Hands On: Phase One 645DF, P 65+ and P 40+

During a quick visit to the Digital Transitions store in NYC, I got to spend some personal hands on time with some of Phase One’s newest products in a studio environment. Being medium format, the images are really quite spectacular. On top of this, using the equipment was very simple to do but is very much different from using traditional DSLR cameras. The experience is something that photographers would truly love.

[Read more...]

How Much Does Your Gear Matter?

How many of you out there can honestly say that your camera does more work than you do? With PhotoPlus Expo close approaching here in New York City and vendors prepping with meetings with all of us, it may be worthwhile to check out the education lectures and information sessions being offered. Of course, some cameras are more capable than others so there may very well be two sides of this fence that are well defended.

[Read more...]

Tips for Shooting in Rain and Bad Weather

The Empire State Building is Being Swallowed

A rainy day may ruin your motivation to go out and shoot, but it shouldn’t necessarily ruin your camera and picture taking abilities. Even if your camera isn’t waterproof, weatherproof or weather-sealed there are still ways that you can go out into the rain and shoot to your heart’s desire. In truth, you can capture some gorgeous scenes while you’re out in the rain.

[Read more...]

More Tips For Shooting Concerts

Aerosmith Guitar Hero

We’ve talked before about the essence of concert photography and using video during a concert to supplement your stills. Now you’re at the point where you want to start shooting them more. You need to ensure that you’ll have great photos because the band may want to use them for their myspace or you’ll want to use them for your portfolio when showing clients. Here are some tips to help you start off. [Read more...]

7 Beginners Tips for Shooting Sports and Action

Astana Team Time Trial by Eric Reagan

In sports and wildlife shooting, it’s all about getting that one particular moment that happens within a fraction of a second. Mastering the techniques to shooting sports will be able to help you progress as a photographer as those skills can be used in other forms such as photojournalism, weddings and street candids. My mentor, who has shot NY Knick games, has been kind enough to pass along some of his knowledge to me.

Here are 7 quick tips for those of you wanting to get better at shooting sports and fast action. Hint: You don’t need a camera that shoots 8fps like the Canon 7D, but it can help.

Note: Several of the photos in this article are from a recent trip to a Medieval Festival where the chance to really use the correct lenses and a better quality camera was presented to me. [Read more...]

Hands-On: Canon 7D and 100mm F2.8 L Macro Hybrid IS

Canon 7D and 100mm F2.8 L Macro Hybrid IS

After some personal fondling time with the Canon 7D and 100mm F2.8 L Macro Hybrid IS lens at Pepcom, I expect that those who pre-ordered the camera will likely not be disappointed – so long as the image quality lives up to the expectations once we see results from a production model.

Right off the bat, it’s clear that the 7D adds a bit of twist in terms of buttons, which may require a bit of a learning curve if you’re used to the 5D Mk II and 50D. However, the buttons are all laid out very well and it just takes a bit more memorization.

On the lens front, the 100mm Macro lens takes some very amazing photos and doubles as an excellent portrait lens, albeit a bit long when paired with the 7D’s APS-C sensor. How does it stack up against the Nikon D300s, a camera that wasn’t too far away from it (as Canon and Nikon always seem to be placed right across from one another at events)?  Keep on reading for more of my hands-on report on the Canon 7D.

[Read more...]

Do You Need a Rangefinder for Street Photography?

Waiting

Since the arrival of the Leica M9, bloggers have been abound with posts about Leicas, street photography, and why you need a rangefinder right now. Further, Chris Weeks has made a documentary on street photography and the human condition. If you watch it, you’ll see that it’s very pro-rangefinder. A personal critique of mine is that it almost seems like what we call in the industry to be an “advertorial.” To clarify, this is an article or piece of media that is supposed to be presented in a journalistic fashion but can seem more like subliminal marketing. To be fair, Mr. Weeks probably does legitimately love Leicas for street photography. However, as a photographer that has shot with all brands of cameras, I see no reason why a DSLR can’t do the same job. Regular readers of this blog may know that street photography is some that is held dear to me. More on this after the jump.

Author’s Note: This is not an anti-Leica post, when I worked for Magnum Photos many of their photographers used Leicas. I hold them in high regard and respect their history, but this post is about you as a photographer.

[Read more...]

Pentax K-x Reviews and Resources

Pentax K-x

The Pentax K-x DSLR is geared toward entry level users. It has a 12.4MP CMOS sensor and a large number of higher end features. Additionally, the camera will come in black, white, red and navy.

The K-x continues on the for the Pentax K2000. The K-x has a one-handed shooting design is targeted to users stepping up from a point and shoot digital camera to their first digital SLR. Along with the 12.4MP CMOS sensor, it has a 2.7 inch LCD screen, Live View, face detection, 720p HD video capabilities shooting at 24p, HDR bracketing, 4.7 fps, 11 point autofocus, and uses AA batteries.

Pentax K-x Availability

Check availability for the Pentax K-x at the following online retailers:

Amazon.com

B&H Photo

Adorama

Pentax K-x

Along with the K-x, PENTAX announced the smc PENTAX DA L 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED super-telephoto zoom lens.  This lens will be exclusive to a K-x Twin Lens Kit package consisting of a K-x body, this new lens and the smc PENTAX DA L 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 lens.

The K-x will ship in October with three kit options:

  • K-x single lens kit with body and an smc PENTAX DA L 18-55mm lens for USD $649.95.
  • K-x twin lens kit for $749.95 including a K-x body, the smc PENTAX DA L 18-55mm lens and the smc PENTAX DA L 50-200mm zoom lens.
  • K-x twin lens kit for $849.95 including a K-x body, the smc PENTAX DA L 18-55mm lens and the smc PENTAX DA L 55-300mm zoom lens.

Pentax K-x Reviews

Photography Bay (hands-on)

For now, it looks like Pentax has a real winner on its hands. If the K-x tastes as good as it looks (although the jury is still out on the red version), the K-x will definitely deserve some consideration on everyone’s entry-level DSLR shopping list.

Imaging Resource

Small and light, the Pentax K-x seems like a well-built, no-nonsense digital SLR, with perhaps only one flaw: the lack of visible AF points.

Digital Camera Review

The Pentax K-x is a worthy competitor for the major manufacturers out there, and is probably in line for the third best with the other smaller camera companies.

Photocrati

Image quality was very good, if not remarkable. And the AF system was largely on track, especially when it came to action photography.

PhotographyBLOG

The new Pentax K-x occupies the sweet spot between the entry-level K-m and prosumer K-7 cameras, combining the ease-of-use of the former with many of the advanced features of the latter.

Digital Camera Review (hands-on)

12.4MP, 720p video recording, live view, great build quality and access to some great fast primes, all for under $650? Not bad.

Pentax K-x

Pentax K-x Key Features

  • High resolution 12.4 megapixel CMOS image sensor features sensor-shift Shake Reduction for stabilized image and video capture up to 4 stops max.
  • Large 2.7 inch LCD features Live View with contrast, phase difference, and Face Detection autofocus (up to 16 faces).
  • Capture widescreen HD video in full 720p resolution (1280×720) at 24 FPS cinematic framerate, using any PENTAX 35mm lens.
  • Highly compact DSLR body design allows for 1 handed operation and comfort when travelling.
  • Powerful automatic modes, including PENTAX Auto Picture and scene modes, ensure the perfect shot in any situation, while helping new photographers learn DSLR photography.
  • Creative processing and filter modes produce high quality finished images, while offering the ability to explore artistic freedom through unique special effects.
  • True HDR image capture blends 3 bracketed images into a single picture with outstanding shadow, highlight, and midrange detail.
  • Fast 4.7 FPS capture speed and 1/6000 second maximum shutter speeds are possible with the PENTAX PRIME II image processing engine.
  • Responsive 11 point wide angle SAFOX VIII autofocus system focuses quickly and accurately, and can easily track moving subjects.
  • Capture up to 1900 shots with universally available, easy-to-find AA lithium batteries (also compatible with AA NiMH rechargeable and alkaline batteries).
  • Expanded ISO range covers sensitivities from 100-12800 for extreme low light photography.

Pentax K-x Press Release

Pentax K-x

PENTAX ANNOUNCES AFFORDABLE, NEW PENTAX K-x WITH HIGH-END FEATURES INCLUDING HD VIDEO AND LIVE VIEW

GOLDEN, CO (September 16, 2009)… PENTAX Imaging Company redefines the entry-level digital SLR category with the introduction of the K-x digital SLR.  This latest PENTAX camera offers high-end features including Live View and HD video.  And, since there’s no rule that SLR cameras must come in black only, the K-x will be available in a choice of white or black, as well as special, limited edition red and navy.

Priced at $599.95 USD (for body with DA L 18-55mm lens), the extremely compact and lightweight PENTAX K-x forges ahead on the trail initiated by the popular PENTAX K2000.   With a one-handed shooting design and simple, easy-to-use operation, the K-x is perfect for users stepping up from a point and shoot digital camera to their first digital SLR.

The PENTAX K-x offers photographic performance that challenges higher class DSLR models and offers several features that set this camera apart in the entry-level category:

  • High resolution 12.4 megapixel CMOS image sensor features sensor-shift Shake Reduction for stabilized image and video capture up to 4 stops max.
  • Large 2.7 inch LCD features Live View with contrast, phase difference, and Face Detection autofocus (up to 16 faces).
  • Widescreen HD video capture in full 720p resolution (1280×720) at 24 FPS cinematic framerate, using any PENTAX 35mm lens.
  • Creative processing and filter modes produce high quality finished images, while offering the ability to explore artistic freedom through unique special effects.
  • True High Dynamic Range (HDR) image capture blends 3 bracketed images into a single picture with outstanding shadow, highlight, and midrange detail.
  • Fast 4.7 FPS capture speed and 1/6000 second maximum shutter speeds are possible with the PENTAX PRIME II image processing engine.
  • Powerful automatic modes, including PENTAX Auto Picture and scene modes, ensure the perfect shot in any situation, while helping new photographers learn DSLR photography.
  • Responsive 11 point wide angle SAFOX VIII autofocus system focuses quickly and accurately, and can easily track moving subjects.
  • Captures up to 1900 shots with universally available, easy-to-find AA lithium batteries (also compatible with AA NiMH rechargeable and alkaline batteries).

All combined, the PENTAX K-x is the perfect camera for new digital SLR camera users as well as an ideal backup camera for more experienced photographers.

Along with the K-x, PENTAX announced the smc PENTAX DA L 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED super-telephoto zoom lens.  This lens will be exclusive to a K-x Twin Lens Kit package consisting of a K-x body, this new lens and the smc PENTAX DA L 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 lens.  The lightweight design of this zoom lens offers the exceptional optical performance found in all PENTAX lenses for super-telephoto photography with the K-x and other PENTAX digital SLR camera bodies.

The PENTAX K-x is now available for pre-order in black or white on www.pentaxwebstore.com.  Limited edition colors of red and navy will become available at select locations to be announced.

The PENTAX  K-x (in black and white) will ship in October 2009 in three configurations: options:

  • K-x single lens kit with body and an smc PENTAX DA L 18-55mm lens for USD $649.95.
  • K-x twin lens kit for $749.95 including a K-x body, the smc PENTAX DA L 18-55mm lens and the smc PENTAX DA L 50-200mm zoom lens.
  • K-x twin lens kit for $849.95 including a K-x body, the smc PENTAX DA L 18-55mm lens and the smc PENTAX DA L 55-300mm zoom lens.

Complete information is available here:  http://www.pentaximaging.com/about-us.aspx?p=press

Product images are available here:  www.pentaximaging.com/press/pressfiles.html

An informational video is available here:   www.youtube.com/Pentaxian1

PENTAX Imaging Company is an innovative leader in the production of a variety of digital cameras including weather resistant digital SLRs and compact, waterproof cameras, as well as lenses, flash units, binoculars, scopes, and eyepieces.  For 90 years, PENTAX has developed durable, reliable products that meet the needs of consumers and businesses.  With headquarters in Golden, Colorado, PENTAX Imaging Company is a division of PENTAX of America, Inc.

Point-and-Shoots to Suit Your Personality

Maria Sharapova and her Canon Powershot Diamond Collection

Camera manufacturers design point-and-shoot cameras for the specific needs and wants of consumers the same way that they target their DSLRs to different professional markets. While we as photographers will always sing the praises of how awesome our DSLRs are, the general population will opt for a “nice” point-and-shoot. We know many of these people and they make come to us asking camera questions. Here’s a round up of cameras for the different personalities in your life. If they’re a student, link them over to my post on Back-To-School digital cameras.

Author’s Note: The camera’s above are a special series of Canon Powershots that Maria Sharapova designed with Canon. They were available in a contest.

[Read more...]