7 Best Light Meters for Photography to Use in 2018

Every photographer knows that lighting can dramatically change the feel of an image. But controlling for that effect can be extremely difficult. Thankfully, light meters make it a far more manageable task. But a perfect picture requires the perfect light meter.

We’ll rank the best light meter for photography by effectiveness, ease of use, price and more. And we’ll close each item with the meter’s most notable features. Doing so can help photographers find the perfect match for their artistic vision.

7. Sekonic L-398A Light Meter Studio Deluxe III

The Studio Deluxe III ranks lower simply due to trends. It’s not just a little different than the other options. It’s so different that it’s the sole analog option within this list. One shouldn’t take that to mean it’s low tech though.

It functions through a high tech amorphous silicon photocell. In practical terms this simply means that it doesn’t use artificial electrical charges. It simply reacts to the world’s light and transforms that into objective measurements.

This means one never needs to worry about charges or batteries. However, it does have a learning curve. But there’s something to be said for a meter that offers unlimited use.

  • Battery:N/A
  • Corded Sensor: No
  • Display: Analog
  • Light Metering Method: Reflective (lumigrid)

6. Dr.Meter DM-LX1330B

Sometimes value isn’t just about numbers. Dr.Meter isn’t the best of the best in most categories. But it begins to define itself better when one looks at the entirety of the options.

It’s good to average in most respects. This meter isn’t the smallest. But at 4 x 1 x 8 inches it’s still quite portable. The corded sensor might not provide the best range. But it’s still quite serviceable in that respect.

But most of all, one can’t beat the price. It’s often sold for around $30. One really can’t match that level of value when considering the best light meter for photography. One can even fine tune it in order to maximize battery life.

It has one significant drawback which puts it rather low on this list. It uses direct lux measurements as a primary metric. It’s certainly usable in photography. But one can compare it to getting used to celcius after a lifetime with fahrenheit. But if that’s not too daunting than it’s a fantastic bargain.

  • Battery: 9-volt
  • Corded Sensor: Yes
  • Display: B/W 3.5 digit LCD
  • Light Metering Method: Direct Lux measurement

5. Sekonic Corporation 401-701 C-700R Spectromaster

Cost is the first thing one should note about the C-700R. The unit’s comparatively low ranking comes down to the fact that it sells for over $3,000. In comparison, the least expensive consideration comes in at only $30.

But if budget isn’t a concern than the C-700R is top tier. It handles almost any conceivable light measurement. This includes advanced color spectrum analysis and graphing. It easily compensates for both natural and artificial lighting irregularities.

And the sensor itself reachers into 380 to 780 nanometers. And this is in singular 1 nanometer increments. The unit even boasts a variety of wireless control options.

  • Battery: 2xAA
  • Corded Sensor: No
  • Display: Color touchscreen
  • Light Metering Method: Incident/Reflected

4. Kenko KFM-1100 Auto Digi Meter

The KFM-1100 Auto Digi Meter might not impress on first sight. The meter’s claim to best light meter for photography comes from resource optimization. For example, the fact that it handles both incident and reflected light can be useful. And many other options for best light meter for photography boast that ability as well.

But the Digi Meter optimizes that resource to offer an analyze option. It can compare and contrast those values to better determine exposure ratios. It’s a solid design which perfects many features seen in flashier meters.

  • Battery: 1xAA
  • Corded Sensor: No
  • Display: B/W LCD
  • Light Metering Method: Incident/Reflected

3. Sekonic L-308X-U Flashmate Light Meter

The L-308X-U is a close contender for best of the best. The most easily recognized benefit comes from form factor. It fits snugly within the palm of one’s hand. It’s both one off the smallest and most sensitive light meters.

One can even tie it into computer systems. This opens up a number of possibilities for complex shots which could integrate with advanced programming. However, it sits somewhat lower in large part due to overall complexity. It’s a powerful tool. But one needs to really work at mastering it.

  • Battery: AA
  • Corded Sensor: No
  • Display: Backlit LCD
  • Light Metering Method: Incident/Reflected

2. Gossen Digipro F2

There’s something to be said for simplicity. Some people want as much information as possible. Others prefer their data in a carefully cultivated state. The number one and two ranking depends on one’s view of the subject.

Whether the Gossen Digipro F2 ranks as best light meter for photography or second place depends on personal preference. Those who love elegant simplicity have a lot to love in the F2. It has every important reading in clear view on a stark LCD screen.

The smaller amount of data means that it fits a comfortable 0.8 x 2.6 x 4.7” form factor. It even covers both incident and reflected light metering. This all makes it a one size fits all solution for people who celebrate elegant simplicity.

  • Battery: 1x AA
  • Corded Sensor: No
  • Display: B/W LCD
  • Light Metering Method: Incident/reflected

1. Sekonic L-478D LiteMaster Pro

The LiteMaster Pro wins top ranking by a good margin. One simply needs to see it to understand why. It features a full color touchscreen which displays a wealth of information. This creates a sharp contrast with meters which only output a few lines of data.

The modern touches continue into its general configuration. One can set personal profile settings as one might expect in smartphone apps. It can even interface with other photography equipment through PocketWizard protocols. But unlike other complex meters, it’s also quite intuitive.

Experienced photographers can get hold of its basics simply by jumping around within menus. And finally, it’s able to offer all that power on 2 AAA batteries. The low power consumption ensures one can always have it ready to use.

  • Battery: 2x AAA
  • Corded Sensor: No, but features rotating measurement sensor
  • Display: Color touchscreen
  • Light Metering Method: Incident/reflected

Summing Up

It’s clear that measuring light offers more challenges than one might expect. Light and art are timeless. But 2018 offers some interesting variations on light meters. We’ve looked at the best of the best. But there’s still room for discussion.

All of the light meters are top tier. But each offers unique benefits. As such, one might well consider what new opportunities these light meters offer. One should consider not only present need, but future artistic growth.

7 Best Photography Lighting Kits in 2018

Photography has changed quite a bit over the years. One need only look at older pictures to see ample evidence of that fact. And many of these improvements have come from improved lighting.

But improvements come fast enough to make purchases difficult. As such, in the following list we’ll narrow down choices to the best lighting kits. We’ll judge kits based on price, performance and usability. And we’ll assume one needs lighting for both photographs and video.

7. Bolt VB-11

The Bolt VB-11 might not look like much at first glance. It’s among the smaller lighting kits on the list. And it’s ranked low simply due to the necessities of a smaller form factor. When size isn’t an issue the Bolt VB-11 might not be the best choice.

However, if one needs studio level lighting while on the road than it’s among the best of the best. And portability guides almost every design choice. The flash only takes a second to hit full power when it’s connected to a compatible battery. Its coverage comes in at a respectable 28mm with the Reflector.

And one can even swap out batteries on the fly. Finally, the Bolt VB-11’s weight comes in at only 1.2 lbs. This makes it among the best photography lighting kits for travelers.

  • Highlight: Portability.
  • Price: $295.
  • Wattage: 180 w.
  • Weight: 1.2 lb.

6. StudioFX 2400-Watt

People often think of the StudioFX 2400-Watt as an introductory level kit. But one shouldn’t mistake simplicity for lack of power. It features three full softboxes. Each of which can use up to five bulbs. And it also uses three light stands and corresponding light heads.

It also gives users a surprising amount of control. For example, each of the softboxes has independent power control. So one won’t need to worry about chaining softbox output.

Newcomers in particular should note that it’s designed to work in tandem with DLSR cameras. This obviously isn’t an absolute necessity. But it makes an already user friendly experience even easier. The only real downside is weight, at a full 29 lbs. It’s among the best photography lighting kits for beginners due to overall simplicity.

  • Highlight: Simple but powerful design.
  • Price: $159.99.
  • Wattage: 2400 W bulbs.
  • Weight: 29 lb.

5. Profoto B1 500 AirTTL Location Kit

The Profoto B1 500 AirTTL ranks a little lower on the list. But one shouldn’t think that it’s in any way due to lack of quality. In fact, the lower ranking is in large part due to the fact that it’s among the best of the best. Top of the line products often come with top of the line prices. And its price of $3,999 lowers it a bit in the ranking.

However, if it’s in one’s budget than the B1 has a lot to offer. Some other items seek to enhance overall portability. Every photographer has wished he could have a full studio everywhere he goes. But the Profoto B1 can make that a reality. It has a portable battery which can even fully charge from a car in 60 minutes.

Additionally it has a remote AirTTL receiver. The TTL doesn’t just enhance portability either. It changes how one can take pictures from remote locations. This is especially enticing for people trying to get a perfect forest shot.

The Profoto B1 does almost everything perfectly. It easily ranks among the best photography lighting kits for people who aren’t on a limited budget.

  • Highlight: Full portability without any compromises.
  • Price: $3,999.
  • Wattage: 2x 500 W.
  • Weight: 22.6 lb.

4. LimoStudio 700 Watt

The LimoStudio 700 Watt isn’t quite as portable as some other items. But at only 10.4 lbs it’s still fairly easy to use on the go. And people usually find setup to be over and done with fairly quickly. But it delivers some surprising features in that small package.

In particular, it boasts two adjustable 86 inch tripods. They’re flexible enough to quickly pack up in a compact bag. And they’re equally flexible when positioning for difficult shots.

Finally, the overall cost is quite low when one considers its featureset. And it’s durable enough to stand up to rougher conditions. All of this makes it an ideal option for travelers .

  • Highlight: Portable durability at a reasonable price.
  • Price: $63.99.
  • Wattage: 700 W.
  • Weight: 10.4 lb.

3. Fovitech StudioPRO 3000 Watt

The Fovitech StudioPRO 3000 is best defined by versatility. Most of the other options try to do one or two things better than the competition. Or, they aim for perfection in everything and drive up the price. But the StudioPro 3000 instead aims for solid competence in almost any task.

For example, it’s not the most portable option on the list. But it’s still light enough to pack when an occasion demands. The lights and softboxes aren’t powerhouses by any means. But they reach a level which should prove suitable for most tasks. And even the price point is within a medium range.

However, that goal does involve an occasional compromise. More advanced shots, especially with video, are made rather difficult. But it’s among the best photography lighting kits for people who want to do a little of everything.

  • Highlight: Versatility.
  • Price: $272.66.
  • Wattage: 3000 W.
  • Weight: 26.1 LB.

2. Julius Studio Umbrella

The Julius Studio Umbrella kit is a little underpowered compared to other items. But one can’t always go by raw numbers. It uses a reflector diffusion system to get the most out of what it has. This can create results that far surpass what one would expect when looking at the numbers.

However, the high placement is largely due to cost. At $45 it’s a remarkably inexpensive option. Even more so when considering overall quality. Long time professionals might want to give it a pass. But people with modest needs or who are just starting out might find a perfect match.

The cost also makes it a great backup solution for professionals. It’s inexpensive enough to store in multiple locations. That way one can simply grab it for a quick shoot rather than worry about transportation.

  • Highlight: Very cost effective for the overall performance.
  • Price: $48.99.
  • Wattage: 3x 45 W (200 W Equivalent).
  • Weight: 10 lb.

1. Neewer Background Lighting Kit

The Neewer Background Lighting Kit earns top place due to overall excellence. One can think of it as a way of aiming high while still keeping costs low. The Neewer doesn’t sit too high above most other options in terms of any singular metric.

Its main distinction comes from a total lack of sacrifice. This makes it among best photography lighting kits for almost everyone. The Neewer can match and surpass expectation on most tasks. It features four full 7 foot light stands. These correspond to four 45 W CFL bulbs.

Additionally it comes with a selection of backdrops. These make it fairly easy to do quick touch ups. And finally, it makes use of 33” umbrellas for reflector diffusion. The end effect should match or surpass almost any need.

  • Highlight: Overall excellence at a mid-tier price.
  • Price: $159.99.
  • Wattage: 800 W.
  • Weight: 32 lb.

Summing Up

Each of these kits has something to offer. Like any artistic tool, the best photography lighting kits come with some subjectivity. It’s often quite difficult to know which is the best match for one’s style before using it. Thankfully with this list one can start out with the best of the best.

But one can improve the experience even more by sharing experiences. People who’ve tried these kits can improve their own and others experiences by sharing the results.

GoPro Hero 4 Camera Review: Pros, Cons, Best Features

If you’re the kind of person who enjoys action and is constantly on the move, and want to film your adventures in the best way possible, then you have every qualification to be a GoPro owner. In case you’re not familiar with what a GoPro is, we must mention that it’s the world’s most famous action camera. An action camera is a type of camera that you can take with you when you go surfboarding, snowboarding, and doing all sorts of activities where you wouldn’t dare to use your phone or another type of camera to film.

the GoPro Hero 4 camera from three angles

If you’re interested in buying such an action camera, today’s review is going to be particularly useful to you. We’re going to look at the GoPro Hero 4 action camera and talk about some of its best features, and its pros and cons.

GoPro Hero 4 Action Camera Review

Main Features

The GoPro Hero 4 shoots 4K full frame, and its resolution is an impressive Ultra HD 3,840 x 2,160. But these aren’t the only shooting options you have. You can also choose to shoot with 2.7K at a resolution of 2,704 x 1,520, and with 2.7K 4:3 at a resolution of 2,702 x 2,028. The resolution settings on this GoPro are truly amazing, as it’s quite obvious from the examples above. You also have some high-speed options such as 1080p (1,920 x 1,080), 1,440p (1,920 x 1,440), or 720p (1,280 x 720).

Another cool feature of the GoPro Hero 4 is the time lapse which you can control according to your needs, from 0.5 to 60 seconds. If you want to use your GoPro when you’re riding your bike (by placing it on your helmet) or when you’re in your car (by putting it on the dashboard), you’re free to turn on looping for a high-quality image and the possibility of multitasking while filming. With this mode, you don’t have to worry about the camera stopping because its memory is full. The new files will replace the old ones in case this happens.

One of the most notable features of the GoPro Hero 4 is its SuperView mode, which is perfect for when you want to shoot wider frames. In this mode, the angle of vision is of 4K, 2.7K, 1080p and 720p. However, we must mention that the image will be a bit more distorted than what you would normally expect from a GoPro Hero 4.

If you’re looking for a camera that allows you to take pictures while also shooting video, then you’ll be happy to hear that this GoPro allows you to take both time-lapse pictures and 12-megapixel pictures while filming at 1,440p, 1,080p, and 720p. Moreover, the burst mode allows you to take up to 30 shots per second. This 12-megapixel CMOS is an improved version of the GoPro Hero 3.

If you’re wondering how you’re going to mount your GoPro Hero 4 in order to use it on your adventures, you should know that you have more than one mounting option. The adhesive bases you can use are both flat and curved, to fit any type of surface. You can also mount your camera with clips, which come in two different lengths, and add a link extender as well, in case you want the camera to rotate and capture a 90-degree view. The camera comes with two such extenders, that you can also use together, since they help you manufacture a pivot arm.

As with most action cameras that are designed to stand extreme weather elements and adventurous activities, this one too has a waterproof housing that works up to 131 feet deep.

GoPro Hero 4 camera placed under water

GoPro Hero 4 Pros

Among the most important pros that we have to single out in today’s review is the quality of the images you shoot with the GoPro Hero 4. The details are pretty spectacular, and so are the colors. The audio is also really great, and the camera does a good job even in situations where there isn’t that much light. Then, the 1.7-inch touchscreen LCD is definitely something that is worthy of our attention, and an important factor in deciding what kind of action camera to purchase. We should also mention the ProTune mode, which provides better control and quality, as well as an impressive range of peripherals, mounts, cases, and so on. Plus, all you need is the mobile app and WiFi in order to control the camera. Finally, another important pro is the fact that this camera is suited both for people who are more experienced with this kind of technology, and for people who are just getting started.

GoPro Hero 4 Cons

While there aren’t many cons when it comes to the GoPro Hero 4, we should mention a couple of things that could be improved. For instance, in some cases, the photos and videos can come out looking a bit hazy. Moreover, the case tends to sometimes muffle the audio. Another thing that we’re not particularly excited about is the fact that the LCD panel is an optional extra. The camera wouldn’t be waterproof if it weren’t for the housing, and this is something that can bother some people. Finally, we should also mention the battery. First of all, you can’t use any of your old GoPro batteries for this camera. This means that you run the risk of being left with no battery to film something you’re interested in. For instance, just to give you an idea of how much battery life you should expect, let us tell you that if you shoot at 1080p 30fps, you only have around 100 minutes of footage before the battery dies.

The Final Verdict

Overall, we are highly impressed by GoPro Hero 4’s quality, especially considering its affordable price. All the features it comes with, as well as the multiple accessories, make it one of the best action cameras on the market. It’s definitely better than the GoPro Hero 3+ Black, and we strongly recommend it to people who are looking for a compact device to help them capture their daily adventures.

Image Source: 1,2

Nikon D3300 Camera Review: Pros, Cons and Top Features

A lot of people would answer Nikon when asked what kind of camera they most like to use when taking professional photographs. That’s because the Nikon brand has managed to establish itself as one of the leading creators and developers of high-performance cameras, and with good reason. Nikon’s dedication to provide people with many camera options that can satisfy their highest expectations shows in the number of cameras they have on the market. One such camera is the Nikon D3300, which we’re going to talk about today. In our Nikon D3300 review, we’re going to touch upon its main features, what makes it shine, and what could have been made better.

a nikon d3300 camera on a table

Nikon D3300 Review


Naturally, the first thing we should discuss when it comes to a Nikon D3300 review is the way this camera performs. In this respect, the Nikon D3300 doesn’t disappoint, especially if we were to compare it with its predecessor, the Nikon D3200, or with other competitors. If you’re wondering how long it will take for you to power it on, focus on a particular subject and then shoot, the answer is about half a second, which is definitely impressive. Of course, the amount of time you’ll have to wait also depends on whether or not you’re shooting with the flash, whether it’s dark outside or not, and so on.

When it comes to Live View, this takes much more to focus and shoot, which can be regarded as an obstacle by some people. Still, there are other things that make up for it, such as the fact that if you use your Nikon D3300 with a 95MB/sec SD card, you will get a 5.1fps burst, which is indeed amazing. We should also mention that its LCD is the same as in the case of older Nikon models, but this is a good thing, since it’s visible even when the sun shines bright, and it also has a perfect size.

Top Features and Design

Next, let’s focus our Nikon D3300 review on some of its most impressive features. First of all, whenever you take a picture, you can choose between the Easy Operation and Advanced Mode options. The Easy Operation one is similar to Auto and it provides you with a limited number of features that you can use. The Advanced Mode is more suitable for people who have more experience using this camera. This one suggests what settings would work best for the scenario you chose. Plus, it also allows you to edit those setting if you want to.

Another impressive feature is the Fn button that you can use to control ISO sensitivity, image quality, Active D-Lighting menus, or white balance. The SD card is not in its usual place, having been moved to a more convenient one, namely the grip-side location. Nikon also implemented the interactive display in this model, and we’re loving it. You can now simply adjust the options by looking under the setting readout.

The Nikon D3300 looks almost identical to its predecessor. However, there are a couple of improvements that we should mention. For instance, it feels lighter and it’s much easier to hold for longer periods of time, which can be a great plus if you’re a professional photographer who takes pictures on a daily basis. Right on top of the grip, you’ll notice the shutter button and the power switch, and three more buttons behind them. Those three buttons are a record one, an info display one, and an exposure compensation one. The back of the camera includes the Menu, Review, Zoom in, Zoom out, and “i” buttons.

person holding a nikon camera

Finally, we should mention that the Nikon D3300 also comes with a collapsible kit lens that you have to pay an extra $50 to get. Even if this could be an interesting addition for some people, it’s absolutely not necessary to buy it if you just want to take high-quality pictures. You can do that just as well with the basic Nikon D3300 camera. Something that we wish we could see in this model is bracketing, both for flash exposure and simple exposure, but this is not an option that the D3300 has.


The most important pro that we should mention in our Nikon D3300 review is the image quality, which is really impressive. If you want your images to be full of details, then this is a great camera for you. Then, another pro is the fact that the ISO performance is very good, and the dynamic range as well. This camera has a high pixel count and a really great Guide Mode that is easy to use. When it comes to JPEGs, the Nikon D3300 has a really nice buffer capacity. Finally, some other things that impressed us were the uncompressed HDMI output, the 5fps continuous shooting rate, and the 1080/60p video.


While there aren’t many significant cons that we can identify when testing the Nikon D3300, especially if we keep in mind its price, competitors, and target audience, there are a few things that we should mention under this category too. For instance, there’s a lot of image noise that users are complaining about. Plus, there’s no built-in Nikon D3300 WiFi, no AE bracketing, and a slow contrast-detect in Live View. When the natural light is not strong, you might have to struggle a bit more with taking a high-quality photo, and if the flash overheats, it will shut down. The automatic video autofocus could also be better, but this is not something that particularly bothers us.

man setting up camera to take pictures at night

Final Verdict

Finally, we would say that the Nikon D3300 is one of the finest DSLRs for beginners, because it comes with great features and it’s easy to use. Both compared to older Nikon models, and to several other competitors, the D3300 promises and delivers a lot of high-quality features for a really affordable price. We’re definitely most impressed by the quality of the Nikon D3300 photos, and we’re sure you’re going to be as well, once you test it out.

We hope this Nikon D3300 review was useful to you. All in all, if you want to experiment with your first DSLR, we strongly recommend this one.

Image Source: 1,2,3

SDHC vs SDXC Cards: Which Is Best for You?

If you have a DSLR and you need a new memory card where you can stock all of your pictures, your best bet are the San Disk memory cards. The problem is that there’s more than one type of memory card that you can purchase, and the options might seem confusing, especially for someone who is not an expert in the world of photography and technology. Because we want to make sure you make the best possible choice for your type of camera and your needs, we thought we’d provide you with a guide to some of the most popular types of memory cards, namely the SDHC and the SDXC. Let’s see what we can find out from a SDHC vs SDXC comparison!

sdhc memory card front and back view


First of all, we should have a look at the terminology of these two types of memory cards. SD comes from Secure Digital. Thus, SDHC means Secure Digital High Capacity, while SDXC means Secure Digital eXtended Capacity. Second of all, we should mention that there are no major differences between the two, which is what can make matters so confusing.

One of the main differences that stand out when talking about SDXC vs SDHC is the fact that the latter usually has a capacity of 4GB up to 32GB. The former can be much larger, but it’s also more expensive. So it all depends on your budget and your needs. If you don’t want to invest that much money in a memory card, then you can opt for the SDHC. If you need a lot of space on your DSLR, then you might want to purchase a SDXC.

All SD cards have a number on them, next to the logo. This number can be 2,4,6, or 10. The number refers to the class, which in turn references the transfer speed with which you can read and write images from and to your memory card. This speed is measured in megabytes per second. If you’re the kind of person who also shoots videos with their DSLR, you should know that this rating is not as important when it comes to videos. That’s because the format of the video is one of a smaller “fixed stream”, and this doesn’t take up the entire data pipe.

The way to read these class numbers is not at all complicated. The class number corresponds to the number of megabytes per second of the transfer rate. That means that a memory card inscribed with class 2 sustains a minimum transfer rate of 2 MB/s. Consequently, class 10 cards sustain a minimum of 10 MB/s.

three sdhc memory cards with different class ratings

Now that we’ve explained how to read the class rating number on a SD card, it’s time to explain what the differences between different class numbers mean for your DSLR. The Rated Speed is the maximum speed with which you can expect your memory card to read and writes files stored on it. This speed is important whenever you take a picture, because it shows you how much time you have to wait until your camera is ready to take another one. This is specifically relevant when you take still photographs, especially if they’re high-resolution. It’s also useful whenever you save pictures in RAW formats if they’re extremely large.

Consequently, if you get a faster card, you’re going to be able to take pictures faster. The speed difference is highly noticeable when it comes to taking multi-shot burst pictures on high-megapixel DSLR cameras. If you usually take a lot of still photos, and you also want to be able to transfer them to and from your memory card really fast, then you’re going to want to purchase a card that has a higher speed.

The Speed Class is what you should expect a minimum speed to be under the worst possible circumstances. This feature is more relevant when you shoot videos, because that’s the moment when your DSLR has to save a continuous stream of data. The amount of such data that the device saves is dependent a lot on the format and resolution of the video. The minimum speed we mentioned above is exactly what you need to make sure your camera records the video evenly and that there are no dropped frames to worry about.

So, even if video shooting doesn’t require a high Rated Speed, it does require a minimum Speed Class which should be compatible with your device’s specifications. No matter the kind of device you have, you’re going to find the minimum class rating required of a SDHC and SDXC.

The UHS Speed Class was first used in 2009 by the SD Association. They designed it both for SDHC and SDXC cards, so if this is an important criterion for you when choosing your memory card, you should know that both types of cards that make the topic of today’s article have it. One thing you should pay attention to is the fact that UHS memory cards only work if you have an UHS host device. If your device can’t be used as an UHS host, then it will simply use the standard Speed Class rating, not the UHS one. We advise you to purchase UHS memory cards, since they record better, have the ability to capture HD videos, and preserve a great video quality.

samsung memory card specifications

Samsung EVO memory card with the UHS feature.

Summing It All Up

We hope today’s guide to SDHC vs SDXC memory cards has proven useful in helping you decide what kind of card is better for your DSLR. Basically, there aren’t many differences between the SDHC and the SDXC cards, especially in what concerns newer technology such as the UHS Speed Class rating. The main difference between the two is the fact that the SDXC has a larger capacity than the SDHC. However, this also means that it’s pricier.

Some photographers might want their memory card to be larger, but most people can do just fine with a smaller one, such as the SDHC. In conclusion, unless you’re a professional photographer (and even if you are one, but don’t want to spend a lot of money on a memory card), a SDHC memory card is the best option for your camera.

Image Source: 1,2,3

Circular Polarizer – When and How to Use a Polarizing Filter

Looking to buy a circular polarizer? Then we gather you’re a landscape photographer wanting to stock up on the essentials. Because you should know that a circular polarizer is one of the first filters a nature photographer buys. It will greatly improve the quality of the photographs, adding a vividness that will truly make the images pop.

circular polarizer sky saturation

So if you don’t have a polarizer filter, we recommend considering buying one. We’ll go through all the reasons why and how to use it.

What Is a Circular Polarizer?

A circular polarizer is a filter that in most cases is placed in front of the camera lens. They are used to:

  • Generate circularly polarized light.
  • Absorb or transfer the circularly polarized light clockwise and counter-clockwise.
  • Reduce oblique reflections.

In photography, this type of filter blocks the light that is reflected towards the lens. And you need to be able to control this because you can reduce the glare and the appearance of haze. It can make the colors in your picture more vibrant and it will boost the contrast for stunning imagery.

How to Use a Polarizing Filter

To make the best use of your circular polarizer, then your subject must be orientated at a 90-degree angle to where the sun is. One of the ways most photographers go about figuring this out is using their finger. Basically, point at the sun with your index finger and stick the thumb out while rotating the wrist. Keep your index finger always pointing at the sun. The areas where the thumb is pointing will be the part of your frame where the polarizer filter will have the maximal effect.

Now going to the action itself, here’s how it works. You’ll see that the circular polarizer features two rings. Place your fingers on the front ring and twist it. See what it does to the appearance of your frame. It should block certain light waves, keeping them from entering the camera lens. Your photograph will become reflection-free and the contrast will be significantly increased.

Remember that polarizers are not that useful in dull light, but when you take them out in bright light you should see the effect instantly. They only work at a 90-degree angle from the sun. If you take a picture at another angle you most likely won’t get polarization.

Another mistake that some photographers do is stacking two filters or shooting with the lens hood on. Use the circular polarizer on its own, and take off the lens hood. You should also shoot at a smaller aperture when using a polarizer. Otherwise, you will get a vignetting effect or light bands. Generally, the vignetting will most likely disappear when shooting at f/8 or smaller.

And another useful tip: don’t buy a cheaper one. They use aluminum rings which can damage your lens because of the way it sticks to them. They are also not multi-coated and can cause ghosting and flare.

Do You Need a Polarizer?

with and without a polarizing filter image comparison

AF SLR users should definitely take advantage of circular polarization. Many photographers will tell you that if they had to choose just one filter for their bag, then a polarizing filter would be the best pick. Because the way they work make them a universal tool, unlike other filters. And we’ll go through all the pros just below.

When to Use a Polarizer Filter?

When you want to remove reflections

This is what polarizing filters are best known for. We’re talking reflections coming from a non-metallic surface such as water. You are probably familiar with the frustration of wanting to shoot a highly reflective surface and not being able to get all the details inside the picture.

When you want to bring out the sky

A polarizing filter will darken the sky, making it more dramatic. It’s especially good when you have a cloudy sky because it will create a brilliant contrast between the clouds and the background.

When gearing your camera with a wide-angle lens, you can use the polarizer to have a part of the sky lit while the other darkened. Some photographer like the effect, so it’s worth considering giving it a try.

When shooting through glass

Portraits shot through glass have a unique feel about them, but the effect is sometimes too obvious. Or you may want to fully eliminate the reflection and fool the viewer’s eye. When you want to keep it more discreet, you can place a circular polarizer over your lens and give it a run. It will eliminate the reflections on the glass surface and your subject will appear sharper in the picture. If the window is clean enough, the viewers may not even notice that the frame was shot through glass.

When you need high contrast

polarizer increases contrastv

Highly contrasting images will always capture everyone’s eye better than others. Most photographers will open the file in an editing software and increase the contrast and the saturation there. However, you may not have to go through all that trouble if you use this filter. Polarizers are a great tool for increasing color saturation. And this is also due to the primary effect of the circular polarizer – reducing glare and reflection. Because once the reflections are gone, the color intensifies.

When you want to get rid of haze

When shooting distant subjects, especially landscapes and cityscapes, haze is a common issue. Luckily, the polarizer does its job in reducing the haze for clearer, crisper photographs.

The Disadvantages of Polarizing Filters

Although we highly recommend you purchase a circular polarizer for your kit, you should also be aware of some disadvantages. Here are some aspects to consider:

  • Polarizers are the most expensive kind of filters.
  • You always have to be careful to hit just the right angle for maximal effect.
  • Twisting the ring to get the frame just right can be time-consuming.
  • The filter must always be cleaned; otherwise, it can reduce the quality of the image.
  • It’s more difficult to use the viewfinder with this filter on.
  • Most often, stitched panoramic photos shot through a polarizer will disappoint.
  • It is not ideal for sunsets and rainbows.


Canon Pancake Lens – What Are Your Best Options

A tiny Canon pancake lens is a good way to keep your gear on the light and ultra-portable-side. You don’t have to switch to a mirrorless camera just because they are the smaller alternative to a DSLR.

DSLRs can also be fitted with exceptional pancakes. We’ve rounded up Canon’s two extremely thin lenses that will take your skills to a new level.

canon pancake lens 24mm and 50mm

What Is a Pancake Lens?

Why do they call them pancake lenses and why should be consider getting one? It’s not food – this much we know. Well, it all lies in the shape and weight of these flattened barrel-shaped lenses.

The most obvious description would be that this type of lenses is shorter than it is wide. This results in smaller and lighter lens than the standard ones that can get quite long and heavy. They are valued for their high-quality optics and low manufacturing costs that make them quite affordable.

Another characteristic is their fixed focal length. This means that pancake lenses do not offer zoom capabilities. This could be an impediment, indeed, but the fact is that we don’t always need a zoom. Photographers can rethink their composition and shoot extremely sharp images with these fun lenses.

Pancake lenses also provide fast apertures when compared to the standard kit lenses. This makes them perfect for capturing moving subjects or to shoot portraits with a lovely bokeh. Some of these lenses also possess close focusing capabilities, which allows for dramatic macro shots.

They enjoy a wide popularity, especially among mirrorless camera designs. However, pair them up with a DSLR, and you can make the camera as pocketable as it can get. Pancake lenses should be a traveler’s first choice, as you can pack lightly and still get those high-quality photographs you’re hoping for.

The history of these lenses dates back to the early 1900s when Zeiss came up with the famous Tessar lens design. The first Canon pancake lens was produced in 2012 and, chances are, you’ve heard some great things about the Canon 40mm f2.8 STM lens.

canon 40mm f2.8 pancake lens

EF 40mm f/2.8 STM – The First Canon Pancake Lens

The Canon 40mm f/2.8 STM is not much larger than a lens cap but it offers unbeatable optics. The less weighs around 4.6 ounces and is less than an inch deep. The build is of superior quality, coming in with a metal lens mount that will outlast any plastic mount. It is optimized for full-frame digital SLRs and it works with every EOS camera ever made.

Why go for a 40mm focal length? This figure is quite the novelty, as most prime lenses are 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, or 100mm. However, a 35mm lens on a full-frame camera might be too wide. Additionally, the 50mm might provide a little too long results. And that’s when the necessity for a 40mm comes in – the middle ground length that many are looking for.

It’s one of the first lenses to be equipped with an STM focusing motor – a faster and less noisy alternative to the conventional micro motors. The motor can continuously autofocus during both video recording or live-view photography.

Another thing worth mentioning in terms of focusing is that the minimum focusing distance of the Canon 40mm lens is less than 12 inches. This means that photographers can get very close to their subjects and still keep a sharp focus.

At maximum aperture, the sharpness it excellent. The resistance to chromatic aberrations is also very good and corner shading is inexistent at any aperture other than f/2.8. When it comes to distortion, you will find a slight amount of barrel distortion but will only be evident in the corners.

canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM

Let’s look at the specs:

  • Focal length – 40 mm
  • Format – FF, APS-C
  • Maximum aperture – f/2.8
  • Aperture blades – 7
  • Filters – 52 mm
  • Reproduction ratio – 0.18x
  • Stabilization – No
  • Focus – Lens AF motor
  • Internal AF – Yes
  • Full-Time MF – Yes
  • Tripod ring – No

Being priced around $200, it is well worth the money. The features that Canon has managed to offer in such a small package are quite impressive.

EF 24mm f/2.8 STM – The Latest Canon Pancake Lens

The Canon 24mm f/2.8 lens is even smaller than its full-frame 40mm sibling. Weighing in around four and a half ounces and being less than an inch deep, you can easily fit it in your pocket and carry it around with you anywhere. It has a durable metal mount and matte black plastic filter threads.

This new wide-angle pancake lens from Canon is designed for APS-C DSLR cameras. The Canon 24mm f/2.8 pancake lens is a quick performer when it comes to auto-focusing. It takes around 0.15 seconds for it to lock onto your subject. It uses Canon’s Stepping Motor Technology focusing system that allows for a more smooth and silent focus.

For its price range, the 24mm f/2.8 is unexpectedly sharp. A trace of corner softness is present when shooting at f/2.8 but stepping down to f/4 ensures total sharpness across the frame. The chromatic aberrations are well controlled, and you will most likely experience them as purple fringes along the edges.

When opening the aperture to f/2.8 there will be some shading in the corners and a mild barrel distortion, just as with any wide-angle lens. However, the latest APS-C bodies will automatically correct the light fall-off when shooting JPEGs, so it isn’t a too big of an issue.

Unlike the EF 40mm f/2.8 lens, this new Canon pancake lens can actually double up as a macro lens.  it delivers a 0.27x magnification at a minimum focusing distance of just over six inches.

canon 24mm f2.8 STM pancake lens

Here are a few notable specs:

  • Focal length – 24mm
  • Maximum aperture – f/2.8
  • Minimum aperture – f/22
  • Minimum focusing – 6.3 inches
  • Maximum magnification – 0.27x
  • Internal focusing – No
  • Stabilized – No
  • Blades – 7
  • Elements – 6
  • Groups – 5

Priced at around $150, it doesn’t get much better than this. The Canon 24mm pancake lens is great for just about anything. Every shot will be sharp and clear, and consider how much money you could save. It’s the ultimate travel lens for those who can’t afford to bring too much gear with them while wandering the world.


Mirrorless vs DSLR – A (Still) Ongoing Contest

The mirrorless vs DSLR debate is still a hot topic among photography enthusiasts and professionals alike, and it is starting to resemble the tradition vs technology debate in various other walks of life. The arguments are there for every camp, manufacturers are starting to take sides more staunchly, and (as is the case with every controversy) objectivity is in short supply.

We have laid out the mirrorless vs DSLR arguments, spread across several sections, yet we still find the pronouncing of a verdict a daunting task. Read our exposition so you can make up your own mind.

mirrorless vs dslr

Mirrorless vs DSLR – The Question of Proportion

Everybody knows that DSLR’s are the weightier of the two and that mirrorless cameras are far easier to manipulate, however, that does not tell the whole story as there are far more implications to the differences in size and weight.

The actual size of the body of a mirrorless device can be misleading because if one takes into account the lenses available for them, they are just as bulky as those of a DSLR. Furthermore, things are not going to change in the future, because the technology of lens building is not projected to go through revolutionary changes. When discussing lenses, full-frame mirrorless cameras do not possess a significant advantage over their DSLR counterparts, with only APS-C devices providing significant size and weight advantages. Yet, the handicap in quality of the APS-C mirrorless cameras does not tilt the balance in favor of the mirrorless cameras in this section.

The same is true when considering the paltry offer of lenses for APS-C’s, therefore making a choice purely on the size and weight argument does not actually make that much sense as simple specification comparisons would entail. No outright winner here.

mirrorless vs dslr size

Autofocus System

From a technological point of view, DSLR’s are can be staunchly placed in the traditional optics category. And while in the past the phase detection method of autofocus used by the DSLR’s had better practical results than the mirrorless’s technique of contrast detection, over the past few years things have improved tremendously, with the important investments the companies have put into the development of sensors.

Nowadays, the sensors of mirrorless devices use contrast detection and phase detection, delivering amazingly quick autofocus. Furthermore, DSLR’s have a limited amount of focus points, while the continuous evolution of electronic sensors may render this limitation obsolete in mirrorless systems in the not-very-distant future.

If we are to consider this parameter at present, then realistic differences are negligible, yet the possibility of advancement for the mirrorless cameras is theoretically unlimited, thus we will give the slight edge to the mirrorless systems on this one.

mirrorless vs dslr autofocus

Image Preview

DSLR cameras preview the image in real time thanks to the optical viewfinder, a process which can be actually resumed by the old cliché “what you see is what you get”. Mirrorless cameras, on the other hand, used to only offer the possibility of previewing the image on-screen, a technique that often spelled inaccuracy, especially in demanding situations. Presently, almost all mirrorless devices are equipped with an electronic viewfinder (EVF) that mimics the functionality of the optical viewfinder.

The DSLR’s optical viewfinder directly reflects light into the eye, which means that the previewed image will always be as true to the final product as is possible, irrespective of lighting conditions. And while there have been important developments in electronic viewfinder technology over the past several years, mirrorless cameras still find themselves lacking in previewing fidelity when lighting conditions are less than ideal.

Considering these factors, we’ll have to give DSLR’s a modicum of advantage when discussing image previewing. Furthermore, if we are to speculate on the future, the DSLR’s are bound to indefinitely maintain the upper hand here, because the laws of optics are not bound to change according to the whims of camera manufacturers and marketers.

Image Quality and Stabilization

The methods of achieving image stabilization are quite simple – in the case of DSLR’s, built-in movement sensors detect the level and direction of the shakiness and adjust parts of the lens system in the opposing direction, while the mirrorless cameras perform the same technique of adjustment by just slightly tweaking with the sensor.

In the quality department, differences between the two types of devices work along the same lines as is the case with image stabilization. With the advent of full-frame mirrorless cameras, similar lenses are now available for both types, consequently, we are at a stalemate.

In the image stabilization and image quality categories, we must declare a draw.

mirrorless vs dslr image quality

Shooting Speed

Better technology does not always entail better quality, however, it almost always means a speedier process. The presence of the mirror in its constitution means that DSLR’s will always be limited when it comes to shooting speed. And while the differences are not that pregnant at the moment, the gulf between the two types of devices will certainly widen in the not-too-distant future.

Nowadays, there are still some mirrorless devices that use mechanical shutters (like the DSLR’s), yet advances in electronic shutter technology will definitely mean quicker frames per second in the future, with totally silent shooting. The physical limitations of the DSLR’s mean that mirrorless cameras are a categorical winner here.

Video Capabilities

For the interpretation of evidence regarding video capabilities, we must return to the aforementioned methods of autofocus. The method of contrast detection used by DSLR’s in video shooting is much less accurate and has a tendency of producing blurry clips.

On the other hand, the phase detection capability of the mirrorless devices means that they are much more adept at shooting video. The incorporation of 4K video technology is also a relevant argument in this debate – 4K is to be found in lots of mirrorless cameras (sometimes irrespective of price), while only high-end DSLR’s come with this technology.

The advantages of the mirrorless cameras at this level is somewhat compensated by the better battery longevity of the DSLR’s and performance in low lighting conditions, overall nevertheless, we still go with the mirrorless cameras on this one.

Accessories Arsenal

This used to be a no-contest area because the tradition of the DSLR’s meant that the number of lens choices was practically endless, irrespective of profile, price or manufacturer. The sheer novelty of the mirrorless systems meant that time worked against them in the accessories department.

That being said, the continuous proliferation of full-frame mirrorless cameras at affordable prices means that the accessories market for mirrorless devices is experiencing a constant expansion, with the DSLR’s seeing their significant lead cut short in this department. Nevertheless, DSLR’s still hold a slight edge.

mirrorless vs dslr lenses

As it is here to be seen, the mirrorless vs DSRL contest is a close one. At present, there are no areas where one hold a definite advantage over the other, and newer mirrorless releases make even a crude pricing comparison difficult. It is evolving into a contest of fractions that should be left to each individual’s judgment.

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Comprehensive Guide to Buying Used Cameras

With the market offer changing periodically, many photographers choose to sell their used cameras and invest in new equipment. While a sign of a healthy organic market, this also allows other photographers to upgrade their equipment to the previous generation without making a qualitative compromise and save money in the process.a guide to used cameras

Buying a used camera and navigating through used cameras offers may prove tricky. We put together a guide to buying used cameras. Whether you are an entry level photographer and looking to fine tune your skills with entry models or you’re looking for backup camera, our comprehensive guide will walk you through the essentials.  

Buy Used Cameras From Trustworthy Sources

There are plenty of online resources that offer used cameras for sale. Some are more credible and authoritative, while others less so. Pick your resource carefully. We hope you find the best place to buy used cameras in this short list.

  • eBay. As with used camera lenses, eBay is a great resource for used digital cameras or used film cameras. With plenty of filters that can be activated from the left menu, eBay is a sure shot.
  • FredMiranda forums. Among FredMiranda forums you will find forums dedicated to selling and buying used camera and used camera gear. These forums are unlike a used camera store, but they host a wide variety of used camera equipment and used cameras from vetted sources.
  • KEH.com. KEH is another great online resource. Photographers looking for good deals on previous generation photography gear may find just what they need. KEH used cameras are a top sellers as this is a great site for its return and money-back policies in case something doesn’t go as expected.
  • B&H used cameras. B&H has been a trustworthy resource among used camera stores for a while now. Check their offers too when venturing to purchase used cameras and used camera gear.more used cameras in a  used camera store

Buying used cameras online requires a trustworthy resources. These places are emphasizing feedback and reliable ranking to enable future buyers to perform a thorough background check on the potential sellers. Nonetheless, keep in mind that:

  • You should be able to examine the used cameras or used camera equipment you are about to purchase. Look for this option first and avoid going with luck.
  • Words like “mint condition”, “perfect condition”, “rarely used” and other variations don’t mean precisely that and they’re simply marketing tricks.
  • You must check the return or money guarantee policy before proceeding with the purchase of used cameras.

Conduct a Short Examination of the Used Camera

As appealing as an offer looks, used cameras may hide a couple of imperfections. Provided you were able to establish a face-to-face meeting with the seller or the used camera store has a sound return policy, follow these guidelines to perform a quick examination of the camera.

  • First of all, take your laptop with you to a potential meeting. A laptop is necessary to check for image defects and imperfections. AF inaccuracies, dead pixels or sensor defects are easy to detect with a quick test.
  • Check the used digital camera sensor for dead pixels. A couple of dead pixels aren’t necessarily a deal breaker. Many more than that are. Thus, we advise you to shoot one image with the used camera. Make it RAW with base ISO setting and keep the lens cap on. The laptop will prove useful to check for dead pixels when the image is at 100% zoom.  
  • Shutter Count is important. Camera manufacturers rate their cameras for a certain shutter actuation number. It’s true that some cameras can go way over the tested number. Nonetheless, when looking for used cameras and settling for a model like a used Canon camera or a used Nikon camera, make sure you know the exact maximum shutter actuation number for the respective model. The same RAW image used for the dead pixels test can be used to find the shutter actuation number of the used camera you are about to buy. Used PhotoMe or other programs to check the number. The shutter life of used cameras is important for the life expectancy of the camera and the price of used cameras. There’s a slight difference between ‘barely used’ and shutter actuation number 10,000. shutter count on used cameras

Nikon used cameras or Pentax used cameras will render the shutter count in the image’s EXIF data. For other used cameras, check PhotoMe, MyShutterCount or Shuttercounter to pull the info on the shutter actuation number. Used Canon cameras require different programs for the actuation number.

  • Chamber/Sensor Dust. Used cameras will naturally have accumulated some dust specs on the sensor. However, too much dirt or dust may require a manufacturer clean-up of the used cameras. This aspect should be well reflected in the price of used film cameras or used digital cameras. Also check for sensor scratches or other imperfections. The image snapped with the used camera will reflect most of the sensor problems. Take a picture of the sky and view it at 100%. The lens aperture should also be set at the highest available number.
  • Check Autofocus. As in the case of used camera lens, AF errors must be checked for. Thus, add a lens to the used camera and see how it focuses. The standard autofocus test involves a distant subject shot with regular phase detect and live view. Autofocus differences or serious issues should be immediately noticeable.

Check Used Cameras’ Mechanical Condition

The mechanical condition of used cameras is not a trifle. The simple appearance of used cameras are telling of the conditions they’ve been used in. Not all imperfections reflect on the quality of used cameras, but they should be reflected in the used camera prices. grip rubber on used cameras

  • Exterior dents and scratches. Used cameras will inevitably feature a few scratches here and there. They don’t impact the mechanical condition of used DSLR or or used film cameras, but it’s useful to get an idea of how the camera was used. Check if the camera was dropped and then check for the possible internal imperfections. Some used cameras are heavy and made for rough conditions. Nonetheless, a drop and a heavy camera body may result in internal damage that is costly to fix.
  • Take a peek at the memory card compartment. Pin connectors should be in perfect state inside the card mount. The slightest bent may damage memory cards beyond repair.
  • Check cover materials. If the rubber on the used camera’s grip or on the back of used cameras is coming off then it may have been used in very moist conditions. It’s not too important as the rubber can easily be glued back on. However, moist conditions may impact the body of the camera. So be sure to check everything inside out.
  • Lens Mount. If the lens mount of used cameras isn’t in perfect condition without bends, dents and unclean contact pins, the camera lens won’t mount securely.
  • LCD Screen and the Viewfinder. Also check these for scratches and dust. An LCD screen that’s already scratched will be fairly costly to replace.

We hope you find our guide on how to buy used cameras useful. Remember that buying used cameras is a great way to upgrade to previous generation gear, often without investing huge sums.

Image Source: 1, 2, 3, 4

TIPA Awards 2015: Best Photo & Imaging Products of the Year

When it comes to purchasing the best photo equipment out there, the immense number of camera, lens, and other photo accessories reviews can overwhelm the casual and even the more experienced photographer. Year after year, renowned photo equipment manufacturers compete in providing professionals with advanced technology and cutting edge performance. But how can you spot the best photo devices introduced on the market every year? This is where our contribution comes in. All you need to do is grab a cup of coffee and get ready to check out TIPA Awards 2015 for the best photo, video, and imaging products.

TIPA Awards: The Best Photo & Imaging Products in 2015

Have you ever considered looking at the winners of some of the most prestigious and influential imaging awards in the photography industry before renewing your photo equipment? Well, now you can take into account what TIPA’s (The Technical Image Press Association) technical committee has endorsed as best photo devices launched in the last 12 months in over 40 product categories.

tipa awards 2015

Note: TIPA gathers members from 28 photo magazines on five continents. There are 18 countries represented within the association. TIPA has a partnership with Camera Journal Press Club too, comprising 11 top Japanese photo magazines. A TIPA Award is considered one of the highest distinction for photo, video, and imaging products.

TIPA Awards 2015: Best Expert DSLR Zoom Lens Category

Winner: Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM comes first as the best expert zoom lens of the year.

TIPA Awards 2015: Best Professional DSLR Lens Category

Winner: Canon takes first place in this category too with its EF 11-24mm f/4L UtraSonic Motor lens.

TIPA Awards 2015: Best Digital SLR Expert Category

Winner: TIPA editors endorsed Canon EOS-7D Mark II as the best digital camera in 2015. It came as no surprise to us, although it is quite a pricey option for enthusiasts. We’d say, though, that its 20.2 MP, solidly built body, DIGIC 6 processor, and 10 frames-per-second shooting rate, among other features, are worth the money.

tipa awards 2015 for best dslr camera Canon EOS 7d mark ii

Best Digital SLR Expert Camera: Canon EOS 7D Mark II

TIPA Awards 2015: Best Easy Compact Camera Category

Winner: It appears that Canon rules the category of compact digital cameras too, with its affordable and well-performing point-and-shoot devices. If you are looking to purchase a slim camera with a long range optical zoom and adaptive optical image stabilizer, Canon IXUS (ELPH) 160/165/170 will surely satisfy your needs.  

TIPA Awards 2015: Best Inkjet Photo Paper Category

Winner: Canson Infinity Photo Lustre Premium RC 310 gsm

TIPA Awards 2015: Best Photo Projector Category

Winner: The Epson EH-LS10000 Projector is prized for its increased sharpness, easy setup configuration, and advanced technology.  Also, it meets the needs of professionals filming not only in Full HD but also in 4K.

TIPA Awards 2015: Best Photo Scanner Category

Winner: The TIPA editors brought back this category based on the introduction of Epson Perfection V850 Pro on the market. If you are looking for a sturdy device, and for enhanced image quality at the same time, this is your best deal.

TIPA Awards 2015: Best Photo Printer

Winner: Glossy and matte prints, CD and DVD printing ability, USB, Ethernet and WiFi options, touchscreen panel –  Epson SureColor P600 has it all.

leica t mirrorless camera tipa awards 2015 for best design

Leica-T: Mirrorless Camera with Leica M Lens

TIPA Awards 2015: Best Design Category

Winner: We don’t know what to say about you, but this CSC camera has awed us. Leica T (type 701) is not only pleasing to the eye, as the TIPA editors put it, but also a pleasure to use. To bring into view just a few of its key features, the camera has a 3.7-inch touchscreen LCD, an APS-C 16.5 MP sensor, built-in GPS, and free app for remote shooting.

TIPA Awards 2015: Best Storage Media Category

Winner: Eyefi Mobi Pro

TIPA Awards 2015: Best Premium Camera Category

Winner:  The Fujifilm X100T has a few impressive features. While its integral lens is almost 35mm equivalent, it boasts a high-resolution viewfinder, advanced autofocus, and an amazing shutter speed of 1/32,000 second. Its built-in WiFi, customizable buttons, and Full HD filming capability are another three of the reasons why it occupies the first place in its category.

TIPA Awards 2015: Best Expert Compact Camera Category

Winner:  Fujifilm is also the winner of the best expert compact camera category with its X30 model. This is the ideal device to use for casual photography or for day trips. Apart from top capabilities for a compact camera such as a 12 MP 2/3-inch X-Trans CMOS II sensor, 1/4000 second shutter speed, and high ISO performance, the Fujifilm X30 weights only 423 g.

Fujinon expert zoom lens

Fujinon XF 16-55mm f/2.8-R-LM-WR Expert Zoom Lens

TIPA Awards 2015: Best CSC Expert Zoom Lens Category

Winner: Fujinon XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR deserves its top position for the following outstanding capabilities: a 24-84mm equivalent range, minimum focus distance of 30 cm (approximately 12 inches), weather resistant design, plus a quiet and fast autofocus.

TIPA Awards 2015: Best Photo Monitor Category

Winner: LG Digital Cinema 4K Monitor (Model 31MU97Z) was voted as the best photo monitor for its impressive color depths and management controls, as well as for its ultra high definition video editing capabilities and Adobe RGB support, among others.

TIPA Awards 2015: Best Imaging Innovation Category

Winner: Lytro Illum is an exciting imaging platform that allows you to play with exposure and diverse focusing effects in an image, to share photos as animations or export them in various formats like JPEG, 3D or MP4, or to explore other innovative video applications.

TIPA Awards 2015: Best Tripod Category

Winner: The Manfrotto BeFree Carbon series comprise in portable, compact tripods made of aluminium or carbon. Both versions of the model are light and easy to set up (they have lock/release leg extensions), and come in handy when shooting in low light conditions.

Nikon Cool Pix P610

Best Bridge Camera of 2015: Nikon Cool Pix P610

TIPA Awards 2015: Best Superzoom Camera Category

Winner: Nikon COOLPIX P610 is unbeatable by other bridge cameras on the market. With its remarkable ultra-zoom lens and high-resolution video capabilities (time-lapse video recording too), accompanied by special filter effects and built-in WiFi and GPS, this superzoom camera is definitely a winner.

TIPA Awards 2015: Best Digital SLR Entry Level Category

Winner: Nikon D5500 is perfect for hobbyists looking to get familiar with DSLR photography. The camera is lightweight and comes in a compact format. It has many remarkable features for an entry level SLR, as well as creative modes that allow you to add a special touch to your photos. Plus, its Vari-angle touchscreen LSD makes is ideal for shooting from difficult angles.

TIPA Awards 2015: Best Digital SLR Professional Category

Winner: Nikon D810 takes your photo experience to the next level. This full-frame format and full manual control camera has a remarkable resolution of 36.3 Megapixels, a CMOS sensor and an ISO range extendable to 51,200.  

TIPA Awards 2015: Best Portable Flash Category

Winner: A portable flash is a must-have tool for any pro in the industry. TIPA editors have endorsed Nissin Air System as your best choice this year.

TIPA Awards 2015: Best CSC Expert Category

Winner: Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark ll sports a wide array of features such as an electronic viewfinder, touchscreen LCD monitor, and fast AF. It has an excellent performance in low light conditions and the world’s best technology when in comes to image stabilization. Plus, this mirrorless expert camera has a special option called “High-Res Shot” that combines 8 shots in a JPEG to a 40 MP resolution.

best csc expert camera tipa awards 2015

Best Mirrorless Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II

TIPA Awards 2015: Best Photo/Video Camera Expert Category

Winner: For a camera to be very good at both still image shooting and video recording, it should resemble Panasonic LUMIX DMC LX100. If you are looking at a camera for its video-related capabilities, then this is your best choice.

TIPA Awards 2015: Best Rugged Camera Category

Winner: It seems that Panasonic rules the rugged camera category too with its LUMIX DMC-FT6 (TS6) shockproof model. This compact camera is specially designed for adventurous photographers. It handles temperatures as low as -10 C/ 14 F, underwater depths of 13 metres (43 feet) and drops from 2 metres (6.6 feet).

TIPA Awards 2015: Best CSC Advanced Category

Winner: With an incredible shutter speed range between 1/16,000 and 60 seconds, a Digital Live View MOS Sensor capable of 16 Megapixels and high ISO support up to 25,600, Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GM5 has conquered the admiration of TIPA editors and got a well-deserved first place in the CSC advanced category.

TIPA Awards 2015: Best Medium Format Category

Winner: A dream for wedding and portrait photographers, Pentax 645Z sports a large sensor delivering 51.4 MP, a 1.037 million RGB dots LCD monitor, an anti-reflection coating reducing reflection, a large optical finder and an ISO support that can be expanded to 204,800. Has it convinced you? Well, it costs around 8 grand.

TIPA Awards 2015: Best Digital SLR Advanced Category

Winner: Pentax seems to make its mark in the best digital SLR advanced category too with the K-S2  model. TIPA editors recommend it to first-timers for its broad set of features. The camera is pretty tech packed too and comes with an app and built-in WiFi to help you transfer and organize pics.

pentax-ks2 advanced digital slr camera

Best Advanced DSLR: Pentax KS2

TIPA Awards 2015: Best Imaging Software Category

Winner: In 2014 Photoshop has lost in favor of DxO ViewPoiny 2. This year, the PhaseOne Capture One Pro 8 was voted as the best photo software for the way it handles RAW conversion. Images can be imported either from cards and drives or by means of remote operation. There’s an option for clients too, who can watch the shoot remotely through Capture Pilot. Photo sharing and web galleries creation are also available.

TIPA Awards 2015: Best Professional Lighting System Category

Winner: Profoto B2 – the Off-Camera Flash that distinguishes as the best lighting systems for professional shooting.

TIPA Awards 2015: Best ActionCam Category

Winner: Ricoh WG-M1 – the waterproof, shock resistant camcorder any active professional would enjoy using.

TIPA Awards 2015: Best CSC Professional Category

Winner: Samsung NX1 has an impressive ISO range extendable at 51,200, a 4k video recording capability, and a hybrid, versatile AF system. Also, this  compact system camera gets a high mark for its ability to capture 120 fps at full resolution.

Sigma 150-600mm DG OS HSM advanced Lens

Best CSC Pro Lens: Sigma 150-600mm DG OS HSM

TIPA Awards 2015: Best Entry Level DSLR Lens Category

Winner: SIGMA 18-300mm F3.5-6.3 DC MACRO OS HSM | Contemporary is a portable, long range zoom lens suitable for a wide range of shooting situations. Its optical stabilization system improves on image quality while its size makes it perfect for those new to DSLR photography.

TIPA Awards 2015: Best Expert DSLR Prime Lens Category

WinnerSIGMA 24mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art is a lens specially designed to enhance aperture performance and brightness.

TIPA Awards 2015: Best Mobile Imaging Device Category

Winner: Sony ILCE-QX1 offers quite a unique experience to smartphone photographers. This is a mirrorless lens-style camera that can be attached to your smartphone by using an adapter or used independently. In such case, your mobile acts as a viewfinder through a WiFi or NFC connection. As it is a lens-camera it can store the images it takes, bit these can also be stored on the smartphone.

TIPA Awards 2015: Best CSC Entry Level

Winner: Sony ?5100 is super compact even for a compact system camera. It has a wide array of powerful features, and it is very easy to handle. It is also our recommendation for casual photographers looking for well performing yet small sized cameras.

TIPA Awards 2015: Best Photo/ Video Camera Professional Category

Winner: Sony a7 S is a professional video camera valued for its high dynamic range and low light capabilities. Its high ISO support extends incredibly up to 409,600.

TIPA Awards 2015: Best CSC Entry Level Lens Category

Winner: Tamron 14-150mm F/3.5 – 5.8 Di III – Mirrorless cameras come with the promise of a more portable photo experience, and so does the CSC entry level Tamron 14-150 mm lens. Lightweight and measuring only 80.4 mm in length, the lens comprises 17 elements in 13 groups, and it is perfect for close up for its minimum focusing distance of 0.5 m (1.64 feet).

Tamron 14-150 mm entry level Lens

Best CSC Entry Level Lens: Tamron 14-150 mm f/3.5 – 5.8 Di III

TIPA Awards 2015: Best Photo Bag Category

Winner: Think Thank Photo Airport International LE Classic was designed with one thought in mind: to make photographers’ travels more enjoyable, at least when it comes to carrying photo equipment. TIPA editors believe the product serve its purpose. For the record, the waterproof roller bag accommodates everything a photographer needs: two DSLR bodies, up to a 500mm lens plus additional smaller lenses, flash and accessories, and, of course, a laptop (a 15- or 17-inch device).

TIPA Awards 2015: Best Accessory Category

Winner: Nature photographers, you will love this accessorise! The UniqBall Ball Head comes in handy in diverse photo shooting situations. The heads come with a quick release plate and case.

TIPA Awards 2015: Best CSC Prime Lens Category

Winner: Voted as the best CSC prime lens on the market in 2015, Zeiss Loxia Line consists of manual focus lenses made for Sony full-frame cameras. The line targets photographers passionate about the image-making process.

TIPA Awards 2015: Best Photo Service

Winner: Zenfolio delivers best photo services in 2015 both off- and online, from marketing tools (customized blog templates, portfolios) and transactional services to photo books, stamps, and personalized items.

How do TIPA representatives assess and endorse each photo, video, and imaging product? Let’s take a look at the criteria these professionals take into account before giving their vote of quality and trust to the very best product in its category.

It is important to mention that TIPA members test and evaluate the devices considering aspects such as design, ergonomics, innovation, ease-of-use, as well as the value for money (price/performance ratio). For their opinion on the products to be as informed as possible, editors invite manufacturers who wish to enter the quest for a TIPA award to send them a sample of their product.

For more information on TIPA Awards 2015 or previous top photo equipment selections, you can visit TIPA’s official website. Endorsed products can be searched by category, manufacturer, and year.

Is there a product in the list you have tried out or consider purchasing it? If you have any thoughts you’d like to share with us, you are welcome to leave a message in the comment section below. Cheers!

Image Source: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.