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Monthly Archives: November 2013

Best Compact Digital Camera 2013 (over £400)

This is such a cluttered market we have decided to concentrate on the more upmarket versions, so everything here will cost you at least £300 and some much more. These are the sort of cameras someone who is serious about their photography might use when they are not using their dslr.

As always Tech Radar is a place to go for informed opinion

Best compact cameras: Advanced

Fuji X100S

Price: £1,000/US$1,300 (around AU$1,680)

Specs: 16.3MP APS-C format CMOS II sensor, EXR Processor II, Full HD video

Best compact camera

Fuji’s replacement to its popular FinePix X100 compact camera draws on user feedback to make improvements. The Fuji FinePix X100S uses the same APS-C format sensor, but with a 16.3 megapixel resolution and a new EXR Processor II and 6 x 6 RGGB filter array pattern.

We liked the retro design and control arrangement of the Fuji X100. Its image quality is also good, but it is surpassed by that of the Fuji X-Pro1, which is capable of producing pictures that aren’t far off those from some full-frame cameras.

Read our Fuji X100S review

Fuji X20

Price: £480/US$600 (around AU$760)

Specs: 12MP X-Trans CMOS II sensor, 6 x 6 RGGB filter array pattern, 7.1-28.4mm f/2-2.8 lens

Best compact camera

The Fuji X10 was our favourite high-end compact camera of 2012, and combining it with the same sensor design as one of our favourite compact system cameras – the Fuji X-Pro1 – bodes very well.

Fuji says it’s made 50 improvements on the X10 for the X20, including a new 2/3-inch X-Trans CMOS II sensor with 12 million effective pixels and a 6 x 6 RGGB filter array pattern, which combines with an EXR Processor II. The Fuji X20 also boasts a hybrid AF system and a Digital Trans Panel in the viewfinder.

Read our Fuji X20 review

Canon Powershot G1 X

Price: £500/US$700/AU$650

Specs: Large 14.3MP CMOS sensor, 4x optical zoom, 1080p HD video, swivel LCD screen

Best compact cameras

Although the zoom range is limited when compared to other Canon G-series cameras, the trump card of the Canon G1 X is its unusually large sensor. A larger sensor has more surface area to receive light, improving image quality at high sensitivities and boosting dynamic range. Interestingly, Canon has opted to stick with the 4:3 aspect ratio, rather than 3:2 as most APS-C sensors are, even though the sensor in the G1 X is roughly the same height as APS-C format.

In order to make the most of what the sensor can offer, Canon has equipped the G1 X with the latest Digic 5 processor, which promises better control over noise at high ISO sensitivities, faster operation and smoother 1080p video recording.

The 4x zoom lens provides an angle of view equivalent to a 28-122mm lens on a 35mm camera, and the usual array of direct controls found on G-series cameras should make manual operation a pleasure.

Read our Canon G1 X review

Canon PowerShot G15

Price: £440/US$500/AU$520

Specs: 12.1MP CMOS sensor, 5x zoom lens, f/1.8 aperture

Best compact camera

At first glance, the Canon G15 looks pretty similar to theCanon G12, but there are a few significant differences. The most notable of these is the stacked or overlapping mode dial and exposure compensation dials on the top, and a new f/1.8 lens with 5x zoom.

Canon has manufactured a high quality compact camera in the shape of the Canon G15. It is capable of producing great images with bags of detail, good punchy colours and pleasing shallow depth of field effects.

Read our Canon G15 review

Nikon Coolpix A

Price: £1,000/US$1,100/AU$1,300

Specs: 16.2Mp APS-C format CMOS sensor, 28mm (equivalent) f/2.8 lens, 3-inch 921,000-dot LCD

Nikon Coolpix A best compact camera

Nikon has given the Coolpix A the same 16.2-million-pixel sensor as theNikon D7000, but it has left off the anti-aliasing (low-pass) filter to allow it to record sharper details in-camera.

Aimed at serious photographers, the Coolpix A has advanced exposure modes such as aperture priority, shutter priority and manual as well as fully automatic and scene options.

Our tests reveal that the Coolpix A can capture lots of sharp detail, on a par with an SLR, but the file write times are a little longer than we’d like and vignetting is apparent in images shot with apertures down to f/8 and in some cases f/16.

Read our Nikon Coolpix A review

Nikon Coolpix P7700

Price: £390/US$400/AU$525

Specs: 12.2MP, 1/1.7-inch CMOS sensor, 7.1x zoom, 1080p video, 3-inch 921,000-dot variangle LCD

Nikon P7700

The Coolpix P7700 replaces the Nikon P7100 and sits at the top of Nikon’s compact camera line-up. It’s aimed at experienced photographers who want a smaller alternative to an SLR.

There’s a liberal covering of control dials and buttons on the P7700’s body giving quick access to features such as the shooting mode, sensitivity, white balance and exposure compensation to name just a few.

The lens offers an equivalent focal length range of 28-200mm in 35mm terms, and has a maximum aperture range of f/2.0-4.0.

Although the P7700 is capable of producing excellent images with lots of detail and nice colours, it is a little hampered by slow image processing making it unsuitable for shooting action.

Read our Nikon P7700 review

If you are ready to push the boat out this is the place for you

The Top Five Compact Cameras In The World 2013

Best DSLR Cameras 2013

There is always a bit of subjectivity involved with such lists, we can’t help it we all have preferences based on little objective observation, having said that opinions in the major magazines and websites are based on something more than just personality.

What Digital Camera has these as the best of 2013

Canon EOS 1100D

Street price: £300 body onlyCanon EOS 1100D

The Canon EOS 1100D (also known as the Rebel T3 in some territories) is equipped with a 12.4MP CMOS sensor and a nine-point AF system as well as being compatible with Canon’s huge range of EF-mount lenses.

Better still, the body-only price has fallen from around £500 at launch to around £300, making it excellent value for money and rightfully one of the best entry-level DSLRs on the market.

Best DSLR for: Those on a budget

Read our full Canon EOS 1100D review

Find the best deals for the Canon EOS 1100D

 

Nikon D3200

Street price: £450 body onlyNikon D3200

The Nikon D3200 is one of the strongest entry-level DSLRs on the market. As well as a helpful Guide Mode to assist newcomers, its new 14.2MP CMOS sensor and EXPEED 2 imagine engine make for detailed stills.

Although it’s not the cheapest entry-level DSLR available, it offers an impressive level of performance and the chance to expand in to Nikon’s DSLR system.

Best DSLR for: Entry-level photographers wanting a bit more 

Read our full Nikon D3200 review

Find the best deals for the Nikon D3200

Pentax K-5 IIPentax K-5 II

Street price: £700 body only

The Pentax K5-II is a relatively minor upgrate on the Pentax K-5, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing as the model as the K-5 was a fantastic mid-range DSLR. The model offers a great level of performance and great build quality, including a weather-resistant body.

Best DSLR for: A rugged build

Read our full Pentax K-5 II review

Find the best deals for the Pentax K-5 II

Sony Alpha A58

Street price: £399 with kit lens

Sony A58The Sony A58 is the latest in Sony’s growning range of SLT cameras. It represents great value for money – currently generally available with a kit lens for under £400 – and features a specification well suited to those looking for a dependable shooter.

Highlights of the specification include an all-new 20.1MP Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor which, when paired with Sony’s BIONZ image processor, offers a reliable standard of image quality. The benefits of the SLT technology include an eye-catching burst rate of 8fps, as well as good AF performance and an ample EVF, should that be to your liking.

Best DSLR for: Advanced AF performance at an affordable price

Read our full Sony Alpha A58 review

Find the best deals for the Sony Alpha A58

Canon EOS 650D

Street price: £500 body onlyCanon EOS 650D    

The EOS 650D offers touch screen control via the camera’s 3in, 1040k-dot vari-angle LCD monitor, along with an improved 18MP CMOS sensor and 1080p Full HD movie capture at 30fps. In addition, the 650D also sees a noticeable boost in autofocus performance over its predecessor along with a rise in continuous shooting speed from 3.5fps to 5fps. Overall image quality is very good too, with consistent metering and pleasing colour and tonality. A bit of an all-rounder is the 650D.

Best DSLR for: All-round performance and value

Read more 

If you want a list by brand and price you cannot beat the 7 pages from Tech Radar

Always my first port of call when considering new cameras is DP Review their Ten Best DSLR can be found here

Pocket Lint have an easier written style and come up with similar recommendations as the other sites, if you need a bit of hand holding go here

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So based on a round up of the various sites this seems to be the main recommendations. If you are planning to buy anything more expensive than those listed here you really do need to do your own research. I have only included Nikon or Canon in my abbreviated list because although Pentax and Sony might make good cameras in class I find people have far more problems navigating these than the two main manufacturers.

Entry level

Canon EOS 1100D: Nikon D3200 here is a comparison article

Best mid range

Nikon 5200D (5300D just released); Canon D100 here is a comparison article

Best pro/am

Nikon D7100; Canon 7D  here is a comparison article

Photography Courses for 2014

We have our new schedule for the coming year, we are currently writing a couple of new courses, one on art photography, but these will not be ready for the new term. We have all the usual favourites from Understanding Your Digital SLR Camera, Composition In Photography, Portraiture, Flash, Lightroom, Photoshop,

you can see the full list here

Understanding Your DSLR Camera Evening Class £85 Start Dates: 21.01.2014;  05.03.2014

Understanding Your DSLR Camera Saturday Morning Class £85 Start Date: 9.11.2013;   08.03.2014

1 Day Understanding Your DSLR Camera £95 Dates, 27.10.2013; 26.01.2014; 23.02.2014; 30.03.2014; 27.04.2014

Understanding Your Digital Compact Camera £85 Start Date: 5.03.2014

Intermediate Photography £97 Start Date: 24.02.2014

Flash Photography £85 Start date 29.01.2014

Understanding Lightroom £85 Start Date: 27.02.2014

Introduction to Photoshop and PS Elements £97 Start Date: 18.02.2014

Composition In Photography – Seeing Pictures £85 Start Date: 4.03.2014

Portrait Photography £85 Start Date: 27.01.2014

Laos

Sharp Shooter Proven Techniques for Sharper Photographs new ebook

Do you wish your pictures were a bit sharper, is it your eyes or your camera or worse your techniques that let you down.

This new ebook from the Craft & Vision stable has all you need to achieve sharper pictures. Sharp Shooter by Martin Bailey

This is an exciting resource for photographers looking to discover new techniques and tools for making stunning images! Sharp Shooter is a 36-page PDF and it’s a great edition to your digital library. Martin, in his usual clear and concise fashion, covers the gamut on the subject—from hand-holding techniques, stabilization, and what makes an image sharp in the first place, to macro-sharpness, depth of field, focus stacking, sharpening for final output, and more.

Excerpt

“Center, Manually Selected, or All Focus Points: Whether your camera has 9 or 61 focus points, you choose which to focus with. Many people favour the center focus point, because it’s often the most accurate and simply because it’s in the middle. Also, using all of your focus points with automatic selection can lead to the camera focusing on the wrong part of the scene. Another option is to either use just one or a small group of focus points, but select something other than the central group. Let’s explore when and why you might use these various methods.”

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36 pages for £3.50 about 10p per page, bargain, get yours here

How To Guide: Close-up

From the Canon tutorials we bring you this,….Macro is the perfect photographic activity for the autumn and winter months as it can be done indoors as well as out when the days are shorter and weather is less predictable. We agree with this and recommend it in our classes.

Getting going
If you are starting off you can use the standard zoom lens that typically comes with EOS cameras before possibly upgrading to a dedicated macro lens. Use the telephoto to zoom in to maximum magnification Good advice too

Read More here

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Harmony in the water, © Roberto Tacchetto, Canon EOS-1D Mark III

7 Creative Ideas to Spice Up Your Photography

Lightstalking is a great site for general tutorials, tips and inspiration. If you are new to photography or even with years of experience there will be things to find that are interesting.

This article  is by Jason D. Little . Jason Little is a photographer (shooting macros, portraits, candids, and the occasional landscape), part time writer, and full time lover of music. You can see Jason’s photography on his photography blog or on Flickr.

Human beings are creatures of habit; we seek out patterns, we search for comfort and contentment, we settle into routines. These aren’t necessarily bad features of our existence, but if your attention span is at all as truncated as mine can be then it’s likely that you find yourself actively looking for — and often enjoying — anything that’s a departure from the norm. 

It’s part of the burden of creativity, I suppose. Sometimes you just can’t bear to keep doing the same old thing. So you go in search of something new. 

So whether you’re driven to the brink of insanity by boredom with your own photography, or you’ve been looking to add a new element to your style, or you just want to have some fun with your photos, I’m confident that at least one of the following suggestions will cure whatever ails you.

How to Start Exploring Infrared Photography

Infrared photography is sort of like discovering a new world, or a different version of the world we’re so accustomed to seeing. The human eye can’t see the infrared (IR) range of the spectrum, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing there.


summertime blues by mugley, on Flickr

Read more about Infra Red and the other suggestions to get you going here

Click Here: 7 Creative Ideas to Spice Up Your Photography

Nikon introduces new DX-format DSLR D5300

From Professional Photographer magazine we hear about a new Nikon DSLR

On sale on 14 November, the D5300 is an upper entry-level DSLR. The camera’s 24.2-megapixel DX-format CMOS sensor is specifically designed with no optical low-pass filter (OLPF) – the result being more detail and texture in images. Photos can be shared fast with its inbuilt Wi-Fi function which connects the camera directly to a smartphone or tablet, and the GPS function adds geo-tags to pictures in-camera. “This new model is bursting with impressive features, from the high ISO (12,800) capability for low light shooting, to the powerful new EXPEED 4 image processing engine, and large vari-angle screen for a unique view,” says Simon Iddon, senior product manager at Nikon. “Built-in Wi-Fi makes it easy to share stunning images with friends and family, plus you can have some fun by tracking your route thanks to the camera’s GPS functionality. Ultimately, the Nikon D5300 is a pleasure to use and raises the standard of images we share.”

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The body only will cost £729.99 and the D5300 kit with 18-55mm VR lens, £829.99

FEATURES LISTED BY NIKON INCLUDE:Built-in Wi-Fi
Photos can be sent directly from the camera to any iOS or Android smart device – after you’ve downloaded the free wireless mobile utility – ready for easy upload to social networking sites like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. The Wi-Fii function also makes it possible to control the camera remotely using a connected smart device, plus you can preview the scene you’re shooting on the smart device’s screen.Built-in GPS
The D5300’s built-in GPS integrates with the in-camera Wi-Fi function. Images can be geo-tagged simply, without using any external adapters, by logging location information such as latitude, longitude, and altitude in the image’s EXIF data. The GPS logger function works when the camera is turned off, so you can continue to keep track of your route when you’re not taking pictures. Nikon’s View NX 2 software can help create travel on social networking or photo-sharing sites that support GPS.Image quality
At the core of the D5300 is a 24.2-megapixel DX-format CMOS sensor that has been designed without an optical low-pass filter (OLPF) to make the most of every megapixel, to render exactly what the lens sees.High ISO light sensitivity (up to 12,800, extendable to 25,600 equivalent) combined with Nikon’s new image processing engine, EXPEED 4, allows for better photos and movies when shooting in low light. The 2016-pixel RGB metering sensor sends data to the scene recognition system, enabling optimum auto exposure, AF and auto white balance. It has continuous shooting speeds of up to five frames-per-second and a 39-point AF system, which has nine cross-type sensors in the centre……MORE FROM PP

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The always excellent DP Review site has a pre-view of this new camera

Tis the season for iterative updates, apparently. The D5300, Nikon’s second new DSLR in as many weeks comes less than a year after the announcement of its predecessor, the D5200, and while it doesn’t represent a massive upgrade to the older camera it is improved in some meaningful ways.

As Nikon’s ‘advanced beginner’ DSLR, the D5300 takes the D5200’s place between the entry-level D3200 and the enthusiast-targeted D7100 in the company’s APS-C lineup. The D5300 offers 24MP resolution (like its APS-C stablemates), an articulated rear LCD and more physical controls than the D3200, but without the twin-dial interface and professional grade AF system of the decidedly higher market (and much more customizable) D7100.

Both visually and ergonomically the D5300 is a near-clone of its predecessor (it’s fractionally lighter and a tiny bit smaller), but under the hood it is a stronger camera in a couple of important ways. The D5300’s 24MP sensor lacks an anti-aliasing sensor, which – if our experience with the D7100 and D800E is any guide – should give it the edge in terms of resolution over the D5200. We’d expect the difference to be subtle (especially with a kit zoom attached), but it’s always nice to see improvements to critical image quality potential, especially in mid-range models.

The D5300 also offers a beefed-up video mode, which is now capable of true 1080/60p HD video. This, plus the slightly enlarged (3.2in compared to 3in) fully-articulated 1.04 million-dot LCD screen should mean that the D5300 is attractive to videographers as well as stills photographers. Easy to miss, but useful features include built-in Wi-Fi and GPS – both firsts for Nikon’s DSLR lineup. Battery life gets a boost too – according to CIPA figures the D5300 offers an endurance of 600 shots, compared to 500 from the D5200. Remember though that this figure does not take features like Wi-Fi or GPS into account, and we’d expect both to have an impact on battery life.

READ MORE FROM DPR HERE

Nikon have their seasonal cash back offers when you buy new gear

Nikon UK is launching a bumper Christmas promotion, offering cashback on a huge amount of products including selected D-SLR cameras, selected lenses and speedlights, selected Nikon 1 cameras, as well as the EDG binocular range.The promotion is limited to one claim per person per product and will run from 16 October 2013 – 26 January 2014 (inclusive) and all claims must be received by 28 February 2014 in order to qualify. Details here

TOM STODDART – Perspectives – EXHIBITION

Perspectives

Unique and powerful photographs by the celebrated Tom Stoddart reveal forty years of significant world events

A selection of captivating images from the multi-award winning photojournalist Tom Stoddart will go on display at White Cloth Gallery, Leeds this October. ‘Perspectives’ comprises many of Stoddart’s greatest shots from his distinguished career, featuring some of the most important moments in world history such as the fall of the Berlin Wall, the election of Nelson Mandela as South Africa’s first black president and the Siege of Sarajevo.

During his distinguished career Tom Stoddart has travelled to more than 50 countries and documented such historic events as the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Siege of Sarajevo and the election of Nelson Mandela as South Africa’s first black president.

His acclaimed in-depth work on the HIV/AIDS pandemic blighting sub-Saharan Africa won the POY World Understanding Award in 2003. In the same year his pictures of British Royal Marines in combat, during hostilities in Iraq, was awarded the Larry Burrows Award for Exceptional War Photography. A year later his book iWITNESS was honoured as the best photography book published in the USA.

Now established as one of the world’s most respected photojournalists, Stoddart works closely with Reportage by Getty Images to produce photo essays on the serious world issues of our time.

To view more of Tom’s work please go to http://www.tomstoddart.com For more information on Perspectives visit http://www.78perspectives.co.uk

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White Cloth Gallery
24-26 Aire Street
Leeds
LS1 4HT

Phone: 0113 218 1923

Perspectives_006-300x300Details here

 

Images from North & South

An Exhibition of Photographs by Ross Mackenzie @ The Jam Factory, 27 Park End Street, Oxford 12th November 2013 – 12th January 2014

The Jam Factory presents a series of landscape and wildlife photographs by Ross Mackenzie. Over the last seven years Ross has travelled to both the Arctic and Antarctic on numerous occasions. On these trips, Ross has developed an extensive portfolio of digital wildlife and landscape images.

The far North and far South have always been regarded as wilderness and can be considered the last places on earth to be explored. Though remote, climate change is a major threat to both the pristine cleanness of these places and to the wildlife that lives there. This portfolio captures the remoteness of the Arctic and Antarctic regions, and the Shetland Islands, in a series of images that depict the landscape and the iconic animals found in these places. Remote simultaneously captures the majesty of vast ice-bergs and glaciers whilst documenting the seemingly precarious existence of life in extreme environments.

Tabular Iceberg, Baffin Bay

Edward Burtynsky WATER Exhibition

These images of water are quite beautiful, the exhibition is only on until 23rd November so if you are in London get along to Cork Street

Water is the most recent instalment of the artist’s investigation into our continually compromised environment. Weaving
together the various roles that it plays in everyday life, Burtynsky has undertaken an ambitious representation of water’s
increasingly fragmented life cycle. Often from an aerial perspective, the photographs take on a unique abstraction and
painterly quality. Many of the images focus our attention not on water itself, but on the systems that humans have put in
place in order to harness, shape and commodify it. Water follows the format of previous projects such as Oil, China and
Quarries in it’s encyclopaedic exploration of a broad theme through a series of connected chapters or locations….MORE

Flowers Gallery 21 Cork Street
Edward Burtynsky WATER
http://www.flowersgallery.com
16 October – 23 november 2013
London W1S 3LZ +44 (0)20 7439 7766

Go here for the exhibition website

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ImageResizerXiaolangdi Dam #1, Yellow River, Henan Province, China, 2011 Chromogenic Print

All images from Edward Burtynsky WATER