Receive our FREE photo newsletter:
   

Nikon unleashes new entry-level D3400 and lenses for serious shooters on a budget

If you’ve been considering giving up on DSLRs and shifting to a smaller, possibly-lower-cost mirrorless camera, Nikon wants to make you think again. The new builds on the image quality of Nikon’s DSLRs and adds some intriguing usability features – like SnapBridge which should make image sharing with your mobile device much easier. At 5 fps, it should have enough performance for most. And you can get it in a kit with Nikon’s new 18-55mm VR lens for $650 when it ships in September.

ProShow 8: The best slideshow package for Windows gets even better

ProShow 8 is Here!The folks at Photodex keep finding new ways to improve on ProShow, which for a long time has been the best slideshow package on the market. For anyone who wants to do pro-quality presentations or videos starting with images and other media, ProShow is the best tool you can buy. The desktop version is Windows-only, but there is a Web version with less features that can be used from any machine. Now, Photodex has released ProShow 8, with a number of new features and other improvements. I’ve been using it since its release, including to create our traditional participant slideshows during our Alaska Bear & Puffin safaris, and the new version has made it easier than ever…

MindShift rotation180 Panorama Camera Backpack Field tested: Great solution for an all-in-one field pack

It's one thing to have a great, dedicated, camera backpack. There are many of those on the market. Some of my personal favorites are the and my Think Tank for when I need a roller. I'm also looking forward to trying out the new MindShift MP-3, based on Moose Peterson's design. However, sometimes you need to bring along a variety of other goodies, like jackets and gloves for the changing weather, or food for a long day out, and you don’t need a huge supply of photo gear. That means you need a flexible pack that can store a wide variety of contents. If you add to that the requirement to get at your photo gear without taking your pack off -- a must when working in mud, deep sand, or powdery snow – you need a different kind of backpack.

Nikon D500 field-tested: Long-expected successor to the Nikon D300 worth the wait!

Nikon D500 DSLR Camera (Body Only)Few cameras have had a more loyal following than the Nikon D300 (and predecessor Nikon D200). For those who wanted a pro-quality Nikon without moving to the size and expense of full-frame, they represented an excellent combination of features at a reasonable price. However, as the years have gone by, the tech in those cameras has been left in the dust. Many owners have been forced to move either “down” to a more consumer-oriented, but newer, model like the , or up to a larger, more-expensive, model like the . No longer. I shot almost exclusively in Alaska for two weeks with a , and loved it. It is easy to hold, fun to use, and took photos that are as high quality as I’ve ever seen from a 21MP sensor.

Canon G9 X field-tested: Best camera you can easily fit in a pocket

Canon PowerShot G9 X Digital Camera (Silver)The appeal of a camera you can always have with you is obvious. For an increasing number of people that’s their smartphone. But if you want to have something with a bigger sensor and a zoom lens, a compact point-and-shoot is the way to go. That creates something of a Goldilocks problem – the cheap, small ones aren’t much better than a phone, and the high-end ones don’t fit in a pocket. Canon has done a good job over the years with its S series in finding a middle ground – reasonable sensor, good features, and Raw capability. I’ve been shooting with the newest version, rebranded as the , and have been impressed by the upgrade in image quality, while learning to like, or at least live with, the new Touchscreen-centric interface…

Young bears play in the water on a hot day, just like people

 

Most of Alaska is having a streak of uncharacteristically balmy weather, not well suited to bears’ thick fur coats. As a result, cubs and juvenile bears alike have been taking advantage of the cool water as the site for their wrestling and play fights. These two young Brown Bears went at it for nearly an hour, with breaks to lay flat in the water and cool off before once again charging each other. A great week for our !

Moose Peterson backpacks revived and updated by MindShift

MindShift Gear and Moose Peterson Collaborate to Update Classic Moose Peterson Outdoor Photography Backpacks

I’m really excited to see the much-beloved Moose Peterson backpack line back on the market – chock full of improvements thanks to the folks at MindShift. The packs were my favorite for many years, but Moose stopped working on or selling them a while ago. The new versions, called MP-1 v2.0, MP-3 v2.0, and MP-7 v2.0 have the same form factor as the originals of the same name, but with improved straps, water bottle holders, and some other nice touches.

Adobe revs Photoshop, Creative Cloud with some cool new tools and VR support

I’ve been using the new June update for Creative Cloud for about a week, and am enjoying both the new Content-aware Crop feature in Photoshop, and the native 360-degree video support in Premiere (anyone who has tried to edit 360-degree video in a traditional video editor knows how painful it can be). There is also much improved integration with Adobe Stock for those of you who buy images, rather than sell them. On the sell side, Adobe has also promised a spiffy contributor portal for Adobe Stock, but no details yet on when it will be available. You can read my .

New Sony RX10 III field-tested: The ultimate all-in-one Superzoom is now even better

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 III Digital CameraNo one like carrying a lot of camera gear, or changing lenses. But for many of us it is a necessary evil to get the shots we want. But the question I get asked most is "I want a camera that does it all, but I don't want to carry several lenses or a big backpack or tripod, what should I buy?" The new is an excellent answer. With a 1-inch-format 20MP sensor, and a 24-600mm super-zoom lens from Zeiss, it takes remarkably good images for an all-in-one camera, and it does it across a massive focal length range. The big upgrade from the Mark II is an increase in zoom range from 200mm to 600mm at the long end (resulting in a slightly larger, and more-expensive, camera).

Exciting new discoveries about the extent of cities surrounding Angkor Wat and other Cambodian temples

Cambodia’s Khmer temples are not only a wonder of the ancient world, but one of its great mysteries. With almost no written record of what was once a vast kingdom, researchers have been left to speculate about its origins, rise to power, and ultimate fading from glory. The large stone structures that remain have many inscriptions that help explain the kingdom’s religious life and the facts about the royal family, but are largely silent about the society, culture, or even the technology that helped Khmer agriculture power an aggressive campaign of expansion and conquering neighboring civilizations. The extent of its cities, and whether the area was an extensive urban sprawl or merely a set of disjoint small cities has also been a subject of conjecture -- until now...

OPTIC 2016 Trip Report: Outdoor photo extravaganza courtesy of B&H Photo

I’m just back from an East Coast swing including some fun bird photography on the Eastern Shore (hands-on with the coming soon!). The highlight, though, was definitely B&H’s OPTIC 2016 conference & tradeshow. Now in its second year, OPTIC was bigger and better this year, with more sponsors and more speakers. The tradeshow floor featured a wide-variety of cameras, lenses, accessories, and photographic service offerings. My thanks both to B&H (David Brommer, Deborah Gilbert, and the rest of the team) for hosting, and especially to DataColor for sponsoring my talk on Photographing the Bears of Alaska (based on the 17 years I’ve been capturing them on film and digital, and 15 years of ). Here are some of the highlights of the show for me...

Ricoh Theta S 360 camera field tested: Insanely fun and surprisingly useful

Ricoh Theta S Spherical VR Digital CameraAlong with Virtual Reality, no trend is hotter this year than 360-degree photos and videos. For a few years now, you've been able to cobble together a 360 photo using an app on your phone to stitch together the many required images -- with predictably-mediocre results.

Simple method for photographing Flycatchers in action

One of the most fun experiences in birding and bird photography is watching flycatchers hit the water to grab insects. Unfortunately, it is usually only that – an experience. Actually capturing photos of the birds in action is one of the hardest tasks in wildlife photography. It is possible (just barely) to do it by actually tracking the birds, if you have the right gear and just the right setup and background. But most of the time, that simply isn’t an option. However, there is a fairly simple set of steps you can take to give yourself a chance at getting some interesting images, and maybe even some really good ones if you are persistent enough. We experimented with it on our recent Texas bird photo workshop with some good successes. Here is what you need to do:

Curious about Virtual Reality? Here is a guide to your options for getting started

Virtual Reality (VR) may not be directly affecting your photography yet, but there is no doubt it is a major new way to communicate visually, and this year it will begin to impact both still and video shooters. Along with its sibling, 360 photos and videos, it is a powerful new tool. However, it is really early days, and not everyone is cut out for taking the plunge. I put together a guide to the available , that will point you in the right direction based the level of your interest and enthusiasm – and budget.

Sony a6300 compact mirrorless field tested: Amazing tech in a small package

I've spent a lot more time shooting with the new since my first look article, and the experience has reinforced my impressions -- both pro and con. On the pro side, the speed and image quality is really amazing. I covered multiple events at Nvidia's tech conference, in a variety of awful lighting conditions, and the camera performed flawlessly at ISOs up to 3200 (where I had Auto ISO set to top out). However, even after some customization of the interface, I found the controls inefficient, especially in dark rooms.

Pages