It is Friday again. Like many of you, this means not going to work tomorrow. 

  • The Nikon Down site announced yesterday has quietly changed its name to “D-Town TV“. The Nikon logo and names are gone. I guess Nikon doesn’t like the unauthorized use of its brand identity. 
  • Have you seen any good reviews of the AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G yet? Bjørn Rørslett has his mostly subjective review up on his site confirming what I expected: sharp lens (evident from its MFT chart) with some chromatic aberration (can be seen in sample images).
  • It is probably not very surprising to see the gadget guys tell us that lenses are the real key to stunning photos. Silly, it is the photographer!
  • It is the gadget guys again, they didn’t “spend any time in a lab for testing”, but produced a review Canon 5D Mark II vs. Nikon D700 Review Shoot-Out “on real-world experience”.
  • Olympus E-620 12.3 megapixel DSLR is a very interesting new comer. It has built-in image stabilization, dust reduction, swirl liveview LCD screen, multiple aspect ratio support, face detection, art filters, and preview function that allows users to check the possible results of different photographic effects before even taking the shot. With an attractive prices of $699.99 (body only) and $799.99 (kit with ED 14-42mm f3.5/5.6 Zuiko Digital Zoom Lens), it will be a strong competition against Nikon and Canon entry to mid level offerings.
  • Hongkong based Hi-Den Vision introduces the world first HDMI 1080p digital photo viewer (HD-0310). Remember we discussed the options of viewing photos on HDTV? For a low price of $60, this new gadget with its nice features and specs looks like a perfect choice. I already hit the buy button. If this isn’t a scam, I will tell you how it works out when I get it.

That’s all for today’s digital photography links. I wish you a great Friday and weekend!

Posted in Digital photography, Online Resources on February 27th, 2009. No Comments.

Scott Kelby announced on his Photoshop Insiders Blog the lunching of a weekly tips show for Nikon DSLR shooters. The show will be co-hosted by Scott Kelby and Matt Kloskowski. The show will airs online each Thursday. The premiere episode can be watched on Nikon DTown at You can also download the first show in MP4 format.

In the first show, Scott and Matt show you how to set white balance using LiveView mode, a Capture NX2 tip about how to turn a grey house into a white house using Color Control Point, a GPS accessory from, and how to cycle through images quickly on camera using command dial instead of the multi-selector.

If you are interested in what they use, you can check out their gear list too.

Posted in Online Resources on February 26th, 2009. No Comments.

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Typically we want to avoid lens vignette (light fall off at the corners of the photo) caused by lens itself or stacking too many filters on the lens, but sometimes it can add some intrigue to a photo. In this tutorial, I will show you how to add the effect using Nikon Capture NX 2. This technique is similar to the other tutorial I posted here: How To Create a Soft Fade Vignette Effect in Nikon Capture NX but with some twists. Read More…

Posted in Tips and Techniques, Tutorials on February 25th, 2009. 3 Comments.

Ken Rockwell is definitely one of the most controversial figures in the world of photography but his site does have a ton of good information together with, you know, some other stuff. In his update posted on February 19, 2009 he released his user guides for Nikon D700 and D300. I don’t have either of the cameras but the Nikon D700 must be easier to use than D300 because the D700 guide has only 32 pages while the D300 guide has 120!

What makes it more interesting is that he is selling it using an honor system: the guides are free to read online but keeping or printing will cost you five bucks each.

Posted in Online Resources on February 23rd, 2009. No Comments.

Our friend from Nikon has posted a note in the Nikon Capture NX user group about the training videos available on If you haven’t heard, Nik Software, not Nikon, created the Nikon Capture NX software.

The two new Capture NX2 videos show you how easy it is to touch up photos using Capture NX2. You can watch the flash videos online, or download the videos in mov format to watch offline on your computer or the m4v format to watch on an ipod.  

There are bunch of other videos as well. They are nice to watch but probably useless unless you have the software. If you really like Capture NX2, you may want to consider the excellent but expensive photographic filter package Color Effect Pro 3.0 for Capture NX 2.

The videos have been added to our Capture NX Resource Guide.

Posted in Online Resources on February 20th, 2009. No Comments.

Previously we talked about the free Windows tethering application that does pretty much the expensive Nikon Camera Control Pro 2 is capable of. Now Stefan Hafeneger played with the Nikon SDK packages and created a Mac application that allows tethered shooting with Nikon DSLR cameras.

The current beta1 version supports Nikon D3, D2, D700, D300 and D90. Since I am not a Mac user, I cannot test it out. From the author’s description, the application allows tethered single shot or exposure bracketing. The author is looking for ideas, suggestions, and feature requests. For me, automatic time lapse would be great.  However it is still useless if it doesn’t run on Windows, and Stefan has refused to make a Windows version. I wish I have time and the courage to pick up my programing again. 🙁

More coverage of the story on the Internet:

Posted in Digital photography, Software on February 20th, 2009. No Comments.

Have you noticed that your pictures look different when viewed in Web browser and in Adobe Photoshop? Or perhaps you have discovered that the pictures look different when viewed in Internet Explorer and Safari. There is no need to check your sanity or suspect your vision, this is a common problem caused by dismal color management support in various software (including some web browsers) and operating systems.

Web browsers without color management support assume all photos are in sRGB color space and your monitor is also sRGB-compliant. You may see (sometimes very) different colors that you don’t expect if any of the two assumptions is not true. If the photos are indeed in sRGB color space and your monitor does have a device color profile that is sRGB or close to it, your may not encounter much of a problem in your daily web browsing. After all, most sane people upload only photos encoded in sRGB color space to the web. That’s probably part of the reasons why some browsers still do not support color management. Read More…

Posted in Digital photography, Tips and Techniques on February 20th, 2009. No Comments.

In the history of Nikon SLR cameras and Nikkor lenses, there have been many technology developments. Even though the physical dimension of the Nikon lens mount (F-Mount) has pretty much remained the same for a long time, the Camera-Lens compatibility is a lot more complicated than simply being able to mount the lens on the camera. There are several major compatibility questions:

  1. Can it mount? Sometimes the lens won’t mount at all, sometimes the rear element may break the mirror in the camera. So do a good research before you mount the odd-looking lens you bought from a yard sale.
  2. Will it meter? If it will, it may not support all metering modes especially the matrix metering mode. Flash photography can also be affected, for example by the focus distance information that only some lenses can send to the camera.
  3. Will it autofocus? Some early versions or Nikkor lenses are strictly manual focus only but even AF lenses do not guarantee auto focus function on cameras such as Nikon’s entry level D40, D40x, and D60, which do not have a built-in auto focus motor in the camera body. 

Want to find out what works and what not for your DSLR camera? Here are some excellent resources.

Posted in Digital SLR Cameras, Lens on February 17th, 2009. 1 Comment.
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