Best Mirrorless Lenses of 2017

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While it’s true you can adapt just about any lens onto a mirrorless camera, the truth of the matter is that lenses designed specifically for mirrorless cameras tend to be smaller, lighter, and in many cases, quicker to autofocus than larger-format DSLR lenses that have been adapted for smaller mirrorless cameras. The following is an alphabetical by manufacturer compilation of lenses designed specifically for use with mirrorless cameras that were introduced in the year 2017.

Fujifilm

From Fujifilm we have two sets of lenses dedicated for use with the Fujifilm APS-C format X-mount cameras and Fujifilm GFX 50S medium-format cameras. For Fujifilm X-mount cameras, the company offers the Fujifilm XF 80mm F2.8 R LM OIS WR Macro, a 120mm-equivalent macro lens that focuses down to life-size (1:1) and features a weather-sealed design, Fluorine coatings, optical image stabilization, a Super ED element, three ED elements, and a linear AF motor with a floating focusing system. Also available for X-mount cameras is the Fujifilm XF 50mm F2 R WR, a 76mm equivalent weather-sealed lens that features Super EBC lens coatings and a physical aperture ring.

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Photo Software of the Year, 2017

Author: admin  |  Category: Best Photo Sharing, Digital Cameras

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Arguably as important as the cameras and lenses you are using, the photo software component of your workflow is what allows you to bring your digital files to life. Different programs allow you to do a range of necessary tasks, from processing raw files to simple image enhancements to managing your whole library of images. Depending on your needs, there are options available for the most complex routines and editing requirements, down to more simplified tools to just spruce up your pictures a bit before posting online. Here is a look at some of the most popular current options available.

Adobe Photoshop CC

So well-known and recognizable that its name has transcended into a verb, Adobe Photoshop has been the de facto standard in photo editing for ages, and for good reason. Currently available as part of the Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan, or as part of a general subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud, Photoshop is an incredibly well-rounded application that covers anything from making slight brightness and contrast adjustments, processing raw files, or retouching images all the way up to producing multi-layered, stitched image composites rife with selections and masks. Working in concert with Photoshop itself, secondary “sub-apps” Bridge and Camera Raw further benefit the editing maestro with the ability to manage and organize file libraries and convert raw files.

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Five Gift-Worthy Camera Bag Solutions

Author: admin  |  Category: Best Photo Sharing, Digital Cameras

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In 1989, a flashy young tennis star named Andre Agassi began marketing cameras under the slogan: “Image is everything.” While Agassi’s now-iconic Canon Rebel campaign helped make a generation of weekend warriors look like savvy professionals, there is one aspect of the industry that his motto has yet to influence: camera bags. Seriously. Why is it so hard to find a functional camera bag that doesn’t look or feel terrible?

It seems like every other week a different startup releases a gorgeous bag that falls apart after a few months of use because the designers have no industry experience or cut the wrong corners during production. On the other end of the spectrum, many of the “classic” brands continue to churn out variations of the same ugly bags they made twenty years ago. Read the reviews on our website. Every bag is either too flimsy or too ugly. Surely, a middle ground exists. Am I asking too much? Here are five options that give me hope.

The Everyday Struggle, Solved

Most of my time is spent in Brooklyn or Manhattan. When I’m on the street or train, I don’t want anyone to know that I’m carrying more dollars in camera gear than I have in my bank account. Any bag that looks like it is designed for cameras is automatically a no-go. Earlier this year, my desire to low-key carry my gear through the city led me to Hex’s Raven Medium DSLR Backpack. This bag is as close to the Holy Grail of commuter camera bags as I have come.

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Can’t-Miss Gifts for the Videographer in Your Life

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Let’s face it, gift-giving season is upon us, and you’ve got someone you care about to whom you would like to give a useful and meaningful gift. But, you don’t know what to get them. Sure, you could go with the old stand-by, the B&H Gift Card, but this year you really want to make an impression, and can’t wait for them to shower you with compliments of how great your gift was. So, grab a warm beverage and read on, as I offer up some gift ideas for that videographer/filmmaker in your life, even if that means you are giving a gift to yourself.

Air Purifier

I know, we envision far-off locations with majestic vistas, but the truth is that all these films and videos get edited, visual and sound effects added—and don’t forget the score and sound mix. All of that is going to take place inside a room, with closed windows, for many hours at a time. Sounds like just the place for a filterless air purifier, with a variety of models to match the size of your post-production closet, I mean, room.

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Leica Releases Special Edition 50mm Lens for LHSA 50th Anniversary

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As the International Leica Society reaches its 50th Anniversary, Leica Camera has collaborated to release a special-edition APO Summicron-M 50mm f/2 ASPH. “LHSA” Lens to commemorate the occasion. In a limited run of just 300 black paint lenses and 200 silver chrome lenses, this lens will certainly become a collector’s item in time. This lens features a classic design, though the APO design ensures contemporary performance that will make the most of current high-resolution digital systems. The unique features of the LHSA edition include a scalloped focusing ring, red lettering for the feet scale and either black or white for the other engravings, serial numbers on the aperture ring, and the inscription of the LHSA logo on the bayonet rings above the “Made in Germany” lettering.

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Leica Lifts the Covers on Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 Lens

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Hailed as a revolution in portrait photography by Leica, the Noctilux-M 75mm f/1.25 ASPH. lens will certainly appeal to M shooters desiring a brilliant and bright new optic to add to their collection. As Leica’s latest lens, and one of the company’s most significant new releases of the past years, this Noctilux is designed to perform admirably wide open and stopped down throughout the entire focusing range using various optical techniques and elements. It will even match up beautifully with Leica’s rangefinder cameras, where the optical rangefinder is still supported, and the latest mirrorless offerings, such as the SL, via an adapter.

To achieve this high a level of performance in such a lens, Leica pulled out all the stops, using only high anomalous partial dispersion and low chromatic dispersion glass in its nine-element and six-group design. Two of these elements are aspherical, as well, resulting in sharp images with minimal aberrations. A floating element is also utilized to ensure optimal quality from the minimum focus of 2.8′ to infinity. Wide open at f/1.25, this lens will create images with exceptionally shallow depth of field, with a distinct look and bokeh for which the Noctilux range is known. An 11-blade aperture helps create circular bokeh at all apertures and, when combined with the 75mm focal length on a full-frame camera, it offers a near perfect combination for portraiture. This lens is going to be one of the flagships of Leica’s M lineup, which should be no surprise given its technical specs. It also features an integrated lens hood and comes with a tripod adapter for mounting on a support system.

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Is this Noctilux going to make it onto your wish list? Let us know your thoughts below, in the Comments section!

digital cameras best photo sharing

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Music Production Laptop Buying Guide

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Ten years ago, only the highest-end laptops were powerful enough to take on the task of real-time audio processing, and even still, they paled in comparison to the desktop machines of the day. In 2017, those days are long gone, and the promise of a mobile, high-performance music production studio is a reality. So, let’s go over the ins and outs of buying a laptop for music production and pro audio.

When it comes to choosing a formidable music-production weapon, there are, universally, certain specs that you’ll want to look for to ensure top performance. And then, there are those specs that can be sacrificed to cut costs.

The first important thing you need to consider is what DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) you’ll be using, and which platforms it’s available for. Most DAWs, like Pro Tools, Ableton Live, and Bitwig, are available for Mac or Windows. Others are only available for one or the other, like Logic, which is Mac only. Conversely, Cakewalk SONAR and FL Studio are Windows only.

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Image-Line FL Studio 12

Once you’ve narrowed your search by platform, you can start thinking about processing power, and for music production and recording, you’ll need a healthy dose of it. In the old days, capable machines were much harder to come by, and some DAW software developers used to qualify only specific “chipsets” on a case-by-case basis. But, now that powerful laptop processors have become more prevalent and affordable, you don’t have to do as much detailed research to qualify a machine. But still, there are some simple guidelines to follow.

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11 Photographic Gift Ideas for Your Shutterbug

Author: admin  |  Category: Best Photo Sharing, Digital Cameras

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Guess what? You are very lucky to be shopping for a photographer or a photo enthusiast. Do you know why? Because there are a ton of things your special shutterbug needs and wants to add to their passionate pursuit of the ultimate photograph. The other good news is that there are completely useful and thoughtful photography-related gifts for any budget. Yeah!

But, just in case you can’t think of what to get the photographer in your life, or if you are a photographer who does not know exactly what to put on your wish list, here are some ideas.

1. Loupedeck

Is your favorite photographer a fan of Adobe Lightroom? Well, the Loupedeck might be the ultimate gift for them. It is basically a dedicated interface that allows super-fast Lightroom adjustments without your mouse, pen and tablet, or keyboard shortcuts.

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Loupedeck Photo Editing Console for Lightroom 6 & CC

2. Teleconverters

Unless they are a wide-angle lens junkie, almost every photographer experiences the need to get closer to their subject—usually without getting physically closer. One way to get closer without buying a new lens is with a teleconverter. They have different magnifications and are available in a variety of lens mounts. A warning to the gift-giver: check and double-check compatibility with your photographer’s lenses and cameras because teleconverters can get pretty specific.

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Holiday Light Shows in Seven States: AL, AR, CA, CO, DE, FL, and GA

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Tis the season for holiday lights, with festive displays dotting the landscape from coast to coast to brighten the waning daylight hours. From the graceful lights and majestic tree in New York’s Rockefeller Center, to the whirlwind of sound, color, and lighting in a holiday theme park, such displays are a fantasy land for photographic exploration.

To aid you in capturing photogenic moments that convey the spirit of the season, we’ve developed this list of popular holiday lighting displays in locations throughout the United States.

Above photograph © John McEvoy

Operating hours, dates, and admission costs for each venue vary widely, so please check event websites for specifics before planning a visit. As for cost, many of the venues have a primary goal to raise money for local charities. In such cases, consider the admission fee as a benevolent effort to spread some holiday cheer.

Alabama

Thirty minutes southeast of Mobile, the Gulf Coast serves up southern hospitality with an elegant display of holiday lights at Bellingrath Gardens and Home’s 22nd annual presentation of Magic Christmas in Lights.

From November 24 through December 31, guests are invited for a two-mile stroll through a dazzling display featuring more than three million lights set among the 65-acre Garden estate. The Bellingrath Home is also decorated in its holiday finery, with tours offered every half hour, and choral performances scheduled on the South Terrace many nights. Special evening hours run from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. nightly, except on Christmas.

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Six Practical Gifts to Give Your Photographer Friends

Author: admin  |  Category: Best Photo Sharing, Digital Cameras

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It’s gift-giving season again! While many of us will be excited for any potential gifts that will be received, the idea of tracking down gifts for some of our more difficult friends makes many dread holiday shopping. I can’t help you with most of your friends but, if you have a photographer in the bunch, I think I can make some recommendations that will make life easier. All the items below won’t be limited to a specific camera brand or shooting style, so you don’t have to worry about finding out specifics or learning all that much to pick up an appropriate gift.

Instant Film Camera

Instant film is not only coming back, it is thriving. Just this year, Impossible announced the revival of the legendary name “Polaroid,” with a rebranding to “Polaroid Originals” and the release of the OneStep2, a superb modern-day take on a simple instant camera. I would argue that nearly every photographer would get a kick out of using an instant film camera and this brand-new offering is likely going to be one of the best. If you want something else, however, be sure to check out Fujifilm’s instax line, which is the most popular instant film today due to its fun colors, ease of use, and more affordable film.

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