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?
Im in the market for a new camera and its been a struggle to decide which one I want. Being a techie, Ive analyzed every spec and feature from all the cameras, weighed cost and portability, and compared it to the gear I already have. And still no answer. But since Ive done the research, I figured Id share my thoughts with you and maybe it will help me make a decision. Before I decide, the best thing to do is rent each camera from LensRentals.com and test it out myself. While Ive considered it, I don't have any trips or shoots scheduled for the … [Read more...] about The Search for a Perfect Camera
When I heard that Photofocus was renting the Pinball Hall of Fame for a party, my mind started going crazy with ideas. The plan was to host a party during Photoshop World in Las Vegas and invite Photofocus readers to join us for a live shoot with models and borrowable cameras from LensRentals.com. The party was a blast, and you've already seen some of the pictures posted here on the blog. I had a particular plan in mind, however, and I'll show you how I made it come to life, and maybe my method will help you realize a vision you've had in … [Read more...] about Pinball Heroes: How I Previsualized and Realized a Photograph
At Photofocus we love giving away prizes. Especially when those prizes can change your photographic life. We've partnered up with KelbyOne and we've got a great prize to give away. The Grand Prize GRAND PRIZE: A Brand New Panasonic Lumix LX100 and Two Passes to Photoshop World. SECOND PRIZE: One Pass to Photoshop World What's Photoshop World? Only the best training conference on the planet (and I don't just say that since I've attended for the last 11 years). The Three-day event covers the best in photography, lighting and … [Read more...] about Win Two Tickets to Photoshop World + A Panasonic Lumix LX100
The Olympus M.Zuiko ED 40-150mm f/2.8 Pro lens with its 1.4x teleconverter has helped me make a bunch of good pictures and allowed me to do a good job for my clients. Over the last few months, I've used it to shoot a variety of subjects from wild horses to aerial photos to portraits to college graduation. I'd like to show you how it performed for me, and make an argument for why you will never need to buy a $12,000 lens. Let's start with the horses. This Lens Will Tame Wild Horses The thing about these horses is they are fairly tame (people … [Read more...] about Super-Telephoto Killer: Olympus 40-150mm f/2.8 Pro Hands-on Review
I don't use neck straps, and I generally advise everyone against them. I think they're a poor design and dangerous to your body--with as much shooting as I do, carrying a camera was damaging my neck. You may have read my review of the Joby wrist strap when I said it's the only strap I'll use. Well, I've got to take those words back: the new Spider Pro Hand Strap is now with me all the time and it's truly the only strap I'll ever use. It's perfect because it's secure, and well designed. Safety First Neck straps let you keep a camera handy, but … [Read more...] about Spider Pro Hand Strap
The trouble with photographing eyeglasses is that they're made of glass, which is generally pretty reflective and reflections of my flashes may obscure the eyes behind the glass, and if we can't see a person's eyes we might as well not make a picture. I was pretty intimidated by this when I was a new photographer. Tips I'd read for beating the problem included tipping the glasses on the face, removing the lenses, and taking a shot without the glasses and blending it with the glasses in Photoshop. As a guy who wore glasses, the idea of removing … [Read more...] about There’s Just 1 Trick to Photographing Glasses
I photograph a lot of people in their places--people working and living and their environments. These environmental portraits are so much fun to make, but I've usually got a limited time to make them--business people can only halt business for so long while I make pictures. That's why it's important that I have some systems to maximize our opportunities for usable photographs, and here's a simple one. It seems simple, but until I was told to do it every time, I wasn't doing it every time. Does that make sense? Sometimes sensible things just … [Read more...] about My Portrait System — Great Shots Each Time
One of the best reasons to go to trade shows is to get your hands on new gear. I'm not talking about the latest camera or lens from Nikon or Canon--you can hold that and try it on at the camera store any time you want. No, the best gear to get your hands on is all the accessories that aren't out of box in camera stores. My favorite booth for great accessories at WPPI this year was Phottix, where I found the handiest accessory I've seen in a while. The Worst Thing That Can Happen Say you're photographing an eventa wedding reception, or maybe the … [Read more...] about One Must Have Accessory for Event Photographers
Environmental portraits show people in their place, their habitat. The environment sets the mood and the place of the story, and a single look at the photograph can tell you what the story is about. Let me show you three things I think about as I light the background to make an environment worth photographing. 1. It's Gotta Be Believable Lighting and posing a person so he looks his best is my primary concern. (Here are two other articles about lighting and posing to help people look great.) After that's under control, I've got to figure out … [Read more...] about Powerful Environmental Portraits Need 3 Things
The most powerful flash setting you have is the one that controls when your flash fires. This setting works for your pop-up flash, for a speedlight on your camera, and for any off-camera light you're controlling. It's called Rear Sync, or 2nd Curtain. What you need: Camera--point and shoots may not be capable and your iPhone can't do it, but many bridge cameras and every changeable lens camera I've ever handled will work Flash (pop-up, speedlight, mono-block, power-pack and head, nuclear bomb--anything will do) Tripod--strongly recommended … [Read more...] about How to: Make Magic with a Flash and Rear Sync
We've frequently talked about using polarizing filters to make more striking landscape photographs, but they are at least as important for making more vibrant portraits, and cutting your retouching time in half. Let me show you how it works, as well as some general tips. What Does a Polarizer Do? Polarizers reduce the visible affect of reflections--that's it. The sky is full of water vapor and other particles which reflect sunlight, and most things that reflect sunlight appear white, right? The polarizer removes those reflections leaving behind … [Read more...] about Use a Polarizer for Purer Portraits and Less Retouching
It can be overwhelming to arrive at a beautiful landscape to make pictures, or to a portrait shoot and be faced with making great pictures on demand. When I make portraits for a client, I have to deliver, or there's no food on the table--how's that for pressure? Sometimes I see a good picture and I get excited about making it and I take some time to get it all set and it turns out just right and I love it. But if I leave it at that, then I've just spent all that time finessing the situation and walked away with only one good image. Instead, … [Read more...] about Maximize Every Shoot With These Four Shots
I recently rented a Lumix 35-100mm f/2.8 G Vario lens from LensRentals.com so that I could show you the difference between a 70-200mm lens on a full-frame Nikon and a 35-100mm lens on a Micro Four Thirds Lumix, as well as the value of such comparisons. First of all, let's define some things: Bokeh: The out of focuss-ness of the background in a photograph. Sometimes photographers use the word to describe the quality of the softness, and sometimes we use it to describe how deep the depth of field is. I'm sure this isn't the precisely correct … [Read more...] about Bokeh Showdown: Full-frame 70-200mm f/2.8 vs. MFT 35-100mm f/2.8
Lumix GH4, Olympus 75mm f/1.8 lens, f1.8, 1/5000s, ISO 200, JPG straight from camera. I'm working on a post that will explain why I'm in the market to replace my D800. In the meantime, I've been utilizing LensRental.com's excellent service to try out some of the hot cameras on the market right now. This week I was lucky enough to get my hands on the brand new Lumix GH4. I'm pretty sure I was even the first one to use this item. It's hard to tell, though, because everything I get from LensRentals is always in pristine condition. In fact, my … [Read more...] about Panasonic Lumix GH4: Truly A Professional Camera?
In a recent conversation with Chase Reynolds over at LensRentals, we couldn't wait to talk about all the new "hot gear". They see quite a bit of inventory come and go from their warehouse so it's always interesting to hear about the different products that are being moved on a daily basis. The two products he chose? The Sigma 50mm 1.4 and the Panasonic GH4. Listen to the conversation here. (Starting around 17:15) Get the show here or get it on iTunes Don't forget to post a review on iTunes. Sigma 50mm 1.4 Art The Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM … [Read more...] about Hot Gear: Sigma 50mm 1.4 and Panasonic GH4
Editor's Note: This is a guest post from Eduardo Angel, filmmaker and educator. The friendly waiter at the Turkish restaurant in Sohar, Oman, saw the camera on the table and asked Nikon? Canon? Which one is better? To which I replied, actually, this is a Panasonic GH3. He stared at me, and his expression turned from excited to perplexed to confused to annoyed within seconds. After an uncomfortable silence he finally asked, Are you ready to order? That was pretty much my reaction when, only two days before I started teaching a workshop in … [Read more...] about Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 Hands-on Review
Let Rich show you how to stabilize a Micro Four-Thirds camera. For some of the cameras, the stabilization is part of the camera and not the lens. You can check out the whole class here and get a free trial membership here. Disclaimer: This is just one way to stabilize a camera. ______ … [Read more...] about How to Stabilize a Micro Four-Thirds Camera
You've probably heard Scott and me talk about how much we love the Micro Four-Thirds format. In this movie we outline some of the key benefits and what makes these cameras work differently than traditional DSLRs. You can check out the whole class here and get a free trial membership here. Disclaimer: This is just an overview of some of the differences of note. ______ … [Read more...] about How are Micro Four-Thirds Cameras Different from DSLRs?
If you are a regular reader here at Photofocus you know I have switched to micro four thirds as my primary camera format. At the top end of MFT you will find Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 and the Olympus OM-D E-M5. I bought the OMD-E-M5 merely because it came out first. I bought a bunch of lenses, all Olympus other than one Panasonic (Fisheye) because I thought it just made sense to avoid paying for stabilization in the Panasonic lenses, when the Oly had five-axis-based sensor stabilization. But it wasn't until my recent trip to Alaska that I … [Read more...] about Panasonic GH3 v. Olympus OMD-EM5 – Quick Take
When Panasonic released the LX3, I was one of the first people to sing its praises. It was an amazing camera for the money. It was one of the first compacts to skip the megapixel madness approach to photography and instead, it concentrated on low noise imagery. Fast forward to late August, 2010. Panasonic has updated the LX3 and now releases the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5. Let's take a look at the improvements. The LX5 is a real step up from the LX3. The news is all good so far - especially the fact that it's the same price now as the LX3 was … [Read more...] about Panasonic Lumix LX5 Mini Review
You might remember when I asked if the Olympus E-P1 was the most hyped camera in history? Some Olympus fanboys (as well as some who write about cameras for a living) didn't like my post. Sorry but I call em' like I see em.' Well Panasonic recently announced the GF1. It's a direct shot at Olympus' new E-P1. While I've not used either camera, I can read a spec sheet as well as the next person and I note some interesting features in the GF1. The GF1 has a built-in flash where the EP-1 does not. It also offers faster auto-focusing, and an … [Read more...] about Will Panasonic’s New GF1 Be An Olympus E-P1 Killer?