June 2017

June 29

What to Make of the Canon EOS 6D Mark II. Canon today announced the second version of their "budget" full frame DSLR, the US$1999 6D Mark II, and on National Camera Day, which at least shows some attention to marketing detail ;~). There are some interesting contrasts in this iteration that are going to generate some controversy, I think. Article on dslrbodies.com6D Mark II Data PageRebel SL2 Data Page.

June 28

Where Are We? In DSLRs, That Is. Every year before taking my month-long break from the Internet I like to collect my thoughts on where we are camera-wise. This article tells you my current thinking about DSLRs as I head off into break. Typically when I return back, I start thinking forward, about what is necessary for us to move forward in the future. Article on dslrbodies.com

News and Rumors I'll be Pondering. As I head off into self-enforced withdrawal from the Internet, there are a number of things that came up in the last week or two that I'll be pondering. Article on dslrbodies.com

June 23

It has been a bit of a lens week, what with my two Olympus lens reviews, two new lenses announced, and two lenses finally with final details released. The two new lenses are the Zeiss Milvus 35mm f/1.4 and the Tamron 18-400mm f/3.5-6.3. The two lenses with pricing and availability details now available are the Sigma 14mm f/1.8 and the Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 Art

No article on the new lenses, but here's a short take: The Milvus looks to be about the best 35mm f/1.4 you can get, but it's manual focus only. The Tamron is the latest step in their attempt to superzoom the superzoom. The MTF numbers and sample images on that lens didn't excite me, and a 2.5 stop OS at 400mm isn't much considering this is a DX/EF-S lens and you're really at 600mm effective. Meanwhile the two Sigma lenses have looked appealing since they were first announced in February, so I'll be looking at them carefully when I can finally get copies. 

Note a trend, though. The Tamron and Sigma lenses are all electronic aperture (Nikon's E-type), which means that they work with D300 and later cameras only (though not the D3000). See this article for lens compatibility issues.  

June 20

Olympus 7-14mm f/2.8 Lens Review. The 7-14mm f/2.8 is a pro-caliber, very wide angle, zoom lens, equivalent to a 14-28mm lens on a full frame camera. This provides a 75-115° angle of view across the diagonal, which is about as wide as a non-fisheye lens gets these days. Article on sansmirror.com

And in my D7500 blogThe Cheese Has Been Removed.

June 19

Stop Complaining. Let's face it, we live in an age of exceptional cameras and lenses. As happened with High Fidelity back in the 70's, we've somehow managed to argue our way into little nooks and crannies trying to suss out very small—and to most people unnoticeable—differences. Meanwhile, every camera maker has at least one product that 15 years ago we would have regarded as "stellar," and which today and for the foreseeable future can produce exceptional images. DSLR article on dslrbodies.comMirrorless article on sansmirror.com 

What's with Nikon New Zealand? Are they so down under they didn't get the message about the DL's being cancelled?

June 16

Dealing With Changing TSA Requirements. In Spring 2017 the United States began banning some electronic devices from being carried on board planes bound to the US from the Middle East. The UK soon followed. Basically any product with a battery in it that was larger than a smartphone was included in this broad ban. That included tablets, laptops, DVD players, and unfortunately cameras. Basically any electronics item with a battery in it that was larger than 160x93x15mm in size. Article on bythom.com Updated

In case you haven't noticed, there's a new D7500 blog page, where I'm putting up short comments and articles as I begin testing the new Nikon D7500 DSLR. This is similar to what I did with the D5/D500 last year. 

Just in case you want one of the Nikon 100th anniversary items [advertiser links]:

June 15

Olympus 12-100mm f/4 Lens Review. The 12-100mm f/4 PRO lens was a bit of a surprise when it was announced. Not a surprise in that Olympus would offer a superzoom, but rather that it was tagged with the Pro designation, which Olympus reserves for its best optical designs. Article on sansmirror.com

Luminar Goes Neptune. Luminar, the raw conversion and editing program from MacPhun, has a new version called Neptune. Primary among the new features is a new workspace called Quick & Awesome. This simplified developing module adds a new AI-based filter to existing saturation, vibrance, and clarity filters. Article on dslrbodies.com

June 14

Upcoming macOS Transition Issues. Apple announced High Sierra, the next version of their macOS, at the Worldwide Developer Conference last week. The final version will be available later this fall. This new macOS has at least two changes to it that everyone needs to pay close attention to: (1) 32-bit apps will no longer be supported in the future (fall 2019) and (2) a new file system is going to be installed during the update process. Article on dslrbodies.com Updated

I've also updated my Recommended Mac Hardware article to account for the new models that Apple announced last week. This site's exclusive advertiser, B&H, carries all the models I mention.

June 13

Nikon Isn't Likely to be Bought by Fujifilm. I've just spent a one-week jaunt into the Internet-free woods—actually, mostly waters—where I was performing equipment testing in real conditions and usage. Judging from the emails sitting in my In Box when I returned, apparently the country of Japan is now telling Nikon it needs an elder sister to run its life, and that sister is Fujifilm. Article on dslrbodies.com

What Happens Post Nik? When the last version of Photoshop CC broke one of the view mechanisms in the Nik Collection, I knew that the end was near. The plug-ins still work just fine, but there are a couple of situations where previewing doesn’t work correctly now. Article on dslrbodies.com

June 2

More CIPA Numbers to Ponder. I’m amused by the various articles citing the latest CIPA statistics. Most seem to only be pointing out that the April interchangeable lens camera (ILC) shipments have shown a slight increase from last year. Article on sansmirror.com

Keeping Repairs Tied Up. I’ve been quiet about this issue for awhile. But there were two interesting things brewing in the background that impact this closely-held repair policy, and the Supreme Court just decided one of those this past week. So it’s time to bring up the subject again, I think. Article on dslrbodies.com

PocketWizard FlexTT6 for Canon DSLRs. PocketWizard this week launched a new version of their Flex TT transceiver for Canon DSLRs. This wireless controller supports over two dozen recent Canon DSLR cameras, as well as Canon’s 430 and 600 model wireless flash units. Article on dslrbodies.com

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