Photo Accessory Reviews

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George Schaub  |  Jul 18, 2012  |  First Published: Jun 01, 2012  |  3 comments

Wacom recently introduced their new line of Bamboo tablets, and we thought we’d revisit the use of stylus and tablet tools to give it a try. For our test we worked with the Bamboo Capture, described by the company as most apt for enthusiast digital photographers, although there are three intros in this new line.

David B. Brooks  |  May 10, 2012  |  First Published: Apr 01, 2012  |  30 comments

I usually do not write reports on new computers, but the new 2011 Apple Mac mini (www.apple.com) is an exception. It is not because it has the fastest CPU, as that is not a major advantage for working with digital photographs. In fact, doing digital photographic editing does not involve much computation (“compute” is to calculate or reckon a figure or amount) and no calculation is needed to edit an image with Photoshop. When an image editor opens a digital photographic file, the entire image, every pixel, is put into RAM memory.

George Schaub  |  Mar 26, 2012  |  First Published: Feb 01, 2012  |  4 comments

Backing up images while on the road makes sense; having a backup drive that can take the rigors of the road seems to make even more sense. That’s the idea behind the ioSafe Rugged Portable USB 3.0, available in various configurations, including SSD (Solid State Drive) and HDD (Hard Disk Drive), capacities, and aluminum or titanium covers. Regardless of the enclosure, the unit is dubbed shockproof (drops from 20 feet with the SSD and titanium enclosure with the optional “skin”), waterproof (submersible up to 10 feet for three days in aluminum, or 30 feet in titanium), and dustproof even in sandstorms, and even during ice storms for 24 hours. And, you’re also covered if you happen to drop it into a barrel of oil (up to 12 feet for an hour) or climb above 15,000 feet (aluminum) or 30,000 feet (titanium). To back up their guarantees the company includes a one-year replacement and one-time data recovery guarantee (up to $5000 on the data side).

David B. Brooks  |  Mar 15, 2012  |  First Published: Feb 01, 2012  |  42 comments

If you are a serious digital photographer you probably have a good D-SLR camera. And you expect it will capture sharp, finely focused, high-quality photographic images. It follows that the display you choose should be capable of reproducing all the attributes and qualities your camera has recorded. Most of the displays sold with computers in box stores, however, are not much better at reproducing photographs than the old-type big and heavy CRTs we had back in the mid-1990s.

Jay Miller  |  Feb 10, 2012  |  First Published: Jan 01, 2012  |  0 comments

I’ve been a dedicated gimbal head user for a long time. If you shoot with seriously long lenses, no other head comes close to offering a gimbal’s stability, articulation, and flexibility. Forget ball heads and anything else designed to attach long telephotos to a tripod. If you’re a big lens user and you photograph things that move, a gimbal is the only way to go.

Jay Miller  |  Jan 20, 2012  |  First Published: Dec 01, 2011  |  2 comments

Like most of you, I’ve been frustrated by the amount of dust that accumulates not only on my sensors but also on my cameras and lenses in general. It’s an ongoing battle. Take photos, clean cameras; take photos, clean cameras.

David B. Brooks  |  Jan 19, 2012  |  First Published: Dec 01, 2011  |  8 comments

It has been some time since anentirely new hardware andsoftware display color management system was introduced. X-Rite, the world’s largest color management manufacturer, now has a new i1Display colorimeter and next generation i1Profiler software. First of all, the new i1Display Pro is designed to accommodate all kinds of computer displays, including standard home/office models, wide color range displays, LED backlit LCD displays, laptops, and projector displays. The new colorimeter is a very flexible and convenient instrument design capable of measuring displays directly, as well as projected on a screen, plus ambient environmental illumination, all in one instrument. This new i1Display colorimeter is also capable of measuring a display at full screen to evaluate flare, and correct for it. It also features ADC, or Automatic Display Control, to manage a display’s internal controls and eliminate manual adjustments. Added to this comprehensive package is the Pantone management system for spot colors. A set of different methods of validation is available to measure the result of calibration and profiling with user-defined pass/fail tolerances.

 

Art Ketchum  |  Dec 15, 2011  |  First Published: Nov 01, 2011  |  0 comments

Over the years I’ve photographed hundreds if not thousands of models and subjects on muslin, canvas, and other background materials, and in many unique settings. I’ve had the privilege to shoot many magazine covers, dozens of catalogs, and ads for magazines.

Jon Sienkiewicz  |  Dec 12, 2011  |  First Published: Nov 01, 2011  |  0 comments

When I say filter, your first thought may be a Photoshop plug-in. That’s natural, especially if your first good camera was digital. But folks who cut their photographic teeth shooting 35mm film know all about the light-bending qualities of glass screw-in filters. Physical filters were once the best (and sometimes only) way to get certain types of creative shots. Although still as effective as ever, they’ve fallen from favor for several reasons.

Sally Wiener Grotta and Daniel Grotta  |  Jun 16, 2011  |  First Published: May 01, 2011  |  2 comments

No question about it, the iPad was one of the coolest products launched in 2010, or any other year. The truth of that statement lies in the gazillions of units Apple has sold (over one million a month). But is the iPad a must-have for photographers, or just another tech gizmo?

George Schaub  |  Jun 15, 2011  |  First Published: May 01, 2011  |  0 comments

Remote viewing and shutter release capability opens up a host of picture opportunities, from working high atop camera platforms from ground level to very low-level shooting without muddying your clothes (given your camera lacks an articulating monitor) to placing your camera in spots and being able to view and shoot without your being right behind the viewfinder. Many photographers routinely work with radio triggers for flash, especially in studio environments where the lights are set in position and photographer and model or subject move. The Hähnel Inspire adds to the mix with remote shutter release and viewing in one.

George Schaub  |  Jun 13, 2011  |  First Published: May 01, 2011  |  1 comments

For those who thought that we here at Shutterbug were inalterably attached to our Macs, the chance to work with a PC, albeit a very fast and upper-price range one at that, was something we did not want to pass up, if only to dispel our own notions about crossing the OS Rubicon. The new HP EliteBook 8540w we worked with came with 8GB of RAM and a 320GB hard drive, more connection slots than we ever could wish for, a Blu-ray reader/writer, a download card slot for SD memory cards (with adapters available for CF, etc.), microphone, image out slots to a projector, HDMI, and more. As configured the unit runs close to $3100, although we’ve seen lesser-priced units of the same model with more modest attributes. This is close to what you’d pay for a MacBook Pro similarly configured, albeit minus Blu-ray and various slots but plus a larger screen. But our aim was not to put it head to head against the latest MacBook Pro, but to check it out on its own merits. That said, in terms of size and weight it is similar to the 15” Mac in many respects (the HP being 9.9x14.7x1.3” and weighing in at 6.5 lbs with a 15.6” display) so there’s no plus and minus in portability here.

David B. Brooks  |  Jun 10, 2011  |  First Published: May 01, 2011  |  1 comments

A Shutterbug reader, Tracy Valleau, e-mailed me, suggesting that I take a look at the 24” widescreen Dell UltraSharp U2410 LCD display with 1920x1200 pixel resolution. What makes it suitable for digital photography and professional graphics is its wide color gamut of 96 percent of Adobe RGB and the fact that its white luminance is adjustable from 80.0 to 90.0 CD/m2, both of which provide a high reproduction screen image quality. Its 12-bit internal processing assures a smooth rendition of tones on screen. The screen is in a bezel and stand that is sturdy but light, with an excellent design that’s carefully manufactured. In all respects, this Dell U2410 is quite affordable at a list price of $599, while entirely competitive with more expensive brands favored for a color-managed digital photography workflow.

Jon Canfield  |  Oct 01, 2010  |  0 comments

“The Spyder3Express is the latest incarnation of Datacolor’s monitor calibration hardware. It does one thing—calibrate your display—and does it well.”...

George Schaub  |  Sep 01, 2010  |  0 comments

Apple’s latest generation MacBook Pro computers come in three screen sizes and with two basic configurations, the 13” with an NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics processor paired with Intel Core 2 Duo processors, and the 15” and 17” with an NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M graphics processor and Intel Core i5 and i7 processors.

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