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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, March 1, 2008

In Focus: March 2008

Sony expands its α (Alpha) digital SLR system with the DSLR-A200. The 10.2-megapixel camera features continuous shooting of 3 fps, an integrated anti-dust cleaning system and an eye-level penta-mirror optical viewfinder with 0.83x magnification. The Super SteadyShot image-stabilization system helps prevent blurring caused by camera shake. It comes with an 18-70mm ƒ/3.5-4.5 zoom with a 35mm equivalent of 27-105mm.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Tamron AF28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 VC Zoom

There's a new player in the stabilization game: Welcome to Tamron‚’s Vibration Control zoom

It becomes a challenge to lug a lot of gear into the field. On the other hand, it’s nice to have wide-angle, telephoto and close-up capability, as well as a tripod for support. So the dilemma is always to either travel comfortably or be prepared for anything.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Gadget Bag: Image Stability

Get sharp handheld exposures with image-stabilization technology

Shooting at fully extended telephoto lengths without a tripod is a recipe for a blurry shot—unless you have image-stabilization technology. With image stabilization, you can get sharp handheld exposures at longer focal lengths and slower shutter speeds.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

In Focus: January/February 2008

Shoot with a pair of newly designed high-end, wide-angle Nikon zooms built for digital photography. The AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm ƒ/2.8G ED lens lets you go for that ultrawide landscape shot, while the AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm ƒ/2.8G ED lens can be used for capturing various types of photographs. Both feature Nikon’s Silent Wave Motor, which delivers fast autofocusing without much noise. Extra-low-dispersion glass elements prevent chromatic aberrations, so you capture sharp, clear images with great contrast.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

The Essentials

In the season of giving, check out our collection of inexpensive, but incredibly useful photo accessories for outdoor photographers

In photography, we tend to concentrate our efforts and our wallets on the big-ticket items. Cameras and lenses always seem to be at the top of everyone’s wish list, but even as the latest camera or super-zoom can be a welcome addition to your bag, it’s often the little things that can make some of the biggest differences in your photography.


Saturday, December 1, 2007

Gadget Bag: The Perfect Cover

Keeping the winter elements of rain, sleet and snow off your camera is easy, as long as you have the right piece of protective gear

As winter arrives, it’s a good time to remember that water and most camera gear don’t mix well. Fortunately, a number of companies offer solutions: camera weather protectors.


Saturday, December 1, 2007

Zeiss F-Mount Lenses

A trio of new high-quality optics are available for the Nikon line of cameras

A new player has entered the arena of digital SLR nature photography. While it’s a name synonymous with exceptional quality and performance in its optics, that reputation has mostly centered on medium-format camera lenses, binoculars, spotting scopes and motion-picture lenses used by Hollywood’s movie industry.

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.

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