Reviews

I admit, I am a bit slack when it comes to reviewing my equipment, it usually takes me about a year before I even consider reviewing it. But it does give me plenty of time to familiarise myself and give it a bit of a beating before I start singing its praise.

It's fair to say more and more people are dumping their compact cameras in favour of using the camera on their smart phone. With that in mind we feel it's time to do our very first photographers review of a smart phone; the iPhone 6S. When Apple first released the specs for the new iPhone camera people took to the forums and expressed their disappointment with the same 12MP sensor used in the previous model. It would seem people were expecting a higher 16MP ccd similar to Samsung's and HTC's latest offerings. But in a world of playing top-trumps with statistics people overlook what really matters, the quality of the image. One of Microsoft's Nokia Lumia’s featured a ridiculous 41MP censor which served only to sound impressive, the reality was it failed miserably when compared to the iPhone 5S’ 5MP camera.

Just over three years ago when I first brought my Pentax K-5 I wanted a lens that would cover me for most situations while I squirrelled money away to expand my system. Naturally I chose one of Pentax’s zoom lenses, the 16-50mm f2.8 which over the years I shared a love/hate relationship with. Optically it was great but it was big and suffered from some strange auto-focus issues. With an upcoming trip to Sicily I could not bear the thought of miss-focused, soft images. You can imagine my delight when the wonderful Pentax announced a Limited 20-40mm zoom lens, I could already see myself stood in front of Mount Etna with this gorgeous piece of kit mounted upon my K-5! I soon returned to reality and realised I needed to devise a way to finance this venture. Goodbye 16-50mm.

I am not one for adding to my photographic gear often, nor do I buy items impulsively, preferring to research my intended purchase for months in some cases. When the Leica X Typ 113 was announced last year I read any information I could find enthusiastically and it soon became clear that this camera was going to be a replacement for my much loved X1…but not just yet…or so I thought.

The past few years have seen a massive leap in mobile technology with devices getting smaller, more powerful and lasting longer on a single charge. But when considering a mobile device for photography out in the field there is one niggling question; how small is too small?

Sometimes it is good to reflect on past photo equipment as it reminds me of where I was in my photographic journey as well as what the technology was like at the time. Several years ago I ran a website called Visionage and have just unearthed a long forgotten backup of the site. Similar to PhotoArk, it contained camera reviews of what we were using back then. I thought it would be fun to reproduce one of the old articles here as I am sure there will still be GR10 aficionado’s out there, or people who are interested in a little bit of camera nostalgia.

Our photo editing has long been taken care of by Apple products, the current machine being a Mac Mini plugged into a 27inch Thunderbolt display. This combination provides us with an incredibly fast image throughput with beautifully accurate colours. Recently we felt the need to add portable devices that retained this level of accuracy and speed, so began a long evaluation process of the myriad of tablet and laptop devices currently on the market.