Lens aesthetics and third party brands

There is one thing that has always confused me about third-party manufacturers and that is their inability to apply lens aesthetics to each brand. Let me be clear, I’m not talking drastic redesigns here, I’m not talking about creating a retro looking lens for some brands and more modern for others, I’m talking simple colours.

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Sony vs Fujifilm – Let’s get real about it

I’ve had quite a few people email me in response to the article I wrote on the A7iii vs X-T3 because of my recent switch from Fujifilm to Sony. The types of questions coming through were akin to:

  1. Should they switch to Sony if it’s better?
  2. How could I have been happy with Fujifilm and now say Sony is better?
  3. If I knew what I know today would I have gone to Sony earlier?
  4. What would I buy today?

Let’s answer those in simple terms:

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Sony A7iii Review

Introduction

In some respects its a little easier reviewing cameras when you are switching systems. You are not as tied to a legacy way of thinking so it’s a little easier to grip on a problem and think of it as a negative or positive. With using a different system, you tend to think: “This is the way I work and I’m not going to change” which creates a problem with a camera. If you are switching you think: “This is the way I am used to working, could I work this way in future?”

My background? Non-commercial photographer. I have long since accepted that I do photography because I enjoy it and doing it commercially wouldn’t work for me because I like doing it the way I want, with the things I want, when I want. I make enough money from my normal career to fund photographic toys. Shot Nikon, switched to Fujifilm for mirrorless years ago, then onto Sony for reasons I won’t go into, except to say I do actually like the Fujifilm gear so it has nothing to do with that.

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Are we overreacting about Railway Shoots?

I noticed in a Facebook group the other day that track (railway) shoot photos are now banned. Not illegal track shoots, not shoots conducted on live tracks…ALL track photos. I have no issue with the Facebook admins taking this approach, it is their group and their rules, but I do have to question whether we are overreacting and bowing down to safety nazi’s when we stop the posting of perfectly legal and safe photos because of a few idiots who do so illegally and unsafely, or because we believe people may try to mimic photos, which they will ultimately try do with any kind of photo.

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Magmod Magbox Review

Introduction

When the local distributor (Radbitz) for MagMod let me know that he had one of 5 MagBox prototypes in the world and I could take it out for a test, it’s not the sort of opportunity you turn down.

“Sure, just drop it off with me for a month or sixty and I’ll give it a test” after all, I am a completely unknown photographer with no reputation, and a dismal 1500 followers. What could go wrong?

Sadly, my sneaky ruse to get a free MagBox failed before it started. It seems there are so few of these little babies in the real world that people are prepared to beg, borrow or steal to get their hands on one. As a result, Adam Kopf wasn’t prepared to let it out of his sight.

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The problem with Tony and Chelsea’s sports test

I saw a video by Tony and Chelsea entitled “What’s the best mirrorless camera for shooting sports”. I guess what annoyed me about the video is that it seemed like the usual bloggers excuse to get as many mirrorless cameras into a single video, with links of course to purchase them via an affiliate link.

Commercial interests aside, what also concerned me about the article was the value of one piece of functionality over another. There are four things that typically differentiate a camera for sports: autofocus, high ISO capability frame rate and buffer. It’s not to say they are the most important for everyone, but every sports camera has had these over other non-sports orientated models.

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My solution to the Sony third party battery problem

There has been a lot of fire and brimstone over the new Sony firmware that gives users an error message, sometimes at critical moments would could ruin a photo opportunity. Whether or not Sony intended it to manipulate Sony users into buying OEM, or whether it was simply Sony “helping” the public find “fake” Sony batteries is besides the point…it’s a massive inconvenience to Sony users who use third party batteries.

Some people may remember the “Don’t buy Pansonic” movement that kicked off when Panasonic disabled third party batteries. It’s a dangerous move from Sony, but they may expect to get away with it legally because they still allow the batteries to be used – they just give the users an annoying message to deal with everytime they start the camera.

Where Sony thinks they made a smart move is the cost to move systems is a lot higher than the cost of a battery, so whilst users won’t be happy, they also won’t have a choice.

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