Where the Photo Industry is Going in Five Years: A Talk With Manufacturers About How They Envision the Future

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Canon 7D MK II review product images (10 of 10)ISO 4001-25 sec at f - 4.0

“The industry and the state of technology is evolving or developing so quickly I frankly cannot guess what will be five years from now. I am not certain if you’d asked me this during January 2014 I could have predicted the state of affairs today, Dec 1, 2014, just one year later.” stated Henry Posner, Director of Corporate Communications at B&H Photo Video Pro Audio in NYC.

Indeed, technology these days moves so fast that we’re not sure anyone would be able to tell. Not many could have expected that a product from Apple introduced around five years ago would have improved to the point where many use it as their main camera every day. Nor did we think that it would spur the creation of an app that allows a new breed of photographers to make a decent living off of shooting photos for advertisers.

However, it is the job of manufacturers to have some sort of foresight into the future and be able to predict how the industry will evolve and technology will progress. But that’s a tough job–and one that is much easier said than done given the viral nature of the internet and social media.

To get an idea of how the industry may change, we talked to the representatives of many leading manufacturers. What they had to say may be quite understandable.

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The Phoblographer’s 2014 Editor’s Choice Award List

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We’ve been very, very busy this year. Lots of new cameras and lenses were announced and we’ve seen tons of innovation this year across the industry overall. There have been many great products released this year in the photo world and we’re here with a massive roundup of the very best.

Without further ado, we present the Phoblographer’s Editor’s Choice Awards list for 2014. Here you’ll find the best cameras, the best lenses, the best lights, the best camera bags and a whole lot more.


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Adobe Lightroom 5.7 Brings Support for Panasonic LX100 and Many More Cameras

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Panasonic LX100 first impressions product images (4 of 6)ISO 4001-100 sec at f - 4.5

Adobe just dropped a small update for Lightroom and, more importantly, a fat, new version of Camera RAW with support for up to 24 new cameras. The Camera RAW 8.7 brings support for a slew of new cameras including some very important new models such as the Canon EOS 7D Mk II, Fujifilm X100T, Nikon D750, Panasonic LX100, Samsung NX1, and Sony A5100.

Adobe Camera RAW 8.7 also adds a whole new bag of lenses like the Zeiss Otus 85 f1.4 ZE and a ton of Voigtlander M-mount glass. The list of newly supported gear is too long to transcribe here, so be sure to read the full list after the jump.

Like the big Camera RAW update, support for all this new gear also comes with Lightroom version 5.7. The latest version update also brings a few new features. For starters, you’ll be able to view your friends and family’s comments and favorites on any version of Lightroom whether it be the desktop client, mobile, or the web. Importing from Aperture has also become an integrated migration tool.

The Lightroom 5.7 and new version of Adobe Camera RAW are out now, so be sure to check your Creative Cloud updates. Alternatively you can download the new version of Camera RAW here.

Via Adobe

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The Phoblographer’s Roundup of Lenses With the Best Bokeh

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Lomography Petzval Lens review images samples (10 of 24)ISO 4001-320 sec

The term bokeh colloquially refers to the quality of the out of focus area in an image. But over the years, it has come to be more associated with the whole out of focus area to begin with. In fact, it’s something that many photographers, enthusiasts and others become obsessed with. To get it, you need lenses with wide apertures and generally longer focal length lenses–though some wider options can do a great job too.

In our tests over the years, we’ve run across lenses from different manufacturers that exhibit some incredible bokeh. Here are some of our favorite lenses with the best bokeh.

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Cheap Photo: Specials on Micro Four Thirds Lenses

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Olympus OMD EM10 product photos (1 of 7)ISO 4001-60 sec at f - 4.0

You’re in luck Micro Four Thirds users. There are currently specials over at Amazon.

Don’t forget that the Sony A7 and A7r trade in program is back! More info is here.

Adorama is currently listing loads of new Fujifilm and Panasonic deals. The Fujifilm x100s has a $200 rebate,  XE2 bundles have dropped, and the Panasonic 42.5mm f1.2 lens has a rebate in place. Also, there are discounts on Amazon’s best selling Sony cameras.

 

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Cheap Photo: The Sony A7 and A7r Trade in Program is Back

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

Good news everyone: the Sony A7 and A7r trade in program is back! More info is here. Also check it out at Amazon.

Adorama is currently listing loads of new Fujifilm and Panasonic deals. The Fujifilm x100s has a $200 rebate,  XE2 bundles have dropped, and the Panasonic 42.5mm f1.2 lens has a rebate in place. Also, there are discounts on Amazon’s best selling Sony cameras.

 

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Things You Give Up With Lens Adapters

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I have used lens adapters on mirrorless cameras–just like loads and loads of other users do. When I made the decision to buy the Sony A7, my previous experience with adapters influenced my purchase. Instead of buying Sony lenses, I would keep on using my Nikon lenses. It had been suggested one would have to be insane to use Nikon lenses with a Sony camera, which doesn’t make sense to me. With this decision I knew there would be some sacrifice. Yes, it would have been easy just to buy another Nikon camera, but I wanted something that was full-frame and mirrorless. Nikon is not creating the cameras that I want, but I love my Nikon glass.

And with that, begins my story of what I lose with adapters.

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Prime Lens Basics and Why You Should Ditch Zoom Lens Photography

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Prime lenses are a not-so-secret weapon favored for their fast apertures, crisp detail, and creamy bokeh.  They differ from the more commercially popular zoom lenses because of their ability to better maximize available light and separate foreground from background with aesthetically pleasing crispness.  They also possess the power to be a catalyst for creativity since they force the shooter to be more physically involved in their compositions.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on Borrow Lenses’ Blog. It has been republished with permission.

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Buyers Guide: Finding the Right Mirrorless Camera for You

Panasonic Micro Four Thirds Products

Since the introduction of the Panasonic Lumix G1 as the first mirrorless interchangeable-lens digital camera that is not a rangefinder, most major manufacturers have hopped onto the bandwagon and created their own mirrorless systems. Even Canon and Nikon, who are still propagating the DSLR as the only viable tool for professionals, had to get their respective pieces of the cake. But in today’s jungle of mirrorless camera offerings, it’s easy to get lost. Here’s a guide to help you find the right mirrorless camera for you.

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Five Lenses With Bokeh to Drool Over

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Zeiss 135mm f2 review images products (6 of 7)ISO 2001-60 sec at f - 4.0

Some lenses were seemingly designed for their bokeh. While we’re positive that camera and lens manufacturers try to put a huge emphasis on how this beautiful out of focus area looking, some just do it better than others. And there is often a lot of work that goes into not only creating that wonderful bokeh but also trying to find a way to balance it with some eye-popping sharpness.

We’ve tested and used loads of lenses here on staff, and here’s a round up of some of our favorites.

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The Phoblographer’s Definitive Guide to Sigma Prime Lenses

Editor’s Note: The Phoblographer’s Sigma Prime Lens Guide was not sponsored by Sigma. It was done by the Phoblographer staff with complete Editorial credibility being kept intact.

Months and months in the making, the Phoblographer staff has been working hard to finish a guide that we’re finally proud to say is ready for release. In the past couple of years, Sigma has stated that they have improved their QC measures in manufacturing lenses and released plans for a new vision of their future products. Today, they are separated into Art, Contemporary, and Sports. As one of the leading third party manufacturers of lenses, they helped to vanquish the ideology that third party products just aren’t as good as the first party. With that in mind, we bring you our guide to Sigma’s Prime Lenses–featuring the entire list of Sigma fixed focal length glass.

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The Phoblographer’s 5 Recommended Lenses for DSLR Street Photography

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With street photography, the optimal word when it comes to lenses is “primes”. Fixed focal lengths are the better choice for this particular genre of photography, and not just for their better image quality. Yes, zoom lenses provide you the flexibility of several focal lengths within one lens, but that’s not necessarily an advantage when working on the street.  Those critical moments that happen in front of the camera are often so fleeting that they can be easily lost while turning the zoom ring to the appropriate focal length. A fixed focal length eliminates that. You know exactly what you have to work with as soon as you attach the lens to the camera. At that point it becomes all about composition. Prime lenses are also faster or offer a wider aperture (f1.4, f1.8 or f2) than most zoom lenses. This can be particularly important when you are shooting under low light conditions. That not only impacts your exposure options, but it also improves the effectiveness of the camera’s autofocus system when working under dim conditions. Though some people may start off street photography using “discrete” telephoto zooms, the best photographs involve proximity to the subject and the moment. So, it’s often focal lengths of 50mm and wider that make up the heart of a street photographer’s kit. Here are the focal lengths that I believe should be in a street photographer’s camera bag.

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Five Lenses for The Discerning Landscape Photographer

Morning Light ©Abram Goglanian

So you want to shoot landscape images? All you have to do is slap on a wide angle and head out, right? WRONG! There is so much more to landscape photography than the oft-overused ultra wide-angle perspective (though that certainly still has its place). I’m going to share my thoughts on landscape photography from the perspective of a full-frame Canon shooter, but please know that almost everything I’m going to tell you will apply to Nikon, Sony, and the rest. They are all great brands. Head on past the break for my thoughts on lenses for landscapes.

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The Phoblographer’s Wedding Photography Equipment Guide For 2013

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Photo by Ryan Brenizer. Used with permission

It’s a brand new year, and that also means that you’re probably prepping for a whole new wedding season. To boot, since the days are getting longer you’re probably also wanting to work with natural light more often and taking further advantage of the golden hour. But if you’re starting to think about some upgrades, maybe you should consider some of the latest and greatest that many companies have been putting out as of late.

This is our Wedding Guide for 2013.

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First Impressions: Sony Zeiss 50mm F1.4 (Sony A Mount)

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony 50mm F1.4 First Impressions product shots (6 of 6)ISO 2001-60 sec at f - 5.6

When Sony’s new Zeiss branded 50mm f1.4 lens was announced, we were excited. The Sony Zeiss glass is often amongst some of the best with micro-contrast built in, sharpness, and most of all–autofocusing built in. Then the company announced the crazy price. We were given a chance to fondle the lens, but not put the pre-production sample that we saw a camera to test the image quality yet. From what we saw so far, we’re not sure that it may be worth the price but it does surely show lots of promise.

 

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Recommended Wedding Cameras/Lenses for the 2013 Wedding Photography Year

In the previous year, we didn’t see many exciting items come from manufacturers for reasons of various natural disasters. But this year was by far the year where everyone wore their Sunday best. The wedding industry in particular saw many exciting items that were targeted toward them. We’ve recommended wedding gear before, and we’ve also talked about essential upgrades for the modern photographer. But if you’re looking to step up your game or if you’re being forced into shooting the wedding, here’s what you should be looking at in terms of gear.

 

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The Phoblographer’s Guide to the Right Rokinon/Samyang Lenses for You

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If you’re in the market for affordable, quality primes, it’s hard to ignore Samyang and Rokinon lenses.

Over a very long period of time, staff members of The Phoblographer have reviewed countless lenses. Most notably, though, we’ve reviewed nearly all Samyang and Rokinon lenses and the Samyang variants that have been produced to date. We’ve been genuinely pleased with the production quality and overall image quality from these Samyang and Rokinon lenses, so we’ve compiled a roundup of our reviews. If you’re looking for affordable primes with excellent image quality, this guide to Rokinon and Samyang lenses has you covered.

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Useful Photography Tip #18: Keep Your Lens(es) Protected

A lens with filter and hood. Read below why using both is important.

When being out and about taking pictures, one of the most important rules is to keep your lens(es) protected. There are various reasons why this is important, and various ways of lens protection that are possible. For one, you don’t want your lenses to be damaged. Ever walked through the narrow streets of a small Mediterranean village? You could easily come too close to a wall and scratch your front lens element. Ever taken pictures at the sea with a non-waterproof camera? Dirt or salt could easily penetrate your lens. But it’s not only about the lenses—it’s also about the camera. Ever walked through bright sunlight without a lens cap on? Your shutter or sensor could be damaged by a concentrated beam of light. (Remember how you used to burn ants with a loupe when you were a child?)

Here are a number of ways to protect your lens, and the reasons why you should do so. Continue reading…