Joey Lawrence is a photographic sensation. He makes the rest of us look at the box that we constrain ourselves to and ask why we were in that box in the first place. His talent and lens are in high demand from the likes of Warner Bros, Arena, Atlantic, Victory and more.
No camera is perfect, and whilst there are areas where the E-3 trails the competition slightly there are also other areas where it leads. And inevitably there are some types of photography it excels at, some it doesn’t: the live view, magnified manual focus and tilting screen make it a superb still life studio camera; the build quality and weather sealing make it perfect for shooting in challenging environments, be they dusty deserts or icy mountaintops.
Get the latest news and reviews on the Photography Bay’s Olympus E-3 page.
Noise, even at higher ISO is pretty much non-existent up to ISO 2000, beyond here noise is in there but it’s very subtle and even at the boosted ISO 4000 and 6400 settings it’s very clean indeed, in fact the best noise (or lack of noise) performance I’ve seen in a DSLR. Quite simply it is superb.
Get the latest news and reviews on Photography Bay’s Nikon D300 page.
The following post on commercial magazine photography is by Atlanta based photographer Zach Matthews. Learn more about him at the end of this post.
Every amateur photographer who’s ever flipped through a magazine has shared the same fleeting thought: I could do this. I am this good. And who’s to say that’s wrong? With the advent of digital image-making, cameras have become not just tools to record and describe, but tools that teach. The mean of photographic quality has skyrocketed in recent years, as a casual perusal of Flickr or a photography hobbyists’ board will immediately illustrate. What, then, is holding amateur photographers back? Why aren’t they selling images to magazines and commercial clients? Why aren’t you?
The difference between a working professional and a dedicated amateur is fairly minimal these days, and it has a lot more to do with business decision-making than talent or equipment. A number of important differences jump immediately to mind, however. The way I see it, there are two types of professionals: full time, and everyone else (and by that, I mean you, too). The full-time professional starves his way to the top. Typically a full-time pro goes to photography school, where he learns darkroom techniques, film chemistry, light physics, and the hard, cold reality of living paycheck to paycheck for decades. Most full-time pro photographers share one thing in common: they’re broke. But not all. A sizable population of working professionals make a living at photography, and they do it with the same business acumen necessary to operate as any entrepreneur. They set up a shop, build a client list, hire employees, and above all, they shoot their tails off.
Full-time pros of my acquaintance in the outdoor photography world spend as much as 40 weeks a year in the field. In my business, that’s in far-flung locations, involving international travel, injections, passports, broken gear, and hard deadlines. It isn’t an easy job, and it’s a long climb to the top, but eventually these pros tend to top out and make a respectable living.
There’s only one problem: chances are, this isn’t you. Full-time professional photographers won’t be reading this article; they know the route to success, they are logging their hours as we speak, and they’re aware of the rules of the game. But here’s the question: would you really want to be a full-time pro? What if you could have all the benefits, including international travel (for money), access to the best locations (for money) and the respect and praise of your peers, sometimes even for money, all while keeping your day job? It’s not a bad option, is it? [Read more…]
Because of its great reliability, comprehensive feature set, and great image quality, the Olympus model should certainly appeal to the most advanced photo enthusiast. More importantly perhaps, the price is right! In fact, in the professional category, this one deserves my “Best Value” award. It’s not only the most affordable but offers excellent return on the investment, making Olympus competitive in the high-end category.
Get the latest news and reviews on Photography Bay’s Olympus E-3 page.
Ricoh has announced the new R50 point and shoot digital camera alongside the R8. The R50 has the same 10 megapixel sensor and processor; however, it is limited to a 5x optical zoom rather than the 7.1x optical zoom found in the R8. [Read more…]
My first SLR was a Ricoh KR Super II fully manual camera. It was basically a redux of the Pentax K1000 with a couple of extra features. Whenever I see Ricoh in the news, I always think back to the fun and sometimes painful learning experiences that my Ricoh KR Super II gave me. I’ve still got that old K-mount SLR along with my 50mm manual focus (and manual aperture) lens. Yep, those were the days. It was so exciting to pick up my film 3 days after I dropped it off at the drug store and see what kind of photos that I had made that week. Autofocus? What’s that?
Ok, enough nostalgia already. The Ricoh R8 is a 10MP, 7.1x optical zoom point and shoot digital camera. The 7.1x zoom is the equivalent of a 28-200mm zoom on a 35mm format camera. Further specs, features and reviews are detailed below:
The Ricoh R8 looks and feels great, and is capable of taking some great photos. The camera has a sharp wide angle 7.1x optical zoom lens, and is almost ultra compact, similar in size to other ultra compact cameras such as the IXUS 90 IS. Ricoh appear to have moved this camera upmarket with a newly designed body, and improved hand grip and control dial.
The Ricoh R8 is an expensive camera, but it does offer a unique specification and very distinctive style. Build quality is superb, and the design of the body and control interface makes it a real pleasure to use.
All in all, depending on your photographic requirements, the R8 can be a very powerful tool that is well deserving of our ‘Recommended’ badge and if the Ricoh engineers manage to sort out some of the flaws described above we will be very much looking forward to the announcement and review of the R9.
Where to Buy
7.1x Optical Wide-Angle Zoom Compact Digital Camera with 10 Megapixel CCD and Enhanced Photography Functions
Tokyo, Japan – February 19, 2008 – Ricoh Co., Ltd. (president and CEO: Shiro Kondo) has developed and introduced the new R8 compact digital camera featuring a 7.1x optical wide-angle zoom lens (28-200 mm in 35 mm focal length), a high-resolution 10 megapixel CCD, and enhanced photography functions.
The new R8 combines a new 10 megapixel CCD with the popular Smooth Imaging EngineIII image processing engine of earlier models, to take high-definition photography to a higher level.
The R8 also offers various other enhanced capabilities for fun and easy photography, such as a large 2.7-inch, 460,000-pixel HVGA LCD and the same 1:1 aspect square format photography function that has proven extremely popular on Ricoh’s Caplio GX100 (launched April 2007) and GR DIGITALII (launched November 2007) models.
In addition to the specification improvements, the R8 has also undergone a complete redesign. This new model combines ease of use and technical specification in a body that is contemporary and stylish and has been designed based on the concept ” a tool you will want to use every day”.
In creating the R8 as a tool for taking photographs, great care has been given not only to styling and coloring but also to its operability, portability, comfort in hand, and its solid, high-quality feel.
Main features of the new R8
1. High-picture quality, low-noise photography is achieved with the high-resolution 10 megapixel CCD and the Smooth Imaging EngineIII image processing engine.
- An effective 10 megapixel CCD has been newly installed. Working together with the popular image processing engine Smooth Imaging Engine III, this new CCD makes possible high-quality images that have both high-resolution and low noise.
2. High-resolution 2.7-inch, 460,000-pixel HVGA LCD
- The new 2.7-inch, 460,000-pixel high-resolution LCD has a wide viewing angle and high contrast for distinct, easy viewing even outdoors. When thumbnail images are displayed, even the small 1/20 size images are clearly reproduced.
3. Based on the “a tool you will want to use every day” concept, the R8 has been given a totally new design emphasizing its beauty as a photographic tool.
- Styling that intensifies a simple, functional beauty and eliminates design frills. A rubber grip that fits well in the hand and is easy to hold, an easy-to-operate mode dial. The many features of the R8 combine to achieve both functional beauty and ease of use.
- In addition to its compact pocket size, the mounting of two strap eyelets has further increased portability.
- The R8’s solid, high-quality feel has been further enhanced by the top cover emphasizing a solid, metal feel; the lens barrel end and rings finished with metal spin processing, and the spin processed mode dial and release button.
4. Ricoh’s original double retracting lens system has made it possible to equip the R8 with a 7.1x wide-angle zoom lens for a body with both operability and portability.
- Measuring only 22.6 mm at the thinnest point, the body features a 7.1x fully retractable wide-angle zoom lens with a 28-200 mm range.
5. Expanded shooting functions for richly expressive photographs.
(1) Square format photography
The R8 has a shooting function for an image size aspect ratio of 1:1. This square format photography has proved very popular on Ricoh’s Caplio GX100 (launched April 2007) and GR DIGITALII (launched November 22, 2007) models. The resulting composition has quite a different feel from the standard rectangular vertical or horizontal format. This format can also be quite convenient for blog photographs.
(2) Expanded functionality for the ADJ. (Adjust) button
Already given enhanced usability in the Caplio R7 (launched September 2007), the ADJ. (Adjust) button has further evolved in the R8. Integrating the ADJ. (Adjust) button functions with those previously controlled by the cross-key has made menu operations even faster and simpler.
(3) Fix minimum aperture function provided
When the fix minimum aperture function is on, shooting is done at the smallest aperture, which gives a deep depth of field in the resulting photograph.
(4) AF/AE Target shift functions provided
Enhanced capabilities have been given to the AF target shift function which was previously only available for macro photography. While shooting, it is possible to shift the target for AF or AE or both without moving the camera.
(5) Zoom lever usability improved
With zoom lever operation it is possible to switch between two zoom speeds. This enables the full capabilities of the 28-200 mm 7.1x wide-angle zoom lens to be utilized.
6. Enhanced image editing functions enable images to be manipulated in the camera.
(1) Image brightness and contrast correction (level compensation)
Still image brightness and contrast can be corrected with either auto or manual modes, with the corrected image being recorded in the camera. With manual correction, the image is corrected by adjusting the histogram.
(2) Image color tone correction (white balance compensation)
By adjusting green, magenta, blue, and amber tones, still image color tone can be corrected, with the corrected image being recorded in the camera.
(3) Trimming of still images
Still images can be trimmed and the resulting image saved in a separate file. This is convenient when doing direct printing with PictBridge, etc.
7. Dual vibration correction functions, macro functions, and face recognition mode are provided.
- The R8 contains Ricoh’s original CCD-shift vibration correction function which compensates for camera shake when it is detected. This reduces the blurring that tends to occur in situations such as telephoto and macro photography.
- Ricoh’s popular and powerful macro functions are included, enabling shooting of objects as close as 1 cm with wide macro and as close as 25 cm with telemacro.
- Face recognition mode automatically identifies faces in a scene and optimizes focus, exposure, and white balance for the faces.
The Nikon D3 has got to be the top choice for anyone wanting high quality, rapid-fire image capture, or extremely low light photography without flash, who is not otherwise wedded to the Canon system. Press – sports and news – photographers are the ones who are going to get the most out of its capabilities, which stretch beyond those needed by the average photo hobbyist, and these professionals are also the ones most likely to be able to stomach that price tag without complaint.
Get the latest news and reviews on Photography Bay’s Nikon D3 page.
With the pervasiveness of Live View modes from DSLR makers, it is only a matter of time before similar technology brings a “movie mode” to DSLRs. While the ability to record video is a common feature among point & shoot cameras, technological challenges make the incorporation of a video recording more difficult in DSLRs. A recently published patent application by inventor Hiroshi Terada may change all of this. The patent addresses many of the technological hurdles that have prevented incorporation of a movie mode into DSLRs.
As we all know, DSLRs are designed for optimal performance in capturing still images – and DSLR manufacturers have truly raised the bar over the past couple of years. Accordingly, DSLRs are specialist tools that have been optimized to have a very narrow focus tolerance and an ever-increasing auto-focus speed. These features are not quite conducive to smooth video capture. Additionally, the field-of-view changes, albeit slightly, during auto-focus operation. Finally, fast and accurate hand-held auto-focus is dependent up accurate phase-difference AF evaluation, which requires a mirror to reflect the image to the AF sensor.
As you can see, getting live image to the image sensor and capturing smooth, in-focus video seems difficult to achieve without sacrificing some still image capture properties of DSLRs. These obstacles, among others, are what Mr. Terada attempts to overcome in his patent application. [Read more…]