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 ecuador gal 11-17 d7500 45375

My 2020 Africa workshops are full and accepting only wait list entries, but the Galapagos trip that starts with the 2020 Thanksgiving week still has openings (that's the boat we use in the background). 

Sony has dropped prices on their full frame cameras. The A9 gets the US$500 discount again, the A7m2 drops to US$1000, and surprise, the A7R Mark III drops by US$200. You can also get an up to US$500 more discount by trading in your old camera. Link to sale [advertiser link] 

Got a recent Mac and want a very fast 2TB external drive? B&H has the LaCie 2TB SSD Thunderbolt 3 drive [advertiser link] on sale for US$599 while supplies last.

>>> This Week's Articles: 

February 19

Time to Step on the GAS? GAS stands for Gear Acquisition Syndrome. Over the years, photographers have been on and off again with their gear buying patterns. Sometimes the foot is on the GAS pedal, sometimes it's on the credit card brakes. Article on

Did the Camera Makers Follow the Trends? At this point you can find the basic claim I first made back in 2007/8 all over the place in the media: smartphones are cannibalizing the camera market. Or have cannibalized the dedicated camera market. Or continue to cannibalize the camera market. Basically, smartphones are cannibals, apparently. 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:

February 14

Canon's New Entry Full Frame Mirrorless. Canon today introduced the RP, a 26.2mp entry model for their R full frame mirrorless camera lineup. Article on sansmirror.comCamera data page.

The Strange Canon Mismatch. The Canon RP is clearly an entry camera positioned to be affordable. It's a lowest-common denominator product set up to be sold to folk who can't stretch very far on price above the crop sensor products. The RP is truly a consumer product. Meanwhile, look at the RF lenses we know about so far. Article on

Fujifilm's New Offerings. Fujifilm today announced the well-leaked X-T30 camera, an update to the junior model in their lineup. The X-T30 is to the X-T3 as the X-T20 was to the X-T2. In other words, most of the features and electronics of the senior model, but in a a body that is less robust and a less expensive to build. Article on sansmirror.comCamera data page16mm lens data page.

Nikon introduced the 24-70mm f/2.8 S lens.

February 13

Olympus introduced the 12-200mm f/3.5-6.3 lens for m4/3. 

I updated my Complete Guide to the Z6 and Z7 to version 1.01. Owners of the previous version should have received an email from the automated server with the new link (check your spam/junk folder). 

February 11

The Sweet Spot Scenario. There's still a lot of discussion about sensor size going on, and with it, body size. That's because of the E-M1X and S1/S1R announcements. In both cases, we have Olympus and Panasonic going up-size and up-weight in bodies, and that's being met with varying degrees of push back. Here's how I look at it. Article on

Pro Services Update. With the addition of Panasonic to the full frame mirrorless crowd, they've also announced the expansion of their Lumix PRO Services program to a few areas outside of Japan (e.g. US, UK, Spain, France, and Germany, with Ireland and Austria to follow). Article on

The Flood and the Trickle. I've commented about this before on my DSLRbodies site, but we're now seeing the same Nikon behavior in mirrorless that we've seen from them before. Nikon's generally good at prioritizing building bodies, and to a lesser degree, basic lenses. In the case of the Z6 and Z7, we have plentiful bodies available to purchase, and have had extra stock available since pretty much day one. Likewise, the first three Z S-line lenses all seem in good supply. Look beyond that, though, and Nikon is pretty much a total failure at delivering. Article on

February 7

The DSLR Decline. Canon and Nikon have both now reported their sales for the holiday quarter (Q4, 2019). As I've been noting a lot lately, we're in a transition period, and that transition is definitely showing up on the bottom line of both companies. Article on

February 4

New Nikkor Lens Rebates. Nikon's latest lens rebates are now active. As I always do, I try to give you a perspective on whether you should be thinking about any of these lenses at these prices. Article on

Review of the Nikon 19mm f/4 PC-E Lens. The 19mm f/4 PC-E is the most recent tilt-shift lens in Nikon's lineup, and the widest angle one. Unlike previous PC-E lenses, the 19mm can be tilted and shifted independently of axis, removing one of the major complaints of Nikon's previous tilt/shift lenses. Article on

The Inevitable Full Frame War. With five of the six known players having released their full frame mirrorless cameras into the wild—okay, Panasonic is still in the process of processing their goodies to let them into the wild—it's probably a good time to summarize where we are and what's happening. Article on

February 1

Panasonic Officially Launches Full Frame. Panasonic today officially released the full details of the full frame S system they previewed at Photokina last year, including availability and pricing. At launch, there are two cameras and three lenses (plus other L-mount lenses from the alliance are available). Article on sansmirror.comS1 data pageS1R data pageNew S lenses data pages.

January 28

The Canon Doomsday Proclamation. I swore to myself I wasn't going to write any more about the business of photography until the CP+ show, which is about the point in the year where we have enough data to fully understand the past year. Article on

January 24

Olympus Introduces Pro E-M1x Camera. Olympus today broadened their camera lineup with the introduction of the E-M1X, a pro-grade camera with a lot of technology features built into a weatherproof body rated at IPX1, and which has an integrated vertical grip. Article on Camera data page

January 22

Why Autofocus is Contentious. Let me start off with a straw man: static scene autofocus with mirrorless cameras is more accurate and more consistent than with DSLRs. Article on

Simplify Your Way to Better Photography. Most of you reading this are using high-end cameras, typically at the D7500 level and up (in Canon speak, 80D and up; in Sony speak, A6000 and up). What you don't know is that your camera is probably more than half your problem in terms of getting better. Article on

The 35, 50, 70 Game. There's something to be said for history. Historically, photography had a long stretch where the go-to lenses were 35mm, 50mm, and 70mm (eventually that latter focal length pretty much became anything modestly telephoto out to 85mm or 90mm). One thing about these focal lengths is that they produced smallish and simple optical designs that are quite decent. Article on Article on

January 15

Sony Introduces the A6400. After over a two-year break, Sony has finally got back to putting out a new APS-C sensor mirrorless camera, this time the A6400. Article on sansmiror.comA6400 Data Page.

January 14

Review of the Nikkor 500mm f/5.6 PF Lens. The 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR is the second lens from Nikon using Phase Fresnel optical design (thus the PF in its name). The first was the 300mm f/4E, which turned out to be a real winner of a lens and is one of my favorites for travel. Now we have a longer version. How good is it? Article on

Sub-note: I've updated the links on the Lens Reviews page on this site, which was a bit outdated.

Do You Buy DSLR Lenses Still? The latest trend in my In box hasn't been about cameras. It's concern about lenses (again). This time the concern is about full frame lenses (but see comment at end for crop sensor). Article on

January 9

The Need for DSLR Clarity. Both Canon and Nikon have made a number of comments lately about their continued "commitment" to DSLRs. Let's first point out why they're doing that. Article on

January 8

Nikon News from CES. Nikon today announced the 14-30mm f/4 S lens, to be available in Spring for US$1300. The big news here is that this is a rather small, light lens that allows 82mm filters up front. Nikon claims it is the first full frame 14mm lens to allow filters. In addition, Nikon announced a new Filmmaker's Kit, this time with the Z6. Article on sansmirror.com14-30mm lens data page

Panasonic News from CES. I'm going to do this short-hand, as there's a lot coming down the pike today, and Panasonic didn't really say much new. Article on 

January 7

Know Thy Camera. Over the holidays I spent a fair amount of time responding to detailed requests that came in over email during the past month or two. I can't always spend a lot of time answering emails, so often my answers are brief. But what I discovered in making more detailed responses during this holiday period was simple: I was answering the same question, even though it was being expressed differently. Article on

What Nikon's Lens Choices Say About Mirrorless DX (APS-C). I noted this to myself when Nikon first posted their Road Map for Z lenses: it won't take a lot to fill in some DX (APS-C) lens gaps. Article on

A Style Note. Nikon's marketing style book says that the Z series cameras are named Z 6 and Z 7 (space in between the letter and number). They're not always consistent about that themselves, and for good reason: Z6 and Z 6 present different search results! Article on

The Sound of Silence. I’ve read in several places now about calls that mirror-slapping DSLRs should be banned from events. We already have the “never before ball is struck ban” in golf, but I keep hearing people saying that only silent cameras should be used to shoot press conferences and other public events. Be careful what you wish for. Article on

As with all Januaries, the News/Views articles on my two major sites all archive down into folders for the passing year while a new folder is started for the current year. Hard to believe, but now has 10 years with thousands of news articles and dslrbodies has 16 and many thousands more (I didn't start the yearly process until 2003 or it would be an even higher number). 

January 1

Where Mirrorless is Headed in 2019. We've come to the end of another year—an important year for mirrorless—and as we kick off the new year it's a good time for some reflection on the market. Article on

The 2019 Mirrorless To Do List. In my other article today I outline many of my thoughts about what the camera companies are likely to do in 2019. You'd think with all the press and hype and new mirrorless products of 2018 that all the camera companies would be basking in their successes. Thing is, every last camera company has serious challenges in the coming year. Article on

Everything Canikon DSLR in 2018. One question I keep getting is “are DSLRs dead?” Well, one thing you can do is an audit. So let’s look at everything that was introduced DSLR-wise for Canon and Nikon in 2018. Article on

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

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