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Professional Head-2-Head Report: RPG Keys vs. Kubota RPG SpeedKeys
on Apr 11, 2011 at 10:42AM

RPG Keys and Kubota RPG SpeedKeys are intended to speed up processing time by mapping frequently used correction settings to specific keys on a custom keyboard. The process itself is similar to a Photoshop action, though it offers a software and hardware component that plugs-in to Photoshop Lightroom. Priced at $399, the SpeedKeys + LR pack carries a far less costly MSRP than the full-size RPG Keys, originally priced at $670. RPG Keys is currently running a sale that drops the price of the larger 58-key unit + LR closer to its alternative, at $490....

Professional Head-2-Head Report: LumaPix YearbookFusion vs. Pelican Software's Yearbooks! Desktop 2010
on Aug 30, 2010 at 10:00AM

Memorable yearbooks encapsulate a shared voice and unique spirit of a particular time, place, and collection of people. For publishers, schools, and social institutions tasked with generating these relics, the conventionalized structure and increasing turn-around expectations often makes for an arduous production process and invariably gets in the way of the true creative task at hand. There are a number of software applications currently on the market designed to help assist with the yearbook creation process. Two leading alternatives are LumaPix's YearbookFusion and Pelican Software's Yearbook! Desktop 2010...

Head-2-Head Micro 4/3 Kit Lens Review: Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-45mm vs. Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm
on Sep 22, 2010 at 9:00AM

The Micro Four Thirds system gleams some much-deserved attention within the digital interchangeable lens arena, again painting Panasonic and Olympus as innovators with their assortment of diminutive, mirror-less digital cameras. 
Panasonic and Olympus both make kit lenses for the Micro Four Thirds standard that bear the stylization and design choices germane to each manufacturer....

Head-2-Head Micro 4/3 Lens Review: Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm f4 vs. Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm f4
on May 17, 2010 at 12:00AM

Olympus and Panasonic engineer quality lenses for Four Thirds and Micro Four Thirds formats that match or surpass those available for APS and full-frame DSLRs. Both companies offer 7-14mm zooms that correspond to a 14-28mm lens on the 35mm format with an angle of view of 114-degrees. The fundamental difference between the Olympus 7-14mm and the Panasonic 7-14mm is that the Olympus has a standard Four Thirds mount and the Panasonic has a Micro Four Thirds mount....

Head-2-Head RAW Processor Review: Adobe Camera RAW vs. Phase One Capture One Pro
on Mar 25, 2010 at 10:34AM

The RAW file is often described as the "digital negative", basic digital information that has to be processed to become a photograph. In fact, it's more accurately described as the "digital latent image", a term made popular as far back as the Zone System and Ansel Adams, describing the film in the camera, exposed to light, but not yet processed into a negative....

Head-2-Head Lens Review: Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM vs. Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM
on Apr 6, 2010 at 9:57AM

These two lenses represent a fairly classic "battle for speed" between two optics from a single manufacturer. The Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens sells for an MSRP of $419.95, and is a standard short-telephoto Canon workhorse. Canon's more exotic 85mm prime, the EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM, buys you an additional stop of exposure latitude, superior build quality, extremely high resolution, and what is described as a "silky-smooth" bokeh effect. Sporting an MSRP of $2199.95, and nearly twice the size and weight of the EF f/1.8, we evaluate whether Canon's "L-Series" glass warrants the near $1,800 upgrade....

Head-2-Head Lens Review: Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM vs. Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM
on Mar 5, 2010 at 7:01AM

Canon's EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM ($1699 MSRP) and EF 17-40mm f/4L USM ($839.99 MSRP) are two of the most popular "Ultra-Wide Zoom" lenses available for its mid- and upper-level DSLRs. The 16-35mm f/2.8 II is an update of the previous 16-35mm f/2.8 lens, and is said by Canon to offer a complete optical redesign for increased resolution and contrast. The 17-40mm f/4 is billed as a high-quality, budget-priced "L" lens by Canon, at a stop slower than the 16-35mm f/2.8 II and just a bit more than half the price. The question is, how do these lenses stack up optically?...

Head-2-Head Digital Camera Field Review: Hasselblad H3DII-31 vs. Nikon D3s vs. Canon EOS 5D Mark II
on Feb 12, 2010 at 8:09AM

The Hasselblad feels like, compared to these cameras, it’s in a different world. To be fair, it really is. The frame rate of the camera is 1.2 seconds-per-capture. That’s not frames-per-second, that’s seconds-per-frame. There is no video, HD or otherwise. High ISO shooting, that is, anything over 800, is probably not going to make you happy, and it’s rated at only ISO 1600. The sensor, at 31mp and a physical size of nearly twice that of 35mm sensors, has pixels that are physically 6.8µm (microns) and an Analog/Digital converter that works at full 16-bit. If you’re into cars, this is kind of like putting a smaller turbocharged four-cylinder car up against a big, heavy V8....

Head-2-Head Digital Camera Review: Olympus E-P1 vs. Olympus E-620
on Dec 30, 2009 at 10:08AM

Olympus announced two tiny interchangeable lens cameras in 2009: the EVOLT E-620 came to us in February and the Pen Digital E-P1 in June. In February, the E-620 was announced as "the world's smallest and lightest image-stabilized digital SLR." In June, the E-P1 took center-stage as a retro rangefinder-like camera that Olympus claimed was the “world's smallest 12.3-megapixel interchangeable lens system camera.” The E-620 can technically keep its claim as the smallest DSLR as the E-P1 does not have a mirror box and is therefore not a DSLR. The E-P1 can still swap lenses and has slimmer measurements than the E-620, but does it match the performance of true Four Thirds DSLRs?...

Head-2-Head Portrait/Fashion Shootout: Nikon Mid-Range DSLRs
on Dec 23, 2009 at 8:04AM

This article looks at the top tier of Nikon's DSLR stable, the D300s, the D700 and the D3s, with a concentration on a fashion/portrait assignment. We're shooting full-figure shots under strobes at low ISO (ISO 200), some head shots under strobes, and some "available light" shots with tungsten, shot with an ISO 800 setting, and identical lenses on all the cameras, the AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED....