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




Friday, June 13, 2008

Choosing Digital Camera Lenses

Take The Guesswork Out of Choosing An Interchangeable Digital SLR Camera Lens

So you’ve made the leap from a point-and-shoot pocket camera to a digital SLR. Or perhaps you’ve upgraded an old manual film SLR for something a little higher-tech. Now you’ve got a problem: to get the most out of that new camera, you’ve got to choose the right interchangeable SLR lenses to go with it.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Fast Lenses

In the digital age, the advantages of a big maximum aperture are greater than ever

When Kodachrome 64 and Fujichrome Velvia 50 were the mainstays of outdoor photographers, a fast lens was a critical advantage, especially when handholding in early-morning or late-afternoon light. Lenses like the 300mm ƒ/2.8, 70-200mm ƒ/2.8, 105mm ƒ/2 and 50mm ƒ/1.4 or ƒ/1.2 were the workhorse lenses that propped up shutter speeds as light deteriorated.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Traveling Into The Backcountry

Prepare for any expedition by equipping your vehicle with the photographic essentials

When planning an extended photo expedition, having the right camera, lens and laptop is really only the first step. A truly successful excursion comes down to the peripherals—the extras that help take your photography to the next level. There’s no better way to ensure that you have all of the equipment needed than by decking out your vehicle.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Tripod Dexterity

Think creatively when deciding which tripod to buy and how to make the most use of its features in the field. OP goes into the wildflowers with a sampling of three tripods to prove the point.

Tripods are one of those basic parts of nature photography that we often take for granted, yet a quality tripod is a key part of any outdoor photographer’s toolkit. A good tripod will make even the most inexpensive lens outperform the most expensive handheld lens, and such a tripod will make every lens work at its best. Photographers have a lot of excellent tripod choices on the market today. I recently had the chance to take three very different tripods into the field and see what they meant to my workflow.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Gadget Bag: Photo Backpacks

Modern materials coupled with innovative designs provide more choices than ever

There was a time when choosing any camera bag meant making a compromise. Not so long ago, we were forced to decide between how well the bag protected our gear and how easily our equipment could be accessed. This was particularly true with photo backpacks. But today, the combination of durable, lightweight synthetic materials and innovative designs means we can choose a backpack that perfectly suits our needs.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Pentax K20D

A new 14.6-megapixel APS-C sensor makes this new D-SLR ideal for landscapes and wildlife

Hot on the heels of the K200D, the new top-of-the-line K20D is Pentax’s 10th D-SLR, and it’s worthy of the honor. Featuring a new 14.6-megapixel CMOS sensor and live viewing on its 2.7-inch LCD monitor, the K20D builds on the features that made the K10D an excellent choice for outdoor photography: rugged, dustproof and weather-resistant construction; a built-in sensor-shift Shake Reduction system that works with all lenses; an effective dust-control system; a high-performance Pentax PRIME imaging engine; 3 fps shooting and more.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

In Focus: June 2008

Weighing just 13.4 ounces, without battery or lens, the 10-megapixel Olympus E-420 is billed as the world’s smallest D-SLR. Top features include instant autofocusing of live images on the HyperCrystal II 2.7-inch LCD and Shadow Adjustment technology for capturing better detail in dark areas while keeping highlight detail.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

19th Century Mobile Photography

Check out this amazing time-lapse video that shows a photographer setting up a wet-plate collodian, large-format photo shoot. The wet-plate process was state of the art in the latter part of the 19th century. Today a select group of fine-art shooters like Jill Enfield still use and enjoy it. The process certainly is a far cry from the immediacy of digital cameras!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

In Focus: May 2008

The latest trio of Nikon lenses comes with unique and innovative features that expand the kinds of outdoor shots you’re able to capture. The wide-angle PC-E Nikkor 24mm ƒ/3.5D ED has a special tilt/shift mechanism offering up to ±11.5mm shift and ±8.5-degree tilt for manipulating perspective, distortion and focus. The AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm ƒ/3.5-5.6G ED VR is a compact wide-angle zoom suitable for a range of applications.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Gadget Bag: Memory Today

Shooting with a hi-res D-SLR can take up a lot of memory in a hurry. Manufacturers have responded with new ultra-high capacities that will provide safe storage for your precious images.

Some people believe that there are too many different types of memory cards. Why can’t all cameras use the same storage media? Uniformity is not likely to ever happen, but we may be moving a bit closer to a universal media system. Based on the number of new digital SLR and high-end compact digital cameras introduced so far this year that are compatible with Secure Digital, it’s becoming clear that CompactFlash is losing ground. The advent of high-capacity SDHC has opened the door to cross-platform compatibility.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

New From PMA

High-tech tools to keep your images secure when you’re in the field

Among the latest cameras and lenses showcased at the big PMA trade show every winter, there’s also a slew of new gadgets, technological innovations and services that don’t drum up the kind of attention that a hot new D-SLR does. While we can’t cover everything we saw, what follows is a look at some of the offerings from those smaller, “back of the show” manufacturers that caught our attention.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The Must-Have Wide-Angle Zoom

Perfect for grand landscapes and intimate nature portraits, see what the pros say about these indispensable lenses

The wide-angle zoom is an incredibly useful and multifaceted tool for a nature shooter. It’s as well-suited for sprawling landscapes as it is for close-ups, where you want to provide context for the subject by capturing more of the surrounding environment. And the added zoom capability is great compared to a fixed-focal-length lens, because you have more framing options without having to physically move to change a composition.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Sigma DP1

A compact digital camera with the sensor—and sensibility—of a D-SLR

Sigma is best known for its wide line of lenses, but the company has also produced a series of film and digital SLRs. Now, it has taken the big sensor from its latest D-SLR and put it into a compact digital camera body with a lens designed specifically for the sensor. The compact size and D-SLR image quality make this a great camera when you want to travel very light.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Your Next Digital Darkroom

Between the large image files today's new D-SLRs generate and the demands of the latest software tools, your old computer is probably starting to show its age. We have some suggestions when it's time for an upgrade.

At the heart of most digital darkrooms is a desktop computer system, and compared to your camera and other related gear, it may be lagging behind. And it’s becoming all the more apparent every time you use your sluggish, half-asleep computer. Opening programs. Opening photos. Rendering changes. Saving them. Everything takes too long. It’s time to get a new computer, but what should it be?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Gadget Bag: Multimedia Storage Viewers

High-tech tools to keep your images secure when you're in the field

Multimedia storage viewer (MSV) is a fancy name for a compact, handheld image viewer that has a built-in, high-capacity hard drive and certain audio and video functions. They have been around for a few years now, and the current crop is bigger and better than ever. Keen competition has encouraged rival manufacturers to refine existing features and add many new ones‚ and the prices have never been lower.

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