DPS 10-05: Photo Walk with B&H, Superzoom Faceoff, Sigma 50-500, Scene Modes, Memorial Day plus designing Bird Blinds

Welcome to DPS 10-05 -- June, 2012: B&H Photo Walk at the Bronx Zoo, Superzoom faceoff and Sigma 50-500mm lens review, plus Celebrating Memorial Day, Scene Modes, and designing Bird Blinds.


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Texas is definitely not all about deserts! This private, pristine stretch of the Guadalupe River that we photographed was also where we photographed Summer Tanager on our Texas Hill Country Photo Safari.

Subscriber -- Welcome to DPS 10-05 -- June, 2012: B&H Photo Walk at the Bronx Zoo, Superzoom faceoff and Sigma 50-500mm lens review, plus Celebrating Memorial Day, Scene Modes, and designing Bird Blinds.

Event Updates: (or skip straight to the articles)

I'm looking forward to our B&H Photo Walk at the Bronx Zoo later this week. It's already "sold out" so I'm sure we'll do something like this again the next time our travels bring us to the New York area. 

There is no better trip of a lifetime than our Deluxe Botswana, African Wildlife Safari, which we're offering in Nov/Dec, 2012: We're accepting deposits for the Botswana trip and it is already half full. It features three of the very best safari camps in all of Africa, so if you've been waiting for the perfect time to go on that safari of a lifetime, this is it! If you have any quesionts, please let us know by emailing safaris [at] cardinalphoto.com.

Our January, 2013 photo tour to Myanmar (Burma) and Cambodia is almost full (two openings), so if you'd like to join us don't dawdle. Myanmar is going through some of the most positive and exciting changes of any country in the world. Texas Photo Safaris trip report & 2013 Announcements!

Texas 2013: We're all set for a return trip to the Hill Country during the peak of migration season. You can put down an earlybird deposit online for our 2013 Hill Country trip now.

Summer Tanager from Hill Country Texas Bird Photo Workshop Scenics and Summer Tanager
Summer Tanager from our Hill Country Safari
Nikon D700, 200-400mm f/4 lens w. TC-14E

From now we'll head down to the birdy Rio Grande Valley, for five days of shooting on private, "group-only" ranches. Participants are likely to photograph 40 different woodland species or possibly even more during the 5 days. Featured species include Painted Bunting, possibly Indigo, Varied and Lark Buntings, as well as Scissor-tail Flycatchers, Orioles, Green Jays, Harris Hawks, and Crested Caracara -- along with usual residents like Bobwhite, Scaled Quail, Northern Cardinal, Pyrrhuloxia and plenty of doves.

This is a popular trip, so consider signing up early for our 2013 Rio Grande Valley trip to make sure and get a good room.

Click to enjoy the Participant Slideshow from our Cardinal Photo South Texas Rio Grande Valley photo safari and workshop, 2012. Images were taken by participants (Michael, Walt, Nancy, Tor and Bill) during our 5 days of shooting on private ranches, then admired by all of us on the final night. Congrats to a great group and our wonderful hosts!

Painted Bunting from the Texas Hill Country Photo Safari -- Photo by participant Michael Yessik
Our apologies to Michael -- we inadvertently credited the image to Bill in the first posting 

Please enjoy our participant slideshow online and see the kind of images
you can expect to get if you join us! 


You can help by shopping at B&H!

Product Updates:

Remember that our newsletter's costs are partially subsidized by money we get from our affiliate relationship with B&H. So we encourage you to use and bookmark our links to Shop at B&H or start your shopping session from one of the convenient search boxes on the home page of nikondigital.org. THANKS for your continued support!

Nikon Lens Combo Rebates through June

Canon Lens Double Rebates Through June

Hwange National Park Zimbabwe

Other News:

I was featured in PC Magazine's Connected Traveler section. You can read up on what I carry and the tools I use for my photographic projects

In a bit of a return to my high-tech journalism days, I've begun writing a bit for extremetech.com. Only a few of the articles are directly photo related, but if you enjoy keeping up with technology that may impact all of us eventually, you can keep up with my articles on their site. I covered both PMA (the photo trade show) and CES (the consumer electronics trade show) in mid-January in Las Vegas. 


Remember: You can earn great discounts on our trips with our new Customer Loyalty Program If you have a group and want a custom safari to any of the destinations we frequent, drop us a line at safaris [at] cardinalphoto.com!


Featured Articles from nikondigital.org

Superzoom faceoff: Canon PowerShot SX260 HS versus Nikon Coolpix S9300

Canon PowerShot SX260 HS Digital Camera (Black)As impressive as improvements have been across the board in point and shoot cameras over the last few years, none have made greater strides than the superzooms. Formerly more of a novelty and avoided by anyone serious about performance or image quality, new models are finally worth serious consideration for anyone needing to isolate subjects with a small, light camera. For this project I borrowed a Nikon Coolpix S9300 and a Canon PowerShot SX260 HS and carried both around for a few weeks as my point and shoot camera. I knew that neither would live up to the speed or image quality of my personal favorite point and shoot, the Canon PowerShot S100, but of course that isn’t the point. These models have amazing zoom ranges, and actually cost less. I was pleasantly surprised by what I found…

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Sigma 50-500mm Lens: Is it the Ultimate Superzoom? Field test on B&H Photo Walk at the Zoo

Canon EOS Rebel T4i Digital Camera with EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM LensIn the continuing game of leapfrog between Canon and Nikon at all levels, Canon has fired the latest salvo in entry level DSLRs with the Rebel T4i. In addition to the now expected upgrades to the camera’s image-capture ability – 18MP sensor, DIGIC 5 processor, ISOs to 12800 and full 1080p HD Canon is trumpeting two new features optimized for video…

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Canon Powershot SX260 HS: Superzoom day at the Zoo

Despite the low light inside the Gorilla exhibit, the Canon SX260 did a good job of capturing expressions, even through the glassLorrie and I spent yesterday scouting out the current exhibits at the Bronx Zoo for the B&H photo walk we are leading in the morning. It was fun, but since we wanted to cover the entire zoo we were moving quickly and didn’t have time to shoot as much as we would have liked. Since I’m in the middle of doing a face off of the new “super-zoom” point and shoots from Canon and Nikon I figured I’d spend the day shooting with the Canon PowerShot SX260 HS. After getting back to our friends’ apartment, I reviewed the images and found a lot to like, and a little disappointment…

read more


Remembering America on Memorial Day

pl_nicholsonviaduct_0065When we first climbed the hill to the cemetery it was to get a good view of a famous nearby bridge – the Nicholson Viaduct – built nearly a century ago and representing a breakthrough in reinforced concrete construction.

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Join us for a B&H Photo Walk through the Bronx Zoo in June

Meerkats, Jack's Camp, BotswanaI’m really happy to say that I’ll be leading a photo walk for B&H through the Bronx Zoo in New York on Thursday, June 7th. The event is free, but you do need to pay for your Zoo admission. For those of you in or around the New York area its about the easiest way to get some practice in on your wildlife photography. Open to photographers of all ages and all amounts of gear! You can register for the event online with B&H. Lorrie and I hope to see you there!

read more


Does your camera really need Scene modes–like the Food mode on the Nikon Coolpix S9300?

Racks of ribs on the smoker using the Nikon Coolpix S9300 Food modeOkay, as a professional photographer I’m supposed to be addicted to Raw files, massive workflow, and eschew the many scene modes on my cameras. However, sometimes, when I’m shooting JPEGs on a points and shoot those modes can be a really handy shortcut and allow effects that can’t be equaled by post-processing JPEGs after the fact. And when I review cameras, the modes are definitely fair game, as they get used a lot. Well, I’m also a foodie, so I was intrigued by the new “Food” mode on the Nikon Coolpix S9300. Given the millions of pictures of restaurant and home-cooked meals posted to Facebook daily, the Food mode would seem to have a natural market. So I had to dig in and see what it actually does. At the same time I figured I should review the Scene Modes on the Canon PowerShot SX260 HS that I’m also reviewing. The process made me rethink my natural aversion to the proliferation of Scene modes – at least for point and shoots…

read more


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


Harris Hawks, photographed during our Rio Grande Valley Texas Bird Photo Workshop Wildseed Farms
Harris Hawks are hard to find and harder to photograph, but we always get great
shots during our Rio Grande Valley bird photo safari


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