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DxO ONE Field-tested: Amazing images in a tiny package

1434734130000_IMG_506470[1]For the last couple months I’ve been traveling with both a DxO ONE (that fits in my shirt pocket) and a Sony RX100 IV (that barely fits in a cargo pocket). I’ve had a lot of fun with both cameras. While they have very similar sensors, they are different in almost every other way. Since they are both likely to be popular choices for image lovers looking for the ultimate compact camera, here are my thoughts on the very new ONE (you can read my review of the Sony online), and how it contrasts with a traditional high-end point-and-shoot… #dxoone

Becoming a better travel and vacation photographer (VIDEO)

clip_image004Whether you take your travel photography seriously enough to go on specialized trips, or simply want to do a better job capturing memories from your vacation, there are plenty of useful tips and techniques in the talk I gave at B&H this Spring. The good news is, even if you missed it in person, it is now online and Free to watch, courtesy of the team at the B&H events center. Topics covered range from selecting gear, preparing for your trip, how to schedule your shooting day, best tactics for great photos, the ethics of travel photography, and how to correctly process and show off your images. Special thanks to our sponsor, Datacolor, and to Photodex for the slideshow software illustrated. If this video gets you itching for some great travel photography, we hope you can join us for our Myanmar Photo Tour in December.

US-Mexico border in West Texas: Panoramas shot with the Sony RX100 IV

dsc00340On our recent trip from California to eastern Texas, we hugged the border much of the way across Texas. Some of it was fenced, but much of it is still amazingly wild, rugged, and beautiful. I was fortunate enough to have the new Sony RX100 Mark IV with me, which has an amazingly good Panorama mode, and able to quickly and easily capture these wide-format images that help convey the scope and grandeur of the region…

Sonora Desert Museum: Truly a museum turned inside-out

_djc5892_dxoIt has been many years since we last visited the Sonora Desert Museum, and it has only gotten better over time. Not only is it just about the best, and most fun, way to learn about the desert (specifically the Sonoran Desert, but also deserts in general), but the exhibits are remarkably photographer-friendly (while still being very respectful of the animals, like this young Mountain Lion). One thing that always strikes me when I visit is how little real contact we have with most of the creatures that inhabit our continent. For example, I have many thousands of photos of African Leopards in the wild, and essentially zero of their North American equivalent, the Mountain Lion, in the wild…

Sony RX100 Mark IV field tested: More camera for more money

Sony Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 IV Digital CameraFor those have followed the ground-breaking Sony RX100 since it became one of the first and best cameras to fit a 1-inch sensor into a compact form factor, each new version is eagerly anticipated. The good news is that Sony has steadily improved the camera's features with each updated model.

Think Tank Trifecta photo day pack Field Tested: A winner for those who want an accessible field bag

Regular readers will know that I’m a fan of Think Tank’s now-discontinued Sling-O-Matic easy-access field pack. I love the way I can get at my camera and lenses in any situation without putting the bag down. That’s critical in many nature photography situations, including when in marshes or even in crowded public places. Fortunately, Think Tank has come up with a new bag that gives me much of this same freedom, while adding the versatility of being a true backpack – The Think Tank Trifecta 8 and Think Tank Trifecta 10. I field-tested a Trifecta 10 on my Alaska bear photo safaris this year, and was quite pleased…

 

The DxO ONE goes to Alaska

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I had so much fun with my DxO ONE in Africa, that I brought it half-way around the world with me to Alaska to use as my “grabshot” camera on my Brown Bear photo safaris. We had a cooperative mother bear with two cubs in a beautiful setting, that my big telephoto was never going to capture all in the same frame. So I quickly snapped this image, using only the DxO ONE. It was processed using my default “travel photo” preset and cropped & rotated to square up the horizon, and then downsized to 1920 pixels so I could upload it over our satellite link:

3 Legged Thing travel tripod: As well-designed as they come

3 Legged Thing X2.1 Eddie Evolution 2 CF Tripod System w/AirHed 2 Ball Head (Black)UK tripod maker 3 Legged Thing (3LT) has been around for awhile, but hasn’t attracted as much attention as some of its high-end competitors like Gitzo. I’ve been using 3LT’s Eddie Evolution Carbon Fiber model for a few weeks, including on safari in Africa, and have been very impressed. Not only is the build quality as good or better than any Gitzo I have used, but the feature set is remarkable. A single device can be a tripod or monopod, and the reversible center column make the Eddie very versatile. As with most travel tripods, the small carrying size relies on having a head that can fit between the legs of the tripod when they are folded back on themselves. My Eddie came with 3LT’s own AirHed 2 in a bundle. The head was as solid and usable as you can expect from such a small unit…

Panasonic Lumix ZS50 Superzoom compact camera passes its field test

Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS50 Digital Camera (Black)No segment of the camera market has improved as quickly as the superzoom point and shoots. Originally more of a gimmick than a real tool, these tiny models are now quite capable of producing very usable images. However, to get their massive zoom ranges crammed into a few-ounce body means using a fairly small sensor. Likewise, electronics are limted by their weight and low price, so exposure, focus, and the EVF also suffer. To see what the new models are capable of, I brought along the new Lumix ZS50 with me to Africa on safari to field test (in addition to my primary Nikon D810 DSLR of course). For the most part I was pleasantly surprised with the results, but it certainly had some drawbacks as well…

New Nikon 500mm and 600mm lenses will lighten your load and your wallet

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/4E FL ED VR LensAfter the successful launch of the new, lighter Nikon 300mm f/4E lens, Nikon has continued its drive to lighten up its long prime lenses with advanced technology. It has introduced weight-reduced versions of two of its most popular long lenses. The new Nikon 500mm f/4E is 2 lbs. lighter than its predecessor at 6.5 lbs., and the new Nikon 600mm f/4E is a remarkable 3 lbs. lighter than the previous version, at 8.2 pounds….

Capturing an African safari memory with the DxO ONE

Shot with DXO ONE Camera

Clearly telephotos dominate when we think of safari lenses. But sometimes the most compelling images are the ones that show both ourselves and the animals. Having a small, quick, camera that can record the moment is a huge win. I took a number of such shots with the DxO ONE on our just-finishing safari to Botswana and Zimbabwe, but this was one of my favorites:

Images from Johannesburg with the DxO ONE

DXO_0064_DxOThe Melrose Arch mall and environs in Johannesburg provided some good locations to capture images for the new DxO ONE. To make sure the camera was doing as much of the work as possible, I left it on Auto mode for all but a couple of the shots. Here’s a gallery of some of my favorites (NOTE: This is a pre-production camera, so final image quality will be different when the unit ships to customers) – Images are all copyrighted, so ask for permission before using them)…

DxO ONE: Introducing a new kind of mobile camera

DxO-ONE-camera-for-smartphonesI’ve been working with a very exciting new camera that I’m happy to be able to tell you about now that it has been announced. It is called simply the ONE, from image processing software vendor DxO. DxO has used its industry-leading expertise in evaluating cameras and lenses, and creating image processing pipelines, to create a camera that works seamlessly with your iPhone, but produces much better images. The ONE is built around a 1-inch sensor – far larger than the ones found in mobile devices, including the one in the iPhone. It’s the same size sensor that’s found in much larger, high-end, compact cameras like the Sony RX100 III – that are also more expensive.

Adobe Photoshop 2015: Comparing the new Dehaze filter with DxO's ClearView

Pl_Serengeti_0036_CV26Regular readers will know that I’m a big fan of using the ClearView filter in DxO’s Optics Pro to reduce various kinds of contrast-lowering issues in i

Quick tip on when your next point and shoot should be a superzoom

While smartphones have put a large dent in the compact camera market, tens of millions are still sold, and I often get asked about what features to look for when purchasing one. Headline numbers in ads often include not just resolution, but zoom range. Some models, like the Lumix DMC-ZS50 I'm currently testing, offer ranges up to 30:1 (effectively a 720mm telephoto lens at the long end). It is really tempting to think, "Wow! Why not get one that does that?" However, there are tradeoffs...

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