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Photographers wishing to leave their laptops at home, but still wanting backup and image sharing on the road, may find the answer in the RavPower All-in-1 Filehub that's currently on sale for $45.99.

PB120440-ravpower.jpg The RavPower with a USB Flash drive at one end and SD card at the other.

This 5.4 ounce device that measures a mere 3.82 x 1.06 x 2.13 inches is WiFi enabled with a USB port on one end and a SD card reader on the other. Using the free iOS or Android FileHub Plus app, travelers can copy files from the SD card to an USB Flash drive for backup. There are many more functions available with the RavPower, but this one in particular is vital to mobile photographers.

The Workflow

rav-power - 4.jpg

Insert a MS DOS Flash drive in the USB port and a memory card full of pictures in the opposite slot, then fire up the RavPower. Join the FileHubPlus network in the WiFi settings of your device. If you don't see it there, press the button on the RawPower and wait a few seconds. Now launch the FileHub Plus app. You should see icons for both the SD card and the USB device at the bottom of the screen.

Tap on File/Folder and navigate to your SD card. Drill down until you see the pictures on the card. Tap the images you want to copy to the USB drive, then tap on the wrench icon and choose Transfer to from the popup menu. Select FileHub Plus from the popup menu. That will reveal the USB drive. Navigate to the folder on the drive where you want the pictures to reside. You can create folders here too. Tap Transfer. The images will be copied to your USB device.


You can move entire folders too with just a couple taps. So this process can be fast and easy. Once the images have been copied to the USB device, you can view them in the app, and even copy your favorites to the mobile device, for editing and sharing. You have an array of options available to you.

But Wait, There's More

The RavPower is also a 6000 mAh power bank that can recharge your mobile devices in the field. First, use the eject command for your USB device by tapping on its icon at the bottom of the main screen. (You should do this too for the SD card before removing.) Once the port is free, connect the charging cable for the mobile device to the RavPower. Energy will begin to flow into your smartphone or tablet. You can monitor the reserve amount by pressing the button on the top of the battery. Four LED dots indicate that there's lots of juice. The dots go down as power is transferred from the battery to your devices.

PB120435-ravpower.jpg Recharging an iPhone 6S with the RavPower Filehub.

Final Thoughts

There are more functions available too, such as wireless routing via the built-in Ethernet port, and streaming of music, movies, and pictures from USB storage to your mobile devices.

But the ability to backup my SD cards while on the go is the unique feature that I think makes the RavPower All-in-1 Filehub a steal at $46.

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Flickr has updated its mobile app for iOS 9, and it's a beauty. The headline feature is a smart implementation of 3D Touch.

flickr-iphone-ds.jpg 3D Touch now implemented for iPhone 6S. Photos by Derrick Story.

Level one of 3D Touch is available when scrolling through thumbnails and you want a closer look. Not only does the image pop forward with blurred background, but you get the photographer's name and image title.

But wait, it gets better. In your Camera Roll, press on a thumbnail to bring it forward. Now you can scroll through neighboring images by swiping left or right to see an enlarged view of them. When you find the photo that you want to work with, press a bit harder, and it jumps forward into full screen mode. This is as much fun with 3D Touch I've had so far.

For those without an iPhone 6S, Flickr has added Spotlight Search, Universal Links, and App Icon Shortcuts to this update. Helpful indeed, but not quite as sexy. The free update is available now in the iOS App Store.

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No self-respecting shooter wants to be caught carrying a selfie stick. But the new Manfrotto Compact Xtreme 2-in-1 Monopod and Pole ($45) just might be the respectable solution that we've been waiting for.


The Compact Xtreme is a combination of a Manfrotto monopod and what the company calls a "pole." This dual personality adapts to a variety of situations, and works in both modes for mirrorless, compact, and action cameras.

Essentially, what they've done is create a lightweight, compact monopod that retracts to a minimum of 17.34", but can be extended to a maximum of 53.19". It weighs in at 0.62 pounds.

The real trick is that they put a universal 1/4" thread at both ends (with protective covers). So you can attach a camera to either end and extend the pole. Since it's lightweight, you can hold it with one arm when it's in "pole mode," or steady it with the ground when it's a monopod.

The kit includes a small aluminum ball head and GoPro adapter. And when collapsed, the Xtreme should fit in many camera bags or easily attach to the outside. The Manfrotto Compact Xtreme looks like a nifty solution for photographers on the go who disdain the traditional selfie stick.

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Version 5.4.7 of EyeFi Mobi is also compatible with more than 50 WiFi enabled cameras. This means that you can integrate image transfer from older models (without WiFi using the Mobi card) and newer models (with built-in WiFi) using just one app.


In my testing, the system works, but there are a few details you should be aware of. The options are not the same for WiFi cameras as they are for the latest Eyefi Mobi Pro card. The most notable changes are that with camera WiFi, you don't have the selective transfer option, and if you shoot RAW+Jpeg, both files are sent to your mobile device.

For my workflow, this is a big problem. I want to decide which images are transferred to my mobile device, as I can with the EyeFi Mobi Pro. Plus, I need to shoot RAW+Jpeg, but I only want the selected Jpegs to be delivered wirelessly.

So the bottom line is, yes there are over 50 cameras that can send images to the EyeFi Mobi app, but you don't really have any control over that process. Once you connect the two devices, pictures just start streaming to your smartphone or tablet.

There might be some situations where this isn't a problem, and you could take advantage of all your cameras transferring all their images to one location. But for me, I still need the selective transfer of Jpegs only, for the app to be useful with my WiFi cameras.

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Find Your Stuff with Tile


The Tile Phone Finder - Key Finder - Item Finder is a small, square, Bluetooth 4.0 device that can help your locate lost items.

I've been using it with my iPhone 6S via its free app. The operation is simple. I paired the Tile with my iPhone, attached it to my keyring, and let the two devices keep in touch with one another.

In the event that my keys are accidentally left behind between couch cushions at a friend's house, I can open the Tile app and find out where they were last registered by the iPhone. It will show me the general proximity on a map. Then all I have to do is return to the scene, navigate to the keys via the app, and tap the Find button to initiate musical tones from the Tile so I can discover its location.

keys-in-couch-cushion.jpg Lost keys between couch cushions? A Tile attached to the keyring (the square white object) will communicate with your iPhone to help you locate them.

Tiles run $25 each or cheaper in combo packs, have enough battery juice for a year, then can be turned in for a new tile (at a reduced price). It's not realtime tracking, but the system is clever. Knowing the last spot where your phone and keys were in the same proximity is helpful. And being able to initiate the audible sound when you're close is effective.

Tile is an fun high-tech stocking stuffer. And it most likely will be included on my holiday gift list.

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Lightroom 2.0 for the iPhone and iPad include the newish Dehaze feature that made a big splash on the desktop versions a while back. Adding Dehaze to an already set of excellent editing tools pushes Lightroom up near the top of mobile editing apps.

Dehaze Added to Mobile Lightroom Dehaze has been added to the list of editing options.

I tested Lightroom 2.0 on my new iPhone 6S. I hadn't used this app often on an iPhone previously, opting for the iPad instead, but the additional real estate of the 6S made it a reasonable experience.

A key aspect is being able to take a quality image with the 6S, edit it in Lightroom mobile, then push it up to Instagram or other social sites in a fast, seamless workflow.

Palace of Fine Arts - San Francisco CA I captured this image at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco with the iPhone 6S, refined in Lightroom 2.0 using the Dehaze tool (as shown here), then pushed up to Instagram via the Open In command. Photos by Derrick Story.

Even if you don't have a Creative Cloud account, you can tap your Camera Roll with Lightroom 2.0. There's a robust set of tools there, now including Dehaze.

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Reuters TV Gets iPhone News Right

I've been watching Reuters TV for over a week now on my iPhone, and it is hands down the best news service I've followed to date.

Reuters TV

Reuters builds a video news show for me based on the length I've specified (15 minutes in my case). I can see the story lineup, jump from topic to topic, or just let the show play as assembled, which is my preference. Reuters does a great job of adding segues, title screens, intros and outros.

Turn the phone sideways for full screen viewing. Leave it in portrait mode to see the story line up. Nifty. And when you first open the app in portrait mode, the sound is muted until you turn the phone sideways. Now that's thinking.

The free version includes a couple ads during the newscast. But even they are top notch and presented well. If you don't want the ads, you can subscribe for $1.99 a month. The entire production is tasteful and professional.

If you'd like to keep up on daily events, and don't have a lot of time to do so, Reuters TV may be just the solution. It's available for both iOS and Android. And it's terrific.

I Don't Need Live Photos, but I Want it

As we sift through all of the announcements from Apple's Sept. 9, 2015 event in San Francisco, a minor feature is actually one of the most interesting to me: Live Photos.


If you have it enabled, via the "Live" icon in the center of the top toolbar on the iPhone 6S camera app, every time you take a picture, the app will capture a second and a half of content on either side of the image. Then, when you view the snapshot, you can press and hold on it (thanks to the new 3D Touch feature), and the picture comes to life for a couple seconds.

It's a small thing, until you think about the type of pictures many of us are capturing with our smart phones. They're family moments, outings with friends, interactions with pets... in other words, the things that matter dearly to us. Imagine missing your wife while on a business trip and being able to see her come to life just for a few seconds. I can see the value in that.


It gets to the point where I sometimes wonder what else I need from my mobile devices. I don't need Live Photos. But I do want it. It's one of those little things that can help me stay connected to those I love. And in this busy, multitasking, world of ours, I can use as much of that connection as I can get.

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It's like Micro Four Thirds lenses were designed for this moment.

The Olympus Air A01 is a palm-sized cylinder with a 16MP M4/3 sensor and lens mount that allows photographers to attached any Micro Four Thirds lens and start shooting.

They can control the camera via their iOS or Android smartphone, not to mention view the images on those beautiful LCD screens.

What's different about this project compared to other competitors is that M4/3 optics are among the most compact in the interchangeable lens world. The pancake Oly 14-42mm EZ zoom, Panasonic 20mm f/1.7, Olympus 45mm f/1.8, (and on and on) are perfect for this device. Compact lenses plus compact body equals pocketable device.

If you're already shooting in this format, the admission price for the Air is $299. Smartphone not included.

So in addition to serving as a super nimble mobile device, the Olympus Air becomes the world's most compact, fully-featured backup camera.

That's pretty nice...

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DxO ONE vs iPhone 5S Sunset Shoot

I stepped out the front door the other evening to witness a beautiful sunset. Like most other folks, I pulled a smartphone out of my pocket to record the event. Unlike most others, however, I then pulled a DxO ONE from my other pocket to capture a few more pictures. I thought you might be interested in how they compare.

Note: The DxO ONE images were captured with pre-release hardware and processed with beta software. Specs and performance may change with the final release in September.

The Jpegs from both the iPhone 5S and DxO ONE are right out of the camera with no further processing. The DNG from the ONE was processed with automatic settings (no individual slider tweaking) in DxO OpticsPro 10 and saved out as a Jpeg.

iPhone 5S Jpeg

iphone-5s-sunset-web.jpg The iPhone does a good job of capturing the vibrancy of the sunset. Gradation with the brightest tones isn't quite as smooth as with the DxO, and the resolution is less at 3263 x 2448. But overall, a nice rendering of the scene.

DxO ONE Jpeg

dxo-one-jpeg-sunset-web.jpg The Jpeg from the DxO One is very good. Smoother gradation in the bright areas and more resolution at 5540 x 3688. Noise is very well controlled.


dxo-one-dng-sunset-web.jpg Where things get real interesting is the the DNG version of the twilight scene captured with the ONE and processed with automatic settings in DxO OpticsPro 10. The rendering is more dramatic with excellent tonality.

Even though the iPhone 5S is an excellent camera (with the 6 being even better), it's hard to compete against RAW files produced by a 1" sensor and matching software. I also like the wider proportions of the DxO One (3x5) compared to the iPhone (3x4).

Either way, how cool to have such excellent cameras comfortably stashed in the front pocket of my pants.

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