8 State-of-the-art Cameras that will Surely Drive Photographers Crazy

Guest Post by Jessica Simmons

For a photographer, choosing the best camera for them is like finding a pageant winner. They primarily set a checklist of criteria. When one candidate fails to deliver, it is automatically out of the game.

Basically, a photographer assesses the screen size, resolution, zooming capabilities, video options, weight, and battery life. Among the hordes of cameras in the market, eight made it on the list as the best ones so far:

1.    Nikon D800

Most Nikon D800 users reviewed it to be a bit expensive but definitely worth every penny. It is a full-frame model perfect for professional photographers of wedding scenes or panoramic views. It also has stellar video options that offer minimal to no noise at all.

2.    Canon EOS 5D MarkIII

For sports photographers, Canon EOS 5D has been rated as one of the best. It has improved configurability and performance, which makes it useful for shooting objects in motion. It captures good details. However, it is not that efficient in reducing noise for dark settings, which is typical of cameras nevertheless.

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10 Questions To Ask Before You Buy Camera Equipment

Do you ever fall for the “shiny object syndrome”? In other words, do you buy camera equipment on a whim because you fall in love with it based on a recommendation?

As a photographer, I think we can all agree we’ve fallen into that trap a time or two. I remember one time we were at a photographic convention, and the speaker talked up a new line of lighting equipment. We headed into the tradeshow area, and proceeded to purchase the entire system. Then most of it sat in our studio, unused at the back of the room.

Before you head out and spend this month’s profits on that new lens you’ve been eyeing, ask yourself these questions first.

1. Why do I need this new piece of equipment?

Is this truly a need, or is it a want? If you truly need something, it will ultimately benefit your business, and hurt your business if you don’t have it. A second camera body, for example, is a necessity.

2. How will this change my photography?

Some equipment will instantly change your photography, and allow you to be more creative. Moving from camera flash to a studio lighting setup will allow you to create depth, and give you a more natural lighting source whether you are in the studio or out.

3. How often will I use it?

Is this piece of equipment going to be sitting on a shelf, or in the front pocket of your camera bag? If you need it for the occasional client, there may be other options. But if you can use it again and again, every week of the year, it may be worth the investment.

4. Will I still want this item tomorrow?

Tradeshows are easy to catch you up in the excitement of wanting something new. Step back and sleep on it if you can. Evaluate the true purpose of this piece of equipment, and see if you still feel the same way in the morning.

5. Is there something else available that does the same thing at a lower cost?

Before you buy an expensive lens, can you find one that’s almost as good for half the cost? I was reading on Art Wolfe’s blog that he travels with just a few lenses, and he prefers his Canon 70-200 f4 over the 2.8 version because its just as sharp and much lighter – and less than half the cost.

Dig Deeper: The Best Photographic Equipment To Bring With You [Read more...]

Worlds Fastest Compact Flash Storage

Memory cards have come a long way in the past decade. My first cards were 256 MB and ran at 4X speed and cost $250 per card. Yes, that is correct! Not Gigabyte but Megabyte. And the speed was 4X not 400X. And the cost? Well we just knew that we were on the cusp of a learning curve, so we bit the bullet and ordered enough to cover our first event.

Back in 2001, our first digital cameras had 3.1MP sensors, so the file size was tiny at best. And since we were used to shooting film, exposure was not an issue, so we shot in jpeg. Computer hard drives averaged 20-40GB, so we always backed up the image files onto CD-ROMs that cost $1.50 – $3 each instead of leaving the files on the computer. Ah the early days of digital…

Fast-forward to today where everyone has 30GB of flash storage, RAW format is the norm, and our computers have enough storage to handle anything. If you still need more storage or want to move the file outside your location, cloud hosting may be the answer.

Video has also moved into the digital realm with most SLR cameras offering assorted video recording functions. Video put huge demands on memory and must move huge amounts of data into a storage area quickly. Compact flash cards have been the leaders in storage capacity and transfer speed for most professional grade cameras, and are now changing once again.

SanDisk brings the latest advancements to the forefront offering 128GB cards with the speed to match at 100MB per second. This will allow a capture of full HD video storage with today’s pro DSLR cameras. Advance features such as these do come at a price. SanDisk will be retailing the newest cards for $1499 so get your credit card ready.

Read the full press release at SanDisk

Want Instant Prints? Stampy Camera Design Stamps Out Images

Instant gratification pushed Polaroid into a unique niche within the photography industry. The ability to view the image almost immediately allowed a pleasure no other company could create: a way to instantly view our imagery and have a print to share.

Now, we are in the digital age where every camera has instant gratification via a small LCD camera screen. Yet there is still a problem: no print to share and pass around. If you want hard copies, you will need to upload them to your favorite lab or print them on your printer…not so instant. Designer Jinhee Kim unveiled a cool design where a digital images can be stamped onto paper almost as fast as developing a Polaroid.

Licensed by Yanko Design, the innovative product named Stamp.y is coming to life. No pricing or availability has been announced.

via Yankodesign

This Is How Much Digital Cameras Have Changed In The Past Decade

It’s amazing to see how much things can change in a decade. Ten years ago, we invested in our first digital camera, and were amazed with the storage space on our 256 megabyte cards. Now a simple point and shoot consumer grade camera has more bells and whistles than our original DSLR.

Speed now is everything. A decade ago you could shoot at a maximum burst speed of 8 fps for up to 16 RAW frames. Today it’s at 10 fps for up to 28 RAW frames. And if you really want to show movement, with today’s Mark IV, simply turn to video mode, and capture everything as it happens.

While speed and functionality have changed considerably, the one thing that’s remained constant is cost. For about the same price as you paid a decade ago (not taking into account inflation or any other economic factors of course) you can purchase a workhorse camera perfect for the professional photographer.

Want To Improve Your Flash Photography Skills?

“How do I use flash on outdoor portraits and still have my portraits look natural?”

“How do I light up the dance floor in a dark reception hall?”

“How do I use off camera flash?”

I receive questions like these almost daily. Flash is definitively one area that can make or break a photographer. Knowing how to use flash can improve your photography, and if your clients see the difference, they will be willing to pay for the difference.

There are two ways to learn about lighting.

1. You can buy several types of flash units, and keep trying. Experiment with the lighting in different situations, and see what you get. Keep experimenting until you get the results you are looking for, and can achieve the same results time and again.

2. Learn from a professional. A professional can give you a ton of advice in a short period of time, offering you tips and tricks along the way.

Are you ready to shortcut your learning curve, and improve your flash photography skills today?

I found a great resource this week that I think you’re going to love. Edward Verosky just released a new ebook called Flash Photography: How To Get Amazing light In Any Improve Your Flash Photography SkillsSituation.  I’ve had a chance to go through it, and the advice is right on target. He keeps it simple, and shows you exactly what to do in many situations using photographs, diagrams, and step by step advice.

What makes this a great resource is how he presents the material. He shares ideas by actually showing you photographs he’s taken within his own studio. He gives you a diagram to show you exactly how he set up the image (where he set the subject, how the flash units were set up around the subject, where the camera angle was, etc) and shares his camera and flash settings. By seeing both the diagram and the final image, along with the description of how the final result was achieved, its easy to set up your own subject in a similar manner.

Whether you keep this as an ebook on your computer, put it on your iPad for bringing with you, or print it off for a handy field guide, this is one resource you’re going to love having. If flash has ever raised a question in your mind, grab this up. For only $9.95 a copy, you can’t go wrong.

Buy Flash Photography: How To Get Amazing light In Any Situation Now>>

Safety Tips For Your Digital Files

What happens if you’re shooting a wedding, leave your camera on a table to run out of the room, come back and find it missing? The camera is replaceable. But what about your memory card with the digital files you’ve just created? Worse yet, what if you have a large memory card that you’ve been using throughout the entire event, and have just lost a sizable amount of the wedding images?

If you haven’t thought about safety of your digital files yet, its time.

In today’s marketplace, you can get a small 2 GB compact flash card for under $15, all the way up to a current release of a 64GB compact flash card.  And the amount of storage space is only half of the equation; current compact flash cards also are super fast to allow you to quickly transfer from your camera to computer during your small amounts of downtime.

But with the increased size capacity also comes the desire to have few cards to control during your shoot. A 65GB flash card can store thousands of images in JPEG format.

safety tips for digital files

Which brings me back to my original question.

What happens if you’re finishing up a wedding, leave your camera on a table in the reception site, come back and find it missing? Your one 64GB card was inside the camera, with the entire days’ worth of images on it. What are you going to do?
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What Should You Be Shooting With – A Canon EOS-1D Mark IV or a Nikon D3S?

If you’re just starting out and looking to invest in your first professional camera, which one should you choose?

To help you through the selection process, take a look at Snapsort – a brand new search site that finds the best camera for you by comparing any two cameras, giving you the stats, and ranking the winner accordingly.

I compared the Canon EOS-1D Mark IV to the Nikon D3S. Snapsort gives you both the differences and the similarities between the two cameras.

differences between canon eos-1d mark iv and nikon d3s

Once you’ve reviewed the differences and similarities, Snapsort declares the winner based on the camera that provides you with the most features.
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Top iPhone Apps for Photographers

Can a professional photographer really use an iPhone to help them improve their photography? While the Apple App Store has dozens of pages of apps directly related to photography, here’s a look at some of the top apps that can actually be of benefit to the true professional.DSLR Camera Remote

DSLR Camera Remote
If you’re going to try out one app, this should be the one. The DSLR Camera Remote app put out by onOne Software is designed to let you wirelessly trigger a digital SLR from your iPhone.

The DSLR Camera Remote app isn’t cheap – $2 for the lite version, $20 for the professional version – but it does come with a ton of features to help you with your photography. Not only can you control the shutter remotely, you can also control camera setting remotely, including your shutter speed, aperture, white balance and ISO. You can also view the images you’ve just taken right on your iPhone without having to run back to your camera. (And yes, it works with the iPod Touch as well.)

Best Camera
If you head to TheBestCamera website, a quote near the top by Wired says it all: “The best camera is the one you have with you. And – possibly – the best camera software designer is a photographer.”

Developed by photographer Chase Jarvis, Best Camera allows you to edit and share your photos in a simple way. With over two dozen filters to choose from, find the one that fits your situation, or stack several together to capture the best image possible. Choose from the standard filters you might expect, such as contrast or vignette, or try something new with the jewel or candy filters.
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Photography Disaster Protection and Recovery – Are You Prepared?

Being a photographer means you have many dollars worth of valuable equipment and inventory. Camera bodies. Lenses. Meters. Tripods and light stands. Computers and flash cards. The list can go on and on.

Have you ever thought about what would happen if your studio burned to the ground, your bags were stolen from your car, or you left a bag at a reception site? Photography Disaster Protection and Recovery

While all of your equipment should be covered through your business insurance policy (that’s your first item to check), there are other things you can do to make sure recovery and replacement happen quickly.

Start by inventorying everything you have. Create a list of:

  • The piece of equipment – brand, make and model
  • Serial number

Also photograph each piece, and keep the photographs together in your file.

While it is important to keep this list handy, make sure it’s secure and separate from your equipment. If you store it on your computer in your studio, make sure the backup is off site. Google now offers up to 20 GB of storage for only $5 a year, which definitely can be an affordable solution for you.

Like most photographers, there are the occasional times when you are in a hurry, and move from one location to another quickly.

When you’re out photographing, another tip is to get camera bags with specific compartments. Our favorite has always been the Porter Cases with wheels – they give you the flexibility of pulling in multiple bags with their special cart feature. Always make sure each compartment is filled before you leave the site. Also count your bags in your car before leaving to ensure you have everything with you.

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