Equipment Reviews

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George Schaub Posted: Aug 15, 2014 0 comments

Being in general a wide to moderate tele-zoom kind of guy, I have found myself occasionally frustrated by lacking a long zoom or tele prime when shooting in the great outdoors. There are some scenes and places that cry out for a longer focal length, and it’s not from laziness but more accessibility that creates the need.

Edited by George Schaub Posted: Aug 12, 2014 0 comments
The Nikon D4S is a professional SLR system for sports and action photography. It has a full-frame sensor (36x23.9mm) that Nikon calls the “FX” format. In combination with the new EXPEED 4 image processing system, the new sensor offers an extended ISO speed range: the “native” range is between ISO 100 and 25,600, with an additional high mode equivalent of ISO 409,600 (!). The noise results are impressive in the native ISO range, while images with ISO 102,400 and ISO 204,800 show nearly the same noise artifacts as APS-C cameras in the ISO 12,800 to ISO 25,600 range.
Steve Bedell Posted: Aug 01, 2014 0 comments

We all know that dedicated flash units are amazing tools. They allow us to use not just one but several flashes with amazing control over the output and have the math figured out for us in the bargain. But unless we modify the light in some way we are left with a very small light source that can be very harsh, and while that may be fine in some cases, there are times when we need to modify the light to soften and shape it. With the Profoto RFi Speedlight Speedring, you now have the ability to do just that using the many modifiers available to you in the Profoto arsenal.

Edited by George Schaub Posted: Jul 29, 2014 Published: Jun 01, 2014 0 comments
Even though the new Pentax K-3 offers a very robust and massive body, it is quite compact; it’s only slightly larger than the ultra-compact Canon EOS Rebel SL1, although it’s almost double the weight. Using 92 O-rings and seals, the camera is splashproof and the covers that protect the card slots, interfaces, and battery look very robust and inspire confidence. The sealing doesn’t allow for use of the Pentax as an underwater camera, but it is certainly well protected for use even in a very hard rain.
Edited by George Schaub Posted: Jul 22, 2014 Published: Jun 01, 2014 0 comments
The Nikon Df is a retro-style SLR camera with a 16MP full-frame sensor. While other Nikon SLRs, such as the D4, are clearly aimed at the professional and enthusiast markets, with all the attendant features of modern D-SLRs, the Df is clearly a “classic” camera approach, intended for “purists.” That may be the reason why the Df offers no video capabilities, for example.
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Stan Trzoniec Posted: Jul 18, 2014 Published: Jun 01, 2014 0 comments
Considering that this opticis only a tad slower than the Nikkor 200-400mm f/4, with a drop of a stop when you zoom out, has a 5x zoom range, is lighter, and costs about half of the near $7000 price tag of the 200-400mm f/4, it is certainly worthy of consideration for those who can appreciate what it has to offer in both range and versatility.
Edited by George Schaub Posted: Jul 15, 2014 Published: Jun 01, 2014 0 comments
The Fujifilm X-E2 is a compact system camera with a “retro” design that offers 16MP resolution. Compared to its forerunner, the X-E1, changes include an electronic viewfinder with extremely high resolution. The small OLED display of the X-E2 has 2.36 million RGB dots and shows a brilliant, very crisp reproduction of the viewfinder image, images in review mode, and menus. The combination of the high-resolution monitor, the electronic magnifier (“viewfinder loupe”), and the focus peaking function are very helpful when working in manual focus mode.
John Wade Posted: Jul 08, 2014 Published: Jun 01, 2014 0 comments
In the days before the 35mm Single Lens Reflex (SLR) rose to prominence, the 35mm viewfinder camera reigned supreme. Unlike the reflex viewing system of the SLR, this camera type used a separate optical viewfinder with a slightly different view to that of the lens. Some featured built-in coupled rangefinders to aid accurate focusing, and many stood at the center of versatile systems of lenses and accessories.
Russell R. Caron Posted: Jul 04, 2014 Published: Jun 01, 2014 0 comments
The Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT flash represents a significant new release for Canon photographers, most specifically for those using off-camera flash. A very capable and reliable flash on its own, its real forte is when used as the heart of a radio-controlled flash system. Eliminating the need for third-party radio transmitters and receivers to wirelessly connect off-camera flashes to the camera, and without the restrictions of similar infrared systems that require line of sight, the 600EX-RT system provides solid and, in my test, very dependable real-life operation in the field.
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George Schaub Posted: Jun 27, 2014 Published: May 01, 2014 0 comments
Starting with the 2014 CES trade show, held at the turn of the year, and continuing through press time for this issue, we’ve seen a goodly number of new products come to the fore. All this is only the start—this being a photokina year we’ll see a whole new round of products, including CMOS-sensor medium formats, with prices to match, coming our way. I trust that this report will give you a good sense of what’s here and what’s coming down the pike. So, here are my quick picks of those products that caught my eye, plus a snapshot of some of the trends.
Edited by George Schaub Posted: Jun 24, 2014 Published: May 01, 2014 0 comments
The Sony A7 and A7R are the first mirrorless system cameras with a full-frame sensor. The A7 offers a sensor size of 35.8x23.9mm and a resolution of 24MP, while the A7R has a slightly larger sensor at 35.9x24.0mm and 36MP resolution. Both cameras use the E-mount lens system that was introduced with Sony’s NEX cameras. Because NEX cameras use APS-C-sized sensors all previous E-mount lenses have smaller image circles, thus the full-frame models require new E-mount lenses, which cover the larger image circle of a full-frame sensor.
Edited by George Schaub Posted: Jun 10, 2014 Published: May 01, 2014 1 comments
The Nikon D5300 follows the Nikon D5200 and there is an important difference between the two. The D5300 has a new image sensor without a low-pass filter, which contributed to an excellent performance in our resolution tests.
The D5300 uses a display with a 3:2 aspect ratio, which shows the whole sensor image without black borders or frames. Compared to the Nikon D5200, the LCD screen is also larger, at 3.2”, and has a very high resolution of 1.04 million RGB dots. The monitor is fully articulated and makes for very comfortable shooting.
Anthony L. Celeste Posted: Jun 03, 2014 Published: May 01, 2014 0 comments
I first looked at Auto FX Software’s DreamSuite Series One in the January, 2006, issue of Shutterbug. Since then, Auto FX has gone on to create DreamSuite Series Two and DreamSuite Gel. Now, Auto FX has released upgraded versions of all of these filter sets, plus an additional 12 new filters in a collection it calls DreamSuite Ultimate.
Jack Neubart Posted: May 30, 2014 Published: May 01, 2014 0 comments
DxO Optics Pro is a Raw converter that keeps pace with the ever-growing, ever-changing world of digital photography. The newest version—DxO Optics Pro 9 (for Mac or Windows)—focuses on one of digital imaging’s most troubling artifacts: digital noise. Whether you’re shooting at high ISOs or bringing out blocked shadow detail in a seriously underexposed image or an HDR photo, digital noise (luminance and chrominance) can rear its ugly head. And now we can finally deliver a knockout punch to this culprit. But before you get in the ring, there are a few things you should know.
Tom Harms Posted: May 27, 2014 Published: Apr 01, 2014 0 comments
As image resolution keeps getting bigger and better, photographers are challenged storing their images. One cost-effective solution that’s gaining in popularity and offers good protection is a Network-Attached Storage (NAS) server. However, they are a relatively unfamiliar option for most photographers who aren’t IT-oriented, so we thought it would be a good idea to get guidance on them from an expert.—Editor

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