Sony 18-135 f/3.5-5.6 OSS Zoom for a6000, a6300, a6500 Cameras

E 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 OSSSony has announced the latest addition to the rapidly-growing E-mount lens lineup. The 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 gives an equivalent 27-202.5mm range when mounted on the α6500, α6300 and α6000 cameras and provides Optical SteadyShot (OSS) stabilization.Holy crap it's been over FOUR years since Sony has released an E-mount lens?!  Looking back I can't find anything from Sony for their crop sensor line since the 16-70 f/4 Announced Aug 27, 2013. Third party manufacturers like Sigma have filled in some of the gaps but it is clear that filling out the FE mount line(for the full frame a7/a9 series cameras) was a priority. Now we should see a few more e mount lenses for their crop sensor line - the a6000/6300/6500. Sony needs more affordable lenses in this category to compete with Canon.Sony E 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 OSSBased on the quality of recently released lenses I expect this to be a good lens and a strong value, especially for the traveler looking to take just one lens.  The compact lens weighs just 325 g (0.72 lb)The new E 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 OSS APS-C Zoom Lens will ship in February 2018 and will be sold for about $600 US and $780 CA

Shipping February 15th - Preorder from B&H Photo Today! 


Mount: Sony E-mountFormat: APS-CFocal Length (mm): 18-13535mm Equivalent Focal Length (APS-C): 27-202.5Lens Groups / Elements: 12–16Angle of View (APS-C): 76°-12°2Maximum Aperture (F): 3.5-5.6Minimum Aperture (F): 22-36Aperture Blades: 7Circular Aperture: YesMinimum Focus Distance: 1.48 Ft (0.45 M)Maximum Magnification Ratio (X): 0 29Filter Diameter (mm): 55Image Stabilization (Steadyshot): Optical SteadyshotZoom System: ManualHood Type: Petal Shape, Bayonet TypeDimensions (Diameter X Length): 67.2 X 88 mm (2-3/4 X 3-1/2 ")Weight: 11.5 Oz (325 G)
 Sample Images

Nikon D500 Review

D500 - The briefest review! I often like to do I will give you the summary of my review up front. This is now the king of APS-C cameras. There is NOTHING better- but does that mean it is the best camera for you?  Let’s discuss what I love and what I less than love about the D500.  But before we do let's mention the previous champ of APS-C - the Canon 7D Mark II. The 7DM2 was the king in this class and I loved the AF peroformance and ergonmics but even when it was released I was frustrated with lack of articulating touchscreen and wifi, I feel like Nikon looked at what was missing there and said here you go - oh and we have stuck an excellent sensor in there with files that while not noise free are certainly clean enough to deliver to clients at 12,800The D500 Offers

  • No AA filter for noticeable sharper images vs Canon 7D Mark II
  • 10 FPS
  • The BEST AF system of any APS-C camera to date
    • FAST
    • Aaccuratelyy tracks moving subjects (in low light on the dance floor IT WORKS)
    • Excellent AF customization options
    • AF Point Coverage across the frame.   
    • The little thumb joystick for moving the AF point is perfectly placed
  • 4K UHD Video Recording at 30 fps
  • Rugged articulating touchscreen
  • Wifi with smart bluetooth NFC system that once set up automatically transfers the images

In the hand this is the nicest feeling Nikon camera I have ever held.  Typically I have found the grips to be a little too narrow on Nikon cameras and with the D500 they have rounded that out nicely.  And typical of most Nikon prosumers the physical control buttons are excellent with little need to spend time in the menu - which is good because although the camera has a touchscreen you can only use it to select focus in live view and navigate playback, it does not work for menu navigation.  If you consider that a downside the only other downside I can come up with is the focus in video -Nikon still does not off dual pixel AF system like canon so we very much have that womp womp effect while it searches for focus (demonstrated in the video above)  - if you don’t need autofocus while filming you can ignore this issue.  Overall the 4K video quality is VERY good. Now lots of people made a big deal about the 2x crop factor when shooting 4k  Just go buy a slightly wider lens and you will be fine. I think many people watching this video and reading this post will be trying to figure out if they should go with the Nikon D7200, The D500 or a full frame camera like the Nikon D750.    That full frame sensor on the D750 is still going to give you slightly better results in low light, The D7200s strength is saving you $1,000 and still providing an excellent all around camera capable of shooting sports and wildlife as well as being slightly more travel friendly.  As much as I love the D500 it is more camera than most of us need and you could put that $1000 toward a nice lens or TWO that will do more for your photography than buying the more expensive body UNLESS you Really that AF system for FAST subjects - FAST action sports, birds in flight or maybe you do want to record in 4K video too.  Benefit of the D7200 vs the D500/D750

  • Smaller and Lighter - almost 1/2 lb lighter than the D500.
  • Cheaper - Buy the Nikon D7200 from B&H Photo (Body only $1046)
  • Vs the D750 you only need DX lenses which are cheaper and lighter too.

Benefits of the D750 vs the D500/D7200

  • Full frame sensor better in low light - 24MP full frame vs 20MP crop in D500 and 24MP crop in D7200
  • Lighter than the D500
  • Offers articulating screen vs the Nikon D7200
  • That full frame look (do you hate me for saying this? )
  • The best value Full Frame camera on the market (regardless of manufacturer) Buy from B&H Photo (Body only $1996.95)

Benefits of the D500 vs the D750/D7200

  • The BEST AF speed, coverage and accuracy
  • 10 FPS vs 6ish in the D750/D7200
  • No AA filter for increased detail.
  • Rugged Articulating touchscreen
  • Pro body form and function with manual control for just about everything
  • Wifi with Snapbridge for easy auto transfer of your photos
  • Vs the D750 you only need DX lenses which are cheaper and lighter too and you have additional "reach" because of the crop factor.
  • Buy the Nikon D500 from B&H Photo (body only $1996.95)

For me - If you are a general photographer including travel get the D7200.  If you want better quality in low light get the D750 and if you are photographing action, FAST action the D500 makes the most sense.  Or if you want 4K video with Nikon.I want to know which of the three you would pick and why? And what feature of the D500 is your favorite. Leave a comment below. I will be collecting the best to share in a future video.  Support our work - Buy the Nikon D500: the Nikon D7200: the Nikon D750:

Sigma 50-100 f/1.8 and 30mm f/1.4 DC

We have Sigma's press release below - The 50-100 f/1.8 at $1099 is an interesting lens, certainly one of the more expensive APS-C lenses but still way below the cost of something like the 70-200 f/2.8 and likely providing better performance on an APS-C camera.   The 30mm f/1.4 looks really nice for micro 4/3 as a portrait lens - you have roughly a 2x crop with micro 4/3 which makes this a fast 60mm lens for just $339! Sigma Expands Its Global Vision Lens Line With Two New High-Performance Lenses:50-100mm F1.8 DC HSM Art and 30mm F1.4 DC DN Contemporary50-100mm is first constant aperture F1.8 telephoto zoom; 30mm represents first affordable F1.4 high-performance lens for mirrorless camerasKANAGAWA, JAPAN  February 23, 2016 Sigma Corporation of America, a leading DSLR lens, camera, flash and accessories manufacturer, today announced the addition of two high-performance APS-C format lenses to the Sigma Global Vision product line: Sigma 50-100mm F1.8 DC HSM Art Lens and the Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC DN Contemporary Lens.“Sigma’s aim is to provide high-performance lens options that lead with innovation and break new boundaries for every photographic scenario our customers can dream up,” states Mark Amir-Hamzeh, president of Sigma Corporation of America. “These new lenses build on Global Vision’s great IQ technology and reflect this goal, delivering immense value, quality and performance that the Sigma brand is known for.”Sigma 50-100mm F1.8 DC HSM ArtBuilding on the groundbreaking Sigma Global Vision 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM Art Lens, the new Sigma 50-100 F1.8 (75-150mm on 35mm format) mid-range zoom lens embodies the same engineering prowess to deliver outstanding prime lens-like results. Factoring in the APS-C image circle of 1.5x, the 50-100mm F1.8 covers three popular short tele prime focal lengths: 85mm, 105mm and 135mm. Like the 18-35mm F1.8, the new 50-100mm F1.8 maintains a constant F1.8 aperture yielding exceptional brightness and resolution throughout the zoom, while simultaneously maintaining focus as the lens is zoomed, a feature videographers will greatly appreciate.Sigma 50-100 f/1.8Sigma Art Line Image Technology Innovation

  • Features three FLD (F Low Dispersion) glass elements, one SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass element, and one high-refractive index, high-dispersion glass element to minimize aberrations.
  • Redesigned and enhanced, the new Hyper Sonic Motor is 30% slimmer and provides fast and accurate AF.
  • Highly durable polycarbonate diaphragm made with fluorine; blades feature carbon feather film offering exceptionally smooth operation even during continuous shooting.

Outstanding Zoom Lens Maneuverability

  • Inner focusing and zoom design offer versatile shooting options
  • Tripod socket for stable, comfortable operation
  • Features 21 elements / 15 groups, Minimum Aperture: F16, 82mm filter thread, Minimum Focus Distance: 37.4in, Dimensions: 3.7x6.7, Weight: 52.6oz

The new Sigma 50-100mm F1.8 Art will be available in Canon, Nikon and Sigma mounts. For more information, please visit 30mm F1.4 DC DN ContemporaryCombining outstanding optical performance and compact design, the new affordable Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC DN Contemporary Lens brings immense value to mirrorless cameras. Boasting superior image quality with F1.4 brightness, the versatile lens covers a wide range of photo and video capture scenarios, delighting users with its beautiful bokeh effects.Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DCContemporary Line Performance and Value

  • Represents first affordable F1.4 performance lens for the mirrorless market
  • Sigma engineered quality within a sleek compact design
  • Fast, smooth AF stepping motor designed to support video
  • Features one aspherical element and one double-sided aspherical element producing imaging quality comparable to the Art line.
  • Features 9 elements / 7 groups, Minimum Aperture: F16, 52mm filter thread, Minimum Focus Distance: 11.8in, Weight: 9.3oz, Dimensions: 2.6x2.9in.

The new Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC DN Contemporary Lens will be available in Sony E-Mount and Micro Four Thirds mount. For more information, please visit Global Vision lenses including the new 50-100mm F1.8 DC Art and 30mm F1.4 Contemporary lenses can be updated with the latest lens software from a workstation or laptop using the Sigma Optimization Pro software and Sigma USB Dock (sold separately).

Pentax K-S2 and Updated 18-50 Announced

Ricoh has announced a new Pentax DSLR! The Pentax K-S2 is not the long rumored full frame but another in their line of excellent APS-C sized sensors and this one does NOT have the blinking lights in the grip we made fun of a few podcasts ago. Pentax K-S2Screenshot 2015-02-09 17.30.32Inside you have

  • 20MP APS-C sensor
  • Wi-Fi with NFC - a first in the Pentax K-series
  • 11-point SAFOX X AF module offering 9 cross-type points
  • In-body Shake Reduction
  • No AA Filter (offers AA simulation feature)


  • Fully articulated LCD
  • Weather sealed Construction
  • Dual dial control
  • Selfie button
  • No Blinking lights on the grip ;)

The Pentax K-S2 will be available in March for $799.95with smc Pentax-DA L 18-50mm F4-5.6 DC WR kit zoom.Pentax is also release an updated kit lens the PENTAX DA 18-50mm f/4.0-5.6 DC WR RE LensMouseover to see the 18-50 extended.[himage]Screenshot 2015-02-09 17.55.44Screenshot 2015-02-09 17.55.52[/himage]From the press release - The world’s smallest dustproof, weather-resistant digital SLR camera with a variable-angle LCD monitor, wireless LAN and NFC functions, available in multiple colours.My thoughts - Pentax continues to make excellent cameras that offer very good value, the downside is the tiny ecosystem of accessories and gear that may make your experience frustrating.Preorder K-S2 (body only) from B&H Photo VideoPreorder the new 18-50 f/4.0-5.6 DC WR RE Lens $296.95 from B&H Photo VideoPreorder K-S2 with 18-50 from B&H Photo VideoPreorder K-S2 with 18-50 and 50-200 from B&H Photo Video 

Tamron 16-300 vs Sigma 18-300

The longer title-

Sigma 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3 DC MACRO OS HSM Contemporary


Tamron 16-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD MACRO

These two APS-C lenses give you an equivalent range of 28mm to 480mm!!  A huge range and this I am calling this

The battle of convenience. Two Super Zoom lenses face off!

I am generally not a fan of do-it-all lenses. Lenses that cover this much range make sacrifices in quality  - sharpness, distortion, chromatic aberration but when I reviewed the newer Tamron 16-300 a few months ago I was pleasantly surprised by its performance - Yes it still has issues but held up quite well and I certainly do enjoy the convenience, especially when traveling or hiking, carrying just one lens that provides me with a huge range, decent macro capabilities and image stabilization for handheld video.  And then Sigma released an 18-300 and I have been asked repeatedly to compare these two lenses. Bottom line about these lenses in general- These lenses are for someone who is happy with the quality of the kit lenses that camera with their camera but wants more zoom and doesn't want to switch lenses.These lenses are not for someone who is going to shoot in low light or wants the sharpest image quality.   Personally I suggest you carry one of these do it all lenses and a small prime like the 24 or 35. This is a compromise to the carry-only-one-lens philosophy but gives you an excellent low light sharp lens option when you really need it and does it without adding much bulk and weight to your camera bag.Now let's get to answering the question which of these two lenses is better?I will give you the answer up front and tell you that 9 out of 10 times I would pick the Tamron over the Sigma despite the Sigma being marginally sharper at some focal lengths. Why? The Tamron has faster focusing, full time manual focus and weather sealed as well as a nicer focusing indicator and starting just a little wider. 

Lens Compare Point by Point

Build Quality & Features  - They are of similar construction with this tough plastic, from a distance you might think the Sigma is metal construction but it is the same basic material as the Tamron. Both feel well made, have a telescoping zoom and internal focusing which is nice when using circular polarizers. Filter size of the Tamron is 67mm. Sigma uses 72mm filter size. Both include a lens hood.   I will say that the AF/MF switch and IS(VC) switch on the Tamron is small and slippery.  Sigma's switches have just a little more height and are easier to operate BUT the Tamron offers full time manual focus, a really nice feature that lets you quickly dial in sharp focus and on a lens that covers this much range focusing can be slower and helping the camera get where you want or letting AF get close and you finish the job can make for a much less frustrating experience.   The stabilization of the Tamron seems just a little better - I saw this in slower shutter speed handholding and while shooting video - just a little smoother.Weight - Sigma weighs 1lb 5oz. Tamron weighs 1lb 4oz.Focusing Speed - Both offer the ultrasonic focusing system - HSM for Sigma and PZD for the Tamron I was at Longwood Gardens and they have a train display setup which made for a great test of focusing speeds and capabilities and using the Canon 7D Mark II in one shot and AI Servo the Tamron was able to keep focus on trains moving directly at me. Shooting the same train with the Sigma and some of the shots were out of focus it was just a little slower focusing. Focusing during video was a little smoother from the Tamron too.Macro Capabilities -They are identical, both can close focus to 15” with AF and roughly 6" if manually focusing. Both provide the same level of magnification. Sigma offers a screw on filter designed to increase magnification 2x. Sells for $50 from SigmaImage Quality - Sharpness - Sigma is sharper - only slightly but when viewing at 100% or more it is noticeable. However and it may be due to the sharpness chromatic aberration is much more present in the Sigma with lots of purple/magenta fringing.Sample Sigma Images
Original Video Review of the Tamron 16-300 Buy the Tamron 16-300 from B&HBuy the Sigma 18-300 from B&HBuy the Tamron 16-300 from AmazonBuy the Sigma 18-300 from Amazon

Canon 7D Mark II - Sensor Review

1523_75 mm1-80 sec at f - 8.0ISO 3200Roger Clark at ClarkVision ( has completed his review of the 7D Mark II and found the sensor to be the BEST low light Canon sensor on the market.A few lines from his conclusion-

The data shown here for the Canon 7D Mark II indicate that the camera is operating at near perfect levels for the sensor with lower apparent read noise and impressively low pattern noise compared to all other current Canon cameras tested and better than that in the 7D Mark I. This means that for high signals, noise is dominated by photon statistics. Sensitivity is improved 14% over the 7D Mark 1, and the sensitivity per square micron is the highest that I have measured for any Canon camera to date.The approximately 10x lower thermal dark current is a game changing factor, making this camera the top Canon camera for long exposure low light photography that I have tested. The superb autofocus system, comparable to Canon 1D series pro cameras with 65 autofocus points is another game changing innovation, as the camera is at a price point that is affordable to more people.

Read his full and extremely detailed review at This certainly inspires me to head out and take some long exposure shots - something I have not done with the 7D Mark II at this time. I can say the 7D Mark II is one of the nicest cameras I have held in hand - feels perfect and button layout and customization are wonderful.Buy your 7D Mark II from Amazon or B&H Photo Video (body only $1799)

Canon 7D Mark II vs 70D Which is right for you?

Screenshot-2014-11-11-12.08.19-400x260Canon 7D Mark II and the Canon 70D - Which is right for you?I share my early opinion on the Canon 7D Mark II and outline the differences and similarities between the 70D and the new 7D Mark II.Corrections: 70D does allow some AF adjustments under custom functions.Buy the 7D Mark II from B&H Buy from AmazonBuy the Canon 70D from B&H Buy from AmazonScreenshot 2014-11-11 12.07.42Add WiFI to your 7D Mark II via an Eye-Fi Card- Buy from Amazon | Buy from B&H Additional 7D Mark II Videos from Toby

Canon 70D Review vs Nikon D7100 Review

  Bottom Line: Both the Canon 70D and the Nikon D7100 are excellent and produce really impressive video and stills in low light, and at high ISOs. Focus through the viewfinder is fast on both cameras and it really comes down to the features you are looking for should help you determine which is best for you.

Strengths of the Nikon D7100:

  1. Well built with magnesium body, loads of buttons, customization of several buttons and dual card slots. The Canon 70D body is aluminum and polycarbonate. Both are weather sealed. The D7100 offers dedicated bracketing buttons too.
  2. Excellent low light high ISO capabilities - I was stunned by the low light performance of the D7100 - high ISO files are clean and the dynamic range is excellent and remains excellent even in lower light. I am listing this as a strength for the Nikon but in most cases the Canon is on par with the quality though when I do see a winner it is the Nikon. If we want to talk about live view focusing in low light the Canon does an excellent job. The Nikon still struggles with this. In viewfinder focusing the two seem equal to me. Nikon does offer the crop mode which fills the frame with focus points, certainly useful for faster action.
  3. Images and video are SHARP! Nikon ditched their anti-aliasing filter and the result is sharper video and images AND they still manage to control moire. Even when I try to get moire on the Nikon I can’t - on the Canon I can get it without even trying. It is often avoidable but you are more likely to see it in Canon video.
  4. 100% viewfinder- When you look through the viewfinder you get exactly what you see and it is nice and bright. Canon’s at 98% is very slightly dimmer and not exactly what you see - Having that large bright viewfinder is very useful in lower light situations, really helps you see what you are photographing and checking focus.
  5. Retouch menu and extra scenes/effects. The D7100 offers a slew of scenes, some of those scene modes that work in video and a robust retouch menu. Now professionals are not likely to be excited by these scenes and the retouch menu but the options are there and they can be fun even if some scene/effects are gimmicky (selective color I am looking at you) - I will also throw in here the dedicated bracketing button that Nikon adds in, nice for serious HDR work.
  6. Wireless is a $60 add on and is limited to phone/tablet devices but you can send full resolution files through the air. Canon’s wifi is built in with greater features- including connecting to your computer but you are limited to 1920 x 1080 sized JPEGS that you can send across to your phone or tablet.
  7. Uncompressed HDMI Out - this is a professional level feature that allows you to connect an external monitor or HD for recording video straight to a drive.

Strengths of the Canon 70D:

  1. The headline feature of the 70D is that lovely live view and video focus - fast, smooth and almost always on target. In the past with a few exceptions live view focusing on DSLRs has been slow, painfully slow and plagued by a hunting for focus, especially in lower light. The updated sensor technology of the 70D fixes these issues. I find myself using live view whenever it is convenient. The 70D locks onto focus smoothly with any lens and gives you have camcorder like focus while still maintaining the beautiful shallow depth of field and low light capabilities that make DSLR video great. Add an STM lens and focus is silent, perfect for the parent who wants excellent video of their child.
  2. That live view focus is great and having it on an articulated screen is wonderful.  lift it up, lower it, face it toward you for talking head videos - it just works very well.
  3. So i just went on and on about the wonderful live view focusing, couple that with the articulated screen and the fact that the articulated screen is an excellent touchscreen and the 70D is FUN to use - nothing feels like a chore. Touch to focus is useful and if you are doing video work, being able to touch softly to make changes is appreciated and flip the screen around if you are recording yourself for talking head videos like the ones on my Youtube Channel and you can still make changes to settings on the camera - though you cannot start and stop video from the touchscreen.
  4. Ergonomics and one handed operation - If you don’t want to use the touchscreen the manual controls on the 70D camera are sweet and with just a finger you push button, rotate a wheel and your settings is changed. Nikon is more two handed in those actions with many buttons left of the screen that needs a push.  Not a big difference and some people  prefer the feel of the Nikon.
  5. Burst mode and buffer, the burst mode on this camera at 7fps is serious and the buffer is large enough that you can keep shooting at that high speed long enough to capture your moment. D7100 shoots at 6fps and the buffer fills up in just a second. You can enable crop mode on D7100 which gives you better results but still not great especially if you are using those dual card slots - if faster action is your subject matter the 70D offers the burst mode that you need.
  6. Wifi built in with greater options for sharing vs D7100 - Built in Wifi gives you some nifty options for downloading images on the go or direct to your computer(buggy software) or uploading to web services - I am frustrated that you are limited to only transferring 1920 x 1080 sized files and you can't start and stop video.

Longer Bottom Line: Both of these cameras have lots to offer and it really depends on your needs that should determine which is a better camera for you. Parents that want an excellent device to photo and video their children - the 70D really feels like the perfect blend of power and usability, especially paired with the 18-135 STM that will give you silent autofocus. Indie film makers I would think the Nikon with gorgeous low light video and uncompressed HDMI would be what you want. Wedding/event videographers - It can go either way, most professionals I know of and talk to don’t use and are not interested in auto focus during video but I know that there is a group out there very interested in this camera and there are the semi-pros that are interested in easy autofocus while filming and the 70D provides that.  That is just a few use cases. . . Want my opinion on which is best for you?  Leave a comment below and make sure you tell me what you will be photographing or taking video of.  And anything else you think would be helpful for me to know.