Our annual roundup of gadgets and gear to help the outdoor photographer in your life get better pictures
With the holidays fast approaching, Outdoor Photographer offers our annual collection of photo gear to help you get better photographs. This year, we have everything from printers to software to photo backpacks. What you won’t find in this guide are cameras or lenses. Instead, we focus on the accessories that work with any camera or lens setup you have. Happy Holidays!
15.1 megapixels, 920,000-dot Live-View LCD monitor, 6.3 fps shooting and ISOs up to 12,800
Just a year after Canon debuted a major upgrade to its popular mid-level EOS 30D D-SLR via the EOS 40D, the company has introduced a major upgrade of the 40D. The new EOS 50D raises the resolution a whopping 50% while maintaining essentially the same shooting rate, introduces Canon’s latest DIGIC 4 image processor to the D-SLR line, increases the LCD monitor’s resolution fourfold and more.
Try a spotting scope as an alternative to an extreme telephoto lens for birding and small wildlife shots
One of the biggest challenges photographing wildlife is having enough magnification. You want to fill the frame and utilize all of the resolution of your digital SLR, but for most of us that means having an extreme telephoto lens, which can be prohibitively expensive.
When you want to shoot without the full bag on your back, you can keep a few lenses and accessories protected with a small pouch or wrap
There are times when no gadget bag will do. When you’re out shooting with one D-SLR and two zooms, a bag can just get in the way. Even so, it’s still important to protect the lens that’s not on your camera. That’s when you reach for a wrap or a floppy case.
Today’s high-tech black-and-white printers can produce images that surpass anything that was possible in the film darkroom
Black-and-white printing has never been more popular than it is today. Programs like Aperture, Lightroom and Photoshop make it easy to convert color images into compelling black-and-white shots that would have made Ansel Adams proud.
Step up to shooting with a D-SLR using the EOS Rebel XS, the latest entry-level camera from Canon. Top-notch features include a DIGIC III image processor, 10.1-megapixel CMOS sensor, 2.5-inch LCD with Live View, Auto Lighting Optimizer, 7-point wide-area autofocus (AF) sensor and 3 fps continuous JPEG burst rate.
If tripods and monopods don’t work for you when photographing fast-flying wildlife, try a BushHawk
As an avid bird photographer, I’ve tried to photograph birds with big telephoto lenses. When I used film, I shot lots of pictures, but didn’t get many keepers. After I purchased my first digital SLR camera and had taken lots of travel pictures, I decided to try it out on the birds.
External hard drives serve as entire image libraries in the palm of your hand
What fits in your jacket pocket and holds 75,000 digital images or more? The answer: a portable external hard drive. Built using the same high-quality storage components you’ll find inside most notebook or laptop computers, these external hard drives typically consist of a 2.5-inch drive mechanism, a controller card and a high-speed interface connection—all housed in a durable and transportable shell.
The newest member of Nikon’s FX-format (full-frame) lineup looks to be a serious contender for nature shooters
For the outdoor photographer who loves the full-frame capability and superb performance of Nikon’s top-of-the-line D3, but would prefer a smaller, lighter camera (and a lighter price), Nikon has introduced the D700. The camera shares many of the D3’s fine features, but is much more compact (albeit still quite rugged) and costs $2,000 less. The D700 even adds a few features not present in the D3, like a pop-up Speedlight flash unit and a sensor-dust reduction system.
Go from wide-angle to telephoto range with a constant ƒ/4 maximum aperture using the smc Pentax DA 17-70mm ƒ/4 AL [IF] SDM. The 17.1-ounce lens covers a 4.1x focal range of 26-107mm (35mm equivalent) on Pentax D-SLRs. Some of the standout features include a 0.31x maximum magnification, an 11-inch close-focus distance and a QuickShift Focus System for instant switching from auto to manual focus.
What’s in a camera’s DNA? We’ll show you the features and technologies that have trickled down from the top-end models to the popular sweet-spot cameras.
Many camera manufacturers talk about their upper-mid-range models, those most used by nature photographers, as being inspired by the same technology as their uber-pro models. For most nature photographers, the top-end cameras aren’t practical options, however.