Mike Smith

Staff Writer

Mike Smith is the principal photographer at Focali Photographic. He has been an active photographer for over 30 years, having started out on a reliable Canon SureShot before progressing onto his faithful Pentax P30. He now shoots on a range of digital cameras and formats, although he produces the majority of his work on Nikon. He also shoots regularly on both 35mm and medium format film. Outside of his commercial work, Smith writes regularly on both technical and philosophical photographic topics and has a fascination for fine art and abstract architectural work.

Articles by Mike Smith

Leica M11

The M Rangefinder is Holding Back Leica’s Innovation

Leica innovated the heck out of the camera with the Leica 1 back in 1925, breaking new ground with the Leica 2 and then the M3. However, not so much in recent years and I argue the "classic" M is now actually holding back Leica's innovation.

Camera to Cloud frame.io

Camera-to-Cloud RAW is the Start of the Computational Revolution

Adobe recently announced new Camera to Cloud integrations, following its recent acquisition of Frame.io. The Fuji X-H2S will become the first stills camera to natively shoot "to the cloud". This might seem like a niche feature, however look beyond the headlines and this could be a generational step change. Not only because of the ability save to the cloud (like Google Photos) but because of what this then enables.

The Changing Fortunes of Japanese Camera Manufacturers

Earlier this month Olympus revealed some of the thought process behind the 2020 sale of its camera division in which the company jettisoned it in order to pursue greater stability and profitability from its broad portfolio of medical technology. This is in stark contrast to Nikon, which has wiped the slate clean and started again. What is going on with Japanese camera manufacturers and are there any lessons to be learned?

Mirrorless Continues Its Inexorable Rise At the Expense of the DSLR

The death of the DSLR was always in the cards - as soon as Nikon and Canon entered the mirrorless fray in 2018 it was not a case of if, but when. However, what was perhaps not expected was the rapidity with which the sales rug would be pulled from beneath DSLR consumers' feet. It's all or nothing when it comes to mirrorless.

Photo Editor

A Plea to Manufacturers: We Need the Definitive Photo

The Africa Geographic 2019 winner "Tim in Amboseli National Park, Kenya is a great photo. It shows Tim the elephant majestically backlit against a dramatic sky. Except, it didn't win: it was later disqualified for excessive manipulation.

Straight Out of Camera is the Purest Form of Photography… or IS It?

The ultimate skill of the photographer -- of the artist -- is to create the aesthetics of the scene in front of them "in the moment". The Natural Landscape Photo Award is perhaps the epitome of this with minimal image manipulation allowed, while the World Press Photo has a Code of Ethics. So straight-out-of-camera (SOOC) has got to be the pinnacle of ability, hasn't it? Or is there more to the notion of what an image is and where the skill lies in producing it?

Canon

Canon is Riding a Rising Market As Cameras Sell Well

Ordinarily, it is the end-of-year results that are the most interesting as they provide a picture of how the year has gone and what the outlook for the next year is. However, with this report, Canon has confirmed three critically important aspects of the camera market which gives it increased confidence going forward.

Viltrox AF 13mm f/1.4

Viltrox AF 13mm f/1.4 STM XF Lens Review: Great Lens, Better Price

The Viltrox AF 13mm f/1.4 STM lens slots neatly into an existing range of Viltrox primes for APS-C cameras, a focal length that is notably absent from Fujifilm directly. The 13mm, which is equivalent to 20mm on 35mm full-frame, is fairly wide and works well for landscapes or architecture, especially for the low price of $429.

photographer with camera and lens

When Composing a Photo, Think About Where the Camera Is

As a photographer, you might be out on the street or at a vantage point in the landscape. You raise the viewfinder to your eye, compose the framing that you envisioned, then click the shutter. You have a picture that was acquired using the technical elements at your creative disposal: focal length, shutter speed, and aperture. But where was the camera?

Will Canon Scrap the EOS M Mirrorless Lineup and EF-M Mount?

The announcement has landed and it's now official: Canon has released an APS-C RF-mount camera. In fact, it hasn't just released one - but two - in the form of the R7 and R10. It might seem strange, given that Sony and Nikon have had APS-C models for some time, but this is a big deal because Canon already has the EF-M mount and EOS M APS-C mirrorless range. This begs the question, is Canon about to scrap the EOS M line?

Nikon Z9 and lens

Nikon’s Profits Are Up, But its Market Share is Still Worryingly Low

Nikon recently released its annual results which are a key metric in determining how well the manufacturer is doing both in terms of short-term finances as well as implementing its medium-term strategy. The quick takeaway is that it's making more money, but that camera market share is worryingly low. What does this mean for it going forward?