Jan 152016
 

Fuji X-Pro 2 Unveiled. Finally. Here is the lowdown.

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Pre-Order the X-Pro 2 at my fave and most trusted dealers: B&H Photo or PopFlash.com. Amazon is clearing out the X-Pro 1 at $499

FINALLY! The all new long awaited Fuji X-Pro 2 has now been announced with full specs, images and details. What has Fuji delivered this time as an upgrade to their 1st huge mirrorless, the X-Pro 1? Well, I will predict that this will be the coolest, hippest and most desirable APS-C camera available today. With its sleek rangefinder-esque appearance to the hybrid viewfinder giving a unique experience, to the much much faster AF and low light capabilities, the new X-Pro 2 will be huge for Fuji as Fuji fans have been waiting for this one. I was a fan of the X-T1 more so than any other Fuji camera but the X-Pro 2 looks  to be even better with the new sensor and speed and capabilities. I look forward to reviewing it with some of the latest Fuji lenses. Now, let’s take a look…

Well, here is what it looks like. To me, it looks like a more refined X-Pro 1. It keeps the same design but the new 2 has a more polished look about it. 

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The Specs:

24.3MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS III Sensor
X-Processor Pro Engine
Advanced Hybrid Multi Viewfinder
3.0″ 1.62m-Dot LCD Monitor
Full HD 1080p Video Recording at 60 fps
Built-In Wi-Fi, SHARE Printer Compatible
273-Point AF with 77 Phase-Detect Points
Up to 8 fps Shooting and ISO 51200
Weather-Sealed Design, 2x SD Card Slots
Film Simulation and Grain Effect Modes

My Thoughts?

I am happy to see a new Fuji, and I have been waiting for the Pro 2 to see how far Fuji would go. Would they make it full frame? I already knew this was a NO but what they did do was up the Megapixels to 24 with an all new X-Trans III sensor, up from the 16 of the X-Pro 1. They have improved everything from the 1 and the new 2 has everything any Fuji fan would want. The AF will be blazing compared to the X-Pro 1, which is good as I remember my review of that one and having some focus issues…not only speed but accuracy. Fuji has really stepped up their AF capabilities over the years since the original X100 and Pro 1. So AF will be great here. I expect Fuji fans to jump on this body as it will be the best Fuji digital yet. I will be reviewing the X-Pro 2 as I enjoyed the X-T1 quite a bit and while I have moved on to Full Frame with Sony and Leica for my personal use, there are THOUSANDS out there who love their Fuji’s, so stay tuned for a full review soon!

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MORE DETAILS ON THE NEW FUJI X-PRO 2

The long-awaited successor to Fujifilm’s first X-series mirrorless digital camera, the X-Pro2 sports a high-resolution X-Trans CMOS III sensor and redeveloped X-Processor Pro, along with the tested rangefinder-inspired design now synonymous with the X-Pro system. Now weighing in at 24.3MP, the APS-C CMOS sensor incorporates the proprietary X-Trans technology and its randomized pixel array to afford a high degree of sharpness and accurate color reproduction, along with high expanded sensitivity to ISO 51200. When paired with the X-Processor Pro, the camera is capable of recording stills at up to 8 fps and Full HD 1080p video at 60 fps, along with quick focusing and overall performance speeds. Unique among camera designs, the X-Pro2 is also heavily characterized by its Advanced Hybrid Multi Viewfinder that blends both optical and electronic viewing methods into a single, switchable finder, giving you the best of both worlds in regard to clear viewing and the ability to preview exposure settings prior to shooting. Cementing its place as a professional tool, the X-Pro2 also features a robust, weather-sealed body design accented by a range of physical controls for intuitive handling in any condition.

Besides image quality, the sensor and processor combination also avails a highly precise, versatile autofocus system that is comprised of 273 points and uses both phase- and contrast-detection methods.

The phase-detection system covers nearly 40% of the entire image frame with 77 points, which is beneficial to subject tracking and fast overall AF performance, while the majority of the frame is then covered by contrast-detection areas for accurate focusing from edge-to-edge. The imaging attributes also contribute to creative control over the look and feel of photos, such as through the use of Fujifilm’s Film Simulation modes that replicate the look of specific film types, as well as a Grain Effect mode to mimic the textured appearance of film photos. Rounding out the feature-set of the X-Pro2, its design also incorporates a range of customizable function buttons along with a 3.0″ 1.62m-dot rear LCD for image playback, live view shooting, and menu navigation, and built-in Wi-Fi lets you wirelessly share images to mobile devices, remotely control the camera from a smartphone or tablet, or wirelessly send images to the optional instax SHARE Smartphone Printer for on-the-go printing.

24.3MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS III Sensor

Utilizing Fujifilm’s unique, randomized pixel array, the 24.3MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS III sensor affords a high degree of image quality and sharpness due to the omission of an optical low-pass filter. Versus conventional pixel patterns, the X-Trans design more closely mimics the organic nature of film in order to produce nuanced colors and smooth tonal transitions, while also reducing moiré and aliasing.

When paired with the X-Processor Pro, the sensor is also capable of producing clean image quality with reduced noise values, along with a native sensitivity range up to ISO 12800 that can be expanded to ISO 51200.

X-Processor Pro

Aside from benefitting the low-light performance, the X-Processor Pro also contributes to fast performance throughout the camera system, including a start-up time of 0.4 seconds, shutter lag time of 0.05 seconds, shooting interval time of 0.25 seconds, and AF speeds of up to 0.06 seconds. Coupled with the on-sensor phase-detection AF, up to 8 fps continuous shooting is also possible with full-time motion predictive AF for tracking fast-moving subjects while shooting. The ability to record compressed raw files also helps to expedite file transferring for longer continuous burst shooting, and both a fast top focal plane shutter speed of 1/8000 sec. and a flash sync speed of 1/250 sec. further contribute to shooting versatility.

Beyond stills shooting, the X-Pro2 also supports recording Full HD 1080p video at 60 fps with a 36 Mbps bit rate, along with the ability to work with 50, 30, 25, and 24 fps frame rates for greater recording flexibility.

Advanced Hybrid Multi Viewfinder

Both optical and electronic viewfinder types are incorporated into the unique Advanced Hybrid Multi Viewfinder, which lets you select from the simplicity and familiarity of an OVF as well as the versatility of an EVF. Changing between viewing types is quickly performed via the dedicated finder switching lever on the front of the camera body.

The optical viewfinder provides a clear, lifelike view of the scene for easier composition and subject tracking. Its enhanced design incorporates an Electronic Rangefinder function, which mimics the functionality of a mechanical rangefinder, and simultaneously overlays information from the electronic viewfinder on top of the optical viewfinder for comparative manual focus control. The OVF is also benefitted by a Multi-Magnification function that automatically switches the viewfinder magnification according to the mounted lens’ focal length and a Bright Frame Simulation function, which simulates the varying angles of view from different lenses to confirm which focal length is needed, prior to switching lenses, for the composition in mind.

In regard to the electronic viewfinder, this sports a high 2.36m-dot resolution along with a fast 85 fps playback speed to reduce lag for smoother panning and tracking movements. The EVF lets you preview exposure settings prior to shooting and has a customizable display, for configuring the amount and type of information shown in the viewfinder.

Intelligent Hybrid 273-Point Autofocus System

Blending both phase- and contrast-detection focusing methods, the X-Pro2 is capable of acquiring focus both quickly and accurately. The entire system is comprised of 273 points, of which 77 are phase-detection points for faster performance that is beneficial to photographing moving subjects. Approximately 40% of the imaging area is covered by phase-detection points, too, to offer greater compositional freedom without sacrificing fast autofocus performance. The majority of the frame is then also covered by an apt contrast-detection focusing system that has been quickened by the camera’s refined processing power for more versatile control. For refined manual focusing control, a Digital Split Image function is available, that simulates traditional rangefinder focusing, as well as Focus Peaking to highlight lines of contrast in the scene to more objectively determine sharp focus.

Body and Interface Design

In addition to the Advanced Hybrid Multi Viewfinder, the X-Pro2 also features a 3.0″ 1.62m-dot rear LCD screen for clear live view shooting, menu navigation, and image playback.
Supporting its use in harsh climates, the durable weather-resistant body design is constructed from four pieces of magnesium alloy and sealed in more than 61 places to protect against dust, moisture, and cold temperatures down to 14°F.
Dual SD card slots allow for a more flexible and reliable means of storing imagery, and the first card slot is compatible with UHS-II standards for fast transfer speeds.

The top plate incorporates a series of milled aluminum alloy dials and levers for fast, intuitive adjustment over exposure settings, including a shutter speed dial that offers a mechanical shutter speed range from 1 to 1/8000 sec., as well as bulb and time settings. An ISO dial is also incorporated into the shutter speed dial, for confirming the sensitivity setting without having to turn the camera on. The exposure compensation dial lets you choose +/- 3 EV in 1/3 steps, and a command dial position expands the range to +/- 5 EV for further control.

Front and rear command dials integrate a push function for easier use and settings selection and six different function buttons can be assigned to control a range of settings.
A dedicated Focus Lever provides faster, more intuitive control over selecting specific focus points while shooting.
An updated graphical user interface features a My Menu section, where you can register up to 16 items to quickly access. This pairs with the Q Menu, which also provides shortcuts to 16 oft-used settings, bringing the total up to 32 distinct functions, settings, or other controls than can be accessed in a quick manner without having to delve into a more intricate menu system.

Film Simulation and Grain Effect Modes

Taking advantage of Fujifilm’s vast history in traditional film-based photography, the XPro2 integrates several Film Simulation modes to mimic the look and feel of some Fujifilm’s classic film types. For monochrome shooting, the Acros mode offers smooth tones, deep blacks, and fine detail reminiscent of the Neopan 100 Acros film type. A refined Classic Chrome mode is designed to deliver muted tones and a deep color reproduction, similar to that of a dated slide film. Pulling from their more contemporary line of transparency films, Provia offers natural-looking tones for everyday shooting, Velvia produces a more dramatic and rich tonality with deeper color saturation, and Astia gives less contrast for a softer depiction of skin tones. Mimicking their negative films, Pro Neg. Std. gives smooth image tones that are suitable for accurate color renditions, while Pro Neg. Hi produces a more dramatic feel with the ability to draw color out of a variety of lighting conditions.

In addition to simulating specific film types, a Grain Effect mode is also available to replicate the look of old film photos with an organic textured appearance, which is especially noticeable when printing.

Other Camera Features

An electronic shutter function permits using shutter speeds up to 1/32,000 sec. for working with wide aperture settings in bright lighting conditions.
Built-in Wi-Fi enables wireless transferring of imagery to linked mobile devices as well as remote control over camera settings and the shutter via the free Fujifilm Camera Remote app. Additionally, this connectivity enables the use of the optional instax SHARE Smartphone Printer for wireless instant printing via the instax Share app.

An interval timer permits recording time-lapse sequences and can be configured to record up to 999 frames in time spans ranging from one second to 24 hours.

Multiple exposure mode gives you the ability to overlay imagery in-camera. When working in this mode, subsequent exposures can be paired and the final appearance can be previewed on the LCD or in the EVF before making the final exposure.
Additional Advanced Filters can also be used to creatively enhance the look of imagery in-camera, and include Toy Camera, Miniature, Pop Color, High Key, Low Key, Dynamic Tone, Soft Focus, and Partial Color (Red/Orange/Yellow/Green/Blue/Purple).

Dec 082015
 

UPDATE: My RX1RII Review should be up within 7-10 days..

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A few have been asking me when my Sony RX1RII review will be up and it has been delayed due to the comparison with the Leica Q, which many have asked for. It has been very hard to get a hold of a Q, even the rental houses have been out of stock, and I did not feel like buying one to do a comparison ;)

LensRentals finally received the Q back in stock, so I rented it for a few days (over $200)! so I can compare with the RX1RII for the Sony review, which is what the delay was about.

But so far I can say that the RX1RII is stunning. The IQ for me, edges out the A7RII and Sony did tell me the RX1RII is their best image quality camera they have ever produced, beating even the A7RII. If one is OK with just a 35mm f/2 (and what a lens it is) then the RX1RII is well worth a serious look.

Iin comparison to the Leica Q the Sony is smaller, actually has a true F/2 lens (Leica will stop down no matter your manual setting when closer than 1 meter), even when in Macro mode, has a pop up very nice and very good EVF (much better than I expected and improves on the A7RII EVF)  and offers a tilt LCD, 30% faster AF than the previous version, an adjustable or defeat-able AA filter, and superior low light and high ISO performance.

The RX1rII also “feels” more solid than the Q which is a very lightweight body, especially for a Leica. For example, the Q feels NOTHING like an M in the hand. The RX1RII is also about $1000 less than the competing Q. Does the Q offer you $1000 more of a camera? In this case, I will say no. The RX1RII can beat the Q in overall technical IQ, dynamic range, ISO, etc so it is all a matter of taste.

Will one prefer the high contrast bolder color look of the Q or the higher dynamic range and gentleness of the RX1rII sensor? They both are full frame and both are gorgeous capable cameras but the RX1RII does offer more for less IMO.

So look for my review within a week or so, the camera is also in stock now at Amazon (one left for prime) ;) Three snaps below from the RX1RII…

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Nov 132015
 

REVIEWS COMING: Sony RX1R Mark II and The Leica SL

SITE UPDATE: Before the end of this year I will have three major reviews written and published.

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First, the Sony RX1R Mark II which I will be starting on next week. My 1st look video and samples will be up next week Wednesday, the 18th, and a full review to follow 2 weeks later. This will be my last Sony review of the year as almost all of Sony’s new releases have now been reviewed here (A7II Here, A7RII Here, A7SII Here, RX100 IV Here and the RX10 II will be in Jan sometime)

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THEN, I will start getting to work on my Leica SL review which will be a big one. Due to many requests, comparisons to the M 240 and A7RII using a 50 Summilux ASPH for all three will be included. Will be shooting the SL like mad to give it a proper review. I am looking forward to this one ;) I expect this review to be out mid December after some serous shooting time with it.

There will also be one more review for a still un-announced camera before the year’s end as well. Hmmmmmmm ;)

Stay tuned! New videos coming as well.

 

Oct 142015
 

The Sony RX1RII Announced! What I have been waiting for!

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PRE ORDER THE RX1R II ON NOVEMBER 5th AT B&H PHOTO HERE!

The one camera I have been waiting for, and asking Sony for and wondering about for the last year and a half has finally been announced, just when I thought they would never do it! Well now they did and my PRE ORDER HAS TO BE IN!!!

YES, the Sony RX1RII is coming, and this is a GOOD thing, as even today, the RX1R has probably the best IQ from any Sony camera made. There was something special about the RX1R files due to the sensor and lens and now Sony have upgraded the camera with its latest sensor tech and other goodies, and you can bet your behind that the AF will be faster. I SO CAN NOT WAIT to review this one, and my review will be a big one.

The original Sony RX1 made my Camera of the Year when it was released. Small, built well, powerful… an amazing camera. Three years have passed and it is time for a successor. I am so EXCITED!

Now, the RX1RII is on the way and I wanted to tell you about my excitement for it as well as tell you about what Sony has done to make it so much better.

I was supposed to be in NYC this week with Sony and others to test the new A7SII, and this was apparently a surprise announcement at the meetings. Unfortunately I became sick and could not make  the trip (fever and all) so I missed out on the live announcement.

In any case, I am alive and well so let me start by showing you guys what is NEW with the RX1RII:

BUILT IN VIEWFINDER (EVF) – YES YES YES!

BACKLIT 42MP SENSOR

3.5 FASTER DATA AND TRANSMISSION SPEED OVER RX1R 1

35 mm f/2 Zeiss lens perfectly matched to the sensor for best quality

MACRO RING for focusing as close as 14cm in front of the lens

UNCOMPRESSED 14 BIT for those who wanted it! (Also coming to A7RII)

AF: the worlds widest AF coverage on a full-frame sensor for much faster AF

TILTABLE LCD SCREEN 

Worlds 1st Optical Variable Low Pass Filter – YOU choose

AND THIS WILL BE SHIPPING NEXT MONTH, NOVEMBER 2015!!! 

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Bottom Line? Sony is kicking ass and forging ahead more so  than any other camera company I know. I still see Sony and Olympus as the game changers in digital imaging, and Sony is just creating cameras that all of us enthusiasts really want. When it comes to full frame these days, SONY IS THE WAY TO GO for cost, quality, features and the fact that their cameras are so damn good these days. If you want smaller than full frame? Olympus or Fuji get my vote for now.

PRE ORDER THE RX1RII AT B&H PHOTO HERE!

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MORE DETAILS IN THE PRESS RELEASE….

Sony Introduces New Palm-Sized RX1R II Camera with 42.4 MP Full-Frame Image Sensor

Sonys Latest Premium Compact Features Back-Illuminated Full-Frame Sensor, ZEISS® Sonnar T* 35mm F2 Lens, High Speed AF, retractable XGA OLED Viewfinder and Worldกฏs First Optical Variable Low Pass Filter

NEW YORK, Oct. 14, 2015  Sony Electronics, a worldwide leader in digital imaging and the worlds largest image sensor manufacturer, has today introduced the latest addition to their acclaimed Cyber-shot RX compact camera line, the full-frame RX1R II (model DSC-RX1RM2).

Joining the original RX1 and RX1R cameras in the family of the worldกฏs smallest full-frame cameras, the new RX1R II delivers the highest picture quality of any Sony compact camera ever made. This can largely be attributed to the new cameras high resolution 42.4 MP sensor paired with its large aperture, fixed focal length ZEISS Sonnar T* 35mm F2 lens, which have been fine-tuned to optimize performance together.

Additionally, the new model features a 30% improvement in AF response speed compared to the original award-winning RX1 models and is equipped with the worlds first optical variable low pass filter that can be set to off, standard or high based on user preference, with low pass filter bracketing available. The camera also has a convenient retractable XGA OLED viewfinder for eye-level shooting, which has been implemented with minimal change in overall body size from its predecessors.

The new RX1R II offers a combination of size and performance that has never before been realized in the world of compact cameras, said Neal Manowitz, Vice President of Digital Imaging for Sony Electronics. We’re giving imaging enthusiasts and professionals the opportunity to enjoy a camera with one of the most powerful combinations of sensor and lens in market today that can easily fit in the palm of your hand. Its simply the latest example of the progressive innovation that Sony is bringing to the world of imaging.

Ultimate Image Quality in the Palm of Your Hand

The new RX1R II camera utilizes a back-illuminated 35mm full-frame Exmor R CMOS sensor with approx. 42.4 effective megapixels paired with a powerful BIONZ X processing engine to achieve superior levels of image resolution and sensitivity (ISO 100-25600, expandable to 50 – 102400) with wide dynamic range. The sensors back-illuminated structure, with an expanded circuit scale and copper wiring design, enables faster transmission speed and outputs data approximately 3.5x faster than the original RX1R, ensuring high-speed performance.

Matched specifically for the image sensor, the large aperture 35mm F2 ZEISS Sonnar T* lens ensures that all images captured by the camera are impressively sharp from the center to the corners. The lens also has a unique Macro shift ring for focusing on subjects as close as 14cm in front of the lens and has nine aperture blades that produce smooth, even background defocus or bokeh in the most commonly used aperture ranges.

Another unique benefit of the new camera is its fixed lens design, which allows the positioning of its sensor and lens to be precisely adjusted to maximize all benefits of the sensors extremely high resolution. The closer the two components are to one another, the wider the angle through which light can pass through the lens and directly reach the sensor, resulting in imagery that is rich in detail and resolution. Also, unlike the focal plane shutter common to interchangeable lens cameras, RX1R II utilizes an in-lens shutter, allowing 1/2000 sec flash synch speed and a significant reduction in overall body size.

The new RX1R II also offers uncompressed 14-bit RAW image capture to maximize the benefits of the image sensors wide dynamic range, while also still supporting existing compressed format.

High Speed AF to Capture the Decisive Moment

The RX1R II model is the first in Sonys acclaimed RX line of compact cameras to feature Fast Hybrid AF capabilities. The cameras sensor features 399 focal-plane phase-detection AF points that cover about 45% of the image area the worlds widest AF coverage on a full-frame sensor1 that work together with 25 contrast AF points to achieve focus response that is about 30% faster than the original model. Additionally, the camera has adapted an advanced motion-detection algorithm that offers superior tracking performance of moving subjects and allows for the addition of AF-C mode that accurately tracks a subject after focusing. It also can achieve up to 5fps continuous shooting with AF tracking.
Other focusing improvements on the new model include multiple AF area settings including Wide, Center and Flexible Spot and Expand Flexible Spot. The camera also has Eye AF and lock-on AF.

World’s First Optical Variable Low Pass Filter

In a first for digital cameras, the RX1R II features an optical variable low pass filter that allows shooters to manually adjust the balance of image resolution and presence of moir or color artifacts to match the subject.
The three settings for the low-pass filter include off, which provides comparable effects to having no low-pass filter and is suitable when prioritizing resolution, standard, which strikes a balance between resolution and removal of moir and color artifacts, and high, which places more emphasis on reducing moirจฆ and artifacting. This unique feature allows photographers to achieve the desired image quality and resolution based on the presence of moir-inducing high spatial frequency objects in the scene, essentially combining two cameras จC one with and without a low-pass filter จC into one body. Low-pass filter bracketing is also available and can be used to compare the effects of different settings.

New Retractable XGA OLED Viewfinder, Tiltable Screen, HD Video and more

New for the RX1 series, the RX1R II has a built-in retractable 2.4 million dot XGA OLED Tru-Finder that pops up and down with simple one-push operation. The viewfinder features ZEISS T* Coating and four glass elements including two aspherical lenses that work together to deliver a magnification of 0.74×4 and clear corner-to-corner visibility with minimal distortion. The new camera also has a 3.0 type WhiteMagic™ 1.2 million dot LCD display that can tilt upwards up to 109 degrees and downwards up to 41 degrees, allowing for a greater range of shooting angles and positions.

On the video side, the cameras advanced sensor and processor deliver exceptionally detailed movies with low levels of noise. It is able to support full HD 1920×1080 video recording at frame rates of 60p, 30p or 24p through use of the versatile XAVC S movie recording format.

The new RX1R II camera is also Wi-Fi® and NFC compatible and fully functional with Sonys PlayMemories Mobile™ application available for Android™ and iOS platforms, as well as Sonys growing range of PlayMemories Camera Apps™.
A new version of the popular กฐSmart Remote Control app (version 4.0) from PlayMemories Camera Apps, which enables remote shooting from a connected smartphone, will be released that features updated bulb and continuous shooting functionality to match the new camera.

Pricing and Availability

The Sony RX1R II full-frame compact camera will be available in November for about $3300 US and $4200 CAD at a variety of Sony authorized dealers in both countries. There is also a new camera case (model LCJ-RXH) that will be available at launch that fits snugly on the new RX1R II as well as the original RX1 and RX1R models.

A series of exciting new content shot with the RX1R II camera can be found at http://www.alphauniverse.com Sonyกฏs new community site built to educate, inspire and showcase all fans and customers of the Sony imaging brand.

The new content will also be posted directly at Sony global sites https://www.sony.net/Product/di_photo_gallery/.

For US customers seeking more information on the new RX1R II camera, please visit http://www.sony.com/electronics/cyber-shot-compact-cameras/dsc-rx1rm2 .

 

Oct 062015
 

Taking the week off for some R&R!

Me and Debby heading off to our destination ;) 

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Hello everyone! Just a note to say I am taking the week off to take my sweetie to a special place we both love for the rest of the week ;) This will be my 1st time taking off a week entirely from here, Facebook and all work in 7-8 years! When I return next week I will have a world exclusive review of something new from a major brand ;)

Also, this month I will be in New York with Sony testing out the new A7sII, so look for full coverage of that coming in the next two weeks. There will still be some QUICK SHOT and DAILY INSPIRATION posts this week but no reviews until I return.

Thank you all for your continued support! It’s now been almost EIGHT YEARS! HOLY COW!

Steve

Jul 192015
 

Join Me on Facebook and YouTube for upcoming Exclusive coverage!

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Hey Guys!

Facebook…

Happy Sunday! Just wanted to share a reminder to come on over to my Facebook page for SteveHuffPhoto and give it a like! When it hit’s 50K likes I will be doing a cool giveaway, so head on over and click LIKE! I will be posting some new exclusive news updates there in the next 2-3 weeks on something you all want to see, Sony A7RII coverage, and many things will be posted to the Facebook page that will not be here, so be sure to check it out! STEVEHUFFPHOTO.COM FACEBOOK PAGE IS HERE!

YouTube…

Also, I will be doing many more videos coming up here real soon for my YouTube channel, including the A7RII coverage SOON so be sure to check out my YouTube channel HERE and Subscribe! LOADS of new stuff on the way and by subscribing you will be sure not to miss any of it!

THANK YOU!

Jun 102015
 
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Sony Creates a MONSTER! The new A7RII..see my hands on report!

I am writing today from NYC at a Sony Event held in the beautiful Le Parker Meridian Hotel. Myself and loads of other journalists, bloggers and camera geeks all packed into a meeting today with Sony to see what they were revealing. Not only did they reveal the A7RII, they also announced the new RX10II and RX100IV. ALL THREE are spectacular cameras with some amazing new tech that was very cool to see. Mirrorless cameras have matured..big time and Sony is leading the way without question.

Pre-Order the A7RII at B&H Photo HERE. Available to pre-order on June 17th..so get ready ;) 

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My brain, heart and soul instantly fell for the A7IIR  – as it is an entirely new beast from the old A7r..I mean, entirely new.

The A7RII now has a 42.4 Megapixel full frame backlit sensor which allow the camera to do all sorts of things. 40% faster AF (and yes, it is much quicker than the old A7r and even the A7II it seems), ISO up to 102,000 (we are talking A7s territory in a high res sensor), Tweak 5 Axis IS so the images are stabilized in body with ANY lens you attach, Full 4K video shooting with an option for Super 35 shooting that offers double the res of standard Super 35. Full pixel readout without pixel binning.

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It also boasts the world’s highest viewfinder magnification at 0.78. Let me  tell you, the EVF in this guy is amazing. Like a window. Of course it gas WiFi, NFC, and is compatible with all the Play Memories Apps but this A7RII is giving us the BEST of the A7II, A7s and old A7R.

We have the super high resolution of 42.5 MP..and usually there are drawbacks with this such as slow AF speed and not so high ISO capabilities. Sony changed all of that with the new sensor and processing and we get it all. Fast AF, high ISO capability and JAW DROPPING AMAZING photo quality and video quality. It has it all, and will be the most amazing A7 camera ever developed.

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Data output is 3.5 times faster than the old A7r and with technology like copper wiring layers, Sony has been doing their homework.

One other awesome feature is the new Reduced Vibration shutter along with a totally silent mode that we had in the A7s.

I had some hands on time with the A7RII, was able to shoot it, handle it, check it out and I was very impressed. By far the most complete A7 to date. Not sure how they do it but Sony keeps upping the game and they created a beast with the new A7RII. Will be great for pro video, pro photo, and give you the NO COMPROMISE features and capabilities you have always wanted.

No longer do we have to substitute high res for low light abilities. It does it all!

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Before you ask where the images are…well, we were not allowed to shoot with our own memory cards, in fact, the SD slots were all taped up as these are not final production cameras. So no images yet but I will have a full review unit available to me soon I am sure.

The price for all of this tech? $3198, shipping in August. Just a couple of months away. Exciting times…I mean..this camera is pretty incredible, and I have just seen huge prints and 4K video from it that were astonishing. Using it was a joy as well. This is nothing like the old original A7r. BTW, it has the new A7II body style.

BRAVO AGAIN to SONY for pushing the envelope and making the best sensors in the world (IMO).

So to sum it up, $3200, available in August and pre-orders will start on June 17th. I CAN NOT WAIT to review this camera. I will have more on the other two new releases, the RX100 4 and the RX10II in the next day or two, stay tuned!

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Here is the official press release from Sony on the A7RII:

 

Sony’s New α7R II Camera Delivers Innovative Imaging Experience with World’s First Back-Illuminated 35mm Full-Frame Sensor.

Sony’s Flagship Mirrorless Camera Features 42.4 MP Back-illuminated CMOS sensor, In-camera 5-axis Image Stabilization, Internal 4K Video Recording, Silent Shooting, Fast Hybrid AF and more

NEW YORK, Jun. 10, 2015 – Sony Electronics, a worldwide leader in digital imaging and the world’s largest image sensor manufacturer, has today introduced their new flagship full-frame mirrorless camera, the α7R II (model ILCE-7RM2).

The new α7R II interchangeable lens camera features the world’s first back-illuminated full-frame Exmor R CMOS sensor1, which realizes high resolution (42.4 MP approx. effective megapixels), high sensitivity (expandable up to ISO 102400)2 and high speed AF response up to 40% faster than the original α7R thanks to 399 focal plane phase detection AF points.

The camera also includes a 5-axis image stabilization system borrowed from the acclaimed α7 II model and can shoot and record 4K video in multiple formats including Super 35mm (without pixel binning) and full-frame format, a world’s first for digital cameras1. Additionally, it has a newly refined XGA OLED Tru-Finder with the world’s highest (0.78x) viewfinder magnification3.

“Sony continues to deliver game-changing imaging products that are changing the way imaging enthusiasts, hobbyists and professionals can see and capture the world,” said Mike Fasulo, President of Sony Electronics.

Kimio Maki, Senior General Manager of Digital imaging Business Group for Sony Corporation, added “By harmonizing high resolution, sensitivity and speed, we’re delivering a high-level full-frame imaging experience unlike anything else in market today, with Sony’s newly developed, world’s first back-illuminated 35mm full frame CMOS sensor.”

High Resolution, High Sensitivity and High-Speed Response

The newly developed 42.4 MP back-illuminated CMOS sensor is the most advanced, versatile and highest resolution full-frame image sensor that Sony has ever created, allowing the α7R II to reach new levels of quality, sensitivity and response speed. In the past, many photographers have been forced to choose between high-resolution and high-speed or high resolution and high sensitivity when selecting a camera. The new α7R II eliminates that sacrifice thanks to its innovative image sensor.

The 42.4 MP sensor combines gapless on-chip lens design and AR (anti-reflective) coating on the surface of the sensor’s glass seal to dramatically improve light collection efficiency, resulting in high sensitivity with low-noise performance and wide dynamic range. This allows the camera to shoot at an impressive ISO range of 100 to 25600 that is expandable to ISO 50 to 1024002.

Additionally, the sensor’s back-illuminated structure, with an expanded circuit scale and copper wiring design, enables faster transmission speed and ensures content can be captured in high resolution without sacrificing sensitivity. Data can also be output from the sensor at an approximately 3.5x faster rate compared to the original α7R.

An ideal match for Sony’s extensive collection of FE lenses (35mm full-frame compatible E-mount lenses), the new α7R II features a high-speed BIONZ X image processing engine that allows images and video from the camera to be captured with supreme details and low noise. There is also no optical low pass filter on the camera, ensuring that scenery and landscapes are captured in the highest possible resolution and clarity.

The α7R II has a new highly durable reduced-vibration shutter that realizes 50% less vibration from shutter movements compared to its predecessor, and has a cycle durability of approximately 500,000 shots4. The camera can also be set to Silent Shooting mode in order to shoot images quietly without any sensor vibration or movement.

The new image sensor features 399 focal-plane phase-detection AF points – the world’s widest AF coverage on a full-frame sensor1 – that work together with 25 contrast AF points to achieve focus response that is about 40% faster than the original model. The α7R II utilizes an advanced motion-detection algorithm combined with this Fast Hybrid AF system to achieve up to 5fps continuous shooting with AF tracking.

Additionally, the focal plane phase-detection AF system on the α7R II works well with Sony A-mount lenses when they are mounted on the camera using an LA-EA3 or LA-EA1 mount adapter. This allows users to enjoy the wide AF coverage of 399 focal plane phase-detection AF points, high-speed response and high tracking performance with a wider range of lenses. This marks the first time that the AF system of a mirrorless camera can achieve high performance with lenses originally designed for DSLRs.

5-Axis Image Stabilization Optimized for 42.4 MP

The new flagship α7R II model is equipped with an innovative 5-axis image stabilization system that has been fine-tuned to support its high-resolution shooting capacity. Similar to the system launched on the acclaimed α7 II model, this advanced form of image stabilization corrects camera shake along five axes during shooting, including angular shake (pitch and yaw) that tends to occur with a telephoto lens, shift shake (X and Y axes) which becomes noticeable as magnification increases, and rotational shake (roll) that often affects video recording. This camera shake compensation system is equivalent to shooting at a shutter speed approximately 4.5 steps faster5.

Additionally, the 5-axis stabilization works cooperatively with Sony α lenses with optical SteadyShot™ (OSS) to provide maximum stabilization and clarity, while also performing admirably via a compatible mount adapter with Sony α A-mount lenses6 without on-board stabilization . Effects of the stabilization can be previewed via live-view on the LCD or OLED viewfinder of the camera.

Unrivaled 4K Movie Shooting Performance

The impressive video credentials of Sony’s new α7R II camera include the ability to record movies in 4K quality (QFHD 3840×2160) in either Super 35mm crop mode or full-frame mode.

In Super 35mm mode, the camera collects a wealth of information from approximately 1.8x as many pixels as 4K by using full pixel readout without pixel binning and oversamples the information to produce 4K movies with minimal moire and ‘jaggies’.

In full-frame mode, the α7R II utilizes the full width of the 35mm sensor for 4K recording, allowing users to utilize the expanded expressive power of the sensor. It is the world’s first digital camera to offer this in-camera full-frame format 4K recording capacity1.

The camera utilizes the advanced XAVC S7 codec during video shooting, which records at a high bit rate of 100 Mbps during 4K recording and 50 Mbps during full HD shooting.

Additionally, the α7R II model features a variety of functions to support a professional video workflow including Picture Profile, S-Log2 Gamma and S-Gamut, 120fps high frame rate movie shooting in HD (720p), time code, clean HDMI output and more.

Enhanced Design, Operability and Reliability

The new full-frame α7R II has an upgraded XGA OLED Tru-Finder™ with a double-sided aspherical lens that delivers the world’s highest viewfinder magnification3 of 0.78x for crystal clear image preview and playback across the entire display area. ZEISS® T* Coating is also utilized to reduce unwanted reflections that interfere with the shooting experience.

The camera has an extremely solid, professional feel in-hand thanks to its light, rigid magnesium alloy design, and has a re-designed grip and shutter button compared to its predecessor. There is also a new mechanism to conveniently lock the mode dial, and an expanded range of customizable functions and buttons to suit the most demanding photographers.

The new α7R II camera is Wi-Fi® and NFC compatible and fully functional with Sony’s PlayMemories Mobile™ application available for Android™ and iOS platforms, as well as Sony’s growing range of PlayMemories Camera Apps™, which add a range of creative capabilities to the camera. For example, there is more creativity available now for time-lapse photography thanks to a new “Angle Shift add-on” app allows users to easily add pan, tilt and zoom to time-lapse images without any additional shooting equipment or PC software required. Learn more at www.sony.net/pmca.

Sony has also introduced a new LCD monitor model CLM-FHD5, an ideal companion to the α7R II for video shooting. A compact 5.0 type Full HD (1920x1080p) LCD monitor, the CLM-FHD5 features enlarging and peaking functionality for precise focusing, false color and video level marker for adjusting exposure and S-Log display assist to assist S-Log shooting.

Pricing and Availability

The Sony α7R II full-frame interchangeable lens camera will be available in August for about $3200 at www.store.sony.com and a variety of Sony authorized dealers nationwide.

The α7R II is compatible with Sony’s growing lineup of α -mount lenses, which now totals 63 different models including 12 native ‘FE’ full frame lenses. By early 2016, Sony will add an additional 8 new lenses to its FE full frame lineup, bringing the FE total to 20 lenses and the overall α -mount assortment to 70 different models.

 

 

May 182015
 

NEWS OF THE DAY Part 2: Fuji X-T10 Announced!

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Seems we are getting treated to some new cameras this year…finally. We had the new Leica Monochrom for the B&W crowd, we had the E-M5II earlier this year and now we get the Panasonic G7 and Fuji X-T10 today. Coming in at $799, this new Fuji is pretty attractive. I love the new block like design. It is a different shape but almost appears to be an X100 style camera that takes Fuji lenses. Small, light and with the usual Fuji X-Trans II sensor, this one is sure to please Fuji fans.

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Sleek, modern, yet a bit of retro thrown in, the new X-T10 is Fuji’s answer to those who want to spend less but get more. Looks pretty nice to me, and I will be reviewing this one for sure.

You can pre-order the Fuji X-T10 at B&H Photo HERE or Amazon HERE.

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FUJI X-T10 SPECS:

Characterized by its sleek, retro styling, the silver X-T10 is a mirrorless camera featuring Fujifilm’s unique sensor technology, versatile autofocus modes, and a high-resolution electronic viewfinder. Revolving around the 16.3 MP APS-C-sized X-Trans CMOS II sensor and EXR Processor II, the X-T10 is capable of up to 8 fps continuous shooting and full HD 1080p/60 video recording, and features an expandable sensitivity range from ISO 100-51200. Fujifilm’s proprietary X-Trans sensor uses a randomized pixel array in order to avoid the use of a resolution-reducing optical low-pass filter, therefore providing images with the utmost sharpness and clarity. Beyond the advanced imaging capabilities, the X-T10 further distinguishes itself through its ease of operation via direct shutter speed, drive, and exposure compensation dials, as well as a dedicated automatic shooting mode lever. Intuitiveness is further carried over to the Real Time Viewfinder, which features a 2.36m-dot resolution and 0.62x magnification, as well as a Natural Live View setting, to mimic the viewing comfort of an optical viewfinder with the added information control an electronic finder provides. Rounding out the feature-set is a sextet of autofocus modes that utilize the Intelligent Hybrid AF system for fast, accurate focusing with precise subject tracking capabilities. The X-T10 combines a rich array of imaging features with a classic, visceral design for both ease and enjoyment of use.

Beyond the core set of features, the X-T10 extends its versatility in a variety of shooting modes and features, including Film Simulation settings that recreate the look of classic Fujifilm films, such as Provia, Astia, and Velvia. In addition to the electronic viewfinder, a large 3.0″ 920k-dot LCD monitor is also available for live view shooting and image review, and features a tilting design to benefit working from high and low angles. Built-in Wi-Fi also complements handling by allowing for remote camera control and wireless image sharing via linked smartphones or tablets.

16.3 MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS II Sensor

A large 16.3 MP APS-C CMOS image sensor is integrated into the X-T10 to provide high image quality and detail. Using Fujifilm’s unique X-Trans pixel array, the sensor is designed with a randomized pixel pattern to eliminate the need of an optical low-pass filter for reducing moiré and aliasing. By removing this filter from the design, higher image sharpness is possible. Lens Modulation Optimizer (LMO) factors are also taken into account using the EXR Processor II, which helps to automatically compensate for aberrations and diffraction blur in order to produce images with the utmost inherent sharpness.

The X-Trans sensor also works to provide highly effective noise reduction and a clean signal-to-noise ratio. This enables smoother-looking imagery that becomes especially apparent when photographing in low-light situations with an expanded sensitivity range of ISO 100-51200. Additionally, a top continuous shooting rate of 8 fps is possible for up to 8 consecutive frames, as well as a 3 fps shooting rate for the capacity of an SD card, to benefit working with moving subject matter.

EXR Processor II

Aside from benefitting low-light performance, the EXR Processor II also provides quick performance throughout the entire camera system. The camera start-up time is about 0.5 seconds, shutter lag is about 0.005 seconds, shooting interval time is about 0.5 seconds, and an electronic shutter feature allows you to use shutter speeds up to 1/32000 sec. A fast autofocus performance speed of 0.06 seconds is also enabled with the advanced Intelligent Hybrid AF system using both contrast- and phase-detection focusing methods.

Intelligent Hybrid AF

Intelligent Hybrid AF is a quick, responsive autofocus system that employs both contrast- and phase-detection methods to acquire focus in as little as 0.06 sec. in a wide variety of lighting conditions and shooting situations. Additionally, pairing with the fast continuous shooting rate, AF-C can be used when shooting at 8 fps with advanced subject motion prediction to maintain sharp focus on moving subjects. Six autofocus modes are available for greater control over how the X-T10 achieves sharp focus:

AF-S + Single Point: A highly accurate focusing mode that allows you to choose one of 49 focus points, with a choice of five different area sizes, for basing your focus on a specific subject.
AF-S + Zone: This mode is ideal for subjects moving at a moderate pace or other instances where single-point focus may have difficulty tracking the subject. 3 x 3, 5 x 3, and 5 x 5 areas are available, as well as centrally-positioned 3 x 3 and 5 x 3 phase-detection areas for faster AF speeds.
AF-S + Wide/Tracking: For random and quickly moving subjects, this mode uses the entire 77-point focusing area to acquire focus on multiple subjects or subjects with unpredictable movements.
AF-C + Single Point: For photographing a subject with a fixed direction of movement, this mode allows you to choose one of the 49 points, along with an area size, to prioritize and maintain sharp focus as the subject travels across the frame or towards the camera.
AF-C + Zone: When shooting handheld, this mode lets you choose from 3 x 3, 5 x 3, or 5 x 5 areas, as well as the central phase-detection points, for tracking moving subjects.
AF-C + Wide/Tracking: Suitable for photographing from a tripod, this mode is well-suited to photographing unpredictably moving subjects by choosing the starting point in the frame and allowing the AF-C to maintain focus as the subject moves about the frame.

Real Time Viewfinder

An advanced electronic viewfinder has been incorporated into the X-T10’s design to support clear eye-level monitoring along with a host of unique viewing features to better support a more efficient overall workflow. The Real Time Viewfinder is comprised of a 2.36m-dot OLED display and features a high magnification of 0.62x. This broad perspective is further complemented by the 0.005 sec. lag time, which smoothly and seamlessly renders scenes and moving subjects. To further enhance the viewing capabilities in difficult lighting conditions, Natural Live View can be utilized to display an image quality similar to as if working with an optical viewfinder, or, conversely, the viewfinder can also be configured to preview the effects of Film Simulation modes or other settings in real-time to alleviate the need to check photos after each shot.

Body Design

Characterized by a body design reminiscent of an SLR film camera, the X-T10 features both analog exposure controls with intelligent automated technologies and a quick-selection drive dial. The clean and functional body design incorporates physical shutter speed, drive mode, and +/- 3 EV exposure compensation milled aluminum alloy dials that pair well with the manual aperture rings found on many of the XF lenses for intuitive exposure setting selection as well as full use of P/A/S/M exposure modes. For a more automated workflow, a dedicated Auto Mode Switch Lever is located on the top plate for selecting a fully automated shooting mode (SR AUTO) without worrying about exposure settings.

Depending on individual needs, dual command dials and an easily-accessible Q Menu provide an efficient solution for modifying some of the most frequently used camera settings, such as ISO, white balance, and file settings. For more extensive menu navigation, as well as live view monitoring and image review, a 3.0″ 920k-dot LCD monitor is available and features a tilting design to better support working from high and low angles.

Additionally, a built-in pop-up flash is available to provide extra illumination when photographing in difficult lighting conditions and a top hot shoe can also be used for pairing an optional external flash for greater, more controllable flash output.

Full HD Movie Recording

Full HD 1080p video recording is supported up to 60 fps, with other frame rates and formats also available. Full-time AF tracking is available during recording with subject tracking capabilities for ensured sharpness when either the subject is moving or if the camera is moving, panning, or zooming. +/- 2 EV exposure compensation is available during recording as well as the use of Film Simulation settings.

An HDMI port enables high definition playback of movies to an HDTV and the inclusion of a 2.5mm input supports the use of an optional external microphone for enhanced sound quality.

Built-In Wi-Fi

Wireless connectivity is built into the camera and allows for instant sharing of images directly to an Android or iOS mobile device. The Fujifilm Camera Remote app allows you to browse the image contents of your camera from your mobile device and transfer both videos and photos, and the entire sharing process is further expedited by simply pressing and holding the dedicated Wi-Fi button to begin transferring immediately. Remote camera control and monitoring is also supported through the use of the app, which enables Touch AF, shutter release, exposure settings adjustment, Film Simulation modes, white balance modes, macro, timer, and flash controls to all be adjusted from the linked mobile device. Location data can also be embedded into image file’s metadata for geotagging.

Film Simulation Modes and Advanced Filters

Taking advantage of Fujifilm’s vast history in traditional film-based photography, the X-T10 integrates several Film Simulation modes to mimic the look and feel of some Fujifilm’s classic film types. A refined Classic Chrome mode is designed to deliver muted tones and a deep color reproduction, similar to that of a dated slide film. Pulling from their more contemporary line of transparency films, Provia offers natural-looking tones for everyday shooting, Velvia produces a more dramatic and rich tonality with deeper color saturation, and Astia gives less contrast for a softer depiction of skin tones. Mimicking their negative films, Pro Neg. Std. gives smooth image tones that are suitable for accurate color renditions, while Pro Neg. Hi produces a more dramatic feel with the ability to draw color out of a variety of lighting conditions. In addition to the colorful benefits of these Film Simulation modes, there are also monochrome modes that simulate the look of traditional yellow, green, and red black and white contrast filters. A sepia mode is also available for producing an inherently nostalgic look.

Eight Advanced Filters are also available to creatively enhance the look of imagery, and include: High Key, Low Key, Soft Focus, Toy Camera, Miniature, Pop Color, Dynamic Tone, and Partial Color (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple).

 

May 122015
 

olympusnew

New Olympus 7-14 Pro lens, 8mm f/1.8 Pro lens, and Special Edition E-M5 II!

PRE-ORDER THE 7-14 Pro f/2.8 HERE

PRE-ORDER THE 8mm f/1.8 Fisheye HERE

PRE-ORDER THE E-M5II Titanium SE HERE

Last night Olympus announced some new goodies, two of which I have been waiting for patiently as I am ALL IN on these two (and possibly in on the 3rd as well). We all know that Olympus pro lenses are fantastic, and the new 7-14 is finally here along with the 8mm 1.8 fisheye! Olympus is continuing to lead the way with lenses and we now have a pro level ultra wide for our Micro 4/3 system. YES, there has always been the Panasonic 7-14 f/4 from many years ago, one of the first M 4/3 lenses, but now we have a new Olympus PRO 7-14 that will give us a 14-28mm equivalent and a faster f/2.8 aperture. Below see the 7-14 on the E-M5II (see my E-M5II Review). It’s a chunky beast of a lens but I am confident it will be flat-out AMAZING in performance as all Olympus glass is these days. You can pre-order the 7-14 at B&H Photo, PopFlash.com or Amazon. Amazon says it will not ship until August 1st, B&H is saying end of June. I say June as that is what Olympus says,  but either way, you are not charged until it ships so pre-ordering is always a good idea if you REALLY want an item as you can cancel anytime before it ships with no penalty or charge but pre-ordering secure’s your place in line, and this lens will be popular as all get out. Watch and see. At $1299 it is not cheap, but this is a pro lens, weather sealed and up to the Olympus pro standards, which is about as good as it gets.

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I am also looking forward to the new 8mm f/1.8 Fisheye as I love a good Fisheye lens. The previous premium fish for the Micro 4/3 system is/was the Panasonic 8mm fisheye (my review of that lens here) but this Olympus will be even better with a fast 1.8 aperture vs the f/3.5 of the Panasonic. That speed is not really needed for a fisheye lens but still way cool to have in ANY lens..SPEED is KING. It also has a minimum focus distance of just 2.5cm. See the 8mm below on the E-M5II… The cost of the PRO Fisheye, which will be weather sealed and up to PRO standards will be $999. It will also be called “mine”. Get it HERE at B&H Photo, or at Amazon, or at PopFlash.com. Ships end of June 2015.

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Below, The 7-14 Pro f/2.8 Ultra Wide

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Olympus has also announced a limited run edition of the new E-M5 II in a new and unique “Titanium” E-M5 II, limited to 7,000 units worldwide. This is not real Titanium of course but just the color to be reminiscent of the old Olympus OM-3 Ti from 1994. It will come with a special leather strap, a leather card case, and a numbered owners card showing your cameras #. The price? $1,199. Me like. Very much! Looks much more classy than the standard silver or black IMO. This sounds like a Leica special edition with the strap, card case, and numbered card ;) You can order the SE E-M5II at Amazon HERE and it will be released August 1st. My pre-order is in for this and the two lenses above! Ships end of June 2015.

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OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE FROM OLYMPUS:

OLYMPUS M.ZUIKO® DIGITAL ED 7-14MM F2.8 AND 8MM F1.8 FISHEYE PRO LENSES FOR COMPACT EXPLORING

Excellent Optical Performance, Ultra-Wide, Compact and Lightweight for Ultimate Mobility, Dustproof and Splashproof Construction, Underwater Accessory Compatibility

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., May 12, 2015 — Today, Olympus is pleased to announce the availability of two new premium M.ZUIKO DIGITAL PRO lenses. The M.ZUIKO Digital ED 7-14mm f2.8 PRO is an ultra-wide-angle zoom lens with a 35mm equivalent focal length of 14-28mm, while the M.ZUIKO Digital ED 8mm Fisheye PRO, the world’s first with an f/1.8 aperture, features a minimum working distance of just 2.5cm and offers excellent bokeh with wide-angle macro shots. Both lenses are equipped with Olympus’ legendary weather sealing, providing peace-of-mind while shooting in extreme weather conditions with an OM-D® camera.

The M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 7-14mm f2.8 PRO is the ideal lens for wide-angle shooting needs in any condition. This premium lens includes weather sealing in 11 locations, enabling use in rain and snow, or even on the beach, where other lenses may not be able to withstand ocean spray or dust penetration. At 534 grams, or just under 19 ounces, the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 7-14mm f2.8 PRO is about 45 percent lighter than similar competitor products, eliminating heavy equipment that may slow the user down.

The lens also includes premium close-up shooting capabilities, thanks to the minimum working distance of just 7.5cm, offering extremely sharp capture capability, even at the very edges of an image. Three Super ED lenses, one ED lens and two EDA lenses help to minimize peripheral chromatic aberration, while the ZERO (Zuiko Extra-Low Reflective Optical) Coating aids in minimizing ghosting. The lens also boasts an L-Fn button with 27 assignable functions and a Manual Focus Clutch with built-in Focus Distance Meter. The M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 7-14mm f2.8 PRO lens comes with a fixed lens hood and pinch-style lens cap LC-79 for added protection.

Hobbyists, photo enthusiasts and professionals alike will be captivated by the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 8mm f1.8 PRO Fisheye lens’ 180-degree diagonal angle of view. Like the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 7-14mm f2.8 PRO, this lens includes dustproof and splashproof construction, for unlimited wide-angle adventure. The lens is also compatible with a custom dome port for use with an Olympus underwater housing.

The M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 8mm f1.8 PRO Fisheye lens is constructed of 17 elements in 15 groups and can capture high resolution at the very edges of an image, even at the maximum aperture of f1.8. ZERO Coating minimizes optical flares and ghosting. The lens also comes with a fixed lens hood and a pinch-style lens cap LC-62.

Both of the lenses’ compact size, brightness and weight reflect Olympus’ mastery of precision engineering. When used in conjunction with core OM-D technologies, like 5-axis image stabilization, the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 7-14mm f2.8 PRO and M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 8mm f1.8 PRO Fisheye open the user up to new possibilities for long exposure hand-held shooting.

Underwater Lens Port, PPO-EP02

The PPO-EP02 glass dome lens port is a great accessory to the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 8mm f1.8 PRO Fisheye lens, enabling the user to capture the widest shot possible underwater with the OM-D E-M5 or OM-D E-M1 underwater housings. The PPO-EP02 is 15 percent smaller and 30 percent lighter than Olympus’ previous lens port model, the PPO-E04, allowing for more compact and lightweight underwater shooting. Also, the hood section can be removed to reduce waves for over-under shots. (Rear Cover (PRPC-EP02) and Front Cover (PBC-EP02) are bundled).
U.S. Pricing and Availability

The M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 7-14mm f2.8 PRO lens will be available in June 2015 (black) for an estimated street price of $1,299.99 (US) and $1,599.99 (Canada).

The M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 8mm f1.8 Fisheye PRO lens will be available in June 2015 (black) for an estimated street price of $999.99 (US) and $1,249.99 (Canada).

To find out more about the Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 7-14mm f2.8 PRO and M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 8mm f1.8 Fisheye PRO lenses, and for a complete list of specifications, visit the Olympus website at
http://www.getolympus.com/us/en/lenses/pen-omd.html.

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Apr 062015
 

Site Update: I am more pumped than EVER!

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Photo Above: Me and Debby taken with the Sony A7Ii and Voigtlander 15 V III (vignetting added with filter)

Hello to ALL!! The weekend is HERE and last weekend I was out in California with buddy Todd Hatakeyama doing some off roading in our Jeep’s at Joshua Tree National Park. We enjoyed some trails as well as some photography and I brought along my Sony A7II new 28 f/2, the 35 1.4 and the Zeiss Loxia 50 f/2. Also brought along my new Leica M-P 1240 SAFARI set, and it is a beautiful set and $1k cheaper than buying a standard black or silver set, and a limited edition to boot. For those wondering, I will have a full video and thoughts on the Safari set within days, but if anyone is interested in seeing what it is all about, PopFlash.com has SIX in stock HERE. ;)

As for me, this site and the state of affairs here, things are better than ever. Traffic is fantastic, interaction on reviews is at an all time high and I have so many companies wanting to advertise that I ran out of space and can allow no more! All of those ads you see on the left sidebar? Most are site sponsors and they help keep this site going and growing just like all of you do, so take a moment to check them out if you have not done so already! I also just picked up a HUGE sponsor, largest ever for the site who will start at the end of this month. So things are going GREAT.

This site (V2 of the site) to date has received over 105 Million visits. To me, that is HUGE.  Amazing… and so so awesome. Why? Because I never planned or dreamed or even tried for this to happen, it just came naturally and without me ever stressing about traffic, promotion, social media or ANY of that, the site just continued to grow and grow and still is to this day. After seven years, this site is well established and many come here for their fix of real world reviews, user reports, daily inspirations and much more. For that, I THANK YOU!

So here I am, seven years after starting my original site out of our passion and excitement for cameras, lenses and photography. It was in my blood, my senses and with me for my entire life. Nope, I never went to college or school for photography besides a few college “classes” on film (and a couple can’t stand that about me)  but for me, it has never been about following the rules or being perfect. For me it has ONLY been about the enjoyment I get from it, the memories created with it and the absolute joy I get from new technology. I am a tech geek and love reviewing and testing new things. Check out the amount of posts and articles posted since day one on THIS site (doesn’t include the old site reviews)  – see them HERE, there are thousands!

Since its beginnings, this version of the site has received over 105 MILLION visitors with over 111,000 comments left. The biggest day ever was when I posted THIS post on post mortem photography. It went viral and brought in nearly 240,000 views in one day.

I still spend 40-60 hours per week on this site. I receive hundreds of emails per week (and not all can be answered) and I live, eat and sleep STEVEHUFFPHOTO.COM as well as a couple of other things I do these days that bring in even more emails and traffic than this site does! Yes, I am a busy guy but I love it. Keeps my brain working and sharp.

Today, in 2015 I am probably the happiest I have ever been in my life. No stress, no worries, health is good, family life is awesome, and how can I complain when I can wake up, lounge around in my PJ’s while I write, answer emails, make new friends and do my work..that I love?

I never dreamed for a second when I started this site as a hobby long ago that it would turn into what it has become today. Many tell me they love this site due to the variety of what gets posted. Articles and reviews from everyday people just like me get to share their experiences, photos and sometimes private moments with us all, right here. I allow ANYONE with the passion of photography a place to share their experience and while not everyone is a master photographer, all have something to share and we can all learn from everyone who posts here. I do every day.

As always, the site is able to continue with all of the support from YOU, the sponsors and when you guys use my links to purchase whatever it is you purchase. :)

One other thing that has seemingly almost vanished (from this site) are the haters and trolls. They used to be everywhere..maybe they thought I would go away but of course that was not going to happen. Today they stay away as they know this site is a success and that I could care less what they say or have said. They also stay away as they will get banned if they start trouble. I strive to keep this site positive as negativity is something I do not allow into my life for so many reasons. It’s actually one key to happiness in life IMO. But the 1-2 haters left, you are ignored and your comments never make the site, so sorry :) You lose again. Wasting your time, never mine.

Anyway, I thank ALL OF YOU 1000%,  I THANK my site sponsors 1000% and I thank my friends and family who have supported me and this little website from its early beginnings. Know this, I am more pumped than ever and there is so much more to come!

Steve

PS – Current Site Sponsors, check them out!! – Ken Hansen (Legendary Leica Dealer – [email protected]) , PopFlash.com, Tenba, Hold Fast Gear, 5 Shiny Buttons, Cosyspeed Camslinger, Pro Shop for Photographers, Lens Rentals, CameraQuest and Wotancraft. 

Jan 222015
 

Site updates slow this week, next week new reviews!

Just a note! This week I have been UBER busy with everything LIFE related (all in a good way) and due to being busy 17 hours out of each day I have not been able to post a couple of new reviews I have been working on, but will so so NEXT week.

1. Next week look out for my full Sony 16-35 F/4 FE Lens Review! As shot on the Sony A7s and A7II. This lens is a beauty. Large but if you love wide-angle, this is THE ONE to get for you A7 series camera. It’s got that true Zeiss quality.

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2. Also look out for the new Wotancraft RAVEN bag which is absolutely INCREDIBLE yet again! This one is meant for a smaller mirrorless system consisting of a camera and 1-2 lenses but has the build, quality and gorgeous beauty of the Ryker. You can see it HERE. My video review compared to the Ryker will be up MONDAY!

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I will also be showing a very 1st look at the Sony 70-200 f/4 FE lens as it has JUST ARRIVED for my review! 

So for the rest of this week there will be guest posts and daily inspirations as always but next week I will be back with these new reviews so stay tuned!

Steve

Jun 272013
 

The new Buy and Sell section in the Forum is Ready to roll!

Just letting you guys know that there is a new Buy and Sell section in the forum now. As many of you know, I had to remove the old highly popular classifieds system due to technical difficulties with it but the test run of the new Buy and Sell forum has been running smooth. If you want to check it out, click HERE for direct access to the buy and sell page or you can go to the main forum page HERE.

If you have something you want to sell, it is easy to post and ad with images. You must be registered to do so. If you see something you want to buy, simply send a private message to the seller as everyone gets their own private mailbox.

Thanks!

Steve

 

Apr 302013
 

Leica-M-silver_front

Jealousy will drive you mad! Stay cool, calm, collected..it will all be ok.

I find it funny that every now and again, when my blog gets more attention than normal, a certain forum on the internet has certain members that just love to bash me . Now, I do not go there and read it as I stay away from this particular forum, and have not been there in years but I get readers who love to email me about what is happening there and it always makes me chuckle..then I get sad. Why sad? Not for what they say about me, not at all, but for those few who engage in such hateful and negative things. I have posted many articles here on this site about positivity, negativity, passion and things I do in my daily life to be able to live such a blessed life. In the meantime you have sad individuals who hate their life posting away and bashing me on a forum that is filled with hate, anger, jealousy and frankly, so many uninspired photographs. It is very silly and makes no sense other than the fact that there are just so many jealous people out there.

Yep, jealousy. It will drive you mad. So much so it will turn you into a bitter, angry, hateful and all around negative person but as I always say, DONT SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF! You should see some of the e-mails I get from these guys, it would have you scratching your head. One guy was so mad at me because I received one of the 1st 240’s available and he did not. I asked if he pre-ordered and he said he did, but 2 weeks prior. I informed him that I pre-ordered at announcement time and he said it was still unfair because he deserved one more than I did. Sometimes you just have to sit and wonder what goes through the minds of people like this. BTW, he came from the un-named “forum” where he read about me getting the camera. I guess it is nice to know so many of these hateful people are eagle-eyed on my site and feel they have to talk about me so much, lol.

I remember the week I started my site 4 1/2 years ago. A select few members of that forum attacked me, calling me many things, none of them very nice..all for starting “another review site”. I was told I would fail, fall on my face, have no readers, and I should leave the camera reviews to the professionals. Of course at that time I chuckled and stayed on my positive path. Before long (and it did not take long) my site passed that forum for traffic coming in. Yep, my site was getting more traffic. Today it gets considerably more traffic and to those who have been faithful posters on that site, that irks them, It irritates them. Why? because so many of  them were wrong.

Now a few there want to complain that I sold my Leica M 240. Boo hoo. Yep, I got one before them and they couldn’t stand it. I sell mine, and now certain members there feel insulted. I think they seem to forget what I do..I review cameras. I keep what I can but I can not keep them all, I am not rich or even well off. But I am happy and I am thrilled that this site continues to grow every single year. So I thank all of you who come here, even those nasty ones who hate me as you are giving me more traffic regardless :) I also thank those who defend me on the forums as I am told many of you do.

But the angry ones..many call them “Haters’, I just call them “confused”. Me, I  do not have a negative or hateful or jealous bone in my body and my life is amazing in all aspects. No, I am not some Magnum photographer but I never claimed to be. I am not better than anyone else, in any way, but I never claimed to be. I live a real life outside of my blog, and you guys know this as from time to time I will post articles from my heart that tell it how it is :) I just go with the flow, do what I enjoy in all aspects of life and treat everyone with respect and kindness (unless they come here to attack me, then I just ban them). It is the only way to be!

But man, Jealousy and anger will just bring you down in life, and it sucks. It also serves no purpose at all and will never solve your frustrations. 

Before anyone says “just ignore those guys Steve, they are not worth it”..well, I do ignore them, every day. I do not associate with ANYONE in life who is bitter, negative or hates their life :) I stay away from it and has made me the happiest guy I know for many years now. The only reason I wrote this post (and I did not even read what was written about me, never do) is to challenge everyone out there to go one week in life without anger, without jealousy, without bitterness and without a “my life sucks” attitude. I know many of you live like I do, with a positive vibe. Live like this and you may be surprised at what happens :)

So to all of you who follow me here I thank you! As long as there is something out there in camera land that is exciting to write about, I will be here writing about it. To all of you bitter ones, get over it. My site is here and here to stay and if it makes you feel better attacking me, then so be it but I am telling you now..you will be much happier in life if you drop those nasty bitter feelings :) I sold my M 240..not because I did not adore it, as I did, and do and I really miss it. But  I did it for other reasons (paying taxes, sending my son on his summer dream trip to Japan, etc) that I did not realize were going to be so expensive. To me, my son and taxes will always come before owning TWO Leica cameras. Besides, when I save money again I will buy another.

In any case, hope everyone is having a GREAT day! I am excited as today I have a Nikkor 35 1.8 LTM lens coming in that should be magical on the Leica MM. I also have a few new photo books I will be reviewing for inspiration and a slew of other things coming along the pike. I am also excited that in June I will be seeing 10 of you who signed up for the Palouse Roadtrip. It is sold out and is going to be one hell of a weekend. I decided to bring along some goodies to give away as well that I have been hoarding in my photo cabinet…Hmmm.

Until next post!

Steve

Nov 012012
 

1st image samples from the new Leica M have been spotted! 

There have been some sample images posted on a Hong Kong forum from the new Leica M taken with the Noctilux. So what do you think? You can see them by clicking HERE. There is also a peek at the new meaty battery on page 3. Looks like several higher ISO samples as well are posted. I can not wait to get my M..again, I am #1 on my dealers list so can not wait to get it and review it and see if it beats the M9 in overall IQ :)

READERS: Thanks for the 8 e-mails this morning to alert me to this site that had the samples! You guys are awesome!

The new Leica M will be shipping in the 1st part of 2013. Some say Feb, some Say March and a fe Say January. At a cost which is the same as the old M9 price, $6950 Leica has kept it in range for most M users. What do we get for our $7 grand? A weather sealed digital M! Live view so when our RF goes out of whack we can still focus, a super crazy 24 MP SENSOR with up to ISO 6400 capability, new Maestro processor, 3″ high res LCD, 1080P video, and R lens capability with an adapter. Unlike any other M that has come before.

Dealers are now taking pre-orders..

B&H Photo

Ken Hansen – Email to [email protected]

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