Cameras and Photography Explained

This page points to all recent articles published on, and, and is updated as new articles appear (most recent on top). For articles from previous months, check the Articles Index Archive. 

It's Photokina week coming up, so plenty of announcements to work through. I'll try to make sense of it all as fast as I can, but there's a lot happening in the camera industry right now, and some of it takes some time to actually try products in order to make sense of it all. I also have to deal with that bear (his name is Bruno), who doesn't like it when I type...

Meanwhile, ProGrade has an article about the differences between the next two generations of cards (CFExpress and SDExpress, if you haven't been paying attention). Well worth reading. Even today we have issues with SD cards and video specs—particularly confusing considering all the different marking—and it looks like this won't go away with the next generation.

>>> This Week's Articles:

September 19

Even More Reader Thoughts and Questions. The latest in my series of public answers to questions I get asked via email. Article on

Kolor Shutting Down. The makers of my preferred panorama software stitching program, Autopano Pro (also known as Autopano Giga) just announced that the program "will no longer be [available] for sale from" Article on

What Causes Card Errors? It may come as a surprise, perhaps, but there's a lot we have to talk about here. Article on

September 17

Sony RX-100 Mark VI versus the Panasonic ZS200. Two large companies make very small compact cameras with very big specifications: Panasonic and Sony. Both companies make cameras that feature 20mp 1" sensors, both fit in a reasonably small shirt pocket, and both have a wide-angle to telephoto superzoom that extends out from the small body when you power the camera. This review compares the Sony RX100 Mark VI with the Panasonic ZS200. Article on

Current Standings in the Full Frame Battle. People keep asking me to compare the various full frame mirrorless systems now that the three major camera companies all have one. It's important to understand where we're at, plus where we will be going in the near future if you're going to make an intelligent decision. So it's Canon R versus Nikon Z versus Sony A, and where we stand. Article on

May I ask that you start your photographic-related shopping by clicking on any of the B&H links on this site, such as the following one. B&H is this site's exclusive advertiser. Starting a purchase at B&H from a link on this site helps support this site.

Some of you probably aren't aware that I've long had a dedicated B&H Landing Page [advertiser link] where the items in each of four different "gear bags" I use lives. We've just updated that page and the underlying pages, as well.


>>> Recent Articles:

September 13

Added a Reader Questions About the Canon R page to Continued to add to the Reader Questions About the Nikon Z page.

September 10

Should You Still Buy F-mount and EF-mount Lenses? The headline is the question that's been popping into my In Box more and more frequently since the big Canon and Nikon mirrorless announcements. As people study the current options and consider what the future options for lenses might be, there's a decidedly chilling effect going on. People are suddenly concerned about putting money into a new lens with an old mount. Article on

I See Dead Mounts. There's not a perfect place to put this article on my sites, as what I'm going to write about today spans both DSLR and mirrorless. With all of the recent announcements, it's time to talk about lens mounts. Article on

Who Wins The Mirrorless Wars? It seems that paranoia reigns everywhere on the Internet. Sony fan boys have angst now that Canikon has appeared alongside them in the full frame market. Canon users are still worried about how good an R is versus the competition ("what, no IBIS?") and what happens with EOS M ("what, no adapter?"). Nikon users are trying to figure out what's happening with lenses, as Z is markedly different than F, and that has implications for the future. Plus they still don't know what's happening with crop sensor Nikons. Article on

September 6

Canon 400mm f/2.8 III and Canon 600mm f/4 III were introduced.

And here's one for all of you to ponder: grab a Z7 NEF off the Internet somewhere and open it up with a text or byte editor. Notice anything? The Z's are populating the new NEF format with some additional information. Why?  In particular, a whole bunch of new setting entries, which seem to align with Adobe raw development items. 

Fujifilm Pops Up Again Under the Full Framers. Fujifilm today announced the X-T3 update of their DSLR-like mirrorless camera. The interesting news is, that despite lots of specification advances, the X-T3 is priced at US$1499 (body only). That's a bit on the aggressive side for a crop sensor camera given all the full frame activity only US$500 above it, but Fujifilm is hoping that the additions and changes will make people consider this new camera, as well. Article on sansmirror.comX-T3 data page

September 5

Tamron introduced a G2 version of their popular 15-30mm f/2.8 lens That previous version was a reasonable alternative to the Nikkor 14-28mm f/2.8, in my opinion.

I continue to add more material about the Nikon Z models—the Reader Q&A page seems to get several new entries a day now—but if you couldn't swallow the output of the firehose last week, prepare to get completely drowned. Entire planets are being moved and there are more asteroids than ever to keep track of. We're seeing some major shifts with major players. We don't get this with every generation of camera product, but typically there's a first move that all the other players eventually feel they have to match. Digital, full frame, mirrorless, now mirrorless full frame. Hold on tight, the ride is about to go down the flume. 

Canon Adds a Full Frame Mirrorless Camera. Canon today announced a new full frame mirrorless camera system, the EOS R camera and RF lenses (they also introduced a new 32mm f/1.4 EOS-M lens). Article on sansmirror.comEOS R Data PageRF Lenses Pages32mm f/1.4 EOS-M lens page.

Another Elephant in the Room. Sony had the full frame mirrorless space pretty much to themselves for five years, with only a few Leica children to shove aside. The Sony family now counts four strong siblings. Then last month Nikon joined the fray and created a tsunami of Internet traffic with their twins. Today, Canon joins with a surprise birth of one, the Canon EOS R, and we're getting another wave of Internet excitement (and paranoia). Article on

In Retrospect, What Did Sony Get Right and Wrong? Now that we've got cameras to handle, if not yet shoot with, it's starting to become more obvious where Sony's strengths and weaknesses are on the A7 series. Article on

Nikon Versus Canon Mirrorless. How's the Nikon Z6 stack up against the Canon R? Article on

Sony Versus Canon Mirrorless. How's the Sony A7m3 stack up against the Canon R? Article on

Canon's White Paper on the new RF mount shows how to do marketing messages right (Nikon needs to take note). Clearly presented, but basically saying the same thing that Nikon said with the Z mount: the short back flange with a wide throat allows for lens designs that are bending light less and allows for optimization of corner performance.

August 30

What's Up With DX, Redux. I'll just say right up front, I don't have the answers you're looking for. Here in the US, the D3400 is Nikon's best selling ILC, by far. It also tends to produce the most sales dollars overall from any model. Thus, it's an important product. And today Nikon "updated" it to the D3500, to be sold at the same price as the D3400 was (US$499 with kit lens). Article on dslrbodies.comD3500 data page.

August 28

DSLRs: Dead, In Transition, or Forever? For many years now I've been writing that it is inevitable that ILC (interchangeable lens cameras) will transition to mirrorless. Ten years ago ILC was basically 100% DSLR, ten years from now ILC will basically be 100% mirrorless. I may be off by a bit on the future date, though, as transitions are always difficult to predict. Article on

The Nikon Marketing Fail. I've been hard on Nikon's marketing and messaging in the past. Today isn't going to be any different. So let's drop down into a couple of examples and see where the problem lies. Article on

August 27

Make sure to check out recent articles, down below the B&H advertisement. I've written a lot on the new Nikon Z system, and it's going to scroll down the page very fast as I keep adding to that. Also, many of those earlier articles are getting updates as I learn more.

Conspiracy Theories and the Nikon Z. Among all the it does/it doesn't, it is/it isn't posts are plenty of conspiracy theory entries. Let me just say this up front: if there were any real conspiracy going on, you wouldn't know about it until it is far too late, and you wouldn't learn about it on the Internet. Article on

Reader Questions About the Nikon Z6/Z7. Updated. 

I've got answers. I will add to this page as I get new questions where public answers provide a benefit to site readers. Article on

August 25

Drowning yet?

The Card Failure Issue. Updated The fact that the new Nikon Z cameras have only one card slot seems to have precipitated a massive wave of negative commentary. I have a completely different view, apparently, than most of the folks bemoaning the loss. Article on

The Z Lenses. Nikon published a roadmap for lenses on their new Z system, and they strongly hinted at quite a few changes in optics coming down the pike. It seems that rather than getting a marketing message clear from the start, Nikon preferred to just drop a lot of clues. Article on

Reader Questions About DSLR Versus Z. I've been doing a series of reader email questions and answers. On Thursday, as you might expect, came a slew of questions that dealt with the DSLR versus mirrorless future. So I'll tackle them here so you can all see my responses. Article on

August 24

Someone forgot to turn the firehose the way, the Z6 has a low pass filter over the sensor according to Nikon. Will add that to the database along with a few more tidbits soon.

Sony Versus Nikon Mirrorless. Updated The brand wars are heating up now that Nikon put two models directly against two Sony models. Lots of discussion about "which is better?" Article on

A Few More Thoughts on Nikon Z. I hope I can return to writing about all mirrorless cameras soon, but Nikon's new mirrorless launch, much like some earlier Sony launches, is dominating the news, the Internet discussions, and my In Box. Article on

Nikon's Slightly Muddled Marketing. “Two industry-leading camera systems to choose from.” That’s the line in Nikon’s original press release about the upcoming Z system that implied that Nikon believes that they’ll have both state-of-the-art mirrorless and state-of-the-art DSLR systems for people to choose from. Article on

August 23

Welcome to the firehose. I'm going to be firing the gatling gun quite a bit for the next few hours, so keep checking back. One thing: because this site is static HTML on the server for security purposes (it's dynamic on my machine), sometimes a linked article might not show up immediately as the site is being repopulated. Give it a few minutes. 

The Post Z Discussion Begins. Now that Nikon has officially introduced the Z system, the emails and Internet discussion has taken off. There are highs, there are lows. There is ecstasy, there is dismay. Reactions are all over the board, and probably overshoot reality. Article on

Nikon Re-Enters Mirrorless Market. Nikon today their new Z mirrorless system, comprised initially of two cameras, the 24mp Z6 and the 45mp Z7, plus three lenses, 35mm f/1.8, 50mm f/1.8, and 24-70mm f/4. Article on

Nikon F-Mount Adapter. Okay, let's step through things here. If you haven't already read my oft-updated article on about Nikon lens terminology, now would be a good time to do so. Article on

It’s All in the Name. Nikon has chosen Z for their new camera line. Let's drop back into the past and see what they've previously used. Article on

What Were Nikon Users Looking For? In anticipation of the new Nikon mirrorless launch, I long ago began doing research on what Nikon DSLR users’ expectations might be for such a new product. Article on

The Fight at the Top. A term that comes up a lot in both high tech and in overall market transitions is this: first mover. Article on

We’re Number One. No, not me. I don’t care much about my own market share, in case you haven’t noticed. It’s Sony. They’ve once again launched a press release claiming being “first” at something, this time full frame interchangeable lens camera volume and dollar volume in the United States for the first six months of 2018. Article on

XQD Cards. Originally, we had two sources of XQD cards, Lexar and Sony. As I write this, we have two, Delkin and Sony, while Lexar has indicated that they’ll return to the XQD market sometime in 2018. Article on

The Nikon 500mm f/5.6E PF Lens was introduced.

Yongnuo 50mm f/1.4 II for Nikon F-mount, Samyang 14mm f/2.8 autofocus for Nikon F-mount have both been introduced. 

The Panasonic LX100 got Mark II status with a new camera announcement that got buried behind the Nikon PR machine’s massive engine. The big change is the sensor is now 20mp (providing 17mp images in any of the aspect ratios). The new version also gets the latest Panasonic touchscreen tech, plus basically the image processing and video innards from the GX9. Is that enough to make the LX100 current again? Given that the price point resets back up to US$999, I’d make that a qualified maybe. Panasonic didn’t fool with the controls, which were near perfect. But they also didn’t update a few things, like the sequential EVF. 

All the previous articles for my sites can be found in the Articles Index.

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