Cardinal Photo

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Back To The Future With The Olympus E-P3 PEN Camera (“Olympus PEN 3”)

805173In a market with literally hundreds of models of cameras to chose from the Olympus PEN cameras have made a name for themselves with a unique blend of old and new. The Olympus E-P3 (PEN 3) is no exception—pushing the envelope of retro metal design in one direction while beefing up its speed to the fastest in its class. There is a lot to love about the PEN 3 as a compact camera, especially street photographers, so I was delighted to take one for an extended field test covering a wide variety of shooting situations…

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Wind? Don’t Let It Spoil Your Macro Fun!

pl_oregano_0003All macro photographers know wind as their number one enemy. While poor light can be coddled and shaped with flash and reflectors wind is more recalcitrant. Sure you can freeze a stem or two with a Plamp or line your friends up as a wind break but if there is enough of a breeze there is no way to get both the depth of field (small aperture) and frozen motion (high shutter speed) at the same time. That’s what happened to me when I was out in our relatives’ vegetable garden attempting to test out my review Olympus E-P3 PEN camera (aka Olympus PEN 3) and avoiding the work of berry picking. But that didn’t mean the fun had to stop…

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Alaska Brown Bear Safari Trip Report & 2012 Announcement

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Each year I think our Alaska safaris can’t get any better. But this year, our twelfth of visiting with the Bears and Puffins alongside the spectacular volcanoes and the mountains lining the Cook Inlet was the best yet. We had two fun groups (kept small as always so we can move around with the bears and provide lots of personal instruction) and our daughter Annie helping with lessons on Photo Books and with the gear hauling…

July is a special time for the bears of the Cook Inlet. Just about all the moms have brought their cubs out into the open along the water to graze, to learn to clam and to start thinking about fishing. It is still early enough that the bears are fairly relaxed and haven’t starting panicking in their fall rush to put on weight for winter. We were treated to many scenes of cubs and moms playing and mothers nursing both spring cubs (born this winter in the den and first out in the world only a couple months ago) and “yearling” cubs—last years spring cubs in their final year before being kicked out by their moms.

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NEW Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 with Stabilization: Is it a Nikon 200-400mm and Canon 100-400mm Killer?

Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 EX DG OS APO HSM AF Lens (For Nikon) The Nikon 200-400mm f/4 AF-S VR Lens has become a legend among wildlife photographers—especially those who shoot from vehicles on safari. I personally know of several pros who have switched from Canon to Nikon just to take advantage of the killer combination of a D3, D3S or D700 with one. The second version upgraded the VR system on the lens but it didn’t address its three remaining shortcomings: f/4 maximum aperture, mediocre auto-focus speed and physical size and weight. Now along comes a major re-design of the venerable Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 HSM EX APO lens with image stabilization (OS), “splash proofing” and low dispersion glass added. Read on to find out if it knocks the Nikon off its throne in my field test…

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