Receive our FREE photo newsletter:

Cardinal Photo 2015 Holiday Gift Guide: Our top travel accessories

We're entering holiday gift season, 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 and photo accessories, in case one of them would help fill the bill. Some are awesome for just about anyone who travels, and others are especially useful for photographers:

Mastering color for travel and vacation photographers

WebinarThank you to all of you who are attending our Webinar on Mastering color for travel and vacation photographers, sponsored by DataColor and DxO Labs. As promised, all of the slides we presented are available to you online.

Adobe rolls out Lightroom 6.3: New cameras, lenses, restores classic Import dialog

Lightroom CC and Lightroom 6 users should see the update automatically when they do an Update check. Adobe has fixed a slew of bugs that it introduced in LR6.2, as well as adding support for about a half-dozen new cameras, and several dozen lenses (including the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus). The pre-LR6.2 Import experience has also been restored, as the updated version wasn’t exactly a hit. As usual, the update is free to those with a current license or subscription.

Free Webinar on Mastering color for travel and vacation photographers: Nov 23

edl_inlelake_fishermen_2859Nothing is more frustrating to a photographer than getting back from a trip and having your photos not do your experience justice. I’ll be hosting a Free webinar on November 23rd, hosted by Datacolor and co-sponsored by DxO to help you with setting up a color-managed workflow, and then going beyond managing color to mastering color in your travel and vacation photography. It’s free but you need to sign up in advance. The Webinar will start at 11am Pacific (2pm Eastern) and last about an hour (including time for questions).

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.

Nikon lens price drop: 5% to 15% across the board!

clip_image001Nikon has just dropped prices on many of  its lenses. You can see and shop the complete list on B&H here. If you’ve been waiting to treat yourself to a lens upgrade as a Holiday present, now might be the time to pull the trigger!

Advanced monitor diagnosis and tuning with Spyder5

Depending on which tests you run Spyder5 Elite will provide you with a score for each category  and an overall score if you ran all tests Anyone who is serious about photography is hopefully already calibrating & profiling their monitors using a hardware device, like the excellent Spyder5 (for basic use, Spyder5EXPRESS for $99 is perfect). If you’re not, then you’re just guessing when it comes to getting accurate color. However, you can go far beyond just building profiles if you instead choose either Spyder5PRO for $139 or Spyder5ELITE for $229. These versions include powerful display measurement and analysis tools that can be used both for finding the optimal settings for your display prior to profiling, and to help you compare and troubleshoot display issues....

Sigma expands Art lens line with 20mm f/1.4 DG HSM model

Sigma continues to roll out very-high-quality, professional-grade, lenses in its Art family. These lenses are super-fast, super-sharp, and reasonably priced for their features and image quality. The new, full-frame-ready, Sigma 20mm f/1.4 lens is available for pre-order on the B&H site for $900. It uses both “F-type” low dispersion glass and other low-dispersion glass technologies in its 15-element construction. Advanced lens coatings are also used. It has a hypersonic focus motor, and a minimum focusing distance of 10.9”. Like other lenses in the family, it can be tweaked using Sigma’s USB dock and software. A 9-bladed aperture helps ensure a smooth-looking bokeh. It will be available in Canon EF, Nikon F, and Sigma SA mounts.

Startup Light announces the L16: A 52MP camera with zoom that fits in your pocket

Light L16 front viewUsing a unique combination of computational imaging to combine images from 16 small sensors, and lenses that use mirrors to achieve long focal lengths in a thin package, startup Light has announced and demonstrated a 52MP camera about the size of a smartphone that features a 35mm-150mm optical zoom. You can read more details about it in the story I wrote for, and I’m eagerly awaiting the point in the process where there are real units for review. In the meantime, let us know your thoughts about whether you’re likely to buy one of these, either at the pre-order price of $1300 or the retail price of $1700 when it ships in late summer 2016. Will you miss the zoom and focus rings on your DSLR, or the optical viewfinder, or be so glad to get rid of the weight and bulk that you’ll gladly trade them for a touchscreen?

Amazing DxO ONE SuperRAW noise reduction: How it works, and how to roll your own version

dxo_0595dxo_One of the most interesting features of DxO’s new DxO ONE camera (#dxoone) is the new SuperRAW image format it supports. SuperRAW is a compound image format, with each image file containing four RAW images taken in quick succession. When the ONE is set to capture images in SuperRAW, the four individual RAW images are shot and stored in a single, proprietary, image file (with a .DXO extension). When processed by DxO’s own OpticsPro or FilmPack software, spatial and temporal noise reduction are applied to the four images, with the resulting output image having lower noise – and better overall image quality -- than any of the four individual captures.

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

Adobe Elements 14 freatures a Video Editor, Media organizer, and photo editorIf 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 hands-on review of it and its companion application, Premiere Elements 14, for Extremetech. 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 ($120/year from B&H) 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.

DxO ONE production review with sample, RAW, and SuperRAW images

DxO ONE Digital CameraAs regular readers know, I’ve been having a lot of fun shooting with a DxO ONE alongside my more-traditional DSLR and compact cameras over the last few months. Until now, the software and firmware have been pre-release versions, so I haven’t been able to take you through them in as much detail as I would have liked, or post sample RAW and SuperRAW images. Now that the ONE is starting to ship that’s all changed, so here’s a more thorough look at the camera and its companion software. More importantly, here are some of the first real RAW and SuperRAW images that are available for you to evaluate on your own. #dxoone

Think Tank releases new Retrospective Leather and Mirrorless Mover 25i

imageRegular readers know that I really like both the Think Tank Retrospective 7 (here’s my original review) as a versatile shoulder bag that can accommodate either a good-size mirrorless rig or a smallish DSLR rig, and the Think Tank Mirrorless Mover 30i (here’s my review) as the ultimate option for a 10-inch tablet plus mirrorless outfit. Think Tank has added a new wrinkle to each of these already-great bags…


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.