Sony announces the a7RIV - 61MP & capable of 240MP Photos!!

Sony A7RIV Press Shot

Sony has just announced the a7R IV - a 61MP, 10FPS beast.

I feel Sony reached camera maturity with the release of the a7R III and a7 III. Now, with the a7R IV, Sony is refining already excellent cameras. Offering more megapixels than any other full frame camera and an AF system that rivals flagship DSLRS that cost twice the price. This is now the camera to beat by most metrics.

Headline features:

  • 61MP (the a7R III is 42MP) & the highest resolution of any full frame camera!

  • 10 fps

  • ISO 100-32000

  • 567 phase-detect autofocus points that cover 74% of the frame

  • Real time Eye-AF

  • Upgraded Pixel shift with 16 image combo for 240MP photos (a7RIII pixel shift only combines 4 photos for increased detail, no increase in resolution)

  • 5.76 million dot UXGA (Ultra-XGA) OLED EVF

  • Updated ergonomics and weather sealing - EV comp dial now lockable!

  • Dual UHS-II SD Card slots (a7R III has one USH-II and one USH-I)

  • 4k UHD Slog 2/3 and HDR

  • Real-time Eye AF for movie recording

  • Wireless Tethering with Imaging Edge, Fast USB-C Data Transfer and FTP upload

Available in September for $3498 - Preorders start at 10am ET, Thu Jul 18
Preorder from B&H Photo

I knew a Sony announcement was coming in mid July but I did not expect the a7R IV. The current a7R III stands on top of many lists as the best in its class and these improvements are impressive. As an owner of the a7R II and the a7R III I was very happy with the ergonomic improvements from version II to III as well as the speed and AF. The IV seems to further refine these improvements . I do hope they have addressed the slight lag when turning dials that is still present in the a7R III.

Lockable Exposure Compensation Dial

Lockable Exposure Compensation Dial

The EV comp dial is now lockable - a very welcome improvement as some photographers found it easily changed with no way to disable. The updated EVF with 5 million dots is going to present an incredibly detailed view of your subject. 61 MP and the APS-C mode provides 26MP. Wildlife photographers will find the amount of detail, even after heavily cropping, impressive. And again, as a Sony a7R III user - I can easily capture birds in flight with the current AF system. Now the AF system is described as being on par with the Sony a9 - a camera that beats all major flagship DSLRS. 15 stops of dynamic range sounds very similar to the a7R III which I find to be excellent. Video features seem similar with 4K HDR and SLOG options. APS-C video will still provide the cleanest output. The A7R IV does add eye-AF during video and enhanced subject tracking.

The upgraded Pixel Shift is interesting. In my a7R III you can combine 4 photos for increased detail and color accuracy. This provides images the same resolution as a single shot but with greater detail. You do need to be on a tripod and photographing a mostly static scene. The a7R IV will combine 16 images for greater detail AND greatly increased resolution - creating monster 240MP photos. Truthfully I have owned the A7R III since the day it was released and have only used Pixel Shift a handful of times. It’s limited in its usefulness.

Sony clearly wants to remain in the lead with the most full featured full frame cameras on the market and the Sony a7R IV looks to solidly improve on the a7R III, offering one of the best and most versatile full frame cameras on the market.

Should a7R III owners upgrade? It’s a little too early to say but on paper this camera looks to represent a noticeably upgrade in AF capabilities and resolution. If those factors greatly impact your shooting you should consider upgrading. Otherwise you should invest in a lens or two instead - Lenses retain their value and are excellent ways to grow your system. a7R II owners, should you upgrade? Yes! I jumped to the a7R III for the better battery life and ergonomics and going from the II to the IV is something I can fully support - the camera is improved in every way possible.

Photographers shooting with Canon, Nikon and everyone else - is this the time to switch? Honestly I thought the a7R III was more compelling than anything offered by Canon or Nikon and told many that they wouldn’t be disappointed switching and now the a7R IV certainly seems to take it to a higher level. And no, it’s not a perfect camera - I am sure as I dive into the full review I will find some drawbacks but overall I expect this to be a winner when matched against possible competitors.

Available in September for $3498 - Preorders start at 10am ET, Thu Jul 18
Preorder from B&H Photo

iPadOS Beta - Can the iPad replace a photographer's laptop for travel?

I was curious - with the new features in ipadOS - is this the iPadPro the perfect machine for photographers and videographers looking to travel light, easily backup AND edit photos and video on the go? And just how well does that new Sidecar feature work? Is Wacom Tablets going to be out of business soon. Well I loaded the beta of IpadOS on here and it’s pretty sweet - so let’s take a look.

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My iPad of choice -

Take Epic Hands-Free Fireworks Photos

With the American Independence day holiday right around the corner I thought it would be timely to have a quick how-to post on shooting fireworks. In the first part of this video I share basic fireworks tips and tricks for getting great shots.  

  1. You must have a tripod or something to hold the camera steady or a few seconds. I love the Leofoto Tripod

  2. Use manual mode on your camera - Shutter speeds between 2 and 8 seconds, Aperture f/5.6-8.0, ISO 100-200 if you have a P&S camera use the fireworks scene setting (still need a tripod)

  3. Use a remote release device to trigger your camera- I recommend Intervalometer with multiple connections:

  4. Be ready! Some of your best opportunities happen early on, as the smoke builds your shots may get hazy unless you have a breeze removing the smoke. So I suggest you start to setup before it gets dark, frame your composition and take a few test shots - use trees or light poles near the fireworks launch spot to focus on - review the photos watching for stray objects or horizon lines that might distract from the fireworks. If you end up setting up in the dark, use the following tips - set your ISO to MAX and your shutter speed long enough to get a well lit photo, we don't care if it is grainy, we just want to get quick feedback on focus and composition. Once you have those set then use the suggested settings in step 2 for the actual fireworks shots.

  5. Try to time your shots to start just as the rockets head up, longer shutter speeds are going to capture more of the action

  6. Experiment but don't forget to enjoy the show some too

  7. Finally, watch out for the Grand Finale - shorten the shutter speed during that fireworks-heavy period or you will end up with an overexposed image.

Related - Long Exposure Sparklers Photos / Light Painting

BEST $500 Camera - DSLR vs Mirrorless vs SuperZoom in 2019

The Best $500 Camera in 2019

Table of Contents
DSLRS - Nikon D5300 vs Canon T6 01:30
Why buy a DSLR 02:15
Mirrorless Cameras - Canon M100 vs Panasonic G7 8:20
Point & Shoot Canon SX70HS vs Fuji XF10 21:25
Conclusions 33:18

Purchase Cameras from B&H Photo and support our work.

Fuji XF10:
Nikon D3500:
Canon PS SX70HS:
Panasonic Lumix G7:
Canon EOS M100:
Canon Rebel T6:

Sony a9 Firmware Version 5.0 Released

SCROLL DOWN FOR HANDS-ON VIDEO Sony a9 Gains Powerful New Autofocus Capabilities and More Through Software Version 5.0 Update
Sony’s industry-leading a9 camera has received a significant software update that brings AI-driven autofocus capabilities to its award-winning autofocus (AF) system, improves image quality, and introduces a range of customer-requested workflow improvements. Autofocus advanced firmware version 5.0 for the Sony a9 adds Sony’s newly-developed, AI-driven Real-time Tracking mode for precise and robust subject tracking. Real-time Tracking uses Sony’s latest AF algorithm—which includes Artificial Intelligence-based object recognition—to detect and follow subjects with unprecedented accuracy. Real-time Tracking AF works in conjunction with Real-time Eye AF, also added with Firmware version 5.0. The latest iteration of Sony’s best-in-class Eye AF technology, Real-time Eye AF also uses AI-based object recognition, resulting in an unprecedented level of speed and performance for locking on and holding focus on a subject’s eyes. Additionally, with Real-time Eye AF, users can now activate eye detection via a half-press of the shutter release, and can enjoy focus tracking accuracy even if a subject’s eyes are temporarily obscured during shooting. Also added with firmware 5.0 is Fast Hybrid AF for video, which now provides smoother, more accurate focus during video shooting, even if/when objects move in front of the subject.
Image Quality
Firmware version 5.0 offers notably improved image processing, which maximizes the capabilities of the full-frame sensor. The camera now more accurately reproduces subtle changes in light for smoother, more natural tonal gradations and improved auto white balance results.
Improved Usability And Workflow
With Firmware version 5.0, the Sony a9 adds several customer-requested features:New My Dial menuRevised Custom Key menuImproved touchpad capability,Enhanced dual-card functionalityEnhanced tagging
Imaging Edge
Sony is also announcing the release of Imaging Edge™ mobile applications, plus updates to the ‘Remote,’ ‘Viewer’ and ‘Edit’ desktop applications that brings exciting new features to all Sony imaging customers. For professional photographers, Sony is also releasing a new mobile application ‘Transfer & Tagging add-on’ that supports instant delivery workflow by allowing users to transfer content to their mobile devices via the camera’s FTP background transfer functionality. It also enables voice input for text captioning to streamline overall workflow between photographers and other team members.

Sony a9 Fimware Page
Direct Download Links ILCE-9 Update file (for Windows)              
File name : Update_ILCEV500.exe

ILCE-9 Update file (for Mac)              
File name : Update_ILCE9V500.dmg

Sony 135mm F1.8 G Master

Sony Announces New Full-frame 135mm F1.8 GM; Prime Lens with Stunning Resolution and Bokeh, Excellent AF Performance

Press Headline Above - Press Release Below our Hands-on Video

Preorder Sony FE 135 f/1.8 GM from B&H Photo - $1,798.00

SAN DIEGO — Feb. 26, 2019 —Sony Electronics Inc today introduced a highly anticipated addition to their acclaimed G Master series of full-frame E-mount interchangeable lenses – a 135mm F1.8 full-frame,large-aperture telephoto prime lens (model SEL135F18GM).

Equipped with Sony’s most advanced optical technologies, the new lens is built to meet the extremely high standards of Sony’s G Master series. The new FE 135mm F1.8 GM offers exceptionally high resolution and exquisite bokeh, two qualities that are signature attributes of Sony’s flagship G Master brand.  The new lens combines rapid autofocus (AF) acquisition with a lightweight, portable design and a variety of professional functions, making it a versatile, high-performance tool for professional portrait photographers, wedding photographers, sports photographers and a wide variety of imaging enthusiasts.    

“Sony’s commitment to growing our lensline up remains stronger than ever,” said Neal Manowitz, vice president of imaging solutions at Sony Electronics.  “Our 31st native full-frame FE lens and 49th overall E-mount lens, the highly anticipated 135mm prime brings the acclaimed G Master quality to another popular focal length for both professionals and enthusiasts to enjoy. We will continue to drive market-leading innovation in all aspects of our imaging business, giving our customers the opportunity to capture and create like they never have before.”

Realizing consistently high resolution across the entire frame, even at F1.8, the FE 135mm F1.8GM boasts an innovative optical design that places XA (extreme aspherical) and Super ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass elements in the front group to effectively suppress all common telephoto lens aberrations. Additionally, the Super ED element plus one ED glass element are strategically positioned to compensate for axial chromatic aberration, minimize color fringing and maximize overall resolution, ensuring outstanding image quality. For impressive clarity, Sony’s unique Nano AR Coating is applied to reduce flare and ghosting that can occur when shooting backlit portraits.  

The new telephoto prime lens utilizes its XA element, refined with Sony’s latest bokeh simulation technologies during the design and manufacturing stages, to control spherical aberration and achieve exquisite bokeh. In addition, an 11-bladed circular aperture mechanism contributes towards achieving extremely natural and beautiful background defocus. The exciting new model also features dual-autofocus groups in a floating focus arrangement for improved close-up capability, allowing a minimum focus distance of just 0.7 meters and a maximum magnification of 0.25x.  

To ensure that this lens can keep up with fast-moving portrait or sports subjects, the FE 135mm F1.8 GM has been equipped with a total of four of Sony’s proprietary XD linear motors—two for each group—that achieve rapid, reliable and speedy AF tracking and performance. There is also a control algorithm that helps to maximize control response and ensure quiet, low-vibration AF. All of this exceptional performance is packaged in a compact, lightweight body weighing in at 33.6 oz.  

The FE 135mm F1.8 GM includes a number of professional controls that enhance ease of operation for both stills and movie shooting. These include an aperture ring that allows direct, intuitive aperture control and a focus ring that features Linear Response MF for fine, responsive manual focus control. There is also a focus range limiter switch,  two customizable focus hold buttons, and a focus-mode switch that makes it possible to quickly select auto or manual focus to match changing shooting conditions.

New Circular Polarizing Filters

In addition to the new FE 135mm F1.8 GM Lens, Sony has also announced a new lineup of Circular Polarizing Filters. The new filters, including models for lens diameters 49mm, 55mm, 62mm, 67mm, 72mm, 77mm and 82mm, preserve image quality and resolution about twice[i]as effectively as  Sony’s existing circular PL filter lineup, making them a perfect partner for Sony’s flagship G Master series lens. They also feature a ZEISS® T* Coating to minimize flare and a slim filter design to prevent image vignetting and maximize overall performance.  

Pricing and Availability

The FE 135mm F1.8 GM will ship in late April 2019 for approximately $1,900 US and $2,600 CA. The lens will be sold at a variety of Sony authorized dealers throughout North America.

The new circular polarizer filters will ship in May2019, with approximate pricing outlined below:

  • 49mm (model VF49CPAM2) - $100 US / $130 CA

  • 55mm (model VF55CPAM2) - $110 US / $150 CA

  • 62mm (model VF62CPAM2) - $140 US / $190 CA

  • 67mm (model VF67CPAM2) - $155 US / $200 CA

  • 72mm (model VF72CPAM2) - $165 US / $220 CA

  • 77mm (model VF77CPAM2) - $180 US / $240 CA

  • 82mm (model VF82CPAM2) - $230 US / $300 CA

Canon Announces the EOS RP

Screen-Shot-2019-02-13-at-9.01.06-PM-1-400x229.png New Full Frame Mirrorless at an Extremely Reasonable PriceCanon has just announced the EOS RP - the second camera in their new, full frame, mirrorless line.  Two impressive facts about this camera  - A new full frame camera being offered at $1299* and the body size and weight is smaller/less than the Canon Rebel DSLR line.*And that $1299 price includes EOS R adapter to fit EF lenses and a small colored grip too.Full Spec List

  • 26.2MP Full-Frame CMOS Sensor

  • 4K at 25fps at 120Mb/s 8-bit internal

  • DIGIC 8 Image Processor

  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF

  • 2.36m-Dot Electronic Viewfinder

  • 3" Vari-Angle Touchscreen LCD

  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Connectivity

I liked the Canon EOS R but felt that at $2399 it wasn't a great value - mostly an AF system that just wasn't as fast as I would like and beaten solidly by the Sony a7iii in AF performance and 4K video. But this RP at $1000 less in a smaller lighter package becomes very compelling. The RP is still going to have the those Continuous AF issues and the crop when shooting 4k is annoying but again, at this price point I can forgive those issues - no other full frame camera is offered at this price point.Canon EOS RP Mirrorless Digital Camera (Body Only) $1299- includes EOS R Adapter- Includes EG-E1 Extension GripCanon EOS RP with 24-105 RF $2199 (Excellent Value)- includes EOS R Adapter- Includes EG-E1 Extension Grip

View this post on Instagram

It’s official and I am impressed - The CANON EOS RP - A tiny full frame mirrorless camera from Canon. The headline here is the price (which includes an EF Adapter and colored grip) and the small lightweight size. Just $1299 for a new Full Frame Mirrorless Camera with Canon’s user friendly menu system and full articulated touch screen Just $2199 with the excellent 24-105 RF Lens - a great combination. Preorder now - Shipping near the end of the month. Learn more including my concerns at the link in my bio. Or visit #canon #EOSGear #CanonUSA #canongear #EOSR #ESORP

A post shared by Toby (@photorectoby) on Feb 13, 2019 at 9:44pm PST

We also have word that by the end of 2019 Canon will release 6 more RF lensesThe details of the new Canon RF lenses under development are as follows:The RF 85mm F1.2 L USM is a large aperture mid-telephoto prime lens. It offers excellent performance for advanced and professional portrait photographers and is a widely popular focal length and aperture speed combination for users.The RF 85mm F1.2 L USM DS, with Defocus Smoothing lens technology, is a uniquely designed lens that offers a combination of beautifully smooth defocused bokeh. Featuring a super-fast F1.2 aperture, the lens will help produce breathtaking portraits that will surely stand out from the crowd.The RF 24-70mm F2.8 L IS USM is a high-performance, standard zoom lens for professionals and photo enthusiasts alike – ideal for shooting portraits, landscapes, documentaries or weddings.The RF 15-35mm F2.8 L IS USM, offering a wide angle and fast aperture in a single package is ideal for a variety of shooting applications including architecture, interiors or landscapes.The RF 70-200mm F2.8 L IS USM is a must-have for any professional photographer, especially for those shooting weddings, sports or wildlife. This lens is a great all-around, high-speed, medium telephoto zoom lens and does well to round out any camera bag.The RF 24-240mm F4-6.3 IS USM is the ideal lens for amateurs and advanced amateurs who love to travel, no matter the destination. The versatile, all-purpose lens offers a range of focal lengths for capturing extraordinary shots in a form factor that is both compact and lightweight.

Your Best Photo of 2018

 Make sure you are a subscriber to be notified when the slideshow is posted.  Click to subscribe and be notified. I am collecting your ONE best/favorite photo from 2018 for the 5th annual slide show. Read ALL Directions and Disclaimers.Directions:

  • Search your library for your favorite image you captured in 2018.

  • 16:9 horizontal crop is preferred but not required. - This fits the video nicely but portrait or vertical orientation is acceptable.

  • You may watermark your image with a small watermark in the lower left or right corner.

  • Export as a JPEG - longest side at least 4,000 pixels - If it is not at least 4,000 pixels on a side it will NOT be included in the show.

  • Name the file your firstname_lastname and drop into the folder found at the link below. - If your image is not properly named it will not be used.

  • Submit by MIDNIGHT PST December 20th.

NOTE: iOS devices ignore your file name when you upload and all I get is a IMAGE.JPEG filename. IF THE FILE IS NOT PROPERLY NAMED your firstname_lastname I will not use.   Please upload from desktop or laptop to avoid this.Disclaimers:

  • By submitting your image here you authorize to share your image in a slideshow on Youtube. Your image will not be used for anything else without your express permission.

  • I will not return images - make sure you don't give me the ONLY one.

  • I am not responsible for copyright violations that occur on Youtube.

  • I cannot guarantee that I will use your image - many images will be submitted, some will not be selected

 >> Submit here >>


The slideshow for 2017

Cyber Monday Deals - 2018

B&H Deal ZoneNew Deals on B&H hourly

Just Updated the Sony Lens Savings Page


Slim, portable USB battery with unique magnet mount  - charge your phone or camera. Just $14.99. Great gift! Buy from B&H Photo.

The fun and very giftable FujiFilm Instax Camera with film pack included for the lowest price ever - just $59
DSLR photographers - Focal Pro is the easiest way to ensure ALL your lenses and bodies are correctly calibrated for maximum sharpness. Today's B&H Deal offers Focal Pro for just $89! See my video on this software.

Deals ending soon

Sony Alpha a9 Mirrorless Digital Camera Body and Flash KitThe fantastic Sony a9 $1000 off plus the excellent Godox flash unit & TWO SD Cards- The most powerful Sony mirrorless with 20fps, 4k video, and amazing battery life plus the excellent Godox flash provide a system capable of indoor and outdoor photography. Buy at B&H Photo

 Canon T6 - Solid starter DSLR for new photographers or photographers looking to upgrade from a P&S camera. Just $449 limited time provides a DSLR and TWO lenses plus a bag and SD card. Everything you need to get started. Buy at B&H Photo


Moment Lenses - Best Lenses for Smartphones

SD Card Deals

Two 128GB Lexar fast enough for 4K Just $99Two 64GB Cards for $49

Good Budget OptionFast enough for most use128GB for just $39!

Manufacturer Wide Deals

Canon Deals are live now and include significant savings on bodies and include accessories and bodies include 13 months of accidental damage protection. This is HUGE!See all current Canon Deals for Cyber Monday 2018

Sony has just dropped the price on several models and bundled with awesome accessories like a 5TB hard drive. The awesome Sony a9 is $1000 off with an instant rebate. No messing with mail in rebates - just instant savings!See all current Sony Deals for Cyber Monday 2018

Flashpoint Adorama Sale

Amazon is running Cyber Monday deals ALL WEEK! They have a photo/video category of deals that include popular cameras and lenses along with tons of little accessories - many junky but some useful. The list changes hourly - check back often.Amazon Camera/Photo Holiday Shopping DealsFollow me on Kit for more Camera Deals/Lens and Accessories.

Better than a new camera/lens...

Gear comes and goes but the experiences you gain during a trip/adventure truly last a lifetime!  This is your opportunity to get a discount on a future McKay Photography Tour. EXTREMELY LIMITED AVAILABILITY!

GREAT GIFT - GREAT DISCOUNT - GREAT IDEAfor the photographer in your life (which might be you!)

Plans for All Budget Levels

This holiday season invest in yourself. Make 2019 the year you grow as a photographer!  Photo Enthusiast Network is the BEST photography education community on this planet! Buy now to lock in the discounted rate of just 8/mo for access to hundreds of tutorial videos (new ones added each week), weekly articles and community access that will support you and answer the questions you need answered to improve your photography!

The Best Camera Bags/Backpacks

Our friends at Think Tank Photo just announced their Black Friday specials.  It will put its popular Airport Advantage Plus rolling camera bag on sale at 50% over Black Friday weekend. In addition, several of its most popular camera bags will be on sale at 40% starting on Black Friday and through December 2nd.  And don’t forget, by using my special Web link when ordering, you will receive a free gift and free shipping on top of the discounts!

The Airport Advantage Plus rolling camera bag is designed specifically for traveling photographers. By it complying with international carry-on size and weight requirements, you can keep your most valuable gear safe and near you when flying.On sale at 40% through December 2nd are Think Tank’s Spectral shoulder bags, UltraLight backpacks, Signature shoulder bags, Sidepath backpack, and Multi-Mount holsters. The UltraLight backpacks are the lightest weight photo backpacks on the market. The Signature shoulder series are designed for wedding and other event photographers who seek a more elegant and discreet shoulder bag.My Favorite pro filter system is just $124 which includes a high-quality circular polarizer filter. More about the Nisi System

50% OFF the FANTASTIC filter holder

My Favorite Travel Laptop

My Favorite widows travel laptop is getting a rare and brief discount. The Huawei 13.9" MateBook X Pro is available for just $1349! This is a fantastic machine with touch screen and internal specs that are perfect for photo editing. Highly recommend if you are looking for a portable and stylish machine that can handle your editing needs while traveling. Huawei 13.9" MateBook X Pro Multi-Touch Notebook

Sony Black Friday Deals Lowest Prices Ever on Some Models.

Canon Black Friday Deals Start NOW!

All the bodies and kits include  Free Canon Battery Grip + Free Accessories =  Total Value $119.65 AND free Canon Care Pak PLUS!  Canon Care Pak provides 13 months of accidental damage protection! 

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Kit SAVE $500 (Instant Rebate = lowest price since release)

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV EF 24-70 IS USM Kit SAVE $650 (Instant Rebate = lowest price since release)

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV EF 24-105L IS II USM Kit SAVE $700 (Instant Rebate = lowest price since release)

Canon EOS 6D Mark II Kit SAVE $500 (Instant Rebate = lowest price since release)

Canon EOS 6D Mark II EF 24–105 IS STM Kit  SAVE $700 (Instant Rebate = lowest price since release)

Canon EOS 6D Mark II EF 24–105 IS II USM Kit SAVE $700 (Instant Rebate = lowest price since release)

Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM SAVE $300 (Instant Rebate = lowest price since release) + 4TB Hard Drive!

Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM Lens SAVE $300 (Instant Rebate = lowest price since release) 

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Lens SAVE $300 (Instant Rebate = lowest price since release) + 4TB Hard Drive!

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Lens  SAVE $300 (Instant Rebate = lowest price since release) 

Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM Lens SAVE $130 (Instant Rebate = lowest price since release) 

Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens  SAVE $400 (Instant Rebate = lowest price since release) + 4TB Hard Drive!

Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens  SAVE $400 (Instant Rebate = lowest price since release) 

Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM Lens SAVE $200 (Instant Rebate = lowest price since release) 

Pixel 3 Review and Camera Review - Nightshot mode!!

Mobile Photography Gear:

I am an android user I bought into the pixel line because it offered one of the most affordable flagship phones with a fantastic camera. Now with the launch of the Pixel 3 do I still feel the same?

It wasn’t just the camera that appeals to me about the pixel line - as an Android user the pure Google experiences, the frequent updates, knowing that at least for the next year or so you will get a phone that stays current.

Now I have the pixel 3 XL - provided by google - I wasn’t actually planning on upgrading - my Pixel 2 was still good enough - or I should say almost good enough - My biggest issue was the screen brightness - outside for photos or as a screen when flying the drone - it was not as bright as I would like and as good as the camera is - I do wish it had a more manual friendly control -

Let’s talk about my favorite features of this phone and then spend a little time looking at the camera in detail.

The screen - this is a beautiful screen on the 3 - it’s vibrant, bright I enjoy using it outside in bright sunlight and it feels color accurate, not overly saturated.

The clean google experience. I can uninstall every app on this phone, there is no annoying skin on top of the Android experience 

Call Screening - this is so cool. I have a call, not sure who it is - hit the screen call button and the assistant picks up with a recorded message - the callers' message will then be transcribed in real time letting me decide if I want to answer it.

Battery Life - just good solid performance and the addition of wireless charging is nice. This brings the pixel 3 in line with other flagship phones. 

It's not all good…

I do worry about future-proofing. With just 4GB of RAM in the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL when most are now offering 6 or in the next year or so 8. But at this time this phone is very snappy and I see no issues.

I did have some speaker crackling in the first few days and that has settled down and as other reviewers have mentioned - at higher volumes the back of the phone vibrates but I don’t really use the speakers at that level so it hasn’t bothererd me.

I do seem to fight the portrait vs horizontal rotation more often than I want which is annoying and then sometimes it seems to need a smack to know I have set it back upright/

The camera is fantastic!

It’s just really good. Consistently excellent results with fantastic dynamic range. And that new Night shot mode that is coming is stunningly good. It’s some kind of voodoo magic good - THAT GOOD.


Pixel 3 on the left Sony a7RIII on the right!

Portrait mode where Google uses the algorithm to determine the subject and artificially blurs the background has noticeably improved and gives me good, consistent results. And even though this is called portrait mode you can use it on anything at all.


You can now easily switch the camera to capture RAW and what I found on the pixel 2 - Capturing RAW photos wasn't worth it - the dedicated image processor inside deals with noise and detail better than any post-processing software you can throw the image into but the RAWs from the Pixel 3 are a different story - these are RAWs that look great and respond well to editing.  But I still find that the JPEG processed by Google is fantastic and I rarely want to edit the images.

The camera continues to impress me the only areas it is lacking - close focusing is limited compared to some other flagship phones BUT if you use the super zoom feature you can get some stunning results. With any system, if you want awesome macro with this phone consider picking up the Moment lens macro.


Basic Controls - the camera app is clean and streamlined but I do wish you could switch to a more manual friendly control - I find that useful for focusing and playing with slightly longer exposures - the Huawei Mate 10 pro I reviewed earlier this year allows 30 second exposures, The Note 9 from Samsung allows 10 seconds in pro mode. The Pixel 3 is limited to 1/4 second and you have to use a 3rd party app it's not a deal breaker but having that control greatly improves the flexibility and versatility of this camera. Still - an all-around impressive camera at a price that I find a bit more reasonable than many of the competitors. If image quality is an important factor in your purchase of a phone - the Pixel 3 will make you happy.

Mobile Photography Gear

Sigma 14mm FE vs Venus Laowa 15mm f/2 Zero D - AF vs MF, $1600 vs $900

Two wide angles with similar field of view and max aperture but that is where the similarities end! The Sigma 14mm f/1.8 ART FE Wide Angle Lens vs the Venus Laowa 15mm Zero-D f/2.0 FE Lens with manual focus. Which wide angle is better for the Sony Alpha System (FE Mount Wide Angle Lens Battle)

Buy the Sigma 14mm f/1.8 ART $1598 [Buy from B&H Photo]

Buy the Venus Laowa 15mm f/2.0 Zero-D $849 [Buy from B&H Photo]


Access the RAW Files  from the Sigma and Venus Lenses

Additional Wide Angle Reviews

Wide Angles for Every Budget!

Sigma 14-24 f/2.8 ART

Instagram Challenge Top Picks – Nature & Reflection

Instagram ChallengeEvery week we put your skills to the test in the Instagram challenge. This is your chance to try something a bit different, maybe learn a new skill, or just get a bit of practice in shooting.

Two Challenges! #prtv_nature2 & #prtv_reflection3

A month worth of summer challenges with nature and reflections, nice job folks! We had some great pics this week but check out Toby's video for all the shots and learn a few tips. If you're up for a challenge it's up to you this time with a wildcard challenge, just tag those shots #PRTV_wildcard on Instagram.

Nature Top Pick:

Reflection Top Pick:

[embed][/embed]For more info on the Instagram Challenges, the schedule, and past top picks go check out Try out some of Toby's Instagram Tips. For everything else Instagram, tag those shots #PRTV and #penlive for our daily photo features.

Canon EOS R - Announced


The Canon EOS R  - Canon Reimagining the Future! Be the RevolutionStressing that you should ADD this to your kit. It is NOT replacing the current EOS system.

  • FULLY COMPATIBLE with CURRENT EF and EF-S lenses! No compromising when you use adapters. (my experience is a slight, very slight compromise)

    • Three adapters maintaining all current lens systems

      • Standard (small compact adapter)

      • Standard with customizable control ring (also found on the new RF mount lenses) - Control ring can be assigned a variety of functions from ISO to Exposure Compensation

      • Adapter with drop-in CPL or ND filter lens. This lets you use small rear filters with ANY lens.

      • Same diameter lens mounts with a decreased distance to the sensor.

      • Decreased distance means the front element can be smaller and more compact.

      • Enhanced overall optical performance. Easier to offer f/1.2 lenses

      • 12 electronics contacts offer the fastest communication of any Canon mount system and enhanced IS in future

New Multifunction slide control - Customizable with swipe and left or right tap actions. After using this feature for a few days I am not a fan. Learn more in this video.Very customizable in general - even the mode dial can be assigned a different function and customizability extend to different functions for buttons when you are in photo andvideo modes.New Flexible Priority(FV) AE mode - A slightly more automatic manual mode - You choose what to adjust and rest of settings will follow suit. A faster way to switch which setting you want.That fully articulating touchscreen experience that so many love that Canon provides very well. The touchscreen can also function as a touchpad (when you are using the EVF)EVF is big, bright and beautiful. Good display of info inside that is customizable with the level of info.Low light focusing capable to -6 EV with a f/1.2 lens VERY IMPRESSIVE. Also offers Eye AF or Face detect but I found Eye AF to be finicky and Eye AF does not work in Continuous AF mode.The BadOne Card Slot (this make the camera less exciting for many professionals)Eye AF does not work but face detection works very well.AF is good but not fast and burst rate with continuous AF falls to just 3 fps.No built-in intervalometer but there is time-lapse movie mode.Strength - Canon shooter with existing lenses looking for the future of the Canon system - this is a solid start. I think we will see a more pro level version within the next year if not sooner.The Canon EOS R full-frame mirrorless camera is scheduled to be available in October 2018 for an estimated retail price of $2299  for the body only. It will also be sold as a body-and-lens kit with the new RF 24-105mm F4 L IS USM lens for $3399.SPECS - 

  • MP: 30MP Full Frame CMOS sensor and DIGIC 8

  • File Format: JPEG, RAW (14 bit), C-RAW w/ Dual pixel RAW support

  • EVF: OLED 0.71x Magnification

  • Low Light Focusing: EV –6

  • AF - Dual Pixel CMOS AF wurg 565 manually selectable AF points

  • ISO sensitivity: 100 to 40000 (extended ISO: 50, 51200, 102400)

  • Shutter speed: 1/8000 to 30 seconds (Bulb)

  • Flash Sync: 1/200 second

  • Continuous shooting performance: 8 fps w/ servo AF 5 fps

  • Video: 4K at 30p, 1080p FullHD at 60p, 720p at 120p Canon Log and 10bit 4:2:2 HDMI output

  • LCD Screen: 3.15" 3.69M dots full touchscreen

  • Recording Media: 1 SD / SDHC / SDXC card slot

  • Battery: LP-E6N / LP-E6 battery ~ 450 shots per charge - USB charging inside the camera with LP-E6N

  • Advanced Control (swipe bar)

  • Advanced Durability

  • Size: 135.8 x 98.3 x 84.4 mm

  • Weight: 660 g (including battery / memory card) · 580 g (body only)

Availability and Pricing

The Canon EOS R full-frame mirrorless camera is scheduled to be available in October 2018 for an estimated retail price of $2299  for the body only. It will also be sold as a body-and-lens kit with the new RF 24-105mm F4 L IS USM lens for $3399.

Four new R-mount lenses

  • RF 24-105 f/4 Canon Nano USM focus motor (evolution)

  • RF 28-70 f/2 Zoom (world's first zoom lens at f/2 for full frame) Expected to be sharper //Revolution than most primes

  • RF 50mm f/1.2 L

  • RF 35mm f/1.8 IS Macro - Street shooting and 1/2 macro size lens

Rokinon 35mm f/2.8 on SALE & SmallRig L-Bracket is Great!

B&H Photo has the tiny and affordable 35mm f/2.8 lens for Sony FE mount on sale TODAY for just $249. This is an autofocus lens that is fun to throw on your Sony - it makes your mirrorless camera so small and light AND it is sharp! I was blown away by how sharp this lens is, even wide open. At $249 it is must buy! Buy from B&H Photo - $100 OFF TODAY ONLYSample Photos Rokinon 35mm f/2.8[gallery columns="5" ids="18835,18836,18837,18838,18839"]

SmallRig L-Bracket for Sony A7III/A7M3/A7RIII/A9

I have also been testing the SmallRig L-Bracket system for my Sony a7RIII for a few months and I love thisL_Bracket. It provides a small amount of additional grip, making the camera more comfortable and the Arca Swiss bottom and side plate make tripod mounting easy. The side plate is adjustable or you can remove it completely.The included hex wrench is magnetically attached to the bottom making sure it is always available. I am used to high-quality L brackets costing several hundred dollars. This SmallRig bracket is just $47!!  It attaches through the tripod socket and sits very securely at the base of your camera. Remember the weakest point in weather sealing on the Sony cameras is the bottom, attaching the SmallRig L-Bracket raises the camera off whatever surface you place it on, add additional protection. I no longer worry about where I am setting my camera down.Learn More at SmallRig