Featured Articles and Reviews

What is Ghosting and Flare?

When light rays coming from a bright source(s) of light (such as the sun or artificial light) directly reach the front element of a camera lens, they … [Continue Reading]

Lens Flare

Wildlife Photography Tips Part One

I hope the idea I have in my head for this wildlife photography series of articles turns out on paper the way I imagined it and you find some useful … [Continue Reading]

Coastal Grizzly Bear Photo

Leica M7 Review

This is a review of the Leica M7 TTL .72 rangefinder film camera that I used with the Leica 35mm f/2.0 Summicron M Aspherical Manual Focus Lens. I had … [Continue Reading]

Leica M7

Arca-Swiss C1 Cube Review

In this review, I will talk about my experience and impressions with using perhaps the finest tripod head I have seen to date, the Arca-Swiss C1 Cube. … [Continue Reading]

Arca-Swiss C1 Cube

How to Photograph the Milky Way

Many travel and landscape photographers, including myself, try to avoid shooting scenery with a clear blue sky. As much as we like seeing puffy or … [Continue Reading]

Arches Night Sky by Tom Redd

Profoto B1 500 AirTTL Review

When Profoto announced their first truly portable setup with the Profoto B1 500 AirTTL battery powered flash last year, the news immediately caught my … [Continue Reading]

Profoto B1 with Battery

What is the Sensor Gel Stick?

I have shot this video a couple of weeks ago and have not had a chance to post it due to my crazy schedule. Basically, it is some detailed information and history about the Sensor Gel Stick and how it works when compared to other sensor cleaning solutions. Since our readers have been wondering about the tool and asking questions about it, I thought it would be a good idea to share it. This is the first part of the video, where I talk about the stick. The second part on how to actually use it will be posted tomorrow, with some detailed instructions for reference.

If you have already purchased yours, you might want to watch the second instructional video before you attempt to use it on your sensor. And to those that are waiting for their shipments – we have been busy inspecting each sensor gel stick and preparing all the shipping materials so that we could get everything out on Monday morning. All orders heading out to US should arrive before Christmas, while orders going to Canada might take a little longer due to customs, etc.

Hope you enjoy the videos!

BlackRapid Sport Camera Strap Review

Maybe you can teach an old dog new tricks.  I hate camera straps, they seem to always be in the way and so more often than not, I end up ditching them.  Instead, I end up carrying the camera  by the body or by the tripod foot when using larger lenses.  I should say, I used to hate straps, until I finally used a BlackRapid Sport and in this quick review we will discuss the advantages of this strap.

BlackRapid Sport with D4 and 300mm

The reason I didn’t use straps was simple, I didn’t like them.  I didn’t like them because they usually weren’t  comfortable.  When used straight around the neck, the strap tended to pull and give me a neck ache.  Another reason for my disdain of straps was that If you placed the strap over your head and onto your opposite shoulder, it would be more comfortable but it was hard to bring the camera up to your eye to shoot.

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You can now pre-order the Sensor Gel Stick

Due to popular request (and the fact that we ran out of the stock in less than 3 hours last night), we have now enabled pre-orders for the Sensor Gel Stick! I have received a number of emails and comments from our readers that really want to buy when it becomes available, instead of patiently waiting for the next email update. We are doing our best to get as many units as possible now, so hopefully we should receive more stock next week.

Sensor Gel Stick

To access the product page where you can pre-order the sensor gel stick from, click here. You can also access the page through the “Shop” link on the top of the page. Once you place your order, you will be able to view its status and receive notifications when the product ships.

Please note that your credit card will NOT be charged now when you pre-order. You will have to come back and complete your order as soon as we have stock. All pre-orders will be served on a first come first serve basis.

The Sensor Gel Stick is in stock!

We have just received a full box of the Sensor Gel Stick and this time we have a lot more than last time (250 to be exact, but I have some units reserved), so hopefully they will last for a little more than last time. The last stock of 70 units was gone in less than two hours and I got some emails from pretty unhappy readers that could not order just because the notification was posted very early in the morning. This time I am posting the notification in the evening to be fair to our readers from the west coast.

UPDATE: All sold out! Next shipment will be here next week.

Sensor Gel Stick

To access the product page where you can order the sensor gel stick from, click here. You can also access the page through the “Shop” link on the top of the page. Once you place your order, you will be able to view its status and receive notifications when the product ships.

[Read more...]

Lightroom 5.3 and Camera RAW 8.3 Update

Today Adobe announced the availability of the final versions of Lightroom 5.3 and Camera RAW 8.3 (the previous version was a release candidate). A number of bugs that were present in Lightroom 5.3 have been fixed, and new camera and lens profiles have been added. No new features have been added, so this is mostly a camera / lens update + bugfix release. For those that recently purchased the Nikon Df, this release provides full RAW support for the camera! Other new cameras that are now supported since the release of the 8.3 RC include the Canon EOS M2, Casio EX-10, Nokia Lumia 1020 and Pentax K-3.

Lightroom 5

Camera and Lens Support

Here is the list of all newly supported camera models:

  • Canon EOS M2
  • Canon PowerShot S120
  • Casio EX-10
  • Fujifilm XQ1
  • Fujifilm X-E2
  • Nikon 1 AW1
  • Nikon Coolpix P7800
  • Nikon Df
  • Nikon D610
  • Nikon D5300
  • Nokia Lumia 1020
  • Olympus OM-D E-M1
  • Olympus STYLUS 1
  • Panasonic DMC-GM1
  • Pentax K-3
  • Phase One IQ260
  • Phase One IQ280
  • Sony A7 (ILCE-7)
  • Sony A7R (ILCE-7R)
  • Sony DSC-RX10

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Sony A7R vs Nikon D800E ISO Performance

In this article, I will show noise performance from the new high resolution Sony A7R mirrorless camera and compare it to its direct competitor, the Nikon D800E. Both have 36 MP sensors and both lack anti-aliasing (AA) filters, which should make it a good case for analysis at pixel level with no re-sizing/down-sampling involved. The Sony A7R is a pretty hot camera right now thanks to its compact camera body, high resolution and excellent image quality. Let’s take a look at how it fares against the older Nikon D800E.

Here is a comparison at the boosted ISO level of 50:

Sony A7R ISO 50 Nikon D800E ISO 50

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Sony A7 vs Nikon D600 ISO Performance

Thanks to all the camera and lens releases earlier this year, I now have too much gear in my hands and too little time to review it all. Instead of making our readers wait for full, in-depth reviews (which take me a while to put together), I will be publishing some bits and pieces from the reviews with my initial impressions. In this case, I would like to show you the ISO noise performance of the new Sony A7 mirrorless camera and the Nikon D600/D610 DLSRs. I have just received the A7 and A7R cameras along with two Sony lenses (the 35mm f/2.8 Zeiss prime and the 28-70mm Sony zoom), so I have not been able to use them extensively to provide a detailed analysis and opinion. From my two days of using the two, I am pretty impressed by what I see so far.

Let’s take a look at how the Sony A7 compares to the Nikon D600 in low and high ISO performance. Here is the boosted ISO 50 for your viewing pleasure:

Sony A7 ISO 50 Nikon D600 ISO 50

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Lightroom Library Module Overview: the Navigation Panel

On our way to mastering Lightroom, we have already learned how to successfully Import images into your Catalog, work with Filename Template Editor and even understand how Lens Corrections work, among other things. Yet someone new to Lightroom will notice that we’ve missed several vital steps in our attempts to explain the software from start to finish, and so it is time to get back to those steps. In this article we will talk about one of the two most used Modules in Lightroom – Library. More specifically, we will overview the functionality of the left-side panel, the rest of the Module will be covered in two upcoming articles shortly afterwards.

Library Module Overview Left-Side Panel

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Nikon Df vs Nikon D4 ISO Performance

In my previous articles comparing the Nikon Df to other cameras like D800, D700 and D610, I posted images from the D4 as if they were from the Df in the articles (note that I clearly pointed out that the images were from the D4), because I was pretty sure that the Df had the same sensor. Some of our readers criticized me for doing that, arguing that Nikon’s sensor technology and the imaging pipeline might have changed since the introduction of the D4. I received the Nikon Df last week, so one of the first things I did was compare its performance against the D4 to see if I could spot any differences. Below is a detailed comparison between the two, which shows that both cameras utilize the same or similar sensor technology. So my previous comparisons are still valid and can be referred to for comparing between the different Nikon DSLRs.

Nikon Df Nikon D4

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Do You Have Insurance for Photography Equipment?

You have insurance to cover damage to, loss of, or theft of your photography equipment, or do you?  We have all heard the words of warning, look both ways before you cross the street, don’t talk to strangers, and read the fine print.  Maybe for photographers it should be read the fine print before you sell a print. Recently a friend of mine (who, for the purposes of this post we’ll call Bill), learned about insurance and the fine print found in policies in an unfortunate way. Bill had his home broken into and some of his expensive photography equipment stolen. Having someone violate your home is hard enough, but the loss of valuable items is like salt in a wound. Finding out that the insurance you purchased and thought protected your loss doesn’t have you covered, might take you to a different state of mind and not in a good way. Read the fine print.

Claim Denied

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