Cameras and Photography Explained

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

bythom US CO Boulder WSU-versus-CO D500 07569.jpg

Taken with the D500 and 70-200mm f/2.8E FL (see my just posted review of the lens)

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>>> This Week's Articles:

December 7

How Bad is It? Let’s look at the just-announced Jan-Oct CIPA numbers for the past few years for a moment. DSLRs fell to half their previous sales level in just four years. Mirrorless is running 11% under its peak. Article on dslrbodies.com

The Rationalizing Zoom Lens Sets article has been updated.
The Choosing a Simple Prime Kit article has been updated.


December 5

Whoop There it Is. Battleship Canon just fired a salvo at the Cruiser Nikon. And it hit hard. Mostly because Nikon put their bow right where it was vulnerable. Article on dslrbodies.com

New Nikon Lens Rebates. Nikon has ended last month’s lens rebates and come up with eight new lenses that are now on rebate. As I always do when Nikon offers lens-only rebates, I’m going to comment on the new entries to let you know what looks like a good value and what you should probably just ignore. Article on dslrbodies.com

Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR Lens Review. The acronym brigade just doesn’t get any shorter these days, does it? Let’s start with all those letters. Review on dslrbodies.com

The Reviews pointer page has been updated.
The Lens Review Ratings page has been updated.


>>> Recent Articles:

December 1

Fujifilm announced the X-A10. I reorganized and updated the Meyer-Optik lens and HanDEVision lens pages. I updated all the recent firmware numbers in both the dslrbodies.com and sansmirror.com databases. Posted article about new Capture One Pro version 10 in the software RRS feed. Posted update about Luminar in software RRS feed. Posted corrections to several dslrbodies.com pages.

November 28

This week I’m going to post everything on Monday. There probably won’t be additional posts until next week due to my busy schedule. But lots of new stuff is on the Web site for you to consider:

Cameras and Skin Tones. It bubbles up every now and then. It generates lots of Internet commentary. And then it dies down for awhile. What is it? Color. And color most often comes up when someone starts talking about skin tones, good or bad. Article on dslrbodies.com

Raw or JPEG? We’ve come a long way in the 20+ years I’ve been dealing with digital cameras. A very long way. Quite frankly, early JPEG rendering left a lot to be desired, even well into the early DSLR era. While some people were running around early in the century saying “JPEG is all you ever need to shoot” I didn’t believe that was true then, and voiced my concerns vehemently enough that I pissed off a few of those JPEG worshippers. Things might be a bit different today. Article on dslrbodies.com

File Hierarchy. In my books I’ve been a strong proponent of saving images in a fixed file hierarchy pretty much since the first day I started using digital cameras (that would be back in the late 80’s). Products like Lightroom and Apple Photos have a tendency to mask where your images actually live. I don’t like this. I want to know where my images are and control how they’re organized, because that helps me find them faster. Article on dslrbodies.com

As usual during the holidays I’ve spent some time bringing earlier articles up to date. The entire Lenses section has been looked at, though there are still some things I need to address there. But you’re want to note that the very long and extensive “Rationalizing Lenses” article has been updated to be current. So has the Teleconverter pages and the Lens FAQ pages. You may notice a couple of reviews that appear to be linked but aren’t there yet: I hope to post several new lens reviews next week. “What Thom Uses” in the software section has been updated.November 24

Nikon software updatesON1 Photo RAW pre-release. Both are in my digital photography software blog, which has an RSS feed.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals are going active. This site’s exclusive advertiser has deals that have time/quantity limits, as well as regular deals:


Other Black Friday discounts of note (** indicates products I use or have used). Many of these deals stay active through Cyber Monday or the end of November, but some are today (Friday) only:

One final note. The D3400 two lens kit (18-55 and 70-300mm AF-P) is on sale until end of day Saturday for US$497 (plus this site’s exclusive advertiser adds a bag and a card and a 2% future purchase reward). Given that the 70-300mm lens alone sells for US$397 and you can often get US$100 when selling the 18-55mm, you’re essentially getting a D3400 for free. DX users looking for a telephoto lens and/or a backup body should snap this up.

If you see another photography-related discount not in the above list (other than the camera maker discounts), let’s crowd source this: send me an email and I’ll add it to the list.

November 23

End of Year Nikon Body Buying Advice. Each holiday season I get a stream of emails that ask whether they should upgrade to an advertised holiday bargain or wait for Nikon to introduce a replacement camera. There’s no simple answer to that question as we’re talking about the intersection of known price (holiday bargain) versus unknown performance (potential replacement model). Still, things are regular enough on the Nikon side of the DSLR marketplace to make some general observations and recommendations. Article on dslrbodies.com

November 22

Who’s Lobbying the Camera Companies? One problem with many of the things that we want but are missing from cameras all derives to this: who’s the central authority/group that’s making the request? How standardized is the request? How big and influential is the group making the request? And, of course, do the Japanese even see the request? Article on dslrbodies.com

November 21

Designed by Photographers, For Photographers. A conversation with an old friend from my Backpacker magazine days this past weekend got me thinking about the “designed by…for” approach. Certainly in the outdoor industry you find quite a few practitioners of outdoor activities involved in the design of products. Indeed, I’d say that this is the norm. Article on dslrbodies.com

Three Different Holiday Strategies. It’s that time of year again. The special deals and rebates are cranking up trying to get you to purchase something for the holidays. Article on dslrbodies.com

November 15

Mission Impossible? Well, I’ve received my order of Nikon KeyMission products last week and started playing with them. Let me just say up front that I don’t really see myself using them to replace my GoPro use any time soon. Article on dslrbodies.com

End of the Year Mirrorless Status. We’re in the end-of-year buying season, so perhaps it’s a good time to reflect on what happened this year in mirrorless and where we are. Article on sansmirror.com

November 14

Nikon Lens Rebates. As I always do when Nikon offers lens-only rebates, I’m going to comment on them for you to let you know what looks like a good value and what you should probably just ignore. Article on dslrbodies.com

Nikon Isn’t the Only One Doing Deja Vu. It’s always amusing to watch marketing/sales fads and how they progress. Or not. Some seem to never die. Article on dslrbodies.com

Panasonic Holiday Deals. As I’ve done with Nikon products on dslrbodies.com, I’m going to start trying to do similar things with mirrorless products when I can. Panasonic has just listed their November rebates. Here’s my take. Article on sansmirror.comNovember 10

Nikon Drops D5600 on the Market. Thud. Today Nikon announced the D5500.001, otherwise known as the D5600. But not in the US. This isn’t the first time Nikon has released a consumer DSLR in foreign markets first before eventually releasing it in the US. Who knows why Nikon does that. Okay, I know… Article on dslrbodies.comD5600 camera data page.

November 9

So Much Denial About Workflow. Every time I write anything about how the camera makers are still stuck in the sneaker net era and that they really have to figure out how images get shared easily if they want to sell cameras, I see a wave of denial washing over both the camera company representatives and an awful lot of the Internet-active photography forum posters. Article on dslrbodies.com

Just a reminder, the D500/D5 blog is still active.

November 8

Leica introduced a very slightly updated TL model today. Data page for the camera

Nikon’s First Half Financial Results. Nikon today announced their second (fiscal) quarter financials. As usual, Nikon is the last of the major camera companies to announce financial results, so we have some ability to make comparisons. Article on dslrbodies.com

Since all the camera companies have mostly opted to take on the shrinking market by shrinking themselves, let me point out my main thesis again: iterating without solving new user problems is sub-optimal and will just produce more market decline as more people opt not to buy a dedicated camera  at all while others decide their old one just doesn’t need upgrading. It’s that latter group that’s becoming more and more important, as smartphones have pretty much decimated the former now. What user problem does “more pixels” solve for me? For many it actually creates new problems because the image data files are bigger. I’m comfortable about my call here; my PhD work was in New Technology Economics and Management, and my dissertation work was on market transitions. This is a market in transition, and there are known and time-tested ways of dealing with transitions. They’re not being applied by the Japanese camera companies.November 4

Rumor versus Speculation. So here’s the “rumor” now trying to go viral on the Internets: Sony will buy Nikon. Article on dslrbodies.com

November 3

The Price of Enthusiasm. Probably the biggest discussion going on among photography enthusiasts today has to do with price. Olympus’ revelation yesterday that the E-M1 Mark II will sell for US$2000 just threw a little tinder on the flame already burning. Article on dslrbodies.com

Photoshop CC 2017 announced


Previous articles can be found in the Articles Index.

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