02 July 2016, Saturday
Nikon D3300 & 18-55mm VR AF-P: $399.99, new (gray-market). This is the kit with the hot new AF-P lens that we can't get in the USA yet - unless you get the gray market kit I did. The AF-P lens focuses ultrafast as well as much more quietly than the old AF-S lens the USA version still gets. This new AF-P lens also has immediate manual focus override simply by turning the focus ring; something no other Nikon 18-55mm lens has - touché! I have a review coming in the new AF-P kit lens, and it's by far Nikon's best yet.
New Rebates on Canon Digital Cinema gear. Save up to $9,000!
Case Logic CPL-108 Backpack: $24.95 (Regular $64.99), free shipping.
Asus R556LA 15.6" Notebook Computer, Intel Core i5-5200U 2.2GHz, 6GB RAM, 1TB HDD, Windows 10: $379.99 (Regular $459), free shipping.
Yamaha DGX-660 Digital Grand Piano: $649.99 (Regular $799), with free shipping.
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 USB audio interface: $99.99 (Regular $124.99), free shipping.
30 June 2016, Thursday
Ricoh R1 next to a 35mm Kodak film can.
NEW: Ricoh R1 Review.
An ultracompact, ultralight point and shoot.
Rebates Ending Saturday
Sony's rebates also expire on Saturday, and they come with 4% rewards from B&H and free expedited shipping.
These rebates are how the US offices keep list prices stable as the yen fluctuates versus the dollar. The dollar was at historic highs a few months ago which led to these rebates, but has been falling, so I don't know that we'll be seeing this level of discount again anytime soon. The dollar bought 126 yen a year ago, but is only worth 100 yen today, and Nikon and everyone work in yen, not dollars.
An advantage of getting these at this link to them at Adorama is that Adorama also offers a free filter or other goody kit, 2% back in rewards, as well as free shipping.
Here's a free lens and $100 Adorama Gift to go along with the DMC-G7 kit:
Panasonic DMC-G7 w/14-140mm, 25mm f/1.7 & $100.00 Gift Certificate: $997.99, with Free Shipping, while supplies last.
29 June 2007: One More Thing
It was only 9 years years ago today that Steve Jobs pulled an iPhone out of his pocket.
It was just a few years later that most of the developed world was changed, and today just 9 years later, most of the world, developed and just about everywhere other than North Korea, spends most of its day staring at little screens and can't put the things down for more than 5 minutes at a time.
9 years and a day ago no one had ever heard of an iPhone, and today we speak of the "days before the iPhone" as if they may as well have been prehistoric.
It hasn't even been ten years, and most people today would go bonkers if they didn't have their iPhones or copies thereof.
DSLR or Mirrorless?
My friend Phil Steele just released a free video tutorial looking at DSLRs versus mirrorless cameras. If you think this is helpful, check out the rest of his free tutorials and full-length photography courses.
Crazy 360º GoPro Mounts
HP 8040 Wireless All-In-One Printer: $169.99 (regular $299), with Free Shipping.
Tascam DP-008EX 8-Track Recorder: $114.99 using coupon code 1MOVN2JULY at checkout (Regular $119), with Free Shipping.
Samson C01UCW USB Condenser Microphone & Shock Mount: $49.99 after rebate, with Free shipping.
Samson SR950 Headphones: $29.99 (Regular $69), with Free Shipping.
The Biggest Confusion in Lightroom
My friend Phil Steele released a video tutorial a few weeks ago clearing up confusions about the Lightroom Catalog, what it is, and how it manages your photos. If you think this is helpful, check out the rest of his free tutorials and full-length photography courses.
24 June 2016, Thursday
LAST WEEK: Fuji Price Drops.
The US dollar has been at historic highs against the Japanese yen for the past year and a half, but in the past month it's started to drop.
Japanese companies rarely change prices. They cover these fluctuations by giving (or cancelling) rebates.
The great news is that Fuji's rebates today aren't even rebates; they're called "instant rebates," which is a code name for "lower prices;" there are no forms to fill out to get the lower price. Fuji doesn't want you to get used to lower prices, since when it has to raise them again next week it doesn't want people whining about it being some sort of secret sneaky price rise, but is simply reflecting the fact that Fuji gets paid in yen, not US dollars.
Fuji has most of their cameras and lenses on up to $400 rebate, which expire in a week. For instance, the fantastic X100T is selling for just $1,099 — but that goes away in a week. With the relative fall of the dollar versus the yen this past month, I don't know when we'll see Fuji this inexpensive again.
New from Sigma
22 June 2016, Wednesday
New Hasselblad Medium-Format Mirrorless
NEW: Hasselblad X1D.
Holy cow: Hasselblad just announced the system I designed back in 2009 for Nikon. I'm still telling the world that Nikon and/or Canon need to introduce new "halo" medium format mirrorless systems, with a complete set of all-new larger-format lenses, to let them leapfrog Sony who has been leapfrogging Nikon and Canon.
Nikon D5 in-stock at $6,497, with free next-day delivery!
27" iMac 5k for $650 off. You know you deserve one; it's the world's highest resolution way to see your photos!.
Cullmann CONCEPT ONE 622T Aluminum Travel Tripod with Ballhead: $79.95 (Regular $199), with free shipping.
WD My Passport Ultra 1TB 3.0 USB Portable Secure Hard Drive, Black: $49.99 (Regular $59.99), with free shipping.
Xerox Travel Scan 150 Simplex Scanner: $49.99 (Regular $79.99), with Free Shipping.
Yamaha FGX800C Traditional Western Cutaway Acoustic Electric Guitar: $239.99 using coupon code 1MLEARNING at checkout (Regular $299), with Free shipping.
Pair of Fender Fortis F-12BT 12" 1300W 2-Way Powered Speakers: $949 using coupon code 1JUNESVNGS at checkout (Regular $1,299), with Free Shipping.
Fender Deluxe Roadhouse Stratocaster Electric Guitar: $439.99 (Regular $699), with free shipping.
Clever Wireless Presentation Remote Control C760, Black: $7.99 (Regular $19.99), with free shippng.
As always with these deals, only valid while supplies last.
21 June 2016, Tuesday
Here's a swell underwater camera at a bargain price, and it has a 21 ~ 105mm equivalent lens, too!
I just got back from a couple of weeks in Hawaii shooting it.
Super Sale on Super Headphones
Sennheiser HD650 Headphones: $499.95, and includes a free Adorama $200 gift card and free shipping. They usually sell for much more.
See my Sennheiser HD650 Review.
17 June 2016, Friday
Today, Friday, only: Amazon's Deal of the Day: 24% off the Celestron AstroMaster 70AZ telescope
AUDEZE EL-8 Planar Magnetic Headphones with mic and standard cable (made in USA): $449.99 (Regular $699), with Free Shipping. Audeze EL-8 review.
Panasonic DMC-TS6 Waterproof Camera: $169 (Regular $209), with Free Shipping.
Vanguard ABEO Plus 363 Carbon Fiber Tripod: $209.99 (Regular $429.99), with Free Shipping. Includes free Vanguard VS-62 Table Top Aluminum Tripod.
Fender Deluxe Stratocaster HSS Plus Top Electric Guitar with iOS Connectivity: $359.99 (Regular $699.99), also in aged cherry burst, all with Free Shipping and while supplies last.
Canon MF216n Laser Multifunction Printer: $99 (Regular $124), with Free Shipping.
15 June 2016, Wednesday
More about why I love 600mm
Here's a sunset snap from last night at 35mm equivalent; about what you get with an iPhone:
Sunset in Palm Trees, 14 June 2016. 2016 Sony RX10 Mk III at 35mm equivalent (13.3mm actual), f/3.2 at 1/160 at Auto ISO 100.
And here's what you get zoomed-in:
The whole point of ultra-tele lenses is that you can turn every ordinary little sunset like this one into an epic sunset by zooming in. By filing the frame with whatever little red there is, BAM!, the whole frame explodes with color. These are JPGs essentially as they came from the RX10 MK III without any color fiddling.
Another advantage of an ultra-tele is that you make the disc of the sun huge. In this case I didn't move between these two snaps; I just zoomed-in. The palms you see in the better image are a very long way away. The very long lens enlarges everything to make a strong shot out of a dull one.
You have to consider depth of field; long lenses have very little. In this shot the trees are in focus, and the water beyond is not.
Brand New From Panasonic
It's roughly equivalent to a 24mm f/1.4.
Back in Stock
Deals at Amazon
14 June 2016, Tuesday
Gotta Love 600mm
The Sony RX10 Mk III makes these shots so easy. With the equivalent of a 600mm f/4 on tap, it makes these shots so much fun, too. I remember the fun I had back in 1992 way before DSLRs when I got my first Nikon 600mm f/5.6 AI-s and it opened up all sorts of new worlds for me — until I got tired of carrying it. Now with this Sony, I can take it everywhere and shoot all this hand held.
Oh man, this Sony RX10 Mk III is killing me. With it's 1/1,000 sync speed, its built-in flash easily and automatically balances with daylight at all the distances I need it. Not only do I not need to carry a slew of lenses, I don't need to bring a separate flash to get enough power for daylight fill. Here in this telephoto shot the built-in flash balanced perfectly with harsh daylight - something that would have required a shoe-mount flash with four times more flash power for the same results on a camera with only 1/200 sync like a DSLR.
Photos Too Tall?
If you're on a "widescreen" laptop and these photos are too tall to fit the three vertical inches on your screen, simply drag-in the right side of your browser window to make the window narrower. My photos will shrink magically to fit any size browser window. ("Widescreen" is a marketing euphemism for "too short.")
11 June 2016, Saturday
Green Falls, Yosemite Valley.
NEW: Photos From Yosemite.
More snaps made with the Sony RX10 Mk III.
I'll be adding the shots from my Hasselblad 500 C/M later.
10 June 2016, Friday
Fuji 1.4x converter.
NEW: Fuji Rebates.
DEAL: Nikon D5000: $269.95Refurbished (was $349), with Free Shipping. Wow, a fresh Nikon DSLR for $270! D5000 review.
About $20,000 each, for follow-focus cinema use on 24x36mm cameras.
They've been around in Nikon, Micro 4/3 and Canon mounts, too.
Loving the RX10 Mk III
I'm still giddy shooting the Sony RX10 Mk III.
Katie runs with a sponge at her second-grade field day. (Sony RX10 Mk III, lens at 435mm equivalent (160mm actual), wide-open at f/4 at 1/160 at Auto ISO 100, Perfectly Clear. bigger or full-resolution file to explore on your computer (mobile devices rarely display full resolution images at full resolution).
I've been shooting all our school's end-of-school events and field days with it, and it's astonishing how well it works shooting sports. It locks-on and tracks better than most DSLRs and tele lenses at its default settings. Unlike a DSLR that takes me a while to get set, the RX10 III just goes. It really lets me shoot with its silent shutter at 5 tracking, in-focus frames per second, and with it's 24~600mm lens, lets me get head shots across the field, and then zoom out for close-in shots before and after the game, and it's all good.
This crazy super zoom is the real deal; it's not 2014 any more.
09 June 2016, Thursday
New from Pentax
Pentax just announced the new K70, which is a "rugged" dust and weather resistant 6 FPS, 24 MP APS-C DSLR. It claims 4k video, but that's only in interval shooting.
● No anti-alias filter over the sensor
● In-body sensor stabilization
● Cockamamie "Pixel Shift Resolution" feather with "Motion Correction"
● 11-point AF
● ISO to 102,400
● Works to -10º C/14º F
Pentax K-70, black: $649.95
Pentax K-70, silver: $649.95
Pentax K-70 w/18-135mm, silver: $899.95
Pentax 55-300mm f/4.5-6.3: $399.95
08 June 2016, Wednesday
Holy Gray Market!
I just got my hands on a gray-market Nikon D3300 with the new Nikon 18-55mm VR AF-P kit lens. Not only is it $100 less expensive than the legitimate USA version, the lens now has the new AF-P stepper-motor that I don't think we can get otherwise in the USA.
This new kit lens (full review coming) is unusual in that it loses the VR and AF slide switches; these functions are now controlled in the camera.
What's slick about this new lightweight collapsible lens is that:
1.) AF is ultra fast, and not only is it as fast as my own eyes focus, it focuses that fast even in near darkness. Even in the darkest shadows of a dark restaurant, it slams from subject to subject immediately, far faster and surer than the Fuji X-Pro2! The Fuji simply gives up in light this dark, while the D3300 and 18-55 AF-P just focus. It focuses in light so dark (much, much darker than where I made the photo above) that the finder screen is so dark that I can't even see if it's really in focus or hardly see what's in my photo— but the IN FOCUS dot lights up and the photos are dead-on!!! In this case, the camera is seeing even better than my own eyes, and this is with the plastic kit lens.
2.) This curious new AF-P system finally gives instant manual focus override. No more need for an AF-MF switch; just turn the ring with the camera's AF system running, and it focuses manually and just holds it there. Tap the shutter again and it focuses automatically again. Perfect!
3.) This new lens is only compatible with the newest cameras like the D3300. It is not compatible with older cameras like the D3200. Nikon apparently needs more secret sauce in the newest cameras to drive these new AF-P lenses.
4.) This new AF-P lens has an extra aspherical element not in the older 18-55mm VR II lens we get in the USA, and now the AF-P kit lens takes a 55mm filter. This new AF-P has 12 elements in 9 groups (2 aspherical), while the old 18-55mm VR II lens we get in the USA has only 11 elements in 8 groups with only one aspherical element.
More coming, but its focus abilities wowed me. Of course the D3300 still has the same Nikon DSLR image quality as every other camera in their line; just that it weighs a lot less and has fewer control buttons. The D3300 still has more resolution than a D5. The D3300 has been on the top of my Recommended Cameras list for about 2 years now, no news here.
Here's Nikon (Japan's) press release on the new AF-P lens which came out in January, at least in Japan.
07 June 2016, Tuesday
Fuji 100-400mm OIS.
NEW: Fuji 100-400mm Review.
Fuji 35mm f/2 WR.
NEW: Fuji 35mm f/2 WR Review.
Epson PowerLite 3020 3D 3LCD Projector: $899 (Regular $1,349), with Free Shipping.
Ricoh SP C250DN Color Wireless Laser Printer: $69.99 (Regular $99.99), with Free Shipping.
Sunpak PRO 523PX2 Carbon Fiber Tripod with Pistol Grip QR Ball Head: $74.99 (Regular $119), with Free Shipping.
06 June 2016, Monday
Gray Market means that this seller is importing these themselves and passing the direct prices on to you, bypassing Sony USA and their markup (and warranty). The gamble is that if anything goes wrong, the seller is offering its own warranty; Sony USA won't be there to help you.
For $200 off from the USA price, I'd definitely get one of these for my Sony if you don't already have one. Lenses rarely need any kind of service, and for $200 off, I'll take that chance. See my Zeiss 55/1.8 Review; it's an insanely good lens.
Adorama's rebate deals also include a filter (or even more in a kit), free shipping and 2% rewards, for the same price as the lens alone.
04 June 2016, Saturday
NEW: Fujifilm X-Pro2 Review.
03 June 2016, Friday
Color Rendition Compared
As I work on my Fuji X-Pro2 review, I added this table at the Compared section. I thought you'd get a kick out of it; it's what I've been saying for years.
I also added the X-Pro2 to All Fuji Cameras Compared.
iPad Case Dilemma Solved!
The ultimate leather iPad case for ladies and gentlemen has been found, and it's only $20. This case from "WizB" for iPad Air 2 satisfies all the criteria laid out on Monday below.
What's astonishing is how there were no suggestions from people for one that really met all the requirements; although goods from a couple, ,like Knomo, looked promising. There were plenty of cases that used plastic or had too much stuff on them, but none that made the iPad a joy to use, feel and carry.
The great news is my $20 WizB case is all I needed for the iPad Air 2, and a tenth the price of some of the others, hooray— but still looking for one for my iPad Pro.
02 June 2016, Thursday
New Month, new size
As I continue to fiddle with page sizes, I just rendered this page so it magically scales to fit whatever.
Look OK? If you have any comments, be sure to let me know on what sort of gizmo you're reading it, with what browser.
31 May 2016, Monday
Is it just me, or is it impossible to find a good iPad case today? It's not complicated, but for some reason it seems I've only found one kind of case that meets my basic needs. I've pointed this case out to your guys when it's been on sale, and my family owns a load of them in different sizes — but I can't find it anymore to fit an iPad Air 2 or iPad Pro.
I just bought this Bear Motion case, which feels very impressive (and even more so for just $15), with nice leather and coming in a marvelously soft padded velvet bag. It seems fantastic until you put your iPad in it and realized that the four corners are cut-out, so in actual use after you throw away the silly velvet bag, it won't protect a dropped iPad! This frustration is why I'm asking you folks for ideas.
We all have different tastes, but it's beyond me as to why iPad cases all uniformly get at least one of these important requirements wrong:
It should be thick, soft, durable leather, and should have a good grain so it doesn't slip out of your hand.
It should be soft on the inside so nothing gets scratched.
It should come in black or brown, and ideally also natural light brown, as well as whatever other colors the ladies like.
Cases like the one I use with my iPad Pro are made of crummy hard leather that feels like plastic, and its inside also feels like plastic — but it's the best I've found for my iPad Pro so far.
Nice materials aren't that hard to find, but the problem is, regardless of price, getting one with a proper functional design:
It should protect the iPad from falls from every angle — which means the four corners need to be covered! Ideally covered not just with a sheet of leather, but with seams sewn in such a way that the case hits a thick edge of leather if dropped; this is how the Yoobao cases I love do it.
I have no idea why so many cases simply don't bother to protect the four small corners, which just happens to be about the only place you actually need protection from falls.
There needs to be a hole for every connector, camera, button and switch.
The Kavaj case I bought looked great, until I realized that the volume controls and more were hidden under leather, making them clumsy to use at best.
Of course there needs to be a big enough hole around the headphone jack so headphones fit, but that hasn't been a problem with iPad cases.
Don't cover the screen
Again you'd think this was obvious, but some case makers insist on covering the screen, or enough of the bezel around the screen so it's impossible to make swiping gestures properly.
This Kavaj case I bought was completely defective in design; it covered so much of the bezel that it made it impossible to use split screens on my iPad pro.
Just flip open
For crying out loud, an iPad case is supposed to just flip open and turn on. That's the whole point, which Apple's smart face covers do so well, except that Apple's face covers offer no protection against drops or the back of the iPad. Apple makes back covers, but I haven't found them in leather, which would be ideal. Apple's leather iPhone cases are perfection, but I haven't found an equivalent for the iPad.
There shall be no latches, bands, locks, straps or other baloney in the way of opening it. It's beyond me why designers go out of their way to add cutesy tabs that have to be undone to get at your iPad.
Keep it Simple
An iPad is supposed to be portable. A case needs to be a case, and should not have pen holders, business card holders, cup holders or keyboard holders hanging off the sides or making it twice as thick as it ought to be.
I don't want to carry an office with me; all I want is an iPad case, please.
Any ideas? I'd love to hear them if you have a suggestion that meets every one of these simple requirements. It's easy to find cases that meet most, but screw up on one or another. I'd love to spend $100 or $200 for one made in USA or another first-world country, but I have yet to find one at any price from any country which meets all these basic requirements today.
It's easy to find nice cases for a few hundred dollars or just $15, but these screw up on at least one of the basics above.
The Yoobao cases I love used to sell for about $15 and are perfect, but I can't find them any more for an iPad Air 2, and have never seen one for the iPad Pro. Sena Vettra seem to have some nice ones for about $100 each; I may try them. I also ordered one of these that may be just what I need, or may be junk. We'll see; it looks like the correct design but I can't tell about the materials until it arrives.
25 May 2016, Wednesday
Nikon D5 and D500 in-stock!
I know they're hard to find (I ordered mine and waited), and Adorama has, at least for a moment, the D500 and D5 in-stock for prices even a little below MSRP; much less than what people are paying for them used over eBay due to their scarcity:
Nikon D5 (CF card version): $6,496.95 with free overnight shipping
Nikon D5 (XQD version): $6,496.95 with free overnight shipping
Nikon D500: $1,996.95 with free overnight shipping
Nikon D500 & 16-80mm VR: $3,066.95 with free overnight shipping
19 May 2016, Thursday
Photo Club meeting tonight
If you're in San Diego, check out Cassiano Carromeu's work at a free meeting of the San Diego Photo Club.
Everyone loves weddings. They're a good time for everyone, as celebrated everywhere on Earth, especially for photographers.
D500 still rockin'
Panther Chameleon. Nikon D500, Nikon 35mm f/1.8 DX, f/2.8 at 1/60, Auto ISO 200, Vivid Picture Control at +3 Saturation. Bigger or camera-original file to explore on your computer (mobile devices rarely display all the resolution properly).
I added another to my D500 sample images. The D500 has superb auto white balance in any crazy artificial light; I'm impressed. While its flash exposure leaves a lot to be desired, it has an uncanny ability to get the right white balance under nasty fluorescent or other artificial lights.
This is a chameleon? The only place this could hide is among my gallery of unnatural and insane colors!
18 May 2016, Wednesday
I just got my D500 and got its battery charged. Holy guacamole, its high ISO performance is outstanding. I just added two sample images, one at ISO 20,000 and one at ISO 51,200, to my Nikon D500 Review.
Watch all week as I keep adding to this.
17 May 2016, Tuesday
I just edited and updated my entire Deals Page, which has plenty of Nikon and Canon deals. Some of the newest items from others are:
Nikon D750, 24~120mm VR, bag, filters, card & more: $2,296.95 with free expedited shipping (better deal than the same thing below that excludes the free goodies)
Nikon D750 & 24~120mm VR: $2,296.95 with free expedited shipping but no free goodies (Regular $3,396.95)
Canon MF726CDW All-in-One Color Laser Printer: $319.99 after using coupon code 230OCANON at checkout (Regular $399),
Brenthaven Collins Slim Briefcase: $39.99 (Regular $99.95), Free Shipping.
AUDEZE EL-8 Titanium Magnetic Planar Closed-Back Headphones, Apple Cipher Cable + iFi Micro-iCAN Headphone Amplifier, Special Edition: $799 (Regular $1,198), Free Shipping.
12 May 2016, Thursday
Sony RX10 Mk III.
NEW: Sony RX10 Mk III Review.
This is an incredible camera that works incredibly well, with a superb 24~600mm equivalent lens. This isn't your sister's 25x optical zoom point and shoot; Sony has come a long, long way in the past few years and this beauty probably can replace a DSLR system for many people.
This is what I've been doing for the past week; I haven't been able to put it down.
What Was New in:
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If you find this as helpful as a book you might have had to buy or a workshop you may have had to take, feel free to help me continue helping everyone.
The biggest help is when you use any of these links when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. It costs you nothing, and is this site's, and thus my family's, biggest source of support. eBay is always a gamble, but all the other places always have the best prices and service, which is why I've used them since before this website existed. I recommend them all personally.
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