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 / Photography
Popular Photography

Popular Photography June 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.
personal bests

Writing this column at 30,000 feet, somewhere over Pennsylvania, how could I not write about travel photography? After all, the issue you’re holding contains this year’s edition of our annual Best Places to Photograph, in which we present the world’s most picture-rich destinations. And we couldn’t have done it without you. That’s because, for the first time, we surveyed our readers—more than 3,000 of you responded—to learn where you’ve traveled to shoot in the past five years. You rated more than 250 places according to a variety of factors, from how open the locals were to having their pictures taken to the diversity of its photo ops. Our in-house research team at Bonnier Custom Insights used those ratings to rank each place, both according to those factors and across the whole…

1 min.
soft sells

THE HOTTEST NEW STUFF AND THE TECHNOLOGY TRENDS BEHIND IT WHEN WE TEST a lens, we’re all about sharpness. But some optics defy that criterion by promising softness. Lensbaby, which made a name for itself with selective focus for a romantic, smeary look, goes all soft with its new 56mm f/1.6 Velvet 56 lens. LENSBABY VELVET 56 56mm full-frame f/1.6–f/16 apertures Mounts: Canon, Fujifilm, Micro Four Thirds, Nikon, Pentax, Samsung, Sony A and E $500 (black) or $600 (silver) At its biggest apertures, you get an overall softness and remarkable bokeh; stop down (the minimum aperture is f/16), and the image resolves into a crisply focused subject with a beautifully defocused background. With a maximum magnification ratio of 1:2 and ability to focus as close as 5 inches away, the Velvet 56 is billed as a…

1 min.
print it big

Epson SureColor P800 $1,195, street epson.com IF YOU TAKE our review of Epson’s SureColor P600 printer in the March issue as a sign of things to come, you can expect spectacular results from the new P800. The two printers use the same nineink UltraChrome HD ink set (eight at any one time) and MicroPiezo AMC print head. Besides boosting the maximum paper (and image) width to 17 inches from 13, Epson more than tripled the size of the printer's nine ink tanks to 80ml from about 26ml, so you won't run out as often—a blessing since replacements cost $59 each. With the optional roll-feeder, you can make prints up to 10 feet long.…

1 min.
display helper

Datacolor Spyder5 Express, Pro, and Elite $129–279, street, depending on version datacolor.com PHOTOGRAPHERS WHO don’t print may never think about the accuracy of their computer screens. But anyone who wants to ensure their photos look the way they should in print or on other devices must calibrate their monitor. That’s where Datacolor’s Spyder5 comes in. Updated for better shadow detail and tonal variation, the system comes in three versions: Express, Pro, and Elite. All include colorimeters that attach to your monitor and read the display; the Elite also has a tripod mount for calibrating front projection displays. Both the Pro and Elite will read the ambient light (see Inside Tech, right). Otherwise, the differences are mostly in the software. Visit PopPhoto.com for our hands-on review. NEWS FEED • Zeiss built an OLED screen for info into…

1 min.
serious 1

Nikon 1 J5 $497, street, in kit shown nikonusa.com WITH A NEW 20.8MP backside illuminated (BSI) CMOS sensor, up from 18.4MP, Nikon aims the latest model in its 1 system of interchangeable-lens compacts, the J5, at performance-oriented consumers. The new design, with its more conventionally styled shape and color scheme hints at this, as well. Besides the black-and-silver shown here, it comes in white-and-silver and all-black versions. Other upgrades include the addition of 4K video capture (but only at 15 frames per second), time-lapse movie mode, and NFC (on top of Wi-Fi) to connect quickly to Android devices. NEWS FEED • Freelance photog Daniel Berehulak won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for feature photography with his series on the Ebola crisis, shot mostly for the New York Times. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s photo staff won for breaking…

1 min.
adventure cam

Olympus Tough TG-4 $379, street getolympus.com THEY DON’T CALL this camera line Tough for nothing: The new Tough TG-4 from Olympus, waterproof to 50 feet and crushproof to 220 pounds, can withstand a 7-foot drop and temperatures down to 14 degrees. Yet this update emphasizes features that are sure to appeal to more advanced phtographers. Most importantly, the TG-4 lets you capture RAW files, a first in a rugged compact. It also has a number of built-in image processing modes that can save hours of computer time. The coolest: Focus stacking, which layers images taken at different focusing distances for greater depth of field in close-up photos.…