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Showing posts with label digital camera. Show all posts
Showing posts with label digital camera. Show all posts

Jul 23, 2013

Deliberations of a Traveling Photographer (aka my wife)

Photography Gadget

After quite some time of deliberation, my wife got herself a new lens by Sigma for the XSi Canon Rebel DSLR camera. It is one fine piece of machinery - 18-250mm with f3.5-6.3 and has optical stabilization.

Here are some photos taken with it as I was racing around the track 

Her main doubt was definitely price but after many reviews and tons of trave and seeing the need for onel, she set her eye on this lens.

Check out this blog for more cool photography chatter:

This lens has many pros:
No need to switch lenses between telephoto and standard (75-300m and 18-55mm) - gives you tons more opportunities to get the best shot
Compact - no need to carry multiple lenses during travel
Larger zoom and still fast - good shutter-speed
Price - she compared Sigma and Cannon lenses and decided that $300 extra won't get you more than a brand name
Made in Japan! Its rare to see anything made outside of China now-a-days

She has been testing and using this beauty continuously since she finally got it. Here are some more photos:

To get your own via click here: Sigma 18-250mm lens

The lens and the camera fit very nicely into our Lowepro Passport Sling Camera Bag. It has been on a lot of trips, including the photo sessions posted here. It cradles the camera with great padding, and has room for accessories as well as other travel items such as wires, chargers, water bottle and knickknacks

Sound Off: What do you use on your travels to capture memories? Let us know here

Jun 19, 2013

5 Hot New Compact Cameras for Summer 2013

5  Hot New Compact Cameras for Summer 2013

Guest post by Liz, a blogger for social photography website

Photography and tech sites always seem to focus on the high-end DSLRs and now the new trend of mirrorless cameras, over the less interesting compact camera category. For most casual photographers, stepping up to a DSLR or mirrorless camera sounds glamorous, but is really past what then actually need, in both budget and usability. You probably already have an old compact and dream about a cool new DLSR or mirrorless camera, but today’s compacts can cover all your photography needs, right in your pocket. With summer finally here, a new compact will be perfect to capture all your summer memories at a moment’s notice, from vacations, outdoor events, parties and you name it. So we’ve gathered a list of 5 of the hottest new compacts from the best camera manufactures to help you decide.

Olympus Stylus XZ-10 iHS

The Olympus features a classic design to appeal to the fans of the earlier days of photography with a metal body, textured grip and more traditional controls. For photos, it snaps at 12 megapixels TruePic VI image processor with 1/2.7-type backlit CMOS sensor. Some of the Olympus best features include its bright lens, full set of manual controls, 120 frames per second high-speed, high-definition video-capture abilities all in a smaller package. The Olympus Stylus XZ-10 is compact but packs a big punch. It has a bright 5x zoom i.ZUIKO lens, which is coated with their ZERO coating, which reduces flare and ghost effects by halving its reflectivity. It uses dual image stabilization and a super macro mode to take images as close as 1 centimeter away. Its iHS CMOS sensor give is DSLR-like performance at low light.

Fujifilm F900EXR

The F900EXR is a compact ‘travel zoom’ camera, making it perfect for the big outdoors this summer. This is Fujifilm’s top of the line compact, with upgraded internals from the F800FXR. While Fujifilm doesn’t have the reputation in the world of DSLRs like the other brands here, they have focused on the compact and travel zoom niche over the past few years. This example packs a 20x optical zoom lens with CMOS-shift image stabilization and a 1/2 inch 16 megapixel EXR CMOS II sensor that you can pack in your pocket. And for macro shots, it can focus as close as 25mm. It also shows off an Intelligent Hybrid autofocus (which they claim is the world’s fastest). One new feature is it can take RAW images, which will grab the interest of more serious photographers. It’s shown here in dark blue and is also available in red and black.

Pentax Optio LS465

For an extra-slim option, as well as a lower priced one compared to the rest of the list, check out this Pentax. It’s shown here in ruby pink, but is also offered in a dark purple and black if you don’t want a funky color. It actually uses a removable faceplate system with 10 included, which lets you change the look of this style-centric compact. It minimalist case weighs 4.3 ounces and measures 4 inches wide, 2 inches tall and 1 inch thick, but still fits a 16-megapixel CCD sensor, 5x wide zoom optical lens and a 2.7 inch LCD on the back. The wide zoom lens, shake reduction and different aspect ratios (16:9, 4:3 and 1:1) make it a perfect party camera. While the other cameras all offer 1080p video, this more casual compact maxes out at 720p. But note this is about half the price of the higher-end compacts on this list.

Nikon Coolpix S9500

This high-end compact competes with the Fujifilm F900EXR as a ‘travel zoom’, with a, 22x NIKKOR ED optical zoom with 18.1 megapixels and a CMOS sensor. It steps up its travel appeal with WiFi and GPS functions, like mapping compass and points-of-interest. While it has a popup flash, this camera shows off a CMOS sensor that can skip the flash in low-light shooting conditions. For those zoom shots, it utilizes a lens-shift Vibration Reduction to keep it steady, along with motion blur reduction and a range of autofocus modes for close shots. And on top of its modern classic camera styling, its body is made of metal to give you that quality feel in your hand. It shown here in a flashy red paint job, but is also offered in black and silver.

Canon PowerShot N

While PowerShot cameras are the go-to compact for many people, I’ve chosen to show off something a little different from Canon. It’s a new concept and design in the compact category and is also the smallest of the bunch, with its body not much bigger than its 2.8 inch display. Targeted at a younger, techie crowd, this camera is high-quality in a little package with built in Wi-Fi, allowing users to wirelessly transfer their images to their favorite social networks Canon iMage Gateway. The highlight is the tilt panel with its capacitive touch screen, letting you capture a wide range of angles and get in real close. It also manages to fit in an 8x optical zoom with a 28mm Wide-Angle lens and added Optical Image Stabilizer, letting you grab far out shots and keep it steady. The new PowerShot N comes with 12.1 Megapixel high-sensitivity CMOS sensor combined with their brand new DIGIC 5 Image Processor, which allows for stellar low-light performance. While it lacks some of the standard features and functionality of the traditional compacts, it offers a new style of compact camera photography, perfect for parties, concerts and indoor scenarios.

Are you planning on picking up one of these new compacts this summer? And if you have any to recommend that we didn't list here, please let us know in the comments below!

Bio: Liz is an amateur photographer and gadget addict. She’s also a blogger for social photography website, where you can compete in photography contests and share your work with their growing community.

Best compact cameras 2013: The best pocket cameras available to buy today

Sound-off: What do you think? Let us know below

Jan 16, 2013

Travel Essentials of Nearcation

Our getaway during the New Years break:

During the long weekend, we took a road trip north to Dutchess County. I have been there before as I graduated from a college in the area. Though that was awhile ago and quite different.

Our first stop was the Brotherhood Winery. This was our second time there and we stopped in for a refill of their great tasting wines. While at the winery, snow storm began. It is not like the snowy rain in the city. After only a few minutes, I had to clean off my car. And because of the storm we had to shorten our itinerary.
Our next stop was Jenkins Orchards, where we stocked up on everything apple and then some.
Butter and BreadThe next stop on our journey was a place for dinner. We went to Brasserie 292 in Poughkeepsie, aka Po-town. It has great reviews and the menu sounded good. We were not disappointed. While the prices were not something a college person would afford, the atmosphere, the food and the service were great.
Bed and Breakfast
For our overnight stay we stopped at the Inn the Woods B&B. The place was very nice with a hot tub outdoors that we used for two nights. The breakfast they made was amazing, a three course culinary morning feast. The overall stay would have been even better, if the house was not up on the hill that was covered with wet snow that my car could not scale. The owners cleaned up the driveway upon request and it was smooth sailing afterwards.

For the second day of our trip our plans included more educational sightseeing. The first stop was the Vanderbilt Mansion.

Vanderbilt mansion Vanderbilt mansion Vanderbilt mansion

It was a five minute drive from B&B. The house is massive, with each room having its own motive and color, grandiose entrances and furniture. Another mansion we visited was the Mills Mansion. It was a contrast to the Vanderbuilt's. Where that one had walls made of and covered with marble throughout the house, Mills Mansion was made of wood. Other than decor and lifestyles, another thing that I learned during the visit is that the owner, Darius, was very opportunistically smart. During the gold rush, instead of joining the dreamers in digging around, he opened a general store selling those dreamers shovels and other tools and accessories needed for digging. In doing so, he made more money than most of the other venturers for the reaches
Getting to this mansion was another story. Like a few other places in the area, we found out that we cannot trust the directions provided by the GPS. Even if we had the correct address. The park's website also did not provide much information. It was only after we called them directly did we get the right route. Here it is if you are thinking about visiting:
- Use your navigational device to get you to the park's gates. Afterwards, turn off the navigation and keep it on to view the map only
- Go down the Old Post road that will be on your right as you enter the gate. Follow the road past a golf course on right side. Once you pass it, you will see a sign on left for the park. This is where you would enter the Mills Mansion. You should see the building ahead and slightly to the left.
Our third night in the area we spent at the Ashokan Dreams B&B. They have a great loft style first floor room with great views. See pictures below of the views from the large windows and from the hot tub just a few feet outside the house.
We took our Panasonic LumixPanasonic waterproof camera with us on the trip to use in the hot tub. Yes, that camera is good to use here too. For more picturesque pictures, my wife had her Canon DSLR camera along.

Hottub outdoors

We also took the iPad with us as each of the B&Bs had free Wi-Fi included. It was good to have that option available but we didn't get to use it much. I wish we did have an iPad waterproof iPad case as then we might have been able to have the iPad with us in the hut tub.

My newest gadget on the trip was the travel sonic toothbrush. At home I use the rotating full size toothbrush and really like brushing with it. Until I came across these travel size brushes, I had no idea battery operated ones existed for travel. These toothbrushes are compact, light, and easy to use. They operate on one AAA battery. My mouth felt very clean during the trip and I didn't have to compromise for the usual tiny not great feeling travel toothbrushes.

Happy New Year!

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Dec 19, 2012

Buying a Digital Camera for Travel

Buying a Digital Camera for Travel

"A picture is worth a thousand words." This phrase has been around for a very long time. The original version of the phrase actually dates back 100 years. An early use of the exact phrase appeared in an 1918 newspaper advertisement for the San Antonio Light.
These days pictures decorate our lives. Facebook is filled with them, there are sites dedicated to just them, and they get shared a lot more and faster than ever.

Whenever I and my wife travel anywhere, long or short, we always have one of our cameras along. At this point we have a great arsenal. We have the Canon Powershot SX120 that has been around for some time and has been included in several of my posts. The newest addition was the Panasonic Lumix digital waterproof camera. Which is compact and great to take along. And we also have a Canon DSLR as my wife is very much into photography and has taken some of the great scenic shots seen on this site.

Since we really enjoy our cameras, have taken great shots in different conditions and they have worked great for us during travel, I think that it would great for others to also have great experience buying and using their cameras.

Point-and-shoot cameras for travel:

First thing.. Optical Zoom
we look for in a camera is the optical zoom. There are many different models out on the market. And these compete on various level. Some compete on price, easy of use, or even colors. We have seen folks at a store choose a camera based on its case color. While it is great to pick out your favorite color, it should not be the top reasons for getting a camera. No matter how cute it looks :)
Most advertising and store displays promote camera's digital zoom. And these numbers are getting quite high. Digital zoom is great if you want to take a look at an object some distance away using your camera as binoculars. However, taking a picture with digital zoom would result in a fuzzy image that you would not want to print or for that matter share as it will come out pixelated on a much larger computer screen as well. Optical zoom produces images that have much better resolution. Using the optics of the camera the image is bought forward or closer and quality of the zoomed image remains the same. With digital zoom on the other hand, image itself doesn't actually come any closer as the optics in the camera stay the same. Instead, a portion of the image is taken and is expanded to the full size of the picture, so the section of image that you are looking at becomes bigger, not closer.
You want to look for optical zoom that is 8x or above. A matching digital zoom is also good.

Secondly.. Compact and lightweight camera
Bringing camera on your travels, it should also be compact. Most point-and-shoots fit this category. You would also want it to be light, easy to hold, and to operate. Also it needs to withstand the elements and movement that comes with travel. Our Lumix is waterproof, and as we have tested on its first trip, can easily withstand playing in the ocean, light diving, hanging out and playing games in the pool. It took such great shots during that we started to use it outside of water and even have taken it along as the primary camera on some small trips.

Third... Easy Breezy
Travel camera should be easy to use. Last thing you want is to stand there and figure out how to adjust settings and take picture while your tour moves on. While most cameras have similar features, it is good idea to make sure that the ones you are most likely to use the most are available, easily accessible, and convenient. Some that you want to keep a lookout for:
Are the settings adjusted on the screen or the roll?
Can they be adjusted easily and most common ones are in easy view?
Is the flashlight built-in or does it pop up?
Where is the zoom button located? Easy to reach it and the snapshot button?

Fouth... $$$
Is its worth. While you want a camera with you that will perform and have great form and function, you also want it to not be too expensive to drag around with you while traveling.

Fifth... Memories
How the camera stores the memories is important as well. You want the camera to have storage that is comparable with multiple gadgets and not just some proprietary technologies. Standard SD cards work in  many places. They are great choice and you can get one with large storage for a good price. SanDisk Flash 16 GB SDHC Flash Memory Card is around $12. Some cameras feature internal memory which means you can start taking pictures from the get go. There are also new SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity) cards that are more expensive, with storage capacities up to 32GB, but they are not backward-compatible with standard SD slots.

If you're looking for the latest and greatest development in in the world of point-and-shoot photography, then you'll want to check out the brand new Samsung Galaxy Camera. It features a 16-megapixel sensor, 21x optical zoom, 8 GB of built-in storage and a bright 4.8-inch super clear LCD display. But what really sets it apart from the pack is that it runs an advanced version of the Android operating system (4.1 Jelly Bean). Which means it is internet ready and you can download and use apps and web browser to share your photos. It comes with option for full 3G and LTE wireless connectivity. Additionally it has GPS functionality, the ability to give voice commands and on-board photo editing that make it a great multi-functioning photo taking travel gadget

Some great options available on

How to Buy a Digital Camera – A 9 Step Guide For more tips on cameras and digital photography visit Digital Photography School Do you have any suggestions on what to look for in travel camera? Let us know below Receive newest posts, enter your email:

Oct 4, 2012

Two Year Wedding Anniversary - we were traveling

This week was our two year wedding anniversary. We took a short trip down the coast to Cape May and Atlantic City. We had some great times at both.

While in Cape May we caught a sunset on the beach. Saw the Cape from birds eye view.

On the trip with us we decided to take along the new camera, Panasonic Lumix.Even though we weren't going to go swimming, it is the smallest camera we have and we have been impressed with the quality of photos it takes. It fit easily in the jeans pocket and the handbag. Easy to operate and had many modes. This camera has sunset mode, panorama mode, and even food mode. That is right, there is a mode for taking pictures of food.

We also had one of the best breakfast we ever had while traveling. It was at Mad Batters. We looked through several restaurants and their reviews for breakfast to get us ready for the drive to AC. While overall reviews were ok, there were some that mentioned the service and some other negatives. We did not experienced those while there. It was great fresh food and great service. The coffee was a bit watered down.

That same day not only did we have a great start, we also had a great finish. Second half of the day we were in Atlantic City. We had a celebratory dinner at Morton's Steakhouse. Contrary to some review we also had great service. Everyone was welcoming and congratulating us on our anniversary. Though we did not receive any comp ;)
We also went strolling down the boardwalk to check out the newest addition to the casino row, Revel. It is an impressive structure, with various turns and zags, and rounded edges. We did notice that unlike most other casinos, this one did not have its name up on top. Instead it was at the bottom next to entrance (see picture below). Inside, it is very spacious. The rooms are huge and there are lounge areas spread out through out with small amount furniture in the middle and lots of open space.

iPhone came in very handy when deciding where to dine as we were able to locate the places, find out reviews, opening times, as well as menus. The phone also came in handy in navigating. While we used the good old Garmin GPS, at times it needed to be supplemented. It was a lot easier to find and map a place then entering all that data into the GPS. Also the apps make it easier to access addresses and directions.

One other thing worth mentioning that I enjoyed on this trip were the EZ-Pass express lanes. I have not experienced these before. The fastest one I went through before was 25 mph type. The toll gates on the Garden State Expressway divide cars with the pass and those paying cash into separate sections. I have had my pass for quite awhile. To me its the only way to travel, I don't understand why you would not. I was able to go through the multiple tolls without slowing down.

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