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Product and Book ReviewsPlease contact me before submitting equipment or books for review. Methods of compensation for all reviews will be disclosed.
Unless otherwise mentioned, I have no affiliation with companies and the products I review. Reviews are based on my experiences using these pieces of equipment for my personal style of photography and under the conditions in which I work. All reviews will reflect only my personal impressions of the product. Testing methods, if any, will be based on techniques that reflect my biases and my style of photography.Other reviewers will have their own, often differing, opinions. Do your own research and understand that companies I mention, or reviews I provide, should not necessarily be considered as recommendations.
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Category Archives: Equipment
…and they look so good!
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If you have been pondering purchasing a full frame DSLR, this may be the time. B&H is asking only $1995 for Nikon D600 Digital Camera with 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR Lens which INCLUDES FREE Lowepro Toploader Zoom 50 AW Bag (Black)SanDisk 32GB SDHC Memory Card Extreme Class 10 UHS-IPearstone EN-EL15 Lithium-Ion Battery Pack (7.0V 1800mAh)Oben ACM-1400 4-Section. That’s an amazing deal with Nikon asking $2179.95 for the body alone!
Almost makes me wish that I still used Nikon equipment…
Designed for advanced amateurs and videographers making the move to a full-frame Digital SLR, the EOS 6D fits neatly into Canon’s professional imaging system with an advanced feature set including full manual options for creative control in addition to new and intuitive automatic settings to help even novice photographers capture great images. The camera’s construction helps meet the needs of professionals with a 100,000-cycle shutter durability and EOS Integrated Cleaning System for high-quality vibration-based dust removal. Among the many advancements in Canon’s new EOS 6D is the Company’s proprietary DIGIC 5+ Image Processor that powers the camera’s fast 14-bit analog-to-digital conversion for exceptionally smooth colour tones and gradation. The camera offers a full-frame, 20.2-megapixel CMOS sensor, and continuous shooting up to 4.5 frames per second (fps). Continue reading
After months of speculation and rumour, the new Canon 5D MkIII is finally here. I will have a closer look at it in a future article to see if it is a worthwhile update. The Canon website seems a bit overwhelmed at the moment, so here is the Canon Canada press release:
MISSISSAUGA,ON, March 2, 2012 – On the 25th anniversary of its world-renowned EOS System, Canon Canada Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, is proud to announce its latest model, the new EOS 5D Mark III Digital SLR Camera. Positioned between the extremely popular EOS 5D Mark II and Canon’s top-of-the-line professional EOS-1D X model, the EOS 5D Mark III delivers superb image quality, thanks to a new 22.3-megapixel full-frame Canon CMOS sensor, a high-performance DIGIC 5+ Imaging Processor, a 61-point High Density Reticular Autofocus (AF) System and six frames-per-second (fps) continuous shooting speed. Building upon the trailblazing success of the EOS 5D Mark II, the EOS 5D Mark III also incorporates enhanced video features for professionals in the fields of cinematography, television production and documentary filmmaking, including better noise reduction, longer recording times and a built-in headphone jack for audio monitoring. The EOS 5D Mark III is Canon’s answer to hundreds of thousands of advanced amateurs and emerging professionals looking for a compact, high-quality camera system to help them achieve their artistic vision, whether it be through still or video imagery. The EOS 5D Mark III introduction coincides with Canon’s 25th anniversary celebration of the EOS camera system. Canon’s award-winning EOS system first debuted in March of 1987 with the introduction of the EOS 650 SLR camera and three EF lenses.
The full title is Kevin Kubota’s Lighting Notebook; 101 Lighting Styles and Setups for Digital Photographers. While I do little structured photography of people, I was interested in this book because my wife is involved with technical lighting, and because it is always good to have some background in all photography styles and subjects: you never know when you may need to deal with an unexpected situation.
Ever since discovering the great lighting effects done with light-weight ‘Strobist‘ style systems, and after reading through Joe McNally’s The Moment it Clicks and The Hot Shoe Diaries, I have been fascinated by what can be achieved with ‘simple’ wireless off-camera flashes. I was curious how Kubota’s Lighting Notebook would hold up in comparison to similar books. Let’s have a closer look at this Wiley publication…
The book is a pleasant-to-hold 7½”x9¼” paperback with 320 pages – just the right size to provide good visuals without overpowering your desktop (the wooden one, that is…). The first four chapters deal with the history, language, skills and tools of lighting. Chapter 5 covers how to set up a lighting kit and chapter 6 gives an overview of post-processing. The rest of the book, 204 pages, is devoted to 101 lighting setups for digital photographers.
Kevin Kubota is well known as a wedding photographer (he has been named one of the world’s top 10 wedding photographers by American Photo magazine and a Legend Behind the Lens by Nikon) and the notebook covers that field well, but also includes examples of boudoir, fashion, portrait and commercial photography. Each scenario, in and out of the studio, is clearly explained and includes graphic representations so that you can quickly envision the lighting layout, the light sources, the number of assistants and the expected equipment cost for the shoot. However, as he says in the Notebook introduction, “Most all of the setups also can be accomplished by the photographer alone or with one assistant.” Of course each scenario is well illustrated with Kubota’s excellent photographs, including information on the post-production processing he used for the final image.
Overall, I was impressed with this book. While not covering the extreme situations that Joe McNally takes on (and who of us could?), it offers enough diversity in scenarios to get your imagination humming. It is written in an easy going and sometimes humorous style, and all the scenarios are clear and easy to understand. There are a few limitations, but they are minor: for instance, Kubota uses Nikon cameras and Speedlites, and the book is co-produced by (among others) PocketWizard and Photoflex, so much of the equipment examples revolve around these products. However, no matter what system you use, this book will be a useful addition to your lighting library.
N.B. Disclosure: My copy of the book was provided free of charge by the Senior Publicist – Technology, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. As a green blogger, I recommend that all books be obtained through your local library first prior to consideration for purchase. Please see my disclaimer in the sidebar.