Review: Nikon z7 (A Most Frustrating Camera in the Most Subtle of Ways)

The Nikon z7 (oddly named the Nikon Z 7 by Nikon) isn’t a completely awful camera despite what online reviews have said.

When I first had the chance to play with the Nikon z7, I felt like Nikon had given us a with camera a whole lot of promise despite guaranteeing a groan out of a photographer every time that they try to bring their images onto their computer. But then we found issues with the autofocus, and quite frankly some of those autofocus issues were pretty awful. On paper, the Nikon z7 sounds like it would knock the ball out of the park. In real life practice though, it wasn’t up to par of so many other options out there. But with a BSI 45.7MP full frame sensor that has 493 focusing points, this seems like a camera that is a dream for so many shooters out there. Unfortunately, it’s not pulling me away from Sony any time soon.

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Review: Leica M10-D (Almost the Leica That I’ve Been Waiting For)

The Leica M10-D is the ultimate evolution to the Leica M10 series of cameras and brings with it ergonomic changes that I don’t expect most people to understand.

When I walked into a meeting with Leica and saw the Leica M10-D, it reminded me of the very few times that I gasped with utter and pure excitement in the industry; when Sony announced their radio flashes/transmitter, when Capture One finally started to work closer with Fujifilm, and when Kodak announced that Ektachrome was coming back. And for the most part, I’m writing my review of the Leica M10-D from the point of view of a fanboy simply because I don’t expect most people to understand the camera. One side will call me a spoiled, hipster millennial and the other side may label me as an elitist snob with full conviction that Leica paid me a ton of money to write this. This post is being written with pure joy and admiration at what Leica has done with the Leica M10-D, but I am also fully acknowledging where it’s gone wrong.

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Review: Canon EOS R (The Mirrorless Camera That Truly Surprised Me)

If you had told me a year ago that Canon would come out with a camera like the Canon EOS R, and that I’d actually purchase one, I would’ve laughed in your face. But Canon has genuinely surprised me. The Canon EOS R camera is targeted at the semi-professional and high-end enthusiast and can be looked at as a bit of a fusion between the Canon 5D Mk IV and the Canon 6D Mk II stuffed into a mirrorless camera body and given a few new adjustments that make it a unique Canon product vs being another Sony copycat. The camera houses a more-than-sufficient, full-frame 30.3MP sensor that is a happy medium between many of the 24MP sensors and the 42MP+ sensors out there in full-frame cameras. To that end, one could argue that it is sort of positioning itself to be a jack of all trades and a master of none.

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Review: Fujifilm X-T3 (It’s a Crop Sensor Powerhouse)

Fujifilm threw everything and the kitchen sink into their latest powerhouse APS-C camera

While Full Frame mirrorless cameras have certainly dominated the conversation as of late, with seemingly every major digital camera manufacturer on the market announcing or releasing new Full Frame mirrorless cameras, Fujifilm is keeping their focus on their crop sensor camera bodies with the release of their new Fujifilm X-T3. Boasting significant improvements in terms of features as well as performance, the Fujifilm XT3 is targeting photographers and videographers alike that are looking for solid workhorse camera in a compact package.

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First Impressions: Fujifilm GFX 50R (The Camera I’ve Been Waiting for)

I’ve been waiting so long for Fujifilm to release something like the Fujifilm GFX 50R. 

I can’t tell you about all the dreams I’ve had about a camera like the Fujifilm GFX 50R, but I can tell you about how I’m incredibly pleased that it seems to be modeled akin to the Fujifilm GW690 III of many years ago. This camera is Fujifilm’s rangefinder style medium format option; one many of us have been waiting for for some time. It’s design will not only appeal to studio shooters, but also landscape photographers, and even documentary photographers. Part of this comes with the enhanced autofocus system the camera has and the fact that it is highly capable with the right lenses. Though the Fujifilm medium format zoom lenses are nice, I genuinely think the company’s prime lenses are still the strongest offerings despite slower apertures.

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First Impressions: Leica S3 (One of the More Unique Medium Format Cameras Out There)

The Leica S3 is the newest evolution of the company’s very good lineup of medium format cameras and it’s got something very unique to it.

When I originally played with the Leica S2, I was enamored with the Leica S system and it’s approach to making medium format more like a standard full frame DSLR. With the Leica S3, the company is continuing that tradition with more or less the same body. But what is much different is what’s on the inside. This sensor is unique; the Leica S3 has a brand new 64MP sensor at the heart designed to keep the same 3:2 aspect ratio that so many full frame 35mm photographers are used to using. But of course, this sensor is bigger than a full frame 35mm option. Though at the same time, I’m still trying to understand and wrap my head around the photographers who will go for a camera like this.

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First Impressions: Ricoh GR III (Street Photographers, Pay Attention)

We got to take a closer look at the Ricoh GR III recently; it seems to be a whole lot of the same.

The Ricoh GR III is a camera street photographers have been waiting for for a really long time. Depending on who you are you perhaps wanted different things. Its predecessor, the Ricoh GR II, still proves to be popular amongst the street photography community for its small size, great image quality, leaf shutter lens, and overall low profile look. Lots of photographers use it, but it surely does have its flaws. The Ricoh GR III promises to improve on some of those flaws and also adds new features such as image sensor stabilization. Photographers have been waiting years for this camera and there was even a period of time where its predecessor was tough to come by due to supply issues. To be honest, I think Ricoh could create a higher end and lower end model for this camera to build out the offerings even more.

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First Impressions: Zenit M Digital Rangefinder Camera

We got a moment to look at the newly announced Zenit M at Photokina 2018.

The Zenit M surely and absolutely is not a Leica. I’d instead say that, if Voigtlander decided to team up with Leica and make a digital rangefinder camera, Zenit is giving you pretty much what you would get. For those of us who have held and caressed their Leicas with a bit too much affinity, you’ll know the difference on first feel and even a bit on look. But in all seriousness, I think that in a blind test that most people wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between this and a Leica M9; that’s what it feels most like.

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First Impressions: Fujifilm XT3 (Fujifilm’s Jack of All Trades Camera?)

The Fujifilm XT3 is promising some major upgrades, and we got to test it first.

Fujifilm announced their latest X-Series camera yesterday, the Fujifilm XT3, boasting sensor and image processor upgrades that promise to deliver significant performance improvements over its predecessor. Make no mistake about it, this is a huge step forward for Fujifilm and they didn’t pull any punches with this camera, targeting photographers and videographers alike with some impressive features. We were invited to the media briefing as well as the launch event where we learned about all of the latest advancements they’ve packed into the X-T3, and got to spend some hands-on time with the camera as well.

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First Impressions: Canon EOS R (Canon’s First Full Frame Mirrorless Camera)

The newly announced Canon EOS R is a camera that Canon added some new innovations to.

The new Canon EOS R camera was announced tonight. As expected and reported on previously, it is a full frame mirrorless camera that offers up a whole lot. While there surely is innovation with this camera that is very unique to the Canon EOS R, the major innovations arguably come with the new lenses that were also announced.

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First Impressions: Nikon Z7 (With the Nikon 35mm f1.8)

The Nikon Z7 is the company’s attempt to outdo Sony in the mirrorless full frame space.

Upon initial thoughts, the Nikon Z7 has a whole lot going for it: except, you know, the single card slot and a card format that almost no photographer uses. But at the heart, there is a 45.7MP BSI full frame sensor capable of producing incredibly crisp images. On top of that, you can cram Nikon’s very simple DSLR style interface into the camera and their ISO range from 64-25,600; a win-win on many accounts when you consider it has weather sealing, the autofocus is actually very good (like Sony-level good), and there is built in image stabilization. Rightfully so, I can say with all certainty that the Nikon Z7 is going to be taking home a number of awards this year.

We got some hands on time with the new Nikon Z7 today and used it with the company’s 35mm f1.8 for the Z mount. Here’s what we think so far.

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First Impressions: Panasonic LX1 II (Maybe the Best Cam for Street?)

The Panasonic LX1 II keeps the body mostly the same, but takes the GX9’s internals and crams them in.

I’m not going to lie, I was wondering if the Panasonic LX1 was ever going to be replaced, and today Panasonic is announcing their new Panasonic LX1 II. The camera keeps pretty much everything that was great about the Panasonic LX1 but replaces the internals. Basically, take the Panasonic GX9 and smush it into this body. Yes, the lens is still a zoom–and though I’d much prefer it to be a fast prime I can totally understand why Panasonic would create a lens like this. But if you combine it with the Monochrome effects, it’s bound to be a camera that’s almost perfect for street photography. At least, in concept and theory it all makes sense to us.

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Review: Leica M10P (The Quietest Mechanical Shutter on the Market)

Though the Leica M10P is a slight variation of the already great Leica M10, it comes with a few features that photographers will want.

When briefed on the Leica M10P, I was proven that it is the quietest Leica camera ever made. In fact, it boasts the quietest mechanical shutter that we’ve ever worked with. Photojournalists are amongst those who would value something like this coupled with the WiFi capabilities and the touch screen features. Combine all this with the lack of any sort of big red dot, and you’ve got yourself a pretty low profile camera. But like all things Leica, you’re paying quite the price for that.

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Review: Fujifilm XT100 (Their Most Entry Level Camera Yet)

The Fujifilm XT100 is a nice camera, but there are so many better options in the lineup, and it’s evident.

I had my doubts when the Fujifilm X-T100 was first announced, and throughout my testing I found it to be the company’s most bland, interchangeable lens camera yet. Granted, Fujifilm’s particular flavors still stand out quite a bit from Olympus, Sony and Panasonic in many ways. But I’d liken this comparison to the difference between instant coffee and the freshly ground and roasted stuff you’d get from a proper roaster. And because I’m particularly hungry, I’d make it synonymous to the difference between a New York bagel freshly made vs a Lenders’ or Thomas’ that you’d get from the grocery store. In both situations, the Fujifilm X-T100 is the lower hanging fruit (or bagel). With this said, the Fujifilm X-T100 should be bought by someone who feels that they’ll need to upgrade perhaps within a year or so. If you want a more premium product that will last, I strongly encourage you to check out their higher-end models.

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Review: Olympus EPL9 (Or, Why and How I Fell Back in Love with Olympus)

The Olympus EPL9 should not be taken seriously, but it should inspire you in a different way.

When the Olympus EPL9 was announced, I jokingly said to myself that I’d do the entire review taking nothing else but selfies to mock my generation and because much of our initial briefing on the camera was about that. But what I didn’t expect was to fall back in love with the way Olympus does things. You’re most likely saying, “But it’s Micro Four Thirds!” Indeed, I only own Fujifilm and Sony cameras these days due to the way I shoot and for my demands for editing and all. But I’ve always had a genuine appreciation for Olympus though not always a fluid understanding of how they market. Much of their appeal is to those who live in the country. As a city boy who occasionally travels to the land of the Trump voters, I initially thought the Olympus Pen F would have been the camera for me. Indeed, I still thoroughly enjoy that camera, and the Olympus EPL9 makes me believe this camera to be the younger, smaller, not-as-advanced-but-more-stylish little sibling of the Pen F.

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Review: Panasonic GH5s (One of My Favorite Micro Four Thirds Cameras)

The Panasonic GH5s feels like and looks like a DSLR. But it surely isn’t one.

When the Panasonic GH5s was first announced, I wasn’t very sure what to think of it. Sure, Panasonic was going after the video market and the high ISO market in the same way that Sony was. But for years, I wasn’t always too keen about Panasonic’s cameras. Over the past few years though, I’ve grown more of a soft spot for them as their performance has dramatically improved in a number of areas. With the Panasonic GH5s the name of the game is high ISO output. It has a 10.2MP Four Thirds sensor at the heart, weather sealing, dual card slots, touch screen, headphone jacks, microphone jacks, PC sync port, hot shoe, and dials galore that many photographers will love and appreciate. Yet for years still, folks continue to discount Micro Four Thirds systems and what’s possible.

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Review: Canon EOS M50 (Canon EF-M) (Not Bad, But Not Fantastic)

eos m50

The Canon M50 isn’t that bad of a camera at all, but we feel it should be packed with more features.

The Canon M50 has to be one of Canon’s best mirrorless camera options yet; but at the moment of writing this review, it still feels like Canon is intentionally holding themselves back for reasons that I genuinely don’t understand. Canon’s sensors are arguably also not as fantastic as those offered by their competitors. However, mirrorless camera sales are starting to outdo DSLRs. So Canon can only hold back for so long. If I were to equate this to anything in their lineup, it would be something akin to a high-end Rebel camera. Canon put features in that reviewers have been asking for for a long time now such as 4K video, silent shutter, etc. The camera on its own is pretty darned good. But when you put it next to the competition, it quickly starts to crumble.

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First Impressions: Sony RX100 VI (Sony’s Camera for Street Photographers?)

The Sony RX100 VI is promising a lot of big upgrades

Sony’s latest premium point-and-shoot covers a huge focal range in a compact package, and will surely fit the needs of street photographers looking to be as unobtrusive as possible. During the camera’s announcement day, we had some time to walk around and play with the camera. So far, it seems a bit hit or miss.

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Review: Sony a7 III (What Sony Calls the Basic Camera)

The Sony a7 III surely is a great camera, but who is it really for?

I got the chance to spend time with the Sony a7 III in Las Vegas and then again here in NYC; and after all the time I spent with the camera I am not sure who the customer is that may purchase it. There are three mindsets here: those who need really fantastic high ISO output, those who need high resolution, and those who need a combination of both. All of these are fulfilled by the Sony a7s, Sony a7r and the a9 respectively. But with the Sony a7 III you’ve got a camera that is more or less a very stripped down a9. Sony targets this camera at enthusiasts though it’s more than good enough for professional use providing you’re not taking it into a lot of dust or rain. To get the most from it you’ll need to pair it with some top notch glass. It can make for a solid second body and can surely fulfill all the needs of most photographers. But as I found while being a Sony a7 owner and upgrading to the Sony a7r III, there is a chance that its light isn’t going to shine as bright as the other options in the Sony line up.

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Review: Fujifilm X-H1 (The Perfect Fuji with a Big Problem)

in body image stabilization

The Fujifilm X-H1 is the company’s most curious camera yet.

When the rumors of the Fujifilm X-H1 were circulating, it seemed as if all were good, at least on paper. The Fujifilm X-H1 is being billed as the flagship X series camera and addresses a number of concerns photographers and users have had for a while. It has 4K video at a number of frame rates and with high-quality options including F log and 200MB/second. Then there have been enhancements to the autofocus, weather sealing enhancements, and some ergonomics changes to make the camera more like a DSLR without a mirror and pentaprism. At the heart, it’s using the same 24MP APS-C sensor many of Fuji’s other cameras use. And in truth, the Fujifilm X-H1 is a really excellent camera. But at the same time, this is hands down the camera with the worst ergonomics I’ve ever felt from Fujifilm.

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First Impressions: Hasselblad H6D-400C Multi-Shot (Medium Format)

The Hasselblad H6D-400C Multi-Shot is overkill for most photographers.

I’m starting the first impressions post on the Hasselblad H6D-400C Multi-Shot with this extremely obvious statement and with an emphasis on the fact that complaining about something like this is useless. There’s bound to be someone that’s going to say, “That’s so expensive.” Well, you’re surely not the customer the Hasselblad H6D-400C Multi-Shot is directed at. I mean, do you own a museum? Do you have need to documenting something at a larger than life detail? Do you need a fantastic tethered workflow? Do you even have a tripod designed to hold such a beast? The honest answer for most of us pedestrians is no–we’re not that high up in the food chain of photography. But the MET and other museums like the Smithsonian or the US government surely have a need for a camera like this. To refresh your mind, the Hasselblad H6D-400C Multi-Shot is a 100MP medium format camera back unit. For those that don’t understand, traditional medium format consisted of a camera body, a camera back with the sensor and brains, and the lens. So you’re essentially shelling out a whole lot of money for a sensor and brains.

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