Roberts Raw!

Sony QX1 on Remote Camera Work

The Sony QX series cameras first arrived in the fall of 2013 and were intended to bridge the gap between small digital cameras and cell phones.  I wrote about these cameras last year when they first hit our shelves.  The biggest impression they left me with was the freedom of positioning the camera.  Sony has taken the QX system another major step forward with the brand new QX1 (available for pre-order).   The QX1 features an APS-C sized image sensor commonly used in entry level DSLRs from Canon, Nikon, Sony and others!

Sony QX1


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Meredith Reinker

Roberts is Moving...Now What?!

If you haven't heard the news by now, we hope this will find it's way to you one way or another!


This is a big deal for many reasons, but let me start with the some of the logistics and how it might impact you:

- We will be closed starting at 5:00pm on Thursday October 2nd.  Our Downtown store will be closed October 3rd, 4th and 5th...and the PLAN (let me really emphasize the word plan) is to reopen for business in our new location (220 E. St. Clair Street in Indianapolis) on Monday October 6th.

- During these days, the Carmel location will still be operating with normal business hours and can help you with anything that you need!

- For our wonderful on-line customers...unfortunately this move will delay our shipping for a few days.  Therefore, please place your orders no later than 2pm on Thursday, October 2nd to ensure that your order gets out that day.  Our website will still be accepting orders, but anything placed after October 2nd may not be shipped until Tuesday October 7th at the latest.  We are VERY sorry for this inconvenience because the last thing we ever want to do is miss out on an opportunity to help you out, but we will make every effort to get your goods to you as soon as we are operating effectively!

Are you going to make a ridiculously big deal out of the new store?

Ummm...Yes!  Save the date for our Grand Opening weekend, November 6th - November 8th!  It is going to be big! We are going to have amazing speakers, tons of seminars, tons of deals and tons of give-aways.  Trust don't want to miss it.  We will release all the details soon!

Why are we moving?

There are MANY answers to this question, but the most concise one is that we need room to grow and adapt and change with this new on-line retail market place.  My dad has always been a huge proponent of change.  It is the reason that Roberts has stayed relevant for as long as it has.  We want room to bring in more product lines and more variety.  We want to offer our retail customers an experience vs. just a showroom.  Try out the camera, try out that lens, test out some studio equipment.  Photography should be an experience and we hope to bring that to our new store.  We need a better warehouse and shipping area to help grow our on-line offerings and processes.  We are making a big splash in the used camera business and what better way to bring people this great gear (at really great prices) than to have a big used camera showroom and tons of inventory to choose from!  The Midwest has a large and vibrant photography community and you deserve a place with an extensive selection of used gear and we want to be the ones to deliver it to you.  We also know that not everyone can buy the latest and might just need to rent something for a few days?  Well, we can help you there too!  We are going to be expanding our rental offerings (this will happen over time) with some of the hottest new lenses, video gear, audio gear and more.  And, we will finally have a lovely on-site classroom to help bring more amazing seminars and workshops to Indy!  Oh yeah...the parking is better too!  We can't promise a parking lot like you would see at Target - I mean we are still downtown, but we can promise it's better than what we have!  This is just a small teaser...

New Store Build Out

While change is great and necessary (more emphasis on necessary), let me tell you what is not going to change:

Our commitment to the customer and to providing a great experience.  We will continue to do whatever we can to make sure that you get what you need, we will listen to you and your needs and give you our best opinions.  We will work to continue to give you the best pricing, and we will continue to educate you so that you can get the most out of your equipment.  AND, we will continue to have a staff that is as passionate and knowledgable about photography as you are.

In short - we never have and never want to be a transactional business where we see you once every 5 years when your camera breaks and you come into get a new one.  We like relationships, we like friends. We want to focus on the lifecycle of your camera and you as a photographer.  We hope you get your first camera here, take some great classes to learn how to use it, buy some cheap used gear as you make your way through life, trade in your old camera for cash when you get your first job and buy the hot new camera, take some more classes to master lighting, Lightroom, and light painting, let us help you with the repair process when you drop it, buy some new lenses when you get ready to go on your honeymoon, get your trip pictures printed here, trade up your camera when that perfect job comes along, get a new camera with a great lens to capture every moment of your child's first years, probably get some pictures printed on canvas, take some classes on portrait photography and sports photography, buy some BIG lenses to capture every second of every sports game, trade in your camera to help pay for college, college is over - time to get the hottest new camera with the best lens because your are finally taking that trip of your dreams!  That was not short at all was it?  You get the point.  We want to be there for everything.  Let us help you achieve your vision and capture every memory...because it goes fast right?

Why else is this move a BIG deal?

Well, for starters we have been in this building (yep, the one below) at 255 S. Meridian Street since 1970.  That is 44 years of history, inventory, paperwork, pictures, cameras, clocks, jewelry, weird figurines and more that we have to sort through.  We want to make sure that we are bringing only the best to our new store location.

Roberts Building

This move is a pretty big deal to me personally as well.  My grandparents started Roberts in 1957 and truly put everything they had on the line to buy this building and make this business work.  I learned a lot from them about character, loyalty and hard work.  But for me, it is more about my relationship with my dad.   read more


Panasonic Announces New GM5 and LX100



Two new cameras announced by Panasonic today, one an entry into their G line of mirrorless compacts based on the 4/3 system, and the other a rather thinly veiled competitor to Sony's RX100 line of large sensor compacts called the, er, LX100. Yeah... So, there's that.

The GM5 will be a new entry in their "fashion" conscious line of mirrorless bodies, and will slot in above it's older and lesser sibling the GM1. Most notable in the differences is the sprouting of an EVF on the GM5, as well as a hotshoe (using the same ISO-standard mount and pin configuration of all Olympus and Panasonic flashes.) Also of curious note is a maximum shutter sped of 1/16,000. Which is not something I read every day. It's a pretty solid shooter in other regards too, with a 16 megapixel sensor, ISO up to 25,600, a much improved AF system, built-in WiFi, and a continuous drive of almost 6fps. Release is Novemberish and it'll run $899 with a 24-64mm equivalent lens.

Lumix DMC-GM5 with 12-32mm



The other camera, the LX100, is part of a quickly growing market of compacts with 1" sensors and fast lenses. The Panasonic entry is a step-up from its already tried-and-true LX series including the LX7, and will sport a 12 megapixel sensor behind a newly Leica-designed 24-75mm f1.8-2.8 equivalent lens. It has a high resolution EVF for still shooting, and on the video side does the regular HD twins of 720 and 1080, but is also ready to do 4K at 30fps. It'll turn in focus times as fast as .014 second, with the depth from defocus feature inherited from the bigger G series to help cheat a bit more subject/background separation from the still ultimately smaller sensor. It'll go as fast as 1/4000 second with the mechanical shutter and up to 1/16,000 with the electronic. Wifi, NFC, yadda yadda. And an $899 price tag this fall.

Lumix LX100


Canon Announces New G7 X, Three New Lenses, 2 Other New Powershots

The 7D Mk II wasn't Canon's only new announcement today. Oh no. They've kept me and my minion hopping this morning with a total of 7 new products. Sure, the 7D Mk II is probably the most exciting, but let's just give the others a quick skim here.


Second most exciting is probably the G7 X professional compact. As always representing the high end of Canon's compact line, and aimed at being a support camera for pros, the G7 X sports a 20.2 megapixel Canon-Powershot-first 1" CMOS sensor behind a 24-100mm f1.8-2.8 equivalent zoom lens. The optical viewfinder has gone the way of the dodo still, which'll be a strike against it for a lot of you we know. To make up for it the LCD is a nice 3" mutil-angle touch model, though the usual complaints about daylight visibility we can't speak to from the spec sheet alone. For novelty, it has 4 new scene modes for capturing starry skies, and for actually being useful it has raw file support. Wifi is built in, and of course it does 720p and 1080p video.

It'll set you back a not-unreasonable $699.99 next month, we hope.

Preorder a G7 X




Let's go ahead an knock out the other two PowerShots real quick, because while nice they're a bit more "another year, another camera" than most of today's announcements. The SX60 HS' standout feature is the  65x optical zoom (equivalent to 21-1365mm). It's got a 16mp sensor being piped through a DIGIC 6 processor, built-in GPS, and will run $549.99 next month. The N2 is the update to last year's funky square selfie cam, and, er, yeah. It's still a funky, square selfie cam. Built-in NFC and wifi set it up for quick social sharing, and an 8x zoom helps it, ah, zoom? It'll run $299.99 later this year, in black or white.


Back to more interesting products we have an unexpected update to the 400mm DO IS, called as you might expect the  EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM. If you're not used to the green ring lenses here (and what with there only being a couple of them, and them being specialty as is we won't blame ya) the DO lenses use diffractive optical (DO) elements, which are schmancy exotics that raise the cost but lower the size and weight of the lens. The 400mm DO II will weigh only 4.8lbs, which is still half the weight of the 400mm 2.8 II, so, there's that. If you need a more affordable, lighter telephoto than the 400mm f2.8 II, but still have a bit of money to burn on a premium telephoto this might be worth a look, and will require you to drop $6,899.00 to add to your bag. Preorders while we wait on it to begin shipping are here:

EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM


Also new is a 24-105mm f3.5-5.6 IS STM lens, which is their first full-frame zoom with a stepping motor for smooth AF in video mode. That's actually pretty much the sales pitch, it's a full-frame zoom with STM for smooth video AF though not particularly exciting aperture ranges, and it'll set you back a reasonable $599.99 for the combination.

EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM


And, lastly, how about a 24mm STM pancake prime?


You might notice it says "EFS" on there, so, full-framers need not apply here. But for you APS-C guys (like that new 7D Mk II) who'd enjoy a compact, light 24mm f.8, well, soon enough $149.99 will get you one. And it's STM to boot.

EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM



About Time It Got Here: The Canon EOS 7D Mk II


After what seems like ages of speculation and price drops and rebates on the original EOS 7D, Canon has finally announced the actually truthfully long-awaited successor to the EOS 7D. Sitting atop their APS-C line the EOS 7D line is aimed at professionals who prefer the weight and space savings of a compact body. And previously, that trade in size was at the cost of the absolute very best performance going, but if I'm reading that spec sheet right, the EOS 7D Mk II doesn't really come with any of those trade-offs.

So, I said it's an APS-C model, and to be specific it's of their beloved funky 1.6x crop factor. Full-frame shooters still need to look at the 5D or 1D X line. The sensor is a newly developed 20.2 megapixel model being piped through not one but two of those shiny new DIGIC 6 processors. As a result, you get native ISO of 100-16,000 (expanded 100-51,600) and 10 frames per second continuous shooting for 31 raw frames or 1,090 JPG. And, because fast shooting like that needs a strong AF system underneath it, Canon has drastically upgraded the AF module for this camera. It features 65 points now, and every one of them is the more accurate cross-type. EVERY. ONE. The center one is also sensitive down to -3EV, but really, can we go back to talking about how Canon fit 65 cross-type points on a sensor? I don't envy their engineers these past couple years, I'll tell ya that. To round out the imaging heart is a new 150,000-pixel RGB+IR 252-zone metering sensor, and a shutter life beefed up to 200,000 exposures.

So clearly the 7D Mark II is off to a solid start. Let's see what else there is in the announcement here. Hmmmm-hmm-hmm. Well, in addition to being a boss all cross-type AF system, it inherits the dual-pixel AF from its little bro the 70D letting it do contrast and phase detection at each point for smoother more accurate focus in live view and especially in video mode. It picks up the HDR and multiple exposure modes found in its full-frame counterpart, the 5D Mark III. Additional flexibility comes through the addition of an intervalometer and a bulb timer for those creative time lapse projects. The "Intelligent Viewfinder" has approx. 100% coverage, the LCD is a bit smaller than the going rate at just 3", but is at least 1,040,000 dots for making images look downright fuzzy as soon as you import them to your computer, and hey, it looks like GPS is built right on in there.

Video mode gets a bump, with it shooting in 720p or 1080p at up to 60fps, which it says enables it to do slow-motion capture at full resolution in either the ALL-I or IPB codec. You can also record in .MOV or .MP4, if you're into the more use-ready formats. A mini-HDMI port will pipe uncompressed stream to an external recording unit if you're looking to use this more professionally for your video workflow.

Canon's saying shipments will start in November, and you're looking at $1,799.00 body only or $2,149.00 with an 18-135mm STM lens. It'll use yet-another-new battery, the LP-E6N (though it will be backwards compatible with your LP-E6s if you have some), and a new battery grip, the BG-E16 (also works with the older LP-E6s), and a new wireless file transmitter in the form of the WFT-E7A Version 2. So, the camera itself is a nice price point, but if you want a grip or wireless transfer budget a little extra for accessories this time around.

Preorders? Eee-yup.

EOS 7D Mk II Body Only

EOS 7D Mk II with 18-135mm STM

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Photokina's Coming Up All The Lenses I Can't Even.

Nikon's not the only one having fun in the pre-Photokina run up. We're hearing that Sigma, Tamron, and Sony have also been announcing some new lenses, and we figured we should probably drop in and mention a thought or two on them for y'all.


People might argue with me, but for my money the coolest of the bunch is Tamron announcing the development of a 15-30mm f2.8 constant full-frame ultra-wide zoom... with image stabilization! Yup, joining the 24-70 and 70-200 will be a stabilized full-frame zoom on the wide end, completing Tamron's own holy trinity of lenses. Holier, really, once you factor in that theirs are all stabilized, and not just the 70-200. It'll be noted as model A012, and have 18 elements in 13 groups including a so-exotic-I-think-they-made-it-up XGM (eXpanded Glass Moulded aspherical) element. It'll also sport update coatings (including being Tamron's first fluorite coated lens) and a special copy of Silky Pix for working with images shot using the new SP line of Tamron lenses. Though, when it's coming and for how much are anyone's guess.

Preorder a Tamron SP 15-30mm f2.8 VC

After the Tamron, second most interesting has to be Sigma, who decided that announcing just one lens of a type was for chumps and actually announced two completely different 150-600mm f5-6.3 lenses at the same time. One is in their "Sport" line and is a pro caliber lens with heavier build and superb quality, the other is in their "Contemporary" line and offers a smaller, lighter lens in exchange for some of the quality and cost.

The Sport 150-600mm

The Sport 150-600mm


The "Contemporary" 150-600mm

The "Contemporary" 150-600mm


Both versions offer OS "optical stabilization," which is good because on zooms this big you'll need that unless you travel everywhere with a heavy-duty tripod at hand. The Sport model is splash proof and features 24 elements in 16 groups and takes a jaw-dropping 105mm filter on front. Oh yeah, and 2 of those lenses are FLD and 2 are SLD, so, dispersion ought to be pretty well addressed. The Contemporary model steps back ever so slightly from the ledge, topping out at 20 elements in 14 groups (only 1 FLD, but still 3 SLD), and a 95mm filter thread that doesn't quite manage to be reasonable either. Both lenses are solidly TBA in both the arrival and price categories, so, keep an eye out for more news as it comes.

Sigma 150-600mm Sport

Sigma 150-600mm Contemporary

If you prefer to get your super-telephoto lengths through more conventional means, they've also announced they're making a new 1.4x and 2.0x teleconverter, both of which are splash proof and autofocus up to f8 (so, yanno, not on the leviathans pictured above). If you're guessing that TBA is the trend here too, you're pretty good at this guessing thing then.

1.4x Teleconverter

2.0x Teleconverter

And, to close us out we have Sony, who's turning in the gnarliest looking lens I've seen in a while:


Those of you who this lens is meant for will know already, but those spikey rings everywhere aren't just a defense system or a way of attracting mates. The FE PZ 28-135mm F4 G OSS here is born to be a cinema lens, and all those are the tracks for easier use of cinematic zoom and focus rings, knobs, and other contraptions. Now, the FE designation lets us know this is an E-mount lens of the full-frame variety, meaning it's for use on the A7 family (A7,A7r,A7s) of mirrorless cameras. Care has been put into it to minimize breathing while focusing, and it'll maintain its focus point while zooming like a proper cinema lens. The three rings control the zoom, focus, and iris. All-in-all, a solid show of Sony's commitment to making the A7 family true stand-outs in the hot 4k video space. Availability I don't know, but the price for this bad boy will be around $2500 once we start getting them.

Sony FE PZ 28-135mm


Is Nikon's New D750 the Full Frame You've Been Waiting On?


Well, I must admit I was beginning to think it wasn't going to ever come. But, here it is, on my desk to talk about this morning: the long-awaited successor to Nikon's D700 (which is, disclosure, still my own personal workhorse camera).

The D750, the specs tell me, is a 24.3mp full-frame shooter with EXPEED IV and a native ISO range of 100-12,800 (or 50-51,200 expanded). It has newer Advanced Multi-Cam 3500-FX II 51 point AF sensor (with 15 cross types, 11 of which work down to f1.8 just dandy), and along with that gets the grouped target feature seen on other newer high-end Nikons. Nikon also claims it's their first that can work down to -3ev, so, even better for shooting in the dark. You get the updated 3D Color Matrix III module for metering, and around back the LCD is beefed up to 3.2" with 1,299k dots of resolution and new tilting feature. Full 1080p is on board (this ain't the Df after all), and it marks Nikon's first full-frame to have the WiFi built in (so you don't have to pretend you love the WU-1a anymore). Frames per second actually bumps up, unexpectedly, to 6.5frames per second. Shutter life remains rated at 150,000 frames. So, that's all definitely good news all around there.

Moving on to the more mixed news then. A keyword you'll see time and again for the D750 is "light." This is achieved by switch out some of the magnesium on the front and top for carbon fiber instead, in a 'monocoque' skinning process. The other mixed news is the specs still saying the flash sync is at 1/200 (boo) (but there's another note saying it can go to 1/250 if you want with decreased flash range between 1/200-1/250, which I can live with), and the top shutter speed drops a stop to 1/4000 of a second. So, those are some mixed bag things depending on your needs, and if you're a fan of cheating your sync to 1/320 or shooting at 1/8000 or all magnesium chassis this might not be the right shooter for you.

But I'd like t swing this back up to the brighter tone we started with by mentioning the price tag. The D750 will be available later this very month for just $2,299.95 body only. Or heck, if you're new to full-frame and need a good lens to get you going, get a 24-120mm VR with it for $3,599.95. It'll work with the new MB-D16 battery grip which'll run $485.

AFS_20_1.8G.low SB500_back.low SB500_front34r.low

Alongside the D750, Nikon has added a new AF-S NIKKOR 20mm f/1.8G ED, and a new SB-500 flash. The lens is pretty much as it says, a fast wide angle full-frame prime, and is slated to run $799.95 this month. The SB-500 is a simple flash with 100 lux LED video light, 90 degrees bounce and 180 degrees rotation. It runs on just 2 AAs to keep size and weight down. Combined with the low guide number of 24m and the lack of LCD controls makes this appealing to people who just need an occasional flash indoors, but probably less so to your average hobbyist or pro. It'll run a pretty affordable $249.95, however.

Preorders can of course be had for the lot of this, so, I'll give you some links here:

D750 Body Only

D750 with 24-120mm

AF-S 20mm f/1.8G ED


Walt Kuhn

Announcing a new class with Walt Kuhn: Free* Canon Rebel Camera Class

If you purchased your Canon Rebel, begin the process of learning how to use the camera to it's fullest. Learn what the buttons and dials on the camera do. You paid good money for your camera now let us teach you how to us it. Free to anyone who purchased a Canon Rebel at Roberts. $30 to anyone who did not purchase the camera at Roberts

Presented ByWalt Kuhn
When:November 13th, 2014 - November 13th, 2014
Where:Jewish Community Center
6701 Hoover Road
Indianapolis, IN 46260
Register Today

Walt Kuhn

Announcing a new class with Walt Kuhn: Free* Nikon D3000's/D5000's Camera Class

If you purchased your Nikon D3100/D5100, begin the process of learning how to use the camera to it's fullest. Learn what the buttons and dials on the camera do! You paid good money for your camera - now let us teach you how to us it. Free to anyone who purchased a Nikon D3100/D5100 from Roberts. $30 to anyone who did not purchase the camera at Roberts

Presented ByWalt Kuhn
When:October 30th, 2014 - October 30th, 2014
Where:Jewish Community Center
6701 Hoover Road
Indianapolis, IN 46260
Register Today

Walt Kuhn

Announcing a new class with Walt Kuhn: 4-Week Fundamentals Class - Downtown

This 4 week class is meant to get you started in understanding your camera. "Auto" is more than a four letter word. It's the wrong mode setting for you. Learn all about shutter speed, aperture and ISO and how we can change them to affect our final image. We'll teach you how to quickly find the exposure information for the photo you are about to take. Topics covered also include auto-focus, white balance and how to stop getting blurry pictures in low light. To get started in photography and learn the fundamentals, this is the course for you. By the end of this four week class, we'll have you exploring your camera's settings and getting more out of your equipment. Class size limited. Offered at various locations throughout Indianapolis, Brownsburg, Carmel and Greenwood. Required equipment: DSLR camera.

Presented ByWalt Kuhn
When:October 11th, 2014 - November 2nd, 2014
Times:10am - 12pm
Where:Roberts Camera - Downtown
220 East St. Clair Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Register Today