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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.




Wednesday, August 1, 2007

In Focus: August 2007

Take landscape and nature shots with finely tuned color using the Sigma DP1. This high-end compact camera features the same unique Foveon X3 direct image sensor, with 14-megapixel color photosites, used in the SD14 D-SLR for capturing full and accurate color image information. The sensor uses three silicon embedded layers of photo sensors, stacked to take advantage of silicon’s ability to absorb red, green and blue light at different respective depths. The sensor is physically as big as sensors on other compact digital cameras by a factor of 10 to 12. The DP1 features a 16.6mm ƒ/4 lens (35mm equivalent of 28mm), a 2.5-inch LCD and shoots RAW and JPEG formats.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Full-Frame vs. Small-Frame Digital (Does It Matter?)

Digital sensors come in a variety of sizes. Is bigger better?

Like film cameras, digital SLRs come in a wide range of formats. But with D-SLRs, the format is based on the size of the image sensor, not on the size of the film. Sensor size has several ramifications for the photographer. First, larger sensors cost a lot more than small ones, in part because of the difficulty in manufacturing them. Second, larger sensors "see" more of the image formed by a lens and thus provide a wider field of view with any given focal length. Third, for a given pixel count, larger sensors contain larger pixels, which, all other things being equal, collect light more efficiently for better low-light and high-ISO performance. Finally, larger sensors generally require larger camera bodies.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Tokina AT-X 107 DX AF 10-17mm f/3.5-4.5 Fish-Eye

A creative approach to nature photography provided by this ultra-wide-angle zoom

Tokina’s AT-X 107 DX AF 10-17mm ƒ/3.5-4.5 fish-eye zoom lens is the most fun I’ve had with a lens in a long while. It features an incredibly wide 180-degree field of view, and with its zoom, something unique for fish-eye lenses, it also acts effectively as a wide-angle lens (albeit with some barrel distortion).

Sunday, July 1, 2007

In Focus: July 2007

The 7.2-megapixel compact Samsung L74 Wide has a 3.6x optical zoom starting at a 35mm equivalent of 28mm. A three-inch touch-screen LCD makes navigating through the menu system easy and intuitive, while the World Tour Guide function (with travel information covering 4500 regions in 30 countries) helps you plan trips and navigate on the road. At just 4x2.4x0.8 inches and six ounces, the camera is a great size for hiking around within the backcountry.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Gadget Bag: The State Of Memory Cards

Storing images in your digital camera has never been faster or cheaper. We‚’ll take you through the current selection of cards and options.

Digital memory cards just keep getting better and cheaper. Digital SLRs, camcorders and other multimegapixel cameras require memory cards that deliver very large storage capacity and high performance in terms of read and write speed. Noncamera applications and other digital devices—cell phones and PDAs in particular—require storage media that’s very small and thin. The memory-card industry has met and exceeded all of these requirements. Meanwhile, fierce competition among card makers for market share has kept retail prices surprisingly low.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Sigma APO 50-150mm f/2.8 EX DC HSM

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.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Epson Stylus Photo 1400

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.

Friday, June 1, 2007

In Focus: June 2007

In Focus

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.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Behind The Design

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.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Gadget Bag: Get Plugged In!

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.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Nikon D40

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.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Tips for Buying a Digital SLR Camera

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.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Tips for Buying Advanced Compact Digital Cameras

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.

Friday, June 1, 2007

How to Choose a Digital Camera Memory Card

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.

Friday, June 1, 2007

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