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About Derek

Our resident web guru, Derek graduated from Ball State with a BFA in Visual Communications. When not in the office slaying CSS dragons, jousting social media windmills, or working on the blog, he's also a fine artist, working in oil paints and photography. Derek Martin+

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NEX Is Dead, Long Live Alpha! And, Here's the A5100


Do you remember the NEX-5T? Of course you do, because you clearly remember each of the several hundred engineer-named cameras that come out every year, right? Who doesn't? In the unlikely case that you don't remember every hard-to-remember camera model we talk about, the NEX-5T was the last mid-level model NEX camera Sony made, and is now the last of the NEX branding to be dropped in favor of the more liked Alpha brand. It's replacement is the Alpha A5100. Nothing else has changed, we're still talking about a mirrorless compact system with the Sony E mount, compact body, 1.5x crop sensor. There are specs bumps, of course, with the A5100. Resolution is up to 24 megapixels, ISO range is up to 100-25,600, there's a touchscreen, on sensor phase detect AF, a higher resolution display, and more. Actually, it's easier to think of the A5100 as a cheaper A6000 with a slower frame rate. "Cheaper?" you ask. Yep. The A5100 will run about $550 for body only, or $700 with a 16-50mm, an easy $100 less all around than its bigger bro. If a cheaper camera with the A6000's quality and only a few catches sounds good to you, hit up our preorder links below:

A5100 Body Only

A5100 with 16-50mm Kit


Nikon D810 Says No Anti-Aliasing Filter For Everyone!



Woo! New things! Today's new thing is a D810 from Nikon. With the D810, Nikon continues its trend of just not having the Optical Low Pass Anti-Aliasing Filter (OLPAF) anymore, so, the D810 more effectively upgrades the D800E and the low-pass including D800 is just sorta... no more. The sensor at first glance would appear to be the same, sporting 36.3 megapixels still. But Nikon says it is a new one, with better micro-lens design that let the sensor suck in more light, and it's being piped through an EXPEED 4 processor. As a result the native ISO range has been expanded even farther than the D800/E, up to 64-12,800 now (versus 100-6400 before). The expanded range is up to a jaw-dropping 32-51,200. Continuous shooting also sees a bump, up to 5 frames per second full-resolution raw. Speak of raw, for those of you who found the D800 brothers untenable because of the massive raw files, the D810 has a new compact raw file option you might like. It'll be at 12-bit instead of 14-bit, but will cut the file size down to 1/4 of the full raw. Certainly a good option for people (like me) who want features you have to go up to the D800 line to get (like, yanno, 1/250 second flash sync full frame), but weren't so keen on having to store every bit of data in those otherwise overkill files. Anyway. The LCD is up to 1.2m dots now, still 3.2". There are a lot of video improvements too, and I'm no expert on those but I see zebra striping, uncompressed HDMI output, highlight-weighted metering, smooth time lapse, and a few other things in there. On the outside, a new deeper sculpted grip is up front, and around back there's the new I button for getting into an interactive on-screen display a la Olympus fame.

So, pricing. That was all the good news, now for the bad. Looks like the pro single-grip body market has finally crept over the $3000 mark, and the D810 will run you $3299.95 for the body only. Oddly enough, there will be a couple kits for this for video purposes, and we'll cover those once we confirm if we'll be carrying both or what. But for now, preorder you a D810 here:


If the price is a bit saltier than you like, we do still have some D800s and D800Es. But, sounds like you might act fast. The D810 is slated for release late next month, and we really have no idea how stock on the older models will go at that point.



D800 Refurb Bonus Bundle (Free Stuff!):


Tamron Announces Two News All-in-Ones For M4/3 and EOS M Mirrorless Cameras

Technically, they've formally announced the new 28-300mm now too, but we already talked about that back when they originally let it slip, slo let's focus on the two new mirrorless super-zooms today.

Up first is one for Micro Four Thirds, the 14-150mm F/3.5-5.8 Di III (Model C001).

Tamron 14-150 Di III (C001_ Blk & Silver

Available in black or silver, the 14-150mm will of course be an effective 28-300mm lens when mounted to any m4/3 body. You'll notice there's no "VC" in the product name, meaning this lens forgoes Tamron's notable vibration compensation system (ie, image stabilization). There are a lot of m4/3 bodies with built-in IS, so this won't be a big deal for a lot of people, but some of them (mostly Panasonic models, since they prefer in-lens IS) do not, so, be forewarned. If you're not sure if your body has IS built-in, this might not be the best lens for you. Image stabilization is going to be your friend on a 300mm equivalent lens.


Tamron 18-200mm Di III (B011)_blk & silver


Did you buy an EOS M? Wait, really? Well, OK, er, congratulations! The other lens today is actually already on the market for Sony E mount, but coming soon you'll be able to pick up an 18-200 Di III VC for your Canon EOS M, too!

The 14-150mm will run $589, the 18-200mm for EOS M will run $499. We're expected to have stock for them by the end of the month.

Want to reserve a 14-150mm of your own? You can preorder it right here.


ThinkTank Photo Gets In On Some Hot Derby Action

Honestly, this post would almost be better written by Nick, as he and his wife are actually big fans of our local derby team, but ThinkTank Photo has announced a new bag paying name-homage to the increasingly popular sport of roller derby.



Introducing the Airport Roller Derby! In case you can't figure it out, it's called that because it has four rolling casters, making it look like the classic rollerskates used by derbies:



Each of the four casters is actually a dual-wheel set, giving you a total of 8 wheels to make carting your gear around a breeze. As with all of the Airport line, this bag is designed for transport ease more than shooting directly out of, and it'll fit inside it a 15" laptop and a tablet, as well as 2 DSLRs and a 6-7 lenses and flashes in its 12.6” W x 18.5” H x 5.5–7.5” D interior space. It is otherwise built to the same quality standards you'd expect from ThinkTank, and is designed for carry-on friendliness (though, as always, this is up to your individual air service provider, so be sure and check before you get to the terminal and it all goes south.)

As it turns out, we have already received the first of these bags. So, whether or not you're a derby fan, you can be a fan of getting through crowded airports more easily today for just $389.75 right here.


Sony Announces RX100 III With Faster Lens, Selfie-Ready LCD, Popup EVF



Oooh. Shiny. Look, it's a (very moodily rendered) RX100 III. Yup, Sony's announced the third entry in its stellar high-end RX100 compact line, and it's just as awesome as you'd hope. So, here's what's going on:

  • It's still a 20 megapixel 1" CMOS BSI sensor
  • The lens is a 24-70mm zoom now (not a 28-100), but it's aperture specs are now f1.8-2.8 instead of f1.8-4.9 (!)
  • There's an EVF built in. It's pop-up, like a flash (!)
  • The LCD can flip up over the camera, for taking those "selfies" the young people are so fond of

Let's look at that popup EVF, shall we?


Yeah. OK. That's hot. And here's the tilting LCD:


That's not quite as hot, but I'm not going to knock it's usefulness.

Other specs are not changed overtly much, or hit all the minor upgrades you'd expect. It's still packing WiFi and NFC, the 1080p video is bolstered with zebra-pattern mode, it can do 3-stop ND. You know, all the goodies we've pretty much come to expect from Sony in its R line compacts and A line mirrorless bodies.

But, this is about the lens, and with a 24-70mm f1.8-2.8 lens mounted an a Nikon 1-sized 1" 20MP BSI sensor, we suspect this product has already hit this point for exactly the market it was aimed at:


And just how much money will we need to take? $799.99 next month. Until then, it'll cost you nothing to get on our list for one (and it's no commitment, we'll get ahold of you when we have yours and you can buy it or decline at that time). You can do that conveniently right here.


Sony Announces Pricing For Their A7s

Remember Sony's A7s? The new full-frame mirrorless with a focus on video and low-light? No? Come on, surely you do. OK, so, it looked like this:



And it does awesome low-light video like this:

And previously it didn't have a price, but it does now. The A7s will run $2,499.99 body only. And, if you want to read more about it or get on our list, you can do that right here.


Nikon 1 Lines Increases By 2: J4 and S2




For those of you into this sorta thing, Nikon has finally brought the 1 system J4 model to the US, and added an S2 to boot. These models are the original low-end-now-mid-end 1 (J series), and the entry-level 1 (S series). They've both seen updates to include the 20 frames-per-second shooting seen first on the V3 model. The two models are pretty similar (so much so that the press release mostly talks about both models at the same time), with the main differences being the J4 has a higher 18 megapixel sensor over the S2's 14 megapixel one, and the J4 now (finally) has built-in WiFi, while the S2 still requires everyone's favorite WU-1a adapter. They also differ in colors and kits, with the J4 coming in black, white, silver, and orange with a 10-30mm, 10-100mm, or both a 10-30mm and a 30-110mm, while the S2 comes in black, white, red, or yellow in a one lens kit with the 11-27.5mm or a two lens kit that adds a 30-110mm as well.

If you're interested in any of that, check out the links below for more information and to preorder:

Nikon 1 J4 Kits:

Nikon 1 S2 Kits:

1 Lens

2 Lens


Nikon Announces New 400mm 2.8, New 1.4x Tele-converter


Think fast: what's the quickest way to save two pounds by spending 3 grand?



If you answered "Nikon's beastly new 400mm f2.8" you were correct. Everyone else, go to the corner and think about what you've done. Go. Shoo. Think.

The rest of you, here's the skinny. The new 400mm's full name is the AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR. Breaking that down into it's components, we'll notice a few things. One, this isn't a "version II" lens, the addition of both an "E" and an "FL" in there spared us that particular confusion. The "E" at the end of the aperture indicates this is using the new electromagnetic diaphragm similar to the 800mm f5.6 and makes things better during high speed shooting, like say with a D4s. The FL is letting you know it has some fluorite lens elements (2, in this case) which help explain both how the lens has lost nearly two pounds, and why it costs 3 grand more (list price is up to $11,999.95 from the already salty $8,999.00. Fluorite lens elements aren't cheap, y'all. But they are nice.

The two fluorite elements are part of the new 16 element, 12 group design that pretty well blows the old version's simpler 14 element, 11 group design out of the water. We have no doubts this will be an excellent lens (we can already hear the thanks of many a wildlife shooter for the lighter packs) for those of you who can pony up to it, and if that happens to be you and you want to get a preorder in you can do so here. If that's not, and you've been on the fence about the now-old 400mm, we still have some in stock here you might want to move on.

Also, look, a new 1.4x tele-converter:



The TC-14E III is one more than the TC-14E II, and is also promising better build quality, better weather sealing, new coatings to aid in repelling water, and better performance all around. With a list price of $499.95 (only about $10 more than the current one) we'd say it's pretty much a no-brainer to wait on the new one if you need a 1.4x and don't have one, but we're pretty sure those of you who own the II probably won't be in any hurry to chuck yours out the window for this one unless you've had some specific problems with build quality this purports to improve on. Either way, you'll find the preorder page for the new 1.4x living right here.


Canon Adds 2 New Wide Angle Zooms, White Rebel for the US



What's small, white, and coming to the US?

Whatever you were thinking of, I'm sure it's wrong. I was talking about the Rebel SL1 above... oh. You were thinking of the Rebel SL1 because I already showed you it, weren't you? Nevermind, carry on then. Be happy in your awareness of it, and how it comes with a matched white 18-55mm for $749 (without any savings programs).

Also, look, two new wide-angle zoom lenses:

20140513_thumbL_ef1635mm_3q 20140513_thumbL_efs1018mm_3q


The top one is the EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM, the bottom one is the EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM. Just a quick terminology reminder, EF lenses (red mount dot) will work on full-frame or crop bodies, the EF-S mount (white square) will only work for crop bodies, so, no going and getting ideas about using it on your 5D Mark III, OK? EF-S lenses are also subject to a 1.6x apparent focal length conversion, because of the nature of crop lenses, meaning the new 10-18mm will have the apparent field of view of 16-29mm or so (making the close to the crop equivalent of the other new zoom).

The EF 16-35mm is just as advertised on full-frame, though someone less exciting on crop bodies where it becomes an apparent 26-56mm quasi-standard zoom. It is an L model though, with all the assumed quality that designation and the characteristic red line imply. And, because of the slower F4 aperture there's IS in it, offering up to four stops of help.

The EF 16-35mm will set you back $1,199, and the EF-S 10-18mm will run considerably less at $299.


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.



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