Equipment Reviews
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Edited by Georg... Jul 23, 2013 Published: Jun 01, 2013 1 comments
The Olympus XZ-2 is the successor of the XZ-1 which was the first compact camera made by Olympus with a large sensor (1/1.63”). The new camera has a new CMOS sensor (the XZ-1 had a CCD sensor) which is slightly smaller but has a slightly higher resolution (12MP instead of 10MP).
Edited by Georg... Jul 26, 2013 Published: Jun 01, 2013 2 comments
The Panasonic LX7 is the top model of Panasonic’s compact camera range. It uses a (large) 1/1.7” image sensor and has a moderate image resolution of 10MP, the same resolution as the forerunner LX5 but with a new lens system with outstanding speed capabilities. It offers a maximum aperture of f/1.4, with only f/2.3 when using the maximum focal length of 90mm (35mm film equivalent). This allows the user to shoot images with a shallow depth of field—something compact cameras have often failed to offer. To change the aperture setting the photographer uses a very handy lens ring on the front of the camera. When using M mode the shutter speed is changed with a comfortable setup dial on the back.
Edited by Georg... Jul 30, 2013 Published: Jun 01, 2013 0 comments
The NEX-6 offers an APS-C-sized CMOS sensor with 16MP resolution, the Sony NEX E-mount system, a large swivel screen on the back, a high-resolution electronic viewfinder, and a Wi-Fi module for wireless data transfer or remote control. This very small system camera uses a large mode dial on the top to set up exposure modes directly instead of using the menu on the screen (unlike other NEX cameras). Directly below this mode dial there is an additional dial to change image parameters. The photographer can use this second dial and the third dial (which encircles the cursor field) to change aperture and shutter speed settings directly, which makes it as comfortable to operate as an SLR system.
Edited by Georg... 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 Georg... May 03, 2013 1 comments
The X20 uses an X-Trans sensor just like all new Fujifilm X cameras. Instead of an APS-C-sized system it’s a 2/3 inch sensor, which is slightly smaller than APS-C, but still very large for a compact camera. In combination with the moderate resolution of 12MP the camera offers very clean and noise-free images.
Roger W. Hicks May 30, 2013 Published: May 01, 2013 1 comments
The world of photography is a very wide one, and in this report Roger Hicks takes us to the fringes of photographic accessories. While you might well wonder how you might use some of these items, well, you never know!—Editor

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, um… it’s um… a camera-carrying helicopter drone. Honest! Though our other favorite in this meandering survey is probably a lot more use to a lot more people. It’s a changing room! It’s a hide for photographing wildlife! It’s a monopod! It’s a light modifier! It keeps the rain off! Or the sun! It’s… um, it’s an unusually versatile umbrella.

Jon Canfield Jun 07, 2013 Published: May 01, 2013 4 comments
Canon’s 13x19”-sized printers, the PIXMA Pro9500 Mark II and PIXMA Pro9000 Mark II, have had a longer life than most, but have been replaced with two new models that are similar to the PIXMA PRO-1, introduced over a year ago. New features on both the pigment-ink PRO-10 and dye-ink PRO-100 include Wi-Fi and AirPrint compatibility, a new plug-in to make printing easier, and a refined inkset.
David B. Brooks Jun 11, 2013 Published: May 01, 2013 2 comments
I always enjoy trying out the best new high-end products. It’s fun, but more important it tells me how good the best performance can be. But when reviewing color management tools I realize that photographers are not color scientists or computer programming experts, so I thought I’d start this review with a bit of a tech briefing on why they are important to all photographers who want to get the most from their work.
Edited by Georg... Jun 14, 2013 Published: May 01, 2013 4 comments
The new SLT-A99 is Sony’s first full-frame camera with an electronic viewfinder. While former Sony full-format cameras like the A900 or A850 offered a standard SLR system, the new A99 offers an electronic viewfinder with extremely high resolution (2.3 million RGB dots). Due to the SLT system with fixed mirror, which allows use of a classic AF system based on phase detection, the camera is very fast and can even utilize the AF system while recording videos.
Steve Bedell Jun 18, 2013 Published: May 01, 2013 2 comments
As more photos are made on more types of devices, there’s a need for resultant images that aren’t just “OK” but as good as they can be. And part of the need, it would seem, is that some folks don’t want to spend a lot of time learning complex programs to get the image results they want. Companies like Athentech Imaging aim to make it a one-click affair.
Steve Bedell Jun 21, 2013 Published: May 01, 2013 3 comments
The job of auto-retouching software is to retouch faces quickly, easily, and with as little human intervention as possible. Most require you to either set or confirm where the major points of the face are, like the eyes, ears, and lips. After you’ve identified those areas, the software then goes about its business of transforming little Pamela into little Princess.
Joe Farace Jun 25, 2013 Published: May 01, 2013 1 comments
While it may not be nice to fool Mother Nature, photographers have been doing just that since Elsie Wright and Frances Griffiths photographed the “Cottingley Fairies” in 1917, but a lot has changed since then and we’re now more skeptical of images that appear “shopped.” (Portrait photographers engaged in retouching even before Mathew Brady opened his New York studio in 1844.) To me, part of the fun of photography is enhancing reality, creating images that could be true or might be true in a parallel Fringe-like universe. That’s one of the reasons I like shooting digital infrared images because photography, for me, is all about having fun and if you happen to play a harmless—emphasis on harmless—photographic April Fool’s prank on someone, let’s hope it’s accepted in the spirit of the day.
Anthony L. Celeste Jun 28, 2013 Published: May 01, 2013 2 comments
When shooting portraits on a green screen setup the first stage in the work is selecting and removing the green screen itself, something a “magic wand” or similar selection tool will accomplish. The next stage is finding and fitting an appropriate replacement background, and just as Digital Anarchy’s Primatte Chromakey streamlines the green screen removal process, the company also offers a Photoshop plug-in that streamlines the background creation process. Dubbed Backdrop Designer, the software can aid you in digitally creating muslin drapes, lighting effects, and other photographic backgrounds.
C.A. Boylan Jul 02, 2013 Published: May 01, 2013 4 comments
A trio of new battery grips is on offer. The Pixel Vertax series (Argraph) gives you a firm handle on your camera while providing a power boost. Features include a vertical shutter release, shutter and aperture control wheels (Nikon models or a single wheel for Canon), exposure lock, multifunction control buttons, and more. The grips accept AA batteries (alkaline or rechargeable) or camera batteries for added shooting capacity. The grips offer excellent dust and moisture seals and a rubber handgrip for slip-free control. They are made for use on current and newer model Nikon and Canon cameras. Prices start at $79.
Edited by Georg... Apr 30, 2013 1 comments
The EOS Rebel SL1 is an ultra-small SLR system; in fact it is smaller than many bridge cameras and even lighter than many other digital cameras.
Nevertheless it’s a real SLR system with Canon’s APS-C-sized image sensor, which is a little smaller than other APS-C-sized sensors made by Nikon, Sony and other manufacturers. Due to itsvery small body the grip on the right hand side is also is a bit smaller than usual and the handling of the camera is a bit tricky for photographers withlarge hands. The small body doesn’t allow for a status LCD on the top, so all information on image parameters and menu settings are shown on the LCD screen on the back.