Photo, Video, Lighting, and Accessory Gear Reviews

Gear Reviews

Phase One IQ 180 Back


PhaseOne IQ 180 80 Megapixels of RAW power just landed on my desk. I’m not shooting pretty pics of this. But I wanted to share opening the case, so I took a quick shot with my point and shoot camera. The back ships in a waterproof rolling case with foam cut outs that are custom tailored , plus accessories. As you can see, the quick start guide is very unique and will allow you to easily slip this into your back pocket for quick reference while out in the field. I’m really looking forward to taking the Phase One IQ180…

Elinchrom D-Lite 4: a Portrait Lighting Seminar in Review


First – I really want to thank everyone who came out to my Portrait Lighting Basics class on Saturday, March 19. We had a great (sold out!) class. Hopefully some of our students will share some of their photos on our Flickr Page. All you have to do is join the group, and then you can add some of your photos. For those of you who have never attended a Vistek Semiar, here is a quick video clip (that I shot with my iPhone) of what you can expect from one of my Portrait Lighting Classes. This class ran for…

Rotolights in Review!


Justin Taylor, a Toronto-based photographer, has written a fantastic review on his experience using Rotolights for still photography, rather than solely for video capture (as one might assume with this particular product since it’s meant to be placed on the Mic of a camcorder.) “Without knowing how the lights would act with still life I just tossed them in like I would with normal strobes and I was very impressed with the immediate result. Although the power is a little weak when trying to use higher f/stops if you can shoot around f/4 or below you can still get all…

Canon 60D Review with Vistek's Michael Beckley


Vistek’s Michael Beckley does a walk-through of Canon’s new 60D.  Check it out!

The retirement of my camera is imminent…


For the past 3 years I’ve been using the Sony R1 as my primary camera and living with the strange looks that other photographers give me when they see it.  The R1 may seem like an unusual choice but at the time it was the best solution for my needs… it was the only choice, really!  I suppose it’s not categorized under DSLR cameras because the lens is permanently attached but it does have DSLR chip size and the price to match. As a climbing/adventure photographer you end up in some pretty strange body positions to get the shots you…

The Meat and Bones


Continued from “My Story”… Last year I had been using the Sony FX-7 as my primary camera and was happy with the footage but due to its size and weight, I was limited to how I could use it. I took the  conventional approach and set-up rigging, hanging in a stationary position to shoot.  With Fred Flintstone stick and ducttape modifications, I quickly realized how a) my gear was unsafe and b) the physical size and weight of the video camera limited my movement. I wanted to be able to move with my subject and shoot from different angles at…

Canon EOS 7D: The Story Behind the Still


Okay, seriously… the Canon EOS 7D does some magical stuff in low light. Check out this video — The Cabbie — that kicked off  The Story Beyond the Still, an HD Video Contest by Canon and Vimeo. “Introducing the first user-generated HD Video Contest where photographers become filmmakers, and we all see beyond the still. To kick off the contest, Canon asked me to interpret what story I saw beyond the still, and to tell that story with the new Canon EOS 7D. My short film (The Cabbie) will be the first chapter of seven, each ending with a still photograph…

The Canon EOS 7D – Most Versatile Autofocus Ever.


Beginning with 19 Cross-Type AF points, the 7D has the most flexible and innovative AF Focus system ever in a Canon EOS camera. Check out the full AF system here:

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1's Full 1080p HD Video Capture


The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 hybrid camera offers interchangeable lenses, excellent low-ISO photo quality & is incredibly comfortable to use – check out’s look  at what this Micro Four-Thirds “DSLR” can do:

Panasonic GF1: Pro-level picture quality packed in an ultra compact design.


Panasonic announced, today, the newest in their LUMIX G Series – the DMC-GF1. They’re calling this latest addition to the lineup “the world’s smallest and lightest interchangeable lense digital camera with built-in flash.” And, in fairness, the body does only weigh 285 grams. It packs powerful DSLR-like and HD video capabilities into a sleek and easy-to-use compact body. And its 12.1-megapixel live MOS sensor can capture images up to 4000 x 3000 pixels. Features include:  Full-time Live View, high-speed, high-precision Contrast AF, Built-In Flash, an on-screen Exposure Meter and an iAuto Mode with “Peripheral Defocus” to prevent shooting errors. There…

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