so2013Chambers1

Zeiss Touit Lenses for Sony NEX or Fujifilm X

written by: Lloyd Chambers

DSLR users know that “good glass” is necessary no matter the sensor size, and that’s where mirrorless cameras suffer most, with limited lens selection that is often of marginal build quality and too often modest optical performance. Yet demands on optical quality tend to be higher for smaller sensor cameras due to the greater photosite density, at least for similar levels of high quality detail in the same number of megapixels (e.g. 24 megapixels from full-frame vs the smaller APS-C). Enter the Zeiss Touit lens line for Sony NEX and Fuji- film X. The optics in the Touit lenses are Read more »

Steinmuller1so9

A Mirrorless Future?

The Panasonic G1 leads a potential trend to digital cameras with larger sensors, interchangeable lenses, and no mirror
written by: Uwe & Bettina Steinmueller

In late 2008, Panasonic launched the Lumix G1, the first of a new breed: cameras with larger- sized sensors (compared to compact cameras), interchangeable lenses—and no mirror. You may say that the classic rangefinder is such a camera. True, but the usefulness of rangefinder cameras stops in the low telephoto range because the viewfinder crop gets too small; also, because you’re not looking through the lens, parallax can be a problem. Even at wider angles you often need extra viewfinders to cover the angle of view. (Single lens reflex cameras [SLRs] don’t share this problem because they offer a view Read more »

Schranz1so9

The Non-Mainstream Powerhouse of Raw: DxO Optics Pro

written by: Paul Schranz

In the realm of quality Raw-conversion software, I believe DxO Optics Pro deserves far more attention than it gets. This is a powerful program that offers more accuracy than general converters and some unique qualities that make it a truly worthwhile investment. The three major strengths of DxO Optics Pro are its specific camera/lens combination analysis, its pre-conversion geometry corrections, and its excellent demosaicizing algorithm. DxO (www.dxo.com/us/photo) is based on modules. In translating a Raw file, it considers all of the characteristics of a specif ic camera body, the unique qualities of a specif ic lens attached to that body, and Read more »

Lane2ja9

Anthropics Portrait Professional, a Retoucher’s Dream

Simple but powerful software speeds portrait tweaking
written by: Bobbi Lane

If you’re anything like me, you probably dread the amount of time you have to spend at the computer processing and working with photo files to create the desired effect and feeling in each image. This is especially true when it come to skin retouching, which can suck up tedious hours of intense and ridiculously exacting work. I’ve had many clients with less than perfect skin that needs some work. In fact, outside of professional models with high-priced makeup stylists, few people do have perfect skin. And like most readers, I’ve learned lots of tricks in Photoshop that can heal Read more »

Fpp2JA9

Favorite Photoshop Plug-ins

PT contributors share their short-list of go-to plug-ins

Dan Burkholder Some of us collect plug-ins like they’re stamps; some us sip them like f ine wine, choosing only the best vintage from the racks. I’m in that second camp, letting plug-ins cohabitate with Photoshop only if they can prove their value regularly and repeatedly. And f inally, I have taken a vow to only praise f ilters that are fully smartable—meaning the filter works with Smart Objects. Smart filters can be modified with a double-click, making image processing even more f lexible. HDRsoft Tone Mapping CS4 is loaded with neat new features and workflow improvements but, let’s face Read more »

Ctein1

Photoshop Plug-Ins That Tune Up and Tone Up Your Photos

written by: Ctein

The four Photoshop plug-ins I’m reviewing here don’t perform cursory image rubdowns, for the most part; they’re more like full body massages with a sauna afterward. Yet despite their sophisticated algorithms, they need human guidance. They don’t block human creativity and judgment; instead, they let you execute that judgment faster and better. All four of these plug-ins are compatible with Photoshop CS4 and the latest versions of Photoshop Elements and are available for both Mac and PC. I tested them in CS4 running under Mac OSX 10.4.11. Most will run on Photoshop CS2, Elements 4, and other programs that are Photoshop plug-in Read more »