Camera Test Special

There’s no question that camera makers have been busy of late. They’ve brought out many new models, some basically upgrades from previous models, but also those that blaze new trails in digital photography and camera design. Updates these days are often built around new tech developments or, more likely, the inclusion of some sort of sharing or Wi-Fi functionality.

For this issue we’ve gathered numerous reports on a wide variety of cameras, from new D-SLRs to compact system cameras to integral lens models. Many incorporate advances in image processors, the heart of the system, or in the variety of video formats and framing rates. There are “full-framers” and APS-C, compacts and those with integral zooms. Many incorporate new CMOS sensors and advanced AF capability, and some offer new ways to make settings using “touchscreen” technology. In short, there’s something for everyone here, for every taste and pocketbook and disposition.

We have two types of reports on offer, lab and field tests. I discussed this methodology in a previous editorial, and suffice it to say that we’re thrilled to be able to offer exponentially expanded camera tests in the magazine using this approach. But we also have a host of new camera reports on our website at in our Image Tech section and in our “Equipment Review” feature on the homepage, a number of which are “web exclusive,” so please check that out as well.

As is our wont we have also included a number of other features in this issue that I believe you’ll find worthy of attention. There’s a very moving story of special interest to those who make their livings and express their feelings with their eyes through photography from Joe Routon about his work with the World Cataract Foundation. There’s notice of an exhibit that is worthy of visit of the winners of the Pictures of the Year International awards in San Diego. We’ve also included a story about a very personal approach to making a photographic record of family history, a Personal Project that is emotionally moving and inspirational. Plus there’s a report that every photographer needs to read on copyrights and model releases, which we update on a regular basis to keep you abreast of the law. And last but certainly not least, we have an excerpt from Steve Sint’s new book, Digital Still Life Photography, a primer-plus on the topic illustrated and told with Steve’s unique and personal style.

That balance is important to us—yes, having camera and lighting equipment tests but also continuing to pay attention to the purpose of all that gear, the creation of images that convey the facts, and reflections on those facts, of this complex world. Without the creative eye of the photographer all that gear would be just so much hardware. Yes, having information about getting a quality camera that’s just right for you is important, but what’s done with the camera after it comes out of the box is most important of all.