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This is The Digital Story Podcast #717, Dec. 10, 2019. Today's theme is "It's Time to Stop Worrying About the Photo Industry." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Those who really care about the art of photography and its future have been inundated with doom and gloom in 2019. Rumors about brands going out of business, how smartphones have destroyed our culture, and the lack of innovation that's to blame for our problems. Today, I'm going to look at some of the changes that we've seen in 2019, and try to put this whole thing in perspective. I hope you enjoy the show.

It's Time to Stop Worrying About the Photo Industry

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Let's start out by taking a look at some of the photography broad brush strokes from this year.

  • AI Image Editing - Luminar 4, OnOne, Topaz. It's kind of appealing at first. But if you're not careful, it's like eating raw cookie dough.
  • Mirrorless cameras go full frame - New Canons, Nikons, Panasonic, Sigma. On one level, I'm excited by this because we have new gear to contemplate and discuss. But at the end of the day, I really like what I already have. Personally, my big thrills this year were the Voigtlander Ultron 40mm f/2 SL IIS Aspherical Lens and the Kamlan 50mm f/1.1 Mark II for Micro Four Thirds.
  • Smartphones get smarter - Google Pixel 4, iPhone 11 are incredible. But, I'm still doing well with my iPhone X.
  • Film Photography hangs tough - The comeback maybe a bit overblown, but there's still traction there. And I really like my LabBox that enables me to develop a roll of BW film in daylight at the kitchen counter.

So where do we go from here? In all honesty, just keep doing what you're doing and let the marketplace figure it out. There will always be plenty of cameras and lenses for those who enjoy serious photography. It's really not our problem.

Websites and podcasts are hungry for news to report. But that doesn't mean that we have to be distracted by it. I don't think, for example, the Olympus rumor should have ever been published. A news story would have been if Olympus had taken steps to close down its imaging operation. Not the rumor that they may do so some day.

Who really cares if Nikon is #2 or #3? What's important are the products they are creating. And if companies like Skylum want to place all of their bets on AI imaging enhancement, then that's fine. But if their product doesn't meet my needs, then I'm not buying it.

We are so inundated with meaningless information that we sometimes forget that it doesn't have to affect our lives. As we approach 2020, I'm going to enjoy the new products that are released, and the new techniques that are revealed. But I'm not going to worry about the photography industry. It will be just fine.

Skillshare for Photographers

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Skillshare is an online learning community with thousands of classes for creators, entrepreneurs, and curious people everywhere. You can take courses in photography, videography, audio production - you name it, they've got it. So whether you're picking up a new skill for your day job, figuring out your next side project, or pursuing a long-time passion, Skillshare has classes for you.

The photography courses are amazing. One that I recommend is "Portrait Photography on the Street: Connecting with Strangers" by Zun Lee, who explores Harlem in New York City and shares his secrets for capturing the essence of a place and its people. His techniques for getting your best shot make this a perfect, quick class to inspire both the novice photographer and the expert to get out and shoot. And this is just one of many top notch titles on Skillshare.

Join the millions of students already learning on Skillshare today with this special offer for TDS listeners: Get 2 months free. That's right, Skillshare is offering The Digital Story community 2 months of unlimited access to thousands of classes for free. To sign up, go to skillshare.com/tds.

And a big thanks to Skillshare for sponsoring this show!

Why I Prefer Micro Four Thirds for Product Photography

The Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II combined with the Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25mm f/1.4 II ASPH. lens is an ideal combination for the product photography I do daily for TheFilmCameraShop. I've tried many different setups over the years, and this one has just the right amount of everything.

That being said, my Micro Four Thirds camera saves me a lot of time. First of all, I don't have to use a tripod. This is huge, time wise. Before, when we were shooting full frame (or medium format!), we had to stop down the aperture and focus very precisely because of the shallow depth of field that results from larger sensors and wide apertures. As a result, I had to break out the 3-legged beast.

What's so beautiful about my mirrorless rig is that I can shoot at f/4.5 or so (thanks to the depth of field), raise the ISO to 1600, and lean a bit on the sensor-based image stabilization. This allows me to handhold the camera, saving lots of time while still providing excellent results. The MFT sensor gives me that little bit of extra depth of field that's so important in product photography. I love it. And this is something that I also enjoy with certain types of portrait work as well.

Secondly, the realtime exposure compensation feedback makes it easy to nail the exposure during capture. (Very important for brightly-lit white backgrounds!) As a result, I have virtually no post production time. Again, this is a big deal on busy days. Thanks to the sharpness of the Leica lens and the accuracy or the E-M5 Mark II, the files virtually go from camera to product page.

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.

Updates and Such

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

B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. (The Digital Story is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.) And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members:

Affiliate Links - The links to some products in this podcast contain an affiliate code that credits The Digital Story for any purchases made from B&H Photo and Amazon via that click-through. Depending on the purchase, we may receive some financial compensation.

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

See you next week!

How to Watch Photos for macOS Catalina and iPadOS

Learn everything you need to know about Photos for the Mac and iPad by checking out my latest course on LinkedIn Learning and on lynda.com. This course is perfect for Mac and iPad based photographers who shoot with iPhone, Mirrorless, and DSLR cameras. It covers both photography and movies. And if I say so myself, it's a lot of fun.

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.

Skillshare is an online learning community with thousands of classes for creators, entrepreneurs, and curious people everywhere. Get two months of learning for free by visiting www.skillshare.com/tds.

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.

This is The Digital Story Podcast #716, Dec. 3, 2019. Today's theme is "Why Full Frame Photography Doesn't Have to Be Expensive." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

2019 was certainly the year for the resurgence of full frame photography. Sony, Panasonic, Sigma, Canon, and Nikon all released new big sensor cameras with the latest technology and hefty price tags. But a little further back on the shelf are some very interesting, highly capable cameras at a fraction of the cost. What about them? Are they worth our attention? What if we already own one? Should we keep it or upgrade? I grapple with all of those questions on today's TDS Podcast.

Why Full Frame Photography Doesn't Have to Be Expensive

Ansel Adams had his 4x5 for fine art work and our modern version is the full frame digital camera. The larger sensor helps capture more dynamic range and gives us better control over depth of field.

And if indeed we are using these cameras for our creative endeavors, they don't necessarily have to have the fastest frame rate or feature incredible autofocus. What we do need is excellent image quality. And if possible, at a price we can afford.

I'm going to start by listing the minimum specifications that I think a previous generation full frame camera should have. If you own one already, you can compare these numbers to yours. If one is on your wish list, then I'll share a couple of excellent bargains that not only have those specs, but have proven their value over time.

  • Image Resolution - 20 MP+
  • High ISO Performance - 6400+
  • Continuous Shooting Speed at Full Resolution - 5 fps+
  • Movie Recording - Full HD 1,920x1,080 / 30/25/24 fps+
  • Rear LCD - 3" with 900,000 pixel resolution+

Now, obviously, if you can get more spec for the dollar, then do it. But this configuration will allow you to do serious work in a variety of situations. Unfortunately, my Nikon D700 doesn't make the cut at 12 MP. I love using it for vintage lens testing, but I would hesitate to tap it for a fine art project. Which leads me to a post about the camera you may already have.

What If You Already Own an Aging Gem?

I read an interesting article by David Dowe titled, Ode to my DSLR: Why I Love the Nikon D610 where he writes:

"I want to write this review to share with others what I love about this camera - or, more universally, any older DSLR - and show it's possible to learn and grow with "older" cameras. As well, I want to solidify in my own mind the things I love about the camera. I have also come, through this experience with the D610, to appreciate having and growing with a single, durable, and capable camera body through years of daily use. I've learned to see cameras, rightly or wrongly, as medium-to-long term tools -- a creative partner with whom you grow. Where the more you get to know your camera and it's limitations, the more you get out of it, accomplishing your creative vision with as little resistance as possible. And whatever resistance is there, it becomes a means to push your own creative capabilities to flow like water around a rock in a stream."

The entire piece is excellent, accompanied by exquisite images of his girls growing up with him and their mom. He does flirt with Fuji mirrorless and is tempted by the new Nikons. But in the end he continues to work with his D610, and builds a compelling argument for doing so.

That's great that David has a Nikon D610. But what about a guy like me with an older D700?

Maybe I too should look at these following incredible values that fulfill my basic requirements. Both considerations are new cameras that are still in their original boxes. You can get even better deals on the used market.

Nikon D610

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Here's a deal that really caught my eye: A brand new Nikon D610 DSLR with Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 G lens for $897. Then, toss in at no extra charge, a MB-D14 Multi Battery Power Pack, WU-1b Wireless Mobile Adapter, SanDisk 64GB Extreme PRO UHS-I SDXC Memory Card, Nikon Deluxe DSLR Digital SLR Camera Case (Black), and a downloadable licensed version of Skylum's Luminar 4. Yes, all of that for $897

Specs: 24 MP, 6 fps, base ISO 100-6400 (up to 25,600), HD movie recording, 3.2" 921K dot TFT LCD .

Sony Alpha a7 II

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Sony has been updating the Alpha a7 line frequently, and that's good news for early gen bargain hunters. Currently, you can get the Sony Alpha a7 II Mirrorless Digital Camera for $898.

Specs: 24 MP, Continuous shooting up to 5 fps at 24 MP to 50 exposures, ISO: 100 to 25600, HD movie recording, and 3" 1,228,800 dot tilting LCD

So, where does this leave us? The point that I want to make here is that the rate of change with enthusiast cameras has slowed to the point where cameras from 2012 onward are serious tools in the hands of an artist.

And if you currently have access to lenses that you would have to buy all over again in a different mount, then the savings can be tremendous, leaving you with more budget for experiences to capture with these cameras.

Something to think about as we head out of the year of full frame and into whatever is next.

Skillshare for Photographers

Skillshare-1024.jpg

Skillshare is an online learning community with thousands of classes for creators, entrepreneurs, and curious people everywhere. You can take courses in photography, videography, audio production - you name it, they've got it. So whether you're picking up a new skill for your day job, figuring out your next side project, or pursuing a long-time passion, Skillshare has classes for you.

The photography courses are amazing. One that I recommend is "Fundamentals of Portrait Photography: Using Natural Light to Create Drama" by Justin Bridges, a fashion and portrait photographer based in New York City. And this is just one of many top notch titles on Skillshare.

Join the millions of students already learning on Skillshare today with this special offer for TDS listeners: Get 2 months free. That's right, Skillshare is offering The Digital Story community 2 months of unlimited access to thousands of classes for free. To sign up, go to skillshare.com/tds.

And a big thanks to Skillshare for sponsoring this show!

Capturing Moments with the Voigtlander Ultron 40mm f/2 SL IIS

In a true convergence of traditional meets modern, the Voigtlander Ultron 40mm f/2 SL IIS Aspherical Lens ($419) combines silky manual focusing with a beautiful optic also featuring a CPU chip for metadata and to assist with mode settings.

I have the Voigtlander mounted on my trusty Nikon D700, and because of the chip, I can shoot in Program, Aperture Priority, and Manual exposure modes, plus record the lens type and complete exposure metadata. And the images are beautiful!

There are variations of this lens, and some of those variations come in different mounts, but I prefer the most current SL IIS because of its luxurious scalloped focusing ring and outstanding optics.

You can easily adapt this optic to mirrorless cameras, although most likely without the benefit of the CPU chip. But on a Nikon DSLR, it is a joy for quiet candids and fine art work. And it's a wonderful value as well at $419.

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.

Updates and Such

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

B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. (The Digital Story is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.) And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members:

Affiliate Links - The links to some products in this podcast contain an affiliate code that credits The Digital Story for any purchases made from B&H Photo and Amazon via that click-through. Depending on the purchase, we may receive some financial compensation.

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.

Skillshare is an online learning community with thousands of classes for creators, entrepreneurs, and curious people everywhere. Get two months of learning for free by visiting www.skillshare.com/tds.

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.

This is The Digital Story Podcast #715, Nov. 26, 2019. Today's theme is "Photographer's Gift Guide - 2019 Edition" I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Photographers aren't the easiest bunch to buy for, that is, unless you have a fully-vetted gift guide at your disposal. And that's exactly what I'm going to share with you today - 5 items ranging from affordable to well, slightly more than that, each and every one will be a delightful surprise for the visual artist in your life, even if that person is you.

Photographer's Gift Guide - 2019 Edition

Feeling a little stumped for gift ideas this holiday season? Take a gander at this list.

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  • Nitecore P12 LED Tactical Pocket Flashlight ($42) - Built for durability, the light features an aluminum housing with a Type III hard-anodized black finish that resists scratching and corrosion. It is O-ring sealed to be IPX8-rated submersible to 6.6' and impact-resistant to 5'. A textured diamond pattern is machined into the handle to provide a sure grip, and there is a removable tactical ring that fits on the handle for use with a 'cigar-style' two-handed pistol grip. Using separately sold Nitecore mount and remote switch accessories, it can be used as a weapon light. The light can run on 1 x 18650 or 2 x CR123 li-ion rechargeable, or 2 x CR123 disposable batteries. There is reverse-polarity protection that prevents damage to the light's circuitry if the batteries are put in incorrectly.
  • Light-Panel.jpg

  • Nanlite LumiPad 11 Bi-Color Soft LED Panel ($49) - Handy for use on or off-camera, the LumiPad 11 Bi-Color Soft LED Panel from NanLite is a versatile 6.5 x 4.5 x 1.4" light source with solid control features at a price point that makes it a good choice for both part-time and full-time shooters. Its wide beam spread, and soft output are well-suited for portrait, wedding, group video, and photography, while its thin 1.4" profile allows placement where larger lights can't go. The light has color that's CRI-rated at 95 for accurate rendering and variable from 3200 to 5600K to meet any ambient light challenge or to blend in seamlessly with other fixtures. Light intensity is variable from 0 to 100%, while the fixture's quiet air-cooling is an asset, especially in sound-sensitive situations. The LumiPad 11 is ready for worldwide use via an optional 110-240 VAC power adapter, but it can also run on separately-purchased batteries when mains power is unavailable via its NP-F battery plate.
  • SanDisk 500GB Extreme Portable USB 3.1 Type-C External SSD ($89) - Designed for saving and editing high-resolution photos and videos, the 500GB Extreme Portable USB 3.1 Type-C External SSD from SanDisk provides users with up to 500GB of storage for their creative content work, as well as a 10 Gb/s USB 3.1 Type-C interface, which is also known as USB 3.1 Gen 2 and delivers read speeds of up to 550 MB/s. Additionally, this SSD is IP-55 rated and features resistance against water, dust, and shock. It can withstand a water flow of up to 30 kPA for 3 minutes, 1500 g of shock, and 5 gRMS of vibration @ 10-2000 Hz. It can also withstand drops of up to 6.5' on a concrete floor and temperature extremes, with operating temperatures ranging from 32 to 113°F and storage temperatures ranging from -4 to 158°F.
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  • FUJIFILM INSTAX SHARE Smartphone Printer SP-2 with Instant Film Kit (Silver) ($94) - The silver FUJIFILM INSTAX SHARE Smartphone Printer SP-2 allows you to print photos shot with a smartphone or tablet using FUJIFILM's free downloadable INSTAX SHARE app for Android and iOS. Each print measures 2.4 x 1.8" with up to 320 dpi resolution and prints in approximately 10 seconds. A reprint button lets you make additional copies. Choose from several templates and filters, and upload your images to social networking sites. The SP-2's battery recharges in approximately 90 minutes. This twin pack of FUJIFILM INSTAX Mini Instant Film contains 20 sheets of instant color film that is compatible for use with the INSTAX Mini series of cameras.
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  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 Mirrorless MFT Digital Camera with 12-32mm and 45-150mm Lenses (Black) ($448) - This is a deal with $550 in savings making it more than half off. Complementing the imaging attributes (16MP sensor with dual stabilization), the camera also incorporates both a 2.76m-dot electronic viewfinder as well as a 3.0" 1.04m-dot touchscreen LCD, which has a tilting design to better enable working from high and low angles. Built-in Wi-Fi is also integrated into the design, which facilitates wireless image transferring and remote camera control from linked smartphones or tablets.
  • dji-mavic-mini.jpg

  • DJI Mavic Mini ($399) -The Mavic Mini from DJI is a compact drone that offers professional-quality results with no restrictions. Thanks to its small size, the Mavic Mini can fly where larger drones are legally not permitted, or where a drone license is required. This freedom of flight is combined with a stabilized 3-axis gimbal and sophisticated flight modes, which can achieve up to 12MP images, 2.7K Quad HD videos, and complex cinematic shots with just a touch in the DJI Fly app.
    Another advantage of the Mavic Mini's size is that it can stay in the air longer. The Mini drone features up to 30 minutes of flight time on a full battery charge. The included controller is designed to work with Android and iOS smartphones, letting you easily fly the drone while maintaining a low-latency HD video feed from the gimbal from up to 2.5 miles away. To help get started, DJI includes a flight tutorial in the DJI Fly app, making the Mavic Mini an ideal drone solution for beginners to professionals alike.

How I Became a 40mm Lens Guy

There's something about 40mms that's just perfect for me. I have a bit more breathing space for composing than I do with a 50mm optic. Yet, it's not too wide like I often experience with 35mm lenses. It's just right for this street photographer kind of guy.

But this revelation didn't come to me overnight. It evolved over years, beginning with a lens that wasn't 40mm at all: the Zeiss Tessar 45mm f/2.8 for my Contax film camera. I wanted this lens because it was a super compact pancake that would travel nicely on my Contax Aria. I loved it from the beginning, even though it wasn't the fastest at f/2.8, or quite as wide as a true 40mm. I still shoot with it today.

You can read the entire article here to see all the optics that I'm currently a fan of.

New Details for Our Upcoming LA Street Photography Experience

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.

Our HQ will be in a cozy Santa Monica neighborhood, not far from the iconic Santa Monica Pier and the Metro Rail station. From there we'll ride the rail into the heart of LA urban culture, making stops along the way to explore. We will also spend a day photographing Venice Beach with all of its So Cal charm and charisma. What a dream for urban explorers!

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.

Do You Have a Film Camera that Needs a Good Home?

Over the last year, I've received donations from TDS members who have film cameras that need a good home. What I do is inspect the items, repair and clean as I can, then list them in TheFilmCameraShop where I can find a good home for them. If you're interested in donating, please use the Contact Form on TheNimblePhotographer site. And thanks for you consideration!

Updates and Such

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

B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. (The Digital Story is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.) And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members:

Affiliate Links - The links to some products in this podcast contain an affiliate code that credits The Digital Story for any purchases made from B&H Photo and Amazon via that click-through. Depending on the purchase, we may receive some financial compensation.

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.

Skillshare is an online learning community with thousands of classes for creators, entrepreneurs, and curious people everywhere. Get two months of learning for free by visiting www.skillshare.com/tds.

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.

This is The Digital Story Podcast #714, Nov. 19, 2019. Today's theme is "Luminar 4 - One Redesign Too Many?" I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

This week launched with a bang as Luminar 4 hit the streets early Monday morning. And even thought it's too early to judge if it's going to be a runaway success or roadkill, the redesigned Edit module has many version 3 users steering for the exits. We'll take a closer look today and try to determine if this is just a mere fender-bender or will result in a total disaster. Hope you enjoy the show.

Luminar 4 - One Redesign Too Many?

The minute I opened my first picture to edit in Luminar 4, I knew that comments that would immediately surface after its public release.

To be perfectly honest, Skylum chose to fix something that wasn't broken (the Edit module) and ignore the thing that really needed work (the Library module). My prediction is that this will not be a popular release with Luminar 3 users, many of whom will be angry and disappointed all at the same time.

003-AI-Structure-1600.jpg

So, what potentially has gone wrong here. While ignoring the under-powered Library module all together, they chose to redesign the Edit module, and as part of that process eliminate the flexibility of Workspaces. What this means is that the adjustment filters must remain in their pre-assigned categories and can't be grouped to individual needs.

To potentially offset this misstep, Skylum did introduce new filters and improved a few existing ones. Here's an overview of those.

  • New AI Sky Replacement filter
  • New AI Skin Enhancer filter
  • New Portrait Enhancer
  • New Smart Contrast
  • New AI Structure Filter
  • Improved LUT Mapping/li>
  • Improved Golden Hour Filter
  • Improved Denoise Filter
  • Improved Adjustable Gradient Filter

That's a lot of new stuff, and I was impressed by the AI filters. They're smart, and for the most part, work as advertised.

But I think existing users are going to start to run out of patience with Skylum's seemingly whimsical approach to UI design. In addition to the new AI filters, what Luminar 4 needed was a big step forward with the Library. And that just didn't happen.

And since Luminar 3 is Catalina compatible on the Mac platform, there's really no compelling reason to upgrade unless you feel the need for the new AI filters.

It appears that Skylum needs to recalculate their direction with future updates of Luminar if they want to hold on to their existing audience.

Luminar 4 is available now for $89 for new users and as a $69 upgrade for those who already own a license.

New Details for Our Upcoming LA Street Photography Experience

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.

Our HQ will be in a cozy Santa Monica neighborhood, not far from the iconic Santa Monica Pier and the Metro Rail station. From there we'll ride the rail into the heart of LA urban culture, making stops along the way to explore. We will also spend a day photographing Venice Beach with all of its So Cal charm and charisma. What a dream for urban explorers!

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.

Souping Up My Olympus E-M5 Mark II to Feel More Like an E-M1X

I wanted to do some extended shooting with my Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II, so I dug out the HLD-8 Power Battery Holder, which adds a second battery. After getting both parts attached, I experienced a noticeable Deja Vu moment. The rig felt a lot like the OM-D E-M1X that I had recently tested.

Since I hadn't used this older kit for a while, I had forgotten how wonderful the Power Battery Holder felt and operated. It provides shutter buttons with rotating collars in both horizontal and vertical positions, plus two additional function buttons for the vertical grip. There's even a second dial in the vertical position, so you have twin dials regardless of the orientation. The additional BLN-1 battery holder is much more accessible than the port on the bottom of the camera. And you gain a headphone jack as well. It's very comfortable and balanced in both positions. Why didn't come back to this long time ago?

Do You Have a Film Camera that Needs a Good Home?

Over the last year, I've received donations from TDS members who have film cameras that need a good home. What I do is inspect the items, repair and clean as I can, then list them in TheFilmCameraShop where I can find a good home for them. If you're interested in donating, please use the Contact Form on TheNimblePhotographer site. And thanks for you consideration!

Updates and Such

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

B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. (The Digital Story is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.) And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members:

Affiliate Links - The links to some products in this podcast contain an affiliate code that credits The Digital Story for any purchases made from B&H Photo and Amazon via that click-through. Depending on the purchase, we may receive some financial compensation.

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.

Skillshare is an online learning community with thousands of classes for creators, entrepreneurs, and curious people everywhere. Get two months of learning for free by visiting www.skillshare.com/tds.

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.

This is The Digital Story Podcast #713, Nov. 12, 2019. Today's theme is "Which Photo Software Should You Use?" I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

For many photographers, the quest for the right photo management software continues. You would think, now that we're two decades into the digital age, that the dust would have settle. But if anything, the landscape is more cloudy than ever. On today's podcast I share insights from our photography community on what they're using and why. I hope you enjoy the show.

Which Photo Software Should You Use?

As part of my job, I have to be somewhat software agnostic. That doesn't mean that I don't have my favorites. But I try to discuss as many viable applications as possible. Because, quite honestly, one of them might be best for you.

For a while there, it looked like things had settled in to Lightroom, Aperture, and iPhoto. But then Apple turned over the cart, and we seemed to be right back where we started.

lightroom-lv.jpg

This did, however, open the door for new software to make the scene that might have otherwise received no attention. And now we have many choices.

I polled our Inner Circle members, they shared what apps they're using now. Here's the list in defending order.

  • Photos for macOS - 30 votes
  • Adobe Lightroom Desktop Version - 26 votes
  • Other - 20 votes
  • Adobe Lightroom, Creative Cloud Version - 19 votes
  • Adobe Photoshop, with or without Bridge - 15 votes
  • Capture One Pro - 15 votes
  • OnOne Suite - 9 votes
  • DxO PhotoLab - 6 votes
  • Exposure X5 - 1 vote

I think Charles sums up the position of many photographers these days: "I primarily us Lightroom Classic to manage and edit my images. I use Photoshop if and when the image requires PS's advanced editing capabilities. Apple's Photos app is used primarily to share images with my Apple centric family. While Lightroom (formerly Lightroom CC) gets used mostly so I can check what's going on in the Creative Cloud. I also use Lightroom Mobile, Luminar and Aurora HDR. Since I've been a Lightroom user since its first beta, I don't think I'll ever change as long as Adobe keeps up its current rate of advancing the platform."

Andrew adds: "Lightroom Classic is my go to now but I use Capture Pro for my my Fuji pictures. I still miss the organisational abilities of Aperture. My workflow is built around Lightroom now and that is my biggest barrier to change. I think things like Luminar are interesting from a processing perspective but it's difficult to find a time to experiment. Lightroom CC and Photos I mainly use to support mobile devices."

Andrew, a former Aperture user, writes: "Nothing has quite replaced Aperture. However, Capture One meets most of my needs although the catalogue isn't quite there. I think Photos is better than many people think and good enough for most. Plugins cover the gap in process. Luminar's catalogue features are pretty basic at the moment, but it's a great plugin."

And finally, Rob chimes in: "I am sticking with LR /PS. A lot of images are in it and I know them well enough for what I do. I do use Luminar and photolab ( they do the best noise reduction ). Luminar I use but via the flex plugin. I find it too slow for culling.
Not mentioned but I do like LR mobile on my iPad and it's ability to synchronize with LR desktop. I can do edits and share easily enough that way.
I just tried PS for the iPad. Very disappointed. How can you release a product without refine edge ? For now on the iPad I am sticking with affinity on the iPad.

I then went over to our TDS Facebook page where I asked the question: ""Which Photo Software Should You Use?" - And I want your input. What do you love/hate about the photo software that you're using now."

Lawrence wrote: "My current software suite is Lightroom for catalog management along with light editing (can't say I love it, but I've stuck with it because of the tagging/collections/rating I've done there over the years. I also use Luminar for heavier editing but I am VERY disappointed that they made a big deal out of Libraries, but then quietly dumped supporting import of Lightroom Libraries). I'm also not thrilled with their move into compositing with sky removal. And lastly, I use a series of other tools as plugins to Lightroom (Excire visual search, ON1 B&W conversion, TopazLabs DeNoise AI)"

Jim added a very interesting comment: "I use Lightroom Classic. I did switch fully to Lightroom CC because I love the idea of having my images in the cloud (backed up locally of course) because I want to move to a mobile only workflow doing all my editing and management on the iPad. It's so much more convenient for travel! I was very pleased with Lightroom Cc but then I discovered a big issue. The mobile applications (phone and iPad) actually store a smart preview of EVERY image and there is no limit on how much space it will use on your mobile device. I confirmed with Adobe that it will consume 100% of device capacity if needed. That was a show stopper that caused me to switch back. None of the other Adobe competitors will work for me because none of them offer desktop, mobile and cloud support. Only Adobe offers all three. I hope one of the others like Skylum one day hits all three!"

I think Peter's comment is interesting: "After many years I've been looking for alternatives to LR. Currently using ON1 as my default and like it. Started to develop a rhythm with it. I like that it doesn't rearrange my file structure. The raw processing works fine for me. HDR module is pretty useless IMO, but that's not a deal breaker. Lots of options to fine tune images to get to my vision. I really wanted to like Luminar, but haven't been able to zero in on a workflow I can get my head around. Did get Aurora, their stand alone HDR software to try out. We'll see. Will go back and try brackets that failed in ON1 and see what Aurora gives me. Retraining my brain to new software is a painful process. Actually have to think about what I'm doing."

And finally, Bob adds:" I currently use LR, with Aurora, Luminar, PS, NIK and a few others when LR falls short. I have a lot invested in LR as a DAM, that getting me to switch off of it would require a huge jump in capabilities to go through the effort. Overall, I feel Adobe is abandoning the LR+PS photographers in favor of pursuing their cloud strategy that does NOT work for me."

So where does that leave us? If you prefer the Adobe ecosystem, there are advantages to using Lightroom + Lightroom Mobile + Photoshop as needed. iPhone photographers and Apple fans should definitely revisit Photos and its substantial bullpen of Editing Extensions. Tethered shooters, RAW aficionados, and those who don't care about having a companion mobile app might want to consider Capture One Pro. And if not of these work for you, there's still the OnOne suite, DxO PhotoLab, Luminar with Libraries, and a handful of others.

Skillshare for Photographers

Skillshare-1024.jpg

Skillshare is an online learning community with thousands of classes for creators, entrepreneurs, and curious people everywhere. You can take courses in photography, videography, audio production - you name it, they've got it. So whether you're picking up a new skill for your day job, figuring out your next side project, or pursuing a long-time passion, Skillshare has classes for you.

The photography courses are amazing. One that I recommend is "Documentary Photography: Capturing Places and People" by National Geo photographer Ami Vitale. She is both a great photographer and a compelling personality. And this is just one of many top notch titles on Skillshare.

Join the millions of students already learning on Skillshare today with this special offer for TDS listeners: Get 2 months free. That's right, Skillshare is offering The Digital Story community 2 months of unlimited access to thousands of classes for free. To sign up, go to skillshare.com/tds.

And a big thanks to Skillshare for sponsoring this show!

Don't Stop with Portrait Mode - Make Your iPhone Shots Even Better

You can read the entire TDS article here complete with step-by-step illustrations.

Portrait mode on current iPhones is incredible. Just open the Camera app, slide the options to Portrait, and shoot away. And as impressive as the results initially look, you can make them even better with just a few clicks. Here's how.

  • Choose the best lighting scheme.
  • Improve skin color.
  • Add a soft vignette.
  • Don't forget a dash of sharpening.

Now, thanks to iOS 13 and iPadOS, all of these techniques can be applied on the iPhone and iPad as well, with the exception of White Balance. When in Photos for mobile devices, use the Warmth and Tint adjustments instead.

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.

Updates and Such

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

Podcasting Skills Course - Big thanks to everyone who attended our Podcasting Skills Course this past Saturday. I really enjoyed sharing all of those gems with you.

B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. (The Digital Story is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.) And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members:

Affiliate Links - The links to some products in this podcast contain an affiliate code that credits The Digital Story for any purchases made from B&H Photo and Amazon via that click-through. Depending on the purchase, we may receive some financial compensation.

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.

Skillshare is an online learning community with thousands of classes for creators, entrepreneurs, and curious people everywhere. Get two months of learning for free by visiting www.skillshare.com/tds.

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!

IMG_0682.jpg

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #712, Nov. 5, 2019. Today's theme is "5 Gear Recommendations for Peace of Mind While Traveling" I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

After nearly two weeks away from home, and sometimes under truly bizarre conditions, I leaned heavily on my gear to keep me productive and sane while on the road. On today's show, I discuss five important items that helped me accomplish that goal. You may find some of them surprising. But these are all battle tested and ready for action.

5 Gear Recommendations for Peace of Mind While Traveling

When you're packing for a trip, you may think that everything is going to go perfectly, and you don't need to worry about getting stuff done on the road.

IMG_5360.jpg

But if you've spent any amount of time traveling, you know that things rarely go perfectly, and in fact, they can go horribly wrong. The good news is, that being prepared for such situations isn't such a painful exercise. And to do so while keeping it light is even better! Take a look at these gear suggestions for the prepared, happy, nimble photographer.

  • A High Quality Compact Camera - It's ironic to me that compacts have been suffering at the hands of smartphone cameras. But for serious photographers, a versatile, dependable compact allows us to capture a wider variety of shots, yet keep it light, while on the road. Depending on your shooting style, I recommend Olympus TG-6, Canon G5X Mark II, and the Sony RX100 Mark IIV. One footnote about your nimble compact, USB charging is a big plus!
  • Modern Tablet - Laptops are fine when everything is normal and you're sitting comfortably at the dining room table with home WiFi. But when you're dealing with the unexpected challenges of the road, a tablet is where it's at. My iPad mini 5 running iPadOS and with 4G LTE cellular connectivity was a beast on the road. Everything from true web browsing, to article publishing, to text messaging, to image editing, to watching movies on Netflix was handled effortlessly by this compact powerhouse. If I'm going to stay productive on the road, an iPad is required equipment.
  • Ring Doorbell - The $99 Ring Video Doorbell with HD Video was critical for peace of mind when I'm thousands of miles away from home. Not only does it keep track of simple things such as when the pet sitter arrives and leaves, but it notifies me of unexpected package delivery, suspicious activity outside, and in my most recent case, the physical safety of my neighborhood. Fire maps and news reports are one thing, but actually looking at your front porch in real time is a magnitude better.
  • WakaWaka Power+ Light and Charger - I have tried many, many portable chargers over the years, and my favorite remains: the WakaWaka Power+. I like it because it is so incredibly light and compact, yet it provides a 3000 mAh rechargeable battery, 1050 mWatt 22% Sunpower cell, and 2 LEDs (110 lumen/Watt), yet weighs less than 200 grams. I always have one of these in my backpack. It will charge my iPhone, AirPods, and Apple Watch regardless of where I am. PS: don't forget your cords!

  • Vanguard Havana 48-Backpack - I have tested more backpacks over the years than I care to count. Many of them I liked. But the Vanguard Havana 48-Backpack has become my trusty companion on the road. It's affordable at $103, non-photo looking, roomy, and protects my cameras, tablet, and laptop with ease. And most importantly, it has extra room that I invariably need when on the road.

One of the cornerstones of nimble photography is traveling light enough to have your gear with you when moving from Point A to Point B. If you have too much stuff, it becomes burdensome. Yet you want to be prepared for the unexpected.

Every minute that I spent preparing for the last trip paid me back with interest. Technology plus planning can be a powerful combination.

Welcome Skillshare to the TDS Podcast Community

Skillshare-1024.jpg

Skillshare is an online learning community with thousands of classes for creators, entrepreneurs, and curious people everywhere. You can take courses in photography, videography, audio production - you name it, they've got it. So whether you're picking up a new skill for your day job, figuring out your next side project, or pursuing a long-time passion, Skillshare has classes for you.

I'm looking at a course right now about removing background noise from audio recordings, since that's a situation that I run into every now and then. And there's plenty of other topics to help me stay on top of my game. And that's the goal isn't it? Keep getting better.

Join the millions of students already learning on Skillshare today with this special offer for TDS listeners: Get 2 months free. That's right, Skillshare is offering The Digital Story community 2 months of unlimited access to thousands of classes for free. To sign up, go to skillshare.com/tds.

And a big thanks to Skillshare for sponsoring this show!

Adobe fulfills its promise: Photoshop on iPad is officially here

You can read the entire DP Review article here.

Photoshop on iPad relies largely on the same underlying code, but tweaks a few things to account for the more touch-based input method the iPad offers. Like the desktop version of Photoshop, Photoshop on iPad offers full PSD support so working on projects between multiple devices shouldn't be a problem and new projects created on Photoshop on iPad will automatically be saved to Adobe Creative Cloud so you can pick back up on your computer if need be.

As previous reports from beta testers noted, not all of Photoshop's features are present in the current version of Photoshop on iPad. In Adobe's own words, it focused on bringing 'common tasks and workflows that we know will be useful for most Photoshop users.' Specifically, Adobe has included basic adjustments, brushes, cloning, spot healing, cropping, eyedropper, masking, layers and a few other features.

I downloaded it on to my iPad mini 5, and it ran fine. The app recognized my Creative Cloud subscription (Lightroom/Photoshop $9.99 a month), and logged me right in.

I did some work with the healing brush, and the results were good.

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.

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. (The Digital Story is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.) And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members:

Affiliate Links - The links to some products in this podcast contain an affiliate code that credits The Digital Story for any purchases made from B&H Photo and Amazon via that click-through. Depending on the purchase, we may receive some financial compensation.

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.

Skillshare is an online learning community with thousands of classes for creators, entrepreneurs, and curious people everywhere. Get two months of learning for free by visiting www.skillshare.com/tds.

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!

IMG_0682.jpg

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #711, Oct. 29, 2019. Today's theme is "Fire in Sonoma County, Again." I'm Derrick Story.

The Kincade Fire, which began on Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019 in Geyserville, CA has spread south to Windsor, and yes, close to the northern part of Santa Rosa. Because of the danger that it presents to my home, studio, and two cats, Theresa and I are flying out of Maui right away to deal with the situation. This podcast shares some insight to the challenges at hand.

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This is The Digital Story Podcast #710, Oct. 22, 2019. Today's theme is "The Evolution of the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

I first learned about the original E-M5 in a closed door meeting at CES 2012. Olympus broke the news to the public the next month, and we started a whole new era of mirrorless photography. Now with the Mark III ready to hit the streets, I thought we'd take a look at this latest model, and the 8-year journey it took to get here. I hope you enjoy the show.

The Evolution of the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III

The Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III is once again a substantial improvement over its two previous generations. Before I get to the evolution of this camera, let's review the basic specs for the just-announced model.

E-M5-MarkIII-Front.jpg The Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III

  • 20.4 Megapixel Live MOS sensor
  • TruePic VIII Quad Core Processor
  • Dual F.A.S.T. AF (Contrast & Phase Detection AF) 121 Point (All Cross Type) On-Chip Phase Detection)
  • 5-Axis Image Stabilization with up to 6.5 Shutter Speed Steps Compensation with Sync-IS
  • 2.36M dot OLED Electronic Viewfinder
  • 3.0" Vari-Angle Touch LCD
  • Dust, Splash and Freezeproof
  • 10fps [H] mode 6fps [L] mode mechanical shutter 30fps [H] mode 10fps [L] mode silent electronic shutter
  • 4k Video Capture (30/25/24 fps) with Flat Picture Mode
  • USB In-camera Charging
  • 30fps Silent Electronic Shutter
  • PRO Capture Lag-Free Electronic Shutter Mode
  • Some people have referred to the Mark III as a mini-EM-1, and I think there's good reason for that nickname.

    But its evolution really took a different path, and I think its worth going back to 2012 to understand the real significance of this camera.

    PA202695.jpg Top decks of the E-M5 (left) and the E-M5 Mark II

    The first E-M5 was actually a fairly simple camera to operate. It had a mode dial on the left top panel with PASM, i-Auto, movie, Scene, and Art Filter options. On the right side were unmarked twin control dials with function and movie buttons. That was it.

    But its functionality was fantastic. You could program the function buttons and the dials to suit your shooting style. The body was weather resistant, and the handling was very comfortable. I still shoot with one today in the studio. I use it for my product shots.

    Some people complained that the buttons were too "spongy" due to their weather sealing. I know what they mean, but they never really bothered me that much. The camera is quite durable, and it's performing as well today as when I first bought it.

    PA202702.jpg

    Then, in February 2015, the Mark II was released. This was a very different camera, and one of my all time favorites.

    First of all, it was a wonderful HD video camera. Olympus replaced the up and down tilting LCD with a fully articulated model. The sensor-based image stabilization was further refined. And with the optional grip, you had jacks for both mic and headphones. The video it rendered was truly beautiful. Again, I still use this camera today. It's really good for live streaming.

    The top deck of the Mark II was more sophisticated than its earlier sibling. A convenient on/off switch was moved to the mode dial, and there were now four buttons and two dials on top. I really liked the program lever on the back that allowed me to switch from my still photography settings to movie settings in one easy motion.

    This camera was equally capable for both stills and movies. Plus Olympus added the 40MP High Res Shot feature. And they continued to refine its features and performance through multiple firmware upgrades.

    One thing that held back both the Mark I and the Mark II was computer processing power. In particular, burst modes in RAW were limited and the camera often had to pause to write to the card. And the second limitation was the 16MP sensor. And this brings us to the Mark III.

    Not only does it look more like an E-M1 Mark II on the top deck, it features a more robust TruePic VIII Quad Core Processor inside. The overall appearance is sleeker than the chunky Mark II, plus we now have 4K video (which many wanted in the Mark II), Pro Capture, 30fps silent electronic shutter, and a 20MP sensor. Horsepower is no longer an issue.

    In a sense, we've returned to the cleaner look of the Mark I, but with the firepower of the E-M1. I think this is going to be a winning combination for Olympus. It was worth the 4-year wait.

    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.

    Amateur Photographer Magazine Celebrates 100 Years of Olympus

    You can visit their site here.

    I downloaded a copy to my iPad for $3.99 using their app, which is free in the App Store. It's a terrific article with lots of pictures of Olympus gear over the years, including the Olympus Flex twin lens, Olympus 35 rangefinder, the original PEN f, and of course, the amazing OM series.

    They also show selected Olympus print ads from over the years, a cool article, What Olympus Means to Me, a discussion on the Micro Four Thirds Era, and an article on OM to OM-D. There is a lot of great stuff here for those who appreciate the innovation of this brand.

    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. (The Digital Story is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.) And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members:

    Affiliate Links - The link to the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III contains an affiliate code that credits The Digital Story for any purchases made from B&H Photo via that click-through. Depending on the purchase, we may receive some financial compensation.

    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.

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.

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.