Sign up for our FREE newsletter (or ):

-- From B&H

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 .

Best practices for backing up your photos and videos

When lightning strikes -- David CardinalI get asked a lot about how I backup my images (and videos, now that I’m shooting more of them). So I finally wrote it down, along with alternatives that might better suit you, as your circumstances are likely to differ from mine in some way. It’s all . The essential element to whatever system you choose is to make sure it protects you against all, or at least most, of the issues that can arise. That includes disk “bit rot,” disk failure, controller or computer failure, human error, buggy backup software, and ultimately even major disasters that affect everything on premises.

Adobe updates Photoshop, goes cloud-first with newly-minted version of Lightroom CC

Adobe Lightroom CC 1.0 user interfaceAdobe rocked the world for many photographers with its cloud-first pivot on Lightroom announced at Adobe MAX 2017. The current CC version has been renamed "Lightroom Classic CC" and gets some performance bumps for loyal desktop-centric users. A new cloud-first version, the new "Lightroom CC" has rolled out. It has a similar UI to the current mobile versions of Lightroom -- a subset of the features found in the desktop version. It requires that all images sync to Adobe's Cloud, for which Adobe charges something extra. Not everyone is thrilled, though, and there is plenty of fear that this means Adobe will de-emphasize its power tools for serious photographers. Along with the new Lightroom, Adobe also made some solid upgrades to its Adobe Photoshop CC. You can .

DxO rescues the popular Nik Collection and rolls U-Points into new PhotoLab image editor

One of the sadder developments for serious photographers was the purchase of Nik Software by Google. It was done so that Google could leverage Nik’s Snapseed technology into its Photo offering. However, the excellent Nik tools were orphaned in the process. Now that has finally changed. DxO Labs, makers of OpticsPro, FilmPack, and ViewPoint, has acquired the entire Nik Collection. This will result in at least three pieces of good news for Nik fans:

 

Luminar by MacPhun (now Skylum) coming to Windows: Competition for Photoshop and Lightroom heats up

As a Windows user, I’ve only heard about MacPhun and their Luminar photo editor, but have never had a chance to use it. However, this fall I was able to start using their AuroraHDR product when they brought it to Windows, and have been very impressed. Now, the company (renamed Skylum) is bringing its flagship Luminar image editor to Windows, and it looks like it will be an exciting new entry in the desktop photo editing space. With a price point even less than Adobe Photoshop Elements, it provides a set of features that looks very similar to both Photoshop and the image editing portion of Lightroom. Mac users can try or purchase it now, by . Pre-orders for the Windows version will start on November 1st. I got a chance to use the beta and was very impressed by the interface and architecture. I’ll be doing a more complete review once the shipping version is available.

 

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 .

Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art lens field tested: Sweet!

Regular readers know that as someone who does a lot of wildlife and sports photography, the long lenses in my camera bag usually don’t leave much room for high-quality (read Large) prime lenses. So I took advantage of a recent hiatus between trips to get review units of two of the sharpest primes to test out with my new . First up is the highly-rated .

 

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).

Aurora HDR comes to Windows: Very impressive, and chock full of features

I’m a long-time user and big fan of Photomatix from HDRSoft, so when Macphun contacted me to take a look at their HDR software now that they were making it available on Windows, I didn’t make it a huge priority. There were plenty of other high-profile launches like the to cover. Mea culpa. I finally got around to loading Aurora HDR and using it on a few images. It has an impressive, and very slick, UI, and just about every feature you could want in an HDR app. It is going to take me a while to sort through all that it can do and write a more-complete review, but I wanted to get the word out that it is absolutely worth investigating. Here is one sample bracketed image from one of my drones, that aligned nicely, and turned out well shown in the Aurora UI. Stay tuned for more!

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 .

Living with the Nikon D850: Should you upgrade from your Nikon D810?

I’ve had a Nikon D850 for a few weeks now, and been able to use it in a variety of situations, and with a variety of lenses. For the TL;DR crowd the short answer is that it’s an amazing camera and produces great images. In my case, I’m very happy to have upgraded from my (which I sold to recover about 1/2 the cost of the D850), although that upgrade isn’t for everyone, so let’s discusses the pros and cons.

 

PhotoDirector 9 adds 360-video support, timelapse, and content-aware

If you’re looking for an all-in-one Photo management and editing package that spans the territory of Lightroom and Photoshop but is integrated and easy to use, is a powerful and reasonably priced option. It competes more or less head-to-head with Adobe’s , so which one you wind up with will depend on the specific features you need and which interface you prefer. If you have the time, I recommend trying them both out.

The is now out ($99 for ), with some impressive new features. It has support for 360-degree video editing (which is nearly impossible to do without application support), can create some of the now-popular output formats like timelapse, motion stills, and animations, and has content-aware move. It’s also picked up a Dehaze tool, a feature I’ve found very useful in Photoshop and OpticsPro both.

Adobe enhances Spark design tool with branding capability

As a photographer who sometimes needs to create my own banners and Facebook ads, I’m a big fan of Adobe’s Spark design tool. I’ve also used it extensively to create prototype web page layouts to help commercial clients visualize how a product launch or marketing campaign might look. Adobe has just added some exciting new capabilities to Spark, which now allows users to “Brandify” their content. Basically, you can add a logo, focus color, and favorite font, and Spark’s back end will create versions of its templates that respect and use your brand elements.

Cool new websites for Wildlife, Bird, and Landscape shooters from B&H

While nearly all of us know B&H for selling photo gear, some of us also know them as an excellent educational resource. I’ve been happy to speak at their event center, and lead photo walks for them, as well as speak at their OPTIC conference. Now, B&H has pulled together a variety of education and product resources custom tailored to specific types of photography. These mini-websites include Tips, Articles, Reviews, and Pa Product Guide for each area. The two of most interest to our readers are likely the:

Nikon D850 Announced, Available for Pre-order: Might be the best DSLR ever?

The Nikon D850 is official. It may be the very best DSLR ever built. The $3300 price tag is a really-good deal given all the features it packs, including 45+MP, 7/9 fps, 4K video, 8K timelapse, focus peaking, and lots more:  .

Pages