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Derek

Leica Goes Mirrorless, Intros The “T”


Leica T_23_18-56_M-Lenses

Lookit! It’s a Leica, surrounded by lenses! Hold on, let’s narrow our focus a bit:

Leica T_black_emo_01

Ah. There we go. Say hello to the Leica T (yes, another camera with just a letter for a model number, be prepared in the future to look back on this model as the “Typ 701,” it’s more unique identifier.) It’s a mirrorless camera! Which is to say, it’s actually a pretty stylish mirrorless camera with a solid aluminum unibody (hewn from a single block of aluminum, with no joints to creak or flex) wrapped around a 16mp APS-C sensor.

140225_210x236_catalog_taifun.indd

 

It has built-in GPS, built-in 16GB memory plus support for SD/SDHC/SDXC cards, ISO 100-12,500 (12,500? Really?), and will shoot at 5 frames per second. It has two dials up top, but everything else is done via a big 3.7″ touchscreen.

Leica T_black_back

 

Simple, yeah? There’s no in-body IS (which is worth bringing up because the lenses for it will also lack IS, so, might cut back on the java use before you invest in a T there bucko), and it’s only got contrast-AF. But hey, it does at least have both a built-in flash and a hotshoe. And all the accessories were designed in cooperation with AUDI design. So, there’s that, right? It uses a new mount (the T mount, duh), and at first there will only be two lenses, but Leica’s promising to show off two more later this year. The first two will be the LEICA VARIO-ELMAR-T 18–56 mm f/3.5–5.6 ASPH. and the LEICA SUMMICRON-T 23mm f/2 ASPH.

They’re not even going to be available to us dealers until later next month, and the prices are preeeeetty much exactly what you’d expect from the infamous red dot, but if you were sold at “aluminum unibody” I have some links for you and your preorder desires right here:

Leica T (Typ 701)

Leica T 18-56mm

Leica T 23mm



Derek

Just Added: Nature Photography Class with Rich Clark


Photo by Rich Clark

Photo by Rich Clark

So, how’s everyone liking our new Education & Events department? Did you even notice we had one, filled with way more classes and workshops than we’ve ever done before? if you haven’t taken a look, maybe now’s a good time. We just added a new special workshop we’re doing next month with nature photographer Rich Clark. He’s kind of A Name, especially here in Indy, and he has a lot of really pretty pictures in his portfolio. And, for $49 (plus $3 to get into Eagle Creek Park) you could take a three hour workshop on nature photography with him May 31st from 5-8pm yourself. Neato, right? If you’re interested, you should reserve your seat here.

Also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t help our Canon rep out and point out in our Events section that we have another session of Canon’s popular EOS Discovery Day around the corner to support our equally-upcoming Canon Day shopping event.

DSICOVERY DAY LOGO

 

It’s the sort of event where the Canon tech gurus teach you how to make the most of your EOS camera, and what you can do with flashes and all those settings and features that make Canon what it is. It’s technically a free event, but to keep the powers that be happy and show y’all love you some Canon we charge $25 upfront, and then you’ll get it back at the event in the form of a shiny $25 Roberts gift card. If you’re interested in getting the most from your Canon, follow this link here and sign up: EOS Discovery Day.



Derek

Sony’s Upcoming A7s Has Awesome Lowlight Video


So, earlier this week Sony announced a new A7s counterpart to its other two full-frame mirrorless bodies (the A7 and A7r). Unlike them, the A7s has a constrained 12 megapixels so it can focus on low-light and video performance. It boasts a D4s-rivaling 409,600 ISO  and 4k video (though, it can only pipe it to a separate recording device over HDMI, it cannot actually record 4k video to its own memory). Basically, it sounds like the bees’ knees and kicks the competition in the mirrorless 4k space up a notch.

Anyway, today Sony has released their own official video based off an idea Den Lennie used to show off the high ISO capabilites for an F Stop Academy write-up on the camera. And it is awesome. That is all. Here it is. Enjoy.



Derek

Tamron’s 16-300mm Is a Real Boy Now, Goes Longer Than Pinocchio’s Nose


Tamron 16-300mm Di II VC PZD Macro

 

Remember when Tamron announced their plans to make an insane 16-300mm zoom for crop bodies? Well, today that lens becomes considerably more real, having gotten pricing and availability finally. Officially designated B016, it’s “friendly” name is the 16-300mm Di II VC PZD Macro, which astute readers will notice for once doesn’t tell you everything you need to know about the lens. Missing are the maximum apertures, but luckily I can inform you those are f3.5-6.3. So, you have an effective 24-450mm (on Nikon, Sony, and pretty much everyone who isn’t Canon) or a 25.6-480mm (on Canon with their odd 1.6x crop) super zoom with the same apertures as the now-less-impressive 18-270mm. The PZD tells you it has a piezo-electric stepping motor for focusing, providing snappy focus for stills and acceptably smooth focus for video. VC is Tamron’s vibration compensation, which is really top of the line stuff these days and will do exactly what it claims when it says it’ll keep your images shake free. While I can’t in good conscience tell you an 18.8x super-zoom will optically stellar in every aspect, a pretty exotic construction of 16 elements in 12 groups with one ultra-extra (yes, they really call it that) refractive glass element, two low dispersion elements, one regular-ol’ extra refractive element, three molded glass aspherical elements, and one hybrid aspherical element suggest Tamron has gone to some pretty great lengths to assure it has the best image quality it possibly can for the constraints a super-zoom demands.

b016-elements

They gave us some small sample shots to illustrate what can be done with this:

Tamron_B016_Woman in market_©IanPlant

Tamron_B016_Stairs in Morocco_©IanPlant

Tamron_B016_PacificSunset_©IanPlant

Tamron_B016_Man and Camel_©IanPlant

Tamron_B016_JunglePlant_©IanPlant

Tamron_B016_Hiker_©IanPlant

Tamron_B016_Blue Alley in Morocco_©IanPlant

 

Preeeeetty, right?

So, obviously, the 16-300mm is not just redefining how many “x”s of zoom you can shove in a lens, but it has some aspirations for being a darn solid optic to boot. Big range, VC, exotic optical formula, and it even has a pretty darn awesome 15.3″ minimum focusing distance and none-too-shabby 1:2.9 maximum macro reproduction for the cherry on top.

All that was left is to know just how much this monster will run. And now we can tell you: $629. That’s it. $629. Only $180 more than the venerable 18-270mm. And we’re going to start receiving them on May 15th. Which is only like a month away,

So, maybe now would be a good time to remind you that you can get on our preorder list for one right here?

Thought so.



Derek

Worried About Heartbleed?


heartbleed

 

There’s been a lot of talk in the news this week about a nasty computer security exploit called “heartbleed.” And for good reason. Heartbleed is a major security issue that affects most of the web, pretty much any site you use that offers SSL security. You know, when your address bar gets the little green safety indicator:

CapturFiles-201404100_1304

 

Not getting too technical, but the major concern heartbleed presents is that not-nice people could use it to get access to your personal information, regardless of the security put in place on the server.

As soon as Roberts found out about this exploit we went to work fixing it (some of you may have noticed our site down a little while yesterday while we did so). And Roberts has been heartbleed-free as of yesterday morning.

CapturFiles-201404100_1304_1

 

We do not see any evidence that any of your data was affected by this vulnerability, but like everyone else online we would urge you to update your passwords for our site when you get a chance, just to be safe. We do not store any credit card or other financial data on our server, so you’re good there. We will be continuing to put additional measures in place to help protect your data going forward. We want you to always feel safe shopping at Roberts, and will always do our best to be able to protect your data. We leave you now with a comic about it, if for know other reason than to add a bit of levity to what’s proven to be a pretty serious concern for everyone on the internet.

I looked at some of the data dumps from vulnerable sites, and it was ... bad. I saw emails, passwords, password hints. SSL keys and session cookies. Important servers brimming with visitor IPs. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion, c-beams glittering in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. I should probably patch OpenSSL.



Derek

Nikon Announces New Android Camera, New 18-300mm


S810c_WH_HighRes.low

Getting our day started today is Nikon, who has “dropped” two new products for us to talk about: the Coolpix S810c, which is a Coolpix, and the AF-S DX 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR, which is different than this lens.

The cooler of the two is the S810c, which updates this model here which was Nikon’s effort to combat smartphones by building a mobile OS right into a camera. Well, it’ll come as no surprise that the S810c is that same idea, so, what you’re peepin’ at is a 16mp BSI-sensor strapped to a 12x optical VR zoom strapped to a full-fledged Wi-Fi enabled Android platform. This time around the Android is much, much better, being Jellybean and not the notably dated Gingerbread build the last one ran (though, I still wouldn’t get your hopes up you’ll ever see Kit Kat. You’ll have your Jellybean and you’ll like it, OK?). But still, Jellybean is no slouch, and they’ve implemented it so the Google Play Store is there from the get go, so yes, pretty much any image sharing, editing, or social app you can think of on your Droid is going to be available to you on this camera too. A hi-rez 3.7″ touchscreen makes using them possible, and you’ll find three dedicated buttons for making working Android a little easier. If you don’t have Wi-fi around but do have a phone Nikon has graced with its “Connect to S810c” app (that’d be iOS or Android, like everything else) you can share them from your camera to your phone and then use your cellular data to thinger them. It’ll come in white or black for $349.95 next month.

Preorder one here

AFS_DX_18_300_3.5_6.3G.low

There’s a little less to say about today’s other announcement. It’s an 18-300mm, it’s for DX crop bodies only, and it doesn’t seem to replace that other 18-300mm Nikon already has. Rather, this is just a slightly slower (f6.3 vs f5.6), shorter, and notably lighter (280g lighter, or 33% lighter than that other 18-300) option. Oh, and it’s cheaper, too. I guess that’s a thing, right? So, if you can live with a third of a stop slower, you can get a smaller, lighter lens for $100 less. Sounds good to me. It’ll also “drop” in May, and run you $899.95.

Preorder one here



John

Great Gear for the Great Outdoors


Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints.  I remember my grandfather saying this to me when I was very young and it rooted in me a strong purpose to be conscientious of my effect on the outdoors.  Moreover, this succinct thought encourages us to be less encumbered by what we bring with us and concentrate on the experience of being outside.  On the flip-side, Ansel Adams when asked what tripod he brings with him was quoted as saying “the biggest one he could find.”  Whatever your mindset, the gear we choose to take with us can quickly determine how successful we will be when photographing outdoors.

Here are some suggestions to keep you nimble and capable when your taking in the sights.

read more



Marc Lebryk

What’s the right lens… Part 1


Hello there and welcome to what I have promised to be a 3 part series on choices for different lenses. Robert’s camera has asked me to contribute a bit to help answer some questions they get sometimes A LOT from people coming into the store. It turns out that when people are shopping for gear they have trouble deciding what to buy. If this surprises you then you must be the best shopper ever, and you shouldn’t read anymore. If you do wonder though, what you should buy with your hard earned money than keep reading because in this three part series, I’m going to talk about the different lenses out there with pros and cons for each depending on what you want to do. Sounds complicated, but no more than Rocket Surgery eating Girl Scout Cookies, I promise. This is part one of this 3 part series. The three parts of the series will include Lenses for Shooting Sports/wildlife, Lenses for Portraiture, and Lenses for every day shooting. There are TONS of choices out there, and only you can decide what is right for you. I am just going to try to provide you with information that you might be curious about, OR may have not thought about. We’ll go from The “bargain lenses”, to the “Cream of the Crop be sure to rent before you buy and make sure it’s actually for you” kind of lenses. Lets get started shall we?

upp-test(Image from Roberts Camera’s used website)

It’s summer time. In summer time sports get played, birds start flying around and squirrels start eating the birdseed out of your bird feeder. When sports and birds appear, budding photographers aren’t far behind. So if you’re looking to get started shooting sports and birds, this post should have some information for you to help you along with your quest. Whether you are photographing your kid playing a sport, or you are photographing Andrew Luck on the field at Lucas Oil Stadium you need the right lens to do it. I’ve shot lots of sports over the years, with a wide variety of lenses, and all of those lenses serve a purpose. Some are better than others, but if you’re just getting started it’s tough to justify the expense of a 400mmF2.8 IS or VR lens at a staggering almost $9,000. 400mm is kind of a staple for shooting sports though, and to me it’s really the minimum recommended focal length when out on a field. There are LOTS of ways to get yourself to 400mm, and there is more to it than just money in your bank account. There is what you’re trying to shoot, what you CAN do vs what you NEED to do and even details such as your camera can come into play here. So lets get started shall we? How many ways can we get to or close to 400mm?

_SDM8442

(Nikon D7000, 4000ISO, Nikon 70-300F4.5-5.6@270mm. 1/4000th@F10 405mm in full frame mm’s)

So first up if you’re in either the Nikon or Canon camp, a lens to be aware of is either brand’s 70-300F4.5-5.6. Sigma and Tamron make those too, but we’ll get back to them later. It is hands down the best place to start if you have no idea what’s going on and just want to buy a lens, or you only have $400-$600 to spend. My wife Shannon has a D7000 and last year I bought her a Nikon 70-300F4.5-5.6VR so she could take pictures of the birds at the bird feeder in our front yard. If you have a EF-S or DX camera like the Canon 7D, Canon 70D, any of the Rebels, OR a Nikon D7100, D5000 series, D3000 Series, or D300 series cameras, the 70-300 is actually a 105-450mm! Whoa! Not bad for less than $400 refurbished, or $600 brand new! Little confused? maybe this Article by Robert’s Jarrid Spicer about Sensor sizes will help. If not that, then how about this article/video from Petapixel? Anyway; I’ve never used the Canon 70-300F4-5.6IS lens, but I’ve heard it’s somewhat equivalent to the Nikon 70-300F4.5-5.6VR. What do I think about the Nikon one? IT’S GREAT! As a full time pro, honestly I didn’t expect much out of Nikon’s 70-300. I own the 70-200F2.8VR2, the 200-400F4VR, and the 400F2.8VR (more on all those in a bit), so what was I possibly going to get out of a 70-300F4.5-5.6VR that I paid $400ish refurbished? Honestly for something that I figured would be made out of ash tray glass, the thing is awesome. It’s super sharp (except right at 300mm it seems where it’s just a little soft but not bad), it’s reasonably fast, and the VR/IS is first class. I am blown away by this lens every time I pick up Shannon’s D7000, which for the record sits on our dining room table with the 70-300 ready to go for when birds are at the feeder. When we went to the Zoo earlier this year, this lens was awesome because it took the camera out to 450mm, and it was small enough that I could take the lens off the camera and put it in my jacket pocket if I wanted. Not only that, as a full frame lens if I wanted to put it on my Nikon D4s and have a walk around lens at 300mm; I totally could. The one and only weak point to this lens that I can think of (other than being slightly soft at 300mm) is that you need a lot of light for the auto-focus to track well. When shooting things outside, like birds, zoo animals, or even your kids running around playing soccer possibly; the auto-focus will work surprisingly well. It’s not going to be perfect, but it’ll be damn close which in most cases is close enough. It’s not lightning fast, but it’s far superior to any previous generation, or any, read ANY less expensive options. So if you’re looking for that first foray into a long lens, spend the money on the Canon or Nikon 70-300F4.5-5.6. It’ll get you that range you need until you decide to step up to one of the lens possibilities.

_SDM8222

(Nikon D7000, 1000ISO, Nikon 70-300F4.5-5.6VR@165mm. 1/2500th@F5)

So you’re looking for something a little faster aye? I kind of thought you might, and I may have something here that fits that want. As I explained to my students in a class that I teach at Ivy Tech Community College, with everything in life there is a trade off. A faster lens, would be a 70-200F2.8, but you also notice it’s a little shorter. Nikon makes a 70-200F2.8VR2 and Canon makes a 70-200F2.8IS2 and both are incredible. Both brands make a 70-200F4VR/IS, but I have no personal Experience with those. I’ve heard they are very fast, but you just don’t have that F2.8 Aperture vs the F4. Will you really miss that stop of light? Only you can answer that question. Anyway, as compared to the 70-300′s price of $600 the 70-200F2.8 is a steep 4 times that at $2500! But you get 4x the performance and sharpness. Spending $2500 on a lens like this would be for a purpose, not just to take photos of your cats. On a EF-S or DX camera it goes from 105-300mm F2.8 which for sports is a fantastic range! That’s not 400mm, but we’ll get to that. Sigma and Tamron also throw their hats into the 70-200F2.8 range and their models are very acceptable in this range for usually what is half the price of the Nikon and Canon Counterparts. A good friend of mine has a Sigma 70-200F2.8 and while he wants the Nikon version, the $700 he paid for the Sigma used, gives him more than 85% the performance for 1/4th the price! He just can’t figure out why he would sell it, to pay a ton of money for that last 15% right? When it is all said and done, as of this writing I FEEL as though the Canon and Nikon branded lenses are faster, sharper and better than the Sigma and Tamron Counterparts; but not by much. That is NOT saying the Sigma and Tamron lenses are bad, but with photography equipment you get what you pay for. It’s up to you to decide if that extra 10% in sharpness and performance is worth the premium price. Check out this review I did on the Newest Tamron 70-200 to see what I mean. It’s super sharp, but not quite as fast. But at 1/2 the price how much is that little bit of speed going to affect you? Only you can answer that with what you’re shooting. Remember, I own a 400F2.8 but I like shooting birds with my wife’s 70-300… Again I digress as the 70-200F2.8 lenses are the cream of the crop in that range. They are the fastest and the sharpest to which is what you pay for. The 70-300F4.5-5.6 is what is called a variable aperture lens, which means that the widest aperture you can get at 70mm is F4.5, and at 300mm it’s F5.6. This changes your exposure while zooming, which while not the end of the world also means you have to be very conscious when shooting; or do what I do and set your camera to F5.6 all the time. The 70-200 is a constant aperture lens, which means that you’re at F2.8 no matter where you are. 88mm? F2.8. 177mm? F2.8. It’s fast. This is an advantage because the more light you let into the camera the faster and better the auto-focus can be. This is why you see a lot of Pro’s with a 70-200 on the sidelines for sports and not a 70-300. The 70-300 does an awesome job of getting started, and can/will definitely produce great images, but the 70-200F2.8 is really the king of that range, and if you don’t own one and can afford it? You should get one and not look back. When I was 16 I spent all my financial aid money in school on one as the first F2.8 Pro lens I ever bought. I felt unstoppable when mounted to a Nikon F4s, or the D70s. I still get that feeling today.

NCAA Basketball: Boston College at Notre Dame

(Nikon D4, 3200ISO, 1/640th@F4. Nikon 70-200F2.8VR2@70mm)

Further? You want further? Alright, alright, we can do further. Nikon, Canon and Sigma all make outstanding zoom lenses that go even further than the 70-200 with outstanding quality. Sigma makes a 120-300mmF2.8OS lens that I know Jody Grober swears by. It’s a great range, especially on a EF-S or DX camera in that it’s essentially a 180mm-450mmF2.8 lens. Wow, 450mm? F2.8? Sign me up! Canon and Nikon have NOTHING LIKE THAT in their lineup. The closest things they have in their lineups are the 200-400F4 lenses, which aren’t F2.8 but get you to 400mm on a full frame camera. Sigma’s 120-300F2.8 also doesn’t cost that much more than a 70-200 at $3599 brand new. While it’s not quite as long as Nikon or Canon’s 200-400, it costs about half as much as the Nikon, and almost an entire car less than the Canon…. ($8200 less, no joke). In Canon’s defense their lens does come with a 1.4 extender built in. Is it worth an extra 4 digits over any of it’s competitors? Only your accountant can tell you that. I personally own a Nikon 200-400F4 which I love. I swear by it, but then again I am working with D4 and D4s camera bodies and that extra little bit of reach is worth it for me. The Sigma 120-300F2.8 is super tempting though, and I may end up with one yet. Sigma has really stepped up their game in the last couple years and their lenses have started to become very desirable among pro’s as well as aspiring photographers. Check out what I wrote about their 35F1.4 last year. Again I digress though, as with the 120-300F2.8 you have a great range with a very fast aperture. Not only that, but it’s incredible sharp as any of Jody’s Bird Photos Show!

photo(1)

(Photo by Jody Grober. Canon 7D, Sigma 120-300F2.8 with Sigma 2x Extender for a wicked 900mm)

Wow did I just really recommend a Sigma Lens over a Nikon and Canon lens? Yea, I think I did. Full disclosure should say that I’ve never personally used the Sigma 120-300F2.8, but I have heard Jody rave about it quite a bit. I tried to get a loaner from them to shoot something last year, but never heard back. Even after they offered. I do have a friend who rented one and basically gave me the review of it that I expected in that while it’s sharp and fast it’s not quite as fast as the 200-400 counterparts. Lets face it though, at half the price of the Nikon and at $8200 less than the Canon (not kidding) I’ll again ask how much that extra bit of length and that 15% of performance is worth to you?

_ML45123

(Nikon D4, 1250ISO, Nikon 200-400F4@240mm. 1/1000th@F4)

Too Far? No? Oh, so you’re stuck on the Canon and Nikon brand and you don’t want to spend $7k-12k? Yea I get that. Nikon and Canon also make longer lenses in the vein of the 70-300F4.5-5.6. Canon’s is known as the 100-400F4.5-5.6 and it’s an awesome range, but auto-focuses a bit on the slower side even against Canon’s own 70-300F4.5-5.6. They just haven’t updated the 100-400 in forever, and it’s due. Nikon however has a brand new 80-400F4.5-5.6VR3 out on the market and while I’ve never used one on a job I know several wildlife photographers are dumping some of their big, heavy, long glass for it. It’s sharp, fast, and it even takes a 1.4x teleconverter which is unheard of since most of the variable aperture lenses don’t….. You lose some doing it since the lens ends up being an F8 lens at 400mm, but for $4k (including teleconverter) you can shoot at almost 600mm on a full frame. You need a lot of light to operate well at F8 minimum, but you can do it, and both the 100-400 at $1699, and the Nikon 80-400 at $2696 they save you quite a bit in comparison to either Nikon or Canon’s 200-400mm lenses. I should mention that Nikon does have an older version of the 80-400 that is $1699. If you are shooting up in the mountains hiking, it’s a great alternative to help you save a thousand bucks, but I wouldn’t try shooting any sports with it. I say this from experience in that it’s too slow. The new 80-200F4.5-F5.6VR3 though is shockingly fast. Shockingly as in when I was looking to buy my 200-400F4 I almost bought this instead because it was so fast. In the end, as a full time pro, the extra light I got out of the 200-400F4 won, but to be quite honest I still sometimes wonder how I would have done with the 80-400VR3 in it’s place. This lens is a welcome, welcome update.

_SDM8469

Ok so now there is only one thing left to do and that’s state the obvious. We’ve talked about the starter lenses for sports (the 70-300, 100-400, and 80-400). We have talked about the next level up in stepping up your game if you will (the 70-200, 120-300 and 200-400). What about the cream of the crop? What about the absolute bomb diggity of sports lenses? That’s easy. We’re going to talk about the 400mm F2.8. At almost $10,000 for the Nikon and $11,000 for the Canon it better be the best of the best yea? This is easily the best, fastest, sharpest lens for sports. You get what you pay for. Not only is it intolerantly the fastest and sharpest, but it performs better than any of the other lenses with teleconverters. This includes my 2x teleconverter. The 400mm F2.8 lens is the ultimate for sports and if you’re a pro you need one. I went for a long time without and it was tough.

_ML45908

(Fill the Frame. Nikon D4, 2200ISO, Nikon 400mmF2.8VR with Nikon TC20eIII making 800mm. 1/1000th@F5.6)

So there you have it. From $400 to $11,000 there is a breakdown of all the most common lenses and ways to get yourself to 400mm. Yea, sure, the 70-300 or 80-400 aren’t the “best” lenses for shooting sports, but they do a really great job. A surprisingly great job in fact. Plus if you’re getting started and are not looking to break the bank they are wonderful. If you’re a pro, and you’re looking for that next level up, the 70-200F2.8, Sigma 120-300F2.8, and of course the 400F2.8 are the obvious choices. Hopefully that helps clear up some confusion between all the lenses out there. Also just remember there’s nothing to say you can’t buy one and upgrade later, OR even own more than one. As my friend Bob once said joking around. Camera lenses are like Pokemon; Gotta catch them all! More Soon.

Here are some direct links to all the lenses in the article. When I buy my gear, I tend to buy it used, so make sure to check out Robert’s used department where all items get a 6 month warranty and are usually a lot less than buying brand new!

Canoo 70-300

Nikon 70-300

Sigma 120-300F2.8

Nikon 70-200F2.8

Nikon 70-200F4

Sigma 70-200F2.8

Tamron 70-200F2.8

Canon 70-200F2.8

Canon 70-200F4

Nikon 80-400VR3

Canon 100-400

Nikon 200-400F4

Canon 200-400F4

Nikon 400mm F2.8VR

Canon 400mm F2.8IS

 

 

 

 

 



John

Alternative Fuel keeps you going all day long


If you have ever wondered how to travel light and keep your data safe, you are not alone.  I get this question about once a month.  Historically, the answers have been (chronologically) carry a laptop,  bring a portable multimedia storage system, bring a netbook (remember those?)  and most recently try to squeeze by on your 64GB tablet.  The best answer has been to purchase lots of memory cards and hope that you don’t suffer any data loss through card failure.  With the burgeoning market of cloud storage, you can backup along the way as long as you have internet access.  But what about that African Safari trip?  Do you REALLY want to pay international cellular data rates for web access?  Can you push 200GB of data through that connection?

Finally, there is a solution that is completely affordable, doesn’t require a service contract, has zero overage expenditures and is only local WiFi dependent.

read more



Derek

Olympus Announces TG-3, New SH-1 Compacts


Olympus has announced a couple new cameras today for their line-up. The first is the Tough TG-3, and update to last year’s extremely well-received TG-2. The other is a new camera, the SH-1, which is point more at the so-called “enthusiast” end of the market.

TG3 Red Left Front

That one is the TG-3. In case the “Tough” on the side didn’t give it away. Also, those of you who’ve been doing this for a while probably know what’s what with the Tough line, but if you’re new to photo you should know Olympus’ Tough line is pretty much the original waterproof, freezeproof, and crushproof camera line. It more or less invented the entire category, and has quite a long pedigree behind it. Why, way back in 2008 Nick and I did a couple videos showing off the then-new 1050SW: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmxwAvJFuFY http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myQczisLblY As you can imagine, things have actually only gotten better in the past 5 years and change. Nick and I stopped making videos for one (zing!), but also image quality has gotten a lot better in compacts, and the tough side of the Toughs hasn’t slouched either. The TG-3 is the flagship of the line, featuring a larger than normal 1/2.3″ sensor with backside illumination, which gives it an edge over normal point-and-shoots when it comes to low-light situations. Also helping there is the super-fast f2-4.9 4x lens. The tough specs hold solid at 50ft waterproof, 220 pounds crushproof, and the seriously-when-is-someone-going-to-beat-this-spec 14 degrees F freezeproof. Like its predecessor, it has built-in wifi, GPS, and electronic compass, and has a super-macro mode which, if it lives up to what we’ve seen before, will continue to blow you out of the water: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8Te2ob7164 (thanks Marc!) I don’t have pricing in front of me for the TG-3, but it’ll begin shipping in mid-May.

SH1 Silver Left Front

The other announcement is the SH-1, which is new. Hence the 1. It also borrows its looks from Olympus’ popular OM-D mirrorless line, with the retro-tastic silver and black. In the last couple years I’ve had to call so many cameras “retro” that I’m calling this one the last one. It’s not retro anymore, it’s just the new modern again. Design and fashion trends are like that. So, let’s just say that the SH-1 keeps itself in line with the design language being used by other premium compact lines, including Fuji’s, and move on with life. It has a 24x (25-600mm equiv) optical zoom, though the f3-8.7 aperture range is more disappointing. Olympus does at least try to smooth that over by making the SH-1 their first compact to include their OM-D line’s impressive 5-axis stabilization system that counters not just X and Y shift, but pitch, yaw, and roll movements too. So, slower lens, but better IS. Certainly logic we’ve heard many times before from manufacturers. There’s a 16 megapixel 1/2.3″ BSI sensor in this camera too, and with the same TruePic VII processor as the TG-3 above means it’s probably the same sensor all around. Native ISO tops out at 6400, which is fine on a compact since most of you will probably stop after 1600 anyway given how everyone talks on forums. There’s a mode dial for PASM, but no RAW sadly. Looks like if you need looks like this with RAW you’re still better nabbing an OM-D E-M10. The SH-1 will be available in April, but like the TG-3 I don’t have a price yet. When we do, it’ll be updated on our page for it here: