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Product Reviews

May 27, 2014

I am a Crated artist

Recently, I discovered a new website called Crated.com that was looking for talent in their initial start-up phase. I figured, why not, and submitted my portfolio for review.

Surprisingly, they sent me a response within a few days offering me the chance to showcase my art on their site. Basically, it works like a full-service print shop from order to delivery. How is this different from my current Smugmug account, you may ask? Well, aside from cosmetic differences (Smugmug wins this one easily with the ability to skin your gallery any way you want using custom CSS), the main difference is price. Whereas Smugmug just upped the prices for their Pro accounts to a whopping $300, Crated has no yearly membership fee.Read More

August 6, 2013

New SmugMug site unveiled!

Hooray, SmugMug finally updated their website with some spectacular new layouts on the front end and much more easily navigable back end.

I joined SmugMug a little over a year ago (right before they upped their annual fees!) in order to set up an online store for my prints. For someone like me (i.e., a lazy person who doesn’t want to deal with the hassle of taking and filling orders), it was a godsend. SmugMug displays your photos, takes your orders, prints your pieces, and ships it all in the end. Perfect! Sure, they end up taking a pretty hefty percentage, but for now I feel like it’s worth it.Read More

April 17, 2013

Lightroom tethering for the D600! (finally… and sorta)

Okay, so there’s still no native tethering in Lightroom for the Nikon D600 as of version 4.4, but I’m frankly sick of waiting. I’m guessing they either forgot or just don’t care (with a beta release of LR5 just hitting the interweb, it’s easy to understand the lack of focus).

After doing some angry googling, I stumbled across this thread in the Adobe Community forums and found a great suggestion by Butch_M (who also suggests we will never see native tethering in LR4 since it’s allegedly a standard feature in LR5). Thanks mate!Read More

February 9, 2013

Nikon D600 Sensor Dust Spots

Well, I had hoped that I would be one of the lucky ones that didn’t end up with a D600 that has the “dreaded” sensor dust spot issue (I even waited a few months to see if Nikon would address it with another batch of cameras). Alas, I started to notice an accumulation of spots after around 1,200 exposures.

For those unfamiliar with the dust/dirt issue (and if you own a D600 I find it hard to believe you couldn’t be familiar with it), from everything I’ve read it has to do with a gap between the sensor and the shutter curtain that allows dust to gather on the sensor. Oddly enough though, I’ve also read that the issue dissipates after around 3,000 shutter clicks. Strange indeed, but good to know!Read More

January 19, 2013

One way out – Replacing my DX ultra-wide

It was a sad day when I parted with my Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8, which had become one of my favorite lenses over the last few years. Purchased originally for a European trip, I figured I would have to have a wide angle to capture all the spectacular architecture I’d be seeing. After some research (taking into consideration the fact that I’m relatively cheap when it comes to glass), I opted for the ultra-wide angle Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 Pro DX Digital Zoom Lens. It’s a become a bit cheaper now since Tokina released an updated version (to be honest, though, I can’t tell what they’ve changed with it to justify the $200 price increase).Read More

January 1, 2013

Zeikos Battery Grip for Nikon D600 Review

My battery grip just arrived for the new Nikon D600 (my initial review of it can be found here) and I feel like I can breathe again! The added battery power and vertical grip are something I have grown quite accustomed to with the MB-D80 battery grip for the Nikon D90. For my D90s, I opted for the genuine Nikon grip, though there were quite a few available at highly discounted prices on eBay due to the age of that particular model. The same cannot be said just yet for the MB-D14, the Nikon grip for the D600. They are new and they are pricey.Read More

December 23, 2012

The unboxing! Nikon D600 review…

So here it is at last, the unboxing and early review of Nikon’s newest model and most affordable full frame camera, the D600. Serving as a bridge between the pro shooter and “pro-sumer,” the D600 includes many of the features from the more expensive D800 all packed into the body of a D7000.Read More

April 18, 2012

Review: Carry Speed CS-Double Strap

I promised this review to Tim Hsu, inventor of the Carry Speed straps, a long time ago, but I really wanted to get some use out of them before writing anything. Since I got my CS-Double (this link will take you to Amazon, as the CS-Double isn’t available directly from Tim’s website anymore) from Tim back in Houston about a year-and-a-half ago, he’s really made quite an impact on the camera strap scene.Read More

January 21, 2012

Travel Tripod

Been looking for a travel tripod for quite a while now, and finally settled on one. I could’ve gone with something more expensive, lighter, carbon fiber, etc., etc., but that would have shot my bill up by at least a hundred bucks. I read reviews about the Gitzos and others that sounded pretty amazing, but the prices would’ve put an equally amazing dent in my pocketbook.Read More

May 23, 2011

Review: Battery Grip for Nikon D3100

UPDATED! See here.

For those who don’t know, Nikon doesn’t make battery grips for its lower-end DSLRs. The advantage to this? The pricetag is a lot lower on a third-party grip. The problem? Well, there are a few issues one wouldn’t expect with an official product from Nikon.

I got my “professional vertical battery grip” through Amazon here. There are a handful of different sellers, and I can’t vouch for any of them besides New Harbor (though at that time, the shipment was fulfilled through Amazon when I ordered). I bought mine for around $25. Interestingly enough, while it was advertised as being made by Neewer, the packaging and product itself is labeled Meike.

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May 20, 2011

Fuji’s Super CCD can produce 12-megapixel images when shooting in RAW format with the S2

Okay, so this test comparison might have been even more flawed than I thought. I just discovered something interesting about the S2. Apparently, because of its “Super CCD” it can actually record image data that will result in a 12-megapixel final image. Weird since it’s only a 6-megapixel camera.Read More

May 18, 2011

Camera Comparison Test

Behold!

Lately, I’ve been messing around with a new camera I was given (thanks Susie!) that has some interesting features, despite being a few years older than my other cameras. Behold! The Fujifilm Finepix S2 Pro! It’s a beastly thing (though not as gargantuan as my D90 with the MD-80), but it’s still got that Nikon look since it was modeled after one of the later Nikon SLRs. And lucky me, it’s got a Nikon F mount so I can share all of my lens with it.

What’s more, since it is older and a more prosumer camera than my newer D3100, it can use ALL my lenses, not just the ones with the autofocus motors built in. Anyway, on to the test…

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May 13, 2011

Lens Review: Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8

Here’s a portion of my review of Tokina’s 11-16 mm f 2.8 AT-X 116 Pro DX Autofocus lens for Nikon DX-Format DSLRs that was recently posted on B&H Photo Video:

I had originally bought this for an upcoming trip to Copenhagen, but I can’t believe how much I’ve used it already. It’s a great lens for group shots and came in handy at a few weddings.Read More

February 8, 2011

Review of the Nikon D3100

Nikon's new D3100. Get yours today!
Nikon's new D3100

Here’s my review of the new Nikon D3100 on B&H’s website:

Great value for a fraction of the D7000

By Magellan from Houston, TX on 2/6/2011
  • Ease of Operation: 8
  • Pros: Easy To Use, Fast / Accurate Auto-Focus, Fast Shutter Speed, Good Image Quality, Good Image Stabilization, High ISO Performance, Quiet
  • Cons: Low-res LCD
  • Best Uses: Family Photos, Indoors/Low Light, Weddings/Events
  • Describe Yourself: Semi-pro Photographer
  • Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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