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More Outdoor Camera & Accessory Reviews

Stay in focus with our digital photography equipment reviews. You'll discover a wide range of information on nature photography in these informative articles.

Wednesday, December 1, 2004

Gadget Bag: Cleaning Accessories

How to keep your camera and lenses clean for best performance

Although many of us who shoot outdoors do so alone, we all have one constant companion—dirt. Ever present, it accumulates on our photo gear, degrading the quality of our images and interfering with the operation of our cameras. We’ll show you the trouble spots and the tools you need to fight back.

Wednesday, December 1, 2004

2004 Holiday Book Guide

OP's annual selection of books to inform and inspire every photographer

With so many captivating photography books published every year, winter is an ideal time to catch up on some reading. Bring yourself up to speed on the latest in digital technology with Peter Burian’s new book. Find inspiration in Art Wolfe’s latest remarkable collection of photographs. Or learn about the surprising efforts of oil companies to protect the environment in Passions and Patience, or the fascinating social behavior of wolves in Wolves of the World.

Monday, November 1, 2004

HP Designjet 130

Create posters of your favorite images without leaving home

The HP Designjet 130 printer provides outdoor photographers the ability to produce poster-sized prints at home. For those of us who have a desire to make prints that are markedly larger than 8x10 inches, Hewlett-Packard has made a 2400 dpi printer that delivers large-sized prints that are comparable to what we’ve become accustomed to via a traditional lab.

Monday, November 1, 2004

Gadget Bag: Macro Anywhere

Expand your possibilities of capturing the smaller world

One of close-up photography’s great attributes is its ability to draw attention to the beauty of nature’s smallest creations. By using a close-up lens, extension tube or macro lens, we delve into a world that, although small, is as stunning and complex as any expansive landscape.

Monday, November 1, 2004

OP Editors' Picks 2004

New technologies mean exceptional gear for photographers

This is an exciting time to be a photographer. Whether or not you’re interested in digital, the explosion of the technology has reinvigorated the photo industry like no other in a very long time. Products just get better for everyone.

Friday, October 1, 2004

Gadget Bag: What A View!

Viewing accessories such as LCD hoods and magnifiers can vastly improve your photographic experience

One of the most significant benefits of shooting with a digital camera is being able to view your images immediately on the camera’s LCD screen. You can determine in seconds if you got the shot you wanted. If not, you can see whether the exposure or focus was off and quickly correct it in time to take the shot again. You also can use the LCD to make changes to settings such as white balance, as well as control other functions of the camera.

Wednesday, September 1, 2004

Gadget Bag: Gear For Panoramas

Create stunning, seamless panoramas with the right photography gadgets

There’s a special allure to panoramic pictures. They force you to move your eyes across the image, even turn your body to take it all in. It’s as if the photographer wants you to take an active part in viewing the landscape, instead of just giving it one static look. Panoramas are special because in the past, you didn’t see them very often, mostly because they were so expensive to produce, requiring specific cameras and processing equipment. With the right gear and software today, however, you can make beautiful panoramas quite easily using regular film or digital cameras.

Thursday, July 1, 2004

Tamron SP AF 17-35mm ƒ/2.8-4 Di

Wide-angle zoom for digital and film cameras

If you’re in the midst of a transition from film to digital imaging, you’ll soon discover that your trusty 24mm wide-angle isn’t very wide on your D-SLR. In fact, that all-encompassing 24mm now acts like a 36mm normal lens! This, you’re finding out, is due to your image sensor’s smaller size in comparison to 35mm. While this effect offers increased telephoto reach on the long end, it causes trouble for users of wide-angle lenses.

Thursday, July 1, 2004

Canon PowerShot Pro1

A pro-label Canon lens shines on a compact digital camera

When Canon announced its new 8-megapixel PowerShot Pro1, I pored over the specs and looked forward to working with the camera. It wasn’t the 8 megapixels, impressive as that was, that caught my attention. It was the lens designation—Canon gave the glass its "L" insignia, the company’s pro designation. This was unusual, as Canon has exceptionally high standards for the L-series.

Thursday, July 1, 2004


Steady your camera for tracking and photographing fast-moving subjects

Wildlife photographers who use telephoto lenses to capture exciting, razor-sharp images while maintaining a respectful distance from the subject need a stable shooting platform. However, tracking subjects in the field and reacting quickly to animal behavior isn’t easy if your stable platform is a tripod. An image-stabilization or vibration-reduction lens is an alternative for wildlife and action photography, but a budget-conscious photographer might consider a shoulder-mount or "gun-stock" unit.

Thursday, July 1, 2004

Gadget Bag: Photo Inkjet Printers

Modern inkjets offer photographic quality and creative control over the printing process

None of us would have known of Ansel Adams if he had taken his film to the corner drugstore. Although the compositions would remain the same, the brilliant quality of his prints would be missing. The glowing white tones and deep, detailed blacks in his work are a stunning example of getting the best results when you do the printing yourself.

Tuesday, June 1, 2004

Tokina 17mm Wide-Angle

A high-quality super-wide-angle at a moderate price

You can get the focal length of the Tokina AT-X 17 AF Pro lens in a zoom, and sometimes in a similar focal length, so why bother with a single focal length? The answer has two parts: size and quality for the price. The Tokina 17mm ƒ/3.5 lens lists for $810 and has a street price of approximately $400. Zoom lenses that get this wide and are close to this price usually aren’t as sharp as the Tokina in the wider ƒ-stops (stopped down, modern lenses of any major manufacturer at any price are quite remarkable), don’t control flare as well, and exhibit some barrel distortion (bending of straight lines, such as horizons, when near the edge of the frame). After shooting with the AT-X Pro for a while, I found it consistently sharp throughout the ƒ-stop range, with a high degree of flare control, and straight lines stayed straight.

Tuesday, June 1, 2004

Olympus C-8080

This solid field camera offers a lot for nature photographers

While the big buzz is on digital SLRs today, and for good reason, it’s possible to get a top-quality, full-featured, high-megapixel digital camera with truly professional capabilities for around $1,000 (including lenses that will match pro SLR lenses). A perfect example is the new 8-megapixel Olympus C-8080.

Tuesday, June 1, 2004

Summer Gear Guide

Discover products to help make the most of your photography this season

Summer is here, and with it come many opportunities to create wonderful photographs. Whether planning to visit your local mountains or travel abroad, you may need more than a camera and lens to make those outings a success.

Tuesday, June 1, 2004

Carbon-Fiber Tripods

Take to the trail with these ultralight supports

For photographers who carry their gear long distances, saving weight is a real issue. We economize every way we can, leaving spare camera bodies behind or bringing fewer rolls of film. We carry lighter tripods, too, but until recently, there was a limit to how much weight we could save in our camera support. Lightly constructed metal tripods just aren’t stiff enough to provide a sharp image.

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