Last week, Tony and Chelsea Northrup posted a controversial video on YouTube that tried to define what a professional camera was. It centers around sales for all of the camera manufacturers. It makes some good points about how higher-end cameras can enhance a photograph. That being said, for the most part making a great photograph is not about the camera — it's about the photographer. While there are certainly cameras geared more towards professionals, including features that pros tend to take more advantage of, it doesn't mean that you … [Read more...] about What does a “professional” camera really mean?
Full-frame 35mm cameras. Medium-format cameras. Micro four-thirds cameras. These are formats. There are only two types of digital cameras themselves — Single Lens Reflex and Mirrorless. The evolution of cameras has evolved over the past 100 years, and we're about to enter a new generation, with Nikon and Canon both getting ready to reveal full-frame mirrorless camera systems. While the mirrorless system has been around for 14 years, it has only recently started taking off. The first mirrorless camera was made by a company which is more … [Read more...] about The age of the mirrorless camera starts now
One of the best advantages to mirrorless cameras is its electronic viewfinder. This not only gives you an accurate preview of your shot before you click the shutter button — it also allows you to preview your images through the viewfinder, not just the screen on the back. This is great for sunny days, allowing you to check exposure and focus without the need for a loupe. … [Read more...] about Quick Tip: Sunny Day? Mirrorless Shooters, Review the Photo in Your Viewfinder
If you're just getting into photography, there are several things to consider when buying a camera. Why do you want a camera in the first place, and what's drawing you toward photography? While the question of "which camera should I buy?" may be a simple one, the answer is anything but. What to Ask Yourself Once you've decided you want to get into photography, it's good to know what you like to photograph, and how you like to do so. For instance, do you enjoy capturing scenes on the street? Are you the person at the restaurant table that … [Read more...] about Answering the Question, Which Camera Should I Buy?
When it comes to the micro four-thirds system, one of the biggest complaints I hear is that you're limited by the sensor. And while you can certainly make that argument, for me it's more about my needs and usage. But for the times when you do need a larger photograph, both Olympus and Panasonic now offer high-resolution shooting modes in their top-of-the-line cameras, the Olympus OM-D E-M1 MkII, E-M5 MkII and the Lumix DC-G9, which create an 80-megapixel photo. How it Works Both cameras work the same way in terms of how high-resolution photos … [Read more...] about Mirrorless Camera Maniac: How To Make Super-High-Res Photos with MFT Cameras
For the past four years, I've photographed an event for Gilda's Club Grand Rapids — the Laughfest Signature Event. It features a highly sought-after comedian with the ultimate goal to raise money for cancer support. This year, Comedy Central's Trevor Noah (from The Daily Show) graced Grand Rapids with his presence for the event. While photographing comedians is a blast, being in the back of the room means you have to be creative in terms of how you're going to capture it. The first year, I was completely unprepared and had to rely on a much … [Read more...] about Mirrorless Camera Maniac: Panasonic Leica 200mm f/2.8 Offers Superb Build Quality & Reach
When I first ventured into photography, I started out with a Nikon D5100. From there I upgraded to a D800 (thanks to winning a Photofocus contest on Twitter) and later a D750. Last year I made the tough decision to go mirrorless, ultimately purchasing a Panasonic Lumix GH5 and eventually, a G9. Now I've made another switch. And it's not because I was dissatisfied with my Lumix gear — quite the contrary, in fact. My Lumix system was awesome, and one of the best decisions I've made to switch to them. But after a week of tough thinking, I've … [Read more...] about It’s Not About the Camera — It’s About Evolving as an Artist
Last December, while in the middle of a shoot and half way thru the models, I tripped on my tether cord and shattered my Nikon body and the lens attached to it. Needless to say, it wasn’t my happiest moment in 2017 but it was my most valued. What Is Tethering? Tethered shooting is connecting a computer to your camera when you are shooting so the pictures you take are downloaded to your computer in addition to the camera's memory card. The camera and computer are connected by a cable, hence "tethering". Benefits of Tethering In this … [Read more...] about What Is Tethered Shooting & Why Do I Love It So Much?
When I switched from Nikon to the Panasonic Lumix system last spring, I was nervous. I had used Nikon for more than three years. It was my bread and butter — I knew it inside and out. And it worked great. But one thing it wasn't was innovating. I started to feel like it was holding me back — specifically with its video capabilities. As the demand for video from my clients started to grow, I knew that I needed to think about making a change. Fast forward nine months later, and I couldn't be happier. With my new Lumix G9 in tow, along with … [Read more...] about Mirrorless Camera Maniac: Mirrorless Cameras Lead the Way in Innovation
The GH5S is the latest camera from Panasonic, and it's carving out an interesting niche. It's not a replacement for the GH5 (which was made available only one year ago), and it's got a very interesting feature set. I haven't had one of these in my hands, yet, so this isn't a review--it's simply my impressions. Let me show you what stands out to me and I'll let you know whether I'll be buying one. The Body The GH5S is the same as the original GH5 on the outside. It looks like it could be the same chassis, and I don't notice any different … [Read more...] about Panasonic’s New Camera: Lumix GH5S
Panasonic announced a new micro four-thirds camera last week, the Lumix G9. It is intended to be a terrific stills camera, a perfect companion to the GH5. I'm a Lumix Luminary and I got to spend a little time with the prototype camera in my hands last week. I like it very much. It feels terrific in the hand with a deep finger grip and it's lighter than the GH5. The viewfinder is wonderfully large. I'm pretty excited about this camera. The thing is, the only thing that really matters in a new camera is image quality: does it make my pictures … [Read more...] about Mirrorless Camera Maniac: Samples From Lumix G9
Panasonic have announced a new firmware version for the GH5, and it's got lots of bug fixes and plenty of new features. They say this will be available at the end of September, and it'll be a free update. I like that they're adding features and not charging for them. The complete list of features is copied below, but here are the features I'm personally excited about from a photography point of view--cinematographers may be excitred about different things. I realize this is two columns in a row on the GH5, but I promise next week will be … [Read more...] about Mirrorless Camera Maniac: GH5 Firmware 2.0 Announced & Digested
Shooting tethered means that your camera is connected to a computer and the pictures are saved to the computer while you shoot. You can do this by using a long USB cable or sometimes an ethernet cable from the camera to the computer. If you're using a Lumix camera, though, you've got to buy Promote Systems software to tether with a cable. Or, you can just connect to your computer wirelessly anywhere in the world with camera's built-in wifi. Here's how to do it on a Mac--I'd love some help from you writing this up for a Windows … [Read more...] about Mirrorless Camera Maniac: How To Tether Wirelessly With Lumix
I've long been interested in capturing stop-motion, through timelapses on my camera. With my recent move to mirrorless, I thought there was no better time to try out some new techniques. Last week, I went to the Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival, to see if I could capture a timelapse of some of the carnival rides at night. Getting Started with Timelapses You don't need much to get started with a timelapse, especially if your camera has a timelapse mode or interval shooting mode. If your camera doesn't have this, you will need an … [Read more...] about Creating a Timelapse in Lightroom: Part One
I was out making pictures with three other photographers, yesterday--just a random assortment of friends--and all of us were using mirrorless cameras and that's the first time I've been out with a group and no one had a DSLR. We took a short hike to a waterfall and as we walked everyone remarked once that they loved how much lighter their mirrorless systems are, which is always a big selling point. But I think getting into mirrorless because it's lighter would be a mistake. It's Not About Weight We're photographers, not adventure racers … [Read more...] about Mirrorless Camera Maniac: The Wrong ( Or Right) Reason to Buy Mirrorless
Why are there colored lines of bright and dark in your indoor and nighttime pictures? How do you get rid of them? Don't worry, it's not a problem with your camera. It's a problem with electricity and LED lights and fluorescent lights. Fortunately, there are a couple of things you can do to mitigate the problem. What's the Situation? The power that comes from the wall is called AC power, which stands for alternating current. Alternating means the power is literally cycling on and off continuously. In countries using about 110V in the wall, it … [Read more...] about Mirorrless Camera Maniac: Dealing with Flickering Lights
In the last 35 days, I've traveled to Florida, Nevada, Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Shandong in China, the Oregon Coast, Seattle, and I've been hiking four times near my home in Portland, Oregon. I'm sitting in a hotel in Spokane, Washington, right now, and I'll be heading to Bozeman, Montana, Idaho Falls, Idaho, and Boise Idaho in the next few days. I've made thousands of pictures in each place, and I couldn't have done it half so well with a bulkier DSLR. I realized there are a couple of accessories I use everywhere I go and they are so integrated … [Read more...] about Mirrorless Camera Maniac: Accessories for Accessibility
The Photofocus InFocus Interview Show for May 26, 2017. I’m your host, Vanelli. On today's show, Levi Sim interviews travel photographer and Panasonic Rep, Mark Toal followed by Platypod inventor, Larry Tiefenbrunn. Mark talks about how he got into photography and how micro 4/3 cameras allow him to always have a camera with him. He shares his insights on what makes his photos compositionally intriguing and how living in different locations has influenced his photography. Larry talks about finding inspiration, some excellent resources for … [Read more...] about InFocus Interview Show | Photofocus Podcast May 26, 2017
For years, I trusted my Nikon D800 kit to produce images for my clients. I knew the system inside and out, and was comfortable with it. But as time wore on, there were some pain points (literally). I regularly shoot corporate events. Oftentimes, these events require a hefty 70-200mm lens — even with my Peak Design Slide strap, this combo gets tiresome. What's more, lugging all my camera gear around was tedious and often unrealistic for what I needed. I was also beginning to realize that my D800 was technologically behind, compared to other … [Read more...] about Mirrorless Camera Maniac: Switching from Full-Frame to Micro Four-Thirds
Lumix's new flagship camera is the Panasonic Lumix GH5, and it begins shipping to customers this Wednesday, March 29th. The waiting list began earlier this year, and photographers and cinematographers alike are anxiously waiting. Don't Miss this Free Webinar B&H Photo is celebrating the shipping launch with this live webinar featuring pros like Jacki Huntington, Griffin Hammond, David Flores, Lok Cheung, and Lumix's own Sean Robinson who will be demonstrating features and showing off the new tools. Here's a link to all the details of the … [Read more...] about Live Webinar: Lumix GH5 Launch Event
Mirrorless cameras are wonderful tools, and I'm going to be writing regularly about their attributes. Quick intro to Micro Four Thirds, a.k.a. MFT, M43, Micro 4/3. The key characteristics are that they have interchangeable lenses, they are almost always smaller than DSLR's, they generally cost less than DSLR's for similar features, and they have a sensor that is smaller than DSLR's. The sensor is shaped in a 4x3 ratio, not a 2x3 ratio like DSLR's, which makes a picture that is less wide. One thing that makes Micro 4/3 cameras significantly … [Read more...] about Everything You Need To Know About Micro 4/3 Lenses
NOTE: I'll be adding some or all of this to my Bird Photography Gear Guide very soon ________________________________________________________________________________ *Lightweight in comparison to standard FF 35mm gear **Small in comparison to standard FF 35mm gear ***Afordable in comparison to standard FF 35mm gear This is a monumental day for me. As someone who has carried heavy, bulky, expensive camera bodies and lenses across the United States, up hills, down ravines, across rivers, onto boats, beaches and a variety of terrain, I … [Read more...] about The Ultimate Lightweight*, High Quality, Small*, Affordable*, Bird/Wildlife Photography Kit
Editor’s Note: It’s time for something new. In the past, Photofocus has made it a practice of acknowledging a specific camera and/or lens as the “camera/lens” of the year. This year several of us are putting together a list including camera and lens choices along with a few other pieces of gear that we think you’ll like. While it’s not designed specifically as a holiday gift guide, this list does happen to be a resource for photographers (and their friends/family) who want to get the ball rolling on their holiday shopping. A few things … [Read more...] about Photofocus Products Of The Year – Scott Bourne
HINT: The word Leica is involved. I am a very lucky guy. I get to shoot with the best cameras and lenses in the world. And recently, I went back to micro four thirds for most of my non bird photography work. One of the reasons I came back was the brilliant Panasonic GX8, but that’s only part of the story. The new holy trinity (well MY holy trinity) of Leica glass (Panasonic lenses) is the rest of the story. There’s something magical about Leica lenses. It’s more than the cool names (Summilux and Nocticron - The company names all of its … [Read more...] about The New (Unconventional) Holy Trinity Lens Selection For MFT Shooters
WARNING: As an old guy I will be referencing ancient technologies like microwaves and faxes - proceed at your own risk. Believe it or not I just had an epiphany. I came to realize that I love touch screens. I also love flip out screens. Why is this a big deal? Well for years I looked at cameras with flip screens and touch screens as unnecessary. I couldn’t understand the appeal of either. Then I did something radical. I purchased a camera that had not only a flip out screen, but a touch screen. I am now totally hooked on using both those … [Read more...] about How Cameras With Articulating Touch Screens Are Like Microwave Ovens & Fax Machines
The Panasonic/Leica partnership is one of the most interesting pairings in photography. And it continues to bear fruit. There are several stellar lenses in the Panasonic lineup to prove it. And let’s face it - Panasonic was smart to team up with the Germans. Let's also just get this out of the way. When Leica is involved, you can immediately assume that this is going to be something fantastic. I have owned a few Leica cameras and lenses during my lifetime and every single time I touch Leica glass I feel lucky. It’s just special. When I found … [Read more...] about Panasonic 12mm f/1.4 ASPH Leica DG SUMMILUX First Look
A few years ago, I had this crazy idea to shoot a five-hour exposure while I was camping near the Tetons in Wyoming. The major obstacle to making a picture like this is battery power. The whole time a long exposure is recording, the sensor is activated, the shutter is held open, and a DSLR's mirror is held up, all of which require power. What’s more, if you use the built-in 'long exposure noise reduction' setting, the camera will process the photo for the same amount of time that the shutter was open. That means if I started the picture before … [Read more...] about TetherTools Case Relay Review and Tips for Lengthy Exposures
On this episode of the Photofocus #Mirrorless Show Scott and Marco will discuss these new products and mirrorless topics: Scott found some info that Canon may actually step up their game in the mirrorles segment. Marco gives a fairly thorough hands on review of the new Fujifilm X70 compact camera that he has been working with for a month now. He shares a lot of hands on experiences about what worked well and what does not work so well. And Marco gives some solid firmware improvement wishes that the Fujifilm marketing and product … [Read more...] about Photofocus Podcast April 28, 2016 — Mirrorless with Scott Bourne & Marco Larousse
I always like when my tools get a power boost. Kudos to Panasonic which just released two pretty amazing features for the Panasonic DMC-GH4. The company dropped a brand new update to the camera's firmware taking it to version 2.5. Here's what's new... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJjvEe6VbM0 Post Focus Post Focus is a technology that allows you to adjust which point is in-focus point after shooting. This technology was first seen on Lytro cameras, but Panasonic has taken it to the next level by allowing cameras to actual refine … [Read more...] about Own a Panasonic GH4? It’s Time For a Major Upgrade
A while back, I was chatting with Scott Bourne about the emerging 4K acquisition standard and the video camera "arms race" originally started by Red Digital Cinema. At the time, he said "Rich Harrington is always talking about 4K as well. I get it. It's a bigger frame, but I am not sure how that will impact still photographers." Over the last eighteen months, a lot has changed. Panasonic, Sony, GoPro and, most recently, Canon have brought new 4K capable cameras to market. Even our smartphones now capture 4K video. With this in mind, you may … [Read more...] about 4K. What’s all the Hubub, Bub?