Shooting RAW digital photos gives you the most image data possible, enabling you to reinvent your image-editing process.
Mention “digital photography” and no two people will think of exactly the same thing. For many, it may be an idea as simple as using a point-and-shoot camera to run around taking endless snaps until space on the flash memory card runs out. A quick trip to the computer to offload and they’re back in the game. While some are content with this state of affairs, others are ready to take the next step to greater photographic enlightenment, which isn’t a huge leap. And because experimentation costs you nothing—you can learn about digital photography without the expense of burning through endless rolls of film—today‘s digital cameras make the critical, and highly educational, trial-and-error process much more accessible and enjoyable.
Considering the target market for digital picture frames, they should be about as painless to set up as a new toaster. Except for a few slightly awkward experiences with the onscreen menu, setting up and using the Portable USA PU-10WE 10.4-inch wireless digital picture frame was almost as easy as toasting bread. Of course, we got much more lasting enjoyment from the never-ending slide show of our favorite photos displayed on the PU-10WE’s bright, sharp display than we ever could have from a slice of toasted rye. Transferring images from our MacBook Pro to the frame’s 1GB onboard memory via Bluetooth was quick and easy. You can also insert almost any type of flash memory card or connect the frame to your Mac with the included USB cable and transfer photos that way.
Slackers might chuckle at the numbers in the Evolt E-420’s name, but this entry-level DSLR is as hard working as any competitor. Stocked with important features, including a live-view mode to frame shots on the 2.7-inch LCD screen and the full-manual controls we expect, the Evolt gives beginners a taste of advanced features. And the 10-megapixel pictures live up to these qualities. While not perfect—high ISO situations and busy backgrounds are a challenge—photo details are often stunning. Minor, persistent issues disappointed us, but the advanced features and sharp images make the Evolt a great value.
Within the weatherproof body of the new, 10.2-megapixel Pentax K200D beats the transplanted heart of the K10D—a sophisticated, semipro camera that garnered a Mac|Life Editor’s Choice last year (5 out of 5 stars, Jul/07). Almost every feature (and more) that made the K10D stand out is now integrated into the K200D—and for less money.
If high-gloss color photos turn you on, the new Epson R1900 will give you a real thrill. Using long-lasting pigment inks and a special gloss optimizer, the wide-format printer puts out shiny, eye-popping photos up to 13 by 19 inches that’ll bring on the oohs and aahs.
While no one would dispute that we live in the era of digital photography, the fact is that there’s an entire history of film that simply refuses to ride off into the sunset. If you grew up in a darkroom—like this reviewer—you’ll remember the smell of the chemicals, the intricacies of the different brands of film, the subtleties of Tri-X film, the tricky process of “pushing” film beyond its ASA rating, and all the art that surrounded those smelly strips of celluloid. Alien Skin, in its quest to cook up unique Photoshop plug-ins, has essentially condensed the history of film into Exposure 2, a wonderfully capable and sublime tool for emulating a vast range of film stocks and looks.
Just when you think digicam manufacturers have equipped their products with every new feature there is, along comes a camera that offers consumers even more—a bigger LCD, built-in image stabilization, or more shooting modes.
The PowerShot G9 comes with a 32MB SD card, which is enough memory for exactly one RAW picture, so you’re going to need more storage. Even if you’re not shooting RAW images, most cameras come with very little onboard memory and meager-at-best storage on an included card, so buying a beefier card for any camera is money well spent.
Take your photos and illustrations in hand with this gloriously large and responsive LCD tablet. Digital Artists, Designers and photographers need a way to edit photos, draw onscreen, and edit their designs and images. Without a pen tablet, clicking and drawing with a standard mouse can feel cumbersome and imprecise. With Wacom’s gorgeous (and pricey) Cintiq 20WSX, you can banish your mouse and write, scribble, and sketch onscreen with a stylus instead. This 20.1-inch drawing tablet merges a bright LCD with a touch-sensitive surface, giving amazing control in the apps that graphics pros use most. The result feels nearly the same as actual pencils and brushes, but with all the benefits of a digital workspace, like undo, layers, and scripts.