Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Holiday Buyer's Guide
A look at some of the gear that’s available for the nature photographer on your gift list
There are many more excellent lens choices available than we can possibly cover here. There are new lenses for nature photographers from every manufacturer and in every class of lens. If you’re in the market for a new all-in-one, long-range zoom, check out the Tamron SP AF18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC LD. Made for cameras with an APS-C sensor, it has a huge 15x zoom range and it’s part of Tamron’s Di (Designed for Digital) line. In the wide-angle zoom area, the Sigma 10-20mm ƒ/3.5 EX DC HSM is designed for D-SLRs with APS-C sensors. It has an equivalent focal range of about 15mm to 30mm (it varies slightly depending on your D-SLR), making it a good choice for landscape shooters who want to get really wide.Tokina has the ATX 165 PRO DX 16-50mm zoom, which is also for cameras with APS-C sensors. Its 24-70mm equivalent range makes it a versatile standard zoom (slightly wide to slightly telephoto).
Cameras keep improving, and everything on the market has very high image resolution (some years ago we sat down with an industry executive who pointedly said no one needs more than 2 megapixels...things have turned out differently from that prediction). High resolution means a need for high-capacity memory cards, and if you’re shooting HD video, you need all that much more capacity—16 GB capacities and higher are the norm for HD video shooting.
For example, while cameras vary, for many HD video D-SLRs, the 16 GB card will hold around 45 minutes of motion. You’ll be amazed how the time flies when you’re shooting video, so have plenty of memory in your bag. Lexar, PNY, SanDisk, Hoodman, Kingston and others make high-quality memory cards in all different capacities and formats.
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