Adobe ships Lightroom 6: Adds facial recognition, HDR, Panorama, performance

Overview of new features in Adobe Lightroom 6 for ET featured imageAdobe continues to add value for Adobe Creative Cloud Photo Plan subcribers, and for those who buy Lightroom “a la carte.” The new version of Lightroom is a solid performance upgrade, but also adds some cool new features.

Some great deals at B&H to celebrate NAB 2015

NAB may be mostly about video, but that hasn’t kept B&H from rolling out a massive number of great deals on cameras, lenses, and more. You can get access to the all of them on their handy NAB Specials page. Some are time-limited as they are running along with the show, so don’t wait too long to take advantage!  You can also keep up with B&H’s announcements and events at NAB yourself.

Datacolor Spyder 5: The best desktop color management tool keeps getting better

There is nothing more frustrating to a photographer than not being able to judge the color of their images. Even black and white images need accurate tonal values. That’s why I’ve long been a proponent of a fully color-managed workflow, providing the best chance that images shown on your monitor will match the way they came out of the camera and the way they look when printed. There are plenty of solutions, but having tried most of them, the one that stands out as a combination of functionality, ease-of-use, and reasonable price. That’s the Spyder line from Datacolor. This week Datacolor released a sleek new version – the Spyder5. I’ve been using it for a while now during its beta test, and am impressed… Read more »

Nikon updates mirrorless line with new Nikon 1 J5

Nikon 1 J5There is no doubt that Nikon’s 1-series cameras are cute, fun, and have great features. However, they’ve had a hard time winning against the larger sensor and better image quality of models from other makers – especially Sony. Nikon is working to change that with its newest model – the Nikon 1 J5. The new model has an updated 20.8MP sensor, and improved EXPEED 5A image processing chip. The body has been updated to provide a better grip, raised controls, and a “pebbled” exterior. Price for the Nikon 1 J5 body-only is $497 for pre-order at B&H, with kits including lenses ranging from $800 to $1100.

TYLT Vu Car: Finally, a wireless car charger that really works

imageAs a photographer that travels a lot and relies on my smartphone for directions, music, email, and photo-related applications, it is important for me to be able to securely mount my phone in cars and trucks – both mine and rental vehicles. Just as important, it needs to charge effectively on long trips. Ideally, the charging would be wireless, which really helps with convenience and cable management. I’ve tried quite a number of car mounts – both wired and wireless – without finding one that met all my needs. Until I tried the new TYLT Vu Car (wireless)…

Pro tip: When and why to use a tripod

bi_prplegal_0325Photographers have all sorts of opinions about tripods. Some won’t use them, some won’t shoot without them, and most of us use one sometimes. Especially with image stabilization and high-ISO options on modern digital cameras, tripods are not as essential, nor do they need to be as heavy, as they used to be. But they still provide value in many cases – some obvious and some not so obvious. It is worth going over the advantages of using a tripod so you can make an informed decision for yourself: Read more »

Canon G7 X field test: Finally, a worthy competitor to the Sony RX100 III

Canon PowerShot G7 X Digital CameraSony brought the premium compact camera segment back to life with its 1-inch sensor RX100, but its rivals haven't left it have free run of the market. Panasonic's Lumix LX100 has become a worthy competitor, although its larger size and greater weight make it a less attractive alternative than Sony's latest version, the RX100 III. Now Canon has come out with a model that combines the popular interface from its "S-series" point and shoots with a few more manual controls and a 1-inch, 20MP sensor, to create the Canon G7 X. It has the best overall image quality ratings of any camera in its class, so we got one to put through its paces… Read more »

Sony moves to address mirrorless lens shortage with four new models: 24-240 leads the way

1126138[1]One by one Sony and other mirrorless camera manufacturers have broken down the barriers to dumping a heavy DSLR and going lighter. Faster Autofocus and amazingly-good Electronic Viewfinders have been key in this effort. Just about the only remaining stumbling block for those used to the large array of lens options provided by Nikon and Canon is the limited selection of lenses for mirrorless models. Sony has quite a variety of lenses, but they come in several different mounts, and many of the best require an adapter for use on their newest mirrorless models like the excellent new Sony A7 II. Sony is working hard to address the issue, and today introduced four new lenses for its full-frame mirrorless models:


Nikon unleashes D7200 chock-full of features from full-frame, but will it finally satisfy as a D400?

For Nikon shooters looking to purchase or upgrade a DX-format DSLR (e.g. APS-C, or “crop” sensor), the new Nikon D7200 has plenty to offer. The camera features the powerful 51-point Multi-CAM 3500 II Autofocus module first introduced in the full-frame Nikon D750. The upgraded EXPEED 4 processor also allows for 6 fps shooting, and 100-shot JPEG bursts. NFC makes pairing the camera with a mobile device over WiFi a cinch (a welcome change from pecking at small screens!). Other nice upgrades include… Read more »

Using presets to establish and enhance your photographic style

Many applications offer presets, and some let you preview them. 
Here DxO Optics Pro shows some of the built-in options for processing one of my images.Whether you are an “art” photographer or not, your work may well have a style of its own, defined by how you shoot and how you process images. Or your editors or clients might want a particular look or style in the images you submit to them.

What size camera is right for you?

img_1351It is a truism in photography that the best camera is the one you have with you. In that spirit, whenever I’m asked for advice on what new camera someone should buy, I try to figure out not just their budget and needs, but how much camera they’re really likely to be willing to carry around. For many, it isn’t obvious what they gain by “trading-up” to a larger, heavier, and more-expensive model. While it is always dangerous to generalize, there are certain rules of thumb about the pros and cons of various types of current-model digital cameras. We’ll help you sort through your options…


Nikon D810A: The ultimate gift for the astronomer who has everything

Nikon has announced a highly-specialized version of its popular Nikon D810 DSLR, optimized for astrophotography – the Nikon D810A. It is nearly identical to the D810, except for a few key upgrades that make it ideal for astronomers:

  • Sensitive to H-alpha wavelengths (helpful for solar & nebulae photography)
  • Enhanced Live View operation when long exposure times are used
  • Additional information displayed in the Viewfinder to assist night time shooting
  • Manual-mode shutter speeds extended to 900 seconds (in M* mode)

Sony A7 II Field-tested: A pro-friendly upgrade to the full-frame A7

With its high-performance hybrid focusing system (combining both phase detection and contrast detection in a mirrorless camera) Sony has been breaking down one of the final barriers for mirrorless to take over a bigger chunk of the DSLR market.

Profiling curved monitors & TVs

I was struck by the large variety of curved TVs, and some monitors on the floor at CES. Clearly they are positioned to become mainstream this year. However, it might have already occurred to you that they are tricky to profile. I’ve written up some tips for doing it well on Datacolor’s Spyder blog. For those looking for a way to replace two monitors placed side-by-side, the pictured 34” curved Ultra-wide unit from Dell looked gorgeous when I saw it in their suite at CES. It is $1140 at B&H, which sounds like quite a bit, but it is almost 2 monitors worth of monitor!

Adobe releases Lightroom Mobile for Android: No-brainer for CC subscribers

Adobe Lightroom Mobile Gallery ScreenshotNine months after its initial release for the iPad, Adobe has brought Lightroom Mobile to Android (4.1 Jellybean or later). I’ve been running the pre-release version on both phones and tablets for a few days and it works reliably and is at full-feature-parity with the iOS version.

Lumix LX100 Field-tested: The Leica you always wanted, for a fraction of the price…

pl_shwe_bagan_0229I’ve always lusted after a Leica Rangefinder camera. They were, and for some still are, the epitome of image quality and style. However, by the time I had enough money to even think seriously about buying one, much of my photography involved wildlife and sports – so my photo budget went to big cameras, bigger lenses, and travel to places where I could find my subjects. So it was with great excitement that I started my fieldtest of Panasonic’s Lumix LX100 with Leica lens…

Holiday Gift Ideas: Ten Travel Accessories I can’t live without

We’re getting down to the wire for holiday gifts, and if you’re like me, there are always a couple people that are hard to shop for. So I wanted to pass along my top travel accessories, in case one of them would help fill the bill: Read more »

The amazing “one-legged” fishermen of Inle Lake, Myanmar (Burma)

_djc3037dxo_cvInle Lake in Myanmar is famous for its “one-legged” fishermen. They perform the seemingly impossible feat of rowing (and steering) their small, teak-hulled, wooden boats with one leg wrapped around a single oar while managing to fish with a net at the same time.
Read more »

Finally! Canon replaces nearly-antique Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 Lens

clip_image001Canon shooters who don’t want to lug a huge and expensive telephoto zoom along with them, and haven’t wanted to go third party have had only one option for the past 16 years (believe it or not, that’s how long it has been). Finally Canon has introduced a totally revamped model, the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 IS II USM Lens. The new lens has all the right specs:


Domke Metro Messenger Bag: Your shoulder-carried digital darkroom

1034956I’ve always envied pros wandering around with their classic Domke photo bags. Sleek, practical, and oozing history, they were also rugged enough to take a beating anywhere in the world. However, whether because I needed to lug large lenses, carry a laptop, or have a bag with enough padding so that I could check it in a pinch, there was never a Domke that fit my needs. Until now. The new Domke Metro Messenger bag is perfect for a traveling photographers “walk-around” gear and laptop. I’ve been using one for a few weeks, so I have plenty of experiences with it to share with you…

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