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Best External Hard Drive For Photographers

Best External Hard Drive For Photographers

Best External Hard Drive For Photographers

Top 5 External Hard Drive For Photographers

Have you filled your computer’s hard drive up to the maximum? Are your photos hogging all the space on your computer? Are you looking for a secure and portable storage device that you can use without an internet connection?

If you answered these questions with a yes, then you probably need to get an external hard drive.

Here’s my short list of your 5 best external hard drive for photographers:

What is an external hard drive/Why do you need an external hard drive?

It doesn’t take long for photographers to realize that an internal hard drive only has so much storage space.

It’s so easy to suck up your computer’s internal storage space in hardly any time, especially if you shoot in RAW. My computer came with more than 200 GB of storage space, and it only took me one week in Peru to use it all up.

It’s absolutely essential for photographers to own at least one external hard drive. Otherwise, your computer will slow down and you will be forced to manage your space by deleting your images, important applications, documents, music and emails.

Furthermore, if something happens to your computer, you will lose all of your files. This can all be prevented by purchasing an external hard drive.

What are the advantages of using external hard drives?

The technology behind external hard drives has been progressing for more than half a decade, and their benefits are ever-expanding to make the user experience faster and more convenient.

More storage space:

Today, external hard drives have more space than ever before — they are available with more than four terabytes of space. That’s 4,000 gigabytes, enough space for approximately 140,000 RAW images.

High speed:

Transferring your files from your computer’s hard drive to your external one has never been a faster process than it is now. Most hard drives work at a speed between 5400 and 7200 RPM (revolutions per minute). While it normally takes upwards of five minutes to upload a RAW file onto a cloud service, the transfer of the same image to an external hard drive is a matter of milliseconds.

Portability:

 If you’re worried about lugging around an external hard drive with you as you travel, don’t be. Since the rise of the consumer-friendly external hard drive, developers have been working hard to keep them compact while increasing their functional performance. You have several compact options to choose from. All you need is a computer to connect it to!

Easy to use:

 Just connect it to your computer using a USB or firewire, and your computer will recognize it as extra storage space. Just drag your files over to it, and you’re good as gold. It’s literally that simple.

Price:

 With just a single payment, you can have terabytes of space at your finger tips. The cost of a fast hard drive with a few terabytes of space is often cheaper than a year’s membership to a cloud storage service.

How to choose the right one

For your computer:

Before you buy a hard drive, make sure it will be compatible with your computer. Some types of hard drives are only compatible with a Mac, others only work with PC computers. Luckily, many types of hard drives are compatible with both systems.

Portability:

 How much will you need to carry your hard drive around? If you’re planning to keep it in one place, it may be worth buying a desktop hard drive. On the other hand, if you’ll be traveling with it, the smaller the better. Either way, I recommend having at least one portable external hard drive.

Connectivity:

Make sure to pay attention to the type of connectivity your external hard drive uses, and make sure that it’s compatible with your computer. The connectivity of your storage device will have an impact on its speed.

USB

The two most popular and universally compatible connectivity type is the USB and they still work extremely fast. USB 3.1 drives can transfer data at speeds of up to 10 Gbit/s (gigabits per second)

Thunderbolt

The fastest type of connectivity on the market today is Thunderbolt, which works at either 10GBit/s, or 20GBit/s. However, Thunderbolt is relatively new and was developed for Mac computers, so the majority of old computers and computers with a PC operating system are unlikely to be compatible with Thunderbolt.

Wireless

You may also opt for a wireless connection, which is sort of like a hybrid external and cloud hard drive. However, these devices have a built in wireless unit, so you can turn it into a wifi hotspot. This type of connection allows you to stream the data you store on your hard drive via any of your devices, including tablets and smart phones. They are battery powered, and some of them even include an SD slot.

Durability:

A damaged hard drive is a useless hard drive. Most external hard drives are designed with some degree of shock and water resistance, but if you are concerned about potential damage you should definitely check the specs and play on the safe side to prevent future heartbreak.

RAW capacity:

If you shoot in RAW, make sure you pick a hard drive that will accept this type of file. Luckily, most external hard drives are compatible with RAW files.

What about cloud storage?

Indeed, we live in the 21st century and sending files up to the clouds is a popular and reliable way to store your data. I won’t try to talk you down from the cloud, but there are several reasons for you to consider using external hard drives in addition to cloud storage. We have covered Cloud Storage Service in depth here.

External hard drives do not require an internet connection, so you can use them anywhere so long as you have a device to connect them to.

Furthermore, most cloud storage services are paid for on a monthly basis, while you just have to pay once for an external hard drive. External hard drives end up being way cheaper, and it’s impossible for hackers to access them.

What are the downsides to using an external hard drive?

I strongly recommend buying more than one hard drive. Otherwise, your data will not be safer than it is when stored on your internal hard drive.

Extra weight:

External hard drive will add weight to your load and take up extra space in your bag. I find the latter more difficult to deal with than the weight factor because my hard drives are not very heavy, but they do take up space.

Potential damage/loss:

Of course, you do run the risk of getting them wet, lost, stolen or smashed when you carry them on your person. You have to be careful and treat your hard drives with respect!

Technology always improves:

This shouldn’t present too much of an issue, but remember that the hard drives that are available on the market today may be considered rudimentary tomorrow. If you like staying up to date with new technological frills, keep this in mind.

External Hard DrivesReviewed

Western Digital 1TB USB 3.0 My Passport Portable External Hard Drive

PROS

  • Affordable
  • Practical
  • Portable / Compact
  • Password Protection for Windows
  • Several Colour Options

CONS

  • Mac users at a disadvantage

Western Digital has been producing reliable technological devices since 1970, and this version of their My Passport product was developed in 2016, so it’s relatively new on the scene. It is available with a minimum storage capacity of 1TB and maximum 4TB.

This external hard drive is highly portable. At 8.6 ounces, the physical size of the My Passport is smaller and lighter than most other external hard drives on the market, making it ideal for photographers who like to travel, want to shed a few ounces of their load and don’t want to pay for any superfluous frills.

The My Passport includes some highly useful software, including file recovery software, password protection, hardware encryption and automatic backup settings.

It is compatible with both Mac and Windows, but because runs on the NT file system, Windows users definitely get more privileges with this device.

Mac users must reformat the card in order to use it with their computer, but that’s easy. The main disadvantage Mac users face is that they don’t get access to the included password protection software, hardware encryption or file recovery softwares. However, Mac users can use their computer’s Time Machine service to set up automatic backups.

This external hard drive comes with all the necessary accessories to connect it to your computer using USB 3.0, or USB 2.0 and is available in almost every color of the rainbow (no purple), so you can get more than one without getting them muddled up.

LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 2TB Portable Hard Drive

PROS

  • Water resistant
  • Shock proof
  • Bus powered

CONS

  • A bit bulky
  • Pricy

This may not be the cheapest hard drive, but, thanks to its Thunderbolt compatibility, it’s one of the fastest options out there with a performance speed of up to 122 MB/s, and you can take advantage of this speed regardless of whether you’re a Mac user or PC user.

If your computer doesn’t have a slot for Thunderbolt cables, you need not worry because this product includes a USB cable, which also serves as the hard drive’s power source once it’s plugged into a computer.

As its name suggests, the LaCie Rugged Hard Drive can endure quite a bit of rough and tumble and be totally fine. This LaCie product comes with a bright orange removable silicone sleeve that adds to its already high-end durability by providing a bumper that protects the device from falls of up to two meters.

This rugged device is rain and dust resistant, thanks to its unattractively neon bumper sleeve. I must say, the sleeve does add quite a bit of bulk, and it would be nice if this product was available in colors other than neon orange, but safety comes first, if you ask me!

Although it’s a bit bulky, the LaCie Rugged Portable Hard Drive’s solid consistency makes it feel compact. It’s so solid that a car weighing a ton can drive over it without damaging it. Phew! Personally, I’m not bothered by the weight of a hard drive as long as I’m confident it won’t get damaged, and I’m pretty confident.

It’s available with as little as 250GB of storage, and as much as 5TB if you’re willing to pay a bit extra. As a testament to its durability, LaCie will include a 3-year limited warranty with your purchase.

WD 3TB My Passport Wireless Pro Portable External Hard Drive - WiFi USB 3.0

PROS

  • Built-in wifi allows you to wirelessly access files
  • SD Slot
  • Super easy accessibility
  • Serves as powerbank

CONS

  • Relatively heavy
  • Battery operated
  • A bit pricy
  • User must tweak security settings to ensure privacy

Weighing in at one pound, the WD 3TB My Passport wireless external hard drive’s built in WiFi is what really makes this device so portable.

It is compatible with both Mac and PC and offers 3TB of storage that you can access from any device without worrying about cables.

However, this product doesn’t solely depend on its internal WiFi function to get the job done.

The My Passport Wireless Pro has an SD card reading slot so you can swiftly transfer your RAW, JPEG and HD video files without using a computer as a middleman. In a way, this removes the need for high capacity SD cards.

If you prefer to use a cable to transfer your files, this hard drive comes with a USB 3.0 cable, which you can also use to transfer data directly from your DSLR.

If you do decide to access your files wirelessly, you have the option of setting up a WiFi hotspot from the My Passport, or you can connect it to an existing router connection. This hard drive has built in Plex software that facilitates wireless file transfers.

When you connect your computer to the hard drive, you get access to its web-based control panel that lets you know how much battery power and storage space you have left.

Keep in mind that you need to change your settings on the web-based control panel so that other people in your wireless network can’t access your files.

You can use the wireless function even when you’re editing your images in Lightroom or Photoshop. This is a great option for those who use several USB slots at the same time.

Since this is a wireless hard drive, it is battery operated. Its battery lasts for up to ten hours of continuous use, and the device also serves as a power bank so you can use it to charge any of your USB powered devices.

Toshiba Canvio Basics 2TB Portable External Hard Drive USB 3.0

PROS

  • Budget friendly
  • User friendly
  • Lightweight

CONS

  • Slightly flimsey
  • Not shock proof
  • Mac users must reformat

If you’re looking for a spacious yet practical hard drive, consider this basic 2TB option by Toshiba, which is also available in 1TB and 500GB models for lower prices.

This budget-friendly option by Toshiba fulfills all of its primary functions as an external hard drive with simple, frill-free and user-friendly design. Just plug it into your computer and you’ll have instant access to all your files.

There’s nothing complicated about this product; you don’t need to download any extra software, and it’s compatible with both Mac and PC. However, Mac users will have to reformat it before getting any use out of it. Reformatting won’t take much time, and you only have to do it once.

You can load your RAW files onto this hard drive quickly and easily using the speedy USB 3.0 cable that is included with the package. The read and write speeds are fairly average in relation to other basic external hard drives, at approximately 108MB/s each.

It weighs only 8.2 ounces, but is relatively bulky compared to other compact hard drives. This makes it feel a bit more flimsy than other types.

Luckily, includes an internal shock sensor as well as ramp loading technology that help protect your data and the device itself from damage. You also have the option of purchasing the device with a protective case to carry it around in, and you get a one-year standard warranty when you make the purchase.

Silicon Power 1TB Rugged Armor A30 Shockproof Standard Military Grade Portable External Hard Drive

PROS

  • Military-grade shock-proof
  • Mac and PC compatibility, no reformatting necessary
  • Reasonably priced
  • Solid

CONS

  • No water resistance
  • Relatively heavy

I was so happy when I learned about this option because I am on a budget and don’t have a history of being gentle with my hard drives. This is essentially the budget version of the LaCie Rugged Hard Drive.

If you’re looking for 1TB of reasonably priced, highly durable storage space then you should definitely consider this option.

It’s compatible with PC and Macs, but it doesn’t stop there — you can even share the hard drive’s contents between those two platforms. You also have the option of accessing SP Widget software to help you organize your files. This does not come with the hard drive, so you have to access it from the SP website.

This device has a very clever design, with clasp grooves around the perimeters that allow you to safely and securely clasp the USB 3.0 cable. I really appreciate this feature because it adds to the hard drive’s portability appeal and also protects the cable against damage. The hard drive’s USB 3.0 slot is safely guarded and unlikely to bend.

The perimeters of the Rugged Armor storage device are protected by a silicone casing and a suspension system that give this device ‘military-grade shockproof’ status, which means that it can survive drops of up to four feet. The hard drive’s facing is made up of non-slip hexagonal material.

I can tell you that I have subjected mine to quite a few bumps and bangs and haven’t experienced any issues in the two and a half years I’ve owned it. If something happens to it in the next six months, I’m still covered by the warranty.

Despite all the Rugged Armor A30’s rugged durability, it is not water resistant, so don’t get it wet!

This isn’t the lightest portable hard drive out there; it weighs 9.8 ounces and does have quite a bit of bulk to it. Personally, that’s a compromise I’m willing to take to protect my data.

Conclusion

The best external hard drive for photographers is one that is spacious, durable and easily accessible. Of course, a low price helps, but it’s always worth paying a few extra bucks for a device that will last you as near a lifetime as possible.

The Western Digital 3TB My Passport Wireless Pro Portable External Hard Drive is officially the external hard drive we recommend.

Its functions go above and beyond those of a basic external hard drive. I love that it can be used as a power bank, and I love that you can edit your photos in Lightroom and Photoshop from the hard drive without connecting it to a computer. The SD card slot is also a plus. This option is great for people who need to declutter their working space and USB slots.

With that said, I think it is also wise to consider the Rugged Armor A30, especially if you can’t afford a pricier option at the moment. Its durability and solid design provide great value for your money. 


Best External Hard Drive For Photographers

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sony a9 vs sony a7rii

Sony A9 vs Sony A7rii

sony a9 vs sony a7rii

Sony A9 vs Sony A7rii

Is worth the upgrade if you shoot landscape photography?

Now that the new Sony A9 is out, One of the questions most landscape photographers have is : is it worth upgrading if you have a Sony A7rii ?

For the last decade or so, Canon and Nikon have been competing for the top spot in the world of professional digital cameras.

Sony had spent a great deal of time trying to compete on their terms, but with the release of the A9, they have completely changed the rules of the game.

Thanks to the care and attention that Sony put into the A9's design, mirrorless cameras are finally starting to be seen as a worthy option for professional photographers.

Let's take a look through some of its most noteworthy features to understand if the Sony A9 can be a game changer for landscape photography too.

Sony A9 vs Sony A7RII Quick Comparison

Sony A9

Sony A7Rii

Sensor Size

35mm, 847.3mmq

35mm, 861.6mmq

Resolution

24 mp

42 mp

Burst Speed

20 fps

5 fps

Viewfinder Resolution

3.7 million dots

2.4 million dots

Autofocus Type

693-point Hybrid AF

399-point Hybrid AF

ISO Range

Mechanical Shutter:100-51200 (50-204,800 boosted)

Electronic Shutter: 100-25,600 (50-25,600 boosted)

100-25,600 (50-102400 boosted)

Lens Mount

E-mount

E-mount

Battery Life

480 shots (viewfinder)


650 shots (LCD screen)

290 shots (viewfinder)

340 shots (LCD screen)

Sony A9 Highlights

The A9 features a Sony-made Exmor full frame CMOS sensor with 24.2 megapixel resolution.

This chip is one of the most revolutionary features of the camera thanks to its unique stacked architecture.

Without getting too deep into the electronic design of it, the major benefit is that it allows data to be read from the sensor 20 times faster than previous designs.

This allows for a continuous shooting rate of an almost-unbelievable 20 frames per second in electronic shutter mode, even when shooting compressed RAW files.

This is completely unheard of for any camera, let alone a mirrorless camera. It also allows the camera's autofocus system to track subjects and update focus 60 times per second.

You will have noticed that we mentioned 'electronic shutter mode', because the A9 can actually select between mechanical and electronic shutters.

The mechanical shutter offers a wider ISO range of up to 204,800, while the electronic shutter can only reach 25,600. That being said, the electronic shutter is much faster and can also shoot in total silence - even at full speed.

In short, this camera is incredibly fast and capable. This makes it the perfect design to challenge Canon and Nikon for dominance in the action, sports and wildlife photography markets.

Unfortunately, that also means that most of the unique advantages it offers aren't going to be of much value to the landscape photographer, although it will still perform quite well at such tasks.

What You Need in a Landscape Camera

The things that a landscape photographer needs from their camera are a bit different from most other types of photography.

Autofocus tracking, burst shooting speed and rapid shutter speeds are all useful features, but they rarely play a big role in landscape photography.

We have this covered in depth in this post. Just to recap, here's what you prioritise instead:

Sensor Size

The larger the sensor size in your camera, the better your image quality will be.

Smaller sensors pack their pixels as close together as possible, and more processing must be done to correct errors in their photosensitive cells.

The more heavily processed the image is, the lower quality it usually is.

Full frame or medium format cameras will produce much higher quality images because they can space out their photocells further.

That being said, the advantage that you get from an extremely high resolution sensor like the one found in the A7RII outweighs the benefits from the larger pixels of the A9's sensor.

Resolution

Higher resolutions generally provide much more flexibility when it comes to how you use your photographs.

Shooting landscapes means that sometimes you have to make compromises in your compositions, and fix them later in post-processing.

You can crop a 50mp image in a lot more ways than a 24mp image and still have an extremely high resolution photo that can be used in a wider range of applications.

You can anyway check yourself the resolution and the sharpness of the A9 compared to the A7rii in this video by Jason Lanier

ISO Range

Shooting out of doors means that you don't have complete control over your lighting conditions, so a wider ISO range provides more flexibility.

The higher your maximum ISO setting, the better quality your images will be at the mid-range levels that are most commonly used.

You'll get better noise control and better details when stopped down a few levels from maximum, in the same way that you get sharper images with a lens stopped down from its widest aperture.

As for landscape photography the tripod is used most of the time, the ISO range is not a primary feature to consider.

Once the camera is on a solid tripod, you can go down with the ISO as much as possible and balance the light in with the shutter speed.

Battery Life

This is an extremely important consideration for landscape photographers for a couple of reasons.

First of all, you can't simply plug your battery in for a recharge when you're out shooting landscapes in the wilderness.

Secondly, bringing extra batteries or another power source is both expensive and heavy, which can be a problem when you have to carry all your gear yourself over rough terrain.

Is the A9 a Camera for Landscape?

The A9 is an amazing camera overall, but most of its revolutionary features won't be used during landscape photography.

High-speed autofocus tracking and burst photography are great for action shots, but there isn't much call for them in landscape photography.

Of course, if you like to include wildlife or other moving subjects in your landscapes, then having the Sony A9 will be a plus .

It has a mid-range resolution sensor at 24mp, but when compared to the massive 42mp provided by the A7RII, it starts to seem a bit small.

This does mean that it can process and store images faster, and you can fit more images per memory card.

But these days, memory cards are cheap and lightweight, so this shouldn't be too much of a concern.

Is it Worth Upgrading to the A9 from the A7RII?

Many landscape photographers still swear by the Sony A7Rii even after seeing the capabilities of the A9. Whether or not it's worth upgrading depends primarily on the types of photography you are in.

If you shoot landscapes exclusively, probably you're not really going to benefit from the new features that add to the cost of the upgrade to the A9.

The most advantageous features of the A9 for landscape photographers are the expanded ISO range, with the caveat discussed before when it comes to shooting using a tripod and the added battery life.

However, the reduction of resolution is not a plus for many photographers who rely on the A7RII's 42mp sensor to create large-scale prints and crops.

Travel photography, on the other hand, covers a wide range of shooting styles.

The A9 is an excellent camera for almost all types of street and action photographs that you often find while travelling thanks to its incredibly fast capabilities.

The silent shutter mode can let you capture shots without distracting your subjects or getting odd looks from people in the street, and the extra battery life.

So, our final word is that, the Sony A9 is definitely an fantastic and innovative camera, no discussions about it.

If you shoot pure landscape photography though and have a Sony A7rii, you’ll likely not benefit the new features of the Sony A9. But if you are not only into landscape photography it is definitely an option to consider.

sony a9 vs sony a7rii

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Essential Macro Photography Equipment

Top Essential Macro Photography Equipment

Essential Macro Photography Equipment

Top Essential Macro Photography Equipment

This guide will give you an overview of the essential macro photography equipment you need consider if you are venturing into macro photography, and highlight some of our best advices for getting the best macro shots possible

There's more to macro photography than just finding the perfect lens.

In the quest for the ultimate close-up shots, a whole range of dedicated macro photography equipment has been developed over the years to help macro photographers get every last dioptre of magnification out of their equipment.

There are all sorts of lens accessories, as well as specialized lighting systems and tripods that are specially designed for use in the unique situations that macro photography requires.

Let’s not wait further and dive in.

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What You Need to Know About Macro Photography Equipment

There are a lot of different types of macro photography equipment, and each have their own benefits and drawbacks. Here's an overview of all the different equipment types we're going to look at and how they can help you take the best possible macro shots.

Extension Tubes

Extension tubes are a type of equipment designed to decrease the minimum focusing distance of the lens. They're relatively inexpensive because they don't actually contain any optical lens elements, but simply extend the distance from your rear lens element to your camera sensor. The only downside to using extension tubes is that they can decrease the available light slightly, which means you'll have to adjust your exposure settings more carefully than usual.

Most camera manufacturers have made extension tubes for their cameras and lenses in the past, but this practice is slowly falling out of use. Nikon appears to have discontinued their extension tube line, as it has completely disappeared from their website although second-hand models still exist for sale. Canon still produces their set of tubes, but because they are only suited to Canon lenses, you're usually better off with a cheaper set of third party extension tubes that are available for a range of lens mounts.

When buying extension tubes, especially if you're buying second-hand, make sure that the model you're looking at has electrical connections to pass control data from your camera to your lens. If your tube doesn't have those connections, your lens won't be able to autofocus, and it will be locked into its widest aperture setting unless it has a manual aperture ring. Most modern lenses do not have such a ring, so it's easier to simply buy a tube with electrical connections for maximum flexibility.

Reversing Rings

Reversing rings do exactly what the name says, as crazy as it sounds: they allow you to mount a lens onto your camera backwards. It sounds bizarre, but it allows you to get incredibly powerful magnification strengths without having to buy a special macro lens. You can increase the effect even further with a dual-lens reversing ring, which allows you to mount a lens normally on your camera and then add a reversed lens at the end of the normal one where you'd usually attach a filter.

The main virtue of reversing rings is that they are an extremely cheap way to turn all of your existing lens collection into extremely powerful macro lenses. Unfortunately, it also has the side effect of requiring you to use manual settings for everything as you cannot pass control data to the reversed lens. As mentioned in the extension tube section, most modern lenses do not have aperture rings, so this technique is best used with older lenses from your collection.

Macro Flash Systems

Being forced to work with very narrow apertures due to depth of field considerations can dramatically decrease the amount of available light that reaches the camera sensor. This means that getting a proper exposure can be extremely difficult during macro photography unless you have an external lighting system. There are a few different ways that macro lighting is handled: mounting a point flash at the end of the lens, side-mounting two point flashes, or using a ring flash that surrounds the lens.

Ring flashes can produce impressive and unique specular highlights in a circular pattern, but can also make subjects appear flat due to the evenly distributed light. Most macro photographers prefer to use a single lens-mounted point flash or a dual point flash system that allows for more dynamic and engaging light. Of course, there are some who also swear by a combination of ring flash and twin mounted point lights which offers maximum flexibility even when shooting in the field.

When choosing a flash system, it's important to pay attention to the maximum amount of light that it can produce. This is measured in with a system known as a guide number, which is a complex calculation that we won't get into here, but a higher number is almost always better unless you're concerned about power consumption. In short, guide numbers are a way of measuring the maximum distance that the flash will produce a proper exposure at ISO 100.

Macro-friendly Tripods

Because the extreme magnification of macro photography usually results in a very narrow depth of field, shooting with a tripod is absolutely essential. It is technically possible to shoot hand-held depending on how steady your hands are, but you'll wind up wasting a lot of your time taking multiple shots just to get the right focal point. Most tripods can be used for macro photography, but there are a few extra features that can make them perfect for the job.

The most important feature is rock-solid stability, because when you're working with a narrow depth of field even the slightest shift in position can push your subject out of focus. Strong locking mechanisms in the legs and the tripod head will ensure that no vibration reaches the camera while you're shooting. They will also ensure that your subject stays in focus once you get it there.

After that, you'll want a tripod that also has a very low minimum height, because you might find yourself in need of focusing on a subject very close to the ground while maintaining a good magnification level. Some tripods achieve an extremely low working height thanks to an invertible central post, which allows you to hang the camera upside-down extremely close to the ground. Others have a very wide maximum leg angle combined with a swivelling central post, which is great for tracking moving subjects without a focusing rail.

Last but not least, you'll want to make sure that your tripod can handle a lot of weight. Macro photography setups can get extremely heavy once you combine a heavy macro lens, a macro focusing rail and a flash lighting system. The last thing that you want is for all that expensive gear to go toppling over and break just because your tripod couldn't handle their combined weight!

Close-up Filters

Close-up filters are actually poorly named, because they aren't filters in the same sense as a polarizing filter or colored filter. Instead, they are really just extra magnifying lens elements that attach to the filter ring at the end of your lens. They're a relatively simple way of turning any lens into a macro lens, and they can be stacked up with each other to increase their magnification power.

The downside to this easy method is that you can introduce some serious optical aberrations into your shot when using them. You may also lose some sharpness, as your close-up filter will not be as well optimized as the rest of the elements within the lens itself. Just make sure that you buy the appropriate sized filter based on the lens you want to use them with!

Macro Photography Equipment

Now that you know what to look for in your macro photography equipment, it's time to look at some examples. Here are a few of our favorite models of macro photography equipment in the categories we discussed earlier.

Extension Tubes

Vello Extension Tube Set

This simple set of extension tubes come in 3 different sizes: 12mm, 20mm and 36mm. They all offer electrical connections to allow use of autofocus and aperture control, and they can be stacked together to maximize their effect.

They are available for all major camera manufacturer lens mounts, and they're much more affordable and capable than any legacy tubes available second-hand.

Kenko Extension Tube Set

Also available in the standardized set sizes of 12mm, 20mm and 36mm, these extension tubes can be stacked together and provide electrical connection for autofocus and aperture control.

Unfortunately, they do limit the use of autofocus to f/5.6 or f/8 and wider, which means they're not quite as flexible for macro work that often uses narrower apertures, but autofocus is not usually a major concern for macro photographers

Reversing Rings

Reversing rings are all created more or less equal, so the only thing you really need to do is match the right mount system for your camera manufacturer with the right filter diameter for the lens you want to reverse.

If you want to use a dual-reversing ring, all you have to do is match the filter diameter of each of the lenses. Unfortunately this means you'll need a different reversing ring for every combination of lenses with different filter diameters, but these rings are quite cheap so that's not too big a problem

Vello Macrofier for Canon

The only exception to the rule that all reversing rings are created equal seems to be the Vello Macrofier for Canon photographers.

Unfortunately, this is something of a shame because Vello doesn't make a similar product for Nikon, Sony or any other camera brand.

The Macrofier allows you to reverse your lens but maintain electrical connection viable a flexible cord attached to the mount, which allows you to use your camera's automatic focus and aperture control systems.

Macro Flashes

Venus Laowa Macro Twin Flash KX-800

The KX800 has a major advantage over similar two-light systems thanks to its signature feature: two long and articulated arms for holding your flashes.

The whole setup only weighs one pound, so you don't have to worry about it interfering with your tripod's load capacity.

It's also extremely bright, with a flash guide number of 190' at ISO 100, although you may have to dial this down depending on your subject.

Bolt VM-160 Macro Ring Flash

If you're looking for a ring flash, the Bolt VM-160 is an affordable way to see what all the fuss is about. It features a ring of high intensity LEDs which are very power efficient, although they don't illuminate as well as a standard hotshoe flash, with a guide number of only 21' at ISO 100. The advantage is that this flash doesn't rely on your TTL system, so it can be mounted on any type of camera with a hotshoe.

Macro-friendly Tripods

3 Legged Thing Eclipse

This is one of my favorite tripods, and not just because of its bizarre name. It is an extremely solid and stable tripod with a minimum shooting height of 4.75", and it folds down to 13" for easy carrying when you're on your way to an outdoor shoot. It can support up to 22 lbs when used at its lowest setting, enough for even the most demanding macro setups, and only weighs 3lbs.

Vanguard Alta Pro

If you find yourself in need of a more specialized tripod head for your macro work, the Alta Pro has a unique swivelling central post that can make it easier to position your camera and track subjects. It only supports 15 lbs at its lowest leg angle, and weighs around 4.5lbs, but if you want to use a swivel post tripod this is a great choice. It's especially useful for macro photographers who want to shoot subjects that move more rapidly than a focusing rail can handle, such as flying or fast-moving insects.

Close-up Filters

Canon 250D Close-up Filter

Canon is one of the few major camera manufacturers still producing close-up filters, and they have excellent quality optics, although they are the most expensive close-up filters by far.

They tend to lose a bit of sharpness around the edges, but they're still much more affordable than buying a dedicated macro lens. Despite the fact that these are made by Canon, they can be used with any lens that has a matching filter diameter since they simply screw on without requiring a Canon-specific mount.

Vivitar Close-up Filter Set

Vivitar close-up filters are a bit more flexible than their Canon counterparts, as they can be stacked together just like extension tubes. They come in a variety of filter diameters and magnification strengths, which allows you to fine-tune your magnification level to match a variety of situations. The strength is measured in diopters, and these come in a set of +1, +2, +4 and +10 diopters for a total of +17 when fully stacked.

Our Conclusions and best picks

Extension Tubes: Vello Extension Tube Set

Both tube sets we looked at do more or less the same job, but the Vello version wins based on its lack of aperture limitations. Their electrical connections make them compatible with the widest possible range of lenses, and they are conveniently stackable for an incredible degree of adjustment.

Reversing Rings

Reversing rings don't really have a best pick because of how basic these items are, unless you're a Canon photographer. In that case, go for the Vello Macrofier for maximum flexibility as well as autofocus and automatic aperture control.

Macro Flashes: Venus ​Laowa Macro Twin Flash KX800

These incredibly powerful lights are also incredibly flexible. Easy and immediate adjustment of light sources is essential when shooting moving subjects, and these lightweight flashes are perfect for the narrow apertures used in macro shooting.

Macro-friendly Tripods: 3 Legged Thing Eclipse

It's strong, portable and solid as a rock, which means it's great for macro work as well as any other photography uses. The extremely low minimum working height offers a great deal of flexibility for static subjects, and the detachable monopod leg can be a great help for shooting more active subjects.

Close-up Filters: Vivitar Close-up Filter Set

Bundling these stackable filters together was a smart move that allows you a huge range of customized magnification levels for a fraction the cost of a single Canon filter. The optical quality isn't quite as good as what you'd get from the Canon filter, but the added flexibility more than makes up for the difference in optical quality.



Essential Macro Photography Equipment

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Best Polarizing Filter

Best polarizing filter

Best Polarizing Filter

Best Polarizing Filter

Why you need one and the top 7 picks

If you are into landscape photography and feel it is time to add something to your photos, then a polarizing filter can be the answer for you.

Polarizing filters are an absolute must-have in your bag.

Although you can take a perfectly decent landscape photo without a polarizing filter, they grant photographers a range of benefits and effects that cannot be recreated using Lightroom or Photoshop.

You have the option of buying either a circular polarizing filter, or a linear one, but circular polarizers offer a much broader range of advantages and for this reason we will focus (no pun intended) on circular polarizers throughout this article.

Why Do You Need One?

Sunlight bounces around in random patterns, and this can make photos look a bit bland. A polarizing filter drastically lessens the reflections by cancelling out polarized light. In doing so, images become more contrasted, vibrant and sharp.

If you haven’t used a polarizer before, using one for the first time will be like putting sunglasses on for the first time on a sunny day.

Indeed, the relationship your eyes have with sunglasses is analogous to the function of a polarizing filter in relation to your camera lens. Of course, if sunglasses are not polarized, they won’t make any difference and you will find yourself squinting and unable to see past sharp glares.

Reducing reflections

The exclusion of reflected light is the function that allow all other benefits of using a polarizing filter fall into place. Polarizing filters also allow you to choose which reflections you want to have in your photos, you just have to rotate the filter in a way so that it matches the angles of the reflected light.

Shooting the sky

If you are capturing a scene on a bright day without a polarizer when the sun is at its highest point, you will notice that the sky appears very uneven and white in most areas. Using a polarizer allows you to filter out that uneven light, allowing you to capture the sky’s vivid blue hue.

Capturing color and vibrance

Since a polarizing filter removes the reflection of light that hits the objects in your image, your camera will be able to pick up more color and vibrance when the glare created by the sun is filtered out. This allows your camera to pick up the colors and details that would otherwise be masked by the glare the sun projects onto these objects.

Bypassing water reflections

If you photograph a scene that includes water without a polarizer, the surface of the water will likely appear white. Using a polarizing filter will allow you to exclude those reflections and capture the detail of the objects beneath the water’s surface.

Long exposures

Speaking of water, you can get some really great, soft shots of water by using a polarizer; since your filter decreases the amount of light that is allowed into your sensor, you can lower the shutter speed and capture the motion of moving water. This will also work for capturing other motion blurs.

Rainbows

There is quite a bit of controversy surrounding the concept of using a polarizing filter to shoot rainbows. This is because rainbows are a result of reflected light, and polarizers are used to eliminate reflections. However, if you turn your polarizer in the opposite direction, you can actually enhance glare, and as a result, enhance the appearance of a rainbow.

Lens protection

Polarizing filters are also comparable to sunglasses in the sense that they have a protective purpose as well. If you do a lot of outdoor shooting, it might by worth keeping a polarizing filter on your camera lens at all times because the glass is much tougher than your lens’s glass.

How to use polarizing filters

Polarizing filters are comprised of two pieces of glass that rotate clockwise and counter clockwise against each other when the filter is screwed on to the tip of your lens. You rotate the glass in order to adjust the degree of polarization; rotate the glass so that the darker parts of the glass match up with the brighter areas of the scene you’re shooting.

When not to use

Wearing sunglasses in a dark environment won’t help you see any better, and the same goes for polarizers. So using a polarizer inside, at night or during a vivid sunset won’t get you ideal results.

Also, there are some instances where you may want some reflections in your photograph. If you want to capture subtle reflections, use a tripod and take the same picture twice; once with the polarizer and once without it. Blending the two photos will be easy if you own Photoshop.

Keep in mind that polarizers are not as effective when you’re photographing a metallic surface.

Choosing the right one

All polarizers serve the same function: to reduce reflections and glare caused by unpolarized light sources. Nevertheless, you will notice throughout your search that there are huge price gaps between different polarizers.

The more expensive polarizers will have higher quality optical glass and anti-reflective lamination. Some may also have more durable mounting systems and frames that reduce vignetting when used with wide angle lenses.

If you’re not planning to keep your polarizer on your lens at all times, it might be worth buying a filter with a brass mounting system. These are more expensive than aluminum mounting systems, but they’re less likely to get stuck on your lens and damage your lens.

Getting a polarizer that doesn’t fit on your lens would be a disappointing waste of money. Like other types of filters, polarizing filters come in different sizes to suit different lens sizes. This doesn’t have anything to do with the focal length or aperture of your lens, but the diameter of your lens.

Some lenses don’t accept filters, so make sure there are screw grooves on your lens.

Pay attention to the f-stop factor; the lower the f-stop loss, the better. That way, you won’t need to dramatically tweak your settings before and after attaching the filter.

The focus rings of some lenses are right where the filter mount is located. This can make it tricky to adjust your polarizer if you’re using a manual focus setting.

7 Best Polarizing filters

B+W XS-Pro HTC Kaesemann Circular Polarizer

You can always depend on B+W filters to get the job done with excellent results. These German-made gems are always made of top notch glass, and this particular premium lens filter is is one of the best quality polarizers this brand produces.

Using the B+W Kaesemann polarizer, you will only have to tweak your exposure settings to accommodate a 1-1.5 f-stop loss, and its brass XS-Pro Digital mount makes it highly compatible with wide angle lenses as well as zoom lenses. It also has a front thread so that you can attach additional filters to it.

Its multi-resistant nano coating makes this polarizer super easy to clean. If you’re willing to pay for this pricy pro filter, it’s well worth the money — and it’s available in 18 sizes, ranging between 30.5mm and 86mm.

Tiffen 52mm Circular Polarizer

Tiffen have been making filters for well over half a century, and are a popular choice for photographers and filmmakers. In fact, chances are your favorite Hollywood films were shot with a Tiffen polarizer.

Tiffen polarizers include a trademarked layer of ColorCore technology between the two sheets of optical glass that enhances their capabilities.

The Tiffen 52mm Circular Polarizer is a great choice for photographers who don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on their photography accessories but are still looking for a great quality product.

Cokin 58CPL Circular Polarizer Filter

This polarizer is available in a wide range of sizes, between 37mm and 82mm, so you can be sure it will fit your lens.

With a thickness measuring at only 4.5mm, this filter is the thinnest option of them all, and you can barely see it when it’s actually mounted on your lens. Also, using this slim and light filter, you will only need to adjust your exposure settings by about one stop.

This option is also scratch resistant, so if you do a lot of landscape photography you can use it to protect your lens 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with confidence.

Lee 105 Slim Landscape

Lee filters are notorious for their high quality filter glass, which is handmade from resin.

This guy is specifically designed for landscape photographers who prefer lenses with a smaller focal length. In fact, you can use a lens as wide as 16mm without worrying about a vignette.

Bear in mind that it does have a bit of a warm tint to it, which can be great for enhancing your golden hour images, but if you want to keep it cool then make sure you tweak your white balance settings.

This filter also comes with a 105mm front accessory ring, so you can add additional filters to it.

Heliopan Slim Circular Polarizer SH-PMC Filter

This German-made polarizer is available in 22 sizes, ranging between 28mm and 105mm diameters.

This filter functions as a great lens protector, with 8 extra coatings to each sheet of glass that also provide optimal reflection reduction. It’s easy to clean and the mount is made of anodized brass that are easy to screw and unscrew from other metals.

As its name suggests, the Heliopan Slim polarizer is thin and therefore has a low f-stop factor of about 1.3 stops

Sigma DG Wide Multi-Coated Circular Polarizer Filter

Sigma’s reputation for good quality photographic equipment isn’t limited to their cameras and lenses; they make great lens filters, too, and they are well-known for their vignette reducing design.

This filter is available in 11 different sizes, ranging between 46mm and 105mm, and is compatible with auto and manual focus lenses.

The Sigma DG Wide Circular Polarizer Filter is a great option for landscape photographers; this filter was specifically designed for wide angle lenses. And to top it off, it falls into a very affordable price range.

Hoya PRO1 Digital Filter PL DMC Filter

Hoya is the most prolific filter manufacturer in the world, and the Hoya PRO1 series is a great choice for DSLR photographers.

It’s in the prosumer price range, is multi-coated and has an average light transmission of more than 97%, so you don’t have to alter your exposure settings very much before and after using your filter. Some people even say they don’t have to compensate at all!

Some customers say the glass is a bit sensitive. Also, the mounting fixture is made of aluminum so it’s at risk of getting stuck, so make sure you’re careful when handling this product.

Conclusion

A polarizing filter is as essential for landscape photographers as sunglasses are to beach goers. They add a great deal of vibrance and clarity to images of scenes that would otherwise be blown out and made bland by overwhelming amounts of light.

If you’re willing to spend the money, I recommend getting the B+W XS Pro HTC Kaesemann polarizing filter because of its extreme durability and convenient f-stop factor. However, this is not a feasible for many photographers, especially for those who are beginners, and although it is a fabulous filter, its advantages are not essential for taking great landscape photos.

The Sigma DG filter is great value for money. Whether you’re on a budget or not, this filter won’t do you wrong. It’s durable and designed for wide angle lenses, and Sigma is a photographic brand you can trust!



Best Polarizing Filter

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best photo sharing sites for photographers

Photo Sharing Websites: the 9 best reviewed

best photo sharing sites for photographers

9 Best Photo Sharing Sites for Photographers

There are a huge number of photo sharing options around today, but which are the best photo sharing sites for photographers?

It can be very time-consuming to upload all your photos to just one site, so we'll help you figure out where to post your masterpieces. Here are some of the most popular options

9 Best Photo Sharing Sites for Photographers

What Makes a Good Photo Sharing Site?

There are five main requirements for a good photo sharing site: it should be easy to use, it should have a strong community, it should let you post as much as you want, it should let you control what can be done with them, and ideally it should be free (or at least affordable).

Community

The community of other users is probably the most important aspect of a good photo sharing site. Sharing your photos with others is the whole reason you're posting them, after all!

A strong, active community of photographers and other artists will give you the biggest benefits from sharing your photos.

Photography doesn't happen in a vacuum, it happens as part of a community whether you like the idea or not.

In other words, the more time you spend looking at other people's photos and having them look at yours, the better your photographic eye will be.

Learning how to deconstruct what makes someone else's photo beautiful will help teach you how to improve your own work, and the more you talk to other photographers about each other's work, the more you'll learn.

Many artists are hesitant to share their work with complete strangers at first. It can be nerve-wracking to show something that you've put a lot of time and creative effort into, but it's also very rewarding.

A good community will be helpful and encouraging no matter what skill level you're at, and will be great for advancing your talents.

Ease of Use

The best photo sharing sites have a lot of features, but unless they're well-designed and easy to use, you'll find yourself making excuses not to use them.

Most photographers have a backlog of images they want to properly edit and share, and any extra steps that slow down that process will just contribute to that backlog.

A well-designed sharing site will make it easy to upload multiple photos at once, and allow you to quickly tag and categorize your photos so that they can be found more easily by other users. Ideally, it will also have some type of social system, so that like-minded photographers can share similar works with each other.

This might come in the form of following other user's posts on Instagram, or by joining groups of like-minded photographers the way Flickr does.

Storage Limits

Most photographers want to upload their photos in a relatively high resolution, which can take up a lot of space.

As a result, many services have limits on the amount of storage space you can use based on the type of account that you have.

Storage space is much cheaper than it was even 5 years ago, so make sure that your chosen photo sharing site has kept up with the times and increased your usage limit.

Some services will apply their own unique compression algorithms to reduce the file size of your images, but make sure that they don't do this too aggressively or you'll probably lose some image quality.

After you've spent so much effort on getting your photos just the way you want them, you don't want some heavy-handed program to go through and change everything.

Privacy & Copyright Control

One unfortunate reality of sharing your work online is that it can be a bit too easy for random users to share and reuse your work.

This can be really helpful when it comes to building up a reputation, but only if you get proper credit for your work!

A good photo sharing site will give you the ability to control who can save copies of your photos, and will make it very clear to users what license - if any - they have to re-use your photos.

The alternative to copyright control is to allow you to control who can access your photos at all.

While it might seem a bit redundant to share your photos online and then restrict who can access them, it is very useful if you want to share your photos with only your friends or colleagues.

Cost

Most photo sharing sites will offer you a free account, but those sometimes come with some kind of limitation.

Sometimes it's a limit on how much storage space you have, or how often people will see your photos on other parts of the site, but always be sure to check to see what the limitations are before you spend a lot of time uploading.

If they do have a range of paid account levels, make sure that they are actually worth it when compared to the options offered by other sites.

Marketplace

Many of the newer photo sharing sites have begun to integrate a marketplace into their feature set so that you can sell your photos directly from the same place you share them.

This can be a huge help when it comes to making some money off of your photos because it saves you from having to upload to multiple different sites.

Not all marketplaces are created equal, though, so make sure you choose one that has an active customer base or you might never sell anything!

The other important thing to keep in mind when comparing marketplaces is that almost all of them take some percentage of the sale price as a commission fee.

The commission fee usually depends on how the photos are delivered. For stock photography, there is no physical product, so the commissions will be low, but if you're selling prints through the site the commissions are usually higher to cover the added cost of production.

All professional-level photo sharing sites will provide you with the ability to sell your photos, although some are more geared towards working with existing clients.

If you're looking for the ability to generate new client leads, you'll want a more flexible option such as a customized website or portfolio page to showcase your work.

A Closer Look at the Best Photo Sharing Sites

Now that you know what to look for in a photo sharing site, let's examine some of the most popular photo sharing sites to see how they stack up against each other

Flickr

best photo sharing sites for photographers

Flickr is one of the oldest photo sharing sites on the internet, as it was founded way back in 2004 when the internet was still in its infancy.

As a result they've had a lot of time to work on their site and its features, making it one of the best photo sharing sites out there.

This also gave it time to build up a great community of photographers that are constantly posting new work and offering free discussions and critiques.

Free accounts are available and come with a massive 1 terabyte of storage space (1000 gigabytes), which is enough to store hundreds of thousands of photos even at a very high resolution.

There are also a paid account that offers some extra features, such more statistics on who views your photos, removal of ads from the site and a convenient downloadable program for automatic uploading of your latest photos.

500px

best photo sharing sites for photographers

This is one of the newer photo sharing sites around, but they haven't wasted any time in developing a strong sharing site with a robust community.

They have probably the widest feature set of any of the photo sharing sites we looked at, from unlimited uploads to photography classes from other 500px photographers to customizable portfolio sites that help your photos look their best.

Most of these features are only available by purchasing one of their 3 paid plans, but there is a free account option available as well to give you a chance to test the site.

500px has a community that's easily the equal of Flickr, despite being only a couple of years old.

They actively engage their users with photo challenges, and there are active groups for critiques and other feedback.

They even have a marketplace for stock photography that allows you to sell your photos on their platform for a modest commission.

Google Photos

best photo sharing sites for photographers

Google Photos has gone through a number of changes over the years, and eventually merged with the storage from Google Drive.

Still, with over 100 gigabytes of free storage available and the option to purchase more if needed, you'll won't out of space for a long time.

As long as your photos aren't any larger than 16 MP in resolution, you'll be able to store an unlimited number of them.

The real virtue of Google Photos is that it can be connected to your desktop computer and your smartphone to allow you to automatically back up all of your photos and then access them from anywhere.

They are private by default, but they can be shared easily with a few clicks to any email address, including the ability to share whole albums with anyone you want.

Unfortunately, there isn't really the option of building a community on the site. Google originally had hoped to integrate the service with Google+, their competitor to Facebook, but G+ never really caught on.

So while it's a perfect backup and individual sharing solution, it doesn't have as much of a community as some of the other sites.

SmugMug

best photo sharing sites for photographers

If SmugMug is one of the lesser-known photo sharing sites, that's only because it's geared more towards professional photographers than the other sites on this list.

It has a huge range of features that are even more impressive than 500px, including the ability to sell prints of your work produced by some of the top photo printing labs in the world.

Each of their 4 plans offer unlimited uploads, but unfortunately there is no free option available.

The only part of SmugMug that could use a little more work is their community.

Part of the reason for this is that they are not so focused on teaching and learning as they are on helping photographers sell their work.

They still offer video tutorials, live training webinars, and community forums, but community is not really the focus of the site the way it is with Flickr and 500px.

Photobucket

best photo sharing sites for photographers

Photobucket is the only active photo sharing site that has been around longer than Flickr, as it was founded back in 2003.

Considering how long they've been around, you'd expect them to have a slightly larger range of features than they do, but they are in the process of updating their site to a more modern style.

Hopefully, they'll expand their features during that same process, because at the moment they're a bit overpriced for what they offer.

They have 4 plans, including a free ad-supported option, but each tier simply offers you more storage space and extra bandwidth for sharing.

They do have a great print shop that allows you to get copies of your work for sale, but it seems largely focused on the American market and may not ship internationally to your country.

Zenfolio

best photo sharing sites for photographers

Zenfolio is another site that is primarily directed at professional photographers looking to sell their work online.

They have 3 plans to choose from which all offer unlimited photo uploads, although there is no free plan option, only a free trial to test out the site.

Each plan has an impressive range of features for their cost, from free gallery templates and social media integration at the base level all the way up to multi-user access and Lightroom integration at the highest level.

The only real downside to Zenfolio is their complete lack of any kind of community.

This is because they focus on helping professional photographers sell their work, instead of helping developing photographers hone their skillsets.

They have great sharing options, but they are all about sharing with clients instead of the general public.

1x

best photo sharing sites for photographers

1x is the most unique photo sharing site on the web, because all of the photos that are published on the main site are curated by some of the best professional photographers in the world.

The only way to get your photos considered is to be a paying member, and that still doesn't guarantee that your photos will get published to the main gallery.

You can upload up to 20 photos per week for consideration by the 22 staff critics, and you'll get a personalized homepage to display your submissions.

You'll also gain access to 1x's high-quality training materials, as well as constant feedback from the staff critics who will help you hone your craft until it meets their acceptance standards.

You'll be surrounded by some of the best photography on the web, and that's an incredibly inspirational place to spend your time. Just try not to get discouraged if your work isn't immediately accepted!

Photoshelter

best photo sharing sites for photographers

Photoshelter is a site aimed at professional photographers around the world who need digital gallery space for working directly with clients.

They offer unlimited private galleries for subdividing your work for client approval, as well as the ability to sell prints and digital usage licenses.

Their community is virtually nonexistent, although they do provide a number of basic guides for professional photography businesses, but they are all available for free without signing up for a plan.

Considering their target audience, their basic plan level offers a surprisingly tiny 4 GB of storage space, less than most memory cards.

While that might be fine for sharing low-resolution work with a small number of clients, you'll need to pay for one of their more expensive plans to get a respectable amount of storage space.

Instagram

best photo sharing sites for photographers

Instagram is one of the most popular photo sharing sites in the world, but it is primarily aimed at extremely casual users using smartphone cameras.

It can be a great way of marketing yourself thanks to its massive userbase and hashtag system, but it's not designed with serious photographers in mind.

Some people have managed to create huge followings thanks to their photography, but they are famous for their snapshots, not their fine art photography.

If you want to repost some of your work on Instagram to help build up your reputation, you'll have to transfer it to your smartphone before you can upload it.

The 3 Photo Sharing Sites We Prefer

Choosing the top 3 photo sharing sites isn't easy, because there are a lot of different goals that people have from sharing their photos.

Some want to make money from their photos, some want to share them with the public, and some want to build up their reputations. With that in mind, we've decided to break up the top 3 into their own separate categories and choose one site for each goal.

Best Casual Sharing Site: 500px

500px is aimed at aspiring photographers who are looking to share their photographic journey with the world. It has a range of monthly plans that are affordable even for casual photographers, ranging from $1.67 to $20 per month.

This gives you unlimited uploads and access to their impressive community and teaching resources, which can be a real help to beginner and intermediate photographers looking to take their skills to a pro level.

Best Professional Sharing Site: SmugMug

SmugMug provides a great balance of professional-level selling and sharing features as well as a solid community to help you hone your skills.

Their plans are slightly more expensive than 500px, ranging from $3.99 to $25 per month, but their selling tools are also much more extensive at the higher levels.

If you're a professional photographer who needs a place to share work directly with clients as well as to the general public, SmugMug has all the tools you need to let your photos sell themselves - and they only take a 15% commission on sales.

Best Site for Gaining Exposure: 1X

This site is for the elite of the elite when it comes to photographic skills. You have to pay just for the privilege of having your photo considered for publication, much like competing in a juried art show.

But also like a juried art show, getting your photograph recognized is a major achievement that can launch an entire career, so it's worth it even if you don't get your work accepted at first.

best photo sharing sites for photographers

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Photography Ambition
Best Landscape Lens for Sony

Best Landscape Lens for Sony A7 and A9

Best Landscape Lens for Sony

Best Landscape Lens for Sony A7 and A9

Are you searching the best landscape lens for your Sony a7 or A 9 camera?

The Sony A7 series cameras are popular for their superb quality and performance, while putting a full-frame sensor in a very small, light-weight body.

Recently the new released Sony A9, although not specifically designed for landscape, can suit the need of landscape photographers very well.

But to get the absolute best out of your Sony, you’re going to need a lens that is of at least as good a quality as the camera.

To help you choose the best lens for that, we’ve put together this comprehensive guide followed by our recommendations

Note these tips and recommendations are all focused on landscape photography. For other kinds of photography, different lenses and lens-qualities might be better or more important

How to Choose a landscape Lens for Sony A7 - A9 Series Cameras

If you’ve already invested in a mirrorless camera as highly praised as the Sony full-frame mirrorless cameras, chances are you already have a pretty good idea of what you want from a lens.

To make sure your new lens will live up to your expectations, pay close attention to the following qualities:

Focal Length

By far the most important choice you’ll make regarding your lens is the focal length.

Although a wide-angle remains the most popular for landscape photography, telephotos or regular focal lengths can add a variety of new perspectives and creativity to your shots.

Ultra-wide angle (4mm-20mm) and Wide Angle (21mm-35mm)

Wide angle lenses offer a very broad field of view, allowing you to get more into frame.

The long depth of view can result in distorted perspectives, which can produce more drama and draw in the eye of the viewer.

With ultra-wide angle lenses the field of view is extremely large, and distortion will be even more dramatic.

Normal (35mm-60mm)

Using a normal focal length will allow you to give a very realistic view. Images shot with a 50mm focal length will closely represent the way things are seen with the human eye.

Telephoto (75mm-150mm) and Super Telephoto (150mm and up)

To isolate single details in your shot, using telephoto lenses is your best option.

You can also use them to create a new perspective, by moving further away from your desired subject and zooming in.

With a super telephoto you’ll be able to shoot from the greatest distances.

Prime or Zoom?

Whether you’ll opt for a prime or zoom lens largely depends on your personal preferences.

A prime lens has only one focal length, so to get your desired framing you’ll have to use your feet. This can be tricky when shooting in remote locations, such as cliff edges.

On the other hand, primes are considered to be a bit faster than zooms, and they are generally of a lighter weight.

Zoom lenses will ensure you can frame your image however you want without having to move too much.

The downside is that they are often a bit heavier and might not be as fast as prime lenses.

Most of Sony’s FE zoom lenses however are quite light-weight, and will still offer a great image quality.

Maximum Aperture

In the case of landscape photography, having the lowest maximum aperture really isn’t the most important feature of a lens.

In most cases you’ll want to opt for a higher aperture while shooting anyway, to ensure a large depth of field and get your entire landscape in focus.

If for example you’ll be using your Sony A series camera a lot during travels and might need your lens to perform very well in low-light situations (where a slow shutter speed is not ideal), a low maximum aperture is beneficial.

Take into account that faster lenses (those with a low maximum aperture) are often a bit more expensive.

Size and Weight

Sony is quite well-known for offering high quality in small packages; their cameras as well as lenses are light-weight, not too large and perfect if you’re often moving around with your gear.

If you’re known to be climbing or hiking a lot to get those great landscape shots, opt for the lightest lens options.

Build Quality

When it comes to choosing lenses for landscape photography, you’re going to want to pick a sturdy, weather-sealed lens, since you’ll be shooting out in the elements a lot.

A lens that can take some rainfall, extreme temperatures and a sandstorm or two is very desirable.

Since a large part of Sony’s clientele is made up of travel photographers, above mentioned needs are taken well into account.

A decent weather sealing is added to almost all FE lenses, and build quality is great – both inside and out.

For photographers wanting the absolute best of the best, Sony has launched their GM series. Similar to Canon’s Luxury line, these lenses promise the best quality on all parts.

Images will come out super sharp, bokeh is very smooth and natural, apertures are fast and all GM lenses are tightly weather-sealed. By choosing lenses with the GM label, you’ll make sure your lens lives up to your A7 or A9 camera’s quality.

Price

As with almost everything in life, you can make buying a lens for you’re a series camera as expensive as you want.

Prices for a high-quality lens range from $1000 to well over $2000. What the price tag of your lens will be completely depends on your personal preferences, country of purchase and of course your budget.

The Sony-Zeiss Relationship

Sony and Zeiss seem to be close friends, and they’ve been producing lenses for Sony together for decades.

Zeiss is known for their incredible quality, and competes with the absolute best lenses in the field.

They’ve produced some lenses for Sony on their own, under the names “Batis” and “Loxia”.

Sony and Zeiss have also produced some lenses together, combining the best of both worlds. These lenses have both the Sony and Zeiss label; look out for those to spot some great quality!

The 5 Best Lenses for Sony A7 and A9 Series Cameras

Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2

If a very fast, wide-angle prime is what you’re looking for, this 25mm f/2 lens from Zeiss is exactly what you want.

It’s part of the Batis line designed especially for Sony, and unlike the Loxia line lenses from Batis do have autofocus.

Another thing that sets this lens apart is the HUD on top of the lenses, that will occasionally display information such as the depth of field and focus distance.

Not extremely useful, but since it doesn’t affect battery life it shouldn’t interfere with your shooting either.

What’s great about this lens is the incredible build quality you’d expect from a Zeiss prime; weather sealing is superb, and you won’t have to worry if you drop this glass once or twice.

The compact design (81 x 78 mm) is also very beneficial for landscape photography, as is the light weight (335 grams).

The focus ring is not as smooth as it has been on other Zeiss lenses, but it’s still workable. Image quality does not disappoint, as sharpness is quite good and color rendition is simply amazing.

Overall: a great wide-angle option.

Zeiss Loxia 21mm f/2.8 

This manual focus prime lens from Zeiss is quite similar to the Batis prime discussed above.

Very compact and lightweight, this lens is perfect for taking on long hikes or challenging climbs; you will not be weighed down by your equipment in the slightest.

The reason this lens can be so small and light is because Zeiss has made great use of the shorter mount-to-sensor distance on mirrorless cameras; the lens can be made quite small and still have the right proportions to function well, without having to completely redesign the interior parts.

The look of this lens is very traditional, with an aperture ring and aperture, depth of field and focus ring markings.

But, despite the old-school look, the lens performs as great as any modern Zeiss lens, and does report information about aperture and focus to the camera.

A great choice if you’re only looking for wide angle perspectives, don’t mind the lack of autofocus and want a high-end lens that will perform great without weighing you down on the go.

Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS

If primes aren’t really your speed but you still want to enjoy the Zeiss quality in your wide angle lens, maybe opting for this ultra-wide angle zoom is the answer for you.

This lens is the result of one of the many collaborations between Zeiss and Sony, and comes with the quality you’d expect from such a lens.

The centers of images throughout all focal lengths are very sharp, and edges and corners are acceptably sharp as well.

Some distortion and vignetting does occur on both extreme ends of the zoom range, which would have to be corrected in post processing.

However, chromatic aberrations are well controlled, and the lens even offers some nice bokeh when shooting wide open at 35mm.

It’s also quite compact, well-built and tightly weather-sealed. If you’re willing to lose some aperture range for zoom possibilities, definitely choose this lens over the previous two.

Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM

Another one of Sony’s high-end GM lenses that outperforms all other standard zooms in build quality is the FE 24-70mm f/2.8.

This lens has some very sturdy casing in place, finished with tight weather sealing. It also balances surprisingly well with the small, light camera bodies of the A7 and A9 series, despite it being relatively long.

The lens delivers some beautiful image quality, with especially great center sharpness.

Corner sharpness suffers slightly when shooting with a 2.8 aperture, and some vignette will occur here as well (especially around 24mm).

When zooming in to the other side of the zoom range, some distortion will be visible. But, by activating image auto-correction, these minor issues are easily fixed.

The price is a bit on the high end, but this is by far the best standard zoom lens for your Sony A7 and A9 series camera - definitely worth the investment.

Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS

This great telephoto zoom lens offers the staple telephoto focal length range of 70-200mm, with a constant maximum aperture of f/2.8.

Sharpness of this lens is of superior quality, right into the corners from f/4 onwards. When shooting with f/2.8, corner sharpness suffers slightly, but is still acceptable.

This glass also offers a very smooth bokeh, and a highly praised 5-axis image stabilization system.

For all this quality you’ll pay a higher price, something quite common for these kind of telephoto lenses, but it’s well worth it considering the amazing build quality.

Weather-sealing is also great, and thanks to the internal focus the lens will not change size, which is very convenient for balancing.

A removable tripod ring is provided with the lens, allowing you to rotate the lens (with camera attached) while mounted on the tripod as well as balance it in a convenient middle point.

This is truly the highest quality telephoto zoom lens you’ll find for your A7 or A9 camera. If, however, you’re in search of a more budget-friendly option, you could opt for the f/4 version of this lens instead.

Conclusion

Which ones of these great lenses will ultimately make the cut for you will completely depend on your personal photography needs.

If you’re the kind of landscape photographer that likes to stick to the traditional way of shooting landscapes, the Zeiss Loxia 21mm f/2.8 will probably suit your needs best.

On the other hand, if you like to mix it up and find new perspectives for you images, the high-end Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 could be a great fit for you.

Of course, budget will also play a big role, and depending on what kind of lenses you already own you might choose one over the other to complement your current glass. In the end, what’s important is how you’ll use your lens and camera. 



Best Landscape Lens for Sony

Check out more Lenses Reviews here 

Camera Memory Card Types

Camera Memory Card Types

Camera Memory Card Types

Camera Memory Card Types: which one to buy

Why get a memory card?

The purpose of memory cards is to easily store and transfer data from one device to another.

You can store all sorts of media on them, including MP3 and MP4 files, as well as Microsoft Word documents.

There are so many different types of memory cards out there, available in all sorts of shapes, sizes and speeds, but not all of them are made for photography.

In addition, there are several factors to consider before purchasing a memory card that will not only be compatible with your camera, but also with your shooting style.

Types of memory cards

Cameras have a slot that has been specifically designed to house a memory card.

The slot in your camera is most likely built for a Secure Digital derivative type card. However, CompactFlash cards are also common.

SD - Secure Digital

Secure Digital (SD) cards were introduced by SanDisk in 1999.

Since then, many improvements have been made and the SD card has branched out into two different subtypes, the SDHC and SDXC.

The original SD card is still widely used, but due to its age this card is relatively slow compared to its descendants.

For this reason, the plane and simple SD card isn’t ideal for shooting high resolution or RAW photos.

However, the original SD card is a practical choice if you’re an amateur photographer, or use cheaper digital cameras that don’t require a lot of speed.

All SD derivatives are rectangular but have a really small fifth side on the top right hand corner.

SDHC - Secure Digital High Capacity

Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) cards were introduced in 2006. Over a decade later, they are still one of the most reliable and widely used types of cards out there.

In the past, these cards generally offered a capacity of between 4GB and 32GB, but it’s now possible to buy an SDHC card with up to 512GB.

These cards are a great option for photographers who need speed but don’t hold it as their highest priority. They work with any SD-compatible camera, as long as the camera was built after the SDHC was introduced in 2006.

SDXC - Secure Digital ‘Xtra Capacity

Secure Digital ‘Xtra Capacity (SDXC) cards are the newest and fastest type of SD derivative on the market. These cards were introduced by SanDisk in 2011, and have the highest memory capacity (up to 1TB).

Like the SDHC, this card also fits SD slots, but again, you may not be able to use this card if your camera (or computer) was built before the SDXC’s creation.

CF - Compact Flash

CompactFlash (CF) cards, one of the oldest types of memory cards, were introduced by SanDisk in 1994.

These cards are square in shape, and come in two different subtypes: CFI, which is 3.3mm thick, and CFII, which are 5mm thick.

CF cards are not as common as they used to be, but due to their high speed and physical durability, many advanced DSLR cameras are still built to accommodate them.

Their Ultra Direct Memory Access (UDMA) mode systems are a way for the user to determine the speed of the chip. A number between zero and seven is written on each card; zero is the slowest speed, allowing up to 16.7MB/s, while mode 7 allows up to 167MB/s.

Speed

The speed of a memory card determines how quickly data can be transferred to and from the card.

This may not be a vital aspect to consider if you take JPEG images at a slow pace, but if you shoot in RAW and/or shoot in bursts, you’ll definitely be let down if you don’t get a card with a fast enough speed.

Also, understanding how card speed works is really important if you want to avoid getting confused during your search for the right memory card.

Reading and Writing Speeds

Each card has a reading speed and a writing speed.

The reading speed refers to the maximum speed that data is transferred to the memory card after you take a photo. If you use a card with a slow reading speed of 4MB/s, you will find it difficult to take photos at a fast pace, regardless of the file sizes.

If you’re a photographer who needs to shoot in quick bursts or RAW files then you’ll need a card that can quickly read the high volume of data that these files produce at high rates.

The writing speed refers to the maximum speed that data is transferred from the memory card to a device, such as a computer or printer.

Keep in mind that the card manufacturer will likely list a memory card’s maximum speed rather than its average speed.

Speed Ratings

For this reason, it’s a good idea to be familiar with speed classes and ratings so you can make a generalization about which speed class you want your card to belong to.

Cards are also given a speed rating, such as 400x or 1000x; the bigger the number before the ‘x,’ the faster the speed.

If you look at the face of a memory card, it probably has a number with a circle around it. This number represents the card’s speed class; Class 10 is the highest, and guarantees a transfer speed of 10MB/s, while Class 2 is the slowest and works at a speed of 2MB/s.

If you look at a memory card and see a U shape with a number between one and three, that means the card has an Ultra High Speed (UHS) rating.

The number within the U shape represents the UHS tier the card belongs to; UHS-1 is the slowest tier (10MB/s minimum), and UHS-3 is the fastest (30MB/s minimum).

Also, keep in mind that some of the faster types of memory cards might make your camera’s battery drain faster.

Capacity

The amount of capacity your card should have depends on the quality and quantity of the images you intend to keep on your memory card at a time.

Image sizes are determined by their resolution and compression level. A camera with a high resolution sensor will produce large file sizes unless you tweak your settings to make the images smaller.

Many people save their images as JPEGs in order to save space on their memory card. I prefer to shoot in RAW so that I can have more control over the editing process, so my memory cards are all 32GB or larger.

If you save your files as JPEGs, you should be able to get away with using a 16GB memory card.

You can use a calculator like this one to determine your ideal card’s capacity. Of course, you can always buy more than one memory card as long as you have a safe place to store them

A few more things to be aware of

Before purchasing a memory card, remember that you need to ensure your devices are compatible with it.

Most computers do have a little slot where you can insert a memory card (usually an SD derivative), but some don’t, so you may need to purchase a card reader in order to transfer your photos to your computer.

Also, make sure you are buying a reliable memory card. Sticking with a well-known brand (such as SanDisk and Lexar) is always a better option than going for a brand you haven’t heard of.

According to SanDisk, their memory cards have 1,000,000 hours of life in them.

Always treat your memory cards with care, and always eject them from your computer before removing them.

Memory Cards Reviewed

SanDisk Ultra SDXC Memory Card

PROS

  • Affordable
  • Relatively fast
  • Highly durable

CONS

  • Not for speed demons
  • Not ideal for use with advanced DSLRs

The SanDisk Ultra SDXC card is a good choice photographers who are looking for something durable and relatively fast, but hold speed as their greatest priority.

This SanDisk Ultra SDXC card is a Class 10, and transfers data at rates up to 80MB/s.

I have been using this card as a spare for years, and it’s just as reliable now as it was the day I bought it. However, it definitely works better with my Samsung NX1000 than it does with my Nikon D600.

Using this card, I can shoot bursts of just about 10 RAW photos, but it takes about 30 seconds for my card to read them.

This card seems to have a low buffer threshold, so after your initial burst of photos you may notice that the card’s reading speed slows down significantly.

There are definitely faster cards out there, so if you're hoping to be shooting action or bursts of RAW photos I would recommend skipping this option and going for a faster one.

This card works best if you frequently transfer your photos from your card to your computer.

This card has 64GB or RAM and should be compatible with any camera with an SD slot made after 2011.

It may not be the fastest card, but it’s incredibly durable.

It can survive extreme temperatures on either side of the spectrum, so if you’re planning a winter trip to the tundra or a summer holiday on the equator, this card will be a nice companion.

SanDisk Extreme Pro SDHC UHS-3 Card

PROS

  • Affordable
  • Fast
  • Highly durable

CONS

  • May perform slower with certain devices 

This is my go-to SDHC card, and it has yet to fail me. The smallest card you can get is 16GB, and, if you’re willing to throw down a couple hundred dollars, the largest is 512GB.

Personally, I settled for 32GB and I’ve had no problems. Then again, my camera (Nikon D600) does have two memory card slots, so I don’t depend on one chip at a time.

This card records data at a maximum of 90MB/s, and transfers it at 95MB/s; I can shoot quick bursts of 12 RAW photos, and it takes less than 10 seconds for all of them to load to the card. If you shoot a lot of action, then I highly recommend this card.

I’ve had mine for about five years; it’s survived several falls and has been rained on and it’s still working perfectly. I’m able to shoot RAW files in bursts with this card.

AND its buffer threshold is quite high, so I can continue taking photos at a slower rate after the initial burst is over. I can also shoot great videos using this card with hardly any delay.

This card also comes with RescuePRO Delux data recovery software; if you accidentally delete files, have no fear! You can recover them with a single free download.

This chip is also available as a CompactFlash card.

Lexar Professional 633x SDXC

PROS

  • Two-in-one
  • Class 10
  • Image rescue software

CONS

  • 20MB/s writing speed

It’s hard to say no to a good two-in-one deal! This is a two-pack of 64GB cards, but you also have the option of buying a single pack, and the capacity goes up to 512GB if you’re willing to pay the extra price.

This is a class 10 card with a reading speed of up to 95MB/s, and a 20MB/s writing speed, so it’s definitely best for photographers with a bit of patience.

This option includes downloadable Image Rescue software, so you don’t need to stress out if you accidentally delete some files.

A few of my photography club peers use this card. The street photographers love it, but the action photographers wish it was faster. If you’re into sports photography, videos or shooting RAW files in bursts then this card probably isn’t the best option for you.

But if you’re on a budget, then this is a really good deal.

Lexar Professional 1000x 64GB SDXC

PROS

  • 150 MB/s reading speed
  • Image recovery software

CONS

  • Faster with some cameras than it is with others

This card is available with several different capacity options — all for a reasonable price. It has a maximum reading speed of 150MB/s and a writing speed of 80MB/s.

You can buy this card with a capacity as low as 16GB, and as high as 256GB.

This card is UHS-2, so, yes, it’s quite fast, but Lexar warns that you won’t get the most out of its writing speed unless you use it with an SD UHS-2 card reader.

You should also check your camera before buying this if you want to get the most out of its speed. You should be able to shoot at least 25 high resolution images in one burst with this card, but you may not have such luck if you use it with a Nikon — that’s why I don’t use it.

This card works really well with Sony, Olympus and Canon cameras.

This memory card also offers image recovery software, just in case you accidentally delete your files. Whew!

Eyefi Mobi 8GB WiFi SDHC 

PROS

  • Wireless image transfers
  • Unlimited cloud storage

CONS

  • Not compatible with RAW files
  • Pricey

If you’re one to roll with the times, perhaps you should try out this relatively unconventional option. It uses wifi to transfer your photos from your camera to any of your devices as you take them, so the fact that this card’s capacity is 8GB shouldn’t be a problem.

If you buy this card, you also get a 90 day Eyefi Cloud membership, which provides unlimited storage. If you like the card, who knows, it may be worth spending the extra bucks on a full membership.

Somebody gave this to me as a gift, and I think it’s a great novelty that has a solid future but it’s obviously not great for shooting in bursts and, unfortunately for me, the wifi function is not compatible with RAW files.

To get the most out of this card, you need to have access to wifi, which obviously works faster with smaller images.

If you want to share JPEG images on your social media accounts as soon as you take them, this is a great option.

It may not be my ideal card, but I am really happy that I am in possession of one because it’s really cool and can definitely be super convenient.

Conclusion

Photographers have so many options when it comes to choosing a memory card. In order to prevent disappointment, it’s really important to find a card of the right type, speed and capacity to suit your needs.

There is no one-size-fits-all memory card; but if there was, it would be the SanDisk Extreme PRO SDHC card because its value for money is the least likely to let you down.

It’s super fast and reliable, and available with a wide range of capacities. It is an SD derivative, so it will most likely fit in your camera and your computer.

If you’re not in need of this card’s great speed, I still recommend it because you never know when its functions will come in handy in the future.


Camera Memory Card Types

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best camera tripod under 100

Best Camera Tripod Under 100 USD in 2017

best camera tripod under 100

Best Camera Tripod Under $100 

Many photographers are amazed to discover that it's possible to buy an enthusiast-level DSLR for the same price as some top of the line tripods, but you don't have to bankrupt yourself to get a good quality tripod.

There are a number of great tripods in the under-$100 range, which is perfect for the occasional user or for photographers who want to get a taste of what tripod shooting is like.

Here are a few of the best camera tripods available for under $100

How to Choose a Camera Tripod

Spending your money carefully when it comes to buying camera equipment is a good habit to get into as early as possible, so here's what you need to know about tripods in order to get the most value for your money.

Construction Material

The best tripods have leg sections made out of cutting-edge carbon fibre composite materials, but those are usually in the $500+ price range.

In our price range you can find tripods made out of aircraft-grade aluminium alloys that still provide a great blend of weight, stability, and affordability, and in many cases they are just about as portable as their carbon fibres cousins.

Just try to avoid a tripod made entirely out of plastic, unless you're only planning to use it occasionally in the studio - and even then, they can be more trouble than they're worth!

When it comes to the rest of the construction, try to avoid choosing a tripod that uses plastic on the locking mechanisms or the tripod head and go for metal instead.

Plastic is lightweight and cheap, which is helpful if you're going to be traveling a lot with your tripod, but it is very susceptible to wear and tear from regular use.

Over time, the tripod legs might not lock quite as firmly, and the tripod head might not lock into position as effectively as you need.

Height & Weight

A good tripod needs to be able to cover a range of shooting heights effectively, which usually means from somewhere around 12" at the minimum height and 50-60" at the maximum.

Modern tripods have quick-locking telescoping legs that allow you to quickly adjust this height, as well as a central post that can be extended to reach the full height.

Some also allow you to fold the legs in a unique way to get extremely low to the ground, sometimes as low as 4", but that's not common in the under-$100 price range.

Of course, the downside to having a larger maximum height means that you're carrying around more metal on your back, and after a day's worth of walking around shooting, you'll be glad for every ounce of weight you can avoid carrying.

If you have an assistant to do your carrying for you, or if you're an experienced hiker who doesn't mind carrying a heavy load then go for the biggest height.

Stability

Stability is obviously the most important part of any tripod, but it's so influenced by the height, weight and construction material that it was worth mentioning those first.

Every section where the tripod has moving parts increases the chance of causing slight vibrations in your shot.

Making sure that the tripod head and leg locks are made of solid metal is the best way to maximize your stability.

Additionally, having strong, rotating feet at the end of each leg allows your tripod to adapt fully to the shooting conditions.

In some landscape shooting situations the wind can start to play tricks with your tripod, so it's useful to have the option to add a bit of extra weight for additional stability.

Some tripod models have a hook at the bottom of the central mounting post, allowing you to hang a weight (such as your camera bag) in order to keep your tripod firmly planted.

Last but not least, having the ability to swap out the tripod feet to match the type of ground you're shooting on can be a huge help.

Sharp spikes don't get much traction on paved surfaces or other built environments and shooting with soft flexible rubber feet isn't always the best idea when you're out in the wilderness, so the ability to adjust them gives you that little extra edge of stability in any situation.

Support Capacity

In the under-$100 price range, you're probably not going to be mounting a heavy medium-format camera or an extra-long telephoto lens on your tripod, but it's still important to know just how much weight it's able to support safely.

Most tripods in this range will support weights between 5 and 10 lbs, although some can handle a bit more.

That's perfect for any kind of mirrorless camera with any but the largest telephoto lenses, or an entry to mid-level DSLR with an average lens - but when in doubt, weigh your gear first!

Bonus Features

There are several helpful extras that some manufacturers add into their tripods, even at the under-$100 price point:

  • If possible, choose a tripod that has a built-in bubble or spirit level to allow you to get proper horizon alignments easily without a lot of work in post-production.
  • It can also be very handy to have a tripod that allows you to convert the central mounting post into a monopod, giving you two stabilizers in one package.
  • Look for a quick-release mounting plate to allow you to switch from tripod to handheld shooting rapidly. You never know when a photo opportunity will present itself, so staying flexible can keep you from missing unexpected shots.

The Best Camera Tripods for Under $100

Now that you know what your options are, let's take a closer look at some of our favourite tripods.

Rangers 57” Ultra Compact Tripod

This tripod from Rangers has undergone a significant redesign compared to the previous model, and that update has fixed almost all of the issues that prevented this from being mentioned as a favourite in earlier posts.

It has a height range of 15" to 57", weighs 2.9 lbs with the included ball-head, and folds up for storage or transport into a 14" long package.

The aluminium legs telescope into 4 sections with quick release locks made of solid metal, and the overall construction is about as good as you'll find in this price range.

Rangers has even included almost every one of our recommended bonus features:

  • a dual-level system for easy alignments (although for some reason one of the levels is mounted on the side of the ball-head);
  • a hook for adding additional weight;
  • a quick-release mounting plate on the tripod head and one of the legs can be detached to combine with the central post to form a telescoping monopod.

The only thing that's missing is the ability to swap out the tripod feet, but that's not exactly a necessity.

Manfrotto Compact Action Tripod

Despite being one of Manfrotto's more basic entries in the tripod market, this aluminium tripod has a decent height range from 17" to 61" in a 2.6lb package.

Unfortunately, it can't close up smaller than 17" which makes it a bit less portable than some of the other models we looked at, although its real handicap is the amount of weight it can support: nothing over 3.3lbs.

This makes it a perfect choice for a mirrorless camera or a very lightweight DSLR and lens combination, but even then you might be coming very close to the support limit.

Despite the portability issues, the Compact Action Tripod has something special that most tripods don't: a joystick head.

This can be a real advantage for anyone who likes to pan a lot during their shooting, whether you're going for a simple panorama or an interesting panning blur effect.

Some photographers swear by them, but others aren't fans - it will depend on your personal shooting style.

K&F Concept 62" Tripod

K&F Concept chose to construct their aluminium tripod range out of what's actually an aluminium and magnesium alloy, and it shows in the final weight of this model.

It covers a height range of 16" to 62" and weighs in at 4lbs, making it one of the heavier tripods we looked at.

On the plus side that extra strength really boosts the support weight, allowing you to mount gear weighing up to 17 lbs, which should cover almost any camera and lens combination available.

The downside is that they've tried to cut out some of the weight by using plastic for a number of the locking mechanisms, which means they won't as durable as some of the other models after extended usage.

Other than that issue, it still checks a number of the other boxes that make a good tripod into a great one: a smoothly rotating ball-head with quick-release plate, bubble level and support hook for adding extra stability weights.

It can't convert into a monopod, but it can invert its central post for shooting much lower to the ground than its 16" minimum height would suggest.

Zomei Q555 Tripod

This tripod has a decent height range and weight profile, ranging from 17.5" to 62.5" and totalling 2.9 lbs, although it can't fold away any smaller than 17.5" which makes it a bit awkward to carry.

The anodized aluminium alloy legs telescope in 3 sections with plastic locking mechanisms, ending in fixed rubber feet that can't be swapped out.

The tripod head is better constructed with a good ball head and quick-release plate that can support up to 17 lbs.

One odd aspect and potentially irritating of this design is the foam padding that wraps around two of the tripod legs.

If you're shooting exclusively in controlled environments they won't cause a problem and might actually be helpful as a handle, but if you ever take this out of the studio they're going to act as magnets for dust and dirt.

Ravelli New Professional 70" Tripod

This tripod features the largest height extremes of any of the models we looked at, with a range from 32" to 70", making it perfect for taller photographers.

Hopefully, your extra height means that you won't mind carrying a bit of extra weight on the tripod because this is also the heaviest model we looked at, weighing in at a hefty 8 lbs.

All that weight does make for an extremely stable tripod, and it has a great range of features including a pistol grip tripod head with oversized quick-release mounting plate, swappable rubber and spiked feet, and an invertible central column.

JOBY Gorillapod

The Gorillapod is an amazingly fun little tripod, but it doesn't really fit into the same category as the rest of these tripods.

It's so unique that it's worth including, thanks to its fully articulated legs that allow you to adjust them to any shape or position.

You'll be constantly amazed at the different shooting options that are suddenly available when you realize that you can attach your camera onto a whole new range of surfaces that would never work with a more traditional tripod.

It doesn't stand very tall, just around 12" high, and it can only support up to 6.5 lbs, but it also weighs less than a pound, which makes it portable enough to bring alongside a more traditional tripod.

It will support mirrorless cameras and lightweight DSLRs with ease, but don't try to mount too much gear on it or the ball joints that make up the legs won't remain stable.

Our best pick

This was a tough choice between the Ravelli New Professional and the Rangers 57" Ultra Compact Tripod.

In the end, the Rangers tripod wins out thanks to its excellent blend of size and portability.

The Ravelli is too heavy to make for convenient carrying, despite being an excellent tripod, so it isn't the best choice for landscape photographers or anyone else who has to travel with all their gear on their back.

The Rangers tripod has all the important features that you need in a tripod while keeping it all lightweight, so you won't have to dread the weight of your gear!



best camera tripod under 100

Check out more Accessories Reviews here 

Best Digital Camera Under 500

Best Digital Camera Under 500 USD

Best Digital Camera Under 500

Best Digital Camera Under 500 USD 

The world of photography is exciting and creatively fulfilling, but just looking at some of the prices for equipment can make your heart skip a beat.

Fortunately, as the technology behind digital cameras gets better and better, it also starts to get cheaper.

In today's market you can get some excellent quality digital cameras without breaking the bank.

Here are a few of our favourite options for the best digital camera under 500 USD.

What to Look for in an Entry Level Digital Camera

It may be a surprise that a $500 camera still counts as an 'entry level' camera.

But when you consider that some DSLRs can cost as much as $8000, you start to see why they're named that.

That being said, $500 is still a lot of money, so it's important to make sure you know what to watch out for before you make your purchase.

DSLR vs Mirrorless Cameras

It used to be impossible to find a DSLR for under $500.

But because of the way the market has changed there are now several options in this price range aimed at beginner photographers looking to sharpen their skills with a quality camera.

However, the same technological advances have allowed mirrorless cameras to come close to DSLR levels of image quality, although the best mirrorless cameras are usually a bit more expensive than their DSLR competitors.

The primary difference between the two from a mechanical perspective is that mirrorless cameras (unsurprisingly) have no mirror system to direct light from the lens upwards into the viewfinder.

Instead, they use an electronic viewfinder that shows exactly what the camera's sensor sees, although this constantly drains your battery while the screen is on.

The advantage of this mirrorless method is a lighter camera body and the ability to view the results of your current exposure settings in real time, but the downside is much shorter battery life which can seriously limit the number of shots you're able to take.

Image Quality

Two main factors influence a camera's image quality: resolution and sensor size.

Resolution

The resolution of your camera's sensor is measured in megapixels.

At this price point most cameras fall into the 16-20 MP range which will allow you to make film-quality prints at roughly 11" x 17".

Higher resolution cameras allow you to do more cropping and editing of your photos, as you'll be able to recrop your photos while still keeping things at a decently printable and shareable size.

Sensor Size​

Sensor size is a bit more complicated from a technical perspective.

The short version is that the larger your sensor, the better your image quality will be.

Large and medium format cameras take the highest quality pictures, but they tend to cost upwards of $10,000.

In the $ 500 price range the best and biggest sensors you'll find fall into the APS-C category.

These sensors are still capable of producing high-quality images, and many semi-professional cameras use the same technology.

Kit Lenses

All our camera choices in this roundup come with a kit lens included as part of their sub-$500 price.

After all, what's the point of shopping on a budget if you have to turn around and buy an expensive lens right away?

Not all lenses are created equal, however, and all camera manufacturers use a different method of attaching their lenses to their cameras.

Nikon lenses won't mount onto a Canon body, and Olympus lenses won't mount onto Pentax camera bodies, and so on.

Since you're probably going to be shooting with your kit lens for a while until you get more familiar and comfortable with your new camera, it's important to have a lens that blends quality with a range of capabilities.

The best kit lenses include some kind of image stabilization system to allow you to shoot at slow shutter speeds without blurring, which is a huge advantage in low-light situations.

In terms of aperture, the faster your kit lens the better, but most lenses at this range only open up to f/3.5 or f/4.

Typically, kit lenses at this price range offer a decent 18-55mm zoom range, although some mirrorless cameras offer much more expansive zoom ranges.

The trade-off for the expanded capability in mirrorless camera kit lenses is that most mirrorless cameras have a much smaller range of additional lenses available for sale than DSLR cameras.

So while they pack more capability into a single lens, you're much more limited in your overall choice.

Of course, if you have no plans to buy additional lenses, a mirrorless camera provides a lot of functionality for the same price as a DSLR in a much lighter and more conveniently portable package.

The Best Digital Cameras Under $500

DSLR: Nikon D3400

The Nikon D3400 is a refresh of the popular D3300, and has the highest megapixel count of any of the cameras we looked at with a 24.2 MP APS-C sensor.

It has an impressive ISO range for this price point, reaching up to ISO 25,600 without resorting to boosting techniques.

This means that you get great low-light pictures with minimal noise distortion.

It doesn't have the best autofocus available with an 11-point phase-detection system, but that's one of the few shortcomings of this camera.

The kit lens it comes packed with is Nikon's AF-P 18-55 VR lens.

It is a fairly new offering from Nikon that incorporates a new type of stepping autofocus motor for smoother and quieter operation.

The image stabilization system (VR for 'vibration reduction' in Nikon terminology) provides an impressive 4 stop boost, allowing you to shoot hand-held at much slower shutter speeds that you otherwise would be able to, all without noticeable image blur.

One important note - in order to save on manufacturing costs and to keep the weight of their cameras down, Nikon made the choice to remove the autofocus motors from their entry-level line of DSLRs, including the D3400.

Almost all modern lenses included an autofocus motor, but if you're hoping to use older Nikon lenses on this body you'll be restricted to using manual focus.

DSLR: Canon EOS Rebel SL1

Canon's Rebel SL1 is starting to show its age a little bit when compared to the D3400, but it's still an excellent camera, packing an 18 MP APS-C sensor.

The ISO range is a good example of what you'll usually find at this price range, ranging from 100-12,800 with a boost that can push its range up to 25,600.

Unfortunately, the fact that it needs to be boosted to reach this point will add a bit of extra unwanted digital noise to your images, but it still performs fairly well in low-light shooting conditions.

The SL1 has a somewhat less flexible 9-point autofocus system, but it uses Canon's hybrid autofocus system that combines phase detection and contrast detection for a more capable AF system than the limited number of points would suggest.

In case the 9 point system isn't capable of matching what you had in mind, you can use the SL1's touchscreen to select exactly where you want the focus to be, although this is a bit counterintuitive unless you're always using the camera's Live View system to compose your shots.

The kit lens that comes standard with the SL1 is Canon's 18-55mm IS STM lens.

'IS' stands for image stabilization which provides 4 stops of stabilization for better low-light shooting.

STM means that it's a stepping autofocus motor, similar to the one offered with the D3400, although Canon has been using the technology for some time.

The lens is very sharp at all settings, which an impressive feat for a kit lens, and it can focus as close as 0.82 feet for surprisingly effective close-up shooting.

DSLR: Pentax K-50

Pentax doesn't have nearly as big a share of the DSLR market as Canon or Nikon, so they try to make up for it by packing in some extra features that the bigger manufacturers reserve for their more expensive cameras.

The K-50 has a decently-sized APS-C sensor, but at a slightly-disappointing 16 MP in resolution.

Its ISO range is the best of all the cameras we looked at, however, reaching up to 51,200 without requiring any boosting.

The K-50 is also the only camera we looked at to have a fully weather-sealed body, which is quite unusual for cameras at this price point.

It also features an excellent image stabilization system built into the camera body.

This means that even older Pentax lenses that were designed before stabilization became a popular technology will benefit from being mounted on this body.

The kit lens that ships with the K-50 is a standard 18-55mm lens, with the exception that it's also weather-resistant like the camera body itself.

Mirrorless: Sony a5100

DSLRs aren't the only way to get great image quality, as the a5100 from Sony shows.

It has an APS-C sensor, which is quite unusual for a mirrorless camera at this price point, and an impressive 24 MP resolution.

The ISO range is a solid unboosted 100-25,600, and the AF system uses a combination of phase and contrast detection systems similar to the Canon SL1.

The a5100 comes bundled with a 16-50mm Power Zoom lens, but unfortunately it uses Sony's E-mount lens system. 

The E-mount range is fairly impressive for a mirrorless camera system, but Sony is the only one making lenses with this mount and that means that they have no competition on price.

There are a few affordable lenses at the $200-$300 price point, but most are more expensive, and some of them cost as much as $1800 which sort of defeats the purpose of an entry-level camera system.

Mirrorless: Canon EOS M10

Canon has been making waves with the new entries in its EOS M mirrorless camera line, and the M10 is a solid performer for the under-$500 class.

It has an 18MP APS-C sensor that shoots at an ISO range of up to 25,600, although it has to boost to reach this level.

It has a great 49 point autofocus system that uses Canon's newest Hybrid CMOS AF II technology, combining a large number of phase and contrast detection points.

The lens that ships with the M10 is a decent 15-45mm lens, but the real virtue of this camera is in the ability to mount Canon's full range of DSLR lenses with the proper adapter.

This provides a much larger range of capabilities than you usually find in a mirrorless camera, and almost makes it a better choice than the SL1 that we reviewed earlier, although the lack of a viewfinder can make your shot composition more difficult.

Our Final Recommendation

Most entry level cameras are stepping stones on the way to future photographic greatness, and so it's smart to choose a camera that will help you on the way to that goal.

The Nikon D3400 has a great range of features that make it easy for the beginner to get comfortable with the world of DSLR photography without breaking the bank.

It's powerful enough to give more advanced photographers a little taste of what a professional camera can do.

It's by far the cheapest camera that we looked at in this roundup, but you wouldn't know it from looking at its impressive features.

It's 24 MP APS-C sensor made it the highest-resolution DSLR we looked at by far, and it has a respectable ISO range that was only rivaled by the K-50.

It packs a lot of capability into a small and lightweight body, and it even has some great connectivity features that allow you to automatically download your photos onto your smartphone or other Bluetooth enabled device for easy sharing.

One of the most important advantages of an entry-level DSLR is that any additional lenses that you buy can be used later on with your next camera (as long as it's from the same manufacturer or if the adaptor is available on the market).

This makes it a lot easier and cheaper to develop your skills and your lens library before you take the plunge and buy an expensive semi-professional or professional camera.



Best Digital Camera Under 500

Check out more Camera Reviews here 

Best Lightweight Travel Tripod

Best Lightweight Travel Tripod

Best Lightweight Travel Tripod

Best Lightweight Travel Tripod

Every photographer can appreciate the value of a good tripod, but not all tripods are suitable to take on the road.

This is why we have screen what the market offer and have picked the one that for us is the best lightweight travel tripod.

Bringing a good travel tripod on your photographic journeys can open up whole new shooting possibilities.

Let's take a quick look at some of the best lightweight travel tripods.

Essential Features for Lightweight Travel Tripods

Choosing a travel tripod isn't quite the same as choosing a tripod for studio work.

Travel tripods require some more specialized features.

Here's what you need to know to make the right choice.

Stability

Obviously, the most important feature of a tripod is its ability to stabilize your camera, so the tripod itself needs to be well-constructed.

Pay special attention to the head section where the camera mount is located, as this is an area where corners are cut on the cheaper models.

Most tripods now feature telescoping legs, so ensure that the clips which hold each section in place are equally sturdy.

No matter whether you're going to be shooting landscapes in natural environments or travelling through cities, you're going to want a tripod with sturdy, flexible feet that can rotate slightly to match the angle of the ground.

Some offer spikes to embed in the earth, but this can limit you if you're shooting in urban environments as they are far less effective on paved surfaces.

Depending on the kind of camera and lens configuration you're going to be using, you'll want to make sure that your tripod is weight-rated highly enough to support your setup.

Most are rated for 25 pounds or more, but if you're going to be shooting with an extremely large telephoto lens, you may require more strength.

Portability

Portability is also an essential element of a travel tripod, especially if you're going to be on the move all day.

Unfortunately, a lot of how portable your tripod is depends on what it's made of, which in turn affects how stable it will be.

A plastic tripod would be very lightweight and portable, but it wouldn't be very sturdy, while a metal tripod would be rock-solid but far too heavy to carry around for a day of shooting.

The best compromise is found in carbon fiber composite materials, which blend the strength and stability of metal with the lightweight, portable aspects of plastic.

The only downside is that because carbon fibre is a relatively new technology, tripods that use it tend to be a bit more expensive than other options.

Height Range

One of the great things about travel photography is that you never know what kind of incredible shots you're going to get.

It's important to make sure that your tripod is able to keep up with a range of circumstances.

A good tripod should provide you with lockable, telescoping legs and an adjustable central post for maximum flexibility in terms of height range.

Some tripods will even allow you to fold the legs outwards at an extreme angle to get your camera closer to the ground, although that's not exactly an essential feature.

After all, if you want your camera 6" off the ground you could simply rest it on your camera bag.

Level Guides

Shooting in the studio gives you great control over your environment, but you have no such luxuries when you're travelling.

You'll often be using your tripod on uneven surfaces you've never seen before.

That doesn't mean you should be forced to spend a lot of time in post-processing doing horizon angle corrections.

Instead, many tripods offer a feature known as a bubble or spirit level, which lets you ensure that your camera is properly leveled before you start shooting.

Weighting Options

As we already pointed out, when you're out in the world, shooting conditions are not always ideal.

If you've chosen an extremely lightweight tripod for extra portability and suddenly find yourself in a windy area with an unstable surface to mount your tripod, you'll want to make sure that your tripod isn't so top-heavy that it gets blown over!

Many tripods feature a system that allows you to hang a heavy object (such as your camera bag) from the central post, providing additional stability in less than perfect conditions.

Our Favourite Lightweight Travel Tripods

Manfrotto BeFree Compact

The BeFree Compact from Manfrotto is one of the smaller tripods that we looked at, folding down into a package just 15.4" long and weighing 2.4 lbs.

The trade-off for this smaller size is that it doesn't provide the same weight capacity that some of the other tripods do, although it can support 8.8 lbs which should cover all compact cameras and most lightweight DSLRs.

This tripod also has a unique method of folding the legs, wrapping them up above the tripod head.

This has some benefits and some drawbacks.

It makes for a more compact package overall and offers you the ability to individually adjust the angle of each leg, but it also prevents you from carrying your camera mounted on the tripod.

There is a quick-release plate that makes it easy to attach and remove the camera from the main body of the tripod, but it might force you to adjust your shooting style slightly.

MeFOTO GlobeTrotter

The GlobeTrotter has one of the most impressive maximum heights of the tripods we looked at, reaching up to 64.2" at the maximum and 16.1" at the lower end.

That extra height comes with some extra weight, as this is also one of the heavier tripods at 3.7 lbs.

This also allows it to support loads of up to 26.4 lbs, making it perfect for anyone shooting with a full-frame or medium format camera and a large lens.

In addition to being a strong piece, MeFOTO has packed in some great extras like separate height and pan locks for extra shooting flexibility, a bubble level mounted in the head, and the ability to convert the tripod into a monopod by removing the central column.

They've even included a handy carrying case, as it might be a bit too bulky to fit into some of the smaller camera bags on the market.

Gitzo GK1555T-82TQD Series 1

You'll be forgiven for not being able to remember the full name of this tripod, but you won't forget how carefully designed it is.

With a maximum height of 58.4" and a minimum of 12" you'll have the flexibility for almost all shooting conditions, and it folds down to just 14" long.

It also has a good balance of weight and support capacity, handling up to 22 lbs of gear while only weighing 3.1 lbs.

The legs fold up in reverse similar to the Manfrotto tripod we looked at earlier, but instead of blocking the tripod head the central column is inverted and the legs fold around it, allowing you to leave your camera mounted while you carry it.

It also features separate pan and height locks around the ball head for easy rotation when shooting panoramas or moving subjects, and you can quickly control the panning speed by adjusting the friction lock.

To top it all off, there's a bubble level for easy horizon levelling and an optional shoulder strap.

Sirui T-024X

The T-024X was the lightest tripod we looked at at just 2.1 lbs, so if maximum portability is your prime concern then this is a great option.

Despite being so lightweight, it still manages to have a height range from 58" to 8.2" and a folded size of 15.7", but it only supports up to 13.2 lbs so make sure you choose your gear carefully.

If it turns out that it's actually too light for proper stability during windy shooting conditions, you can use the hook on the central column to add a weight such as your camera bag.

If you shoot on uneven ground regularly, you'll appreciate the ability to adjust each leg at a different angle to get stable positioning no matter where you are, and the telescoping legs have a quick lock and release system for fast setup.

The central column is reversible to allow macro shooting, although you can also use the optional shorter central column to get right down to the ground.

3 Legged Thing Eclipse Leo

The Eclipse Leo from manufacturer 3 Legged Thing is a bit cumbersomely named but the tripod itself is one of the best we looked at.

It has a height range from 55" to an impressively low 4.75", is just 3.2lbs in weight and supports between 22 and 66 lbs, depending on the angle the legs are locked at.

It can also be switched into a monopod format by switching out one of the legs and attaching it to the rest of the central column, which is a unique take on the typical monopod conversion method that may not be to your taste.

The Leo comes with rubberized feet for stability on indoor and urban surfaces, but they can be swapped out for either spike or claw-format feet from 3 Legged Thing which are sold separately.

It also has a single bubble level set into the main tripod head which uses a ball head format, although flat tripod plate heads are available as well - but again, sold separately.

Our Best Pick

When we do a review of photo gear, there is typically one piece that stands well above the rest.

In this case it's hard to choose between the Eclipse Leo from 3 Legged Thing and the MeFOTO GlobeTrotter.

After much careful deliberation, though, we've decided that the Eclipse Leo is going to be our recommended travel tripod thanks to a couple of extra features that are available.

Despite being priced very similarly, the Eclipse Leo has a slight advantage in portability that makes it better suited to being carried around for a whole day of shooting.

It might seem like the half pound of weight won't make much of a difference, but after a day of hiking you'll appreciate any advantage you can get.

The Eclipse Leo also folds down into a smaller package at just 13.8" without sacrificing much in terms of its height range, which allows you to fit it into almost any camera bag.

Add in the solid carbon fibre construction and magnesium alloy fittings, and you've got a tripod that will give you great shots without being too heavy to bring with you anywhere.



Best Lightweight Travel Tripod

Check out more Accessories Reviews here 

Best Cloud Storage for Photographers

Best Cloud Storage for Photographers

Best Cloud Storage for Photographers

The 5 Best Cloud Storage for Photographers Reviewed

Are you looking for an indestructible backup space for your photos?

Are you ready to head up to the clouds? 

If the answer is yes, then you’re probably asking, what’s the best cloud storage for photographers?

It’s a good thing you asked, and you’ve come to the right place

Continue reading
12 Best Books On Photography

12 Best Books On Photography

12 Best Books On Photography

12 Best Books On Photography

Learning photography is a process that never really ends - it's easy to get the basics down, but you can spend the rest of your life figuring out new ways to see the world, new ways to share your vision and new methods of capturing light and landscapes.

While there's no substitute for practice, there's nothing wrong with getting some inspiration and wisdom from photographers who have a bit more experience.

With that in mind, here are 12 of the best photography books on a range of subjects related to landscape photography.

Choosing the Right Book to Expand Your Photographic Horizons

One of the most important things to keep in mind when you're trying to decide on a photography book is that you don't need to just buy one.

The more you broaden your horizons, the better a photographer you'll be, and more books to look through means more exposure to new styles, techniques and ideas.

That being said, it's usually a good idea to start with the work of a photographer whose visual style you enjoy, as it will help motivate you to continue working through your new material.

In addition to having a visual style you appreciate, it's important to choose a book by someone who can explain their ideas simply and effectively so that you don't waste time trying to decipher bad explanations - or worse, get frustrated with the book and put it aside.

Many talented photographers are not very good at communicating their ideas through writing, so don't get discouraged if the first book you try doesn't quite 'click' with your particular learning style.

Techniques

Of the three types of books we're going to look at in this review roundup, technique instruction is probably the easiest to share with another photographer.

There are clear procedures that can be simply and effectively taught, and as long as the writing is clear it's possible to replicate an impressive piece of work simply by repeating the instructions.

This is how many photographers have begun to learn their craft, and it can be incredibly motivating to be able to create beautiful photographs by following some simple steps.

The danger of learning strictly though following the techniques of others is that you can start to think too rigidly, only following the same steps and producing the same types of images.

While that can be effective and helpful early on in your photographic education, it becomes rapidly problematic if you lose the drive to explore and experiment with brand new techniques.

So it's important to flesh out your technique knowledge with books from our other two essential categories.

Composition 

Composition is one of the most subtle aspects of photography, and one that isn't nearly as easy to teach as some of the more basic technical aspects.

Most photographers are aware of simple compositional guidelines like the Rule of Thirds, but once you get past that kind of introductory material it gets harder and harder to teach.

At that point, a solid understanding of more difficult concepts such as negative space, asymmetrical balance and visual rhythm are often best understood through a series of visual examples and explanations.

When looking for composition help, it's definitely best to choose a book by someone whose style you respect.

You're going to be looking at a lot of images in order to deconstruct what makes them work from a compositional perspective, so images made in a style you enjoy will help you stay interested while you learn to process how it all works.

Creativity & Inspirational 

There are many different approaches to creativity, and every person's process is unique - but that means it is all the more valuable to look at books by photographers whose work you wouldn't necessarily choose to explore otherwise.

Creativity comes from unexpected directions, making connections between things you never associated before and a constant exposure to new ideas and images.

It's hard to teach someone to see things in a new way when all they want to see is what they already know that they like.

If this is the type of book you're after, try to keep an open mind, and try an interesting experiment: for every book you read by a photographer you like, try to choose a second one by a photographer whose work you don't particularly appreciate.

You might find that you get more out of the books you thought you wouldn't like than the ones you knew you would.

Our pick of Photography Books

As you will have noticed earlier, we're dividing the best photography books into three basic categories, because it's next to impossible to choose 'overall best' photography books when there are so many different aspects to the art.

Here are our 12 favourites.

Photographic Technique Books

Understanding Exposure, 3rd Edition: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera 

by Bryan Peterson


There's a reason this book has made it to the 3rd edition, with over 350,000 copies sold worldwide - Peterson has a talent for explaining complex technical subjects in a way that's easy to understand.

Exposure is one of the most basic aspects of photography, but there's a large difference between knowing the basics and truly understanding it, and Peterson can help you bridge the gap and make exposure work for you instead of just being something you struggle with.

With over 30 years of experience and numerous bestselling photography books, he is eminently qualified to break down the technical side of exposure and help you take your photographs to the next level, no matter whether you're a beginner or an experienced photographer.

Night Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots 

by Gabriel Biderman and Tim Cooper


One thing is to be able to take great photographs when there is plenty of light, but moving into the world of night photography is another game.

It can be a confusing experience for beginner and intermediate-level photographers who aren't familiar with how it works.

Biderman and Cooper take you through everything you need to know about the world of night photography, from what equipment you'll need to special techniques for night focusing and composition all the way through to finalizing your images with special post-processing techniques specifically designed for night photographs.

Also included are a number of inspirational images and 'assignments' for you to go out and put your skills into practice, and there's even a group dedicated to the book and its readers on the photo sharing site Flickr.

How to Create Stunning Digital Photography 

by Tony Northrup


Tony Northrup has created more than just an instructional technique book with this title.

Instead is using it as a method to teach both beginner and intermediate photographers through free supplementary video lessons, online community engagement with other aspiring photographers who have purchased his book, and a constantly updated ebook version that stays current with the latest trends and techniques.

Northrup's extensive career in a range of photographic disciplines from advertising to travel have informed his photographic eye, while publishing over 30 instructional books have helped him to hone his teaching style down to a fine art.

With over a million copies of his books in print, he can make even the most complex photographic subjects simple enough for anyone to understand.

Digital Landscape Photography: In The Footsteps of Ansel Adams and the Masters

by Michael Frye


Ansel Adams is one of the most revered landscape photographers in the whole history of the discipline.

He was a master of precision techniques that helped make his work so popular.

Unfortunately, he was photographing well before the digital age and a lot of his instruction needs adaptation to stay relevant in modern photography. 

Frye in this book delivers an excellent update. Having lived near Yosemite National Park for the last 35 years,

Frye has the perfect shooting locations just outside his front door. 

He uses his own beautiful photographs to demonstrate the ins and outs of the techniques of Adams including an update to famous Zone System that is better suited to digital photography.

Photography: Complete Guide To Taking Stunning, Beautiful Pictures

by Nicole Woods


This book is a great introduction for beginner photographers who want to learn the basic techniques that are required knowledge for producing a decent photograph.

For those who are finally making the leap to a DSLR camera or finally switching away from using 'Auto' mode, there is a great deal of well-presented information about the basics of ISO, shutter speed and aperture.

More advanced photographers will find the subject matter somewhat basic when compared to some of the other books we reviewed here.

Woods does cover a lot of ground in this book, explaining everything from exactly how a DSLR works to the basics of digital post-processing and printing your images, but that wide scope also prevents her from delving too deeply into any of one them.

Photographic Composition Books

Learning to See Creatively, Third Edition: Design, Color, and Composition in Photography

by Bryan Peterson


There's a good reason that Peterson has two entries in our list of the best photography books.

He has an impressive ability to turn the most complex subjects into simple, easy-to-understand explanations that give his readers sudden insight into how it all works.

That's exactly the kind of writing style that you need to explain the nature of composition and visual design.

A subject that can seem pretty mysterious to intermediate photographers who have mastered the basic technical side of photography but are looking for the next opportunity to improve the quality of their work.

Like his book on exposure, this book has made it to its third edition, updated with brand new photos from Peterson's extensive portfolio and a whole new section on how to use colour as a compositional design element.

Composing the Photo

by Trey Ratcliff

Composing the Photo by Trey Ratcliffe

This ebook is perfect for beginner photographers who learn best through carefully analysing the photos of others.

Trey Ratcliff has filled much of the 50 page book with these types of guides.

He writes in a very approachable, personable way that resonates with many readers, and takes you through a number of examples with detailed explanations of how and why each photo was selected out of a range of similar images.

Ratcliff has had a long career in photography, embracing HDR photography and being distinguished as the first photographer to hang an HDR photo in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C.

Photographic Creativity & Inspirational Books

Examples: The Making of 40 Photographs

by Ansel Adams


When you're looking for inspiration in the world of landscape photography, there are few better sources than the work and writings of the legendary American landscape photographer Ansel Adams.

Written by Adams before his death in 1984, this book takes 40 of his most famous photographs and deconstructs the visual and technical challenges he overcame in order to turn them into international successes.

In addition to the fascinating insight into the processes and procedures he used to make his iconic images, Adams also shares the stories and the people behind his images and how he came to make them.

Extraordinary Everyday Photography: Awaken Your Vision to Create Stunning Images Wherever You Are

by Brenda Tharp and Jed Manwaring


Landscape photography is all about the world around us on a large scale, and yet sometimes we find ourselves missing the beauty in the landscapes we see on a daily basis.

This book is a great exploration of how it's possible to find inspiration without having to travel to the other side of the world.

It's presented in a way that doesn't over emphasize the technical side of photography but rather the feelings and emotions that make you want to create images in the first place.

This book provides inspiration for photographers at almost all skill levels. Novice photographers though may find that there isn't enough description of the techniques used to create the images - although more advanced photographers will appreciate that this is part of the book's strength.

Ansel Adams: 400 Photographs

by Ansel Adams, edited by Andrea G. Stillman


For those of you looking for a more in-depth look at the work of Ansel Adams, you'll find ten times as many images in this book, although they aren't discussed in quite such exquisite detail as you find in Examples.

This is largely because the book wasn't written by Adams exclusively, but rather compiled and edited by his colleague and close friend Andrea Stillman who worked with Adams in the decade before his death.

It covers the full extent of his long photographic career, allowing you to see how his processes and photographic eye evolved over the course of his lifetime, and provides an almost never-ending source of inspiration for landscape photographers who want to explore every significant image that Adams produced.

Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative

by Austin Kleon


This book is quite a bit different from the others that we looked at in this post, because it's not specifically about photography - but don't let that make you avoid it.

Kleon has a relatively short but vibrant and popular career lecturing about creativity to a host of organizations from Pixar Studios to Google to TEDx.

He condensed much of his lecture series into this book in order to provide creativity advice to a range of audiences from writers to photographers to business executives.

This book is very engagingly written and presented in a novel, heavily-graphical way that forces you to start thinking outside the box, and asks you to re-examine all of your preconceptions about the nature of inspiration and how the process of creativity really works.

Creative Visualization for Photographers

by Rick Simmons


Last but not least is this excellent book from Rick Simmons that challenges readers to change the way they view photography by asking them to spend more time visualizing their shots before pressing the shutter.

While that might seem like an obvious step to some, the process of planning out your shots is an important tool for boosting your creativity.

It forces you to stop and think about all the different ways that a particular scene can be photographed.

Simmons presents this seemingly dull idea in a range of interesting ways, and provides great examples and assignments to help you explore the ideas and start putting them into your own photographic practice.

Conclusions

Hopefully, you're going to have a long photographic fun ahead of you, and over that time you'll probably acquire dozens if not hundreds of photography books.

If possible, you should grab a copy of every book we've listed here and then continue building your library, but photography books can quickly become expensive - especially when there is so much other photographic gear you want to spend money on.

With that in mind, we've chosen one from each category that deserves your attention the most.

In addition to being our favourite in the technique category, if you have to choose a single book overall, you can't go wrong with How to Create Stunning Digital Photography by Tony Northrup.

Northrup has created an impressive amount of content on a wide range of subjects, which allows both beginners and intermediate photographers to learn on virtually any photographic subject they're curious about.

In addition to the free supplementary videos and huge private community of likeminded learners, you get free access to an ebook version of the book that will be updated constantly as new styles and equipment arrive on the photography scene.

When it comes to our favorite book on compositional learning, Learning to See Creatively by Bryan Peterson tackles the often complex and difficult subject in a clear and easy-to-understand way that demonstrates the structure behind all manner of compositions.

His signature writing style cuts through all the nonsense that surrounds a lot of photographic instruction, and you before you're even finished reading the book, you find yourself filled with new ideas that you want to experiment with.

Inspiration above and beyond learning new compositional styles is hard to teach, and that also made it hard to choose a book that stands out in the creativity/inspiration category.

All too often as landscape photographers, we spend all our time thinking about the next great far-distant photography hotspot and what's over the next horizon, without stopping to really see the beauty of the natural landscapes that surround us in everyday life.

Extraordinary Everyday Photography by Brenda Tharp and Jed Manwaring has earned the title of our creative teaching best pick because it shows you how to appreciate the landscapes all around you, and reminds you not to focus too much on the technology behind your photography but rather on the way you feel about the scenes you discover.

Honorable mention must be made for the value of Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon, however - we said earlier that the more books you have, the better off you'll be. As Kleon would say, it's just more inspiration for you to steal from!

12 Best Books On Photography

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Photography Ambition
Best Messenger Camera Bags

Camera Messenger Bag: The best Bags Reviewed

Best Messenger Camera Bags

Best Messenger Camera Bags

For the urban photographer on the move, carrying around a bulky camera backpack isn't always the right solution.

Sure, you can carry more gear in them, but sometimes you need something a bit sleeker and more portable for shorter photo shoots - the camera messenger bag.

There are plenty of options available, but these are a few of the best camera messenger bags on the market right now:

Essential Features for Camera Messenger Bags

Camera messenger bags offer a great alternative to bulkier backpacks, but most photographers demand a lot of features and functionality in a very small footprint.

In order to get the right balance of capabilities, you'll have to know exactly what you want from your camera messenger bag.

Let's take a look at some of the most important aspects of the best messenger bags.

Gear Protection

The most important function of a good camera bag is to protect all of your gear during your travels, no matter what type of bag it is.

Because of the unique shape and style of messenger bags, this means they usually have to use thinner amounts of padding than you find in other bags - but that doesn't always mean they are less effective at protecting your gear.

Modern, high-impact resistance foam padding provides a surprising amount of impact protection for how thin it is, but make sure that all exterior surfaces are padded properly because in a busy urban environment, you never know where the next bump might come from.

It's equally important to make sure that the interior surfaces of your bag are equally well-padded.

Camera gear is heavy, and a solid impact from a magnesium alloy DSLR body could do some serious harm to a lens you've packed next to it if there isn't proper padding between the two.

Last but not least, don't forget to consider protection from the weather.

Because of their over-the-top flap style, messenger bags have two additional points at either end of the bag where rain, snow or dust can get in and ruin your gear, so ensure that there is an internal seal or some other method of weather protection such as a fold-out rain cover.

Carrying Capacity

A good messenger bag has to balance the ability to protect your various pieces of gear against portability and overall weight.

Most camera messenger bags will carry a mid-size DSLR with a lens attached and up to two lenses, as well as any extra batteries and other smaller accessories that you might need.

Some will even fit a full-frame DSLR and two lenses, but there aren't many bags on the market that will support a medium format camera, so you're better off going for a backpack or even larger case to transport such large and expensive gear.

Ideally, your messenger bag will also feature adjustable inserts that can be quickly reconfigured to match the particular set of gear you want to carry with you.

In addition to carrying a camera body and lenses, some of the best camera messenger bags give you the option of attaching a portable travel-sized tripod on the bottom or back of the bag. 

Just make sure that the attachment method is strong and secure, so you don't wind up accidentally losing it!

Comfort

Carrying a lot of camera gear for a whole day of shooting can quickly grow tiresome, and even the smaller amounts of gear you can stow in a messenger bag get heavier and heavier as the day goes on.

Ensuring that your bag is comfortable will give you the ability to stay out shooting longer, and help prevent chafing or blisters that can quickly ruin an otherwise great photo shoot.

If you're only using your bag to go to and from the studio or a particular on-location shoot, you're still going to want to make sure that your bag is comfortable for your commute.

This kind of situation gives you a bit more flexibility in your choice of bag, but it's still usually the smarter decision to choose a bag that is comfortable no matter how you wind up using it.

It's rarely possible to find a bag that is too comfortable, but you don't want to be stuck with one that limits how you can use it.

Look for a bag that has a well-padded shoulder strap and an easily adjustable length so you can modify it as needed to sit most comfortably on your body.

Some photographers prefer to keep them higher up on their back almost like a sling, while others prefer to keep their bags closer to their hip, and a long adjustable strap will allow you to mix it up as the situation demands.

Either way, extra padding at any of the potential body contact points is a bonus, because the repeated actions of walking with heavy weight bouncing against you can quickly grow uncomfortable.

Ease of Access

For those of you just looking to transport your gear from studio to shoot, this won't be much of a consideration, but if you're taking your bag with you on daily travelling photoshoots then you're going to want to be able to access your camera quickly and easily.

No matter where you are, travel photography often surprises you with unexpected photo opportunities that you need to be able to capture before they disappear forever, and losing a shot because you couldn't get to your camera in time is incredibly frustrating.

Of course, it's important to balance easy access to your gear against the strength and security of the fasteners.

You definitely don't want to leave a trail of gear across the city as you travel, so don't choose something that so easy to open that it can accidentally open itself.

Velcro is the simplest option, but over time it can become clogged with fibres and other outdoor detritus that can prevent it from providing a secure seal - not to mention that the sound may grow annoying after repeated openings, and it may even disturb your subjects!

Instead of velcro, it's usually best to choose a bag that has solid metal quick release clasps or a well-built zipper.

Zippers securely close off access to your bag while providing easy access, but they can be prone to wear and tear after extended periods of use so they are best when constructed out of solid metal with reinforced stitching on either side.

Clasps will provide slightly easier access and tend to last longer, but may not seal your bag quite as effectively, depending on how they are placed in the design.

Anti-Theft

As we've mentioned in our previous posts about camera bags, theft is an unfortunate reality in the world of photography, especially when you're travelling to new places through densely populated urban environments.

On a messenger bag, there are several points that a pickpocket could attack in order to steal from you: the bag strap, the connections where the strap attaches to the main bag, any loosely closed flaps on the bag and finally the actual material of the bag itself.

With that in mind, it's best to choose a bag that uses heavy duty synthetic fabric, waxed canvas or thick leather for the material of the bag itself, and strong metal fastenings for closing the main storage area and any additional pockets.

Metal or reinforced stitching should also be used for the connections between strap and bag, as these are subject to the most wear and tear created as you walk.

Last but not least, the shoulder strap should also be made out of similarly heavy duty materials, and some of the best bags will even include an anti-theft cable woven throughout for added protection against slash-and-grab thieves.

Of course, the truly determined thief could simply snatch the entire bag off your shoulder, but hopefully you'll be able to avoid this kind of theft by being properly cautious and watchful at all times.

Good observational skills make for a great photographer, and they also make for a safe photographer!

Style

Style isn't really an essential feature of a camera messenger bag, but it is often the deciding factor when you're trying to choose between two equally feature-packed options.

Camera bags are available in a range of styles, no matter whether you're looking for a hand-tooled leather vintage look to complement your personal style, or a no-nonsense heavy duty transport bag that doesn't even pretend to care about being a fashion accessory.

This will depend on how much style matters to you, but try not to prioritize looks over features and you'll be sure to find a bag you're happy with.

Best Camera Messenger Bags

Now that you know what to look for and what's possible, you've probably already begun to think about the features and functions you need for your particular situation.

Everyone has their own unique demands from their equipment, so keep those in mind as we take a look through our favourite camera bags.

Kattee Leather Vintage Camera Messenger Bag

The Kattee Leather Vintage Camera Messenger Bag has a canvas and leather exterior that surrounds a well-padded, microfiber-lined removable section for your camera gear.

Two adjustable interior dividers in the liner allow you to customize to match your gear, but you're only going to be able to fit a DSLR with attached lens and one additional lens (depending on which lenses you choose, of course).

The buckles and attachment points are all leather and metal for security, but don't let the brass buckles fool you - they're fake frontages that conceal button snaps for easy access.

This doesn't provide the best anti-theft security, but it makes it easy to access your camera quickly.

The strap is long enough to wear this bag cross-body, but the strap isn't padded very well which might cause you some discomfort during a long day of traveling and shooting.

MOACC BBK2 Canvas Messenger Bag

The BBK2 is one of the smallest messenger bags that we looked at, with just enough room for a DSLR body and a single lens, either mounted or stored separately.

You might be able to fit two small lenses in the padded internal section, but since the dividers only fit vertically, there's no way to prevent them from bumping into each other, so it's best to just stick to one.

If you want a larger size, you're better off with one of this bag's bigger cousins, the BBK 4.

If you shoot with a mirrorless camera, you'll be fine with this small size, and a lightweight assortment of gear won't strain the sturdy leather and canvas construction too much.

If you load it more heavily, however, you're going to start feeling the lack of padding in the shoulder strap.

S-ZONE Vintage Canvas Messenger Bag

Like most of the bags we looked at, the S-ZONE Vintage Canvas Messenger Bag has a vintage style exterior with a well-padded removable inner section for protecting your gear.

As this is one of the larger bags we looked at, the customizable inner dividers should provide room for a DSLR with attached lens and two additional lenses, depending on their size.

The primary flap has false buckles covering simple metal snap buttons for easy access to your gear, and an inner zipper to help protect against rain and snow, but the canvas of the bag is not treated to repel water in any way so keep that in mind if you shoot out of doors regularly.

In one of the more curious design choices, there is a strap on the back of the bag that can be used to attach a tripod, but it doesn't feature any kind of latch or attachment system.

If you shrink the shoulder strap in order to carry the bag by hand you might be able to make use of it, but this defeats the purpose of a shoulder bag, so you'll probably want to avoid bringing a tripod.

Peak Design Everyday Messenger Bag

Peak Design has a lot of experience designing equipment for professional photographers, and it shows in incredible number of features they have packed into the Everyday Messenger Bag.

The 15" model has room for a full-frame DSLR and up to 3 lenses, which are protected by a truly unique style of internal dividers that have a foldable design inspired by origami paper folding techniques which allows them to mold around your gear to avoid wasting space.

You've also got room for a travel or full-sized tripod, a dedicated 15" laptop pocket that won't affect your camera gear storage space as well as the usual smaller pockets for accessories such as batteries and memory cards.

Since you're going to load this bag up with a lot of gear, the extensible shoulder strap has built-in webbed padding that will allow you to carry it all day without discomfort.

You can access your gear quickly with Peak Design's proprietary MagLatch system, but your gear will stay secure because it can be a bit difficult to figure out the first time you use it.

There's also a convenient secondary strap to ensure nobody can make a grab for your bag, while keeping it firmly in place even if you have to move in a hurry.

Finally, the entire bag is fully weatherproofed right down to the zippers, so your gear will stay protected no matter where or when you wind up shooting.

The Prince Street by ONA

The Prince Street is made exclusively from fine Italian leather and weathered metal, and has room for a mid-sized DSLR with an attached lens, one or two additional lenses, and small 11" class laptop.

You probably won't have room for a full-frame DSLR with attached lens, so this bag is definitely geared towards smaller DSLR and mirrorless camera photographers.

The strap is well-padded and extensible, but feels bit more like a fashion accessory than a bag for serious professional photographers - though it is beautiful.

Under the main flap are two additional weatherproofing flaps to help protect your gear from the rain, but there is no internal zipper or other closure for extra protection.

Since the whole bag is leather, you're going to want to avoid using this in any kind of inclement weather in order to protect the finish and overall look of the bag, let alone your gear.

Kelly Moore Kate Messenger Bag

Despite the name, the Kate messenger bag is branded as a unisex bag and offers a decent amount of well-padded storage space for a DSLR with attached lens and two or three additional lenses thanks to its 3 customisable dividers.

It can also support a 14" laptop, but if you go this route you'll be sacrificing some of your camera gear space.

It has a decently understated look that doesn't scream 'expensive camera gear inside', which is a bonus since its canvas shoulder strap is a bit too narrow to handle much stress.

That being said, the stitching is well-reinforced and all the fasteners are solid brass.

The Brixton by ONA

A more serious and heavy-duty bag from ONA than the Prince Street model.

The Brixton has much more room, providing space for a DSLR, up to 3 lenses and a 13" laptop in its removable and customizable inner padded liner.

The strap is also well padded, but the flap fasteners have been swapped for slide-in brass buckles that allow easy access to your gear but not much in the way of anti-theft security.

This is a beautiful bag, made out of the same Italian leather as all of ONA's products.

Unfortunately all that leather gets quite heavy, as the bag weighs 4.1 pounds all by itself without any gear packed.

If you're just going from the car to the studio that's no problem, but after a day of travelling and shooting you're going to want to keep things as light as possible with less of a focus on style and more focus on functionality.

Our Best Pick

It's always nice to have a clear winner after a review roundup, but rarely is there such an obvious choice as the Peak Design Everyday Messenger Bag.

The other camera bags that we looked at all have their strengths from fashion to portability, but the Everyday Messenger Bag is the clear choice for both professional photographers and casual shooters who want to bring the right blend of gear for any situation.

In spite of its large capacity and carrying weight, the well-padded shoulder strap and secondary attachment strap allow you to handle that weight comfortably without leaving you wanting to put your bag down every few minutes for a rest.

While it's perfect for travelling to the studio or across the city to a location shoot, it's also approved as carry-on luggage for all major airlines, giving you the ability to keep your valuable gear close to you no matter where you choose to go in the world.

As if that wasn't enough, Peak Design also has a hassle-free lifetime warranty that is apparently very easy to follow through on - although it's much harder to find someone who's actually needed to return one of them!



Best Messenger Camera Bags

Check out more Accessories Reviews here 

Best Camera Straps

Best Camera Straps Reviews

Best Camera Straps

Best Camera Straps Reviews

If you've ever purchased a digital camera and tried to use the camera strap the manufacturer includes for any length of time, you've probably discovered that they leave a lot to be desired.

Fortunately, there is a huge market for camera straps out there with a number of great options available, no matter what you're looking for.

We've searched high and low to find the best camera straps available, and here are a few of our favourites.

What to Watch For When Buying a Camera Strap

Choosing the best camera strap is often a difficult decision, as there are a number of things to consider that you might not have thought of.

We'll take you through all the important points you need to watch out for so that you can be sure your new camera strap will be a joy to use.

Strength

Probably the most important consideration when buying a camera strap is how much weight the strap can handle safely.

Not all straps are created equally, and the last thing you want to have happen to your camera is for the strap to unexpectedly let go, smashing your camera and lens into the ground.

This would be bad enough if it happened in the studio, but if you're travelling while it happens you might not be able to get a replacement camera in time to finish shooting the rest of your trip.

When examining the strength of your next camera strap, there are several areas that you should pay close attention to.

The most crucial area is where the strap actually attaches to the camera, as this is the place that suffers the most strain and where most issues develop.

Different manufacturers have different ways of solving this problem, from knotted loops to metal anchors, but no matter what style you choose, make sure that the fastening system is strong enough to support the weight of your camera.

Otherwise, make sure that any stitching is properly reinforced to provide adequate strength, and make sure that any fasteners, clips or other items are made out of metal.

You don't want to trust your precious camera to a cheap plastic bracket!

Size

Since photographers come in all shapes and sizes, cameras straps do too - but not all of them offer a complete size range in a single product.

Make sure that your choice has an adjustable strap length to ensure that you'll be able to find a comfortable size no matter how you choose to wear it.

You may want to switch up your wearing style mid-way through a day of shooting, and a properly adjustable strap will work with you instead of limiting your options.

At the same time, it's important to make sure that the fasteners for your camera strap are compatible with your particular camera.

Most DSLRs have large, heavy-duty metal brackets built into the camera body, but lighter compact cameras may not provide the same option, and a larger strap connector may not fit at all.

Many straps require the usage of a standard 1/4-inch tripod mounting bracket, so double-check to see if your camera has this option.

Comfort

Once you're sure that your strap will support your camera/lens config, it's important to make sure that it's comfortable enough to use for an entire day of shooting.

Most of the straps that camera manufacturers include free with their cameras are fine for an hour or two, but most third-party camera straps are much more comfortable and won't cause you any problems even after plenty of use.

There are several different ways that manufacturers can pad their straps but no matter what you're going to want to have padding of some type.

If you're using a mirrorless camera with a very small lens or some other extremely lightweight config, you might be able to get away with an unpadded strap.

It's usually worth it to choose one that won't chafe or dig too heavily into your skin.

Choosing a strap with a nice wide band will help prevent it from binding, and will also help distribute the weight of your camera more evenly for comfortable all-day shooting.

The last comfort aspect to consider is the material, although some of this will come down to personal preference.

Some photographers prefer a well-textured strap that won't slide around too much, while some prefer a smooth strap that slides easily.

Some even prefer a rubberized surface to keep their camera as motionless as possible.

It all comes down to your shooting style, and how you plan to wear your strap: around the neck, over the shoulder, sling-style, or even wrapped around your wrist!

Flexibility & Ease of Use

As we just mentioned, there are several different ways you can wear your camera strap, but not all straps make this kind of flexibility easy.

If you only ever wear your strap around your neck, your choice is simple, but if you like to switch things up occasionally it can be useful to have a strap that works with you instead of limiting you.

Anti-theft

An unfortunate reality of travel photography is the danger of theft.

When you're out in a new place with expensive camera equipment, you might suddenly find yourself the victim of a 'snatch and grab' robbery attempt.

These kinds of crimes are difficult to prevent, but a good solid camera strap can make the difference between keeping your gear intact and having to replace your camera.

Some camera straps have quick-release latches near where they attach to the camera body, which can be useful when you're in the studio but aren't always a good idea when you're shooting on location in a new place.

If you follow our earlier advice and choose a heavily reinforced strap, you should be able to avoid this kind of disaster!

Bonus: Style

Style isn't really a must-have element for a camera strap, but it can be a nice added feature.

It won't matter for those of you who are shooting landscapes while you're out hiking, but if you're travelling through a fashionable city it can be helpful to look your best!

A well-chosen strap may even help convince passers by to let you photograph them, so don't completely ignore style as a consideration - just make sure it's not your primary concern.

Our Favorite Camera Straps

4V Design Lusso

Designed by Italian photography/leather aficionados at 4V Design, the Lusso Large camera strap is one of the more stylish options that we looked at.

But don't let the style aspect fool you into thinking this strap is just a prop - it's got a bunch of great features that make it one of our favourite choices for travel photography.

The strap is a combination of hand-crafted Italian leather and thickly woven cotton, and the strap's shoulder pad is filled with "slow" memory foam which is comfortable enough to let you carry your camera all day.

Additionally, the strap comes with an optional universal attachment kit which allows you to attach it to any kind of camera from a compact to a medium-format camera without worry.

Overall a very well built strap which combines solidity and comfort.

Sun-Sniper Rotaball Pro

This camera strap from German manufacturer Sun-Sniper is easily the most feature-rich strap that we looked at, and each one helps to put this strap in a class by itself.

It has a solid support system that starts with how it attaches to your camera.

It uses a single round 'rotaball' connector attached to the tripod mount that works like a ball head mount on a tripod, allowing free movement without twisting the strap.

Combine that with a thick shoulder pad and a series of shock absorbers designed to relieve the stress on your shoulder and spine caused by long periods of walking, and you're ready for a full day of on-the-go photography.

The Rotaball Pro is also one of the strongest straps we looked at.

You can use it with almost any camera and lens configuration, even a medium-format camera with a large lens.

Sun-sniper claims that the strap can support up to 83 kg, although they recommend that you only use it for cameras that weigh up to 5 kg - although very few cameras actually weigh that much.

They've also woven a steel cable through the strap to prevent slash-and-grab thefts, which are all too common among travelling photographers.

Altura Photo Rapid Fire

At the more affordable end of the spectrum is the Rapid Fire from Altura Photo, but that doesn't mean it's a low-quality piece.

This strap has a solid mounting system that attaches to a standard tripod mount, but you can still mount your camera on a tripod without removing the strap attachment thanks to its unique design.

While the metal clip that provides the main attachment to the mount is sturdy, you might find yourself catching the tip of the latch on clothes or other objects - so Altura has compensated for this by adding in a secondary attachment that connects to the standard strap mounts found on most DSLRs.

The Rapid Fire also has an easily-adjustable strap length, topped by a thick shoulder pad lined with non-slip rubberized cloth to prevent your camera from sliding down your shoulder as you walk.

The pad has a convenient zippered pocket, although it's a bit too small for anything other than a few extra memory cards and a microfiber lens cleaning cloth.

Peak Design SL-2

The Peak Design SL-2 hardly has the most distinctive name, but the designers evidently took their time with the strap itself, so we can forgive the naming issue.

Made out of car seatbelt-style webbing with internal padding, it manages to stay comfortable without the bulk of the shoulder pads seen on other camera straps.

It has quick-adjust buckles made of aluminium that allow you to change the length of the strap with one hand, from 145cm at the longest to 99cm at the shortest.

The strap is also quickly reversible so you can choose whether you want to use a smooth surface or a non-slip surface.

The most interesting thing about this strap is its versatility, which comes from the multiple different ways it can be attached to your camera.

If you want a normal around-the-neck strap, you can attach the proprietary 'Anchor Link' connectors to your DSLR's strap holders, or you can use a single strap holder combined with the tripod mount baseplate to turn it into a sling-style strap.

Anchor Link connectors aren't made of metal, but they're rated to withstand over 90 kg of force, so your camera will stay safe and secure.

Ona Presidio

The Ona Presidio is the simplest strap we looked at, but sometimes simple is all you need for a day of casual travel shooting.

The Presidio is handmade from Italian leather and waxed canvas, and has a well-stitched neoprene shoulder pad for almost the entire length of the strap.

It's also available in a range of colour options, so if style is important to you, you might want to take a closer look at this strap.

The strap is not the most adjustable in terms of its length, with a drop length between 19.5" and 23" and an overall length of 63", but it will fit most people comfortably.

Just make sure that you don't try to use a heavy camera and lens combination here, because this strap is only rated for 6 pounds of weight.

Our Best Pick

After our careful review, we feel the best camera strap we looked at was the German-designed Sun-Sniper Rotaball Pro.

While it's not the most attractive strap we looked at, it has a combination of features that will appeal to both casual travel photographers and dedicated landscape photographers alike.

It is one of the strongest straps we looked at, supporting weights of up to 83 kg, and it has a solid steel cable woven through the strap for added security and to deter thieves.

Despite this strength it manages to stay comfortable, thanks to its thickly-padded shoulder section and its built-in shock absorbers.

For anyone who does a lot of walking while they're out shooting, this strap will make sure that your focus can be on your photography and not on your comfort level.



Best Camera Straps

Check out more Accessories Reviews here 

Best Mirrorless Camera Under 1000

Best Mirrorless Camera Under $1000

Best Mirrorless Camera Under 1000

Best Mirrorless Camera Under 1000$

All you need to know to make the best choice

For a long time after the invention of digital photography, mirrorless cameras acted as a sort of stepping stone in the camera world.

They weren't quite as powerful as professional photographers wanted, but they offered more capabilities than the standard point and shoot camera.

However, since the smartphone began to replace the point and shoot camera and mirrorless camera technology continually improves, they have finally begun to establish themselves as a great option for aspiring photographers and professionals alike.

Here is our choice of the top 5 best mirrorless cameras under $1000

What to Look for in a Mirrorless Camera

For travel photographers, mirrorless cameras provide a huge benefit over their much bulkier DSLR cousins due to their lightweight, portable natures.

But since almost all mirrorless cameras are more or less equally lightweight, here are the other factors you need to take into consideration before making your final choice.

Image Quality

As with any digital camera, one of your most important considerations when choosing a mirrorless camera is how it performs in terms of image quality.

Mirrorless cameras used to lag far behind DSLRs in this area, but their overall quality has gotten much better as digital camera sensor technology has improved.

Some mirrorless manufacturers even include the same APS-C size sensors that are used in their DSLR cameras, which makes them just as capable as more expensive offerings.

Many higher-end mirrorless cameras have started to include relatively large sensors, which gives them much better image quality than you might first expect.

Unfortunately, these have yet to reach the under $1000 market and are generally only found in much more expensive mirrorless cameras, but this will likely change in the near future.

Larger sensors perform much better in low - light situations and generate less digital noise in the images they create, especially when used at higher ISO sensitivity settings.

So the larger the sensor your camera has the better your image quality will be.

Regardless of what sensor size your camera has, there two major factors that you should be aware of that impact image quality: resolution and digital noise.

Resolution is measured in megapixels (MP), and describes how large your photograph will be and gives you an idea of what you'll be able to do with the final image.

A 24 MP camera creates images that are 6000 x 4000 pixels in size, which can be used to create a film-quality print at a size of 20" x 13.3".

Digital noise is the modern equivalent to film grain, and is created by tiny processing errors in the light data from the camera's sensor.

ISO measures how sensitive to light your camera's sensor is, and increasing the ISO setting makes it more sensitive to light but also increases the amount of distortion from the sensor, which creates more digital noise.

Reliable Autofocus

Composing and framing the perfect shot only to find out later that your camera focused on the wrong part of the scene is incredibly frustrating.

Depending on your lens configuration, your mirrorless camera may not offer you an easy manual focus mode, so having a quality autofocus system is essential.

Even if you're looking at a mirrorless camera that offers a full manual focus mode, having a solid autofocus option can be a great help in certain situations.

Many mirrorless cameras use a type of autofocus system known as 'contrast autofocus', which focuses by comparing the contrast of adjacent pixels until they are highly-contrasting enough to be considered 'in focus'.

It isn't the most effective method, as it can be a bit slow, and as a result it's not very good at focusing on moving objects. It also performs very poorly in low-light situations due to the lack of contrast required to get a focus lock.

As a result, many of the newer models of mirrorless cameras don't rely exclusively on contrast autofocus, but use a system known as 'hybrid autofocus'.

Hybrid autofocus uses contrast autofocus in combination with the phase-detection autofocus systems used by most DSLRs.

While an explanation of phase-detection AF is a bit outside the scope of this post, it's far more effective in low-light situations and it makes a hybrid autofocus system the better choice.

Available Lenses

One of the biggest drawbacks of mirrorless cameras is the variety of lenses they have available - or, to be more accurate, the lack of variety.

While almost all mirrorless cameras allow lenses to be swapped out in order to increase the capabilities of the camera, there are usually only a few lens choices available.

Most manufacturers restrict themselves to producing one lens of each type for each camera model, such a single wide angle lens, a single telephoto, and perhaps a single macro or other type of specialty lens.

Some of the newer types of mirrorless cameras have specialized adapters available that allow you to mount a standard DSLR lens, which is a huge improvement over the stock lenses available for most mirrorless options.

These have a few drawbacks, however, as they are not always perfectly compatible despite being able to mount properly.

Using adapters may prevent your autofocus system from working properly, and they may also require you to adjust the aperture manually, so it's up to you to decide if this is more hassle than it's worth for you.

Manufacturers who use a proprietary mirrorless camera system, such as Sony, Pentax and Olympus, generally fall into the trap of limited lens selections.

Meanwhile, manufacturers who entered the mirrorless camera game early have a head-start in this area, often with a wider range of lenses available.

Canon and Nikon are probably in the best position to offer plenty of lens choice, since their mirrorless cameras will be able to make better use of the wide range of lenses available for their DSLR offerings.

Battery Life

Battery life is one of the biggest concerns with a mirrorless camera for the simple fact that they don't possess an optical viewfinder.

This is the reason they are called mirrorless in the first place - in a DSLR camera, a mirror reflects light from the lens upwards into the optical viewfinder.

This feature allows you to see exactly what your camera will see through the viewfinder.

Getting rid of this complex mechanical system allows mirrorless cameras to be smaller and lighter than their DSLR competitors, but their answer to the optical viewfinder is the electronic viewfinder.

Electronic viewfinders, also sometimes known as 'Live View', essentially display what the lens sees on the camera's screen at all times.

This can be extremely handy while you are composing your shots and experimenting with different exposure settings, but it also takes a great deal of power to run all the time.

Instead of simply using battery power when you press the shutter, mirrorless cameras are consuming lots of power whenever they are on.

As a result of this power drain, you'll want to make sure that your mirrorless camera choice has a removable battery so that you can carry around a spare or two in order to swap them out as needed.

There's nothing worth than missing a great shot because of a dead battery!

You may also be able to find an external add-on battery pack for your mirrorless camera, but these are much rarer in the mirrorless world than they are in the DSLR world.

Connectivity Features

Once you've covered the absolutely essential elements in your quest for a mirrorless camera, it's time to look at some of the added features that can be a real benefit.

Most new mirrorless cameras feature a range of connectivity options including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Near Field Communication (NFC).

While none of these are essential to the functioning of the camera, they can be a real help for travel photographers who want to share their experiences while they're still on the go.

Perhaps the most useful feature is Wi-Fi, because this can allow you to use a companion app on your smartphone as a remote shutter, as well as to control your camera settings.

You can even use the feature to transfer photos off your memory card into the storage space on your smartphone, allowing you to free up camera card space for more shots.

Just remember that added connectivity comes at the expense of battery power.

You're going to want to make sure that you've got those features turned off unless you're using them - or unless you've got a handful of charged batteries ready to go!

Our Top 5 Mirrorless Cameras for Under $1000

Now that you know what to look for in a mirrorless camera, it's time to take a closer look at some of our favourite options.

Sony α6000

The α6000 is a great little camera that packs a 24.2 MP APS-C size sensor and the BIONZ X image processor into a small 12 cm x 6.7 cm body.

The autofocus system is a hybrid style that offers reliable autofocus in a range of lighting conditions, as it actually prioritizes the phase-detection method over the less effective contrast-detection style.

It even comes with an proper electronic viewfinder you can use in the same way as an optical viewfinder, featuring a small screen designed to be held to the eye, in addition to the larger 'live view' style review screen.

The α6000 uses Sony's proprietary E-mount lens system that offers a decent range of options for additional lenses at a variety of different price points, from $349 for the 50mm prime lens all the way up to $3,499 for the 18-100mm F4 zoom lens.

While it seems a bit ridiculous to put a $3,500 lens on a camera body that cost under $1000, you can't deny that Sony has done a good job of providing α6000 photographers with a wide assortment of lens options.

Additionally, the full-frame lenses in the E-mount line can be used with the APS-C size α6000, but you'll have to take into account the 1.5x crop factor resulting from the difference in expected sensor size.

When it comes to battery life, the α6000 is only rated for 360 shots on a full charge (not counting any image review or other tasks that require screen usage).

Fortunately the battery is removable so you can easily carry around a few charged spares to make sure that you never run out of power.

It's also got a good set of connectivity options, including Wi-Fi and NFC for transferring photos and controlling your camera with a smartphone.

Nikon 1 V3

While it doesn't have the most appealing or original name, the 1 V3 is Nikon's flagship mirrorless camera, although its specs have become slightly outdated since its release in 2014.

It has decent resolution thanks to its 18.4 MP sensor, but the sensor is a CX format that is much smaller than the APS-C size sensors found in the other cameras we looked at.

While it attempts to counterbalance the noise issues created with this sensor choice by including the same impressive Expeed 4 image processor used in its APS-C DSLRs, it still loses out a bit in terms of image quality as a result.

Despite the sensor issues, the 1 V3 has one incredibly appealing feature that gives it an edge over most of the other cameras here.

It has an adapter to enable usage of the standard Nikon F-mount lens mounting system, which means that any Nikon-compatible DSLR lens can be used on the 1 V3.

This is a huge advantage for anyone who's already got a stock of Nikon lenses, but it also offers a great range of options for people looking to start a collection who may eventually move on to a DSLR system.

Like our other favourite mirrorless cameras, the 1 V3 offers a removable and rechargeable battery pack, although each charge is only rated for 310 shots.

While that might seem like a lot, it probably wouldn't cover a full day worth of shooting for travel photographers who really like to capture everything.

Fortunately, it also features Wi-Fi connectivity to transfer files off your memory card, although it has no Bluetooth or NFC connectivity.

Canon EOS M6

The EOS M6 is one of the newest mirrorless cameras we looked at, as it was only announced in February 2017.

As a result, it has an up-to-date combination of features that start out with a 24 MP APS-C size sensor in a neat little package that weighs just 343 grams.

Like Nikon's mirrorless offering, the M6 has a decent range of native lenses that can be expanded to include the full range of Canon-compatible lenses with the proper adapter ring.

The place where the M6 really excels is in its autofocus system, known as 'Dual Pixel Autofocus', which is also found in Canon's professional DSLR cameras.

This is a purely sensor-based phase-detection system that doesn't need to use contrast-detection at all, although it does offer contrast-detection modes as well if desired.

The sensor-based nature of the Dual Pixel AF system means that it is fast and reliable regardless of the lighting conditions, a major advantage over most hybrid AF systems.

The M6 also features a full range of connectivity options, including WiFi, Bluetooth Low Energy and NFC for transferring photos and control to other devices such as your smartphone.

The battery is rated for a slightly disappointing 295 shots, although it also has an 'eco mode' power saving feature that increases its shot capacity up to 425 shots.

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II

The E-M10 is a bit of a different machine than the rest of our mirrorless cameras, as it uses Olympus's proprietary Micro Four Thirds sensor system.

Four Thirds describes the ratio of the sensor size, which deviates from the standard 3:2 ratio used by most cameras.

The Micro Four Thirds sensor is smaller than the APS-C sensors used in our earlier review models.

Combined with the sensor's 16 MP resolution, the E-M10 is at a bit of a disadvantage already and it can be seen in the noise it produces in low-light situations.

There are a couple of unexpected perks to the E-M10, including in-body image stabilization and an autofocus system that allows you to use the camera touchscreen to set the autofocus point.

The lenses available to the E-M10 are drawn from Olympus' M.Zuiko Digital line, which has a decent range of options, but doesn't really compare to the capabilities provided by the Canon and Nikon systems.

One place the E-M10 really excels is in battery life, which is rated for 320 shots in its normal shooting mode, or up to an impressive 750 in its power-saving 'Quick Sleep' mode.

This can be a real help for travel shutterbugs looking for a camera that can last an entire day of shooting without needing to swap batteries.

The E-M10's built-in Wi-Fi connectivity will also allow you to swap photos onto your smartphone if you fill up your memory card.

Fujifilm X-T20

The X-T20 has a great 24MP APS-C size sensor packed into a very lightweight body, weighing in at just 343 grams, tied for the lightest camera we reviewed alongside the EOS M6.

It features a fast hybrid-style autofocus system, although it doesn't use phase-detection on all of its available autofocus points, which causes low-light focusing issues that are prevented by better phase-detection systems.

When it comes to lenses, the X-T20 has a surprisingly large range of options, considering that it uses Fujifilm's relatively new X-mount lens system.

Instead of being limited to only Fujifilm lenses, a number of other manufacturers are producing lenses for this type of mount, including Carl Zeiss and Samyang.

Most impressively, there are also a range of optional adapters available to enable the use of lenses from Canon, Nikon, and other major manufacturers, although they are often limited in terms of automatic functionality.

The battery life for the X-T20 is roughly the same as most of the other cameras we reviewed, with a rating of roughly 350 shots per charge.

Wi-Fi connectivity is built-in, although it doesn't offer Bluetooth or NFC communication.

Our best pick

While all of the cameras we reviewed in this post are great options, our best pick for most travel photographers is going to be the Canon EOS M6.

It is one of the lightest cameras we reviewed, weighing in at just 383 grams for the body only, although adding in a 15-45mm kit lens doesn't add too much to the weight.

This makes it the perfect traveling companion when you don't want to carry around a bulky DSLR camera but you still want to get great image quality.

Its generously-sized 24MP APS-C sensor shoots high quality images in a range of lighting conditions.

Thanks to the Dual Pixel Autofocus system, you don't have to worry about whether or not you're going to get the shot in focus.

Travel photography presents a lot of 'once in a lifetime' photo opportunities, so the M6's reliable autofocus is a must-have feature.

The 425 shots you can get out of the M6 in its power-saving 'eco' mode means that you have lower chances of running out of power during your trip.

It's easy enough to stow an extra battery pack or two in your camera bag so that you can shoot for as long as you want!

Last but not least, if you want to share your photos with friends you make during your travels, the M6's built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC ensures that no matter where you are or who you meet, you'll be able to share your memories!



Best Mirrorless Camera Under 1000

Check out more Camera Reviews here 

Best lenses for landscape photography

The Best Lenses for Landscape Photography

Best lenses for landscape photography

The Best Lenses for Landscape Photography

In the world of landscape photography, it is hard enough to decide which camera to get, let alone picking out the lenses.

The names alone are enough to confuse you, with their alphabet soup of letters and numbers that indicate this feature, that aperture, these focal lengths, etc.

There are so many aspects to take into consideration, how can you know which lens is truly the best one? Well, don’t panic!

Although there is no such thing as one perfect lens for all purposes, some lenses are better than others when it comes to landscape photography purposes specifically.

We have selected the best lenses based on the main criteria for landscape photography.

In this article we will guide you through what features are most important for a landscape lens and explain each one briefly, after which you should be able to choose your next landscape lens with confidence.

Important Features

The most important features to pay attention to when purchasing a lens for landscape photography are focal length(s), whether the lens is a prime or zoom lens, the maximum aperture, whether there is weather sealing on the barrel, the weight of the lens, the image quality it produces and finally the price tag.

We will shortly explain each aspect below.

Focal length

Although your first thought regarding landscape photography might be with a wide-angle lens, other focal lengths also come with great advantages.

Have a look at the list below to learn about each focal length and its respective (dis-)advantages:

Ultra-wide (4mm-20mm) and Wide-angle (21mm-35mm) lenses

A wide angle lens is by far the most popular lens amongst landscape photographers.

It offers a very broad field of view, meaning you can get a lot into a single frame.

This is convenient when you find yourself closely faced with a huge mountain you want to capture, but also want to get the vegetation in the foreground into your frame.

A wide-angle lens will give you this opportunity. Moreover, a wide-angle lens will allow for a very large depth of field.

This means that not only will you be able to get a lot of the fore- and background into frame, you’ll get it into perfectly sharp focus as well.

Ultra-wide lenses (4mm-20mm) have even larger fields of view, allowing for even more elements in a single frame.

They also come with some barrel distortion, which can create a dramatic effect and draw in the eye of the viewer. An extreme example of this is the fisheye effect.

Normal lenses (35mm-60mm)

If you want to capture a landscape almost exactly the way you see it, a standard focal length between 35mm and 60mm is most suitable.

The closest to the perception of the human eye is 50mm (be sure to take any crop factors into account, though).

Telephoto (75mm-150mm) and super telephoto (150mm +) lenses

A telephoto lens can be of great value for a landscape photographer.

With the ability to zoom in this far, you can isolate details from great distances and single out the elements of the landscape that are of interest to you.

With this ability to shoot from greater distances you’ll also be able to capture new perspectives. These perspectives usually increase the sense of distance between the viewer and the photograph.

Super Telephotos serve the same purposes, with the only difference being that you can isolate details from even greater distances.

With these types of lenses tripods are of great importance, as long focal lengths such as these are harder to keep steady.

Mount your lens and camera on a steady tripod (preferably on even ground) to prevent any blur from occurring in your images.

Tilt-Shift Lenses

Tilt-shift lenses are very popular amongst architectural photographers, but they’re also extremely useful tools for landscape photography.

The tilt features on these lenses not only allow you to change the plane of focus, they also provide the possibility to maximize (or minimize) the depth of field.

This means you’ll be able to get more of your image into focus, from the closest foreground objects to the furthest background elements.

Shifting will allow you to take full control of the perspective.

If you’re trying to capture straight vertical lines - trees, for example – you’ll normally get a great amount of distortion towards the edges of the frame.

With the shift feature on tilt-shift lenses, this distortion can be corrected (or exaggerated - whichever your creative heart desires).

Prime or zoom?

The difference between a prime and zoom lens can be found in the zoom capabilities; a zoom lens will cover multiple focal lengths thanks to a zoom feature, whereas a prime lens will cover only one focal length.

Zoom lenses can be very useful due to their versatility.

Because of the capability to zoom, you’ll be able to shoot from confined locations and still get only those element into frame that you want.

This will give you more freedom in your composition possibilities, and you’ll be able to cover more perspectives thanks to the multiple focal lengths.

The downside is that zoom lenses are often heavier and more expensive than prime lenses.

Thanks to their simpler design, prime lenses are known to be lighter, cheaper and slightly sharper than zoom lenses.

It’s often claimed they are also faster, but today many zoom lenses easily keep up in maximum aperture and image quality.

Prime lenses are easier to carry around, as they are generally lighter, but to be able to cover more than one focal length you’ll have to carry around multiple lenses.

Maximum aperture

The maximum aperture of a lens is not the most important feature for a landscape photographer, as you’ll most probably stick to apertures between f/5.6 and f/16 while shooting.

Lower apertures are not beneficial for creating large depths of field, and since you’ll be working with a tripod 99% of the time a smaller aperture can be compensated for with a slower shutter speed.

Buying a lens with a smaller maximum aperture is a great way to save money as a landscape photographer, as “slower” lenses are often a bit cheaper.

Weather sealing

An absolute must for a landscape photographer’s lens is some very resistant weather sealing.

Although lenses are of course never completely immune to heavy weather conditions, when shooting out in the elements you’ll be thankful if your lens has at least some resistance to dust and moisture - it might save you quite a lot of money in the end.

Weight

When hiking out in the mountains to find that perfect vantage point, having a heavy lens weighing you down is not very desirable.

Pay attention to the weight of a lens before buying it.

Great ways to keep the weight of your lens low are choosing slower glass, opting for primes over zooms, and leaving out the fancy features that are not that important for your specific photography purposes (such as image stabilization).

Image quality

Naturally, the image quality a lens is able of producing is of great importance.

Therefore, pay attention to how a lens performs regarding ghosting/flare, vignetting, corner sharpness, pincushion or barrel distortion and chromatic aberration.

Usually the manufacturer of the lens will have some kind of coating or special glass in place to optimize image quality.

However, not all of these work equally well (or as well as the manufacturer would like you to believe), so be sure to check out reviews and sample images before choosing your lens.

Cost

High-end lenses can go up quite high in price range.

Although I wouldn’t recommend a hobbyist or enthusiast photographer to invest thousands of dollars in a single lens, I do urge you to invest at least a big part of your budget in your lens rather than in a super expensive camera.

It makes no sense to buy a professional DSLR only to pair it with a cheap, low-quality lens because you ran out of money, as your images will come out only as sharp as your lens can.

Other important features

One last thing worth mentioning, is checking your lens’ compatibility with filters. As a landscape photographer you’ll most probably be very attached to your filters, and sadly not all lenses take standard screw-on filters.

Some of them will work with a filter if you purchase a special filter system, but those are often very pricey, so be sure to take them into your budget calculation.

Recommended lenses

Taking all these features into account, we have compiled the best lenses for landscape photography into a list, sorted by focal length.

We hope the list below will help you in making the right choice for you:

Wide and ultra-wide

Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Lens
Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM

This great versatile lens covers focal lengths from ultra-wide to wide-angle, and produces a much sharper image than most other ultra-wide lenses.

The f4 maximum aperture helps keeping the price of this lens relatively low (more or less $1200), and it stays consistent throughout all focal lengths.

The incredible corner sharpness (comparable to primes) makes this lens especially suitable for landscape photography, as does its compatibility with 77mm screw-on filters.

A smart budget choice!

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Lens
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM

Announced in 2012, this zoom lens has exactly the focal lengths recommended for general purpose use.

The images come out sharp from corner to corner (a great improvement over the 24-70mm f/2.8L USM), and contrast is simply stunning.

Some flare and vignette do occur, as does some distortion at the wider focal lengths. But despite these minor issues, image quality remains impressive.

82mm screw-on filters can also be used, adding to this lens’ suitability for landscape photography purposes. It is a high-end lens, and costs around $2000.

Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm F2.8G ED

If distortion at the wide end of the focal lengths is something that put you off, this lens will probably better suit your wide-angle needs, as there is barely any barrel distortion visible.

Image quality is of prime level, and corners are only slightly softened at f/2.8. As soon as you stop down to f/4 this problem is of the past.

The only down-sides are the bulky front element, which calls for an expensive filter system to allow filter use, and the rather heavy weight of the lens (around a kilogram).

But, this monster of a lens performs truly amazing in the image quality department, making it worthy of the $2000 price tag.

Read the full review here

Nikon 24mm f/1.4G
Nikon 24mm f/1.4G

This prime lens performs extremely well in low-light situations, thanks to the large maximum aperture.

It has proven to hold up well in extreme weather circumstances as well, partly thanks to the sturdy weather sealing on the barrel.

Although the lens is not as sharp as some of Nikon’s newer lenses, is still delivers a high-quality image with outstanding color rendition and superb contrast.

Use of filters is also made easy with the 77mm filter thread, allowing for use of common screw-on filters.

If zoom is not at the top of your priority list, you’ll probably be extremely pleased with this lens’ performance.

Samyang 14mm f/2.8 IF ED UMC Lens (Rokinon/Bower)
Samyang 14mm f/2.8 IF Ed UMC (Rokinon/Bower) Review

14mm is a widely used focal length for land- and cityscapes.

Making the closer objects seem larger, images shot with this 14mm lens will give the viewer the feeling they are right there in the field with you.

This is one of the very few wide-angle lenses offering such a low maximum aperture, but aperture does always have to be set manually, just like the focus.

Sadly, there is no weather sealing in place nor is there a filter thread.

The image quality is great though, and that’s reason enough to consider this lens for purchase.

Read the full review here

Sony Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm f/4 ZA OSS
Sony Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm f/4 ZA OSS

This lens from Sony is in a nice price range and can be yours for around $1000.

The barrel is as beautiful as it is sturdy, made up entirely out of metal. Image quality is not Sony’s best, with some softened corners occurring as well as vignetting.

Colors still render great though, and the speedy autofocus is a nice bonus.

Use of filters is also made easy thanks to the 55mm filter thread.

A good choice if you’re in search of a relatively cheap, light-weight lens.

Telephoto zoom lenses

Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II
Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II

This Nikon lens has been around ever since the ’80, and is redesigned every 4 to 5 years.

And for good reason: it simply works great.

This model has improved in many aspects over the previous one, for example in vignette and bokeh performance.

The tripod mount has remained unchanged, simply because it was already perfect.

And for those rare tripod-less occasions, the vibration reduction system will help keeping your hand-held shots pretty steady.

The lens also works well with teleconverters, in case you need to add some extra reach.

The price is high, around $2400, but the lens is absolutely worth every penny.

Canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS II
The Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM

This lens is practically the same as the Nikon 70-200mm mentioned above, with a great image sharpness, contrast and color rendition.

The metal lens barrel is weather sealed and does not change in size while focusing thanks to the internal focus system.

This handy feature helps battle focus breathing and also prevents any (77mm) filters from rotating.

The lens hood is worth mentioning as well, as it is one of the best ones we know of.

The textured finish on the inside stops nearly any reflections, meaning the hood keeps light from directly hitting the lens’ front element better than ever.

This effectively battles flare, which in turn will help up your image quality.

Read the full review here

Sony FE 70-200mm f/4 G OSS
Sony FE 70-200 f4

If you’re looking for a telezoom lens that is first and foremost a lightweight, this f4 70-200mm from Sony might be the one for you.

Color rendering is great, especially when enabling the Vivid Color profile in your Sony camera.

The build quality is outstanding as well, with an all-metal weather sealed barrel.

The lens is specially designed for Sony’s (full-frame) a7 series cameras, and on an APS-C the focal lengths will be equivalent to 105-300mm.

What makes this lens most suitable for landscape photography is the great sharpness, especially thanks to the lack of chromatic aberration and very minimal vignetting.

Another nice added feature is the presence of focus hold buttons, that most modern lenses got rid of.

Read the full review here

Tilt-shift lenses

Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II Tilt-Shift Lens
https://www.amazon.com/Canon-Ultra-Tilt-Shift-Digital-Cameras/dp/B001TDL2O0/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1494695315&sr=1-1&keywords=Canon+TS-E+24mm+f%2F3.5L+II+Tilt-Shift+Lens

This 24mm prime from Canon not only delivers outstanding image quality, it also comes with tilt- and shift features.

As I mentioned earlier, tilt and shift features are very helpful for the landscape photographer.

Tilting the lens will allow you to change the plane of focus and maximize depth of field, and shifting will give you the ability to control the perspective in the image.

On this particular lens, tilt- and shift features can also be rotated independently from each-other, giving you even more freedom in the images you create.

On top of that it also takes regular 82mm filters and has very minimal distortion. A lens well worth your $2400.

Nikon 24mm f/3.5D PC-E
Nikon 24mm f/3.5D PC-E

The Nikon counterpart to above mentioned lens is the 24mm f/3.5D PC-E.

This lens has an aperture ring to set the aperture manually, as well as a very smooth focus ring that makes the manual focus-only an easy task.

On older Nikon DSLR’s, this lens gives some minor problems due to the built-in flash getting in the way of your shifting abilities.

Setting the aperture from your camera is also not possible with the older Nikon cameras.

But the image quality is simply amazing, with sharpness going all the way into the extreme corners (when not tilted or shifted) and practically no chromatic aberration visible.

So, you might still want to consider this lens for purchase even if your camera is not a d3, d3x or d3s.

Read our detailed review here

Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L Tilt-Shift Lens
Canon TS-E 17mm f:4L Tilt-Shift Lens

If you’re looking for an even wider angle in a tilt-shift lens, this TS-E 17mm f/4L from Canon is a lens you need to consider.

It is the widest tilt-shift lens currently on the market, and delivers a performance almost identical to the TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II – which is great.

Image sharpness is good, colors look amazing, tilt- and shift features rotate independently and distortion is very minimal considering the ultra-wide focal length of this lens.

Sadly, is does not take regular filters, but filter systems such as those from Lee will offer a lot of filter options (though for a higher price).

If a high-quality, ultra-wide tilt-shift lens is high on your wish list, definitely purchase this one and get a filter system along with it.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are still many lenses for you to choose from.

Which one will ultimately make the cut entirely depends on your personal preferences, your camera of choice and of course your budget.

If you are seriously into photography or a professional, the best lens for your landscape photography will probably be one of the more expensive ones, such as the Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II.

Or, maybe you’ll choose to invest in multiple primes instead of one zoom, to keep the image quality at the absolute top.


If you’re an amateur or enthusiast, you’ll probably be more drawn to the slightly less expensive zoom lenses, such as the Sony Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm f/4 ZA OSS.

Performance might not be as incredible as some of the other lenses, but it will still do the job.

On top of that, a zoom lens such as this one is very versatile, allowing you to capture multiple perspectives, even when shooting from a single confined space.


Every photographer is different and will consequently have different lens- and camera needs. Consider which lens aspects are most important to you, and then see which lens with the desired features best fits into your budget.

Best lenses for landscape photography

Check out more Lenses Reviews here 

Best camera bags

Best Camera Bags for Landscape Photography

Best camera bags

Best Camera Bags for Landscape Photography

Best choices under 100$

This post on the best camera bags for landscape photography is based on the awareness that your camera equipment is a valuable investment.

When you're out for a shoot in the wild it's important to make sure that your equipment survives the trip.

A great camera bag can protect your gear while keeping things nicely organized and portable.

Let's take a closer look at our favorite camera bags for Landscape Photography.

In our review we have narrowed down the scope to the best camera bags under 100$​ as there are tons or camera bags out there that will provide the good value for this price point.

What to Look for in a Camera Bag

When you're sorting through the range of camera bag options available, there are a number of important factors to consider.

Some of them are universal for camera bags and some are of specific concern to landscape photographers and to anyone else who shoots outdoors.

If you are serious about hiking and outdoor photography, you're going to want a solid backpack-style camera bag, since over-the-shoulder designs are rarely comfortable during a long hike.

Protecting Your Gear

Protecting your camera gear from impact damage is the most important job of a camera bag.

Make sure that the bag you select has solid impact resistant padding on all the exterior surfaces as well as on the internal surfaces.

Your lenses can get damaged just as badly by bumping against each other inside your bag as they can by being bumped against a rock or tree.

In addition to ensuring that your bag is carefully padded, you're going to want to make sure that the stitching is solid and will last for many years of hard usage.

Shooting on location after hiking several miles can really wear a bag down quickly, so reinforced stitching and strong fabrics are an absolute necessity for protecting your gear.

Carrying Capacity

Once you're satisfied that your chosen camera bag will protect your gear, it's time to look at what gear you're going to actually be carrying.

Not all camera bags have the same carrying capacity, so take stock of the kind of gear that you typically bring on an outdoor shoot and plan from there.

Some photographers are happy with just a single DSLR body and a couple of lenses, while others prefer to bring two bodies and four or five different lenses, so choose the size that matches your style the best.

Since a lot of landscape photography involves a tripod, check to make sure that your chosen bag offers some way of carrying your tripod.

You'll also want to make sure that you have small zippered or velcro-sealed pockets with easy access for additional memory cards, batteries and other small bits of gear that can easily get lost at the bottom of a larger compartment.

Many bags will also offer additional compartments for gear that isn't strictly for your camera, such as a laptop or tablet pocket, water bottle pocket and other little bonus features that are nice to have.

Just remember that it's possible to leave some areas of a large bag empty, while overfilling a small bag does not work.

Stuffing a bag that doesn't have enough room for your gear will cause problems almost immediately and might even damage your equipment or put the bag under too much pressure.

Organizational Options

Not every shoot calls for the same gear, and this makes it very useful to have the ability to rearrange the internal compartments of your camera bag.

If you decide to shoot a distant mountain range with a couple of different telephotos on one shoot and then opt for a series of wide angle sunrise shots the next day, a bag with easily reconfigurable internal dividers will protect both sets of gear equally well.

Weather Protection

Regularly shooting out of doors means that no matter how well you plan, you're eventually going to get caught in a rainstorm or some other kind of unpleasant weather.

Even though most professional camera gear has its own weather sealing, your camera bag will be the first line of defense against rain, snow, dust and other environmental issues.

Most camera bags have some degree of weather resistance in the fabrics they choose, but it's hard to effectively weather seal a zipper.

Some camera bags come with a fold-out rain cover that is stored on the bottom of the bag until needed, and this can save your valuable gear during a sudden and unexpected weather event.

Comfort

Last but definitely not least is the question of comfort.

No matter how much gear you take with you, it can get quite heavy by the end of an all-day shoot, and you don't want to have to call it quits early just because your camera bag is too uncomfortable.

Some of the larger camera bags also offer additional support straps around the hips similar to those found on large camping backpacks, which can be very useful for longer hikes.

Look for a bag that has wide, well-padded straps that can be adjusted to match your body size.

At the same time, some additional padding between your gear and your spine will be much appreciated after a day of walking, as DSLR camera bodies can sometimes be uncomfortably pointed!

The Camera Bags

G-graphy Camera Backpack

G-graphy Camera Backpack

This camera bag checks off all the important boxes for camera bag features.

It comes complete with good impact protection padding both internally and externally, as well as well-padded shoulder straps.

The internal compartments can be reworked to fit a range of camera body and lens choices, as well as having a convenient external tripod holder and built-in rain cover.

While the G-graphy Camera Backpack is a decent camera bag, there a few drawbacks that might not make it our bag of choice.

The internal surfaces are made of a slightly plastic-coated material that makes for easier cleaning than most bags, but might not be as soft on your gear as you might like.

Additionally, some users noted that the zippers and stitching are not as rugged as they could be, so you'll have to careful when out on a hike.

If fashion is at all important to you, however, the bag is available in your choice of a range of colors!

Amazon Basics Backpack

Amazon Basics Backpack

The Amazon Basics Backpack is a hallmark of the Amazon Basics line - it offers a simple yet effective solution to the question of how to store all your gear.

Like our other top camera bags, it has all our favorite features like adjustable internal padded compartments, a rain cover and a tripod holder.

The tripod holder is definitely not designed for a full-sized tripod so keep that in mind when planning your gear choices.

The bag also has fairly large carrying capacity, with room for two semi-professional DSLR bodies (or one large professional body) and several lenses.

This camera bag really shines in the way it handles additional accessories such as extra memory cards, batteries and other small bits of gear.

There are several clear pockets on the inside that allow you to keep track of all the easily-lost small objects floating around in every gear bag.

There are also plenty of places to attach additional equipment on the exterior surfaces.

On the downside, while this bag features additional hip straps for supporting heavier equipment loads, some users pointed out the straps that they have chosen to include aren't particularly comfortable for heavy use.

They are effective at securing the bag tightly to your back, but they aren't designed to allow your hips to carry any of the bag's weight.

Overall this camera bag does the job pretty well for ​beginners or intermediate photographers who are not on the field often and do not reach often remote locations with a very expensive gear in the bag.

The Great Explorer

Altura The Great Explorer

Aside from having a great name, this camera bag is well-suited for photographers who really enjoy spending a lot of time on location.

It covers all the essential requirements of a camera bag while still maintaining compliance with TSA carry-on baggage regulations.

This makes it the perfect camera bag for photographers who travel long distances in search of the perfect shot.

A full set of internal customisation options allow you to carry a range of gear choices, including two DSLR camera bodies and as many as six lenses, depending on the types you choose.

Fortunately, The Great Explorer features solid, well-padded shoulder and hip straps to help evenly distribute the weight of all that gear for easy carrying even over rough terrain.

It also features a moulded backpiece for extra breathability, which you'll quickly grow to appreciate if you ever hike during warm weather.

When it comes to downsides to this bag, it's actually hard to find fault with it - perhaps because it was actually designed by photographers who understood what makes a good bag.

The only real concern is that it may be too large for photographers of a smaller stature, since it is the largest of the bags we reviewed at a size of 13 x 18.

Case Logic SLRC-206

Case Logic SLRC-206

This bag is a fairly unique one on this list, because it uses a specially patented system to protect your camera body.

It will hold a single DSLR camera body and an attached lens of up to 9.8" in length, which covers most lenses.

It does offer a number of storage compartments for additional items such as your laptop and other smaller accessories, making this a great bag for photographers who want to do a lot of on-site review as part of their workflow.

The truly unique feature of this camera bag is the way that it protects your camera.

Case Logic has developed a specialized neoprene hammock system that suspends your camera gear much the way that a car's suspension works.

This provides additional protection against impacts and the stress caused by hiking over rough terrain.

The only downside to this bag is found in the support straps.

The shoulder straps are fairly narrow and not as well padded as some of the other bags we've looked at here, and there are no hip straps to help carry the added weight of your laptop.

Acuvar DSLR Camera Backpack

Acuvar DSLR Camera Backpack

Last but not least is the Acuvar DSLR Camera Backpack, a good all-around choice that is almost as effective as The Great Explorer.

It has a large storage compartment with room for two DSLR bodies and 3 or 4 lenses, and thick padding between the customisable inner sections to prevent your gear from banging around inside.

Interestingly, this bag is the only one that has a rain cover that is actually detachable.

Most are actually attached to the bottom of the bag to prevent them from getting lost or blowing away in high winds, but the fact that this one is detachable could turn it into a useful tool for other situations.

It packs a great deal of equipment but be mindful of the a small size, just 11.5" x 15.6". Depending on your gear and how many camera and lenses you want to carry with you, it may be a great choice or not.

Our Choice

After carefully checking these 5 camera bags with in mind the use a landscape photographer would do of a camera bag, the best camera bag for us is The Great Explorer by Altura Photo.

It offers the right combination of protection, portability and thoughtful additional design touches that take it from a great bag to the perfect bag.

The fact that it can be taken anywhere in the world for on-location shoots thanks to its TSA carry-on approval is icing on the cake - after all, who would want to check their camera bag on a flight?

You never know what kind of scene you'll run into when you're out photographing in the wild, so the ability to carry a huge range of gear is a major bonus.

There's nothing worse than stumbling onto an amazing scene and suddenly realizing that you had to compromise with the gear that could fit in the bag.

Additionally, the comfortable shoulder straps and convenient hip straps make carrying all that extra gear simple and easy, allowing you to focus on spotting your next photographic masterpiece.

We hope this review provided you value in your search for a Camera Bag. In you enjoyed it, please leave a comment below.

We will be happy to hear your comments and suggestions and if you have tried any other bag as well.

Best Camera Bags

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Mirrorless vs DSLR

Mirrorless vs DSLR

Mirrorless vs DSLR

Mirrorless vs DSLR. Which is best for landscape photographers

Since the beginning of digital photography, DSLR cameras have been regarded as the gold standard of image quality.

But over the years, mirrorless cameras have been slowly closing the gap as new technological advancements dramatically boost their abilities while maintaining a competitive price point.

When it comes time to buy your next landscape photography camera, it might be hard to choose between a mirrorless or DSLR camera, but we're here to help make things clear.

In this post, we'll dig into the mirrorless vs DSLR debate and explore how each type of camera works, what features they offer that are specifically useful for landscape photographers and help you decide which will be best for you.

So What Does 'Mirrorless' Really Mean?

A lot of confusion is created by the name 'mirrorless', because many photographers don't stop to think about how the light is handled within the body of their cameras.

Instead, you're probably wondering what mirrors are doing in your camera at all! We won't get too technical in our explanation, but it's important that you understand the basics of how each system works.

In a typical DSLR, light comes in through the lens, but before it hits the camera's sensor it is reflected upwards by a mirror (or a series of mirrors) that allows the light from the lens to be seen in the optical viewfinder.

This ensures that what you see through the viewfinder is exactly what your camera's sensor will see. When the shutter is fired, this mirror moves into a different position, allowing the light from the lens to reach the camera's sensor which records the image.

A mirrorless camera doesn't have any of these complex mechanical systems, so the camera's sensor is simply receiving and processing light directly through the lens at all times.

This means that while it is impossible to have an optical viewfinder on a mirrorless camera, you can still see what's going on by using the electronic viewfinder screen on the back of the camera, and it will still be an exact match to what your final image will look like.

The Most Useful Camera Capabilities for Shooting Landscapes

Sensor Size

Sensor size is one of the most important elements that affects the image quality of your photographs.

Many people get caught up in the number of megapixels a camera has, but don't bother to consider the sensor size, and this is a big mistake.

The larger the camera's sensor is, the better the image quality will be, but let's take a close look at exactly why that is.

Every camera sensor is made up of light-sensitive elements called photosites, which correspond to the number of pixels in the photos they produce.

If you have two equally-sized camera sensors, one with 18 megapixels worth of photosites and one with 36 megapixels worth of photosites, the photosites on the 36MP camera will have to be half the size of the 18MP sensor in order to fit into the same space.

This means that the camera will have to do a lot more processing of the 36MP image in order to make sure that there hasn't been any light bleed or other issues between the different photosites, and whenever that much processing is required in-camera you start to lose image quality.

A larger sensor size means that the photosites can be larger and not so tightly packed together, which results in a bunch of image quality improvements.

Larger sensors capture a wider dynamic range, have better ISO sensitivities and better digital noise control. These improvements can make a huge difference when shooting landscapes, because they tend to naturally include wide dynamic ranges when shooting land and sky together.

Image Resolution

Image resolution is the second most important aspect to consider after sensor size.

While we cautioned you not to get too caught up in the megapixel count provided by your camera, it's still something you have to take into account because it will affect what you'll be able to do with your photographs once you capture them.

Printing

Shooting with a high resolution camera will give you a great deal of flexibility if you want to print your images, because you'll be able to create much larger prints while maintaining proper image quality.

Crop Images

Even if you only want to work digitally, shooting in high resolution will give you the ability to recrop and recompose your shots in post-processing and still wind up with a large, high quality image.

Often when shooting landscapes we can't quite get the exact shot we need in-camera because something gets in the way despite our best composition efforts, but if you've got a high resolution source image you can simply crop out what you don't want and still have a great photo.

What is the minimum Resolution acceptable?

Most cameras available on the market today average out at around 24 megapixels, but they can range between 18 to 50 megapixels, depending on what will fit in your budget.

Unless you're planning on making incredibly large size prints, you don't need to go as high as 50MP, but you'll probably want at least 20 or 24.

A 24MP camera will create an image with roughly 6000 x 4000 pixels, enabling you to create a film-quality print at a size of approximately 20" x 13.3".

Resolution vs Memory

It's important to note that higher resolution images take up much more space on your memory card, so you'll have to make sure that you've got a sufficiently large memory card.

A single 24MP photo in uncompressed RAW mode can be as big as 48 megabytes, which means you'll only fit approximately 150 images on an 8 gigabyte memory card, so you're probably better off with a much larger capacity.

If you're shooting with a 36MP camera, you'll need to use a 64GB card at minimum.

Live View

Live view is a fairly simple function that allows you to see what your camera sensor will record before you click the shutter button.

It is different from simply looking through the optical viewfinder on a DSLR because the image you see with live view will reflect the camera's current exposure and white balance settings.

This can be extremely useful when it comes to shooting landscapes, because you'll be able to tell ahead of time if you're using the proper exposure or if you need to adjust any of your settings instead of wasting a whole bunch of time and memory card space.

For quite some time, the live view feature was only offered by mirrorless and compact cameras.

Because of the mirror systems we explained earlier, it was very difficult for DSLR manufacturers to include the live view feature since light wasn't reaching the sensor unless the shutter was pressed.

However thanks to recent advancements in DSLR technology, most new DSLR cameras offer some type of live view mode.

The only real drawback to live view mode is that it uses a huge amount of battery power.

Because it has to keep the camera's sensor, image processors and preview screen running all the time, your battery life will be dramatically reduced, especially when compared to shooting with a DSLR using just the optical viewfinder.

Weight

When you're testing out a new camera model in the store or just shooting in the studio, the weight of your camera probably doesn't seem like a big concern.

But when you're actually out in the world on-location and you have to carry all of your equipment on your back no matter where you go, suddenly it becomes a lot more important.

There's nothing worse than going out for a photography hike but having to turn back early because your camera bag is too heavy!

It's not just the weight of the camera itself that you have to take into consideration, of course.

If you want to be fully prepared with a DSLR camera, you're going to have to take a range of lenses with you that will enable you to capitalize on any scene composition you run across.

Being prepared with a mirrorless camera is much easier, because mirrorless camera lenses tend to be much smaller overall.

Pros of Mirrorless Cameras

Size

One of the most appealing features of mirrorless cameras is their small size.

They tend to be much closer to the size of a compact point and shoot camera, which makes it much easier to bring them with you when you head out to do an on-location landscape shoot.

DSLR cameras are much larger and heavier to accommodate all the optical mirror mechanisms, and a fully-loaded camera bag can really start to weigh you down - literally!

Of course, this extra size means that DSLRs can incorporate comfortable handgrips to ensure you can support all the added weight, but it's still hard to beat the small size of a mirrorless camera.

Electronic Viewfinders

Instead of an optical viewfinder like you find on DSLR cameras, mirrorless cameras use what's known as an electronic viewfinder.

An electronic viewfinder or EVF is exactly the same thing as live view mode on a DSLR, and it's just as useful. It provides a perfectly accurate preview of what your final photograph will look like, instead of the unadjusted view through the lens that you get through an optical viewfinder.

While some photographers swear by them, optical viewfinders are far from perfect.

Some optical viewfinders on DSLRs don't actually show the exact same scene as the final photograph, although it's usually pretty close.

Some only show 98% of the scene, which can result in having extra unwanted elements around the edges of your photos, and on lower-quality DSLRs the image can be almost too dark to be much use beyond basic composition.

A good electronic viewfinder has none of these issues, which can save a great deal of time when you're composing your shots and choosing your settings.

They're also extremely useful for learning how to use your camera in manual mode, because you can directly see the results of your settings as you change them, helping you to get a sense of how different combinations of aperture, shutter speed and ISO will affect your photographs.

Focus Peaking

Focus peaking is one of the most useful features ever found on a modern digital camera. Essentially what it does highlight the areas of your image that are in the sharpest focus using a color overlay on your camera's screen.

Since all mirrorless cameras are using electronic viewfinders all the time, this is easily done, and provides a huge advantage over typical manual focus cameras.

Strangely enough, focus peaking isn't available on any of the DSLRs offered by any of the major camera manufacturers.

Apparently it is possible to load unofficial firmware onto some Canon DSLR cameras that provide additional features such as focus peaking, but this is a pretty dangerous option that will definitely void your warranty and may even turn your expensive camera into nothing more than an expensive paperweight.

While it's a cool feature, it's probably not worth ruining your camera just to get it. We do not recommend it.

Weight

Because mirrorless cameras are mirrorless, there's a lot less going on inside the camera body.

They don't need to include the heavy, cumbersome mirror systems that are found inside DSLR bodies, which makes them much lighter.

While this might not seem important at first, having a lightweight camera can make a long walk searching for the perfect scene a much more enjoyable experience!

Mirrorless cameras also tend to have much smaller lenses than a DSLR, and sometimes DSLR lenses are so heavy that they have to have their own tripods!

This also saves a great deal of weight, and also gives you a lot more flexibility when it comes to how you handle your camera.

Price

The final perk of choosing a mirrorless camera is the price.

Even the most expensive mirrorless cameras are still around the price of an entry-level DSLR, usually around $1000.

Top mirrorless cameras can reach $4500 and that's for the very top of the line mirrorless cameras.

A top of the line DSLR camera might cost as much as $8000, and that's just for the camera body alone without any of the necessary lenses.

Purchasing additional lenses for a mirrorless camera is also usually much cheaper than purchasing DSLR lenses, which can sometimes cost more than the camera!

Most additional lenses for mirrorless cameras range between $200 to $600, although there are a few new releases that fall outside this range.

Cons of Mirrorless Cameras

Battery Life

Unfortunately, because mirrorless cameras don't have an optical viewfinder but instead have to be registering and processing all the light that passes through them when they're turned on, they tend to have much shorter battery life than a comparable DSLR camera.

Additionally, constantly using the electronic viewfinder screen uses up quite a bit of power, and you can't take pictures without it.

By comparison, DSLRs only use power when the shutter is fired or when you're reviewing your shots, so their batteries tend to last quite a long time.

Available Lenses

Mirrorless cameras often come with good quality lenses, but unfortunately they tend to have an extremely limited range of additional lenses available for sale.

Most mirrorless cameras will have a wide angle lens, a regular mixed-use lens and a telephoto zoom lens, but only one model of each type.

If you're lucky, you might also be able to get a macro lens, but this is still pretty limiting when it comes to your lens choice.

Some mirrorless cameras can use DSLR lenses with an adaptor though. This increases the options available with some pitfalls. Sometimes the adaptors do not allow the autofocus or provide a much slower focus.

DSLRs will have a huge range of lenses from a number of different manufacturers, and they cover a wide range of optical qualities and price points.

This gives a great deal of added flexibility and lets you choose just what you're comfortable with - and what you can fit into your budget.

Image Quality

Unfortunately for the quality-minded photographer, the quality of the images produced by a top of the line mirrorless camera still can't compete with the image quality produced by a top of the line DSLR camera.

Of course, there's a huge difference in price between those two options, possibly as much as $8000 difference in fact, but if image quality is your biggest concern and you have an unlimited budget, then you're still better off using a DSLR instead of a mirrorless camera.

The biggest reason for this difference in quality comes back to the sensor size that we discussed earlier at the beginning of the post.

Most mirrorless camera systems tend to have smaller sensors than a full frame DSLR, but this isn't always true.

While they use different language to explain it, any mirrorless camera that has a "1 inch class" sensor is roughly equivalent to a full frame 35mm sensor.

The other major factor that affects the image quality of mirrorless cameras is the optics in their lenses.

While they often have decent quality optics that are optimized for the particular camera they function with, they simply cannot compete with the latest and greatest $3000 DSLR lens.

Conclusion

So even after all that exploration of the great DSLR vs mirrorless camera debate, it's still hard to choose an overall winner.

Mirrorless cameras tend to win on portability, ease of use and price, but they can't stand up to the power and flexibility of a DSLR - at least, not for now.

Because camera manufacturers are always looking for the next best thing, they're currently investing a great deal of money into developing better quality sensors, better batteries and more powerful (and power efficient) image processing chips.

For example, Sony is one of the biggest manufacturers of mirrorless cameras, and they've been looking to get an edge against Canon and others who are dominating the mirrorless camera world.

They're developing a new mirrorless camera called the Sony A9, and it's completely changing the way that people think about mirrorless cameras.

It's priced like a professional level DSLR at $4500, which is unheard of for a mirrorless camera, and while it hasn't been released yet it's still creating a great deal of excitement from professional photographers.

Canon is also in the process of pushing it's EOS M line, a mirrorless camera series that overcomes one of the biggest issues for mirrorless cameras: the available lenses.

By using a special adapter system, it's possible to use some of Canon's DSLR lenses on the M line camera bodies, although it's still not quite in the same class as the upcoming Sony A9.

Lens Adapter

Lens Adapter

If you're just starting out in the world of photography, you might be better off with an inexpensive mirrorless camera system that helps to ease you into the basics of photography and helps to whet your appetite for even more powerful cameras without using up your entire photography budget immediately.

If you've already got a bit of experience with photography, or if you've already invested in a particular DSLR system, you're probably better off sticking with DSLRs and simply investing in a newer camera body and the best quality lenses that you can afford.

Of course, the right choice for you is something that you're going to have to decide for yourself.

The debate is still ongoing, and every year there are new entries from each side, so there may never be a final winner.

For some landscape photographers, mirrorless cameras will always fit their needs, and for others, DSLRs will always be the best choice - it really depends on what you need from your camera.

Mirrorless vs DSLR

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Nikon D810 Nikon D810 a review

Nikon D810 and D810a Review

Nikon D810 Nikon D810 a review

Nikon D810 and D810a Review

In June 2014, Nikon replaced its wildly popular D800 and D800E with the D810.

Although this time the model is a stand-alone and does not have an Optical Low Pass filter-including counterpart, Nikon did use this incredibly well-designed camera to make another model, completely customized for specific types of astrophotography, the Nikon D810A.

The D810 itself comes with a high resolution, full frame sensor and highly praised dynamic range capabilities, along with a set of other features that make this camera very suitable for the landscape photographer.

Nikon D810 review

PROS

  • Full Frame 36.3MP CMOS Sensor
  • Improved Dynamic Range compared to previous series
  • Expeed-4 Image processor that allows for improved noise - reduction processing
  • Redesigned mirror mechanism to reduce image softening
  • No Optical Low Pass Filter
  • 3.2" LCD screen with improved brightness
  • D810 A - dedicated to Astrophotography

CONS

  • No articulated screen
  • No touch screen
  • Demand high level lenses for best details
  • Heavy body

Features

Nikon D810 Review

Although the D800 and D800E already did a good job at impressing professional (landscape) photographers, Nikon has managed to pour those two great models into one body and create an even greater camera: the D810.

36.3MP CMOS Sensor

By far the most impressing feature is the high resolution full frame CMOS sensor, that is capable of producing images far above expectation from a 36.3MP sensor.

The sensor sports some improved microlenses to enable better light gathering capabilities, but at the same time is capable of a lower base sensitivity than its predecessors, with ISO 64.

ISO Sensitivity

This low ISO sensitivity (further expandable down to 32) really allows you to make the most out of this cameras amazing dynamic range, and create some of the most detailed images possible from a full frame sensor.

An outstanding quality if you are a landscape photographer that is keen on big prints of their work.

Expeed-4 Image Sensor

Adding to the camera’s high-performance sensor is an Expeed-4 image processor.

This improved processor not only has the continuous shooting capabilities from the D800 and D800E beat with 5 frames per second at full resolution, it also offers a 30% improvement in overall performance and has greatly improved noise-reduction processing.

Optical Low Pass Filter

To further improve the image sharpness, Nikon has chosen to leave the Optical Low Pass filter out completely, this time not offering the same model with the filter included.

Although lack of this filter may cause some slight moiré in certain situations, if you are a landscape photographer you are really better off without the OLPF.

As we have already said in multiple posts, the filter causes the images to soften and reduces the amount of detail in your image, and since moiré sensitive patterns very rarely occur in nature scenes, leaving the filter out is only beneficial.

Redesigned Mirror Mechanism

Adding to this, Nikon has included some other features to further enhance the image sharpness, first of which being a redesigned mirror mechanism.

The new mirror sequencer/balancer unit controls better the vibrations, and reduces image softening from mirror slap.

Electronic Front Curtain Shutter

Secondly, this body is equipped with an electronic front curtain shutter, adding to the reduction of vibration and image-softening.

Nikon D810 review

Camera Body

Moving on to the outside of the camera, we find the ergo dynamic design we’re used to from Nikon, with a nice beefy grip and dials within easy reach to adjust setting quickly.

LCD Screen

Adding to this user comfort is the ultra-bright LCD screen, cleverly equipped with four dots per pixel instead of the 3 in previous models, adding a white dot to the red, green and blue.

This not only enables a brighter screen that is perfectly visible in bright daylight.

The LCD can now also go into a battery saving mode – very useful when you’re out shooting in low-light conditions and really rather be using your battery’s juice for the long exposures than for a bright screen polluting the darkness.

Split Screen Zoom

Another added feature to the LCD screen is the ‘Split Screen Zoom’ setting, allowing you to zoom in on one half of the screen, while viewing the image normally on the other half.

This feature can be used in live view mode is very useful if you want your lines and horizons to be levelled precisely, and isn’t that what every landscape photographer wants?

Nikon D810 review

Nikon D810A

Now, if you’re thinking “That’s great, but what about long exposures and other features I need for my astrophotography?” – Nikon’s got you covered.

Nikon D810a Review

While they chose not to release the same model with the OLPF included like they did with the D800 and D800E, they did produce an identical looking model that is completely customized to the needs of astrophotographers: the Nikon D810A.

Customized for Astrophotography

To ensure a strikingly detailed capture of those brilliant red tints of constellations in the sky, the infrared cut filter on the D810A has been optimized in such a way that transmission of the hydrogen alpha spectral lines are allowed, which gives you a sensitivity of the 656nm wavelength that is 4 times larger.

Long Exposure Manual Mode

This model also has a new Long Exposure Manual Mode added, enabling you to set shutter speeds from 4, 5, 8, 10, 15, 20, 30, 60, 120, 180, 240, 300, 600 or 900 seconds (15 minutes).

But what I love most about this camera is the new Virtual Exposure Preview Mode.

This handy setting estimates a preview image in live view when you are shooting with long exposure times.

The image represents a 30 second exposure and is beautifully brightened, which makes your job of setting focus and exposure a lot easier.

Additional Considerations

Nikon seems to have almost succeeded in creating a perfect camera for the landscape photographer. There are, however, some minor points of improvement.

First off, the LCD screen.

Although it has some very ingenious features, it is still a fixed type screen that is not sensitive to touch.

I would have liked to see an articulating screen on this camera, because it really is a necessity when shooting landscape from strange angles.

Another issue is the weight of this camera – 980 grams.

Like most high-end DSLRs, this is a real brick to carry around with you on longer hikes.

And this is the weight of the body only, now imagine yourself hiking up a hill with that and NIKKOR lenses and adaptors and telescopes…

Lastly, although the sensor is capable of producing some very high quality images, it really only lives up to its full potential when used with high-end (A.K.A.) expensive lenses.

This makes the relatively affordable camera body suddenly a lot less attractive for all of you photographers trying to keep the costs down.

Alternatives

Sony a7R II

Sony a7R II

I have mentioned this camera as a rival to many, and for good reason.

This full frame mirrorless camera offers the same if not better image quality as the full frame DSLRs, only without the incredibly heavy weight.

It also has a rotating touch screen, and is capable of shooting 4K video.

Overall the Sony a7R II is more suitable for the all-round photographer, especially if you have a side interest in video.

I would not recommend this camera if you’re a professional astrophotographers though, because it does not have any of the optimized features the D810A or Pentax K-1 have to offer.

Pentax K 1

Pentax K1

If you are looking for a great landscape camera and astrophotography - optimized camera in one that is also very affordable – the Pentax K1 is an interesting proposition as we have already presented in our review

One of the best price-quality ratios I’ve witnessed so far, this camera is capable of creating some amazingly detailed and incredibly sharp images.

The 36.2MP sensor is movable, and Ricoh’s designers made sure to make full use of that by introducing an OLPF simulation, Pixel Shift Resolution mode, Horizon Correction mode and Astrotracer system. A

lthough this camera does not have an optimized infrared filter, the lack of star trails the Astrotracer system offers might be just as attractive

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

EOS-5D-MarkIV

This camera, replacing the 5D Mark III in August 2016, is definitely a better choice if you value the video capture on your camera.

Although Nikon is still trying hard to market their new products to cinematographers – by offering full packages of accessories aimed specifically at cinematographers, for example – Canon still has them beat on that department.

The 5D Mark IV is capable of shooting 4K, and comes with a 30MP high resolution sensor.

There is no in-body image stabilisation however, and the camera also lacks an electronic viewfinder.

Unlike the D810, it also does not have a astrophotography - optimized twin, so if you are looking for the perfect tool to shoot the stars, you may want to look somewhere else. Check our detailed review more more information

Conclusions

This camera is definitely worth noticing for the landscape photographer.

The full frame 36.3MP sensor has improved dynamic range capabilities and offers an incredibly sharp and highly detailed image.

The Lack of OLPF only adds to this quality, and the ergo-dynamics and bright LCD screen make this camera even more attractive.

The astrophotography - optimized Nikon D810A, although not recommended for other types of photography, is a treat for the astrophotographers and offers a perfect capture of the stars thanks to extended shutter speeds and an optimized infrared filter.

Nikon has succeeded once again in producing a very high quality camera especially attractive to the landscape photographer.

Although there is still no articulating screen and the body is quite heavy, these minor issues are easily overshadowed by the overall quality of the model

Nikon D810 Review

Check out more Camera Reviews here 

Fujifilm GFX 50S Review

Fujifilm GFX 50S Review

Fujifilm GFX 50S Review

Fujifilm GFX 50S Review: The mirrorless medium format for landscape photographers?

Introduced in January 2017, Fujifilm GFX 50S is the newest mirrorless medium format camera model from Fujifilm and considered one of the best mirrorless cameras out there today.

It has a large medium format (43.8 x 32.9 mm) sensor with a very high resolution: 51.4 MP.

This puts this camera into competition with the  Hasselblad X1D – not a rival unworthy of paying attention to. Check out the review here.

Fujifilm also equipped it with an articulating 3.2” touch screen.

It has 2,360k dots ready for your live viewing, environmental sealing, a high resolution electronic viewfinder (3690k dot) that can be rotated or removed completely, and the opportunity to use your smartphone as remote control.

PROS

  • High resolution medium format sensor
  • Convenient design
  • Large articulating, high resolution touch screen
  • Removable, high resolution EVF
  • Weather sealing

CONS

  • Relatively short battery life
  • Quite heavy for a mirrorless camera

Fujifilm GFX 50S Review

If a camera is competing with the Sony A7R II and Hasselblad X1D, you know the sensor is going to be good.

And indeed, Fujifilm outdid itself and produced their biggest system yet with the GFX 50S.

Although this camera is not big for a high-end camera with a medium format sensor, it is certainly big when compared to Fujifilm’s other models.

The Grip

But, the design team over at Fujifilm has taken this into account, and made some changes to the grip, for example.

Where the grip is normally quite small on Fujifilm mirrorless models – suitable for the small size and light weight of the camera – this model has had an upgrade in ergo-dynamics.

The grip is fatter, with the front formed perfectly for your fingers and the shutter release button placed at a slight angle to ensure a natural grip.

Controls

On the back there is a small nook present in which your thumb can easily rest closely to the control buttons.

Those control buttons are all we’re used to from Fujifilm; placed conveniently close without making the camera appear crowded, the thumb can easily reach buttons on the back including that handy nubbin for selecting the AF point we all know and love.

Fujifilm GFX 50S Review

On the top of the camera we can find Fujifilm’s usual dials to easily adjust the ISO sensitivity and shutter speed, and Fujifilm promises to introduce lenses with aperture rings soon as well.

Finally, we can also find a very DSLR-like LCD screen on top of the camera, allowing you to view all basic information at a glance.

Fujifilm GFX 50S Review

The LCD Screen

Moving on from body to LCD screen – very little complains there!

Although I am personally not a huge fan of Fujifilm’s menu systems as I like more simple and easy ones like the Hasselblad menus, the perfectly placed buttons and handy dials make up for that, so I will mainly focus on this screen’s capability of working well with live viewing.

Well, first of all, the screen is big. It’s 3.2”, making it a very good size to view your image, check your focus, see if you’ve exposed correctly, etc.

It also does some rotating, enabling you to flip the screen up, down and 90 degrees to the right.

This means you get some freedom when it comes to shooting from weird angles, but if weird angles really are your thing and a rotating screen is of vital importance to you, you might be better off with a fully articulated screen like the one on the Canon EOS 80D for example.

Electronic View Finder

Another greatly designed feature on this camera is the electronic viewfinder with a resolution of no less than 3690k dots.

Not only am I a big fan of clear and beautiful electronic viewfinders, since I like being able to see if I got my exposure right when I’m shooting hand-held as well as when using the live view, this viewfinder has an extra trick up its sleeve – well, more like a few extra tricks.

Fujifilm GFX 50S Review

First of all, the EVF can be completely removed from the body. This is an amazing feature for landscape photography use, since we’re so often traveling or hiking around and would really benefit from a smaller camera body.

Since live viewing is more often useful when shooting from a tripod, being able to remove the EVF to lose some camera weight is definitely a big plus.

But in case you are going out shooting but are not sure if you might be needing your EVF for some hand-held shots, the EVF is also rotatable when attaching the Tilting Adapter between the camera body and viewfinder, enabling vertical tilt (0-90 degrees) and horizontal rotation (more or less 45 degrees).

These angles allow you to be more creative with your hand-held angles and still being able to make use of the EVF’s amazing quality.

Another great addition that seems to be a present especially for landscape photographers, is the 3d system used in the viewfinder, the perfect tool for determining if your vertical and horizontal lines are exactly straight.

Fujifilm GFX 50S Review

The Sensor

Moving on to the reason we’re all here: the medium format sensor.

We’ve all witnessed the greatness of the Sony a7R II full frame sensor, now be prepared to be amazed some more.

Although up until now it has mostly been Hasselblad dominating the medium format field, Fujifilm is coming in strong and has come a very, very far way.

This might seem surprising, but when you look into some camera history you will see that Fujifilm was actually one of the brands producing medium format cameras for film.

Not so surprising anymore that they are not letting Hasselblad getting away with all the shine anymore…

This sensor is an impressive 43.8 x 32.9 mm large SMOC medium format, with a resolution no less than 51.4MP and a X-Processor pro.

If you thought your full frame images were sharp and detailed, think again. Like the images from the Hasselblad, these images will survive almost any kind of zooming and cropping, and provide you with some outstanding dynamic range.

Fujifilm GFX 50S Review

Battery Life

Although I haven’t found many disadvantages to this camera for landscape photography, there are of course some.

The battery life for example, is not much longer than 400 shots.

This means extra weight to carry in the form of extra batteries, just like was the problem with the Sony a7R II and Hasselblad X1D.

Like its Hasselblad rival, this camera is also quite heavy for a mirrorless camera with 800 grams.

However, that is still a pretty light weight to carry in return for medium format image files…

For action photography this camera might not be ideal, since the maximum continuous shooting rate is only 3.0 fps and the autofocus is not the fastest out there (although it does a better job than the system on the X1D).

Alternatives

Hasselblad H1d

Hasseldblad X1d

This camera is probably most similar to the GFX 50S, as it’s one of the few medium format cameras in the shape of a mirrorless, more or less light weight camera.

Like mentioned before, the Hasselblad has a menu system that is just unbeatable. It’s also designed very cleverly, and is slightly lighter than the GFX. The X1D is a bit more expensive however (like is to be expected from a Hasselblad), and only has a few (expensive) lens options.

Sony a7R II

Photography Ambition

One of my personal favorite mirrorless camera’s to date, with a back-illuminated full frame sensor and no optical low-pass filter for images very comparable in sharpness, detail and dynamic range to the medium format files produced by the Hasselblad and Fujifilm.

This camera is also a bit lighter, and offers 4K video if you’re into some landscape videoing on the side. This camera is a lot less expensive and more suitable for all-round photography than the GFX or the X1D.

Pentax K 1

Pentax K1

Equipped with a full frame 36 MP SMOS sensor, this Pentax does a pretty impressive job in image sharpness.

Like the a7R II this camera also lacks the optical low pass filter, making for an even sharper image though some more noise when using high ISO sensitivities (which you very probably won’t be doing when shooting landscape).

This camera does have a decent battery life of 760 shots, a lot more than the other cameras listed (although still no Canon 1100 shots…).

It also has built-in image stabilization, using the Sensor-shift system. It lacks the electronic viewfinder however, but the optical viewfinder does do a 100% coverage. This camera is a lot less expensive than the GFX 50S, but it will show in image quality when compared.

Conclusions

The Fujifilm GFX 50S will produce some of the highest quality images out there, which makes it an outstanding camera for landscape photography.

The great body design, high resolution screen and electronic viewfinder are just the beginning of this camera’s greatness, as the real pearl lies within: the medium format 51.4MP sensor responsible for all that high image quality.

The battery life could be improved, but all other shortcomings are not really a problem for the landscape photographer.

This is the camera for you if you are ready for a big investment, and make the step to a very high-end medium format camera.

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