• Nikon has pushed the entry level "convergence" D-SLR bar up yet again with the D3100, more than just a minor update to the popular D3000. Now supporting a 14.2MP sensor the new camera offers the much requested 1080p video format for "true HD" along with some nice interface simplifications that will make it easier to get started with video and to have the Auto-Focus always active. They've also beefed up the Guide Mode and Scene Selection options which will will be particularly appealing to beginners. For $699 (expected in September) with 18-55 kit lens it's hard to go wrong. We do want to note though that the continuous AF with video is the mediocre "contrast AF" which is still no match for the snappy AF used in still mode. The camera also features a native ISO of up to 3200, amazing for an entry level model.

    Pre-order the Nikon D3100 with 18-55mm Lens for $699 from B&H

    Full press release follows...

  • If a mud run isn’t on your bucket list, you might want to consider it. Along with tractor pulls and cook-offs the annual run of trucks large and small through a course of, well yes, mud is a big deal in Northern Michigan. We were fortunate enough to be here this year in time for the Boyne Falls Annual Mud Run, where amateurs and pros alike took their straight up SUVs, pick-ups, and highly modified terrain warrior vehicles through a quarter mile of wheel deep mud—provided courtesy of the local fire departments’ hydrants and volunteers…edl_mudrun_0029

  • I really enjoyed shooting with the Nikon 14-24mm AF-S f/2.8G ED lens which was released as part of Nikon’s foray into full-frame cameras along with the D3. It takes incredible images and was a pleasure to use. But for most of us it has several drawbacks which make it a difficult acquisition. First is price. At $1800 for the US version it is a large investment for a lens that typically gets used a lot less than a mid-range zoom. Second, it is large and heavy. If you lug your gear with you the 2.2 lb. weight and 4”x5” size create quite an impact on your photo pack. Finally the “domed” front makes it difficult and expensive to use filters with it (an expensive add-on adapter is needed).

  • I’m sure Puffins don’t think of themselves as funny, but it is difficult to watch them when in breeding plumage and not imagine that they are wearing a clown suit and make up. ...

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  • After eleven summers photographing Alaskan Coastal Brown Bears (also known as “Grizzly Bears”) I’ve come up with quite a few nice shots and tried a lot of different ideas for creating compelling portraits of them. So this year I decided to try something new to give some of my favorite mammals a new look…

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    Alaskan Brown Bear, Nikon D70 Lifepixel Infrared
    Nikon 200-400mm f/4 lens.

  • Few questions from safari participants make me cringe as much as the one about using a Teleconverter with their consumer or prosumer lenses. Both Nikon and Canon have worked hard on excellent Teleconverters for their high-end pro Telephoto lenses, but for some good reasons have orphaned their other lenses in that regard. Solutions were all ugly, involving a loss of Auto-Focus and often physical modifications to lenses. But now all that has changed with the introduction of the …

  • After our very disappointing experience in Deadwood—former ghost town turned into the worst of Vegas—we were apprehensive about the final stop on our tour of the West—Bodie. Bodie is known as something of the grand-daddy of all ghost towns in the American West, with over 200 standing structures, many of them in excellent repair. But we saddled up and headed down the dirt road to the State Park, with the literature assuring us that the town had been kept in a stat of “arrested decay” since it became a California State Park in 1962. We were blown away…

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  • Whatever you think of open-pit mining the sheer scale of turning a mountain into the world’s largest hole to provide millions of miles of telephone wire, countless feet of trendy house siding, and billions of feet of plumbing pipe is breathtaking. If it was a stadium Kennecott Copper’s (now RIo TInto’s) Bingham Canyon Mine could seat over 9 million people…

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