Rokinon AF 50mm F1.4 FE: sample gallery and impressions

The Rokinon/Samyang AF 50mm F1.4 FE ($500) and AF 35mm F1.4 FE ($800) represent the South Korean manufacturer’s first foray into the autofocus lens market. The 50mm F1.4 is a steal compared to Sony’s own Planar T* FE 50mm F1.4 ZA ($1400). So what do you sacrifice, and is it worth the savings? In short, it’s enough to say this lens is no gem in a bargain’s disguise. But it’s not a bad piece of glass either.

The housing is made of metal like the Planar T* and the build quality is reassuringly dense – nothing rattles around when you shake it (a very scientific test indeed). It’s a little bit smaller than the Planar T* (the filter ring is 67mm vs 72mm), as well as lighter (645g / 1.4lb vs 778g / 1.7lb). But the Planar T* is by all accounts a large, heavy prime, meaning the Rokinon too feels hefty to lug around. It left this reviewer yearning for the comparably tiny/light-weight Sony Sonnar T* FE 55mm F1.8 ZA instead.

The Rokinon/Samyang AF 50mm F1.4 FE, shot wide open. ISO 100 | F1.4 | 1/5000 sec

Photographers considering the Rokinon AF 50mm are likely doing so because of its F1.4 maximum aperture. Wide open, it’s not terribly sharp, but photos shot at F1.4 are certainly usable, especially if you add more sharpening in ACR or Photoshop. As you’d expect, sharpness improves as you stop down (until you hit diffraction territory). For a full stop aperture progression, head to the end of our gallery.

There’s a considerable amount of longitudinal chromatic aberration (purple and green fringing), and it can be really distracting around high contrast edges – see the second image in the gallery. While this can often be removed – to an → continue…

From:: DPreview

Gear of the Year 2017 – Jeff’s choice: Olympus Tough TG-5

I try to make it to the Hawaiian Islands every year and I have a pretty good success rate. When I go, usually to Maui, I make it a point to spend most of my mornings snorkeling. In the afternoons I’ll hop in an air conditioned car and explore the island which, even after many (many) trips, is still exciting.

Hungry hungry honu, Kaanapali, Maui. Cropped out-of-camera JPEG.
ISO 100 | F3.5 | 1/250 sec | 33mm equiv | Photo by Jeff Keller

Since I want to memorialize any encounters with sea turtles or dolphins that may occur while I’m snorkeling, that really narrows down my camera choices. I’m not hardcore enough to bring a large camera in a big housing; rather, I want something I can slip into the pocket of my swimsuit while I’m struggling to put on my fins. I also need a camera that can capture the beautiful rainbows and sunsets that are almost a daily occurrence. The camera that covers both bases for me is the Olympus Tough TG-5.

The TG-5 has a great macro mode, with a 1cm minimum focusing distance. It captures plenty of detail, as you can see from this photo of my lunch.
ISO 100 | F2.8 | 1/160 sec | 24mm equiv | Photo by Jeff Keller

To be honest, 2015’s TG-4 didn’t need a lot of improvements. It had solid image quality for a compact, a lens that’s fast at its wide end, Raw support, a GPS, manometer, thermometer, and compass, along with respectable battery life. It could take a beating and, unlike some underwater compacts I’ve tested, didn’t leak at all when it went diving. The main things that irked me about the TG-4 were → continue…

From:: DPreview

Gear of the Year 2017 – Dale’s choice: Sigma 14mm F1.8 Art

Sigma’s 14mm F1.8 Art lens makes it easier to get shots like this.
ISO 5000 | 2 seconds | F1.8 | 14mm

Over the past couple years I’ve developed a strong interest in wide-field astrophotography. Specifically, I’ve become passionate about photographing the aurora borealis, commonly known as the northern lights.

The aurora is Mother Nature’s own special effects show, and it’s one of those things that makes you stop to just appreciate the magic of the universe. No photo, IMAX screen, or VR headset will ever replicate the experience of standing under the sky when she flips on the light switch, but maybe that’s why I’m so drawn to aurora photography in the first place: it requires me to go to where I can experience the magic in person.

There are a lot of good lenses out there for this purpose, and I’ve used quite a few of them including the legendary Nikon 14-24mm F2.8, the Rokinon 14mm F2.8, the Venus Optics Laowa 15mm F2, various 16-35mm F2.8 variants, and even Sigma’s own 20mm F1.4 Art, but once I tried the Sigma 14mm F1.8 it was game over. I knew I had found the one.

ISO 1600 | 3.2 seconds | F1.8 | 14mm

One thing you learn quickly when shooting aurora is that you need fast, wide lenses. Fast because you’re shooting at night (duh). Wide because the aurora typically covers a large portion of the sky. It also makes it easier to include some landscape to provide a sense of place. This is where the Sigma 14mm F1.8 Art lens comes in.

What makes this lens so special is the fast F1.8 aperture. That’s 1.3 EV → continue…

From:: DPreview

ME20F-SHN: Canon’s low light monster just got even better

By (Freya Black)

Low light no problem. Canon's new ME20F-SHN

With a maximum ISO of 4 million, it doesn’t look like you’ll miss much action with the latest iteration of Canon’s ultra low light shooter.

  • Canon ME20FSHN
  • low light shooting
  • HD
  • High ISO

    → continue…

    From:: RedShark News

    Sony a7R III Sensor gets Highest DxOMark Score Ever for a Mirrorless Camera

    By Yossy Mendelovich

    DxOMark has awarded the Sony a7R III an excellent score of 100, the highest score ever given for a mirrorless camera and the same as the Nikon D850, which is 1st place among all non-medium format cameras.

    DxOMark has compared the a7R III to the a7R II, discussing that although they have a backlit sensor with the same pixel count, the Mark III’s sensor has a greater processing power and a twofold increase in the data readout speed due to a better processing engine.

    These technological improvements enable a maximum continuous shooting rate of 10fps with continuous autofocusing and metering.

    Sensor performance – superior dynamic range

    The DxOMark analysis praises the dynamic range of the a7R III, declaring that “the sensor can indeed capture wide dynamic range with good color”. According to tests and comparisons, dynamic range is the most significant improvement of the a7R III’s sensor over the a7R II.

    Moreover, the low-light ISO is also very good and stands at ISO 3523.

    Check graphs below for better reference


    Dynamic Range

    Color Depth


    DxOMark concludes that “the Sony a7R III has a high-performing sensor that’s capable of capturing images with a broad range of color and tone, while keeping noise well under control”. While the Sony has its strengths in the high ISO range, the Nikon defeats it in the low ISO range. As stated in the analysis: “Photographers who predominantly shoot in bright light or capture motionless subjects with the camera on a tripod will record the most information, be it color, tone, → continue…

    From:: Cinema 5d

    2017 Buying Guide: Best cameras for people and events

    Those shooting portraits and weddings need a camera with a decent autofocus system that won’t give up in low light, good image quality at medium/high ISO and great colors straight out of the camera. Read on to see which cameras are best suited to those tasks.

    → continue…

    From:: DPreview

    Nikon’s redesigned SnapBridge app adds full manual camera control and ‘intuitive’ UI

    Nikon just released a new version of its camera connectivity app SnapBridge. The new SnapBridge Version 2.0—which is available for both iOS and Android devices starting today—has been redesigned with an easier-to-use interface and a bunch of new features like the ability to register up to five devices, and full-manual control of select cameras.

    On the UI side, both the screen design and the menu structure have been updated to be ‘more intuitive’ and offer direct access to Help functions. The app has also now been equipped with a ‘power saving mode’ that keeps SnapBridge from draining your smartphone or tablet’s battery when you’re not connected to a camera (i.e. when it’s not in use).

    On the feature side, the major addition is full manual control. If you have a compatible camera—according to Nikon, these include the Nikon D850, D500, D7500, and D5600—you’ll now be able to control exposure modes (P/S/A/M), shutter speed, aperture, exposure comp, ISO, and white balance.

    You can learn more about the new SnapBridge app by reading the full press release below, or downloading it yourself off of the iTunes App Store or Google Play.

    Press Release

    Nikon Announces Updated Version of SnapBridge Camera Connectivity App for Seamless Image Transfer and Sharing

    Easier to Use, More Intuitive and Simpler Connection with SnapBridge Version 2.0*

    MELVILLE, NY (November 29, 2017 at 11:00 P.M. EST) – Today, Nikon is pleased to announce the release of version 2.0 of Nikon SnapBridge, which offers enhanced functionality, stability and ease of use. SnapBridge is the Nikon app that enables users to easily and seamlessly share images and control select Nikon digital camera via Bluetooth** and Wi-Fi® connection with a compatible smart device such as a phone or tablet.

    Enhanced Interface and Connectivity

    SnapBridge version 2.0 reflects feedback from → continue…

    From:: DPreview

    Canon MM100-WS – Small and Modular Multi-Purpose Camera

    By Jakub Han

    canon mm100

    The Canon MM100-WS is a very small modular multipurpose camera intended for the B2B market as a solution for companies. We interviewed Canon’s Terunori Tajiri during Inter BEE 2017 to find out more about the device.

    Canon first presented this small modular camera in September during IBC 2017, where we inteviewed Canon’s Marcel Hess to get the first information about this new camera. During Inter BEE 2017 we caught up with Canon representative Terunori Tajiri to get more in-depth information about the new Canon MM100-WS.

    It should be noted that, first of all, the MM100-WS is not an action camera, but a modular device meant for the B2B market as a solution to fulfil the needs of companies. For example, it could prove useful as a body cam in the security and maintenance sectors, although it may also find a home in broadcasting, as it can be connected to external devices like recorders or encoders for wireless video transmission.

    We don’t yet know many of the technical specifications behind this camera – such as the exact size and type of sensor – but we know it should offer good low-light sensitivity (up to ISO 12,800 for video and 6,400 photos), a maximum resolution of Full HD and electronic image stabilization. The dimensions of the Canon MM100-WS module are 40 x 40 x 21.6mm (1.57″ x 1.57″ x 0.85″), with an IP54 certificate which means the module is splashproof and dustproof.

    Canon currently plans to sell this device as a solution for companies, and is not considering selling the camera as an end product to customers, and therefore there is no information about pricing or availability yet. However, as they previously said, Canon is still open to feedback from their partners or users concerning this camera.

    The post Canon MM100-WS – Small → continue…

    From:: Cinema 5d

    The Yashica Y35 digiFilm camera raised over $2.5M in crowdfunding

    Despite a decidedly lukewarm reception in our community—and much mockery from the pro and semi-pro photographers out there—the Yashica Y35 camera and its digital ‘film’ cartridges has become an Internet sensation, raising many, many times more than the required funding to make it to market.

    The company’s Kickstarter campaign was backed by 6,935 funders who together contributed HK$10,035,296 (about US$1.286M), while on Indiegogo the camera raised an additional US$1,287,483 to ensure that the project not only goes ahead, but that it comes with a few upgrades too.

    In case you’re not familiar, the Yashica Y35 digiFilm project aimed to create a digital camera that acts more like a film camera—complete with film winder and ‘film’ cartridges with different ISO ratings and alternative image characteristics. While many found this idea silly on the face of it, thousands more disagreed and poured their money into both of Yashica’s crowdfunding campaigns, allowing the company to upgrade the camera’s specs a little bit.

    Originally, the Y35 was intended to feature a 1/3.2in sensor, but that has been upgraded to a 1/ 2.5in sensor (still with the original 14MP pixel-count). The 35mm lens has also had a positive change in specification, going from f/2.8 to a four-element f/2.0 lens with a wider diameter and what the company promises is better image quality.

    There is a gallery of sample shots captured with a pre-production version of the Y35 camera—with its bigger sensor and faster lens—on the Kickstarter and Indiegogo pages if you’re curious. As for the production model, the camera is due to be delivered to crowdfunding backers in May of 2018.

    → continue…

    From:: DPreview

    Sony a7R III ties Nikon D850: Best mirrorless full-frame camera DxOMark has ever tested

    DxOMark has just published their review of the Sony a7RIII‘s sensor, and no surprises here: it ties the Nikon D850 as the best full-frame camera they’ve ever tested with a score of 100. This also makes it the best mirrorless full-frame camera DxOMark has ever tested, besting the former king, the Sony a7R II, which scored a 98.

    From the moment Sony debuted the a7R III, it became clear there was only one competitor for this mirrorless beast: The Nikon D850. And as DxO makes clear in their review headline, the D850 has now met “its mirrorless match.” In fact, it would be a stretch to call one of the cameras better overall than the other. Here’s how their scores break down:

    As DxOMark makes clear in its conclusion, which camera you prefer (or should prefer) has to do with your own use case:

    Comparing the A7R III sensor to the Nikon D850’s reveals the advantage that the Nikon camera’s lower minimum sensitivity (ISO) value brings. Photographers who predominantly shoot in bright light or capture motionless subjects with the camera on a tripod will record the most information, be it color, tone, or detail with the Nikon D850 set to ISO 32. However, if they require values above that, the Sony A7R III sensor produces marginally better images.

    By now it should be obvious why the Sony a7RIII tied with the Nikon D850 for our best camera above $2,000: it’s next to impossible to pick one over the other unless you have a specific use case in mind. Check out DxOMark’s full review for a deeper dive on this particular camera sensor, and if you want even more you can read our full review as well.

    → continue…

    From:: DPreview

    Gear of the Year 2017 – Barney’s choice (Part 2): Nikon D850

    In the first part of this article, I wrote about the camera I’ve used most in 2017 – the Leica M10. In Part 2, I want to write about a camera that I’ve used very little. In fact, aside from bringing it to my eye and playing around with the reviewable sample that came into our office earlier this year, I’ve barely even managed to get my hands on it.

    That camera is the Nikon D850. Undeniably one of the most important products of 2017 (and in terms of traffic, definitely among the most popular on DPReview) the D850 is an impressive DSLR by any measure.

    The Nikon D810 is one of our favorite DSLRs of the past several years

    It used to be the case that if you wanted high-resolution stills, you had to make do with a relatively slow camera. And conversely, if you wanted high-speed capture and ultra-long battery life, you had to drop $5000-6000 on a pro-grade camera that didn’t have the pixel-count required for really demanding applications. The Nikon D810 is one of our favorite DSLRs of the past several years, but its excellent resolution and unrivaled dynamic range at ISO 64 came at the expense of relatively slow continuous shooting, and (somewhat mysteriously) poor low-light autofocus performance compared to the flagship D5.

    The D850’s wide dynamic range at its low ISO sensitivity settings enables shots like these (taken at ISO 125) which contain detail and true color everywhere from the deepest shadows to the highlight areas. Shot from a moving vehicle (hence the slightly softness at very close examination), this image is a great illustration of the D850’s versatility.

    Photo by Carey Rose

    On paper, the D850 offers the best of both worlds, and in practice, → continue…

    From:: DPreview