Review: Fujifilm Instax SQUARE SQ10 (Instax Square Format)

The Fujifilm Instax SQUARE SQ10 is quite an interesting, if not at times frustrating, camera that packs a whole lot of fun into an oddly shaped body that you’ll either not totally understand or fall head over heels for. The camera is Fujifilm’s latest addition to their Instax lineup of films and cameras serving as an in-between point for Instax Mini and Instax Wide. The Instax lineup of cameras have always been incredibly strong sellers amongst young women (many of my great, personal friends use Instax cameras and film). Part of the great selling point is the small size of the prints which are easy to carry and fun to share. But another part is the “cutesy” form factor. They sell so well in fact, that if you were to consider the sales of Fujifilm Instax vs the the rest of the digital and analog camera industry, Instax film far outsells anything in digital.

While the Fujifilm Instax SQUARE SQ10 isn’t exactly what I personally want, it’s going to be a hit with a lot of folks.

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First Impressions: Sony 16-35mm f2.8 G Master FE (Sony E Mount, Full Mount)

Today, Sony is announcing the last addition to their f2.8 trinity: the Sony 16-35mm f2.8 G Master FE lens. The new Sony 16-35mm f2.8 G Master FE lens is designed to be every bit as professional as the 70-200mm f2.8 and 24-70mm f2.8 lens offerings. In regards to the design, Sony talks a lot about how much engineering went into it in regards to corner to corner sharpness in addition to distortion. When it launches later this year, it’s going to be $2,199 in stores at the end of August.

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Review: Pictools Folding Beauty Dish (47.25 inches)

There’s been a trend in beauty dish creation over the past few years that the Pictools Folding beauty dish really adheres to: good quality while being easy to put together and use. To boot, the beauty dish is also fairly compact when fully collapsed. It goes into its own bag and can be assembled fairly quickly if you’re just a bit patient with some of its oddities.

What you’ll be rewarded with is a pretty awesome beauty dish that I personally feel works better as an octabank; and quite a sturdy one too!

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Review: Rokinon 20mm f1.8 (Sony E Mount, FE)

Rokinon has for a while been the maker of affordable lenses capable of delivering very high quality photos–and the new Rokinon 20mm f1.8 continues to hold the company to that very tradition. Like many of the company’s other optics, you can expect some incredibly sharpness from this lens. For many years though, Rokinon lenses have had a special character to them that I feel is lacking here. The image quality that it is capable of outputting feels like something very standard and clinical–and in some ways that’s how I feel it differentiates itself from the likes of both Sigma and Zeiss.

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Review: Zeiss 21mm f2.8 Loxia (Sony E Mount, FE)

The first time  I handled the Zeiss Loxia lenses I didn’t truly understand them considering they also have the Batis lineup. But after using the Zeiss 21mm f2.8 Loxia lens I’ve begun to understand it a bit more. Think about the system as a Leica M camera: you’ve got small, high quality glass that is manual focus and well built with great image quality. That’s what the Loxia lineup is, and considering what the Zeiss 21mm f2.8 Loxia lens is capable of there is very little to complain about aside from the price point.

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Review: Canon EOS M5

Years ago, I never believed that Canon would ever build at least a serious attempt at mirrorless cameras. But now, we’ve got one in the form of the Canon M5–and the company has created a really impressive camera overall. Essentially: think of it as being the 80D; except, well, it’s not. It’s significantly smaller, more lightweight, has an EVF, and uses the EF-M mount vs the EF mount.

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Review: Sony a99 II

In some ways, it perplexes me that Sony still has the a99 and Alpha series of cameras. Sure, they’re from the Minolta days and have a heritage behind them, but admittedly the company doesn’t push them anywhere as hard as they do their E mount lineup. I wish they did though–Minolta was at one time one of the most important camera companies in the world. So if you look at the Sony a99 II and trace its evolution, you honestly won’t see a whole lot of that heritage sans the mount. But this could arguably also be said for the original a99 with the new hot shoe. In all honesty though, that choice was for the better.

The Sony a99 II is a camera packed to the brim with technology. If you’re not convinced by the high megapixel full frame sensor, then you’ll be shocked to know it’s also capable of shooting sports and fast motion very well with its highly improved autofocus system. Indeed, this is the best that Sony can deliver.

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Review: Sony RX100 V

For a really long time, I’ve never truly been a fan of the Sony RX100 series of cameras, but then earlier this year Sony launched their Sony RX100 V–and somehow or another things changed. The company has been making steady improvements to the camera over the years with a better aperture value through the zoom range, the addition of an EVF, improved battery life, improved autofocus, better video, and better image quality. At the same time, I’ve become more and more enamored with point and shoots. The good ones with a fixed lens, a fast aperture, fast autofocus, small size, and solid image quality just make it all that much more worth investing into one.

In my personal collection, my Hexar AF has taken the place of SLRs and others just because it’s so small, lightweight, quiet, and has fantastic image quality. Digital point and shoots have been there for a while now, but nothing has impressed quite like what the Sony RX100 V has been capable of in terms of image quality from a 1 inch sensor.

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