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Apr 122017
 

The COSYSPEED Streetomatic Plus Holster Camera Bag Review

Here I am again with another bag review, but this bag comes in at $129, is super functional, and you do not even feel it while wearing it! This is the Cosyspeed Streetomatic PLUS and it fits around your waist instead of your shoulder, though you can still wear it over your body.

VIDEO REVIEW RIGHT HERE!

This bag is unique, looks great, is made very well and allows us to carry a larger mirrorless or smaller DSLR with one lens, or a smaller mirrorless with 2-3 lenses. The bag arrives with a raincoat, and a strap extender which you would add if you wanted to wear it over the body. When using this bag, it’s a cinch to open it up and take out the camera. Fast, easy and it protects the gear. Sure, one could just wear a camera strap and bring the camera and lens without a bag but this PLUS version of the Streetomatic allows you to also carry accessories in the side pockets. Memory cards, lens cloth, cables, batteries, or even a charger. When you wear this bag around the waist, you soon forget that you are carrying a bag, or a camera. I like it just as I liked the original.

 

While not for everyone, what this bag offers street shooters or those who bring minimal gear is space savings, weight savings and a fast way of gaining access to your camera. Compared to the NON PLUS version, this one looks nicer with its faux leather flap, has a nicer new open and close mechanism that is easier to use, and is larger for those who have a smaller DSLR and lens to carry. As you can see in the video above one can also carry a camera like the Hasselblad X1D WITH a lens attached.

The bag will keep your gear protected from the elements to a point but if it gets really wet be sure to use the protective raincoat included with the bag.

At $129 for this PLUS version and as low as $49 for the non plus version, CosySpeed is offering us a great bag at a great price. I can highly recommend this bag to anyone looking for a holster style bag that will not read the bank, or anyone who carries one camera and lens or a small setup. It truly is much nicer to carry than a traditional bag. Bravo to Thomas from CosySpeed for this one. It is FANTASTIC.

You can buy this bag from B&H Photo HERE. 

Mar 222017
 

The Hawkesmill Bond Street Small Camera Bag Video Review

By Steve Huff

The Hawkesmill Bond Street Small is a premium camera bag up there with the likes of Fogg, Billingham and others in the high end realm of camera bags. It is beautiful in looks, made with premium materials, is dust and weatherproof with its triple layers canvas build, it is made in Scotland and this small version is made for Leica M or Mirrorless cameras. To me, it is up there in quality with Fogg bags, and we know how amazing those are.

I did a video review of this one, after using it for 2-3 months. It still looks as new, even after a few flights and travel. Take a look at the video below because if you are looking for a “Lifetime Bag” this one should be on your radar. You can see the full collection at HAWKESMILL.COM. 

SEE MY VIDEO REVIEW OF THIS GORGEOUS BAG BELOW

Feb 142017
 

The HASSELBLAD X1D Street Review

By Thomas Ludwig

When HASSELBLAD presented the X1D medium format mirrorless camera in 2016, I was very impressed. And glad and happy for HASSELBLAD for this bold move after some shaky times in the last two years. Some weeks later I got the chance to hold the X1D in my hands–boy, what an amazing camera! My first thought was that this will be a huge success for HASSELBLAD. And I was asking myself if I could use it in street photography as it is relatively small and unobstrusive. So let’s have a look!

Marc Lethenet from HASSELBLAD was so kind to loan me one of the pre-series X1Ds for a day in the streets of Hamburg. Together with my friend Marco Larousse (www.marcolarousse.com ), street photographer and host of the Photofocus.com podcast, I gave the cute Hassi a try. Attached to the X1D was the 45/3.5mm lens, which is roughly 35 mm in FF terms. That’s quite perfect for street photography and furthermore it fits equaly perfect in the new CAMSLINGER Streetomatic+.

Hamburgs new and amazing Elbphilhamonie in the background

Mirrorless technology has come a long way since 2008 and is now entering the medium format world. Hasselblad and FUJI aswell are about to ship there new systems. While the FUJI has a more functional, maybe a bit boring design, the HASSELBLADs shapes, lines and materials are outstanding and inspiring. I would say that’s art. And as soon as you hold it in your hand, you’ll be amazed by the ergonomics too. But how about all the stuff under the hood?

The sensor has 50mp and is well known from other medium format cameras. It’s size of 44 x 33 mm is clearly bigger than full frame 36 x 24 mm, but it’s pretty far away from film medium format with 60 x 45 mm or even 70 x 60 mm. So it is a bit of a deception package. However the image quality should be very good. Unfortunatley the day I had in Hamburg was cloudy and foggy, but the details I saw on my PC screen when editing my shots from that day was simply amazing.

Images are very flexible and cropping is no prob at all

My setup fort he day in Hamburg: HASSELBLAD X1D | HASSELBLAD XCD 45 mm F 3.5 | Spare battery | All packed in a CAMSLINGER Streetomatic+

The orange clothes in this image look like in real life.

Image Quality is amazing! Images have a very natural appearence. Colors are true to life and I have the feeling that one can see that medium format look. This might be subjective, but I think they have more plasticity than smaller sensors could deliver. I’m mostly happy with my micro 43 cameras, but these files play clearly in another league. The look, the colors, dynamic range and of course noise–simply amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Hassi was metering rarely spot on. Mostly it was under exposed and if not, images were over exposed. That’s not a big deal, as you have so much dynamic range to work with, but it’s not perfect. Marc from HASSELBLAD told me that my sample unit has not the final firmware installed and this and AF speed will be fixed.

Below are some dynamic range and low light samples up to ISO 3200. The first one, a 70’s TV, got an exposure compensation of +2(!) steps in LR. See the 100% crop and the grain, which is however quite nice.

I’m blown away by the portraits that the X1D and 45/3.5 deliver. People look so real and natural. Maybe portrait photography is the best genre for the HASSELBLAD X1D. As it is so small (for a medium format camera) you can grab street portraits without people getting annoyed. Images right out of cam have so much flexibilty for editing. The image below is edited by Marco Larousse and even if contrast is relatively high, there are plenty of fine details.

The handling oft he X1D is somehow perfect. It is so nice and safe to hold. All knobs and dials are in the right place and the touch screen is quick and easy to operate. The menues are easy to access and everything else than complicated. Well done Hassi!

Due to the not final firmware I cannot say much about operating the camera. My sample however had a long blackout time after taking a photo and needed some seconds to be ready when switched on. So I didn’t switch it off and had it always in stand by. That was eating batteries. I had to change the first one after 150 shots only, but that’s for sure while I needed some time to get used to all the functions while using the display quite a lot. The second battery was lasting another 150 images and was at about 50% at the end of the day.

The viewfinder is big and bright and very responsive. But I would like to see a viewfinder (or at least a backscreen) in the X1D that can be swiveld. It’s so typical to medium format cameras that one can view the scene from above that I really missed this feature.

Focusing abilities are a bit restricted with the current firmware, but single point auto focus was relatively quick and in 95% spot on. The only problem I had with the X1D was the long blackout time after taking a photo. I hope this will be fixed in firmware and that’s what Marc from HASSELBLAD said. As for manual focusing this is pretty easy due to the huge electronic view finder and the magnification abilities.

In the moment there is no face detection available. Especially when taking portraits, this is a neat and deal breaking feature. Hopefully Hassi will introduce it in a future firmware update.

So here is my conclusion: Would I buy a HASSELBLAD X1D for street photography (if I had the budget)? Probably. I think a micro 4/3, aps-c or full frame mirrorless camera has more features, speed and smaller appearence to offer, which makes them on the streets the possibly better choice. For my “normal” days of street photography, I’m happy with an OLYMPUS OM-D or LUMIX. But everyone has their own preferences and when your preference is amazing image quality and a look to your images, that is beyond what smaller sensors can deliver, well, than the X1D might be a camera for you.

However I was extremely impressed by the IQ of the HASSELBLAD X1D and could imagine to use it for fine art projects in street photography or certain projects, especially in street portraiture.

What impressed me on the same level is the georgeous design of this camera. HASSELBLAD did what many others don’t do: They had the courage to walk new ways. And the result is already iconic to my eyes. The HASSELBLAD X1D offers AMAZING image quality and it’s design is contemporary arts. It’s a camera for the fine art street photographer.

Links

www.hasselblad.com

www.marcolarousse.com

www.cosyspeed.com

B&H PHOTO FOR COSYSPEED

COSYSPEED Online Shop USA and Canada: www.cosyspeedshop.com

COSYSPEED Online Shop rest oft he world: www.cosyspeedshop.de

Jan 132017
 

Peak Design Everyday Backpack 20L review

By Erwin Hartenberg – See his Blog/Website HERE

I have, like many of you, bought and owned a LOT of camera bags. Lowepro’s, Thinktanks, Domke’s, you name it and I probably owned it. Over the last years as I have settled on a smaller kit, I ended up using ONA bags mostly. They are well made and beautiful bags that are simple to use. For commuting, I often carry a Prince Street that also holds my laptop and some other small stuff next to my two bodies. If I want to go really small, I carry a Brixton.

With the addition of a Nikon DF to my two Leica’s, I needed a bag that could hold all three camera’s and still be comfortable. Also, I wanted the weight on my back, and not on my shoulder so I set off to look for a camera backpack. I ended up buying the Peak Design Everyday Backpack 20L. And boy, do I like it!

The bag comes in two sizes, the other option being a 30L, but the 20L is perfect for me. I ordered both bags and the 30L was simply too big for me. I want the bag to carry my gear mostly and room for some other stuff but not too much. I am 1.92 meters and the 20L fits me well. The bag is very well made with incredibly clever design that you appreciate more and more as you use it. I have been in Scotland this week and was able to put the bag to the test. First by carrying it around Edinburgh for a few days and after that going on a long hike on the island of Skye (where I ran into someone carrying the charcoal version of the Everyday Backpack). Both Edinburgh and Skye are highly recommended but let’s stay with the review of the bag J.

I bought the grey color which looks really nice with the brown leather handles. Everything feels solid about this bag. The bag is somewhat understated as well, it does not stick out. You can setup the inside of the bag however you want to with the dividers that come with it. They can fold into different shapes and I have settled on a setup where I carry the two Leica’s below in their own compartment and have the Nikon DF up top.

This leaves ample room at the very top for a jacket or other smaller stuff. In the same pocket is also a smaller storage space for a passport or other personal documents. This pocket is closed with a magnet which provides it easy access but also keeps it somewhat hidden.

In the back pocket, there is room for a laptop (it holds my Microsoft Surface Pro perfectly) and/or a tablet. There is a smaller pocket in there as well.

On the sides, there are smaller pockets for batteries and other accessories you may need.

The bag carries really well, and the 20L is the right size for easy slinging to get access to your gear. The 30L did not sling as well as it’s just a bit too bulky for that. I’ve had the 20L on my back the whole day, every day, on this trip and it works very well with the access to gear. Also, it does not strain the shoulders as much. This is due to the chest strap that is very easy to put on as well as the waist strap that you can put on and take off very quickly as well. This is key as you will sling the bag over your shoulders to get to your gear.

The final thing to call out that really underlines the amount of thought that was put into this bag is that the access to your gear can also be ‘locked’ by looping the zipper pulls through attach points so potential thief’s can’t just open the side access.

In summary, this bag comes highly recommended.

Dec 232016
 

EXCLUSIVE: The NEW Wotancraft Ryker Bag 2017 – The Best Camera Bag in the World? (Video)

A STEVEHUFFPHOTO.COM Exclusive! The new Wotancraft Ryker for 2017 is here and I take a look at it in the video below. BUT!!! This is important!! Wotancraft is NOT done with it yet, this is a prototype based off of what YOU GUYS told  them in my post from a while ago where they were looking for feedback on a new version. They took your ideas, feedback and suggestions and made THIS version. Now it is here, and in the video below I show it off and Wotancraft wants more feedback. If you have any suggestions, leave them in the comments below and they will see them all. See more from Wotancraft at their website HERE. 

Enjoy the video below and the very first look in the world at this new bag from Wotancraft!

 

From Wotancraft:

We’re excited to finally present this to you, it is our effort to incorporate the ideas from Steve Huff Photo community, and we present it to you and all members for evaluation and final fine-tuning. We truly hope to make this the best leather camera bag in the world. Here are the main features for reference:

larger interior size: now capable of fitting up to Leica SL, will detachable pillow insert that narrows interior depth to better accommodate Leica M cameras. All this is done without increasing the overall weight of the bag.

– internal modularization: the whole interior lining is now velcro compatible, and we plan to develop optional accessories (pen slots, card slots…etc) for different individual’s needs, rather than have them built-in. Even the thick padding can now be detached to allow more space, allowing room for large items like laptops or A4 folders. The fabric will be further upgraded (currently in development), to deliver an even softer hand feel, and have better resistance to velcro hook tearing.

– external modularization: although not built in yet to the prototype, we have prepared a simple and subtle mechanism for modular add-ons, such as water bottle pouch or any sort of accessory… the possibilities are endless, and we are planning to launch these optional accessories (internal / external) based on number of customer requests. When not accessorizing, the mechanism looks natural and unobtrusive, exactly how high-end leather bags should be.

– color-coded elastic slots: front zippered pocket has multi-functional elastic slots, capable of fitting batteries of various sizes, color-coded with thread stitching to differentiated new/used. A corresponding memory card sleeve is also included & color-coded.

– multiple pockets: compartment with dual pockets are available for quick access. Zipper-less pocket can accommodate filters and avoid scuffing.

– shoulder strap: detachable metal buckle hardware is removed to prevent theft. Shoulder pad is now upgraded to “memory foam” material, maximizing comfort.

– Leica color motif: black leather, red lining, both in premium material to match the uncompromising quality of Leica cameras.

What we plan to do is gather final comments and feedbacks from you and the community after you give it a try with your gear, finalize any adjustments needed, and begin our pre-order process EXCLUSIVELY on Steve Huff Photo!

LEAVE YOUR SUGGESTIONS AND COMMENTS BELOW!

Dec 182016
 

The Updated 2017 Ryker by Wotancraft. My Favorite Camera Bag of All Time gets Updated..by YOU and IT’s HERE!!!

Many of you know my rave after rave of the Wotancraft Ryker bag. I had a black one, then acquired a tan/brown but it has been in use by me since my initial review (see it HERE, and then the one year update HERE). A while back, I posted an article HERE asking YOU to help design the next generation Ryker.

Well, Wotancraft asked me to ask my readers for help, and help you did. They read all of your responses and got to work creating the next gen version of the bag. Well, they sent me  the prototype and I will show it to you guys this week…BUT Wotancraft…they are not done with it just yet.

After I show it off to you next week, they want more feedback..well, read what they said about this new Generation Ryker below:

Yes, it is hidden in the bag for now. Will show it off this week via a video!

FROM WOTANCRAFT

We’re excited to finally present this to you, it is our effort to incorporate the ideas from Steve Huff Photo community, and we present it to you and all members for evaluation and final fine-tuning. We truly hope to make this the best leather camera bag in the world. Here are the main features for reference:

larger interior size: now capable of fitting up to Leica SL, will detachable pillow insert that narrows interior depth to better accommodate Leica M cameras. All this is done without increasing the overall weight of the bag.

– internal modularization: the whole interior lining is now velcro compatible, and we plan to develop optional accessories (pen slots, card slots…etc) for different individual’s needs, rather than have them built-in. Even the thick padding can now be detached to allow more space, allowing room for large items like laptops or A4 folders. The fabric will be further upgraded (currently in development), to deliver an even softer hand feel, and have better resistance to velcro hook tearing.

– external modularization: although not built in yet to the prototype, we have prepared a simple and subtle mechanism  for modular add-ons, such as water bottle pouch or any sort of accessory… the possibilities are endless, and we are planning to launch these optional accessories (internal / external) based on number of customer requests. When not accessorizing, the mechanism looks natural and unobtrusive, exactly how high-end leather bags should be.

– color-coded elastic slots: front zippered pocket has multi-functional elastic slots, capable of fitting batteries of various sizes, color-coded with thread stitching to differentiated new/used. A corresponding memory card sleeve is also included & color-coded.

– multiple pockets: compartment with dual pockets are available for quick access. Zipper-less pocket can accommodate filters and avoid scuffing.

– shoulder strap: detachable metal buckle hardware is removed to prevent theft. Shoulder pad is now upgraded to “memory foam” material, maximizing comfort.

Leica color motif: black leather, red lining, both in premium material to match the uncompromising quality of Leica cameras.

What we plan to do is gather final comments and feedbacks from you and the community after you give it a try with your gear, finalize any adjustments needed, and begin our pre-order process EXCLUSIVELY on Steve Huff Photo!

So be on the look out next week for my 1st look at this new bag, and be ready to comment on what YOU would like to see fine tuned. Wotancraft has proven themselves to LISTEN to YOU, the photographers who USE this kind of gear day in and out. This is going to be great!

Dec 022016
 

The Blackforest Bags RIMO 1 Camera Bag (Video)

Video review below! This bag actually comes in at under $200 US when ordered at blackforestbags.com if I did the conversion correctly! For that kind of money this is a steal of a deal!

Hey all! Happy Friday!!! Today I want to share with you a new video I just loaded up to youtube showing the new Blackforestbags.com RIMO 1 bag. This is an all leather hand made bag that screams luxury and it is of the larger size, so it can be used for DSLR’s, it can be used for storing your laptop, iPad, headphones, cameras, lenses, batteries, chargers or whatever! I have been lugging it around for 2-3 months now pitting it through it’s paces and beating the hell out of it with rain, sleet, snow, water and the elements. It has flown with me 6 times now and at the end of it all, I wiped it down and it looks as good as new.

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This bag is in the same style as many high end bags we see but it is an all leather style, and while many would thing that would make it heavy and cumbersome, it is rather light when empty and feels very comfy on the shoulder. When I traveled to Iceland with it I packed it with headphones, a towel, my camera, two lenses, charger, batteries, SD cards, cables, my phone, sunglasses and case, some snacks, a journal and more. It was loaded and heavy but it never hiccuped. Not one stitch came loose even when overloaded. I now use this as my sole travel camera bag when I need to pack to the extreme.

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There are pockets inside and on the sides and all that I found missing was a strap on the back to hook to my luggage when strolling through the airport. The bag comes in three colors which can be seen at BLACKFORESTBAGS.COM and the price comes in at under $200 US dollars when converted, which is CHEAP considering most bags of this quality come in over $500. 

My bag was shipped to me and received in about a week or so and I have been using it for months now. I wanted to make sure nothing fell apart, and so far so good.

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This is a high quality bag, and it has earned a place in my daily bag set with my beloved Wotancraft bags, the Ryker and Raven. Highly recommended for those who like a quality, stylish hand made quality bag that is on the larger end of the spectrum. In the video above I compare sizes to my two Wotancraft bags as well so I now have my small, medium and large bags.

Enjoy!

Nov 232016
 

buyer2

The Hottest Photo Gear of 2016 Buyers Guide

*CYBER MONDAY DEALS AT AMAZON HERE*

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! yep, the Holidays are not creeping up on us… they are HERE! Thanksgiving is tomorrow and then just over a month away is Christmas! Each year many out there in internet land click on links, and purchase cameras, lenses, bags or accessories for their photo inspired loved ones. This year I want to post about the gear I loved in 2016, new or old, and talk about the hottest gear coming up as well (only the gear I have tried as I never recommend gear I have not used).

As always, this is focused on MIRRORLESS as that is all I have been shooting for the last 6 years or so. I am not a DSLR guy.

So check out the list below featuring my fave gear as of November 23rd 2016! You will not see point and shoots, you will not see budget cameras, and you will not see one item I have not used or tested myself. Enjoy!!!

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STEVE’S PICKS: THE HOTTEST CAMERAS AVAILABLE AS OF November 2016

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The Olympus EM1 MKII 

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The new pro level OMD EM1 MKII is a beautiful camera in every way from design, feel, controls, speed, function, features and even performance. No question, for me, it’s the best Micro 4/3 camera ever developed or offered. Solid weather sealed body, touch LCD, fantastic EVF, and as I said, fast response and fast AF. Fastest yet for M 4/3. Also, the best noise performance yet for M 4/3 with a one stop improvement over the last model, the E-M1.

EM1 MKII, 25 f/1.2 Pro. Yep, I had the camera in this Hot Springs and yes, it was soaked. But it still worked and never gave me an issue. 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The only niggle for some is the Micro 4/3 sensor, but the sensor size is what makes this camera possible in all it does. You will not see full frame cameras with this kind of speed or response anytime soon. The IQ is also very rich, colors are fantastic, dynamic range seems solid and the lenses offered for this system are some of the best made today, in the world.

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The EM1 MKII is a beauty, and not a cheap one. When we look at all it offers, and all it can do, and how it can do it whether you are in rain, sleet, snow or whatever the weather..then we have one hell of a pro level camera here. If you shoot M 4/3 and have an old EM1, this one steps up the game. If you own an old generation PEN, this is like the hot rod and your PEN is like the Yugo. Maybe you own a Panasonic M 4/3 camera. Well, none can touch the EM1 MKII as of November 2016. BUT for some, the PEN-F or original EM1 may be the pick as they can be had for half the price of the MKII. Then again, if you want to keep a camera for 6+ years, this is one that qualifies.

If you want the best M 4/3 has to offer, and one of the best cameras available to order today, then take a look at the incredible EM1 MKII. I also highly recommend the new 12-100 f/4 lens. It’s one of the best lenses I have used in recent times. SEE MY PART 1 REVIEW OF THE EM1 MKII HERE

Buy at Amazon, Buy at B&H Photo. 


The Sony RX100 V 

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This camera is like lightning in a box. It’s fast as all get out, small enough to slide in your front jeans pocket, light enough to take anywhere and will blow away your phone camera in a big way. This guy is capable as most DSLR’s (or better) when it comes to getting the shot. While you will not have the all out IQ from a larger sensor camera, or the depth, ISO performance or dynamic range it makes up for it in every other way. With a pop up EVF, great color and image quality (better than your phone), speed and a crazy 24fps shooting mode it is designed for all out speed and accuracy. You will never mis a shot if you use this camera how it was meant to be used. It can and does catch the decisive moment. See for yourself HERE. 

Catching the decisive moment can be easy with the RX100 V

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You can also see my 1st look here while I was in NYC testing it out a while back. This is the most serious pocket point and shoot ever created but I hate to call it a point and shoot as it is a pretty advanced little machine. I never recommend cameras I have not used or did not like, but this one would make a killer gift for someone wanting a step up from their smart phone camera while giving them amazing speed, video, and features you just do not get with most smart phones. It’s perfect for someone on the go to shoot everyday life as well. Beautiful camera and comes in at just under a grand.

Buy the RX100 V at Amazon or B&H Photo


The Leica Q

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While this is a 2015 camera, it is still a popular choice for today at the end of 2016. In fact, just a couple months back we started to see regular supply in stock of the Q. Leica makes these in small batch quantities and they have been selling the Q in good numbers. In fact, I would wager that this is Leica’s best seller right now.

The Q has snap, pop and no crackle. B&W or Color, the IQ has that Leica feel. 

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The Q is FANTASTIC if you can deal with only having a 28mm lens. The 28 Summuilux here is nice, has a macro mode, puts out great IQ and colors and has that Leica style and design all the way. You can go as easy as a point and shoot here, or go full on manual. Great for beginners or pros. The Q is a winner.

 My Leica Q Review can be seen HERE

Buy the Q at Ken Hansen (Email: [email protected]), PopFlash, B&H, or Amazon


The Olympus PEN-F

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The PEN-F is one of my favorite cameras ever, in my top 10 without question, and possibly my top 6. It’s the best PEN model Olympus has ever created, and yes, I feel it is better than the old film PEN camera without question. What we can do today with imaging is pretty amazing and this camera does it all with style, grace, speed and a fun factor that is missing in many cameras. This is for someone who wants to take great shots and look good while doing it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

You can also enjoy some of the greatest lenses made today with this Micro 4/3 camera. The PEN-F is beautiful and the IQ can be serious, fun or anything in between as there are modes, filters and even a slide film emulation along with a Tri-X emulation. All with a twist of the front dial. See my PEN-F Review HERE

Buy the PEN-F at B&H Photo or Amazon


The Leica SL

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My camera of the year of 2015 and for good reason, it is to me, one the best all around digital cameras ever made as of November 2016. Many pass this camera off due to the insane cost to get in to this system, the large native lenses and the size but once you use a Leica SL for any length of time, you will most likely get hooked on it. The HUGE large clear EVF, the solid as all get out build, the weather sealing, the dual card slots, the huge battery, and the functionality and simplicity of the menu and controls.

Tow guys some of you may recognize! Ashwin Rao and Kurt Kamka, two Leica aficionados! Ashwin had his SL (as did I) and Kurt had his Leica S!

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The feel of the camera in use is like when you drive a $80-100K luxury sedan. It’s smooth, it’s reliable and it delivers the goods. This is a camera for those who want QUALITY in ALL areas from construction, to handling, to controls, to function and IQ. It’s the most expensive camera here on this list but if you can stretch this guy, you will not be disappointed. With adapters available to shoot M lenses, Canon EF lenses and Nikon lenses we can now shoot almost any lens on this guy. It’s like a Sony A7RII on steroids with a more refined IQ and better build, feel and that EVF..OMG..The EVF.

See my review HERE. I will have an update soon on the SL. More shots here. 

Buy the Leica SL at Ken Hansen (email:[email protected]B&H Photo HERE, PopFlash.com HERE, or Amazon HERE.  


The Sony A7RII

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No buyers guide would be complete without my #1 most used camera of 2016. The Sony A7RII is a powerhouse of imaging. While it is not the fastest camera out there today, or the most responsive, nor the one with the most features..it is one hell of a camera and video maker. This may be one of the biggest successes Sony has had in recent years.

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The A7RII may be a year and a half old already but it has a few more years in her before she retires from this household. Even if an A9 pro were to come out, my A7RII will stick with me as many memories have been made with me and this camera. Highly recommended. See my full A7RII Review HERE.

Buy the A7RII from B&H Photo HERE or Amazon HERE


The Sony A6500

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The new Sony A6500 is a pretty awesome under $1400 mirrorless APS-C camera. The speed is astonishing and this one takes the best selling A6300 and adds major speed upgrades along with AF tracking upgrades to make for one hell of a fast action shooter. If you shoot sports, action, concerts or anything that involves a moving subject then this may be the camera of your dreams.

Photos by Chad Wadsworth for Stevehuffphoto.com using the A6500 in Austin TX

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Many will think “This A6500 or the Fuji Xt2″…well, two totally different types of cameras IMO. The Fuji is built like an old school camera with knobs, buttons, controls for everything. The A6500 is much smaller, sleeker, faster, responsive and will excel for any moving subjects. Then the IQ differences, as the Fuji has a unique color signature all its own, as does Sony. Question is, which one is for YOU? The A6500 is a marvel of engineering and tech but it feels more like a high speed computer than a camera. Either way, it still gives results! Beautiful ones at that.

See the 1st hands on look at this camera HERE

Buy the Sony A6500 at Amazon or B&H Photo. 


The Fuji Xt2

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The Fuji Xt2, to me, is the best Fuji APS-C sensor sized camera that they have ever made. I prefer it to the X Pro series as well. It has the design, controls and response that we love and the Fuji color that is always sure to please, especially the Fuji fans! The XT2 is not my favorite camera but it is my favorite Fuji camera and it now has a lens arsenal to be reckoned with.

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It’s a solid Fuji release, and I would urge those curious about the Fuji system in general to give this one a go, or rent it for a couple of days. Many think I hate Fuji or take jabs at them but that could not be further from the truth. For the past eight years what I have done is tell my honest feelings about the cameras I have tested or shot with. The last Fuji I enjoyed a lot was the XT1, before that the X100 series with a pref for the 1st gen X100 for IQ and color. This XT2 is the only Fuji since those two that I can say I truly like, alot. I feel Fuji has matured a great deal over the last two years and I am liking what I am seeing from them with this camera.

I can not wait for the medium format Fuji in 2017. That is going to be something to behold. My look at the Fuji XT2 is HERE

Buy the Fuji XT2 at Amazon, PopFlash or B&H Photo


The Leica M (Any Variety)

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No buyers guide from me would be complete without a Leica M included! I started this blog eight years ago, inspired by the Leica M8. I have always had a Leica M ever since, of some variety. Today I am with the Leica MD, a 28 Lux, a 50 Lux and 90 cron. I also can use those lenses on the SL which is a great experience due to the glorious EVF.

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The Leica M has a way of inspiring you, motivating you and making you want to run out for the day and use it. After you use one for a while you start to get an idea of what will look good, and what will not when framing images. Using the rangefinder is quite unique as well. No live view EVF here. The Leica M is legendary, and while it is costly to get into an M system, there is no question it is one of the best camera systems available for those who do street shooting, travel, or even portraits. I know a few who shoot sports with an M ;) See my page with all Leica M images using the M 240 and MD

Buy a Leica M from Ken Hansen (email: [email protected]), PopFlash, Amazon, B&H Photo


MY PERSONAL FAVORITE LENSES AS OF November 2016

Micro 4/3

OLYMPUS 12-100 F/4

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Olympus 7-14 Pro f/2.8

The Olympus 25 f/1.2 Pro

The Olympus 12-100 f/4 Pro

The Panasonic Nocticron 42.5 f/1.2

The Olympus 300 mm f/4 Pro


Sony E Mount

SONY 35 1.4 AND A7RII

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Sony 35 1.4

Sony 50 1.4

SONY/ZEISS 16-35 F/4

Zeiss Loxia 85 f/2.4

Zeiss Loxia 21 f/2.8


Leica M or SL

LEICA SL with Zeiss 50 Sonnar at f/1.5

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Leica 24-90 SL

Leica 50 Summicron APO – M or SL

Leica 50 Summilux LE – M or SL

Zeiss 35 1.4 Biogon M Mount

Zeiss 50 Sonnar 1.5


MY FAVORITE CAMERA BAGS

Wotancraft Camera Bags

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The RYKER from Wotancraft. This has been my GoTo for well over a year now. See my one year update on the bag HERE. This is a quality leather bag. Comes in black or the brown as shown above. This is my day in and out bag most of the time if I am staying local. It holds my camera, 2-3 lenses, accessories and even an iPad. The construction is as good as it gets and beats some super fancy brands that sell for $800 and up. The only weakness I have found it that due to being all leather, it is heavier than most bags. If you want style and function this bag is awesome. The original review is HERE. Any bag you buy from Wotancraft will be up there with the best of the best.

Buy the Ryker direct from Wotancraft HERE. They also have other bags I love like the RAVEN and SCOUT.  


Blackforest Bags

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I have been using this bag HEAVILY for the past two months and I am going to post my review of it by the end of the week. It has been a godsend for my long travels as it holds everything I needed. When I traveled to Iceland, it held my camera, lenses, macbook pro 13″, iphone, chargers, cables, batteries, my headphones, sunglasses and a hand towel. This is larger than the Ryker, but full quality here. All leather, with all high end materials. It has the same protective zip up section under the flap that the Ryker does so your gear stays safe and dry.

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See more about this bag at BLACKFORESTBAGS.COM


COSYSPEED CAMSLINGER STREET-O-MATIC

This bag is not for everyone but until you try one, don’t knock it. This is the best buy in camera bags when it comes to convenience, size, ease of use and literally no weight or back pain! This straps around you like a belt, like a holster of sorts. It will hold a camera and lens and will be at the ready in a nanosecond! I love the camslinger bags and even met up with the owner in Las Vegas a couple of years back to try out the bag  on the streets..

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So check out the Camslinger. It’s affordable, and very effective.

You can see the ENTIRE Line at B&H Photo


A COUPLE OF ACCESSORIES I LIKE

JB DESIGNS GRIPS

I own several JB Handmade wooden grips for my cameras. I have one for nearly every camera I own and use. They are affordable and beautiful all at the same time. Each grip is made in the USA and all are also available at Amazon via prime shipping. Can’t go wrong with a JB Grip! I love mine with the PEN-F most of all.

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You can see all of the grips on offer from JB Designs at Amazon HERE


MOONDOG ANAMORPHIC LENS

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This is a lovely lens for your iPhone or Smart Phone that allows you to shoot Anamorphic video to your iPhone. See my demo of it HERE. This can help you create very cinematic videos or films. I have used it a few times now for personal projects and it never disappoints.

You can see all of the options at MOONDOG LABS here


Walter Leica Contrast Lens for the M

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These little lenses are fantastic. If you shoot a Leica M camera and want an aid to help you focus, or see more clearly through the Rangefinder then one of these will make you a happy shooter. The Walter Leica contarst lens is now upgraded and comes in a Golden Contrast Lens or a Coral Contrast Lens. I have the coral above and it is awesome.

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To see more info on this great M upgrade, check out the Walter Leica page HERE. 


Renato Lamberti Leica M Grip

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Above I spoke of the JB Designs grips. But what I like even better for my Leica M is the Renato Lamberti Grip. It is beautiful, chunky and hand carved. You can email him HERE for info. It’s gorgeous and I believe he has now made one for the Leica Q as well!



HELP KEEP THIS FREE WEBSITE RUNNING STRONG! HOW YOU CAN HELP OUT!

For the past 8 years I have been running this website and it has grown to beyond my wildest dreams. Running this site costs quite a bit of cash every single month and on top of that, I work full-time 60+ hours a week on it each and every single day of the week. Because of this, I could use YOUR help to cover my costs for this free information that is provided on a daily basis. 

To help out it is simple, and no, I am not asking you for a penny!!

If you ever decide to make a purchase from B&H Photo or Amazon, for ANYTHING, even diapers..you can help me without spending a penny to do so. If you use my links to make your purchase (when you click a link here and it takes you to B&H or Amazon, that is using my links as once there you can buy anything and I will get a teeny small credit) you will in turn be helping this site to keep on going and keep on growing.

Not only do I spend money on fast hosting but I also spend it on cameras to buy to review, lenses to review, bags to review, gas and travel, and a slew of other things. You would be amazed at what it costs me just to maintain this website, in money and time (250 hours a month, and about $3000 per month).

So all I ask is that if you find the free info on this website useful AND you ever need to make a purchase at B&H Photo or Amazon, just use the links below. You can even bookmark the Amazon link (not the B&H) and use it anytime you buy something. It costs you nothing extra but will provide me and this site with a dollar or two to keep on trucking along.

AMAZON LINK (you can bookmark this one)

B&H PHOTO LINK – (not bookmark able) Can also use my search bar on the right side or links within reviews, anytime.

Outside of the USA? Use my worldwide Amazon links HERE!

You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube. ;)

One other way to help is by donation. If you want to donate to this site, any amount you choose, even $5, you can do so using the paypal link HERE and enter in your donation amount. All donations help to keep this site going and growing! I do not charge any member fees nor do I (nor will I ever) charge for reviews, so your donations go a long way to keeping this site loaded with useful content. If you choose to help out, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. It is TRULY needed and welcome. Thank you!

Nov 212016
 

ONA Bags introduces the Nylon Bowery!

The Nylon Bowery is handcrafted from premium nylon and features full-grain leather accents and brass hardware. Highly durable and water-resistant, the Nylon Bowery is also ONA’s lightest bag ever, weighing less than a pound without the strap. It features five exterior pockets, an interior padded with closed-cell foam, and removable inserts. The bag retails for $169 and is available at www.onabags.com.

From Steve: You can see my original Bowery Bag review HERE. 

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Oct 182016
 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Bag Winners! 

 

Here they are! The winners in the Big Bag Giveaway! I can finally ship these bags out of my house!!

 WINNERS ARE:

1st PLACE! #6 – Jimmy Yuen with his Olympus EM1

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2nd place – #7 Bernd Reinhardt with his Leica MM

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Runner up – #8 – Victor van Raam with his Sony A7s

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#1 Jon Vatnaland with his Leica MM

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#23 Christian Ferrer

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#14 Vidal Centeno

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#2 Alexander Ferguson

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THE WINNERS! Email me at [email protected] to claim your prize. 

Oct 172016
 

Leica Camera and Ona Bags Team Up for an Exclusive Collection.

October 13, 2016 – To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the legendary 35 mm camera in 2014, ONA created ‘The Berlin II,’ a camera bag designed especially for the Leica M-System. As a follow-up to this collaboration, Leica Camera and ONA have come together again to present ‘ONA FOR LEICA,’ a new collection of high quality camera bags. The collection will feature six models crafted by ONA, an American manufacturer of premium camera bags. Each piece will be lined in red and feature a red rivet, a discreet reference to Leica and will be offered exclusively by Leica Camera in a range of material and color combinations.

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The Bowery for Leica: This special edition of ‘The Bowery for Leica’ camera bag expresses a mutual commitment to the creation of exceptional products for photographers from both ONA and Leica. The bag is specially designed to provide stylish and practical protection for Leica camera equipment. Two of the five models are crafted from finest quality Italian leather with a lightly waxed finish. The remaining three models are made from a robust and waterproof canvas fabric. With five compartments, it offers enough room for a Leica M-Camera, one to two M-Lenses and various personal items. By detaching the carrying strap, the bag becomes an ideal, padded insert for safely stowing camera equipment in a larger bag or case. Its cleverly designed features, variable stowage options, compact size and minimalist design make it a universal and modern camera bag.

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The Prince Street for Leica: Uniting the looks of a casual shoulder bag with the practical advantages of a camera bag, ‘The Prince Street for Leica’ is a unique messenger-style bag. Two models in finest leather and three in robust canvas with real leather trim offer ample space for photographic equipment. The two clip-buckles in retro-look ensure that its valuable contents are safely locked away. Six compartments allow an M-Camera with two to three lenses, an 11-inch laptop or tablet PC and other personal items to be safely and unobtrusively stowed away.

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The Brixton for Leica: This bag was designed with ample space and is available in five different versions. The ‘Antique Cognac’ and ‘Dark Brown’ models are crafted from finest Italian leather and finished by waxing. The water-repellent waxed canvas of the other three bags of the collection keeps cameras and equipment safely and sound. All five handcrafted models offer practical features, numerous outer pockets and compartments and adaptable stowage space with room for a camera, two to three lenses, small personal items and even a 13-inch laptop computer. The bags are available in water-repellent canvas in the colors ‘Black,’ ‘Field Tan’ and ‘Smoke’ (water-repellent canvas) and in real leather in ‘Antique Cognac’ and ‘Dark Truffle.’

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The Berlin II for Leica: This exclusive bag is hand crafted from finest Italian leather in the colors ‘Black’ or ‘Vintage Bourbon’ and specially designed for the Leica M-System. The premium leather style offers room for one camera, two to three lenses and small personal items and develops a unique patina in years of use that reflects its truly unique character. Additional stowage space inside the bag is extremely flexible and lined in typical Leica red: four dividers can be used to apportion the space to meet specific needs and can be completely removed if required. The bag, available in a choice of ‘Black’ or ‘Vintage Bourbon’ leather, offers space for documents in a compartment on the back and features a front pocket with a zip-fastener for stowing small personal items.

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The Camps Bay for Leica: The stylish rucksack in water-repellent canvas and real leather appliqués is simply ideal for the comfortable transportation of large amounts of equipment. The space inside can be adapted to meet the needs of each individual’s photographic equipment or to make room for additional personal items. The padded main compartment provides space for the safe stowage of one camera with up to seven lenses and a 17-inch laptop computer, while smaller items can be stowed away in a pocket with a zip-fastener on the front of the rucksack. Both the straps and the back of the rucksack are padded and covered with breathable fabric to ensure ideal comfort when carrying the ‘Smoke’ colored canvas rucksack.

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The Roma for Leica: This practical insert with five compartments transforms almost any ordinary bag into a camera bag. The robust, water-repellent canvas of the insert offers sufficient protection for valuable equipment and real leather grips to make it easier to remove from bags. This cleverly designed combination of a bag and an organizer is exactly the right thing for photographers to take along when they need only a camera, a lens and a couple of small items.

ONA is a purveyor of fine bags and accessories designed for and inspired by photographers and creative professionals. Each bag is elaborately hand crafted from the highest quality materials, conveniently sized, built to last for years and captivate with minimalist design. The bags provide ideal protection for precious Leica cameras and lenses while reflecting the photographer’s inimitable personal style.

All bags of the ‘ONA FOR LEICA’ edition will be available exclusively in Leica Stores and Boutiques from November 2016.

Oct 032016
 

Daily Inspiration Bag Giveaway #29

by David Berger

From Steve: Hey guys! Happy Monday! We have TWO more Daily Inspirations for the Bag Giveaway before voting starts! I will be giving away several bags and YOU will be voting on the winners. I will be traveling most of the week, but I will be posting the last entry tomorrow morning, and then the voting can begin!

Below enjoy entry #29 from David Berger…

Taken after a rainy day in Rittenhouse square, Philadelphia

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Walnut Street, Philadelphia

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A man waiting for a bus in the business district of San Francsico

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Sep 212016
 

Limited Edition ONA Bowery Bag. Only 100 made in CAMO.

2c38ad50-c9fa-4ad9-9431-347edf661100The ONA Bowery has long been recommended by me here on these pages. It’s small, it’s light, it does not cost a fortune and it has a classic yet very cool design. ONA has just announced a limited edition CAMO version of the bag and are only making 100 of them. Here are the details from ONA themselves in a PDF. To see an old old review of the bowery by me, see HERE. 

$189 and can be bought at ONA direct HERE

Sep 072016
 

Daily Inspiration Bag Giveaway #26

by Joey Koh

Hi Steve,

These are some photos I took in Istanbul in 2014, before some of the craziness that’s happening now.

The first is in the Spice Bazaar, on a typically busy day with throngs of people crowding the aisles to buy spices from frenetic stall keepers.

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The second is of one of the many kids busking on the streets of the city – this one as curious about me as I was of him.

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The third shows some of the colorful handmade lamps in a local shop that reflect the rich, vibrant and fascinating culture of Istanbul.

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Joey Koh

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