One requirement of being a corporate photographer is travel. Fortunately most of my travel is fairly local, or at least what I consider local, Philadelphia to Washington DC and on occasion, New York. I tend to be in DC a couple times a month, sometimes a couple times a week. Most of my trips are by train so I try to travel light, and by light I mean two Nikon bodies, four lenses, three speed lights, Pocket Wizards and batteries, so not really light. I needed to find an easier way to carry my gear. (more…)
I appreciate your test reports on Photocrati.com and want to ask for a recommendation about a computer monitor. What are the best LCD monitors for photographers and what is available at a reasonable price? I don’t want to pay thousands of dollars. S.R.
Most reviewers agree that the Eizo Color Edge CG series is among the very best in LCD monitors for digital photographers and graphic arts professionals. Some of the CG models do cost thousands, but the 22-in CH222W (B&H: CH222W), (Amazon 22IN 1650X1050 Coloredge Blk Dig/alog) is more affordable and ships with a hood to block stray light. This model provides 1680 x 1050 resolution, a very wide color gamut (97% sRGB , and 92% Adobe RGB coverage) and other pro-grade features such as dual DVI interface and ColorNavigator calibration software. Brightness is 200 cd/m2 (more than adequate) and the contrast ratio is 800:1.
Many of us want to spend less, making two other monitors more popular. (more…)
A 13×19″ pigment-ink printer that is a dream come true.
In the past, my purchase of printers was largely focused on dye-based inkjets. The dye-based (not to be confused with dye-sub) printer, you might say, is the consumer-friendly version: Dye-based ink technology is typically found in popular 8×10 and many snapshot printers. The technology is aimed at consumer-friendly papers, namely glossy, greeting cards, and the like.
Many snapshot printers employ dye-sublimation printing technology for longer-lasting prints, often on virtually indestructible paper-but with less punch and pizzazz than what we get off inkjet. Thermal ink technologies use preloaded cassettes loaded with a ribbon, and will deliver a number of prints matched to the number of sheets of paper provided in the package-in other words, when you buy a dye-sub pack, you’re getting the complete package–nothing more to buy in consumables. Do the math-you’ll see it’s simplified.
With inkjet snapshot printers, the ink comes in a cassette, along with paper, but it’s not an exact match-you may have a few sheets of paper left over when the ink runs out. And it’s a dye-based ink. (more…)
During my initial review of the NexStar Hard Drive Dock I said (and it’s true) that I tested the dock using Windows XP (32-bit) and Vista (64-bit). That’s absolutely the case, but as I’ve used the device I discovered a problem on the Vista system I hadn’t seen in previous testing, (more…)
One of the most important aspects of any backup system is having a process, doing something consistently and uniformly enough that it’s easy to make sense of what’s going on, where information is, and so on. My backup process, while complete, has been a little ad hoc at times, and so as part of a move to simplify and organize my backup strategies I’m moving to keeping most of my backups on bare “internal” hard disks. While there are several ways of hooking bare drives externally to systems, recently I’ve become aware of a couple products that allow hard disks to be used almost like video game cartridges, plug in the drive, and go. Excited by the fact that this would simplify working with bare drives, I recently purchased the Vantec NexStar NST-D100SU 2.5-Inch/3.5-Inch SATA to USB 2.0 and eSATA Hard Drive Dock (White) and wanted to share my initial impressions and experiences with the product, which I’ll be calling “the Dock”, with apologies to my Apple readers.
The Dock connects your internal disk drive using either a USB or eSATA connection. NexStar provides not only USB and eSATA connectors but also a desktop bracket and cable that hooks to an internal SATA connector and provides an eSATA connector, as well as the obligatory power cables (each are actually labeled on the cable noting which type of cable it is, not entirely necessary but a nice touch for those of us who occasionally seem to generate cable nests). A simple instruction book is provided as well as a driver mini-CD/installation guide, while drivers are provided on the disk the disk should only be necessary for users of Windows 98/SE, or MacOS 8.6 or earlier, Windows ME/2K/XP/Vista, MacOS 9 (or later) and Linux 2.4.18 (or later) users should be able to plug and play according to their documentation. I tested the unit on an XP-based laptop via USB, and on a 64-bit Windows Vista system using eSATA. Vantec also makes a Vantec NexStar NST-D200SU 2.5-Inch/3.5-Inch SATA to USB 2.0/eSATA Dual Bay Hard Drive Dock (White) version of the Dock but I haven’t tested that myself. (more…)
As someone who’s been using Photoshop since version 1 I’ve had my share of bad days with a mouse. The occasional forearm and wrist numbness that come with a long session of silhouetting and clipping paths is becoming more and more common. (Those long sessions of Call of Duty don’t help either.) I’ve never been one for the pen/tablet tools though. After all, my abysmal hand skills are one reason I got into photography in the first place. But about a month ago I got an assignment that was going to require some pretty heavy use of layer masks. About the same time I came across a display at the local office supply store of the new Bamboo (Small) Pen Tablet with Pen Only line from Wacom. Wacom is the leading brand when it comes to pen/tablet input systems, they’ve also got the Cintiq line of pen/monitor systems that are a lot of fun. But since I’m not an illustrator, and rarely do heavy retouching or manipulation, the pen systems haven’t held a lot of sway with me. (more…)
As I’ve previously mentioned, I’ve recently been upgrading my primary digital darkroom machine, and I was happy enough with how cheaply I was able to get a machine that really met my needs that I decided to take a better look at upgrading my monitor. I’d been using a decent but much older 21″ Dell “Ultrasharp” monitor, and with calibration it was more than good enough for me to get a lot of my work done, but I still felt that something a little bigger might be of value, so I started looking at bigger (24-inch), and perhaps better LCDs for my system. I hoped to find something a little better in gamut size and viewing angle than the (perfectly nice) Dell, but a lot more affordable than the high-end ::amazon(“B0012RZK1Y”, “EIZO”):: monitors in the same size range. I ended up with the ::amazon(“B001FS1LLI”, “HP LP2475w”)::, and I thought I’d share some of my initial impressions with you here.
In my last installment, I discussed some of the joys and challenges of photographing lightning. One of the tools I use to capture images of lightning is Stepping Stone Products’ Lightning Trigger which is particularly valuable for daylight lightning captures. (more…)