by George Schaub

A Look Ahead in Shutterbug
Each month we do our best to bring you a wide variety of articles and test reports on the latest gear, technology and creative techniques. I thought I'd take this space to let you in on what's coming in the months head in the magazine. Included are tests on the latest "full frame" DSLRs from Nikon and Canon, the inauguration of a continuing feature on the Top 20 Cameras of All Time and a revealing interview with one of the masters of photography, Albert Watson.

The headliners for April and May, respectively, are our tests of the new Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III and the Nikon D3. These pro, premium-priced DSLRs are of the "full frame" variety, meaning they have sensors of approximately the same size as a frame of 35mm film, as opposed to the APS-C sensors of most other interchangeable lens digital cameras. Do larger sensors better pictures make? And are the premium prices of these cameras justified in image quality results? Those are some the questions we'll examine in these reviews.

But we'll also look at some other DSLR contenders, including the Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro and the Panasonic DMC-L10. Other test include a look at the latest crop of inkjet printing papers, new Wacom tablets and Nik Color Efex Pro 3.0, an exciting new Photoshop plug in that will have you making great image enhancements in no time.

But we also have something for film photography fans, including a close-up look at Kodak's revision of TMax 400 black and white film, the first major change in that product for many years. We also have lens tests for film cameras as well, including new lenses for the Hasselblad from Zeiss and a trio of lenses for Leica fans.

Techniques get a lot of attention in the coming issues as well, including how to adapt the Sigma SD14 DSLR for infrared, and turn it back again to "normal" recording, all without having to go through a service department; tips on basic posing and lighting techniques; creating the "Polaroid transfer" look with your digital images; and making great exposures, in camera.

To look even further ahead our June issue is dedicated to the PMA show report, where editors, staff and a host of reporters trek to this, the largest US photo show, to bring you all the news and technology reports. We have more reporters covering the show for us than ever before, each one an expert in their field of coverage.

Just one last word on our coming Top 20 Cameras of All Time Countdown. I thought I'd whet your appetite by revealing the opening paragraph from this series of articles. Author Jason Schneider, recognized around the world for his expertise in this field, has tackled the Herculean task, one which we are sure will generate strong opinions among readers. In fact, after publication I am setting up a Forum on our web site for your comments, praise and criticism of his choices, all of which I am sure we'll receive. Here's his lead:

"What are the greatest cameras of all time? The answers to this fascinating question depend largely on the criteria used to select them, namely how do you define a "great" camera. Ultimately, both the criteria and the selection process are inherently subjective, which means I expect to receive impassioned arguments on my choices and rankings. I have given special priority to cameras that are the first of their kind and have, in my judgment, had a profound influence on camera design, technology, and marketing. But I have also included "ultimates" of particular types of cameras, and others that have served as influential exemplars for the photographic world."

Thanks for reading Shutterbug and visiting our web site. As always we welcome your comments and suggestions, and look forward to bringing you more great tools, techniques and creativity in the months and years ahead.