Cameras and Photography Explained

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INT PAT Grey 2010 GF1 06393

As part of my slow move from my old Mac Pro to a new Mac, I’ve been going through my image archives and weeding out some duplicates and other things that somehow snuck in. I keep finding interesting “old” photos I took. This one is from 2010 with a Panasonic GF1 at ISO 2400. Yes, there’s plenty of noise I had to deal with, but it was mostly manageable. What I found most of all was that I had a harder time lifting deep shadows—note the fox’s eyes—than I do with recent cameras. But still, as I continue this project of deep archive cleanup, I’m finding example after example of just how good even the older smaller sensor digital cameras were. Argue all you want about small differences in specs, the real point is to take pictures people want to see. Don’t get lost in the photons, folks.

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February 3, 2016

Sony Announces A6300, FE Lenses. Sony today announced the long-awaited successor to the A6000, surprisingly named the A6300. No, we didn’t get a 28mp sensor, IBIS, or some of the other things that were rumored ad nauseum across the Internets. Instead, we got a well-considered iterative update with a few very key differences from its predecessor. Article on A6300 data page

Which Mirrorless Now? As long-time site visitors know, I got into shooting with mirrorless back in 2009 when m4/3 blossomed into multiple models from multiple vendors. Specifically, I was looking for a small/light product I could carry with me alongside my DSLRs when I didn’t want to be always changing lenses on bodies (e.g. wildlife and sports). Article on

Can We Make Sansmirror Better? Sansmirror is now in its fifth year as a one-man operation. I didn’t intend it to be that way. Article on

February 2, 2016

This Will be Interesting. With Canon’s announcement of the 1Dx Mark II today, for the first time we actually have a fairly apples versus apples set of products from Canon and Nikon. ˙

February 1, 2016

What Do the BCN Numbers Reveal? BCN, the data monitoring company that reports sales in the Japanese home market for consumer electronics, posted their latest full year market share numbers last week. Rather than just present the 2015 numbers, I thought I’d share with you the full range of numbers for three categories of cameras from 2005 to 2015. Article on

Regional Cameras. One thing hidden in plain sight is that cameras are doing different things in various regions of the world. The whole “mirrorless versus DSLR” battle is taking place on differing fronts with dissimilar results. Canon’s recent comments during their fiscal year report clearly indicate that the camera companies are aware of this regionality issue. Article on

The Final 2015 Shipment Numbers. No sooner did I post the previous two articles relating to unit volume and shipments, CIPA released the final year-end numbers for 2015. Article on

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January 29, 2016

Bravo Olympus. Since a lot of people don’t hear when I make praise for something, I thought for a change I’d separate that out into a separate article, even if in the grand scheme of things what I’m about to praise is a modest, minor feature. Article on

Nikon Lens Price Increases. The short version is this: Nikon claims that they have been absorbing raw materials price increases on their lenses and a few other items for some time, and this has gotten to the point where they can’t find other costs to cut further. Therefore something must give. What gave, starting March 1st, is the official pricing of a wide range of lenses in Japan. Article on

January 27, 2016

The Olympus Pen-F Reappears. Olympus today announced the Pen-F, a new camera that’s more rangefinder style than DSLR, and which competes fairly directly with the Panasonic GX-8, which has a similar form factor. Article on sansmirror.comData page for Pen-F

Nikon Firmware/Software Updates. The D5300 and D5500 get firmware updates to version 1.01 to support the new AF-P 18-55mm lens. Curiously, the update also reveals that AF-P lenses add a menu setting for enabling VR and on the D5500 for enabling or disabling manual focus override. Both cameras also get some minor bug fixes. Nikon Camera Control Pro 2.23.0 adds D5 and D500 support, as well as a number of small, but useful feature additions. Article on

Another Down Year for Cameras. Canon, as usual, was the first to report their latest financial information for the previous quarter. More importantly, Canon’s fiscal year is the calendar year, so their year-to-year results align with CIPA annual data, as do their forward projections. Article on

Desirable DX Lenses According to You. I was watching the numbers come in on the DX lens survey in real time for a few hours yesterday. Very early on trends were clear, and the final results stuck to those trends all the way through nearly 6000 votes, when I closed the poll. Article on 

January 26, 2016

The Next Nikon According to You. Yesterday I had a poll on my main site asking you what you thought the next camera would be that Nikon updates. This was a crude form of crowd sourcing: sometimes a large group of relatively knowledgable folk can make accurate predictions about an area they’re familiar with. Article on

January 25, 2016

Compact Flash is Dead. Yes, the constant press of technology just keeps making you have to do things that you don’t want to. In today's case study: give up all those CompactFlash cards you’ve been acquiring over the digital DSLR era. Article on

Why There Should be a Nikon D700 Followup. A month before the D500 was announced, I wrote an article about why Nikon absolutely needed a followup to the D300. (Not that I hadn’t written about that before ;~). Even before then—and especially now that the D5/D500 combo has been launched—I was getting emails from people who insist that there needs to be a followup to the D700, too. Article on

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