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Thursday, June 9, 2022

Fujifilm X-PRO 1 Review: A Decade Old, Better Than Ever

Fujifilm X-PRO 1 Review: A Decade Old, Better Than Ever
June 2022, Carl Garrard

Hope you don't mind, but I think a little reminiscing is necessary before I get into the meat of this review. I think that is vital to set up the context of this article. So with that said, lets just jump in and start at the beginning. Way back in January 2012 was the first time that I used the Fujifilm X-Pro1, and I can remember that experience like it was yesterday. It was a chilly early morning in Las Vegas Nevada, I was attending the 2012 CES show after a five hour drive from Southern California. I was one of the first in line to get in the show. When the doors opened I made a beeline straight to the Fujifilm booth. Fortunate or, maybe because I hustled, I was one of the first to be able to spend a couple of productive hours of time with a group of Fujifilm folk there, learning about and testing all their new cameras. Although a couple of hours doesn't sound like a lot of time, trust me when I say that it is, especially when you are attending a packed shoulder to shoulder electronics show event. The experience that I had with the staff there at that counter was very positive, they answered so many of my questions (the best that they could) and never rushed me to give the cameras back. Most of that time was spent with the X-Pro1. 

Thursday, May 26, 2022

PENTAX K5II Review: If You Had To Pick One...

PENTAX K5II Review: If You Had To Pick One...
May 2022, Carl Garrard

Pentax DSLR's have brought me so many fond memories. But the state of our camera market is such that DSLRs will likely become a rarity one day. Camera manufacturers are beset on mirrorless as the future, and that becomes more evident by the day. Only Pentax has shown a dedication to keeping a DSLR in production, but lets face it, they are a small dedicated brand with a proportionally small but equally dedicated base of photographers. I have always loved Pentax cameras, I've owned every single Pentax DSLR ever made. But the time has come to make room on my shelves. And in doing so I have decided to sell off a huge portion of my camera "collection" that I have from all manufacturers, not just Pentax. In the end, the goal was to keep only my very favorites from each manufacturer I own. 

Saturday, November 6, 2021

Canon EOS 1D Mark IV Review 2021 (Part 1)

Canon EOS 1D Mark IV Review 2021 (Part 1)
November 2021, Carl Garrard
  
My review of the 1D Mark IV is a culmination of over two years of proud ownership and experience. Before I dive in though, I must say that it doesn't seem appropriate to write a review about the Canon 1D Mark IV without having first given a nod of  respect to the important heritage of the 1D series digital cameras. All of them have a nearly impeccable reputation amongst the most demanding photographers in their (relatively) short 21 year history. Mostly, this is due to the fact that these same photographers have worked in the most demanding of all situations and climates. Sometimes even life and death situations. And when the reliability of your gear is that important, photographers have consistently reached out for Canon's 1D DSLR's to get the job done. My own personal photography experience has never been as important as life and death, yet the expectations I have of my gear, like many other photographers, are still very high. And when I need a camera to perform better, more consistently, and with the greatest of fluidity, I find that it's nearly impossible to find better cameras than the 1D series for those demands.  Therefore it's my assessment that the numero uno in Canon's naming convention isn't just mere coincidence. It stands for something. They truly are amongst the best cameras that you will ever use.

Friday, October 1, 2021

Pentax K-01: A Marc Newson Sequel?

Pentax K-01: A Marc Newson Sequel?
October 2021, Carl Garrard
 
Of all the digital cameras that have come out in the last two decades or so, Pentax's K-01 is amongst a small and distinguished fraternity of cameras that received the most criticism upon announcement. Yup, it's right up there with the Hassleblad Lunar and HV, which take the top spots as the most repulsive camera offerings of all. But does the K-01 deserve as much criticism as it received? The short answer is equally yes and no. For every faceplant reaction and "wtf?"criticism armchair quarterbacks gave this camera, there are equally as many staunch and loyal supporters of its somewhat radical design. What I'm attempting to do with this article is to find common ground between the two extremes, because often enough the truth can usually be found somewhere in the middle. I will also go out on a limb and propose that Ricoh make a sequel to the K-01 because it had so much potential!

Monday, May 31, 2021

Pentax K3 Mk III Review Series 3

Pentax K3 Mk III Review Series 3
May 2021, Carl Garrard
 
Part III  in the K3 Mk III series, I'll go over build quality, ergonomics, and features. And I just have to take a moment to say that I'm really pleased to be doing a comprehensive review series on this camera. Ricoh's Pentax K3 Mk III is entirely new from the ground up, with every aspect of its design having been redesigned and improved compared to it's K3 predecessors (and previous Pentax DSLRs), one short review would not cut it. Quite honestly there's been more of a learning curve with the K3 Mk III than I expected. Sure it's still mostly familiar like most Pentax DSLRs, but there's a lot of new stuff here. So when I decided to do an in depth review like this, I realized that I really needed to dig into it, report its fine points, and test everything from the ground up. I think that's the only way you're really going to get to know a camera from the outside in. So far, and to my surprise, there haven't been any stick-out-like-a-sore-thumb moments with the K3 Mk III. There have been  no disappointments that reside in my personal deal breaker category.

Monday, May 10, 2021

Pentax K3 Mk III Review Series 2

Pentax K3 Mk III Review Series 2
May 2021, Carl Garrard
 

 
Ricoh's Pentax K3 Mk III is an impressive, gargantuan effort. Especially so considering that the world has been in crazy lock down mode for well over a year now. Despite that, Ricoh has been hard at work behind the scenes. From its engineers to the I.T department, to its marketing department and i's production facilities, Ricoh was on a mission to bring the K3 Mk III to the world. The depth of the effort that went into this camera's release is more apparent the more I spend time reading about it. I don't recall ever seeing so many pro photographers chiming in about a Pentax camera so soon after its release, whether that's the photographers on Ricoh's special website, or all of the others I'm seeing on the net. I'm quickly getting the impression here that the K3 Mk III represents more than just a new DSLR release, it also represents photographers who appreciate a DSLR's unique capabilities and heritage. Ricoh pushed back, and said no to conformity, and I for one, and all for it. I decided that with as much effort that Ricoh made to bring this camera to us, so too will be the effort that I make to review it properly. Feel free to skip past the Open Mic section if you don't want to hear my thoughts on the market reception of the K3 Mk III thus far.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Pentax K3 Mk III Review Series 1

Pentax K3 Mk III Review Series 1
April 2021, Carl Garrard

Pentax (Ricoh) stuck to their guns. Instead of making yet another "me too" mirrorless camera, Ricoh have decided to stick to doing what they do best- make an excellent DSLR. With this iteration of the K3, the wait was definitely worth it. True steps forward in design are under its amazingly tough and weatherproof magnesium shell. Oh you're going to love that grip and rock solid construction. It's a masterpiece. As you know, I have a full suite of Nikon and Canon DSLRS, as well as Pentax. I use whatever camera is suited best. Comparatively Pentax are the best built and most weather proof in their class compared to the other brands. It's just their brand strength, along with being backwards compatible to very old lenses (like Nikon). Pentax's weakness has always been autofocusing speed and tracking when comparing to Canon and Nikon, how will it fair?

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Fujifilm's New GFX 100S

Fujifilm's New GFX 100S
February 2021, Carl Garrard 

I've been sort of out of the camera news loop lately, so I didn't see the press release of the new GFX 100S until the day it was announced. Life has been busy, in a good way. In a way I'm kind of glad I didn't catch all the "rumors" or sneak peaks of this camera before it was announced. I'm probably in the minority when I say that I prefer a good surprise to all the leaks and rumors that are so prevalent today. My reaction to the GFX 100S announcement thus was pure excitement and wonder. This wasn't the typical reaction to cameras news, I was genuinely excited and very, very curious. After reading up on the GFX 100S, going over its design with a fine tooth comb, I have to say that this camera is a very special one. I think it has true potential to radically alter the course of professional camera products in the future. In a way, it already has.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Fujifilm X-H1: Hybrid GFX/XT Inspired Excellence

Fujifilm X-H1: Hybrid GFX/XT Inspired Excellence
February 2021, Carl Garrard

When I returned my loaner X-H1 to Fujifilm back in February 2019, it didn't occur to me then that I just sent back my favorite X mount camera ever. And I certainly had no intention to wait two years to write a review about it either. For reasons I still can't explain, the timing to complete a review just didn't feel right. I guess I just wasn't ready to decide what to think about the X-H1 at that time. I knew it's design was a blend of stills and video of sorts, and I knew how Fujifilm were marketing it. Nearly two years on from the day I originally sent the X-H1 back, I know exactly what I want to say about it.
 

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Nikon D810 Review Series Part I

Nikon D810 Review Series Part I 
November 2020, Carl Garrard

First, a bit of clarity. Although the title of this review implies that I may write further articles about the D810, please don't count on it. But also, don't discount it happening either. It's important to know that my impression of the D810 continues to evolve the more that I use it, thus, I may decide to have additional observations to note in the future. Consider instead that the title is a place marker. I won't rush or force myself into a writing review anymore, that time has long gone (thankfully). So my practice now is that an article happens when the time is right. After months of experience with the D810... I finally sat down this morning with a cup of black rifle coffee, motivated to condense my thoughts and experiences about the D810 into an article. I don't think I need to explain the reasoning why I'm reviewing an older camera, in my mind the point of relevancy for all interchangeable lens cameras came and went over 10 years ago, and many older cameras are just as relevant today as they were then.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

The Magnificent Dozen (Updated List 2020)

The Magnificent Dozen (Updated List 2020)
October 2020, Carl Garrard
 
Since posting the Magnificent Seven article about two years ago (here), I've tested and reviewed more cameras in that time than in any two year period in the past. During which time, a few more cameras  have managed to really stand out as my favorites, so I thought I'd update my all time list to include these as well. As I stated in my first article; in order for a camera to reach my all time favorite list, it has to have several special qualities about it that make it stand out from the rest. There really is no set list of qualities it must have, rather, it must have the right combination of qualities to give it that something special- that at the end of the day makes it a camera that I never want to part with. These are also cameras that constantly beg my attention to be used for whatever subjective reason, and subsequently they are the ones I never lose interest in. Some cameras just have mojo, and it matters not what category they are in, or how expensive they are, they just have... it.
 

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Zeiss ZX1: Pre Order Alert (Can it be?!)

Zeiss ZX1: Pre Order Alert (Can it be?!)

October 2020, Carl Garrard


October starts off with some spooky news. It appears as though BHPhoto has sent out pre order available emails on October 4th 2020 to those interested in the Zeiss ZX1- a prototype camera Zeiss unveiled in 2018 that was nearly forgotten. I myself received an email from BHPhoto early this morning. The camera is listed for $6,000.00 on pre-order and according to BHPhoto, should be available soon. To my knowledge it is not available for pre-order on other sites just yet (I did some checking around).  So I'm not entirely sure what BHPhoto are up to here, or, if they know something the rest of the industry hasn't caught up on yet. In case you doubt my sincerity, here is a screen shot from BHPhoto's site, as well as a direct link to the page where you can actually pre-order the Zeiss ZX1. (click on read more)


Monday, August 31, 2020

Photoshop Elements 2020 Deal

Photoshop Elements 2020 Deal
August 2020, Carl Garrard

If you are like me and refuse to buy into a subscription model only to be able to use software you should own, then this quick article will appeal to you. I've been using Photoshop Elements as one of my post processing software solutions since Elements 12, and find it a great little program for quick raw processing, especially for beginners. For more heavy handed work that requires more time and features to resolve final output, I use other raw programs. But I find for most raw processing or general post processing work that Elements is a really good and easy to use product. Adobe still sells it in CD form which is my absolute requirement, and for $59.99, it's a pretty darn good deal if you're using a much older version of Elements, or are new to Elements. Currently I have Elements 15, I've just been updating DNG converter as needed. I can recommend Elements. It's the only Adobe product I enjoy using and the only one I will endorse buying these days. Since I refuse to buy into an auto-subscription model, for this price a CD is a good deal; it provides great value to a photographer and will have free updates at least for a year or so. If you use the link below, you are automatically supporting my site. Regular price is $99.99 so it's been discounted a great deal here.
Adobe Photoshop Elements 2020 [PC/Mac Disc]

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Tamron 17-35mm F2.8-4 Di OSD Review: The Lil Secret Wide Angle Lens

Tamron 17-35mm F2.8-4 Di OSD Review
August 2020, Carl Garrard

This lens is a rare fantastic zoom. It so closely rivals prime lens performance offerings in the focal range it covers, that it made me reconsider keeping a couple of my prime lenses. Tamron nailed this one. Optically, good luck to you finding any other UWA lens that performs as well as this one for any where near it's price. Almost indistinguishable when compared to my highly regarded and optically excellent 24mm f/1.8G Nikkor at the same focal length, and its the best 17mm wide angle performance I've seen from any zoom lens yet. I'd pit it against any 17mm prime lens for edge to edge sharpness too. Clearly, this is a "modern optics" lens capable of handling the newer higher resolution sensors. A few test shots in, I knew it was a find immediately. Read on or visit it here:
Tamron 17-35mm F/2.8-4 Di OSD Seriously only $599.99?

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Nikon Lineup: The Fantastic Four

Nikon Lineup: The Fantastic Four
August 2020, Carl Garrard

My goal was to update my main working camera kit. Never thought I'd end up using Nikon DSLR's for that task, but using is believing I guess. This is my main four camera set up, and I've other lenses not shown in this picture for each. I have other cameras of course, but these are the ones I'll be relying on for serious photography work only.I will detail which ones they are, and what I think all four are best purposed for.


Thursday, August 20, 2020

Quick Spot: Pentax Perfection- The K5IIs

Quick Spot: Pentax Perfection- The K5IIs
August 2020, Carl Garrard
Pentax's K5IIs still remains one of my favorite cameras I've ever used, let alone in the DSLR segment. It's August 2020, and time has not taken it's toll on this beauty of a DSLR. The K5IIs is still an absolute gem, a small and amazingly built camera. It's capable of fantastic image detail because it lacks an AA filter, and its raw files don't feel as strained in post processing as the 24mp chips do. Besides the K70/KP it has the best overall APS-C image quality of any Pentax DSLR and it comes with better than expected video performance if you need it. With this list, the K5IIs is nearly future proof. The only feature it's missing is full compatibility with any KAF4 mount lens, this means the excellent 55-300mm PLM.
Pentax K-5 IIs Body Only (Black)

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Monday, July 27, 2020

Nikon D800E First Impressions

Nikon D800E First Impressions
July 2020, Carl Garrard

Prices on used and older pro level DSLR's have all fallen dramatically. Lucky for me, it was time for to upgrade two key areas of my kit. I needed an edge in two key types of photography: Birds in Flight/Action, and Landscape/Low Light. I've already found my perfect combo for bird in flight/action, the D500/Sigma 100-400 HSM. And trust me when I say that finding a camera and lens combination that I deem perfect for this task is so rare that it's only happened once in my life. My D500/Sigma 100-400mm HSM combo is stunning. But I'm here to talk about part II of my quest. Yep, I've set out to find that combo's equal, but this time for landscape/low light work instead. And after much deliberation, weighing practical advantages to cost etc. I decided to give the Nikon D800E a try. The D800E, is a camera I always wanted to try out, and although it was released in Feb of 2012, practically speaking I do not find it dated in the least bit.
Nikon D800E 36.3 MP Best Used Prices

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Nikon D500 (Initial Impressions)

Nikon D500 (Initial Impressions)
July 2020, Carl Garrard

Hello Nikon fans! Just wanted to give a quick initial impression of the D500 for Nikon readers while I have my morning coffee. Again, this is only an initial impression and not my full review, which will come later. I've been using the D500 for just over a week now (constantly), which, honestly is plenty of time for me to get mostly familiar with a camera. When you review as many cameras as I do, you pretty much know what you need and like or dislike about a camera almost immediately. Nikon's D500 has been a camera that has intrigued me since its launch in 2016, and with the market going pretty much mirrorless now, I wanted to test a D500 against my other cameras to get a feel for its capability. For those living under a rock, the D500 is the most advanced APS-C (DX) format camera Nikon has ever made, and it's been updated in firmware a couple of times since its release.
Nikon D500 $949.00 Here

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Panasonic Lumix G9 Review

Panasonic LUMIX G9 Review
May 2020, Carl Garrard

*G9 has arrived in all of its metal and dial glory
Today's editorial is one based around using a brand new factory fresh Panasonic G9 that incorporates firmware version 2.1 (the latest as of this article date). From the ground up, Panasonic designed its G9 prioritizing the pleas and requirements of still photographers into a true pro level camera. In a way, the G9 is the yin to the GH5's yang; a camera originally designed to prioritize videographers requirements. But, by adding new firmware to an already quietly popular pro level stills oriented camera, Panasonic would blur the line between the two models while simultaneously endearing current owners of the G9. Not only that, but the firmware would create new customers for it as well. Customers like me. The new comprehensive firmware bolsters excellent video quality and functionality, while simultaneously giving it performance boosts in autofocusing for stills photography. The G9 is reborn, an even better camera. Thus, I've named it the G9 Mark II.
PANASONIC LUMIX G9 Current Pricing

Friday, May 22, 2020

Olympus M.Zuiko 12-45mm f/4 PRO Review

Olympus M.Zuiko 12-45mm f/4 PRO Review
May 2020, Carl Garrard

24-90mm f/4 (T) is as near perfect as you can get for a compact zoom. Not only is the zoom range ideal for most subjects, but the close focusing is excellent too. Tie in pro quality build, and near prime optical performance in the entire range, small size, and this lens is a no brainer that brings true practical value to your m4/3 kit. Practical value means you'll appreciate it, and forget all about its price, and zoom range. Other lenses we have in our kit we may wonder why we bought them, not so for this lens. As soon as it was announced, I knew it was a gem that ticked off all the right boxes, price is excellent too (link provided here), as the optical performance alone well compensates for the price you pay. Everything else about this wonderful lens is a bonus beyond that in terms of price. It's a must have you'll not regret purchasing.  In fact, you'll be glad you did, and you'll wonder why there aren't more photographers making a huge deal out of this lens. The old f/2.8 argument is well engrained, goes way back to the film days. F/4 lenses are the real value these days, and they are better than ever.
Olympus M.Zuiko ED 12-45mm F4.0 PRO Lens

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Sony A100: Why I Will Always Love It

Sony A100: Why I Will Always Love It
April 2020, Carl Garrard

Konica Minolta's camera business was bought by Sony officially on March 31, 2006, about a year after the two companies agreed to co-develop digital SLR cameras together (July, 2005). Konica Minolta cited that the quickly growing digital camera industry was moving at a pace which, despite their talented staff and excellent technology resources, simply could not keep up with. This was both disconcerting and exciting news alike. On one hand, the Alpha lens mount would survive, and on the other hand a "television electronics company" was taking the reins of a historical and innovative photography company.  Through this merger came Sony's Alpha A100, the very first interchangeable lens camera with the Sony badge on the front. To this day I still consider the A100 to be a Konica Minolta camera, not only because of its resemblance to the Konica Minolta 5D, but because KM employees retained by Sony, designed and built it.

Seems like all that happened yesterday, in a blink of an eye.


Monday, February 24, 2020

Mystery (Bargain) Enthusiast DSLR

Mystery (Bargain) Enthusiast DSLR
February, 2020, Carl Garrard

Today, I'm going to change things up here. I'm going to introduce a camera in reverse of my normal writing format, one that I find to be a very special bargain for enthusiast and pro level photographers. Of course, you could just scroll down to the bottom of this article to find out what camera I'm talking about, but wouldn't that would negate the very fun of a short mystery review? I promise, it isn't long, you can wait to be surprised. Assuming you have some restraint and haven't looked yet, I'll get on  talking about a very special camera that is a ridiculous deal for shutterbugs.


Friday, January 17, 2020

DSLR's Still Rule: The Afffordable Nikon D610 Part I

DSLR's Still Rule: The Affordable Nikon D610 Part I
January 2020, Carl Garrard

One of my favorite DSLR cameras to rely on for serious outdoor photo work in the past has faithfully been my Canon 6D. Matched with the 24-70mm L f/4 lens, it's a compact, easy to use, comfortable combo with image quality that sings. As written here previously, the 6D is one of my top seven favorite cameras of all time. I've never desired to replace it for the work I bought it for, nor wondered if I ever would. Over time it hasn't been my first choice for all outdoor though, such as action work of any kind. Today, Canon and Nikon's newer fast focusing AF-P/USM II 70-300mm lenses out there are lighter, quieter, and more compact than the high end pro lenses (like my 70-300mm L). Nikon's especially has given me reason to look further into a system for this task. Their lens is weather sealed, while Canon's 70-300mm IS II USM isn't. It's also not rugged enough for my needs. So both the 6D and  that lens left me wanting to fill a niche Canon couldn't fill- a lightweight semi-pro set up for action photography.

Nikon D610 Current Retail and Used Pricing

Monday, January 13, 2020

What Happens Now?

What Happens Now?
January 2020, Carl Garrard

As the camera market settles down to court only the remaining pro's and shutterbugs; as it was during the film era, I've been inclined to wonder what will happen after sales and profits finally level out. There's no denying the power of the larger portion of the market that targets smartphone users. Only a pro, or dedicated shutterbug will want to use cameras for still or video work going forward. I do believe we are already at that point in time.As such, I believe that camera companies will have to start changing designs of cameras dramatically to cater to the specific needs of shutterbugs simply because they outnumber the pro's handily- and sales matter. Example: one only has to look to Fujifilm to see what making throwback design has done for the growth of its camera division. In less than 10 years time since the X mount came to the market, Fujifilm has become a major player in digital.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Photo of the Day: Winter Sunset 2019


December 10th 2019 (Panasonic FZ300). I've shot this silhouette several times, yet I think this background is the best of them all to date. Always go back to your favorite places to shoot. Photo © Carl Garrard

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Ricoh Bring Gunmetal Back!

Ricoh Bring Gunmetal Back!
December 2019, Carl Garrard

Ricoh's Pentax branded Prestige Edition Gun Metal K3 is arguably the best special edition color ever, for any camera or any manufacturer. In the days when everything counts to sell a camera, manufacturers need to pay attention to the reaction from its' photographers more than ever. I don't think I saw a single comment on the net that wasn't full blast in support for this limited edition color. Ricoh, please make your new upcoming DSLR for next year in this fine Gun Metal color. Why we haven't seen more cameras with a color like this is beyond me, but at least Fujifilm did it with the XPRO 2 (or as similar color). Only 2,000 units were produced in this color world wide. Are you one of the lucky owners of this K3? I say more of this color, what say you? 

Monday, December 2, 2019

This is Digital Photography Review Today.

This is Digital Photography Review Today.
December 2019, Carl Garrard

Today, I deleted as much information on my account at Digital Photography Review that I was able too, I've said goodbye to that site, permanently. I had been a contributing member of that site for well over a decade. The reason? I was "sandboxed" by DPR staff for, frankly, being honest and asking questions about why they removed (shadowed) comments from a controversial Sony article they posted. In the comments section they were questioned or commented on by many members about their apparent bias towards the brand. I asked twice, on a forum post. I only asked twice because my first post didn't appear the next day when I checked on it. Thinking it was "user error" I asked the same question again. Then, "Mako" the moderator, tells me that I have violated some rule in which users are not allowed to question why posts are removed, and sandboxed me. I didn't ask about a post, I asked about a comment section in a Sony article. I was not warned at all, I was simply "sandboxed". In other words silenced. Thou shall not question DPR decisioning, apparently.


Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Nikon D610 vs. Canon 6D?

Nikon D610 vs. Canon 6D?
October 2019, Carl Garrard

Readers may be surprised to see that I'm writing about a Nikon DSLR. This site is almost void of any Nikon articles in general. Although I haven't been a fan of many of Nikon's cameras (none of the Coolpix cameras for example), there are a couple that I have liked a lot. Nikon's D80 and D90 are two such cameras that made sense to me and that I enjoy using. And lately I picked up a Fujifilm S5 PRO, which I adore, built around the bombastic D200 body.  That lead to me being curious about their full frame offerings. And after much debate and weighing pros and cons, I ended up getting the D610 that addresses a couple of my beloved 6D's short comings.

 

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Finally Something Better: Fujifilm XPRO3

Finally Something Better: Fujifilm XPRO3
October 2019, Carl Garrard

I'll keep this short. Bravo to Fujifilm for being brave enough to make a camera like this. The camera market has changed and they know it. It was time to also court photographers with products that are more specific to certain types of photography, but most importantly products that encourage photographers to get back to the fundamentals. The market has long been flooded with cameras (cough mirrorless/DSLR's) that all do the exact same thing. Hiding the main screen without eliminating it is a gentle reminder to keep your eye to the finder.

Pre-order here: Fujifilm X-Pro3 Mirrorless Digital Camera - Dura Black (Body Only)

From left to right: Durablack Ti, Black Ti, Durasilver Ti.  XPRO "Three" Indeed.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Panasonic's Lumix GH3 and the 14-140mm II

Panasonic's Lumix GH3 and the 14-140mm II
October 2019, Carl Garrard

Yesterday I took the GH3 and 14-140mm II lens out for a hike. I've never used any of the GH series cameras, so recently I  purchased the GH3 in near new condition, boxed, for less than $300.00 USD. For a camera that used to sell for $1,300.00, this is quite a bargain. It's metal construction is top notch, it's weather sealed (splash proof), and has electronics that are quite capable even today. It's really a do it all camera, and when paired up with the 14-140mm II (second version) lens, you have a weather sealed lightweight combo that gives you a 28-280mm equivalent focal range. I wasn't so impressed with the lens of the FZ2500, so I wanted to see how this combination would do in comparison. Practically, there's not a whole lot of difference between 280mm and 480mm in terms of field of view.
Panasonic GH3  or Panasonic 14-140mm II f/3.5-5.6 Lens

Friday, October 4, 2019

Camera Conspiracies Rules!

Casey has one of the funniest channels on YouTube. It's refreshing to watch some unfiltered fun, and gives you a nice dose of happiness. He doesn't limit his content to talking just about cameras or ribbing "loser" photographers either. Take a peek, see if you agree like everyone else already does. If you don't, the Canon cripple hammer will come for you (he took over for the Grim Reaper). You don't even have to like cameras at all to enjoy his channel. Don't forget to subscribe! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwxgo62w72LxZDA1fTibdYg



Stay focused.
-Carl

Friday, September 27, 2019

Fujifilm X-A7: Tired of Your Smartphone Yet? Take the Leap...

Fujifilm X-A7: Tired of Your Smartphone Yet? Take the Leap...
September 2019, Carl Garrard

Fujifilm has redesigned the X-A series completely. And they are courting you, Smartphone or iPhone users: Those that may be tired of the lack of image quality, features, and general control from a smartphone that a camera instead offers you. And I have to say, this is quite an attractive entry level camera, with its 24mp sensor, huge 2.7 million dot, 3.5" Tilt and twist LCD screen with touch function control, wifi, 4K 30p video, 6fps continuous drive shooting, 1/32,000 second e-shutter (1/4000 manual shutter), programmable dials, time-lapse recording, you name it. And it comes in with a kit lens under $700.00. The body only weighs 310 grams, it's very light but ruggedly built, and comes in four different color schemes. Body only price will be lower, so if you already have Fujfilm lenses or adapters for other brands, you can save a bit of money. Of course it will be sold at many local camera stores or simply go to Amazon: Fujifilm X-A7 kit pre-order link here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07XPXPM9X


Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Upcoming E-Mount Camera Review- Our First! *Update*

Upcoming E-Mount Camera Review- Our First!
June 2019, Carl Garrard
Surprise! Tis' Sony month here at Photographic Central. A slew of Sony A-Mount and now even an E-Mount camera reviews are coming from my desk this month. Three tribute A-Mount camera reviews are in the works as well as my first Sony E-Mount camera review, the Sony A7 II (and 28-70mm lens). I've managed to somehow completely miss reviewing the E-Mount cameras for one reason or another, but now is the time that I finally take a look at what they offer vs. all the other makers out there. I've been sent quite a few cameras lately, as well as purchased my own for my collection- so things have been very busy in the "office". I'm looking forward to using my very first full frame E-Mount camera. Last time I evaluated any Sony mirrorless was with the Sony NEX6/7 cameras. I wasn't impressed with those cameras so well see how far Sony have come since then.

Sony Alpha a7II 28-70mm Kit Best Current Price

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Shout Out Review- Minolta 28-105mm RS

Shout Out Review- Minolta 28-105mm RS
August 11, 2019 Carl Garrard

This lens review from Mr. Baz was quite good, and I also have this lens too so I can attest to his findings. Tis the main lens on my A900, and a fun lens to use on my A700 as well.

Take a look at his review here: Minolta 28-105mm RS

Stay focused.

-Carl

Friday, June 7, 2019

Visual Prose

Visual Prose
June 7, 2019 Carl Garrard

It must have felt something like this at the end, knowing it was near. Vulnerable and exposed, no safe harbor, no arms to save you.

Monday, June 3, 2019

Sony Alpha A700 and A900

Sony Alpha A700 and A900
June 2019, Carl Garrard

Hey original A-Mount photographers... I just wanted to let you know I purchased the A900 and A700 again for my classic budget article series. I was able to get both for under $750 bucks total, and with the original boxes in like new condition (my second time for both cameras). What a deal! I figured it was time to get these cameras again before I can no longer find them in the condition I prefer. These are great additions to my "classic" collection of cameras and both still punch way above their weight. The A700 arrived today, and I updated the firmware to v4 from v3 (which adds excellent features not previously present in earlier versions). So many memories are coming back to me about the A700, the firmware debates and talk...funny how it all came back to me! Man, I almost forgot how good this camera actually is.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Fujfilm GFX-50R- Well, It's Here

Fujfilm GFX-50R- Well, It's Here
May 2019- Carl Garrard

May has been an interesting month. Mostly cold and rainy here in Southern California, which is odd, yet par for the course lately especially in comparison to normal. We are rounding up a record rain season for our state.  And although the weather has been a bit more gloomy than usual, a ray of sunshine peeks in now and then. I guess this is a metaphorical sign, because a little ray of sunshine just arrived at my door. Many new cameras have come across my desk this year so far, but I never expected the GFX-50R to be one of them. When Fujifilm announced the GFX-50R upon the camera industry, I was blown away by it's design, even more so than when the X100 was announced years back. My very first thought was that it was the dream camera for me, never mind that it was a medium format camera, talk about icing on the cake. Likely, I'd never own one, but sometimes admiring beautiful things from afar is pretty cool too. Of all the cameras on the market, there are only three that were my dream cameras, of which I'd likely never get a chance to own or use. Fujifilm's GFX-50R is one of those three cameras.

Fujifilm GFX 50R USED AND NEW PRICES

Thursday, May 23, 2019

FUJIFILM ANNOUNCEMENT- GFX100

FUJIFILM ANNOUNCEMENT- GFX100
May 2019, Carl Garrard

Just a little news if you haven't heard already. Today Fujifilm officially announced the GFX100, which further strengthens the foundation they are laying on the camera market. Yes, this is an impressive announcement no matter how you slice it, and it's such an engineering achievement. I don't think I need to even get into whether or not it's a camera I'm interested in, I already know who the intended customer is. They know who they are too. What I do want to get into, is how I see what a camera announcement like this makes Fujifilm appear to look like as a camera maker in comparison to all the others. Fujifilm, if you haven't noticed, have quite the impressive resume lined up when it comes to being a serious camera maker. The GFX100 addition just made it stronger. When photographers look at a camera maker, they think about an investment. The stronger and more capable the camera maker, the more professionals flock to the company. That's how it works. If you are going to send a signal to the market that you are in it to stay, in it for the professional, then an announcement like the GFX100 is yet another signature in blood on a contract of loyalty to its faithful, and new found professional customers. I'll let the press release speak for the rest after a few quick words.
Fujifilm Prices

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Photo of the Day- San Jacinto Mountain via Santa Rosa Plateau

My last visit to Santa Rosa Plateau. Time to go back.

Sony A-Mount: Single Lens Translucent is Still Relevant

Sony A-Mount: Single Lens Translucent is Still Relevant
May 2019, Carl Garrard

Our camera market continues to settle down into what it will become for the future. Like many of you, I was there during its meteoric rise that occurred before smart phones became more common place as everyday imaging devices. And like many of you, I've seen the digital camera market go through quite a few interesting phases after the year 2000. And through all that, I believe that we are now finally at the last stage of what the digital camera market will go through. Today, we have more than enough digital solutions available to us to accomplish our personal and professional photographic goals. As we all should know by now, digital cameras aren't the #1 choice for the majority of personal photography needs anymore. However, DSLR's, DSLT, and Mirrorless all have a place in the market and fill specific needs for dedicated photographers, and all three are necessary.