Cardinal Photo

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How much telephoto do you need? Get ready for a Super-zoom Smack Down!

The tiny Canon SX260 and Nikon S9300 nearly disappear compared to the Nikon D700 and Nikon D7000 rigs with their tripods. So it is tempting to wonder how much serious telephoto work can be done with a pint-size super-zoom. We'll find out and let you know!The idea of a point and shoot that can take great telephoto images is really appealing. But over the years I’ve been underwhelmed by their performance. I’m a much bigger fan of no compromise models like the Canon S100, which offer excellent images over a limited zoom range than of the super-zooms I’ve reviews, like the Canon SX240. But kind words about the new Canon PowerShot SX260 HS by my friend and former editor Michael Miller convinced me to take another look. The Canon PowerShot SX260 competes directly with the new Nikon Coolpix S9300, so I decided to do a real hands-on field test of both of them. Of course I couldn’t leave well enough alone, so we’ve decided to go all the way, pitting the SX260 and S9300 (unfairly) against a Nikon D7000 paired with the Sigma DSLR super-zoom lens the Sigma 50-500mm f/4.5-f/6.3 HSM lens, and against the full-frame Nikon D700 with Nikon’s flagship 200-400mm f/4 VR pro lens. So for the next month here at Cardinal Photo we’ll be shooting with all four cameras and taking careful notes… Read more »

From birds to blooms in the Texas Hill Country

djc_6619Our Texas Hill Country photo workshop drew to a close today with a full day of photography. We started this morning in the excellent blinds at BCNA, with our co-hosts Larry and Sharron Jay making sure we not only had a great breakfast, but were well set up for the arrival of the sun and songbirds. Read more »

Fixing lens flare using Photoshop CS6’s Content-aware Patch tool

djc_6163hgLens flare can be a major problem when photographing wide-angle scenics, especially through large groves of trees. Sometimes the sun is close enough to the frame that it isn’t possible to completely block it out without changing the composition of the photograph. Removing it after the fact is difficult if not impossible with traditional photo editing tools. One common approach is to use the Patch tool in Photoshop. Fortunately for all of us, the new Photoshop CS6 Patch tool can be made content-aware, and does a remarkably solid job helping fix lens flare… Read more »

Some raptors are friendlier than others–”rehab” Harris Hawk

_djc1228cWe took a break from songbird photography this morning during our workshop at BCNA for a great session with John Carter and some of the raptors he works with at Last Chance Forever. These are birds that are either imprinted on humans or for some other reason can never be released. He brings them to schools for educational programs – and out to let us photograph them from time to time. This Harris Hawk was getting some “flying time” while she was out, and decided that my camera made a great perch for her. Fortunately neither claws nor sharp beak took advantage of the camera, and the bird was polite enough not to soil it. It made for a fun moment, though!

Nikon D800 Field Test and Review: Super results from a super sensor

Nikon D800 SLR Digital Camera (Body Only)I’ve been fortunate enough to get to spend some time with a production model Nikon D800 this week (thanks Adam!) and put it through its paces – shooting sports, scenics, and EDLs. The first thing I noticed about the D800 is that it is one solid camera, almost exactly the same size and weight as the Nikon D700, at 2.2 lbs. Many of the control updates from the D7000 and the D4 have been included, giving the camera a more contemporary design than the D700 which was Nikon’s previous high-end “small-bodied” DSLR... Read more »