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The How and Why of Images for Reviews

My camera and lens reviews are a little different from the “normal” internet-blog posts. They’re intended, at a minimum, for serious amateur photographers. The focus here will be on what you can squeeze out of the files, without making extreme processing adjustments or taking an inordinate amount of time.

That brings up the completely justified argument that showing processed raw files is all about processing and has little to do with the lens or camera. To address that issue, post processing will be very limited. In 95% of cases, everything will be done in Adobe Camera Raw. Photoshop might occasionally be used for contrast curves, or other minor adjustments. When that happens, it will specifically be mentioned. There will be no HDR or other multilayer exposure adjustments. No focus stacking. No panoramas. No composting or masking. Every adjustment will be simple, straightforward and from a single raw file.

There will be no out-of-the-camera jpegs. I don’t shoot jpegs. So I don’t care which camera manufacturer does the best job of post processing.

There will be no out-of-the-camera raw files. Sometimes raw files that look flat yield the best images. Besides, raw files are not really raw data, every camera manufacturer applies their own idea of how steep to make the contrast curve, how much saturation and luminosity to use as well as some level of exposure range adjustment. I don’t care what adjustments the engineers and Canon, Nikon or Sony thought would look good. The idea here is to show you what’s possible to do with the raw files. It’s just a starting point for your own work.

There will be no ISO or resolution charts. I will make every effort to find difficult shots which push the equipment to the edge of its performance envelope. We’re fortunate to live in a time where there is lots of very good photographic gear available at reasonable prices. The difference is how they perform under difficult situations. Low light levels, fast moving subjects, shooting into bright or multiple light sources is where a great lens is worth the extra cost.

There will no shots of my backyard, pets, girlfriends or children. That crap is so boring it makes me want to scream. In my universe, such nonsense shows a lack of respect for the audience. I’ll make the effort to find subjects appropriate for the gear being tested.