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Tele Ace

Fujifilm builds out its zoom catalog.

In April, 2013, this 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 OIS zoom ($699, street) joined the Fujinon 18-55mm f/2.8-4 zoom ($699, street) to round out a relatively fast and useful XF series optical system for Fujifilm’s impressive X-series of ILCs . How good is it?

An 84-305mm full frame equivalent, the 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 includes a built-in stabilizer, two ED and one Super ED elements for controlling chromatic aberration, and has a unique soft-sided lens pouch that doubles as a cleaning cloth.

The 55-200mm is strikingly plain-Jane, with no subject distance scale, ornamental brand markings, or even f-stop numerals

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TAKE TWO

Sony’s updated RX100 gets a boost in pixel size.

When we first tried out the Cyber-shot RX100, Sony’s first compact camera with a 1-inch sensor, we were amazed at the depth of field and sensitivity afforded by its relatively larger image. With the new RX100 II, Sony manages to get even more light out of the same real estate by switching to a back-side illuminated architecture (see Inside Tech at right).

While the new 20MP CMOS sensor should pull in more light than its predecessor, Sony also added a few other ancillary bells and whistles to this update. Built-in Wi-Fi

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Surfs Up

Although we’re not in Hawaii that’s no excuse to not search out some pretty sweet surfing spots and challenge your photography skills, here’s our advice to get you started

If there’s a life bucket list for the adventurous and the action fuelled individuals then surfing the coast is without a doubt in the top five.

Setting Up for the Surf

So you’ve hit the sand, gear in hand, ready to plunge into the big blue to capture those spectacular waves and the surfers graciously gliding on them, so a camera with a decent frame rate is a must to catch

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SONY CYBER-SHOT HX50 £320

The superzoom compact, or «travel zoom» as it’s often called, is one of the few remaining growth areas in the compact camera sector Its defining feature is a high-magnification optical zoom (usually around 20x) that retracts fully into the camera so that you can still fit the camera in a pocket. Sony’s new Cyber-shot HX50 breaks new ground in offering a staggering 30x optical zoom, the highest magnification available in a pocketable camera.

The lens in question is a 24 — 720mm equivalent, f/3.5-6.3 Sony G lens, which features Sony’s SteadyShot optical image stabilisation. The HX50 also sports a 20.4MP

Continue reading SONY CYBER-SHOT HX50 £320

Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 II DG HSM £65o

HANDLING: This is a well-made lens, with Sigma’s newer smooth black surface finish that’s more resistant to marking than the older matt black. It’s moderately heavy, and both focus and zoom rings are well weighted and silky smooth — actually the best of the bunch.

FEATURES: Standout feature is the mega-wide zoom, which goes down to an incredible 12mm. This is way wider than anything else -in fact, it’s the widest rectilinear (non-fisheye) lens of any kind made for full-frame. At 122°, the field-of-view is a whopping 15° more than the second widest lens here, the Nikon 16-35mm. The flipside

Continue reading Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 II DG HSM £65o

Photo Shopping

You’re in the market for a camera or lens, but don’t know which one to go for. Photo expert Malcolm Birkitt offers some advice to help guide you through the maze.

WITH SO MANY different types and makes of camera on the market, how do you go about choosing the right one? It’s easy, really — just think of the kind of pictures you want to take, because this quickly points you in one of two directions.

If you don’t want to be bothered with all the technicalities of photography, a compact camera is the obvious choice because of the

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Land See & Air

For less than £40 you can equip yourself with a top-of-the-range lens that suits your favourite summer activity

Summer is upon us, and with it comes a sprawling choice of photography opportunities. Head to the coast for the National Watersports Festival, for example, and you can combine the fun of your favourite water activity with some perfect, close-up shots of surfers riding the waves. A long telephoto zoom lens such as Sigma’s 50-500mm f/4.5-6.3 can zoom right in on the action no matter where you’re situated on the beach, ensuring the surfer pops out nicely from the foam and waves

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How can I fake a zoom burst?

I love trying out your tutorials and would really like to have a go at creating the zoom burst effect that I have seen in the magazine. There are lots of flowers in my garden that I think would look great when shot with this technique. I know that you need to zoom out while taking the shot, but unfortunately I only have a compact camera that won’t let me do this. I know that you can do all sorts with editing software, so is there a way I can cheat and recreate the effect using Photoshop Elements?

Chloe Willis,

Continue reading How can I fake a zoom burst?

Fujifilm Continues X Mount Expansion

Launched at the same time as the new X — M l body, the new Fujinon XF 27mm f2.8 ‘pancake’ prime brings the choice of X Mount lenses up to seven (with two additional models also now available from Zeiss). Fujifilm says it plans to have its line-up increased to 12 by early 2014 and there will be a third Zeiss model too. The Fujifilm models include the new XC Series 16-50mm f3.5-5.6 zoom launched with the X-Ml, but which will not be available as a separate purchase.

The new XF 27mm (equivalent to 41mm in the 35mm format) is

Continue reading Fujifilm Continues X Mount Expansion

Fisheye Fun

A fisheye lens is a ultra-wide-angle lens that generally covers a 180-degree angle-of-view. Fisheye lenses are of two types, Full-frame and Circular, depending on the sensor size. The Canon EF 8-15mm F/4L Fisheye USM covers both types: On a full-frame (35mm format), it is circular at 8mm and ‘full-frame’ (image formed is not circular) at 15mm. On APS-C format, it is ‘full-frame’ at both 8mm as well as 15mm. Fisheye lenses were created for scientific photography but are now used as fun lenses. But why are they called ‘fisheye’? Probably because fishes see that way from beneath the water!

Design

Continue reading Fisheye Fun

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