Category: Gear

Beyond Feature Creep

I just read a thought-provoking article on Fstoppers written in defense of Canon — specifically, their perceived lack of innovation lately.  In case you’re not a camera news junkie, there have been quite a lot of really impressive cameras announced by Nikon, Sony, and others recently, and with each new competing camera apparently moving the […]

What’s a “crop factor”?

Crop factor (along with “cropped sensor”) is a term sure to trip up digital photography newbies.  It’s certainly not one of the first things you need to learn about, but you should probably have a handle on it before you start amassing too much equipment, because it has to do with the physical size of […]

In defense of the kit lens

If you just bought (or received) a new DSLR camera, chances are, it came with a lens — something like an 18-55 or a 24-105, perhaps.  When these lenses are bundled with a camera body, they’re known as “kit” lenses, and they’re among the most poorly-understood and maligned bits of equipment in photography. Let’s talk […]

Don’t Get Fooled Again

It’s almost turkey day here in the US, and that can mean only one thing for photographers: Black Friday sales. Depending on your level of experience, you may be eyeing those ads for yourself, or you may have friends and loved ones looking to you for guidance about some of these deals. While there’s no […]

Pixel X800C flash review

On the heels of my great experience with Pixel’s Mago speedlite, I was really excited to hear that Pixel was releasing a flash gun with a built-in radio trigger.  I’ve been testing a couple of these units for the last couple weeks, and despite a couple small issues, these look like they could be another […]

Off-camera flash: Introduction to triggers

Q: Are you an “available light photographer?  A: You bet I am — I use every damned light that’s available to me. Next to mastering the exposure triangle, a photographer’s first nervous attempts at using a speedlite can be among the most difficult learning curves they can take on, but a little knowledge of artificial […]

Pixel Mago review, part 2

Back in July, I received a Pixel Mago flash unit for testing.  Part 1 of this review covers my first impressions and initial testing, which were very positive.  Since then, I’ve been using this Pixel unit as my main flash, and my impressions continue to be favorable.   I also took a crack at doing some […]

Intro to High-Speed Sync

One of the most mysterious aspects of flash photography for new flash photographers is sync speed and the related concept of high speed sync.  One of the first places you’re likely to encounter this is when you start shopping for flashes, because HSS is typically one of the features you’ll give up on low-end or […]

The rise of the third parties

A long time ago, I bought a 35mm camera kit — one of those deals where you got a couple of zoom lenses, a bag, and a bunch of other junk.  The telephoto lens that came with it was made by a company called Kalimar; I think it was probably something like an 80-200mm zoom.  […]

So close…

I saw an announcement yesterday about a new strobe that uses a Lithium-Ion battery pack.  This, in itself, isn’t ground-breaking: I know there are at least a couple other strobes like this out there.  As I read the announcement, though, the benefits of Li-On technology included (1) longer-lasting charges (great), and (2) no more need […]