Category Archives: Gear

Packing Tips for Photographers

Make sure you bring the right camera gear by following these packing tips.

Packing for a photo trip is never as easy as it seems. You either A) over-pack and make yourself miserable schlepping a 45-lb bag through airports, or B) forget some seemingly innocuous piece of kit that you wish you had.  Of course, there is also option C) you bring too much stuff and still forgot something important. Here are some packing tips that I still need to remind myself about from time to time, so I figured blogging it would help get me straight.

Continue reading Packing Tips for Photographers

My Favorite Photo Bag

When you find a good bag, it goes with you everywhere.

Any pro or photo enthusiast knows that there is no such thing as the perfect camera bag. Photographers are to camera bags as Imelda Marcos was to shoes; we have a closet full of ’em. And not unlike designer shoes, camera bags are not exactly budget items. Many good bags retail for upwards of $200.

When it comes to camera bags, you have to consider the compromises, because every bag will be a compromise at some level. I started off wanting a bag that would hold everything I owned– sort of a combination storage and transport system. The problem with the really large bags that can hold everything is that you invariably fill them with everything. Travel through airports and in the field becomes an exercise in back and shoulder fatigue. When fatigue sets in, you stop taking pictures. Any camera bag that makes you want to stop photographing is a bad bag! Continue reading My Favorite Photo Bag

Photo of the Day: Look out below!

Great Egret, St. Augustine, FL (click to enlarge)

Although we’re in the dead of winter, bird breeding season will be upon us soon in Florida. If you are heading down south this year, you’ll want to be prepared, so start thinking about what you’ll need in terms of gear. Despite the temptation to take out a second mortgage on your home and purchase a 600mm lens, you can get by in Florida with a lot less, mainly because the birds are much larger. A 300mm f/4 lens with 1.4x teleconverter on a crop-sensor body, like the Nikon D7000 or D90, can give great results, especially if you have a good tripod.

Check out my recommended Nikon gear for birders over at B&H Photo:

Nikon P7000 Firmware 1.1 update

In case you missed it, Nikon has released firmware version 1.1 for their top-end compact digital camera, the P7000.

I just updated the firmware, and I can report a significant reduction in file-save time for raw (NRW) files.  What used to take 5 seconds now takes less than two seconds.

Official updates with this firmware version:

  • Image recording time at image quality settings that include NRW (RAW) has been reduced.
  • Lens control has been optimized to reduce the frequency with which the “Initializing lens. Cannot focus.” message is displayed.
  • An issue that, in some rare cases, prevented zoom operation has been resolved.
  • An issue that caused the monitor display to exhibit a loss of detail in highlights (blown highlights) when the shutter-release button was pressed halfway with Active D-Lighting enabled has been resolved.

Get the firmware update (USA) here.

Singh-Ray Announces Vari-N-Trio™ Filter

Blur water to the extreme with a Variable Neutral Density Filter from Singh-Ray

Singh-Ray have released a new variation on their variable neutral-density filter, the Vari-N-Trio.  This filter combines a variable 4-8 stop ND filter, polarizer, and now adds color enhancement filtration.

The Vari-N-Duo (ND plus polarizer) is one of my recommended filters in The Photographer’s Guide to Digital Landscapes; anyone who needs a super-slow shutter speed and polarization while shooting moving water will want to have one.  The Vari-N-Trio will begin shipping in limited quantities on December 15th, with full availability expected early 2011.

You can read more about the new Vari-N-Trio filter at Singh-Ray’s website.