Nikon D600 torture test: Onward at the Great American Music Hall with my Sigma 85mm f/1.4 lens

Ev_AnnMcNamee2012_0277Indoor music events are a great way to test out cameras and lenses. Last nights awesome Onward event at the Great American Music Hall was no exception. Stage lighting pushed me to ISO 3200, even with my Sigma 85mm f/1.4 lens open to f/1.7. Of course the light was also designed to look good in person, not to be easy for a camera to sort out. So as not to get in people’s way, the longest lens I took was 85mm, so the resulting images would also need cropping. All in all, a perfect way to test out my Nikon D600 and Adobe’s brand new raw support. Here’s what I came up with … Read more »

All new Superzooms face-off: Nikon 18-300mm, Sigma 18-250mm, Tamron 18-270mm

djc_1116With all the well-justified hype over the full-frame camera launches this fall, APS-C (Nikon DX) format shooters may be feeling a little unloved. Without a D400 or D7100 to crow about, they’re left with a short list of fun, new stuff. Fortunately, there has been activity in the smaller-sensor lens space. Over the last year Nikon, Sigma and Tamron have all released updates on their superzooms. Purists will continue to eschew these lenses, but those desiring an all-in-one lens they can couple with their camera body for a travel-friendly package have some new options. I’ve been shooting with all three of them over the last month… Read more »

How big is the Nikon D600, anyway? Compared to the Nikon D700 / D800 & Nikon D7000

img_0003The Nikon D600 has, in just a few days, become the new darling of camera reviewers (including me) and photographers who’ve gotten their hands on one. One of its appeals is that it packs an amazing quality full-frame image sensor into a pretty small package. Specs put it between the D700 / D800 (which are essential identical in size and weight) and the Nikon D7000, which is smaller and lighter. Since I have all three, I’ve been hefting them in turns to get an idea. It’s hard to pass along subjective impressions, but I tend to agree with other reviewers who say that while the Nikon D600 is not small enough that anyone should rush out and purchase it for that reason, it is noticeably lighter and smaller than a Nikon D800 with similar lens. Read more »

Nikon D600 crushes competition in DxOMark tests: Amazingly in stock for $2099

I am really excited about the Nikon D600 as a new, less-expensive, way to get high-performance full-frame images. Mine is arriving tomorrow, and I'll be writing more hands-on when I get it. But in the meantime, I was blown away by the amazing test results achieved by the D600 by the folks over at DxOMark. In their exhaustive tests the D600 bested not only the Canon 5D Mark III, but Nikon's own D4 for low-light performance and overall image quality... Read more »

Nikon D600: Finally a full-frame camera for the rest of us!

Remember when I wrote that I wished Nikon would make a camera with specs similar to the Canon 5D Mark III, but at a lower price? well now they have and it sounds awesome. the Nikon D600 is a 24mp 5.5t fps monster tucked into a package not much bigger than a Nikon D7000. Somehow it also manages to have a 100 percent viewfinder and a pop up flash. All that for $2100 from B&H, shipping next weekRead more »

Book Review: Photoshop CS6–the missing manual by Lesa Snider

The well-liked “missing manual” series has finally tackled Photoshop, and the result is quite a magnum opus. I’ve never seen so much information about Photoshop packed into a single volume. At 862 pages it may be a little daunting, but it is well-organized, colorfully-laid-out and has an excellent index. As someone who has watched with dismay as the documentation provided with Photoshop decreases and its complexity and price grows, this book is very much needed.

Photoshop CS6 – the missing manual’s strength is its broad coverage of Photoshop, and its appeal to all levels of users. There is a soup to nuts treatment of almost every aspect of the program, starting with the very basics of each piece – from opening images to using layers. That breadth is also the source of the book’s biggest shortcoming, that in trying to be all things to all people it risks not being ideal for anyone. Read more »

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... Read more »

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… Read more »

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… Read more »

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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