Home Past Issues May 2009

May 2009

May 2009


Buyer's Guides

  • Buyer's Guide 2009: HD Camcorders

    What to know when shopping for an HD camcorder


    Though the nationwide transition from analog to pure digital TV has again been delayed (sigh!), analog is dead, and not even an act of Congress can resuscitate it. If you’ve been waiting for prices to come down to go high-def with your home movies, we’re pleased to tell you that you easily can get started with full HD video recording for well under $1,000. Even a step up to more sophisticated models with hefty built-in storage won’t break the bank.

Cameras

  • D-SLRs: Buy Now!

    Why there has never been a better time to upgrade your primary camera


    If you’ve been waiting to buy a new digital SLR, now is a great time. Performance, features and price have reached a happy nexus. Even the entry-level models give you very good AF performance and image quality—better than their predecessors and generally much better than compact digital cameras. D-SLRs also provide much quicker shooting and interchangeable-lens versatility. Mid-range models offer image quality and AF performance that was found only in costlier pro models not so long ago, and the latest pro models rival the very expensive medium-format digital cameras. (In fact, all six current full-frame D-SLRs scored higher overall on DxOMark.com’s RAW sensor-performance scale than the four medium-format models they tested.)
  • How Autofocus Works

    What to know about today’s autofocus technologies


    There are a lot of different technologies that go into the design of digital cameras, and one of the most powerful is a camera’s autofocus system. There are two kinds of systems in use today: contrast-based and phase detection, both of which can be found in digital cameras that range from the basic point-and-shoot to a professional digital SLR.
  • Toolbox: Top Compact Cameras

    For candid and casual photography, today’s fixed-lens cameras offer near-SLR performance and some unique tricks all their own


    In terms of sheer performance and flexibility, nothing beats a digital SLR for serious photography, but try slipping one into your pocket. There are times when it’s more important to have a camera that’s portable, speedy and nimble—when a D-SLR, for all of its benefits, is too large, heavy or conspicuous.

Gear

  • May 2009
  • Supporting Video

    A quick look at gear to keep your video on the level


    The beauty of HD video is that it’s incredibly crisp and detailed—and that’s also its difficulty. Even a small amount of camera shake can be hard to watch for very long. If you’re getting into video with one of the latest HD camcorders or an SLR that offers HD capture, you want to give your camera proper support.
  • Where Were You?

    GPS and geotagging are enhancing the photographic experience by helping photographers find, remember and share photo hot spots


    Early GPS receivers were handheld devices about the size of a cell phone and most useful to hikers and adventurous outdoorsmen. A little innovation and a few years later, and voilà! What used to provide cryptic coordinates on a low-res grayscale map now delivers in full color with 3-D graphics and audible turn-by-turn directions. GPS technology is everywhere: in cars, phones—and cameras.

How-To

  • Classic Black & White

    Tips and software for making beautiful monochrome images digitally


    In an over saturated world, the elegant, timeless appeal of black-and-white is in its simplicity. To get frame-worthy results, with a beautiful range of tones, you don’t have to be a student of the Zone System—but you do need to start with a proper exposure and then use software tools to perfect the final image.
  • From Flat To Fab

    How basic Photoshop CS4 enhancements can save a shot


    This is a bad news/good news story—one with a happy ending. This past November, I had the opportunity to travel to the bottom of the world to photograph emperor penguins. It was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime. I planned this trip to Antarctica for a year, and couldn’t wait for the day that I’d be on the ice photographing these magnificent animals.
  • The Gritty Portrait

    Using hard light and postproduction to re-create a popular “edgy” look


    “Can you hang on a little longer?” I ask my friend, Patrick, as he leans off the vertical rock face. “Just a few more shots, and I should have it.”
  • Ultimate Sports-Action Tips

    How to shoot—and think—like a pro sports photographer


    In my 20-plus years as a photographer for Sports Illustrated, the first comment most people make when I tell them what I do is, “What a cool job you have!” It seems that everyone’s secret dream career is to be a sports photographer for a major magazine or newspaper. While you may not be shooting the Super Bowl from the sidelines or the NBA Finals from courtside, understanding some of the basics of sports photography can make you a world-class pro amongst friends and family.
  • You Are Here

    The accidental travel photography of L.A.’s most notable tourist


    Martin Schall isn’t a professional photographer. You probably can’t learn from him how to photograph architecture, or how to take better travel photos, or even how to get published. Yet he does all these things amazingly well. The main thing you can learn from Schall is how to photograph what you love, for nothing but immense personal satisfaction.

Software

  • First Look: Adobe Photoshop Elements 7

    Photoshop elements offers an excellent blend of user-friendly features with pro-quality processing under the hood


    There’s plenty to like about the new Adobe Photoshop Elements 7, including some new tools that make image editing even easier. Elements 7 borrows a few of these from Photoshop CS, including the Smart Brush tool that lets you edit lighting, color and textures, and add more than 50 filter effects with simple layer adjustments, plus the Photomerge Scene Cleaner that helps you remove subjects or backgrounds from two or more images by combining them together to create one photo without the unwanted objects.
 
 

 
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