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Chris Gampat the Phoblographer Panasonic G7 first impressions images (1 of 7)ISO 4001-80 sec at f - 2.8

It seems like Micro Four Thirds cameras are never really big secrets; at least that’s what Four Thirds rumors seemed to have right on point with the Panasonic G7. This is the company’s latest camera in their G series and is targeted at enthusiasts by combining the best of come of their other cameras and putting it all into this one. The G7 has the sensor of the GF7 and the processor of the GH4, shoots 4K video, and has improved autofocus performance that Panasonic claims works down to -4 EV.

We put a big emphasis on the word claims there; especially since we spent less than five minutes with the prototype that we handled at the company’s headquarters. The big feature that Panasonic seems to be pushing is the new 4K Photo mode that essentially just snaps full 4K video sized photos.

Providing this camera really can perform like this, it’s bound to win awards and drop jaws–but this camera still has some weird ergonomics.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Lensbaby Velvet 55mm f1.6 product images (1 of 6)ISO 4001-140 sec at f - 2.0

Lensbaby’s Velvet 56mm f1.6 is a pretty new lens, and one that many of us didn’t necessarily expect. In the past couple of years, the company has been working on alternative lenses for various systems, and the first sample images look really cool in a lo-fi type of way. Indeed, Lensbaby has always been about seeing the world in a new way, and their newest lenses seem to make you do that, just in a more vintage style.

That’s not to say that these lenses have plastic optics at all, but if you’re a film lover then the Lensbaby Velvet 56mm f1.6 lens will give you quite a treat.

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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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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Zeiss 35mm f2 Loxia first impressions product images (9 of 9)ISO 4001-100 sec at f - 5.0

Late last year, Zeiss announced two lenses for the Sony full frame E-mount cameras, which created the Loxia lineup. These lenses were designed to cover a full frame sensor area for mirrorless cameras like the Sony A7 series. The lenses are manual focus only–which is one of Zeiss’s fortes and has been for years due to their reputation in the manufacturing world. They also have a manual aperture and fully working depth of field scale. And like their more popular lens options, these lenses don’t have a rubber focusing ring.

We’ve been spending some time with the Zeiss 35mm f2 Loxia so far, and like many manual focus lenses on a full frame camera, it isn’t simple to work with.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Lomography LCA 120 product photos (1 of 7)ISO 2001-200 sec at f - 4.0

Earlier this year, Lomography announced the smallest 120 film camera with automatic metering ever made: the LCA 120. Traditionally, no photographer that uses 120 film on a regular basis has ever consistently wanted to shoot with a fully automatic mode. This is why many of these cameras have interchangeable backs, lenses, and various settings. There were also various medium format rangefinders, but those are another story.

The LCA 120 is a medium format (6×6) automatic metering camera with the only variable being ISO control. Focusing involves flipping a switch for zone control. Otherwise, this camera is also the most straightforward and simple medium format camera that I’ve ever touched.

This makes the LCA 120 arguably one of the best cameras that the Phoblographer has tested for street photography.

So what’s the problem?

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Zeiss Rokinon Sigma 85mm f1.4 three way comparison (2 of 3)ISO 4001-125 sec at f - 3.5

Your lenses are much more important than your camera is. They do a big job of helping to determine what kind of image quality comes out of the camera. And in the same way that you’d treat your camera with lots of care, you should be treating your lenses even better. You know some of the basics already–or at least you think you do.

To get the most from your lenses, you’ll need to understand how they work.

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