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Archive for the ‘Cameras and Lenses’ Category

The iPhone 6 Camera

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After spending a couple years with Android smartphones, I jumped back over to Apple with the new iPhone 6. While I prefer the Android OS, I won’t really miss it because I’m still using it (lovin’ my Nexus tablet). Can’t imagine missing out on that sweet looking Android Lollipop update, so yeah, I’m in both camps :)


The iPhone 6 a beautifully made device, and Apple finally upped the screen size. What I was really after this time around, however, is that iSight camera system. As much as I loved my Moto X, the camera was just ridiculously bad. Not so with the iPhone. It’s got a great sensor and lens combo that’s more responsive, faster focusing, and works better in low light than any phone I’ve had to date. Apple really nailed it when it comes to image processing as well, so colors look great and there’s a surprising amount of dynamic range (HDR results look pretty natural). iOS8 allows much more manual control over exposure than ever before, and the new photos app has great built-in tools for tweaking the images even further after capture.

All images in this post were taken with the iPhone 6, and some were edited in iOS8’s built-in photos app:













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So there you have it, my new favorite compact camera. :)

Written by Jonathan

October 26, 2014 at 3:02 pm

Shooting With The Canon G1 X Mark II

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I’ve been using the Canon G1 X Mark II as my primary grab and go digital camera for the last few months. My initial impressions were already pretty favorable, and I’m happy to say that it’s grown on me even more now that I’ve been shooting with it for a while.

It probably won’t dethrone my all time favorite digital camera, but it’s got a well deserved place in the camera bag:









All Images: Canon G1 X Mark II | VSCO

Written by Jonathan

July 10, 2014 at 9:03 pm

First Shots: Canon G1 X Mark II

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I’ve been shooting with Canon’s brand new flagship Powershot camera this week, the G1 X Mark II. The original G1 X didn’t really interest me at all. This camera, however, is a different story.

I’m still assessing its abilities, but right off the bat I’m impressed with the image quality. The RAW files respond well to one of my favorite VSCO presets, Velvia 50, which I used to process most of these shots.

The video mode isn’t very robust, but the quality is pretty good. Footage below was shot hand-held with the camera set to 1080/30p. You can check out more footage on my Youtube channel as well.

I’m really liking this camera so far. It’s pretty quick and responsive, I love the dual control rings, and the 24-120mm f/2-3.9 lens is fast and flexible. Can’t wait to spend more time with this thing!


Written by Jonathan

April 21, 2014 at 4:26 pm

Chasing Suki With The Ricoh GR

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Been messin’ around with the Ricoh GR this week. Large APS-C chip, sharp 28mm equivalent optic, super small magnesium body. Good stuff.

One of my favorite features is the camera’s snap focus mode, which lets you easily preset a focus distance. Then you just stop it down, select a fast enough shutter speed, hang the camera low every now and then and jam on the shutter. Not a bad way to get a bunch of random photos of Suki running this way. And that way. And this way again.

Oops. Did I mention selecting a fast enough shutter speed? The GR’s handy TAv mode allows you set both shutter speed and aperture manually while the camera floats the ISO up and down automatically. You get the depth of field and motion-stopping control you want without having to worry about your exposure, which is pretty handy when you’re chasing a Shiba Inu though an intersection with the camera. Overall, I’m pretty impressed!

All Images: Ricoh GR | VSCO 04 Velvia 50

Written by Jonathan

February 25, 2014 at 10:03 pm


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My nephew Julian is two years old now! I took some photos of him over the weekend at one of the parks I used to frequent when I was his age. Such a happy little booger, this one.

Nikon D800 + Nikkor AF-S 58mm f/1.4G

Written by Jonathan

December 2, 2013 at 9:32 am

Weird Lens. Replichrome.

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A colleague of mine let me borrow a very interesting lens this past weekend. Apparently he sent an old compact film camera, equipped with a fixed 28mm wide-angle, to an outfit in Japan. They removed the camera’s glass and built an M-Mount lens around it, complete with aperture control, focus tab, and a distance scale.

The result is a very nicely made, body cap of a lens that makes a Leica camera feel strangely light-weight in use. More interesting than the somewhat unusual ergonomics, however, are the fun results you get from this optic (the lens actually vignettes more as you stop it down). In practice, this rangefinder/lens cap lens combo just begs to be shot from the hip. Set it to f8, zone focus, and treat it like a little point and shoot street cam. Extremely fun.

A black and white conversion seemed like a good fit for the resulting images, and I used this opportunity to run the raw files through a new set of film emulation presets I’m trying. The folks at Totally Rad were nice enough to let me download a copy of Replichrome for Lightroom, a suite of 134 film emulating presets with custom profiles for 386 cameras. I’m told that Totally Rad will update their custom profiles with each update release for Lightroom / ACR, which is very cool.

I plan to do a lot more testing with Replichrome, but for now here’s a sampling of their excellent Kodak 400CN and 400CN+ film presets (the “+” variant simulates the look of the film in reaction to overexposure). It’s clear that a lot of work went into developing this software, and I’m pretty impressed with what I’m seeing so far:

All Images: Leica M9 | Some Weird 28mm Watchumacallit M-Mount Lens | Replichrome Kodak 400CN

Written by Jonathan

September 16, 2013 at 8:42 pm

Around Town With The Sony RX100 II

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Spent some time behind Sony’s hot new RX100 Mark II over the last couple of days. I’m still waiting on RAW support so I can really see what these files have to offer, but even the JPEG files from the camera that I’m posting here look pretty good to me. For a camera that easily slips into a small pocket, I’m very impressed.

The above shot of the Bay Bridge was taken hand held at about 1/15 of a second at ISO3200. That’s a pretty sensitive 1″ sensor they packed into this little guy. The RX100 II is so good that I’m pretty sure I could take it on a trip as my only camera and be perfectly happy. This is a serious imaging machine!

All Images: Sony RX100M2

Written by Jonathan

July 31, 2013 at 7:21 am