Picture | Easter eggs

Happy Easter, everyone! This picture was taken with the Sigma SD14 DSLR from 2006, which I’ve just got on loan together with two Sigma zoom lenses (18-50/2.8 and 18-200/3.5-6.3). Not quite sure what to think of it yet … you’ll find my hands-on review of the camera and lenses over at The Phoblographer soon.

Sigma SD14 + Sigma 18-200/3.5-6.3 @ 115mm, f/5.6, 1/160 sec, ISO 100

Use Sigma’s DP1/2M lenses on Sony NEX and Micro Four Thirds!

Sigma 19mm f/2.8 and 30mm f/2.8 for NEX and MFT

Now this is interesting! According to this post on 43rumors, the recently announced 19mm f/2.8 and 30mm f/2.8 lenses for Micro Four Thirds and Sony NEX are the very same lenses that Sigma is using in their re-vamped DP models, the DP1M and DP2M (announcement at The Phoblographer).

I think this is a very bright move from Sigma. This way, the newly developed optical formulas can be used in two ways: in their DP cameras and in interchangeable lenses for mirrorless cameras. For the same amount of research, Sigma will get twice (or even more) the revenue. Chapeau for a clever marketing strategy!

Camera news: Canon G1X, Fuji X-Pro1, Sigma lenses

Only a quick update, as I’m currently at work and don’t have time to write a full article. Two interesting new cameras have just been announced, one that has long been rumored, another one that comes as a surprise. Also, Sigma has announced two interesting new lenses.

Canon G1 X

The Canon G1 X

The Can0n G1 X is the latest iteration of Canons acclaimed G-series enthusiast’s compacts that started with the G1 back in 2000. Traditionally, the G-series models have been advanced point-and-shoot cameras with small sensors, medium-fast lenses, a complete range of knobs and dials for fully manual operation as well as integrated optical viewfinders. The G1 X continues in that tradition, with one major exception: it features a completely new, almost DSLR-sized 14 megapixel sensor that measures 18.7 x 14 mm and is thus slightly larger than even (Micro) Four Thirds sensors.

You can find the complete press release as well as all relevant information on the new G1 X at Imaging Resource. A preview of the camera can be found on dpreview. Continue reading Camera news: Canon G1X, Fuji X-Pro1, Sigma lenses

Now hear who’s crying again.

I just stumbled upon an article on 1001noisycameras, linking to high-ISO comparison by Focus Numérique, comparing the output of the new Sigma SD1 to that of the Nikon D7000. Of course, the Sigma SD1 looses big time in this pixel-peeping contest, and the editors and commentators on 1001nc go on to bash Sigma and rave about Nikon. Phrases such as “being horribly out of touch with the realities of the market” are uttered.

Now, I wonder who it is that’s “being horribly out of touch with the realities of the market” here. Sigma, or the people that compare a $6k, 15 megapixel Foveon sensored high-end specialty camera to a $1k prosumer model?

The reality of the market is that

  1. the Sigma SD1 and Nikon D7000 are aimed at two completely different groups of customers,
  2. the sensor technologies used in each camera are entirely different from each other and
  3. the noise reduction algorithms in the Sigma SD1 are thus far less destructive than those applied in the Nikon D7000, as the former is aimed at photographers looking for actual image quality, while the latter is aimed at “photographers” who believe image quality has to do with noise patterns.

One can argue whether the admittedly rather high price tag of the Sigma SD1 is “being horribly out of touch with the realities of the market”. Yes, I believe that’s actually up to debate, but I also believe Sigma are having their reasons for pricing the SD1 the way they did (development costs being one point). But the truth, uncomfortable as it may be for the noise kids out there, is that the SD1 delivers outstanding image quality if pixel-level sharpness and accurate colour reproduction is what you’re looking for. In that sense, the SD1 is indeed competing more with the medium format market than with the APS-C prosumer market.

Last but not least, here are a couple of links where you can learn a bit about the Sigma SD1 and the technology behind its Foveon sensor. This is some actual information, and not pixel-peepers’ pseudo-knowledge.


News and articles | July 18th, 2011

Oh my! It’s been more than a month since I last posted a news-and-articles-recap … ! I’ve been (and still am) rather busy with work and newly enamoured with film, so my love for digital photography has been dampened somewhat recently. Still, I collected a bunch of interesting weblinks to share with you, and as my son is currently peacefully playing by himself, I’m using the opportunity to put together a quick roundup of what’s been published around the interwebs those past weeks! :-)

Photoradar: Earth from space
Photoradar have posted a series of images taken by astronaut Paolo Nespoli. He took these amazing pictures during his stay on the ISS, using Nikon DSLRs.

Not a review of the Sigma SD1
X3magazine, home of everything Foveon, published an article on the Sigma SD1. They don’t want to call it a review because they were testing a pre-production model. Still, the pictures speak for themselves.
(You can find a production-model review over at The Luminous Landscape.)

“Focus Peaking” — great new feature in NEX cameras
According to this thread on rangefinderforum.com, Sony added a new feature to the latest NEX-3/5 (and probably also the upcoming C3 and 7) firmware calle “Focus Peaking”. On using manual focus, the contrast-detection algorithm calculates which part of the image is in focus and highlights it accordingly. It looks very promising, and is definitely something I’d like to see in future Micro Four Thirds cameras (or even better, firmware updates!)

Good stuff from Petapixel
Petapixel, resource of never ending good stuff on just about any photography topic, spoil us with some great articles once more. There’s a video about the film production over at The Impossible Project, a time lapse video of the Milky Way taken with Canon DSLRs, and a feature from CNBC discussing the alleged upcoming demise of Point’n’Shoots.

The Lytro Field Camera
This has been all around the net, so you probably heard of it already. Lytro are developing a so-called “field camera” that takes pictures via a plenoptic lens array. Follow the link to find out what that means — suffice to say it’s awesome :-)
P.S.: This German bussiness seems to already be manufacturing this kind of camera.

The Pentax Q is real!
Remember the rumors about a small-sensor interchangeable-lens Pentax? Well, they were true! Here it is, the Pentax Q, featuring a 1/2.33″ sensor and interchangeable lenses! Sounds crazy? Have a look and judge for yourself!
P.S.: Here’s one more look at the Pentax Q from Quesabesde (in Spanish).

New Olympus Micro Four Thirds stuff reviewed by The Phoblographer
Our friends from The Phoblographer have gotten their hands on the latest Micro Four Thirds cameras and lenses from Olympus, and have reviewed them extensively. Spoiler alert: The new E-P3 focuses blazing fast, and the 12mm f/2 lens is gorgeous!
P.S.: They also compare the new E-P3, E-PL3 and E-PM1 side-by-side.
P.P.S: Another E-P3, E-PL3 and E-PM1 notice and short preview can be found at The Amateur Photographer.
P.P.P.S: Clubsnap has a thread on the new 45mm f/1.8 portrait lens — don’t miss it!

Some Leica Making-Of’s
First up is a Stars and Stripes article from 1979, reporting on the development and manufacturing processes over at the old Leitz facilities in Wetzlar.
The second Making-Of is a video from Leica themselves, documenting their own lens manufacturing process.

“Modern Wonder Cameras See Like Cats In The Dark”
A Popular Science article from 1932, reporting on the latest small-film “cat’s eye” cameras, such as the Leica. A very interesting peek into the world of photography as it was eighty years ago.