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Chris Gampat

Various lenses with different physical and relative aperture sizes.

Various lenses with different physical and relative aperture sizes.

If you’ve gotten a hold of an interchangeable lens camera of some sort, then you should know that replacing your camera every two or three years isn’t always a viable option. However, that’s something that you should think about in the point and shoot world.

The best thing to do instead is to replace your lenses.

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When the Phase One IQ250 was announced, it was expected to outdo every DSLR in terms of image quality out there because of the large CMOS sensor. But when you get to the medium format level, you’re only as good as the body and the lenses. The IQ250 can output great images; but it isn’t without its drawbacks.

Or at least that what we’re finding so far…

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DxOMark is announcing their Sigma 50mm f1.4 Art lens findings today. According to what they did in the lab, the company concludes that the lens is outperformed by the 55mm f1.4 Zeiss Otus lens only in terms of light transmission, distortion control, and vignetting control. Otherwise, they’re basically exactly spot on when it comes to sharpness numbers. The even more fascinating news is that they both wipe the floor with Canon’s f1.2 L offering–and hopefully will dispel the myth that someone should only go for all L glass when building their Canon kit.

The company didn’t test the lens on the Nikon D800E and we figure that this is mostly because the units going around right now are Canon mount.

More findings are after the jump.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer EyeFi Mobi Cloud intro (1 of 1)ISO 4001-50 sec at f - 4.0

When EyeFi first launched the Mobi card, it seemed as if they greatly improved the service. The Mobi card was centered around transferring JPEG images to your phone quickly and easily through a two step process. If you wanted to send RAW images, you’d need to go with something else like the Eye-Fi Pro card.

Today though, the company is announcing not only a rebranding but a new service in EyeFi Cloud. The cloud is a premium service that they are pitching to those that use multiple devices. EyeFi Cloud enables someone to shoot and image, send it to their phone (or other device) which then in turn beams the images into the cloud. When the images hit the cloud, they’re accessible from your other devices such as your computer, tablet, or phone.

But we’re not sure that it’s for everyone.

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Essentials is a series where we round up specially curated kits for different photographers in different situations. Other items could surely be substituted, but these are what we personally recommend. 

If you’re going for the high end Real Estate shooting gigs or photographing architecture, you’ll always need the right gear. Now, we know that using high megapixel DSLR can always do a great job, but to get the most performance from your files and the most versatility overall in post-production–and lots of post-production is needed to get the very best photos of buildings.

Here’s what we recommend for photographing buildings in the high end world.

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Considering that Instagram had the tilt-shift ability for a while, it’s pretty nice that now Google has updated their main camera app to include the new lens blur tool–meant to simulate the look of bokeh. According to their research blog, their inspiration came from the bokeh that an SLR can deliver. Of course though, one should NEVER think that the digital bokeh simulated by Google can outdo the organic stuff straight from a real lens and big sensor.

When you start the use the tool, they tell you about bokeh and some of the simulated effects. They recommend that you stand no more than five feet away from your subject but that the closer you are the better your results will be. They then recommend that you take the photo and then pan the phone upward. The image then gets processed to deliver the bokeh.

When you’re done, you can choose the edit the level of blur. If you’re an Android phone or tablet user, go right ahead and update the app. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Update: In low light, you need to pan upward very slowly.