Pentax's Optio VS20 20X Zoom w/Vertical Shooting Enhancements January 25th, 2011- Carl Garrard
Pentax's Optio VS20 kind of breaks new ground for portrait photographers by being the first ever compact fixed lens camera to include an extra zoom lever and shutter release designed solely to aid in portraiture/vertical shooting. The VS20 also includes a secondary grip on the face plate that further aids in vertical shooting ease of use. Besides these stand out features, the VS20 is equipped with a 20x 28-560mm f/3.1-f4.8 (faster aperture than the usual superzoom) equivalent zoom lens and a 16mp 1 2/3" CCD sensor (that's right, it's not a BSI CMOS sensor).
Sony V3 Review: As Canon clearly shows with the G1X, the age of the enthusiast level rangefinder styled compact is far from dead. Sony's DSC-V3 was the last of its kind, unfortunately, and one has to wonder just how far along that camera's successor would be now if Sony had only continued the V series lineup.Although the V series is seemingly a forgotten line for Sony, it still remains a unique and interesting camera some 7 years after it's introduction for some shooters like me. I've even made Sony a V5 blueprint/concept in this review (complete with image!).
Snapshot Review: Vivitar was once a more well known and respected lens maker during the film era than they currently are. They produced a large quantity of high quality prime lenses that you can find on Ebay now for mere pennies compared to new lenses. This one is one of my favorites for the price that I use on my Pentax and 4/3 gear alike. I purchased this lens for a mere $20.00 plus shipping and it arrived in like new condition. Mounted on the 4/3 mount it gives a 35mm equivalent close focus magnification of 1:2.5 (35mm magnification is 1:5) and has a reasonably bright f/2.8 aperture just as the name suggests.
Panasonic Lumix DMC L1 Review- Still a Real Gem!
January 2012, Carl Garrard
Panasonic DMC-L1 w/Minolta MD Rokkor 45mm f/2
Panasonic L1 Review- The Four Thirds mount may have been shown the door, but that doesn't diminish the shine of some of the cameras that use/used it, namely the DMC-L1 by Panasonic. Some of you may have this camera confused by the DMC-LC1 but the two cameras couldn't be more night and day different. After all the L1 is a true DSLR in a rangefinder's clothing unlike the LC1 which is a fixed lens digicam. And some of you still may have this camera confused with using the Micro Four Thirds mount, but this camera existed well before m4/3 was even conceived. Today it still remains one of my favorite cameras of all time, and for reasons I will outline. My current L1 is relegated to doing near infrared photography only, having been converted by Spencers Camera as a dedicated near IR photographic tool.
As a tool for near IR photography it contains all of the essentials plus a few hidden surprises that make it a dream to work with. And the image quality it produces still impresses even though it is some six years old.