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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

When Olympus first showed us their 14-150mm f4-5.6 II, we weren’t incredibly impressed. Wide zoom range, weather sealing, minimal change of an aperture: okay, it’s got a lot going for it. But we’re always skeptical until we get the unit in our hands.

Olympus chose to recreate the 14-150mm f4-5.6 II, and they did so with the incorporation of weather sealing, sharper optics, and a new body overall. Yes, it’s sharp–but if you’re spoiled by the higher end offerings from the Micro Four Thirds world like we are, there is absolutely no looking back.

But if you’re someone that needs an all in one option, then this lens will probably become your best friend.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Olympus OMD EM5 Mk II first impressions product photos (5 of 10)ISO 1001-125 sec at f - 2.8

Yes, it’s real. Yes, we’ve known about it for a while.

And yes, the Olympus OMD EM5 MK II is a pretty awesome camera so far. As of my typing this article up, I’ve been playing with it for less than eight hours–but it’s enough for us to state that the camera is very impressive.

So what’s new with this camera? Updated autofocus which re-asserts Olympus’s dominance amongst ILC cameras, focus peaking, a 40MP image mode that requires the stillest of still scenes. WiFi integration, new ergonomics, better weather sealing with the addition of gaskets placed under the hot shoe, many more function buttons, a new twisting vari-angle LCD screen, five stops of image stabilization according to CIPA testing, and most of all new video features such as 60p recording and the ability to shoot in All-I and IPB. There is no 4K recording, but Olympus tells us that they instead focused on trying to give as great of an experience as they can with 1080p.

And so far, they’re doing a terrific job.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony a7 Mk II product photos (1 of 8)ISO 1001-50 sec at f - 5.0

Introduced late last year, Sony refreshed one of their initial entries into the full frame mirrorless camera game with the A7 Mk II. The Sony A7, to be honest, is such new technology still that it didn’t need a refresh. But Sony is one of the big innovators of our time in the camera world, so when it came to the A7 Mk II they gave it a couple of slight but well executed updates.

The biggest update to come to the A7 Mk II is the addition of image stabilization to the sensor. It works via a 5-axis system that is very similar to Olympus’s solution. In fact, we couldn’t really tell the difference when we talked to both companies except that Sony’s solution works for full frame sensors.

Besides the 4.5 stops of additional image stabilization, Sony claims that the A7 Mk II has a 35% increase in autofocus responsiveness performance, 40% faster start up time and the XAVC-S video codec.

But is the A7 Mk II worth it for you?

Editor’s Note: As of February 20th, we’ve updated the Image Quality test

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Samsung 50-150mm f2.8 OIS review product images (6 of 10)ISO 4001-40 sec at f - 4.0

When it comes to portrait focal lengths, Samsung has always delivered beautiful lens offerings, So when the 50-150mm f2.8 OIS came in for review, we were ecstatic to see what it offered. The lens is billed as one of their high end offerings–and so incorporates weather sealing, a rugged body, and lots of controls around it. To boot, the lens also delivers beautiful image quality overall.

With 20 elements in 13 groups comprising the inside, the lens is also an internal focusing and zooming one.

And to be quite honest, this lens has to be one of the best telephoto zoom lenses that we’ve tested here on the site.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony 16-35mm f4 product photos (5 of 7)ISO 1601-50 sec at f - 4.0

Wide angle zooms are amongst some of the most sought after lenses by the photographers that love to shoot wide. Combine that with a constant aperture and you’ve got a photographer that will be happy for days. So when Sony announced their 16-35mm f4 OSS lens for the E mount system, we knew that it was going to be a hit. Due to the company’s collaboration with Zeiss for many years, the two have worked together to produce better and better lenses.

But while this lens will be highly sought after by many photographers, it probably shouldn’t be in everyone’s camera bags.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony A7 Mk II first impressions (24 of 29)ISO 4001-50 sec at f - 2.2

Meet Sony’s 4th full frame mirrorless interchangeable lens camera: the Sony A7 Mk II. The camera is sort of being billed as the successor to the A7: which was (and still is) the perfect balance of high ISO output and resolution right in the middle. But Sony has come out with a few new changes to the camera with the biggest one being the addition of image stabilization to the sensor. Other changes added in are the inclusion of more autofocus points, ergonomic changes to the grip, and a couple of additions for video shooters.

Sony brought the New York press out on an excursion to play with the new camera in different environments. And while the A7 Mk II is capable of doing some really cool stuff, we’re not sure that everyone needs it–or at least that’s what we think so far.

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