Benq ScreenBar LED Monitor Light: A great addition to any studio computer

One of the first pieces of advice for anyone doing serious image editing or color correction gets is to keep your working area fairly dark. That provides the best environment for accurate assessment of on-screen colors. Unfortunately, that can also make it hard to see the things you need to see that aren’t on the screen. That includes your keyboard (unless you are an awesome typist), other accessories like a LoupeDeck, or even proof prints that need to be compared to the displayed image. There are a number of lights on the market that are designed to address this shortcoming, but monitor-maker Benq has just released its one of the nicest. I’ve been using one for a couple months and am happy to share my experiences.

MindShift Exposure 15 Field-tested: A Bag for Both City and Country Mice

Shoulder bags for photographers tend to be aimed at either photojournalists or hip street shooters. They come in a number of really attractive designs, including two of my favorites, the and the . However, they’re not designed for extended outdoor use in rough conditions. In contrast, many of the great bags and backpacks for wildlife and sports photographers are anything but stylish, and are often not that practical in confined urban settings. So I was very excited when Think Tank introduced the new and . The Exposure series offers serious weatherproofing (even without using the rain cover), room for a good amount of gear and a laptop, and is stylish enough that they’re at home just about anywhere you’d take your camera. I took an Exposure 15 along on our recent photo safari to Africa, where it did double duty as my computer bag around the camps, and as my all purpose shooting bag when we were touring in Johannesburg and Cape Town…

Lenovo X1 Yoga (2nd gen) with OLED display: A Dream Ultrabook for Photographers

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga and Yoga 920 side by sideRegular readers will know that I’m partial to Dell’s XPS 15 as the Windows power laptop of choice. But it is 4.5 pounds and not going to fit into most messenger bags or lightweight daypacks. If you don’t absolutely need its discrete GPU, quad-core CPU, or 15+-inch screen, I can highly recommend the 3 pound Lenovo X1 Yoga (2nd gen), especially if you can afford the OLED display. I’ve been using one as my primary laptop for several weeks, and it did everything I needed, and did it effectively. That included not just processing RAW images from my , but running my 4K Video from my Mavic Pro through Premiere Pro and a set of color and noise reduction plugins.

If you pile on every option (high-end dual-core i7, high-resolution OLED display, 16GB of RAM, and a 1TB SSD), it is pricey at $2800 (currently discounted to just under $2600), but you’ll be getting an amazing machine. You can , along with my thoughts on it, its sister machine the Lenovo Yoga 920, and other .

Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art lens field tested: Wide-angle winner

While not as new or celebrated as its bigger sibling, the , the seemed like a worthy candidate to test with my new . After using it off and on for a few weeks, I’m impressed with its combination of features, image quality, and value. It delivers excellent results for a , compared to $2,000 for the .

Adobe releases Photoshop Elements 2018 and Premiere Elements 2018 with lots more AI under the hood

If you want an all-in-one image management, image processing, and video editing suite, Adobe’s Elements has long been a leading contender. With its new 2018 version, Adobe has piled on a lot more AI-based features, including Auto Curate, a literal “eye-opener” for portraits, and some spiffy automated video editing tools. You can read more in my full review on Extremetech, or just go ahead and snag the suite of both ($120 for upgraders through Adobe), or just ($79 for upgraders through Adobe).

Flying a Mavic Pro with Epson's Moverio BT-300FPV Drone Edition AR glasses

The author flying a Mavic Pro using MoverioI’ve had a lot of fun feeling like I’m personally piloting my Mavic Pro when I control it using Epson’s Drone Edition of their popular Moverio BT-300FPV glasses. It’s an expensive accessory, and has a few teething problems, but it does provide a unique and pretty-compelling experience. You can read my full review and see a video of me using one in .

Think Tank StreetWalker Rolling Backpack 2.0 field tested: Airport-friendly photo backpack

Adjustable dividers allow a customized fit for your DSLR or Mirrorless gearI love using my Think Tank when shooting from a vehicle, like a safari truck in Africa, or a boat in Alaska, or even from a blind in Texas. With room for both my photo gear and my 15-inch laptop, it is one of the most-versatile photo backpacks on the market. But lugging it through airports, especially on the super-long walks we often face on international connections, is painful. So I was quite excited when Think Tank released a Roller version. I used a as my backpack in Alaska, and it did everything I wanted.

 

MindShift PhotoCross 13: A great sling-style bag for working in the field with a camera or drone

MindShift Gear PhotoCross 13 Sling Bag (Orange Ember)Photo backpacks are great for carrying gear, but they have one major drawback. They’re inconvenient to work with in situations where you don’t have the time or space to set them down. For that reason, I’ve always made sure that some type of sling or messenger bag was part of my arsenal. So I was excited to learn about the upcoming . I was fortunate enough to get an early version to take with me on my Alaska bear photo safaris and put it through its paces…

Nikon D7500 field tested: A winner DSLR for mid-range budgets

Nikon D7500 DSLR Camera (Body Only)Like almost every pro Nikon shooter, I’m eagerly awaiting the new Nikon D850. In the meantime, I needed an updated backup camera for my . I wanted one good enough to use for “pro” work, but small and light enough that I could easily carry it in a messenger bag with my drone for field work. I’d already shot with the Nikon D500 and , which are both excellent cameras, but decided to be a little more adventurous and purchase the newer , that fits many of the features of the into a smaller, less-expensive, package.

Sigma 150-600mm Contemporary lens field test: Excellent value in a lightweight telephoto zoom

Nikon and Canon’s long glass may be getting slightly lighter over the years, but those flagship lenses are also getting incredibly expensive. Fortunately there is a crop of third party value-priced lenses that have arrived to help out consumers. We’ve reviewed several of them in the past, like the , , and , but until now hadn’t gotten the chance to take the lighter-weight of Sigmas two superzooms, the into the field. Our annual Alaska bear & puffin photo safari was the perfect opportunity. Two weeks of mid-range use for the bears coupled with longer-range use with the Puffins gave me a chance to put the lens through its paces.

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