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Popular Photography December 2013

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.
america's got pictures

“What speaks to you in the American landscape?” I asked the veteran photographer Charlie Waite, who had just returned to his home in London from a trip to Colorado spent capturing the vivid fall foliage of the Rocky Mountains. It was an obvious question, considering that he is launching an ambitious competition, U.S.A. Landscape Photographer of the Year. This juried contest encourages photographers around the world to enter their best images of the landscapes—both rural and urban—of the United States. And it's the vast range of possibilities such an assignment entails that inspires Waite's enthusiasm: “The variety of landscapes and of cultures spread across such a big area, the incredible choice,” he says. “Europe offers microcosms of your splendid landscapes. And there are also the little intimate corners that you can find…

1 min.
sony alpha 7r

A YEAR AFTER wowing us with the first full-frame digital compact, Sony found a way to swap lenses. Meet the Alpha 7 and 7R (shown), packing 24.3MP and 36.3MP full-frame sensors, respectively, and a new Bionz X processor into small, weather-sealed bodies. The 16-bit processor enables video at up to 1920×l080p60, automatic local image fixes, and extremely fast AF via contrast- and phase-detect points on the image sensor. Besides its higher pixel count, the 7R's sensor forgoes a low-pass filter to boost resolution, and it sports a more extensive hybrid AF system. The 7 is built for speed, with 5-fps bursts with tracking AF. Built-in Wi-Fi and NFC let you control with, and transfer photos to, an iOS or Android device. New full-frame E-mount lenses, like the 55mm f/1.8 Zeiss shown above,…

1 min.
meet baby x

THE PRICE of entry to Fujifilm's interchangeable-lens compact line just got a little bit lower The new X-A1 has the same body as its closest kin, the X-M1, but kitted with the 16–50mm f/3.5–5.6 Fujinon XC OIS lens, it retails for $200 less. To get to that price, Fujifilm used a traditional 16MP Bayer-pattern sensor instead of its unique X-Trans sensor. But it retains the family's EXR II processor; 3-inch, 920,000-dot, tilting LCD; 5.6-fps bursts; Wi-Fi; and ISO range of 100-25,600. And it weighs less than 12 ounces. Fujifilm X-A1 & 16–50mm f/3.5–6.7 OIS $599, street www.fujifilmusa.com At the same time, Fujifilm also announced a new compact telephoto zoom, the 50–230mm f/4.5–6.7 Fujinon XC OIS. With the biggest focal range in the line, it has 13 elements in 10 groups, including one aspherical and one…

1 min.
news feed

NIKON HAS no shortage of superlatives for its newest CX-format system 1 camera. It claims the AW1 is the first digital camera with interchangeable lenses that is waterproof to 49 feet and shockproof to 6 feet. Built with the diver or snorkeler in mind, it has a Control Lock function to help prevent accidental operation when wearing gloves, and it comes with an electronic compass, altimeter, depth guage, and GPS. The AW1 also debuts with the first waterproof and shockproof optics for ILCs: 11–27.5mm f/3.5–5.6 and 10mm f/2.8 1 Nikkor AW lenses (see Inside Tech at right). Nikon 1 AW1 & 11–27.5mm f/3.5–5.6 AW lens $797, street imaging.nikon.com The World Press Photo of the Year award has new postprocessing regulations for submissions in light of last year's controversy over the winning image.…

1 min.
news feed

ZEISS GLASS tends to occupy rarified air, and its new Otus 55mm f/1.4 lens is no exception. Deriving its moniker from the Latin name of an owl that sees extremely well at night, Otus is a new line of manual-focus lenses for full-frame DSLRs. Zeiss promises that the optics—made in Japan—will have practically no distortion or chromatic aberration. Which may well justify its wallet-denting price of nearly $4,000. The metal barrel houses 12 elements in 10 groups (the classic Zeiss Distagon design), and the sizeable rubber focusing ring turns 248 degrees for extremely fine manual focusing. Zeiss Otus 55mm f/1.4 $3,990, street www.zeiss.com Photographer John Alli was awarded more than $680,000 when a federal court found the U.S. Postal Service liable for Infringing his copyright. At issue: a 2003 stamp with his photo of sculptor…

1 min.
new flagship

THERE'S A new top dog on K street. Ricoh's latest Pentax DSLR, the freezeproof and weather-sealed K-3, reaches new heights for this APS-C-format line in pixel count (24MP), burst rate (8.3 fps) and autofocus (27 AF points); it debuts a new image processor, the Prime III. The K-3 also introduces Pentax's selectable anti-aliasing filter in front of the sensor, which lets you toggle between “on” to reduce moiré and “off” for more resolution. Pentax K-3 $1,297, street, body only www.us.ricoh-imaging.com The camera sports dual SD card slots and a USB 3.0 bus. An optional 16GB FLU SD card ($100, street) allows for remote control via Wi-Fi.…