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Cameras

  • High-def recording has become the standard in the consumer camcorder market. With such incredible image quality, it is important you purchase a tool that will help you shoot video that lives up to the quality. The new features do everything from help you with color-correction, to allowing for low-light filming, to giving you an image-steady factor that eliminates camera shake when utilizing zoom. No matter what direction you go, be sure to think of what is most important to you. Sometimes you should choose based on price other times based on the portability of the camera. With this kind of variety you can cherry pick the options most important to you and edit perfect films for your family. If you need something more capable than a consumer model but you’re not quite ready for a professional camcorder, prosumer camcorders provide an excellent compromise. When starting your own videography business or just getting into filming, prosumer cameras will help you learn all the features of the more complex camera while still helping you shoot quality video. Many of these prosumer devices help you decide how to use the dynamic features to get the exact image you are looking for. You can film everything from documentary footage to weddings to full length feature films on these cameras, all the while testing your skill and learning about how to properly use a camera for the most effective footage. With the new "ease of transfer" options you can be editing the very day you shoot, making your turnaround time nothing for polished, amazing HD footage. Within the professional category, you will find a wide variety of prices, but all are quality camcorders that are utilized by professionals the world over. These cameras tend to be a bit heftier, providing both balance as well as durability to last over extensive time frames. Models in this area have the ability to use an extensive array of lenses giving you even more options when it comes to the look of your video. Please note that these cameras take a bit more hands on training to use properly, but isn't that the greatest thing about digital video? The learning curve isn't hampered by wasting film or losing time waiting on footage to be developed. In addition, camera houses now understand that new and experienced film makers want the features, but also the ability to be able to pick up the camera and shoot flawless HD video all while still in the initial learning period. Also, with the addition of many focus assistant features, these cameras will help you get used to filming HD video without ruining an event or wasting time.
    February 02, 2016
  • It’s important to give your camera and lenses the best care possible and one way to do that is to have a safe a secure way to store and transport them. Camera bags and cases are great in that role. They’re specially made to provide a high level of protection from water and shock damage. Plus they’re designed to create an easy organizational system inside them so that you always know where a specific piece of equipment is. Camera bags come in many forms like sling bags, backpacks, and hard cases. Here are the very best ones.
    February 02, 2016
  • Many photographers don't realize how important a fast, quality memory card can influence their workflow. Not only do quality memory cards typically operate faster, but they are also demonstrably more stable. Imagine losing an entire day's shoot to memory card corruption! It happens all the time.Many individuals simply look for a good deal, or perhaps just want to limit their shopping to cards that match their camera's maximum write speed. After all, what's the point of paying extra for a card when your camera can only write data so fast, right? Don't forget, writing is only half the process. There's still the reading of that data! After filling up that slow 16GB card with pictures from your day at the beach, for instance, you get home, pop the memory card into the reader and wait…and wait! Instead of getting to edit your pics quickly, you’re stuck staring at the upload progress bar that just seems to be sitting still, like it’s almost mocking you. On the other hand, with a faster memory card the reading part of the process can be cut in half or sometimes much more.The process by which manufacturers produce flash memory has become more dependable over the years and the chances of corruption seem to have gone down significantly in that time. However, corruptions certainly still happen often enough for you to be mindful of the possibility. Case in point,  I borrowed a memory card to complete a wedding, got home, and a large portion of the photos on said card were corrupted. What a nightmare that was! You can do your part to help mitigate this possibility by keeping your memory card clean, dry, and stored in the recommended temperature range. Another thing you can do (and perhaps the most effective) is purchase a quality memory card by a reputable manufacturer sold by a reputable dealer as counterfeit memory cards are more common than you might think. Stick with a dealer with good reputation for providing authentic products; if the deal looks too good to be true, well, you know the rest.You’ll also want to consider that a high quality memory card will more than likely last you for the rest of your photography career and they can also take a beating. There have been several anecdotal stories of people finding memory cards lost over the side of cruise liners or river rafts that have been recovered working many years after they were lost! Although you may initially wince at the price, consider that a smart memory card purchase can mean you won't have to buy another for a very long time, if ever again for that matter.If I might suggest, buy the largest you can afford. In just a few years time that 16GB card you buy today will quickly become tight on space if you ever eventually decide to mix video with your photography. Even so, you'd be surprised at how quickly a 16GB card fills up shooting 20MP RAW files. With as competitive as the market has become, it doesn't cost much more to jump up a size or two compared to a few years ago. Take advantage of that!The best cards listed here were chosen because they’re from reputable manufacturers. With an established history, you can be better assured that a card made by certain manufacturers will not only last but will also not corrupt your data as these cards are proven reliable. These memory cards are also chosen because at their respective price points, they represent the highest performance cards you can buy. If reliability is the most important metric, performance is the second most. No one wants to wait around for the camera's buffer to empty or data to transfer any more than they have to. Finally, these cards are chosen because they utilize special features like Error Correction Code (ECC) that can help eliminate errors during data transfers or special shock absorbing coatings to better ensure reliability during everyday use. Some even ship with data recovery software to get back those files you might accidentally delete.
    November 16, 2015
  • Many photographers, especially those just starting out, tend to overlook the utility of the humble monopod. It's a shame really, because monopods can solve many common photography issues tripods simply can't. For instance, at many tourist attractions including high-trafficked museums or historical buildings, tripods are prohibited. It's just not safe to splay out the legs of a tripod in the area where a lot of people are walking, especially with their attention often away from in front of where they’re walking. However, monopods are often allowed because they don't interfere with the flow of pedestrian traffic.Often, with cameras pushing ultra-high usable ISOs, you only need something steady to rest the camera to get a sharp shot of a dimly lit interior versus locking it down on a tripod. If you’re shooting a long telephoto lens at a sporting event and the weight of the lens precludes hand-holding, a tripod would be overkill; however, such a situation is perfect for a monopod. Many outdoor photographers who hike to interesting shooting locations well off the beaten path enjoy specially made monopods which double as walking sticks. Talk about two birds with one stone!Many people choose to put heads on top of their monopods, but this is strictly optional. Specially designed monopod heads can increase the usefulness of a monopod or make the monopod easier to use. However, they can also add significant weight to the unit so decide for yourself if the trade-off is worth it.The monopods on this list were chosen because they’re sturdy, the absolute most important metric for any monopod; when you lock these units, their mechanisms stay locked! These monopods are also made with lightweight materials for easy transport because what's the point of carrying around the weight of three legs if you can only use one? Finally, these monopods are all exceptionally well made because nothing so negatively affects the user experience like getting to a location you may never visit again only to have a pivotal component suddenly break. Rest assured, the monopods on this list will provide years of reliable service.
    October 15, 2015
  • Rings flashes, sometimes stylized as "ringflash" by manufacturers, are extremely popular in fashion and portrait photography and have been since their inception in the 1960s since photographers appreciate them for their unique lighting profile. If you ever see a well-lit portrait devoid of facial shadows and catch lights centered on the pupil, it might have been taken with a ring flash.Ring flashes are known for their ability to make "shadowless" images, even though they do actually produce shadows. In fact, another tip off that the image was show with a ring flash is a noticeable dark outline around the entire subject when they aren't far from a backdrop or background surface - that's the shadow! They do, however, eliminate almost all of the shadows on a face when used in portraiture. This is one of the reasons they remain so popular among professional fashion shooters when they want a model flatly lit.Another reason portrait and fashion photographers use ring flashes is because ring flashes create specular highlights which are bright spots caused by reflected light. You see them all over shiny objects when a bright light is pointed at them. Ring flashes create a unique specular pattern or shape that many fashion photographers find appealing.Let's not forget to mention, ring flashes give a very desirable catch light, centered right ont he subjects pupil. It's a very striking effect! You commonly see this effect exaggerated in beauty product ads with the model's face close up. It can often makes eyes pop all the more. Macro photographers also find ring flashes to be an essential part of their kit. Since a ring flash is typically mounted flush with the front of the lens, the lens won't cast a shadow on the image, which ruins macro shots.Many ring flashes can even take modifiers to further change the quality of light they produce making them flexible and adaptable to a variety of artistic lighting styles.One caveat of note, however, is that since a ring flash is mounted so close to the lens, when a portrait subject looks at the lens they are also looking at the flash. Indeed, one of the cardinal rules of off-camera flashes is to get them AWAY from the lens, such as with a flash bracket. Ring flashes defy this rule in the most severe way and this close flash-to-lens proximity will very often cause red-eye, on top of the drastic shadow behavior. Be prepared to remove unwanted red-eye in post production when using these types of flashes. Good quality ring flashes are dependable and will last you a very long time. Ring flashes also offer a platform to grow and change styles thanks to light modifiers.The ring flashes listed here were chosen for their predictable light quality. You don't want to spend a lot of extra time monkeying with color temperature fixes after-the-fact in you can help it. These ring flashes are also extremely well-built and should stand up to the rigors of repeated use, either in the studio or in the field. These flashes also offer unique options or modes that make them good tools for their intended purposes, like portable battery packs for fast-paced location work or perhaps TTL functions that allow you to work faster.
    September 21, 2015
  • If you need or want to nail exposure the first time, an oft overlooked tool in this day of ubiquitous built-in meters, is the handheld light meter. Not too long ago a handheld meter was essential to every professional photographer's workflow. That's not so much the case anymore as camera manufacturers have done a good job integrating accurate light meters into their cameras. But, no matter how good they are, there are limitations to metering reflected light that cannot be overcome with a built-in light meter. That's where dedicated, handheld light meters come into play.When a photographer meters a scene from the camera, they are taking what is termed a reflective reading. Depending on the scene, this could include much more light information than simply what falls on the subject, up to and including extraneous light or objects near the subject that could confuse a camera's reflective light reading. Modern photographers get around this problem by "chimping" the exposure, that is, they take a picture at a given exposure, judge the result, then make changes and try again. And again. And sometimes again.For many professionals, trial and error is not an option. Not to mention, it just doesn't look professional. If the client is present on the shoot it probably will not instill confidence in the photographer's abilities to see the constant guessing and correcting. A handheld light meter can eliminate this guesswork.Handheld light meters measure what's called incident light. This is the light as it falls directly on the subject at the subject's position. It doesn't get confused by other brightly color objects in the frame and it doesn't adjust itself to light sources that emit light that doesn't hit the subject. It's takes a true reading of the light that the meter then uses to generate a measurement to render the subject perfectly exposed. It can do this on the first try, not the fourth.Listed here are the five best handheld light meters for photography. They are chosen because they are highly accurate, which is the most critical metric for any light meter. These light meters are also highly customizable, allowing photographers to change meter settings for a variety of situations including video or complex lighting setups. Our selections also have models or optional accessories that further increase their usefulness, like changing out the radio to trigger flashes from specific manufacturers, like Broncolor and Elinchrom, or add Pocket Wizard ControlTL support.
    September 01, 2015
  • Digital compact cameras are some of the most popular picture-taking devices today. These devices range from simple "point-and-shoot" models to more advanced offerings that offer dSLR-style creative control. We’ve included the top picks from the most popular segments, factoring in criteria such as performance, versatility, ease of use, and value.If you're looking for a digital SLR, check out our list of the best dSLR cameras. Be sure to also take a peek at our digital camera buyer's guide for an in-depth guide to picking the camera suited for your needs.
    August 27, 2015
  • One of the most important bits of kit in any landscape or portrait photographer's bag are neutral density filters. These filters block some portion of the light entering your lens, allowing you more creative freedom and, if used right, maybe better images. If you want to use a large aperture for a shallow depth-of-field on a sunny day or slow the shutter speed to capture the swaying grass in an open pasture, you'll probably need a neutral density filter. In videography, neutral density filters are essential to preventing overexposure in scenes where there is too much light to manage with the video's fixed shutter speed.Neutral density filters come in many styles, like square or rectangular slide-ins, and some even offer a graduated density pattern, perfect for holding back the sky's brightness against a darker horizon and foreground. Popular makers of slide-in graduated neutral density filters are Lee Filters, Singh-Ray, and Formatt-Hitech.Of the varied styles that neutral density filters come in, screw-on is by far the most popular. By foregoing the need for expensive and bulky foundation kits, like those that are needed for square and rectangular slide-in filters, screw-on filters are compact, light, easy to use and cost effective. Most of the makers listed here offer several slide-in neutral density options, many of which are just as exceptional as their screw-on counterparts.When purchasing, be sure to get the right size filter for the lens you intend to use it on. One particular money saving strategy would be to purchase a filter for the largest lens you own and use step-up adapters for your smaller lenses. In this way you can use one filter, adapt it to all your lenses, and save money over purchasing a filter for each size lens you own.The best solid screw-in neutral density filters listed here are chosen because they do not introduce unsightly color casts, which can be very time-consuming, if not near impossible, to correct in post processing. They are extraordinarily well-made selections, using the finest glass or optical resins and all but one has rings made of brass, a material that resists binding with other surfaces. The filters here also offer state-of-the-art usability features like front-threading and multi-coatings, which reduce flare, help with cleaning, with some even being scratch resistant.
    August 10, 2015
  • Tripods are invaluable camera companions, allowing for clear photos at longer shutter speeds, eliminating camera shake, and making shooting more comfortable in general. Just as cameras come in a variety of different categories, tripods are available in different types, sizes and builds. Lightweight, inexpensive tripods can be best for point-and-shoot cameras while larger, professional cameras need sturdier tripods with an enhanced weight capacity. For best overall tripod, we considered the product's size in relation to its weight capacity and height range as well as durability and features. Not sure exactly what all those features mean? Get acquainted with tripod basics with our tripod buyer’s guide listed below.
    April 22, 2015
  • Digital SLR cameras are an evolution of the 'single lens reflex' camera, swapping the film roll for an image sensor. These cameras offer superior performance compared to point-and-shoot models, and provide users with more control over final output. If you'd like a primer on what to look for when buying a dSLR camera, have a look at our buyer's guide.
    October 28, 2014
  • The SLR camera is the essential tool for the serious photographer and one of the reasons it creates high quality images is because it has the ability to use interchangeable lenses. Apart from the image sensor (which affects resolution capabilities), the lens will have the largest influence on the look of the image. They control the framing, the depth of field, the amount of light that can pass through for exposure, and so much more. Having an amazing camera isn’t enough to produce world-class images, you also need to have lenses that can step up to the job. Here are the best lenses for Canon cameras.
    October 28, 2014
  • Nikon is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of cameras and lenses. They have been in business for almost 100 years, thanks to superior craftsmanship in their products. Some Nikon lenses are also referred to as Nikkors. Nikkor is a special brand within Nikon that has been manufacturing their very best lenses since the 1930s. As the company has grown, so has their reputation for quality, and today the majority of lenses manufactured by Nikon bear the distinct Nikkor name. There are a lot of lenses available for Nikon SLR cameras but here are the very best ones.
    October 28, 2014
  • UV filters were popular in film and early digital photography because they removed the bluish haze cast by the sun. Modern digital cameras, however, typically do a good job of eliminating that issue on their own. So why are UV filters still popular?UV filters have been embraced as a way to protect the front of a lens from scratches and dust without changing image quality. UV filters are clear so they don't prevent light from getting through. It's much cheaper to replace a scratched UV filter than to replace a lens, and for that reason, UV filters are still very popular. These best UV filters are made from high quality glass and materials and offer a protective element for camera lenses.Please note: These picks come in all sizes so just choose which ones fit your camera len(s) best.
    October 06, 2014
  • Film used to be the standard photography medium before digital largely replaced it. Today it takes some research to find a film camera and filmstock, but they’re still available on the market. The format is still embraced by purists who see it as the highest level in mastering the craft of photography. There are many different types of film cameras and niche styles. Here are the very best cameras that still use film.
    August 28, 2013
  • Polarizer filters remove non-metallic reflections that are a result of polarized light. This simple tool is extremely valuable when shooting outdoors and in areas with a lot of glass. It can make all the difference between a great picture and one that does not look good at all. There are two different types of polarizers; linear and circular. Here are the very best polarizer filters.
    August 01, 2012