Thursday, March 15, 2012

Odds and Ends

It's been a while since I made a post here, but a lot has been happening. Some good, some so-so, some interesting. I'll try to hit the highlights and see what is what.

"Golden Boy" by Albert Watson

First off, I just turned in my article/profile of Albert Watson to PhotoMedia Magazine and that should be published in around a month or so. Albert Watson is a high-level photographer based in New York City. As far as I can tell, his main career peers were Richard Avedon and Irving Penn, and his talents are even broader than those two masters. Watson is known most widely for his celebrity portraits, his portrait of Steve Jobs was the one that everyone ran when Jobs died a while back, but Watson is equally adept at fashion, still life, architecture, and landscape photography. Watson is a rare photographer in the commercial realm; he insists on keeping his hand in every aspect of the imagemaking that goes on under his studio name. That means that he personally makes all the physical prints and final digital images for every job his studio takes on. There's not many other photographers that ever did that. Watson was a blast to talk to and he was full of surprises. I'll let you know when the article is published and/or when it goes online.

Canon 5D Mark III

Canon finally released the specs on the upcoming 5d Mark III and most people are underwhelmed. Most of the changes are refinements of the 5D Mark II and are not revolutionary. The sensor is roughly the same size, 22 MP, but it does have a new processor (the Digic 5+), better weather and dust sealing, 6 frames per second, and the ISO will go up to 102,400. And the price will be $3500 for the body alone. That's about a thousand more than the 5D Mark II originally sold for. It's hard to get too excited about all this. But perhaps the image quality will be light years ahead of the previous model, since it has a new processor, though I doubt anyone will see much of an improvement in the lower ISO ranges from 100 to 800 over the Mark II. Who knows? Maybe. Also, the price of the 5D Mark II is now on close-out from Canon and is now priced at around $2100. That's a good deal.

Adobe Lightroom 4

Adobe has released Lightroom 4 and they've lowered the price for the full program to $149.95 in the US. Lightroom is a great program and many photographers are using it instead of Photoshop, though they are very different tools. I use both, myself. Lightroom to bring in, catalog, and rough edit the RAW images and Photoshop to finish the images and prep them for printing. Image management is probably one of the biggest challenges for digital photography and Lightroom was created to deal with that task. Hasselblad just announced that all their professional cameras will now ship with Lightroom as the preferred RAW image processor. If you've been thinking about trying out Lightroom, now is the time.

Sigma SD1

Sigma has announced a rebate program of sorts for the people who bought their DSLR, the SD1, when it first came out. When it came out, Sigma priced it at close to $7000. Keep in mind that the SD1 is a APS-C camera with approximately a 15 MP sensor, though Sigma rates it at 46 MP, since it uses three layers of pixels to capture images, or something like that. The latest version of the camera, the SD1 Merrill, is now priced at around $2000. People who bought the camera at the original price can apply to Sigma for the difference between the old and new prices in credit towards Sigma products, not for the cash difference, unfortunately. To check the specifics of the offer go to Sigma's website or contact the Sigma USA Director of Marketing, Christine Moossmann ( directly. And good luck with that.

Update: It's been said that the Nokia phone, the 808 PureView, which was mentioned in the previous post won't actually be coming to the US! That's too bad, but the 41 MP chip will make it here in some form or another, I'm sure. Or, as sure as I can be. When I hear something, I'll let you know.