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Is the Canon EOS 7D Mark II the Nikon D400 DX shooters with a Nikon D300 have been waiting for?

Canon EOS 7D Mark II DSLR Camera (Body Only)It’s no secret that APS-C (aka DX-format) shooters have been given short-shrift by both Nikon and Canon for the last 5 years. The venerable Canon 7D and Nikon D300 (and the almost identical Nikon D300S) have been amazing cameras, but are more than long in the tooth. Canon has fixed that for its smaller-format loyalists in one fell swoop with the awesomely-speced Canon EOS 7D Mark II. That begs the question of whether DX loyalists on the Nikon side should consider jumping ship… Read more »

New Nikon D750: Powerhouse upgrade for Nikon D600, Nikon D610 and Nikon D700 owners

nikon_d750_dslr_camera_body_1082599Nikon’s new Nikon D750 has something for nearly everyone. State-of-the-art Autofocus, improved 24MP sensor, brand-new, high-performance body design, 6.5 fps full-frame, 100% viewfinder, pro-quality video features, tilting LCD, and a fairly sane price tag of $2300. It is going to be a hard camera to resist for current owners of the Nikon D600, Nikon D610, Nikon D700, and even those who have a Nikon D800 but would love a little more speed and are getting tired of super-large files. I’ll be doing a full field-test when I’m back from Africa, but based on the specs, here are my quick thoughts on pros & cons:


10 things you should know about your camera (and your smartphone)!

ev_africamay2011_0221I get asked all the time to give advice about what camera someone should buy. Far less often I sometimes get asked a much more important question – “What do I need to learn how to do with my new camera before I take it on my vacation, or to some special event, and try to use it effectively?” Modern cameras (even many of those found in smartphones) have way too many features for anyone to master them all. But there are 10 basic skills you should learn. If you purchase your camera at a camera store with actual human salespeople (there are still a few), you can probably have them show you most or all of them before you walk out with your new kit:


Nikon D810 field test–Why I’m planning to buy my review unit

pl_lavenderfarms_0037For the past few weeks I’ve been shooting with a Nikon D810 in a variety of situations. I wasn’t enough of a fan of the D800 to purchase one, so I didn’t expect to want to purchase my review Nikon D810 either. However, Nikon has done enough to improve the camera that it is now a winner for me, and this one will likely be staying right here in my camera bag. Here’s why…


Alaskan Bears: One safari, one camera, one lens: Life with the new Nikon 80-400mm AF-S VR Lens

_djc5685Every July I return to Alaska to photograph the amazing Coastal Brown (aka “Grizzly”) Bears. Over the course of 15 years I’ve used over a dozen different cameras, and at least that many lenses to capture images. Typically at least one of my lenses would be a massive telephoto (400mm f/2.8 or 200-400 f/4, or 120-300 f/2.8). This year, as part of my ongoing effort to identify lighter, less expensive alternatives to large and extremely expensive lenses, I decided to shoot for the entire two safaris with “just” a Nikon 80-400mm AF-S VR lens attached to my Nikon D610. My hope was to see whether this new, sub-$3K lens could do a good job of subbing for larger, more expensive alteratives….


ArtRage 4.5: Solid Upgrade for top-notch painting program

CanvasGrids

While having a good painting program isn’t a requirement for most photographers, it can come in handy for sketching out ideas for the “bones” of an image (thanks to John-Paul Caponigro for effectively demonstrating that point to me originally). My favorite when I’m on Windows (or Mac) is ArtRage. The company has just released a solid update to version 4.5. I’ve been using the beta for awhile now and have been quite pleased with the new features…


Who needs artsy filters when you have Raw converters?

_djc0761ps-nxdI’m in the process of comparing the latest versions of various Raw file converters, and as part of that I’ve been rendering the same image in multiple pieces of software and comparing the results. Stay tuned for the scientific version where I use actual color targets and math, but in the meantime, I’ve been trying to get a feel for the differences by eye. However, I found something I didn’t expect…


Nikon D810 architectural Moire Test

_DJC0547psOne of the advances Nikon has made with the Nikon D810 is the complete removal of the low-pass (aka anti-aliasing) filter. The Nikon D800e achieved a similar effect by adding a second filter layer to undo the effects of the anti-aliasing filter, but the move to eliminate it completely in the D810 goes a step further. The concern, of course, is the potential for increased moire, or color interference patterns, in small details. To test out the Nikon D810 for moire in landscapes, I chose the Milwaukee skyline…


Record-breaking Nikon D810 full-frame DSLR now in stock…

nikon_d_810_digital_slr_body_1062499B&H now has the new Nikon D810 in stock. They have a limited supply, and will no doubt sell out soon. As tested by DxOMark, it set the all time image quality record with a score of 97 points (just beating out the D800 and D800e). I’m in the middle of field-testing my review unit, so I don’t have a full report, but wanted to get the word out before the first shipment disappears. As to what I’ve found so far…

Nikon’s Manual Viewer mobile app is a ‘must have’–and it is free

imageRegular readers know that I’m a big proponent of carrying PDF copies of camera manuals while traveling – whether on a laptop, tablet, or both.

Lightening up your photo kit: Lenses I no longer travel with…

The Sigma 300-800 is an excellent and unique telephoto zoom, but it is huge & heavy -- no fun to travel withI’m often asked what lenses I recommend for various photo subjects – typically right before a reader or client is about to head off on a trip. What often goes without saying is what lenses I don’t travel with. In many cases, these were my “go-to” lenses for many years, but a combination of industry trends has helped me lighten up my traveling kit substantially. The changes aren’t for everyone, but they are worth considering for anyone who has begun to dread traveling with all their gear. Before I plunge in, please remember that I’m not saying these lenses aren’t still some of my favorites, or that you shouldn’t rely on them anywhere and everywhere, just that it is always worth thinking about what you are traveling with and why…


Nikon D810: Solid upgrade to Nikon D800 -- Available for pre-order!

imageStarting in late July, Nikon will be shipping its anticipated update to the Nikon D800/e. The Nikon D810 is an upgrade in nearly every aspect of camera and video performance, although each single change is not dramatic. Faster frame rate (5fps full-frame, 7fps DX with battery pack), improved Autofocus, improved sensor with better low-light performance, upgrades for videographers, and a removed low-pass filter (ala the “e”) with improved anti-moire are some of the highlights. The price is the same as the original Nikon D800e price – $3300. The new model will likely be very popular with owners of the current models, and with some D600 owners looking to get more resolution and a few more features. We’ll review the camera when it is available, of course! In the meantime, if you're gung-ho, you can pre-order a Nikon D810 from B&H for $3296.95.


Adobe goes wild with Hardware for artists, Photographer program, and Photoshop 2014 & Suite updates

Adobe fired product salvos on every front today, with a massive set of announcements across its product line. For photographers, the Photo subscription plan has been made permanent at $10/month for Photoshop CC, Lightroom, and mobile apps. Photoshop has also been updated with some cool new tools including Focus-based masking and Path-based blurs – as well as support for Photoshop Mix. You can read more about all of that in my article for Extremetech.com. In the meantime, artists with an iPad will love Adobe’s new Ink & Slide hardware, which I was fortunate enough to be able to use extensively prior to its release. Read more »

Nikon D4S Field-tested: All the camera you can fit in one body

1024081After two weeks of nearly constant shooting with the Nikon D4S during my photo workshops in Texas, I am more impressed than ever with the camera. I’ve already posted about its ultra-high-ISO capability, but this field test was more about how it performed as an action camera in both good and poor light situations. In short, it delivered. The Autofocus is the fastest I’ve ever used, and the nearly instant triggering of the shutter allowed me to capture more peaks of action than with any other DSLR I’ve used….


Wildlife Photos: Subject + Light + Background–Painted Bunting

_dsc3212When most people think of wildlife photos – whether of Mammals, Birds, or Reptiles – they think of the subject. But there is a lot more to making a compelling photograph of an animal in nature than the subject. Light plays an essential role, for starters. Dull, drab, images are seldom capable of commanding our attention. Backgrounds, while under-rated, are also key. All three came together in this image of a Painted Bunting from our Hill Country bird photo workshop this week. Each element plays a role… Read more »

Lightroom goes mobile: Hands-on with Lightroom for the iPad

Lightroom mobile displays each of your albums in a pleasing grid that you can use to select an image to work withAdobe has taken Lightroom mobile, announcing a highly simplified version for the iPad that syncs seamlessly with your main computer’s Lightroom collections. It is well-designed and a joy to use. I’ve been working with it for the last week, and have posted my hands-on review on Extremetech. Frankly, the tablet I carry every day isn’t an iPad (it’s a Samsung Note 10.1 2014 Edition), but Lightroom mobile is one of the first apps that’s tempted me to bring an iPad along as well. It’s free to get started for anyone with a Creative Cloud or Photographer Program subscription from Adobe (you will need one of those, unfortunately for folks who’ve been buying Lightroom a la carte).

Nikon agrees to give new cameras in cases where a D600 can't be fixed

Nikon has gone another step -- beyond offering to replace the shutters in any D600s that are experiencing sensor spotting -- by saying it will provide a brand new camera to any owners who have had their cameras serviced "" and still have issues.

Nikon offers free Upgrade for D600 owners: Wins hearts and minds

COOLPIX L25

In an amazing, and no doubt expensive, customer service gesture, Nikon has announced that it will provide free shutter upgrades to D600 owners – even if your Nikon D600 is out of warranty! Nikon does not say whether the replacement shutter will actually be the slightly faster shutter from the D610, or just a slightly modified version of the original, but the entire process is free, including shipping both ways, so it is a no-brainer for any Nikon D600 owner. For details, read on… Read more »

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