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Fujifilm X-Pro2: Retro camera for those with Leica envy

Fujifilm X-Pro2 Mirrorless Digital Camera (Body Only)Right from the first look the screams retro, and reminds one of a Leica. Its square-shaped, solid-metal, body, with large control dials on top is a definite throwback. At first blush, so is the Rangefinder (which under the hood turns out to be a lot more than that). As with Leica, a carefully-curated selection of high-performance lenses complement the camera itself. The design may be retro, and a few of the features, but the Fuji X-Pro 2 packs a punch when it comes to the latest technology, features, and premium image quality. You won't be sacrificing anything in those areas by moving to one.

Lots of new drones for photographers shown at CES

My initial goal was to survey the drone announcements at CES 2017 earlier this month, but it soon became clear that there were far too many. Literally dozens of companies, with likely well over a hundred new models. Many of them are amazing for photographers. In particular the updated GDU model, with a modular gimbal and support for a camera up to 5 pounds, is intriguing. You can .

2017 will be the year of user-generated 3D and VR content thanks to new capture devices

CES 2017 was chock full of new 180-degree, 360-degree, and 3D/VR capture devices, priced from $150 to many thousands of dollars. No matter what your budget there was one being shown that would work. Of course, you need to pay more to get more, but there are even pro-quality devices around the $1,000 mark – a fraction of what they have been previously. I’ve rounded up some of my favorites, and also provided some definitions of the terms used by exhibitors to describe their devices in .

Looking for a Photoshop alternative: $40 for Affinity Photo is your best option

For photographers looking for an alternative to Photoshop, that want all the power it provides and aren’t satisfied with the more limited processing capabilities of or , there haven’t been too many alternatives. The best options to date have been , Gimp, or perhaps Cyberlink’s PhotoDirector. Now though, Affinity has dramatically improved the capabilities of its Photo product and has also made it available on both Mac and Windows. For the value price of $40, you can have a product that does almost all of what Photoshop does, and many things it doesn’t. I’ve taken it for a spin and enjoyed using it. You can read my .

Samsung Gear 360: Excellent image quality in an awkward package

Samsung Gear 360 Spherical VR CameraThis year has seen the first consumer-friendly 360-degree cameras capable of 4K video capture. 4K or better resolution is much more important for 360-degree cameras than for traditional models, because those 4,000 x 2,000 pixels have to cover a full 360-degrees of the scene. The best known of these cameras is Samsung's Gear 360, so we took one out for a spin to see if it is indeed a worthy upgrade to the Ricoh Theta S that we reviewed earlier in the year. In short, it is a solid step up in output quality, but at the cost of a somewhat-awkward form factor. Keep in mind that to use the full features of the you need to pair it with a Samsung Galaxy S6, S6 edge, S7, S7 Edge, or Note 5. It’s bundled software is also Windows-only.

Lightroom adds a Reference View -- not that having multiple windows is a new thing

There is no doubt that Lightroom’s new Reference View is a useful addition to the product. It is a fancy name for allowing you to have a static image displayed on part of the screen while you work on another. This is helpful for looking through a variety of shots, comparing them, checking for stable white balance, etc. However, it does make me laugh a little bit, since if Lightroom supported any type of windowing or multi-document interface – like Photoshop and nearly every other full-blown desktop application, we could already do that, and much more.

Adobe shows off its new 2017 version of Creative Cloud at Max, plus teases lots of new products and features

I was lucky enough to be able to attend Adobe Max last week. It is one of the largest gatherings of creative professionals in the world, with over 10,000 attendees this year. In literally hundreds of sessions participants learned about the latest and greatest Adobe products, got teasers of Adobe’s future directions, and had the opportunity to get hands-on training with experts. Interspersed were some inspirational keynotes from leading creatives including Quentin Tarantino, Simpsons Director David Silverman, and veteran war photographer Linsey Addario. There was a lot to cover, so I’ve split my coverage of the event into two. First is my . Then, here are what I thought were .

Podcast with David Cardinal on building a photo business--by Skip Cohen University

PictureI had a lot of fun earlier this week recording a podcast for Skip Cohen University on my career in photography, and some thoughts for those who are looking to make a living in the photo business.

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