Camera, DSLR and lens reviews
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!
2nd December 2013: Zeiss Otus 55mm f1.4 review - results!
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? Ahead of his full Zeiss Otus 55mm f1.4 review, Thomas can share his results and sample images taken with a demanding 36MP Nikon D800 body.
29th November 2013: Sony Alpha A7 review - complete!
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!
25th November 2013: Panasonic Lumix GM1 review - samples!
The Panasonic Lumix GM1 is a tiny system camera based on the Micro Four Thirds format. Measuring 99x55x23.5mm, the Lumix GM1 is the smallest M4/3 camera yet, but shares the same sensor and quality of the premium Lumix GX7 along with many of its features including manual movie exposure, focus peaking, timelapse and Wifi. Fit the new 12-32mm kit zoom and the total package isn't much bigger than, say, a Sony RX100 II, but you're getting a fully-fledged system camera with a slightly bigger sensor. If you're looking for a high-end compact or a backup body, you'll want to read my Panasonic Lumix GM1 review-in-progress, which now includes sample images and movies!
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!
18th November 2013: Canon A2500 review!
Canon's PowerShot A2500 is one of the lowest-priced point-and-shoot cameras that's worth having. Despite a double-digit price tag it packs a good quality 5x zoom, 16 Megapixel sensor, 720p video and 3in screen into a surprisingly classy-looking body. Revealingly the same sensor is employed by many models higher in Canon's compact range, meaning the A2500 shares their image quality until you get to the noticeably pricier HS models. So if this is how much money you have to spend, then I'd strongly recommend our Canon A2500 review. No wonder it's become one of the best selling cameras of 2013!
14th November 2013: Sony A7r review - part 1 complete!
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 completed part one of my Alpha A7r review! While we wait for full RAW support I've compared the JPEG quality of the A7r against the A7 along with the Canon EOS 5D Mark III and Nikon D800e, and prepared an in-depth report on the continuous shooting, autofocus and overall handling. I've also added lots about the movie mode, Wifi, shooting modes and will be expanding these sections along with adding updated RAW results soon. But I've already seen enough to give you my verdict, so if you're in the market for a high-end mirrorless camera, check out my Sony Alpha A7r review!
13th November 2013: Canon ELPH 130 IS / IXUS 140 review!
The Canon PowerShot ELPH 130 IS, or IXUS 140 as it's known outside North America, is a 16 Megapixel point-and-shoot compact with an 8x optical zoom, 3in screen and built-in Wifi. It's one of three entry-level models in the upmarket ELPH / IXUS range, but these have some cross-over with the higher-end options in the PowerShot A range. Confused? So were we, so we decided to compare it against one of the better A models along with a more up-market ELPH / IXUS to see if it's worth trading up or down. Find out which compact will be best for you in our Canon ELPH 130 IS / IXUS 140 review!
11th November 2013: Nikon 58mm f1.4 review-in-progress!
The Nikkor AF-S 58mm f1.4G is a new 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 the first part of our Nikon 58mm f1.4G review, and check back soon for updates and further comparisons!
6th November 2013: Nikon P520 review
The Nikon COOLPIX P520 is a super-zoom camera with a 42x stabilised range and an 18.1 Megapixel sensor. It replaces last year's COOLPIX P510, keeping the 24-1000mm f3-5.9 zoom lens and built-in GPS receiver, but now coupling them with an updated sensor that adds two Megapixels to the resolution. The screen is now also larger and fully-articulated. As one of the longer zoom cameras on the market I've compared it against the current King of super-zooms, Panasonic's Lumix FZ70 / FZ72 with its monstrous 60x range. Find out how it compares in my Nikon P520 review and see if it deserves its high sales position!
5th November 2013: Nikon Df preview
The Nikon Df is a retro-styled DSLR which pays homage to Nikon's iconic film SLRs of the Seventies. It takes the 16.2 Megapixel full-frame sensor of the flagship D4 and houses it in an unashamedly old-fashioned body with physical dials and levers for the shooting mode, release mode, shutter speed, ISO and exposure compensation. The Df also becomes Nikon's first DSLR to include a collapsing coupling lever allowing full aperture metering with old non-AI lenses. I got to try out the new Df at a Nikon event - find out if it’s the camera for you or an exercise in nostalgia that's gone too far in my Nikon Df hands-on preview!
4th November 2013: Sony RX10 sample images! and movies!
Sony's Cyber-shot RX10 is a high-performance zoom camera. It sports a fairly average sounding 8.3x zoom range (24-200mm equivalent), but makes it much more exciting with a constant f2.8 aperture 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! I've been testing a final production RX10 and ahead of my in-depth review I'd like to share a wide selection of sample images and movies! Check out my Sony RX10 review-in-progress!
29th October 2013: Olympus STYLUS 1 preview!
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. In my Olympus STYLUS 1 preview find out how it compares to the Lumix FZ200 and Sony RX10.
28th October 2013: Nikon COOLPIX L820 review!
The Nikon COOLPIX L820 is a super-zoom with a 30x range, 16 Megapixels and a 3in screen. It replaces the COOLPIX L810, extending its zoom from 26x to 30x and improving the sensor technology for better quality pictures. The L820 also upgrades the video to Full HD 1080p, but like its predecessor the focus remains on simplicity. This is at its core an easy-to-use point-and-shoot camera, but with a long zoom range. This ease of use coupled with an affordable price tag made the earlier L810 a big seller, so the question is whether the L820 can follow in its footsteps? Find out in my Nikon L820 review where I'll compare it against its big rival from Canon, the PowerShot SX510 HS.
24th October 2013: Canon S120 review!
The PowerShot S120 is the latest version of Canon's pocket camera for enthusiasts. Like its predecessor, it packs a 12 Megapixel CMOS sensor and a 5x 24-120mm optical range into a genuinely pocket-sized body, but the focal ratio has brightened to f1.8-5.7. Canon's also greatly improved the speed with the S120 firing an initial burst at 12.1fps, slowing a little to 9.4fps while memory remains, and the AF is also faster. Videos can now be recorded at 1080 / 60p, there's new Astrophotography presets, focus peaking and enhanced Wifi support for sharing. They all add up to a nice upgrade but is the S series still relevant against larger sensor compacts like Sony's RX100 II? Find out in my in-depth Canon S120 review where I'll closely compare these models along with other key rivals!
14th October 2013: Panasonic Lumix GX7 review
Panasonic's Lumix GX7 is a mirrorless system camera aimed at enthusiasts who demand lots of control and features in a smaller form factor. The GX7 is a little larger than the GX1 it replaces, but squeezes in a tilting EVF with a 2.76 million dot resolution along with a tilting 3in touchscreen. There's built-in Wifi, NFC, focus peaking, a fastest shutter of 1/8000, and 1080p video with full manual exposure control. The resolution remains 16 Megapixels but in a surprise move, it's mounted on a shifting platform to deliver in-body stabilisation to any lens you attach. This all makes the GX7 one of the best-featured system cameras around, but how well does it work in practice? Find out in my in-depth Panasonic Lumix GX7 review, where I've compared it to the Lumix GX1 and G6, the Olympus OMD EM5 and EM1 and finally, the Sony NEX 6!
10th October 2013: Canon SX510 HS review!
Canon's PowerShot SX510 HS is a small and affordable super-zoom with a 30x optical range that starts at a respectably wide 24mm equivalent. It's the successor to the best-selling SX500 IS which struck a compelling balance between pocket super-zooms and larger DSLR-styled models. Canon's swapped the 16 Megapixel CCD from the old model for a higher sensitivity 12 Megapixel CMOS which can also capture Full HD 1080p video, and has also equipped the camera with Wifi for wireless image transfer and remote control. In our Canon SX510 HS review we've compared it against the 30x Nikon COOLPIX L820 to help you choose the best super-zoom camera!
2nd October 2013: Canon G16 review!
The PowerShot G16 is the latest version of Canon's chunky compact for enthusiasts. Externally it looks like its predecessor, the G15, and also shares the same 12 Megapixel sensor and 28-140mm equivalent f1.8-2.8 zoom, but the new DIGIC 6 processor lets it focus quicker and shoot much faster at just shy of 10fps, not to mention supporting 1080 / 60p video. There's also a bunch of HDR modes, a Star preset for easy astro-photography, focus peaking and built-in Wifi. It all adds up to a significant upgrade, but how does it compare to industry leaders like the Sony RX100 II? Find out in our in-depth Canon PowerShot G16 review, which is also one of the first published anywhere!
30th September 2013: Fujifilm X20 review
Fujifilm's X20 is a retro-styled compact camera aimed at demanding enthusiasts who want high quality images, loads of control, a bright zoom lens and an optical viewfinder. The 2/3in sensor is larger than most compacts and features the same X-Trans architecture as the X100S and X-Mount mirrorless models. The optical viewfinder is a hybrid design which can superimpose electronic information, while the 4x optical zoom boasts a bright f2-2.8 focal ratio. It's a compelling combination of features, quality and handling at a price that's more affordable than rivals with bigger sensors. Find out how it compares against the Sony RX100 II and Nikon COOLPIX A in our Fujifilm X20 review!
23rd September 2013: Olympus EM1 review - quality & noise
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 I'm well underway with my tests. My in-depth Olympus OMD EM1 review-in-progress now includes my full quality and noise results, a video tour and a broad selection of sample images!
19th September 2013: Nikon AW1 preview!
The Nikon 1 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. It'll take any Nikon 1 lens, but to go underwater you'll need one of two new lenses, a 30-74mm equivalent zoom or a 27mm f2.8 equivalent prime. As a Nikon 1 camera the AW1 also enjoys fast continuous shooting with AF and the chance to capture HD video and stills simultaneously. The AW1 also includes built-in GPS, electronic compass, height and depth indicators and optional one-handed operation. I had a chance to try it out at a Nikon briefing and you can find out what I thought in my hands-on Nikon AW1 preview!
16th September 2013: Panasonic Lumix FZ70 / FZ72 review!
The Panasonic Lumix FZ70 / FZ72 is a super-zoom camera with 16 Megapixels and a whopping 60x optical range - the World's longest at the time of writing. This takes you from ultra wide coverage of 20mm all the way to super-telephoto 1200mm. It also features 1080i movies, a 3in screen and electronic viewfinder, and in a welcome upgrade over its predecessor, the ability to record RAW files and fit external flashes onto a hotshoe. The headline though remains that massive 60x zoom which surpasses the range of the best-selling Canon SX50 HS. Find out how these two models compare in our Panasonic Lumix FZ70 /FZ72 review!
4th September 2013: Sony QX100 preview / Sony QX10 preview
Sony's Smart Lenses are a new type of digital camera designed to work with your smartphone. The Smart Lenses are essentially screen-less digital cameras which communicate wirelessly with your phone over Wifi - as such they can be used mounted to your phone using the supplied bracket, or detached for unusual angles. The higher-end QX100 model is based on the guts of the Cyber-shot RX100 II and as such boasts a 1in sensor and 3.6x Zeiss zoom delivering considerably higher quality than the built-in camera. It also gives you all this at a lower price than the RX100 II, but with some important caveats you'll want to know. I went hands-on with the QX100 at an exclusive Sony press event, so to find out more, check out my Sony QX100 preview and Sony QX10 preview!
1st September 2013: Canon EOS 70D review!
The Canon EOS 70D is the company's latest mid-range DSLR, featuring a 20.2 Megapixel APS-C sensor, Full HD video, a fully articulated touch-screen monitor, 7fps continuous shooting, built-in Wifi and an innovative new on-chip autofocusing system. It inherits the 19-point AF sensor of the 7D, the Wifi from the 6D and the articulated touchscreen of the T4i / 650D, but it's the new sensor that's grabbing headlines by allowing 80% of its pixels to double-up as phase-detect AF points for faster and better continuous AF during live view and movie shooting. I've finally completed my in-depth review of this exciting camera and it's one of my most detailed to date! Find out exactly how well the new AF system works for Live View and movies, discover the pros and cons of the Wifi system, and delve into the overall performance from resolution and noise to continuous shooting. The new sensor is a game-changer so if you're into movies and are considering a mid-range camera, you have to read my Canon EOS 70D review!
15th August 2013: Sony RX100 II review!
Sony's Cyber-shot RX100 II is an upgraded version of the company's popular pocket camera for enthusiasts. It shares the same 3.6x Carl Zeiss zoom with its bright focal ratio, along with a 1in sensor sporting 20 Megapixels, but there's a number of important upgrades. The sensor is now back-illuminated for greater sensitivity, the screen now tilts vertically, there's an accessory shoe for an optional electronic viewfinder, external mic or flashgun and there's now also built-in Wifi with NFC (the latter a first for Sony). There's also a 1080p 24fps mode for movie makers and support for Sony's latest cabled remote control accessory, although you can of course wirelessly control it using a compatible smartphone over Wifi. One of the best compact cameras has just got better! Find out more in our Sony RX100 II review!
5th August 2013: Panasonic Lumix GF6 review
The Panasonic Lumix GF6 is the company's latest mirror-less system camera aimed at consumers. It officially replaces the GF5, but contains sufficient upgrades to tempt many GX1 owners who can't stretch to the latest GX7. The GF6 appears to inherit the 16 Megapixel sensor of the GX1, although couples it with a new image processor. Inside there's now built-in NFC and Wifi for easy wireless transfer of images along with remote control via a smartphone. The other major new feature is a tilting touch-screen which can flip up by 180 degrees to face the subject. Find out more in my Panasonic Lumix GF6 review where I'll compare it to the Olympus EP5 and Fujifilm XM1 to help you choose your ideal mirrorless camera!
29th July 2013: Fujifilm XM1 review!
The Fujifilm X-M1 is the third mirrorless camera to employ the company's 16 Megapixel X-Trans sensor and the X-mount, which supports a growing range of lenses including the new XC 16-50mm f3.5-5.6 OIS kit zoom. It joins the existing X-Pro1 and X-E1, but is pitched at a broader market than both of those models. As such there's simpler controls and no viewfinder, but the screen now tilts, there's built-in Wifi, and it becomes the most affordable way to enjoy the superb quality of the X-Trans sensor and the small, but high quality range of X-Mount lenses. Find out how it compares to the similarly designed and Wifi-equipped Olympus EP5 and Panasonic GF6 in my Fujifilm XM1 review!
26th July 2013: Olympus EP5 review!
The Olympus PEN EP5 is the new flagship in the Olympus PEN series. It inherits the 16 Megapixel sensor of the OMD EM5 along with its built-in five-axis stabilization. There's built-in Wifi for wireless remote control or image transfer, a top shutter speed of 1/8000 (the first for any compact system camera) and focus peaking, while the higher resolution touch-screen can now tilt vertically and supports tap-focusing in movies. Complementing the body is the new optional VF4 electronic viewfinder, delivering a large, detailed image. It's an impressive camera, but as always up against tough rivals. I've compared it against Panasonic's GF6, Fujifilm's XM1 and the earlier Olympus OMD EM5 to help you find the best mirrorless camera! Check out my in-depth Olympus EP5 review!
16th July 2013: Canon 50mm f1.8 review!
Canon's EF 50mm f1.8 II is now 12 years old, yet remains the company's best-selling prime lens for good reason: it's the cheapest way to enjoy very shallow depth of field effects on a Canon DSLR and a great entry into the world of prime lenses. But with its sub-$100 price and plasticky build, most assume the optical quality won't be up to scratch - but as I discovered, this just isn't the case. I tested the 'thrifty-fifty' on both cropped and full-frame bodies and found it could deliver impressively sharp results across the frame when stopped-down a little - and of course blur the backgrounds on portraits when wide open. Find out more in my Canon 50mm f1.8 review!
Panasonic's Lumix LF1 is a pocket-sized camera aimed at enthusiasts. Looking like a cross between the Lumix LX7 and Sony's RX100, but measuring closer to Canon's S110, it's one of the smallest cameras to feature a built-in electronic viewfinder. Despite the small size, Panasonic has also squeezed-in a 7.1x 28-200mm equivalent zoom with an f2 aperture at the wide-end, along with Wifi and NFC for easy wireless communications. The sensor is also a step-up from those in typical point-and-shoot models. For my in-depth Panasonic Lumix LF1 review I compared it against a broad selection of enthusiast compacts, the LX7 in particular, to help you choose the right model!
8th July 2013: Panasonic Lumix LF1 review!
1st July 2013: Panasonic Lumix TZ35 / ZS25 review!
The Panasonic Lumix TZ35, or ZS25 as it's known in North America, is the company's latest affordable travel-zoom. It packs a 20x optical zoom, 1080i video, 3in screen, full manual control and a 16 Megapixel sensor into a pocket-sized body. Every year Panasonic offers two travel zooms, one packed with all the latest features and the other stripped-down to the essentials for those who don't need the bells or whistles. For 2013, the flagship model is the TZ40 / ZS30, and the more affordable version is the TZ35 / ZS25. In my Lumix TZ35 / ZS25 review I'll compare the quality and features of both models, along with Canon's SX280 HS to help you choose the best pocket super-zoom!
26th June 2013: Olympus XZ2 review!
The Olympus XZ2 is a compact camera aimed at the demands of enthusiast photographers. Successor to the XZ1, it sports the same 28-112mm equivalent 4x zoom with a bright f1.8-2.5 maximum aperture, but swaps its predecessor's 10 Megapixel CCD sensor for a 12 Megapixel CMOS with the latest image processor. The screen is now higher resolution and touch-sensitive, the AF system improved, the continuous shooting quicker and there's now 1080p movie recording. It all adds up to a significant evolution on the XZ1, but as always there's tough competition. In my Olympus XZ2 review I've compared it against the Panasonic Lumix LX7 and Nikon's COOLPIX A to help you choose the best high-end compact!
24th June 2013: Nikon 14-24mm review!
The Nikkor 14-24mm f2.8 is an ultra-wide zoom designed for full-frame Nikon DSLRs. In the six years since launch, it's become one of the most respected lenses for any system, delivering a unique combination of ultra-wide coverage, fast focal ratio, pro build and superb results. Indeed many photographers consider it the ultimate lens for landscape and architectural work, with some even switching to the Nikon format just to use it; suffice it to say it's the one lens every Canon owners wishes was available in the EF mount. But since 2007 a number of alternatives have launched, including two from Nikon. So the big question is just how good is the Nikkor 14-24mm, and should it still command the high asking price? Find out in my in-depth Nikon 14-24mm review!
17th June 2013: Sony HX300 review!
Sony's Cyber-shot HX300 is a DSLR-styled super-zoom camera with a whopping 50x range, equivalent to 24-1200mm. This delivers enormous flexibility taking you from wide angle to super-telephoto in a few seconds. Images are recorded in 20 Megapixel resolution, there's 1080/50/60p video, a 3in tilting screen and electronic viewfinder, not to mention Sony's various tricks like the iSweep Panorama mode which captures and assembles views of up to 360 degrees. It's a compelling specification, but up against Canon's best-selling SX50 HS which shares the same zoom range, so in our Sony HX300 review we closely compared their quality, features and performance to help you choose the best one!
Canon's EF 50mm f1.2L USM is a prime lens with a standard focal length of 50mm and the joint-fastest focal ratio in the Canon lens catalogue - a position shared with the EF 85mm f1.2L USM. It may now be seven years old, but remains one of the most aspirational and exotic mass-produced lenses around, but does it live up to expectations? In my test report you'll see how the resolution, sharpness and contrast perform across the frame, and crucially what the depth-of-field and out-of-focus effects look like in practice. I'll also reveal how the latter compare against the cheaper f1.4 and f1.8 versions, allowing you to make the best choice. So if you're in the market for a high-end 50mm prime for your Canon body, check out my Canon 50mm f1.2 review!
14th June 2013: Canon 50mm f1.2 review!
The Lumix G6 is Panasonic's latest mid-range mirror-less system camera. Styled like a DSLR but based on the Micro Four Thirds standard, it employs the same 16 Megapixel sensor as the G5, but couples it with a significantly improved electronic viewfinder employing an OLED panel for a clearer and more stable image, along with built-in Wifi and NFC for easy wireless communications. There's also 1080p video at 24p in addition to 50p or 60p, 7fps shooting, focus peaking, interval shooting, a mic input and a newly-styled body that looks more professional. The G6 is also joined by a new 14-140mm zoom that's smaller, lighter and a tad brighter than before. I shot with the camera across Europe taking one month to write my Panasonic Lumix G6 review - it's one of my most detailed yet, and one of the most enjoyable cameras I've tested.
12th June 2013: Panasonic Lumix G6 review!
The Sony Cyber-shot HX50V is the World's smallest and lightest compact camera with a 30x optical zoom range, boasting a 24-720mm equivalent range. It also features a 20 Megapixel CMOS sensor, 3in screen, full manual control (if desired), 1080p movies, 10fps continuous shooting, built-in Wifi and GPS, and a hotshoe for accessories including an EVF, flash or external microphone. This makes it one of the most feature-packed pocket super-zooms to date, but as always it's up against tough competition. So to help you choose, we compared it against the Canon SX280 HS and Panasonic Lumix ZS30 / TZ40 in our Sony HX50V review!
3rd June 2013: Sony HX50V review!
29th May 2013: Fujifilm X100S review!
Fujifilm's X100S is a compact, retro-styled camera with a large APS-C sized sensor, fixed 35mm f2 equivalent lens and the choice of screen or viewfinder for composition. It's the successor to the X100, a model that revitalized the market for fixed-lens cameras aimed at enthusiasts. The X100 proved there was demand for such a camera but suffered from a number of issues. The X100S attempts to resolve those issues and deliver excellent performance without losing the retro charm of its predecessor. Has it succeeded? Without giving too much away, I'd say so! Check out our in-depth Fujifilm X100S review to find out how it compares to Nikon's COOLPIX A and Sony's Cyber-shot RX1, and why it could be the high-end compact for you!
24th May 2013: Nikon 18-35mm review!
The AF-S Nikkor 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5G ED is an 'affordable' wide angle zoom lens that's compatible with Nikon's full-frame FX format DSLRs. It's aimed at those who've bought lower-priced full-frame DSLRs like the D600, but equally works on cropped-frame DX format models, where it becomes equivalent to 27-53mm. Officially it's the successor to the older AF 18-35mm 3.5-4.5D ED, although that model remains on sale.The new AF-S 18-35mm sports a completely updated optical formula and naturally has been updated to feature SWM focusing. You can see how it performs on a D800 in my Nikon AF-S 18-35mm review!
20th May 2013: Canon PowerShot SX280 HS review!
The Canon PowerShot SX280 HS is a 12 Megapixel pocket super-zoom with a 20x optical range and built-in Wifi and GPS; the cheaper SX270 HS available in some regions is identical other than not having GPS or Wifi. The SX280 HS debuts Canon's latest DIGIC 6 image processor which claims to deliver 30% more detail than previous models and supports 1080p video in the MP4 format. The optical zoom operates in a 25-500mm equivalent range with a five-axis optical stabilizer, while the built-in GPS can automatically tag images with your location, and the built-in Wifi - a first for the SX series - lets you easily share and upload images. It's a solid specification from Canon, but how does it measure-up to rival pocket super-zooms? Find out in my in-depth Canon SX280 HS review!
14th May 2013: Zeiss Touit 12mm f2.8 review in progress!
I'm proud to bring you some of the first sample images, results and hands-on reports you'll find for the fabulous new Zeiss Touit 12mm f2.8 lens! I had a chance to try one out on a Fujifilm X-Pro 1 and took enough sample images to know this is one high quality lens. Touit (pronounced 'do-it') is a new series from Zeiss, designed for APS-C mirror-less cameras, and right now only available in either Sony NEX or Fujifilm X-mounts. There's two models: the 12mm f2.8 and the 32mm f1.8 and I got to test them both. It's really exciting to have some genuinely high-end native options, and I feel Zeiss have raised the bar for mirror-less cameras. Find out more in my Zeiss Touit 12mm f2.8 review and Zeiss Touit 32mm f1.8 review!
13th May 2013: Samsung Galaxy S4 review in progress!
The Galaxy S4 is Samsung's flagship smartphone. It's the successor to the hugely popular Galaxy S3 and like that model showcases the best of the Android platform. The S4 packs a bigger, higher resolution screen, faster processing and more radios into much the same form factor as before, but the big question for readers of Cameralabs is how the new 13 Megapixel camera measures-up. I've replaced my own Galaxy S3 with the S4 and have been shooting with it every day. I'm working on my Samsung Galaxy S4 review which concentrates on the camera quality and features, but can already share my resolution and noise comparisons against the older S3 and a broad selection of sample images for this exciting new handset!
7th May 2013: Canon SL1 100D review!
The Canon EOS Rebel SL1, or 100D as it's known outside North America, is the company's latest entry-level DSLR and the smallest and lightest model with an APS-C sensor to date. It's around 1cm smaller in every dimension than Canon's next smallest DSLR yet manages not to compromise on control, composition or connectivity. It may sport the same 18 Megapixels as earlier DSLRs but features an improved hybrid AF system with phase detect points spread over 80% of the sensor. Does a tiny DSLR with an optical viewfinder and native access to the full EF catalogue render mirror-less cameras redundant? I've been hard at work testing the new tiny DSLR and can now share my complete review, including comparisons with mirror-less cameras, real-life detail and noise for JPEG and RAW files, along with an extended sample images gallery and an in-depth look at the new movie capabilities! Check out my Canon EOS SL1 / 100D review!
1st May 2013: Canon 40mm pancake review!
The Canon EF 40mm f2.8 STM is the company's first 'pancake' lens, designed to be as small and light as possible. Measuring just 22.8mm thick, it protrudes to roughly the same degree as the grip on many DSLRs, and at 130g you'll hardly notice it when mounted. This in turn makes even larger DSLRs feel much more portable than before, and allows you to squeeze them into smaller bags or even certain pockets. Even though the EF 40mm f2.8 STM may be at least one stop slower than any of Canon's three 50mm lenses, it's proven popular due to its smaller size and surprisingly good quality. To help you decide if it's right for you, I tested its full-frame and cropped performance and compared its depth-of-field and bokeh. Check out my Canon EF 40mm f2.8 STM review!
29th April 2013: Nikon 80-400mm review!
The Nikkor AF-S 80-400mm f4.5-5.6G ED VR is a high-end telephoto zoom that's corrected for Nikon's full-frame FX-format DSLRs. It's the long-awaited update to the AF 80-400mm launched 12 years ago, and the dozen years between them has allowed Nikon to significantly improve the VR and AF - the latter now employing SWM to become an AF-S model - along with implementing an entirely new optical design. We've now completed our in-depth testing on what's proving to be one of the most exciting telephoto zooms to date. So check out our Nikon 80-400mm review!
23rd April 2013: Panasonic Lumix TZ40 / ZS30 review!
Panasonic's Lumix TZ40, or ZS30 as it's known in North America, is the company's flagship travel-zoom. Successor to the best-selling Lumix TZ30 / ZS20, it shares the same 20x zoom range, 1080p video, 3in touchscreen and GPS with mapping. The new TZ40 / ZS30 adds new slow motion video modes, better GPS positioning in urban environments, enhanced stabilization and a more detailed screen. Most importantly it now sports built-in Wifi with Near Field Communications, or NFC for short, which takes care of the Wifi name and password when tapped against compatible devices. Once connected you can browse, transfer, share or backup photos, or remote control the camera with your iOS or Android phone. It adds up to one of the most compelling compacts around - find out everything in my Panasonic Lumix TZ40 / ZS30 review!
16th April 2013: Nikon D7100 review!
The D7100 is Nikon's latest upper mid-range DSLR aimed at enthusiasts. Slotting between the D7000 and D600, Nikon describes the D7100 as being the best that the DX-format can offer. It inherits the 100% viewfinder, 6fps shooting and twin SD card slots of the D7000, but increases the resolution to 24.1 Megapixels, boosts the AF system from 39 to 51-points, offers 1080p at 24, 25 and 30fps, boasts full weather-sealing and introduces a new 1.3x crop mode resulting in an overall field-reduction of two times at a resolution of 15.4 Megapixels and boosted speed of 7fps. It also becomes the company's second DSLR after the D800e to dispense with the low pass filter for sharper images. So is the quality better than the D5200 and is it a worthy upgrade for the D7000? We compared it with both to find out in our Nikon D7100 review!
The Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 VC is the company's first 70-200mm f2.8 lens equipped with optical stabilisation. It covers a telephoto zoom range that's popular with short range sports and action shooters along with portrait photographers. Like other third party lenses, the attraction of the new Tamron is a high-end specification at a lower price than the main camera manufacturers, but as always the question is how the performance compares. To really put it through its paces we tested the Nikon version on a demanding D800 body - find out how it measured up in our Tamron 70-200mm f2.8 review!
12th April 2013: Tamron SP 70-200mm f2.8 review
April 2013: Nikon COOLPIX A review
Nikon's COOLPIX A is the world's smallest camera to feature an APS-C-format sensor. The COOLPIX A's sensor measures the same size as those in Nikon's range of DX-format DSLRs and is coupled with a fixed 28mm equivalent f2.8 lens. The sensor features 16 Megapixels and like the recent D7100, dispenses with the optical low pass filter to promise sharper results. The camera also features a 1080p video, 4fps shooting, full manual control, a 3in / 921k dot screen, and a hotshoe which supports an optional optical viewfinder. Could this add to to the best compact camera for enthusiasts? Find out in our Nikon COOLPIX A review!
5th April 2013: Micro Four Thirds lens guide
Micro Four Thirds is the most established of the mirror-less camera systems. Jointly developed by Panasonic and Olympus, it brought mirror-less bodies and native lenses to the market at least one year before its first rival and now boasts over 40 native lenses from Panasonic and Olympus along with third parties including Sigma, Tamron, Samyang, Voigtlander. So while many rival mirror-less formats are struggling to offer even one lens in every category, Micro Four Thirds typically has two or more options available. But with such a variety where does the new or even long-term Micro Four Thirds owner begin to make their choice on a new lens? That's where my latest buyer's guide comes in, where I'll reveal the best Micro Four Thirds lenses!
25th March 2013: Fujifilm X-E1 review!
Fujifilm's X-E1 is a mirrorless compact system camera that employs the same 16 Megapixel X-Trans CMOS sensor and X-mount introduced with the X-Pro1, allowing it to exploit the same lenses and deliver the same quality as this popular model. The X-E1 also shares retro styling and analogue controls, but dispenses with the hybrid viewfinder for a smaller and more affordable body. In its place though is a very capable electronic viewfinder in addition to a screen for composition, and while it lacks the X-Pro1's PC Sync port, it does feature a popup flash and a microphone input. There's also a new stabilized 18-55mm kit lens with a brighter than average f2.8-4 aperture. It all adds up to a highly compelling camera as you'll discover in our Fujifilm X-E1 review!
22nd March 2013: Canon EOS T5i 700D preview!
Canon's EOS Rebel T5i, or EOS 700D as it's known outside North America, is an upper entry-level DSLR which replaces the recent EOS T4i / 650D. With only nine months between them, it's not surprising to find the 'new' model is identical to its predecessor other than a mode dial which can now freely rotate through 360 degrees, previews of Creative Filters in Live View, and a new external coating inherited from mid-range models like the 60D to provide a more durable finish. Oh, and the option of the new EF-S 18-55mm STM kit lens with its quicker and quieter focusing during movies. Perplexed by this modest refresh? Find out more in my Canon EOS T5i 700D preview.
18th March 2013: Canon EOS 6D review!
Canon's EOS 6D is the company's 'affordable' full-frame DSLR aimed at those upgrading from a mid-range camera, or looking for a backup for a pricier model. It features a new 20.2 Megapixel sensor, 4.5fps shooting and much the same movie modes as the 5D Mark III packed into the smallest and lightest full-frame DSLR from Canon to date. Most uniquely it also becomes the first Canon DSLR to boast both GPS and Wifi built into the body. The core specs may fall below its arch rival the Nikon D600, but as we discovered, the 6D offers better features and performance than you might think. We'll reveal all in our Canon EOS 6D review which includes in-depth comparisons with the Nikon D600.
12th March 2013: Samyang 85mm f1.4 review! Tested with D800e
The Samyang / Rokinon 85mm f1.4 is an affordable short telephoto lens with a bright focal ratio that's ideal for portrait work. Like other Samyang lenses, it's manual focus only, but comes in at a considerably lower price point than similar lenses from the big camera companies. If you're happy using manual focus the big question then is how does the quality measure-up? To find out I mounted the AE version on a Nikon D800e, followed by the premium Nikkor 85mm f1.4G. See how they compare in my Samyang 85mm f1.4 review and look out for updates with depth-of-field and bokeh comparisons.
6th March 2013: Nikon D5200 review!
The Nikon D5200 is the company's latest 'upper entry-level' DSLR. It's positioned between the entry-level D3200 and the mid-range D7100, and goes head-to-head against Canon's EOS T4i / 650D. The D5200 features 24 Megapixels, 1080p video, 5fps shooting, a 3in fully articulated screen and the same 39-point AF and metering systems as the D7000. It also supports an optional Wifi module for wireless remote control with a compatible smartphone. Find out all about it in my Nikon D5200 review where you'll see how the features and the quality compare to the Canon T4i / 650D!
4th March 2013: Panasonic Leica 25mm f1.4 review
The Panasonic Leica Summilux DG 25mm f1.4 is a standard lens for Micro Four Thirds cameras, including Panasonic Lumix G, Olympus PEN and Olympus OMD models. Mounted on a Micro Four Thirds body it delivers an effective focal length of 50mm, making it a classic standard lens, while the fast f1.4 focal ratio is ideal for use in low light or for achieving a shallow depth of field. It delivers excellent quality results, but is up against at least three other primes which are arguably more suitable for general-purpose use. In particular there's Panasonic's own 20mm f1.7 and the big question is how this compares to the 25mm. Find out which will be the best for you in my Panasonic Leica 25mm f1.4 review.
18th February 2013: Panasonic GH3 review
Panasonic's GH3 is the flagship of the Lumix G series, and the successor to the popular GH2. The GH3's headline features include a new 16 Megapixel sensor, improved screen and viewfinder, a multi-frame HDR mode along with 1080/50p/60p video, much higher movie bit rates, unlimited recording times, and both a headphone and microphone jack. But arguably most exciting of all it becomes the first Lumix G model to boast splash and dust-proof construction along with featuring built-in Wifi. It's the most powerful compact system camera from Panasonic to date, but goes up against key rivals including the Olympus OMD EM5 and Sony NEX 6. Find out how all three compare in my Panasonic GH3 review!
14th February 2013: Sigma 35mm f1.4 review
Sigma's 35mm f1.4 DG HSM is the company's first 35mm prime with a large aperture. Available in Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax and Sigma mounts, it goes head-to-head with the premium professional primes from the big camera companies but at a comfortably lower price. So the big question is how it compares against models like the Nikkor 35mm f1.4 and Canon 35mm f1.4? To really put it through its paces we got hold of the Nikon version, allowing us to test it on the most demanding full-frame DSLR to date, the 36 Megapixel D800; it also let us directly compare the Sigma against the Nikkor 35mm f1.4. Pro performance at an affordable price? Find out in our Sigma 35mm f1.4 review.
11th February 2013: Panasonic 7-14mm f4 review
Panasonic's Lumix 7-14mm f4 is an ultra-wide angle zoom lens for Micro Four Thirds cameras, including Panasonic Lumix G, Olympus PEN and Olympus OMD models. It delivers an effective focal length of 14-28mm, covering popular wide-angle focal lengths from mild to extreme, while the f4 aperture remains constant. The Panasonic 7-14mm may have been one of the first Micro Four Third lenses but remains one of the best, not to mention a compelling reason to invest in this mirror-less format - indeed it was a major factor in my selection of Micro Four Thirds for my recent world trip. So if, like me, you love the idea of a small and light but superb quality ultra wide zoom, check out my Panasonic Lumix 7-14mm review!
4th February 2013: Canon S110 review!
Canon's PowerShot S110 is a pocket-sized camera aimed at enthusiasts. Like previous S-series models, it packs a bright zoom lens, support for RAW and high degree of manual control into a very small body. The big new features are a touch-sensitive screen and built-in Wifi, the latter replacing rather than complementing the GPS on the older S100. The clever bit is the S110 can exploit the GPS in a compatible smartphone via Wifi. As before though the S110 is up against tough competition from other compacts aimed at enthusiasts including Panasonic's LX7, Sony's RX100 and the Olympus XZ-2. We'll help you choose the right one in our Canon S110 review!
30th January 2013: Olympus 45mm f1.8 review
The Olympus 45mm f1.8 is a short telephoto lens for Micro Four Thirds mirrorless cameras, including models by Panasonic and Olympus. With an effective focal length of 90mm and a bright aperture, it's primarily aimed at portrait shooters, but also surprisingly versatile in other situations. Close it to f4 and it'll deliver pin sharp images right into the corners, making it ideal for detailed buildings and landscapes. See how the resolution, depth-of-field and close-up capabilities compare against the Panasonic Leica 45mm f2.8 in my in-depth Olympus 45mm f1.8 review!
28th January 2013: Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 VR II review
Nikon's AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II is the latest version of its professional telephoto zoom lens. Featuring a fast f2.8 focal ratio, optical stabilization and tough build, it remains a popular choice for professional portrait and sports photographers. Compared to its predecessor, Nikon claims to have improved the optical design and stabilization, so to find out how it performs in practice we tested it with Nikon's most demanding full-frame body to date, the 36 Megapixel D800. Find out how it measures-up and whether it justifies the high asking price in our in-depth Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 VR II review!
15th January 2013: Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 OS review
Sigma's 70-200mm f2.8 OS is the company's latest 70-200mm and its first to sport optical stabilization. Available for Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax, and Sigma's own mounts, it offers a more affordable alternative to the 70-200mm f2.8 options from the big camera manufacturers. So the big question then is how it compares? In his in-depth review, Cameralabs' lens tester Thomas put it through its paces on a 36 Megapixel Nikon D800 to really see if it could compete with pricier rivals. Find out whether it's the bright telephoto zoom for you in our Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 OS review!
10th January 2013: Sony NEX 6 review
Sony's NEX 6 is an upper mid-range mirrorless system camera, which slots between the NEX 5R and the top-end NEX 7. In many respects it's a cross between them, sharing the body shape, tilting screen, OLED viewfinder and popup flash of the NEX 7, and the 16 Megapixel sensor, phase-detect AF assistance and built-in Wifi and downloadable apps of the NEX 5R. Unique to the NEX 6 though are its standard flash hotshoe and exposure model dial. In my in-depth review I've taken a close look at the performance of the camera and in particular its built-in Wifi, downloadable apps and the new 16-50mm power zoom lens. Find out if this is the mirrorless camera for you in my Sony NEX 6 review!
7th January 2013: Nikon 70-200mm f4 review! With D800
The Nikon 70-200mm f4G is an exciting addition to the Nikkor lens catalogue, delivering the popular telephoto zoom range, but in a cheaper and much lighter package than the premium f2.8 version. But how do they compare in practice? Cameralabs' Nikon lens tester Thomas has been hard at work with a final production sample and can now reveal how sharp the new lens is for both DX and FX bodies including the D800, along with showing comparisons with the f2.8 version ahead of an in-depth 70-200mm group test. See his Nikon 70-200mm f4 review to find out if this is the ideal telephoto zoom for your Nikon DSLR!
26th December 2012: Panasonic FZ200 review!
Panasonic's Lumix FZ200 is the company's flagship super-zoom camera. Successor to the best-selling FZ150, it shares the same 24x (25-600mm equivalent) range but where its predecessor had a variable aperture of f2.8-5.2, the new model boasts a constant aperture of f2.8 throughout the entire focal range. Yep, that's right, f2.8 all the way to 600mm. In addition the FZ200 now sports an electronic viewfinder with six times the resolution of the FZ150. Considering it still has full manual control, a flash hotshoe, articulated screen and mic input, it's one of the best-featured super-zooms on the market. Find out how it compares to Canon's SX50 HS in my Panasonic FZ200 review!
17th December 2012: Canon SX50 HS review!
The Canon PowerShot SX50 HS is a 12 Megapixel super-zoom camera with a massive 50x optical range, equivalent to 24-1200mm - that's the world's longest super-zoom at the time of writing. Round the back, Canon has kept the articulated screen of its predecessor, but upgraded the panel to 2.8in / 460k. The hotshoe also remains, as does the manual control, but in a welcome new feature, in response no doubt to sales lost to Panasonic, the SX50 HS now offers RAW recording, although there's still no microphone input. Find out if the extended zoom range is a step too far or if it's the new King of the super-zooms in my in-depth Canon SX50 HS review!