It’s a good thing that early photographers didn’t have to pass through airport security with their flash equipment. The pyrotechnics they used to light a scene would surely have merited more than a pat down. Many years ago, long before the flash tube or flashbulb, a century or so before the Flashcube, cameramen used a flash powder called thermite.
When Olympus and Panasonic launched the Micro Four Thirds system they offered adapters that enabled the use of regular Four Thirds lenses. Smart move, because it immediately expanded the library of available glass. The goal of Micro Four Thirds is smaller and lighter SLR cameras. The unanticipated benefit is compatibility with tons of lenses we all thought we’d never use again.
When I say filter, your first thought may be a Photoshop plug-in. That’s natural, especially if your first good camera was digital. But folks who cut their photographic teeth shooting 35mm film know all about the light-bending qualities of glass screw-in filters. Physical filters were once the best (and sometimes only) way to get certain types of creative shots. Although still as effective as ever, they’ve fallen from favor for several reasons.
Partly because I own some great Minolta glass (including a 17-35mm G-series zoom) and partly because one of my best friends in the whole world, Mickey Iwata, a former PMDA Technical Achievement Award winner, is in charge of the Sony Alpha DSLR/SLT accessories, I bought a Sony Alpha 55.
Almost 20 years after the dramatic success of the first autofocus 35mm SLR, the Minolta Maxxum 7000, Minolta introduced “body integral” Image Stabilization (IS) to the world in the DiMAGE A1, and the game changed. Advanced photographers recognized the value of stabilization. That was back in 2003, but it wasn’t the first attempt to quell camera jitters. Previously, IS had been performed optically. Minolta did it in the camera body by physically moving the sensor to counteract camera movement. We called it Anti-Shake, and I was a member of the team that brought it to market.
We all need a second camera, one that travels with us when the heavy artillery stays at home. There are many premium models to choose from, and most yield results on par with their larger brethren—under certain circumstances.
Long before the Mind of Minolta popularized autofocus SLRs with the introduction of the Maxxum 7000 there was the XD.
The year was 1977 and Minolta Camera Company, Ltd. was riding high. Fueled by the success of the SR-T series and the inimitable XE-7, Minolta launched the XD family, beginning with the XD-11 (labeled simply XD in Japan and XD-7 in Europe). The XD-11 was the first...
For many photographers, the notebook computer has become nearly as essential as an SLR camera. But that doesn’t mean that photographers are just as savvy about their PCs and MacBooks as they are their cameras and lenses.
Back in the day when prime lenses ruled supreme and snooty purists decried zooms for lack of absolute sharpness, Tele-Converters (TCs) were popular accessories. Photographers wanted to bring distant subjects closer, and TCs provided a means to that end. Also known as tele-extenders, these thick slabs of metal and glass increase the focal length of a given lens while also decreasing the f/stop.
Many of the cameras used by Shutterbug readers use SD memory cards. SD stands for Secure Digital, and it’s the most popular type of media for digital imaging. SD has been around for so long that people use this identifier generically, and refer to all variations simply as “SD.” This practice can lead to problems. There are a couple of new kids on the block, and you should know...