This page points to all recent articles published on dslrbodies.com, sansmirror.com, gearophile.com, and filmbodies.com, and is updated as new articles appear (most recent on top). For articles from previous months, check the Articles Index Archive.
Today’s Articles (Wednesday, September 17, 2014):
Phase One Offers Free Sony Converter. Article on sansmirror.com.
Nikon Updates Software for D750. Also Apple adds D810 compatibility for OS-X. Article on dslrbodies.com.
September 16, 2014 ______
Capture One Pro 8 Announced. Phase One used Photokina to announce and release version 8 of their Capture One raw converter. Article on dslrbodies.com.
Nikon Naming, Again. I spend a lot of my time doing the same thing that Nikon marketing does: answering questions about cameras and how they’re different. Nikon’s naming schemes don’t make that particularly easy. Article on dslrbodies.com.
September 15, 2014 ______
Samsung NX1 and 50-150mm f/2.8 Lens. The just announced NX1 is an APS sensor (1.5x) crop NX mount mirrorless camera designed like a high-end enthusiast DSLR. Article on sansmirror.com. NX1 camera data page. 50-150mm f/2.8 lens data page.
The New High-End Compact Standard. t seems that Sony started something with the RX100: use a 1” sensor with a fast mid-range collapsing zoom and put it into a body that is shirt-pocketable. Now we have the Canon G7 X and Panasonic LX100. Article on gearophile.com.
Airbus versus Boeing. A decade or so ago the two big airline-producing companies came to the Farnsworth Air Show with two competing visions of the future. Just like Canon and Nikon at Photokina 2014. Article on dslrbodies.com.
Nikon and Canon Reverse Positions. Back in 2007, Nikon did something really remarkable: they made DX and FX versions of essentially the same camera (D300 and D3, respectively). Article on dslrbodies.com.
Sony’s FE-Mount Offerings Expand. Sony announced two new FE-mount lenses at Photokina, the 28-135mm f/4 for video cameras and the Sony/Zeiss 16-35mm f/4. Article on sansmirror.com. 16-35mm f/4 lens page.
September 13/14, 2014 ______
D750: Some More Details.
While I don’t have a camera to play with, only images shot by others who’ve had access to the camera, I can’t answer all the detailed questions some have at the moment. That said, things are becoming clearer.
Article on dslrbodies.com.
The Consumer Electronics Scenario. In the traditional Japanese consumer electronics scenario, you create entities that have great overlap in features/performance and place them at different price points. Article on dslrbodies.com.
CineStill bwXX Film. A “new” (old) film stock arrives. Article on filmbodies.com.
September 12, 2014 ______
New Lenses for Nikon Bodies. Announcements from Nikon, Sigma, and Tamron. Article on dslrbodies.com. Nikon 20mm f/1.8 data page. Sigma 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3 data page. Sigma 150-600mm Sport and Sigma 150-600 Contemporary data pages. Tamron 15-30mm data page.
Other New Stuff. Amongst all the bigger announcements were some smaller things. Article on dslrbodies.com.
September 10, 2014 ______
Fujifilm’s Mirrorless Photokina. Fujifilm today announced items that had been already disclosed through leaks, though additional details are now available. Article on sansmirrorl.com. Fujifilm 50-140mm f/2.8 lens page. Fujifilm 56mm f/1.2 APD lens page.
Fujifilm Updates the X Series Cameras. Late last month Fujifilm announced the X30 camera, the latest in the X## series of cameras. Today Fujifilm announced the X100T, the latest in the X100 series. Article on gearophile.com.
Apple Ups the Smartphone Ante. Apple’s new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, announced yesterday, push even further into the compact camera arena. Article on gearophile.com.
September 8, 2014 ______
Marketing Days (or is it Daze?). You might have noticed something: no real Photokina announcements were made today. Article on dslrbodies.com.
September 4, 2014 ______
Canon Lens Price Drop. When Canon dropped some of their lens prices recently, I wondered how that compared to the equivalent Nikon lenses. Article on dslrbodies.com.
How Many Times Do You Switch? t’s been fifteen years now since I began using DSLRs as my primary camera. During that time, Nikon has made 37 DSLR models (plus the Nikon 1’s, which probably should be considered). How many have you purchased, used, and why? Article on dslrbodies.com.
New F-Mount lens announced: Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4.
September 4, 2014 ______
Camera Pricing Has Been Going Up. Yes, I know you can find all kinds of deeply discounted refurbished or previous generation cameras on sale at bargain prices these days. But for the Japanese companies, those ships have already sailed. Article on dslrbodies.com.
E-Mount for Smartphones. Sony today introduced a number of products at IFA in Europe, including the QX1, a US$400 smartphone accessory that accepts E-mount lenses, essentially making your smartphone into a mirrorless camera of sorts. Article on sansmirror.com.
New m4/3 Lens announced: SLRMagic 10mm t/2.1.
September 3, 2014 (August dslrbodies.com articles)
D810: White Dots Reappear. The Nikon D810 became yet another in a string of FX cameras that Nikon has had to fix shortly after shipping. Article on dslrbodies.com.
Nikon Firmware Updates. A number of Nikon DSLRs received firmware updates in August. Article on dslrbodies.com.
The D600 Dust Problem, Still. While I was off in August, multiple Web sites posted a settlement offer from one of the firms that had filed a class action suit in California against NikonUSA regarding the dust/shutter issues of the D600. Article on dslrbodies.com.
Thoughts About D810 NEF Workflow. While dealing with the Adobe ACR/D810 workflow during August I realized something: why isn’t Nikon doing what some pros are doing? Article on dslrbodies.com.
September 2, 2014 (August sansmirror.com articles)
Zeiss Loxia Lenses for Sony FE Mount. Zeiss introduced two new lenses for the Sony FE Mount cameras, the Loxia 35mm f/2 and the 50mm f/2. Article on sansmirror.com.
Nikon 1 Gets a Third-Party Lens. Rokinon is the first company other than Nikon to make a lens for the Nikon 1’s CX mount, introducing a 7.5mm f/8 fisheye lens. Article on sansmirror.com.
Olympus E-PL7 Announced. First thing in the press release for this new camera: promotion of the new “selfie” mode, which is basically the touchscreen LCD swiveled downward 180° so you can take pictures of yourself via touch. The marketing tag line: “photography for the smartphone user.” Article on sansmirror.com.
Leica Modestly Updates the M. Leica today announced the M-P Type 240 rangefinder camera. Priced US$700 more than the M Type 240, the M-P has four small changes. Article on sansmirror.com.
Sony A5100 Announced. The NEX-5 was a seminal camera for Sony. It was the camera that really gave them traction in the mirrorless market. So it isn’t surprising that we’ve now gotten the sixth iteration of the camera, now called the A5100. Article on sansmirror.com.
First Half 2014 Mirrorless Success. For the first half of the year, mirrorless camera systems have showed a bit of growth over last year versus another decline in DSLR shipments year-to-year. Article on sansmirror.com.
Pentax’s Non-Upgrade Upgrade. Pentax today announced the Q-S1, the follow-on model to the Q7. Article on sansmirror.com.
Previous articles can be found in the Articles Index.
Thom's Monthly Teaching Point — Go Back, Then Repeat
I’m a little late with this month’s teaching point, so I’ll keep it brief and directed at what I was doing in August. As you may have guessed, I was in Africa for almost the entire month. First with a group of former African photo workshop students, then with a new group.
No, there won’t be a blog of these trips. If I did blog what happened, it would just make you all super jealous and clamoring to sign up for my next African workshop, which currently isn’t scheduled. Worse still, I’d have images scrolling on forever. That’s how good it was. Let’s just say that within 30 minutes of getting off the plane we were sitting at a wild dog den with pups. Things got better from there. I saw things I haven’t seen in 20 years of traveling to Africa regularly, and everyone probably filled more storage space than any previous trip. Come on now, mother Cheetah with cubs posing as if I had laid them out on a termite mound? Lions and dogs hunting with us in the fray, too?
And then there’s that elephant shot up above, taken at about 70mm with a Sony RX100III. Yes, 70mm. While on the ground, not in a vehicle. This trip I probably got closer to just about everything while walking than ever before, including lions on a hunt. Why am I on the ground? Viewpoint. It only takes a trip or two before you start to realize that shooting down at animals from the tops of vehicles doesn’t give you the same impact as shooting at eye level (or below) does.
One of the things that amateurs don’t realize about pros is this: all those really great shots we have in our files? Most of them didn’t happen the first, second, or even third time we went to that place. Sometimes we’re lucky and we get it the first time, but more often than not it took many repeated visits to get the photos we show.
Some of that is just observing and learning. I really looked clairvoyant when the first morning we headed out in Moremi with the group of first timers when I said “you really shouldn’t be concentrating on the game over in the open to the left—you can shoot impala just about any time. You really should be looking…OMG…to the right at the treeline where that Cheetah is watching the impala.” Really, I didn’t know there was a Cheetah sitting there when I started the sentence. But the thing is, I’ve been on safari enough times to know where I should look, and guess what, sometimes the animal is actually where it should be ;~).
All this is true of landscape photography, too. The really great shots take time to understand how to develop. Right time of year, right position, right lens, right light, right clouds, right everything. Most of the time you go somewhere, something isn’t right, so you observe and learn. And come back. And back. And back.
It’s part of that “practice makes perfect” thing that we got hounded about when we were kids. It really does help. While I expect to make some good shots every time I go out on a trip, I expect to make great shots by going back and eliminating some of the problems and issues that happened the previous time.
Which reminds me. I’m going back to the Galapagos for a sixth time in December of 2015 with a group of students, and there are still openings for that workshop. If you want to get the full benefit of your teacher having a strong sense of what does and doesn’t work the first time you’re there, then you should join Tony and I on that trip.
So I’ll make that my last point in this month’s teaching: what you want is help to get you up to speed with a place or a subject faster, because you can’t always go there as many times as the pros tend to. So ask lots of questions of those that have been there before. Find out what they know so that you have that knowledge before you get there. If you do this well enough, it’ll almost be like taking your second trip, not your first.
If you're wondering where the previous Teaching Points went, they're here.