Nikon D7100 and Nikon 70-200mm f4 Lens: Action-friendly DSLR and lens combo for under $2500

For those looking to photograph wildlife, sports or other action without breaking the bank, you can’t do better than the Nikon D7100 DSLR coupled with the new Nikon 70-200mm f/4 lens. After shooting with them for two weeks in Alaska (as my second body & flight lens) I was thoroughly happy with both their performance and the resulting images. Sure, they are not going to deliver the same results as a Nikon D4 coupled with the new Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 OS HSM Lens or Nikon 200-400mm f/4 Lens, but they are a fraction of the cost and much smaller and lighter. Read more »

Think Tank Sling-O-Matic Bags: The ultimate field packs

I've spent the last two weeks in the field everyday with the new Think Tank Sling-O-Matic 20 Sling Camera Bag. Moving through marshes and meadows, as well as across streams, the bag was put through its paces as the home for my second camera body and lenses as I led two photo trips in Alaska's Lake Clark Park. My need for something like the Sling Bag was the need to switch cameras and lenses coupled with the impossibility of setting a traditional backpack down in the water and mud we were often dealing with. Read more »

New Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 lens: Nikon and Canon 200-400mm killer?

Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Lens for NikonThe original Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 was a favorite safari lens for many pros. It fell behind with the introduction of the Nikon 200-400mm f/4 lens with built-in Vibration Reduction. It's subsequent model -- including Optical Stabilization -- regained it respect, but left it a bit behind the Nikon in usability and build quality. That has changed dramatically with the new version – the Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 OS HSM Lens. Every bit the equal of the Nikon in both optical and build quality at a fraction of the cost, the Sigma is again likely to become the favorite safari lens of many pros and enthusiastic amateurs alike. Read more »

Think Tank Mirrorless Mover 30i: My new favorite travel small camera bag

Think Tank Photo Mirrorless Mover 30i Camera Bag (Black/Charcoal)I’ve been working hard to reduce the amount of photo gear I lug around. Often I’m only taking a couple lenses, or a mirrorless camera instead of a DSLR. Sometimes I’m even working with just a tablet instead of my large laptop. So I needed to find the right bag to use when I didn’t need to load up one of my Urban Disguise briefcases. Fortunately, at the same time, Thinktank came out with a great bag suited for just this purpose, the Think Tank Mirrorless Mover 30i


Sony NEX-6: King of the mirrorless cameras?

Sony Alpha NEX-6 Mirrorless Digital Camera with 16-50mm Zoom Lens (Black)Mirrorless is one of the fastest growing segments of the camera industry. While DSLRs and point and shoots have begun to lose their luster, these mid-size, mid-range alternative cameras have a growing fan base. Among mirrorless cameras, Sony has taken something of a high-road, with a relatively large APS-C sensor. Combined with state of the art features, that has made Sony’s NEX family market leaders. I’ve spent the last few weeks shooting with the newest, and most feature-rich, of the cameras, the Sony NEX-6 and wanted to pass along my thoughts… Read more »

New Nikon 80-400mm AF-S Lens: Ultimate optics for safari-goers and soccer moms

936121No lens has been more eagerly awaited, or for longer, than the replacement for the aged Nikon 80-400mm zoom telephoto. After well over a decade Nikon has finally rolled out its successor – the Nikon 80-400mm AF-S VR lens, with massively improved VR and focusing speed, as well as completely redesigned optics. While it is a technical marvel, its high price and large size may mean it isn’t for you. We’ve got a review unit here in the office, and will be posting more over the next few weeks, but we wanted to get our first impressions out to those of you curious about the new lens… Read more »

ThinkTank Glass Limo torture test: Compact photo safari backpack delivers in African Adventure

There are plenty of good options for large photo backpacks for use on safari, with my favorite for trips requiring international connections being the ThinkTank Airport Takeoff combo roller/backpack. Unfortunately, unless you’re on a dedicated photo safari with extra luggage allowance and lightly loaded vehicles (like the ones we offer through cardinalphoto.com), a full-size backpack may be more than you’re allowed to bring (or perhaps more than you want to carry). It is also notoriously hard to work two to a row (like you’ll find on most typical safaris) with full-sized bags. Read more »

ThinkTank’s new CityWalker shoulder bag vs. ThinkTank Urban Disguise briefcase: Which bag is best for your photo travels?

citywalker-20-blackRegular readers know that I’ve been a big fan of ThinkTank’s Urban Disguise photo briefcases. I used the Urban Disguise 20 when I had a 14” laptop, and upgraded to the Urban Disguise 30 when I upgraded to my new 15.4” Dell XPS laptop. I’ve enjoyed working and traveling with the bags, which you can read about in my review or in the PC Mag piece which features my travel setup. However, for photo walks or other “around town” opportunities, I’ve been looking for a true shoulder bag design. Fortunately, ThinkTank has come out with an aggressively-priced, shoulder-bag-style line with its CityWalker products. So its time to take stock and compare these two bags and let you know my thoughts on which is best for a particular use…. Read more »

Pocket point and shoot championship faceoff: Canon PowerShot S100 versus Canon PowerShot S110

canon powershot s100 and canon powershot s110 side by side comparisonIf you’re looking for a Black Friday electronics purchase and don’t need a big-screen TV, it might be worth considering an upgrade to your point and shoot. As far as cameras small enough to fit in your shirt pocket, no one makes them better than Canon. Canon has just updated the amazing Canon PowerShot S100 to the Canon PowerShot S110. We did a side by side comparison of the two to give you a perspective on whether it is worth the price for the newer model or you should take advantage of the great deals on the slightly older S100. Read more »

Why I’m really loving my Nikon D600: A night at the ballgame

ev_sfgiants_playoffs2012_0044hI’ve had my Nikon D600 for almost a month now, and it continues to surprise me. I gave its full-frame capabilities a workout in low light and was quite impressed. Yesterday I threw it a curve ball by heading off to a night baseball game where I needed to use an inexpensive lens in crop mode to get the framing I wanted (as a fan, rather than a media-credentialed photographer I was limited as to what type of gear I could carry in to a Major League Baseball playoff game). So I brought the Nikon D600 with a Sigma 18-250 “DX format” lens, along with my Nikon 24-85mm  lens for environmental shots. Read more »