Pretec, the leader in CompactFlash card capacity and speed, has done it again with the announcement of 64GB and 100GB CF cards at Photokina 2008. According to DPReview, the new 233X CF cards can write up to 35MB/s. If that isn’t fast enough for you, they have slightly smaller capacity 32GB and 50GB CF cards that can do 50MB/s.

These cards sound really sweet for the new DSLRs that shoots 20+ MP and/or HD videos, such as Sony A900, Canon EOS-5D Mark II, and Nikon D90. Before you buy one of those though, check with your camera’s manufacturer to make sure your camera supports it. Pretec 233X 64GB and 333X 32GB CF cards are slated to start delivery by Photokina 2008 with suggested retail price of $399 and $630, and 233X 100GB and 333X 50GB are expected to become available by the end of 2008.

Posted in Accessories, News on September 23rd, 2008. No Comments.

I just recently started geotagging using my Nokia E71 cell phone. The phone has built-in 3.2MP camera and GPS. Using a software called locr, the location and time information are recorded in each photo. I can upload the images to locr’s own photo sharing site, or to Yahoo!’s flickr, directly from the phone. It is very nice! If I geotag all my phones, I won’t need to scratch my head trying to figure out where the heck I took the photo later, especially when my memory starts to fade when I am older.

As  you may already know, you don’t need a GPS to do geotagging. The cheapest way is to find the spot where you took the phone on Google Earth or other mapping sites and manually insert the GPS coordinates in the EXIF header. Flickr allows you to do this easily. However this is really tedious and time consuming. I start to think how I can add location information to the images taken using Nikon DSLR cameras without the hassle of manually editing hundreds of photos I typically take each time. Read More…

Posted in Accessories, Photography Gadgets on September 22nd, 2008. 5 Comments.

If you have just started digital photography with a digital SLR camera, you may be wondering what accessories you need besides the camera and lens. Digital photography can be a very expensive hobby, especially if you want to buy everything you want. So I am going to focus on what a typical DSLR shooter needs. Here is a list of some must-have accessories. Read More…

Posted in Accessories, Digital SLR Cameras on September 19th, 2008. 4 Comments.

Do you know that more than 350 million digital images are captured every day, and four out of five of those images are never shared? Wow… think about all those dormant photos on your hard-drive! Some innovative companies have thought about this and created some really nice products. Heard about the Eye-Fi? Now you can set free your photos with the Lexar Shoot-n-Sync Wi-Fi® Memory Card, which uses the same innovative wireless technology as in Eye-Fi cards for uploading digital photos to computers as well as sharing them via social networking and photo-sharing websites. Read More…

Posted in Accessories on September 19th, 2008. No Comments.

The Eye-Fi is a secure digital (SD) format memory card with Wi-Fi (802.11g, 54mbps) that can wirelessly send photos from a digital camera to a computer or photo sharing service of your choice. It has generated quite some buzz on gadget blogs (Engadget, Gizmodo, CrunchGear) but some mixed reviews (Post-Bulletin, PC World, DPReview) since its launch.

Overall, it works as advertised but comes with some limitations. For example,

  • It only transmits JPEG photos, raw shooters are out of luck (The company says other formats and raw support are coming).
  • It has limited range (< 45ft, and practically <20ft).
  • It only works on trusted, encrypted, pre-configured wireless network but not open access points.
  • It is only in SD format (some have reported it works with a SD-to-CF adapter).
  • It is slow to start and slow to upload especially when uploading to online photo sharing sites.
  • It uploads everything, no way of selecting images for upload.

Despite the limitations, it does come with a reasonable price of $100. If you find it fun or useful for you (with the limitations), you may want to give it a try.

Posted in Accessories on November 4th, 2007. No Comments.

In my previous post Fall foliage shooting tips, I have recommended the use of a polarizer and stated the benefits of a polarizer, especially in bright sun light. Here is an good example of using a polarizer for fall foliage shooting.

Photo without polarizer

Photo with polarizer Read More…

Posted in Accessories on October 7th, 2007. No Comments.

Kata makes great bags with learnings from sophisticated military protection technology. I have the KT R-103 GDC Rucksack and I love it.

Kata recently announced a new Digital Photo Series (DPS) bags as the latest addition to the acclaimed Global Digital Collection (GDC). Check out which one is a fit for your camera and carrying need by following this link.

Posted in Accessories on October 5th, 2007. No Comments.

Your camera and lens may be weather sealed but it really cannot take a downpour for too long or too often. If you don’t want to let the weather take away your shooting fun, or you have to shoot in any weather for a living, you need to get a rain cover to protect your gear.

I found there are many names for similar items : rain cover, rain cape, rain sleeve/rainsleeve, elements cover, camera cover, etc. Rain cover seems to be the most popular name. The prices also vary greatly, from $200+ to 7 bucks . The most expensive ones are made by AquaTech, less expensive ones by Tenba, OP/Tech, Lightware, Kata , and others. The choice should really depend on what you need based on your camera/lens combination and the type of shooting. The least expensive one may work for you just fine. However nothing should prevent you from making a fashion statement with the most expensive one if you can afford it.

For the budget-conscious types, here is the DIY rain cover tip: Find a clear plastic bag, cut a hole in the bag at an appropriate location, attach it to the lens hood using duct type.

Posted in Accessories on September 30th, 2007. 2 Comments.
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