Sony RX100 Mark IV field tested: More camera for more money

Sony Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 IV Digital CameraFor those have followed the ground-breaking Sony RX100 since it became one of the first and best cameras to fit a 1-inch sensor into a compact form factor, each new version is eagerly anticipated. The good news is that Sony has steadily improved the camera's features with each updated model.

Think Tank Trifecta photo day pack Field Tested: A winner for those who want an accessible field bag

Regular readers will know that I’m a fan of Think Tank’s now-discontinued Sling-O-Matic easy-access field pack. I love the way I can get at my camera and lenses in any situation without putting the bag down. That’s critical in many nature photography situations, including when in marshes or even in crowded public places. Fortunately, Think Tank has come up with a new bag that gives me much of this same freedom, while adding the versatility of being a true backpack – The and . I field-tested a Trifecta 10 on my Alaska bear photo safaris this year, and was quite pleased…


The DxO ONE goes to Alaska

I had so much fun with my DxO ONE in Africa, that I brought it half-way around the world with me to Alaska to use as my “grabshot” camera on my Brown Bear photo safaris. We had a cooperative mother bear with two cubs in a beautiful setting, that my big telephoto was never going to capture all in the same frame. So I quickly snapped this image, using only the DxO ONE. It was processed using my default “travel photo” preset and cropped & rotated to square up the horizon, and then downsized to 1920 pixels so I could upload it over our satellite link:

Panasonic Lumix ZS50 Superzoom compact camera passes its field test

Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS50 Digital Camera (Black)No segment of the camera market has improved as quickly as the superzoom point and shoots. Originally more of a gimmick than a real tool, these tiny models are now quite capable of producing very usable images. However, to get their massive zoom ranges crammed into a few-ounce body means using a fairly small sensor. Likewise, electronics are limted by their weight and low price, so exposure, focus, and the EVF also suffer. To see what the new models are capable of, I brought along the new with me to Africa on safari to field test (in addition to my primary DSLR of course). For the most part I was pleasantly surprised with the results, but it certainly had some drawbacks as well…

Capturing an African safari memory with the DxO ONE

Clearly telephotos dominate when we think of safari lenses. But sometimes the most compelling images are the ones that show both ourselves and the animals. Having a small, quick, camera that can record the moment is a huge win. I took a number of such shots with the DxO ONE on our just-finishing safari to Botswana and Zimbabwe, but this was one of my favorites:

Images from Johannesburg with the DxO ONE

The Melrose Arch mall and environs in Johannesburg provided some good locations to capture images for the new DxO ONE. To make sure the camera was doing as much of the work as possible, I left it on Auto mode for all but a couple of the shots. Here’s a gallery of some of my favorites (NOTE: This is a pre-production camera, so final image quality will be different when the unit ships to customers) – Images are all copyrighted, so ask for permission before using them)…

A magic trick you can hold in your hand: Celluon PicoPro portable projector field-tested

Every once in a while I review a product that seems like a magic trick. Right now that is the Celluon Pico Pro projector.

Some great deals at B&H to celebrate NAB 2015

NAB may be mostly about video, but that hasn’t kept B&H from rolling out a massive number of great deals on cameras, lenses, and more. You can get access to the all of them on their handy . Some are time-limited as they are running along with the show, so don’t wait too long to take advantage!  You can also .

Datacolor Spyder 5: The best desktop color management tool keeps getting better

There is nothing more frustrating to a photographer than not being able to judge the color of their images. Even black and white images need accurate tonal values. That’s why I’ve long been a proponent of a fully color-managed workflow, providing the best chance that images shown on your monitor will match the way they came out of the camera and the way they look when printed. There are plenty of solutions, but having tried most of them, the one that stands out as a combination of functionality, ease-of-use, and reasonable price. That’s the Spyder line from Datacolor. This week Datacolor released a sleek new version – the . I’ve been using it for a while now during its beta test, and am impressed…

Nikon updates mirrorless line with new Nikon 1 J5

There is no doubt that Nikon’s 1-series cameras are cute, fun, and have great features. However, they’ve had a hard time winning against the larger sensor and better image quality of models from other makers – especially Sony. Nikon is working to change that with its newest model – the . The new model has an updated 20.8MP sensor, and improved EXPEED 5A image processing chip. The body has been updated to provide a better grip, raised controls, and a “pebbled” exterior. Price for the body-only is $497 for pre-order at B&H, with kits including lenses ranging from $800 to $1100.

TYLT Vu Car: Finally, a wireless car charger that really works

As a photographer that travels a lot and relies on my smartphone for directions, music, email, and photo-related applications, it is important for me to be able to securely mount my phone in cars and trucks – both mine and rental vehicles. Just as important, it needs to charge effectively on long trips. Ideally, the charging would be wireless, which really helps with convenience and cable management. I’ve tried quite a number of car mounts – both wired and wireless – without finding one that met all my needs. Until I tried the new TYLT Vu Car (wireless)…

Pro tip: When and why to use a tripod

Photographers have all sorts of opinions about tripods. Some won’t use them, some won’t shoot without them, and most of us use one sometimes. Especially with image stabilization and high-ISO options on modern digital cameras, tripods are not as essential, nor do they need to be as heavy, as they used to be. But they still provide value in many cases – some obvious and some not so obvious. It is worth going over the advantages of using a tripod so you can make an informed decision for yourself:

Canon G7 X field test: Finally, a worthy competitor to the Sony RX100 III

Canon PowerShot G7 X Digital CameraSony brought the premium compact camera segment back to life with its 1-inch sensor RX100, but its rivals haven't left it have free run of the market. Panasonic's Lumix LX100 has become a worthy competitor, although its larger size and greater weight make it a less attractive alternative than Sony's latest version, the RX100 III. Now Canon has come out with a model that combines the popular interface from its "S-series" point and shoots with a few more manual controls and a 1-inch, 20MP sensor, to create the Canon G7 X. It has the best overall image quality ratings of any camera in its class, so we got one to put through its paces…

Sony moves to address mirrorless lens shortage with four new models: 24-240 leads the way

One by one Sony and other mirrorless camera manufacturers have broken down the barriers to dumping a heavy DSLR and going lighter. Faster Autofocus and amazingly-good Electronic Viewfinders have been key in this effort. Just about the only remaining stumbling block for those used to the large array of lens options provided by Nikon and Canon is the limited selection of lenses for mirrorless models. Sony has quite a variety of lenses, but they come in several different mounts, and many of the best require an adapter for use on their newest mirrorless models like the excellent new . Sony is working hard to address the issue, and today introduced four new lenses for its full-frame mirrorless models:

Nikon unleashes D7200 chock-full of features from full-frame, but will it finally satisfy as a D400?

For Nikon shooters looking to purchase or upgrade a DX-format DSLR (e.g. APS-C, or “crop” sensor), the new has plenty to offer. The camera features the powerful 51-point Multi-CAM 3500 II Autofocus module first introduced in the full-frame . The upgraded EXPEED 4 processor also allows for 6 fps shooting, and 100-shot JPEG bursts. NFC makes pairing the camera with a mobile device over WiFi a cinch (a welcome change from pecking at small screens!). Other nice upgrades include…