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ISO 32000 with the Sony a7R Mark IV

In my podcast review of the Sony a7R IV, I commented that the images it captures at ISO 32000 and 64000 are quite useable for certain subjects. I thought you might want to see what I was referring to.

ISO 32000 with Sony a7R IV

These photos were recorded in very low light conditions with the Sony a7R IV with G-Master 24-70mm f/2.8 zoom at ISO 32000 in RAW. I processed the files in Capture One Pro 12 (latest build) and exported sampled-down pictures as Jpegs for publishing.

ISO 32000 with Sony a7R IV

The shoot location is the Blind Scream haunted house in Santa Rosa, CA. The sets and actors there are top notch. It's worth a visit if you're in town. If that's not doable, here's how the Sony a7R IV renders the scenes.

You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

This is The Digital Story Podcast #709, Oct. 15, 2019. Today's theme is "The Sony a7R Mark IV Field Test." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

It's big, it's beautiful, and it captures 61 MP files: the Sony Alpha a7R IV mirrorless digital camera with 24-70mm f/2.8 lens is a technology marvel. I wrapped my hands around one and spent a month using it on photo assignment, from darkened haunted houses to mid-day festivals on the green. And today I'm going to share what I learned during those shoots.

The Sony a7R Mark IV Field Test

The kit that I've been using for the last few weeks is the Sony a7R IV with G-Master 24-70mm f/2.8 zoom. What a tandem! I basically felt like I could walk into any assignment with just that camera and lens and come away with the shots I needed. It is a confidence-inspiring rig for sure.

In case you haven't been online for the last month, here are the basic specs.

sony-a7r-m4.jpg

  • 61MP full-frame back-illuminated sensor
  • 15-stop dynamic range, 14-bit uncompressed RAW, ISO 50 to 102,4005
  • Up to 10 fps continuous shooting at 61MP with AE/AF
  • Autofocus: 567 phase-detection / 425 contrast AF points
  • Real-time Tracking and Real-time Eye AF for human, animal and movie
  • APS-C crop mode delivers 26.2MP high resolution images
  • 5.76 million dot UXGA OLED Tru-Finder electronic viewfinder
  • High-speed 2.4 and 5GHz Wi-Fi / FTP transfer and wireless PC remote
  • In-Body Stabilization: 5-Axis Optical
  • Max Video Quality: 4K 30fps
  • Twin SD card slots
  • Weather sealed.
  • After shooting with this camera for a month, here are my real world observations.

    • It's true, low light performance is fantastic. I shot regularly at ISO 6,400 with acceptable results. ISO 3200 is a piece of cake. ISO 64,000 is acceptable for certain situations.
    • Full frame sensor with Sony G-Master 24-70mm zoom is a pro rig. Optics and camera complement each other well. The results are impressive. File dimensions is a crazy 9504x6336 pixels. RAW files were around 123 MBs per shot. Extra Fine Jpegs were 34 MBs per shot.
    • The Jpegs are good, but the RAWs are better. I did my testing with Capture One Pro 12.1.3. The out of the camera RAWs with C1P looked better, especially colorwise, than the Jpegs. This probably had as much to to with C1P as it did Sony. Editing the RAWs, however, provided less headroom for highlights and shadows compared to some of my other cameras. You do, however, get built-in lens corrections with the Jpegs.
    • Autofocusing, tracking, Eye-AF, animal-AF, and everything else AF is impressive.
    • This is also a movie-making beast. Videographers should be very interested in this camera.
    • You have to spend some time to learn the menus and customize the camera. If you don't, it will frustrate you.
    • If I were a portrait photographer only, I'm not sure I would choose this camera. Skin appears more ruddy that with some of my other rigs. I would probably seek out a lens that was better for portraits.
    • The 24-70mm GM produces lovely background and bokeh, however. Its image detail is incredible.
    • Viewfinder, ergonomics, and shooting experience is excellent. This camera is a pleasure to use.

    The bottom line is, I have no problem recommending the Sony a7R IV with G-Master 24-70mm f/2.8 zoom $5,696. If I were to buy a full frame camera right now, this would probably be at the top of my list. And I much preferred shooting with it compared to the Panasonic S1.

    Our LA Street Photography Experience is Coming this March

    This 3-day event on March 13-15 explores classic Los Angeles locations and architecture. Our excursions will take us as far west as Venice Beach, as well as famous movie spots and the back streets of this fascinating Southern California area.

    You will learn new techniques for safe and effective street photography, how to capture the vibe of great architecture, and enjoy some classic California cuisine along the way.

    Olympus Educator, Mike Boening, is our co-instructor. Those of you who have worked with Mike at our SF Street Photography events know how much he brings to the table. Not only is he an official Olympus Educator, he's an accomplished street photographer, and he's going to bring gear for you to test and learn about.

    If you want to join Mike and me this coming March, just visit the information and registration page, or go to www.thenimblephotographer.com and click on the Workshops link, or go to the Olympus site - no matter how you get there, Mike and I are looking forward to working with you this coming Spring.

    The 5 fastest lenses in 2019

    You can read the entire article here from Digital Camera World.

    All of these are faster than f/1.0...

    • Handevision / Kipon Ibelux 40mm f/0.85 Mark II - Canon EF-M, Fujifilm X, Micro Four Thirds, Sony E, Leica L - $1,480.
    • Zhongyi Mitakon Speedmaster 50mm f/0.95 - Canon RF, Nikon Z, Sony FE, Micro Four Thirds - Full frame version is $799.
    • Voigtländer Nokton 10.5/17.5/25/42.5mm f/0.95 - MFT - $799
    • Leica Noctilux-M 50mm f/0.95 ASPH - Leica M - $11,295
    • Nikkor Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct - Nikon Z - $8,000

    Updates and Such

    Inner Circle Members: A big thanks to those who support our podcast and our efforts!

    Podcasting Skills Course - The course date is scheduled for November 9, 2019. Registration is open now at www.thenimblephotographer.com.

    B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members:

    And finally, be sure to visit our friends at Red River Paper for all of your inkjet supply needs.

    See you next week!

    More Ways to Participate

    Want to share photos and talk with other members in our virtual camera club? Check out our Flickr Public Group. And from those images, I choose the TDS Member Photo of the Day.

    Podcast Sponsors

    Red River Paper - Keep up with the world of inkjet printing, and win free paper, by liking Red River Paper on Facebook.

    The Nimbleosity Report

    Do you want to keep up with the best content from The Digital Story and The Nimble Photographer? Sign up for The Nimbleosity Report, and receive highlights twice-a-month in a single page newsletter. Be a part of our community!

    Want to Comment on this Post?

    You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

Finally! Dark Mode for Instagram

Bright is nice, but dark is better if you're a photographer. And now, Instagram will render in dark mode if you've enabled it on your iOS device.

dark-mode.jpg

You can toggle between dark and light on Instagram via your system setting in iOS 13. So you might want to add the Dark Mode shortcut to your Control Center. That way you can easily switch between the two.

To set this up, go to Settings > Control Center > Customize Controls and tap on the green + next to Dark Mode. That will move it to the active panel.

Now, all you have to do is swipe downward from the upper right corner of your screen to bring up Control Center, then tap on the Dark Mode icon.

If you like Instagram, you're probably really going to like it in Dark Mode. Set it up, and see what you think.

You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

This is The Digital Story Podcast #708, Oct. 8, 2019. Today's theme is "What Bicycle Repair Taught Me about Photography." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

If you've listened to any of my Nimble Photographer podcasts, you know that I believe we can improve our pictures by learning lessons from musicians, illustrators, and writers. But from mechanics too? Oh yeah. This week's photography podcast features a 1982 Peugeot racing bike, a perennial flat tire, and a lesson well learned. I hope you enjoy the show.

What Bicycle Repair Taught Me about Photography

A while back, I bought a 1982 Peugeot Course bike on Craigslist. I knew that was going to be a good match when I called the seller, and the first thing he asked me was how tall I was.

"I'm 6'7"," I replied.

"Great, come on over," he said.

This particular Peugeot had a wonderfully large frame that was still light as a feather. It needed some work, but the price was right and the fit was perfect. So I bought it.

The repairs went smoothly: new brake pads and adjustment, replaced the gear cassette, new front rim, new super cool gum-walled tires, and I was ready for a quick dash downtown.

I absolutely love the ride on this bike. The frame geometry is a bit more upright which made acceleration easy as I pumped directly down. The frame had just the right amount of "give" for imperfect roads and bike paths. I was a very happy rider.

That is, until the next morning when I discovered that the back tire was flat. It's always the back tire. I didn't have time to change it that day, so it had to wait until the weekend.

CDCIM100MEDIADXO_0303.jpg

I couldn't find the offending intruder that punctured the tube, so I just replaced it with a brand new one. Life was good again, that is, until the next morning.

On today's show, I tell the rest of this story and how it connected me to my photography.

Our LA Street Photography Experience is Featured on the Olympus Workshops Page

Olympus has taken an interest in our March Street Photography workshop, and they have listed it on the Learn and Support section of their web site. You can see for yourself by clicking here.

This 3-day event on March 13-15 explores classic Los Angeles locations and architecture. Our excursions will take us as far west as Venice Beach, as well as famous movie spots and the back streets of this fascinating Southern California area.

You will learn new techniques for safe and effective street photography, how to capture the vibe of great architecture, and enjoy some classic California cuisine along the way.

Olympus Educator, Mike Boening, is our co-instructor. Those of you who have worked with Mike at our SF Street Photography events know how much he brings to the table. Not only is he an official Olympus Educator, he's an accomplished street photographer, and he's going to bring gear for you to test and learn about.

If you want to join Mike and me this coming March, just visit the information and registration page, or go to www.thenimblephotographer.com and click on the Workshops link, or go to the Olympus site - no matter how you get there, Mike and I are looking forward to working with you this coming Spring.

Bargain! SanDisk 500GB Extreme Portable USB 3.1 Type-C External SSD

You can get the excellent SanDisk 500GB Extreme Portable SSD Drive for just $89.99 - that's $50 instant savings.

I've been using the Extreme SSD for a year now, and I absolutely love it. It is so light and portable that it fits anywhere. And it's really fast.

I can use this drive to store my Capture One Pro libraries, and the performance is equal to what I experience with my Mac's internal SSD. These little guys are really sweet, and you can get a deal on it right now.

Updates and Such

Inner Circle Members: A big thanks to those who support our podcast and our efforts!

Podcasting Skills Course - The course date is scheduled for November 9, 2019. Registration is open now at www.thenimblephotographer.com.

B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members:

And finally, be sure to visit our friends at Red River Paper for all of your inkjet supply needs.

See you next week!

More Ways to Participate

Want to share photos and talk with other members in our virtual camera club? Check out our Flickr Public Group. And from those images, I choose the TDS Member Photo of the Day.

Podcast Sponsors

Red River Paper - Keep up with the world of inkjet printing, and win free paper, by liking Red River Paper on Facebook.

The Nimbleosity Report

Do you want to keep up with the best content from The Digital Story and The Nimble Photographer? Sign up for The Nimbleosity Report, and receive highlights twice-a-month in a single page newsletter. Be a part of our community!

Want to Comment on this Post?

You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

I'm currently testing the Sony Alpha a7R IV for an upcoming review. What was interesting for me, at the same time, I was preparing a Minolta Maxxum 700si for TheFilmCameraShop. As I typically do, I researched the 700si and realized that I was looking at the very DNA of the Sony alphas.

PA048279-Etsy-Minolta-700SI.jpg Minolta Maxxum 700si 35mm film camera.

The 700si was released in 1993. The battleground for 35mm SLRs in the 1990s was electronics, and no one did this better than Minolta. The autofocus A-Mount (which is still used on many Sony cameras today) feels very perky, even by today's standards. The 700si only had four sensors, in a horizontal line, but it could focus in low light (-1 EV).

The 14-segment patterned metering system is very accurate. Top shutter speed is 1/8000th. And with a Minolta 5400 flash, you could sync up to 1/8000th of a second.

PA048285-Etsy-Minolta-700SI.jpg

What was really interesting to me were the removable cards that expanded the functionality of the camera. The Data-2 card captured EXIF data that could be recalled for up to four rolls of film. The Custom xi card enabled you to customize certain camera settings for your particular shooting style, such as leaving the film leader out after rewind. The Multi-EX-2 card added multiple exposure capability. And there were many of these cards available.

PA048289-Etsy-Minolta-700SI.jpg

These cards could be interchanged via a slot in the grip and customized with controls in a flip-out panel. The entire system is somewhat clever, and somewhat fun, all at the same time They may seem simple by today's terms, but to me they represented an approach that was innovative and unique.

PA048281-Etsy-Minolta-700SI.jpg

Minolta's DNA in Sony cameras goes beyond just the A-Mount. (For more on lens compatibility, check out this article.) And I see a way of thinking that was developed by Minolta that still flickers in Sony cameras today. Sony acquired Minolta's camera technology in 2006. If you're a Sony shooter, and pick up a 1990s Minolta, certain things will feel familiar.

It was pure chance that I was researching the 700si at the same time I was testing the a7R IV. I hadn't really thought about the DNA shared between the two. But I certainly could feel it. Hat's off to Minolta. They really started something big.

You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

iPad photographers are enjoying the best days ever. First, the release of iPadOS with improved Photos and file management. Now, the bar has been raised again with Pixelmator Photo 1.1.

editing-mode.jpg Editing interface for Pixelmator Photo.

My recommendation is that you skip the trip to Starbucks this morning and spend your $4.99 on this app. It's full featured, powerful, fast, and it integrates seamlessly with Photos for iPadOS and iCloud Drive. Honestly, the workflow couldn't be easier.

Show Photos vs Show Files

If you're already using Photos for iPadOS, the Show Photos view is a natural way to begin. You control the view by tapping the "Show Files / Show Photos" link at the top of the interface.

photos-library-view.jpg Show Photos view that lets you access your entire Photos library.

Pick an image, work on it with Pixelmator's excellent tools, then click the Done button. Pixelmator will ask you if it can modify the image in your Photos library. Give it permission, and it's updated. The edits are fully non-destructable, so you can return to the original at any time.

After a number of tests, this system worked very well. The image showed up as advertised in Photos, and if I wanted, I could continue working on it there using its adjustments such as Brilliance and Definition. A long-press on the picture would show me the original - how it looked before both the Pixelmator and Photos edits. Very nice.

icloud-drive-view.jpg Accessing iCloud Drive in Show Files mode.

In Show Files mode, I can open any compatible image from my iCloud Drive, stored on the iPad itself (outside of the Photos library), or in Dropbox. This is more like the traditional: open a file > work on it > save it > and go back to browsing mode workflow. It's easy and straight forward.

Export Options

Regardless of where the image came from, you can export it using a variety of options. Just tap on the 3 dots (...) in the upper right corner of Pixelmator and choose Export from the popup menu.

export-mode.jpg Exporting options in Pixelmator.

Lots of great options here. It feels like a real export dialog. I know that sounds funny, but I'm not used to these sort of things on my iPad mini. And I'm loving it.

I decided to open an image from my iCloud Drive, edit it in Pixelmator, then export it to Photos. Worked great. Lots of options here. Have fun.

Batch Processing

This is an unexpected and welcomed perk. Batch processing is one of those things that we think we need a computer for, instead of being able to depend solely on a tablet. For many jobs, that's no longer the case.

batch-processing.jpg Some of the Batch Processing presets.

Get started by tapping on Select on browsing mode. Choose the pictures that you want to batch process, then tap on Batch. You have a number of presets to choose from including machine learning enhance, cropping, visual presets, rotating, straightening, and file format. The presets with three dots (...) allow you to customize them. Once the batch has been run, you can save the images or share them with all of the usual options.

Image Editing

The first thing that I liked about the image editing tools was that I could use my Apple Pencil for everything. Not only is this fun and precise, it feels much more professional than using the Healing Tool with my finger.

more-editing-tools.jpg Just a few of the editing tools in Pixelmator.

There are editing tools for just about everything you would want, including adjustments for tone, color, sharpening, vignette, healing, cropping, and machine learning auto correct. There are also a bounty of presets divided into categories such as Black & White, Cinematic, Classic Films, Modern Films, Landscape, Vintage, Urban, Night, and all the presets from Pixelmator Pro. And you can create custom presets as well.

The workflow is non-destructive. And if you start by working on an image from your Photos library, you can seamlessly bounce back and forth between the two environments, taking advantage of the best tools from each app. It really couldn't be easier.

The Bottom Line

If you're running iPadOS and love photography, run don't walk to the App Store and buy Pixelmator Photos for $4.99 before they come to their senses and charge what this app is really worth, which is at least double the asking price. Highly recommended.

You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

This is The Digital Story Podcast #707, Oct. 1, 2019. Today's theme is "The TDS 2020 Photography Workshop Season." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Maybe it's because I'm still riding a high from our recent Humboldt Redwoods workshop, but I am so excited to be sharing our 2020 event lineup with you today. We have 4 physical events, and everyone of them could be a flagship workshop any other year. In other words, we have four all stars on the same team. Get your calendars out and join me for a very special podcast.

The TDS 2020 Photography Workshop Season

What makes these events so special? It's the magic blend of fellowship, location, inspiration, and focus. You can actually be single-minded about your craft. I'll take care of everything else.

When I was discussing this on our Patreon site, one Inner Circle member raised a concern about the class presentation on the final day. I'm going to tell you what I say at every workshop. This is not a competition. It is the most supportive creative environment that you will ever share your work with. And no matter your skill level, the floor is yours to discuss your experience and share a few images. I promise you, you will love it.

When you decide which event is best for your, jump over to our 2020 Workshops Signup Page and place a $100 deposit to secure your place. Only participants on the Reserve List who have placed a deposit will be eligible to register for a workshop. If you have questions or need more information, fill out the "Send Me Info!" request form. I'll get back to you asap.

HKT_Workshop_002.jpg Photo from the Humboldt Redwoods Workshop by participant Harry Telegadas.

  • LA Street Photography Experience - March 13-15, 2020 - This hands-on workshop guides you on an exploration of classic Los Angeles locations and architecture. Our excursions will take us as far west as Venice Beach, as well as famous movie spots and the back streets of this fascinating Southern California area. Limited to 9 participants and featuring two instructors (Derrick Story and Mike Boening), you will enjoy great photography, food, and friendship with our fellow enthusiasts. Three days, $749. You can place your deposit here.
  • Humboldt Redwoods and Coast Workshop - May 12-14, 2020 - Our home base for this experience is in the hospitable town of Fortuna that's on the banks of the Eel River. From there we explore the magnificent redwood groves of Humboldt County and the rugged coastline of Northern California. This workshop explores three distinct ecosystems in a satisfying 3-day event. Limited to just 9 participants, you can reserve your spot and learn more about this event here.
  • Lassen Volcanic Park Photo Workshop - July 16-18, 2020 - We'll convene at a spacious cabin at Lake Almanor that serves as our HQ. From there we explore the stunning Lassen landscape, peaceful shores of Lake Almanor, and the magnificent mountain night skies. This hands-on photo workshop is limited to 8 participants and is a wonderful blending of experience, camaraderie, and artistry. Limited to just 8 participants, you can reserve your spot and learn more about this event here.
  • The Eastern Sierra Photography Workshop - Autumn 2020 - Our event is headquartered at the Silver Maple Inn in Bridgeport, CA - gateway to Bodie, Mono Lake, and June Lake. We'll take advantage of the magical morning light to photograph some of the most unique landscape in North America. We'll photograph the sparkling night skies of the Sierra and explore rustic urban environments. Limited to just 9 participants, you can reserve your spot and learn more about this event here.

New Course Offering: Podcast Skills

A course on podcasting has been the number 1 request for new workshop topics. And after some time thinking about the best way to make this happen, I've come up with a one day skills course that you can attend from home, or wherever you have an Internet connection.

This one day event will cover the following topics:

  • Recording Hardware
  • Editing Software
  • Concept and Creation
  • Essential Storytelling Techniques
  • Show Notes
  • Syndication and RSS Feeds
  • Getting Your Show on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, Stitcher, and More
  • Adding Music to Your Show (and Where to Get It)
  • Editing Workflow
  • Promoting Your Podcast
  • The Ins and Outs of Advertising and Sponsorships

The topics will be divided into modules and presented live, and they will be recorded as movies as well. Each participant will receive the catalog of HD movies from the day as part of their tuition.

The course will include insider tips, best practice techniques, and multiple Q&A sessions. Each participant is also entitled to one follow up one-on-one session after the workshop to address questions unique to his or her goals.

The live course, set of recorded videos, and the follow up one-on-one session costs only $249. Inner Circle Members get a 10 percent discount on tuition.

The Podcasting Skills Course is scheduled for November 9, 2019. Participation is limited to 10 people per course, first come, first served. Registration is open now at www.thenimblephotographer.com.

Updates and Such

Inner Circle Members: A big thanks to those who support our podcast and our efforts!

Podcasting Skills Course - The course date is scheduled for November 9, 2019. Registration is open now at www.thenimblephotographer.com.

B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members:

And finally, be sure to visit our friends at Red River Paper for all of your inkjet supply needs.

See you next week!

More Ways to Participate

Want to share photos and talk with other members in our virtual camera club? Check out our Flickr Public Group. And from those images, I choose the TDS Member Photo of the Day.

Podcast Sponsors

Red River Paper - Keep up with the world of inkjet printing, and win free paper, by liking Red River Paper on Facebook.

The Nimbleosity Report

Do you want to keep up with the best content from The Digital Story and The Nimble Photographer? Sign up for The Nimbleosity Report, and receive highlights twice-a-month in a single page newsletter. Be a part of our community!

Want to Comment on this Post?

You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

Using Files and Flash Drives with iPadOS

I was keenly interested in how the enhanced Files app would work on my Apple iPad Mini 5 with removable storage. It's not a function that I need often because of cloud storage. But it's one of those things - when you need it, you need it.

IMG_0040.jpg Browsing my photos from a removable drive in the Files app on an iPad mini 5

Using the Apple Lightning to SD Card Camera Reader

apple-card-reader.jpg

First, I went the path of least resistance. I pulled out my Apple Lightning to SD Card Camera Reader, formatted a 32 GB SD card on the Mac (using the Disk Utility app), inserted it in the reader, then plugged the Lightning cable into the iPad mini.

The Files app in Browse mode had no problem identifying the Flash memory. I could create folders, move files around, and take care of any business that I needed. This is a simple workflow that most photographers can tap right now. And practically speaking, most could stop right here and be just fine.

USB Flash Drives

I was curious, however, about using a standard USB Flash drive. So I ordered a Male to Female USB Adapter and grabbed one of the many USB memory sticks I had scattered about the studio.

I was a little surprised to see this message: "Cannot Use Accessory - USB Flash Drive: This accessory requires too much power." There could be a number reasons for this, such as the iPad mini itself compared to an iPad Pro, my adapter, or something else that I'm not thinking of. Regardless, it would not work. I tried a handful of others with the same result.

On to the next thing.

Kingston Bolt USB 3.0 Flash Drive

Kingston-Drive.jpg

I figured that since this device was already designed for iOS use, that maybe it would work in this scenario. The Kingston Bolt USB 3.0 Flash drive comes in 32 GB or 64 GB flavors, and has a Lightning connector on one end and a USB on the other. Previously, you had to use it with the Bolt app. At the time, it was a blessing. But compared to the new flexibility of Files, it isn't as convenient to use the Kingston app.

I plugged the Bolt into my new adapter, and plugged the tandem into the iPad mini. Presto! No error message. Files read the USB end of the drive, and I could use it just like any other Flash memory stick. I could copy files from my Mac to the Bolt, then browse them in Files.

IMG_0039.jpg Using the Kingston Bolt for my removable storage. I created those 3 folders in the Files app on the iPad.

Plus, if I wanted to, I could still use the Bolt app as well. Overall, this turned out to be my most flexible solution. And the Bolt is compact, nicely designed, and quite rugged.

The Bottom Line

The improved Files app in iPadOS is a welcome step forward in terms of flexibility. I must admit that I was a little surprised when my Lexar USB Flash drive didn't work. But, there could be many reasons for that, and your mileage may vary, especially with a higher end iPad. (One reader suggested that Apple's USB 3 Camera Dongle would solve the Flash drive problem.)

But rediscovering the Kingston Bolt was a pleasant surprise, and it's a solution that works quite well for me.

I'd like to hear your experiences too. Please share them on our TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

First Look at Editing Photos in iPadOS

One of the reasons that I upgraded from the iPad mini 2 to the 2019 version was to be ready for iPadOS and the redesigned Photos app. And after my preliminary testing, I can tell you that I'm not disappointed.

IMG_0033.jpg Highlights adjustment in iPadOS

There's a lot to unpack in iPadOS, and even the Photos app is worth a few articles itself. But I thought that I should start with the new editing tools, since that's what many of us have been waiting for.

New Adjustment Sliders

The interface is redesigned. It's clean and easy to navigate. When you enter Edit mode, you have adjustment categories on the left side: Adjustments, Filters, and Cropping. When you click on a category, the tools appear on the right side. Click on Adjustments, for example, the the following tools are available:

  • Auto
  • Exposure
  • Brilliance
  • Highlights
  • Shadows
  • Contrast
  • Brightness
  • Black Point
  • Saturation
  • Vibrance
  • Warmth
  • Tint
  • Sharpness
  • Definition
  • Noise Reduction
  • Vignette

Next to each tool, there's an adjustable scale that allows you to apply the effect in the desired amount. With Auto, you can move the scale up and down to fine tune the appearance of the image. So it's no more "all or nothing" for Auto.

Having the additional adjustments are welcomed. I can perform many of the basic edits that I need in the Photos app, which wasn't the case before. And the quality of the adjustments are quite good.

A Few Missing Pieces

There are still a few missing pieces, however. I would love a Retouch brush for simple spot removal. I'm happy to have Vignette, but I wish I could control its shape as well as the amount applied. At the moment, it's just amount. And Apple has abandoned the B&W tools. I loved those.

There is some compensation for taking away the B&W panel by making the Filters amount adjustable. So I'm no longer stuck with just Mono, for example, I can apply the filter at different percentages. But it's still not the same as the excellent B&W panel that we once had. Gone are Intensity, Neutrals, Tone, and Grain. Maybe they will come back some day.

Beefed Up Cropping Tool

IMG_0034.jpg The Crop tool in iPadOS Photos.

The Crop tool now supports vertical and horizontal transform tools. We have flip and rotate. And the Auto correct is now an option and isn't automatically applied.

Filters Are Now Adjustable

Apple didn't add any additional filters. But as I mentioned earlier, all of the existing ones are now adjustable from 0 percent to 100 percent. This definitely makes them more useful.

Edits Saved to iCloud

Once I tapped the Done button in Photos, my edited image was uploaded to iCloud and shared across my devices, including the Mac that is running Mojave. On the iPhone running iOS 13.1, I could see the individual edits in the Photos app. On the Mac, the picture had been enhanced, but no sliders we modified. I'm guessing that that will change with Catalina.

Bottom Line

The new Photos app on iPadOS is a substantial improvement over its predecessor. I really like it now. And I hope Apple continues with its evolution.

I will cover more aspects of Photos and iPadOS in upcoming articles.

You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

This is The Digital Story Podcast #706, Sept. 24, 2019. Today's theme is "The Good Shot, Plus the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

New York Times photographer Lynsey Addario once said, "With photography, I always think that it's not good enough." And she's not alone in this belief. But there's a wide chasm between good and good enough. And understanding the difference between the two is the top story of today's TDS Photography Podcast. Plus, we've finally got a date for the release of the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III. I hope you enjoy the show.

The Good Shot

Road-through-the-forest.jpg

Last week, our workshop crew push the limits of their creativity in the redwood groves of Humboldt County. Their challenge was to produce eight images for our class presentation on the final day. And I'm sure that each of them was wondering, "How do I distinguish my work from the efforts of others?"

To help them with this challenge, one of the things that I talked about was the virtue of the good shot. These images tend to be simple in composition, technically solid, and understandable by a broad audience that includes non-photographers as well.

The good shot may at first appear to be basic in design, but it strikes an emotional chord with its viewer. Photographers may think that, "I could have made that picture," yet, they don't have it in their library.

As an example of what I was talking about, I posted a good shot on Instagram. It had twice as many likes as anything else I published that week.

I go into greater depth about this type of photograph in the first segment of today's show.

E-M5III will be announced on October 17 and feature the "same" 20 MP sensor

You can read the entire post on 4/3 Rumors. They report:

I now have learned that the E-M5 III will be announced on October 17 and feature the "same" 20 MP sensor of the predecessor. Of course there will be a new processor that will improve the IQ. But it definitely sounds like this camera is going to be an incremental evolution of the current E-M5 II model.

And unlike what reported by some [that] the E-M5 III has not a "surprise" new feature. Don't trust those sites :)

E-M5 III rumor summary:

  • Announcement on October 17 (99% certain)
  • Same E-M1II sensor with 121 cross-type phase detection pixels. (80% certain)
  • New processing engine (90% certain)
  • Lighter, more plasticky but still weather sealed body (60% certain)
  • Same BLS-50 battery of the PEN and E-M10 camera series (60% certain)

TDS 2020 Photography Workshop Season to be Announced on October 1

Next year's workshop lineup will include 4 physical events plus online classes as well. My goal is to make it hard to you to decide which workshop you want to attend.

On next week's podcast, I'll unveil the new schedule and share the locations that we will be exploring. You do not want to miss this podcast.

TDS listeners can reserve a spot on the event of their choice with only a $100 deposit that applies to workshop fees. Those on the reserve list are guaranteed the opportunity to register for their favorite event. Participation is limited to 9 for each physical event.

The ultra-wide camera in the iPhone 11 models is fixed-focus, doesn't support Raw capture

You can read the entire post on DP Review. They report:

Last week, Apple debuted its new iPhone 11 devices, all three of which feature an ultra-wide camera module. This marks the first time Apple has put an ultra-wide camera in an iOS device and with the new camera comes all-new capabilities and shooting modes.

Not all of the cameras are made equal though. In addition to not having optical image stabilization, it's been revealed the ultra-wide camera unit on all three models isn't yet capable of capturing Raw image data or manual focus, unlike the wide-angle camera (and telephoto camera on the iPhone 11 Pro models).

Revealed by Halide developer Ben Sandofsky, the ultra-wide camera has a fixed-focus lens and doesn't offer any Raw photo output. The reasoning isn't yet known, but as noted by a number of responses to Sandofsky's tweet, it's possible the reason for not offering Raw output from the ultra-wide camera is due to the barrel distortion present in the uncorrected images from the ultra-wide camera. If not corrected, the distortion would be dramatic considering the 13mm (35mm equivalent) focal length, and without having iOS apps with that correction built-in it would result in rather distorted images.

Updates and Such

Inner Circle Members: A big thanks to those who support our podcast and our efforts!

Podcasting Skills Course - The course date is scheduled for November 9, 2019. Registration is open now at www.thenimblephotographer.com. Click on the Workshops tab.

B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members:

And finally, be sure to visit our friends at Red River Paper for all of your inkjet supply needs.

See you next week!

More Ways to Participate

Want to share photos and talk with other members in our virtual camera club? Check out our Flickr Public Group. And from those images, I choose the TDS Member Photo of the Day.

Podcast Sponsors

Red River Paper - Keep up with the world of inkjet printing, and win free paper, by liking Red River Paper on Facebook.

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