2017 Ending

It’s been an interesting year! While there has been plenty going on in the photo technology world, social and political events have forcefully intruded in a near-overwhelming fashion. We simply can’t escape it. Read John Shaw’s blog.

Mirrorless has been on the march, led by the Sony a9 and a7R Mark III. And one of the more interesting aspects of these two models has nothing to do with sensor resolution or frame rate, but the power source! The new NP-FZ100 battery used in both cameras provides sufficient charge for serious shooting without needing to resort to a pocket full of spares. That’s a big deal…big enough that one writer on DPReview is awarding the battery his choice of Gear of the Year.

Batteries are one of the significant issues that have separated mirrorless cameras in general from DSLRs. There are many other factors of course, and a very interesting (though somewhat rambling) interview with Rob Galbraith covers some of them. The discussion is focused on photojournalism and sports, but the observations translate well to wildlife photography. Before taking a position as a photojournalism instructor, Rob ran one of the most popular and informative websites on digital photography—DPI—which is still active but hasn’t been updated since 2013.

With mirrorless (especially M4/3), one of the glaring gaps in equipment coverage has been large-aperture long lenses. Until recently the Olympus 300/4 Pro was the most significant offering. Less than a month ago Panasonic announced their Leica Elmarit 200/2.8. Along with the lens, the Lumix G9 was made public—a high-end body specifically targeted (in part) at nature still photographers. Expect more reveals at the 2018 International Consumer Electronics Show the second week of January.

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