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New Sony a6300 may just be the perfect compact mirrorless camera

Sony Alpha a6300 Mirrorless Digital Camera with 16-50mm LensIf you asked me to write down by dream specs for a mirrorless camera, they’d look a lot like those of the newly announced . It surpasses not just all similar Sony models, but all other compact-size mirrorless cameras on the market – in many cases by leaps and bounds. Let’s go over its breakthroughs…

Texas bird photo trifecta: Pro tips, live presentation, and discounts on our April South Texas workshop and ProShow software

We’ve got all sorts of goodies today for bird photographers. First, I’ve written up some of my favorite “pro” tips for bird photographers in a (makers of ProShow, our favorite slide show software). Photodex also put together a cool video from some of the shots from our previous South Texas bird photo workshops to accompany the blog post.

And tonight (Wednesday, February 3rd) I’ll be speaking (and showing illustrative images, with plenty of tips and tidbits of advice) on South Texas Bird photography at the Bay Area Bird Photographers meeting (7:30pm at the Palo Alto Baylands). It is free and open to all. I hope you can join us! (Meeting info at the end of this article).

Canon G5 X field-tested: Is it the best point and shoot ever?

Up until now, the choice for best point and shoot was tricky – none of the three leading cameras had everything. The got top marks for image quality and has a good zoom range, but no viewfinder. The sort-of-has a viewfinder (it is a small pop-up), but has a limited zoom range and is a little lower-scoring on image quality. The somewhat older is also a worthy competitor, but its larger size isn’t justified by image quality or features. Canon has finally broken the logjam with its new . This new model adds an excellent Electronic ViewFinder (EVF) and a hot shoe for an add-on flash. There are also some other, smaller, updates to video recording formats and other features, but the EVF and hot shoe are clearly the headline here.

Shoot stock? Here is what Adobe says will sell in 2016

While I’m not sure how many photographers can actually make real income off the buy-in-volume, royalty-free, model of Adobe Stock, at least they’ve done us the service of publishing their data on what’s hot in stock photography sales, including a rise in Tech-related image sales, something they call “New Aesthetics” (which includes hipsters, cappuccino art, bowties, etc.), and “Perspective Portraits” (which sound pretty close to what we u

Hands-on with HEXO+ Cinema-quality drone

Part of the fun of CES is getting to use some of the newest technology.

Hands-on with the Nikon D5 and Nikon D500: Amazing new DSLRs from Nikon

I got to shoot with both the new and at CES, and they are each amazing in their own way. For no-holds-barred shooting performance the ’s 14fps (12fps for up to 200 frames of RAW) and borderline-insane 3,000,000 ISO capability can’t be beat. But at over $6K and 3 pounds, with “only” 21MP of resolution, it certainly won’t be for everyone. It’s certainly the camera of choice for big-budget (and big backpack) wildlife and sports photographers, along with photojournalists who can deal with the size in exchange for unheard of low-light performance.

Mastering color for travel and vacation photographers

Thank you to all of you who are attending our Webinar on Mastering color for travel and vacation photographers, sponsored by DataColor and DxO Labs.

Super-telephoto Zoom shoot out: Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6 versus Sigma 150-600mm Sports

Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports Lens for Nikon FSigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports Lens for Nikon FThis has been an amazing year for long-lens shooters. For those who don’t want to break the bank and their backs with the Nikon or Canon 200-400mm models, there are now four exciting new options (three of which are available to both Nikon and Canon shooters):

Before we dig into some of the details, having shot with these lenses, they are all pretty amazing for what they provide at this relatively low price point. They are all head-and-shoulders above the older generation super-telephoto zooms from these companies. However, they are also bigger and heavier than the classic 120-400mm and 150-500mm designs they largely supercede. Which lens is right for you will depend on your specific budget and needs, but I can easily recommend all of them as quality products that provide good value.

Photoshop Elements 14 hands-on: Low-cost version of Photoshop is better than ever for photographers

If you don’t already know the ins and outs of Photoshop, or hate the idea of sending Adobe a check every month forever, Photoshop Elements 14 is easier-to-use, less-expensive, and almost as powerful as its big brother. It also includes image cataloging, so you don’t have to deal with a second application like Lightroom. I’ve done a full . As I point out in the review, owning it does not give you access to Adobe’s mobile apps the way a Creative Cloud Photography Plan subscription () does, and it doesn’t allow for syncing to your mobile device. It’s also a bit behind on esoteric features (although Dehaze and camera shake reduction have been added, for example). But its wizards make it far easier to learn and to use than plowing through videos and web tutorials to try to do the same things in Photoshop.

Becoming a better travel and vacation photographer (VIDEO)

Whether 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 .

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.

Travel photography lesson 1: Learning your camera

Before you go on a trip – whether it is a family vacation, adventure travel, or one focused on photography – it is important to know how to use your camera before you go. While reading the manual is always helpful – if you can make it through the hundreds of pages – it doesn’t let you focus on the key features you’re likely to need most. We’ve picked out ten of the most important sets of skills you should try to learn before you go. Some may not apply to you, so feel free to pick and choose, but the list will at least give you a starting point:

New value-price wildlife lens champion: Tamron 150-600mm zoom field-tested

Wildlife photographers have some amazing, and amazingly expensive, lens options from Canon and Nikon, but for many the huge price tags – not to mention large size and weight -- make them impractical. Instead, they have needed to compromise image quality to meet their budget. Fortunately, modern manufacturing techniques and lens design software improvements have continued to improve the quality of third-party value-priced lenses. The first of this new breed is the that I field tested in Texas during my workshops this month...

What size camera is right for you?

It 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…


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

Inle 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.

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