Equipment Reviews
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Equipment Reviews
Steve Bedell Mar 28, 2014 Published: May 01, 2014 0 comments
One of the reasons you might consider a “third-party” shoe mount for your camera is simple—it’s usually less expensive, sometimes considerably so. Saving a few bucks is good, but perhaps some features are missing, or the construction isn’t as robust, or the resale value will be lower. But sometimes it just may be a smart choice, as I found when testing the Phottix Mitros flash for my Nikon.
Equipment Reviews
George Schaub Mar 12, 2014 0 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 Apr 07, 2014 Published: Mar 01, 2014 1 comments
New & Updated Photoshop Actions
Remember the ASCII-art dot-matrix photos that were popular in the 1980s? PanosFX’s free ASCII-art action recreates the effect by producing images pieced together from ASCII characters. The set contains five actions that let you produce not only the classic ASCII-art effect but four modern variations as well, including Gray, Color, Color tiles, and Color tubes. The free Paperworks actions were created by Pit Hermann and let you make papercraft projects. His Pencil Stand actions let you produce (surprise) pencil stands with your photos printed on them. There’s also a set of Advent Calendar actions and Panos Efstathiadis has bundled his Paper Cube actions that let you make paper cubes with images printed on them. Mac OS and Windows versions work with Photoshop CS4 and later as well as Photoshop Elements 11 or later.
Joe Farace Apr 11, 2014 Published: Mar 01, 2014 1 comments
First impressions: the D-Lite RX ONE To Go Kit includes a pair of Elinchrom monolights so you know it’s going to contain quality products. Then you discover that the maximum output of each light is 100 watt seconds and you start to think you’ll need more power. That’s until you’re reminded that this fully loaded two-monolight Elinchrom kit sells for less than $700. Interested now?
Equipment Reviews, Lenses
Joe Farace Apr 15, 2014 Published: Mar 01, 2014 1 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.
Edited by Georg... Apr 18, 2014 Published: Mar 01, 2014 2 comments
The Fujifilm X-M1 is an extremely compact system camera that uses Fujifilm’s 16MP X-Trans CMOS sensor. The camera offers very high image quality due to its special RGB filter array which differs from the standard Bayer RGB pattern. The pattern on the APS-C-sized X-Trans sensor resembles the random pattern of grain of analog film and reduces image noise. The interpretation of this RGB pattern isn’t very easy, but the most current versions of Adobe’s Photoshop Camera Raw plug-in and Adobe’s Lightroom are able to convert this pattern correctly.
Edited by Georg... Apr 21, 2014 Published: Mar 01, 2014 1 comments
The new Olympus OM-D E-M1 is the follower of the first OM-D, the proper and full name having been the “OM-D E-M5.” The E-M1 incorporates many of the E-M5 advantages, the famous five-axis image stabilizer being one of them. This image stabilizer is based on sensor-shift technology and allows the user to shoot a stabilized image with every lens system mounted to the camera.
Equipment Reviews, Lenses
Jack Neubart 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!
George Schaub Mar 21, 2014 Published: Feb 01, 2014 0 comments
In olden times there was paper for printing color and for printing black and white. Structure, emulsions, and processing chemistry all determined how you matched media and paper, and it was all pretty self-evident. Surface choices were wider for black-and-white printmakers and while there were some choices for color (gloss, matte, semigloss) much of the surface treatment for color prints was added with sprays and varnish. Of course that’s all changed, and the “rules” regarding media and paper matching have been tossed.
Edited by Georg... Mar 25, 2014 Published: Feb 01, 2014 0 comments
The Canon EOS 70D is a 20MP APS-C-sized sensor camera that has a massive body with a large grip on its right-hand side that makes for very comfortable handling. It has a classic SLR design with an optical viewfinder with numerous function buttons, and a fully articulated large, touch-sensitive LCD screen on its back (it can be flipped up- and downward and turned to the side) that is very handy, especially in video recording mode.
Edited by Georg... Mar 28, 2014 Published: Feb 01, 2014 0 comments
The GF6 is the latest model of Panasonic’s ultra-compact GF series. It is based on a Micro Four Thirds sensor and lens mount system and offers a resolution of 16MP.
The camera doesn’t offer a viewfinder system, but does have a large, touch-sensitive swivel LCD screen with high resolution (1,040,000 RGB dots). All camera functions can be controlled with the four-way control field, which is also a setup and navigation dial, but there are also many functions that can be controlled with the touchscreen in a very handy way.
Steve Bedell Apr 01, 2014 Published: Feb 01, 2014 0 comments
The digital camera revolution has brought about many changes, not the least being the ability to photograph in low-light levels that were only wishful thinking a few years ago. That ability has also spawned significant changes in lighting equipment. In many cases, high-powered flash equipment is no longer needed when you can simply turn the ISO dial on your camera to achieve the desired f/stop. And with small product photography, it makes more sense for many of us to use inexpensive constant light sources rather than high-powered strobe setups. There’s no doubt that the trend to more constant light options in both daylight and tungsten color balance will continue.
Equipment Reviews
C.A. Boylan 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.
John Wade 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.
Equipment Reviews
George Schaub 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.