The couple of weeks before Photoshop World are incredibly hectic, but I did grab a few minutes to share some news with ya:

$#x2022; Popular Photography did an in-depth review of Nikon’s D40X and their comments on the low noise are really amazing for an intro-level DSLR. Read the whole review by clicking here.

$#x2022; While we’re talking about Nikon, C|Net.com had an article about a plant in Thailand that builds Nikon cameras and lens, and it had some really fascinating facts in it, including the fact that each month this one factory builds, “…about 100,000 [Nikon] D80 cameras, 80,000 D40 cameras, 90,000 D40x cameras and 230,000 lenses.” That’s pretty staggering for 30 days, eh?

$#x2022; Moose Peterson sent me this link to a Web site with a short tribute to Monte Zucker, and it contains a wonderful, and true story, about how Monte was able to charge $30,000 for a wedding shoot. It’ll put a smile on your face, and give you a little more insight into this amazing man.

$#x2022; OK, so last week on Moose’s News Blog he was raving about the new Gitzo 3540XLS tripod, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that if Moose says something rocks—it must really rock. So…I got mine this week, and OH MY GOD this tripod is amazing!!!! (in other words; once again, Moose was right). The construction is absolutely rock solid; the new leg locking mechanism is so right on the money, that I can’t believe somebody didn’t come up with this sooner, and the light weight of the tripod makes this, literally, the tripod of my dreams. Congrats to Gitzo for raising the bar on tripods!!!! Here’s a link to it on B&H Photo just in case you want to treat yourself to something really special.

$#x2022; Congratulations go out to Ben Willmore, whose NAPP produced one-seminar in LA last week drew more than 1,000 attendees, and also to Bert Monroy, whose NAPP produced Photoshop Creative Tour also drew more than 1,000 attendees in Washington D.C. Congrats to them both, and to NAPP seminar team for all their hard work. If you want to see when Ben, or Bert, or Me, or Dave Cross, or Taz are coming to your town, go to PhotoshopSeminars.com (of course, NAPP members get a big discount on this one-day events!).

$#x2022; Next week we’re going a special episode of Photoshop TV, Live from Adobe’s special CS3 Launch Event in New York City. Dave, Matt and I will be shooting this episode from the event, and it will include insight and interviews with some of the key players behind this history-making launch, plus we’ll have the scoop on all the new CS3 stuff, including the details of what’s in Photoshop Extended Edition. Keep an eye out for this next week!

$#x2022; Good news: My Location Lighting Kit is back in stock at B&H Photo (it had been sold out, and I was getting lots of emails about its availability), but they’ve got them back in stock now and ready to ship (here’s the link to it on B&H Photo). Also, I’m producing a video that I’ll have up next week to show exactly how to use the system, how to set-it up, etc. You’ll be amazing at how easy it is. I’ll post here in the blog when it’s up and running.