29 2016 Feb

Choosing the Best Camera Tripod.

If you’re burning desire is for an extremely sturdy camera tripod which will support a hefty load, and is durable enough to outlast your camera equipment, you might want to check out the Three Legged Thing Evolution 3 Roger Alloy tripod. Although listing for $369, this elegant and sharp looking tripod can be found online without a head for much less.

Three Legged Thing Evolution 3 Roger Alloy

Three Legged Thing Evolution 3 RogerDon’t let the funny name fool you! This is a top-of-the-line camera tripod for sturdiness, durability, and ease of use! Composed of magnesium alloy and sporting a maximum load of 66.14 pounds (30kg), the fully extended height of the Evolution 3 reaches an impressive 65 inches (165cm). Its fully closed, traveling length is 15.75 inches (40cm), with a traveling weight of 3.68 pounds (1.67kg). The legs are provided in five sections using easy to operate twist locks, making for extremely fast setup and take down when you’re on the move.

Three Legged Thing markets various models of this tripod. They are perfect for studio work and some models of this series are the best tripods for travelling. The major difference between models of this series is the material used (magnesium alloy or carbon fiber) and whether or not a head is included. All Three Legged Thing tripods include strong twist action legs and useful grips for all sorts of weather conditions. All accessories, grips, and included attachments fit easily into the included canvas carry case, which also serves conveniently as ballast for the center post.

Until next time, Happy Shuttering!

26 2016 Feb

How to select a lens filter for your DSLR?

It seems like there are still new types of specialty lens filters coming on the market every day, as manufacturers vie for your dollar. These are typically variations on one of the basic filter types previously discussed. Since these are variations on a basic filter type, they are priced a little higher than the basic filters.

Moose Filter (Warming Circular Polarizer)

77mm Moose FilterA well known side effect of both linear and circular polarizers is that they cool down or make the over-all color balance of a scene slightly bluish. The addition of a Moose Filter corrects the color temperature, bringing the scene back to the original daylight color balance. The Moose Filter creates a much more pleasing, warm color balance for the entire scene, while the circular component of the polarizer increases color contrast and reduces the effect of atmospheric haze.

The Moose Filter is quite common, and can easily be found online. You can snap one up for under $60.

Until next time, Happy Shuttering!


25 2016 Feb

Selecting Digital Cameras for Action Video.

Nikon 1 J5 Digital Camera (Part 2)

Nikon 1 J5 backThe mode dial of the Nikon 1 J5 digital camera for action video resides on top, next to its pop-up flash. There is no hot shot slot for adding an external flash as with some other mirrorless cameras. The shutter release is encircled by controls for on/off toggle and a dedicated record button for video which sits on top of a control wheel. The video and shutter release are close together, requiring some practice to get used to at first.

On the back of the J5 is a large tilting touchscreen. The J5’s screen blends seamlessly. The screen also uses a hinge-style system that flips up all the way to enable selfies.

Along with the menu options, the back of the camera includes controls which allow shortcuts for exposure compensation, flash, self timer, and burst mode. There’s also an “F” button that brings up shooting settings and allows you to use either the touchscreen or the physical controls to adjust them. The menu arrow keys can also be used as a secondary control wheel.

With the control wheel on top of the camera and the secondary one around the menu options, a change in shutter speed and aperture with the physical controls is easy. Using the function key on the front and the control wheel, ISO can be easily adjusted without going to the full on-screen menu.

Until next time, Happy Shuttering!

24 2016 Feb

Selecting the Perfect Camera Lens.

Here’s a great camera lens worth checking out if you are using a DSLR from Sony. The Sony 18-250mm f/3.5-5.6 DT ED Alpha A Zoom can be had a new online price of less than $650.

Sony 18-250mm F/3.5-5.6 DT ED Alpha A Zoom

Sony 18-250mmSony’s broad 14x zoom for its full range of DSLRs delivers a 35mm equivalent of 27-375mm, and its seven rounded aperture blades create a pleasing bokeh effect. The lens uses internal focusing to focus at down to a foot and a half. The lens is constructed of 16 elements in 13 groups, including three aspheric lenses. The lens accommodates 62mm filters and works with any Sony DSLR at a reasonable price for a package with these features.

This long-telephoto Sony zoom lens is encased in a compact, lightweight design that makes it easy to carry and it excels at capturing faraway objects, outdoor performances, complex scenery, and crisp close-ups. It is an invaluable accessory to any Sony DSLR camera.

The internal lens elements move, so the overall length of the lens package does not change, creating a lens that focuses more quickly and doesn’t change its balance. Sixteen lens elements in 13 groups correct visual aberrations across its entire zoom range. ED Glass lens elements help minimize flare and reduce chromatic aberration, providing sharp and clear shots throughout its full telephoto range. Because aperture blades form nearly a circle at the wide openings used for low-light shots, spot-light sources create a pleasing circular defocused effect.

Until next time, Happy Shuttering!

23 2016 Feb

Selecting a Great Digital Camera.

A well rounded mid-price range DSLR for 2016 is the Nikon D750 digital camera. It lists for $2299.95, but can be found online for under $2000.

Nikon D750 (Part 1)

Nikon D750The Nikon D750 delivers the high-sensitivity quality than you can’t get with one of the less-expensive full-frame options or an APS-C-based dSLR, and delivers the necessary speed for action shooting. It’s also a solid option for pros looking for a good value.

Nikon is top notch on photo quality. The D750 noise profile is excellent for both stills and video. JPEGs from the D750 are exceptionally clean up through ISO 1600, where a small amount of detail degradation begins in the in-focus areas. At ISO 3200, you will begin to notice some degradation developing in the focused areas, and noise-reduction artifacts appear in the background. You may note visible decreases in dynamic range around ISO 3200. There’s also a slight color shift between ISO 50 and ISO 100. However, the JPEGs performed well as high as ISO 6400.

Movie quality is excellent, even in low light although, as with the stills, there is a loss of tonal range at about ISO 3200. Nevertheless, video looks sharp with few visible artifacts, and there’s practically no evidence of noise up to ISO 3200.

Until next time, Happy Shuttering!

22 2016 Feb

Choosing the Best Camera Tripod.

A great camera tripod for travelling is the Vanguard VEO 204AB Traveler. This tripod lists at $119.99.

Vanguard VEO 204AB Traveler

Vanguard Veo TripodMade of sturdy aluminum, sporting a maximum weight of 8.82 pounds (4kg) and a maximum height of just over 53 inches (135cm), the Vanguard VEO’s solid legs are composed of four sections with convenient to use clamps. The closed length of this traveler is a mere 15 and a half inches (39.5cm) and light, at a carying weight, including its provided accessories, of 2.87 pounds (1.3kg).

The Vanguard VEO comes fully equipped with an easy to unscrew and remove center column. An excellent value, this tripod is considered one of the best traveling tripods for cameras due to its panoramic markings and bubble level.  It employs a rubberized handle, a shortened center column intended to support extra low macro work and a carrying handle. All of the accessories fit in the included tripod bag. The tripod can be folded back to 180 degrees to encompass the center column. This Vanguard VEO is an excellent value at its conservative price.

Until next time, Happy Shuttering!

19 2016 Feb

How to select a lens filter for your DSLR?

To increase the intensity and saturation of red objects you will want an Enhancing lens filter. These are designed to provide better color saturation and contrast on the red, brown, and orange colors without effecting the cooler range of colors. They may be found online fo as little as $11.00.

Enhancing Filters

Enhancing Wide Angle FilterEnhancing filters are also known as Intensifying and Didymium filters. These filters are perfect when shooting landscapes containing natural objects such as trees and bushes. They are also perfect for use in the autumn when shooting dead trees and foilage. The Enhancing Filter illustrated is for a Wide Angle lens.

Are enhancing filters a must? Only if your photography takes you to regions where you want to capture the flavors of the four distinct seasons. You can, of course, shoot your pictures in the raw and edit them using warming and cooling filters in Photoshop, but many naturalists prefer to create these effects without the help of post-processing software, demonstrating and enhancing their artistic abilities.

Until next time, Happy Shuttering!

18 2016 Feb

Selecting Digital Cameras for Action Video.

For the sports enthusiast on a modest budget, the Nikon 1 J5 digital camera for action video may just fit the bill. This mirrorless lists for $499.95, but may be found online for less.

Nikon 1 J5 Digital Camera (Part 1)

Nikon 1 J5The Nikon 1 J5 has Nikon’s mirrorless line back on track with an excellent 20 fps burst speed. Their 2015 model still capitalizes on speed, but is now wrapped in a retro-inspired body, and still includes a tilting touchscreen. With the addition of 4K video, the Nikon 1 J5 is getting attention.

Nikon is clearly headed in the right direction with the J5’s 20 fps burst speed. You can lock the autofocus at the first frame and shoot at up to 60 fps, which is better than the video quality on some cameras.

Unlike previous models in the Nikon 1 line, the J5 adopts a brand new look, with a metallic body and faux leather wrap. The small grip on the front makes the body easier to hold for longer periods than a thin camera without a grip.

The J5 body is only slightly larger than a compact camera. At 1.3 inches deep, the body easily fits into a purse or backpack. It weighs just 8.2 ounces.

There are a few different kit lens options with the J5. The 10-30mm may be your best choice for hardiness, having a more metallic feel. The wide angle choice has a handy built-in lens cover similar to a compact camera, and the telephoto choice has a removable lens cap.

Until next time, Happy Shuttering!

17 2016 Feb

Selecting the Perfect Camera Lens.

Those of you interested in portrait photography or wide-angle photography may find the Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC (OS) HSM camera lens will fit your budget for accessories just fine. While listing for $669, it can be discovered online for under $380.

Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC (OS) HSM

Sigma 17-50mmWhile OS is not available for Pentax or Sony mounts, the Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC (OS) HSM is otherwise a great lens for travel, landscape, weddings, portraits, and family memorabilia. This is a large aperture, stabilized, standard zoom lens using FLD glass with performance equal to fluorite, and typically comes with a carrying case, lens hood, and front & rear caps.

The Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM is a wide to standard zoom lens designed for APS-C DSLRs. With a Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) and an Optical Stabilizer (OS), the 17-50mm boasts a large fixed 2.8 aperture throughout the entire zoom range. The OS allows for easier handheld shooting while the HSM ensures quick, accurate and consistent autofocusing. FLD glass elements (with performance equal to fluorite) along with two glass mold elements and one hybrid aspherical lens provide excellent correction of aberrations and allow for incredibly sharp images with great contrast. A super multi-layer coating reduces flare and ghosting. And the lightweight and compact construction make it a necessary addition to any camera bag.

Until next time, Happy Shuttering!

16 2016 Feb

Selecting a Great Digital Camera.

Samsung NX1 (Part 2)

Samsung NX1The Samsung NX1 is an excellent performing digital camera, with the exception of its battery life. While you’ll get 500 shots from a fully charged battery, generally quite good for a mirrorless model, it’s somewhat disappointing for a camera in this price range.

It powers on and shoots in just under a second which is fast for a mirrorless, but not as fast as a typical $1,500 DSLR. In other respects, it fares well compared to other DSLRs. Time to focus and shoot is roughly 0.2 – 0.3 seconds in all lighting conditions. It has the same response time for two sequential shots, both raw and JPEG. Adding flash recycle time will increase it to 1.1 seconds, which is quite good.

The NX1 excels with continuous shooting from a frame-rate perspective. It sustains 14.4 frames per second (fps) for an unlimited number of  great quality JPEGs with autofocus. Under optimal conditions better than 1/500 sec and with a 280MB per second U3 UHS II SanDisk Extreme Pro card it will reach 15.0 fps. Its fastest focus is achieved with the 16-50mm and 50-150mm lenses, which are great lenses, but are also costly.

The NX1 will burst at about 14.5 fps for about 21 frames in raw, though when it does slow it slows for 6 frames. It does recover relatively quickly and there isn’t a long a wait for it to save as with some other DSLRs.

Until next time, Happy Shuttering!