Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Top 10 Photography (related) Tools from 2008

2008 was a great year to be a photographer. Tonnes of new tools we released to make our lives easier and help us 'create' more. Here is my list of some of the most important things that happened in the world of photography to help us as photographers from last year. These aren't in any particular order just follow the link to see then and why I think they are so great.

  1. Nikon D3. This camera has opened up new worlds in photographic posibilities. Being able to create huge saleable images at 1600 ISO(I have made 1 meter gallery prints at 2000ISO!) is fantastic. Add to this the great auto focus cababilities of the camera, colour and contrast of the sensor and it all adds up to one of the greatest leaps in digital photography since the dawn of time.
  2. 14-24mm f2.8 Nikkor Lens. This on a D3 (or D700) is just amazing. When I first picked up the D3 with this lens attached I knew it was for me the wide view and superb sharpness across the zoom range (even at f2.8) is a fantastic effort from the lens makers at Nikon. Couple this with the huge viewfinder on the D3 and you will be hooked.
  3. Canon 5D MK2. A mid range camera that puts Canon's pro models to shame, bring it on.
  4. Photoshop CS4. I don't know how they do it but each time Adobe releases an upgrade to Photoshop it is worth the price to grab it. New navigation, upgraded adjustments (the sdjustment panel is great) better panaorama tools and overall improvements in speed all to make my time in front of the computer that little bit easier.
  5. Nikon D90. This has to be the best value for money around in digital camera. Not the cheepest but what you get for around $1500 is fantastic. 12MP, 5FPS (same as a D3x!) 3 inch LCD and movie mode! Possibly the best travel camera around.
  6. Intel Core i7 CPU. A strange one to the list but I recently upgraded my main desktop computer to an i7 based machine and the productivity increase has been fantastic. The processing power of this new computer saves me hours per week. Think about it, if you can save just 1 minute per image due to a faster computer then that adds up to hours saved per week which in turn adds up to days saved in front of the computer each month and with big files this new computer saves more than just one minute per file. This leads to less time in the office and more time for shooting which is after all what I love!
  7. Vista x64 (Service Pack 1). Yes you read it right, I love Vista. It got a really bad wrap at launch due to a number of issues that were all true that I won't go into here but if you are manipulating large files then 64 bit Vista is for you. The advantage of 64 bit (over normal 32 bit Windows) is that it can access more memory (RAM) which leads to faster processing in Photoshop. When stitching panorams Photoshop loves RAM and it flies with the 12GB available under Vista x64, my old 32 bit version would struggle with large panoramas often having to stitch them in multiple stages of even by hand! (x64 can access a maximum 128GB of RAM but I don't have quite that much, yet.)
  8. Nikon 24mm PC-E - I have been wanting a wide angle tilt shift lens for a long time. Canon has had their's for an age and when it came along in the form of the 24mm PC-E it was a dream come true. No more forgetting to manually stop down the aperture it dose it all automatically using electro magnets (E). Now that is clever.
  9. Lightroom 2(.2) Lightroom has been a big part of my workflow since it's creation a couple of years ago and the quick release of version 2 has introduced a bunch of features meaning I have to delve into Photoshop even less. Gradients, local adjustment brush and a bunch of other feature upgrades make it a defenate upgrade for all LR 1 users.
  10. Nikon SB-900 Speedlight. Nikon have always had a fantastic flash system and this has been added two recently with the SB-900, more powerfull, more inteligent and more customisable it is quite a big leap in technology over the 800. Unfortunatly it is a great deal larger too but that I can live with. (I kept my 800s for their smaller size!)

No comments: