The Camera Store TV’s Best & Worst Gear Of 2017

Informative (and entertaining) reviews of photo and video gear from the last year
gear
The annual Best & Worst show has become a TCSTV tradition, and is always among our most popular shows. 2017 was a fascinating, often confusing year for the photo and video industries, so Chris Niccolls and I debated our list (especially best stills camera of the year) constantly, leading up to the shoot. We decided there was no way for us to cover... Read more

Hands-On Review: Sigma 135mm F1.8 DG HSM Art

A superstar portrait lens with exceptional optics and great performance at a reasonable price  
Sigma 135mm F1.8 DG HSM Art
Sigma has been making quite a name for itself, thanks largely to the company’s high-end “Art” lenses, which rival—and often exceed—the quality of the best lenses from the camera manufacturers, at a lower price, to boot. Available for Nikon, Canon and—via the company’s MC-11 adapter—Sony E mount, the Art series gives shooters of the major... Read more

Hands-On Review: Phase One IQ3 100MP Achromatic

What a $50,000 medium-format digital back with 101 million pixels, but no colors can teach us about the limitations of digital cameras  
Phase One IQ3 100MP Achromatic
Icebergs, Ilulissat, Greenland, shot with the Phase One IQ3 100MP Achromatic. Photos by Paul Reiffer There’s something to be said for the relentless pursuit of perfection, the desire to eke out every drop of potential from something. It’s what drives companies like Ferrari, it’s how the airplane was born, it’s why we’ve been to the moon and... Read more
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Hands-On Review: Tamron SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2

Fast, sharp and affordable, this lens delivers a knockout punch  
Tamron SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2
The new Tamron SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2 lens is a perfect example of the changes in the photographic market, and how the range of products available today offer photographers choices previously unavailable. The 24-70mm zoom is a must-have piece of gear, found in nearly every camera bag thanks to the versatility of the focal length range and the... Read more

Hands-On Review: Sony a7R III—Promise Delivered

With the Sony a7R III, the promise of a mirrorless camera that outperforms DSLRs in every key area has arrived  
Sony a7R III, professional cameras
The Sony a7R III operates as fast as top-end pro DSLRs of just a few years ago. By the time the original full-frame Sony a7 arrived in 2013, the mirrorless revolution was well underway, and mirrorless cameras were already starting to really show the potential of the technology. While mirrorless cameras were rapidly improving, they weren’t used by... Read more

Sony a7R III Hands-On Field Test In Sedona, Arizona

For creatives who require top-notch photo quality and high-end video capability in the same body, this is the best option out there
Sony a7R III, professional cameras
When it was first released, I was so impressed by the photo and video quality of the Sony a7R II that I was willing to look past an enormous list of inconveniences in order to shoot with it. Battery life was terrible, the single card slot was slow, the menu, impenetrable, and the controls were imprecise. Despite that, the a7R II was a clear sign to... Read more

Hands-On Review: Hasselblad X1D-50c

With a brave new design for photography’s brave new world, Hasselblad leaves the studio behind  
Hasselblad X1D-50c
Light and portable, the Hasselblad X1D-50c takes medium format out of the studio. In 1896, architect Louis Sullivan wrote an article entitled “The Tall Office Building Artistically Considered,” coining a phrase that would guide architects, engineers and designers for more than a hundred years, “Form follows function.” More accurately, Sullivan... Read more

Hands-On Review: LaCie 2big Dock Thunderbolt 3—2big To Be Ignored

To have this much capacity at this speed, with dock functions and without breaking the bank, it’s easy to be excited about storage
file storage
Editor’s Note: This hands-on review of the LaCie 2big Dock Thunderbolt 3 posted on the website of our sister publication HDVideoPro, but the drive, of course, addresses the storage needs of photographers, as well. I like storage. I really do. Most of the projects I work on are shot in 4K and beyond, so storage is important. It doesn’t help that... Read more

Hands-On Video Review: PhotoJoseph Tests The DJI Spark

Making spectacular images—“tiny planets”—with the mini-drone
drones
You’ve seen them before, those really cool images dubbed “tiny planets,” where your immediate surroundings are wrapped around a sphere into an impossibly small “planet” hovering in the sky! Typically produced by 360˚ cameras, they now can be generated by drones—specifically, the DJI Spark. I had an absolute blast this week flying the drone... Read more

Hands-On Review: Interfit Honey Badger Strobe

A tough, lightweight and powerful strobe/head lighting unit. Oh, and it’s bright yellow.
Interfit Honey Badger strobe
A four-foot-wide, brilliant yellow snow shovel sat for several years in the corner of my studio. Without exception, men who saw it would get a kind of gleam in the eye and immediately start asking where I got it, how it was to use, and on and on, no matter the season. Oddly, in the three years I wielded it to great acclaim, not a single woman took the... Read more