Tag Archives: mirrorless

POTD: Fisher Tower Nightscape

Night Sky Photography with the Nikon Z7

Fisher Towers at night
Fisher Towers under moonlight, Moab, UT
Nikon Z7 with 20mm f/1.8 AFS G Nikkor and FTZ adaptor, 20s f/2.0 ISO 3200

I recently got the Nikon Z7 mirrorless camera, and I decided to make a quick trip over to Utah to do a little test shooting. For this shot, I set up the camera on my tripod and used my Nikon 20mm f/1.8 AFS G lens via the Nikon FTZ mount adaptor. Much to my surprise, the Z7 was able to focus on the towers in near total darkness (the viewfinder image was completely black).

I must say that I was impressed with the overall image quality from the Z7 for night photography. I’ll be posting more about my experiences with this Nikon mirrorless camera over the next few weeks, so be sure to check back!

Get my complete guide to night sky photography here

Fuji X-T1 News: New body, New Firmware

The Fujifilm X-T1 (Graphite) edition offers some new features that will also be available to original X-T1 owners via a firmware update in December 2014. Image courtesy of Fujifilm.

Fujifilm announced a new color (Graphite) X-T1 body to be released later this year. While it looks really nice, it’s really the same camera as the original (black) X-T1, which I use as my primary travel/family camera. The bigger news, however, was a firmware upgrade coming in December that will match the original (black) X-T1’s features with its silver counterpart. I looked through the firmware features, which you can read here, and the following items caught my eye:

  • Electronic shutter option for fast primes: You will be able to shoot at a shutter speed of up to 1/32,000s with the electronic shutter. That’s perfect for using a fast prime in bright light without having to stop down. The downside is that this feature will only work with the 23 f/1.4, 25 f/1.4 and 56 f/1.2 Fuji prime lenses (I’m scratching my head on that one).
  • Natural Live View Mode: Because the X-T1 uses an electronic viewfinder (EVF), the viewfinder displays the scene with in-camera settings applied, like monochrome or “Velvia” mode. What that means is that sometimes the viewfinder image is too contrasty or saturated due to the chosen film emulation mode. Natural mode will display a normal image in the viewfinder, while the captured images will have the film emulation settings applied to them.
  • Linking the focus area to the metering area in spot metering mode: This is something my Nikon’s do, and it’s a feature I find quite useful. Currently, the spot meter uses the center of the frame, meaning you can’t just choose a metering area with the focus points without recomposing the shot.

Sadly, the one feature I really want, ± 2EV bracketing, wasn’t on the list. I hope Fuji reconsiders and adds this feature… it would make HDR capture so much easier!

The X-T1 (Graphite Silver) is available for pre-order from site sponsor B&H photo for $1499 (body only). You can also pick up the original X-T1 (black) in a new bundle with the 18-135mm zoom lens (highly recommended) for $1899.



The Sensor Plane Photography Podcast: Episode #4

I had a chance to sit down with Tony Sweet for this episode of The Sensor Plane podcast. Tony and I discuss the recent advances in mirrorless camera systems; he’s started using the Fujifilm X Pro-1 and he recently took it on a photo workshop he led in Havana, Cuba.

Check out the interview here:

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Download an audio-only version of the podcast here (mp3 format)

 

Three 1-Nikkor Lenses for Serious Photographers

The newest addition to the Nikon 1 system is a very fast portrait lens.
The newest addition to the Nikon 1 system is a very fast portrait lens.

The Nikon 1 System has been out for a little over a year and a half now, and Nikon is now starting to release a series of lenses geared toward the more advanced/serious photographer. When the Nikon 1 system debuted, the only lens that wasn’t a “consumer-level” zoom was the 10mm f/2.8 prime. After adding an 11-27.5mm zoom last year (I don’t know why), Nikon has now released three lenses that are quite nice for more serious photography. Continue reading Three 1-Nikkor Lenses for Serious Photographers

Nikon 1 V2 Hands-On First Impressions

Nikon 1 V2 (left) compared to the Nikon 1 V1. Other than the larger viewfinder, the V2 is actually smaller and lighter than the V1.

For the last year, I’ve used the Nikon 1 V1 as my primary travel/family camera. In general, I found it to be a good camera with some ergonomic quirks. In late October, Nikon announced the V1’s successor, the Nikon 1 V2. I took delivery of my V2 a few days ago and while I haven’t done complete testing, I thought I’d offer up some of my first impressions, especially with respect to what I thought the shortcomings of the V1 were back in February.

Main New Features

  • The Nikon 1 V2 offers a 14 megapixel CX-format sensor. The camera’s base ISO is 160, and is expandable to ISO 6400.
  • The body design and control layout is totally new and more in line with Nikon’s DSLRs.
  • The Nikon 1 V2 can shoot at 15 fps without any metering or focus limitations (as far as I can tell).
  • The V2 sports a small built-in flash unit.
  • The Nikon 1 V2 uses a different battery than the V1, the EN-EL21. This battery is smaller and lighter than the EN-EL15, and uses a dedicated charger. The battery life is good for around 300 shots, according to Nikon.  Continue reading Nikon 1 V2 Hands-On First Impressions