December 2016

December 30

2016 MacBook Pro First Impressions. It is time for me to update my greatly aging, first generation, 15” MacBook Pro Retina, a notebook computer that has traveled the world a few times, chocked on a sandstorm, and bounced harshly on things that were called roads but weren’t. Article on

December 26

2016: Glass 3/4s Full or 3/4s Empty? It’s amusing to watch all the posts and rhetoric on the Internet that has some camera companies managing to land people on Mars while other camera makers seem to need a Mars bar so as to get their energy back (or some other labored metaphor; sorry, it’s the end of the year and I’ve used up my annual supply of good metaphors ;~). Article on

2017: Glass Filling or Emptying? If you haven’t read the companion article (above) about 2016 first, please do so before continuing. The arguments and metaphors that I use in this article about what I think 2017 is going to be like flow from that. Once again I’ll start with Nikon. Article on

There is No Best. 2016 will be the first year that I don’t award “best of year” awards. Why? Well, in doing my year-end research I became convinced that virtually every product introduced in 2016 was getting a “best of year” award from someone. Article on

Why Are Mirrorless Cameras Necessary? Here's a question I get in various ways: why do we need mirrorless cameras? Sometimes it's not a question, but an assertion. That assertion is often hugely broad, as in "mirrorless is the future of interchangeable lens cameras.” Pretty much every variation of the question or assertion I receive has at its root an assumption that mirrorless cameras are different than DSLRs in some meaningful way. Article on

The “System Guides” on for the various mirrorless mounts have been completely revised and added to: CanonFujifilmNikonm4/3SonyThom’s Sony E/FE Bag has been added. Virtually all of the Articles section of has been looked at and edited.

At the request of a fair number of you, I’m going to Tweet the URL for every new article that appears on the byThom sites. Thus, if you follow me on Twitter, you’ll now see in your feed every time I produce a new article. This is in response to those of you who don’t want to continue to use RSS, but want site update information outside a Web browser in a timely fashion. Nothing will change with this site, though: you’ll still see the new articles appear a list of teasers (see This Week’s Articles, above, and Recent Articles, below).

A little bit about you: each year at this time I do a deeper analysis of how you’re getting to this site, what you look at, and what you’re using while viewing it. You’re predominately desktop users, with the largest share using the Chrome browser, but there’s fairly large Safari and Firefox participation, too. Internet Explorer users are now down to 10% of my readership. About 20% of you are using the responsive layout of this site by viewing on various mobile devices, and the vast majority of you mobile folk are iOS users (sorry Google). 

December 14

Catching Up on News. A few odds and ends came up this week that warrant some comment, so I’ve decided to put together an article with my comments on each of these things. Article on

December 12

Nikon Says You Want 360°. Nikon last week had their own press release announcing survey results (see Canon’s): "90% of Americans believe content they currently watch would be better viewed in fully immersive, 360-degrees, and 92% of Americans are ready to capture and share their own personal experiences using 360 cameras.” Article on

After the Shoot. A common question I get as I go on exotic tours round the world is “how do I keep my camera gear maintained?” I was just down in the sand shooting animals at ground level, so now have some sand on them. Article on

Traveling with Cameras. Don’t panic and always carry a big brush. Article on

Nikon has extended the lens rebates until January 1st, and added the 35mm f/1.8G DX lens to them (one of my recommended DX lenses).

December 9

The Software blog has updates for Adobe Lightroom and ACRAffinity Photo (now also for Windows), and FoCal. (You should go to the Software blog page and click on the Subscribe to RSS feed at the top of the right column [only mobile devices, it will be below the main feed itself]. However, I’ve noticed that a lot of folk are either using browsers that don’t directly support RSS any more, or don’t have an RSS reader.

If you’ve got an RSS Reader app, you can point at the following five RSS feeds for various portions of the and sites fed to you automatically:

  • Mirrorless camera news/views:
  • Film camera news/views:
  • DSLR camera news/views:
  • Digital Photography Software news/views:
  • D5/D500 commentary:

Sadly, RSS seems to be slowly being abandoned, and other content-scraping approaches seem to be pulling at the seams of RSS. I’ve considered becoming Apple News (an App) friendly, but the work to do it right would take away from other projects right now. So for the time being, RSS is the choice for my sites.

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

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

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

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

The Reviews pointer page has been updated.

The Lens Review Ratings page has been updated.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 and 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 pages.

Looking for gear-specific information? Check out our other Web sites:
DSLRS: | mirrorless: | Z System: | film SLR:

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