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Thursday, December 13, 2018

Photography Tip of the Day

Automatic Coffee Mug Warmer $18.99
Or Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II

Take your camera off auto today. Learn one new way to control the tool in your hands.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Fujifilm X-PRO2 Comprehensive Review - A Hybrid Rangefinder Xperience

Fujifilm X-PRO 2 Comprehensive Review - A Hybrid Rangefinder  Xperience
December 2018, Carl Garrard

Fujifilm X-PRO2 Comprehensive Review - Rangefinder cameras are practical designs first, mostly simple, compact, and downright classy looking. For most though, the cost of a “real” digital rangefinder camera system has priced out all but the most dedicated and fortunate of photographers. Until the X-Pro series came to market. My last few reviews have been centered on finding cameras with a focus-on-photography first approach, and so naturally Fujifilms X-PRO2 is a proper next subject. My last Fujfilm review on the Fujifilm X-E2 was about finding a near rangefinder experience on a supreme budget. But as you will see, this review is about accepting the X-PRO2 as a real rangefinder camera, and much more. While I was not originally impressed with the X-PRO1, that was a long time ago and things have changed a lot since then. While some consider X-PRO2 or X-E2 questionable rangefinders, the actual definition of a rangefinder camera might prove them wrong. It's not a simple answer to a complicated camera. But Fujifilms XPRO2 seems to push the rangefinder camera definition even further, and that makes it a very unique prospect indeed.

Your Gateway to the Fujifilm X-Pro2
Automatic Coffee Mug Warmer- It's Genius!

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Olympus OM-D EM10 Mark II Review

Olympus OM-D EM10 Mark II Review
December 2018, Carl Garrard

As promised, I'm diving deep into the world of the Micro Four Thirds system to bring you my opinion on cameras I feel are a real steal on the market. This review on the EM10 Mark II, is one of a few upcoming reviews on Olympus cameras and lenses that I hope to continue with (time permitting). I purchased the camera for this review brand new from Beach Camera (through Amazon), which surprisingly came with a free $15.00 coupon for any future purchases, and a 1 year extended warranty card for the camera. Both of the freebies were appreciated. Total price for the EM10 Mark II and 14-42mm II "R" lens? $399.00 (I didn't use the included lens for this review, opted for the EZ pancake!) I've read enough about the EM10 Mark II online to know it has a high value factor, and is a pretty popular choice in the m4/3 realm. So what do I think about the little EM10 Mark II?

Automatic Coffee Mug Warmer $18.99
Or Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Bargain Camera Review- Canon's EOS 7D

Bargain Camera Review- Canon EOS 7D
November 2018, Carl Garrard

This review series is all about finding very affordable, highly capable cameras that only exist in the discontinued camera market, and why I feel they represent an incredible value. Today's spotlight is on the Canon EOS 7D, a camera originally introduced in September of 2009, which made a huge shock wave in the DSLR realm. At the time, the EOS 7D was the front runner in crop sensor DSLRs that offered pro level features at an "affordable" price of $1,699.00. It's leading edge 19 point autofocus system, 1080p HD video capability,  weather sealing, large 1.00x and 100% accurate viewfinder, 8FPS shooting w/large buffer, 1/8000th min shutter speed, 1/250th flash sync speed, 14bit raw, 150k shutter life, and much more, made the 7D a real force to be reckoned with by other manufacturers. Today, you may be thinking those specifications sound very familiar to Canon's current DSLRs, and you'd pretty much be right. Practically speaking, the EOS 7D is still, nine years later, more than enough camera for the average photographer, and also a very decent option for beginner video enthusiasts. The camera for this review was purchased in "like new" condition for how much? $299.00, and, it came with the original box and all of the original items.
Canon EOS 7D Best Price Searched

Photographers- It's Time to Reconsider Micro Four Thirds

Photographers- It's Time to Reconsider Micro Four Thirds
November 2018, Carl Garrard

With 2018 almost out of the way, I've been paying extra close attention to the camera market lately. As many of you know, the camera market is over saturated with excellent cameras and excellent used deals. Prices on excellent cameras drop faster than a Tito Ortiz k/o over Chuck Liddell. No matter what brand/mount you are looking at, used deals can be found everywhere. With the camera market clearly shifting a large portion of it's efforts to full frame mirrorless, it's time to consider what your needs really are as a photographer. Large in part, I've always ignored m4/3 as a serious system because of its early day image quality based on the sensors they used at that time. All this changed for me when they introduced the OMD EM5 in 2012 with its 16mp sensor, but like many of you, I was already fully invested into larger sensor systems. Today I rethink it all.
OMD EM10 II Value?

Friday, November 16, 2018

Photo of the Day- Seasonal Change Sunset (Canon 50D)

Photo of the Day- Seasonal Change Sunset (Canon 50D)
This sunset signals a rapid change in our upcoming fall/winter rain season for California. Shot with the ancient but glorious Canon 50D (24mm EFS STM lens at f/2.8)

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Olympus OM-D E-M5 II Limited Edition Review

Olympus OM-D E-M5 II Limited Edition Review
November 2018, Carl Garrard

Olympus is a name that I've not mentioned much on my blog in the past, although, there's a fair chance that's probably going to change after this review is published. There's no hate for Olympus here, in fact quite the opposite, I have still have a few of their DSLR's and m4/3 cameras in my arsenal and I've always liked the company. My very first SLR camera was an Olympus OM2 in fact, and I still have that camera to this day. Admittedly, it's an heirloom and I haven't made an image with it in quite some time. Since Olympus were kind enough to send me a camera for evaluation (a loaner) I was curious about the EM5 II (how I will refer to it hereon) especially, so that camera and the newer version 17mm f/1.8 was sent to me. First of all, I am grateful that Olympus have sent me the camera and lens so, I want to thank them foremost. Thank you Olympus. Time sure flies, and I can't believe this camera came out in 2015, three years on and it's like a new release in terms of capability.

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II (BEST CURRENT PRICES)

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Olympus OM-D EM5 II Limited Edition Preview Video

Olympus OM-D EM5 II Limited Edition Preview Video
November 1 2018, Carl Garrard

This is my first attempt at a preview video on Photographic-Central. I actually enjoyed the process so perhaps I'll make more. I expect to improve the quality and content much more on future videos as I come up the learning curve. Feel free to make as much fun of me as you wish! I will complete a full written review of the camera after I've had more time with it. Thanks for watching!



Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Leica M10-D- Leica You Ruined a Beautiful Camera Design

Leica M10-D- Leica You Ruined a Beautiful Camera Design
October 2018, Carl Garrard

Today Leica announced the M10-D. And as you can tell I am not happy about it. Leica's leaking of images of the M10-D before the announcement (leaks are intentional, there are no accidents), suggested the successor of the M10-D would take the-mostly-analogue soul of the M-D, and evolve it even further by adding a level wind advance lever (or shutter re-cock in this case). The idea of having to advance each frame by hand is brilliant, and to me at least, would have furthered the focus and intensity of each shot and made the experience of photography that much more personal between the camera and photographer. But no, instead Leica created a gimmicky camera that has a faux shutter recock lever that acts as a thumb rest. How very... lame. To say I'm disappointed is just a nice way of me saying that Leica stabbed my heart today. And I had to vent here. The M-D is ruined, and this news saddens me. Nothing is real, if it is fake. Why Leica then, even bother leaving the LCD off? It's now even got an EVF port and wireless connectivity. Leica has transformed the beautifully simple MD into some please-em-all fake monstrosity. So much for purity and simplicity in design in this world, and thanks for breaking my heart Leica because I was truly sold on the fact that your company could still consider making a dignified product. For a real taste in purity and simplicity, take a look at the Leica M-D (Typ 262) because it's likely the last time we'll see an M like it.

Stay focused.

- Carl Garrard

Friday, October 19, 2018

Leica Has Competition: PIXII

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 :).

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Remembering the Olympus E-P1 Pen

One of my very favorite and tasteful ad campaigns for a camera company ever. All about the important stuff in life, and artistically done in every way. Enjoy the memory! - Carl


Ricoh- Pentax 2019...And Beyond

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.

Sometimes it is quietest before the storm.

Stay Focused.

-Carl

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Hugh Brownstone Panasonic Interview

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!


Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Fujifilm Reviews On Deck!

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!


Fujinon XF27mmF2.8 (Back in Black!) Fujifilm XF10 (Black) Current Best Link

Monday, October 1, 2018

Photo of the Day: Lenticular Clouds, Rancho Santa Margarita CA

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 (And Site Updates!)

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 ...

Ricoh GR 

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Zeiss Drops a Bombshell- The Zeiss ZX1

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.

Ricoh GR II Designer Interview: DC Watch Impress!

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.

Use Google Chrome to translate the article:
https://dc.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/news/1145120.html

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Ricoh GR III Preview: In-depth First Look

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.


Ricoh GR 

Fujifilm GFX 50R- Rangefinder Styled Medium Format Deliciousness

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!

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

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Ricoh GR Coming? Two More Days...

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

Moonrise at Sunset, Rancho Santa Margarita

Friday, September 21, 2018

Sony, Preseason is Over.

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.


Sony A9 Best Current Price Available?


Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Quick Ricoh/Pentax News Update

Quick Ricoh/Pentax News Update
September 2018, Carl Garrard

Ricoh has published two new guide articles about the hyper program function, and how to get better focusing results with fast lenses, under the Beautiful Photo-Life headline here:
http://www.ricoh-imaging.co.jp/english/photo-life/technic/

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.

Stay focused.

-Carl

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Rare Camera Find: The Pentax K3II Silver Edition (...Unboxing Video?)

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)

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Sony Cybershot RX10 IV Review (Bonus)- Worth the High Price?

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.




Sony Cyber‑Shot RX10 IV Current Prices

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Fujfiilm X-T3 Review (Announcement)

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!

Fujifilm X-T2 Searched Best Price

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Review: Ricoh's Pentax K-70 - An Outdoorsman's Ideological DSLR (With Press Commentary)

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.


Pentax K-70 Weather-Sealed DSLR Best Price, Body Only (Black)