Latest From The Phoblographer

The New Razer Blade 15 Advanced Has Something Photographers Want

The new Razer Blade 15 Advanced is showing a whole lot of promise for photographers.

The last Razer Blade 15 laptop we reviewed was back in 2020, and we really liked it! Razer has been known for appealing to gamers, but in recent years they’ve been making moves in the creative space. Today, they’re introducing the new Razer Blade 15 Advanced. It’s important to note that they have keyboards more akin to what we’re used to with Apple computers. They’re also bringing Wifi 6, a UHS-III SD Card Reader, a full HD webcam, two Thunderbolt 4.0 ports, and USB-C charging. This sounds positively fantastic and very promising.

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The Phoblographer is Hiring. Join the Most Progressive Photo Site Around

We’ve got a few positions open still! Join our team!

Hey folks,

We’ve done an internal revamp to refocus what we want right now. To make us stand out even more from other sites, we’re adding a few other positions to the staff. Women make up half our staff, lots of our staff are internationally based, and we’re still growing. To that end, Women, POCs, and anyone else are very encouraged to apply. Want a steady gig? Take a look. Want an internship? Take a look!

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Opinion: The DSLR Is Dead, and Supporting it Is Useless

It’s time to let go of the DSLR because it’s dead and over with.

Let’s round up a few facts in this post. The DSLR is dead. A while back, Canon said they weren’t going to make any new DSLRs or EF Lenses unless there’s a demand. Nikon has dropped most of their DSLR line and is committed to mirrorless. And Sony officially discontinued their A-mount products. It took way, way too long for all this to happen. Mirrorless was the future back then, and it’s the standard today. Lots of professional photographers still shoot with DSLRs, but DSLRs are massively inferior. You can’t tell me that a DSLR is built like a Leica SL2s. And you can’t make me believe a Canon Rebel is lighter than a Sony a6700. But there are two brands that are still holding out as far as we know. 

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New Lenses Need More Character, What I’d Love to See

New lenses have become almost too clinical.

Make no mistake about it; modern lenses are fantastic. Optically, it’s pretty amazing what they can do. New lenses render sharp detail on demanding digital sensors. Distortion is becoming better controlled all the time. Flaring is rarely a worry anymore. However, at least some of that advancement has come at a cost. As a result, when looking at images from the latest glass, there’s little unique about them. There isn’t much character left in most new lenses. For more insight into this problem, read on after the break.

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We Updated Our Panasonic 24-70mm F2.8 Review! It’s Faster Now!

The Panasonic 24-70mm f2.8 Lumix S Pro isn’t so sluggish after all: it just needed better cameras.

A while back, we reviewed the Panasonic 24-70mm f2.8. In that review, we stated that the lens was pretty slow to focus. But we blamed it on the system overall. We recently updated our Panasonic 24-70mm f2.8 Review, which you can check out here. We’ve been holding onto our loaner lenses for a while and found a pleasant surprise. With the new Leica SL2s firmware update, the Panasonic 24-70mm f2.8 is now faster than it is on Panasonic’s own camera bodies. We tried it on the Leica SL2s, the Panasonic S5, and the Panasonic S1. Quite frankly, I never had hope for the S1. But the S5 has to be one of my favorite cameras Panasonic has made. It’s fascinating to now find the shoe on the other foot.

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Nikon Z9 and Tower Semiconductor: Is This the New Dream Team?

If Nikon brings out their Z9 with a brand new sensor, they could win a lot of hearts.

The much speculated on Nikon Z9 continues to capture the internet’s imagination. This camera is Nikon’s chance to deliver big innovation. If they get it right, it could signal a bright future for the Z-mount system. So far, we have very little confirmation from Nikon. The photo in the press release shows an integrated vertical grip body which usually indicates the brand’s flagship camera. Nikon will likely throw everything they have at it. However, they have only announced that the Z9 will employ a new stacked sensor, 8k video capability, and a new processor. That’s about it regarding official specifications. There is a bit of knowledge we can infer from that, however. Read on after the break for some exciting possibilities.

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Finally Competitive, Nikon Z6 II Firmware Gives Me Hope for the Series

Can Nikon make the Z system fast enough for sports with just a firmware update?

The original Nikon Z series failed to live up to the autofocus performance of the company’s DSLRs. But is autofocus performance an issue that can be fixed with a simple firmware update? You might be surprised. Last week, Nikon released a list of firmware updates for every single Z series camera. Chief among the list of improvements? A boost to the autofocus. As one of what feels like the last millennial with a DSLR, I hopefully grabbed my review sample Z6 II and downloaded firmware version 1.20. After photographing a soccer game and the dark corner of a closet, I was pleasantly surprised.

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The Leica 24-70mm F2.8 ASPH SL Addresses a Big Concern

We’re told that the Leica 24-70mm f2.8 ASPH SL will even say “Made in Japan.”

I guess it was inevitable that Leica would use Sigma lenses to boost their lens lineup. And that’s sort of what’s happening with the Leica 24-70mm f2.8 ASPH SL. This lens is for the Leica L mount. It uses Sigma optics and rehouses them in a more rugged metal body. Sigma tends to use something they call carbon-composite. It makes their lenses lighter, even though their Art lineup is still pretty heavy. With this Leica, we’re told it’s still under 2lbs. That’s a bit reassuring, considering that many of Leica’s L mount lenses require you to lift weights. But, when you realize the image quality, internal construction, and build quality, it becomes a bit more understandable. 

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The Leica SL2s Autofocus Now Matches Canon and Sony’s Speed

I truthfully never thought I’d see the day this happened, but I was wrong.

Leica has never really struck me as a speedy company. They tend to do things at their own pace and steer clear of competing with other brands. Through and through, they march to their own beat. And today, the Leica SL2s has received a massive firmware update. The firmware slaps the idea that L mount lenses and cameras are slow to focus right in the face. Leica had said a while ago that a big firmware update was coming. Most of the firmware has to do with video, but there are a number of great things for us photographers in here. Specifically for photographers, there’s a huge boost to the Leica SL2s Autofocus system. We’ve updated our review of the Leica SL2s accordingly, so check that out. And head past the jump for more details.

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The New Epson Ecotank Printers are For the Home Office Photographer

There are brand new Epson printers using their EcoTank technology, and Epson targets them at photographers who work from home.

There truly is an odd divide in printing. If you want to print high-end images, then you need a high-end photo printer. Then if you need to just print documents, you need a different printer for that. But with the new Epson Ecotank printers, Epson wants to do it all in one. Better yet, they’re eliminating ink cartridges. The company’s Ecotank printers have been around for years. But these new ones are catering directly to photographers. The Epson ET-8500 and the Epson ET-8550 are both designed for home office photographers. These are dye-based printers, not inkjet-based. That fact alone may draw some hard lines on who uses these.

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Why Prioritize the Fujifilm 56mm F1.2 MK II Lens Now?

Why update the XF56mm f1.2 so soon after the XF50mm f1.0 was launched?

It’s no secret that some of Fujifilm’s XF-Series lenses are getting rather long in the tooth. There is certainly no shortage of people who’d like to see some updates. As the Fuji cameras get better and better, some of the older focus motors struggle to keep up. These older lenses particularly struggle with video autofocus. The XF18mm f1.4 was a great place for Fuji to start: it’s a versatile focal length many photographers and videographers will love. But now, we’re possibly getting the Fujifilm 56mm f1.2 MK II. Should Fuji have prioritized other lenses instead? Read on after the break.

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Why the Police Have No Business Using Facial Recognition Tech

Smartphone Cameras - Note 10+

Facial recognition tech may be useful in the future, but it needs to come a long way before we put it in the hands of law enforcement.

Last week, The Verge reported on an incident involving a man from Detroit who was wrongly arrested for shoplifting in 2019. The article said that the Detroit police department had used facial recognition technology to help catch the “offender.” Charges were dropped, but the man is now suing the police department. It’s a terrible situation for all involved, but it does bring up an important topic to debate.

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Why I Don’t Have Much Faith in the SIGMA 35mm F1.4 DG DN Art Lens

Sigma makes good quality optics, but it pretty much stops there.

There are loads of reports right now on the new Sigma 35mm f1.4 DG DN Art Lens. It’s easy to get tempted. If you’re experienced with their lenses, though, you’ll understand that they’re the McRib of lenses. When the McRib drops every year, there’s tons of hype about how wonderful it is. But it always just ends up being mediocre. Yet every year, folks swarm to McDonald’s to experience the shame and regret. That’s how I’ve felt buying Sigma lenses over the years. And I predict that the Sigma 35mm f1.4 DG DN Art Lens is probably going to be the same.

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Fujifilm Opened Up Their System in a Very Perplexing Way

With the new Fujifilm Digital Camera Control Software Development Kit, many cool things could manifest.

There’s been a push to make cameras a heck of a lot more useful. Manufacturers worked to build webcam integrations into them. And for the most part, they’ve done a good job. Fujifilm just took that to another level. They announced the Fujifilm Digital Camera Control Software Development Kit. Other brands such as Sony, Canon, and Olympus have done similar things. There are surely lots of possibilities, but also some perplexing decisions.

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Love Crop Sensors? Exciting Possibilities for the Future

Crop sensors aren’t dead yet; I think their future is bright!

The internet loves to predict doom and gloom for cameras with crop sensors. How many years have we heard that Micro Four-Thirds is dead? Current offerings remain quite capable cameras. However, camera technology has been advancing rapidly. Brands like Fuji and OM-Digital Solutions (referred to as OMDS from here on) heavily rely on these cameras to survive. What do they need to do to remain relevant? Read on to find out.

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The Fujifilm X-H2 May Feature 8k Video; Here’s What Else I’d Love to See

Fujifilm could be planning huge things for their next X-H camera.

The internet has been speculating that the new Fujifilm X-H2 could have 8k video. This would be a huge implication if real. To achieve 8k video, Fuji would need an entirely new sensor. As a result, they would need at least 32 Megapixels. However, if they shoot for DCI 8k, we could see a 45 MP camera. Beyond those potential updates, I’d love to see Fujifilm go crazy on this new camera. Could the Fuji X-H2 be an S1H killer? Read the awesome possibilities after the break.

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These Two New Tamron Lenses Beg to Be Used Outdoors

Tamron is announcing two new lenses tonight for the outdoor photographer.

If there were any brand that I’d trust to use outdoors on Sony cameras, it would be Tamron. Pretty much all their lenses are weather sealed, built well and lightweight. Tonight, Tamron is announcing two new lenses. The Tamron 150-500mm f5-6.7 Di III VC VXD is for Sony full frame camera and designed more for the birding crowd. Then there’s the new Tamron 11-20mm f2.8 Di III-A RXD for APS-C. Tamron continues to show that it’s making the best lenses for Sony’s APS-C system with this entry. It shares a lot with the 17-70mm, which we gave an award to.

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Why We’re Okay With Cameras Getting More Expensive

Cameras and lenses will need to get more expensive; that’s how the industry will survive.

The new trend in cameras is that things are getting more and more expensive. But at the same time, people want better products. We think that the market is going to sort itself out. However, if cameras and lenses become cheaper, they also need to become more expensive. The more expensive cameras get, the more it means we’re evolving. And that’s a very, very good thing.

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Why the Sony 14mm F1.8 G Master Seems Pretty Amazing

The new Sony 14mm f1.8 G Master lens is indeed real, and we’re pretty excited about it.

In a meeting with the press, Sony compared their lens to Sigma’s. Mind you, the Sigma 14mm f1.8 DG Art is designed for DSLR cameras. But the Sony 14mm f1.8 G Master is designed for mirrorless through and through. When Sony comes out with prime lenses, I’m usually lukewarm. I liked what Reviews Editor Hillary Grigonis did with the 35mm f1.4 G Master. But the Sony 50mm f1.2 G Master left me thinking they went too far. With the Sony 14mm f1.8 G Master, I’m pleasantly surprised. Sony has made a lightweight lens that wasn’t really possible before. If Sigma made it, it would have been enormous.

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On April 26th, We’ll Know If Nikon Finally Catches Up

Nikon issued a press release today about firmware for the Z6 II, Z7 II, and the Z5, saying that the autofocus is about to improve.

There’s some good news for Nikon users today. On April 26th, the z6 II, z7 II, and the z5 will be getting firmware updates. The firmware focuses on autofocus performance. In our tests, the Nikon system has been falling behind some of the top tiers of cameras, especially with low light performance. Most importantly, though, we’ll see if Nikon is still playing catch up or not. 

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This Is the Perfect Time for the Photo Trade Show to Be Reborn

The photo trade show desperately needs to be reborn into something else, and this is the time for it to happen.

If you’re reading this, you’re wondering why there’s no interest in a photo trade show from new photographers. And you’re probably missing the times where the industry got together and hung out. Those times, at least for the moment, are gone. And the photo trade show, in general, has changed a bit over the years. But the progress has been plodding. In truth, it feels like you could age an award-winning whiskey much faster. The photo trade show, in general, tries to be incredibly avant-garde, but it instead ends up being incestuous and out of touch. The global lockdown was and still is the perfect time for the photo trade show to evolve. I’d even like to argue that the show doesn’t need to evolve; it needs to die and be reborn brand new.

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