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Popular Photography

Popular Photography March 2014

Popular Photography brings you step-by-step secrets of the pros for taking their most amazing shots. You’ll discover the best equipment at the best prices, get comprehensive comparative reports on cameras, lenses, film, digital equipment, printers, scanners, software, accessories and so much more. Get Popular Photography digital magazine subscription today.

United States
Bonnier Corporation
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2 min.
if's not about nostalgia

On the surface, the two cameras we subjected to lab and field tests this month have little in common. The Nikon Df has the workings of a top-of-the-line full-frame DSLR in a body that harkens back to the classic film SLRs of the 1970s; Fujifilm's rangefinder-style X-E2, while drawn on familiar lines, wears its retro look less flamboyantly than other APS-C-format interchangeable-lens compacts in Fujifilm's X series. The much larger Nikon far outweighs the Fujifilm. And the two carry price tags about $1,300 apart. They're certainly not meant to compete with one another. Yet these two cameras have more in common than their sensors' 16 million or so pixels. In the larger scheme, both the Df and the X-E2 reward more advanced photographers not only with the sheer quality of their…

1 min.
panasonic leica 42.5mm f/1.2

AN 85MM lens, with its medium-telephoto length and face-flattering compression, sits high on many a portrait photographer's list of go-to glass—especially when it also has a large maximum aperture to help blur out the background. This Leica-badged 42.5mm Micro Four Thirds lens from Panasonic is equivalent to a full-frame 85mm, and with the aperture opening up to f/1.2, it's among the brightest optics for Panasonic and Olympus ILCs. The 3-inch long, 15-ounce, all-metal barrel houses 14 lens elements in 11 groups, including two aspherical, one ED, and one UHR element. Stabilized by Panasonic's Power O.I.S. system, it sports a Nano coating to reduce ghosting and flare. Minimum focusing distance is just 1.64 feet with a 29-degree angle of view. Expected to street for $1,600, this lens sure looks pricey. But if it…

1 min.
one line

SONY'S FIRST hint at the merging of the NEX and Alpha lines may have been the Alpha 7 and 7R, but with the release of the new Alpha 5000, it's official. A natural progression from the NEX-5 line, this E-mount interchangeable-lens compact sports a 20.1MP APS-C sensor powered by Sony's BIONZ X processing engine. With no viewfinder, composing is done on a tilting (90 degrees up or down), 3-inch LCD. The a5000 uses Near Field Communication (NFC) to connect to smartphones and tablets via Wi-Fi. A suite of custom Sony PlayMemories apps can be downloaded to the camera, including a remote to control shutter and exposure settings from an iOS or Android device with the app installed. The a5000's 4-frames-per-second burst rate isn't ideal for sports or other fast subjects, but the…

1 min.
news feed

WANT TO BE the most popular person at the party? Bring an instant camera. But what about the millions of photos we take with our phones? Fujifilm's Instax Share SP-1 is a battery-powered wireless printer that makes 2.4×1.8-inch prints from your smartphone photos. Take a picture with the Instax Share app on your smartphone, and the printer spits out 254-dpi prints on Fujifilm Instax Mini instant color film about 16 seconds later. It has all kinds of cool features for personalizing your prints, and it can connect to eight different phones at the same time. Now that's a party! Fujifilm Instax Share SP-1 $200, estimated street www.fujifilmusa.com If $200 for that new Fujifilm Instax Share printer seems steep, try Polamatic 4.0, a $1 iOS app that lets you watch your iPhone photos “develop.” If you want…

1 min.
news feed

THE NEW flagship of Samsung's DSLR-styled line of ILCs, the NX30 upgrades its predecessor, the NX20, with a 20.3MP sensor first seen in the NX300. New features include a pull-out, tilting, 2,359K-dot electronic viewfinder paired with a swiveling, tilting, 3-inch, 720×480-pixel rear touchscreen. Sensitivity ranges from ISO 100-25,600, and its DRIMeIV processor captures up to 9 frames per second in continuous shooting mode. Built-in Wi-Fi lets you use your smartphone as a remote viewfinder or transfer device, and the latest Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is included. Shown here on the camera, Samsung's new 16–50mm f/2–2.8 S ($1,299, street, as a kit) is even more interesting. Opening up to f/2 at the wide end, it's the fastest ILC zoom lens available. Samsung NX30 $999 with 18–50mm f/3.5–5.6 OIS www.samsung.com GoPro is getting its own channel on Microsoft's Xbox…

1 min.
fastand wide

OVER THE past few years, Nikon has steadily updated its lineup of f/1.8G prime lenses. The most recent, the 35mm f/1.8G ED, is also the last, joining models at the 28-, 50-, and 85mm focal lengths. Those lenses offer fast apertures at reasonable price points, and the 35mm is no different—a comparable f/1.4 from Nikon streets for $1,000 more. Formatted for Nikon's DX (APS-C) DSLRs, this new 52.5mm full-frame equivalent boasts 11 elements in 8 groups, Nikon's Silent Wave autofocus motor, and its Super Integrated coating to reduce ghosting and flare. The lens offers a 63-degree viewing angle and focuses at 9.8 inches. Nikon 35mm f/1.8G ED $597, street nikonusa.com…