On location with the Phase One IQ180

Introduction The Phase One 645DF and the IQ180 medium format system is a serious camera system for a serious photographer.  A full frame 80 megapixel digital back offers unparalleled image quality.  The 645DF and the IQ180 combine to make a beast of a camera, and currently is the top of the line in single-capture resolution.  The camera is based on an open architecture, meaning that the camera can accept a variety of digital backs and lenses.  It is a system that can grow... Read More

Wedding Photography and the New Canon 5D Mark III

A familiar high ISO torture test with the Canon 5D Mark III Click here to rent the Canon 5D mark II from BorrowLenses! Click here to check pricing and availability of the Canon 5D mark III at B&H The Canon 5D Mark III has finally arrived.  Is it a worthy successor to the 5D Mark II, or is this just a re-branding of a beloved camera system offering little payout for the updated pocketbook pricetag? I finally got my hands on a 5D Mark III for the weekend (a way too short weekend)... Read More

Canon Updates The Cult Classic 5D Series

Canon Announces Canon 5D Mark III So we have it, the long-awaited announcement of the new Canon 5D Mark III. Canon’s surprise smash hit 5D2 had a glorious run, achieving fame and infamy by inventing DSLR video capture in all its excitement and distress and, oh yeah, being a pretty fine photographic camera to boot. The 5D2 has become a widespread industry standard for portraits and events and this update will keep it in the game. Much needed on the old camera? Better... Read More

Nikon’s New Proline, The D4 and D800

Two Cameras to Rule The World A somewhat dry, but eerie story ran today on businessweek.com.  The story, Nikon Gains After Raising Forecast on Cameras, relates the company’s intention to up profits by a huge margin.  It appears the company plans to earn $939 million before March 2013.  The story continues, emphasizing the new line of mirrorless cameras.  Nikon is on the move, with new products up and down the cost scale.  That includes, for the first time in a long... Read More

Fujifilm introduces a little brother to the X100, the new X10

The Fujifilm X10 Fujifilm announced today a new little brother to the excellent Fujifilm X100 (reviewed here).  The camera is smaller, but bears a certain family resemblance, including old school metal parts and a real ring on the lens barrel.  Missing, when compared to the larger X100, are that camera’s Leica-inspired manual exposure controls, cool hybrid viewfinder, and larger sensor.  Exposure can, however, be manually controlled via the X10’s rear control... Read More

Image Quality and the Mamiya RZ33 (aka: the DM33 and Leaf Aptus-II 7)

Introduction In two previous articles, I discussed both the features and market position of the Mamiya RZ33 (Introduction: The Mamiya RZ33) and the ergonomics of using the big camera in the field (On Location with the Mamiya RZ33).  As is often the case with big cameras and perhaps the most sophisticated gear of any discipline, it’s the results that make the added complexity worth the extra effort.  The Big Mamiya is no exception, with generous doses of both complexity... Read More

On Location with The Leica S2

Introduction As a new player in photography’s highest bracket, the Leica S2 is a compelling option for high end and professional photographers.  It promises to take the spectacular image quality virtues of medium format digital photography and make it much more accessible in a wonderfully simple, intuitive, and travel-friendly package, not to mention a brand new line of lenses from one of the optical world’s finest.  Even compared to the pricey products of companies... Read More

Preview: The Phase One IQ180 80MP Digital Back, and the new IQ line

Introduction With the introduction of the new Phase One IQ180 80 MP digital back, Phase One has unleashed an impressive new tool for professional photographers. The Phase One IQ line is scheduled to include three digital camera backs by this summer, the 80 MP IQ180, the 60.5 MP IQ160, and the 40MP IQ140.  The top two are both full-frame 645, the 40 MP version is a familiar crop (32.9×43.9 mm).  All three offer Phase One’s unique Sensor+ system, that cuts resolution... Read More

Introduction: The Leica S2

Introduction With the new S2 camera system, Leica has boldly entered the world of professional imaging at the very top.  The Leica S2 is a tool designed for professional photographers, optimized to churn out big, clear files.  Unlike other cameras in photography’s upper reaches, though, the S2 immediately feels like something familiar, in many ways more closely related to modern 35mm DSLRs than to oblong 645 format cameras. To put our test camera to work, I set up a number... Read More

Introduction: The Mamiya RZ33

Editor’s Note: I’m grateful to several people for our Mamiya demo equipment: to Ray Olson of Mac Group for the RZ33 body and digital back as well as our demo 110mm f2.8 lens; to Pro Camera Rental & Supply for our demo 50mm f 4.5 and AE prism finder.  Mac Group is Mamiya’s exclusive U.S. distributor and Pro Camera is San Francisco’s finest rental shop for professional cameras and lighting gear.  Also, thank you to San Francisco photographer, Larry... Read More