It’s Been a While…

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Sometimes, life takes turns you don’t expect. In my case, a short consultancy was extended over and over again and followed by another one almost right away. Since these consultancies had nothing to do with photography and occupied me full time, this blog took a backseat, even though I kept shooting for myself all the time.

Even when I started the first consultancy, I was thinking about a reset for this blog. I had lost the appetite for the race to build an audience that could lead to blog income, partly because I got tired of doing reviews for the sake of doing them; of having to follow the often uncritical writings about gear that only exist for the affiliate links; but mostly because there isn’t much sense to fight to get into a market that’s inevitably going to shrink in the coming years. Plus, my ideas were never purely about the blog and, if I take them up again, still won’t be about blogging.

Still, I enjoyed some aspects of this effort and will restart it on an irregular basis, at least until another opportunity precludes me from continuing (there’s an ‘if’ in there as well).

First, I’ll play catch-up. I’ll write about using the Zeiss Loxia 21mm and the Batis 18mm side-by-side during my summer break in Europe, both loaners from Zeiss. I’ll share my impressions of the Olympus 300mm f/4 on the new Olympus OM-D E-M1 II, which I’ve been using alongside my Canon 1Dx and 500mm f/4. I spent some time in the US Southwest, shooting the Olympus with various lenses alongside the Sony A7R II which I keep on planning to ditch, but somehow hold on to.

Then,  I’ve got a Fuji x100f coming my way and will share my impressions of that camera, one that I really don’t need, but that keeps luring me back in with its beauty and ‘gestalt.’ Got another trip coming up, so it will get used then. I also ditched my Canon 7D II for the 5D Mark IV and will probably write about that transition for bird photography.

What I won’t do is buy or rent any gear for the sake of reviewing it. I also have given up reading most photography blogs or sites, which has vastly improved my life. Actually, unless I’m looking for a specific review, the only sites I regularly visit – and recommend – are The Online Photographer by Mike Johnston and FredMiranda.com (for the forums). This means I’m not on top of the news and other than handling some gear at a trade show or in B&H, there is now a lot of new stuff I’ve never used.

There is no business behind the blog anymore, as there was a year ago. There is still a business idea behind Photographic Wanderings, one that’s also been put off by a year, but that’s for later…unless another opportunity pops up first. Life takes turns, you know.

Photography Gear News & Reviews Roundup – March 2, 2015

Apologies for the lateness of this roundup. Your reporter is pursuing bald eagles along the Hudson river these days, which takes up most mornings.

Nikon announced the D7200, with a bigger buffer than the D7100. Resolution is 24.2 megapixels. Available in April for $1200. Specs and pre-order info: B&H Adorama

Profoto announced the B2, a combo of a battery pack and an off-camera flash that can also be used on camera. Links to the system below. A kit starts at $2200.

Petapixel reviewed the Canon 11-24mm f/4L. It’s the one to get, if you have the money: B&H

DPReview finished its review of the Sony A7S. A bit of a mixed bag, with a gold award for its video capabilities but some doubts about its pedigree as a stills camera: B&H

Staying with Sony, Photozone tested the Carl-Zeiss Vario-Tessar 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS for the Sony FE mount. This quote sums it up: “All in all it is not a perfect lens but a desirable one.” B&H

The Photography Blog reviewed the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II. So, the site calls the camera a five-star ‘essential’ piece of gear, but has doubts about the price, especially considering the competition, including Olympus’ own E-M1, Fuji’s X-T1 and Panasonic’s GH4. B&H

Olympus posted its announced firmware update for the E-M1, increasing the continuous shooting speed and improving AF tracking in continuous mode.

Deals

As predicted in my comparison piece a while back, Canon is bringing the price of the 5D Mark III in line with the comparable Nikon D750, at least for now. Prices drop by $300 plus a temporary (?) $300 instant savings. The Canon 6D drops $100 in price and comes with a similar $300 instant rebate. The new D7 Mark II gets $100 off for now and several other cameras also see savings.

All Adorama Canon deals

B&H Canon deals:

Profoto B2 sytem at B&H:

All links to Adorama and B&H are affiliate links and support this site.

The Panasonic GH4 vs the Olympus E-M1: Rivals or Best Buddies?

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E-M1 & 12-40/2.8; ISO 200, f10, tripod

 By Carsten Krieger

Shortly after its release I got myself the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 as an addition to my full-frame DSLRs. I am mainly a stills shooter working in the tourism sector and covering anything from landscape and wildlife to portraits and food… and more. Video is becoming ever more important and the GH4 seemed to be a future-proof and handy solution to shoot short video and time-lapse clips. Unfortunately (well… not really, but you will see where this is going and the situation became very unfortunate for my bank account), I took an instant liking to the small camera and after some months exploring the possibilities I decided to invest more into the micro four-thirds system. For a few weeks now I am proud owner of the GH4 and the Olympus OM-D E-M1. This is a quick field comparison between the two MFT flagship cameras.

[Read more…]

Daily Photography Gear News & Reviews Roundup – Oct. 31

The Imaging Resource posted its first installment of the Nikon D750 Shooter’s Report.

The Photography Blog reviewed the Tamron 14-150mm f/3.5-5.8 Di III lens for micro four thirds. That site just can’t help itself, giving the lens a ‘Recommended’ rating that’s not in line with the actual conclusion.

The Phoblographer reviewed another Tamron, the 28-300mm f3.5-6.3 DI VC PZD lens for Canon full frame cameras. Gets three out of five stars.

Deals

B&H has a bunch of specials during PDN Photoplus, ending tomorrow. Some deals require the BHPPE14 promo code.

Gear Mentioned

All links to B&H are affiliate links.

Daily Photography Gear News & Reviews Roundup – Oct. 27

Camera Labs reviewed the Canon SX60 HS ‘bridge’ camera. Verdict: Highly Recommended.

Steve Huff used the Zeiss 50 f/2.8 Macro Touit lens for Sony E-Mount for a few weeks and really likes what it does and the colors it produces.

Deals

If you want to get your hands on DxO Optics Pro 8, you can do so for free in exchange for your email address. You can also test drive Pro 9, the latest version.

B&H is offering a $800 rebate on the Canon 1Dx until November 22.

Gear Mentioned (affiliate links)

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