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 Africa Bots ChobeSavuti 7-2017 D500 28579

Not taken with a 1000mm lens (see Oct 7 article ;~)

Nikon has lowered the effective price of the D5 by US$1000. The D3500 two lens kit is now US$450, while the D3500 single lens kit is US$400. [all links advertiser links; note that the advertiser in question, B&H, is closed for religious holiday until Wednesday morning. Also, they have several other upcoming holiday closures that mean that you have to schedule your B&H buying carefully during October, or else wait for them to return from holiday.]

This will probably be a slow week for posts, as I'm spending much of my week trying to finish work on some more camera and lens reviews, going through the Web sites and making corrections, updates, and clarifications, as well as doing some other business catch-up. 

>>> This Week's Articles: 

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 Z50 data page. 16-50mm data page. 50-250mm 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 58mm 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

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: 

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

Sept 30

Are Customers Asking for Too Much? I've long held to a simple design philosophy: customers are terrible product designers. If you ask a customer what to change on or add to a product, you'll get answers. Those answers may not make for a better product. Article on

Sept 25

Canon introduced the EOS M200 mirrorless entry camera. I've also updated a number of support documents in the Camera section of, including the tables of model introductions.

Sept 23

Coming Next. Curiously, it appears that we're going to have a number of new camera introductions between now and the end of October. One or two might spill into November. Article on

Are Camera Shows Dead? Here we are with one of the larger camera shows in the US just ahead—PhotoPlus Expo in New York City in October—yet Photokina 2020 this past week sent a press release that indicated that they've lost appearances by three key camera companies (Leica, Nikon, and Olympus). Article on

Sept 18

Is it Time to Replace Your Camera? I've had advice on when to upgrade your Nikon DSLR (and to what model) for some time now. I'm going to have to start revisiting that again soon with more advice on whether an upgrade should be a DSLR or a mirrorless camera. But I came across an article in another field the other day that had me having an Aha! moment of simplification. Article on

Also: I've completely updated my Missing Items in Each Mirrorless System article on the site. This article deals with key elements that I feel are missing in each mirrorless mount. Besides updating the material that was already there, I've added mounts that weren't in the previous version of the article (e.g. Canon R, Fujifilm GF, Nikon Z). 

Sept 16

Will the Drawbacks Go Away? I've been clear for some time that mirrorless is the way virtually all interchangeable lens cameras will go. Again, the reason is that mirrorless designs reduce parts and manufacturing complexity, and thus cost for the manufacturers. Indeed, the clear future transition to mirrorless was one reason why I split my Web presence to create this dedicated mirrorless site back in 2009. Lately there's been a lot of discussion about whether the DSLR is dead and mirrorless is the future. Well, here's the short version: No, DSLRs are not dead, and yes, mirrorless is the future. Article on

Sept 12

Fujifilm introduced a new version of the X-A camera I've liked as an entry APS-C mirrorless, the X-A7. Several of the deficiencies of that camera have been addressed. 

Sept 10

A Nikon Mirrorless Safari. During my month off in August I journeyed to Africa with a couple of friends on a low-key, no expectations trip. I chose to do an experiment this year, as I often do when I travel for pleasure instead of a work-specific purpose: I decided to shoot entirely using Nikon mirrorless. In particular, a Nikon Z6 and Z7. No D850, no D5, just two Z's and two lenses. Article on

Do We Need a 120-300mm f/2.8? No sooner had Nikon pre-announced the new 120-300mm f/2.8 lens I started getting the questions about whether we need this lens or not. Of course, part of that is driven by the fact that we already have such a lens, from Sigma. But several of the questioners were seriously questioning the "tweener" focal range. Article on

Sept 9

Do We Need a D6? Now that Nikon has officially acknowledged that the D6 is coming, and likely well in time for the 2020 Olympics, the question is simple: do we need it? Article on

The More is Better Problem. I've long been on record as writing (and saying) that more sampling is always better. Put in a camera context, more pixels are better, all else equal. Recently I've gotten some pushback on that from engineers who are at the forefront of semiconductors. I need to adjust my statement ever so slightly, I believe: we're currently still in the more sampling is always better phase. Article on

Sony's 3.7 micron Sensors. Jim Kasson, someone I correspond with from time to time behind the scenes, was the first one I know of to post this, but it's something I had noted earlier and wondered whether or not it was worth speculating on: Sony Semiconductor now has four different sensor sizes with much the same pixel structure and technology. Article on

Sept 4

Nikon Pre-announces the D6. Someone's getting a little antsy in Tokyo. Announcing the development of the D6 by press release seems like another of those Nikon "we need to announce something" announcements. Article on

Nikon announced the 24mm f/1.8 S lens for the Z cameras.

Sept 1

APS-C Gets Some Love (but not marketing). Just before my month-long break I caught up with the mirrorless market by putting out three reviews of various Fujifilm APS-C cameras (X-T30, X-T3, X-H1). When I posted those and ran off into the bit-less wilds for a much needed break, I knew it wouldn't be long before the APS-C wars began heating up. Article on

2019 Starts Badly. The CIPA numbers for the first half of the year are available, and they're not very positive. DSLRs are selling at only two-thirds the rate of 2018, and even mirrorless unit volume is down 14%. Lens sales are down, compact sales are down, everything's down. Article on

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

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