May 2017

May 31

Three New Nikkor Lenses Introduced. Nikon today introduced two new FX lenses, and one DX lens. Let’s work our way up in excitement by starting at the bottom… Article on dslrbodies.com10-20mm f/4.5-5.6G AF-P VR DX data page28mm f/1.4E data page8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E fisheye zoom data page.

The D810 Replacement Conjecture. While we continue to wait for it, it is still pretty easy to conjure up what the D810 replacement will be, with one critical exception, which takes a leap of faith on one or another path. Article on

May 29

Just a reminder, the D3400/D500/D750/D810 instant rebates are scheduled to end later this week. There’s no guarantee that they’ll be extended, though I suspect that since we’re about to enter the last month of a fiscal quarter, there will be lots of new deals.

May 24

This site's exclusive advertiser, B&H, has put up a landing page so that you can easily find the gear that I use and vouch for most of the time. The only things on that B&H page are products that I'm actually using in my various photography gigs. In conjunction with this, I've updated my three "what's in Thom's Bag articles" with more details and comments:

You'll also find comments about the bags themselves, some support gear, and a few other things on those pages. I try to keep those pages up-to-date, and they've all just been updated to reflect my current usage and thoughts.

Another Plug-in Goes "Full Featured" Topaz Labs today announced Topaz Studio, a single editing platform that has a bit of Inception-like recursion to it: it can serve as a plug-in to Lightroom and Photoshop, and it supports your current Topaz plug-ins. Plug-ins within plug-ins.  Article on

May 22

Sony RX100 Mark V Review. The Sony RX100 Mark V is the fourth in a series of iterations of the original 1" compact camera Sony produced, the RX100. Article on  I've also reorganized the review header on this site into a menu so that you don't have to scroll through everything to find the review you're looking for.

Perception is Everything. Sometimes I get one-liners in my email and other correspondence that manage to capture a thought perfectly. Sony’s introduction of a halo camera—the 20 fps full frame A9 in this case—has the Nikon (and some of the Canon) faithful either circling the wagons or crying out in the wilderness. It shouldn't. There's nothing wrong with Nikon's high-end cameras. Article on 

May 17

Sony FE Now at Almost Two Dozen Lenses. Today Sony announced two more FE lenses for their A7/A9 mirrorless cameras: the basically pre-announced 16-35mm f/2.8 GM, and the unexpected 12-24mm f/4. This brings to 23 the total number of FE lenses that are available directly from Sony (Zeiss and others also make their own FE lenses). Article on sansmirror.com16-35mm f/2.8 lens data page12-24mm f/4 lens data page.

Canon is Coming, Canon is Coming. If Canon Rumors is to believed—the current rumor has a low rating for reliability, but it's something I've also heard—Canon is targeting a full frame EF mount mirrorless camera for 2018,  probably for Photokina. Article on

May 16

Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 Review. The Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art lens is an anomaly in the zoom lens market: a seriously fast-aperture, crop-sensor lens with a limited focal length range. Remember, the DX bodies are at about a one-stop disadvantage to the FX bodies, all else equal. So wouldn't we all love a set of f/2 DX zooms to offset that disadvantage so that we can continue to shoot DX? Article on (see also companion review of the 50-100mm posted last week)

What Still is Useful, What to Upgrade. It's amazing to think that we're 18 years into the DSLR era (almost 30 if you were one of the few shooting with the modified film cameras Kodak made in the 90's). What's even more amazing is that every now and then I run into—or find in my gear closet—an old body, so I charge up its batteries and, yep, it still works. "Still works" is different than "useful." Article on

Cameras On Display at the Tokyo Olympics. The Summer Olympics will be in Tokyo in 2020. For the camera companies, that means that they're playing a "home game." Article on 

May 12

A Quick Analysis. I wanted to take a large set of numbers I have access to and run them against each other to see what it might say about Nikon's position in cameras at the moment. In particular, I was interested in whether Nikon is selling above the average selling price for units, at average, or below average. Article on

May 11

Nikon's Year (Financial Results). Those are bad numbers, folks. As badly as Nikon slipped in the overall market (market share decline) in the past year, they expect the same in the coming year. The duopoly is now more a monopoly. With Nikon at 23% and Canon at 48% for ILC bodies, we have a strong player and a weak player. The weak player is Nikon. Article on

May 10

XQD Sale. Not sure how long it's going to last, but sales on XQD cards don't come around very often, so I thought I'd mentioned it, even if this does look a bit like click bait. Article on

Now Here's Something I Can Get Behind. Phase One today announced the IQ3 100mp Achromatic Back. That's 100mp in a medium format, but monochrome. Article on

May 9

Sony Pro Support. With the recent addition of the A9 to the A7 lineup, Sony has now added a a new Sony Imaging Pro Support program that includes mirrorless camera users. Article on

May 8

Sigma 50-100mm f/1.8 Review. The Sigma 50-100mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art lens is an interesting addition for the crop sensor camera choices. It's not exactly a 70-200mm equivalent, but it's also not the f/2.8 of those lenses, either. Review on

The US$399 DSLR. Back in the days of the Nikon D40x, I reported that one Nikon executive made the following comment: "camera makers need to be ready to make and sell US$399 DSLRs." I commented about that quote several times in 2011 ("no one broke through the duopoly and caused the price drops Nikon had anticipated."), and a couple of times since.Well, here we are in 2017... Article on

How to Make an Asset a Liability. Basically, camera makers promote bodies (and kits) because of the lock-in effect. Once you've spent US$500+ on a body and then bought a lens or two to double or triple your commitment, you aren't going to quickly switch to another mount, because there's extra cost in doing so. Canon and Nikon, the long-time duopolists, both have produced and sold over 100 million lenses over the years. In the case of Nikon, I think that they've made clear mistakes in how they interpret that accomplishment. Article on

May 5

Someone's Wrong About Sales Numbers. Yes, shipments from the Japanese camera companies increased in the first quarter. No, sales of cameras to customers probably did not increase in the first quarter. At least not as far as I can tell in the Western markets from the initial data I have available to me. Article on

More Hot, More Not. Just a quick few followup thoughts to my Hot or Not List article. Some people think that I was describing which cameras are selling best. No. While there is a correlation between being "hot on the Internet" and sales at retail, it's not even close to a perfect one. The four cameras in my hot list are not the four best-selling cameras. Article on

May 1

Fujifilm X-T2 Review. The X-T2 is the second iteration of Fujifilm's most DSLR-like, top-end (currently), mirrorless camera. Centered around an APS-C sensor, the X-T2 would look like a classic film SLR if it weren't for that big tilting LCD on the back. Article on

April Showers Bring May Discounts. It's one of those times of year again. Typically cameras tend to get promoted heavily in Spring (for Mothers/Fathers day, graduation, summer vacations) and then again at Christmas. We're entering the first of those periods, and pretty much every mirrorless camera maker has new promotions started. As I often do with Nikon promotions on the site, I'm going to call out a few things that caught my attention in the latest rebate/discount lists. Article on

The Hot or Not List. It seems every camera is solely capable of photography based upon how "hot" it appears on the Internet (not!). So let's play along for a moment. Here's my current assessment of the Hot and Not products. First, the Hot list. Article on

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