Photo Accessory Reviews

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Joe Farace  |  Jul 11, 2014  |  First Published: Jun 01, 2014  |  0 comments

I received similar advice from my own father on my 17th birthday that ultimately put me on the path to a career—not a job—in photography. The photograph here was made by my friend Danny when we climbed the 897 stairs inside the Washington Monument. Inside the classy vinyl camera bag slung over my shoulder is a Kodak Brownie Hawkeye that my parents gave me for a birthday present. I modified the camera to accept close-up and yellow filters that an uncle gave me as a gift. Even then I was interested in enhancing images, and I had no idea what that might hold, but I was fascinated by computers (and robots) back then as well.

Tom Harms  |  May 27, 2014  |  First Published: Apr 01, 2014  |  0 comments

As image resolution keeps getting bigger and better, photographers are challenged storing their images. One cost-effective solution that’s gaining in popularity and offers good protection is a Network-Attached Storage (NAS) server. However, they are a relatively unfamiliar option for most photographers who aren’t IT-oriented, so we thought it would be a good idea to get guidance on them from an expert.—Editor

Jack Neubart  |  May 23, 2014  |  First Published: Apr 01, 2014  |  1 comments

I’ve had to replace a failing computer hard drive more often than I’d care to remember. Fortunately, I’ve learned my lesson: my workstation now includes external drives as both backup and primary storage. I routinely move content from the computer onto one external drive and back up to a second drive. (I usually prefer to transfer memory card files first to the computer, so that my backups will include these; then I move those files to the external drive when a project is completed, making sure that they are synced to Lightroom.) Unfortunately, the cost of all this may amount to the price of a second camera body or new lens, but it’s money well spent, as you’ll realize the first time a drive goes down.

David B. Brooks  |  Jan 21, 2014  |  First Published: Dec 01, 2013  |  2 comments

“Over the last few years seeking monitor/display units that serve to perform with adjustment and color management to resolve the problems of too bright LCD displays causing too dark prints, my reaction has usually been mixed. I have to report that this was less so with this display than with even more sophisticated and expensive displays.”

David B. Brooks  |  Dec 27, 2013  |  First Published: Nov 01, 2013  |  0 comments

LG Electronics is the first to offer a new pro-graphics LCD display with LED backlighting. It also has the wide Adobe RGB color width, and will adjust to the lower 80.0 CD/m2 white luminance to provide color-managed printing brightness. The new display is optimized for Microsoft Windows with WQHD 2560x1440 resolution and multitasking windows, “dependent on content, device, interface and/or graphics card,” according to LG. The 27” diagonal size has a base physical resolution of 1920x1080 pixel resolution that may be doubled by the software driver with some PC systems running Windows.

George Schaub  |  Dec 24, 2013  |  First Published: Nov 01, 2013  |  0 comments

The Vanguard ABEO Pro Kit starts out as a solid carbon-fiber tripod but then adds features and functions like a removable and rotatable (vertical or horizontal) center column, a pistol grip with built-in trigger release with cable attachments for many cameras, bubble levels, 80-degree leg spread, three “feet” supports (pads, spikes, and rubber), a quick-release base plate and mechanism, and etched degree settings on the center column for those who want to do precise panoramas.

Jack Neubart  |  Dec 13, 2013  |  First Published: Nov 01, 2013  |  4 comments

The conventional camera strap does the job, but with some gear can put considerable strain on the neck, tempting you to hang your camera from the shoulder, where it may slip off or invite thieves. Like a good backpack, today’s ergonomically designed camera-carrying systems largely relieve that stress and throw in some extras in the bargain. New age straps feature a more comfortable neck/shoulder pad than found on conventional neck straps, so you’ll still be comfortable hours later, and often with a quick-release mechanism to rapidly detach the camera when the need arises. Many are of a sling design aimed at the “quick shooters” among you, and some are so innovative as to almost defy description. A few even let you comfortably and safely carry two cameras at the same time.

Joe Farace  |  Dec 06, 2013  |  First Published: Nov 01, 2013  |  0 comments

Shortly after I moved into my former home, there was a knock at the door. Standing in front of me was an 8-year-old girl who lived down the street. “I’m selling note cards,” she told me, “I made the pictures.” A second look showed subjects a kid might shoot but others demonstrated that she was thinking about the photographs before making them. I bought several note cards and asked about her camera, which turned out to be borrowed. With her grandmother’s permission I gave her an old, unused digital point-and-shoot. The girl loved the camera and was inspired to keep making photographs and we talked from time to time about her aspirations. Today she’s a young woman with professional ambitions.

Jon Canfield  |  Nov 19, 2013  |  First Published: Oct 01, 2013  |  0 comments

Color calibration is the key to obtaining an accurate reproduction of what you saw when capturing the image, and what is reproduced on screen or paper. It’s long been considered a bit of black magic as to how it is done, what with terms like gamma, color temperatures, luminance, and the like as part of the mix, but the simple fact is that unless you’re working on a calibrated display you don’t quite know whether the greens, blues, or other colors you are seeing are actually what everyone else is going to see, or what you’re getting when you look at the print you’ve made.

George Schaub  |  Nov 08, 2013  |  First Published: Oct 01, 2013  |  1 comments

Designed for professionals, enthusiasts, schools, and clubs, the OpticFilm 120 scanner from Plustek ($1999) can handle negative and positive film, including 35mm filmstrips, individual 35mm slides, and medium format film up to 6x12cm format. The scanner contains an eight-element glass lens and can deliver up to 10,600dpi optical resolution, with a claimed 4.01 dynamic range using the supplied SilverFast software’s Multi-Exposure function. The tabletop scanner is about the size of a six-slice restaurant toaster (about 8x14.5x7.5”) and is supplied with a complete set of very well-constructed film holders, an IT8 calibration target, and a full version (not a trial) of SilverFast Ai Studio 8 software.

Jack Neubart  |  Nov 01, 2013  |  First Published: Oct 01, 2013  |  0 comments

As billions of images are produced by millions of devices, the demand for bigger capacity storage, faster memory cards, and speedier methods of transferring huge files has become apparent. Cloud storage has become a standard offering among many camera makers; so independent cloud services have grown. Essentially branded server farms, the competition for your data is increasing, as are capacities of desktop backups.

Jon Sienkiewicz  |  Oct 23, 2013  |  0 comments

Ever have a camera or gadget bag strap that wouldn't stay on your shoulder? Read about this tacky solution.

Jon Sienkiewicz  |  Sep 19, 2013  |  0 comments

The cleverly engineered CapturePRO Camera Clip from Peak Design provides a secure and convenient way to attach a camera to your belt, backpack or other strap. It’s a quick-draw device that allows you to spring into action instantly—but locks down your camera safely when not in use.

Edited by George Schaub  |  Sep 13, 2013  |  First Published: Aug 01, 2013  |  0 comments

Every year member magazines from the Technical Image Press Association (TIPA) gather to consider and vote on the top products of the year in 40 categories, ranging from cameras to tripods to software and printers. This year’s selections represent technological sophistication along with features and functionality that make them leaders in their respective categories.

Jon Sienkiewicz  |  Aug 04, 2013  |  0 comments

What every photographer should own; add to that list an inexpensive collapsible reflector.

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