How Much Do Imaging Sensors Really Matter Over Lighting?

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer With and without flashes for a window lighting tutorial (1 of 2)ISO 4001-40 sec at f - 2.8

For many years as a photographer, I’ve had one trick that has made all my product photography shine. Companies lease our product images, and on social platforms or messaging boards our product images are often used to showcase a lens or camera looking sexy. We wrote a while back about how we do product photos, but something that continues to be an issue with many photographers even today is whether or not you should have a new camera, an old camera, a full frame sensor, a Four Thirds sensor or an APS-C Sensor.

And I’m here to show you the absolute truth: with good lighting and a few tweaks of sliders in Lightroom, none of that matters when it comes to image quality. Of course, cameras can have different features that make them more or less attractive depending on the application. But in general, a more experienced photographer can take any camera you hand them and create a fantastic image no matter what.

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The Cameras You All Really Want Are Only Going to Get More Expensive


If you’ve noticed something about the price points of cameras, you’ll realize that they’re only becoming more and more expensive. That’s because of a number of factors including the slow crush of most point and shoots from phones and exactly what they’re capable of doing. Add onto that the fact that the prosumer market is growing and willing to spend a lot more money to get the image quality they want, and you’ll now get what we wanted in some ways or another: the camera and high end photography industry is now something only available to the rich and those that truly want to spend the money to create something inspired by their creative passion.

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Which One? The Sony RX1r II vs Leica Q Comparison


If you wanted to go for a premium point and shoot camera of some sort, then the best of the best is easily awarded to the Sony RX1r II and the Leica Q. With their full frame sensors and fast aperture lenses, they’re bound to be appreciated by many photographers. Both of them have been out for a while now, and with the price differences not too far apart from one another you’re obviously curious about which one you should get. For some, the answer is clear: you prefer a higher megapixel sensor and the 35mm field of view. Others however want to go for the 28mm f1.7 lens and don’t want to fill their hard drives up.

We’ve reviewed both cameras, so here’s what we think.

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How to Make Images from An APS-C or Four Thirds Sensor Look Like Full Frame


Take a look at the lead image for this story: what do you think it was shot with? It’s a photo I use often here on the site. That photograph was shot with Kodak Portra with a Bronica ETRS. No editing was done. It looks like it could have been done with a modern full frame camera or some other digital camera, right? To be honest, I could have done it with 35mm, Micro Four Thirds, APS-C, etc. What really mattered was the lighting and the situation because the further truth is that the laws of exposure don’t change.

Here’s the absolute truth about sensor sizes and image quality: in the hands of a photographer that sits there and uses a camera for what it is, the camera will produce fantastic images. All dedicated cameras these days produce more than good enough image quality, but they all require you to do certain things to make their peak image quality really come out. The results from an APS-C sensor or a Four Thirds sensor can all product jaw dropping images.

The secret: it’s in you. The laws of exposure don’t change; but you should have an understanding of how the rules of depth of field, contrast, and colors interact with one another.

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I Miss the CCD Sensor: A Love Letter to Older Digital Cameras

chris gampat the phoblographer leica m9p review (2 of 15)

I’m about to say something that is going to be very unpopular with many of you, but will make a whole load of sense to those of you experienced enough to truly realize what I’m saying. CMOS sensors in cameras these days are all good. The ones in phones, dedicated cameras, etc. They work and they’re all highly capable of delivering beautiful results. I’d guarantee you that if you put the output from a Sony camera and a Canon camera side by side, you probably wouldn’t be able to tell which is which. Why? They’re all so perfect. Because of this, I honestly really miss the CCD sensor–the unique look that it was able to deliver rendered images to resemble chrome film and gave us beautiful flaws that could easily be embraced by the most crafty amongst us. Indeed, the “bad results” truly brought out those of us that could make lemonade out of a pile of lemons.

It’s a tune I’ve been singing for years now.

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Review: Dexter’s Vac-o-matic Camera Sensor Cleaner


When it comes to cleaning your camera sensor, the truth is many photographers are very scared and don’t know how to do it. There are options like the Rocket Blower, the Arctic Butterfly, and very recently Dexter’s Vac-o-matic was sent to us for review. From the folks over at Dexter’s camera, the Vac-matic is a low power vacuum designed to clean your camera’s sensor by using a soft tip.

Of any option that I’ve used thus far, this combines effectiveness with ease of use far better than anything else.

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First Impressions: Fujifilm GFX 50s Medium Format Mirrorless Camera


For a few minutes at Photokina 2016, I was able to personally fondle the hottest camera announced at the show: the Fujifilm GFX 50s. This is a medium format camera targeted at the full frame 35mm camera user and is the second medium format mirrorless camera in the digital market. Oddly enough though, it isn’t designed to resemble a Mamiya 7 II or anything else from the film days despite the retro aesthetics. A number of jounalists and I were taken through a presentation where we were introduced to the team who worked on the camera’s design and specifications. Fujifilm’s intention here is to find a way to appeal to professional photographers and high end enthusiasts without competing in the pool filled with sharks that produce full frame 35mm sensor cameras.

So far: they seem to have the world’s attention.

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The Sony a99 II Features a 42.4MP Back Illuminated Full Frame Sensor


At Photokina 2016, Sony has announced their new Sony a99 II; making it the company’s new flagship Alpha camera. It’s about time too, it’s been a number of years now. At the heart there is  42.4 BSI MP full frame sensor that can shoot at 12fps while using tracking AF, hybrid face detection af, 399 AF points, 5 axis stabilization, 4k movie without pixel binning. They’re targeting this camera at professionals and sports shooters and wildlife photographers.

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