Tag Archives: digital photography

Adobe Creative Suite 6… Stand-alone upgrades vs. Creative Cloud

Today, Adobe announced the pre-release of Adobe Creative Suite 6, their newest version of their digital creative applications, including Photoshop, InDesign, and Dreamweaver (all products I use often). The new thing about this release, however, is Adobe’s “Creative Cloud.” For a monthly subscription price, you can get access to everything Adobe offers, plus some options not available in the stand-alone software packages.

If you are a Photoshop user, you’ll want to weigh the pros and cons of upgrading (Adobe Buying Guide). I know many photographers who still use Photoshop CS3 and are happy. With every release, Adobe offers many new features that will appeal to some, but not others. For example, if you rely on Adobe Camera RAW (ACR) via Bridge or Photoshop, then you sometimes need to upgrade to get compatibility with current cameras (sigh). The Nikon D4 and D800, for example, are supported in ACR 6.7 (currently in release candidate beta), but if you want to use the new 2012 processing engine (available in Lightroom 4), you’ll need ACR 7 in Photoshop CS6. Photoshop CS6 includes some new content-aware features (useful if you do heavy cloning and retouching), auto-saves, and new blur tools. Continue reading Adobe Creative Suite 6… Stand-alone upgrades vs. Creative Cloud

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Testing the Nikon D4: Metering comparison with D700

How does the meter in the Nikon D4 compare to its predecessor?

Anytime you get a new camera, it’s always a good idea to put it through its paces before taking it out on a critical shot. In this post, I’ll compare the Nikon D4 light meter with that of the D700.

The Nikon D4 and D800 DSLRs use Nikon’s 3D Color Matrix Metering III, an upgrade from the previous 3D Color Matrix Metering II found in the D3/D700/D300 DSLRs. While the MkII version of Nikon’s 3D Color Matrix meter uses a 1,005 pixel RGB sensor, the new meter uses an RGB sensor with 91,000 pixels.

What does all this mean in terms of image quality? Hard to say, but in theory the new meter should be more accurate, all things being equal. I did a very simple backyard test, comparing different subjects with the same lens. Continue reading Testing the Nikon D4: Metering comparison with D700

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Nikon D4 Hands-on First Impressions

My new Nikon D4 is a wonderful camera. Read my hands-on first impressions.

I took delivery of a Nikon D4 earlier this week, and although I’m still putting it through its paces, I figured I’d jot down some of my immediate thoughts and impressions that I’ve gotten so far. I’ll also talk about some of the new features that discriminate the D4 from the D3/D3s cameras it replaces. I’ll try to answer the burning question: Should you upgrade to the D4?

Continue reading Nikon D4 Hands-on First Impressions

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Color Efex Pro 4 for Portraits

I used several filters in Color Efex Pro 4 to get this "glamour" shot of Otter.

Ok, so I’m not a glamour/fashion photographer. In fact, the only member of my household that even comes close to posing for me is our golden retriever, Otter. So when I play around with effects and gear, he tolerates me quite well.

We had some nice window light coming into the house this morning, and Otter was the only one willing to pose in it. So I played around with my Nikon 1 V1 and 50mm f/1.4 AFS G Nikkor using the FT1 adapter. That’s the equivalent of using a 135mm f/1.4 lens on a 35mm format camera… a nice portrait lens. This image was shot at 1/160s @f/2.5 to get the nice bokeh.

The as-shot image, before processing in Capture NX2

Continue reading Color Efex Pro 4 for Portraits

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Nikon Capture NX 2.3 Performance Review

Nikon has just announced the immediate release of Capture NX2 version 2.3. This is a major update to the software, as not only does it include numerous bug fixes, but it also offers native 64-bit processor support. It also offers native Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) support. I had the opportunity to run a series of performance benchmarks, and I’ll also address the new features and caveats of upgrading. Continue reading Nikon Capture NX 2.3 Performance Review

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