Equipment Reviews

Sort By: Post Date | Title | Publish Date
Joe Farace Posted: Oct 18, 2013 Published: Sep 01, 2013 0 comments
In this test, Joe Farace tackles a higher-end LED light source that he adapted to still photography work. In it you will find technical sidebars outlining how we will test LEDs for the still photographer in the future. We offer this somewhat tech-heavy review as both a close look at this unit and a primer on LED output and LED lighting, which, as Joe states, will become increasing important, and prevalent, in studio and location work for the still shooter.—Editor
Filed under
C.A. Boylan Posted: May 06, 2014 Published: Apr 01, 2014 0 comments
Nikon COOLPIX L830
The COOLPIX L830 is an ergonomically designed high-ratio zoom camera with a 3” high-resolution tilt LCD monitor. It features a 34x optical zoom range plus a 68x Dynamic Fine Zoom (an enhanced type of digital zoom) range and a 16MP backside illuminated (BSI) CMOS sensor. It records Full HD (1080p) video, even in low light, and reduces the danger of camera shake with the aid of the Lens-shift Vibration Reduction (VR) system. The L830 model’s intelligent features include Easy Auto mode and Smart Portrait System as well as 18 Scene modes and a selection of special effects. The model is available in black and red and has a retail price of $299.95.
Filed under
C.A. Boylan Posted: Apr 04, 2014 Published: Feb 01, 2014 0 comments
Hoya PROND Neutral Density Filters
Created with still photography and HD-SLR video in mind, the new line of Hoya PROND filters (2 to 6, 6 2/3, 7 2/3, 9, and 10 stops) use ACCU-ND technology to provide a true neutral color balance that does not add any noticeable color cast to your images while effectively reducing the amount of light entering the lens. The filters feature a low-profile one-piece aluminum frame and clear optical glass with a metallic ACCU-ND coating on the front and back. The filter rests securely over the lens, parallel to the sensor, and can also be used with super-wide-angle lenses.
George Schaub Posted: May 09, 2012 Published: Apr 01, 2012 9 comments
The Samsung NX200 is a Compact System Camera (CSC) with an interchangeable lens system. It is based on an APS-C-sized sensor and Samsung’s NX-mount system, which currently comprises nine Samsung lenses. The range of lenses will be expanded this year, with the latest being the Samsung 85mm f/1.4 ED SSA, which is a fast portrait lens that supports Samsung’s i-Function technology. The lens ring—which is normally used for manual focusing—can be used for i-Function settings, a very handy feature that can be programmed by the photographer to change various settings right from the lens.
Edited by George Schaub Posted: Mar 22, 2013 Published: Feb 01, 2013 0 comments
The Samsung NX20 is a mirrorless system camera with very high sensor resolution. Just like the Samsung NX200 it uses an APS-C-sized sensor and offers a resolution of 20MP. In contrast to the NX200 it uses an SLR-like body design and an electronic viewfinder with very high resolution. The EVF has 1.44 million RGB dots and offers a very brilliant and sharp image, which makes manual focusing very comfortable. In addition, the NX20 has a large AMOLED swivel screen on the back with a resolution of 614,000 RGB dots.
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.
Jack Neubart Posted: Apr 29, 2014 Published: Mar 01, 2014 0 comments
A handheld meter is not just for studio work. Tricky lighting situations, high contrast, and unusual subject tonalities can often pose problems for camera metering systems, as advanced as they are. Beyond that, the camera meter can’t help with studio flash.
The first step toward taking tighter control with a broader range of lighting situations is to use a handheld meter. Enter the new Sekonic LiteMaster Pro L-478DR (PocketWizard version). Out of the box, it measures incident light. This exposure meter will also prove valuable when working with studio (or any manual) flash or a mix of ambient light and flash.
Filed under
Joe Farace Posted: Dec 06, 2013 Published: Nov 01, 2013 1 comments
Shortly after I moved into my former home, there was a knock at the door. Standing in front of me was an 8-year-old girl who lived down the street. “I’m selling note cards,” she told me, “I made the pictures.” A second look showed subjects a kid might shoot but others demonstrated that she was thinking about the photographs before making them. I bought several note cards and asked about her camera, which turned out to be borrowed. With her grandmother’s permission I gave her an old, unused digital point-and-shoot. The girl loved the camera and was inspired to keep making photographs and we talked from time to time about her aspirations. Today she’s a young woman with professional ambitions.
Filed under
Jack Neubart Posted: Sep 03, 2013 Published: Aug 01, 2013 1 comments
While the Sigma 150mm f/2.8 lens has been out for a good while we decided to take a closer look at one of the most interesting pro-oriented products in their lineup. One of the key selling points in this lens is built-in optical image stabilization (“OS” in Sigma-speak) to aid in achieving camera-shake-free, handheld exposures. Granted, image stabilization in a macro lens is not the be-all and end-all of successful close-ups, though it sure gives added insurance. And because the Sigma 150mm OS macro is optimized for full-frame D-SLRs, it allows for use at the stated focal length with such cameras and provides even greater effective focal length with APS-C-type SLRs.
Filed under
Joe Farace Posted: Apr 15, 2014 Published: Mar 01, 2014 0 comments
Sigma’s 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM is part of their DC series of lenses designed for APS-C-sized sensors so the imaging circle is matched to the size of the sensor. For this assignment, I used a Canon EOS 60D with a 22.3x14.9mm sensor, producing an equivalent angle of view of a 28-56mm lens. Shooters of Nikon, Pentax, Sigma, and Sony cameras, the other mounts for which the lens is available, will achieve an angle of view equivalent to 27-52mm. Unlike other lens manufacturers, Sigma priced the different mounts the same ($799) so don’t feel you’re going to be paying a premium for your camera choice. Bucking a trend with camera manufacturers’ lenses, the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM includes a lens hood at no extra charge.
Filed under
George Schaub Posted: Aug 12, 2013 Published: Jul 01, 2013 5 comments
There’s something about a fixed focal length lens that brings the photographer out in me. It forces me to move in and back from compositions without resorting to a zoom. Yes, there are times when a zoom is most appreciated—especially the fast constant aperture zooms now available—but a prime puts me in a mindset that a zoom has yet to match.
Filed under
Steve Bedell Posted: Aug 09, 2012 Published: Jul 01, 2012 1 comments
The Sigma 85mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM lens (average price: $969 on various Internet sites) is designed for full-frame cameras; with an APS-C multiply by your usual factor. At about 25 oz, I’d describe the lens as substantial, but not hefty. One of the reasons for the weight is the build—11 elements in eight groups, including the use of SLD glass, Sigma speak for Special Low Dispersion. The big chunk of glass on the end requires a 77mm filter. As to handling, Sigma has gone from their black “crinkle” finish to a smooth black rubberized finish that feels great to the touch. It’s plastic, not metal, but based on my experience with previous Sigma lenses, I’ve found them to be built to professional standards and can take a lot of abuse.
Edited by George Schaub Posted: Apr 12, 2013 Published: Mar 01, 2013 0 comments
The Sigma DP2 Merrill is dedicated to Dick Merrill (1949-2008), a photographer and engineer who developed/invented the Foveon sensor technology. The camera is based on former DP compact Sigma cameras, but uses the newest generation of the Foveon X3 sensor. This sensor records all three RGB values for every single pixel and has an image resolution of 4704x3136, or 14.75MP. Because of the multiplication of three RGB layers, the camera gains a “resolution” of 44.25MP. Officially, Sigma specifies the resolution of the sensor even higher: the spec sheet uses the gross resolution with 4800x3200 pixels (x three layers) and therefore indicates that the camera has a resolution of 46MP.
Edited by George Schaub Posted: May 17, 2013 1 comments
The Sigma DP3 Merrill is the latest Sigma camera with the new Foveonsensor.
With this sensor, the camera can capture complete RGB information for every single pixel and doesn’t need to interpolate colors like all other digital cameras with Bayer pattern sensors. The APS-C sized sensor offers a resolution of 14.7MP, referred to by Sigma as equivalent to 45MP resolution of a standard sensor ((4704 x 3136 pixel x 3 RGB data per pixel).
Edited by George Schaub Posted: Jan 18, 2013 Published: Dec 01, 2012 19 comments
The Sony (alpha) A57 is based on Sony’s SLT viewfinder system that uses a fixed and semi-translucent mirror. This enables viewing via a live preview on the LCD screen on the back or through the electronic viewfinder. In addition, the mirror reflects the image onto an AF sensor based on the classic phase detection system used by “normal” SLR cameras. The AF sensor works continuously because there is no moving mirror system to cover the sensor when the picture is taken. This aids in continuous shooting speed and when recording videos.

Pages

X
Enter your Shutterbug username.
Enter the password that accompanies your username.
Loading