Nikon’s New Red D3100


Nikon's red D3100

Last June, Canon launched a red Rebel T3. Now Nikon is out with a red version of its D3100 DSLR. Monkey see, monkey do?

Would you buy a red DSLR? Do you wish other models came in a color other than black? If so, what color would you want?

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Canon 5D MKII Price Increase


Canon EOS 5D Mark II Digital Camera (Body Only)

Is it just me or has the price of the Canon 5D Mark II jumped recently? I used to see it on Amazon for about $2500. At last check it’s running from $2799 to $2999; and only from other vendors (not Amazon). A check at B&H has it at $2699.

This may have to do with supply disruptions in Japan from the earthquake or perhaps a sign of the upcoming 5D MKIII or both? Or maybe it’s unrest in Libya and speculators on Wall Street. Uh, ok, maybe not that.

I’m curious, have you noticed a price increase in other camera gear (lenses and bodies of any brand)? Hit me in the comments.

UPDATE: This post on Nikon rumors shows that Nikon cameras and lenses are also going up in price. So it’s probably due to supply constraints in Japan.

UPDATE #2: As of 5/7/11 the price has come down again and offered by Amazon for $2499.

Choosing the Perfect Camera and Lens


Snapsort.com Homepage

One question I get asked a lot is “which DSLR should I get”. Whether it’s a first purchase or an upgrade, the answer usually depends on what type of shooting you want to do and your budget.

About a year ago, I found a Web site that makes it easier to find what you’re looking for.  At Snapsort.com, you can learn about cameras, explore different types or just type in your budget and kind of camera you’re looking for; whether it’s a DSLR or point-and-shoot. But the tool I like and use the most is the compare feature.

[Disclaimer: Snapsort is holding a contest for anyone who blogs about the site, but that is not why I am writing this. I’ve known about the site for a while and I refer people there often. I just referred someone there a couple of days ago, so I thought I should let other people know]

What I like about the compare feature is being able to compare the specs of two cameras side-by-side. The site used to declare a “winner” which I disagreed with. Now it just gives each camera a score and gives a recommendation. I even take this with a grain of salt. You see, the “winner” or recommendation is based on specs; but your needs may be different. Compare, for example the Canon 5D MKII with the 1D MK IV. The 5D is full frame but shoots just under 4 frames per second. Where the MK IV has an APS-H sensor and shoots 10 frames per second. Which is better? It depends on what you shoot. A sports shooter would love the MK IV where a landscape photographer would choose the 5D. Still, being able to see the specs side-by-side for yourself is a quick and convenient way to decide. The cameras are evaluated on things like resolution, ISO, viewfinder coverage, LCD resolution, video capabilities and more.

Snapsort.com Compare

Nikon and Canon’s Web sites let you compare its models; but the Snapsort site lets you compare any make with another. So you can compare Nikons with Canons or Sony’s etc. Apples and Apples or Apples and Oranges. Pretty handy if you’re trying to decide which brand to go with.

The comparison gives you reasons to consider each camera and gives you a list of competitors to consider.

To find the right lens, use the tools at LensHero. Simply input your camera, budget and what type of lens you’re looking for and it spits out recommendations complete with specs, prices and reviews.

LensHero.com

So if you’re struggling with choosing the right camera or looking to purchase that next lens, these two stops will make researching a lot easier and help you make the right choice.

Deals on Canon Refurb Cameras and Lenses


Canon Direct Store

If you’re looking to save some money on Canon cameras and lenses, the company is offering a “friends and family” deal of 10% off refurbished items in its online store.

I have no idea what quality “refurbished” would be, but I imagine it would meet Canon’s quality standards; and hey, you can save even more with the discount.

Use code “FAM211“. Offer is good through March 14 or while supplies last and looking through the list, some items are already gone.

Refurbished Powershots

Refurbished DSLRs

Refurbished Lenses and Speedlites

1500 Pound Camera Takes 10-million images…per second!


Lightning X-Ray

National Geographic. Photo Courtesy Dustin Hill.

Scientists in Florida wanted to measure X-rays coming off a lightning bolt so they decided to take an x-ray image of one. Now, I’ve seen experiments where they fire a rocket into the air; a wire trails from the rocket which produces a static charge and…ZAP!

That’s what they did here (I suspect that greenish trail in the image above is the rocket exhaust), but to photograph it, they had to build a camera. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

“You can’t just go buy a camera and point it at lightning,” he said. “We had to make it.”

The resulting 1,500-pound camera consists of an x-ray detector housed in a box about the size and shape of a refrigerator. The box is lined with lead to shield the x-ray detector from stray radiation.

X-rays enter the box through a small hole that in turn focuses them, like an old-fashioned pinhole camera.

Because lightning moves blindingly fast, the camera was required to take ten million images per second.  One challenge in taking such fast pictures is storing the data. To do so, the x-ray detector had to take pictures at a relatively low resolution of 30 pixels…

Click the image for the full Nat Geo article.

The Elements of Photography and More in Photo News Round-Up


If you’re still looking for gift ideas for photographers, check out this retro camera-looking Iphone/ITouch case from Etsy artist, Coolbeans 717.

Retro Camera Ipod Case

It’s 20-bucks plus shipping and the site says there’s only one available. But they are handmade (takes 5 days to make!) So I imagine the artist can make more. 

In other news, I wrote about this next item on the PetaPixel blog. It’s a concept design called the Underabove. As the name implies, it’s a camera with two lenses that takes a picture of what’s below the surface of the water and above and then stitches the images together.

The Underabove Camera

The Underabove Camera

The design won a 2010 Red Dot award and works like a submarine, with a water filled ballast on the bottom and an air filled one on the top. It even has a timer for self-portraits and a flash.

And now, proof that photography is elemental.

Photography Periodic Table

Click to download hi-rez versions

I think they did a good job of grouping things together. I just wish they’d tell me the atomic weight!

Lastly, if you have Lightroom 3 or Photoshop CS5, make sure to download new updates. The updates fix some bugs and include updates to camera profiles for the lens correction feature.

Camera Straps Pt.II


My first post on finding the right camera strap was getting a little long, so I decided to add an update as a separate blog post. In the first post, a reader asked about a strap that can be used like binocular straps. I found a couple of examples online and linked to them in my response; so check that out if you’re interested.

I then ran across an attachment that lets you use your exisiting camera strap like the previously mentioned R-Strap. It’s called the C-Loop.

The C-Loop

Click image for link to video

In the prototype department, Olympus filed a patent for a camera strap that will also serve to block glare on your LCD screen. Personally, it doesn’t look very practical and I think you’re better off getting a Hoodman Loupe.

Finally, another design that turns your camera strap into a solar panel to charge your camera while you’re shooting.