Article on


2019 Holiday Buying Guide. Every year I get a lot of requests to make suggestions on products to purchase for holiday gifts, either to oneself or to a loved one. In the past I've responded to those emails individually (and still do), but the volume level has gotten up to the point where I thought that I'd be organized about this and put some formal suggestions on the Web site. Today I post the camera suggestions. Later this month I'll get to the accessories and holiday gift suggestions. 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.


>>> Previous Articles: 

Nov 7

Nikon's Financial Issues Persist. Long ago I pointed out that there was a fan "over there" and that mildly iterating the same old thing and not paying attention to your key customers was the equivalent of fecal matter. You probably shouldn't throw the one at the other. For Nikon, as I expected, those two things have now clearly met. Article on

Nov 6

A lot of miscellany today to deal with. In the L-mount, we have the Leica SL2 announcement, Panasonic 16-35mm f/2.8 and 70-200mm f/2.8 lens announcements. Panasonic also updated firmware significantly for the GH5, GH5S, and G9. Canon quietly added the Ra to their mirrorless lineup, which should appeal to astrophotographers. Sigma announced their 24-70mm f/2.8 for the FE and L mounts. I'll eventually get around to writing about the L mount, as coupled with the Sigma fp now shipping, there's a lot of activity there. But I need some time using gear before forming a full opinion on the L-mount and all its options.

Nov 4

Adobe's Latest Updates. As usual, Adobe used the Adobe Max Conference to show off new features for existing programs as well as launch completely new products. For us photographers, the top-level news is this. Article on

The "In Stock" Holidays. If you want an indicator of just how healthy the camera business is, check store inventories of cameras and lenses. Article on

Nov 2

Nikon DSLR Discounts. NikonUSA had fall discounts that were supposedly available only for a few days during PhotoPlus Expo, but now they've extended those through November 27th. In the interest of helping you keep track of what I think are bargains, here are the current DSLR offers with my annotations. Article on

Oct 30

The Right Answer to the Wrong Question. One of the most frequent questions I get is "when will sensors get better?" This is the wrong question, but let me answer it first before answering the right question. Article on

The Yongnuo Trio (Lens Review). It's difficult not to notice them. At US$70 to US$90 MSRP: three small primes currently available from Yongnuo for the Canon EF and Nikon F mount, plus a pair of slightly more expensive telephoto primes (85mm and 100mm) for the Canon EF mount that come in still well below US$200. There's also a US$500 14mm wide angle in the Canon EF mount. Article on

Oct 29 

Nikon Z Discounts Extended. NikonUSA had fall discounts that were supposedly available only for a few days last week, but now they've decided to extend them through November 27th. In the interest of helping you keep track, here are the current Z offers. Article on

Oct 28 

Where Are We? (End of 2019). Amazingly, we still have a straggler or two in terms of mirrorless camera announcements before year's end (I'm looking at you SL2). Still, for the most part things are well established for the coming holiday season from most makers, so it's an appropriate time for some year-end commentary on where the mirrorless camera market actually stands. Article on

Oct 27

Canon's 1DX Mark III Development Announcement. Just in time for the opening of PhotoPlus Expo in NYC late last week, Canon decided to put out a development announcement regarding their future DSLR flagship, the 1DX Mark III. Article on

Oct 23

Fujifilm X-Pro3 Announcement. Updated. Fujifilm today officially announced the X-Pro3 after teasing it last month in Japan. For the most part it's what you'd expect: an update of the X-Pro2 to current technologies. That includes using the 26mp X-Trans sensor, incorporating the latest X-Processor 4, as well as updating the displays. Article on sansmirror.comCamera data page.

Oct 22

Fujifilm GFX 100 Camera Review. Originally teased at Photokina 2018, officially announced in May 2019, and finally shipped in late summer of 2019, the Fujifilm GFX 100 had a lot known about it before it actually hit users' hands. But the question has always been "does it perform?" With camera in hand we can finally get around to assessing that. Article on

Tamron introduced four new lenses for the Sony FE mount: three wide-angle primes that do 1:2 macro that are modest in price and available soon, and a development announcement for the final lens in their f/2.8 trio, the 70-180mm f/2.8, which should be available in spring 2020. I've added everything we know today to the lens database.

Oct 20

Should You Buy the Previous Model? We've got the holiday season coming up, and this question tends to always come up, as camera makers use this selling opportunity to push older model inventory as well as new. Article on

The Canon/Nikon "Solution". Canon and Nikon have both taken an interesting approach to creating mirrorless models while still putting out DSLRs. Simply put, mirrorless models don't exactly line up with DSLRs. Article on

Oct 17

Olympus E-M5 Mark III Announcement. Today Olympus announced the long-leaked and long-wished-for E-M5 update, the Mark III. Not a particularly exciting announcement, but it does bring quite a few significant updates to the model. I'm also going to comment about where I think Olympus stands at the moment in the camera industry. Article on sansmirror.comData page for the E-M5m3Data page for the E-PL10.

What's the Market Bottom? I actually wrote the following article several months ago. I've been dithering on whether to post it or not, as it has the potential for kicking off a wave of negativism about cameras, as well as the usual hate mail I tend to get when I'm being provocative. But I keep getting the same basic questions coming into my In Box, and this article answers those, so I've decided to go ahead and publish. Please note that this is my long-term prediction, not reality. Article on

Tokina updated their 11-16mm f/2.8 lens for the Canon EF and Nikon F mount, basically adding some lens coatings for flare control and putting the lens in a more modern package.

Oct 12

The Reader Questions About the Z50 article has been added to and updated.

The Full Frame Lens Situation. One thing that gets overlooked in many discussions about mirrorless lenses is where everyone is in their actual cycle. Sony introduced the A7 and A7R and FE lenses in 2013, Canon and Nikon introduced the RF and Z lens mount cameras and lenses in 2018. Sony thus had five years head start on Canon and Nikon, so they'd damn sure better have more lenses at this point ;~). The current count is 30 for Sony, 8 for Canon, 8 for Nikon. Article on

Oct 11

Reader Questions About the Z50. This article will be updated regularly as we learn new information about the Z50 prior to its actual release, much like I did with the Z6/Z7 and Canon R. Article on

My View on the Nikon Announcements. As often happens, Nikon was a bit all over the board with their latest announcement, putting a lot of grist in the mill to contemplate all at once. Realistically, this was mainly just a camera-plus-kit-lens announcement, but the bundle of all the other stuff into their press releases makes it seem like more. Let's deal with that other stuff first. Article on

Oct 10

Nikon Z50 Announcement. Nikon today announced the Z50, their first APS-C mirrorless camera, as well as two Z-mount DX lenses for it. Article on sansmirror.comZ50 data page16-50mm data page50-250mm data page.

The 58mm f/0.95 NOCT. Nikon today officially announced the 58mm f/0.95 NOCT lens for the Z mount cameras. This lens seems to trigger a lot of bimodal discussion, and that started with the original development announcement. It’s time to put a few things in context. Article on sansmirror.com58mm f/0.95 data page.

Oct 7

My View on the Sony A9 Mark II. It really seems like the Sony fan view of the world has just experienced a large disturbance in the Force. Article on

The Latest Ask Thom Q&A. From time to time I try to answer questions I'm getting multiples of in my In Box with a quick post here on While I continue to try to answer individual questions I get, sometimes broadcasting an answer is the better way to go. Article on

Oct 3

Sony A9 Mark II Announced. Sony today surprised everyone with a press release type announcement of the A9 Mark II model. Frankly, I'm surprised, particularly given what changed with the camera, which really needs demonstration to show off. Article on

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

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