Testing Gear

This issue contains a mix of articles, including an interesting photo project, a show review of images by Garry Winogrand, and a look at the trends and opportunities of lifestyle photography, but we’ve also included numerous tests on cameras and gear that show the way toward where image capture and lighting is headed. I feel that kind of mix is a blend of the technical and the aesthetic that helps define where we are in terms of technical advancement and what Shutterbug as a magazine offers and represents. Of course, I realize that equipment is not what a great photo makes, but taking advantage of and understanding the tools at our disposal allows us to explore new avenues of our creativity.

Our camera tests include representatives of the three main trends in cameras today—“full frame” D-SLRs, represented here by the Nikon Df; APS-C D-SLRs, in the form of the Pentax K-3; and mirrorless CSC (Compact System Cameras), with the Fujifilm X-E2. Each camera is unique in its capabilities and features, and offers its own charms and attributes. You might have noticed that we’ve been including video tests in those cameras that offer movie modes, and do so because we know that one of the ways you might make an ultimate buying decision is on the quality of the video a camera delivers. In my mind it’s not the most important factor, but for those of us who like taking clips as part of the image record of an event or place it’s nice to know how they might just turn out.

Speaking of tests, a special section on our website at www.shutterbug.com dubbed “Image Tech” is where we archive past published reports on the many cameras we have tested over the years. You can click on the tab to scroll through those tests or type the camera you are seeking in our Search box on the homepage. We will be adding new tests every month, so be sure to check in on the Image Tech section for updates.

Another area where changes have been occurring is lighting. We have been running a series of tests on the new LED lights over the past year, but for this issue we take a look at another important trend in lighting, radio remotes and off-camera lighting opportunities, represented here by a report on the Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT and Transmitter. These units bring a whole new level of capabilities to speedlights, allowing for multiple TTL flash all controlled from camera position. We’re seeing more and more of this type of setup coming from numerous makers, even in battery-powered monoblocs, such as the new Profoto B1, on which we will have a test in a coming issue.

I hope that you enjoy this blend of articles, and that we serve you well in your photographic endeavors. I appreciate your support and welcome your comments. In the months ahead we have some exciting issues planned, including our Top Products of the Year issue where we publish the results of the TIPA (Technical Image Press Association) awards chosen by 28 member photo magazines from a wide variety of countries. Shutterbug, we are proud to say, is the sole US representative in that group, and being so allows us to voice our opinions along with photographers and editors from around the world.