UV lens filters are a popular way to protect the front element of lenses from damage, but you should make sure you invest in a high-quality one unless you want to make a huge sacrifice in image quality. Reddit user EvilDoesIt shot the photos above comparing a cheap filter with a pricier one:
The top one is a $20 Quantaray UV filter. Bottom is a ~$70 B+W MRC UV filter. This is a more extreme example, but it shows the difference between a nice filter and a crappy cheap one. Both these shots are unedited JPEGs from my Nikon D7k with a Nikkor 17-55 ƒ/2.8 @ 1.3s ISO100.
I do realize that the top pic can be easily fixed by adjusting levels, but in my opinion, it’s always better to get the best picture you can get out of your camera before editing. [#]
His last sentence is a gem: to achieve the best images, you want to make sure you’re squeezing out the best image quality you can from each step along the way.
Image credit: Photographs by EvilDoesIt and used with permission
Idan Shechter, the guy behind Camera Size, has launched a new website for photographers who understand sizes better through visual comparisons than through specs and figures. Sensor Size is a website that offers quick visual comparisons of sensors found in popular digital cameras. Select the cameras you want to check out from a couple of drop-down menus, and the sensors are displayed in relative sizes next to each other. You can also stack the images or display them in a 3D overlay for a better view. Read more…
On the heels of my guest blog post over at Tiffinbox, I wanted to showcase a little camera comparison I used to illustrate my points on gear acquisition. We are all at fault for lusting after the latest and greatest gear available to us on the market. I know I have, but that lust comes with a price tag and a trade-off.
Having dusted off my very first DSLR (Canon D30), I put it to the test against my current Canon 1D Mark IV. In doing so, I made some startling and not-so-startling discoveries (as one could only imagine)… Read more…
Shutterfly this year is expected to post $582 million in revenue, up a gaudy 137% since 2009. As of the end of March Shutterfly had zero debt and $144 million in cash with another $100 million due to flow in this year. At a market cap of nearly $1 billion, Shutterfly is being told by the stock market that it is worth the same as Instagram, which being acquired by Facebook for $1 bil- lion in cash and stock. While Insta- gram has far more users (30 million), it lacks a few business essentials such as revenue, profit and scale. Instagram has about a dozen employees. Shutterfly, with 1,000 employees, produces photo books, prints and other goods in factories in Phoenix and Charlotte.
An interesting fact from the article: by 2015, Americans will take an average of 322 photos per person per year, or roughly a photo a day.
Nikon D800 vs Canon 5D Mark III videos are a dime a dozen, so the folks over at Chrisis Lab decided to take a more hilariously approach to the traditional comparison. Take note, the humor is a bit off color, but if you don’t mind a bit of bleeped out cursing and the like then you’ll definitely enjoy this surprisingly educational comparison. You’ll notice that this is part 2, if you enjoyed it then you can find part 1 here (warning: the humor in the first part is quite a bit more risque).
Leica’s new black & white rangefinder, the M Monochrom, eschews the standard color filter found in ordinary camera sensors in order to capture higher quality monochrome photographs. How much of a difference does this make compared to the standard practice of converting color images to B&W? David Farkas over at Red Dot Forum decided to find out by doing a head-to-head comparison of the camera with a Leica M9. He photographed the same scene at different ISOs, and then published the photos with a nifty slider that lets you easily compare the resulting images. Here’s a spoiler: the difference is quite noticeable.
Can’t decide between the Canon 5D Mark III and Nikon D800? Dave Dugdale of Learning DSLR Video created this helpful video that offers a pretty comprehensive comparison of the cameras. It’s a bit heavy on the videography applications of the camera, but should be quite informative nevertheless if you’re at all interested in these cameras.
This video, done by The Camera Store with help from Roth and Ramberg, is sure to stir up some controversy. One side will say that 35mm couldn’t possibly compete with medium format, while the other will point out that the price difference makes the whole debate moot. In a way, they’re both right; but this comparison video does a great job of pointing out the benefits and pitfalls of each camera when it comes to skin tone, low light performance, and dynamic range.
Take a gander at the video and give us your take in the comments down below. (Keep in mind that image details won’t show up nearly as well in the video as they did in the studio).
The folks over at NoFilmSchool recently did a low light comparison of the Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 5D Mark III, and Nikon D800. The cameras were used to film the same dark candlelit scene with the same settings, and the ISO was slowly pushed up to the cameras’ respective limits. It’s pretty striking how big of a difference in low light/high ISO quality there is in the cameras, especially in light of DxO Lab’s test results for the cameras’ sensors…
Last week camera testing service DxOMark announced that the Nikon D800 had earned the highest sensor quality score ever awarded. Roger Cicala of LensRentals wanted to see for himself how much of an advantage the D800′s 36.3MP sensor had over its competition, so he did some sensor resolution tests on the camera, comparing it to the Canon 5D Mark III, 5D Mark II, and Nikon D700. His conclusion?
[...] there’s no question the D800 can actually get those pixels to show up in the final product (assuming your final product is a big print – they’re going to be wasted posting on your Facebook page). But you’d better have some really good glass in front of it. I don’t think the 28-300 superzooms are going to cut it with this camera.
In the real world, highest possible resolution is nice to know about and talk about, but usually not of critical importance compared to other factors. You’ll be able to make superb images with any decent lens for an 8 X 10 or even 11 X 16 print. But if you’re getting the camera because of the resolution, it makes sense to know which lenses will allow all of that resolution to be utilized. Just in case you get that job that needs billboard sized prints.