Hands on with the Nikon 1 J1

Photo: Theano Nikitas
With the announcement of the Nikon 1 series of compact interchangeable-lens cameras, Nikon became the first of the “big two” DSLR makers (the other being Canon) to introduce a mirrorless-system model. Rumors and a countdown clock amped up the excitement surrounding Nikon’s camera announcement, which finally happened in New York earlier this week.

After Nikon’s unveiling, journalists left with early production units of the Nikon 1 J1 (the Nikon 1 V1 is still in preproduction) and a trio of lenses. I tested the J1 at a shoot set up by Nikon, complete with glam models and a dancer.

The Nikon 1 J1’s core hardware specs

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Adobe upgrades Elements consumer photo and video packages

Adobe has released new versions of Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements, its consumer photo- and video-editing applications, respectively, aimed at imaging enthusiasts. Each program costs $100 and includes the companion Elements Organizer asset-management utility.

Overall, the updates to these imaging packages focus on boosting creative control, augmenting the applications’ artistic capabilities, and giving the Organizer more searching and sharing depth and power.

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How to make basic edits in iPhoto

This article originally appeared as a Macworld Daily Reader iPad exclusive and is now available on Macworld.com for your enjoyment.

Take your best pictures and make them better with editing. iPhoto includes most of the image-editing tools that casual photographers need to spruce up their photos. If you use iPhoto to manage your photo collection, try these fixes before cracking open a dedicated image editor.

Choose a view mode

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Creating a cloud-based backup for your image library

Creating your own cloud storage system doesn’t require a degree in computer science. But it does help to choose the right equipment. A number of companies are offering network-capable hard drives that work nicely for photo backup and remote access. These network appliances typically house a couple of drives, basic server software, and an Ethernet connector. And since you don’t have to wire these units directly to a computer, they can be housed anywhere you have power and a connection to the Internet.

With these basic ingredients, you can create a backup solution for your image library that also provides access to multiple Macs over a local network, and better yet, over the Web. Even when you’re away from home, your photo collection is available anywhere you have reliable Internet.

I’ve tested three affordable network-enabled hard drives and have a few recommendations.

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How to take pan motion photos

Are you looking for a way to take the coolest photos at your kids’ track meet? The pan-motion photographic effect can make them look like they’re the Flash.

how to pan photography lauren crabbe
This photo was taken with a shutter speed of 1/40 and an aperture of f/8.

The pan-motion technique adds drama and movement to photos and is commonly used in sports and even news photography. The idea is that if you slow down your shutter speed and follow your subject with the lens as you are taking the photo, the subject will be clear and the background will be a spectacular blur. To take pan-motion photos, you need a camera with manual controls, a moving subject and a lot of patience and luck.

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Adobe launches Carousel cloud-based photo app

Adobe has announced Carousel, a new photo editing and sharing application that spans the desktop, tablet, and smart phone.

Carousel, a new subscription service announced at Photoshop World 2011 this morning, lives in the cloud, but is accessed via applications for the Mac, the iPad, and the iPhone or iPod touch.

Carousel, which is based on Adobe’s Photoshop Lightroom technology, lets you view, browse, adjust, and share your photo collection without having to worry about manual syncing or storage. Carousel's apps interoperate via the cloud so that when users snap a photo or access an album, those images are automatically accessible from any supported device via what Adobe calls “smart mesh” technology.

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How to take great underwater shots

Brightly colored landscapes, intriguing sea life large and small, and the shadowy hulks of rusting shipwrecks are only some of the photographic subjects that await you and your underwater camera. There are few places more beautiful to photograph but, like scuba diving, underwater photography requires an understanding of this strange but intriguing environment.

Equipment choice is, of course, an essential part of underwater photography. Beyond that, however, it’s important to understand some of the challenges you’ll encounter under the sea.

Let there be light and color (or not)

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