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autofocus

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Olympus OMD EM5 Mk II first impressions product photos (8 of 10)ISO 1001-30 sec at f - 4.5

When we test cameras, we always try to gauge how the autofocus performance works in various situations. We’ve learned how to get the best autofocusing performance from different camera systems and developed better practices to see how good the focusing really can be.

Now if you want your camera to actually autofocus better, you’ll need to know a couple of things.

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telephoto-zoom-lens-photo

After our standard Pro zoom lens shoot out, we decided to put the telephoto lenses against one another. As mirrorless camera systems have evolved and continue to develop, they’ve had to meet the demands of professional photographers who have picked up their systems. One of the classic zoom lenses that many photographers tend to reach for is the equivalent of a 70-200mm f2.8 lens. These lenses are great for portraits, events, weddings, landscapes and pretty much anything that you can think of due to their versatility.

So with Fujifilm, Samsung, Olympus, and Panasonic all offering their own versions, which one is the best?

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony A7r first impressions (5 of 8)ISO 8001-60 sec at f - 4.0

One of the biggest problems with the Sony A7r is the autofocus. In fact, when it comes to autofocusing this camera has to have been the most frustrating camera to work with (in terms of autofocus performance) in the past couple of years. But according to a new blog post on Sony Alpha Rumors, that’s changing.

According to the site, the Sony A7r Mk II will have the same 36MP full frame sensor and enjoy better high ISO performance due to a new processor. Additionally, the autofocus will be improved and there will be 5-axis image stabilization built in. The latter will help a lot with the slightest of camera shake providing the IS is used correctly.

If you hated the very loud shutter on the A7r, then you’ll be happy to know that the site is also claiming that a silent shutter mode is coming to the A7r Mk II. To be honest though, the loud shutter reminds me of a solid medium format camera and the loud thud that happens satisfies the nostalgia buff in me.

This all some great news if it’s true. Not many cameras make us write, “The A7r’s autofocus at times made me want to scream and beg for the bloody murder of kittens, corgis and baby bunnies to the Sony gods to ensure that it would focus.”

And at this rate, it looks like we can expect refreshes every two years.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Nikon D5500 product review lead image (1 of 1)ISO 2001-125 sec at f - 2.0

When Nikon talked to us about the D5500, we generally thought it was a step in the right direction. After spending a while with it, we tend to agree with that opinion. As far as business sense goes, the Nikon D5500 is a safe bet and doesn’t rock the boat too much. Instead, it gives incremental upgrades that folks will love like 5fps shooting, a deeper grip, Wifi connectivity, very fast focusing abilities, and most importantly the ability to use lots of Nikon’s lenses.

To be honest, the Nikon D5500 is a great camera. We mean that from the bottom of our heart–but at the same time we think that it’s time for Nikon to try to push things a bit further.

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The-Phoblographer-Standard-zoom-lens-photo

Mirrorless camera manufacturers have been working at creating better lenses and building out their systems. Very recently, the manufacturers with APS-C and Four Thirds sensors came up with constant aperture pro zoom lenses for their cameras.

Now don’t get us wrong: no manufacturer is making a bad lens or camera. In fact, all of them are superb. So with that in mind, we went about rounding up the information that we collected and figuring out which lens delivers the most pleasing results based on the specific system that they work with.

Our results are after the jump.

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Screenshot taken from the video.

Screenshot taken from the video.

Photographer Tony Northrup decided to do a head to head test of the latest competitor to Canon’s nifty 50 lens: the 50mm f1.8. He does some interesting tests, but in some ways, they seem flawed.

Tony compares the autofocus, and clearly states that the Canon optic nails focus while the Yongnuo didn’t quite do it all the way. However, this is common knowledge for almost every third party lens. I’ve tested Sigma, Tamron and Tokina glass all on Canon DSLRs and everything needs micro-adjustment because of the way that autofocus algorithms work and the lenses that your camera has become used to. In fact, Micro-adjustment isn’t hard to do. Sometimes, even Canon glass needs it–and the company has a patent to automatically do it.

To begin with, most folks using studio strobe also most likely use the higher end 50mm lenses.

There are other comparisons too like with vignetting and aberrations–both of which Tony truthfully states are easily fixed in Adobe Lightroom. Bokeh is compared and you see not much of a difference though there are Tony’s explanations of how the lenses will affect your images in real life use.

If you’re a beginner, springing for a 50mm f1.8 is a really nice option, but we overall recommend that you instead go straight to the f1.4 options which will last you much longer in your photography career. I still own the older 50mm f1.4 from Sigma and though I barely use it. It’s there for when I need it and when I do, it gets the job done,

Tony’s video comparing the Canon 50mm f1.8 vs the Yongnuo 50mm f1.8 is after the jump.

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