Sigma 12-24mm f4 DG “Art”

Sigma 12-24mm f4 DG “Art” : Performance & value for money

Amateur Photographer (AP) Magazine has review the Sigma 12-24mm f4 DG HSM “Art” zoom designed to work with full frame DSLR’s. So has Sigma got another priceless piece of “art” on its hands?

Well the article is very detailed but the conclusion simply. Yet again a Sigma “art” lens delivers in spades and at a price that puts the big names to shame, Its worth a read if your in the market for a full frame wide angle zoom.

From AP Magazine:

“This lens has created a bit of a buzz among landscape, architectural and interior photographers, and all for good reason. Yes its heavy and may not hold the title of being the world’s widest rectilinear zoom lens like the Canon EF 11-24mm f4L USM, but it does have many of the features of its closest rival, for a lot less money.

Its yet another superb addition to Sigma’s Art line-up”

January 2017

Canon EOS M5 Reviewed by AP Magazine

Canon EOS M5 : Still a C+ / B- effort 

Amateur Photographer (AP) Magazine has published a full technical review of Canon’s latest attempt at a mirrorless CSC, the Canon EOS M5. So has Canon finally cracked itv and produced a truly credible mirrorless model? Well sort. Common sense indicates that the likes of Sony, Olympus and Panasonic have little to fear.

From AP Magazine:

“With the EOS M5, Canon has finally made the kind of mirorless model that users have been asking for. With its built-in electronic viewfinder and plentiful set of controls, it should appeal strongly to enthusiasts, while its Dual-Pixel autofocus works remarkably well even with old EF-mount SLR lenses.

But while there’s a great deal to like about the EOS M5, in some way it does feel rather behind the times.

Indeed the huge problem for the EOS M5 is its price, and this makes it difficult to rate.

But right now, £1049 body-only is simply too much to pay in this competative sector. However if the price were to drop closer to £800 in the future, then the EOS M5 would be a much more serious contender”

My Take:

At the moment the likes of the Fujifilm X-T10, the Panasonic G80, Sony Alpha 6300 and Olympus OM-D E10 II are far, far better options over the hugely over-priced Canon EOS M5. Besides Canon has still failed to produce truly high performing EF-M lenses to complement the camera and “M” system generally I reckon the company are simply playing mind games with the Canon faithful. Maybe they have something really special up their sleeve but somehow I am not so sure?

Mark Baynham (January 2017)

Sony FE 50mm f2.8 Macro Prime

Sony FE 50mm f2.8 Macro Prime.

Sony FE 50mm F2.8 Macro Review Image

Amateur Photographer (AP) Magazine contained a test / review of Sony’s FE 50mm F2.8 Macro prime lens designed to be used with the company’s Alpha A7 range of full frame mirror-less camera’s.

From Amateur Photographer (AP) Magazine:

“In terms of image quality its hard to fault the Sony FE 50mm f2.8 Macro”

“In summary, the build quality is superb, optically the lens is great and if you are primarily looking to shoot macro images but also want a standard 50mm lens, then its a good option”

“Users on a tight budget could consider buying the FE 50mm f1.8 with a set of extension tubes instead”

December 2016

Pentax K-70: Bang for Bucks Value.

Pentax K-70: Another winner from Pentax

Pentax K-70 Review Image

This weeks Amateur Photographer (AP) magazine had a full review of Pentax’s mid-range APS-C DSLR the K-70.

Pentax DSLR’s have traditionally pretty much always offered:

Excellent image quality ( especially high ISO performance)

Incredible value for money

Hugely impressive feature set (ie 100% viewfinders & durable bodies)

The one of two features simply not present in equivilent rivals.

Accesss to a wealth of K fit legacy lenses going back 20 years or more.

Access to a wide range of modern high performing Pentax optics

Slightly slow AF performance when compared to rivals.

To be honets its a bit of a mystery as to why despite a rich history and excellent cameras, Pentax have continually failed to gain a more significant share of the APS-C DSLR market.

So how does the K-70 fair against obvious rivals like the Canon 760D and Nikon D5500? What did AP think?

Well they liked it.

From Amateur Photographer (AP) Magazine:

” Overall the K-70 offers great value and a solid set of features in a compact body that should be easy to use for beginners, But equally it will keep budding photographers happy for longer as their experience grows and they start to experiment with the more advanced features that it includes in abundance. For the price the K-70 is hard to beat”

My Take:

Yep, and there you have it. The Pentax K-70 is a 24mp APS-C weather sealed DSLR with a 100% viewfinder and in-body sensor stabilisation (which also brings pixel shift high res mode). The brutal truth is that no rival (not one) comes close to such a rich feature set.

Yes its true that once again AP Magazine found that the camera’s AF performance lags the opposition but despite this “quirk” or maybe even because of it the K-70 should ( no will) appeal to traditionalists, old school photographers and they will laughing all the way to the bank because you can pick up a brand new Pentax K-70 kitted with 18-135mm all purpose zoom for around £800 and that’s superb value for money.

Mark Baynham (December 2016)

Sony RX100 V : Amost there but still not quite

Sony RX100 V: “B+” effort that should be a straight “A” performer

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 V Review Image

This weeks Amateur Photographer (AP) Magazine contained a full review of Sony’s latest RX100 model the Mark V, a speed demon of a compact camera that promises unrivelled AF speeds as well as hugely impressive continous shooting paired with established image quality.

So what did AP Magazine conclude:

From AP Magazine:

“Its speed, performance and image quality are execellent but the RX100 V is still far from being the perfect pocket camera and its disappointing that Sony hasn’t concentrated its efforts on improving faults we’ve pulled previous RX100 series models up on before”

“To summarise the RX100 V is a very capable premium pocket compact but once again we are left saying it as potential to be even better”

My Take:

Here, here. Around £1000 ( yes a Grand) for a modern camera specifically intended to be the best of the best in-class not to possess a touch screen is just plain ludicrious. Then there’s the physical button layout and general ergonomics of the camera which leave a lot to be desired, I mean the camera still lacks any sort of built in rubberised hand / finger grip?????

Sony’s latest version of its 20mp 1-Inch BSI CMOS sensor is clearly a winner but what’s the point if the camera still sometimes fails to handle in a way expected of such a prenium product?

And then there’s the very meagre, indeed down right poor battery life ( you’ll be lucky to get around 200 plus shots from the RX100 V).

All of these persistent general moans directed at the RX100 V have equally applied to earlier RX100 models so they can, no they should be reasonably easily address, so why not sort them Sony?

For £1000 of my own money I expect a bit more from the RX100 V. Fingers crossed the RX100 VI when it comes may finally end up being the ultimate premium compact. For the time being personally I’d be more tempted to look at either the ealier RX100 IV, the Canon PowerShot G7X II or Panasonic Lumix LX15 if I was in the market for a high end compact.

Mark Bynham ( December 2016)