Nikon Announces the Nikon Z6 and Z7 Mirrorless Cameras

 Gear  Comments Off on Nikon Announces the Nikon Z6 and Z7 Mirrorless Cameras
Aug 232018
 

Nikon is finally here with its first professional, full-frame mirrorless cameras: the Z6 and the higher-megapixel Z7.

UPDATE: Pre-orders now open. Order now to get in line before everyone else.

We’ve waited for a long time for this, and now, after watching Sony from afar, tonight Nikon announced its answer to Sony’s rather successful a7- and a9-series cameras. The Z6 is Nikon’s low-light, mid-resolution body, high frame-rate body while the Z7 is a high-resolution equivalent. Alongside the Z-mount system, Nikon also introduced a new AF-S 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR compact, super-telephoto lens with the standard F-mount. But let’s dive right into the specifications for the Z cameras.

Nikon Z6

  • $1,995.95, $2,599.95 with 24-70 f/4 kit lens
  • Available late November 2018
  • 24.5 MP full-frame sensor
  • ISO 100-51,200 (expands to 204,800)
  • 273 AF point, Hybrid PDAF, 90-percent viewfinder coverage
  • 3.6M EVF
  • 3.2-inch, 2.1M touchscreen
  • 12 fps
  • Video: Full HD at 120p, 4K at 30p, N-LOG profile (4:2:2 10-bit HDMI)
  • Focus peaking and zebra stripes
  • 5-axis image stabilization
  • Single XQD card slot
  • Weather-sealed body
  • Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
  • EN-EL15b battery (supports both EN-EL15a/b)
  • Weighs 585g (similar to Sony a9 with battery)

Nikon Z7

  • $3,399.95, $3,999.95 with 24-70 f/4 kit lens
  • September 27 availability
  • 45.7 MP full-frame sensor
  • ISO 64-25,600 (expands to 102,400)
  • 493 AF point, Hybrid PDAF, 90-percent viewfinder coverage
  • 3.6M EVF
  • 3.2-inch 2.1M touchscreen
  • 9 fps
  • Video: Full HD at 120p, 4K at 30p, N-LOG profile (4:2:2 10-bit HDMI)
  • Focus peaking and zebra stripes
  • 5-axis image stabilization
  • Single XQD card slot
  • Weather-sealed body
  • Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
  • EN-EL15b battery (supports both EN-EL15a/b)
  • Weighs 585g (similar to Sony a9 with battery)

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Intro to Video: A Photographer’s Guide to Filmmaking

 Cinematography, Technique  Comments Off on Intro to Video: A Photographer’s Guide to Filmmaking
Aug 012018
 

As more and more people call themselves “professional photographers,” the need to diversify and offer other services to your clients is rapidly growing. With social media and advertising visuals fighting for more and more of our attention, the importance of video is at an all time high. Luckily, if you are a photographer, you already have 90% of the tools you need to start making professional videos and multimedia productions. This new Fstoppers tutorial on videography is aimed at helping both professional and amateur photographers take the gear they already own and start producing high quality videos. There is no better time to learn how to film video than right now!

Intro to Videography

The idea behind the Fstoppers website was first born back in 2010 when Patrick Hall and Lee Morris both had an interest in learning how to shoot video. Having both been successful wedding photographers, Patrick and Lee saw the value videography could supply to their own photography businesses. Over the years, Fstoppers has grown from a little side project used to explore behind the scenes videos into a full blown world wide community of photographers and videographers. Since 2010 when DSLRs first started shooting high definition video, Lee and Patrick have seen photographers and social media influencers transitioning to video at an alarming rate. In today’s cut throat market, the trend is very clear: if you are not incorporating video along side you photography, you are going to get left behind.

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Nikon’s New 500mm f/5.6 to Offer High-Quality Super-Telephoto in a Handheld Package

 Gear  Comments Off on Nikon’s New 500mm f/5.6 to Offer High-Quality Super-Telephoto in a Handheld Package
Jul 162018
 

Nikon announced the development of a new AF-S 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR lens last month, but now we finally get a look at it thanks to an image posted to Twitter by Photographer Pavel Bednyakov, whose photograph makes it look like the new 500mm could be easier to hold than Nikon’s 200mm f/2.

If you’ve ever shot with the Nikon 200mm f/2G VR II (or the earlier version), you’ll likely remember how it was more or less at the limit of what could reasonably be handheld for longer periods of time. Essentially, the Nikon 200mm f/2 is to we normal humans as the 600mm f/4 is to Dwayne Johnson. But that’s what makes this new “PF” technology so exciting, as it enables this 500mm in development to be smaller and lighter than anything else before it.

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Mounting a 70-200mm Lens on the Ronin S

 Gear  Comments Off on Mounting a 70-200mm Lens on the Ronin S
Jul 162018
 

I’ve always wondered what it would be like to mount a longer lens like an 85-200mm on to a gimbal and get footage with it. I feel like a lot of video we see shot on a gimbal is from a wide angle lens, but in this video we see something a little more interesting.

My curiosity about mounting a telephoto lens to a gimbal came from a while ago when I saw that the Inspire could mount different lenses. Being so into drones, I really wanted to have that ability and create this new look from the sky. Once I ended up with my Inspire 2, I began to learn how to fly a 25mm and 45mm lens which both double in focal length because of the micro 4/3 sensor. After a good amount of practice flying, I was finally able to achieve the shots I wanted and have been using this for a lot of my work ever since.

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Magmod Launches Three New Revolutionary Lighting Tools for Photographers

 Gear  Comments Off on Magmod Launches Three New Revolutionary Lighting Tools for Photographers
Jun 272018
 

MagMod has become known for pushing the boundaries of light modifier design. They always put quality, portability, and ease of use into all of their products. With the release of three new lighting tools, they don’t disappoint.

Magmod recently announced three new products to add to their lineup of existing products: a new MagBox, MagRing, and MagShoe.

MagBox

MagMod’s past lineup of modifiers has always been extremely small and portable. The only problem is those small modifiers can’t produce the soft light found on larger modifiers. The MagBox aims to fix this. The MagBox is a 24-inch octabox that packs a number of revolutionary traits. The first is an integrated gel holder. So no more trying to tape gels to the inside of your softbox. The Magbox also has a built-in side zipper to make changing out gels simple and fast.

The most interesting feature of the MagBox though is in the diffusion panels. The first is a traditional cloth diffusion that you find on most softboxes. But the second is a new diffusion material they call the FocusDiffuser. This diffuser has a microstructure that focuses and directs the light forward. This minimizes spill similar to a grid but also increases the light’s effective output similar to a Fresnel lens. What you’re left with is a gridded softbox that now has a two-to-three stop increase in effective power.

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The Camera You Should Want: Fstoppers Reviews the Sony a7 III

 Gear  Comments Off on The Camera You Should Want: Fstoppers Reviews the Sony a7 III
Jun 072018
 

Sony has been making waves with the a7R III and a9, but a lot of photographers don’t need those crazy levels of resolution and frame rates. Instead, they look for a quality camera that can do almost anything asked of it at a reasonable price. The Sony a7 III may just be that camera, with an awesome feature set, excellent performance, and an aggressively competitive price. Check out our full review.

Key Specifications

  • 24-megapixel backside-illuminated sensor
  • 693 phase detection AF points with 93 percent frame coverage
  • ISO range: 100-51,200 (expandable to 50-204,800)
  • UHD 4K 30p with HLG and S-Log3 Gammas (6K oversampling at 24p and 5K oversampling with 1.2x crop at 30p)
  • 2.36-million dot OLED EVF
  • 3-inch, 922,000-dot tilting touchscreen
  • 5-Axis SteadyShot Stabilization
  • Continuous rate: 10 fps
  • Buffer: 89 raw, 177 JPEG
  • Dynamic range: 15 stops
  • Built-In Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • Anti-flicker mode
  • Dual SD slots
  • USB 3.0 Type-C port
  • Magnesium alloy chassis with weather-sealing
  • Battery life: 710 shots

 

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Leica Finally Discontinues the Last Numbered M Series Film Camera

 Gear  Comments Off on Leica Finally Discontinues the Last Numbered M Series Film Camera
May 282018
 

While film has long been outpaced by digital, a few iconic films and camera have stuck around after the industry transitioned, one of the most notable being the Leica M7. Now, the last vestige of the film side of the iconic numbered M Series has been discontinued.

The Leica M Series has found its way into the hands of numerous top photographers over the years and has been one of the most recognizable set of cameras in and out of the photography world. Leica brought it into the digital age with the M8 in 2006, but the M7, the last film model in the series, has hung around since its introduction in 2002.

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When the Sony a7S III Is Announced, What Features Are Make or Break?

 Gear  Comments Off on When the Sony a7S III Is Announced, What Features Are Make or Break?
May 282018
 

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z97p00uQ3Ik

Each day that passes is another day closer to the announcement of the Sony a7S III. We all know it’s coming, but what new features should it have?

In September 2015, Sony announced the a7S II sporting a groundbreaking sensor specializing in low light videography. As time went on, other companies introduced very competitive alternatives that either matched or exceeded many of the a7S II’s video specifications. Personally, I think it’s a little uncharacteristic for the Sony of the past few years give their competitors enough time to catch up. But what this may mean in the end is that they have something worth waiting for.

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Canon Is Announcing Multiple New 70-200mm Lenses Soon [Rumor]

 Gear, News  Comments Off on Canon Is Announcing Multiple New 70-200mm Lenses Soon [Rumor]
May 172018
 

The Canon 70-200mm lens lineup contains some of the company’s best and most popular lenses. Nonetheless, with several of the lenses hovering around the decade mark in age, it may be about time to upgrade them. Thankfully, word has it that that’s exactly what Canon will be doing in short time.

The good folks at Canon Rumors are reporting that Canon is planning on replacing both the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II and EF 70-200mm f/4L IS lenses soon, with an announcement likely coming early next month. The site is quite certain, saying they can “100 percent confirm” the f/4’s update to a Mark II version and “95 percent confirm” the f/2.8’s update to a Mark III version, which would be the second Mark III lens in Canon’s lineup (the first being the EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III). Both are excellent lenses, but the f/2.8L was released in 2010 and the f/4L was released in 2006, and with their status as essential lenses (particularly the larger aperture version) and sensor resolutions pushing higher and higher, an update would surely be welcome, particularly considering the inroads third party manufacturers have made in the intervening years.

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Meyer Optik Goerlitz Primoplan 58mm and 100mm Manual Primes: Smooth to the Touch

 Gear  Comments Off on Meyer Optik Goerlitz Primoplan 58mm and 100mm Manual Primes: Smooth to the Touch
May 172018
 

As a photographer, your camera body is only half the battle. Lenses play a supreme role in deciding overall image quality. Today I got a chance to work with two new manual lenses from Meyer Optik Goerlitz, the Primoplan 58mm f/1.9 and the Trioplan 100mm f/2.8.

Unboxing

OK, I have to admit that I am not the biggest fan of the latest trend of gear unboxing videos that have entered the world. Either they make me want to buy a new piece of gear that I don’t really need or they just make me wonder aloud, “Why am I spending 20 minutes of my life watching someone I don’t know, describe a product I can’t afford, and enjoy a benefit I am not getting?” But even old bitter me will admit that opening up the Meyer Optik Goerlitz lenses even made me consider making a video of my own.

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The Fundamental Terms of Lighting in Photography

 Technique  Comments Off on The Fundamental Terms of Lighting in Photography
May 172018
 

When you’re first starting out with artificial lighting, the vast array of terms to describe and quantify the various parameters of light can be a bit overwhelming. This helpful video will introduce you to the most essential terms that will allow to effectively communicate how any light source behaves.

Coming to you from Mark Wallace of Adorama TV, this great video will introduce you to the fundamental language of lighting and how it’s used in practice. I know that when I first started, trying to learn them abstracted from experimenting with an actual light source felt a bit like trying to speak French in Russian. Nonetheless, it’s crucial to understand these terms so you can communicate how you want light to look. Once you’re ready, this, in turn, will allow you to better choose the proper modifier for a specific shoot. Even if you prefer to shoot natural light, this terminology still applies, and it’ll lend you a greater ability to understand how and why your final image looks the way it does and how to take control of that. As mentioned, I recommend grabbing a light and modifier and trying it out so you can see the effects in real time. Check out the video above for the full rundown.

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Review: Anthem One Could Be the Next Great LED Light to Save Your Production Big Bucks

 Gear  Comments Off on Review: Anthem One Could Be the Next Great LED Light to Save Your Production Big Bucks
May 032018
 

Anthem is a new company. So we didn’t know what to expect when we sat down with their new LED light that promises to far outlast any HMI while promising the implied savings that could drive down production costs.

The Anthem One isn’t just any continuous LED light source. Every aspect has been designed to perform at its highest level. Heat is the enemy of long-lasting LEDs, so Anthem designed their debut light system to dissipate heat better than other lights do.

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Get a Great Deal on the Spyder5PRO Display Calibration System Today Only

 Gear  Comments Off on Get a Great Deal on the Spyder5PRO Display Calibration System Today Only
Apr 162018
 

One of the best ways to ensure your photos come out as well as possible is to use a display calibrator to make sure your monitor is both the correct brightness and is displaying accurate colors. Today only, you can take almost half off a Spyder5PRO Display Calibration System.

The Spyder5PRO Display Calibration System is a popular choice and great way to keep your displays calibrated. Not only does this ensure consistency across multiple displays, it helps to make sure you’re seeing the colors and brightness you think you’re seeing, so your edits and prints come out the way you envisioned.

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Transform Your DJI Drone in a Handheld Gimbal With This Accessory by PolarPro

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Transform Your DJI Drone in a Handheld Gimbal With This Accessory by PolarPro
Apr 122018
 

Everyone I know who shoots video dreams to own a gimbal if they don’t already. But did you know that if you have a drone, you actually already own a gimbal that you can use to shoot anything?

The role of the gimbal is to keep something horizontal no matter what. When flying a drone, it’s quite essential to maintain the camera stable and avoid any movement due to external elements or when flying it aggressively. However, a drone can also record videos and take pictures while on the ground. This means you can use it as a camera and take advantage of its gimbal to make super steady shots even if you don’t own a stabilizer for your bigger DSLR.

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Seven More of the Best Nikon Tricks

 Gear  Comments Off on Seven More of the Best Nikon Tricks
Mar 132018
 

Although it is popular to talk about mirrorless cameras these days, DSLR cameras are still alive, and with the help of some useful tricks, you can make the most of your DSLR. Especially if you own a Nikon camera, you might be surprised with these features that most photographers skip using.

Well-known nature photographer Steve Perry has published a video previously about Nikon tricks, and in this second video of the series, he shares seven new tricks about Nikon cameras, with in-depth explanations.

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How Good Are Adapted Lenses for Mirrorless Cameras in 2018?

 Gear  Comments Off on How Good Are Adapted Lenses for Mirrorless Cameras in 2018?
Mar 112018
 

Sony is growing by leaps and bounds, but one of the biggest advantages Canon and Nikon continue to hold is the deep investment a lot of their users have made in native lenses. This great video examines the current state of affairs for adapters and if they can work for you.

Coming to you from The Camera Store TV, this helpful video will show you just what you can expect from trying to use adapted lenses on mirrorless cameras in 2018. I’m personally shooting mostly with a Sony a7R III these days, and I’ve found that that in combination with a Metabones V adapter actually works better for my Canon 85mm f/1.2L II lens than a native body, as the adapter still works about as quickly as a Canon body, but there are no AFMA errors as one encounters with DSLR bodies (even after years of AFMA adjustments, this lens is still finicky for me). Combine that with Eye AF and my keeper rate went up substantially when I switched to a Sony body, so much so that I now trust the Sony enough to make it my main body for a lot of work. If you’re curious about their system but married to a lot of Canon or Nikon glass, now is a good time to watch the video above.

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RED Hydrogen One: Details and Specs Emerge Surrounding RED’s Holographic Smartphone

 Gear  Comments Off on RED Hydrogen One: Details and Specs Emerge Surrounding RED’s Holographic Smartphone
Jan 232018
 

The RED Hydrogen One smartphone was announced last summer, but details about a release date and more solid specifications are finally emerging thanks to a post by RED Founder and CEO Jim Jannard. The Android-run smartphone will operate with a Snapdragon 835x processor (as what is currently in the Samsung Galaxy S8) and will feature a massive 4,500 mAh battery (125 percent the battery capacity of the similarly sized Galaxy S8+). But there’s much more than just a big battery in RED’s 5.7-inch smartphone.

That massive battery will support all of the content creation for which RED expects its users will be using the phone quite often. With a modular design, the Hydrogen will be able to perform a variety of additional tasks both at launch and in the future with simple add-ons that connect via a Pogo pin system for both power and data delivery and a wide range of flexibility.

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Fstoppers’ First Hands-On Look at the DJI Mavic Air

 Gear  Comments Off on Fstoppers’ First Hands-On Look at the DJI Mavic Air
Jan 232018
 

Today, Fstoppers was at the DJI Event in NYC where they announced the Mavic Air. After learning about this drone and seeing examples of photo and video it had produced, I knew that I had to get my hands on one of them to try out. As a current owner of a Mavic Pro, there is no doubt that I questioned whether or not I should get one of these drones. So I went and flew them around a bit and got a little taste of what’s to come.

Design/Feel

Like most DJI products, this drone has a really sturdy build. I have to say that it actually feels a bit more durable than the Mavic Pro, especially when it comes to the folding parts on the drone. To me, everything just felt more intact and sturdier when I went to fold the legs in and out. I was shocked to see that they got rid of the foldable props, but I also think that in some way it is better for flying overall. I have never had an issue with the folding props on the Mavic Pro, but if I had to be honest, they do get annoying when I go to pack the drone up and put it back into its case.

The controller was also felt better than I thought and more well built than previous controllers from DJI. It is more like the Spark’s controller; it does not have a screen on it, but it gets hooked up directly to your phone just like the Mavic Pro. The coolest feature about the remote is that the joysticks can be removed and stored in the controller. Whenever you want to spark up a conversation about portability, don’t hesitate to bring up this sleek new controller!

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Fstoppers Reviews the ZhongYi Mitakon Speedmaster 35mm f/0.95 for Fujifilm

 Gear  Comments Off on Fstoppers Reviews the ZhongYi Mitakon Speedmaster 35mm f/0.95 for Fujifilm
Dec 102017
 

Over the past few years, Zhongyi Optics have introduced several lenses in their Mitakon “Speedmaster” series of reasonably-priced, well-constructed, super-fast manual focus lenses. The 35mm f/0.95 Mark II lens falls straight into that category. We’ll be looking at the Fujifilm mount version, but this lens is also available for EOS-M and Sony E cameras. So, let’s get into it and look at sharpness, build quality, and, of course, bokeh.

I picked up this lens a little over a month ago and was initially a little disappointed with it. It didn’t seem to fit the Fujifilm system all that well and it certainly didn’t fit my style of shooting. That would all change over time as I got used to the way it was designed and learned to work with it for certain types of shooting. It’s certainly not an all-rounder, but it is a beautiful lens and one worth considering if you like to shoot wide open a lot.

Build Quality and Handling

The all-metal-and-glass construction of the ZY Mitakon 35mm f/0.95 makes for an “old-school” feeling lens. When I first picked it up, I found it reminiscent of the Nikkor 35mm f/1.4 I used to use on my old Nikon FM. The resistance in the focus ring and the weight were the first things that stood out to me.

At 460 grams and just 63x60mm in size, it is a stocky lens that feels very solid in the hand. It’s almost too heavy on the smaller Fujifilm bodies and I found that it felt best on the X-Pro2. On the X-T2, or especially with the smaller bodies, it tips the center of balance too far forward and I felt like I was constantly supporting the lens and not the body. Compared to Fujifilm’s 35mm offerings it is much larger and heavier and you will instantly notice the difference.

The aperture ring is positioned at the front of the lens and is declicked. Both of these things feel rather strange on a Fujifilm body at first and take some getting used to. The aperture ring is far too easy to knock in the position it is in. Perhaps a lock switch would help to stop it from rotating with everything it touches. I have found that keeping it at f/0.95 (and let’s face it, that’s why you buy the lens) is quite difficult in the field. I’m constantly having to check the ring before I raise the camera to my eye. This declicked design may be useful for video shooters, but to be honest, I’d prefer a clicked aperture for stills.

The front element of the lens also sits disconcertingly close to the end of the lens barrel and the package doesn’t come with a lens hood. This is disappointing in a $500-plus lens and I would hope that ZhongYi includes hoods with their future lenses. There are a few options out there from third-party manufacturers, so you can certainly get one to fit.

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The Sigma 85mm 1.4: One Year Later

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on The Sigma 85mm 1.4: One Year Later
Nov 282017
 

About this time last year, the Sigma 85mm 1.4 Art series lens was released and I went ahead and decided to pull the trigger and invest in the new glass. I had heard great things about other entries in the art lineup and understandably Sigma’s new 85mm focal length was getting a solid amount of hype. For the past year, I have been shooting exclusively with Sigma’s 85mm. It’s been the only lens in my camera bag and the only lens I’ve used for a straight year. What follows are my impressions after a solid year of use; what I like about the lens and what I don’t like.

Let’s start out with some of the things that I love about this lens. After a year of continuous use, I can say that there is no question that the Sigma 85mm 1.4 is a great piece of glass. I am first and foremost a portrait photographer so the focal length itself is a no-brainer for me. As a short/medium telephoto lens, the 85mm gives me a gorgeous level of background compression, beautiful bokeh, and I don’t need to be overly concerned with facial distortion if I come in for a closeup shot. It’s been said before and will be said again that the 85mm focal length is pretty much perfect for portraits.

As I currently live in Colorado and have generally have access to gorgeous sunsets for most of the year I have developed a love for shooting backlit images. If you’ve ever shot backlit before, you know that depending on the angle and position of the sunlight, as well as your own preferences regarding lens flare, some lenses can be finicky about nailing focus. This is understandable as you’re basically asking your camera to nail focus while either direct or angled light is coming right into the lens. I can say with confidence that the Sigma 85mm handles backlighting scenarios like a boss. This is one of the first things that I noticed about this lens; even in less than ideal backlit situations, the lens is wildly successful at getting great focus right where you want it.

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