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Felix Esser The Phoblographer Lenses Apertures

Consumers who are always concerned about when their camera will become outdated should not only be aware of the technology that has been progressing in sensor performance, but also whether or not lens R&D will be able to keep up. A question dawned on us one day: with sensor technology moving ahead at such a fast pace, will lens technology be able to do the same? Years ago, it was common for a lens to last a photographer 10 years until the next refresh. But in more recent years, we’ve been seeing shorter lifespans of around five years. Part of this is due to developments in autofocusing and sensor technology.

But at the same time, should photographers be afraid that their collection of glass will become obsolete? We talked to the folks at Olympus, Fujifilm, Panasonic, Sigma and Tokina about this.

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Review: Leica XE

by Chris Gampat on 10/09/2014

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Leica XE product images (2 of 10)ISO 4001-200 sec at f - 2.5

Leica has long been known as a company that has paved the way for modern photography. But in recent years, they seem to be taking the back seat to many Korean and Japanese manufacturers. Still though, Leica has their core customers and considering economic disparity these days, there are many folks with deep pockets that want all their cameras. But Leica’s X series of cameras haven’t always been a big hit. Sure, they’ve got an APS-C sensor at the heart, a nice size, and beautiful looks–but when you start talking about the price you’ll want to cry a bit and wish that you were a trust fund kid living in Williamsburg.

But recently at Photokina 2014, Leica decided to try again. This time, the Leica XE has a 16.2MP APS-C sensor, a 24mm f2.8 lens, and a 2.7 inch 230 Dot LCD (which actually isn’t too bad in real life practice). But otherwise, the camera is still very much the same. Considering that Leica is slow to innovate, we can only expect so much.

What we didn’t expect, on the other hand, is to be this surprised by the camera.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fujifilm X30 first image samples (1 of 28)ISO 4001-80 sec at f - 2.8

This weekend, we got a lot of gear in for review. But from what we saw on our Instagram, many of you are really interested in seeing results from the new Fujifilm X30. We just got the camera in yesterday and so far it has been impressing us quite a bit. The image quality is very good overall, though the RAW files aren’t supported as of the publishing of this article. Instead, we’re relying on the JPEG output which tends to render images a bit too cool for our liking–but still offers nice colors overall.

Using the camera is a bit weird. At f2, you can’t shoot at above 1/1000th and instead you’ll need to stop the lens down. We wish that the control ring around the lens had clicks as you turn it so you can intuitively feel how many stops you are manipulating. Instead, it is really smooth. The back exposure wheel feels great, but we instead believe that this camera should have had a dedicated shutter dial. When using it in aperture priority though, you won’t pay most of this any mind.

We love the EVF, though sometimes it can stutter to switch from the LCD screen to the EVF. For my eyes though, I wish that the diopter went deeper into the negative range. However, this won’t really matter because of the relatively small sensor and the fast autofocusing. Additionally, you can increase or decrease the size of the focusing point.

Other than that, the WiFi transmission is smooth and simple. More photos from the camera are after the jump.



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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Canon 7D Mk II first impressions images (1 of 7)ISO 2001-160 sec at f - 3.2

The Canon 7D Mk II has been in development for many years now, and the company’s track record of staying conservative sticks true to this latest product. When the first 7D launched, it made waves in the APS-C world with its super fast FPS rate and its complementary features to the 5D Mk II. Canon’s choices to stick to the safe side and make modest improvements isn’t a bad one per se at all–but we’d be telling complete lies to say that we didn’t expect more.

As far as the feature set goes, Canon has a 20.2MP APS-C sensor at the heart of the camera that also shoots at 10fps, houses dual DIGIC 6 processors, 65 cross type AF points, a 100% viewfinder, a magnesium alloy camera body, dust and weather resistance that is said to be 4x better than the original, GPS integration, a CF and SD card slot, ISO ranges from 100-16,000, a custom movie servo mode and much more.

We took a look at the 7D Mk II earlier last month.

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D750_24_120_front

The rumors have been circulating for some time now that Nikon was going to deliver a true D700 successor. But if you’re one of those folks that still feels like the D800/D810 isn’t the true successor then you’ll need to keep hoping. Today, Nikon is announcing their new D750–which is more or less a D610 with superpowers and even an automatic mode on the mode dial.

Yes, there is a mode dial–unlike the Df and the D810.

What you really want to know is that the new D750 sports a 24.3MP full frame sensor, 14 bit RAW shooting, two SD card slots, approximately 100% viewfinder coverage, more video modes, EXPEED 4 processor, flash sync of 1/200th, can shoot 6.5 frames per second, ISO ranges from 100-12,800, 51 AF points, can shoot 1080 60p video, and has weather sealing incorporated. Most notably, it’s the first new full frame Nikon DSLR with built in WiFi transmission.

Nikon told us in our meeting that the camera can focus down the -3 EV, which we will be happy to test.

The camera will be available in late September for $2,299.95. More images are after the jump.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer beach shot with tokina 70-200mm f4 (1 of 1)ISO 1001-1250 sec at f - 4.0

Tokina has always been a maker of some excellent third party lenses, and the release of the Tokina 70-20mm f4 ATX Pro heralds this even more so. The recently announced lens isn’t billed as being weather sealed–but that doesn’t meant that it wasn’t able to take a beating. The lens also exhibits great image quality and some of the best bokeh that we’ve seen from a zoom lens.

But while it’s an overall great lens, know that it doesn’t specialize in any one particular aspect.

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