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 sports ice hockey merrimac v notre dame 1-13-2016 D500 09764

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January 19

Fujifilm Officially Launches GFX, Adds X-T20. Fujifilm unleashed a wide range of products today. One was the official launch of the GFX, which includes pricing and availability information (the product was introduced back at Photokina, though with incomplete specifications). Another was the follow-up to the X-T10, the X-T20. Article on

Leica Launches M10 Camera. At first glance, the M10 is obviously a Leica rangefinder. Leica hasn't abandoned the large soap bar shape or viewfinder at edge-of-camera style that has distinguished the line for almost its entire decades-long history. Most of the changes are subtle, but important. Article on

Attempting SnapBridge Professionally. Back when the D500 and SnapBridge were first introduced, I wanted to test the notion that Nikon had finally delivered something useful to the professional photographer who wanted to be timely. Part of this desire derives from the presentation I made to Nikon executives back in 2010 and the suggestions that I made to them then, several of which centered on photojournalism and sports shooter workflow. I wanted to find out if Nikon delivered what I asked for (not just for myself, but on the behalf of many others). Early last year I scheduled a sports shoot for shortly after my D500 was to arrive only to find that SnapBridge wasn't all there yet.  Article on

January 17

Nikon's Slow Failure in Japan. BCN has released their year-end retail sales rankings for the Japanese market for 2016. While the mirrorless numbers get written about a lot, the DSLR numbers are even more illuminating. Article on

Japanese Mirrorless Market Shares. BCN has released their year-end retail sales rankings for the Japanese market for 2016, and as usual it's provoking a lot of whipped up Internet forum frenzy across the sites that cover mirrorless. Artricle on

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January 10

When 100 is Actually 99.5. Almost exactly 99.5 years later Nikon has chosen to begin celebrating their 100th anniversary. Nikon now has their 100th Anniversary Web site active, though it really has very little on it other than two movies, a simplified product timeline, and a few additional pointers at the moment. Article on

January 9  

Photography has become Bipolar. I’m amused by the bipolar nature that’s becoming more and more clear on the Internet regarding cameras. It seems there are two schools of though. Article on

What's With the US$2000 Cameras?  US$2000 seems to be the go to enthusiast price point for the Japanese camera makers. D500, GH5, E-M1 Mark II, the list goes on, and in the last year it seems like every high-end enthusiast camera gets that pricing. Even cameras like the A6500 and X-T2 are sneaking up towards that point and bound to get there. Article on

What I Want to Still Do Photographically. It’s that time of year when you should be thinking about what you managed in the past year, and what you want to accomplish in the current one. For me, I’m trying something a little different for 2017. I’ve tried to come up with a different photographic situation for every month of the year. Article on

January 6

An Old Favorite Returns. The company formed as part of the spinout of Kodak's pension plan, Alaris, has announced that they intend to bring back Ektachrome, a film that was discontinued back in 2012. Article on

Nikon Professional Services Renewals.  NikonUSA has issued emails to NPS members asking them to renew their membership. Article on

January 4

Panasonic Officially Launches GH5. Panasonic today at CES took the wraps off the GH5, which was previously disclosed as being in development at Photokina 2016. Article on (News/Views) GH5 Data PageGX850 Data Page12-60mm f/2.8-4 Data Page.

Nikon's Mirrorless Options.  it's only a matter of time before Nikon opens up a new defense in the mirrorless realm. The simple matter of truth is this: Nikon is a camera company (over 60% of their revenues and even more of their profits). Not competing in the healthiest of the camera markets is suicide. So what are Nikon's options? I identify five basic approaches Nikon could take. Article on (News/Views) 

6.5mm Meike full frame fisheye lens for mirrorless cameras

January 3

Nikon's New Year Resolutions. Management at Nikon is hopefully waking up from a dismal 2016 and realizing that they have to change something. Here are my suggestions of things that should be on their 2017 Resolutions List. Article on (News/Views)

What I Want From Mirrorless in 2017. This is a good point to assess what it is we really want from each mirrorless system in a more general way rather than call out specific products and features. We're almost 10 years into the mirrorless era after all, so it's a good time to get out of the weeds, move to higher ground, and survey what we really wish for in the future. So here's my wish list for each mirrorless camera brand in 2017. Article on (News/Views)

January 2

An Assigment for the New Year. I can’t take credit for the idea, as the original assignment suggestion came from Adobe wizard  and evangelist Russell Brown last year. But as usual, Dr. Brown had a very valid reason behind his idea. Article on (News/Views)

Don't Get Hung Up on Lens Zoom Factors. I see a lot of posts and comments about focal length, in particular zoom ratios of lenses (also called the zoom factor). With a number of recent wide angle lenses, sometimes these comments get really out of whack with reality. Article on (in Lenses/Lens Articles/Focal Length)

A Few More Words on Mirrorless. My recent article provoked a few emails I need to respond to, and in addition to doing so privately I thought it worthwhile to add a couple of thoughts to my previous article. Article on (News/Views)

December 30

2016 MacBook Pro First Impressions. It is time for me to update my greatly aging, first generation, 15” MacBook Pro Retina, a notebook computer that has traveled the world a few times, chocked on a sandstorm, and bounced harshly on things that were called roads but weren’t. Article on

December 26

2016: Glass 3/4s Full or 3/4s Empty? It’s amusing to watch all the posts and rhetoric on the Internet that has some camera companies managing to land people on Mars while other camera makers seem to need a Mars bar so as to get their energy back (or some other labored metaphor; sorry, it’s the end of the year and I’ve used up my annual supply of good metaphors ;~). Article on

2017: Glass Filling or Emptying? If you haven’t read the companion article (above) about 2016 first, please do so before continuing. The arguments and metaphors that I use in this article about what I think 2017 is going to be like flow from that. Once again I’ll start with Nikon. Article on

There is No Best. 2016 will be the first year that I don’t award “best of year” awards. Why? Well, in doing my year-end research I became convinced that virtually every product introduced in 2016 was getting a “best of year” award from someone. Article on

Why Are Mirrorless Cameras Necessary? Here's a question I get in various ways: why do we need mirrorless cameras? Sometimes it's not a question, but an assertion. That assertion is often hugely broad, as in "mirrorless is the future of interchangeable lens cameras.” Pretty much every variation of the question or assertion I receive has at its root an assumption that mirrorless cameras are different than DSLRs in some meaningful way. Article on

The “System Guides” on for the various mirrorless mounts have been completely revised and added to: CanonFujifilmNikonm4/3SonyThom’s Sony E/FE Bag has been added. Virtually all of the Articles section of has been looked at and edited.

At the request of a fair number of you, I’m going to Tweet the URL for every new article that appears on the byThom sites. Thus, if you follow me on Twitter, you’ll now see in your feed every time I produce a new article. This is in response to those of you who don’t want to continue to use RSS, but want site update information outside a Web browser in a timely fashion. Nothing will change with this site, though: you’ll still see the new articles appear a list of teasers (see This Week’s Articles, above, and Recent Articles, below).

A little bit about you: each year at this time I do a deeper analysis of how you’re getting to this site, what you look at, and what you’re using while viewing it. You’re predominately desktop users, with the largest share using the Chrome browser, but there’s fairly large Safari and Firefox participation, too. Internet Explorer users are now down to 10% of my readership. About 20% of you are using the responsive layout of this site by viewing on various mobile devices, and the vast majority of you mobile folk are iOS users (sorry Google). 

December 14

Catching Up on News. A few odds and ends came up this week that warrant some comment, so I’ve decided to put together an article with my comments on each of these things. Article on

December 12

Nikon Says You Want 360°. Nikon last week had their own press release announcing survey results (see Canon’s): "90% of Americans believe content they currently watch would be better viewed in fully immersive, 360-degrees, and 92% of Americans are ready to capture and share their own personal experiences using 360 cameras.” Article on

After the Shoot. A common question I get as I go on exotic tours round the world is “how do I keep my camera gear maintained?” I was just down in the sand shooting animals at ground level, so now have some sand on them. Article on

Traveling with Cameras. Don’t panic and always carry a big brush. Article on

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

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