Cameras and Photography Explained

Photographer and Writer Thom Hogan's Web site, with pointers to articles that appear on his other sites (e.g. and On the Web supporting photography for over 25 years. 

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INT ARG 3-2015-EM1-2661

Wait, what? I shoot landscapes, too? I'd almost forgotten that. Shot taken with a camera getting an upgrade next month...

Wednesday — January 29, 2020

Canon's 2019 financials were released today. A couple of relevant numbers should be noted. First, ILC declined to 8.8m units in 2019, and Canon expects that to further decline to 7.5m units in 2020. Compact cameras were 8.5m units in 2019 and Canon expects this to decline to 6m units in 2020. Overall, that's 3.8m fewer cameras being sold. To put that into context, for everyone to maintain sales numbers in place, they have to sell cameras that are 22% more expensive than what they've been selling. To quote Canon: "we have plans to launch a model that incorporates a newly developed image sensor and image-processing engine that offer even more advanced features." You'll see a lot more of that, I think. The upward push in model lineups will continue, and models will disappear at the bottom. 

What did I write in my proposal for a Nikon lineup? "Make the very best possible camera you can." Don't pull punches, features, or performance. That's the way I'm evaluating all new products now: do they really compel you to update? Will they really attract new users to the base?

By the way, if you're thinking you saw a lot of Canon discounting during the holidays, you did. Their camera inventories have come down dramatically, but that was at a cost of -17.4% in the group's sales compared to last year, and a whopping 51.3% decline in operating profit (because photo printers are also in the group, we can't say that's all because of cameras, though).

Tuesday — January 28, 2020

I've started a D780 Blog page for things I discover as I begin to write about and review the new Nikon DSLR.

Monday — January 27, 2020

The Nikon D780 manual is online at the central Nikon download site and available for download.

If you're picking up a Z50 from B&H, you should now check out the Build Bundle button before you add to cart. This allows you to get the FTZ Adapter for an additional ~US$50 (a US$200 savings).

It's gotten to the point where I can't always tell where one sale ends and another begins. I just got an email from NikonUSA that currently lists 28 F-mount lenses on sale. No indication of how long those prices are good for. No indication of whether this is new, changed, or an extension of a previous sale. The risk is that Nikon will simply end up with these being the "new" MSRP if they're not careful. I don't think that's what they want. However, the end of Nikon's fiscal year is coming up (March 31), so we're in "cram in some last minute sales" mode with them. This has nothing to do with making customers happy, and everything to do with making Tokyo investment banks happy.

Last Week's Articles

Thursday — January 23, 2020

It appears that in the US, D780 shipments are starting to arrive at dealers. Dealers that ordered any should have them available for purchase this weekend. Not that a lot of you are planning to do that.

Wednesday — January 22, 2020

Okay, I've decided on a "style" for this page. Each week or two it'll get a new photo at the top, as before. The "quick news" and "short views" thing I've been doing besides pointing to new articles seems to be well received, so I'll continue doing that (this paragraph is one of those "quick/short" things). This means that software updates will show on this front page when they happen, and not be done buried in the site as before. Each week of these dated entries is separated by a B&H banner ad so that you can quickly tell this week's articles from last.

Last time I mentioned the following, it didn't last long before B&H had to pull the promotion. But those enrolled in B&H's EDU account (students, educators), can once again get a 15-20% discount on a bunch of Sony's best gear (A9, A7R m3 or m4, A6600, many of the Sony GM lenses). 

Tuesday — January 21, 2020

DxO PhotoLab 3.1 added support for a number of recent cameras, including all the new Canon models, the Fujifilm GFX 100, the Nikon Z50, the Olympus E-M5 m3, the Sony A9 m2, and the Sony A6100/6600 models. Keyword support has been improved with new management tools.

Pixelmator Pro (macOS only) 1.5.4 adds ML Super Resolution, which is a machine-learning based ability to increase resolution of images, and improves ML Denoise, which does the same thing for noise reduction.

Here's a quickie for you: I've discovered that with a bit of care, the Tenba BYOB Insert 9 [advertiser link] will exactly fit a Nikon Z50 with 16-50mm (middle), 10-24mm AF-P on FTZ (outer left), and 50-250mm (outer right). And I mean exactly, as in tight fit. If you're just carrying the two kit lenses, it actually fits the SB-500 flash in the third slot with a bit more relaxed fit. I'd been looking for some way to "store" my Z50 gear on safari on the floor next to me in the Land Cruiser, and this looks like the one. Remember, the Z50 doesn't have sensor cleaning, so keeping it snug in a dust free case is going to be more critical for this kind of trip.

B&H also has the Sigma 20mm f/1.4 Art lens for Sony FE mount for US$699 [advertiser link], today only in the DealZone.

I've updated my Z50 review with a couple of small additions and corrections. Note that everything on my sites is "live." When I discover errors or omissions, I go back and make a change. The date at the bottom of the page will tell you when an article was last updated.

Monday — January 20, 2020

Previous Week's Articles

Friday — January 17, 2020

The Tokina 85mm f/1.8 telephoto lens was introduced for the Sony FE mount. 

Leica announced the 40.1mp M10 Monochrom camera.

The Sony A9 Mark II got a firmware update to 1.01.

The compact Hasselblad 45mm f/4P lens was introduced for the XCD system. This brings the number of lenses for XCD cameras up to 10. 

Nikon updated most of their software this week. Two things drove that: updating to support the D780, and updating to support macOS Catalina (10.15, but ending Sierra support, which was version 10.12). If you're not on High Sierra, Mojave, or Catalina, Nikon software is no longer supported on the Mac side. As always, my page for current Nikon software versions will be updated (probably this weekend). 

Thursday — January 16, 2020

B&H has the very good Sigma 14mm f/1.8 lens on sale [advertiser link] for the FE, EF, and F-mounts today only, with a US$400 discount.

The Z50 book and review are just about done. I've been a little quiet this week while trying to deal with all the remaining little bits and pieces I need to do before posting.

Tuesday — January 14, 2020

Imaging USA, the trade show of the 30,000 member Professional Photographers of America (PPA) association is later this week in Nashville. Canon, Fujifilm, and Sony have big booths. Nikon, Olympus, and Panasonic are all apparently absent. Here's my question: if high-end cameras and lenses are what you want to sell, wouldn't showing up at a show filled with users of said cameras and lenses be a better use of your money than joining the mob scene in Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show (CES)? 

Worse still, sales of photography products have always been dominated by "influencers." Originally that was pros endorsing the cameras they used in ads and in word of mouth; more recently it's become much more expanded to additional options as the Internet got wings. If I were in charge of camera marketing, my mantra would be "find all the influencers, hit them every chance I get, and make sure they are talking about my products." Sorry, Nikolypan, but doing that some of the time to some of the influencers is not going to cut it. There's not enough pie left to let others have first dibs.

I don't care if you have to have a smaller booth/show presence that ends up mobbed. In some ways, that's better than a big booth that isn't. 

Next up: WPPI (Wedding & Portrait Photography International) in Vegas in late February. Missing from the current exhibitor list: Fujifilm (really?), Olympus, Panasonic, and Sony. 

Monday — January 13, 2020

The Youngnuo 14mm f/2.8 and 40mm f/2.8 lenses for Canon EF and Nikon F mounts are on sale today only at B&H [advertiser link]. I reviewed the 40mm f/2.8 recently, and now it's only US$72.

My favorite slide show creation program, Fotomagico, is now available for the iPad at the iPad App Store. Unfortunately, it's available only as a subscription product for US$39.99 a year, which I'm sure will put some of you off.

Links to all the previous articles for my sites can be found in the Articles Index.

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