Leica Has Competition: PIXII
October 2018, Carl Garrard
2018- The historical, radical change year of Digital Photography, just got even more interesting with the new rangefinder from PIXII. Yep a real rangefinder, not styled, not a wannabe, but a real rangefinder from another manufacturer. This came as a big surprise to me today, and I have to say I am very excited. I had hoped Voigtlander would join Leica in the digital rangefinder category, but alas it looks like Zenit and now PIXII are the only others making digital rangefinders so far. I just found out about this news so I will read up tonight and throw in my two cents on what I think of the camera so far soon enough. For now, the specs and the site, and the pic of the camera should do :).
Ricoh- Asahi Pentax 2019...And Beyond
October 2019, Carl Garrard
Just a quick update on next year. As some know already, next year is Asahi Pentax's 100yr anniversary. There are comments turned to "rumors" flying around based on a couple of comments by a reliable source (Asahi Man) about development currently in place at Ricoh. Quick rewind, I have commented previously that I see plenty of room in the market for a DSLR (not a mirrorless camera) that is positioned in the affordable category. I did not make those comments lightly. The comments (notice I'm not saying rumor), which are accurate, eluded to full frame cameras in two categories. I am now saying there is room in the marketplace also for a higher end DSLR, say above the K1 II, so... one above, and one below the K1 II. It is clear to me, there is space in both categories in the marketplace for Ricoh to pursue, especially after what has been seen at Photokina (mirrorless craze).
As we know, I was right about the upcoming GR III well before its pre-announcement. Keep a close eye on what I've stated about the room in the marketplace for DSLR's, because Ricoh clearly have room in their own lineup for both spaces as well. There is no coincidence about the comments made about development in two categories. And then, think about the next logical step for Ricoh in the Pentax brand, and next years 100yr anniversary. Then remember what I've said here.
One of the best interviews I've seen in a very long time, and must be shared to my readers! Always liked Panasonic, they aren't the same as some other electronic giants at the highest levels. Truly looking out for photographers. I won't spoil it, but you have to watch it all. It gets better as you go on!
Fujifilm Reviews On Deck!
October 2018, Carl Garrard
Fujifilm fans, I haven't forgot about you. I have two very exciting reviews coming soon that I'm sure you will be very interested in. My first review up is the XF10, and trust me, whatever you've read negative about this camera is about to be wiped clean with my upcoming review. Teaser: It's not worthy of any bad reviews or press... trust me. You know I love serious compacts, so to say that much already is a very good sign. Secondly, the little 27mm f/2.8 Fujinon lens, needs more love than it gets, so I will review that lens too. So far, it's welded to my custom clad X-E2 and it is not coming off. More to follow so please stay tuned and check back soon. The XF10 review will be a very thorough and multi-page comprehensive blast of information, trust me! Please share my site, bookmark it, tell a friend, all of your help contributes to the success of the site. Thank you all for your support, I mean it!
Photo of the Day: Lenticular Clouds, Rancho Santa Margarita CA
October 1 2018, Carl Garrard
These cloud formations are extremely rare for Southern California. I've lived in RSM for over 20 years now, and this is the first formation of Lenticular Clouds I've seen above any of our local mountains. Ironically, they formed immediately above the recent Holy Fire burn area from August of this year. If on is a believer in "mystic rhythms"at all, then they are quite extraordinary. With the remnants of hurricane Rosa on its way, to me, this was natures warning and signpost of much needed rain to come. Image made with the Pentax K70 and Tamron 17-50mm/f2.8 II. More on that lens later as I will be doing a review here. For now... (more) Tamron17-50MM F/2.8 XR Di II Best Current Price Pentax K-70 Weather-Sealed DSLR Best Price, Body Only (Black)
Ricoh GR Blog (Official) on the GR III
October 1 2019, Carl Garrard
For more up to date information the upcoming GR III, you can also go here: RICOH GR BLOG in addition to getting the latest info here on Photographic Central. Also, I have made quite a few changes in the blog lately; visual changes as well as adding functionality to the site. There is a big white search bar at the top, link and subscribe buttons, translate blog functionality, a new featured post on the right side bar, contact forms, and home button added to make navigation much easier. Please share the site and subscribe, it helps more than you know. More ...
Zeiss Drops a Bombshell- Introducing the Zeiss ZX1
September 2019, Carl Garrard
Just when I thought Photokina couldn't get any more exciting or epic, Zeiss literally took my breath away. There is no doubt in my mind this is the most forward thinking digital camera to come from any manufacturer to date, and its going to take a long time for me to wrap my head around what Zeiss has done here. They may have, in one fail swoop, dictated the view of the future of camera design. Traditionalists are likely to blow this camera up, and everyone else will be blown away. I know that I am personally, literally blown away. All of my assumptions I made about the upcoming ZX1 were literally wiped clean when I read the press release below. Talk about unique, talk about making me rethink camera design completely. I feel like Zeiss has designed a camera you'd see in 2049, if the future looked like Bladerunner the movie. Stunned, doesn't even cut it.
Hi all! Just a quick post to link to an interview with the main designer of the GR III. I have met with many people at Ricoh before and talking with them has always been an enlightening experience on both sides of the conversation. I couldn't make it to Germany for Photokina 2018 this year, but I'm having plenty of conversation with Ricoh via e-comm.
Ricoh GR III Preview: In-depth First Look September 2018, Carl Garrard
Further examination (after my initial reaction) of what Ricoh have announced so far about the GR III lends less to be desired by yours truly. Ricoh have put together a very formidable new package here. Despite the fact that the new GR doesn’t have a couple of my wish list items (one is addressed, another partially addressed), I am still very impressed with what I have seen so far with the development announcement. First, it looks like early 2019 we’ll have it on shelves for sale, which is earlier than what Ricoh Japan put on their site about a “spring release”. Both the US and German announcements have it slated for early 2019.
Fujifilm GFX 50R- Rangefinder Styled Medium Format Deliciousness
September 2018, Carl Garrard
"Epic Historic Photokina" continues... Today Fujifilm officially announces the GFX 50R Medium format camera. And, wow. What a beautiful camera it is. If ever full frame had a "affordable" serious medium format competition, this is it. I know "rumors" have been out there for some time now, but to actually have the final press release show up first thing this morning was, needless to say exciting. With all these awesome camera announcements this year, I'm going to have a hangover in the coming months. I'm sure I am not alone. Fujifilm continue to absolutely impress me with all of their new camera announcements and growth of the X system. I don't think any other company has been so consistent with smart decisions and growth over the last 3/4ths of a decade than Fujifilm. Amazing... (more)..
Ricoh GR III Announced! September 2018, Carl Garrard
Well, as you can see my reporting upcoming news wasn't vapor out of thin air. Ricoh gives us some news about the upcoming Ricoh GR. I really had no idea what Ricoh were going to announce this Photokina, only that they were definitely going to announce something. I am excited to see that a third generation GR will be announced this spring and based on the specifications so far I'm pretty pleased. The new GR III looks to be a bit less wide than its predecessor and the top plate is flush unlike the GRII which had a slight hump for the wifi unit. Ricoh GR II Pricing
Ricoh GR Coming? Two More Days...
September 2018, Carl Garrard
Photokina 2018, not much longer now. Ricoh's special GR site is still full of activity and not letting up. With the special event planned in Germany and constant updates to the GR blog and GRist photographer pages, it's my guess that we will see an announcement of a new GR and/or a future release date. Of course I'm just guessing here, but if I were placing a bet on an announcement this year, this is where I'd put my money. More... Ricoh GR
Sony, Preseason is Over.
September 2018, Carl Garrard
As I foresaw in early September, Photokina 2018 will go down as historic, and epic. I was saying this before all the YouTube channels fired up and realized the same thing. Officially Photokina isn't even here yet, but Canon and Nikon and now Panasonic/Sigma/Leica are all going to be competing against Sony in the full frame MILC market. How things change fast in a month for Sony. After having that spot in the market for five full years alone (come this Oct), suddenly that space will be very crowded. And not just crowded with mediocre players, we're talking the big dogs here. Sony had five years to grow their FF lineup, and it took them nearly that long to produce two cameras that finally are meeting pro requests and requirements they were asking for all along. So, has Sony used that time wisely to gain a five year head start, or is that head start not nearly as big as they might think it is? It's not a simple answer.
Ricoh has also issued an update to its new version of its Image Sync App, fixing the bug in version 2.0.0. The new app for android users is available now, under version 2.0.1 which will solve your woes, the bug is fixed. I downloaded it myself, and it solved the issue with my K70. Joy. http://www.ricoh-imaging.co.jp/english/products/app/image-sync2/
Photokina is coming soon, and it's still tight as a button for now on news here. But, that could very well be a good thing :). Said he.
Rare Camera Find: The Pentax K3II Silver Edition (...Unboxing Video?) September 2018, Carl Garrard
Sometimes, there's just something special about shooting with cameras that are not so common. Part of it is the perceived effect of the law of supply and demand. But, for something as special as photography is to me, unique cameras are just part of my joy. There are several reasons why I enjoy having different types of cameras around, and most are practical, but it's more than just that. It's sort of a need. First, I'm absolutely fascinated with camera design. Admittedly, I've sometimes even daydreamed about designing my own cameras, or, working for a camera manufacturer at the design level. Either I'm not alone there, or just a little obsessed. Pentax K-3II Pentax DSLR (Best Price Black Body)
Sony Cybershot RX10 IV Review (Bonus)- Worth the High Price? September 2018, Carl Garrard
It's year 2008, and I'm photographing tenaciously. Any type of photography in the outdoors intrigued me greatly; whether it was the micro world of macro, the vastness of space, and everything in between. The year of 2008 I grew tremendously as a freelance 'artistic' photographer. I can't recall a year I was more active with personal photographic projects than this year. I wasn't a father back then, so time was in abundance. I was photographing nearly everything with equipment of all types but mainly Sony bridge cameras and the A100 DSLR, making images of any subject that captured my imagination and fascination.
Fujfiilm X-T3 Review (Announcement)
September 2018, Carl Garrard
Review: (Announcement) In case you haven't already read about the X-T3: Today, FUJIFILM North America Corporation officially unveiled the new FUJIFILM X-T3, a mirrorless digital camera that launches the X Series into its fourth generation of technology. Introducing an all-new back-illuminated 26.1MP X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor and X-Processor 4 processor, the X-T3 delivers superb image quality, dramatically improved AF performance, exceptional tracking performance of fast-moving subjects and blackout-free burst shooting.It succeeds the X-T2 which is an excellent option for anyone wanting a classic SLR experience with new technology underneath. Fujifilm continue to innovate and progress for its customers. Great announcement!
Review: Ricoh's Pentax K-70 - An Outdoorsman's Ideological DSLR ( With Press Commentary)
September 2018, Carl Garrard
Hello all. So yeah, I know my last *new* DSLR review for Pentax was the K5IIs, it's been a while. Although I meant to post my K3 and the K3II reviews, I just never ended up completing them. I passed on the KS1, and may still review the KS2, but the K70 seemed the next logical review here for a reason. Sorry, I've been a busy guy. Upon unboxing my new K70 and lenses, it was apparent to me right away that Ricoh/Pentax have been very busy on the design team since my last Pentax DSLR experience. So, before I get into my impressions on this camera, I think it's best to make a list of items I deem important about the K70 that stood out to me while reading about it. I'll do this without listing every single item like a sales brochure, but even then be warned that its going to be a long review. So without further ado, I have to say it's nice to be reviewing a Pentax DSLR again. I missed all the Pentaxians out there! You still have some voices out here that get it and care. There's even a sort of bonus section on that very subject at the end of this review.
Ricoh Image Sync 2 Released (Hmmmm) September 2018, Carl Garrard
Ricoh/Pentax have announced a new version of their Image Sync application for wireless use of their Pentax and Ricoh cameras, but so far only for Android users. In late September the app will be launched to support IOS users as well. A list of currently supported cameras is already on their app page above. The new app gives you additional features and a restructured facelift to boot. More...
Photokina 2018- Will Be Historic, Absolutely Epic. September 2018, Carl Garrard
Photokina 2018: It's hard not to get excited, but I admit that I am. I'll get right to the nitty gritty on current information. As we know, Nikon has already introduced the new Z mount system, and Canon today have leaked the new EOS R system pictures and specifications -and wow, they have blown me away. Fujifilm are going to introduce the most affordable medium format camera to date (GFX 50R), and have already leaked the X-T3 for APS-C that looks fantastic. If that doesn't blow you away this certainly will: Panasonic is rumored (highly likely) to go full frame mirrorless and join Sony, Nikon, and Canon with a brand new mount and double down on their impact on the camera market (especially video). They already have the co-developed Leica SL platform to jump off and I know for sure they will go after all of them with everything they have. That's not all!
Exclusive: I have word that Ricoh/Pentax is also going to announce "something", and I have good word on that. It's not going to be some lame announcement either, so keep your eye on this site for specifics that I'm able to give in the very near future here. Sony and Olympus still haven't shown any cards but I sincerely doubt they will remain quiet. Don't forget about all the other smaller and third party manufacturers either as there will likely be lots announcements to support the new system and products coming up.
My summation of this epic Photokina so far is this: All of the camera manufacturers sorta got together/got the memo and said "we're tired of the declining overall market, lets go all in and throw our punches, and re-ignite the industry and also combat the smart phone dominance". Just watch and see, this will be the most epic year for the industry since digital cameras have been invented.
Nikon Z6 and Z7 Announced Pre-Orders Available Already! (Preview)
August 2018, Carl Garrard
Here it is, the Nikon Z7
Nikon's Z6 and Z7 mirrorless cameras are out and ready to be purchased in kit forms and lens adapter too. Nikons 24.5mp Z6 is about $1995.00 USD, and 45.7 mp Z7 is $3395.00, these are body only prices. Nikon's entrance to the Mirrorless party is going to change the entire industry up, one that Sony has dominated singularly for quite some time now. Competition is fierce, and it all starts today. I'm going to be watching intently for Canon's announcement next, and Sony's answers to them both.
Remembering the Pentax K200D August 2018, Carl Garrard
It's hard to think that it has been seven years since I reviewed the Pentax K200D. Since then I cannot count how many cameras have come across my desk, or that I have bought and sold. Very recently, my local national forest suffered a huge loss because of arson. A particular area called Trabuco Canyon up near Holy Jim trail and Trabuco Road, have been devastated by this fire. It is (was) the most beautiful hiking area for locals, now burned down because of a singular self centered act. As a result, I had desired to review some images I made of Trabuco Canyon and the surrounding areas over the years, and forgot I had made many with this remarkable camera. I was stunned to see how well the raw images held up, and relived the magical quality of its 10.2mp CCD sensor. Consequently, more memories came back to me about how much I liked using it too. The K200D ended up being everything I wanted my first DSLR to be (the Sony A100), but ended up being much more than I expected.
Upcoming Sony Review? It's Been Five Years!!?? July 2018, Carl Garrard
For those of you who haven't followed me from day one, I'll give you a little history. My days of doing camera reviews started way back in 2007 with a site that I took down from the internet called AlphaMountWorld.com. This website was dedicated to Sony's new DSLR system (and Konica Minolta gear), much like Dyxum.com or other Sony/Konica Minolta centric sites on the internet today. At that time there were only 3 sites globally dedicated to Sony or Konica Minolta gear (at least for the english speaking world). There, I cut my teeth in reviewing cameras, and have learned so much since then. I grew, and moved on to my own website where I could review any camera I liked, the one you are on now. For whatever reason, I haven't done a full Sony review in over five years. (There may be a prize in store for readers!)
Stay in The Zone- Leica M8, Leica M-D, Panasonic LC1, Fujifilm X20, Canon G16, Ricoh GR IV
July 2018, Carl Garrard
This article will touch on a subject that is hardly discussed in photography groups, but one that I feel is the most extremely important of all- staying in the zone. And what exactly do I mean by staying in the zone? Being in the zone to me at least, in life or in photography, is a mode in which you are in when you are at your most acutely aware, focused, and balanced. It's a moment, or series of moments in your life where you know you are at your optimum self, at your most capable, and produce your finest works in all aspects of life. I also believe that being in the zone is a moving target, and that it takes supreme honesty and maximum effort of your cognitive skills in order to be there. The zone, to which I will refer in the rest of this article, should be a place we strive to be in as often as possible. To get yourself in the zone often requires a lot of honest self reflection, humility, and complete lack of external and internal distractions alike. You must know your true self "Nosce te ipsum", and then be your true self "Tu ipse esto", wholly, and without any reservations.
Setting Up My Leica M8 for the Leica M-D
April 2018, Carl Garrard
My Leica M8 still gets plenty of work. It's a unique and fun Leica M, and with use over time I believe this to be even more so than my "classic" M9 in some respects. Recently, I learned how to properly adjust the M8 for a horizontal RF adjustment because its focus alignment was slightly off horizontally, and a small adjustment was necessary. I'm an independent type, so I'd rather fix it myself rather than pay then wait a long time for it to come back from being serviced. It wasn't a difficult job, but I took my time to research it and complete it properly. Along the way I had also acquired two OEM black Leica logos, and so I also replaced my red dot on the M8 with the black dot (which I think makes it looks much better). With the focus dead on, I made sure my sensor was clean, and bingo my M8 felt like new again. Now it was time to dig into the menu system and set it up in such a way that would prepare me for a new arrival. The Leica M-D.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LC1 - Fifteen Glorious Years Later
April 2018, Carl Garrard
the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LC1 wasn't officially announced till PMA in 2004, its near
twin, the Leica Digilux 2 was announced in late December 2013, and both were
developed in that year. Only aesthetics on the exterior separate the two from being identical
(black paint vs silver, grip added vs flat, minor different looking
on/off switch). It's amazing to think that fifteen years has passed since
this camera was announced. And it's also unthinkable (more on that later) that
Panasonic and Leica haven't collaborated to make a true successor to these
cameras considering how wildly popular they are with the subculture who rave about them. These
two cameras have become cult status icons, because they are two of the most beautifully
designed digital cameras of all time. Most owners covet them, some have
bought and sold them several times, but ultimately you cannot escape the
draw of the beautifully designed LC1 (and Digilux 2). And that's one reason why I took so much time to write this article.
Ricoh GR Digital IV: Ricoh's Digital GR IV Still Reigns April 2018, Carl Garrard
Why does this particular GR still matter? Well, it always will in the line up of GR lore because it's smaller, lighter, and has a faster lens than its bigger GR I/II successors. Ricoh's GR Digital IV is definitely a complimentary camera to the large
sensor GR's with both types having distinct advantages that can give you
awesome results. This camera is the reason the larger sensor GR's are as
good as they are today, so remember that. Having met and worked with Ricoh under NDA with it's
employees in the past, I can tell you first hand that they are all
photographers that look out for our best interests in camera design, and
it shows in the final products. The GR Digital IV is no different.
Hello all my
photographer readers! Happy February (already) to all of you. This year
is going by quickly, but so far has been a wonderful year for myself and
others in many respects. In the vein of that excitement, a new project
has been born that puts my 25+ years of photographic interest and
experience to light.
A Sunday Drive, the 2018 Subaru Crosstrek and Fujfilm X10
January 2018, Carl Garrard
2017 was a challenging and difficult year, both for those I love and for myself personally. I'm sure there would be relative testimony from many of my readers about last year as well. I'm particularly glad it's behind all of us. But, although time is a man made idea, sometimes it seems a new year can bring good luck and fortune. This year, although in its beginnings, has been the best start to a year that I can recall in some time, it feels like its a year of healing after licking some wounds. And thus a good Sunday morning drive can be a great way to take some time to reflect on all the good things we have in our lives, and see some natural beauty too. That was my morning today and yesterday, whilst driving my newly acquired 2018 Subaru Crosstrek and the Fujifilm X10 as my companion. Fujifilm X10 Current Used Prices
Fujifilm X-T1- Beauty, Handsomeness, and Incredibly Chiseled Features
January 2018, Carl Garrard
When I unboxed Fujifilms X-T1, the first thing I thought of was Hansel's (Owen Wilson's) line in Zoolander (yes really). This is one beautiful and supremely well designed camera
that you'll be at home with either on the street, at a modeling shoot, or even at Mount Vesuvius. There really are only two types of cameras that get photographers hearts pumping these days- beautiful looking rangefinder (styled) cameras, and the classic SLR (style) cameras. Both types imbue an adrenaline based Starbucks cocktail mixture of emotions. Those emotions include: a dose of fond personal memories, a dab of historical significance, a warmed heart, and all mixed together with a little sprinkle of lust. Wherein Leica have pretty much nailed down the most beautiful rangefinders cameras of all, Fujifilm, at least in my eyes, have taken the award for the most beautiful SLR style digital camera of all. The Graphite version of the XT1 (or XT2), in person, is the most handsome SLR, or DSLR style camera I've ever seen. Pictures simply don't do it justice, you do really have to see it in person to believe it. For serious.
Mystery Camera Review- Series 1
December 2017, Carl Garrard
MCR #1: This review is the first in a series of a new type of camera review (we will do lenses too) wherein I'll discuss only the image quality, usability, and some key features of the camera. There will be enough information in the review that you'll probably end up being able to discern the product name eventually, but the whole point here is solely on what the image quality can look like and how much I enjoy using the camera. Images shared in this review will be screen shots only from my 1080p HD monitor (no exif peeking!). It is not a challenge to guess the type of camera, but rather to see what can be done with the camera. Today, we have so many cameras available that produce excellent image quality, it is simply time to focus on how intuitive and fun a camera can be to use. No, the reflected image isn't the camera I used in this article, the fuzzy squarish thing around it, is.
Wrapping up 2017 here is a short tribute to a camera that I was (and still am) very fond of. Back in 2006, when in my digital 'career' I decided to graduate from fixed lens cameras such as the Sony V3, F828, and Sony R1, to a DSLR platform. I had to choose if I was going to stick with the Sony brand I was familiar with or start fresh with a completely new DSLR brand. Sony cameras had helped me kick start a very decent fine art sales income back then. I felt comfortable using the brand and was more than happy with the quality of images coming from them. So, when Sony made an exciting announcement (on the heels of a sad Konica Minolta announcement) of acquiring the Konica Minolta camera division in late 2005, it pretty much was a no brainer that I'd end up purchasing their very first DSLR.
Fujifilm XQ2 Review- More Than A Surprise Bargain
December 2017, Carl Garrard
Fujifilm XQ2 Review- Fujifilms XQ2 is a sub-compact camera for enthusiast photographers. In its small shell it houses a bright f/1.8-4.9 wide angle 25-100mm 4x zoom lens, a 12mp 2/3" sized X-Trans II sensor (with raw capture), full HD video, wireless control and image transfer, a tempered glass rear screen, and much more. It's a lot of power you can put in your pocket, and it is just slightly smaller than a deck of playing cards. For those who like to travel light, but won't compromise such options as mentioned, this is a bargain camera that you ought to take a look at. After all it's at stocking stuffer used prices these days. There is more too this camera though, as noted in my abbreviated format review.
A Tribute to the Light Bulb December 2017, Carl Garrard
A week ago today, the light bulb pictured here burned out. It was part of a gift I received in the Christmas of 2005 from my mother. A gift that ended up illuminating my daughters room nearly every waking day of her 6 years of being alive so far. The soft red glow of the lava lamp, has put her to ease and given her countless nights of perfect sleep. It's funny how a light bulb means so much to me now that it is extinguished. Yet the more I thought about how important it really is, the more I realized I had to pay tribute to it. This is the story of the light bulb, one that lasted almost exactly eleven years before it finally gave up.