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Popular Photography

Popular Photography November 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.
back from the future

The archives of magazines, including this one, are littered with stories heralding the Gizmo of the Future that never quite panned out—or even came close. So it was with some trepidation that I used the headline I did on this month's newsstand cover (subscribers, you can see what I mean below). Why “from” and not “of” the future? Because this lens-shaped camera, it seems to me, has arrived only slightly ahead of its time, beckoning us to catch up quickly. Sony's Cyber-shot QX line (page 64) actually uses wireless technology and components (1/1.7-inch and 1-inch back-side illuminated CMOS sensors, optical zoom lenses) that you'll recognize from other compact cameras. Yet, in part because of its intriguing form, the QX opens up new conversations about what a camera is, what it should…

1 min.
olympus om-d e-m1

WHEN OLYMPUS launched its high-end Micro Four Thirds OM-D line with the E-M5, the photo world stopped and stared in awe. Now, the new E-M1 brings the OM-D to new heights. A redesigned electronic viewfinder, with a 2.36 million-dot LCD and 1.48X magnification, gives a large, detailed, 100-percent-accurate view of the frame. The 2x2 dial control augments a highly customizable control system. Extensive weather-sealing protects against dust, splashes, and temperatures down to 14° Fahrenheit. The 16.3MP Live MOS sensor provides five-axis image stabilization. Burst shooters can capture 50 RAW shots at 6.5 frames per second before the buffer fills. But we were most jazzed about the prominent and comfy grip, which means we won't have to resort to using the accessory grip, as we did with its predecessor. 16.3MP Live MOS sensor 1.48X EVF Built-in…

1 min.
snap back

SINCE THE debut of its X series ILCs in early 2012, Fujifilm has steadily built a lineup of compact, fast prime lenses to complement this growing line of rangefinder-style cameras. This 23mm f/1.4 (35mm full-frame equivalent) fits right in among Fujifilm's other lens offerings. And with minimal markings and an understated look, it matches the X series' retro-chic aesthetic. Manual focus is engaged by a clutch-style metal focus ring, which reveals a subject distance indicator on the barrel when pulled back. Its 11 lens elements (one aspherical) form eight groups, and its seven rounded aperture blades can stop down to a minimum of f/16. It takes 62mm filters, and can focus on subjects 11 inches from the lens, but only when the camera is set to macro mode—otherwise it's closer to…

1 min.
full circle

HOW MUCH would you pay for one-touch 360-degree panoramas? With its new Theta, Ricoh hopes the answer is $399. With only three buttons (power, shutter, Wi-Fi), the Theta is very much a one-trick pony. But what a trick! With one lens on each side of the device, facing in opposite directions, the camera can capture everything in the scene with a single snap. With Wi-Fi enabled, you can control the shutter with an iOS device via a dedicated app. There's no live preview, so composing requires trial-and-error. Paired with a smartphone, images go directly to your device, but its 4GB of internal storage should hold about 1200 shots. Ricoh Theta $399, direct theta360.com…

1 min.
go digital

IN TODAY'S digital world, if you're still shooting film and making prints, you'll need a scanner that does slides and negatives, like the Epson Perfection V550, to easily share your photos. Essentially the same as the V500 with a new case, its key stats—6400 dpi resolution, 48-bit color depth, and Digital ICE technology for automatic dust and scratch removal, are identical. But Epson is banking on your desire to share your newly digitized images as quickly and easily as is possible, so it has updated its Easy Photo Scan software to seamlessly upload to social media and photo sites such as Facebook and Picasa. Epson Perfection V550 $199, street www.epson.com…

1 min.
feel me flow

MOST MEMORY card readers aim for versatility, offering a single slot for each format so every base is covered. But when you've been shooting all day and filling up several cards, transferring data from each card one by one can be tedious. Lexar's new Workflow Solution addresses this specific problem directly, using a high-bandwidth USB 3.0 bus to send data from up to four memory cards at once to your computer. The modular design makes it somewhat future-proof, allowing for any combination of SD, CF, and XQD cards to be mixed and matched. The hub and readers are sold separately. Lexar Workflow Solution $80 (HR1 hub); $30 (CFR1, SR1, XR1 readers) streetwww.lexar.com…