Camera, DSLR and lens reviews
24th April 2014: Sony Alpha A6000 review!
Sony's Alpha A6000 is a new mid-range mirrorless camera which replaces the NEX-6. It keeps the same body shape, featuring a built-in flash, hotshoe / accessory port, viewfinder and 3in tilting screen, but upgrades the resolution to 24 Megapixels, increases the number of embedded phase-detect AF points, complements the Wifi with NFC, and tweaks the control layout. It's an impressive spec but as always up against tough competition from the likes of the Olympus OMD EM10 on the mirrorless side and the Nikon D5300 representing traditional DSLRs. Find out which is the right camera for you in my Sony A6000 review!
14th April 2014: Canon SX700 HS review - 30x super-zoom!
The PowerShot SX700 HS is Canon’s flagship pocket super-zoom for 2014. Successor to last year’s SX280 HS, the new model squeezes in a longer 30x optical zoom into its compact body, along with a 16 Megapixel CMOS sensor, 3in / 920k dot screen, 1080 / 60p movies, full manual control and built-in Wifi with NFC. It’s up against tough rivals with Panasonic’s Lumix TZ60 / ZS40 and Sony’s Cyber-shot HX50V / HX60V both offering 30x zooms in compact bodies, so to help you choose I’ve tested all three side-by-side! Find out which will be best for you in my Canon SX700 HS review!
10th April 2014: Sigma 24-105mm f4 review - new ART zoom!
Sigma's 24-105mm f4 Art is a new general-purpose zoom lens, available in Canon, Nikon, Sony A and Sigma fits. Mounted on a full-frame camera it delivers an ideal walkaround range from wide angle to short telephoto, or it's equally at home on cropped-bodies where it'll deliver coverage equivalent to 36-158mm. Of course it's up against tough competition from the camera manufacturers themselves who all offer similar or even identical ranges. Find out if it's a serious rival in our Sigma 24-105mm f4 review!
8th April 2014: Canon SX600 HS review - budget super-zoom!
Canon’s PowerShot SX600 HS is an affordable pocket super-zoom with an 18x lens range and a 16 Megapixel sensor. It can shoot 1080p30 HD video, has built-in Wifi with NFC and can tag images with GPS data logged from your smartphone. Canon’s 2014 line-up contains no shortage of super-zooms with three compact models and three larger ones. Find out where the SX600 HS fits into the range and whether it’s the model for you in our Canon SX600 HS review!
7th April 2014: Sony Alpha A7s preview - low light King?
Sony’s Alpha A7s is the company’s third full-frame mirrorless system camera, but while the body, composition and lens mount are essentially the same as the earlier A7 and A7r, the new model offers a very different proposition. The sensor resolution is just 12 Megapixels, allowing it to deliver very high sensitivities up to 409,600 ISO. As importantly though, it also allows the camera to capture 4k UHD video without scaling artefacts. The A7s also enjoys an upgrade over its siblings for 1080p shooting with a superior codec and again no scaling artefacts. Videographers will love it, but the potential for very low noise also has still shooters interested. Find out more in my Sony A7s preview!
2nd April 2014: Olympus TOUGH TG2 review!
The Olympus TOUGH TG2 is designed to handle rough conditions: it's water-proof to 15 Meters, shock-proof to 2.1 Meters, crush-proof to 100Kgf and freeze-proof to -10C. It packs a 25-100mm equivalent zoom with a bright lens that starts at f2 allowing the TG2 to deploy lower ISOs than most rivals under the same conditions. It also features built-in GPS and supports optional lens converters to widen or tighten the view. Find out how it compares to the Nikon AW1 and Panasonic Lumix FT5 / TS5 both above and below the water in our Olympus TOUGH TG2 review!
25th March 2014: Nikon AW1 review!
The Nikon AW1 is the World's first underwater digital system camera. Based on the company's '1' mirrorless system, the AW1 can be submerged down to 15m and is also dustproof, freezeproof to -10C, and shockproof to 2m. As a Nikon 1 camera the AW1 enjoys fast continuous shooting with AF and the chance to capture HD video and stills simultaneously. It also includes built-in GPS, electronic compass, height and depth indicators and optional one-handed operation. With a bigger sensor and the chance to swap lenses, the AW1 promises a higher-end experience than a traditional waterproof compact, but how does that pan-out in practice? Find out if it's the best underwater camera in our Nikon AW1 review!
21st March 2014: Fujifilm XF 56mm f1.2 review !
The Fujinon XF 56mm f1.2 R is a fast prime lens for Fujifilm's X-mount cameras that delivers a full-frame equivalent focal length of 84mm; this makes it perfect for short telephoto work including portraiture or simply concentrating on details, while the bright f1.2 focal ratio delivers very shallow depth of field effects (equivalent to f1.8 on full-frame) and allows you to maintain higher shutter speeds or lower ISOs in low light conditions. It's a highly anticipated new lens for the X-system, so what better body to try it out on than the latest XT1? My in-depth review looks at the build quality, focusing (single, continuous and manual), sharpness and most importantly, the bokeh! Check out my Fujifilm 56mm f1.2 review!
17th March 2014: Nikon 35mm f1.8G ED review!
The Nikkor 35mm f1.8G ED fills the last gap in Nikon's 35mm line-up: a lens designed for full-frame DSLRs, but pitched at a more affordable price-point than the flagship f1.4G. 35mm is a versatile focal length delivering 'normal' coverage on a DX-body and giving you mild wide-angle on a full-frame body while avoiding the quirks of more extreme models. The new 35mm f1.8G ED joins three other full-frame compatible primes with f1.8 aperture: the 28/1.8G, 50/1.8G and 85/1.8G. In my Nikon 35mm f1.8G ED review I'll show you how this lens performs and help you decide whether it should be part of your collection!
11th March 2014: Nikon D3300 review!
The D3300 is Nikon's latest entry-level DSLR. It replaces the D3200 with an updated sensor delivering the same 24 Megapixel resolution, but without the optical low pass filter for crisper results. Switching the sensor and coupling it with the latest EXPEED 4 processor also lets the D3300 support 1080p video up to 60p and slightly faster 5fps shooting. There's also a new kit zoom, which offers the usual 18-55mm range, but with a retracting design which collapses 2cm shorter than the previous kit zoom, while also weighing 70g less. Check out our Nikon D3300 review to see how it compares to the D3200 and Canon's EOS SL1 / 100D!
7th March 2014: Zeiss Otus 55mm f1.4 review!
The Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 Otus is a standard lens with ambitious goals and a price tag to match. Available in Canon or Nikon mounts, both with manual focus only, the Otus 1.5/55 as Zeiss refers to it, is one of the most expensive standard lenses around right now at just shy of $4000 USD. There are plenty of luxury lenses around at the 50mm focal length or thereabouts, but none carry this kind of price tag nor describe themselves as being the absolute best lens in the World today. So just how good is it? Find out in our Zeiss Otus 55mm f1.4 review, where Thomas tested it on his 36MP Nikon D800!
3rd March 2014: Fujifilm XT1 review!
The Fujifilm X-T1 is a high-end mirrorless camera aimed at demanding enthusiasts. It's the sixth model to employ Fujifilm's X-mount and, but rather than updating an existing model, the X-T1 belongs in a new category. The X-T1 is styled like a mini DSLR with a centrally-positioned viewfinder hump, and features a weatherproof body, five dedicated analogue dials, two soft dials, six custom buttons, a huge OLED viewfinder with 2360k dots and some clever display modes, a tilting 3in screen, 1080p video, 8fps continuous shooting with AF, built-in Wifi and the same 16 Megapixel X-Trans II sensor as the XE-2 which sports embedded phase detect AF. Is this the best mirrorless camera yet?
After conducting a wealth of tests and comparisons, I can now present my in-depth Fujifilm XT1 review!
26th February 2014: Nikon 50mm f1.4G review!
When Nikon launched the AF-S 50mm f1.4G five and a half years ago, it became its new flagship standard prime lens. It replaced the much older AF 50mm f1.4D, sharing the same bright aperture, but featuring SWM allowing it to autofocus quickly and quietly on all Nikon DSLRs including the lower end D3x00 and D5x00 ranges. But fast forward to 2014 and the AF-S 50mm f1.4G now finds itself sandwiched between the more affordable AF-S 50mm f1.8G and the new flagship model, the AF-S 58mm f1.4G. Find out how it measures-up on the most demanding Nikon body in our fully updated Nikon 50mm f1.4G review!
12th February 2014: Canon G1X Mark II preview!
The Canon PowerShot G1X Mark II is a high-end compact aimed at those who desire DSLR quality in a smaller, fixed lens body. Successor to the original G1X, Canon has kept the 1.5in sensor, but coupled it with a broader and brighter 5x zoom, improved the macro, dropped the optical viewfinder but offer an optional electronic viewfinder, made the screen touch-sensitive, equipped it with two control rings and squeezed-in Wifi. It looks like Canon's learnt from the mistakes of the original and developed a truly compelling compact to rival Sony's RX100 II and Panasonic's Lumix GM1. Find out more in my Canon G1X Mark II preview!
10th February 2014: Olympus STYLUS 1 review!
The Olympus STYLUS 1 is a DSLR-styled super-zoom camera with a 10.7x range, constant f2.8 aperture, built-in viewfinder and a larger sensor than most rivals. Styled like the OMD EM5, and sharing the same 1.44 million dot (800x600) electronic viewfinder, the STYLUS 1 squeezes in a 28-300mm equivalent zoom with a constant f2.8 aperture. Behind the lens is a 1/1.7in 12 Megapixel sensor, and it also has built-in Wifi, a hotshoe, loads of controls and 1080p video. It's an exciting new contender in the super-zoom market, but up against two tough and quite different rivals, which also boast constant f2.8 apertures. I tested all three side-by-side, comparing quality, coverage, depth of field, handling and much more. Find out which will be best for you in my Olympus STYLUS 1 review!
7th February 2014: Panasonic Lumix GH4 preview!
The Lumix GH4 is Panasonic's new flagship mirrorless camera, and the first of its kind to offer 4k Ultra HD video recording. A new 16 Megapixel sensor delivers 4k at 3840x2160 or 4096x2160, both at 100Mbit/s. The GH4 also offers 1080p at 200 Mbps (ALL-Intra) or 100 Mbps (IPB) and at up to 96fps. With all the attention on the video it's easy to forget the GH4 also becomes Panasonic's most powerful stills camera to date. Like the GH3, it's fully weather-sealed and features a fully-articulated screen, large EVF, mic and headphone jacks, 1/8000 shutter, 12fps continuous shooting and built-in Wifi now with NFC. Find out more in my Panasonic Lumix GH4 preview!
5th February 2014: Nikon 58mm f1.4 review!
The Nikkor AF-S 58mm f1.4G is a high-end prime lens with a bright aperture and a slightly longer than standard focal length. Nikon isn't short of 50mm primes, but only the 58mm in the current lineup carries the gold-ring denoting its professional status. Paying homage to the legendary Noct-NIKKOR lens, the 58mm is also designed to perform best at its maximum aperture. But with a price tag several times higher than the 50mm f1.4G, is it worth the money? Find out how it measures-up in our Nikon 58mm f1.4G review!
3rd February 2014: Sony RX10 review!
Sony's Cyber-shot RX10 is a high-performance bridge camera sporting a 24-200mm zoom with a constant f2.8 focal ratio and a larger than average sensor behind it. So rather than the usual 1/2.3in sensors of most super-zooms, the RX10 employs the same 1in 20 Megapixel sensor of the RX100 II that's over four times larger. It also features a large detailed electronic viewfinder, built-in Wifi, a stack of professional movie capabilities, 10fps continuous shooting and a weather-proofed body. Phew! This easily makes it the highest-spec bridge camera to date, but also the most expensive. To find out if it's worth paying the extra I compared it side by side against two very different f2.8 superzooms, Panasonic's Lumix FZ200 and the Olympus STYLUS 1. See how their handling and quality compare in my in-depth Sony RX10 review!
29th January 2014: Olympus OMD EM10 preview!
The Olympus OMD EM10 is a mid-range mirrorless camera, based on the Micro Four Thirds standard. The third OMD camera, it's positioned below the existing EM5 and EM1 although shares a number of specifications from both. It looks most like the EM5 and shares the same viewfinder, 3in tilting screen and 16 Megapixel sensor, while inheriting the Wifi and image processor from the flagship EM1, and sporting a popup flash that's not been included on an OMD before. It lacks the weather-sealing of the EM5 and EM1 and its built-in IS is not as sophisticated, but it remains a solid specification for anyone who'd otherwise go shopping for an entry-level DSLR. Find out more in my Olympus OMD EM10 preview!
20th January 2014: Leica Nocticron 42.5mm review!
The Leica Nocticron 42.5mm f1.2 is a high-quality short telephoto lens designed for Panasonic and Olympus mirrorless cameras. It's the brightest lens in the Micro Four Thirds catalogue to sport autofocus, and it also features optical stabilisation. The effective focal length of 85mm coupled with the fast focal ratio makes it perfect for portraits, and Leica has taken care to ensure the out-of-focus rendering is smooth with nine aperture blades. It's not a cheap lens, so the big question is whether it's worth spending the extra over models like the Olympus 45mm and 75mm f1.8. So I compared all three and have a detailed report on sharpness, bokeh, coma and more, along with over 30 sample images, mostly taken at f1.2, all in my Leica Nocticron 42.5mm f1.2 review!
14th January 2014: Olympus OMD EM1 review!
The OMD EM1 is the new flagship camera from Olympus. It joins the hugely popular OMD EM5 in the range, but is positioned higher, providing not just an upgrade path for EM5 owners, but also those who use the earlier E5 DSLR. Indeed the headline feature is much improved AF with older Four Thirds lenses, thanks to integrating phase-detect AF points on the sensor. The EM1 is dust and splash proof, but now also freeze-proof and inherits the built-in 5-axis stabilisation, tilting touch-screen, Wifi, 1/8000 shutter and focus peaking of the EP5. It also features the superb viewfinder of the VF4 along with 10fps continuous shooting. It adds up to the most professional Micro Four Thirds body to date and to do it justice I've spent almost two months testing and comparing it against rivals - check out my Olympus OMD EM1 review, one of my most detailed yet!
6th January 2014: Panasonic Lumix TZ60 / ZS40 preview!
The Lumix TZ60 / ZS40 is Panasonic's new flagship pocket super-zoom camera. Replacing the best-selling TZ40 / ZS30, the new TZ60 / ZS40 sports a 30x range equivalent to 24-720mm, allowing it to zoom 50% closer than its predecessor. The resolution has mercifully stuck at 18 Megapixels and there's still 1080p video, built-in Wifi with NFC, and GPS with GLONASS support. The other headline feature is a tiny built-in electronic viewfinder, inherited from the Lumix LF1, which along with a control ring around the lens, focus peaking and support for RAW, differentiates it from rivals. I had a chance to try out a sample at a Panasonic press briefing, so check out my Lumix TZ60 / ZS40 hands-on preview!
6th January 2014: Sony Alpha A5000 preview!
The Alpha A5000 is an upper entry-level mirrorless camera that's compatible with Sony's range of E-mount lenses. The A5000's APSC sensor shares the same 20.1 Megapixel resolution as the A3000 and like that model supports contrast-based AF only. Like the NEX 3N before it, the A5000 sports an articulated screen which can be angled forward to face the subject for self-portraits and shares the same lever around the shutter release to operate power zoom lenses. It also offers 1080p video, focus peaking, and built-in Wifi with NFC that supports smartphone remote control and downloadable apps. Find out more in my Sony Alpha A5000 preview!
20th December 2013: Sony A7r review!
The Alpha A7r is Sony's flagship mirrorless camera. Launched alongside the cheaper A7, they share weather-proof bodies, OLED viewfinders, tilting screens and Wifi. But where the A7 is equipped with a 24 Megapixel sensor and embedded phase detect AF, the A7r sports 36 Megapixels with the low pass filter removed for crisper results. They're arguably two of the most exciting cameras released this year and I've just added my full RAW comparisons to my in-depth review! So you'll now be able to see how the image quality compares against the A7, Canon EOS 5D Mark III and Nikon D800e in both JPEG and RAW - check out my Sony Alpha A7r review!
13th December 2013: Panasonic Lumix GM1 review!
The Panasonic Lumix GM1 is the World's smallest mirrorless system camera. Only a little thicker than Sony's RX100 II, the Lumix GM1 is a fully-fledged interchangeable lens camera which inherits much of the higher-end GX7's features. So not only do you get a bigger sensor than most enthusiast compacts and the chance to swap lenses, but also built-in Wifi with smartphone control, seven-frame AEB, timelapse modes, focus peaking and manual control over movie exposures. So if you're looking for a high-end compact or a backup body, you'll want to read my Panasonic Lumix GM1 review!
9th December 2013: Sigma 50mm f1.4 review!
Sigma's 50mm f1.4 EX DG HSM is a standard lens with a bright aperture that's available for Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Sony A-mount DSLRs. Unlike many third party lenses it actually costs a little more than the equivalent 50mm f1.4 lenses from Canon and Nikon, so the big question is how well it performs and whether it's worth spending the extra. To find out, Thomas fitted it on his high resolution Nikon D800 body and ran it through his usual array of in-depth tests. So if you're looking for a high quality standard prime lens for your DSLR body, check out his Sigma 50mm f1.4 review!
4th December 2013: Nikon D610 review!
The Nikon D610 is a 'budget' full-frame DSLR, aimed at enthusiasts upgrading from mid-range models or pros looking for an affordable backup for a higher-end body. It replaces the year-old D600 with a minor refresh in features: improved auto white balance and an upgraded shutter mechanism supporting slightly quicker continuous shooting and a new 'silent' mode. Apart from this, the D610 remains the same as the D600 before it, but that's no bad thing as it delivered great handling and quality, earning our Highly Recommended award. Rather than just publish a simple update though, we decided to take the opportunity to perform additional tests against the D7100 with some very interesting results, while also comparing the feature set and style against the Sony Alpha A7 - after all there's a new affordable full-framer in town! See my Nikon D610 review!
29th November 2013: Sony Alpha A7 review!
Sony's Alpha A7 is one of the most exciting cameras to be launched this year, packing a full-frame 24 Megapixel sensor into a compact but feature-packed and affordable mirrorless body. The A7 boasts a weather-proof body with built-in Wifi, a tilting screen, superb electronic viewfinder, great video capabilities and a high degree of control and customisation. And thanks to its mirrorless design and full-frame sensor, you can also mount lenses from almost any system without a crop. I've now completed part one of my in-depth Sony Alpha A7 review which contains a wealth of comparisons, tests and results specific to this model over the A7r, along with a detailed discussion into using multiple lens systems, including Canon, Nikon and Leica!
21st November 2013: Nikon D5300 review!
The Nikon D5300 is an upper entry-level DSLR aimed at photographers looking for a step-up from a budget model with the expense, size and complexity of a higher-end model. It comes just less than a year after the D5200, but makes some important upgrades: the resolution remains 24 Megapixels, but like the D7100 the low pass filter has now been removed for potentially crisper images, the screen remains articulated but is slightly larger at 3.2in, the viewfinder image is a little bigger and arguably most importantly, it becomes the first Nikon DSLR with built-in Wifi and GPS. Find out how it compares against its major rival, the Canon EOS T5i 700D in my Nikon D5300 review!