Product review: Westcott FJ400 Strobe and FJ-X2M Trigger

January 2020 issue Tech

When you work on location with strobes you need consistent color temperature, dependable batteries, and control of your light output. New from Westcott, the FJ400 Strobe (400Ws) and FJ-X2m Universal Wireless Flash Trigger is an impressive duo that dominates in all three areas.© Betsy Finn I noticed no color temperature variance across any of my images.The best part is the trigger’s compatibility with many cameras so you’re not locked into a brand or model. The FJ400 strobe and the... Continue Reading >

Product review: Datacolor’s SpyderX Studio

December 2019 issue Tech

If you’re looking for a color management system that covers everything from image capture to print output and is affordable to boot, Datacolor’s SpyderX Studio promises the solution. The suite includes the Spyder Cube for image capture white balance and raw file conversion, the SpyderX Elite monitor calibrator, and Spyder Print for printer profiling—all the necessary tools for a completely color-managed workflow. I tried the Studio suite in my own studio.Image captureWhy use a... Continue Reading >

Ready to go: New Wacom Intuos Pro Small tablet

July 2019 issue Tech

© Courtesy WacomThe new Wacom Intuos Pro Small completes the line of the latest generation of Intuos Pro tablets. It has the same active area as the previous generation and comes with the Pro Pen 2, which has 8,192 pressure levels in both pen tip and eraser. At 0.99 pounds the Intuos Pro Small weighs a third less than its predecessor. It connects via USB-C, Bluetooth Classic, or Bluetooth LE to mobile devices.                                            The six ExpressKeys, the Touch Ring,... Continue Reading >

Highly focused LED Fresnel

June 2019 issue Tech

© Courtesy NanLiteThe NanLite LitoLite 8F Focusable LED Fresnel is compact and suited for use on-camera, on a light stand, or on a tripod. It’s easily portable at only 0.7 pounds and offers powerful, flicker-free light output in a range from a 10-degree spotlight to a 60-degree flood, dimmable from 0 to 100 percent.It uses high-efficiency LEDs that produce up to 560 lumens of illumination, comes with warming (3,200K) and cooling (6,500K) filters, barn doors, and a case, and also has an... Continue Reading >

Camera review: The Olympus OM-D E-M1X is more of a good thing

April 2019 issue Tech

Full-frame mirrorless cameras are trending, but that hasn’t stopped Olympus from making waves with a new mirrorless Micro Four Thirds professional model—the 20 megapixel OM-D E-M1X. Olympus can claim a number of innovations in the photo industry, including Live View and a built-in dust reduction system. With the OM-D E-M1X, Olympus has improved its exceptional 5-axis image stabilization and added a handheld multi-shot high-resolution option, dual processors, and more.© Courtesy... Continue Reading >

Clothing designs with photographers in mind

April 2019 issue Tech

Pockets aplentyHave you ever lugged your camera bag along on a shoot just because you didn’t have enough pockets to hold your memory cards, batteries, or other camera accessories? Or, worse yet, maybe you’ve given up on pockets completely because every single pair of women’s pants you own have pockets that are either fake or so ridiculously small they can’t even hold a lens cap?© Betsy FinnI’ve done both. But that was before I heard about Scottevest clothing. The company has... Continue Reading >

Review: Sigma 105mm F1.4 DG HSM Art Lens

12.24.2018 Tech

For the love of BokehThe Sigma Photo 105mm F1.4 DG HSM Art lens is part of the company’s Global Vision line of Art, Sport, and Contemporary lenses. It is a solidly constructed, large-aperture, large-bodied (for its focal length) autofocus lens designed for full-format (24x36mm) cameras. And like the other Sigma Art lenses, it delivers superb optical performance at a reasonable price. One thing about Sigma’s Art series lenses is that they make you feel as if the people who make them truly... Continue Reading >

Over the Lens: PolarPro Filters

December 2018 issue Tech

 Despite the wide availability of digital post-processing filters for still photography, there are some  effects that still require a lens-mounted filter. A strong neutral density (ND) filter can be used to capture moving water and clouds with a dreamy effect, for example. Less strong ND filters are essential to keep the shutter speed at or below the maximum sync speed when you’re using on-camera flash for fill in sunlit situations.Videographers have different needs, and some of these can... Continue Reading >

Design Value: ProMediaGear BBX Boomerang Flash Bracket

December 2018 issue Tech

I’ve had an ongoing tolerate-hate relationship with flash brackets for decades. Each one I’ve owned has been an awkward one-trick pony. But the ProMediaGear BBX Boomerang has changed my feelings about flash brackets. Designed by working photographers, the Boomerang has gone through a series of refinements since it was introduced in 2010 by ProMediaGear’s engineer-photographer Fudala brothers. The bracket’s name is derived from the boomerang-like curve of the arm, an asymmetric arc that... Continue Reading >