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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 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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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony a7 Mk II product photos (1 of 8)ISO 1001-50 sec at f - 5.0

Introduced late last year, Sony refreshed one of their initial entries into the full frame mirrorless camera game with the A7 Mk II. The Sony A7, to be honest, is such new technology still that it didn’t need a refresh. But Sony is one of the big innovators of our time in the camera world, so when it came to the A7 Mk II they gave it a couple of slight but well executed updates.

The biggest update to come to the A7 Mk II is the addition of image stabilization to the sensor. It works via a 5-axis system that is very similar to Olympus’s solution. In fact, we couldn’t really tell the difference when we talked to both companies except that Sony’s solution works for full frame sensors.

Besides the 4.5 stops of additional image stabilization, Sony claims that the A7 Mk II has a 35% increase in autofocus responsiveness performance, 40% faster start up time and the XAVC-S video codec.

But is the A7 Mk II worth it for you?

Editor’s Note: As of February 20th, we’ve updated the Image Quality test

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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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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Canon 7D MK II review product images (1 of 10)ISO 4001-30 sec at f - 4.0

We’ve been waiting many years for it, and this year the Canon 7D MK II has finally come. Canon in years past has been a very conservative company when it comes to new products. Not many changes have been made to many of their previous offerings with the Canon Rebel series being the most obvious amongst these. The 7D Mk II though is a camera surely designed for current Canon customers and users.

With a modest bump in the megapixel count from 18 to 20.9MP, the 7D Mk II also delivers better high ISO results than many of its immediate competitors. And while this can be a huge selling point, there is something holding that back.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Panasonic 15mm f1.7 review product photos (2 of 6)ISO 4001-100 sec at f - 3.5

The Panasonic 15mm f1.7 lens is a small, well designed lens for the Micro Four Thirds camera system–and we dare say that it is our favorite autofocusing lens for the system, too. Designed to be almost a pancake but with a wide f1.7 aperture, it pairs very nicely with some of the system’s medium to smaller camera. With nine elements in seven groups and seven aperture blades, it’s a fairly simply designed lens but whatever magic that Panasonic put into it makes the lens sing with pure image quality.

Introduced earlier this year, this lens is very heavily targeted at the street photographer and the person looking to take general candids and images due to its 30mm field of view.

And when our review period is over, we’re going to be very sad to say goodbye to it.


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