This fast, versatile tele-zoom lens adds to your shooting options
Transitioning quickly from one shot to the next using a variety of focal lengths—it’s one of the features I appreciate most in the new APO 50-150mm ƒ/2.8 EX DC HSM telephoto zoom lens from Sigma. One moment you can get down low to compose a close-up of a lizard and the next you can zoom in tight on a bird about to burst into flight 50 feet away. In addition to its quick response time, the Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) autofocus is remarkably silent. And the manual focus override switch makes changing from one mode to the other simple, even while shooting.
Big, beautiful, cost-effective prints, up to 13x19 inches
For several years now, I’ve printed most of my images with the Epson Stylus Photo 2200, and it has been very good to me. When I had an opportunity to use the large-format Epson Stylus Photo 1400, I found it delivered colorful, archival-quality prints, with the added bonus of direct printing on CDs and DVDs—all at a list price of $399. Remarkable.
Every winter, the major manufacturers and distributors of photographic gear gather at the huge PMA trade show to announce and present their latest equipment. Put on by the Photo Marketing Association International, the event allows photo dealers and retailers to see all the gear in one place, which helps magazines like ours, too. This special edition of In Focus offers a sampling of the products we saw at the show in Las Vegas.
A look at the art and science of creating the digital cameras we use today, from tiny pocket models to pro D-SLR systems
There’s more to designing a camera than just figuring out how to fit all the stuff the marketing and engineering people want into a light-tight box. A camera must meet the required feature and performance specs, of course, but these days, it also must be user-friendly and attractive.
Ten must-have Photoshop add-ons for nature photographers
Adobe Photoshop is the best thing that has happened to photography since the discovery of glass. And the plug-in is the best thing that has happened to Photoshop. Since Adobe opened its architecture by defining the plug-in format, more than 1,000 useful plug-ins have appeared on the market. Some extend Photoshop’s power, others make routine tasks easier, and still others provide new options and tools. No matter what level you’ve reached as a photographer, Photoshop plug-ins are an integral part of your post-processing life—or should be.
The most compact and lowest-priced Nikon D-SLR ever is a good one
Long renowned for its high-end pro film and digital cameras, Nikon has now introduced one of the lowest-priced D-SLRs ever. The new D40 is an entry-level model with simple operation, very good performance, lots of features and a list price less than $600, including an 18-55mm Nikkor zoom lens. It’s also light and compact, so you can carry the D40 on just about any outdoor photography outing.
Buying an SLR camera can be a daunting task. That’s why Outdoor Photographer magazine has tips and articles on buying a SLR camera that work for you. You could spend all day at the store trying to review digital SLR cameras. We make it easy.
There’s a definite visceral reaction when taking pictures with an SLR. The look of the camera and the way it seems to be an extension of my hand often evokes a sense that something wonderful is only a fraction of a second away. Although I’ve taken great photographs with a compact digital camera, a digital SLR provides the features and controls I often need to ensure I come away with the photograph I expect.
Advanced Compact Digital Cameras Offer A Great Value For The Money
The price of entry-level digital SLRs has dropped so low that one could be tempted to overlook advanced compact digital cameras. That would be a mistake. Cameras in this category supply nearly all of the sophisticated SLR-like features and controls that are found on D-SLRs. Image quality is as good or better, all else being equal, and zoom cameras offer several advantages over D-SLRs.
Choosing Memory Cards For Digital Cameras Can Be Tough. Arm Yourself With Valuable Information.
In 1997, I demonstrated the Minolta DiMAGE V digital camera to Microsoft’s Bill Gates during a closed-door meeting at the Photo Marketing Association trade show. As I recall the event, Mr. Gates wasn’t overly impressed by the $649 VGA-class digital camera, despite its detachable zoom lens. He did hum in amazement, however, while examining the camera’s wafer-thin SSFDC memory card (better known as SmartMedia). “Two megabytes,” he said, and shook his head in a gesture that I took to indicate surprise.
A new meter specifically designed for today's digital cameras
The DigitalMaster L-758DR offers four light meters in one. It measures flash, ambient, incident or reflected light, and will customize them to your camera or film type. Measured values can also be mixed and stored for interchangeable readings in reflected and incident modes.
Adobe's latest Photoshop sports a streamlined workspace and powerful new tools that solve old photographic challenges
With every new version of Photoshop, photographers always ask, "What’s new that will be useful to me? "With the release of CS3, the answer is lots! Brand-new features do things that were previously impossible in Photoshop, and refinements make existing features more flexible and powerful. Let’s look at the new features first.
Capture crisp, high-definition video with an affordable, palm-sized camera. The Canon HV20 camcorder features a 10x optical zoom lens, 2.96-megapixel CMOS image sensor and DIGIC DV II image processor for shooting full HD resolution (1920 x 1080i) video with true-to-life color. The 24p Cinema Mode helps your footage look more like a professional film. The HV20 also comes with a microphone and earphone jacks, plus you can opt to record in standard definition mode.
Now is the most popular time of year to take to the trails and campsites of America. Having the right gear will keep you outdoors in comfort and safety.
Serious outdoor photography tends to be a gear-intensive pursuit, not just with camera equipment, but also with the tools it takes to safely and comfortably scout the great outdoors. The shelter, footwear, clothing, gadgets and other outdoor accessories you choose can be just as important as your photo equipment in helping you get the right images—a fact to which anyone who has ever shivered themselves awake in a lousy sleeping bag or endured a leaky, drafty tent will attest. If you haven’t shopped for outdoor equipment lately, you’re in for a surprise. It’s lighter and more functional than ever, even if there’s the occasional associated sticker shock. When it comes to chasing the best outdoor photo situations, you’ll be glad you’re properly outfitted with items like these.
Pros love their fast glass. Maybe they're onto something.
When shopping for a new lens, you might encounter the desired focal length (or focal-length range, in a zoom lens) in more than one speed. For example, one camera manufacturer’s lineup includes 400mm ƒ/2.8, 400mm ƒ/4 and 400mm ƒ/5.6 supertelephotos. The ƒ/2.8 is 4.5 times larger in volume, 4.2 times heavier and costs $5,000 more than the ƒ/5.6. Is it worth it? Many wildlife and action photographers think it is.