Review: Canon 77D

The logic behind the Canon 77D is one that in some ways doesn’t really make sense to me. But if Canon believes that it will get them sales, then so be it. However, with at least three Rebels, two mid tier, and one high end tier APS-C camera there’s a lot of head scratching to do. I mean, why not do something similar between the 5D series and the 1D series? Or between the Canon 5D and 6D? Either way there are surely a number of really interesting things about the Canon 77D such as the 24MP APS-C sensor, the interestingly pleasant ergonomic controls, the autofocus that almost never missed a shot, and Canon’s incredibly simple and straight forward menu interface that I wish everyone else would get half as right.

Though to be fair, it shouldn’t be this expensive.

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Review: Canon EOS M6 (Canon EF-M Mount)

If you were to look at the mirrorless camera world, it would appear that Canon, with the Canon M6, is an entry into the world where they’re still trying to find themselves. To some, they could look like an experimental 20 something trying in vain to get their life together. Yet somehow or another, I genuinely never thought that I’d like the Canon M6. The camera isn’t designed to be the highest end mirrorless camera from Canon, yet somehow or another it’s a camera that surely deserves respect in some ways and groans of frustration at the fact that Canon has gotten this camera almost perfectly right yet it feels like they were purposely holding themselves back. The Canon M6 has at its heart a 24MP APS-C sensor which is smaller than all the other options out there from Fujifilm, Sony, Pentax, Sigma–and let’s be honest because they’re all more or less made by Sony. Designed for the enthusiast, the Canon M6 has some very tough competition from the entire camera world. Yet somehow or another, this truly is a camera that you need to personally experience to understand.

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Which One?: Sigma 85mm f1.4 Art vs Sigma 135mm f1.8 Art Comparison

If you’re a portrait photographer, the question of Sigma 85mm f1.4 Art vs Sigma 135mm f1.8 Art has most likely come up. The two lenses are portrait photography powerhouses designed to be some of the best lenses in the world and have attractive characters to portrait photographers of all types. Typically, choosing one lens over the other has had to do with the amount of space that you’re working in, but with trends in modern photography that can change pretty easily just by switching locations. Both lenses have different image quality characteristics and different body characteristics. So which one is right for you?

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First Impressions: Kodak Ektra Smartphone

Earlier this year, the Kodak Ektra smartphone was announced and photographers looked on with curiosity. The Kodak Ektra is manufactured by Kodak–you know, the same company that makes fantastic film. And so the inspiration for the Ektra was to be revolutionary in the same way that the Ektra camera was years ago. The Kodak Ektra was the first film camera with a manual film advance on it according to Kodak, and so they were trying to bring back a sense of that spirit with the new phone. On that idea, the phone isn’t designed for the uber-hipster techie that doesn’t believe themselves to be a hipster, but instead it’s designed for the creative hipster–you know, the stereotypical one that you’d say is one but is actually just on a different creative level than lots of people are. Take for example Thomas Leuthard, who has been using the phone to great success.

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Review: Bitplay 18mm HD Wide Angle Lens (Apple iPhone)

Though many of the more traditional photographers don’t really take the iPhone seriously, it’s very fair to say that lens options like the Bitplay 18mm HD Wide Angle lens for the Apple iPhone are options that can really change the way you shoot. Bitplay has a load of excellent lens optics for their SNAP! Pro case, which we’ve reviewed previously and they’ve updated. But this newest addition is promising incredibly low distortion. So if you’re an adventure photographer, landscape photographer, street photographer, or cityscape shooter, then there is very little reason why you wouldn’t want a lens like this. In the same way that Moment and Zeiss have been changing the way that photographers shoot with the iPhone, this new lens offering from Bitplay is very similar.

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Review: Sony a9

It took Sony long enough, but earlier this year the company announced a true flagship mirrorless camera: the Sony a9. The Sony a9 is designed to take on the likes of the Canon 1DX Mk II and the Nikon D5. It’s a camera designed for a photojournalist who needs not a whole lot of resolution but a balance between that and good high ISO output. To appeal to these photographers, Sony gave the Sony a9 an impressive 20 fps shooting ability with no blackout of the viewfinder. The autofocus is also very effective, and can be used with a variety of lenses designed for the Sony E mount. Other connections such as a built in ethernet port and dual card slots are also bound to be very valuable to these photographers. Indeed, the Sony a9 is a camera for the working pro who brings in gainful employment and taxable income using their camera. With that said, you’d be absolutely stupid to purchase this for street photography unless you’re making some serious money off of it–so just stop right there.

Despite how fantastic it is, Sony still hasn’t gotten it 100% perfectly right. But to be fair, neither have Canon or Nikon.

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Review: Syrp Super Dark Variable ND Filter (5-10 Stops)

Variable ND filters like the Syrp Super Dark Variable ND Filter have often been more popular amongst videographers than they have with photographers. But with proper knowledge of color theory or simply by relying on Auto White Balance if you’re trusting enough, a variable ND filter can be fantastic not just for the digital photographer, but also for the film photographer out there. The Syrp Super Dark Variable ND Filter is a variable ND filter that cuts out anywhere from 5 to 10 stops of light from your photo. The stops are clearly marked and the filter has hard stops at either end.

In the right situations, they rival Breakthrough and Hoya’s Quality.

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Review: Fujifilm X100F

In many ways, the Fujifilm X100F is both the closest thing to a perfect camera and the most infuriating camera at the same time. By itself, the Fujifilm X100F boasts quite a bit of upgrades over its predecessor, the X100T, that truly make it competitive and viable. And as always, it isn’t at all a bad camera; but it could have been something much better. With the same 24MP X Trans Sensor at the heart of the company’s two flagship cameras, and that retro-gorgeous camera body that makes lots of photographers weak in the knees, the Fujifilm X100F will undoubtedly sell well–and it deserves to.

But after four iterations of the camera, there are things about it I still don’t understand.

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