Ben Long is a freelance writer based in San Francisco. He has written extensively on products for creative types for Macworld magazine, among myriad other publications, and has authored several books related to photography.
- Features: Written by Ben Long on September 15, 2008Score: 90 Pros: Great localized toning controls; very good grain emulation; well-designed interface Cons: Needs a histogram display; missing some keyboard shortcuts In these days of digital image editing, “Is that real or has it been Photoshopped?” is a common question. It's also the sign of a common misconception about photographs. No photo is real, and even images never touched by an image editor are still interpretive representations.
- Features: Written by Ben Long on August 20, 2008Pros: Much improved interface; Control Point tools are unmatched in other applications; Selection Control Point allows for complex masking of additional effects; completely non-destructive. Cons: Underpowered browser; highlight recovery is not as good as other Raw converters; only supports Nikon Raw files Score: 90
- Features: Written by Ben Long on June 18, 2008Pros: Excellent output quality on glossy; very good output on matte; nicely designed. Cons: Weaker on black and white output; Epson’s driver could use some updating. Score: 90 I don’t like glossy prints. It’s mostly because of the shiny stuff that makes it look like I’m seeing the print through a window. It gives me a strange feeling of distance from the print, and it can reduce the contrast in the print. While darks look nice and dark, lighter shades and whites are always a little dull.
- Features: Written by Ben Long on May 21, 2008Pros: Very comfortable design for a small camera; all essential functions are easily accessible while shooting; great image quality; Live View; full feature set. Cons: Live View focusing can be complicated; no dedicated status display. Rating: 95
- Features: Written by Ben Long on March 6, 2008Pros: Excellent image quality, best-in-class LCD screen, interface improvements, extreme customizability Cons: Difficult to make all essential adjustments while looking through the viewfinder, hard to use the camera one-handed, no mode dial Rating: 90
- Features: Written by Ben Long on February 27, 2008Pros: Great image quality; excellent interface; very good Live View implementation; new custom mode feature; larger LCD. Cons: Auto bracketing still limited; lacks some features of the competition, such as a built-in intervalometer; retains that silly Direct Print button. Rating: 90
- Features: Written by Ben Long on February 15, 2008As photographers, we have needs. We need good light and good subject matter, of course. But we also need precise, well-engineered optical instruments to capture our chosen subject matter under that good light. Most importantly, we need a constant influx of new hardware to buttress our hopes that it's only gear that stands between us and a huge portfolio of jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring photos.