The Camera No One Asked For: Sigma FP Review

The Sigma FP is yet another reason why Sigma should stop making cameras.

The title for this piece came from a conversation with Reviews Editor Paul Ip. It started over a game of Diablo III and my telling him that I’m going to shoot the sunset one night. “Are people buying that camera to do stuff like that?” he asked. My response was as confused as his. We met with Sigma twice about this product, and each time it was evident that they have no direction or idea of how they’re marketing their own products. At least the Sigma FP seemed pretty interesting to me on paper when it was announced. But getting it in my hands for a prolonged time made me angrier and angrier. One could say that this camera is aimed at the video shooter. But when I asked videographers if they’d use it, they said no–instead leaning towards Sony, Panasonic, Alexa, and RED. And for photography, there’s so much about this camera that’s pretty backward. Its design hearkens back to the old Argus C3–do you remember or even know about those? It was a brick. And this camera is more or less a brick.

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The Camera I Almost Threw in the Ocean: Sony RX100 VII Review

Sony’s own ideals and thoughts about serious cameras are starting to stifle the potential of cameras like the Sony RX100 VII, and it shows.

Yes, I’m not kidding about the title. There was a point during this review where the Sony RX100 VII felt so incredibly awkward in my hands that I really wanted to throw it in the ocean. I have modest hands at best, and there is just so much that makes me believe that this camera was designed for people with the smallest hands possible. But this camera lineup has always been about being pocketable and portable, though at great sacrifice. As a matter of fact, if I were being told to pick this camera up while coming from just shooting with a phone, I’d have the most bitter outlook on cameras overall. And there’s a lot wrong with the Sony RX100 VII that seriously made my sigh and wonder if Sony even thought about this camera before it came out.

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A Camera For JPEG Lovers Everywhere: Fujifilm X-T200 Review

The Fujifilm X-T200 is a fun camera that will appeal to newbies more than anyone else. But if you love shooting for the JPEG, you might want to take a look at it too.

Camera companies are doing all they can to stem the onslaught of smartphones and their cameras, and up until recently, they haven’t been doing a great job. Times are changing, though, and recent entry-level cameras from Sony (the a6100) and Olympus (the E-PL10) are starting to pull mobile photographers away from their phones. The original X-T100 from Fujifilm was a swing and a miss, but Fujifilm has been hard at work to make sure the X-T200 doesn’t fall short like its first entry-level camera did. We’ve been putting the Fujifilm X-T200 through its paces over a few weeks, and now it’s time to share our findings. Is the camera good enough to pry photographers from their phones? Find out in our full review.

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A Great Step up From a Smartphone: Olympus Pen E-PL10 Review

The Olympus Pen E-PL10 is a fun camera that gives a great ILC camera foundation to build upon.

As we all know, smartphones have taken a massive chunk of the entry-level camera market away from manufacturers, but the big boys still try to claw back customers who have maybe outgrown their smart devices when it comes to photography. One of those companies is, Olympus, and their latest roll of the dice into the entry-level camera market is the Olympus Pen E-PL10. This review turned out to be interesting as I was only allowed to leave my home for a limited amount of time to test the camera, so I had to get creative. Despite this, I was still able to put this small, compact camera through its paces. Is this camera good enough to make new photographers step away from their smartphone cameras? Let’s find out in our full review.

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The One Reason the Fujifilm X100V Ups the Game for Me

Fujifilm’s latest X100 camera opens the door to a new feature for affordable compact cameras.

Compact cameras have seen a lot of improvements in the past few years. Faster autofocus, better ISO resolution, filters, IBIS, megapickles: the list of advancements is deep. Fujifilm has been at the forefront of innovation with its x100 series of cameras. For almost a decade, these cameras have made photography fun for both budding photographers and more experienced shooters who wanted a pocketable camera for easy, quick use. While it offers some upgrades over its previous iteration, the X100V has also incorporated something almost no other compact point and shoot has yet: weather resistance. While full weather resistance comes when you add a filter to the front lens, this move raises the bar and will either catapult Fujifilm further into a league of its own or spur compact camera manufacturers to step their game up.

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Review: Sony A9 II (It Has Everything the Modern Pro Could Ever Need)

The Sony a9 II is every bit of a flagship camera, and honestly, it makes any type of photography easy.

Sony, as usual, made huge waves when they first introduced the a9 in 2017. They entered the sports market that had been dominated by both Canon and Nikon for decades, and they staked their claim as a serious player in this field. Fast forward a few years as we now have the Sony a9 II. Sony’s a9 II is a huge camera for them. Not only will it be the camera they want to push on professional sports photographers during the Olympics, which will be in their own back yard in 2020, but it’s also the camera that will need to go up alongside the new Canon 1DX III and the Nikon D6. Does the Sony a9 II have enough about it to take the gold medal? Let’s find out in our review.

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First Impressions: Fujifilm X-T4 (A Ton of Updates You’ll Want to See!)

Fujifilm X-T4

The rumored Fujifilm X-T4 is real folks, and it’s packing quite a number of improvements over its well-regarded predecessor.

In what is perhaps one of the worst-kept industry secrets in recent memory, we can finally confirm that the Fujifilm X-T4 is indeed real. While the XT4 sports the same 26 Megapixel X-Trans BSI CMOS 4 Sensor and X-Processor 4 Quad-Core Imaging Engine as its roughly year and a half old predecessor, there are plenty of upgrades that make it a worthwhile upgrade. Chief amongst these are the 5-Axis In-Body Image Stabilization, the inclusion of a fully articulating touchscreen, and a brand new, higher capacity battery. We got to spend some time with the Fujifilm X-T4 recently during a private media briefing. You can read all about our first impressions after the jump.

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Review: Sony a6100 (The Little Sony Camera That Could)

The Sony a6100 is what all other entry-level cameras should aspire to be.

The Sony a6000 was a revolutionary camera when it hit the scene in 2014. The enticing price point, great specs, and small size made it a camera many photographers and first-time camera owners flocked to. Here we are six years later with its true successor, the Sony a6100. The Sony a6100 features real-time human and animal eye-tracking, incredible burst rates, and Sony claims it has the world’s fastest autofocus system. But should first-time camera buyers and photographers on a budget flock to it like they did the a6000? Let’s find out in our review.

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Review: Olympus OMD EM1 III (A Travel Photographer’s Imperfect Gem)

The Olympus OMD EM1 III gives me very mixed feelings and promotes a particular lifestyle over the general appeal.

Though I’m hesitant to call the Olympus OMD EM1 III a specialized camera, it could be the best way to describe it. Travel, landscape, wildlife, and night photographers will adore its features. The small size combined with small lenses, deep depth of field at open apertures, and the build quality is all highly prized. When the aging sensor at the heart of the Olympus OMD EM1 III starts to rear its ugly head, Olympus can deliver beautiful images via the art filters. In my discussions with other journalists, I feel like the Art Filters are what truly makes Olympus unique. It’s synonymous with Fujifilm’s Film Simulations. If you don’t believe me, I’ve got one word for you: Acros. While traveling, the system is lightweight and one of the most manageable that I’ve used. And no matter where you’re traveling to, the Olympus OMD EM1 III has durability almost comparable to the EM1X. So why would you leave Sony, Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Leica, Panasonic, or Fujifilm for an Olympus OMD EM1 III? Honestly, I’m still pondering who the photographer is that would do just that.

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Review: Canon EOS Ra (It Almost Shines as Bright as the Stars in the Sky)

The Canon EOS Ra is the industry’s first Mirrorless astrophotography camera, and it’s quite impressive.

Canon is no stranger to the world of astrophotography and making cameras that excell. The Canon 60Da was the last DSLR they made for astrophotography, which had a unique Ha (Hydrogen Alpha) filter on the sensor, and it won over the hearts of all astrophotographers who used it. The 60Da was capable of capturing the gorgeous red hues of nebulas in the night sky with ease, and it deserved its legendary DSLR status. We have now moved into the Mirrorless age, and there has been a huge gap in the market where an Ha filtered camera should have been sitting. Canon fixed this with the new Mirrorless Canon EOS Ra. This camera has some big shoes to fill, but does it have enough to make deep-sky DSLR shooters switch to the new RF platform? Let’s find out.

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First Impressions: Fujifilm X100V (This is Probably the Perfect X100)

The Fujifilm X100V is a camera that I’ve been waiting a long time for; and I’m not disappointed.

The Fujifilm X100V is finally the X100 series camera that I’ve always wanted. Is it weather sealed? Fujifilm says that if you put a UV filter on the front, it will be fully sealed. Does it have a rangefinder-style body? Yes. Does it focus quickly? Yes. Is it still small? Yes. Photographers will also love that it has the Classic Negative film simulation. Indeed, there’s a lot to love about the Fujifilm X100V. We got to spend an hour or so with the camera very recently. And with a few firmware updates, this camera will be a no-brainer purchase.

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Special Report: The Leica M10 Monochrom Is Kodak Tri-X in Digital Form

The Leica M10 Monochrom is much more than just a black and white sensor.

“That’s a new one for you folks,” is what I said when being briefed on the new 40MP sensor at the heart of the Leica M10 Monochrom. Indeed, it’s not just the Leica M10’s sensor with the Bayer array removed, but something completely new. The 40MP sensor is optimized for detail and dynamic range. One could argue it’s mid-way between the Leica Q2 and the Leica M10, but the truth is that it leans more towards the Leica Q2 when it comes to resolution. If you’ve never held a Leica M10 or even know how to use a rangefinder, this camera is the one that will probably make you fall in love with using them. When they’re in your hand and you’re in-tune with how a rangefinder works, you’ll become a totally different photographer. The pictures you take become more about your passion and the moment than anything else.

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Review: Panasonic S1 (The Camera That Gives L Mount Hope)

The Panasonic S1 is a great camera that almost got everything right.

When the Panasonic S1 was announced, I’ll admit that I took far less interest in it than I did the S1R. I personally need more color depth, and the lower megapixel sensors just don’t do it for me. But after using it, the Panasonic S1 surprised me. Not only is it a capable camera, but it’s gotten better with firmware updates. The firmware updates are enough to make me hope it’s going to dramatically improve. And by all means, this is a great camera. But there’s an elephant in the room in the form of its chunky body.

Editor’s Note: We’re updating this review as of November 2020.

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Review: Olympus OMD EM5 Mark III (A Shrunken Down EM1 Mark II)

feature-rich cameras

The Olympus OMD EM5 Mark III features technology borrowed from the flagship EM1X and EM1 Mark II in a long-awaited update

The last time Olympus introduced a new camera body in their E-M5 product line was back in February of 2015, more than four and a half years ago. To say that the E-M5 series was overdue for an update would be quite an understatement. At long last, Olympus finally introduced the OM-D E-M5 Mark III earlier this year. Like the outgoing Mark II model, the EM5 Mark III is compact, lightweight, and features excellent weather sealing. The refreshed EM5 Mark III features the 20 MP Live MOS sensor, TruePic VIII Image Processor, and the same 121-point Phase Detection Autofocus System we’ve previously seen in the EM1 Mark II, itself a now three-year-old camera. Was this update worth the four and a half year wait?

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Review: The Hasselblad X1D II (A Beautiful, But Very Frustrating Camera)

The Hasselblad X1D II is the equivalent of a gorgeously styled, magnificently built grand touring car with lackluster performance under the hood.

Hasselblad has been synonymous with creating exquisite, top of the line cameras for many years. They have built a reputation on providing cameras with the very best build quality and image quality that is hard to beat. A lot has changed over the years, and the company now faces stiff competition from other players in the market. The Hasselblad X1D II is the latest version of their more affordable Medium Format camera, and they claim that performance has been significantly improved compared to the first X1D. Are the improvements enough to make the X1D II the camera to choose in the more affordable Medium Format segment? Find out in our full review. Continue reading…

Instant Camera Review: Canon IVY CLIQ+ Instant Camera Printer

The Canon IVY CLIQ+ Instant Camera Printer is fun for selfies at parties but hampered by the limitations of ZINK print technology.

The Canon IVY CLIQ+ is the company’s way of tackling the Instant camera market that has made a massive comeback in recent years. Printing photos has seen a resurgence in popularity. This is a welcomed trend considering pretty much everyone has a camera in their pockets at all times these days. While more photos are being taken than ever before, very few are printed. Most are never looked at again. Seeing a physical print from an instant camera never gets old. People instinctively gather for selfies whenever someone busts out an instant camera. Canon is hoping to tap into this market with the newest product in their IVY line: the Canon IVY CLIQ+. It uses Polaroid’s ZINK Zero Ink Technology to make prints that double as stickers. It’s both a pocketable instant camera and a mobile printer. In addition to taking photos and creating prints on the fly, you can even use the IVY CLIQ+ to print images from your phone. So, does the Canon IVY CLIQ+ live up to the hype?

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Review: Fujifilm X Pro 3 (The GOAT of Fujifilm Cameras)

The Fujifilm X Pro 3 will be the best camera for a certain type of photographer while others will gawk at it.

You should think about the Fujifilm X Pro 3 as a tool for a photographer who wants to be present in the moment and doesn’t want to miss a thing that’s happening. I’ve been waiting for the Fujifilm X Pro 3 for a long time; I felt that the X Pro 2 was great but not ideal. When the X Pro 3 was announced, I joined others in reveling at how much of a slap in the face to the industry this camera really is. The hidden LCD screen means the photographer needs to look through the viewfinder or unfurl the LCD screen to shoot. When I walked around NYC with Fujifilm reps, they stated I was the only photographer to not use the LCD screen to shoot at all. And that’s what this is about. The desired effect of this keeping you in the zone while shooting is something the Fujifilm X Pro 3 does very well.

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Review: Sony A7R IV (The Pound for Pound Resolution King)

The next Canon EOS R needs to crush the Sony A7R IV

The Sony A7R IV is the current pound for pound resolution king when it comes to Full Frame Mirrorless cameras.

Earlier this summer, Sony announced its latest high-resolution flagship Full Frame Mirrorless camera, the Sony A7R IV, which was met with an overwhelmingly positive reception. At the heart of the Sony A7R IV is its brand new, 61MP, backside-illuminated sensor. As of press time, this sensor is the highest resolution sensor available in a Full Frame camera. This takes the A7 series into medium format resolving territory. The Sony A7R IV also packs the company’s latest generation AF technologies under its hood, including Face and Eye AF for Humans and Animals, in addition to Real-time Tracking. The exterior of the A7R IV went under the knife as well, resulting in a slightly larger body that includes a deeper handgrip, better joystick, improved rear dial, a lockable Exposure Compensation dial, and upgraded buttons all around. The excellent Electronic View Finder from the A7R III was also replaced with a higher resolution EVF now capable of refreshing at up to 120 fps. Weather-sealing has been one of Sony’s pain points, but this also saw a major overhaul in the A7R IV. All of these improvements culminate in a camera designed clearly with the professional in mind.

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Review: Sony a6600 (The ‘Lil a9 II with Problems They Refuse to Fix)

hybrid shooters camera - Sony a6600

The Sony a6600 is made by the industry’s most innovative company that somehow forgets to do many things to make their cameras better.

The Sony a6600 is an excellent camera on paper. With image stabilization, a bigger battery, weather sealing, and the Sony a9’s autofocus system, it’s tough to find any fault with it behind the screen of a computer. But when you experience it in person, you realize there is so much that’s backward with it. The Sony a6600 starts to feel not like a camera at all. Instead, it embraces the criticism that Sony makes a fantastic image taking devices that don’t feel like cameras, but that sort of work like them. For the newer type of photographers who came up with the Instagram generation, you’ll be okay with it. But when you use other camera systems, you realize there is a whole lot wrong here. That’s not to necessarily say Sony didn’t do things right, though. And at $1,398, this camera isn’t that bad.

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Review: Canon EOS M6 Mk II (An Excellent Travel Camera)

Canon’s Color Science proves to be very lovely with the Canon EOS M6 Mk II.

The Canon EOS M6 Mk II is a small mirrorless camera with the most megapixels on an APS-C sensor on the market. Sharing the same sensor with the Canon EOS 90D, I was sort of skeptical of how it would perform. But in real-life testing, I was pleasantly surprised. This camera is targeted at the hobbyist and serious enthusiast. It’s going to shoot great photos. More importantly, you’re going to create fantastic pictures with it. And beyond that, I was also impressed at the JPEG quality. As a photographer that has been leaning more towards getting it right in camera, the Canon M6 Mk II gave me a whole lot to work with.

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Review: Leica SL2 (The Camera for the Photographer That Prints)

The Leica SL2 is the follow up to the Leica SL1 that saved a photojournalist.

Throughout my review of the Leica SL2, I tried to keep in mind who the camera is for. Before you snarkily say that it’s for those with too much money, the Leica SL2 has a lot of merit and value to it. It’s fantastic for printing with its special 47MP full-frame sensor. It handles image noise very well. In fact, the overall image quality is great. This is partly thanks to the stellar lenses for the L mount. But it’s also got autofocus that can’t keep up with the rest of the market. Couple all of this together with the ridiculously amazing weather sealing rating and you’ve got a damned great camera. But then give it a nearly $6,000 wrapper, and you’ll sit there scratching your head. But with all this said, it’s a very solid camera.

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