GearGuide: Camera Lenses for Bird Photography

Even more important to excellent bird photography than having the right camera is having the right lens. There is no point in purchasing that dream camera body and crippling yourself with a cheap lens. In the 8 years I've been leading digital photo safaris I've had the chance to use or at least see used just about every likely lens made for Nikon and Canon camera bodies and have plenty of hopefully useful thoughts to share with you:

Photodex Updates ProShow Producer to Include Facebook, Twitter Integration, Performance

Photodex has released Producer 4.1 (free to current licensees of Producer) including built-in Facebook and Twitter integration (automatically upload your shows to Facebook and/or announce your uploads on Twitter. They've also improved performance, fixed a lot of bugs and improved the interface to slide styles. You can download it now, or read the full set of improvements...
What’s New in ProShow Producer 4.1?
Integrated Facebook & Vimeo Support

Nikon Updates Excellent 300mm f/2.8 lens and TC-20E

Nikon has updated the already excellent 300mm f/2.8 AF-S lens with VR II (enhanced VR) and a Nano Crystal coat for reduced glare, and the least favored sibling of the Nikon TC family the TC-20E III...

Adobe Camera Raw (Photoshop) and Lightroom Update for D3S, Canon 7D, S90, G11 and Others

Adobe Labs has released a beta of Camera Raw 5.6 and the equivalent module for Lightroom, adding support for a variety of cameras including the Nikon D3S, the Canon 7D, S90 and G11, as well as several new Sony models. You can download it from:
The complete list of models supported is:

The Ultimate Raw File Tweaker: Colorchecker Passport

As raw files become the common currency of high-end photographry a widening array of tools is arriving to help photographers get the most from them. I've been using SpyderCube from Datacolor/Colorvision for awhile to help set white and black points along with white balance for color critical situations.

XP to Windows 7: Should you Bother?

Regular readers know that we've been enjoying running Windows 7 on several machines here, ranging from a 5 year old laptop and a newer laptop to an HTPC and my main Photoshop machine. But except for one upgrade from Vista to Win 7 the rest have been "clean" installs--requiring the re-installation of all applications. But this week I decided to take the plunge and try to upgrade our workhorse Quicken & Email machine from XP to Windows 7. Read on to see if this adventure is in your future...

Nikon announces priority shipments of new AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II

Nikon is notifying NPS members that they're planning to ship the much anticipated "II" version of the popular 70-200mm lens in late November to NPS members IF they make sure to contact NPS and give them their pre-order information. The lens is especially anticipated by D3 and D700 owners who may have noticed increased vignetting when using the current version with full frame digital cameras. If you're an NPS member and haven't gotten the information from Nikon, make sure and contact NPS with your pre-order information to get your lens in a timely fashion.

Improving your Printing Workflow: ImagePrint 8 & Qimage 2009 Reviewed

Last week I wrote about a great way to improve the quality of your prints by creating customer printer profiles with Spyder3Print SR. But as anyone who prints a lot knows, that is only half the story. Between layout, spooling, swapping paper and ink, and reprinting on demand the actual production workflow is as big a challenge as print quality for anyone serious about printing.

Fortunately there are two excellent software packages that can help. Today we'll look at Imageprint 8 and Qimage 2009 Studio Edition. By reading the review hopefully you can learn whether one or the other of these applications should be part of your photography toolset...

Lowepro Pro Roller X200: The Most Versatile Camera Bag Ever?

As a travel and wildlife photographer I find myself on all different sizes of planes with a wide variety of gear. I’ve always enjoyed working with Lowepro rollers for trips where I needed the convenience of a wheeled bag, but have been blown away by the versatility of the new .

Customize your Color: 20 Minutes to Better Prints with Spyder3 Print SR

[amazon B002N2Z332 full]For many years I've struggled with a good way to review printer profiling solutions. Fully featured solutions cost thousands of dollars so they were always hard to recommend and lower cost solutions required so much time, effort and tweaking that they were only suitable for truly hard-core users...

DPS 7-07: The Future of Imaging--Camera 2.0, Beyond HDR & more--Event Update & Product News

  Welcome to DPS 7-07. We hope you had a great summer. We sure did, highlighted by our July trips to Alaska for Brown Bear photography. Next year's trips are already mostly full so if you'd like to join us please sign up soon. Closer to home we've also announced our two Texas bird photo safaris for April and we still have one opening on our African "trip of a lifetime" photo safari in November. In the meantime I had a great time speaking at a symposium on High Dynamic Range (HDR) imaging at Stanford which has given me lots of new energy to re-capture many local scenes using new techniques.

Sony breaks the $2K barrier for Full Frame: Are they ready to take on Nikon & Canon?

Sony today introduced three new D-SLRs, ranging from the value priced A500 (APS-C sized sensor, 12MP for $749 list) up to the breakthrough A850 at a stunning full-frame 24MP for less than $2000. With these trend-setting prices is Sony ready to take on Nikon and Canon for leadership in the high-end of the camera market?...For the last 50 years various other brands have tried to challenge the hegemony of Nikon and Canon. One by one they have all fallen by the wayside, unable to overcome the tremendous distribution networks, product quality and breadth and customer loyalty of Nikon and Canon.

Adobe Camera Raw 5.5RC supports D3000, D300s

Buyers of the new Nikon D3000 and D300s can now get Raw file support in Photoshop by downloading the Adobe Camera Raw plug-in version 5.5 Release Candidate.

DPS 7-06: New Nikons, Alaska Trip Report, Events Update & plenty of news and tips

Welcome to DPS 7-06. We hope your summer has been a succesful one, both photographically and personally. The highlight of ours was once again our Grizzly Bear & Puffin photo safaris where we lead two great groups of enthusiastic participants in photographing the majestic Alaskan Coastal Brown Bears and a variety of seabirds. In the meantime Nikon has been busy churning out a spate of new Coolpix models but has also update the D300 and several important lenses we want to make sure you know about. And of course in this issue we'll give you the latest updates on our events schedule.