News

Canon G5 X field-tested: Is it the best point and shoot ever?

Up until now, the choice for best point and shoot was tricky – none of the three leading cameras had everything. The got top marks for image quality and has a good zoom range, but no viewfinder. The sort-of-has a viewfinder (it is a small pop-up), but has a limited zoom range and is a little lower-scoring on image quality. The somewhat older is also a worthy competitor, but its larger size isn’t justified by image quality or features. Canon has finally broken the logjam with its new . This new model adds an excellent Electronic ViewFinder (EVF) and a hot shoe for an add-on flash. There are also some other, smaller, updates to video recording formats and other features, but the EVF and hot shoe are clearly the headline here.

Adobe rolls out Lightroom 6.3: New cameras, lenses, restores classic Import dialog

Lightroom CC and Lightroom 6 users should see the update automatically when they do an Update check. Adobe has fixed a slew of bugs that it introduced in LR6.2, as well as adding support for about a half-dozen new cameras, and several dozen lenses (including the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus). The pre-LR6.2 Import experience has also been restored, as the updated version wasn’t exactly a hit. As usual, the update is free to those with a current license or subscription.

Super-telephoto Zoom shoot out: Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6 versus Sigma 150-600mm Sports

Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports Lens for Nikon FSigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports Lens for Nikon FThis has been an amazing year for long-lens shooters. For those who don’t want to break the bank and their backs with the Nikon or Canon 200-400mm models, there are now four exciting new options (three of which are available to both Nikon and Canon shooters):

Before we dig into some of the details, having shot with these lenses, they are all pretty amazing for what they provide at this relatively low price point. They are all head-and-shoulders above the older generation super-telephoto zooms from these companies. However, they are also bigger and heavier than the classic 120-400mm and 150-500mm designs they largely supercede. Which lens is right for you will depend on your specific budget and needs, but I can easily recommend all of them as quality products that provide good value.

Sigma expands Art lens line with 20mm f/1.4 DG HSM model

Sigma continues to roll out very-high-quality, professional-grade, lenses in its Art family. These lenses are super-fast, super-sharp, and reasonably priced for their features and image quality. The new, full-frame-ready, is available for . It uses both “F-type” low dispersion glass and other low-dispersion glass technologies in its 15-element construction. Advanced lens coatings are also used. It has a hypersonic focus motor, and a minimum focusing distance of 10.9”. Like other lenses in the family, it can be tweaked using Sigma’s USB dock and software. A 9-bladed aperture helps ensure a smooth-looking bokeh. It will be available in Canon EF, Nikon F, and Sigma SA mounts.

Startup Light announces the L16: A 52MP camera with zoom that fits in your pocket

Using a unique combination of computational imaging to combine images from 16 small sensors, and lenses that use mirrors to achieve long focal lengths in a thin package, startup Light has announced and demonstrated a 52MP camera about the size of a smartphone that features a 35mm-150mm optical zoom. You can read more details about it in , and I’m eagerly awaiting the point in the process where there are real units for review. In the meantime, let us know your thoughts about whether you’re likely to buy one of these, either at the pre-order price of $1300 or the retail price of $1700 when it ships in late summer 2016. Will you miss the zoom and focus rings on your DSLR, or the optical viewfinder, or be so glad to get rid of the weight and bulk that you’ll gladly trade them for a touchscreen?

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:

3 Legged Thing travel tripod: As well-designed as they come

3 Legged Thing X2.1 Eddie Evolution 2 CF Tripod System w/AirHed 2 Ball Head (Black)UK tripod maker 3 Legged Thing (3LT) has been around for awhile, but hasn’t attracted as much attention as some of its high-end competitors like Gitzo. I’ve been using for a few weeks, including on safari in Africa, and have been very impressed. Not only is the build quality as good or better than any Gitzo I have used, but the feature set is remarkable. A single device can be a tripod or monopod, and the reversible center column make the Eddie very versatile. As with most travel tripods, the small carrying size relies on having a head that can fit between the legs of the tripod when they are folded back on themselves. My Eddie came with 3LT’s own AirHed 2 in a bundle. The head was as solid and usable as you can expect from such a small unit…

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…

Deluxe Safari to Botswana and South Africa

Date: 
Friday, May 4, 2018 - 09:30 to Tuesday, May 15, 2018 - 12:00
May 5-25, 2018 (10 nights -- 4 nights each at 2 deluxe camps, 2 nights in Johannesburg)
Optional post-trip extension

Ultimate wildlife safari to world-class reserves in Botswana and South Africa

We'll be visiting two of the best wildlife photography locations in Africa -- MalaMala Game Reserve in South Africa, and Mashatu Game Reserve in Botswana. To ensure we have plenty of time to explore and experience wildlife behaviors, we'll spend four nights at each camp. To maximize our time, we'll be flying to and between the camps on private charter aircraft. Prior to our wildlife adventure, we'll tap into the rich cultural traditions of South Africa by spending a day with a local expert in Soweto. The time in Johannesburg also gives us some time to decompress from our international flights, and adjust to the time change before we head off into the bush.

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.

How startup Light plans to put a DSLR replacement in your smartphone

I was able to spend the morning recently with one of the most innovative startups in the camera market – Light. It is using an array of small sensors to mimic the performance and image quality you’d typically find in a much larger and more expensive package – like a DSLR. The technology spans optics, industrial design, electronics, and computer science. .

 

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