Equipment Reviews

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Jack Neubart Posted: Mar 17, 2014 Published: Feb 01, 2014 1 comments
When my fascination with macro began all my work was done by available light. Getting sharp images at life-size magnification took all the resolve I could muster, especially when dealing with heat and humidity or frigid conditions. It’s tough to hold a camera steady in those situations. What I wouldn’t have given for image stabilization!
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George Schaub Posted: Mar 12, 2014 1 comments
The hybridization of cameras and phones has produced various manifestations of late, one being the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom, reviewed here a few months back, which looks like a smartphone with a camera/lens grafted onto it’s front. The Galaxy NX comes at this combination from the other direction, a decidedly camera-like design with built-in Android functionality, sans phone capability, but with all the other amenities and accouterments included. And there’s no confusing this with a smartphone, what with it being 3x5.5x2.25 inches in size, the benefit being a very large back display, 4.77” on the diagonal and width to height ratio of 2.5 x 4 inches.
Joe Farace Posted: Mar 11, 2014 Published: Jan 01, 2014 0 comments
These days it seems that using LED lighting systems for studio portraiture is like puppies and kittens—everybody loves them, and why not? All you need to do is turn on an LED light panel and shoot, right? While there’s obviously more to it than that, the WYSIWYG nature of LED lighting is especially helpful for new or aspiring pros who want to get up and running quickly or in applications where the lighting needs to be consistent so lots of portraits can be made in a short amount of time, something event photographers will take to heart. With that in mind I recently tested Bowens’ Mosaic LED light panels (#1). Originally developed for film and video use, they are available in models designed for mounting on traditional light stands for portraiture, so I put them to work in my home studio.
Edited by George Schaub Posted: Mar 07, 2014 Published: Jan 01, 2014 0 comments
The Olympus E-P5 has a classic viewfinder camera design but doesn’t have an optical or electronic viewfinder. It does have a swivel monitor which can be folded up- and downward and offers very high resolution (1,037,000 RGB dots). Its 3:2 aspect ratio shows additional information on both sides of the viewfinder image, which has an aspect ratio of 4:3 when taking images in the highest image resolution setting. By pressing the “OK” button in the center of the control field additional parameters are shown as overlays on the right-hand side of the live view image.
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Edited by George Schaub Posted: Mar 04, 2014 Published: Jan 01, 2014 0 comments
The Nikon Coolpix A is an unusual camera with a very robust, retro design and a body based on a magnesium-alloy chassis. It is extremely compact but has a 16.2MP DX-format sensor (Nikon’s version of the APS-C format). It also incorporates Nikon’s EXPEED 2 image processor system.
George Schaub Posted: Feb 27, 2014 Published: Jan 01, 2014 0 comments
There are many ways to share images these days, from social networks to clouds to full-fledged e-commerce platforms. For some, simple online albuming will do, but for others it can become an involving project that puts your images on the Internet in a very engaging way. It’s not only in the personalization of the look and feel of the wrapper around your image content that can separate your site from the crowd. It’s also the ability to work cross-platform, include an e-commerce component, and allow for a “translator” that can make your site accessible to folks and even clients around the world that can add to its attractiveness and functionality.
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George Schaub Posted: Feb 21, 2014 Published: Jan 01, 2014 0 comments
A tilt-shift lens can be thought of as a flexible visual tool in the many ways it allows you to image the world. Unlike a standard lens, even a zoom, with a set point of view enforced by stance, elevation, focal length, and, within certain limits, depth of field, the tilt-shift lens opens visual doors a “fixed” lens will not. By tilting the lens within the mount you can enhance or greatly diminish depth of field beyond the “normal” abilities of the focal length and aperture setting. By shifting the lens you can “fix” perspective distortion or exaggerate it for “trick” effects.
John Wade Posted: Feb 07, 2014 Published: Jan 01, 2014 0 comments
America did not invent photography—that honor must go to the French—but US camera manufacturers can take credit for introducing simple ways of taking pictures and bringing photography to the masses. Along the way, many also came up with often strange and sometimes ugly designs.
Steve Bedell Posted: Feb 04, 2014 Published: Dec 01, 2013 0 comments
GamiLight has been in the business of making light-shaping accessories for small, dedicated flash units like the ones from Nikon, Canon, Metz, etc., and has recently broadened their lineup. I had heard about their products and thought I’d give them a try, so they responded by sending me just about every modifier they make. I received their Square 43 with the Soft Plus 43 adapter, the Box 60, the Spot 2, the Event Pro, and a few mounts. As we go through this review I’ll let you know what these are all about, but my tests were aimed at determining how effectively the units work, how well they are made, how convenient they prove out in the field, and, most importantly, whether I should consider buying them to solve some of my lighting issues.
Joe Farace Posted: Feb 04, 2014 Published: Dec 01, 2013 0 comments
Lester A. Dine invented the ringlight for making dental photos in 1952 but today people use them for all kinds of photography. A ringlight is a circular light source that surrounds the optical axis of a lens causing light to hit the subject from different angles, producing soft shadows in much the same manner as a light bank. When photographing people, the unique way that a ring flash renders light also produces a shadowy halo around the subject that’s much beloved by fashion photographers. I use a small ring flash to photograph butterflies, but if you want to photograph people, to paraphrase Jaws Chief Brody, “You’re gonna need a bigger light.”
Edited by George Schaub Posted: Jan 31, 2014 Published: Dec 01, 2013 1 comments
The NX300 follows the company’s NX210 and updates many features. Its new WLAN system, for example, now supports 2.4GHz and 5GHz systems for better data transfer. (Note: 5GHz systems eliminate interference better than the older 2.4GHz standard.) The free Wi-Fi connection can be used with remote control software on Android or Apple iOS smartphones, for auto backup on the PC, and for various mobile link functions, like sharing images by e-mail or in social networks.
Edited by George Schaub Posted: Jan 28, 2014 Published: Dec 01, 2013 0 comments
As a member of the G Series, the G6 is styled like an SLR system, in contrast to the GF models, which are styled like compact cameras. The G6 offers a high-resolution viewfinder system with an OLED screen that has 1.4 million RGB dots. In addition, it has a swivel LCD screen with 1.04 million RGB dots, which allows for comfortable shooting, especially in video mode. The LCD screen is touch sensitive and is very helpful for handling and making settings.
Edited by George Schaub Posted: Jan 24, 2014 Published: Dec 01, 2013 0 comments
The robust and relatively heavy body of the Canon SX50 HS has a metal-based chassis and is designed like a small SLR system. A large handle on the right-hand side of the body gives a stable grip and allows for comfortable handling when shooting. The motorized zoom lens is controlled via an easy-to-use zoom switch; focal length selection is quite sensitive to the touch.
David B. Brooks Posted: Jan 21, 2014 Published: Dec 01, 2013 0 comments
“Over the last few years seeking monitor/display units that serve to perform with adjustment and color management to resolve the problems of too bright LCD displays causing too dark prints, my reaction has usually been mixed. I have to report that this was less so with this display than with even more sophisticated and expensive displays.”
Joe Farace Posted: Jan 14, 2014 Published: Dec 01, 2013 0 comments
The Pentax MX was a 35mm Single Lens Reflex (SLR) camera produced from 1976 to 1985 and, for a time, was the company’s flagship SLR. It was solidly built featuring all-mechanical construction, including the shutter, and only the metering system was battery dependent. The new all-digital, all-electronic Pentax MX-1 couldn’t be more different. For openers, the MX-1 is not an SLR but an advanced digital compact camera with the kind of retro styling that’s all the rage these days with camera designers and, apparently, camera buyers, too. So, how does the MX-1 stack up?

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