Fstoppers Gear Reviews

DJI Inspire Pro and X5 Camera Review - An Absolute Game Changer

I recently had the pleasure of picking up one of the first final production models of the Inspire Pro and X5 Micro 4/3 Camera, and immediately took it to one of the most beautiful photography destinations in the world to test it out: Meteora Greece. I spent the better part of a week there getting the hang of flying and capturing both photos and videos and I was able to come away with some stunning results. This review is meant to showcase what I was able to capture and give you an idea about the capability of the new X5 Camera and the key differences between the Inspire and...

Vincent Laforet's 'AIR' Book Strikes a Balance Between Serene Cityscapes and Visual Overload

I have been following and reporting on Vincent Laforet's "AIR" series since its first round was released. I came across an early printing of the book itself in the waiting area of San Francisco's Storehouse startup while I was about to take on another interview. I knew Storehouse and Laforet had a good working relationship, and I knew the images so well. But I didn't have time to look inside -- not that I felt I had to, however, since I knew the work inside and out. So when Laforet offered me a copy of the book to review, I simply had to say, "Of course," even if it was with mixed feelings. What could I, objectively speaking, really get out of it? Hadn't I seen it all?

Sigma 20mm f/1.4 Art Special: Astronomy Review

Not long ago, I released a review of Sigma's newest Art-series lens, the 20mm f/1.4 Art. Unfortunately, Northern California skies have had bit of a tough time clearing up despite numerous requests from astrophotographers below, patiently waiting for news of this lens' nighttime, Milky Way performance. Last night, although far from perfect, areas of the sky did clear up enough to get a small consensus on how this lens fares when pointed toward the stars.

A DSLR Shooter Reviews the Hasselblad CFV-50c
Last time I wrote an article for Fstoppers was almost a year ago when I had just picked up a Hasselblad V-system medium format film camera for the first time. If you remember my first post, I taught myself to shoot 120 film while traveling in Europe. I reported my findings as best as someone with only a month of practical experience could. In the year that's passed I've learned so much about the modern uses and challenges of this legendary camera system and it has become a fixture in my studio. In today's market it's not always the right tool for the job, but when it is, it's a remarkably satisfying camera to use.

Fstoppers Reviews the Incase DSLR Pro: One Camera Bag to Rule Them All?

We know, it's another bag review, but we all need to face the reality that camera bags are like Pokemon for photographers; gotta' catch 'em all. There's really no such thing as a perfect bag, as no one bag can really apply to every situation the working photographer can throw at it, but I think I've found the closest thing to being universally useful in the Incase DSLR Pro Pack.

Sigma's 20mm f/1.4 Art Is Pure Heaven with No Competition (Unless You Shoot Nikon)

If you don't know Sigma's Art series lenses yet, you're missing out. Their well established 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, and zoom options in the Art lineup shine, but it's hard to believe it took this long for a wide-angle 20mm f/1.4 Art to make it out into the real world. But the moment I began shooting with this beauty is the moment of the past didn't matter anymore. We're in a new world: there's a 20mm to die for; and this is it.

Fstoppers Reviews FotoClient Business Management Software For Photographers

FotoClient is a new cloud based platform which aims to be a total business management solution for photographers and studios. From lead management to invoicing FotoClient wants to tackle it all. I put it to the test at my studio to see how it performs in the real world. Starting at just $10/month, could this be the solution you are looking for?

Fstoppers Compares Profoto HSS and Elinchrom Hi-Sync

Until recently, HSS and HyperSync were considered gimmicky features available on either expensive PocketWizard or cheap Chinese triggers. With Profoto, Elinchrom, Priolite, RiME LITE, and other brands catching up on these techniques, it is slowly becoming more popular. However, are these sync modes as reliable and useful as the brands try to make us believe they are? Moreover, is one better than the other?

Fstoppers Reviews $299 Electronic Earplugs for Concert Photographers: The Etymotic Music·PROs

Hear me out on this one. As a concert and event photographer (and music lover), I will argue until my dying breath that the most important piece of equipment we have after our camera is ear protection. In fact, this made my recently published list of 10 concert photography tips for everyone. I've gone through nearly a dozen different kinds of earplugs over the past five years, but the Music•PRO high-fidelity earplugs from Etymotic are something absolutely unique, and I'm thrilled to be able to review them. They're electronic. And they're alive.

Fstoppers Reviews HEX DSLR Sling and DSLR Backpack Camera Bags

HEX is a creative brand, and photographers are creative people. Just like we as photographers want our shots to be our own, we want our camera bags to have a unique look. That's just what HEX did through design, aesthetics, and protective elements - they designed HEX camera bags for the modern photographer. We reviewed the HEX DSLR Sling and DSLR Backpack; here's what we thought.

Lightroom Film Presets: Full Totally Rad Replichrome I, II, and III Review

Totally Rad are the producers of the film emulation presets titled Replichrome. Currently there are three sets of presets, Replichrome I: Icon, Replichrome II: Slide, and Replichrome III: Archive. The initial inception of the Lightroom presets, now known as the Icon Series, came with the intent to get it right. Not to create stylized versions of film but to create accurate depictions so that the digital images with the film presets would appear as close to actual film as possible.

Trial By Fire: Switching to Sony For a Commercial Shoot Overnight

Seems like just a short few years ago, Sony DSLR's were the laughing stock, what with their proprietary this and convoluted that. Yet today, going into 2016, Sony has made a huge impact in the photography world with their hyper-techy mirrorless cameras almost out of nowhere. After much consideration (and provocation from Sony) I decided to try out some Sony gear in the most challenging way possible: on a client job. Nope, I had never worked with a Sony before. What could possibly go wrong?

Hands-On with the Everyday Messenger: The Bag That Raised Nearly $5 Million

While running a Kickstarter campaign might be a bit easier for veteran company Peak Design, there’s something to be said for raising over $4.8 million of excitement over a messenger bag. What is so special about this bag that merits this reaction? After reaching out to Peak Design, they sent a just-finished version of the Everyday Messenger — the "Trey Ratcliff bag" — for review so I could answer some of those questions.

Which Mobile Photo Editor Is Right for You?

I think the only thing that has changed photography more than the invention of digital cameras is the ever-growing involvement of photography and social media. Sites like Instagram, Twitter, and Tumblr are the perfect platforms for sharing not only your work, but also behind-the-scenes images and other content that draws interest towards your brand. Today it is easier than ever to take advantage of this. Not only have mobile apps changed the shape of the industry, but they have changed the way that photographers can work. Apps like Snapseed, VSCO, and Lightroom Mobile have made it possible for aspiring artists, or even those in a hurry, to create incredible content with relative ease.

Fstoppers Reviews the Elinchrom Skyport HS

A couple of weeks ago, Elinchrom released the Skyport HS, a new iteration of the very old and rudimentary Skyport. The Skyport HS seems to have everything a strobist could hope for, from the laser grid to focus in low-light conditions to the Hi-Sync mode. This new radio trigger is a welcome addition to Elinchrom's product line. At least, it is on paper. The Swiss company was kind enough to lend me a unit before it was even released so that I could play with it and review it for you.

The Good and the Bad of the Periscope Social Media Platform

Periscope is a social media app that turns your life into a live broadcast. Instead of updating your Facebook status or sending a tweet, with this app, you start a live broadcast similar to any live broadcast you see on TV. The difference is that you get live interaction with the people that are tuning in to watch you. Now that the app is available on both Android and iOS, it’s starting to pick up some steam, and like any social media platform, it’s good to get in on the ground floor. Before you do, I have a list of positives and negative you may want to consider.

Luminosity Masks in Photoshop Made Simple Using Lumenzia

Luminosity masks are a powerful trick available in Photoshop. However, the way Adobe implemented them is not so great. It's a combination of playing around with the channels layers and keyboard shortcuts to get the mask you wish. Greg Benz has come up with something awesome called Lumenzia and it fixes almost everything that made using luminosity masks a pain to use.

Fstoppers Reviews the Yongnuo TTL Flash System

In the world of off-camera flash, there are two sides: the full manual side and the TTL (through the lens) side. I have always been on the full manual side, because when it comes to triggering a TTL flash off camera, things start to get complicated. In order to trigger the flash, you either need to have an expensive on-camera flash, an expensive TTL radio trigger, or a cumbersome TTL cable. Then, I found the affordable and feature-rich Yongnuo TTL system and instantly fell in love.

First Impressions of the New Sony a7SII

The Sony a7S II is the latest full-frame mirrorless Alpha camera to be released and builds upon the head-turning low-light capabilities its predecessor was made known for. Now featuring internal 4K video recording, in-body 5-axis image stabilization, and improved autofocusing, the a7S II is once again calling attention to itself by offering a range of features currently unmatched.

These Black Dogs Will Make Your Eyes Light Up With Glee

Making its start as a wildly popular Tumblr blog, the “Black Dogs Project” was created by Massachusetts-based portrait photographer Fred Levy. The goal of Levy’s project is to bring to light the reality of black dog syndrome, which is an observance that black dogs tend to always be adopted last from shelters. Now made into an inspiring hardbound photo book, I’d like to share some of my favorite cute doggy photos from “The Black Dogs Project” and give an overview of the charming stories within.

Hands-On with the Newly Announced Sony RX1R II

Sony has just announced their latest full-frame mirrorless camera, the 42.4-megapixel RX1R II. This very sleek fixed-lens 35mm f/2 digital camera packs many of the same imaging features you’ll find in the new Sony a7RII (along with some surprising new ones), but in an even smaller, true compact-sized design. It’s a genius product of advanced engineering and technology, and I had the chance to get my hands on one to use.

You Might Want to Consider Protecting Your Wacom Intuos Tablet with a Screen Protector

Before I had a Wacom, I seriously questioned the ability that a touchpad without a screen would have to improve my editing workflow. Also the screen-integrated models were way too expensive for me to consider at the time. Those of us that have them now, however, see them as an invaluable tool in our work — and it’s one we probably want to protect.

Need for Speed: Fstoppers Reviews the Mitakon Zhongyi 50mm f/0.95 Lens for Sony FE

There aren't too many people in the f/0.95 club. Until fairly recently, it was a ludicrously expensive badge of honor, typically worn by Leica-toting physicians and hedge fund managers. After all, the legendary Leica Noctilux 50mm f/0.95 costs just shy of $10,000. Of course, there are some micro four thirds options. But those don't really count, do they? All that changed in April of 2014, when Mitakon announced their "SpeedMaster" 50mm f/0.95. After spending the better part of a month shooting it, I'm almost a believer... almost.

Fstoppers Reviews the New Tamrac Anvil Professional Series Photo Backpacks

For almost 40 years, Tamrac has been producing bags aimed towards photographers who embraced the great outdoors. Their brand new collection of Anvil backpacks — which replaces the Expedition line — continues their tradition while making a number of exciting design choices that make this collection their best ever. In this review, I take a look at the Anvil Slim 15, which is sized for photographers who have entered the exploding mirrorless market, but shares the same look and feature set of the rest of the Anvil collection.

Hands-On with a Pre-Production Vantage Robotics 'Snap' Drone: The One I Wish I Always Had

First, second, third, and fourth generations of several companies’ drones are now out on the market. But it’s only as we head into 2016 that the drone race is really on and that all the other possible players with their collectively interesting ideas who might have lagged behind a little are now crossing the halfway point. That race won’t end anytime soon, as the consumer drone market’s innovation is only picking up. I caught up with Vantage Robotics Co-Founder and CEO Tobin Fisher on a beautiful San Francisco morning on Crissy Field, where he let his company's new 4K drone, “Snap,” do just that.