It has been a while since Canon announced the 450D / Rebel XSi. DPReview editors got their hands on a production version of the new DSLR camera and posted a gallery of sample images. Nothing looks very striking from those sample photos, but the Canon 450D will be a great choice as an entry level digital SLR camera with many improvements over its predecessor and good value.

Posted in Digital SLR Cameras on March 21st, 2008. No Comments.

Let’s face it. The value of a digital camera drops like a rock over time. I spent $1300 on a Nikon D70 in 2004. It is now worth about $300, without factoring in the inflation. How to make the photography hobby worth the big price tag besides the pure enjoyment? Read this interesting post on the personal finance blog I will teach you to be rich. In addition to what were said there, I found selling photos is another obvious way of paying for the cost of photography hobby. I made enough on a micro stock photo site (with just a few hundred photos) to cover the cost of the D70, a D200, and half a dozen decent lenses in the past a few years.

Posted in Inspiration, Miscellaneous on March 17th, 2008. No Comments.

After a long delay, DPReview has posted a very detailed review of the Nikon D300 digital SLR (DSLR) camera. Against some strong competitions, the D300 easily earned a “Highly Recommended” and the review states “… biggest problem writing this conclusion has been picking out the D300’s weak points” and “… there’s simply no better semi-professional digital SLR on the market“.

If you are still hesitant on buying the D300 for whatever reason, the review may finally help you make the decision.

Posted in Digital SLR Cameras on March 13th, 2008. 1 Comment.

Cop went extra mile to find the owner of a digital camera filled with safari photos. The owner was obviously very happy to find the lost photos and memory. As a digital photographer, we cannot always count on someone to return your lost camera and invaluable photos. Here is something you can do to safe-guard your captures:

  • Always download and backup photos immediately after shooting if possible.
  • Keep the backup copies of the photos separate from the camera and the other copy.
  • Label or mark your camera, flash media, and accessories with your name and phone number.
  • If your camera supports it, setup your camera to automatically tag your photos with your name and contact information in the EXIF metadata section of each photo.
Posted in Digital photography, Miscellaneous on March 12th, 2008. No Comments.

Nik Software, the maker of the Capture NX Raw editing software for Nikon NEF, has released a new software called Viveza for Adobe Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. The new software brings the revolutionary U-Point technology to Adobe Photoshop and Photoshop Element users. Digital photographers who do not use Nikon cameras, or who do not use Capture NX,  can now effortlessly enhance and correct the light and color selectively within the photograph without using complicated masks and layers in Photoshop.

U Point powered Color Control Points, with easy-to-use controls that are directly placed on colors or objects in a photo, can be used by photographers to quickly adjust brightness, contrast or color in a fraction of the time needed by other tools or methods.

Nik Software has some video demonstrations on how Viveza and U-Point technology works. A 15-day trial version can be downloaded here.

Posted in Software on March 6th, 2008. No Comments.

Micron, a leading CMOS image sensor manufacturer, launched a separate CMOS image sensor division called Aptina. Unlike big names such as Canon, Nikon, Sony etc, Micron (now Aptina) is not well known to many digital photographers due mainly to their mostly low-end (P&S and camera phone) and specialty image sensor product portfolio, even through they have the number one CMOS image sensor market share. If you don’t know already, Micron supplied the camera chip in Apple’s popular iPhone.

Things may be different soon as Micron start to crack open the high end market. I would not be surprised to see an Aptina image sensor in Nikon DSLR cameras in the future.

Posted in News on March 5th, 2008. No Comments.

I have one of the older model (A16N) Tamron SP 17-50mm f/2.8 for Nikon. I like the lens for its value even though it does have a flaw related to FLASH photography in TTL-BL mode. Lately, Tamron has announced update to this lens with a built-in AF motor.

A vendor in Malaysia has received the lens and posted a short review on PhotoMalaysia. In summary, the new version has:

  • No screw drive hole for AF. AF motor is now built-in. This makes the lens compatible with Nikon D40, D40x, and the new D60 DSLR cameras.
  • AF/MF switch. It is no longer needed to set the focus mode on camera. I doubt it can do focus override (typically only on AF-S lens) though.
  • Smoother but much lower AF. I hope it can provide more precise auto-focus and the accurate distance information to the camera so the old problem can be avoided.
Posted in Digital SLR Cameras, Lens on March 4th, 2008. 1 Comment.
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