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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.




Saturday, December 1, 2007

In Focus: December 2007

Frame your wildlife shots with one of the big-lens additions to Nikon’s super-telephoto lineup. The AF-S Nikkor 400mm ƒ/2.8G ED VR, AF-S Nikkor 500mm ƒ/4G ED VR and AF-S Nikkor 600mm ƒ/4G ED VR are designed for Nikon FX and DX format D-SLRs. All include the VR II Vibration Reduction system, which lets you shoot handheld at shutter speeds four times slower than would otherwise be possible. A Nano Crystal Coat, which is an extra-low refractive index coating, reduces potential ghosting and flare and nearly eliminates internal lens element reflections. Three ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass elements minimize chromatic aberrations. To reduce the weight, the lens barrel is constructed out of rugged, die-cast magnesium.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Canon EOS 40D

A major upgrade for Canon's midrange D-SLR

I own 10D, 20D and 30D cameras, so I could hardly wait for the new Canon EOS 40D to arrive. While the 30D represented a relatively minor upgrade of the 20D, the 40D represents a major overhaul of its excellent predecessor. New features include a 10.1-megapixel Canon-produced CMOS image sensor, a 3-inch LCD monitor with live-view capability, 6.5 fps shooting, a self-cleaning image sensor unit, a latest-generation Canon DIGIC III image processor, 14-bit A/D conversion and more—for $100 less than the 30D when it was introduced.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Gadget Bag: HD Video Camcorders

Quality and portability have made high-definition camcorders important for more than just home videos

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, so you can only imagine how many words a thousand pictures are worth. Video has long been a natural extension of photography. It’s a visual medium with many of the same principles: focus, aperture, shutter speed, etc. But with video you can capture more than just a still. You can record the full motion and behavior of wildlife, and a camcorder can show an entire fluid landscape, from top to bottom in 360 degrees. And while some D-SLRs offer memos and notes, it’s just not the same as having the fully recorded audio of nature to accompany your images.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

OP Editors' Picks '07

Every year, the OP editors get to check out a variety of cool, new photo products, from feature-packed digital SLRs to must-have shooting accessories. With so many items to choose from, coming up with a short list is tough. We’ve chosen more than 25 of the year’s most noteworthy products to highlight on the following pages. This collection of gear should serve you well in pursuing, capturing and sharing beautiful outdoor photography. Note: The initials show which editor has made that pick.



Thursday, November 1, 2007

Olympus EVOLT E-510

A live-view LCD, image stabilization with all lenses and lots more

I do almost all of my shooting handheld, so I’m delighted to see more and more D-SLRs incorporate anti-shake systems. These detect camera shake and shift the image sensor to counter it. Image-stabilizer lenses are terrific and offer the advantage of letting you see the stabilizer’s effect in the viewfinder, but you get stabilization only with those specific lenses. Because it’s in the camera body, sensor-shift stabilization works with all lenses you can attach to the camera. The drawback is that you can’t see the effect in the viewfinder.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

In Focus: November 2007

Dust problems are reduced when shooting with the new Panasonic LUMIX DMC-L10 because the camera features an integrated dust-prevention system that uses supersonic vibrations to shake unwanted particles off the sensor. The 10.1-megapixel DMC-L10 offers an advanced 2.5-inch LCD, which rotates 270 degrees, making it easier to shoot from high or low angles. Other key features include a film mode for mimicking the effects of various film types and the Venus Engine III processor, which helps reproduce images with high resolution, precise color and detailed gradation.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Using Graduated Neutral-Density Filters

From polarizers to graduated NDs, filters are part of every outdoor photographer‚’s life. Try these techniques to help you enhance or correct your images in the camera.

Since so many scenes in nature contain a greater range of light than our cameras (film or digital) can record, graduated neutral-density (ND) filters are a staple in the landscape photographer’s bag.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III

The world's highest-resolution 35mm-based D-SLR hits 21.1 megapixels, can shoot 5 fps, features Live View and sensor-dust removal and a whole lot more

The new 63-zone evaluative metering system (shared with the EOS-1D Mark III) is linked to the AF points for optimum accuracy in a wide range of situations. There’s also 8.5% partial, 2.4% spot, AF-point-linked spot, multi-spot and center-weighted average metering.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Nikon D3

Photographers asked and Nikon answered—its full-frame D-SLR is finally here. But that's not all the new 12.1-megapixel flagship has to offer. The D3 is a force to be reckoned with.

The broad ISO range, from 200 to 6400, allows capture of low-noise exposures in a wider variety of scene conditions. This range can be expanded even further using the built-in settings of Lo-1 and Hi-2 for the equivalent of ISO 100 and ISO 25,600, respectively.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Canon EOS 40D

This mid-range D-SLR seems more like a pro-level D-SLR, but it‚’s still only $1,299

The 40D can shoot up to 6.5 images per second, for up to 75 Large/Fine JPEG or 17 RAW images—a big improvement over the 30D’s admirable 5 fps for up to 30 JPEG or 11 RAW. The 40D also provides 3 fps, silent and single-frame advance modes. The camera retains the 30D’s superquick 0.15-second start-up time.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Gadget Bag: Reaching New Lows!

Underwater photography is entering a golden age, thanks to excellent compact digital cameras and inexpensive housings that enable anyone to get the shots

Thanks to digital photography, more and more people are experiencing and sharing the color and beauty of exotic places all over the world. Whether it’s through online image sharing, printed images, magazine articles or simply through the LCD playback screens of our digital cameras, we’re seeing more of the world through the eyes of photographers of all levels, all ages and from all walks of life. This is even more the case when considering the spectacular world that so many people have never seen—the world beneath the waves.

Monday, October 1, 2007

HP Photosmart Pro B9180

This fast inkjet turns out excellent 13x19-inch color and B&W prints

Being impatient by both nature and design, I’ve tended not to make many large inkjet prints of my photos. Waiting 15 minutes or longer for a print to finish isn’t my idea of fun. I mean, shoot, I can just about make a print in the darkroom in that amount of time, and digital imaging is supposed to be now. But today’s large-format inkjets are a lot faster than my old ones. Enter the HP Photosmart Pro B9180.

Monday, October 1, 2007

In Focus: October 2007

If you’re just getting into shooting with a D-SLR, the affordable Pentax K100D Super is packed with features and easy to use. The camera has a 6.1-megapixel sensor, advanced systems for shake reduction and dust removal, a user-friendly Mode Dial with Auto Picture, various Scene Modes and a 2.5-inch LCD with zoom capability. A compact, lightweight body makes the camera easy to carry around on backpacking trips and other outdoor adventures. The camera is fully compatible with Pentax SDMS lenses and can be purchased with an 18-55mm lens.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Canon EOS-1D Mark III

Canon’s pro-level D-SLR ups speed, resolution and image quality

The Canon EOS-1D Mark III is a solid camera for the outdoor photographer. For starters, image quality is superb. The new 10.1-megapixel sensor provides 23% more resolution than the EOS-1D Mark II N, and in my opinion, the images are even better than those of the 16.7-megapixel EOS-1Ds Mark II, especially in dim light and at higher ISO settings. Handling of high-contrast subjects and scenes is excellent.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

GPS

Why this technology is a must-have addition to a photographer‚’s bag.

If you’ve ever experienced the frustration of being lost in a wilderness or a city, for that matter, or of not being able to retrace your steps to a choice location, then it might be high time to pick up a GPS. It’s one of those things you might not think about until you need it, and in situations like that, there’s usually a predictably exasperating outcome.


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