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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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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Samsung NX500 First impressions product photos (3 of 12)ISO 2001-1250 sec at f - 2.8

Over the weekend, we spent some quality time (and way too much time on airplanes) in Hawaii with Samsung testing the first Nx500 cameras. Their Nx300 was an excellent camera in many ways and the Nx500 improves on it in many ways. to begin with, the camera is basically the very lite version of the company’s flagship NX1. With a 28MP APS-C sensor, it can resolve lots of detail.

The camera also shoots 4K video at a 1.7x crop factor where the NX1 takes the full scene and scales it down instead; to each their own though.

The Nx500 very much feels like its older counterpart but in ways also feels classier. You’ll be tempted to use the selfie screen feature more than once, and when paired with a small prime lens it’s bound to make for a great street photography camera. Additionally, it sports two exposure dials for easier and quicker exposure controls in manual mode rather than needing to use the iFunction button on the lenses, and it comes in white, brown or black.

After two days with the camera, it’s very apparent that it is in no way the Editor’s Choice award winning NX1. But it’s still quite the enjoyable little snapper.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Fujifilm 16-55mm f2.8 WR first impressions photos (2 of 25)ISO 4001-100 sec at f - 4.0

Fujifilm’s 16-55mm f2.8 LM WR is a lens that was missing from the company’s lineup for a little while, but has since surfaced. The equivalent of the more professional grade f2.8 general zoom lens, the Fujifilm 16-55mm f2.8 LM WR incorporates weather sealing, a real aperture ring, and a bunch of awesome features.

The lens features 14 weather seals, nine aperture blades, and three ED and Aspherical elements. For a standard zoom lens with a constant aperture it has a lot going for it–not to mention being in front of Fujifilm’s excellent X Trans Sensors.

For most photographers that use Fujifilm’s system professionally, this is a must-have. But for the rest of us, you’ll probably want to look elsewhere.

Editor’s Note: Fujifilm sponsors our Xpert Advice series that appears monthly on this site; but out reviews are still our own opinions.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Zeiss 50mm f2 Loxia review product photos (2 of 6)ISO 2001-125 sec at f - 4.0

Zeiss stirred up quite the love affair with us when we tested the 35mm f2 Loxia. While I’m much more of a 35mm lens lover, the 50mm f2 Loxia certainly has more of my attention. Where the 35mm f2 has great image quality, the 50mm f2 has the Zeiss-like colors and micro-contrast that we’ve come to expect.

With a metal exterior, sweet ergonomics, great colors, sharp image quality, and a small overall package to work with the A7 series of cameras, why would you dislike it?

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Olympus OMD EM5 Mk II is the successor to what I believe in many ways was the closest thing to the perfect digital mirrorless camera ever made. When the Olympus OMD EM5 was announced, it was pitched as a weather sealed camera with fast autofocusing, a new sensor, great retro DSLR ergonomics, and a viewfinder that kicked some serious butt. Indeed, after Olympus was messing around a bit too much with their older Pen line, that was the camera that finally got it right.

It’s been years since that camera was announced and released; and we’ve now got its successor. With it comes the addition of WiFi integration, time lapse shooting, a 40MP high res shot mode, better weather sealing, improved (but more complicated ergonomics) faster shooting performance, the ability to make your AF points truly tiny, a different type of LCD screen, and a couple of other ergonomic changes. More than anything though, it moves away from the extra simplicity that the EM5 Mk I offered via controls. The Mk II has more buttons and in many ways looks like a more serious camera that is trying to have a retro look.

Overall, the Mk II is an excellent camera; but for an OMD EM5 user like me, I don’t believe that it’s at home is in my hands.

Update: April 22nd 2015, we’ve updated our review to include RAW image coverage

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Zeiss 35mm f2 Loxia review product lead images (1 of 2)ISO 64001-60 sec at f - 2.8

Our introductions to lenses tend to bit a bit of a nice padding to our reviews, but in this case we’re going to get straight to the point in an analogy.

Imagine if you will for a second that you think that you’ve met the love of your life. Though both of you may not know it yet, you’re perfect for one another. At the time that you two meet and mingle and do the whole dating thing, one of you needs to break it off. Years later though, you find one another again–and after a very passionate and wonderful moment, you truly find one another.

This is what the current Zeiss and Sony relationship is like: except in this case it’s Zeiss that’s perfect and Sony that still has some self-discovery to do.

The Zeiss 35mm f2 Loxia lens is in many ways the one for Sony–the absolutely most perfect 35mm lens designed for mirrorless cameras that we’ve ever come across. For shooters like us, using it is very much like second nature. It takes some of the best of external designs like those of Zeiss classic and modern Fujifilm to create a lens that is one that you’d be stupid not to go after.

And again, it’s not Zeiss that has us in a fit about using the lens. A problem with Sony full frame cameras that has been around for a while is what’s breaking our hearts.

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