Let me be blunt: Most photography magazines on the newstands these days suck. I can’t speak for the rest of the world, but here in the U.S. they are little more than camera porn--or to put it more gently, gear guides to the “hottest” cameras, lenses, accessories, and gadgets. Even the few articles they contain make a point of describing every piece of equipment the photographer used, as if there was no way to get the same results using anything else. I don’t have to name names. You know which magazines I’m referring to. Given the fact that you can get the same sort of thing faster and cheaper on the web these days, it amazes me that these magazines are still in business.
Fortunately there are exceptions, one of the most noteworthy of which is c’t Digital Photography. The “c’t” is an abbreviation of Computertechnik and is pronounced “C.T.” Computertechnik is the largest selling tech magazine in Europe and is based in Hannover, Germany. c’t Digital Photography magazine is an English translation of Computertechnik’s quarterly digital photography specials.
Here, in no particular order, is what I like about this magazine:
- No ads.
- Top-quality photos and reproductions
- Plentiful illustrations, many of which cover a full page or two-page spread
- Well-conducted and documented tests of photo equipment and software
- In-depth tutorials on useful techniques and software
- A free DVD that provides additional tutorials and applications
The second issue has an article that not only explains bokeh but includes comparisons between six lenses shot at various apertures. For me this alone was worth the price. A second article explains image noise reduction techiques, up to and including how to build your own sensor heat sink. Issue 4 has articles that describe all you’d need to know about panoramas and macro photography. Issue 5, due to appear in mid-September, will cover image sharpening, DSLR video, and photo apps for smartphones.
In short, these are photo magazines you could actually learn something from and be inspired by-- assuming you’re into that sort of thing. The newstand price is $14.99 (£7.99). Issues are distributed throughout Australia, New Zealand, and the U.K. as well as the U.S. A full-year subscription of four issues is $49.95. Subscriptions and back-issues are available through c’t’s website (www.ct-digiphoto.com). I wouldn’t wait too long though—Issue 2 has already sold out of its print run.