Lightening up your photo kit: Lenses I no longer travel with…

The Sigma 300-800 is an excellent and unique telephoto zoom, but it is huge & heavy -- no fun to travel withI’m often asked what lenses I recommend for various photo subjects – typically right before a reader or client is about to head off on a trip. What often goes without saying is what lenses I don’t travel with. In many cases, these were my “go-to” lenses for many years, but a combination of industry trends has helped me lighten up my traveling kit substantially. The changes aren’t for everyone, but they are worth considering for anyone who has begun to dread traveling with all their gear. Before I plunge in, please remember that I’m not saying these lenses aren’t still some of my favorites, or that you shouldn’t rely on them anywhere and everywhere, just that it is always worth thinking about what you are traveling with and why…


Nikon D810: Solid upgrade to Nikon D800 -- Available for pre-order!

imageStarting in late July, Nikon will be shipping its anticipated update to the Nikon D800/e. The Nikon D810 is an upgrade in nearly every aspect of camera and video performance, although each single change is not dramatic. Faster frame rate (5fps full-frame, 7fps DX with battery pack), improved Autofocus, improved sensor with better low-light performance, upgrades for videographers, and a removed low-pass filter (ala the “e”) with improved anti-moire are some of the highlights. The price is the same as the original Nikon D800e price – $3300. The new model will likely be very popular with owners of the current models, and with some D600 owners looking to get more resolution and a few more features. We’ll review the camera when it is available, of course! In the meantime, if you're gung-ho, you can pre-order a Nikon D810 from B&H for $3296.95.


Adobe goes wild with Hardware for artists, Photographer program, and Photoshop 2014 & Suite updates

Adobe fired product salvos on every front today, with a massive set of announcements across its product line. For photographers, the Photo subscription plan has been made permanent at $10/month for Photoshop CC, Lightroom, and mobile apps. Photoshop has also been updated with some cool new tools including Focus-based masking and Path-based blurs – as well as support for Photoshop Mix. You can read more about all of that in my article for Extremetech.com. In the meantime, artists with an iPad will love Adobe’s new Ink & Slide hardware, which I was fortunate enough to be able to use extensively prior to its release. Read more »

Nikon D4S Field-tested: All the camera you can fit in one body

1024081After two weeks of nearly constant shooting with the Nikon D4S during my photo workshops in Texas, I am more impressed than ever with the camera. I’ve already posted about its ultra-high-ISO capability, but this field test was more about how it performed as an action camera in both good and poor light situations. In short, it delivered. The Autofocus is the fastest I’ve ever used, and the nearly instant triggering of the shutter allowed me to capture more peaks of action than with any other DSLR I’ve used….


Wildlife Photos: Subject + Light + Background–Painted Bunting

_dsc3212When most people think of wildlife photos – whether of Mammals, Birds, or Reptiles – they think of the subject. But there is a lot more to making a compelling photograph of an animal in nature than the subject. Light plays an essential role, for starters. Dull, drab, images are seldom capable of commanding our attention. Backgrounds, while under-rated, are also key. All three came together in this image of a Painted Bunting from our Hill Country bird photo workshop this week. Each element plays a role… Read more »

Lightroom goes mobile: Hands-on with Lightroom for the iPad

Lightroom mobile displays each of your albums in a pleasing grid that you can use to select an image to work withAdobe has taken Lightroom mobile, announcing a highly simplified version for the iPad that syncs seamlessly with your main computer’s Lightroom collections. It is well-designed and a joy to use. I’ve been working with it for the last week, and have posted my hands-on review on Extremetech. Frankly, the tablet I carry every day isn’t an iPad (it’s a Samsung Note 10.1 2014 Edition), but Lightroom mobile is one of the first apps that’s tempted me to bring an iPad along as well. It’s free to get started for anyone with a Creative Cloud or Photographer Program subscription from Adobe (you will need one of those, unfortunately for folks who’ve been buying Lightroom a la carte).

Nikon agrees to give new cameras in cases where a D600 can't be fixed

Nikon has gone another step -- beyond offering to replace the shutters in any D600s that are experiencing sensor spotting -- by saying it will provide a brand new camera to any owners who have had their cameras serviced "" and still have issues.

Nikon offers free Upgrade for D600 owners: Wins hearts and minds

COOLPIX L25

In an amazing, and no doubt expensive, customer service gesture, Nikon has announced that it will provide free shutter upgrades to D600 owners – even if your Nikon D600 is out of warranty! Nikon does not say whether the replacement shutter will actually be the slightly faster shutter from the D610, or just a slightly modified version of the original, but the entire process is free, including shipping both ways, so it is a no-brainer for any Nikon D600 owner. For details, read on… Read more »

Gaining slideshow productivity with Proshow’s Remix feature

imageEspecially with the popularity of mobile devices for viewing photos, slideshows are a perfect way to show off the best of your images – or simply to share the highlights of an event or trip. Creating quality slideshows can be a time-consuming process, so any tool that helps me make better shows, faster, is a good thing. Regular readers will know that I’m a huge fan of Proshow’s offerings – Producer and Gold on the desktop, and Web for when you’re mobile or on a Mac. However, I’ve struggled a bit with how to leverage Proshow’s powerful Wizard tool while still having customizations like beginning and end captions. Fortunately, the clever Remix command has come to my rescue… Read more »

DxO Optics Pro 9: Does it have the best image noise reduction ever?

EDL_InleLake_Fishermen_1776_DxOIn the bad old days of early DSLRs, noise reduction was a vital piece of every workflow. With modern DSLRs, and even many smaller cameras, low-noise is the norm for most sensors in most conditions. But no matter what camera you have, there comes a time when you have to push its limits and bump up the ISO until you get visible noise. That’s when a high-quality noise reduction tool is a must. Read more »

Sony a7R: World-class image quality in a small package rivals Nikon D800

For the last year, the Nikon D800 (and especially the Nikon D800e) have reigned as the highest-scoring camera in DxO’s extensive and widely-cited tests. For those willing to carry the moderately large 2.2 pound camera, and shell out $3K to buy one, you get massively sharp, colorful 36MP images. However, the Sony a7R is threatening to knock the Nikon D800e off its pedestal… Read more »

Nikon 5300: Bringing pro-quality images to the consumer DSLR

Nikon D5300 DSLR Camera (Black)Nikon has continued to push the envelope of what’s possible with DSLRs, by relentlessly taking technologies – especially sensors – from its more expensive models and using them in less expensive versions. The Nikon D5300 is a perfect example. Using the excellent, very sharp, 24MP sensor from the Nikon D7100 and an updated EXPEED 4 processing chip, the Nikon D5300 is likely to make those looking for amazing images in a small package very happy. Read more »

Concerned about the “rent-only” future of Photoshop: Consider Elements instead

Photoshop Elements 12 - ET Editors' Choice featured imageFor some of us Photoshop is practically ingrained in our blood at this point, and we use its esoteric features enough that biting the bullet and signing up for a Cloud subscription to get continued access isn’t that hard a decision. But for many (perhaps most) Photoshop users, the program has more features than they need, and is much harder to use than it needs to be to do what they want. For them, Adobe’s own Photoshop Elements is a great alternative. I’ve just completed a hands-on review of Elements for Extremetech, where it received one of the site’s first Editor’s Choice awards. If you’re curious about what you’re missing, read the review, and then remember you can buy Elements for under $90 from Amazon or from B&H – not much more than a the price of a filter for your lens. Read more »

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