Luma Loop – A Radical Camera Strap Re-Design

You wouldn’t think that there’s much you could do to change the design of a camera strap. Oh sure, you can build it out of better materials, and make the strap easier to attach or detach, and maybe make one strap that’s more fashionable than another. But actually creating a truly different strap, one that functions in a different, better way? That’s a tougher call, because a camera strap seems to be a fairly basic piece of gear. But, Luma Labs has proven that even something as seemingly simple as a camera strap can be given a radical new spin, and dramatically improved. For your consideration: the Luma Loop.

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Make Your iPhone Into a Better Camera

I like having a camera on my phone, and the iPhone camera is surprisingly good. (In fact, it’s pretty safe to say that the iPhone is a much better camera than it is a phone.) However, when you’re used to a “real” camera, with a certain level of control, switching to the iPhone camera can be frustrating. Similarly, if your photo process routinely involves a trip to an image editor, then you might find yourself frustrated with the iPhone’s lack of editing capabilities. Here are ten iPhone applications that will give you more shooting control, and the type of editing power that you’re used to having on your desktop. From color and contrast control, to panoramic stitching, and retouching, these apps turn your iPhone camera into a very useful photographic tool.

Learning Exposure the Old-Fashioned Way

The automatic features on today’s digital cameras greatly improve your chances of getting a good exposure in just about any situation. However, because these features provide an ever-present crutch, they can preclude an in-depth learning of basic exposure theory. It used to be that, when you didn’t have a light meter and only had manual exposure, you had to know your exposure theory inside and out. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to extoll the virtues of a “simpler timer” but the sink-or-swim reality of a meterless, manual camera forced a photographer to learn a lot of technical concepts. While those concepts aren’t required to get good shots nowadays, understanding them can help out – even with a fully automatic camera – when you find yourself in a situation that confuses your camera, or if you’re finding situations where the auto features of your camera aren’t delivering the type of images you see in your head.

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Panasonic Electronic Viewfinder for the GF1

While the Panasonic GF-1 Micro Four Thirds camera is a great option for SLR or point-and-shoot users, photographers who are used to an optical viewfinder – especially those shooters coming from an SLR – might find themselves frustrated by the camera’s LCD-only viewfinder. For these users, Panasonic has created a clip-on electronic viewfinder that serves as a credible replacement for a quality optical viewfinder, though with a few caveats. Read more »

Panasonic DMC-GF1

Panasonic’s DMC-GF1 marks the company’s first release of a compact Micro Four Thirds camera, and a direct competitor to Olympus’ E-P1. Offering SLR quality and power in a package that’s close to point-and-shoot size, the GF1 (and Olympus’ E-P1) defines an entirely new class of camera. Bridging the market between high-end point-and-shoots, and SLRs, the camera will appeal to beginning shooters who want to expand their capabilities, and high-end shooters who want a second camera that’s easy to carry. Read my Panasonic GF1 Review.

Should You Buy an Olympus E-P1 or Panasonic GF1?

It’s been a while since an entirely new niche of digital camera has come along, but with the release of the Olympus E-P1 and the Panasonic DMC-GF1, that’s what we have. These “Micro Four Thirds” cameras represent the first significantly new class of camera since, possibly, Canon’s D30 SLR in 2000. With their small size, interchangeable lenses, and sensors that are larger than what you’ll find in a point-and-shoot, they offer a new option for SLR shooters who want a smaller second camera, but don’t want to give up too much image quality. Conversely, for point-and-shooters who are ready to move on, but don’t want to hassle with the weight of an SLR, a Micro Four Thirds camera might be just the ticket. But which of these two cameras is right for you?

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Good Light

A lot of photographers think that if they buy some new gear, or learn to unlock the hidden power of some feature on their camera, they’ll move into a world of better shooting. But most of the time, the magic bullet for better images has nothing to do with gear, technique, or technical understanding. In most cases, the key to better shooting is simply to learn what separates good light from bad. On the one hand, this is great news, because light is free, and often plentiful. On the other hand, your study of light and lighting is something that will continue throughout your photo career. Check out this article for some tips on improving your understanding of what makes some light good, and other light not.

Choosing A Starter Camera

If you’re looking to buy a starter digital camera – either for yourself or as a gift – then you might be surprised to find that your options are fairly limited. Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Are you crazy?! Every time I go into Best Buy there’re huge piles of little point-and-shoot digital cameras!” While this is true, there are very few of those that I would consider a “starter” camera. “Starter” implies that this first camera will be a start – that you’re looking for a camera that will be a jumping off point, and that you (or your gift-ee) might want to learn from this camera, and one day move on to something more advanced. Here’s what you should buy, and why.

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UPstrap – The Ultimate Camera Strap

I’ve been using an UPstrap on my SLR for a couple of years now, and have previously posted about how it’s possibly the best camera accessory I’ve ever used. While something as seemingly simple as a camera strap may not sound like much to get excited about, once you use the UPstrap, you may find yourself becoming something of a camera strap connoisseur. (Or even more fun, a camera strap snob.) A whole new batch of UPstraps have been released, offering the UPstrap advantage to cameras of all sizes. Read on to find out why you might want to give up on your stock camera strap.

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Epson, Snow Leopard, Printer Sharing, and You

For the last couple of weeks I’ve been leading a workshop built around a lab of twenty 20″ iMacs. Apple generously loaned the computers, and when I unboxed them, I found that they were all running the latest version of Snow Leopard (10.6.1). I didn’t think much of this as I set up the computers, figuring it was nice to have an OS more stable than Leopard. However, once I tried to get the two Epson R2400’s working, things got far more complicated. It turns out that, despite Epson’s release of a Snow Leopard-compatible R2400 driver, you may have trouble getting the printers to work with your Snow Leopard-based Macs. And if you want to use Printer Sharing, you’ll need to jump through a few additional hoops.
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