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Review: Sony A7s

by Chris Gampat on 07/25/2014

Chris Gampat the Phoblographer Sony A7s product images (1 of 8)ISO 16001-50 sec at f - 4.0

The Sony A7s has to be the single camera that will shift the megapixels race to the ISO stage. When it was first announced, it was billed as a low megapixel high ISO territory trailblazing camera. Then tests started to come out that confirmed this. Indeed, Sony’s 12MP full frame sensor is quite capable not only of performing very clean high ISO results, but also pretty darned good RAW file versatility. But there is so much more to the camera than this.

The A7s also is one of the fastest focusing cameras that we’ve tested on the site–and for that reason its reliability as a tool in your daily life increases. The camera is a true dream come true for many photojournalists, concert photographers, and videographers.

On the other hand, still photographers are bound to be spoiled by more megapixels and the lack of details that this camera can deliver.

But Sony delivered some Editor’s Choice award winning products in the A7 and A7r. Is the A7s worthy of the award too?

Editor’s Note: this review is based solely on a photographer’s point of view. We will post another article later on comparing this camera’s video output to the Panasonic GH4.

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Lots of pitches and emails come our way everyday, but it’s rare that something truly pulls me out of bed from my afternoon nap. And for that, we have to give ti to the Bouncelite. The Bouncelite is a brand new Kickstarter initiative aimed at creating a completely brand new type of flash modifier that makes some of the most efficient use of lighting that we’ve seen. It mounts onto the head of your flash and acts as a softbox but can also act as a bounce card at the same time. At the moment, it’s currently being targeted at folks who put the flash in their hot shoe; though it can surely be used with the softbox off camera. But for what it’s worth, photographers who want to use a flash off camera go for much larger flash modifiers and larger softboxes.

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Kevin Lee The Phoblographer Nikon D810 Product Images-5

There’s a new king of the hill in the DxOMark land and its name is the Nikon D810. The renowned camera sensor tester announced the D810 is the new DxOMark leader with an overall score of 97. Breaking Nikon’s new full-frame camera resolved 25.7 bits of color depth, 14.8 Evs in dynamic range, and a low-light performance of 2853 ISO. Read on for all the titillating numbers that will surely get a rise out of sensor buffs.

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Kevin Lee The Phoblographer Product Images Pentax K3 Prestige Edition 1

The Pentax K3 was already a very tempting 24MP DSLR body and now it’s out in a stoic gunmetal gray finish with a new Prestige Edition. Pentax says it will only produce 2,000 of these limited edition bodies. Along the “manlier” finish the camera will also be kitted with a matching gunmetal battery grip, black leather camera strap, and two batteries. It also comes preloaded with the latest v1.10 firmware, which adds diffraction correction.

Other than the new coat of paint the Prestige Edition is otherwise the same great Pentax K3. It still features a high-resolution sensor, which produced image quality that we thought could only be bested by the Nikon D7100. The Pentax K3 is very made-for-photographers camera with tons of accessible controls even down to a digital, flip-on anti-aliasing filter.

The Pentax K3 Prestige Edition will start shipping August with a price tag of $1,400. Make sure to grab yours quick because there are only 2,000 of these limited run goodies.

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All photographs taken by Ken Heyman. Used with permission.

Since the 50s, award-winning photographer Ken Heyman’s powerful photographs have graced numerous publications, museum and gallery exhibits, and books–his subjects ranging from human conditions in the poorer parts of the world to happy occasions celebrated in well-to-do ones.

The assortment of the subjects and themes in Ken’s photographs deliver very visible differences that emphasize just how very diverse our world is. But many of these photographs also beautifully highlight the similarities in human interactions and relationships.

Take the inspiring and tender collection of black and white images he’d taken of mothers and their kids, for example. Captured several decades years ago while working on a book called “Family” with his former Columbia professor and close friend Margaret Mead, Ken only recently rediscovered them while emptying the contents of a storage unit.

The photos from the collection, lying in wait in a box labeled “Mothers,” were taken in over 60 countries and of women and children that belong to different races and cultures. When looking through them, however, you begin to fathom the startling likeness in all of them.

Ken’s collection is hard proof that despite backgrounds, cultures, and skin colors, a mother’s love and the bond between her and her children remains the same.

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All images by Giancarlo Rado. Used with permission.

“I’ve taken pictures for many years, my mother always told me that in her young years she was developing and retouching photographs in her cousin’s laboratory, and still colorizing portraits with special inks; so it was just a familiar tradition, which still survives in me even if I am a musician,” says Giancarlo Rado on how he got into photography. He explains that it’s like telling stories–and a story is what he’s telling in his series entitled, “Waiting for Summer.”

Toting around a Hasselblad SLR with a 80mm lens, Mr. Rado loves the square format. And when working on the series, he states that it’s like taking a portrait of a landscape. He believes in the existential idea that the earth, sky, and sea all connect along with ideals and feelings deeply involved in our minds when traveling to the beach during the winter. With that said, he often searches the beach looking for relationships that he thinks will evoke stories.

“I go to the beach mainly for the horizontal light that I know that soon or later will come. This light allows the evocation of shadows and situations particularly important for me,” states Mr. Rado. “I know very well the places where I shall go and sooner or later the expected situation will appear–like and astral conjunction of phenomena which may reflect feeling such as loneliness, fear, peace, quietness, and what else connected with the never fading border between interior and exterior world.”

Giancarlo’s photos evoke the sense of loneliness and indeed search for relationships. The series is after the jump.

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