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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.

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.

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.

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 #705, Sept. 17, 2019. Today's theme is "Time for a New Bag and Triple Cam Trippin'." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Sometimes you open up the closet, peruse your options, and mumble to yourself, "I just don't have anything to wear." In this case, I'm talking about camera bags. I have all of these great adventures lined up, and none of my existing carrying solutions feel right. So I did something about it. Also this week, I take a peek at the new triple camera trend in smartphones. Maybe we don't need a bag after all? Today, on the TDS Photography Podcast.

Time for a New Bag

Nobody wants to explore the magnificent Redwoods with a suitcase in hand. Now, I wasn't planning on doing that, but my existing urban gear just didn't feel appropriate, and my current backpacks look like they have thousands of dollars of gear inside.

I wanted something that was more like the Big Lebowski and less like Wall Street goes to the forest. So I made a checklist of features that I wanted, starting with "casual vibe," and began nosing around on the Internet. When I found the Vanguard Havana 48 ($103), my first impression was that I had hit pay dirt.

But how would the pack hold up during testing? Was it all looks and no brains? Here are the features that are important to me:

  • Lots of room to serve as my Point-A to Point-B gear bag. (This is the bag that goes from the house to the hotel, with everything in it. I can then switch to a smaller bag for the field once I'm there.)
  • Looks more like a regular backpack than a photo bag. (I have a couple nice backpacks already, but they scream: "Lots of expensive equipment in here!")
  • Removable inserts allow me to convert it to a regular backpack. (Versatility is important. Maybe needs a change-up for a particular outing, and lunch and clothing are required instead of gear.)
  • Comfortable harness system so I can wear it for extended periods of time if necessary. (You never know when suddenly you have to hoof it for a distance.)
  • Plus it has to have:

  • Rain cover
  • Trolly sleeve
  • Fast laptop access
  • Easy iPad access
  • Dual water bottle pockets
  • Affordable

The bottom line. I like the Vanguard Havana 48. I really do feel like the dude with just a regular backpack. It does a good job of helping me organize my gear. And the extra room is really handy. I have a feeling that I will be using the Havana 48 for some time to come.

If you want to learn more about it, and see my pictures of the backpack, check out my review on The Digital Story.

Thoughts on the New Triple Camera iPhone

triple-camera-iphone.jpg

Last week Apple announced the iPhone 11 Pro with a triple camera setup. This is part of a trend that we are seeing by other manufacturers as well. What exactly is the triple camera?

It is exactly what it sounds like - 3 separate cameras integrated into one device. The cameras themselves are interesting.

  • The Ultra Wide - 13mm focal length with an f/2.4 aperture. It features a 5-element lens with a 120 degree field of view and a 12MP sensor.
  • The Wide Camera - Most of us are already familiar with this 26mm focal length with a f/1.8 aperture. This is the workhorse camera on top tier smartphones. Apple's has a 6-element lens with optical stabilization and a 12MP sensor.
  • The Telephoto Camera - This is a bit of a misnomer in that it's a 52mm lens at f/2.0. (My iPhone X is f/2.4.) It also has optical stabilization and a 12MP sensor.

The iPhone 11 Pro provides a 4X optical zoom range. This is different, and better, than digital zoom which is based on electronics and not actual lenses.

You start adding other features, such as Night Mode, Portrait Mode, Smart HDR, and you can see why many people consider Apple a camera company as well as computers and tablets. They've also brightened the flash by 36 percent, which is think is very important. And the display is improved as well.

Humboldt Redwoods Workshop This Week

I'm thrilled that our Humboldt Redwoods Workshop is finally here. There's a little rain in Northern CA right now, which is going to make the redwoods this wonderful, mystical, fragrant environment for our photography.

I'm working on next year's workshop schedule, and I'll be announcing the line up in October. Stay tuned for more information.

Updates and Such

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

Podcasting Skills Course - The first two course dates are scheduled for October 12 and 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.

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 #704, Sept. 10, 2019. Today's theme is "My 6 Favorite Digital Cameras of All Time." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

In the early days of digital photography, the medium seemed almost too good to be true. You didn't have to buy film, there was no processing lab, and you could shoot as long as your batteries lasted. And the cameras along the way have been equally remarkable. And over the last 20 years, 6 in particular stand out for me. I'll tell you which ones, and why, on today's TDS Photography Podcast.

My 6 Favorite Digital Cameras of All Time

OK, so I tried to whittle this list down to 5, but I just couldn't. So, maybe we'll look at it as 5 +1 great cameras of all time.

canon-dslr-v2.jpeg

The very first camera that blew my mind was the ground-breaking Canon EOS 10D, released in 2003. For less than $2,000, I had an interchangeable lens DSLR with a 6.3MP sensor. It felt so good in the hand with its comfortable grip and Magnesium alloy body. I could finally afford a semi-pro DSLR, and I loved the heck out of that camera.

Just two years later, in 2005, Canon released the full frame Canon EOS 5D. This was the camera I used while working at the Beijing Olympics and on my first trip to Iceland.

The 5D was more expensive, $3,200, but was relatively affordable for a semi-pro full frame 12.8MP sensor. It was also compact for a full frame DSLR, and that was what closed the deal for me. I traveled all over the world with the 5D, and will always consider it one of the best cameras of all time.

In 2008, Nikon released the D700 12.1MP full frame DSLR, a camera that I still use to this day.

The D700 is a stunning camera. The color it captures is as beautiful as any camera I've ever used. The metering is amazing. And I can use practically any F-Mount lens on this digital body, which is why I still covet it today.

If you want to have a Zen-photo moment, then mount the classic Nikon 105mm f/2.8 on the D700 and shoot portraits. It's as thrilling now as it was 10 years ago. I could spend the entire podcast reviewing all of its impressive features. It is truly a DSLR for the ages.

Fast forward to March 2016 when Olympus released the PEN-F, a classic digital camera for the ages. This is one digital that I will never part with. Every aspect of the camera is machined to perfection, and the images it produces are outstanding. The PEN-F has garnered more conversation in the field than any camera I've every used. It's now discontinued, but you can still buy a new one today.

Right on the heels of the PEN-F, in October 2016, Olympus released the OM-D E-M1 Mark II. In my mind, this camera marked the coming of age for Micro Four Thirds. It was the first MFT camera that I could use professionally, and I still do to this day.

For $1,500, you get a compact, durable, weather resistant, fast, reliable 20MP camera that accepts a huge catalog of lenses that range from the amazing 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO, to the diminutive Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 pancake. The E-M1 Mark II is the most versatile camera I've ever used.

Then in 2017, Pentax released the Pentax KP DSLR, 24MP APS-C compact camera has outstanding sensor-based IS like the E-M1, but gives me a beautiful optical viewfinder, great color, and super-editable RAW files.

I know that Pentax isn't very popular these days with most photographers, but I have to say that the KP provides unmeasurable joy when I'm using it.

These six cameras, four of which I still use, are among the best creative tools I've ever worked with. I don't know what manufacturers have up their sleeves next, but it's going to be hard to top this list.

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 first two course dates are scheduled for October 12 and November 9, 2019. Participation is limited to 10 people per course, first come, first served. Registration is open now at www.thenimblephotographer.com. Click on the Workshops tab.

Scientists Who Took the First Picture of a Black Hole Awarded with $3M Prize

You can read the entire article here.

The world's first photo of a black hole, revealed this past April, was the result of years of collaboration between 347 astronomers from around the world. Today, those astronomers get to figure out how to split $3,000,000 in prize money for their hard work.

In case you missed the news in April, an international consortium of over 300 astronomers were able to achieve something previously believed to be impossible: they captured a photograph of a black hole using a planet-scale array of eight ground-based telescopes. And now, they're being awarded with the Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics, sometimes called the "Oscar of science," and $3 million in prize money to split between them.

So, I did a little math, and that prize works out to be $8,645 each. Doesn't seem like much for photographing a black hole.

Try LinkedIn Learning Free for 30 Days

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  • Watch anytime on your computer or phone Easily access and watch courses from your desktop or mobile device. Apps available for iOS and Android.
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On our Facebook page, Harold wrote: "After hearing your comments on the transition from lynda.com to be included in linkedin.com/learning, I went there where one free month is offered. I then went to lynda.com. On that website, there is a link to migrate, and it, too, included adding one free month. All my saved programs moved over. Just and FYI for your fans."

You can get started today by clicking on this link to start your 30 day free trial.

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. 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 #703, Sept. 3, 2019. Today's theme is Fast Glass, Classic Lighting, and More." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

How often can you say that you scored a true bargain on a brand new piece of photo equipment? Well, I did, with the Kamlan 50mm f/1.1 lens. And I'm going to tell you why today. Plus, I spent some time on Sunday studying portraits painted by Peter Paul Rubens, and as a result, I have a few insights to share. All of that, and more, on today's TDS Photography Podcast.

Fast Glass - The Kamlan 50mm f/1.1 Lens for Mirrorless

Pen-tight-1024.jpg

I purchased the optic on Kickstarter for $199 with metal lens hood and 62mm ND4 filter. It's now showing up on on Amazon for $249 (without the ND filter), and I'm sure we will see it plenty of other places. I've been shooting with it on my OM-D E-M5 Mark II, and I can tell you, this lens is the real deal.

It's designed with 8 elements in 7 groups, 11 aperture blades that form a beautiful circular opening, weighs about 600 grams, and is available in Micro Four Thirds, Sony E, Fuji XF, and Canon EOS-M mounts.

The manual focusing in well-dampened and a pleasure to use. The "clickless" aperture ring turns smoothly allowing for "aperture racking" in video work.

Here are five things that I've learned shooting with it.

  • You Don't Always Need Autofocus - The MF Kamlan isn't going to replace my AF Olympus 45mm optics, but I did discover that for certain types of photography, manual focus is just fine. In fact, I enjoyed it.
  • Lens Hoods Should Be Included - I think that it's BS that we should ever have to buy a lens hood after purchasing a brand new optic. Not only does the Kamlan ship with a handsome metal lens hood, it's reversible as well.
  • I Am a Sucker for Big Honkin' Polished Optics - I could look at that 62mm front objective lens all day.
  • On Olympus, the 2X Doubler Helps for Focusing - Unfortunately I could not figure out how to get any of the functions in MF Assist to work. But the 2X Digital Tele-converter does a fine job of helping with precise focusing. I assigned it to a Function button so that I could easily turn it on and off.
  • Lens Info Setting is a Beautiful Thing - I love being able to have basic metadata for my MF lenses, and this setting allows that to happen.

I have captured many images with the Kamlan 50mm f/1.1 Mark II, and I have to say that I really like the pictures. It is sharp where I need it, and dreamy where I don't.

I think all mirrorless shooters would enjoy this optic. But it is especially appealing for Micro Four Thirds photographers.

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!

The Lighting of Peter Paul Rubens

During a visit on Sunday to the Legion of Honor Museum in San Francisco, I spent some quality time with the paintings of Peter Paul Rubens and other Flemish artists from the early 1600s. And what I enjoyed most viewing their work? The lighting!

Rubens-Portrait.jpg

I posted a sample of one of my favorites: Portrait of Paracelsus from 1615. This light is coming down from an angle on the left side while the face is turned slightly to the right, exposing more of the left side.

The eyes are not straight ahead, but looking back to the left. There is some shadow from the nose on the right side, as well as shadow on the neck and right side of the face. But it isn't too harsh. More like the effect that we would get from using a white reflector for fill.

The effect is quite pleasing, and definitely worth playing with for portraits of men, boys, and girls.

B&H Deal of the Week: Olympus TG-6 for $50 Off

If you have an outdoor adventure in the works, you may want to bring along an Olympus Tough TG-6. It's:

  • Waterproof-rated to IPX8 for use underwater to depths of 50' / 15m
  • Freezeproof to temperatures as low as 14°F / -10°C
  • Shockproof to falls from 7' / 2.1m high
  • Crushproof to withstand up to 220 lbf / 100 kgf of pressure
  • Dustproof-rated to IP6X to protect the internal components of the camera

And right now, you can get it for $399 - $50 off!. That's a great deal!

New Nimble Podcast: Musician Monique DeBose

I've just posted my conversation with Monique DeBose, award-winning playwright and Jazz-R&B-pop singer/songwriter, who has toured and entertained audiences throughout Europe, India, and Asia. Her third album-The Sovereign One - debuted at #2 on the iTunes Jazz Charts.

You will definitely want to tune in for this one!

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. 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!

Kamlan-PEN-1024.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 #702, August 27, 2019. Today's theme is "5 Things I Learned Taking Pictures on Las Vegas Blvd." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

I packed my carry-on bag with three cameras, a couple changes of clothes, and a water bottle and flew to Las Vegas for the week. My goal was to explore The Strip, not as an afterthought as I normally do while there for a conference, but as a primary goal. Four days later I returned home with a collection of images and a bit wiser than when I had left. The latter is the focus of today's TDS Photography Podcast.

5 Things I Learned Taking Pictures on Las Vegas Blvd.

I have a screenshot of the weather app on my iPhone that was captured at 7:46pm last Wednesday in Las Vegas. It reads that the current temperature was 106 degrees. By the time I wrapped up the evening's photography at 11pm, the temp had dropped to tepid 92 degrees.

Weather was definitely a factor during the entire week's shoot. And it is the best place for me to start with lessons learned.

  • Do Your Homework - With a little bit of research, I learned that there is a second Monorail access at the MGM Grand that saved me 15 minutes of walking through the smoky casino to the entrance that everyone knows about. I learned about free trams that I didn't know about. I found ATMs that were a fraction of the service charge price in most casinos. And I found the best places to eat at an affordable price.
  • Take into Account Factors that affect Your Energy - As I've said many times before, creativity and energy level are tied to one another. In order for me to be effective in the searing Nevada heat, I had to plan my excursions to incorporate relief during the shoot itself. For camera bag, I was carrying the Think Tank Urban Approach 5 with Canon G5X Mark II, Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II, Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 lens, and sometimes a Contax Aria film camera with 50mm lens.
  • Don't Shy Away from Tourists, Embrace Them - To be perfectly honest, most people in tourist locations don't care about you or your camera. I would stand there taking pictures as people walk by without ever a word about what I was doing. And if they did ask, I would say that I'm a tourist as well capturing the sites and sounds of the location. I often initiated conversations just to learn more about folks.
  • Don't Look Like a Pro - Leave the DSLR with super tele at home. Forget your humongous tripod. And don't even think about a bulky photographer's vest packed to the gils. These items will make people uncomfortable and attract unwanted attention to yourself. Save the bulky gear for your next landscape shoot where the trees don't care. And you definitely want to stay off the radar of security personal and people who don't like photographers.
  • Be Flexible - This applies to all aspects of your being. Be flexible mentally and adapt to your environment. Be flexible in your choices of subject and technique. Be flexible physically and remember to work all of the angles from low too high. And be flexible emotionally, understanding that the world doesn't care about your photography and isn't there to accommodate your needs.

So, now that I'm home, how do I feel about the photo shoot? In my pick set, I currently have 32 images that show the people and places on the Las Vegas Strip. And I very much like those photographs. I can tell that I was more focused about my photography than I had been in trips past where I did not make it my primary work.

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 first two course dates are scheduled for October 12 and November 9, 2019. Participation is limited to 10 people per course, first come, first served. Registration is open now at www.thenimblephotographer.com. Click on the Workshops tab.

How Do You Listen to Your Podcasts?

Here are the results from, How Do You Listen to Your Podcasts?.

  • Apple Podcasts (twice as many as second place)
  • Overcast
  • A smattering of others including Pocket Cast, Google Play, and Spotify.

paul-and-dad-1024.jpg "Paul and His Dad" - Las Vegas Blvd. - Canon G5X Mark II - Photo by Derrick Story.

The Story of Paul

When people approach me on the street, it usually takes me a few seconds to gauge how to react. So when Paul plopped his backpack down on the bench where I was working, I wasn't sure what to think at first.

This story is about what happened next.

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  • Watch anytime on your computer or phone Easily access and watch courses from your desktop or mobile device. Apps available for iOS and Android.
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You can get started today by clicking on this link to start your 30 day free trial.

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. 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.

Portfoliobox - Your PortfolioBox site is the best way to show off your best images.

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 #701, August 20, 2019. Today's theme is "The Art of Mistakes and Miscalculations." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Mistakes are sometimes in the eye of the beholder. An off-center subject may be viewed by one person as poor composition and seen as dynamic by another. After visiting the exhibition, Don't! Photography and the Art of Mistakes at SF MOMA, I have 5 techniques that can be dazzling to some folks and head-scratching to others. Tune in and see which camp you fall in to.

The Art of Mistakes and Miscalculations

I want to start by reading you the opening text to the exhibit at SF MOMA, because I think it frames this conversation well.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, proscriptive texts by self-proclaimed photography experts proliferated in amateur manuals and periodicals. The next generation saw the rise of photographers who challenged these rules and strictures.

Pairing modernist images by artists including Man Ray, Florence Henri, and Lisette Model with historical documents, this exhibition examines the shifting definitions of "good" and "bad" photography, while considering how tastes evolved during this transformative period for the medium.

BTW: This show runs through Dec. 1. So if you're in San Francisco, I highly recommend visiting MOMA and seeing it for yourself.

So here are five of these "mistakes" that could turn into real works of art.

5 Techniques that Could be Wonderful

  • Off-Framing - In the early days of photography, tripods were required because of the low sensitivity of photo medium. Compositions tended to squared up and realistic. But as film speeds increased and handheld photography became more common, so did composing mistakes and victories. One of my favorites is the 1956 image, "Little Man, Stepping Off a Cable Car" by Dorothea Lang.
  • Reflections - Shop windows, for example, can be perplexing for photographers. If you shoot straight on, you see yourself in the picture. From an angle, the surrounding environment appears in the shot. Many books recommended avoiding this situation all together. That is until more adventurous photographers began to integrate these reflections into their shots showing dual realities at once.
  • Motion Blur - Standard advice to prevent motion blur was to use faster film, adequate lighting, and increase the shutter speed. But later artists discovered that blur could actually convey motion or indicate speed. And to even get more creative, a blurred moving face could convey an emotional state.
  • Distortion - Photographers were instructed to not position an arm, hand, or leg closer to the lens than the other parts of the body because distortion would elongate or enlarge that body part. But then more adventurous artists discovered that they could create abstractions, similar to modern art techniques, that departed from making photographs always look realistic.
  • Lens Flare - Photographers were cautioned about pointing their lenses in the direction of strong light sources, such as a bright lamp or the sun, because it increased the chances of lens flare. But because of its unpredictable nature, art photographers embraced the technique and were eager to see how the effects of flare impacted their compositions.

Photography is an ever-evolving medium. And the rules are seldom adhered to for very long. And to be honest, sometimes images that feature these "mistakes" are far more interesting than the "perfect" ones.

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 first two course dates are scheduled for October 12 and November 9, 2019. Participation is limited to 10 people per course, first come, first served. Registration is open now at How Do You Listen to Your Podcasts?. Pop over and let us know if you're a Spotify, Overcast, Apple Podcasts, or fan of some other platform for listening to your shows. Plus, it's fun to see what others are saying.

moma-1024.jpg

Alfred Stieglitz: 5 Random Don'ts

From the SF MOMA exhibit: Don't! Photography and the Art of Mistakes.

  • Don't believe you must be a pictorial photographer... Bad pictorial photography, like bad "art painting," is a crime.
  • Don't plagiarize if you can help it. It can't give you any real pleasure to know yourself akin to a thief.
  • Don't believe you became an artist the instant you received a gift Kodak on Christmas morning.
  • Don't believe that experts are born. They are the results of hard work.
  • Don't go through life with your eyes closed, even though you may have chosen photography as your vocation. The machine may see for you, but its eye is dead. Your eye should furnish it with life. But don't believe that all open eyes see. Seeing needs practice - just like photography itself.

PS: Don't believe I claim any originality for the above random remarks.

From Photographic Topics 7, January 1909.

Try LinkedIn Learning Free for 30 Days

  • Access 13,000+ expert-led courses Watch as many courses as you like - there's no limit. Dozens of new courses added each week across business, tech and creative. Courses available in English, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish.
  • Get personalized course recommendations based on your current job, skills, and what professionals like you are learning.
  • Watch anytime on your computer or phone Easily access and watch courses from your desktop or mobile device. Apps available for iOS and Android.
  • Earn a certificate when you complete a course Show off the new skills you've learned on your LinkedIn profile by earning a certificate for each course you've watched.
  • Practice with exercise files and quizzes Validate what you're learning with quizzes within courses, and download exercise files so you can practice while you learn.
  • Download to mobile app for offline viewing Download and watch courses on the LinkedIn Learning mobile app for internet-free viewing.
  • Access LinkedIn's Premium Career features.

You can get started today by clicking on this link to start your 30 day free trial.

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. 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.

Portfoliobox - Your PortfolioBox site is the best way to show off your best images.

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 #700, August 13, 2019. Today's theme is "Street Photography with the Canon G5X Mark II." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

The Canon G5X Mark II is compact enough to fit in your pants pocket, but it pairs a 24-120mm zoom lens with a 20.2 MP 1" Stacked CMOS Sensor. That's a lot of imaging potential in a small package. And it seemed to me worthy of serious street photography. So I headed off to South San Francisco to see what it could do. I share my findings on today's TDS Photography Podcast.

Street Photography with the Canon G5X Mark II

Canon-G5X-Front-1024.jpg

You may be wondering why my first inclination for the Canon G5X was for street photography. Well, the answer came within minutes of my exploration of South San Francisco with the camera.

I was photographing a fabulous neon blue hotel sign downtown when a middle-aged man came storming out the front door calling to me, "What are you doing? What are you doing!"

I lowered the camera and turned to him, "I'm taking pictures of that sign."

"Why are you doing that?" he asked with way too much intensity.

"Because I like the way it looks," I responded. "I'm just having fun. Look," I said holding the diminutive Canon G5X up to his face. "Just having fun."

"Well, OK," he said begrudgingly and went back inside.

We have come to the point where we can't take a picture of a hotel sign on a public street without an inquiry as to our intentions. And one of the reasonable lines of defenses against this unreasonable behavior is a small camera that looks like something only a tourist would carry.

That's why I thought the G5X was a good choice for the day. And as it turns out, I was right.

After a week of steady shooting with the Canon, there are five features that I think are worth discussing for those interested in a compact camera for travel, street photography, and family outings. Let's dig deeper.

S. SF Ex Phone Booth

5 Noteworthy Features on the Canon G5X Mark II

  • Electronic 2,360,000 dot Viewfinder and Tilting 3" 1,040,000 dot LCD - The popup viewfinder works well for both left and right eye photographers. Once popped up, the eyepiece pulls outward providing plenty of viewing distance. This adjustable diopter is a great touch, and the image is outstanding. The tilting LCD is wonderful for street photography when you want to get low or high angles. This tandem really makes this a versatile, easy to use camera.
  • Front Control Ring for More Precise Zooming - The adjustable ring around the lens can be programmed as a step zoom with click stops for 24mm, 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, 100mm, and 120mm. Since I'm already familiar with those focal lengths, I found this far more useful than just randomly pushing a rocker switch in one direction or the other to adjust the zoom.
  • Easy to Use Exposure Compensation Ring - If you enable Exposure Simulation, you can take full advantage of the easy to adjust exposure compensation ring that provides real time visual feedback as your rotate it with your thumb.
  • Relatively Fast f/1.8 - 2.8 Zoom lens - Not only is the zoom range good - 24mm to 120mm - so is the maximum aperture ranging from f/1.8 - 2.8. This makes it easier to capture images in a variety of lighting environments without having to jack up the ISO.
  • Versatile Charging Options - In-camera battery charging, from a power bank, outlet, or computer, is possible via the USB port. And unlike many other cameras that allow for USB charging, Canon also includes the standalone charger in the box. So you have both options available.

Stanford Mall Shopping

I do have a few nits as well. The battery indicator is less than accurate. It may show half charge available one minute, then suddenly shut down the next. The back panel controls are too easy to accidentally change during the shooting process. And I would love to have a custom function button or two.

But overall, I really like the Canon G5X Mark II ($899). The imaging pipeline produces excellent shots, there's a bounty of useful features, and the body is truly compact. It's a winner!

The B&H Deal of the Week

Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 ASPH. Lens with UV Filter for Micro Four Thirds

The Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 lens is on sale for $147.99 - that's $100 off.

One UHR (Ultra-High Refractive Index) element pairs with two aspherical elements to reduce spherical aberrations and distortions for consistent edge-to-edge sharpness and illumination. A Nano Surface Coating has been applied, too, and helps to reduce flare and ghosting for increased contrast and color fidelity. The optical construction also helps to realize a compact overall form factor, measuring just 2"-long and weighing 4.4 oz. Benefitting both stills and video capture, this lens also incorporates a stepping motor for smooth, quiet autofocus performance that is compatible with Lumix cameras' high-speed contrast-detection focusing systems.

Great for both Panasonic and Olympus MFT cameras, especially at this price!

74 Samsung officially unveils 108MP ISOCELL Bright HMX mobile camera sensor

You can read the entire article here. Here's the scoop:

The ISOCELL Bright HMX is the first mobile sensor to feature a 1/1.33" size, according to Samsung, which says its Tetracell tech enables the HMX to 'imitate big-pixel sensors' for better quality 27MP images.

The 1/1.33" format equates to around 9.6 x 7.2mm, which is around 40% smaller than a 1"-type sensor, but nearly 3 times larger than the 1/2.5"-type chips in the many of smartphones. The Tetracell design, much like Sony's 'Quad Bayer' technology, places four pixels under each color of its color filter, making it easy to combine pixels to give better performance at 1/4 resolution, but also means additional processing needs to be done to attempt to replicate what a standard Bayer sensor would capture, if it had 108 megapixels.

New Course Offering: Podcast Skills

A course on podcasting has been the number one 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 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 first two course dates are scheduled for October 12 and November 9, 2019. Participation is limited to 10 people per course, first come, first served. Registration is open now at www.thenimblephotographer.com. Click on the 2019 Workshops tab.

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. 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.

Portfoliobox - Your PortfolioBox site is the best way to show off your best images.

The Nimbleosity Report

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