Thursday, May 7, 2015

Sorry about that...

Readers of the blog recently probably got a pop up message about adult content, I changed some settings recently and accidentally set that option on blogger to "yes" :) As you can plainly see, there is no adult content on my blog.

Everything should be as normal now.

-Carl

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Fujifilm X30 Review- The Hands-On Compact Experience (PT-1)

Fujifilm X30 Review- The Hands-On Compact Experience (PT-1)
April 2015, Carl Garrard

Fujifilm X30 Review- Fuji's X30 might just be the kind of compact camera that would surprise serious shooters the most. Why? Well that is what this review will explain. So, it seems to me that the many who've written the X30 off because its "only" got a 2/3" sized sensor might just be missing out on something really special. Hey, it's your money, I'm not going to tell you how to spend it. If you're like me though (seemingly in the minority), you know that a sensor is only one part of the equation when it comes to making a great camera. My review attempts to find out just how good a compact can be with all considerations made- not just considering a sensor size alone- and the X30 seems to be a perfect camera for this test criteria. *This review is being released in two parts- due to time constraints and other factors, part II will be released at a further date*


Fujifilm X30 Light Speed Price Check
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Saturday, March 7, 2015

Reviews Reviews... Reviews

Just a quick note to readers- I have a lot of camera reviews in the pipeline currently with a few other cameras possible to come here in the next two weeks. Due up soon are two reviews for Fujifilm- the X30 and F900, and Sony soon with the A6000. Yes, can you believe it, a Sony review (it's been a while)? I'm working hard behind the scenes shooting and writing at a very productive pace- there's no rushing a camera review but my spare time is definitely being used productively for the site.  Thanks for all the support out there (you know who you are!).

Cheers to all!

-Carl

Monday, March 2, 2015

Fujifilm X-E2 Review

Fujifilm X-E2 Review
March  2015, Carl Garrard
Fujifilm X-E2 Review - My review of the XE2 was completed using the latest firmware version 3.00, click on the text if you need to upgrade. My time with the X-E2 has been pretty extensive, and I've got a chance to be able to use just about every bell and whistle this camera offers, including the new features afforded by the new firmware of course. My review is somewhat short- this camera has been reviewed to death online but few reviews exist using the new firmware of course, so I'll be happy to comment on the camera in its current state based on that. This review follows up to my X-E2 preview article from August.

READ MORE OR SEE BEST NEW PRICES
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Saturday, February 28, 2015

DPReview Post Fujifilm Interview

Quick P-C News: A very informative and interesting Fujifilm interview was posted at DPReview today. I thoroughly enjoyed it and want to share it with my readers. I won't spoil anything, just spreading the interesting articles to you :).
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Next Review At Bat: Fujifilm Finepix F900EXR

Next Review At Bat: Fujifilm Finepix F900EXR
February 2015, Carl Garrard
Quick update on future reviews- The Fujifilm Finepix F900EXR is the next compact to get reviewed here on P-C.com. Right now, I think Fujifilm offers the best value in a pocketable superzoom camera on the market. The F900EXR is the latest of the F series compacts announced in the US/EU regions (announced late Jan 2013). Japan has a newer model announced, but there doesn't appear to be any differences to this model worth noting. I'll update the site with my views on this compact soon! This is a full featured compact with tons of tools, EXR mode, great video, wifi, 20x zoom range, and raw image capture. While it may lack a viewfinder and a fast aperture lens, its specifications are very difficult to ignore- even for an enthusiast. Today's prices are extremely good as well!

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Monday, February 9, 2015

Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS50 Preview - An Exciting Proposition

Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS50 Preview: *An Exciting Proposition?
February 2015, Carl Garrard
Panasonic DMC-ZS50 *Preview: Of all the camera announcements in the last year, I'm pretty excited about this compact that Panasonic has announced. Of course it's too early to review the ZS50 since it's not due till April- months after its announcement- but there are plenty of items to discuss about its arrival at all. There are a few reasons this camera is an exciting "idea",  and I call it that now because I don't yet know how it will perform. Yet based on what Panasonic has created on the exterior, and included on its interior, I think the ZS50 has real promise as a wonderful travel camera- as well as an every day one.

*EDIT: 2-27-2015: Sorry that I cannot recommend this camera because today I've found out that Panasonic has indeed removed control of Jpegs to its end user (photo style). Sharpness, contrast, saturation, and noise reduction are all automatic and cannot be adjusted- per the online manual and early adopter testimony. What a shame and well, let me be straight- a sham. Pity, because this camera has so much going for it.


PREORDER UPDATES: Panasonic DMC-ZS50
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Thursday, January 8, 2015

Canon Powershot S90 Review- A Bargain Used Compact

Canon Powershot S90 Review- A Bargain Used Compact
January 2015, Carl Garrard

Canon Powershot S90 Review: If you are like me and keep a close eye on the used camera market, you'll see a lot cameras you may once have lusted to try out when they were announced, but just couldn't afford to buy at the time. Or, maybe you already were happy with the cameras you had and had a list of cameras one day you'd like to try for fun. Today's used camera market is a great place to shop if you want to try out a lot of different cameras, and there are especially good deals to be found on very capable cameras that can handle many photographic tasks the newest cameras seem to overshadow. But don't be fooled, they still do a great job! Today I'm going to talk about one good deal on the used market, the Canon S90.
Canon PowerShot S90
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Monday, December 22, 2014

Canon Powershot G16 Review

Canon Powershot G16 Review
December 2014, Carl Garrard


Canon Powershot G16 Review: The G16 is the culmination of years of progressive G series design, and it shows. Canon's G series cameras are very popular and historically have shown excellent customer satisfaction and overall sales. Today, the G16 faces off against a new even more serious breed of compacts with larger sensors and, as a result hasn't necessarily been the top talk of the tech forums or other photocentric sites. Despite that, G16 sales are brisk, and customers who have them are highly satisfied. There is a good reason for that, to which I'll attempt to explain in this review. Sorry to burst your bubble detractors, but small sensor cameras like the G16 are definitely still viable.



Canon G16 Amazons Best Current Price Taking a look supports the blog, purchase or not, thanks!

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Saturday, December 13, 2014

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 Review (Camera of the Year?)

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 Review (Camera of the Year?)
December 2014, Carl Garrard

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 Review: 
Happy Holidays to all readers.The 2014 year has been a rather interesting one for us shutterbugs, right? Camera companies are starting to show they can make enthusiast level cameras that have most of what we've been wishing they'd make for a long time. And speaking of those wish list cameras, I've temporarily stopped writing another camera review for the star of the show here, and it wasn't planned. Panasonic (and Leica) have made what they call the ultimate all in one camera, and I was too tempted to not try it out any longer. After a couple weeks or so with this camera, I'm ready to report my findings on the latest long zoom "digicam"- the FZ1000. I had planned on waiting to finish my other review first, but when shooting with this camera I found it so incredibly appealing and mesmorizing that I had to re-prioritize my publishable content. Long an avid fan of all in one designs, i.e. superzooms or long zoom cameras, the FZ1000 seems custom built to those users wants and needs. Let's see what kind of impression it's made on me so far.

Your Gateway to the best Amazon Price
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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Canon G16 Review Update

Canon G16 Review Update : As promised, I'm doing a write up on the Canon G16. This review that started off as a very enthusiastic short review, has morphed into something of a major project. It's therefore taking longer than I had initially hoped but the review is coming along. With a few distractions aside, the review is being pieced together bit by bit and, using the camera longer than normal for a review cycle has yielded some surprises and interesting thoughts alike. Stay patient, stay tuned :).

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Fujfilm X30 Preview/Announced

Fujfilm X30 Preview/Announced
August 2014, Carl Garrard
Oh yes its here. I'm a little bit excited too. This is the enthusiast compact I've been waiting for. Something with a larger than average sensor, built in EVF, fast sharp lens, great external controls, excellent build quality, and a flip up/down LCD panel. Fujifilms new X30 may not seem a radically new camera to some, but to me, all the little improvements add up to a major difference. The new X30 has a second generation 2/3" sized sensor and processor- which gives faster performance and improved image quality. It's also quite handsome and small enough to bring everywhere. Although this segment is quite competitive, I think the X30 carves a niche and might just offer the best all round design/package in its class. A full review is forthcoming. I can't wait to use it out and about. First impression thoughts ...

Fujifilm X30 The Search for Spock
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Friday, August 22, 2014

Fujifilm X-E2 Review Coming

Fujifilm X-E2 Review Coming
August 2014, Carl Garrard

Fujifilm X-E2 Review Coming: First off, I want to thank Fujifilm for providing this camera for review on a trial basis. I'm grateful to have the opportunity to evaluate this camera. So, thank you Fujifilm- you're nice people. Secondly, after unboxing this camera, the X-E2 in person is not quite what I expected. Looking at the camera on the shelf and the internet only- this is my first time handling one believe it or not,  I expected a much larger camera in person. It's definitely much smaller than I expected (as you can see in the image to the left compared to my GR)- it really did shock me when I saw it in its wrapper in the box. "Oh, you are so small aren't you?" I said aloud. "How ... um, .....cute!?" After holding it for a bit I realized the external controls that at first seemed a bit out of sorts to my personal liking (again never handled one), are not. After 10 minutes or so of handling it I realized -yep! I like it. Just goes to show you how valuable holding a camera in person is, and how doing so will give you a much more accurate impression. Thunk! That's the sound of my palm hitting my forehead. Why the heck did I not take a look at this camera before? Duh! I love rangefinder styled cameras, absolutely love them, so what gives? Don't ask me. More...

The Price Is Right- Fujifilm X-E2
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Monday, August 4, 2014

Fujifilm FinePix HS50 EXR Review

Fujifilm FinePix HS50 EXR Review
July 2014, Carl Garrard
Fujifilm FinePix HS50 EXR Review: What's something that a smartphone can't do? It can't zoom from 24-1000mm, that's what.  All in one cameras like the Fujifilm FinePix HS50 EXR pictured to the left are still growing in sales in the camera market, despite a contraction of sales across the board for the industry as a whole. Why are superzoom cameras still growing in the market? Simple. Instant gratification seems to drive the demand. It seems to me that most consumers want one device that can do many tasks or, do something extraordinary. Today's superzooms have reached capabilities that we used to joke about on internet forums just five years ago. Lens technology has never been more advanced, and I'm definitely seeing some extraordinary capabilities with today's superzooms that I thought I'd never see happen in my lifetime. Enter the Fujifilm FinePix HS50 EXR, just one of many superzooms on the market. My goal? To find the best superzoom for the price. More...

Your Fujifilm FinePix HS50EXR Connection
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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Upcoming Review: Superzoom

A superzoom review is coming up here soon. This is a camera that I find to be the best value superzoom on the market which will be compared to two other very popular superzooms. If you are in the market for one, I think my review will definitely be worth a read. On this blog I continue to try to report on interesting cameras and lenses that offer a lot of value for the money. My goal is to help photographers save time and money in search for the right equipment. Coming soon ...!

-Carl

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Pentax K3 Prestige Edition Announced

Pentax K3 Prestige Edition Announced
July 2014, Carl Garrard
Today Ricoh/Pentax announced a new Prestige Edition Pentax K3 DSLR. Besides the gorgeous color (really this is one bad ass looking camera), the special edition will only sell 2,000 units worldwide and comes with a matching battery grip and special camera strap. Two batteries are also included with the package as well. Pentax/Ricoh are known for special edition cameras, and the K3 already comes in a special edition silver version as well- granted with many more units produced than the Prestige Edition. It's selling for a pretty good price if you are a collector in my opinon. Read the press release below and decide for yourself.



Pentax K-3 Zone
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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Olympus Pen E-PM2 Review

Olympus Pen E-PM2 Review
July 2014, Carl Garrard
Olympus Pen E-PM2 Review: Poor Olympus. They seem to be a company that are always climbing a mountain but never near reaching the top. Fortunately, they do seem to gather and procure a very committed crowd of photographers that buy their equipment. There are some very good reasons for that, especially these days. But before I get off on a tangent- I'm not here to talk about the company as a whole. Well, not directly at least.  Recently I've come to acquire the little Olympus Pen E-PM2. This is a camera that many of my readers may think I'd not be interested in considering that I love myself a camera with a ton of external controls. We'll to them I say: sometimes there is more to a camera than meets the eye. More...

Olympus E-PM2- Who Needs A Lens?
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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Pentax K5IIs - Extreme Low Light Shooting (ISO 204,800)

Pentax K5IIs - Extreme Low Light Shooting (ISO 204,500)
July 2014, Carl Garrard
Today's test is about shooting in extremes. Occasionally we all mess up exposure, some of us more often or less than others. Look, it happens. When it happens, you can only hope your equipment is good enough to help salvage an image beyond your mistakes. This is why I tested the K5IIs in extreme circumstances to see how much real time/real life exposure latitude the sensor has. In other words, I wanted to see how well the K5IIs raw files could stand up in extreme underexposure at the camera's highest ISO setting. The image to the left was shot two stops underexposed at ISO 51,200 and developed from raw. More...


You've Entered: The Pentax K-5 IIs Zone
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Monday, July 14, 2014

PENTX XG-1 Announced Today (with pricing for the US Market)

Pentax XG-1 Announced Today (with pricing for the US Market)
July 2014, Carl Garrard

Today a new Pentax 52x superzoom replaces the Pentax X-5 (the K5 DSLR look alike), Pentax's XG-1. This camera is shooting for the consumer/beginner crowd and aims to be a relatively affordable but versatile package. It should go for about $399.00 USD initially, but this price is likely to be adjusted. The XG-1 looks more like the K50 DSLR this time around, instead how the X-5 was a knock off of Pentax's highly popular K5 camera. The press release for the XG-1 is below the basic information below. Some stand out specs are its HD video capability, dedicated af assist lamp, good macro capability, and host of digital filters. It's 16mp BSI CMOS sensor is widely shared among many different digital cameras, and it's decent for its intended market. Since this is a camera intended for beginners/consumers, it does not come with raw file capability. In my mind, a decently priced/spec'd camera for vacationers and for making family memories. It might be nice to see Pentax stand out a bit more by offering something different than other manufacturers, but alas...the XG-1 is the current superzoom model that comes from the new Ricoh ownership.

PENTAX SUPERZOOMS

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Monday, June 30, 2014

24 Shots- A Roll of Practice

Today's exercise is about getting back to basics. Of late I'm on a big 35mm film kick but of course I'm still shooting digital like most people. In between rolls of film I like to keep my skills and awareness sharp for the use of film, because I get lazy shooting with digital (as many of us do. admit it). When shooting with film, you just naturally tend to concentrate a lot more on the subject matter, composition, and exposure than you need too with digital- yet the result is unusually high keeper rates as a matter of practicing good habits. Practicing inbetween rolls of film is easy to do with digital. If you use a DSLR try this simple technique.


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Sunday, June 22, 2014

Minolta Dynax 9/Maxxum 9- A Look Back In Time

One of the commercials for the Dynax 9/Maxxum 9 legendary film camera. Someone was nice enough to post this on YouTube yet, at the time of my posting, only had 17 hits. For shame! The Maxxum 9/Dynax 9 is arguably one of the best professional film cameras designed ... ever. Enjoy. Minolta Maxxum 9


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Pentax K5IIs Review

Pentax (Ricoh) K5IIs DSLR Review
June 2014, Carl Garrard
Pentax (Ricoh) K5IIs DSLR Review
My preview is already up here on this site so I'm going to cut right to the chase with this review. I have a big history with the K5, so any and all changes made to the K5IIs have immediately become apparent to me while using it. Other than the changes noted in this review, a comprehensive review on other features etc. is available in my K5 review. Oddly as this may sound, I do want to note right away that I think it's stellar that Ricoh/Pentax still include a real comprehensive printed manual with this camera. I'm getting rather tired of the the cost cutting going on with other manufacturers to the point that they aren't including one with the camera. That said, the differences between the K5IIs and the K5 is a short list, but an important one, so lets get started.

Pentax K-5 IIs Body Only Easy Price Check

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

K5IIs Review Update

K5IIs Review Update
May 2013, Carl Garrard

We'll as promised, the K5IIs has arrived for testing and the project it will take on will certainly do just that. Here it lies unopened yet in its box, thanks B&H for excellent delivery! My new Raven project starts immediately which will push the limits of the K5IIs's dynamic range, focusing ability, and detail retention. After spending a lot of trigger hours on my K5 and other Pentax's as well, it's going to be interesting to see how this new camera stacks up to the task and my expectations. I'm a huge fan of my K20D's handling and for the most part that camera takes care of all of my DSLR needs, however the K5IIs is undoubtedly more prepared to take on this task and give me several advantages over the K20D- which is why I bought it.


Pentax K-5 IIs Best Price Check
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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Pentax K5IIs Review Forthcoming

Pentax K5IIs Review- It's forthcoming!
May 2014, Carl Garrard
Pentax makes some kick ass DSLR's, one of them in fact got my DSLR of the Decade award, the highest honor I've ever given any camera, let alone a DSLR- the K5. The K5IIs may be old news (late 2012), especially compared to the much fussed about K3, but it remains a very much capable camera. I've chosen it as a personal purchase to begin a photo project on ravens and crows I'm about to ebark on. Why? Two reasons mainly, it's phenomenal sensor is one of the best in the dynamic range department (14 stops is insane in the digital category at this price), namely the shadow areas, and it's lack of an anti-aliasing filter means more detail on crops. It's improved auto focus will definitely be welcomed as well. It's price right now is like insanely tempting and I couldn't resist it. The bang for the buck factor here is extremely high- bargain hunters you better take notice. I've also got an investment in Pentax lenses and the one's I've chosen are also great performers for the dollar. We'll see if the K5IIs's auto focus improvements live up to their promise with its Safox X af system.

Pentax K-5 IIs Best Price Check
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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Canon PowerShot G1X Mark II Preview

Canon PowerShot G1X Mark II Preview
April, 2014 Carl Garrard
Today's Low Price - Canon PowerShot G1X Mark II
It's been quite a while since my last post, but, the lab is back in action and I'll be posting again much more often. Thank you for your emails and support for my blog! Today I'll be discussing Canon's recently announced G1X Mark II. Ever a fan of the G series PowerShot cameras, I was eager to get the new G1X Mark II in my hands. This camera is basically a completely new redesign, and probably would be better named as the G2X, but alas, it isn't. The G1X Mark II has a faster lens, better magnification for macro work, smaller body and a forgone optical viewfinder in favor of a plug in and optional EVF. While any new camera design that goes through a radical re-design will draw criticisms, I tend to think that the G1X Mark II has refined itself over it's predecessor as a whole.

Today's Low Price - Canon PowerShot G1X Mark II
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Sunday, March 9, 2014

Ricoh GR Review

Ricoh GR Review
March 2014, Carl Garrard

Ricoh's GR is fast becoming my go too camera for almost all applications. A photographer and busy father with a career often seeks the pleasure and companionship of a camera that is portable yet highly capable. I have many cameras that can suit this task well, but of late the Ricoh GR is the one I've been naturally grabbing for on the go photography. It is slowly replacing all of my other portable cameras, zoom or not for reasons I shall outline below. Quick specs- APS-C size 16mp filterless sensor, 28mm f/2.8 aperture, full manual controls, art filters galore, and extremely customizable and capable menu system unlike any other compact on the market .


Ricoh GR Best Searched Price
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Friday, November 15, 2013

Pentax K20D - Still Loving It

Pentax K20D - Still Loving It

Yeah it's five years old, and this is my third K20D. And yes, Pentax has the new  K-3 out there now. There are those that wonder why I still hold onto some older DSLR cameras when there are so many new and shiny DSLRS's available on the market, especially with the Pentax K-3flagship dangling in front of me. The answer in short, is that I reserve the right to have specific tastes. I've liked many cameras and have loved but a few. I won't talk about the one's I've hated- it's pointless. My needs are as specific as anyone else's and, just as unique. Sometimes we photographers agree on our tastes/needs and sometimes we don't. That's life. With that said, I find great satisfaction in sharing my opinion with others, and, at the same time, I find equal satisfaction in listening to theirs. Humans can be a fickle species, and I'm no different. Needs and desires change all the time, admittedly desires more than needs, but nevertheless we all have that in common to one degree or another.

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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Nikon Df- First Impressions

Nikon Df- First Impressions
November 2013, Carl Garrard
 Yesterday Nikon announced an interesting camera- about a week after a buzz campaign had been on the net for all to watch. The camera to the left is touted to be many things by Nikon, but I'm not here to discuss what they think of the camera. I'm going to give my raw impressions on what this campaign and camera have left on me. The Nikon Df  is certainly a striking camera by any measure. The exterior exudes functionality first in design, that in the minds eye of this writer, also exudes beauty. Practically designed cameras have always seemed beautiful to me, because it is very obvious the design is meant to appeal to a working photographer.

Nikon Df Information Page
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