DPS 10-07, nikondigital.org August Photo News: Field tests of Sony RX100, Tamron 24-70, Nikon GP-1, and Spyder LensCal, plus photo tips

Welcome to DPS 10-07: Field tests of Sony RX100, Tamron 24-70, Nikon GP-1, and Spyder LensCal, plus photo tips -- July and August were incredibly busy months, with plenty of great gear to review in the field. We're featuring field tests of the amazing new Sony CyberShot RX100 point and shoot, as well as the new Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 lens with vibration reduction. They and the Spyder LensCal get pretty solid "thumbs up" from myself & my safari participants, while the Nikon GP-1 is definitely a mixed bag.

Face to face with a giraffe on one of our Botswana photo safaris. We hope you can join us in December! nikondigital.org banner logo

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These young bears have left their mother, but spent the summer hanging out together and providing us with plenty of photo opportunities during our photo safaris to Alaska. We hope you can join us for our July, 2013 trips.

Highlights of this issue:

  • Sony CyberShot RX100 Field Test
  • Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 VC Lens Field Test
  • Nikon GP-1 Field Test
  • Spyder LensCal Field Test
  • Flight shot photo tip from Alaska

 

nikondigital import -- Welcome to DPS 10-07: Field tests of Sony RX100, Tamron 24-70, Nikon GP-1, and Spyder LensCal, plus photo tips -- July and August were incredibly busy months, with plenty of great gear to review in the field. We're featuring field tests of the amazing new Sony CyberShot RX100 point and shoot, as well as the new Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 lens with vibration reduction. They and the Spyder LensCal get pretty solid "thumbs up" from myself & my safari participants, while the Nikon GP-1 is definitely a mixed bag.

I had the fun of using my 13th year photographing Alaskan brown bears on our bear & puffin safari to do a retrospective on DSLR photography from the D1 to the D4. It was great to look back and see how far our tools have come, and think about what the next decade is likely to bring.

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Product Updates:

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Once acclimated, bears mostly ignore people -- as long as they respect the bears and give them plenty of room. This bear is taking a break from grazing to do some heavy-duty scratching.  

Once acclimated, bears mostly ignore people -- as long as they respect the bears and give them plenty of room. This bear is taking a break from grazing to do some heavy-duty scratching.
Featured Articles from nikondigital.org

 

A couple openings for an exclusive polar bear trip on a chartered icebreaker in August 2013

 

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Amazing “Back to school” or Starter-Pak Photo Deal from B&H–G12 + wide-format printer for <$300

clip_image001[1]Every few years when camera and printer models change at the same time there are some hard-to-believe-they’re-real deals to be had. This time it is a bundle of Canon’s top-notch PowerShot G12 point and shoot with Canon’s 13”x19x wide-format photo printer for under $300!…

To take advantage of the deal simply:


  1. Click here and add G12 to cart
  2. Click Here and add PIXMA Pro9000 Mark II Inkjet Printer to cart
  3. Proceed through checkout
  4. Total should be $698.00 - $400 rebate = $298 with free shipping

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Pro-quality slideshows come to the iPad: Photodex launches ProShow Web for iOS

You've always been able to show off your ProShow slideshows on your iPhone and iPad (or any other mobile device), but now thanks to a new application from our partner Photodex, you can create them on your iOS device as well. ProShow Web for iOS has plenty of built-in features, including effects, themes and transitions, and integrates with popular online sharing sites including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. I haven't had a chance to try it yet and will write more about it when I do, but in the meantime you can read all the details below...

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Tiffen Dfx v3: World’s leader in film filters goes digital–helps me recreate history

Tiffen Dfx3 provides a wide arrary of nearly 200 filters and special effectsLike many pro photographers, I’ve gotten used to relying on filters from nik Software to augment those found in Photoshop. Tiffen, to me, was a name associated with glass filters, not digital ones. But when Mike Rubin, who I greatly respect, made the jump from Nikon to Tiffen, my ears perked up and I had to learn more. I’m glad I did. Mike introduced me to Tiffen Dfx v3 plug-in for Photoshop (as well as Lightroom and Aperture). At first I wasn’t sure I needed yet another plug-in for Photoshop, as I already use a variety of others. After firing up Dfx, though, I realized it took a different approach than any other filter set I’d used, starting by recreating Tiffen’s legacy of film filters for digital, making it feel much more like a traditional darkroom tool – except on steroids…

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Great deal on ultimate DX format camera kit: Nikon D7000 + Nikon 18-200mm VR II lens for < $1600

B&H are offering a pretty amazing deal on a Nikon D7000 plus Nikon 18-200mm VR II lens. The whole package is only $1596 through September 29th. That's just about the same price as the D7000 would normally be with a kit lens, and you're getting a state of the art all-in-one zoom, probably the single best lens ever for DX format cameras. If I didn't already own a D7000 and 18-200mm lens, I'd certainly be rushing to buy one!

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Field Test of the Sony RX100: Is it enough to make you ditch your DSLR?

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 Digital Camera (Black)After weeks of shooting in Alaska with a 3 pound Nikon D4, 8 pound telephoto lens, and 6 pounds of carbon fiber tripod, I was more than ready to review the new Sony Cybershot DSC-RX100. At 8-1/2 ounces, the Sony barely even registers on a travel scale. It is a little larger than my current favorite point and shoot, the Canon PowerShot S100, but certainly still qualifies as pocket-sized. I’ve never been a big fan of Sony’s point and shoots, although I do like some of their mirrorless models, but after the New York Times called the Sony RX100 the “world’s best point and shoot” I had to give it a look…

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Field test of the Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 Lens: A pro lens at a prosumer price

Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 DI VC USD Lens for Nikon CamerasUnless you make a lot of money with your mid-range zoom lens, or are willing to spend what it takes to get the best, $1900 for the 2 pound Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 lens is a hard price to justify. For that price, you get an ultra-sharp, ultra-fast, lens, but you don’t even get VR. I’ve enjoyed using Sigma’s version, the Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 lens that I reviewed in 2010. It is much less expensive, but not as solidly built and also isn’t stabilized. Until now there hasn’t been a value-priced version of a 24-70 f/2.8 that could measure up to the Nikon. That’s why I was excited to work with the new Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 Lens, which not only featured a fast focus motor but unique among mid-range pro zooms, also has image stabilization….
 

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Nikon GP-1 GPS: An accessory I really want to like

After several years of reliable geotagging with my Red Hen GPS unit, I was eager to test out Nikon’s GPS accessory, the Nikon GP-1. I was really hoping that, being from Nikon, it would more seamlessly integrate with my DSLRs and my shooting experience than third party solutions. Unfortunately, while the Nikon GP-1 is certainly a competent and effective product, it needs some serious work before it outshines less expensive options already on the market.

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Event Updates:

Africa this year: There is no better trip of a lifetime than our Deluxe Botswana, African Wildlife Safari, which we're offering in Nov/Dec, 2012: We'll be visiting 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! We've only got one opening left, so if you have any questions, please let us know by emailing safaris [at] cardinalphoto.com.

Texas in May, 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.

From there 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.

Our Alaska trip isn't just about bears and puffins. Here Dave R. is out making the most of a field of Lupins.

Our Alaska trip isn't just about bears and puffins.
Here safari participant Dave R. is out making the most of a field of Lupins.

Alaska bears and puffins, July. 2013 will be my 14th year returning to the Cook Inlet in Alaska to photograph America's most spectacular animals. And even though I'm just on my way up for this season I'm already excited to announce I plan to head back again next year for July 2013. These trips fill up every year so if you want to hold a spot go ahead and get your deposit in as soon as you can and take advantage of the earlybird discount.

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!!


Other News:

We've re-designed our newsletter to put our reviews, tips, and articles front and center (actually at the top), and moved our event updates further down, with the goal of making the newsletter valuable and easy to read even for those who aren't interested in attending any of our events.

I'm excited to be working with Datacolor and David Tobie again. I've starting writing articles for their SpyderBlog online site, as part of their Friends with Vision and Datacolor Experts programs. Some of my articles will feature their products, but others will be general topics of interest, like the one I posted on Taming color in wildlife photography.

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.

Friendly interactions between adult bears are infrequent, but these bears are probably siblings who still spend time together.

Friendly interactions between adult bears are infrequent,
but these bears are probably siblings who still spend time together.

 


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