Tag Archives: buying guide

Choosing the glass that’s best for you

The Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 AFS G lens is part of the “holy trinity” of FX lenses. Should it and its brothers be in your bag?

It’s shopping season again, and I want to talk a little about that obsession we have with camera lenses. Often times, you’ll hear, “get the best glass, you won’t regret it.” This is certainly the case in terms of total image quality, but is it practical advice? I mean, there are entire websites devoted to the minutia of MTF charts and brick-wall photos trying to convince us which lenses are the best, and which are marginal. I’ve been thinking about this topic a lot lately, especially when going through my images and examining my gear needs as they have evolved. Continue reading

Quick Thoughts: Adobe CC Photography Bundle

I waited until the very end but I have upgraded my version of Photoshop to Creative Cloud.
I waited until the very end but I have upgraded my version of Photoshop to Creative Cloud.

Earlier this year, when Adobe announced that all future versions of the Creative Suite and Photoshop would only be available as part of the Creative Cloud subscription, I was fairly disappointed. I mean, I just upgraded to CS6 last year at a pretty substantial cost. A few months ago, Adobe announced a special “photographer’s” package for previous CS users. This package includes Photoshop CC and Lightroom 5 for a monthly subscription price of $9.99 USD (offer expires 31 Dec. 2013).

At the end of November, Adobe announced that this special offer would be available to anyone, regardless of whether they were a previous owner of the Creative Suite. I decided that this is a pretty reasonable offer, so I upgraded to Photoshop CC. At least for me, this subscription makes sense. I still have my CS6 applications, but I can run the latest version of Photoshop. I still have Photoshop CS6 should I decide that Creative Cloud isn’t worth subscribing to next year.

For someone looking to add Photoshop to their editing arsenal, the $9.99 offer is about as good as it gets. You also get Lightroom 5, and some free cloud storage (20GB). Frankly, I’d still recommend getting a perpetual-use license for Lightroom 5, as Photoshop is something you could choose to live without over time if you were so inclined.

And to clear up any confusion:

  • You don’t need to be online to run Photoshop
  • All applications run right from your hard drive, just like they did before
  • You don’t need to store images in Adobe’s Cloud Server
  • The $9.99/mo subscription price is locked in for one year; after that it will renew unless cancelled at the then-current price*.

While I’m still not thrilled about “subscription-ware,” Adobe has made it pretty clear that this is the way forward. I’ve managed to get nearly two years out of CS6, and I’m still using the other applications in the suite that I don’t need on a regular basis, like Dreamweaver and InDesign. I’m perfectly content to use slightly older versions of those products for the time being while keeping my version of Photoshop up to date. If you are looking to get the full version of Photoshop, this is currently the best way to go.

*There has been no official word as to whether Adobe plans to offer the $9.99 price perpetually. They have said they have “no intention” of changing the price, but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. IMO, as long as Lightroom can be purchased as a perpetual-use license, everything is OK by me. Should Adobe move LR exclusively to the subscription model… well I hope that doesn’t happen.

Why your camera doesn’t matter, and why it does

The Nikon D4

It’s an argument we hear all the time: the camera doesn’t matter nearly as much as the vision and talent of the person operating it. And yet, we still hear that nagging voice in the back of our head… “if I only had a better camera/lens/accessory.” Indeed, I’ve worked my way up from my old Nikon EL2, to my first AF camera (Nikon N70), to an F5, and then to all flavors of digital cameras. Along the way, of course, I was taking more and more photos and growing into my gear. To make things even more complicated, the camera manufacturers release new models all the time, begging us to upgrade to the latest and greatest features. So whether you’re just getting into photography or considering an upgrade, I want to take a quick look at the discriminating factors with today’s digital cameras. Continue reading