*Sony a7II vs a7RII – A user comparison

Camera tech is a fascinating thing.  What will companies provide us as customers, in hopes of luring us into their systems?  I mentioned in my previous article that I’d been awaiting announcements on the update to Sony’s full frame mirrorless cameras before deciding on my own upgrade path, and chose to jump on the discounted a7RII deal as an update to my longstanding a7II.  

My main interests were gaining an upgrade to image file quality in resolution, dynamic range and then overall performance upticks on the hardware side of things.

After a few months with the R, here is what I’ve found out…

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*Topaz DeNoise 6! New, on sale, reviewed and compared to DeNoise 5 w/@topazlabs

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Topaz has just released version 6 of their DeNoise software.  It may seem like I’m plugging a lot of software of late, but it just so happens that the software that I have chosen to use is getting updated, and offered on sale which is pretty awesome.

I have used most all noise reduction (NR) plugins out there over the years, and while DAM software like Lightroom and Capture One do a good to decent job for a lot of NR tasks, I have never found better noise reduction anywhere than I have with DeNoise.  So, what has changed with version 6?  I’ve been testing version 6 against version 5 all week to see if I can really tell where they’ve improved it, and I feel that comes in the way of interface primarily, a huge boost to developing, saving and grouping presets specific to cameras, and further allowing those of us using this plugin to streamline our workflow when batch processing.

Topaz DeNoise 6 is on sale now, $30 off through March 20th HERE at Topaz Labs Website for $49.99 (normally $79.99) or as a FREE UPGRADE (as seems to always be the case with Topaz) for DeNoise owners!  Use code “NOISEFREE” at checkout to get the sale price, and do so knowing that future upgrades will very, very likely be offered as a free upgrade as well.  You can always try it out for free too.  You can download a full free trial HERE if interested to see if it makes sense for you.

I chose DeNoise years ago because it beat the pants off of NIK Dfine for me (especially when correcting for noise banding), which I’d switched to after using Noise Ninja for years.  I’ve yet to see anything outdo DeNoise, and the new version is an upgrade to an already stellar program.

If you’d like to see a side by side comparison between DeNoise 5 and 6, along with my thoughts on what has been improved upon, come on in…

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*The Panasonic Lumix GX8 vs GX7 showdown. How much of an upgrade is it, really? Well… w/ @LumixUSA

gx7 vs gx8

Well, my friends, I have been enjoying the comparison between these two great cameras, and in this article I would like to present my opinions and findings regarding how they directly compare to each other in regards to performance and file output, once and for all (for my purposes, anyway).  Here’s my disclaimer… I don’t work for Panasonic.  I’ve always researched and purchased my own gear, and do these tests in an attempt to help others like myself see what I wish that I could have seen in cases before buying stuff.  Enjoy and I hope this shows you something you’ve not yet seen.

I’ve been looking at the comparison from the angle of one who is curious about replacing my historically favorite micro 4/3 camera in the GX7, with it’s intended upgrade in the GX8.  I’ve now had the GX8 for a couple months and have shot a few thousand images with it, so I have been able to get a good feel for how it handles, performs and how the files look when digging into them.  With the GX8, Panasonic has given us an increase in size, resolution and features, which have all looked good on paper, and I’m now wanting to really see that come through in practice, which in most cases, it has.

Here is what I’ve seen, and what I’ve found…

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*The Panasonic GX7, an Evolution, Part 2

Panasonic GX7

In part 1, I gave you my opinion and rundown on the physical, ergonomic changes along with a couple of the key, new features to the GX lineup.  Now, we can take a look at how this camera has evolved from a performance point of view compared to the GF1 and GX1.  C’mon in for some videos and comparisons…

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*Topaz DeNoise 5, like a fine wine.

***UPDATE See the new Topaz DeNoise 6 reviewed and compared to DeNoise 5 HERE***

Smooth, yet refined with an impeccable attention to detail.

Noise has become less and less an issue for digital photographers over the last few years as sensor technology gets better, in camera processing is capable of shouldering more of that load than ever before and digital asset management software/RAW converters are up to the task for much of the noise reduction needs.  Still, with analog to digital information translation, there is an inherent signal:noise issue that can always be further helped by a good noise reduction software.  Add to that, pro-sumer 35mm format models breaching the Medium Format pixel counts, or compact sensors pushing the pixel pitch to near immeasurable dimensions, there is, and will be a need for a manual noise reduction control through post processing.  While Lightroom and Aperture have good noise reduction algorithms, they are the swiss army knife of image processing, giving you many handy tools, but what happens when you need a power tool?  That little Swiss army knife’s mini-saw ain’t gonna cut through that noise riddled log for you, you’ll need a chainsaw.   Enter, Topaz DeNoise5, your powerful, noise reducing chainsaw.  You can download a free trial, or purchase DeNoise.  If interested click HERE to go to Topazlabs.com.  I’ve used Noise Ninja and Nik Define in the past, and I think both of those have just been pushed out of my workflow.  Read on for examples and my take…

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*Lumix G3 vs Canon 5Dmk II

I know that on paper this is a crazy comparison.  It’s also not fair in that we have two very different sensors, one, a 21 mega pixel full frame at the end of it’s 3+ year life cycle and the other about a quarter of the size and which is not even 10 months into its own.  Well, these are the two cameras that I have and use on a regular basis.  As I’m contemplating leaving one home for an upcoming trip, I wanted to see just what I was going to be getting.  This is purely a fun/bored post, but one that I thought might be at least somewhat interesting to a few of us out there.  How does the new 16mp G3/GX1 sensor stack up?

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