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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.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Upcoming E-Mount Camera Review- Our First!

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

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.


Sunday, May 5, 2019

On the Trail- Canon G10

On the Trail- Canon G10
May 2019, Carl Garrard
Canon's G10 is one of my favorite cameras of all time. Although it didn't make my magnificent seven list overall, it remains a close runner up. I have made some special memories with this camera, and I've bought the G10 for other's who have also put together some great memories with this camera too. I've been missing it again, so I went ahead and purchased another for dirt cheap to have around. Even though the G10 didn't make my my all time best list, it is arguably my most favorite fixed lens camera to hold and operate. It's just the right size and weight that I think a rangefinder camera should be (even though it's not a rangefinder), and it's an absolute pleasure to shoot with. Here, I take it out on the trail to capture a few more spring photographs before the flowers and green disappear to summer.

 Canon G10 Used Prices

Thursday, May 2, 2019

So Much "Hype"... I'd Call it "Marketing"- What a Great Article!

I don't normally directly link to articles, but this article at F-Stoppers is so spot on, I couldn't in good conscience not share it with the few of you who still read my blog (tongue also very firmly planted in cheek). Enjoy! -Carl

https://fstoppers.com/originals/dont-believe-hype-mirrorless-systems-are-not-revolutionary-yet-278853

Monday, April 29, 2019

The King is Dead, Long Live the King

The King is Dead, Long Live the King
April 29 2019, Carl Garrard

Opine: Our camera market has been on a decline since the rise of the smartphone and the introduction of a few very clever apps. This is primarily due not to the technology of the smartphone but rather because of the convenience of apps in one single device. Most people prefer convenience to quality, similar to the days of SLR film cameras vs. instant prints or disposable cameras. The latter two, sold in vast quantities much more than the former because of convenience alone. But the smart phone and apps aren't the only reasons for decline, but they are indeed the primary reasons.

Make the best photographs you can. Show only those.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Worlds Shortest Camera Review- Fujifilm XT3

Worlds Shortest Camera Review- Fujifilm XT3
March 2019, Carl Garrard


Magnesium skeletenz...are cool. Yes I misspelled that.
Here's what others have said about the Fujifilm XT3: Accolades galore. That's been the praise the Fujifilm XT3 gets everywhere on the internet, and also from word of mouth from photographers who have used it all over the world. I have yet to read one single bad review of the Fujfilm XT3. Minor quibbles withstanding, this may be the most applauded camera from Fujifilm to date, I can't think of another. Now on it's third-times-a-charm iteration, it very well ought to be. Fujifilm are in my opinion, the most impressive company out there when it comes to progressive development born from feedback from its users. Then it's no surprise to me that the XT3 is so well loved by so many. So with that being said, I'm sure I can add plenty to the praise of the XT3 that has never been uttered before (sure, right). Now here is what I have to say...

See The Fujifilm X-T3 Magically Appear!

Monday, March 25, 2019

Canon EOS-1D Mark III and Mark II N- Two Budget Professional Options

Canon EOS-1D Mark III and EOS-1D Mark II N- Two Budget Professional Camera Options
March 2019, Carl Garrard

This is a continuation of my series of articles about highly capable cameras for those of you on a budget. This article is for professionals, or those seriously seeking to be professionals. I chose these two cameras for review because you can get both for about $900.00 used if you play your cards right. Considering you'd have to pay about ten times that much when they were new to get both, I'd say they qualify as excellent subjects for my budget article series here. Warning: These are top quality professional instruments. If you haven't held a Canon 1D series camera before (or a Nikon equivalent), you still don't know what a top quality professional instrument feels like. I thought I did, I was wrong. And before those 5D guys jump on my case I say to them: Pick one up and use one before you reply, and you'll know. Then, you'll just agree and we can be friends again.

Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Photo of the Day- Spring Light

First day of daylight savings time did no disappoint in Southern California.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Photograph of the Day- Warm Branches

Photograph of the Day- Warm Branches
Shot with Tamron 28-300mm Di VC PZD Lens for Canon EOS EF and EF-S mount. https://amzn.to/2tHcjGE
 

Monday, February 25, 2019

Photography Thought of the Day

Before I put together a composition, I'm looking or something that is interesting, or, I'm looking for beautiful light. It's important to let your instincts do all of that work for you naturally. Our senses are our best ally for making good photographs, if we let them be. Don't doubt them. If you see something that moves you, make a good photograph of it. Sort out the why's later.

Stay focused.

-Carl Garrard

Friday, February 22, 2019

Photography Fundamentals on a Budget - Canon EOS 40D

Photography Fundamentals on a Budget- Canon EOS 40D
February 2019, Carl Garrard

Well, this isn't my first run with the Canon EOS 40D. I've owned it in the past. For whatever reason that I'm unable to recall, I ended up selling it and buying the EOS 50D. Since then, working with my 50D has always left me with mixed emotions. On one hand, it was utter crap trying to do any shadow lifting in my post processing attempts. This is because of the horrible tick-tack-toe cross pattern banding issues- literally, it's the worst camera for banding I've ever owned or tested. On the other hand, properly exposed images were just fine. But because I love its handling and rugged comfortable nature so much, I learned to live with it's shortcomings and worked around them by concentrating on making perfect exposures that don't require any post processing exposure changes. Recently, If you have been reading the blog, I've been on a personal mission to find highly capable but affordable cameras for budding photographers wanting to get back to the basics and fundamentals of photography. The side benefit of this article may quite possibly bear out a replacement for my EOS 50D in the process. Let's find out just how good the EOS 40D is by today's standards, and whether or not I'd make this camera a recommendation to you.

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