When we recently received the Olympus OM-D E-M5 (there’s a mouthful for you) in our warehouse, I wasted absolutely no time in snagging one of the bodies and taking it for a whirl. My “whirls” usually last a few weeks so that I can put the camera to use in a variety of different ways, and given the feedback I’d heard from other photographers about this diminutive body, I was eager to put it through its paces.
Two weeks later, I have my conclusion: Olympus has an absolute winner on its hands.
The Micro-Four-Thirds platform isn’t a closed-loop system. Olympus and Panasonic both make bodies for it, and there’s even an MFT-based version of the enormously popular Blackmagic Cinema Camera on the way. Panasonic, particularly, has two lenses that I decided were going to be my go-to lenses for this test: the 12–35mm f/2.8 and the 35–100mm f/2.8 lenses.
Together, these cover the equivalent of the 24–70 and 70–200mm lenses in 35mm terms, giving me the focal lengths used by most photographers. Because the OM-D features a 5-axis, in-body stabilization, that entire focal length is stabilized as well. read more…
Buffer Sluggish on 5D Mark III? Ditch the SD Card!
Photographer Jeff Cable discovered something interesting about the 5D Mark III when he was doing some high-speed shooting–it’s slow, but only under certain circumstances. His advice? Pass on using the SD slot if you happen to be writing the same image to both cards and care about clearing your buffer quickly:
“…YOU DO NOT want to put a card in the SD slot. Why? Because, for some reason unbeknownst to me, Canon decided to build the 5D Mark III with one very fast CF slot which supports the newer UDMA7 protocol and a standard SD card slot which does NOT support the high speed standard (called UHS – for Ultra High Speed). This is really strange because many other cameras have come out with UHS1 compatible slots over the last year. Without UHS support, the top speed that can be achieved by the SD card is 133x. This is true even if you purchase a 600x SD card and insert it in the camera. The best you will get is 133x…” read more…
A while back, we put together an article on how to use softboxes with your light of choice. At that time, I mentioned that we’d be putting together a cheat sheet that would allow you to figure out which softbox could go with which light, and what you’d need to make it work. Well, that cheat sheet is here.
Holiday events have a way of filling a room. Being tasked with running a party photo booth for friends and family can be daunting, especially if your budget isn’t big and your space isn’t, either.
We put together a simple, fun photo booth using portable items that you can rent from BorrowLenses.com. There are various ways to make a booth–some even more simple than this, many more complex. This is just how we did it and you can improve/build upon it. If you do create a booth, feel free to share links to your fun party pictures in the comments below and tell us how you made it!
Final Update and Winners of the BorrowLenses.com Gift Certificate, Friday, December 7, 2012 11:35 AM
Okay, we found the cause of the D600 bodies’ overexposure. Turns out, it WAS damage, not a defect. In the damaged bodies, the little prong that actually pushes the aperture closed was bent, as you can see in the image below. The top one is of one of the damaged D600’s, while the bottom is of an undamaged D7000.
No idea what caused this, but there you have it.
Winners of the $50 BorrowLenses.com Gift Certificate: K.G. Wuensch, who left the suggestion that led to our discovery of the cause of the overexposure on the D600 bodies is, unfortunately, not based in the U.S., and so is unable to use the certificate I promised him. He has, instead, requested that his prize be entered into the pool for the general drawing. So we now have two gift certificates to give out.
I entered all the commenters’ names into a list randomizer at random.org and the two names at the top are our two winners.
Congratulations to David Johnson and Michael Clark! Please email your contact info to sohail.mamdani at borrowlenses dot com, so I can send them to you.
Once again, thanks to everyone for your fantastic support and feedback.
Sony’s NEX cameras have been taking the mirror less camera market by storm of late, coming out with models that repeatedly and substantially improve on their predecessors. And, as these models have evolved, the number – and quality – of add-ons for them have increased as well.
In this article, we’ll take a look at a few ways of building on the NEX series of cameras – which now include some fantastic video-specific offerings from Sony as well.
Off-camera strobes and other forms of lighting have become remarkably approachable over the past few years. The knowledge and information that were once the sole province of pros working with tens of thousands of dollars of equipment in studios or on location is now all over the internet for the taking.
We carry a fair amount of lighting gear, and given that we cater to the novice as well as the pros, we also answer a number of questions about one particular piece of lighting gear: the softbox. Over the phone, via email, and through our social networking outlets, we respond to queries ranging from the number of stops a box’s diffusion fabric will eat, to “What’s a speedring?”
This article is designed to help you understand the various pieces of a softbox and how it is used with a studio light like the Einstein E640 or the Profoto D4 heads we rent.
This is Part 2 of a series on using Tilt-Shift or Perspective-Control lenses. In this part, we look at the “Tilt” functionality of these unique lenses. Part 1, which covered “shift” functionality, can be found here.
At some point in time, we’ve all seen photos where the subjects – usually views from high-up of cars, buildings, people, etc. – appear to be miniaturized versions of reality. This is perhaps the most the most often-seen result from using tilt-capable lenses like the Nikon 85mm PC-E.
In this part of our series, we’ll explain how this effect is achieved with tilt-shift lenses.
When rumors of the Sony NEX-6 hit the internet, it was a welcome bit of information for fans who wanted something between the high-end NEX-7 and the more consumer-friendly NEX-5N. There was a real need for a camera that added a few more physical controls for advanced amateurs, for example, who are used to dials and switches to quickly change camera settings, or for a camera with tweaks to the user interface, or – a pretty important feature for me – a viewfinder.
Well, Sony has provided all of those features, and then some with the NEX-6. So, naturally, when we received this shiny new toy, I had to take it for a spin.
Now, the really cool lenses – the 16-50mm and the 10-18mm are very much in demand, and all of our copies were checked out when I wanted to take them for a spin, so I settled on the massive 18-200mm lens and the Zeiss-badged 24mm f/1.8 lens. I shot them in a variety of different conditions, and – spoiler alert – I had an absolute blast.
Last week, I posted Part V of my “Switch” series, which you can find here:
Previously, in the Switch series:
- Part 1: I talk our marketing VP into letting me go Nikon for a while.
- Part 1.5: which was mislabeled Part 0.5, in which I gawk at a violin.
- Part II: The Nikon gets abusive.
- Part III: CLS starts to look pretty good.
- Part IV: In which I return to Canon for a spell.
- Part V: The conclusion, in which you learn what I ended up with.
I’ve pretty-much laid out my reasons for switching, but I felt compelled to add some kind of postscript to that series. So, here it is.
With autumn upon us, daylight hours are fewer and further between. I don’t stop shooting (later sunrises mean I can actually drag myself out of bed at a better hour), but I do take more time to catch up on my reading. Accordingly, I spend some time to put together a list of the best photography books that I want to go through each year and will bring you reviews of the ones I liked the most.
My (virtual) bookshelf is full of titles I’ve read or plan to read for reviewing or for personal edification. Some, like Brian Smith’s book on portraiture, which I reviewed earlier this week, are for personal edification and review. Some, like Light, Science, and Magic, are on there because the subject matter is of interest. And some are on there because I’ll read even an obituary by one of these authors.
Authors like Joe McNally, for example, whose books like Sketching Light and The Moment it Clicks make for fantastic and entertaining reading. Others write books so chock full of information that they become indispensable reference material that I find myself going to pretty often. My friend Syl Arena is an author and teacher who falls into the latter category, and his latest book, Lighting for Digital Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots is something that I think should be more appropriately titled “Light: The Missing Manual”.
While we receive many notes of thanks (and sometimes even small gifts) back with our rentals, every so often we receive something that knocks our socks off. We received this letter back with a Canon 24-105 lens.
I am returning this Canon EF 24-105L lens, that you so crueley numbered 20033064. I’ll have you know that this number to you has a name, and his name is Jack. Jack arrived on my doorstep Sept. 27th. I was so excited to meet my new friend. Little did I know we would soon become more. I told Jack we were going to Disney World! He was so excited, he’d been so many places and had heard other lenses and cameras talk of Disney. On October 1st, we arrived and instantly Jack showed me how happy he was. I didn’t have too high of hopes, I thought “maybe I’ll get a few nicer pictures.” He surpassed all expectations. My images were so clear and sharp, such detail. Where have you been all my life Jack?! (Oh, that’s right, cooped up in your backroom! Shame!) I took Jack to more and more parks, he saw shows, rides, animals, and foods he’d never seen before. I was rewarded with pictures I’d never seen my T1i take before. It was inevitable… We fell in love. The 12th came and I couldn’t let him go! Just a few more days! And now it’s over, I want you to know, you may have his body, but he left his soul in my pictures! YOU CAN’T TAKE THAT AWAY! WHAT WE HAVE IS TRUE AND NO DISTANCE CAN CHANGE THAT!!! SHAME ON YOU FOR BREAKING UP TRUE LOVE! =( I’LL NEVER FORGET YOU JACK!!! <3, Felicia