Sunday, 29 November 2015

Myths in photography

Photography and camera equipment is a conservative business, and there are a lot of myths out there. Myths that perhaps were true back when SLR cameras were popularized (1960s-70s), or were never true. Here are some examples that I often come across.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Fisheye lenses compared

I like fisheye lenses: They can cram an impressively wide field of view into the image frame, and create perspectives that you would not be able to see with the human eye. Another aspect of fisheye lenses is that they create a lot of barrel distortion (rounded images), which you can remove through a defish process, or retain in the final image.

Here is a collection of fisheye lenses for Micro Four Thirds and other systems:


From the left: Samyang 7.5mm f/3.5 (my review), Lumix G 8mm f/3.5 (my review), Yasuhara Madoka 180 7.3mm f/4 (my review), Olympus 9mm f/8 (white) (my review), Lensbaby 5.8mm f/3.5 (the biggest) (my review)

There are basically two types of fisheye lenses: A circular fisheye lens renders a circle in the centre of the image frame, which usually extends to 180° all around. A full frame/diagonal fisheye, on the other hand, renders the full imaging sensors, and usually extends to 180° from corner to corner.


Sunday, 8 November 2015

Trend: Large sensors in compact cameras

Most photo enthusiasts now understand the value of a large imaging sensor: It enables better resolution, better dynamic range, and better low light sensitivity. However, large sensors have typically come in larger camera systems.

And a large sensor DSLR system, with a long register distance, also needs large lenses, especially if the aperture or the zoom ratio is large.

Hence, among enthusiasts, there has been a desire for more compact large sensor cameras, to bring along more easily in a jacket pocket, for example. We have waited a long time for these types of cameras to arrive, and in the last years, we have gotten more to choose from.

To illustrate this trend, I have compiled this diagram of compact, premium cameras from the last decade. The measure I have used along the left axis is the imaging sensor size (in mm²), divided by the maximum aperture. The bigger this figure, the better.

In the case of a zoom lens, I have divided by the average over the long and short end maximum aperture, which is a bit unfair towards those with a longer zoom range, but life is unfair anyway.

Sensor area in mm² divided by maximum aperture size