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first impressions

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony A7r Mk II first sample images lenses (1 of 1)ISO 16001-40 sec at f - 5.0

We’re currently in Portland with Sony on a press trip and testing out the new Sony A7r Mk II and a load of lenses. If you remember, we gave our first first impressions a while back Perhaps it was because we were holding a pre-production model, but the camera feels significantly more substantial this time around. The dials and shutter wheels aren’t as nice as the previous iteration of these cameras, but the camera overall feels much more solid and rugged than I remember.

I took it around the Hotel’s vicinity to capture some images with the 16-35mm f4. We’ve posted sample photos below, but also be sure to check out our full first impressions.

Ps: Sony has paid for the trip, but we’re not letting that affect editorial judgement. A bunch of journalists are out here from many publications. Companies tend to do this from time to time, but we always maintain journalistic integrity.

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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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Editor’s Note: This is a syndicated blog post from photographer David Kai Piper. These and the images in this post are being used with permission. Additional BTS images are from Matthew Maddock.

The Fujifilm 16-55mm F2.8 R LM WR was just announced, and photographer David Kai Piper has been playing with it for a little while now. Here are his thoughts in addition to extra images that David allowed us to use not originally featured in his blog post.

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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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Panasonic FZ1000 gservo-1190249-20140604
Panasonic’s new FZ1000 camera is not a replacement of anything previous, but instead something totally new to the line. Think of it as a Sony RX10 competitor, and with that said also be sure to consider the fact that at its heart is a 1 inch MOS sensor right behind a very long 25-400mm equivalent zoom lens. This camera is meant to be a top end bridge camera for Panasonic–and this fact is clearly evident with the addition of 4k video recording capabilities.

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It’s been rumored for a while now, and Panasonic is announcing the brand new GH4 just in time for CP+. The new camera is the company’s flagship and is said to live above the GH3, but is not a direct replacement to it. On that note, the GH3 will continue to be sold. During our short briefing time with Panasonic, we learned about the heavy emphasis that the company is putting on video output with the latest offering. But overall, it so far seems like only minor improvements were added to the already pretty darned good GH3. And by minor, we’re talking about a brand new sensor and a couple of features that should have been included in the first place.

Think of this almost as the upgrade from the Canon 5D Mk II to the Mk III, but with less ergonomic changes. Except that with this one, they’re targeting it at Pros and enthusiasts.

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