Review: Leica CL Digital (Starring the New Leica 18mm f2.8)

The Leica CL digital is finally here; and it performs admirably.

The Leica CL digital is a camera I’ve been waiting a while for; almost 10 years now. But if you rewinded back to the technology world 10 years ago, you saw that mirrorless cameras weren’t even a thing yet, and the Leica M9 hadn’t even launched. Indeed, many photographers have been waiting for a Leica CL digital–something like an M series camera but smaller, more affordable and well built. The newly announced Leica CL digital has design cues harkening back to the original M series cameras but fully embracing the L mount system that is shared between the Leica TL series and the Leica SL series of cameras. With that said, the Leica CL digital houses an APS-C sensor at the heart. So while it isn’t an M mount camera or a full frame camera, it indeed does show Leica has been paying attention to folks.

The Leica CL digital performs very well in most situations; but I think my sentiment is shared with other Leica users that some sort of small M series camera would have been ideal.

Continue reading…

Review: BenQ SW320 PRO 32IN IPS LCD Monitor (32 inch)

The BenQ SW320 PRO is one of the monitors on the market currently drooled over and dreamt about by many a photographer. It offers a whole lot for photographers who need to edit often in addition to printing, managing tasks like email, blogging, etc, and for general designing needs. If you aren’t aware of why this 32 inch monitor that has a whole lot of resolution can do such a great job, then consider the fact that BenQ claims it can cover over 99% of the Adobe RGB spectrum. Then add in facts like its ease of calibration with tools like those from Datacolor, the ability to switch between AdobeRGB, sRGB and black and white, and an SD card reader built right in alongside three USB ports and an HDMI out cable.

Pretty insane, huh?

Continue reading…

We’ve Updated Our Canon EOS M5 Review: New High ISO Rating

Hi everyone,

This is just a quick news post to tell everyone that we’ve updated our Canon EOS M5 review. When we were initially testing the camera’s image quality output, we only ran it through Lightroom. For a while now, I’ve chosen to stop working in Lightroom as I feel many of the same issues that many of you speak of.

Capture One Pro 10 announced its latest update yesterday though, and things have changed.

Continue reading…

Review: Leica M-D

The Leica M-D is a crazy idea–seriously, who decides to remove the LCD screen from a camera? It makes no sense, right? Honestly, you’d be amazed at how wrong you are. The Leica M-D is the closest thing that Leica has that fuses both digital and film. Indeed, it’s the true film photographer’s M camera. Scoff all you want at this camera, but after three weeks of time with it and the wonderful 24mm f1.4 Summilux, I genuinely started to understand it. You could indeed call it the Anti-Instagram camera, but I personally see it as one of the most important M cameras that they’ve released since the original M9 and the M Monochrom.

If you’re a true photojournalist or documentary photographer, this could be the only camera you’ll ever need. And before you sit there and hate on all the things about Leica cameras being so expensive, at least hear me out.

Continue reading…

On the Creative Thought Process Behind a Photograph

Photo Essays is a series on the Phoblographer where photographers get to candidly speak their mind about a specific subject or project of theirs. Want to submit? Send them to [email protected]

All images by Bryan Minear. Used with permission. Be sure to also follow him on Instagram.

In today’s world where we are constantly bombarded with photos of spectacular locations, it takes nothing to pull up a location search for an area you are visiting, find the shots that you want to take, and go shoot the same thing that a hundred people before you have taken. But that doesn’t mesh with me. As an artist, I hold my personal creative vision above all other things. It far surpasses the gear that I use as well as the locations that I visit.

The majority of the personal work that I shoot, I do so within 15 miles of my house. And I don’t live in a particularly “epic” location that is known for its scenery (i.e. the PNW or Cali). But even though I only live in the midwest, I still get to be an artist. I just have to try harder and put a ton of work in to my craft. A lot of that comes down to scouting my locations in advance, and waiting to shoot at the perfect time, with just the right combination of weather and light to add that dynamic mood and interest. I’m not saying that taking the iconic photos is bad, but it can put you in a rut where you are only going through the motions.

Continue reading…

Review: Sony A7r Mk II

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony A7r Mk II product images review (2 of 3)ISO 4001-100 sec at f - 2.8

The Sony A7r Mk II has to be the most talked about camera on the market right now. Many are giving up their DSLRs for it, and people are raving about how amazing it is and falling in love with photography all over again. When I first got my hands on the camera, I was skeptical, but I had to be. It’s the job of a reviewer to do that and not immediately give in to let their inner fan boy scream and melt all over a camera as if they’d fallen in love with their soul mate. But in many ways, this camera is like a soul mate.

Need more megapixels? Sure, it’s got it. What about better high ISO results? Yup, it’s got that, too. And autofocus, it’s improved quite a bit. Weather sealing? It’s not the best, but it’s there according to Sony’s definition of it. It’s good enough realistically–and to that end, it’s all most people need and much more.

The Sony A7r Mk II boasts a 42MP BSI CMOS full frame sensor along with 399 autofocus points, splash proof/dust proof design incorporation, 5 Axis stabilization, and the ability to shoot at ISO 102,400.

Of course, this all comes at quite the cost.

Continue reading…

Review: Sony RX10 Mk II

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony Rx10 Mk II review product images (1 of 9)ISO 4001-50 sec at f - 2.8

Sony’s high-end point and shoot cameras have greatly improved in quality over the years–and it started with the RX100. From the success that they got from that little 1 inch sensor and a fast zoom lens, they created the RX10. The Sony RX10 Mk II builds on its predecessor’s successes with an even more powerful engine to allow the camera to shoot 4K video and high-speed video, and it has silent shutter capabilities and lots of other amazing features that can easily make this camera a DSLR replacement for many enthusiasts (and, well, this is going to sound crazy, but even the pros).

Let’s clarify on that one: this can’t be a replacement camera for all pros: but journalists attending events (not photojournalists), concert photographers, street and travel shooters may never have a need to get another camera again. The advantage of the 1 inch sensor is that you get lots of a subject in focus at a given aperture–though you combine that with the light gathering abilities of a constant f2.8 aperture lens that zooms from 24-200mm. Seriously, what else could someone really need?

Still don’t believe us? Wait till you see the high ISO abilities and the RAW file versatility.

Continue reading…

The Phoblographer’s Introductory Guide to the Histogram

 

Screen Shot 2014-12-27 at 1.01.44 PM

Before we begin this article, we want to explain that any photographer should always prioritize being artistic and having a creative vision above any technical aspect. But the two can work together very well if you have the right ideas. Photographers wanting to become more serious about their photos and photo editing should realize that one of the biggest ways to do this is to learn to read histograms. While you focus on making sure that you get as much as you can in the camera, what you get out of the camera will surely determine your post-production process.

For the beginner, here is our Guide to the Histogram.

Continue reading…