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Sony moves to address mirrorless lens shortage with four new models: 24-240 leads the way

1126138[1]One by one Sony and other mirrorless camera manufacturers have broken down the barriers to dumping a heavy DSLR and going lighter. Faster Autofocus and amazingly-good Electronic Viewfinders have been key in this effort. Just about the only remaining stumbling block for those used to the large array of lens options provided by Nikon and Canon is the limited selection of lenses for mirrorless models. Sony has quite a variety of lenses, but they come in several different mounts, and many of the best require an adapter for use on their newest mirrorless models like the excellent new Sony A7 II. Sony is working hard to address the issue, and today introduced four new lenses for its full-frame mirrorless models:


Nikon unleashes D7200 chock-full of features from full-frame, but will it finally satisfy as a D400?

For Nikon shooters looking to purchase or upgrade a DX-format DSLR (e.g. APS-C, or “crop” sensor), the new Nikon D7200 has plenty to offer. The camera features the powerful 51-point Multi-CAM 3500 II Autofocus module first introduced in the full-frame Nikon D750. The upgraded EXPEED 4 processor also allows for 6 fps shooting, and 100-shot JPEG bursts. NFC makes pairing the camera with a mobile device over WiFi a cinch (a welcome change from pecking at small screens!). Other nice upgrades include… Read more »

Using presets to establish and enhance your photographic style

Many applications offer presets, and some let you preview them. 
Here DxO Optics Pro shows some of the built-in options for processing one of my images.Whether you are an “art” photographer or not, your work may well have a style of its own, defined by how you shoot and how you process images. Or your editors or clients might want a particular look or style in the images you submit to them.

What size camera is right for you?

img_1351It is a truism in photography that the best camera is the one you have with you. In that spirit, whenever I’m asked for advice on what new camera someone should buy, I try to figure out not just their budget and needs, but how much camera they’re really likely to be willing to carry around. For many, it isn’t obvious what they gain by “trading-up” to a larger, heavier, and more-expensive model. While it is always dangerous to generalize, there are certain rules of thumb about the pros and cons of various types of current-model digital cameras. We’ll help you sort through your options…


Nikon D810A: The ultimate gift for the astronomer who has everything

Nikon has announced a highly-specialized version of its popular Nikon D810 DSLR, optimized for astrophotography – the Nikon D810A. It is nearly identical to the D810, except for a few key upgrades that make it ideal for astronomers:

  • Sensitive to H-alpha wavelengths (helpful for solar & nebulae photography)
  • Enhanced Live View operation when long exposure times are used
  • Additional information displayed in the Viewfinder to assist night time shooting
  • Manual-mode shutter speeds extended to 900 seconds (in M* mode)

Sony A7 II Field-tested: A pro-friendly upgrade to the full-frame A7

With its high-performance hybrid focusing system (combining both phase detection and contrast detection in a mirrorless camera) Sony has been breaking down one of the final barriers for mirrorless to take over a bigger chunk of the DSLR market.

Profiling curved monitors & TVs

I was struck by the large variety of curved TVs, and some monitors on the floor at CES. Clearly they are positioned to become mainstream this year. However, it might have already occurred to you that they are tricky to profile. I’ve written up some tips for doing it well on Datacolor’s Spyder blog. For those looking for a way to replace two monitors placed side-by-side, the pictured 34” curved Ultra-wide unit from Dell looked gorgeous when I saw it in their suite at CES. It is $1140 at B&H, which sounds like quite a bit, but it is almost 2 monitors worth of monitor!

Adobe releases Lightroom Mobile for Android: No-brainer for CC subscribers

Adobe Lightroom Mobile Gallery ScreenshotNine months after its initial release for the iPad, Adobe has brought Lightroom Mobile to Android (4.1 Jellybean or later). I’ve been running the pre-release version on both phones and tablets for a few days and it works reliably and is at full-feature-parity with the iOS version.

Lumix LX100 Field-tested: The Leica you always wanted, for a fraction of the price…

pl_shwe_bagan_0229I’ve always lusted after a Leica Rangefinder camera. They were, and for some still are, the epitome of image quality and style. However, by the time I had enough money to even think seriously about buying one, much of my photography involved wildlife and sports – so my photo budget went to big cameras, bigger lenses, and travel to places where I could find my subjects. So it was with great excitement that I started my fieldtest of Panasonic’s Lumix LX100 with Leica lens…

Holiday Gift Ideas: Ten Travel Accessories I can’t live without

We’re getting down to the wire for holiday gifts, and if you’re like me, there are always a couple people that are hard to shop for. So I wanted to pass along my top travel accessories, in case one of them would help fill the bill: Read more »

The amazing “one-legged” fishermen of Inle Lake, Myanmar (Burma)

_djc3037dxo_cvInle Lake in Myanmar is famous for its “one-legged” fishermen. They perform the seemingly impossible feat of rowing (and steering) their small, teak-hulled, wooden boats with one leg wrapped around a single oar while managing to fish with a net at the same time.
Read more »

Finally! Canon replaces nearly-antique Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 Lens

clip_image001Canon shooters who don’t want to lug a huge and expensive telephoto zoom along with them, and haven’t wanted to go third party have had only one option for the past 16 years (believe it or not, that’s how long it has been). Finally Canon has introduced a totally revamped model, the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 IS II USM Lens. The new lens has all the right specs:


Domke Metro Messenger Bag: Your shoulder-carried digital darkroom

1034956I’ve always envied pros wandering around with their classic Domke photo bags. Sleek, practical, and oozing history, they were also rugged enough to take a beating anywhere in the world. However, whether because I needed to lug large lenses, carry a laptop, or have a bag with enough padding so that I could check it in a pinch, there was never a Domke that fit my needs. Until now. The new Domke Metro Messenger bag is perfect for a traveling photographers “walk-around” gear and laptop. I’ve been using one for a few weeks, so I have plenty of experiences with it to share with you…

Nikon D750 Field test: All the camera you can fit in one hand -- Updated with Nikon D810 comparison

Nikon D750 DSLR Camera (Body Only)The first impression you get when taking a Nikon D750 out of the box is that it is the perfect size and shape for a DSLR (at least for me). It is smaller and lighter than other "semi-pro" models, with a deep hand grip that makes it easy to carry in one hand – even without a strap. It’s no mirrorless or rangefinder, but a pleasant change from larger DSLRs. Read more »

Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 DI VC Zoom lens: It’s a Keeper!

Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 DI VC USD Lens for Nikon CamerasLike most of you, I’m always a bit skeptical of third party lenses until I get to give them a good workout. The need for a fast, but not insanely large, zoom for my recent gorilla trekking experience led me to the (newish) Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 lens. The specs – lighter and smaller than the Nikon version, with Vibration Compensation included – were appealing. By themselves, that wouldn’t have convinced me to try it. Coupled with its off the charts performance when tested by DxOMark with the Nikon D800e (as close as test as I could find to the Nikon D810 I’d be using it with), I was sold on the idea of using it as my go-to mid-range zoom in Africa. I wasn’t disappointed…


The Great Migration: Anatomy of a Crossing

ma_wildebeestcrossing_0513_dxoNo matter how often you’ve watched it on video, or seen those amazing images of Wildebeest herds crashing down the bank of the Mara River, nothing is quite like the experience of watching it in person. Our group was fortunate enough to witness (and photograph) several crossings on our recent trip. Each one was different, of course, but there is much about crossings that isn’t obvious from the photos, and isn’t featured in most video documentaries that’s worth passing along… Read more »

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 »

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….


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