Review: Canon 77D

The logic behind the Canon 77D is one that in some ways doesn’t really make sense to me. But if Canon believes that it will get them sales, then so be it. However, with at least three Rebels, two mid tier, and one high end tier APS-C camera there’s a lot of head scratching to do. I mean, why not do something similar between the 5D series and the 1D series? Or between the Canon 5D and 6D? Either way there are surely a number of really interesting things about the Canon 77D such as the 24MP APS-C sensor, the interestingly pleasant ergonomic controls, the autofocus that almost never missed a shot, and Canon’s incredibly simple and straight forward menu interface that I wish everyone else would get half as right.

Though to be fair, it shouldn’t be this expensive.

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Review: Fujifilm 50mm f2 R WR (Fujifilm X Mount)

The Fujifilm 50mm f2 R WR is the third lens addition to the f2 weather sealed compact prime offerings from Fujifilm–and in many ways it’s an excellent portrait lens. But it’s also great for much more than that. You see, Fujifilm developed the Fujifilm 50mm f2 R WR lens to be pretty versatile. It can focus fairly close and it has weather sealing built into the design. Combine this with naturally sharp optics, fast autofocus performance, and the not too large size and you’ve got yourself a pretty powerful, compact longer focal length.

Most photographers picking this lens up may opt for shooting portraits. In all honesty, there are better options for portraiture in the Fujifilm X series system, and also a few fantastic third party options. But if you’re the type of photographer who shoots candids on the streets and like to do street portraits, you may want to give this lens a try. Yes, the street photographer and the street portrait photographer are the ones who will want to go for this lens.

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Review: Canon EOS M6 (Canon EF-M Mount)

If you were to look at the mirrorless camera world, it would appear that Canon, with the Canon M6, is an entry into the world where they’re still trying to find themselves. To some, they could look like an experimental 20 something trying in vain to get their life together. Yet somehow or another, I genuinely never thought that I’d like the Canon M6. The camera isn’t designed to be the highest end mirrorless camera from Canon, yet somehow or another it’s a camera that surely deserves respect in some ways and groans of frustration at the fact that Canon has gotten this camera almost perfectly right yet it feels like they were purposely holding themselves back. The Canon M6 has at its heart a 24MP APS-C sensor which is smaller than all the other options out there from Fujifilm, Sony, Pentax, Sigma–and let’s be honest because they’re all more or less made by Sony. Designed for the enthusiast, the Canon M6 has some very tough competition from the entire camera world. Yet somehow or another, this truly is a camera that you need to personally experience to understand.

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Which One?: Sigma 85mm f1.4 Art vs Sigma 135mm f1.8 Art Comparison

If you’re a portrait photographer, the question of Sigma 85mm f1.4 Art vs Sigma 135mm f1.8 Art has most likely come up. The two lenses are portrait photography powerhouses designed to be some of the best lenses in the world and have attractive characters to portrait photographers of all types. Typically, choosing one lens over the other has had to do with the amount of space that you’re working in, but with trends in modern photography that can change pretty easily just by switching locations. Both lenses have different image quality characteristics and different body characteristics. So which one is right for you?

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Review: Sony 35mm f1.4 (Sony Alpha)

If you were to look back at some of the quintessential lens options for the Sony Alpha lineup of lenses, then you’re sure to figure that the company would have updated their 35mm f1.4 by now; but they haven’t. Sony has a fantastic 50mm f1.4 lens for their Alpha lineup of cameras and considering that the A99 II is such a blow-me-away great camera, it would make a whole lot of sense that they updated their 35mm for the wedding and photojournalism crowd.

However, those photographers are understandable looking more towards the mirrorless camera world. So with that said, when Sony sent us the Sony 35mm f1.4 lens in Alpha mount to review with the Minolta a7, we decided to do something different: test the lens entirely on film.

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Vintage Camera Review: Minolta Maxxum 7 (Minolta a7)

No, this isn’t the Sony a7, but the Minolta a7 is perhaps one of the best film Alpha mount cameras that you can still get your hands on used. While the Minolta a9 is considered the flagship, there are features built into the Minolta a7 that can make it much more appealing. For starters, it’s much lighter. And there is also a built in data back that lets you change a whole lot of parameters in a very simple way.

And to be honest, it’s one of the best autofocusing film SLR cameras I’ve ever used–completely putting a lot of what Canon and Nikon created to shame.

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Review: Sigma 135mm f1.8 DG HSM Art (Canon EF)

If you’re a fan of the Sigma 85mm f1.4 Art lens, then you’re bound to fall head over heels for the Sigma 135mm f1.8 DG HSM Art lens. When it comes to portrait lenses, photographers are typically tied to the 85mm and 135mm focal lengths: and so that makes this latest decision even harder. Both are good. In fact, both are fantastic. But with the new Sigma 135mm f1.8 Art lens, you get what seems like a smaller and lighter lens though surely longer. Plus it has weather sealing and a classic quality about it with just a bit less contrast than many of the other Sigma Art lenses.

But is it the right portrait lens for you?

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Review: Sony a9

It took Sony long enough, but earlier this year the company announced a true flagship mirrorless camera: the Sony a9. The Sony a9 is designed to take on the likes of the Canon 1DX Mk II and the Nikon D5. It’s a camera designed for a photojournalist who needs not a whole lot of resolution but a balance between that and good high ISO output. To appeal to these photographers, Sony gave the Sony a9 an impressive 20 fps shooting ability with no blackout of the viewfinder. The autofocus is also very effective, and can be used with a variety of lenses designed for the Sony E mount. Other connections such as a built in ethernet port and dual card slots are also bound to be very valuable to these photographers. Indeed, the Sony a9 is a camera for the working pro who brings in gainful employment and taxable income using their camera. With that said, you’d be absolutely stupid to purchase this for street photography unless you’re making some serious money off of it–so just stop right there.

Despite how fantastic it is, Sony still hasn’t gotten it 100% perfectly right. But to be fair, neither have Canon or Nikon.

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