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Chris Gampat the Phoblographer Sony A7s product images (5 of 8)ISO 4001-100 sec at f - 5.6

With so many options out there and camera manufacturers introducing new models all the time, it can be tough for someone to figure out what mirrorless camera they should get. It all begins not by saying to your sales guy, “What’s the best camera?” The truth is that they’re all damned good. In fact, the technology has come so far that it’s almost impossible for you to take a terrible image by conventional standards.

Instead, what you should be asking is what you need. That can open up a floodgate of even more questions. But just like buying a car, computer or even a fridge, you should take a look at what your options are.

Here’s how to pick the best mirrorless camera for you.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony A7r review photos brooklyn bridge reddit walk (4 of 14)ISO 1001-800 sec at f - 3.2

Shoot Raw. Always shoot Raw. Only shoot Raw: this is the mantra that many, many photographers live by. They swear by it. We swear by it here at the Phoblographer. I swear by it as a photojournalist, commercial and portrait photographer for years. Why? So that we can get a better result in post. So that we can differentiate ourselves from the plebeians and peasants that would rather shoot in just JPEG and be happy with their results. Yes, reader: we are the higher class of citizens that stick our noses and in the air and would rather accept death than shoot in JPEG.

Or at least that’s how it’s been for years. As time has gone on and I’ve reviewed camera after camera and the technology has become better and better, I (we, actually) have seen that JPEG quality has improved tremendously. We even dare to say that it is now so much so to the point where that if you know what you’re doing in the first place with your camera that you won’t need to shoot in RAW. Indeed, many of the photos for the Phoblographer’s Instagram are shot in JPEG with an Olympus OMD EM5, Sony A7, or Sony NEX 6 then transferred right over to my phone or iPad and added to our feed. How much post-production goes into them? Basically, it’s not much more than some sharpening and contrast fixes in Instagram, VSCO or EyeEm.

And guess what.

The images are good enough for our over 4,000 followers on Instagram and usually just fine for our over 250,000 Facebook followers.

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Sony A7 Grip GServo-3697-20140810

As technology changes, so have I. With Nikon not releasing the camera I wanted, I purchased the Sony A7. As I got comfortable with the Sony A7 there were certain aspects of the camera that were weird at times. One important issue was the size. It is great for my small lenses but when I use a big lens I really wish that the Sony A7 were designed to be bigger. This is especially true when shooting portraits. Luckily Sony has prepared for this when they released the camera.  They also released the Sony Vertical Battery Grip for Alpha A7, A7R and the  A7S.

And for the most part, it is the great equalizer.

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Kevin Lee The Phoblographer Sony A5100 Product Images-4

Sony has ported over the A6000’s amazing autofocus system to the “new” camera deemed the A5100— sorry buyers of the original Sony A5000. The Japanese camera hasn’t skimped on the phase detect AF points either with the Sony A5100. It has the same fully loaded 179 AF points as its higher-end sibling.

What’s more is that the new compact body also has the A6000′s 24.3 APS-C Exmor CMOS sensor and Bionz X image processor. With all these flat improvements, the Sony A5100 seems like it’s just the A6000 in a smaller package with some slightly different ergonomics and no integrated electronic viewfinder. Which is all perfectly fine really. In our review of the Sony A6000 we found the small shooter to have great image quality and incredibly fast autofocus performance.

As for a few other improvements, Sony has passed on Eye AF and Lock-on AF modes, which first debuted on the Sony A7 and A7r. Lastly the new sensor can record full HD 1080p video in AVCHD as well as the XAVC-Scodec for 50 Mbps footage

The Sony α5100 will be available this September black and white for $550 for the body only. There’s also a $700 kit version bundled with the 16-50mm f3.5-5.6 motorized zoom lens. Read on to see more images and specs on the Sony A5100.

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Review: Nikon D810

by Chris Gampat on 08/17/2014

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Nikon D810 review lead product image (1 of 1)ISO 4001-60 sec at f - 4.0

The Nikon D810 is the latest flagship DSLR from Nikon without a vertical grip attached. Coming in two years after the D800 and D800E; it is seen as the replacement for both cameras. For the most part, Nikon has given users some very minor upgrades in the same way that Canon didn’t offer too much change from the 5D Mk II to the Mk III. Most notably with the D810 is the modest bump in megapixels with no AA filter, the D4s’ autofocusing system, better high ISO output, and something that Nikon users have been asking for for a very long time: small RAW mode. Indeed, with this camera it is now possible to not fill up your computer’s hard drive after a single professional shooting session.

The Nikon D810 is a heck of a lot of camera that we don’t think that everyone needs at all. And those that would make the best use of it are those that make a living from selling their images. But for many of those people, the upgrade may not be enough.

For others: the Nikon D810 may be the camera that makes you drop your current system and switch over immediately.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Essentials the Location Shooter (10 of 10)ISO 2001-80 sec

I have a confession to make: I wanted all the gear years ago. My entry point was the Canon 5D Mk II many, many moons ago. I wanted loads of L glass and I wanted to qualify for Canon Professional Services. Back then, you needed two pro level cameras, at least three of the lenses on their recommended list, and had to prove that you’re a working professional. It was going to be awesome. So I went on a quest. I started with a Canon 50mm f1.8–the nifty 50 that everyone gets first. After this I scored the 24-105mm f4 L. Next was the old 80-200mm f2.8 L. Then moved onto a 50mm f1.4. Then the 7D. Then a 35mm f1.4 L. Then an 85mm f1.8. Then flashes came into play. And triggers. And light modifiers. Before I knew it, my camera bag was getting really full and I needed another one.

But then other companies started to develop some amazing technology and I wanted a smaller camera. The Olympus EP2 became my next purchase after getting and using a bunch of Canon L glass and primes. It was small, could take great photos in the right situations, and felt great in the hands. But then the EP3 came out–and it was perhaps the fastest focusing camera in the world. And a spiral happened.

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