Crumpler 8 Million Dollar Home Review

Cool, Tough, Trendy are the three words I first used when describing this bag to photographer friend of mine looking for a new bag to take with him on trips that he could also utilize for other purposes, and this bag fills that requirement perfectly.

The Crumpler 8 Million Dollar Home is plenty big for a large kit, but also small enough and disguised enough to carry around without shouting to the world that you are a photographer. The bag has a small handle on its top and a large and comfortable shoulder strap that is big enough to be worn across the chest for extra comfort and security. The stitching throughout the bag is sturdy and it appears it could hold quite a load of equipment without worry. [Read more...]

Canon 5D Mark II vs. Nikon D700 In-Depth ISO Comparison

In my prior quick and dirty comparison of the Canon 5D Mark II and Nikon D700, we looked at some sample images taken from these two cameras and relied largely on each camera’s autofocus and built-in metering with very little manual tinkering by me.  The prior comparison also featured 100% crops from each camera at its native resolution.

Based on reader feedback, I’ve gone back to the drawing board for a second, more in-depth comparison of each camera’s image quality and ISO range. [Read more...]

Studio Impressions Hands-On with the Nikon D3X

Studio Impressions Blog has posted a short hands-on account of time spent with a pre-production Nikon D3X along with some JPEG sample images.

Even though the camera was a pre-production model I was extremely impressed with both the camera and lens. As you will see with the images I have posted the clarity, sharpness, dynamic range is exceptional.

Stay tuned to Photography Bay’s Nikon D3X Reviews and Resources for the latest.

Canon 18-200mm IS Lens Review at DP Review

DP Review has posted a review of the new Canon 18-200mm IS lens, which we’ve all be waiting to hear more about.  Unsurprisingly, it didn’t receive the coveted “Highly Recommended” badge from DP Review.  The reviewers were only able to “Recommend” the lens with reservations, noting that it’s “a general purpose solution which allows the photographer not to worry about fiddling around changing lenses when out traveling, but which makes inevitable optical compromises to achieve this goal.”

Manfrotto Monopod (679B) Review

I picked up the Manfrotto 679B Monopod last week because I was heading to the 10 hour Petit LeMans at Road Atlanta on Saturday.  As a motorsports fan, I’ve been trying to make it to this race for the past 4 years; however, scheduling conflicts had prevented me from going – until this weekend.

Since I’ve been to Road Atlanta before and carried around my trusty Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 lens, I expected that it might get a little heavy during a 10+ hour trek through pre-race festivities and during the race itself.  Adding a monopod to my personal kit has been long overdue.  A little shopping around proved that the 679B was probably the best bang for my buck.  Turns out that I guessed right – the 679B is a real winner.

The Manfrotto 679B Monopod is built in 3 sections, two of which are telescoping via thumb-latches located at the top of the two lower sections.  The 679B features a 1/4″ and retractable 3/8″ screw attachment for attaching your camera or lens collars.  The Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 lens comes with a detachable collar, which attaches securely to the 1/4″ screw and really balances well on the monopod.

The rubber foot on the 679B is thick and robust, providing a solid footing on all the surfaces I encountered.  It’s now more of a red color than the black rubber due to the vast quantity of red clay around the track at Road Atlanta.

Fully extended, it reaches about 63.5″, which I found to be about right in most situations. (I’m about 6’0″) Granted, there were a few instances where I could have used an extra inch or so due to the downslope that I was standing on.  If you were inclined to add a tripod head to it, then you’ll get a little extra reach out of it.

A tripod head would also allow you to adjust the angle to your liking.  However, I found the tripod collar on my Sigma 70-200mm lens to permit sufficient maneuvering of the lens – such that a separate head would be unnecessary and probably more cumbersome for the subjects I was shooting.

There’s nothing really sexy about the Manfrotto 679B Monopod – it just works.  It’s well built but still relatively light and compact.  It can support up to 22 pounds per the specs – I bet it would hold more just fine.  As a tool, the Manfrotto 679B can really make your job easier and help you produce better pictures through a much cheaper image stabilization system than you’ll find in high-priced pro lenses.

In short, I’ve got nothing but praise for this light and affordable monopod ($45-50).  If you’re in the market for a monopod or plan on shooting a sporting event for an extended period of time, the Manfrotto 679B Monopod deserves some serious consideration.

Most of your serious photography retailers will carry the Manfrotto 679B Monopod.  I recommended shopping at Amazon, Adorama and B&H Photo.  These are the trusted online vendors where I personally shop for almost all of my photography gear.

Canon 1Ds Mark III Review at DP Review

DP Review has published its review of Canon’s flagship EOS 1Ds Mark III.

It is undeniably impressive, and though it appears on the surface to be a fairly low key update to the Mark II, the more you use it the more you realize how all the little improvements add up to a significantly better camera (and that’s aside from the resolution hike).

For the latest news and reviews, be sure to visit Photography Bay’s Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III Reviews and Resources page.

Canon PowerShot A590 IS Review at Imaging Resource

Imaging Resource has posted a review of the Canon Powershot A590 IS.

The Canon Powershot A590 IS proved to be an excellent compact digital camera. With a well-rounded feature set including full-manual controls, image stabilization and unlimited continuous shooting, plus use of readily available AA batteries and chear SD (and SDHC) memory, the A590 is one of the best digital camera values currently available.

For the latest news and reviews on the A590, check out Photography Bay’s Canon PowerShot A590 IS Reviews and Resources page.

ColorRight Review – Custom White Balance Gets Easy

I must admit. I’m one of those guys that shoots in RAW and only uses the Auto White Balance (AWB) setting. When my DSLR misses the white balance of a scene, I “simply” make adjustments in post processing. Boy did I have it all wrong – until the folks at ColorRight said I had to give their product a try.

What is ColorRight?

ColorRight is a tool for properly setting custom white balance on your DSLR. It looks much like a lens filter with a dark ring and partially see-through hole inside the filter glass. Placing the ColorRight tool over the end of your DSLR and taking a sample shot gives your DSLR an accurate reading of the temperature of the light in your scene. All subsequent shots taken with your DSLR under those lighting conditions will have an accurate white balance. [Read more...]

Canon EOS 1000D Review at PhotographyBLOG

PhotographyBLOG has published a review of the new Canon EOS 1000D (aka Digital Rebel XS). The EOS 1000D takes over for the EOS 400D (aka Rebel XTi) at the bottom rung of Canon’s DSLR lineup. It features a 10.1 megapixel sensor.

The Canon EOS 1000D is a brand new entry-level DSLR camera complete with Live View mode. Aimed at first-time DSLR owners looking to upgrade from a compact camera, the wallet-friendly 1000D inherits key features from both the 400D and 450D models. There’s a 10 megapixel CMOS sensor, 2.5 inch LCD screen, 3fps continuous shooting, 7-point auto-focus system, support for SD cards, and an 18-55mm image stabilised kit lens. We find out if the Canon 1000D is the perfect DSLR for beginners.

For the latest news, reviews and more, stay tuned to Photography Bay’s Canon Rebel XS Reviews and Resources.