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Photo Equipment Reviews & Articles


Read reviews of the latest wildlife and nature photography equipment. Our camera equipment reviews cover lenses to accessories and everything in-between.




Monday, September 1, 2008

Gadget Bag: Portable Hard Drives

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.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Nikon D700

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.

Monday, September 1, 2008

In Focus: September 2008

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.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Does Your Camera Have An Evil Twin?

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.

Monday, September 1, 2008

An Underwater Shooting Primer

With prices dropping and capabilities on the rise, underwater photography is within the grasp of just about anyone who has an interest in giving it a try

While increased access to underwater photography makes it easy for almost anyone to compose images in water and underwater, capturing a quality image requires skills and techniques unique to the liquid environment. 

Friday, August 1, 2008

In Focus: August 2008

Take sharp handheld shots with the Tamron AF28-300mm ƒ/3.5-6.3 XR Di VC LD Aspherical (IF) Macro lens. The compact, high-power zoom gives you a four-stop shutter speed advantage by incorporating a highly accurate gyro sensor that detects hand shake.

Friday, August 1, 2008

D-SLRs For The Landscape

Choose the best camera for your landscape photography

Large-format landscape artist Ansel Adams once described his 35mm camera as “an extension of the eye as used freely in the hand.” And the late Galen Rowell, a world-class mountaineer and landscape photographer, did most of his amazing work with 35mm SLRs, again for the freedom they provided.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Essential Landscape Accessories

Filters, tripods and other extras will help you find and capture the perfect landscape

Packing the right photo equipment is just as important as finding the right place at the right time. With landscape photography, that isn’t always easy to do. When planning a photo expedition, whether it’s a day hike or an extended road trip, consider these essentials the next time you head out.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Gadget Bag: Hold It Right There

It’s a matter of precision. If the ability to point your camera exactly where you want and securely hold it in the same position is important to you, you need a ballhead.

The ballhead is beloved by landscape photographers for its infinite adjustability and ease of use, combined with the ability to align the camera with precision. In its simplest incarnation, a ballhead is a housing with a sphere trapped inside. A connecting screw attaches a camera tangentially to the sphere, and both rotate together around a single point.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Nik Software Silver EFX Pro

Quick, easy and complete control over your black-and-white conversions

There’s a whole school of photographers who do black-and-white and enjoy precisely controlling every aspect of the photographic process (think Ansel Adams and his aficionados). Those photographers will love Nik Software’s new Silver Efex Pro plug-in for Adobe Photoshop and Apple Aperture 2.1 because it makes it easy to exercise precise control over the image-perfecting process.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Gear Up For Travel

Find your ultimate travel D-SLR

While photographers can (and do) travel with all sorts of cameras, it’s a welcome alternative to carry a lightweight model that incorporates features especially useful for travel photography. In compiling our list of travel D-SLRs, we used the following criteria:

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Gadget Bag: Polarizers

If there ever has been a single piece of gear that all nature photographers agree is indispensable, it’s the polarizer

The label reads somewhat like a too-good-to-be-true advertisement for photography snake oil: “Removes glare, darkens blue skies, enhances colors and lets you see underwater.” But all of this—and more—can be truthfully said about polarizing filters.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

In Focus: July 2008

Catch fast-moving wildlife on the Casio Exilim Pro EX-F1. This hybrid camera can capture 6-megapixel stills at a whopping 60 fps or record 720p and 1080i resolution HD video at 1200 fps. Other top-notch features include a 12x optical zoom lens with a 35mm-equivalent focal-length range of 36-432mm, a 2.8-inch screen, manual controls and a maximum shutter speed of 1⁄40,000 sec. The Best Shot function matches the type of image you want to record and the camera then sets it up automatically.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Samsung GX-20

This new D-SLR features 14.6 megapixels, a weatherproof body and a Live View LCD

The fourth D-SLR to result from the Samsung-Pentax partnership, the GX-20 shares much with the new Pentax K20D, including its new Samsung 14.6-megapixel CMOS image sensor and rugged dust- and water-resistant construction.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Sony Alpha A300 & A350

New D-SLRs offer low prices and excellent image quality

Sony’s newest D-SLRs, the A350 and A300, offer simple operation, great value and amazing versatility. The A350 features a 14.2-megapixel image sensor and a price under $800; the otherwise identical A300 features a 10.2-megapixel CCD sensor. Like all Sony D-SLRs, both can use a wide range of Sony, Zeiss and Minolta Maxxum lenses.

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