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Saturday, 24 January 2015

Taking a look at the Canon Powershot G1 X Mark II

Back in 2012 the original Canon PowerShot G1 X was a ground-breaker in that it had a larger sensor than any other 'compact' camera that had gone before. It's 1.5” CMOS sensor was only 20% smaller than an APS-C camera so for the first time it was possible to get virtually DSLR quality shots from a reasonably pocketable camera. However, despite this big forward step in image quality performance, some of its other features were frankly a little disappointing: a slowish f/2.8-5.8 aperture range, and a very poor minimum focus distance of 20cm being two of them.


So a couple of years down the line we are now presented with the Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II.


Thursday, 22 January 2015

Taking a look at the Canon EF 35mm f/2 IS USM – ideal for shooting hand held in low light

The Canon EF 35mm f/2 IS USM is a fast and reliable  lens that performs well in most situations, and is known for its fast aperture of f/2. It also has 4 stop Image Stabiliser which helps capture great shots in low light. Its ultra sonic motor additionally helps get fast and quiet autofocus.

I find this lens very useful on APS-C cameras such as the Canon EOS 7D and the Canon EOS 70D, as it gives field of view of 50mm which is good for portraits and general use.

Taking a look at the Canon PowerShot SX520 - One camera for every special moment

If you are in the market for a bridge camera with a very long focal length, then the Canon PowerShot SX520 is definitely one to consider. Canon have long had an excellent reputation for producing some of the best bridge cameras on the market. This camera boast a 16 megapixel Digic 4+ sensor – 4 megapixels more than its predecessor.

The biggest draw for me is the actual size of camera. A huge 42x zoom (35mm equivalent of 24-1008mm) in the most compact bridge camera body to date. The new continuous auto focus comes in handy when shooting moving objects and the 9 focus points makes for sharper images.


Wednesday, 21 January 2015

What makes an L-Series lens so special?

Having worked in photographic retail for a number of years now, I’m accustomed to being asked the question, ‘why is this camera so much more expensive than that one?’  Or sometimes: ‘how does this new model compare to the old one?’ These questions in most cases evoke fairly easy answers, as do most of the queries posed by the average camera shopper. However, the one enquiry that I never look forward to is the one that begins thus: ‘What is it that’s so special about Canon’s L-Series lenses?’ There are some obvious answers to this; such as ‘they cater for the needs of professional photographers’ or ‘they use highly expensive glass’.  For me these answers are not specific enough and for that reason I have taken the opportunity to assess the slightly more technical explanations for what it is that makes an L-Series so special.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Olympus M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 Pro lens practical review

The Olympus 40-150mm f/2.8 M.Zuiko pro lens is the second lens to be launched in the Olympus Pro lens series for Micro 4/3rds cameras following the 12-40mm f/2.8. It is the ideal partner for the 12-40 and shares with its little brother a constant f/2.8 maximum aperture plus the very best optical and mechanical construction.

In full frame 35mm terms this lens is the equivalent to an 80-300mm f/2.8 range - the nearest equivalent in those terms would be the Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 OS lens. Using an APS-C sensor size equivalence a 70-200mm f/2.8 (105-300mm equivalent).

The Nikon Ball advert - what is it all about?


The latest advert from Nikon features a
photographer shooting images of a glass ball which then reflects the environment around and through it.

The featured photographer Andrius Aleksandravičius got the idea to use the glass ball after taking apart a kaleidoscope and seeing how the glass ball in the bottom gave a unique view.

New Firmware version announced for the Leica T camera


A new firmware version 1.3 for the Leica T (701) will be available on the 18th December.

This version offers significant performance improvements and some new features that simplify the overall handling;

- WiFi Set Up Menu: after connecting to a WiFi network an assistant menu comes into place asking whether to use the “Leica T APP” or the “WEB GALLERY” application.


Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM - as reviewed by photographer Andrew Chastney

I’m Andrew Chastney, a freelance wildlife film maker, I have two hats when working really, I cut films (the editor) and I produce (that’s BBC parlance for the director).

I’ve been lucky enough to be in the “business” of wildlife films for the last 25 years now, though it’s less of a business and far, far more of a passion. Luckier still is that it has allowed me fantastic opportunities to pursue my other passion in life – photography.

For the past year we’ve been making a film (it’ll be broadcast next year on the telly) on Iceland, its wildlife, people and the extraordinary landscape that has made it. It’s continually growing actually, at 2.5cm per year which is very fast geologically! In addition to the film, there was a serious mission from the stills side, so I went with my team, including a cameraman and assistant cameraman fully loaded with an assortment of EOS 5D’s, 7D’s, 50D’s (and the odd Leica). We went at the end of last winter, into the depths of a frozen land.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Panasonic 7-14mm f/4 for Micro 4/3rds cameras review





The Panasonic 7-14mm f/4 lens provides Micro 4/3rds users with the equivalent of 14-28mm in a compact lightweight package.

The lens is nice and light and very compact compared to any full-frame equivalent lens though considerably larger than its closest competitor the Olympus 9-18.