Field Review: Nikon D3s (Day 2)

The other day I took the Nikon D3s and 24-70mm F2.8 ED on the streets with me around Rockefeller Center. I tested out the high speed abilities on two famous street sports: ice skating and hackey sack. The results surprised me not only because of the fast shutter speed but also because of the tracking autofocus system. They worked wonderfully together with the lens to the point where I’m almost considering purchasing a D3s. More after the jump.

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I Miss My Cinematography Days

Bromance- A Mockumentary from Chris Gampat on Vimeo.

If you’ve followed my work for a long time, then you probably know that I’ve forever been both a video and photo guy and depending on what the industry demands out of me, I lean more towards one or the other. That being said, I really miss the days where I used to crank out great video. Granted, those were my college days and I’ve graduated almost a year ago so things are much more serious now. And now that I’ve got the Canon 5D Mk II and temporarily have the Nikon D3s and D300s in my hands, I’m going to try to work on putting together some more videos if possible.

Just sayin’ 🙂

Field Review: Nikon D3s (Day 1)

The Nikon D3s is a camera that I’ve been looking forward to testing out for quite some time and I’m glad to say that I finally have one in my hands. I’ve played with it before at Photo Plus and thought that it seemed like something full of promise. As a studio, event, wedding, concert and photojournalism photographer, this camera can suite most of my needs. Beyond all this, it is great for low-light because of the 12MP sensor and the fast frame rate makes it excellent for sports. My first impressions are after the jump.

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Quick Tips for Studio/Location Headshot Photography

I’ve covered social networking and headshot photography before and even covered some of the best equipment for the job. Now it’s time to actually work with the client. Depending on what they want, it could be in studio or even on location. There are some elements of photojournalism, or at least there can be, in on location shoots. I’ll be covering some extra tips for you here. If you’d like though, have a look through my portfolio as well.

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Photography Accessories I've Learned to Ditch

In my time as a photographer and tech journalist, I’ve tried out loads and loads of items. All reviews have been very fair: pointing out the good and offering recommendations on improvement rather than full out blaring criticisms. After going through my accessories recently and clearing out my photography bag to carry only what is essential, I’ve found that there are items that I really don’t use anymore. Check them out along with my explanations after the jump.

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First Impressions: Canon 5D Mk II Firmware 2.0.3

If you can’t see the video, know that YouTube is Processing it!

I’ve been waiting forever for the new firmware update for the Canon 5D Mk II. Upon first getting it, I hooked up my Rode VideoMic and the 50mm F1.8 adjusted the audio mode through the menu settings, set it to 24p and went to shooting the journey from my room to the kitchen where my sister was washing dishes. This was all done at ISO 200. It’s very, very unprofessional as a test but this is to really just show off the quality and what is possible. It’s also safe to say that it is the most random video ever. Afterwards, I just uploaded it straight to my computer and it went to Youtube.

My verdict: I love it. I love the new display features with the histogram available though I will hardly use it as I prefer to set exposures manually to my own liking. The adjustment for manual microphone/audio adjustment is very easy to do. My only criticism is that I wish it were easier to access and that I didn’t have to go through the menu system to change it first. The 24p mode looks beautiful. I’ve missed it as I used to shoot it with a Canon HV20 on MiniDV tapes. You can see lots of that stuff on my Youtube and my Vimeo page.

So glad those days are over. More tests to come soon!

Canon 5D Mk II Firmware Update 2.0.3 Now available

The Canon 5D Mk II 2.0.3 firmware update that everyone has been waiting for is now available here. Once again, “Firmware upgrade 2.0.3 meets the demands of both professional movie producers and aspiring filmmakers alike by adding 24p video acquisition and changing the 30p video frame rate to 29.97 to comply with TV production standards. In addition, audio capability is enhanced for professional use, adding manual audio level control, and increasing the audio sampling frequency to 48KHz from 44.1KHz.” Also be sure to keep in mind the rebates that are available until April 3rd.

NTSC:

* 1920×1080 : 30 fps (changed – actual 29.97 fps)
* 1920×1080 : 24 fps (added – actual 23.976 fps)
* 640×480 : 30 fps (changed – actual 29.97 fps)

Field Review: Panasonic ZS-7 (Night 1)

The Panasonic ZS-7 and I took a stroll along midtown Manhattan yesterday to test out a couple of the features with the camera. It’s an interesting camera and has a couple of bells and whistles that would really stand out to people that love to travel often. As New York City is such a hot tourist spot, why not try it out there? More findings after the jump.

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The Panasonic ZS-7 Field Review Will Begin

As per frequent reader requests, I’ve not given in and will be reviewing the Panasonic ZS-7. I just got it today when I got home from a photoshoot. I will be doing some shooting with it tonight in NYC and around. Expect a field review over the course of the next week.

Thorough Hands On: Samsung NX10

Yesterday at a Samsung event I was able to get hours of quality fondling time with the Samsung NX10. It was a pre-production model and I didn’t have an SD card with me on hand. However, I talked about the camera with many Samsung reps today and got an answer to many questions. Stick around for my findings.

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Pentax 645D is Official

After reporting about the Pentax 645D for a little while now, it is apparently official. Not only this but there is also a 55mm F2.8 lens that has been announced too. Tech specs and main features after the jump. DPReview has more and you can see more in the respective links. Keep reading as Pentax has made some very interesting choices in the creation of these products.

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A Gold Pentax Lens?

Yup, you read that headline correctly. I found it on an Asian forum thread (translated here). I asked readers what they’d want to see in the Pentax 645D the other day as well as reported on what could be the new sensor.  Admittedly, I’m not the most knowledgeable Pentax fan but I did look into this lens. But I haven’t known of a 28-70mm F2.8 AL lens before. Take a look for yourself here and B&H doesn’t have one on their website. Perhaps a new lens may be coming?

What's in the Bag: John Conrad Williams

Long time readers of my work will know that I talk often about my mentor. Today, I’m proud to present to you a bio on just that man: John Conrad Williams. As a photographer that has shot for New York Newsday for quite some time now and has been around the world on assignments in addition to covering lots of hard to shoot stories, John is a man of lots of knowledge and is always willing to share it. I got meet up with him recently at my favorite restaurant to talk and catch up.

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Cheap Photo: Canon 7D/5D MK II Instant Rebates Available Through April 3rd

Canon is offering special instant rebates on purchases of the 7D, 5D Mk II and other items. For those of you that don’t know the 7D is Canon’s flagship APS-C sensor camera. Hit the jump to figure out which combo is best for you. Those of you actually interested in purchasing, please make your purchases by clicking the links on my site as they help to keep ThePhoblographer running.

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What Do You Want To See in the Pentax 645D?

With rumors of the new sensor written about the other day and with the imminent release getting closer and closer, what would you want to see in the Pentax 645D. If it’s economical, would you want to get it as a second body or perhaps your first? If it doesn’t include tethering the way that their other bodies haven’t would you mind? Do you want better autofocusing than what other medium format companies offer? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below and let’s get a great discussion going.