Recent years have seen staggering innovations in cameras, most notably involving ISO speed, sensor size in compacts, and video capabilities. Despite these advances, however, one thing has divided the industry for more than 10 years but has rarely been talked about—that is, until recently—optical low-pass filters. Many cameras include them, but some do not. There are believers in both camps but the only thing that’s clear is that the issue is far from decided.
HDR Backdrop Series
Denny Manufacturing is now offering a new line of High Dynamic Range-looking backdrops. Created on the advice of a loyal customer, these backdrops are certain to save photographers precious time while adding a new dimension in contrast to their images. From Sports to Outdoor themes Denny has a backdrop to fit your needs and style.
Wacom recently introduced their new line of Bamboo tablets, and we thought we’d revisit the use of stylus and tablet tools to give it a try. For our test we worked with the Bamboo Capture, described by the company as most apt for enthusiast digital photographers, although there are three intros in this new line.
The most recent speed gains have been in SD format cards, making us wonder about the larger CF card. But that concern has been to an extent dispelled by some of the recent developments in this very fast-changing field. One of the newest developments unveiled at the show was a card that sits between those two sizes, the XQD card. The first camera to accept the new memory card is the Nikon D4, although the D4 also features a CF slot.
XQD has a smaller form factor than CF, so they’re not interchangeable. Sony, the company that introduced the world’s first XQD card, notes that you can record up to 100 Raw image frames from continuous shooting mode using the card and obtain 125MB/sec read/write speed when using a PCIe port; new XQD card readers are available as well. The casing around the card is “robust,” with contact pins inside the casing itself, which Nikon says helps eliminate problems in the field.
Aug 05, 2012
Published: Jun 01, 2012
The Incase Camera Bag Collection
The Incase Camera Collection has been expanded and redesigned to better fit the needs of pro and hobbyist photographers. The DSLR Pro Pack allows you to carry heavy loads comfortably. The main compartment features a fully customizable modular divider system to safely accommodate a camera body, lenses, flashes, and other equipment. Primary access is through the back of the bag with quick access through the zipper on the top. There is an additional storage area for a 15” laptop and a slip pocket for a tablet computer and the exterior straps can be used to secure a tripod to the bag.
There are three main elements in depth of field—focal length, aperture, and distance to subject—and depth of field is a very important part of a 2D photograph. It’s how we judge scale (or are fooled by it), how we note the importance of certain subjects within the frame, and how we define content and context in the scene. With these three controls, and using various points of view, it seems we have infinite variations to choose from, and that’s part of the creative play of photography. Now you can add a fourth element to the mix—tilts that range from mild to extreme and that create “slices” of sharpness within the frame. The tool that helps us create that effect is the latest optic from Lensbaby, which they dub the Edge 80.
Every year manufacturers and distributors unveil new products at trade show events. They see these shows as the best venues to garner the attention of the gathered members of their industries and to show them their latest wares. In the photo industry this has traditionally been the annual Photo Marketing Association (PMA) Show, which we have always covered. This year that event was subsumed into the larger Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
The trend in tripods is toward more compact and lighter-weight tripods, with an increasing number of entries in carbon fiber. Is carbon fiber the ultimate lightweight tripod? The jury is still out, although everyone seems to want one. And along with tripods, various ball heads grabbed our attention. We even found a portable copy stand.
Camera bags and carriers come in every shape and style, from highly functional rollers to bags that make a fashion statement whenever you step out the door with your gear. Among the new products appearing this year are those that will fit every photographer for every photo excursion. There are backpacks for day hikers to trekkers, and rollers for making the transition from plane to city streets. Camera carrier makers are always improving product to keep up with the changing needs of photographers and their gear.
Traveling by plane these days is certainly no joy, a bad situation made worse for photographers who never check their precious gear. Traveling on regional jets, and especially international flights, means not being able to lug large backpacks or roller cases filled with gear on board. And with flights so jammed airlines have gotten even stricter about carry-ons, despite the fact that their policies now make everyone want to carry on rather than shell out the extra bucks. It’s getting pretty nasty out there.
One Bag Version 2
The stylish, lightweight One Bag is crafted from ultrahigh-quality wetsuit-grade neoprene. It can easily accommodate a 15” to 17” laptop, photography equipment, and assorted electronics. It features an ultra-soft lining and four pockets, and the Photo Insert allows you to change the laptop bag into a camera gear bag with three pockets for lenses and other gadgets. The designer neoprene strap features leather bindings and stretches to conform to your body. The swappable designer covers are sold separately and allow you to transform your bag for any occasion. Version 2 is 1” wider than the original and offers more accessory pockets. It comes in Black Leather, Midnight Web, and Smokey Damask covers. The suggested price is $128.
Apr 26, 2012
Published: Mar 01, 2012
It was with considerable dismay that I discovered, after my story on gimbal mounts appeared in a recent issue of Shutterbug, that Really Right Stuff (RRS) manufactures a gimbal mount as well; in fact, some might argue it is one of the best conventional gimbal mounts currently being offered among top-tier gimbal mount manufacturers.
Built primarily of CNC-machined black anodized aircraft-grade aluminum stock, RRS’s gimbal is one tough mount. And it’s also beautiful, to boot. Manufacturing quality is as good as it gets—and the postproduction finish and fit are impeccable. The custom knurled pitch lock knob for the articulated arm is solid aluminum. The custom pan knob is solid aluminum as well, but additionally has a rubber grip to facilitate rotation. Importantly, both knobs are located on the same side of the gimbal, thus facilitating access and allowing the user to release or tighten both with just one hand.
Bay Photo Lab’s BayBooks are high-quality digital press printed photo books for any occasion. They are available in various sizes and in square, horizontal, or vertical formats with hard or soft full-wrap photo covers. There are 48 cover material choices and hundreds of customizable page templates to help you easily build a one-of-a-kind album.
Free ArcSoft Perfect365 Software For One-Touch Photo Makeovers
Perfect365 is a free photo makeover software application that lets you easily adjust up to 21 facial features on pictures and portraits with the touch of a button. The patented imaging and facial recognition technology offers fast cleanup with accurate, natural results. Style makeup templates are included for various looks with the ability to fine-tune according to your preference. Perfect365 is available as a free download for Windows. An enhanced version for Windows that allows you to save and print high-resolution images is available for $29.99. Versions for the iPhone and iPad are currently available and the Facebook and Mac versions will be available soon.
Feb 10, 2012
Published: Jan 01, 2012
I’ve been a dedicated gimbal head user for a long time. If you shoot with seriously long lenses, no other head comes close to offering a gimbal’s stability, articulation, and flexibility. Forget ball heads and anything else designed to attach long telephotos to a tripod. If you’re a big lens user and you photograph things that move, a gimbal is the only way to go.