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. 

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Reminder: I take the month of August off each year, as it comes just after my birthday and I use the time to unwind and rethink. That includes escaping from the Internet and email for the month, as well. Thus there won’t be any new postings during August. Products that get announced while I’m off-the-net and regenerating my brain cells will get dealt with when I return in September. As will all email and questions that pile up while I’m out. The automated parts of the site, including book ordering and delivery are still active; workshop signups will still be taken by Wilderness Travel while I’m off the Internet, as well.

>>> This Week's Articles:

July 29, 2016

What Does Nikon Excel At? Every company has some core competencies that can’t be denied. What are Nikon’s? In my opinion, Nikon’s best work is actually pretty deeply buried in their cameras and lenses. Article on

July 27, 2016

New Nikon 105mm f/1.4E Lens. Nikon today announced a new lens, the 105mm f/1.4E ED, which Nikon cited as both the world’s first digital full-frame f/1.4 of this focal length, but more interestingly: “the culmination of Nikon’s expertise in lens design.” The new lens covers both the DX and FX frame, and becomes a very interesting portrait candidate for the FX bodies, a fast moderate telephoto for DX bodies. Article on Data page for 105mm f/1.4 lens.

July 26, 2016

Some Sansmirror Additions, Cleanup. Every year at this time I try to take a pass at cleaning up missing information, updating the things that search engines look for, and sometimes adding something I think is useful. Article on 

July 25, 2016

The Likely Product Announcement Schedule. Two huge—sorry, had to use that word despite its overuse by a certain politician—European camera trade shows are coming up shortly, and they tend to be the places where camera companies like to make big splashes with new product (typically introduced just prior to one of the shows): IBC and Photokina. Article on

Denial, That River in Africa. It seems to me that a lot of people are still in denial—including some of the folk designing and making decisions about DSLRs for Nikon in Japan. Article on

How Much Choice Do We Really Have? I was tooling around B&H’s site the other day trying to find something by brute force—the search wasn’t pulling it up—and hit the main Digital Cameras page. I noticed that the summary was saying 208 compact cameras, 132 mirrorless cameras, 300 DSLRs, and 32 medium format cameras. Those numbers have some duplicates and oddities, but I was struck enough to spend some time browsing through to see what the real situation was. Article on

Note that the new software news blog within is now fully established and active, and should be producing RRS feeds if you’ve subscribed. 

>>> Recent Articles:

July 19, 2016

CIPA Still in Denial about EXIF. Woo hoo! Six years after the last published standard for EXIF, CIPA has managed to produce a new version (2.31, published in English translation earlier this month). What changed? Not a lot. Article on

Note that the new software news blog within is now fully established and active, and should be producing RRS feeds if you’ve subscribed. There are two new stories there today.

July 18, 2016

What Do I Expect to See from Nikon at Photokina? This has been a strange year. Cameras announced at the start of the year still haven’t shipped. Others that were supposedly ready to launch haven’t even been announced. Coupled with the sensor shortage caused by the quake in Japan earlier this year, all the camera makers are scrambling to figure out when they can launch their newest products, as well as how to keep their existing ones in stock. But let’s put that behind us for a moment and consider a different question: considering the current Nikon product line—including the announcements made earlier this year and the D5/D500 combo that launched in the first half—what do we expect to see Nikon launch at (or around) Photokina? Article on

Samyang announced a new Xeen lens for the many mounts, including the F-mount and FE-mount, the Xeen 135mm t/2.2. Data page for the lens.July 11, 2016

Focus or Image Quality? As I look at post after post and email after email concerning little nits in image quality between possible camera purchases, I wonder if people are actually understanding what’s important to their shooting. Maybe focus is more important. Or maybe it’s something else, like fps and buffer? Or tethering stability? Article on

Seven Reasons Why I’m Still a Nikon DSLR User. People ask me all the time why I haven’t just moved to a mirrorless system. Sure, there’s some inertia in my choice to stick with Nikon DSLRs for most of my work given that I have a full F-mount lens set, but there are some genuine other reasons for my sticking to Nikon DSLRs, too. Article on 

Sony announced a new Sony-Zeiss lens for the FE cameras, the 50mm f/1.4 ZA. Data page for the lens.

July 7, 2016

Fujifilm Launches X-T2. Fujifilm today launched the much leaked and long rumored X-T2. In many ways, the new camera incorporates the changes Fujifilm made with the X-Pro2 over the X-Pro1, but in the X-T1 package. Still, there are a lot of subtle and deeper changes. Article on  Data page for the X-T2.

The D500 blog page has had a couple of updates while wrapping up. The D500 Third Party Lens Page also got updated. And, given those updates, I decided to create a new Sigma Lens Firmware page that tries to track their USB Dock-based lens firmware updates. The Nikon FAQ page got some updates, including one about the 2016 earthquake. Also, I’ve just updated my sensor cleaning article again (21st time in 16 years). If that weren’t enough, I also went through the section on Teleconverters and made a few small changes.

This is all a reminder that is a living, breathing site (as are,, and It’s not a bunch of daily short WordPress database entries that just get further and further buried as new ones appear. I regularly look at and revisit pages on this site and update them with current information as I learn it. I do this so often that I can’t usually call out all such revisions (just note how many I updated on Sunday, above). But with important articles, such as All About Nikon VR, you probably should go back and check it from time to time, as I keep updating that page (and others) as I learn new information (check near the bottom of that page for information on Sports Mode and VR Image Flare for example).

July 5, 2016

Nikon D500 Review. The D500 is the long overdue and much anticipated update of the D300s, Nikon’s pivotal professional-caliber crop sensor DSLR from the last decade. The D500 was introduced with a professional FX DSLR, just as the D300 was. In the case of the D300 that was in 2007, and it was the pairing of the D300 and D3 that reignited excitement in the Nikon DSLR line and kicked off some new technologies (EXPEED, for instance). Here we are nine years later and Nikon finally has done virtually the same thing, introducing the D500 and D5 simultaneously, and again introducing new technologies with these products, most notably a new autofocus system, but 4K video and other things, as well.  Review on dslrbodies.comJuly 1, 2016

The Shaking News from Japan. CIPA just posted the May results for camera shipments out of Japan, and it’s as bad as all the statements about the impact of the quake from various camera makers implied. Article on

June 30, 2016

Eye-Fi Deprecation Coming Soon. Technology is a marvelous thing, but it moves on and on, imploring you to follow. Eye-Fi cards are about to make a transition that you need to be aware of. Article on

June 27, 2016

The Laws of Attraction. A lot of comments I’ve received about recent cameras could just as easily have been made about significant others or spouses: attractive, intelligent, well-proportioned, instantly likable, and more. Article on

Uncertainty is Bad. Generally we don’t get into politics much on this site, but because of the nature of camera production, sometimes we can’t avoid it. Britain’s BREXIT vote last week is a good case in point. Article on

Also note that I’ve updated the June Software Announcements page with some information about plug-in installations for Photoshop CC 2015.5 (scroll down to June 21 entry).

Previous articles can be found in the Articles Index.

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