The new flagship D-SLR from Nikon adds a few twists to its professional workhorse
The 12.4-megapixel D-SLR features the High-Speed Crop Mode of its predecessor, which delivers a resolution of 6.8 pixels, but the new D2xs viewfinder is now automatically masked. This eliminates the need to replace the camera‚’s focusing screen and allows the photographer to switch between modes on the fly.
While fixed-focal-length supertelephoto lenses (400mm and up) are popular with wildlife pros and sports shooters, there’s something to be said for the more than 50 telephoto zoom lenses on the market. Tele-zooms provide long focal lengths and add framing flexibility—quite handy when you can’t easily move toward or away from a subject in the field. Zooms also mean fewer lenses to lug into the field and fewer lens changes (a plus for D-SLR users who want to keep their image sensors dust-free). And for those on tight budgets, zooms that go to 300mm can be had for far less than fixed-focal-length 300mm lenses.
Photo backpacks are designed to help you comfortably carry heavy loads of camera gear over long distances. Offering numerous compartments for multiple cameras, lenses, a laptop and other accessories, this style of bag maximizes what you can take into the field while promising not to hinder your ability to travel and hike to a picturesque location.
I was rather late in going digital, as it wasn’t until 2003 that I found a D-SLR that met both my photo needs and my budget. That camera—a Canon EOS 10D—still serves me well as a hiking companion, or anytime I don’t want to risk my "good" camera, an EOS 20D. The 20D represented a quantum leap in performance and image quality over the 10D, so it was with great eagerness that I awaited arrival of the 20D’s successor, the EOS 30D.
Now that my digital photography has changed to an almost exclusively RAW workflow, I’m frequently testing the limits of my computer. Though it’s maxed out with more than 1 GB of memory, the computer is having increasing difficulty with the multilayer Photoshop files I’m producing. It’s even more of a challenge when I have other applications open for browsing the Web, managing e-mail and cataloging thousands of images.
Lensbabies create a distinctive look with your digital SLR.
Photographers love accessories that help them create unique-looking images. With many photographers owning the same cameras and lenses, it’s exciting to find a product that provides us with the ability to create a distinctive photograph. The Lensbaby 2.0 gives photographers the flexibility to explore our individual creativity.
Close-up photography lets you explore a whole new world of outdoor photo possibilities. You can fill the frame with tiny subjects or colorfully abstract small portions of larger subjects. While there are several definitions of close-up photography, we’ll go with the simplest one here: photographing subjects at closer range than the minimum focusing distances of standard lenses allow. Today, camera equipment manufacturers offer lots of ways to "get close."
What you need to know for reliable power in the field
If you’ve ever wondered how the flashlight got its name, here’s the secret. When flashlights were first invented more than 100 years ago, the batteries that powered them were weak and the light lasted for very short periods of time. When turned off, the chemistry in the cells rejuvenated, and the batteries recovered a portion of their power. Then they were ready to flash again. Sounds puny, but considering that the height of portable lighting technology up to that point was a flaming torch, this was a real technological breakthrough. Thankfully, mobile power has come a long way since then.
I like to travel light on hikes. This means a light D-SLR body and a light but versatile zoom lens. The wide-range zooms (28-200mm or 28-300mm, or digital equivalent) provide the versatility but weigh enough to notice on a lengthy hike. A good solution is to decide whether I’m in a wide-angle mood or a telephoto mood, and "lens" accordingly.
When it’s too cold for a shirt but not cold enough for a jacket, it’s just right for a Woolrich Shirt Jac. Available in several materials, including canvas, corduroy and chamois cloth, Shirt Jacs add warm, lightweight polyester fleece to the basic shirt, along with 40-gram Arctic Insulation for the sleeves, with quilted taffeta lining for easy on and off.
Tripods are indispensable, and new, exotic materials and construction make them better, lighter and stronger than ever
We’ve said it before and we‚’ll say it again: If you‚’re looking to improve your photography, the single most useful tool you can use is a tripod. As photo gear goes, tripods fall somewhere between a sandbag and lens-cleaning tissue on the "cool equipment" scale. Compared to exotic optics, advanced filters and new ubertech SLRs, what‚’s less sexy than three sticks connected to a hinged plate? And yet the tripod remains the device that’s most likely to have an immediate, positive impact on your imagery.
Novoflex offers camera supports that are both reliable and attractively designed
When it comes to most photographic accessories, the emphasis is often on functionality, yet not far behind that is the matter of style. So while we photographers want tools that help us to create great images, we also appreciate having products that make us look good while we’re doing it. Novoflex definitely knows how to put style into common photographic gear.
The Olympus EVOLT E-330 is the first D-SLR to offer a tilting TTL monitor and an optical TTL viewfinder
Anyone who knows me knows that I love the little digital cameras with the flip-out or tilting LCDs. Because these LCDs are "live" meaning they see what’s coming through the lens, they can be used as handy viewfinders for new shooting angles.
Wireless is a great way to go for using flash with macro shots
Recently, I had the chance to work with Nikon’s new wireless close-up flash kit. The R1C1 breaks new ground, offering ease and convenience in close-up flash that we’ve never had before. The kit includes an SU-800 flash controller, two SB-R200 flash heads and a mounting bracket to fit the front of a lens (a macro, for example).