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22 February 2017, Wednesday

NEW: Fujinon Cine 15-55mm T/2.9 MK E-mount.

Also at B&H.

This is for pro video shooting on Sony E-mount cameras. Also announced is a 50-135mm we can't get until summer 2017.


21 February 2017, Tuesday

Sony 85mm f/1.4 FE GM

Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 GM.

NEW: Sony 85mm f/1.4 GM Review.

The timeless classic revitalized for E-Mount.



Zeiss Distagon T* 18mm F/3.5 ZF.2 (Nikon or Canon): $995, get 4% rewards and free shipping.

Zeiss Distagon T* 15mm f/2.8 ZE (Nikon or Canon): $1,999, get 4% rewards and free shipping.

Zeiss Distagon T* 35mm f/2 ZE: $799, Canon mount only (Nikon mount discontinued), get 4% rewards and free shipping.

Zeiss 135mm f/2 Apo Sonnar T* (Nikon or Canon): $1,499 & get 4% rewards and free shipping.

MeFOTO GlobeTrotter Carbon Fiber Tripod Kit: $295.99 (Reg $399), with free shipping.

Rotolight NEO On-camera LED Lighting Fixture: $250 (Reg $344), with free shipping.

OKI Data MC362w Wireless MF Color Laser Printer: $349.99 (Originally $550), with free shipping.


19 February 2017, Sunday

Sony Sale!

Big Sony Sale

For instance, get the A6500 with 16-50mm for $1,546 and the A6500 with 16-50mm and 55-210mm for $1,696.


16 February 2017, Thursday

NEW: Sony A7 II vs. Nikon DX Comparison.

I compared the A7II, D5600 and D3300 — and I pitted the exquisite Sony 24-70/2.8 GM against and the puny plastic Nikon 18-55mm AFP — and the lightweight plastic $450 Nikon combo turns out to be as good as the $3,700 Sony behemoth combo!

I expected this; in daylight, everything with the same rated resolution is about the same.

I compared the iPhone 6S Plus to other state-of-the-art cameras a year ago and they were about the same, too.

Where we see differences are under fringe conditions, like low light, fast action, or needing extreme wide angle or telephoto lenses. These are the conditions under which we need a good DSLR and lenses, while in daylight, it's all good.


Pro Lighting Deal

Elinchrom Ranger Quadra Hybrid with Lead Acid Battery for $799 — with free shipping! (regularly $1,389).


15 February 2017, Wednesday

New from Canon

Canon just announced their new 77D & T7i DSLRs & M6 mirrorless cameras.

All start shipping March 31 — but only if you order now.

Both the 77D and T7i run at 6 FPS, have 24MP APS-C sensors, ISO 100~25,600, 3" LCDs, digital movie stabilization, HDR & time-lapse movies, 45-point AF systems and WiFi, Bluetooth & NFC for moving your pictures around.

The T7i is the first Rebel to have 45 AF points in the finder.

The 77D is just above the Rebels and just below Canon's other DSLRs. It has a Quick Control Dial, a top LCD, a 7,650 pixel light meter, and can shoot-through flickering light.

The M6 has no finder unless you buy the optional EVC-DC2. The M6 has a 24MP APS-C sensor, runs 7 FPS with tracking AF, ISO 100~25,600, WiFi, NFC and Bluetooth and a 3" touch LCD.


Canon 77D

Canon 77D and 18-135mm. bigger.

Canon 77D

Canon 77D. bigger.


Canon 77D

Canon 77D. bigger.

Canon 77D body, also at B&H.

Canon 77D w/18-55mm IS STM, also at B&H.

Canon EOS 77D w/18-135mm IS STM, also at B&H.


Rebel T7i DSLR

Canon T7i

Canon T7i & 18-135mm. bigger.


Canon T7i

Canon T7i. bigger.


Canon T7i

Canon T7i. bigger.

Canon Rebel T7i body, also at B&H.

Canon Rebel T7i w/18-55mm IS STM, also at B&H.

Canon Rebel T7i w/18-135mm IS STM, also at B&H.


EOS M6 Mirrorless

Canon EOS M6

Canon EOS M6, 15-45mm and optional EVC-DC2 Electronic Viewfinder. bigger.

Canon EOS M6

Canon EOS M6. bigger.

Canon EOS M6 body, also in silver. Also at B&H in black and at B&H in silver.

Canon EOS M6 w/EF-M 15-45mm IS STM, also in silver. Also at B&H in black and at B&H in silver.

Canon EOS M6 w/EF-M 18-150mm IS STM, also in silver. Also at B&H in black and at B&H in silver.

Canon EF-S 18-55mm IS STM. This new version is nearly 20 percent smaller than the old 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM, with the same image quality. It offers 4 stops of image stabilization



Canon BR-E1

Canon BR-E1 Bluetooth Remote.

Canon BR-E1 Bluetooth Remote for T7i and 77D: Canon's first Bluetooth remote with about a 15 foot range.

Canon EVC-DC2 Electronic Viewfinder for EOS M6, M3, G1 X Mk II & G3 X, also in silver.


14 February 2017, Valentine's Day

Sony 70-200mm f/4 OSS FE G Review

Sony FE 70-200mm f/4 G OSS.

NEW: Sony 70-200mm f/4 G OSS Review.

A swell full-frame lens at a reasonable price. It's perfect for the full-frame Sony cameras.


LEICA Sale: $2,000 off the good stuff!!!

From now through March 31st save $2,000 when ordering select LEICA cameras together with select LEICA lenses. All ship free.

Add any of the three LEICA cameras below to your cart. After adding the camera to your cart, you will have the option to add one of 16 lenses at a $2,000 discount.

To receive your discount, first add your new camera to the cart, and then after you add the body to your cart, a page with these lenses will appear. Add your new lens to your cart to receive your discount.

What's going on here is that LEICA is blowing out their old digital bodies at $2,000 off, and cleverly doing it in a way that makes it look like they're giving the discount on the lenses instead. LEICA lenses are never discounted, and it's also rare to see bodies ever discounted.

If you've ever dreamed of owning LEICA, now's the time; take advantage of LEICA's body blow-out sale. Heck, I haven't checked what you can resell any of these bodies for on eBay, but I bet you can get one of these deals, resell the body, and still come out with a fat discount on the lens you really wanted. In this case, LEICA is offering some of their best lenses of all time on this sale. I own and use my 35/1.4 ASPH FLE and 90/2 APO ASPH as the best 35mm and 90mm lenses ever made by anyone, and I use my 90/4 MACRO ELMAR-M, one of LEICA's most magical and unknown lenses, as an ultrasharp, ultracompact 90mm.

Chose any of these cameras:

Leica M Typ 240, also in black.

Leica M-P Typ 240, also in black

Leica M Monochrom Typ 246.


And any of these lenses:

(prices after the $2,000 discount)


LEICA 16-18-21mm f/4 TRI-ELMAR-M ASPH: $3,195.

LEICA 16-18-21mm f/4 TRI-ELMAR-M ASPH with Universal Wide Angle Viewfinder: $3,895.


LEICA 21mm f/1.4 SUMMILUX-M ASPH: $5,395


LEICA 24mm f/1.4 SUMMILUX-M ASPH: $5,195


LEICA 28mm f/2 SUMMICRON-M ASPH: $2,095


LEICA 35mm f/2 SUMMICRON-M ASPH: $1,195

LEICA 35mm f/1.4 SUMMILUX-M ASPH, black: $2,995

LEICA 35mm f/1.4 SUMMILUX-M ASPH, silver $3,195


LEICA 50mm f/1.4 SUMMILUX-M ASPH, black: $1,795.

LEICA 50mm f/1.4 SUMMILUX-M ASPH, silver: $1,995.

LEICA 50mm f/1.4 SUMMILUX-M ASPH: $2,395 (same ASPH optics, but styled to match original black 1961 version).


LEICA 75mm f/2 APO-SUMMICRON-M ASPH: $1,795.


LEICA 90mm f/4 MACRO-ELMAR-M: $1,295

LEICA 90mm f/4 MACRO-ELMAR-M with Angle Finder & Macro Adapter: $1,795.

LEICA 90mm f/2 APO SUMMICRON-M ASPH: $1,995.


LEICA 135mm f3.4 APO-TELYT-M: $1,795.



Here's a new video from my friend Phil Steele explaining everything you ever wanted to know about tripods. He has a ton of great training videos at his site.


13 February 2017, Monday

Nikon D5600

No news here. My D5600 just arrived, and as expected it's a flyweight beauty that takes fantastic pictures for a great price. Pixels per dollar, you can't beat the D3xxx and D5xxx series: same pictures as a D5, just costs less. Just look at the sample images throughout my D3300 review. (Review coming; duh, mine just arrived.)

Of course I love my Nikon 35mm f/1.8 DX which lets me shoot in any dim light like this and still be at reasonable filmlike ISOs. Because these are both shot around ISO 400 the camera is still supersharp; noise reduction blurs all cameras at the really high ISOs. This is the eighth anniversary of the introduction of the 35/1.8 DX, and it's still my favorite DX lens: light, tough, fast, sharp, inexpensive and eminently useful.

Ryan pets a skink

Ryan pets a skink. (Nikon D5600, Auto White Balance, Picture Control set to Standard with +1 Saturation, Nikon 35mm f/1.8 DX at f/1.8 at 1/125 at Auto ISO 450, Perfectly Clear.) bigger or full-resolution file.


Ryan under a Burmese Python at the Reptile Zoo

Ryan under a Burmese Python at the Reptile Zoo. (Nikon D5600, Auto White Balance, Picture Control set to Standard with +1 Saturation, Nikon 35mm f/1.8 DX at f/1.8 at 1/125 at Auto ISO 320, Perfectly Clear.) bigger.


07 February 2017, Tuesday

Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 FE GM Review

Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM.

NEW: Sony 24-70/2.8 GM Review.

A superb full-frame lens for a high price.

it has the same high performance as the ultra-pro Canon 24-70/2.8 L II and Nikon 24-70/2.8E VR, for the same price.


Announced Today from Sony

NEW: Sony FE 100mm f/2.8 STF GM OSS. A lens with an internal apodization filter for smoother bokeh. Also at at Adorama.

NEW: Sony FE 85mm f/1.8, also at Adorama.

NEW: Sony HVL-F45RM Wireless Radio Flash. Also at Adorama.


Announced Today from Black Magic

Blackmagic Design Web Presenter.

Blackmagic Design HyperDeck Studio Mini.

Blackmagic Design ATEM Television Studio HD.

Blackmagic Design Studio Camera (Replaces this.).

Blackmagic Design Ultra HD Studio Camera 4K (Replaces this.).


New from Tamron

Tamron 10-24mm for Nikon: $499, also for Canon.

Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8: $1,299, also for Canon.

Tamron claim 5 stops VR on the 70-200, but I don't believe in Tamron lenses. I'd rather save my money or get used Canon or Nikon originals, or do without VR with the much better made Nikon 80-200/2.8 or Canon 80-200/2.8. I'd not throw $1,299 at this Tamron for Canon; I'd save for the state-of-the-art 100-400mm.


New from Rokinon

XEEN 20mm T1.9: $2,495; expected 20 March 2017.

Comes in Canon, Nikon, Micro 4/3, Sony E and Arri PL mounts.



X-Rite ColorMunki Accurate Monitor Display Calibration: $99.99 (Reg $179).

MeFOTO GlobeTrotter Carbon Fiber Tripod Kit: $295.99 (Reg $399).

Manfrotto PIXI Evo 2 Section mini Tripod - White: $19.88 (Reg $49).


06 February 2017, Monday

80% Canon, 20% Nikon

I know you looked, too.

I saw 80% of the guys at the Superbowl shooting the Canon 1DX Mk II and maybe 20% shooting the Nikon D5. While your count probably varies, I saw no mirrorless, just as I suspected.

Mirrorless is just for fun, not pro sports, regardless of what you see in advertisements for them. No one needed flip screens to shoot from over their heads; real shooters know how to point a camera by feel.

DSLRs rule for serious work; mirrorless is for fun for those with money to burn.


31 January 2017, Tuesday


iPhone 7 Plus and A1749 adapter Audio Quality

Apple A1749 Lightning Audio Adapter on an iPhone 7 Plus in its saddle brown case.

NEW: iPhone 7 Plus A1749 Lightning Adapter Audio Quality.

Surprise: it works at least as well as any older iOS device's internal jack. Duh!



$50 off the Sony RX-100, RX-100 II and III.

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mk II & 12mm-50mm : $999, w/Free shipping and $39.96 in Adorama Rewards. Also in silver.

Toshiba 1,000x 32GB CF Card: $16.95 +w/Free shipping.

Get a Profoto light kit and get a free Air Remote when adding one of the kits to your cart.


30 January 2017, Monday

Apple iPad Pro Audio Measurements

iPad Pro Harmonic Distortion.

NEW: iPad Pro Audio Performance & Measurements.


Apple iPhone 6S Plus Audio Quality Measurements

iPhone 6S Plus Harmonic Distortion.

NEW: iPhone 6S Plus Audio Performance & Measurements.


Apple iPhone 5S Audio Measurements

iPhone 5S Frequency Response.

NEW: iPhone 5S Audio Performance & Measurements.

I actually measured all this one or three years ago; been so busy shooting that I never got to posting these before.

As expected and as also confirmed with my iPhone 7 Plus and it's analog 3.5mm audio adapter, Apple's analog audio outputs are top-notch; buying outboard DACs and headphone amplifiers will usually result in worse sound than just plugging in your headphones to the iPhone!


28 January 2017, Saturday

Canon EOS M5 Review

Canon EOS M5 and EF-M 15-45mm.

NEW: Canon EOS M5 Review.

Canon 15-45mm Review

Canon EF-M 15-45mm STM IS.

NEW: Canon 15-45mm Review.

A great little lens for the great little EOS M5.



Almost all with free shipping:



B + W 77mm Circular Polarizer: $64.95 (Reg $79.95).

Manfrotto 682B Self-Standing Pro Monopod, Black Anodized: $69.88 (Reg $129).

Brenthaven Collins Shoulder Bag for Laptops, also in indigo: $14.99 after rebate.



AUDEZE SINE with Cipher 24-Bit High Resolution Lightning Cable & Built-In Mic: $339.99 (Reg $499).

Fostex TH-90 Mk II: $949.99 (Reg $1,499).


Pro Audio

Mackie ProFX8v2 8-Channel FX Mixer: $119.99 after rebate (Reg $199).

Mackie ProFX12v2 12-Channel Professional FX Mixer: $169.99 after rebate (reg $249).

Mackie ProFX16v2 16-Channel 4-Bus FX Mixer: $329.99 (Reg $449).

Mackie ProFX22v2 22-Channel 4-Bus FX Mixer: $479.99 (Reg $649).

Mackie ProDX4 4-Channel Wireless Digital Mixer: $139.99 (Reg $199).

Mackie ProDX8 8-Channel Wireless Digital Mixer: $199 (Reg $299).



Ricoh SP C250DN Laser Printer: $69 (Reg $109).


26 January 2017, Thursday

NEW: Pentax KP.

24 MP APS-C DSLR. Comes in black and in silver.

Expected to start shipping 23 February 2017.

NEW: D-BG7 Battery Grip for the KP.

Get this: Adorama will be giving one lucky customer who pre-orders the KP their camera free! The customer will be selected randomly from all who pre-order the camera from Adorama.


25 January 2017, Wednesday

Resolution and noise

The important factor in noise is magnification, not pixel count or resolution.

The number of pixels on different sensors of the same size has little to do with noise from a theoretical point of view. Splitting the image into more pixels makes each pixel potentially noisier, but having more of them over the same unit area means that 1.) the noise as we see it averages itself out over more pixels across that same unit area exactly as if we had just one larger pixel there, and 2.) more pixels give the camera's processors more image data with which it can perform even more intelligent noise reduction for that unit area than if it were just one big pixel.

More important for noise is the magnification between the size of the sensor and the size of the display, be the display a screen or a physical print. Pixel count doesn't matter, but magnification does.

12MP or 24MP or 50 MP full-frame sensors of the same technology will have the same noise when displaying those images at the same size — but display the images larger or use a smaller-format sensor and the images will get noisier. If you compare images at 100% on a computer, the higher-resolution sensor will look noisier simply because 100% from a higher-resolution sensor is much more magnification; the pixels are smaller to begin with so you are magnifying them more to display them the same 100% size than from larger pixels from a lower-resolution sensor.

It's print and sensor size that matter; not pixel count.

The practical reason otherwise similar cameras with fewer pixels usually go to higher ISO settings is because it takes less computer power to perform noise reduction on fewer pixels. Higher resolution cameras like my Canon 5DSR don't go to higher ISOs because the 5DSR doesn't have enough computer power to perform all that noise reduction on 50 million pixels five times a second. As my reviews prove (see 5DSR high ISO samples and 1DX Mk II high ISO samples), the image quality from the 5DSR at the same high ISO like 12,800 is identical to the performance of the 1DX Mk II at ISO 12,800. The reason the 1DX Mk II goes to crazier ISOs is because it has fewer pixels, more computer power and more marketing push to do so. The 1DX Mk II looks awful at its top H+3 ISO 409,600 setting, while the 5DSR looks great at its highest setting of ISO 12,800.


Sony Trade-in Deals Get Better

Sony's offering credit for trade-ins when you get new Sony gear. (also at B&H.)

An advantage to doing this with Adorama is that in addition to the credit from Sony, Adorama will evaluate the wholesale value of your trade-in, and send you a check for the trade-in value in addition to you getting credit back from Sony!

You can send in any worthless old camera or lens to get Sony's trade-in value; it doesn't have to be a recent model camera; this is just an excuse to give you a discount, but send in something good and Adorama will also send you the same check as they would if you simply traded it in.



Canon MF244dw Laser Printer: $89.99 (Reg $199), with Free shipping.

Manfrotto XPRO Monopod: $64.88 (Reg $99), with Free shipping.

Polk LSiM 703 Bookshelf Speakers, also in cherry: $649.99 the pair (Reg $1,499), with Free shipping.


23 January 2017, Monday

Mezzo Format Revisited

An important point I should add to Friday's rant about questionable "medium format" cameras is that their crop factor is only 0.8.

An 0.8 crop factor is closer to full-frame (20% ~ 25% different size) than DX or APS-C is to full-frame (50% to 62% different size)!

In other words, there is more difference between APS-C sensors and full-frame than there is between the mezzo-format cameras I mentioned Friday (the Pentax 645Z, Hasselblad X1D and Fujifilm GFX 50S) and full-frame.

Worse, the mezzo-formats are from second and third-tier digital makers, compared to top-tier full-frame DSLRs.

We'll see when I run these off against each other, but right now I'll bet that it's an even chance that top-tier (Canon 50MP) full frame will have about the same technical quality as the mezzo-format cameras, which are a tier or two below in technology with only a 20% more favorable crop factor.

Add the fact that a mezzo-format camera system is still bigger and slower than full-frame DSLR (especially after you add lenses), and that it will still set you back a small mint to outfit it with lenses, and that you can't get the lenses you really want for any of them at any price, and you won't find me wasting any sleep worrying about them.

If I had to pick one mezzo-format camera, the easy choice is the Pentax 645Z simply because it's 1.) the least expensive, 2.) it's actually available to buy right now, and 3.) you can get a full set of lenses for it; you even can use old Pentax manual-focus and AF 645 lenses on it which you can get cheap on eBay.


Did You Know?

I finally broke down after more than a decade and bought an Apple Lightning iPhone/iPod dock so that my iPhone 7 Plus and other Lightning iPhones and iPods can stand up and face me neatly on my desk, instead of flop around flat as I charge and sync them — or just want them to display the weather, my iTunes Remote Control app or see my security cameras.

Little did I realize that this simple dock also has an audio jack on the back, which is not just a line-level output to plug into a fine Hi-Fi, but is also a headphone amplifier so we can plug our headphones into our headphone-jack-less new iPhones and listen all day and night.

This simple little dock lets you charge at the same time you listen. It has all the DACs and amps for playback, a mic preamp and ADC for the mic in your headphones, and also responds to the remote control on your headphones, just like everything else Apple.

This dock comes with no cord; you plug the cord you already have into the back of it.

As an aside, I did run the little Lighting-to-3.5mm adapter that comes free with the iPhone 7 through my audio laboratory, and it tests and sounds at least as good as the native DAC and amplifiers in the earlier iPhones. It has the same ruler-flat response and 1 V RMS output into 32Ω at 0 dBFS, and only 0.001% THD while the earlier iPhones ran around 0.002%.

Apple knows what they're doing. The tiny 3"/75mm long 0.085 oz./2.4g adapter houses a microscopic stereo DAC, headphone amplifiers, a mic preamp, mic ADC, DC power converters, responds to remote control commands and has circuitry to let it tell the phone what, or if, something is plugged in. For instance, it's so smart that it remembers different volume settings for my pro headphones that only have three terminals on their plugs versus my mobile headphones that have 4-terminal (TRRS) connectors with remotes.

This tiny Apple device has better performance and more and cleaner output than many fancier "audiophile" devices I've tested. Apple has more resources to make better stuff than the smaller companies. Most 3rd-party headphone amps and DACs, all be they bigger and far more expensive, put out less clean power into 32Ω loads, and do it with more distortion, poorer sound and lousier frequency response. If you're using regular headphones under 100Ω, you really can't do better than just plug it into your iPhone, iPad or iPod. Only if you're running 240Ω or higher headphones are you likely to need a pro amp like the Benchmark DAC1 HDR to get enough output.

HINT: You need iOS 10 for either the Lighting Dock or the adapter to have audio output. iOS 9 and earlier predate the headphone-jack-less iPhones, so it doesn't recognize the adapters — but iOS 10 that shipped with the iPhone 7s does.


Sony Sale

New Sony Rebates, also at Adorama:

Sony A7 II: $1,498.

Sony A7S II: $2,698.

Sony A7R II: $2,898.

Zeiss 135mm f/1.8 ZA (full-frame): $1,698.

Zeiss ZA 16-80mm: $898.00.

Zeiss FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS (full-frame): $1,248.

Sony PZ 18-105mm f/4 G OSS: $548.00.

Sony 10-18mm f/4 OSS: $748.


More Deals

DJI Phantom 3 4K $300 off — today only!

Superbowl Sale.


20 January 2017, Friday

New: Orlit lighting.


Digital Medium Format — is it?

With the choices of Pentax 645Z, Hasselblad X1D and Fujifilm GFX 50S, what to do?

First of all, only the Pentax is real; neither of the other are shipping yet.

I prefer my Canon 5DSR. It has the same resolution, it's far easier to use and handle, it's much faster, and is part of a far more complete, flexible and mature system for those of us who have to shoot for a living today.

We'll see, but I suspect Canon's development budget lets it have better performance than the simple mechanical advantage of the garage-shop brands Pentax, Hasselblad and Fuji.

Businessmen understand this, but artists don't. Specs and camera price have little to do with how well something actually works. Far more important is how much time, people and money any given company has to put into the development of what actually goes inside a camera.

Canon is a huge corporation with huge budgets and almost limitless resources. They can afford to spend a lot of resources to develop technologies which they then share among all of their huge product line, and they sell so much that even a huge development cost gets distributed over many, many individual cameras. Thus for a low price Canon can sell superior products over LEICA; this is 2017, not 1957.

Once-impressive names like Hasselblad, LEICA, Pentax and Fuji have nowhere near the sales volume of Canon. They have fewer sales, and fewer resources. A camera that costs $10,000 from LEICA or Hasselblad is still primitive compared to what we get from Canon for $999.

Apple is the biggest company on the planet. Apple sells 50 billion dollars more each year than General Motors! That's why they can and do throw so many smart people and resources into the iPhone, and explains why iPhone photos so maddeningly often look better than what we take with other brands of camera.

Critical to the nerd questions about pixels, it's very difficult to elicit the very best performance from any sensor unless you really know what you are doing. Canon (along with Nikon and Apple) gets much better colors from their sensors than anyone else does; the smaller brands get different results from each camera as they learn.

The only advantage any of these medium format experiments is that they have larger sensors, but when I get one to test, I'm expecting 50/50 that Canon's technicnology advantage may trump the mechanical advantage of the larger sensors. The 5DSR may outperform the other medium format cameras. We'll see.

What we do know is that the Canon costs much less, and that most of us already own all on the lenses we need for it today.

There are no real digital medium format cameras. $50,000 will get you a "small" medium format sensor the size of the girly-man medium format, 645 (6x4.5 cm).

The gotcha with these circa $10,000 medium format cameras is that they aren't close to real medium format (6x6cm). These little medium format sensors are all only 33x44mm, nowhere near the 56x56mm actual size of real medium format.

While real medium format is 56x56mm (3,136 square mm), these little medium format cameras are only 33x44mm, or 1,452 square mm — less than half the area of real medium format!

Full frame is 24x36mm, so 33x44mm isn't that much bigger. I'll take all the lenses and flash and support I have for my Canons or Nikons any day over blowing tens of thousands of dollars on a small brand's near-medium format experiment — but we'll see as soon as I get one.

I call 33x44mm "mezzo" format, halfway between medium format and 35mm.

Know what I shoot for medium format? My Hasselblad 503CX or 500C/M with Fuji ACROSS 100 and Velvia.

Nikon? I love my D810, but it's still a sub-50 megapixel camera. Nikon's not at this party yet.


19 January 2017, Thursday


San Diego Photo Club Meeting Thursday Night.


Two new ways to spend $6,500:





Thank God LEICA ditched the old overweight M240; the M10 brings us back to normal size, weight and model numbers befitting a LEICA M. The M240 now can be cast off with other rubbish like the bloated 1970's M5 to the trash can of history. Good riddance!


New From Fuji

New GFX Medium Format System

51 MP, 43.8mm x 32.9mm CMOS sensor with the correct 4:3 aspect ratio, yes! (0.79x crop factor; 54.8mm diagonal).

Fujifilm GFX 50S Medium Format Mirrorless Camera Body - $6,499.00. Also at B&H.

Fujifilm GF 63mm F/2.8 R WR for GFX (50mm eq.) - $1,499.00. Also at B&H.

Fujifilm GF 32-64mm F/4 R LM WR for GFX (25~50mm eq.) - $2,299.00. Also at B&H.

Fujifilm GF 120mm F/4 R LM OIS WR Macro for GFX (95mm eq.) - $2,699.00. Also at B&H.


GFX Accessories

Fujifilm EVF-TL1 EVF Tilt Adapter - $569.00.

Fujifilm Adapter to use GX645AF lenses on the 50S - $659.00.

Fujifilm RLCP-002 Rear Lens Cap - $12.99.

Fujifilm BCP-002 Body Cap - $12.99.

Fujifilm FLCP-62II Front Lens Cap fpr GF 63mm Lens - $16.99.

Fujifilm VG-GFX1 Vertical Battery Grip f/GFX 50S - $599.00.

Fujifilm NP-T125 Rechargeable Battery for GFX 50S - $119.00.

Fujifilm BC-T125 Battery Charger for NP-T125 Battery - $79.00.

Fujifilm AC-15V AC Power Adapter for GFX 50S - $99.00.


New X100F Camera


Fujifilm X100F - $1,299.00. Also in black. Also at B&H in silver and at B&H in black.

Fujifilm WCL-X100 II Wide Conversion Lens for X100F - $349.00. Also in black.

Fujifilm TCL-X100 II Tele Conversion Lens for X100F - $349.00. Also in black.

Fujifilm Leather Case for X100F Digital Camera, Brown - $89.00. Also in black.


New X-T20 X-Mount Camera

24MP, 5 FPS.

Fujifilm X-T20 Mirrorless Digital Camera Body - $899.00. Also in black.

Fujifilm X-T20 Mirrorless Digital Camera Body, with XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS Lens - $1,199.00. Also in black. Also at B&H in silver and at B&H in black.

Fujifilm X-T20 Mirrorless Digital Camera Body, with XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS Lens - $999.00. Also in black. Also at B&H in silver and at B&H in black.


New X-Mount 50mm Lens

Fujifilm XF 50mm F/2 WR Lens - $449.00. Also in silver and also at B&H.

Fujifilm FLCP-46 Lens Cap, Compatible with XF50mmF2 Lens - $12.99.

Fujifilm PRF-46 46mm Protector Filter for XF50mmF2 - $59.95.


NEW: Rokinon XP 85mm f/1.2 Lens for Canon EF.

IN STOCK: DJI Inspire 2 Quadcopter.



Manfrotto MBSB390-5BB Backpack: $29.95 (Reg $79), with free shipping.

Brenthaven Collins laptop shoulder bag: $19.95 (Reg $59), with free shipping.

Canon MF726CDW Laser Printer: $274.99 (Reg $399), with free shipping.

Flashpoint Bi-Color On-Camera Light: $39.95 (Regular $100), with free shipping.


17 January 2017, Tuesday

HOT DEAL: Nikon D5 for $5,199.99.

This is brand-new and from a well-rated seller. It's $1,300 off because it's gray market, meaning that it's the same Nikon D5, but instead of a real Nikon USA warranty, the seller offers their own warranty.

For $100 off I wouldn't touch this, but for a $1,300 discount on a brand-new D5, I'd take the chance.


Friday the 13th, January 2017


Nikon D5600

Nikon D5600 & 18-140mm

Nikon D5600, 18-55 & 70-300




Nikon D750 & 24-120mm: $2,397.

Nikon D3400, 18-55mm & 70-300mm: $597.



Canon 5D Mk III & Printer: $2,549 after rebate.



Fujifilm X-T2 & Grip: $1,699.

Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm f/2: $1,899.



Sony A77 II: $998.



Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4: $1,198.



Olympus PEN-F: $999.


10 January 2017, Tuesday

Canon 70-300mm IS II Review

Canon 70-300mm IS II.

NEW: Canon 70-300mm IS II Review.

I kid you not: this lens autofocuses instantly!

It's so much better than every consumer telephoto zoom that it is now the world's best consumer telephoto. Whoo hoo, and it sells for a bargain price.

Canon just hit it out of the park with this one.


Apple Aperture

People keep asking me, and my version 3.6 of Apple Aperture seems to be working just fine on my Mac Pro (Late 2013) on the latest OS 10.12.2.

I only use Aperture when I have raw files to process, and I only shoot raw files if I shoot my LEICA M9, and I only shoot raw files on it because its JPGs are so awful.

Otherwise I don't shoot raw, and so I rarely use Aperture.

When I do use Aperture, my biggest problem is remembering how to use it, and helping it find wherever I've moved my projects.


American Express promotion

Adorama is running a promotion with American Express.

Spend a total of $250 get $25 back as a one-time statement credit from now until February 22, 2017.

You find this under "my offers" in your account with most Amex cards. Once the offer is "added to card" all you need to do is pay with your American Express Card at checkout. Whoo hoo!!!!!


More Deals

Manfrotto 190Go! Tripod & Manfrotto MVH502AH Video Head: $229.88 (Reg $349), with free shipping.

Manfrotto PIXI Evo Mini Tripod: $24.88 (Reg $49.88), with free shipping.

Serious home theatre deals:

(2) Polk LSiM 707 Floorstanding Speakers, (2) LSiM 703 Bookshelf Speakers & one LSiM 706C Center Speaker: $2,799.99 (Regular $6,699), also in cherry, all with free shipping.

(2) Polk LSiM 707 Floorstanding Speakers, (2) LSiM 703 Bookshelf Speakers, one LSiM 706C Center Speaker & (2) LSiM 702 F/X Surround Speakers: $3,299.99 (Reg $8,199), also in cherry, all with free shipping.

The beauty of these systems is that you have two full-range speakers for front left and front right, so you set up the bass management in your receiver accordingly and retain stereo bass, compared to only having mono bass of using a single subwoofer. While bass tends to be nondirectional, the reality is that we can hear the direction from which it's coming from a woofer; you need stereo woofers or subwoofers if you're serious. These setups work great for music as well as movies.


09 January 2007, iPhone Introduction

Ten years of iPhone

Ten years ago today Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone.

When I catch up with old friends, we speak of the time before the iPhone as if it were ancient history — because it is.

Today, my iPhone 7 Plus has an extraordinary camera. It gives better results on the first shot more often than any other camera. It has better exposure, better white balance and better color than any other camera at its default settings. In its Portrait mode, it also has better bokeh than anything else, with super-smooth backgrounds.

While 20% of the photos I make, like shots under moonlight or photos of things a mile away, require a DSLR, 80% of my family, travel, macro and fun photos are best served by the iPhone already in my pocket. Not only are the photos first rate, once snapped on the iPhone, I can edit and distribute them immediately.

Ignore the ignorant who are prejudiced against small cameras. The iPhone easily holds up to, and even betters exotic cameras shot head-to-head. My iPhones certainly take better pictures than my digital LEICAs because the color rendition is far better, and the iPhone is also far better for reportage because it's less visible. With a default ISO of 20 and premium fixed high-speed optics, the iPhone makes super-clean photos better than compact point-and-shoots that default to ISO 100.

My iPhone 6s Plus ran at 10 frames per second continuously at 12 MP. I presume my 7 Plus is at least as fast for action.

If you're serious about photography, you deserve an iPhone 7 Plus. Did you know it has three complete cameras? It has one on the screen for FaceTime, and two on the back: one for wide shots with a 28mm (eq.) f/1.8 lens, and another with a 56mm (eq.) f/2.8 lens, each of which is seamlessly selected as you zoom.

Bravo Apple!


06 January 2017, Friday

Canon 24-105mm L II Review

Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L II.

NEW: Canon 24-105mm f/4 L IS II Review.

Great optics, but big and heavy.

Not that much different in performance than the 24-105 STM or the previous 24-105/4 L IS, but a whole lot heavier.


Ektachrome Returns.

How crazy is this? Kodak cancelled its slide films in 2012 because they couldn't compete against Fuji's film, which have better colors and much better permanence and resistance to fading, but heck, I can't complain about anyone reintroducing film. I suspect today since most people shooting film don't really know what's going on, they'll just think "cool, I'm so retro; look at my goatee!" and not notice.

I've been waiting for Kodak to make something better than Fuji since 1990, but they never have. The tide was turned one day in the 1980s when a news writer was doing an article about film, and walked down to the newspaper's photo department to ask some questions, and was astounded when they told him that they'd all been shooting Fuji color print film, not Kodak. Kodak always advertised like crazy, while Fuji made better film; pros knew Fuji film, but not the public.

Likewise, I shot some defective TMAX 100 last year, which Kodak never replaced, so I tried Fuji ACROS which is even better. The Japanese are crazy about cameras and film, while Kodak has slowly been going out of business since the 1980s.

Of course every film gives a different look. Which gives your look depends on who you are; one of the reasons I've never shot Ektachrome is that it fades. All my Kodachromes from over 40 years ago still look like the day I got them back from Fairlawn, NJ, while most Ektachrome has faded away over the decades.

It's only to come in one version (Ektachrome always came in many versions) and in only one size, 36 exposure 35mm. This is the most popular, but ever since DSLRs made it to 24MP I haven't shot any 35mm film; I shoot 120 in my Hasselblad. Once DSLRs made it to 24MP from 12MP back around 2012, digital has been better than 35mm film — so I shoot a Hasselblad.



SUPER DEAL: Beyerdynamic DT 1350 Headphones: $119.99 (Original $279.99), with Free shipping. Expires 1/11 or while supplies last. I bought one of these deals and these are among the best headphones I've ever heard at any price. They are for serious listening; they have no remote or mic; just genuine German-made headphones in a portable case. For the same price as others pay for Chinese-made plastic rubbish these are the real pro deal. Get them now at a dime-store price!

FLIR Scout TK Compact Thermal Vision Monocular: $499 (Reg $599), with Free shipping.

Canon MF726CDW Laser Printer & D-Link Wireless Router: $274.99 (Reg $499), w/Free shipping.

Samson MTR101A Condenser Microphone w/Shockmount & Pop Filter: $49.99 (Reg $119.99), with Free shipping.


05 January 2017, Thursday

New at CES

Live CES Updates.


New from Fuji

Fujifilm X-T2 in Graphite Silver, also at Adorama. Same camera, new color.

Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm f/2 Lens in Graphite, also at Adorama. Same camera, new color.

Fujifilm XP120 Waterproof in yellow, also in blue, in green and in cyan (sky blue).


New Micro 4/3 from Panasonic

Panasonic GH5. Also at Adorama.

BGGH5 Battery Grip for GH5.

XLR1 XLR Audio Expansion Unit for GH-5.

Panasonic G X Vario 12-35mm F/2.8 II Aspherical Power OIS.

Leica Panasonic G DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60mm F/2.8-4 Aspherical Power OIS.

Panasonic G X Vario 35-100mm f/2.8 II POWER OIS. Also at Adorama.

Panasonic G Vario 45-200mm f/4-5.6 II POWER OIS. Also at Adorama.

Panasonic G Vario 100-300mm f/4-5.6 II Power OIS.

Panasonic GX850 w/12-32mm Lens, also in silver. Also at Adorama in black and in silver.

Panasonic FZ80. 60x optical zoom (not micro 4/3). Also at Adorama.

DCC15A DC Coupler for LX-10.


04 January 2017, Wednesday

New at CES

New Cameras from Canon.


New Nikons:

Nikon D5600, which also comes as kits with D5600 & w/18-55mm AF-P VR, D5600 & 18-140mm VR and as the D5600, 18-55mm AF-P VR & 70-300mm AF-P (no VR). Also at B&H: D5600, D5600 & 18-55, D5600 & 18-140 and D5600, 18-55 & 70-300.

Nikon Coolpix A300. Also at B&H.

Nikon Coolpix W100, which also comes in white, and both also at B&H.

Coolpix? Really? And they say Nikon has lost touch. Ever heard of an iPhone? I know its a new thing, not barely 10 years old yet, but you've got to be kidding me; my iPhone 7 Plus camera so outperforms any point and shoot (better lenses, better sensor that defaults to ISO 20 for cleaner images and better color rendition under every kind of light), and does so much more than a point and shoot once you have your image captured. Geeze!


02 January 2017, Monday

New Year, New Gear

I'm working on reviews of the Canon 70-300 USM II (superb, with the fastest autofocus of any consumer telephoto lens ever — a new benchmark!), Canon EOS M5 (great images but slow handling) and EF-M 15-45mm (perfect little lens for mirrorless), and the Canon 24-105 IS L II (very good but big and heavy, so why do we want it over the original 24-105?).

Those reviews are all under construction, so no need to go following all those links in any detail.


New Year, New Deals.

Induro GIT204 Carbon Fiber Tripod: $349 (Reg $525), with Free shipping.

Timbuk2 Messenger Bag: $79 (Reg $149), with Free shipping.

Tenba Messenger Bag: $49.95 (Reg $126), with Free shipping; while supplies last.

Hubsan H107D+ FPV X4 Plus Drone: : $79 (Reg $119) with Free shipping, while supplies last.

Fender Passport 150W Monitors: $219.99 the pair (Reg $599), with Free shipping.

Senal SMH-1200 - Enhanced Studio Monitor Headphones: $99 (reg. $149).


What Was New in:

November & December 2016 (Fuji X-A10)

September & October 2016 (Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 FL, Nikon 19mm PC-E, Sony A6500, Sony RX100 Mk V, Sony Alpha 99 II, Canon EOS M5, Canon EF 70-300 IS II USM, Sony 50mm f/2.8 Macro)

July & August 2016 (Canon 5D Mk IV, 16-35 IS II, 24-105 IS II, Nikon D3400, Nikon 105mm f/1.4, Fuji XT-2)

June 2016

April & May 2016

March 2016

February 2016

January 2016

December 2015

November 2015

October 2015

September 2015

August 2015

July 2015

June 2015

May 2015

April 2015

March 2015

February 2015

January 2015

December 2014

November 2014

September and October 2014

July and August 2014

June 2014

April & May 2014

March 2014

Jan & Feb 2014

December 2013

November 2013

October 2013

September 2013

August 2013

July 2013

June 2013

May 2013

April 2013

March 2013

February 2013

January 2013

December 2012

November 2012

October 2012

September 2012

August 2012

July 2012

June 2012

May 2012

April 2012

March 2012

February 2012

January 2012

December 2011

November 2011

October 2011

September 2011

August 2011

July 2011

June 2011

May 2011

April 2011

March 2011

February 2011

January 2011

December 2010

November 2010

October 2010

September 2010

August 2010

July 2010

June 2010

May 2010

April 2010

March 2010

February 2010

January 2010

2005 ~ 2009


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If you find this as helpful as a book you might have had to buy or a workshop you may have had to take, feel free to help me continue helping everyone.

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The biggest help is when you use any of these links when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. It costs you nothing, and is this site's, and thus my family's, biggest source of support. eBay is always a gamble, but all the other places always have the best prices and service, which is why I've used them since before this website existed. I recommend them all personally.

Thanks for reading!