Olympus OM-D E-M10iii 'Real Life' Review

Olympus OM-D E-M10iii 'Real Life' Review

I have said many times that it's more important to get the photo with what you have than not getting it at all. My favourite quote from Chase Jarvis is 'The best camera is the one you have with you'. 

I've used many cameras over the years and have no real loyalty to a certain brand, I like any camera that is easy to use, portable and able to get the shot I'm after.

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Editing Sony A7iii RAW Photos from Jared Polin

Editing Sony A7iii RAW Photos from Jared Polin

The A7iii is the latest full-frame mirrorless camera from Sony and it's their 'entry-level' one. It's a 24.2mp all singing all dancing, 690+ focus points, touch-screen, 4K recording camera. 

Priced at £2,000 for a professional camera it's not too expensive, don't get me wrong it's expensive but not compared to D4 iv or D850. 

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Google Pixel 2 - The Ultimate Camera Phone

Google Pixel 2 - The Ultimate Camera Phone

Let's kick this off with the conclusion first...this is a remarkable phone. I'm not going to go into the specs of the phone just know it runs on Android and it's Google's flagship model so you know it's going to be good. 

I will go over the camera and what I personally think of it. I haven't been paid by Google and I paid for this myself so it's not some product placement post. 

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Panasonic Lumix GH4 - a great all round

Panasonic Lumix GH4 - a great all round

For the past few months, I've been giving the Panasonic Lumix GH4 a try. I have a soft spot for Panasonic cameras and they don't disappoint. The thing with their range of Micro Four Thirds cameras is that they do lots of different things well. 

The GH4 shoots video in 4K, has 16 megapixels sensor, 49 focus points, ISO 25600 and lots of other goodness to enjoy including a tiltable, twistable 3" screen. 

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Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark ii 'Real Life' Review

The Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark ii is the go to camera for a lot of vloggers and bloggers...but does it live up to the hype?

Coming on the back of the very popular G7 X, this was always going to peak the interest of vloggers and bloggers. At the price, this isn't aimed at entry-level but someone who wants high-quality photos but still pocket-size. 

Packing a powerful punch this will please many people. With a 20.1 MP sensor, good ISO range and a touchscreen this will allow people to pop it into Auto mode and get photos they're happy with. If however, you want more control you can shoot in full manual mode and switch to RAW files and I think you'll be impressed...the changing of Shutter Speed and Aperture might just take some getting used to, its all done using the screen. 

Even though the camera is fairly compact, it is quite heavy and feels sturdy. I don't fancy dropping it but I'd like to think it could take some wear and tear. It feels good in the hands and the shutter button is well placed when taking photos. The downside is when vlogging yourself the record button is in a really awkward position. I thought switching to video mode would mean the shutter button becomes the record button but this doesn't appear to be the case. 

The camera is equipped with things you'd expect even from the most basic of cameras. WiFi, SD card slot, HDMI, and USB ports are found on the side. The press of the connection button brings up different wireless options such as print, sent to a computer and other PowerShot cameras. 

The thing that is really missing would be an external mic port but if they included that there is no hot shoe to attach the mic too. Having recorded some video the built in mic is excellent so it's not a loss. I would recommend attaching a wind muffler just to help on windy days or if moving at speed. 

The Canon G7 X Mark ii doesn't have a built-in viewfinder so relies solely on the 3" touchscreen, for some people this might be a deal breaker but I didn't find I missed it. The screen is bright and the fact it is tiltable means the sunlight isn't too much of a problem. 

The screen is really responsive and I didn't find I was having to multi-touch or pressing the wrong thing. Many people who purchase this camera will be used to using the screen rather than a viewfinder. We live in a smartphone World so this will be second nature and people will be moving up from a smartphone rather than down from a dSLR. 

Alongside the screen, you have a number of function buttons such as playback, menu and a dial button. These buttons are small but you don't find yourself pressing the wrong ones. On the top of the camera, you have the pop-up flash, on/off button, the shutter, and a twin dial. One is to set the mode and the other is the exposure compensation dial which ranges from -3 to +3. 

In the hand the camera feels good, a metal construction with a few rubber grips on the body give you confidence and the flip screen is held on with metal hinges. As mentioned the layout is clean and simple and Canon makes full use of the area and gets the largest screen possible. 

The menu on this camera is very easy to navigate around and things can be easily found. For example, the camera when I got it had a beep every press of the button and I soon found out where to turn this off. Like most systems, you can build your own menu quickset. 

This will give you an idea of the layout of the camera and menu system. 

The G7X ii makes use of a 31-point AF system and I found the focus strong and worked well, it's good but not brilliant. It appears to work well in lower light conditions and better in video mode. Just don't expect it to shift focus super fast. If the lighting is good then there are no complaints with the AF in photo mode.  

I personally used this camera in RAW mode and the file that came out the camera was large and impressive, and the few I took by capturing JPG looked good and was easily useable and 99% of people would be happy sharing them. Noise didn't appear to be an issue and the colours were clean and accurate. It dealt with shadows well and I was able to get a lot of detail out of the RAW files. 

While I never pushed this camera to its limits rather just what the average person would be using it for. I wouldn't push this to its limits on ISO and the camera seemed happy enough on auto ISO. This is a compact camera and for landscape, family and product images this would satisfy most users. 

I used this camera on a pretty grey day at a local National Trust property and the images I think are ok. They have been edited in Lightroom and this is how they would be shared or delivered to a customer. 

It's easy to see why this camera is popular with vloggers and bloggers, powerful, compact and brilliant results. If you want a camera to set you up for years without going for a system camera then you won't go far wrong with this. 

You have to decide if the lack of a viewfinder is a problem or whether you need 4k. The 4k isn't a problem for me and most people won't be watching the videos in 4k on YouTube. 

The real stumbler for me is the price tag, £549 is a bit steep for me. If this was £399 then I'd say snap it up. But you won't be needing any lenses and if used right you'll get better images than Joe Bloggs who has all the gear but no idea. 

Questions??

John Roberts - What's the battery like? And low light? 

Firstly the battery is pretty solid, it'll last for around 260 shots and you can pick up a spare one for around £14. 

Low light is ok, nothing too special. I noticed some noise at around 6,400 ISO and needed to get rid of that in post processing. 

Alina Davies - What memory card to use, mine won't record for longer than 4 mins without stopping and showing 'busy' - I presume I need a better memory card but not sure which one.

My response is simple, buy the best you possibly can. I always use Lexar Professional 1000x 32GB ones. The best time to buy is when Amazon have their Prime days. 

Adele Brearley-Jennings - ...what is the best setting to use (how many shots) to get a nice time lapse video of clouds?

The G7x ii really isn't designed for time-lapse and I'd avoid it. For time lapse it's difficult to find an easier simpler system than an iPhone. 

Ash Fairbairn Can you use a remote button with this camera ... I've got it and don't know if you can?

I've searched high and low and all it seems to do is be able to connect to the Canon app and remote release like that. You can't connect any other sort of remote to it.  

I hired this camera from Hireacamera.com and wasn't paid or endorsed by anyone to write this review. All thoughts, opinions, and photos are my own. 

iPhone 7 Plus Camera 'Real Life' Review - Landscape + Portrait Mode

iPhone 7 Plus Camera 'Real Life' Review - Landscape + Portrait Mode

For me no cameraphone is going to replace my dSLR, that just isn't going to happen. With that said there are a few times when the only camera I have with me is my phone so ideally it's the best of the best. 

A few months ago I did a Real Life Review using the Huawei P9 which also has a dual lens and I was impressed with it. Will this iPhone 7 Plus be better than that? 

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Huawei P9 Leica Dual Camera "Real Life" Photo Shoot: The Best Camera Phone?

Since recording this Google have released their phone the Pixel which is 'the best camera phone' ever. What is the best camera phone...in my opinion it's the one you have with you. This "Real Life" photo shoot takes place at Sheffield Park in East Sussex with the Huawei P9 Lecia Dual Camera phone. 

This phone has Leica Dual 12mp camera on the back which captures colour and black & white images at the same time. The idea behind this is that the RGB sensor combines the colour to the detail that the monochrome sensor captures so you always get professional looking images. 

Photo Information

Camera Huawei P9

Camera Lens N/A

Aperture F/2.2

ISO 50

Focal Length 4.5 mm

Exposure Time 1/370

The Huawei P9 runs on Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) and allows you to shoot in RAW which I had set to but with me playing around with various camera modes and flipping between video and phone I seem to have switched it back to JPEG. 

The camera does allow various different modes and filters called things like 'beauty' and 'vivid' but I kept it with the standard camera and shot what I wanted and then imported the photos into Lightroom just like I would with any image. 

Photo Information

Camera Huawei P9

Camera Lens N/A

Aperture F/2.2

ISO 73

Focal Length 4.5 mm

Exposure Time 1/60

A few thoughts on the camera is that the colours have come out really well and I'm happy with the way they've come out. I'd happily print these images and I'm happy to show them off. Most people who have the latest phones are probably never going to shoot in RAW and they're unlikely to process their photos like me. That's perfectly fine and for people who want to snap photos and share them with their friends it works very well.

Personally I like to import the images onto my computer and load them up and see them on a larger screen. I use Lightroom to do this and it allows me to have full control over the images. To get the images into Lightroom it's a simple case of plugging it in via USB but make sure the phone is unlocked otherwise it can't be recognised.  

Photo Information

Camera Huawei P9

Camera Lens N/A

Aperture F/2.2

ISO 50

Focal Length 4.5 mm

Exposure Time 1/340

It'll be printing some of these photos out larger and I don't think you'll be able to tell that they were shot on a phone. There may be a little bit of noise in some of the skies and if you pixel peep you may notice some but to most people they wouldn't notice. 

This will never replace a DSLR or a mirrorless system but with the images from this you won't be disappointed. The best camera is the camera you have with you. I like to think that people with gain an interest with a phone like this and then develop on to a more advanced camera and want to learn more. 

The Huawei P9 is available on contract from ThreeUK from £18 per month and thank you for allowing me to use this phone for the purpose of this "Real Life" Photo Shoot. 

Photo Information

Camera Huawei P9

Camera Lens N/A

Aperture F/2.2

ISO 125

Focal Length 4.5 mm

Exposure Time 1/60

Photo Information

Camera Huawei P9

Camera Lens N/A

Aperture F/2.2

ISO 50

Focal Length 4.5 mm

Exposure Time 1/160

Panasonic Lumix G7 Review - Perfect for vlogging, photos and families

For the past month I've been using a new camera in the form of the Panasonic Lumix G7. The fun facts to begin with are this is a Micro Four Thirds system, 16MP and is 4K. It takes a SDHC memory card, 49 focus points, ISO 25600 and 8fps continuous shooting which worked very well when trying to capture a bee in the flowers. 

I've used Micro Four Thirds systems for the past 2-3 years and love it. It's lightweight and allows you to take different lens with you and it won't weigh you down. I traded in a dSLR for this system and have never looked back. 

This camera has a couple of massive features for me, the first is it has a mic out which as I've started daily vlogging it's a huge thing. The other also helps with vlogging and it's a screen that flips right the way around. 

To help with this I've created a vlog to explain a few features and to talk about it. 

Every vlog I've recorded this past month has been created using the Panasonic Lumix G7 and I've really loved using it. Of course this is a camera and people will be using it as a camera so here are a few photos I've taken using it. 

It've been using this camera with the kit lens that comes with it for 90% of the time but I did also use a Panasonic 20mm 1.7 which works amazingly well. I've been struggling to think of a fault with this camera. The menu system is simple to navigate around, the touch screen is fast and responsive and the dials are placed in the right places. 

On a few cameras the dials aren't quite right and you can find yourself accidentally knocking one when setting up a photo but not on this one. I've been trying to use this camera lots and I'd say the battery lasts about 3 days. In that time I've probably recorded and hour and a half on video and taken about 100 photos. Personally I'd say that was good. 

I don't think anyone would be disappointed with this camera. I've used it for floral, portraits, product photos and video too and not once have I thought I wish it could do better. If you're looking to get something more portable than a dSLR or looking to upgrade from a Point & Shoot then this is a camera well worth considering. 

For more details check out the Panasonic Lumix G7 page and I'll leave you with some more photos.