Cardinal

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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!

Cardinal Photo Resources: Presets for your use

Here is my current favorite preset for DxO Optics Pro 10. It is particularly good for travel and nature photography.

Here is the Adobe (LightRoom & Camera Raw) preset I have used in the past when shooting outdoor sports for the CBS Interactive subsidiary, MaxPreps.