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 / Photographie
Popular PhotographyPopular Photography

Popular Photography February 2015

Popular Photography brings you step-by-step secrets of the pros for taking their most amazing shots. You’ll discover the best equipment at the best prices, get comprehensive comparative reports on cameras, lenses, film, digital equipment, printers, scanners, software, accessories and so much more. Get Popular Photography digital magazine subscription today.

United States
Bonnier Corporation
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2 min.
editor’s letter

Buy the Book If you could see my office right now, you’d think a library had exploded. Volumes overflow the shelves into stacks, some towering and precarious, on the floor, on my desk, behind the sofa. I’ve run out of space and am having a hard time parting with many of them. That’s because photography books provide so much pleasure and revelation—even more when the images are paired with insightful text. Of course, I’m fortunate. Publishers send their books to our office hoping to get a review or interview, so I don’t have to spend the thousands of dollars a year it would cost to buy them all. Sometimes these even spark a feature story, as with our October 2014 Q&A with Art Wolfe when his Earth Is My Witness came out.…

1 min.
showcase * canon eos 7d mark ii

KILLER SHOT Senior technology editor Philip Ryan captured this scene with three members of the cast of the Broadway musical A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder at the Walter Kerr Theatre during an event thrown by Canon to kick off the company’s “Bring It” ad campaign. Ryan shot with the Canon EOS 7D Mark II at ISO 3200, shutter speed 1/80 sec, and a 16–35mm f/4L IS USM lens racked out to 35mm (56mm equivalent) and stopped down to f/8. See our full lab and field test of the Canon EOS 7D Mark II on page 65.…

1 min.
no rock or roll

MOVIE SEQUELS are rarely as good as the originals. Not so for the Sony Alpha a7 II, an update to the a7. Heading up the list of improvements is its five-axis sensor-shift image stabilization system—the first full-frame interchangeable-lens compact with this technology. Besides compensating for pitch and yaw, the a7 II adjusts for roll and movement on the X and Y axes. While the number of axes engaged depends on the lens, this universal image stabilization is a real step forward, especially for photographers with nonstabilized lenses. But that’s not all. An updated algorithm brings faster autofocus and improved tracking. Plus, the camera displays the AF points in the viewfinder as they track the subject. The body is slightly thicker than the original a7, but it has a larger grip and…

2 min.
gyro rig

CAPTURING SMOOTH video footage is hard enough when you’re standing still, let alone when you’re running alongside a skateboarder performing railslides or following a line of dancers pirouetting across a stage. Adorama’s motorized Flashpoint ZeroGrav 2-Axis Digital Gyro Stabilizer compensates for motion by keeping your camera steady regardless of the type of movement by adjusting the pitch and yaw or roll. Special modes make it easier to lead or follow your subject, and the yaw can be locked in to create a different perspective. Due to its carbon fiber construction, the rig is reasonably light at 4.2 pounds. Designed to work with lenses up to 100mm, it’s equipped with dual rubberized grips for a solid handhold and easy maneuvering. Fully assembled right out of the box, the stabilizer is good to…

2 min.
memory aid

THE LATEST flash gadget from SanDisk, the iXpand is a simple solution for transferring images from iPhones or iPads. With Lightning and USB 2.0 connectors and a dedicated app, it lets you offload files automatically or manually for sharing, editing, or freeing up space on a bulging device (since Apple doesn’t use removeable storage). Its LED indicates the drive’s activity status, and you can use it to charge your device through the USB port or an optional USB AC adaptor. It comes with a two-year warranty in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB sizes. SanDisk iXpand $60 (16GB); $80 (32GB); $120 (64GB) sandisk.com LIGHT & LIMBER A pack made for ILCs THINKTANK PHOTO’S Perception daypacks, available in two sizes, are compact and light, just like the ILCs they were designed to carry. The Perception 15 accommodates an interchangeable-lens…

3 min.
brighten up

Phottix Indra500 TTL $1,200 High Speed Sync, TTL, flash duration as fast as 1/8000 sec, and 8 stops of adjustment from full power to 1/128 show this 500Ws studio light’s versatility. Though powered by an external battery pack, it’s still quite portable. Broncolor Siros $1,000 Several configurations (including a Wi-Fi option) are available for the Siros 400Ws and 800Ws AC-powered monolights. All of them offer a speed mode for up to 50 flashes per second, with shutter speeds that max out at 1/8000 sec. Elinchrom ELC Pro HD500 $970 At minimum power, this 500Ws flash head will push out 20 flashes per second and offers recycle times as fast as 0.7 sec. It also has a modeling light, dual voltage options and an integrated eight-channel receiver. Adorama Flashpoint Rovelight $700 This 600Ws monolight…