Category Archives: Cameras & Gear

With all the camera options available today it can be difficult deciding on which photo equipment is worth buying. Here are my top options and reviews of digital cameras and camera gear I’ve used.



Sony camera

Roundup: Best Cameras of 2012

With the holiday season well underway, we thought we would share with you our pick of the best cameras that 2012 has had to offer.

2012 has seen the release of some truly amazing cameras. From incredible DSLRs to pocket friendly compacts, we’ve got something for everyone…

Camera of the YearCanon 1D X

Cashing in at a whopping $6,799 (and that’s just for the body!) this camera is not for the faint of heart. Despite the stiff competition that this full frame model was met with throughout 2012, the Canon 1D X has still managed to come out trumps. Offering an 18.1 full frame megapixel CMOS sensor, an incredibly powerful ISO range, and all new Dual DIGIc 5+ image processors that deliver the highest quality image captures, this machine is hard to beat.

Best Point and ShootNikon P7700

When it comes to high end compact cameras the Nikon P7700 outdid them all! With an extra large 12.2 megapixel CMOS sensor, 7.1x optical zoom, fully articulating screen, plus a whole host of other superb controls, the $426 Nikon P7700 is second to none.

Best Entry Level DSLR – Sony Alpha SLT-A37

If you’re looking for the perfect entry level DSLR then the Sony Alpha SLT-A37 is the answer. Priced at $498, this newest addition to Sony’s Alpha DSLR series is an absolute star. Boasting endless features including translucent mirror technology, 16.1 megapixel resolution, ISO 16000 sensitivity, and full HD movie capture, the specs for this model really are awesome.

 

 

Best Compact Superzoom – Panasonic Lumix DMC ZS20

The Panasonic Lumix DMC ZS20 is an outstanding camera that offers superior picture quality even at maximum zoom. Costing a reasonable $349, this camera makes for the ideal travel companion. Slipping easily in the pocket, the impressive 20x zoom, 24mm ultra wide angle lens, and ability to shoot in HD ensures you capture magnificent shots each and every time.

Best Value For Money – Canon PowerShot ELPH 110

If you’re in the market for an inexpensive camera that is super simple to use, and won’t burn a massive hole in your wallet, then the Canon PowerShot 110 is the camera for you. With 16.1 effective megapixels, full 1080p HD video recording, and a 5x optical zoom all for an incredible $155, you really can’t go wrong!

What’s your favorite camera from 2012?

Share with us in the comments below.

 

Fisheye Lens Example

Nikon 10.5 mm Fisheye Lens – Instant Fun!

About 11 months ago I decided to take a plunge and buy the Nikon 10.5 mm fisheye lens for my Nikon DSLR camera (D50). After seeing some of the cool shots on Flickr taken with fisheyes, I wanted to play with one myself.

I was a little weary to get it since my Nikon camera is only 6 megapixels. I remember having talked to a salesperson at a local Ritz and him telling me that a fisheye lens will not do well with a low-megapixel camera like the D40 or D50 since it tends to squeeze and distort the image. He said they were better suited to film cameras back in the day. Plus at just under $600 it felt like I was taking a risk getting a lens that might not produce good images.

Well I’m glad I didn’t listen to him and ended up getting the lens anyway. I got the The Nikon AF Nikkor 10.5 mm 1:2.8 G ED for my D50 from Amazon and I can say that it’s been a really, really fun lens. I’ve taken thousands of shots with it and it always adds a cool perspective to my series.

Sometimes I almost feel like I’m cheating – it’s just too easy to take a really cool picture that stands out from the rest. You can check out some of my favorites here:

The lens is really good for taking photos of small spaces such as cramped rooms and anywhere where your field of view is really constricted – think a bathroom on a real estate shoot. Conversely, it’s also awesome for wide open spaces where the perspective will add even more of a sense of grand scale.

Parking in Kofu

Pros?

(The pros definitely outweigh the cons if you ask me, but I’ll try)

Instant fun!

Gives you cool perspectives that no other lens can

Small so it takes up little room in your camera bag

Takes shots

Cons?

In some shots you may have some serious chromatic abberation at the fringes. Errrr, I think that’s right anyway – basically you might have some messed up color and distortion near the edges of the photo. I’m not a huge purist as long as the pic looks cool, so this part doesn’t bother me like it might some people.

It’s a fixed lens so there’s no zoom – you’ll have to move the camera back and forth to adjust what actually fills the frame. The nice thing is that small lateral or up and down movements make a hige difference. Ok, so this part is not really much a con, but I’m trying to come up with a balanced review.

Since there’s so much stuff in the shot, keep in mind that your camera’s built in flash will probably not illuminate all of it, especially in the bottom of the shot (since the lens itself will block light). Here’s an example of what I’m talking about (see the dark area in the bottom of the shot). You’ll either have to not use flash, deal with it, or get an external flash unit.

At $500+ dollars it’s not the cheapest lens, but definitely one of the most fun ones that will let you take some very cool and unusual shots.

If you’re thinking about getting one for yourself or a present – check out the latest prices for the 10.5mm Fisheye lens on Amazon. If you buy through the link above it will help support this site and encourage more posts like this (and make my day).

Happy shooting!

canon-sd780-s

Best Compact Digital Camera 2011

While I love taking photos with my large SLR camera, its size makes it impractical to carry it around with me when going out with friends. I always like having a small point & shoot with me to capture photos of my outings or little things I chance upon.

joby-gorillapod

Joby Gorillapod SLR: A Compact Alternative to a Tripod

One of my favorite accessories for my Nikon D50 is the Joby Gorillapod SLR. I got one for my girlfriend last year and I’ve been “stealing” it from her ever since – enough that I’ll probably get one myself pretty soon. I’m undecided between the Gorillapod SLR and the Gorillapod SLR Zoom models – I love the regular one because it’s compact but the Zoom one looks a bit sturdier so it’s a trade off.

uv-filter

Protect Your SLR Photo Lens with a UV Filter

UV filterOnce you buy a nice new digital SLR one of the first things I recommend doing is buying a UV filter. A UV filter costs about $15 for the lower end version and up to around $80 for the higher end versions. The UV filter serves two functions. First, it filters out UV light from the sun when you’re shooting outside, which makes your pictures appear sharper and clearer. Second (and even more importantly) it protects your SLR lens from dust and scratches.

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