Gear review: Canon EOS 5D mark IV

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canon eos 5d mark IV review

Again I was invited by Canon NL for a visit to their headquarters for a hands-on review of their most popular DSLR’s successor, Canon EOS 5D mark IV.

The Canon 5D mark III already was a great allround camera for most professionals and now they upgraded it to a new level, by adding the Dual Pixel sensor (known from both the 80D and 1DX mark II), 30 Megapixels and 4K video. The camera performs faster, especially with Live View and has some body improvements. Now the mic and phones input can be found underneath the same flap and an extra button has been added to quickly select the focus selection area. Also is it possible to shoot with Dual Pixel RAW which ad some extra options when editing your photos on your pc.

Unfortunately this visit was a hands-on review only because this was still a secret review at that time. Canon only allowed us to shoot inside this room we were in.

In short, this upgrade is a nice one ….the camera is faster overall, has a fully functional touch display and the sensor is now more sensitive for light.

(sorry for the bad picture quality …had to use my phone for this quick snap)

Down below is a review video (Dutch only) from Kamera Express in which I present the 5D mark IV:

(video is property of Kamera Express)

Review: Pen F ….my choice of gear

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Totally a camera I would love to have in my bag! The Olympus Pen F…. Awesome retro styled camera with great performance.

Pen F - THE VIEWFINDER
Mounted with the awesome 75mm

DESIGN
Do I need to say more?  Its design is practical, good grip and retro back flipscreen. They kept all the small details of analog cameras in mind when designing this piece. For instance the on/off switch which is a copy of the wellknown film rewind switch on those analog cameras. The camera comes in this black and a silver finish.

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The retro on/off switch

This is a MFT-system camera so it’s nice compact with small yet great lenses. The nice thing is that it has a good electronic viewfinder that’s nicely integrated in this small body design.

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The back finish looks like an analog camera

SPECS
This is the second MFT-system camera that has a 20 megapixels sensor …so it seems like MFT is getting a new max standard, first the 16MP and now apparently the 20MP sensor. The specs of this camera aren’t that new or sexy …yes it has a nice focus system with 81 points and a sensor-shift 5-axis stabilization. Also shoot 10 frame per second and with a max shutter of 1/8000 (1/16000 electronic). To me the specs are okay, but the outer appearance with the retro dials, good grip and awesom finish will make people actually buy this one (I would definitely…). 

CUSTOM
A nice feature is the custom dial on the front of the body next to the lens mount. This lets you customize the color and levels before the shoot. So now you can shoot with customized brightness curves. Really nice to work with!

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Nicely styled filter dial on the front

Gear review: Small yet big …Fujifilm X70

fujifilm x70 | THE VIEWFINDER-1

..also a great piece of fashion accessory..”

A camera that needs to be highlighted …the Fujifilm X70. Retro stylisch with modern technology. Not only a good camera but also a great piece of fashion accessory for those fashionistas and fashionistos out there.

What makes this a good camera?
For starters this small camera has a large 16 megapixel sensor, APS-C, a new processor and a fast fixed 28mm lens of f2.8. It also has a touchscreen for both focus and trigger option ….which is quite convenient and honestly it works like a charm. This camera performs good in low light situations, that doesn’t comes as a surprise because of the large sensor combined with the fast lens.

Design
Fujifilm is well-known for its retro design so of course the X70 has this design too. It’s design a very close to it’s bigger brother the X100 series. I truly love the retro designs of Fujifilm …that’s why I have the X100 of course. Thanks to its design adjusting the settings is easy and quicker than on other cameras, in my opinion that is.

Lens
On thing you have to keep in mind is that this camera has a fixed 28mm lens, which is quite wide. So there’s no zoom option there, however this will garanty the best quality. As you can see down below the image quality is very nice. So cropping your image after taking it is possible and very usable.

Visiting Canon HQ & 80D with EFS 18-135mm Nano USM

Canon HQ _ THE VIEWFINDER copy

Ohayo gozaimasu ..uh …Good morning”

I had the pleasure of visiting Canon HQ in The Netherlands for their newest DSLR camera, the EOS 80D with the new EFS 18-135mm Nano USM. This wasn’t announced yet so we had to sign a confidentiality agreement. Of course reviewing this new unannounced gear was great but also visiting Canon HQ …

The first thing that popped my mind when entering the building was the idea of seeing lots of Japanese people …well that wasn’t the case. It seemed like there were a lot of people from India and still a lot of Dutch people. So that Japanese language refreshing course (some books from my shelf) wasn’t needed …

EOS 80D & EFS 18-135mm Review

As I said earlier the camera was announced so we, my colleagues and I, secretly had to shoot the review video (down below) inside this meeting room with doors closed. If that wasn’t enough already we also had one of the Canon employees to accompany us the whole day, just to make sure we didn’t say anything strange for the review of leave this room.

I’m not about to go in-depth about the 80D and the new lens. What I can say is that it has an improved sensor technology which makes it faster and better with auto focus. What I honestly miss with this new camera is the lack of 4K video, I mean the 70D was the first DSLR that could do video with autofocus and great quality.

The new EFS 18-135mm Nano USM had a nice physical upgrade and the ability of mounting an autofocus adapter for an auto zoom functionality.

In short, my visit to Canon HQ was a nice experience, the people were friendly and quite cooperative.

 

Gear: Highly spoken of ..Sigma 50mm f1.4 Art

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“..a piece of art.”

Before I get into this nice piece of glas,  let’s answer some of the common general questions I get: Why Sigma? Aren’t they just a cheaper imitation of the Canon lenses?

I get why people sometime ask me these questions, because yes Sigma used to produce cheaper versions of Canon lenses (also other brands). So several years ago one bought a Sigma lens to get a more affordable lens with almost the same quality. But that’s in the past now! Sigma launched their ‘Art’ series lenses, which aren’t only better in performance but some are even more expensive than the Canon lenses. Now when you decide to purchase an Art lens of Sigma you want to get the best in performance and build quality.

Sigma 50mm f1.4 Art
One of the most spoken Art lens is the 50mm f1.4, which seems to be even better than both the 50mm f1.4 and f1.2 of Canon. That’s why I decided to test this nice piece of glass.

This new lens is perfect for portrait and wedding photography. It’s great to see Sigma making such professional lenses. Thanks to the f1.4 the depth of fields is shallow and good for isolating the subject.

Build
The 50mm lens is well designed and solidly build, as expected of an Art lens. I like the simplicity of its design and the large focus ring. There’s only a MF/AF switch on the barrel and of course the nice shiny ‘A’ logo. The weight and size of this lens is too much for me …walking the streets with this lens would be quite uncomfortable with a tired wrist at the end of the day. When comparing this lens to my Canon 50mm f1.8 II the Sigma really is large, heavy and professionally build.

Performance
When looking at it’s performance it does the job. The photos are sharp, shot fully open at f1.4 the centre is sharp but unfortunately it shows quite some vignetting. Closing the aperture to f2.8 makes the vignetting disappear and the photograph more useful, for me that is. When doing studio work, this lens could be your choice.

Conclusion
Yes, Sigma made one piece of ‘art’. The quality it delivers is good and the build is professional.  No doubt about it. If you need a lens that gives the best quality, the Sigma Art is the lens of choice. It may be heavy and large, but that’s needed to get the quality and light sensitivity. I already got the 24-105mm Art lens for most my shoots, which works perfect. The 50mm Art a nice lens for a shoot, wedding and especially studio work. For me I’d rather mount my Canon 50mm when hitting the streets, it’s smaller, lighter and also gets the job done (with less quality). On the streets it’s not only the quality that matters, the more practical use of the lens is more important in my honest opinion.

Gear: My beloved X100 …reborn (after firmware update)

The Fujifilm X100 …still the best looking digital camera out there. I have this piece of awesomeness for quite a while now but never spend time for upgrading its firmware. Now, as I plan on using it more frequently I decided to upgrade the firmware with great results.

Speed

I have to be honest that it really is an improving …the autofocus is really fast now. Feels the same as the X100s (the second generation X100). This way the chance of missing a shot is getting smaller. Also the startup time (from off to on) is faster, which is so nice because I unfortunately missed some shots in the past due to the slow startup time.

Old school manual

Before shooting with the X100 and Canon DSLR I shot with the Olympus OM10 and several Rangefinders. I like focusing manually …it feels like you’re really making the photograph instead of relying on the autofocus doing its job. With the manual focus you can easily focus while framing your shot …something not easily done with the digital cameras nowadays.

Now the X100 firmware update improved the manual focus-ring (by wire) and added the great focus peaking feature, so manual focus has become useful now.

I plan on shooting more ‘on the go’ with this camera, because this one is some compact and easy to take with …this makes it even more possible to get those impulsive street shots with a wider angle (35mm).

Trend: Cameras …truly an accessory

sony camera fragrance

” ..the female camera out there”

Camera designs are getting more appealing nowadays, for instance the more retro look which I discussed in my earlier post. Now Sony has announced a design (ground-breaking!) which shows that cameras are truly becoming an accessory …a part of your outfit. This design has the looks of a regular fragrance design (the female one) so this will be ‘the female’ camera out there! (if it’s not a joke that is)

So for the women out there: Preorder yours!

(image from sonystyle.com)