Friday, March 6, 2015

WPPI 2015 Trip Report–Part II of II

Click here for Part I

WPPI Pool Party 2015 at MGM Las Vegas
WPPI Pool Party 2015 at MGM Las Vegas

Normally you can count on Las Vegas to be warm, so a pool party would be a big hit. This year the weather failed to cooperate so we ended up with a cold night, but that didn’t deter a packed house at the party. With lots of  tasty food and great company, there was still plenty of fun to be had.

WPPI Guests pack the pool area for food and conversation
WPPI guests pack the pool area for food and conversation

Nikon D7200 Hands On

Nikon D7200 with 18-140mm lens

Big news was the D7200 which is basically the much loved D7100 with an EXPEED 4 processor, WiFi & NFC included as well as much improved buffer. How much improved? My testing on a pre-release unit without an SD card – resulted in 40 photos (Lossless Compressed RAW + JPEG Fine) being stored in the buffer before it filled.

Nikon D7200 Rear View

40 images!!!! Imagine if it had a card to write to and it didn’t have to keep all that in memory!!!!

Nikon D7200 Top View

I loved the D7100 as a sports camera when I tested it, so this is a nice upgrade. The EXPEED 4 seems to be incredible from what I saw in my D4s, D750, and D810 reviews, so this is going to be a lot of bang for the buck for the sports and wildlife photographers. It could be my new favorite camera for parents too!

Nikon D7200 Front View

There’s actually several other benefits of the new D7200 like 2 stops of improved ISO, more time lapse intervals and more. Click here to see a complete list of features of the D7200 compared against the D7100.

Click here to pre-order today!


New SIGMA 150-600mm Contemporary & Sport Models

The new SIGMA 150-600 models were on hand with the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports Lens (above left) and Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary Lens (above right). According to SIGMA, the optical stabilization (OS) and autofocus performance of both lenses are identical. What you really get with the Sport model is the all-important weather sealing and more weight! If you don’t need this weather sealing, then you can easily save nearly $1000 and get a pretty affordable sharp super zoom lens with the contemporary model. The question is will the autofocus be up to the task or will it fall short like the 120-300mm I tested? 

The Canon 200-400mm and all new 100-400mm  II blew me away, but they were both pretty expensive so I have no doubt these lenses will be hot sellers.

Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens

The 35mm and 50mm Art Series lenses I reviewed were game changers on how I viewed SIGMA lenses. I loved them and have complete faith in SIGMA’s ability to deliver near Zeiss Otus performance in the Art series, so I have no doubt the new 24mm will be amazing. My hands on testing of a pre-release lens on a Canon 6D (which shares Canon’s best sensor with the 1D X ), left me impressed because the images were sharp with boatloads of detail. I can’t wait to see the final product myself!


Panasonic GH4 gets a Hollywood Worthy Video Kit
Panasonic GH4 gets a Hollywood Worthy Video Kit

Panasonic has been touting the GH4 as a serious 4k camera, so it came dressed to impress at the show. While this roughly $40k setup is overkill for most, what Panasonic wants videographers to see is that this is no toy – it’s built for cinema quality results.

Is the beauty of the inexpensive GH4 4k video lost with this $40k setup?
Is the beauty of the inexpensive GH4 4k video lost with this $40k setup?

The word RED camera kept coming up in conversations so it is clear that they have set expectations high on what this low cost 4k camera can deliver. I’ve had field reports that confirm that straight out of the box with no fancy accessories it delivers in a big way, so Canon videographers dreaming of doing 4k might want to give this one a closer look.

My friends at Flixel were at the Panasonic booth showing off the amazing results you can get with a GH4 and their awesome Cinemagraph Pro product. While I hate doing video, my review of this awesome product had me warming up to using that video feature a little more often on my camera.

Scott Kelby shares some good news

Scott Kelby, Ron Martinsen & Yechiel Orgel

While I can’t get into all the specifics at this time, Scott Kelby and I had a good conversation about his upcoming book and tour. What I can share is that he was excited about doing another VIP meet and greet like we did for the Seattle Shoot Like A Pro show.

My loyal readers who will be in Seattle when the show comes should definitely look forward to my official announcement. At that time I’ll give details on how to reserve your space at this private session with Scott Kelby. We also managed to get priority seating last time, so this should be a fun event for those who join in.

Scott is also working on a sequel one of my favorite books coming that I’ve been waiting years to see hit the shelves. The first version literally helped launch my career, so I can’t wait to see what is in store for this all-new 2015 version.


Lytro Illum Light Field Digital Camera
Lytro Illum Light Field Digital Camera

I’m currently in the process of reviewing two Lytro cameras, but it is definitely not as easy as expected due to a new way of thinking with this camera. The good news is that my friend and former Canon Explorer of Light Stephen Eastwood was on around to give me a great hands on demo on how he uses the Ilum (shown above). It should definitely be an interesting review so I’m looking forward to finishing it up.

Mylio – Hot DAM

Mylio impressed me so I'm starting to review this ASAP
Mylio impressed me so I'm starting to review this ASAP

By DAM I mean Digital Asset Management, or software to manage your photos. Mylio’s slogan is “All of Your Photos. All of Your Devices. Always Protected.” From what I saw it looks like the might live up to that promise so I’m working on both a review and special offer for my readers.

Now I was skeptical when I first started to get the demo because I thought – I’ve got Lightroom, so this is a waste of my time! As we dug deeper into the review, I discovered it was so much more than what Lightroom offers – yet it doesn’t have to be a Lightroom replacement.

In short, you could think of it as a much sexier equivalent to Photo Mechanic designed for normal people, but even that doesn’t really do it justice. It’s basically an app that will help you locate all of your photos and keep them synchronized on all the devices you choose as well as manage your backups, find duplicates, and so much more.

Of course when I heard that I thought – I’ve got 12 TB of digital data – that’s impossible and undesirable! However, I quickly learned that’s the beauty of this product – it creates mini images for your devices so the demo I watched had no issues with over 285,000 photos on an iPhone! Once you have your devices in sync you can non-destructive edit, triage, categorize, etc… on one and instantly see the changes on the others. Skeptical? I’m there with you, but I saw it with my own eyes and soon will be trying it with my own images.

If it sucks, you know I’ll tell you the truth so I’m excited to separate the fact from the fiction on this one. I’m still working on the details, but yes I am trying to get my awesome readers a special deal so check back for my review!


My first time at WPPI was a good one and certainly worth the trip. If you’ve wondered if it is worth your time then I’d say absolutely – if your goal is to make connections and learn lots of cool new stuff.

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