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Out on the Road: Getting to Know the Sony a7 and a7R

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This last week, I had the great pleasure of joining many of my fellow writers from other major photo and tech news outlets for a week of fun and photography with Sony in Nashville, TN. Basically, the event gave us all a chance to test out the new mirrorless full-frame a7 and a7R cameras (as well as the RX10, which I’ll hit on in another post) in a variety of situations, with Sony artisans and engineers on hand to answer all of our questions.

A gallery of sample images are coming your way soon, but for now I wanted to outline some of my first impressions of what is good, bad and in-between about Sony’s revolutionary new shooters. Read more…

Review: Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 is One Sexy Beast

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When Sigma announced a new version of the much loved 120-300 f/2.8 I immediately kicked myself for buying a much pricier 300mm Nikon about 6 months earlier. The reasons why may not be readily apparent, but we’ll get to that. First let’s discuss the aesthetics and specs.
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How the Fujifilm X-Series Made Me Feel Inadequate

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Recently there’s been a fair bit of hullaballoo about these new cameras Fuji has been bringing out – the X-series. X100, X-Pro 1, XE-1 and most recently the X-M1 or something like that. All touted as great cameras – the perfect blend of retro styling and cutting edge sensor technology, paring away anything extraneous to the act of shooting.

The Fuji X series – peerless walk-around cameras that can be adapted for wedding work, editorial work heck, even commercial work. Photography bloggers whom I respect and admire all clambered over each other to shout the praises of these lightweight wonder-cameras. They could do no wrong on the digital camera review sites, and quickly developed a cult following which exploded into a massive fanbase. The Fuji X-series. Messianic.
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Review: The Canon EOS 70D Sets Its Phase Detection to Stun

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In the Iron Man movies, billionaire Tony Stark developed exoskeleton suits to gain superhero prowess, and refined every generation of his armor with slight upgrades. Up to Mk 7 of his suit, the changes had always been slight and incremental, and in many ways it is the same story with the Canon EOS 70D – the Mk 7 of a successful and evolving EOS DSLR line from the billion-dollar business.

So how does the new tech compare against the EOS 60D? Looking at the brochure it is like another version of the Volkswagen Golf – every generation gains more buttons and dials, more screens, more features, more efficiency and more speed.
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external iPhone 5S ‘Conclusively Beats’ the Lumia 1020 in Camera Shootout —Laptop Magazine

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The iPhone 5s conclusively beat the Nokia Lumia 1020 in our photo face-off, taking seven out of 10 rounds–and tying one. Even after updating the Lumia 1020′s camera software, which reduced issues with the blue color cast on many images, colors were still more accurate on the iPhone. Apple’s device also excelled when delivering detail and contrast.

The advantage that the Lumia 1020 has is that you can recompose your shot after you take it because of the phone’s very high 41-MP resolution. Overall, though, the iPhone 5s snapped better-looking images in a wider range of conditions

 
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Review: Lomography’s Experimental Lens Kit for MFT Cameras

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Today I received an Experimental Lens Kit from Lomography and immediately took it on a test ride while having my lunch break.

In case you don’t know about it, it is a newly-released kit of thee plastic lenses with plastic optics. As well as an integrated shutter, so you can take ‘real’ double or multi exposures just like in the analog days. Read more…

external The NY Times Doesn’t Think You Should Pay a Premium for the Leica Name —NY Times

The new Leica C point-and-shoot camera has a restrained elegance and the Leica logo, which speaks to a rich heritage of imagery from photographic greats like Henri Cartier-Bresson.

But as with other Leicas, that heritage comes at a price.

Whether it’s worth that price is a tough call, because underneath that body by Audi and Leica logo is a Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1, which sells for about $500 online — that’s nearly $200 less than the Leica.

 
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external The Samsung Galaxy Gear’s Camera is One of the Best Things About It —The Verge

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The Verge‘s Vlad Savov got a chance to review Samsung’s new Galaxy Gear smartwatch, and although the majority of his impressions were negative, he had plenty of good things to say about the little 1.9MP built-in camera:

Looking at the Gear’s frugal 1.9-megapixel resolution, you might make the same mistake I did: assume it’s of the same caliber as any old front-facing camera in Samsung’s smartphones. In fact, the Gear’s camera produces images of surprising fidelity and does it swiftly and reliably.

 
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external See if the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Survives Being Run Under a Faucet —The Phoblographer

As part of their review of the new Olympus OM-D E-M1, the folks over at The Phoblographer decided to put the “splashproof” designation to the test. Check out the video above to see just how resilient the shooter really is.

 
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Photographing Actors From 60ft Above a Broadway Stage with the CamRanger

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When I first heard of the CamRanger in October of 2012 in New York City at PhotoPlus Expo I was immediately intrigued.

I don’t actually own a laptop, so tethering to an iPad tablet has been a long awaited process with trial and error. My first experience was with the Eye-Fi Wireless SD Card; a memory card you place in your camera, the card transmits a wireless signal and supposedly you connect to that signal source, boom, you’re tethered. Except it didn’t really work.
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