Sony RX100 MKIII

Sony updates its very popular RX100 MKII with a new third version. The camera is already being heralded as the best-ever compact or point-and-shoot. But at $800, it’s also the most expensive. The new model touts a cool pop-up electronic viewfinder (EVF) in lieu of a hot shoe, and an excellent new lens that mimics a fast (f/1.8-2.8) mid-rage 24-70mm (full-frame equivalent) zoom. The image quality is great, but at that price, Frederick Van Johnson and I ask, “Who’s this for?”

Sony a7s

The Sony A7s is being heralded as “Camera of the Year” by some reviewers, Frederick and I take a look at the third camera in Sony’s a7 series. While offering a sensor with only 12MP, the a7s is getting a lot of attention for a sensor that can shoot up to ISO 409,600 as well as being one of the first still-image camera that also produces 4K video.

Does it live up to all the buzz? And who really needs a camera that can shoot in the dark? And what about that 12MP sensor? Isn’t that really heading in the wrong direction? I explains why 12MP may be enough for you and why a high-ISO sensor may be important to everyday photography.

Panasonic Lumix GH4

The long-awaited latest Lumix “G” flagship camera breaks new ground: It can shoot 4K video and save it directly to an SD card. So this week we invited video guru Dave Dugdale to join Frederick and me to give us his two cents.

Dave and I put the GH4 through some very different paces. I wanted to see what would happen if he shot 4K video specifically with the goal of extracting still images. Check out how well the GH4 did in both our tests.

Sony a6000

The a6000 replaces Sony’s NEX-6 and at only $600 (body only, street price) you might think this is just another entry-level camera, comparable to a point-and-shoot. But you’d be wrong. Sony claims this is the world’s fastest autofocusing mirrorless camera and is now the top-of-the-line in their APS-C sensor line.

I put the a6000 through some serious usage tests including an intense week of shooting on the streets of New York City. And while Frederick and I lament the fact that Sony still doesn’t appear to understand the value of features like touch screens and external mic jacks, you’ll also hear whether I think the a6000 is a good choice regardless of these weaknesses.

Fujifilm X-T1

Based on previously using the X-E1 and X-E2, I started this review with quite high expectations. And while the X-T1 is certainly one of Fujifilm’s greatest cameras to date, he didn’t find that it comes up #1 by every criterion. Controls? Autofocus? Bracketing? No touch LCD? (What’s up with that?) Hear what Frederick and I have to say about it.

Fujifilm cameras produce excellent quality images and Fuji has many fans, including me. To their great in-camera emulations of classic film stocks, Fujifilm has added the claim that their flagship X-T1 is the fastest autofocusing camera on the market. But does the X-T1 live up to the hype?

Curiosity, JPL InSight Lander Hearst Castle Chips Depth of Field (56mm f/1.4) Hearst Castle Roman Pool Paramount Theatre Lobby Detail LACMA Shoot Canon or Die! Bixby Bridge, Big Sur, California

Olympus OM-D E-M10

The OM-D E-M10 is Olympus’ smallest and least-expensive micro four-thirds camera to date. Is it an entry-level MFT body? A good second camera? And how does it stack up to the venerable E-M5? Check out the latest episode of All About the Gear.

OM-D E-M10 Product Shot

 

I put the new puppy up against it’s larger, older brother (E-M5) and the Panasonic Lumix GM1. Along they way I take a deep dive into the issue of diffraction and why MFT cameras seem to have plateaued at 16 megapixels. It’s a discussion that every photographer will want to hear, regardless of the size of your sensor.

Lytro

The Lytro is the first commercially available light-field camera. There’s been a lot of buzz (and even controversy) surrounding this revolutionary focus-later device, but it’s not clear whether this is an important development or just a gimmick. Frederick interviewed the folks at Lytro before the camera was released, and now I’ve spent two weeks putting it through its paces, learning about the science and technology of light-field photography, and figuring out whether you might want to own one. Watch the review on All About the Gear.

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Nikon Df

The Nikon DF (for “Digital fusion”) is at first glance the technology of a Nikon D4 sensor (at half the price of a D4) in a D600-class body that touts compatibility with classic Nikkor lenses. But that’s just the full half of the glass.

I spent three weeks with this strange beast and while I love the image quality and compatibility with old lenses, it’s an ergonomic disaster. Frederick probes deeper to discover both the half-full and half-empty attributes of Nikon’s play in the retro-camera world.

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Olympus OM-D E-M1

Olympus claim the OM-D E-M1 has the fastest autofocus of any camera, but is that really true? The E-M1 also has a new 16MP sensor, but does it deliver better images than the popular OM-D E-M5, which now sells for almost half the price? Check out the latest episode of All About the Gear.

 

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I’d like to welcome our new sponsor and partner, Hunt’s Photo and Video. If you click on the image below it will take you to a special offer to save $200 on the OM-D E-M1 + lens through February 28, 2014.

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Sony a7 (and a7R)

The long-anticipated Sony a7 and a7R have been called the cameras of the year by some. I was an early fanboy, but does the a7 live up to the hype and my expectations?

The a7 and a7R are the first full-frame, mirrorless, autofocusing interchangeable-lens cameras. Together, they’re strong competitors for the Leica 240 and the Nikon D800E. But the native lens selection is meager. The sweet spot may be to combine the new Sonys with third-party lenses.
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