August 15, 2014 Sony A7S Gear

Sony A7S

Here is what I remember most about film: not the waiting, to get your slides back, but the anticipation. Film added something to every shot, a twist of scene or color or light, a dash of magic that took the mundane and made it art. Digital is not like that. We’ve gained in many ways (more...)...

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June 24, 2014 Sony RX100-III Gear

Sony RX100-III

Is it possible the closer we get to perfection, the farther away it seems? The updates to Sony’s third-edition RX100 digital compact are practically a wish list of the impossible. How about a wider, brighter 24-70mm Zeiss lens, for starters? How about a bright, high-resolution pop-up electronic viewfinder? And how about Sony’s Bionz-X image processor (more...)...

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October 20, 2012 Nikon D800 vs. Sony RX100 Gear

Nikon D800 vs. Sony RX100

Once again I am updating my Sony RX100 review page. Here’s an amazing admission: I bought a Nikon D800 specifically to shoot video on my then-upcoming Rim to Rim hike in the Grand Canyon. D800 video for natural landscapes is astonishingly good—probably you’ve got to spend car-sized sums to do better. So which camera did (more...)...

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August 9, 2012 Sony RX100 Gear

Sony RX100

Yes, Sony’s RX100 is a revolutionary digital camera—but is it really the best compact in the world, as many reviewers are now proclaiming? If you’re only interested in bright-light image quality, I think the answer has to be a resounding Yes. The RX100 puts a next-generation 1.0 inch, 20 megapixel CMOS sensor and a branded (more...)...

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December 1, 2011 Sony NEX-5N Gear

Sony NEX-5N

Sony’s next-generation NEX-5N looks pretty much the same as its immediate predecessor, the intriguing NEX-5A, but there the similarities end. The NEX-5N is in many ways the realization of the potential that the 5A could only hint at. The camera is capable of simply staggering image quality, no longer approaching DSLR quality but rather (more...)...

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September 5, 2011 Sony NX70U Gear

Sony NX70U

It’s Fall 2011 and Sony at last is whole-heartedly embracing progressive video throughout its camcorder line, including the brand-new professional-grade NX70U, which utilizes the all-new and long-awaited 1080-60p AVCHD spec, recording full HD video at 28Mbps. A quick glance at the compact NX70U reveals a wealth of features seemingly ideal for documentary (and backcountry) videography (more...)...

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April 28, 2011 Gear

Sony NEX-5

Sony’s interchangeable-lens NEX-5 is both an oddly compelling and an oddly vexing digital camera. Despite its flaws, however, once you start using an NEX-5 it’s hard to stop. I have a vision of what cameras of the future are going to look like: they’re going to be small. They’re going to be light. And they’re (more...)...

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When there is snow, SierraDescents is Andy Lewicky's California backcountry skiing and mountaineering website. Without snow, sierradescents becomes an ill-tempered hiking and climbing blog.

Pray for snow.