2012 Holiday Gift Guide
4 2012 Holiday Gift Guide
|The Interfit SXT3200 3 Head Tungsten kit is a great start to enter the world of studio photography.|
Studio photography is a lot of fun, and can also be reasonably lucrative. But it can also be very expensive to get into. A basic studio lighting kit makes a great gifts for a student or an enthusiast that want to dip a toe into studio portraiture or still life.
For under $400, the Interfit INT115 SXT3200 3 Head Tungsten kit gives you three 500W heads, three metal light stands (two are air-dampened), a silver umbrella, translucent umbrella, a 1 x 2.4 x 6 meter (9 x 30 foot) blue / grey background cloth, hook system for cloth, all-in-one carrying case, and an instructional DVD on how to get the most from your new lighting kit.
The 500W Interfit lights are configured to emit 3200 Kelvin temperature tungsten light and run on EUR 230V/50Hz (USA 110V/ 60Hz) voltage. You can't vary the output of the heads, but for the price, this is an excellent entry into studio lighting, and a good starting point for someone wanting to move up to a full strobe kit.
If you're looking for an affordable strobe lighting kit, we recommend the Calumet Genesis 200 2-Light Kit, which at around $450 offers excellent value for money, including 2x 200W heads, a pair of reflectors, 10ft metal light stands and two versatile white umbrellas with removable black covers.
For more options, take a look at our 2011 roundup of studio lighting kits.
- 500W heads are powerful enough for most studio shoots
- Comes with instructional DVD
- Fairly large blue/gray background cloth
- Silver and translucent umbrellas for different lighting effects
- Two of the lighting stands are air-dampened
What we like - Lots of power for the money, generous included accessories make a well-rounded kit
What we don't like - This is a tungsten kit, so its gets hot, and the output of the heads cannot be varied.
|The ColorMunki Smile makes monitor calibration extremely easy, and very affordable.|
A properly calibrated monitor is essential in the world of photography, whether you're a hobbyist or a pro. Colors can vary significantly from monitor to monitor, and even on the same display over time. You may have experienced the problem of looking at a shot on your home computer and opening it on a different screen at work, only to find that the colors have magically shifted. This happens when one or other (or both) your monitors aren't calibrated properly. Just imagine what the prints will look like.
Traditionally, color calibration was complex and confusing, requiring advanced software and time-consuming steps, but not the ColorMunki Smile from X-Rite. The ColorMunki Smile plugs into the USB port of a laptop or desktop and guides the user via onscreen instructions. Once completed, before and after color samples will be shown to demonstrate how inaccurate the colors on your computer monitor were prior to calibration. X-Rite says there's no need for a background in color science in order to use the ColorMunki Smile, and after having the product demonstrated to us at a recent tradeshow, we agree. The easy-to-use device incporporates the same color engine technology found in X-Rite's professional products, so results should be dead on.
The ColorMunki Smile supports both Mac and Windows machines and is capable of calibrating LCD and LED displays on laptops or desktops (anything with a 1024 x 768 pixel display or higher). Online help videos are available for the ColorMunki Smile, but it's so straightforward to set up and use that you might not need them. A reminder will flash on the screen when it's time to recalibrate in order to maintain proper color display.
- Calibrates LCD and LED laptop and desktop monitors
- No need for a background in color science
- Very plug-and-play
- Easy to maintain color calibration
What we like - Easy-to-use, provides basic callibration at a fraction of the cost of X-Rite's professional options
What we don't like - For the price, there's not much to complain about, but the ColorMunki Smile lacks some of the features of its high-end cousins, like printer / projector calibration.
- DPReview recommends: Top 5 Zoom Compact Cameras
- 10 Last-Minute Gift Ideas for Photographers (Published Dec 2011)
- Buyers' Guide: Studio Lighting Kits (published Dec 2011)
- Mirrorless Camera Roundup (Published Dec 2011)
- Buyer's Guide: Enthusiast raw-shooting compact cameras (Published Dec 2011)
- Buyer's Guide: 10 Essential Color Management Devices (published Nov 2011)
- 10 Photography Accessories for Under $250 (Published Nov 2011)
- Roundup: Third-party Lenses for Enthusiasts (published Nov 2011)
Mike Perlman is a freelance photographer and writer, based in Bar Harbor, Maine. After a spell reviewing camcorders at Camcorderinfo.com, Mike moved to infoSync World as the Senior Photography Editor, before taking up a role at TechnoBuffalo.com as the head of the Photography department. These days, Mike runs his own photography business and contributes to dpreview between shoots.
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|_MG_5100 by tim and jan|
from Welcome to the Saloon!
|The Grimm 11 year old by Ryan Gardner|
from Trick or Treat
|Heron with fish by APenza|
from A Big Year - birds
Read the story behind this gorgeous wedding photo captured at Trolltunga in Norway by husband and wife duo Priscila Valentina Photography. The 14 hour hike in the rain that preceded this shot was TOTALLY worth it.
Go behind the scenes with filmmaker Nick Arcivos, who recently created a beautiful cinematic short film in Paris using only the iPhone X, a couple of gimbals, and a few lights. The results are very impressive.
A Bay Area startup offering a pay-by-the-photo camera service cleverly addresses the pain points photographers experience when they pick up their first DSLR. But can it survive the smartphone?
It's been a big year for software innovations, dual cameras and huge displays. Take a look at our picks for the top smartphone cameras and why we think they stand out.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017. At the #7 spot is the ready-for-any-weather Olympus Tough TG-5.
By combining his skills as a time-lapse filmmaker and an engineer, Julian Tryba created this out-of-this-world creative 'layer-lapse' of New York City that alternates between night and day in time with the music.
Canon Japan's new lineup of novelty camera-themed gifts was just revealed online, including a lens mug and lens thermos, two retro camera-themed USB drives, and a picnic mat.
The Profoto A1 most certainly isn’t for everyone [...] But for those who are used to using the Profoto systems, and want something that pairs seamlessly with the strobes you already have, there is no better companion.
Fujifilm has asked a US district court to clear it of any wrongdoing, after allegedly being threatened with trademark litigation by Polaroid.
While a couple of our reviewers are out testing the Sony a7R III in Arizona, back in Seattle we slapped the camera in front of our studio scene to get a close look at its image quality. See how it stacks up against the competition.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017, and the #8 ranking belongs to the Nikon D7500.
B+W has announced a new aluminum filter holder that offers three slots so users can use multiple filters at the same time. The holder goes with the 2mm thick 100mm square filters it launched earlier this year.
8K video is coming a lot faster than you think, and Blackmagic is ready for it. Meet the DeckLink 8K Pro, a new high performance PCI-E capture and playback card built to handle 'real time high resolution 8K workflows.'
"Glass is everywhere in photography. From Eugène Atget’s reflective vitrines to Lee Friedlander’s sly self-portraiture, photographers have long been in thrall to the visual complications glass can inject into a composition."
Former Apple Aperture lead developer Nik Bhatt has designed an iOS app called RAW Power that lets you edit raw photos from your professional camera using your phone and tablet.... color us intrigued.
Advertising photographer Blair Bunting got his hands on the new Microsoft Surface Book 2, and it blew him away. Bye bye MacBook Pro...
The OnePlus 5T retains many of the 5's features and specs, but comes with an edge-to-edge display and a dual-camera that is optimized for low light.
Sony's recently announced IMX461 backside illuminated medium format sensor will bring 100MP resolution and almost 2x the speed to the next-gen Fuji GFX and Hasselblad X1D.
With the ‘Rent a Hasselblad’ camera equipment renting program, the camera makers is aiming to give enthusiast and professional photographers easier access to its medium-format photography products.
They say seeing is believing, and that's exactly what happened when one DPR staffer took the Google Pixel 2 out for an afternoon shooting under challenging conditions.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017. At the #9 spot we have the Fujifilm GFX 50S, a medium-format camera that took CP+ 2017 by storm.
Instagram is testing a new feature that lets you follow hashtags in addition to people, making it possible to keep track of your favorite #landscapes or #portraits without leaving your home feed.
Despite the gigantic volume of second hand film bodies in existence, it seems there is still a demand for new 35mm SLRs with a retro feel. The latest is a remake of the Ihagee Elbaflex from the 1960s, but with a Nikon F mount.
The Polaroid Insta-Share Moto Mod straps an instant printer directly to your Moto Z smartphone, so you can print your photos as soon as you've captured them.
The Mitakon Speedmaster 135mm F1.4 lens is being relaunched in 7 different mounts, including: Sony A, Sony E, Canon EF, Nikon F, Fujifilm G, Pentax K, and Leica L. Got an extra three grand lying around?
In January, Kodak announced it would bring back the beloved slide film Ektachrome. The timeline has been pushed back a bit, but Kodak says you can expect to purchase Ektachrome again in 2018.
Instagram popularity is threatening some of the most beautiful landscapes in the US, as hordes of 'nature lovers' trample over the same spots over and over again in search of the same exact shot.
You’d have to be pretty brave to immerse your $50K RED cinema camera underwater. But if you've got the guts, Gates just released a new housing you can be pretty sure won't wreck your unbelievably expensive toy.
Adobe has released a 'Lightroom Downloader' app for Windows 10 and macOS High Sierra that allows you to download all of your images from the Adobe Cloud, all at once.
After releasing a popular 4K action cam and an affordable mirrorless M43 camera, Chinese camera maker YI is diving into yet another market: 360° VR. Meet the YI 360 VR: a powerful little two-lens camera that can shoot and stream in 4K.