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Sunday, February 17, 2019

Get A Grip- Canon's 50D

Get A Grip- Canon's 50D
February 2019, Carl Garrard

The very first metric I use to determine whether or not I'll like camera or not, is how it feels in the hand. Every single camera but one in my "Magnificent Seven" article feels wonderful in my hands. Although the Canon 50D didn't make my top seven, it undoubtedly holds the title for best grip of any DSLR I've ever held. Although my 6D feels great, and so do many of my other DSLR's, none have nailed the perfect feel of the 50D. In my 50D review I mentioned just how much I like it's grip, but words just cannot do justice to the perfect ergonomic shape or feel it has in hand. It's a grip so reassuring, I'd voluntarily hang from it with one hand over the Grand Canyon  if my life depended on it.  

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Pentax K10D- Revisiting Simpler and Practical Photography

Pentax K10D- Revisiting Simpler and Practical Photography
February 2019, Carl Garrard

For fans of the K10D like myself, the appeal behind the Pentax K10D is undoubtedly it's simplicity compared to most modern DSLR and mirrorless camera features. Worth noting is it's complete lack of video or live view, sensitivity is limited to just 100-1600 ISO, and with just 10.2 megapixels of detail from a CCD sensor, its anything short of being on some photographer's dinosaur list. It's a pity that manufacturers these days don't even use CCD sensors anymore (at least that I'm aware of), because CCD sensors make excellent color and more. Some of my favorite cameras I've used have a CCD sensor, which in my opinion, produce absolutely gorgeous tonality and subtle image character that seems, um, less plasticy or "digitized" than most CMOS sensors.
Link: Pentax K10D on Amazon

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Photo of the Day- Blood Moon

Photo of the Day- Blood Moon
Shot with the mystery Fuji camera and stellar 50-140mm f/2.8 lens (not so much of a mystery anymore!)

Monday, January 14, 2019

The Magnificent Seven- Carl's All Time Favorite Digital Cameras!

The Magnificent Seven- Carl's All Time Favorite Digital Cameras!
January 2019, Carl Garrard

Yes, as the title of this article implies I am finally posting "the" list of my very favorite digital cameras I've used since the digital era. I've been writing camera reviews for what, a full decade now, so I thought it might be time to share something of this order with you. Just like yourself, when I read articles online or watch videos of my favorite photo related chums giving their thoughts on new photography equipment, I often wonder what their own personal favorites are. So therein lies the motivation behind this article. So, I've stepped up to the plate for you, and put down my money on these seven cameras. What's most important to remember above all, is that this is a personal list, the favorite of my very favorites.

What's in the Box? Suprise Fujifilm Package!?!

January 14 2019, Carl Garrard
Those guys at Fujifilm are at it again. I thought I was going to get the XT3, but this box is too big and heavy... or is it? I don't know! I literally haven't opened it yet (I swear), but I have a few ideas of what it could be. If you read here you should be well aware of my stance on any loaned products- I will not let that influence my overall opinion of a camera's design. It's easy to believe that I'm full of it, but I'm telling you, only about 20% of what gets sent to me actually makes it to an article. That said, I am very curious to see what Fujifilm have sent me. Perhaps I'll get around to opening this box soon and finding out what the mystery is. I've made it known what I'm interested in reviewing with Fujifilm personally, so it could be any number of items in their inventory- who knows, a new instax? Medium format camera? Printer?... let me know what your guess is!

Stay focused.

-Carl

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Fujifilm XT3

Will Photographic Central be as impressed as the rest of the world? Or, will we have other thoughts? More to come on the XT3 here soon... (stay focused!) -Carl

Sunday, December 30, 2018

A Day On The Trail- Fujifilm X-E2

A Day On The Trail- Fujifilm X-E2
December 2018, Carl Garrard


The Christmas holiday took its toll, regardless of how simple I tried to make it. I had spent all weekend cleaning and re-organizing my place; making up on all of my chores and also did early spring cleaning. It was time for a change. After that personal victory, I had showered and relaxed, and slept very well through the night. I awoke, made coffee, and reveled in the feeling of accomplishment as I looked around my house at all the changes and cleanliness of it all. Something about a clean house, and how it smells and looks. I had a renewed sense of pride in my domicile. I poured some coffee, and lazily started thinking about my day. Somehow, I knew today had to be spent outdoors. Still in my pajamas, I peeked out of the blinds and looked towards the mountains. I took another sip of coffee...ah yes, a perfect winter day and it beckoned me to explore. I knew I had to go cycling.

Leica M9 Sale!

I am listing my Leica M9 with free gift pack and lens. I have upgraded back to the Typ 262. This is a killer deal for anyone interested. I have listed it on Ebay, but if you read here and want to purchase it via Paypal for the buy it now price, let me know. I'd rather not pay the Ebay fees if I can avoid it. Only shipping continental USA. Thanks!

https://www.ebay.com/itm/323628580295

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Photo of the Day- Spirit of Photography

Miss you my very good friend. Your laughter and your spirit is everywhere I explore.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

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?