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Starting today, you can preorder Aurora HDR 2019. I've had a chance to run this on my Mac, and it is clearly my favorite version of this intelligent HDR software.

UI_14_Aurora HDR'19.jpg

At the core of this update is the Quantum HDR Engine, an AI-powered tone mapping technology that's been three years in the making within Skylum's AI lab.

With Quantum HDR, when creating an HDR image using multiple bracketed shots, the engine analyzes the photos and intelligently merges them. Not only does it minimize the major issues that we often experience with HDR merging tools, but it produces images that are dynamic and natural-looking.

The Quantum HDR Engine reduces burned colors, loss of contrast, and noise, as well as mitigates unnatural lighting caused by halos and unstable deghosting. To do this, Skylum developers tested thousands of bracketed shots through a neural network, then took those findings to develop the technology needed to create top level HDR photographs.

The interface will also feel very natural to Luminar users. I like that I can load either piece of software, and feel at home working right away.

Aurora HDR 2019 is available for pre-order starting today (Mac and Windows). Pre-orders include bonus downloadable content and costs $89 for a new purchase and $49 for an upgrade.

When released on October 4th, the price will jump to $99 new and $59 for an upgrade. The bonus pack includes:

  • Video tutorial "Getting the Most from Aurora HDR 2019" by Trey Ratcliff
  • The Landscape Photography Handbook by David Johnston
  • Exclusive interior Aurora Looks by Richard Harrington
  • Burning Mood LUTs by Richard Harrington
  • 3-month 500px Pro membership
  • $300 OFF a multi-day Iceland Photo Tour

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

There are many advantages to shooting with a fixed focal length camera. The manufacturer can optimize the relationship between the lens and sensor, you don't have to worry about dust getting on the chip, and more often than not, there's an economy of scale as well.

XF10-28mm-50mm.jpg

What you don't get, however, is the variety of framing options that is enjoyed with a zoom lens. Or do you? That depends on how you feel about the digital teleconverter function. I've been testing this feature on a brand new Fujifilm XF10 compact digital camera ($499).

The camera captures natively at an equivalent 28mm focal length. But it does include a digital teleconverter that allows the user to frame at 35mm and 50mm perspectives while retaining the same pixel dimensions (6000 x 4000). What a great convenience! But is it any good? Let's take a look.

Fujifilm XF10 - 28mm Native Native 28mm Capture - f/2.8, ISO 1600, 1/8th on a table using the self-timer. Original image unedited. Can download and examine by clicking on it. Photo by Derrick Story.

Fujifilm XF10 - 35mm Digital Teleconverter Digital Teleconverter 35mm Capture - f/2.8, ISO 1600, 1/8th on a table using the self-timer. Original image unedited. Can download and examine by clicking on it. Photo by Derrick Story.

Fujifilm XF10 - 50mm Digital Teleconverter Digital Teleconverter 50mm Capture - f/2.8, ISO 1600, 1/8th on a table using the self-timer. Original image unedited. Can download and examine by clicking on it. Photo by Derrick Story.

If you download the images and magnify, you can see some differences. But at normal viewing size, it's really hard to tell what is native and what is digitally enhanced.

File size differences provide more clues to what you actually get. The 28mm image is 6.1 MBs, the 35mm version is 5.7 MBs, and the 50mm version is 4.9 MBs. BTW: All three files were captured in Jpeg Fine mode. The Digital Teleconverter does not work in RAW.

So what's the verdict? I guess that depends on your tolerance level. For me, unless it's critical use, I'm fine with the Digital Teleconverter on this camera. It provides additional framing options with a minimal penalty.

I'm curious to see what you think once you download and examine the files for yourself. You can comment on our TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

The 9-ounce, 24 MP, APS-C Fujifilm XF10 compact digital camera is available from B&H Photo in two colors for $499. I think it's a steal.

fujifilm-xf10-front.jpg

This is The Digital Story Podcast #652, Sept. 11, 2018. Today's theme is "The Fujifilm XF10: A Remarkable Compact." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

It may seen crazy to create an ultra-compact camera to go up against premium smartphones. But no-one ever accused Fujifilm of being timid. And after the first dozen shots with this 9 ounce wonder, I realized that the engineers at Fujifilm had worked their magic once again. Join me today as I explain why the XF10 should be in every nimble photographer's pocket.

The Fujifilm XF10: A Remarkable Compact

If my iPhone X were the dimensions of a box, the Fujifilm XF10 ($499) would fit inside of it. Yet, the XF10 houses a 24MP APS-C CMOS sensor that is 14 times larger than typical smartphone chips. It has a razor sharp f/2.8 FUJINON aspherical lens, low-energy Bluetooth 4.1, and WiFi. And even though its images are superior to my iPhone X, it was designed to humble it, rather complement it.

After pairing the two devices, they are like brothers. The iPhone provides realtime GPS data so that all of my images are geotagged. It's always listening for downloads from the XF10. If I need to share an image, I can go from camera to Internet in just moments. The iPhone can also serve as a remote release and command center for the XF10.

Top Floor, Barn Tierra Vegetables in Santa Rosa, CA - www.tierravegetables.com. Captured with a Fujifilm XF10 in Jpeg Fine mode, unedited. Photo by Derrick Story

The Fujifilm imagery is gorgeous. Vibrant colors, superb detail, and 6000x4000 resolution. That's more than my E-M1 Mark II that weighs in at 5184x3888. And just like my mirrorless cameras, the XF10 has every trick in the book from time-lapse to HDR, plus features such as 4K burst and Fuji film simulations. Before we go any further, let's take a look at the specs.

  • 24.2MP APS-C CMOS Sensor (Bayer type sensor with no low pass or AA filter - Not X-Trans)
  • Fujinon 18.5mm f/2.8 Fixed Lens (28mm equivalent)
  • 35mm and 50mm digital teleconverter (Jpeg only)
  • 3" 1040k-Dot LCD Touchscreen
  • Max ISO: 12800 (51200 Extended)
  • 11 Film Simulations, 19 Advanced Filters
  • Bluetooth 4.1 and WiFi
  • 4K and Full HD Video Recording
  • External mic jack (2.5mm) and HDMI out
  • Sophisticated flash with rear curtain and slow sync
  • New Snap Focus and Square Mode
  • Mechanical and electronic shutter up to 1/16000th
  • Two command dials, one command ring, mode dial, two function buttons, and four more function swipes on the touchscreen
  • Excellent battery life, NP95 model

What the Camera Does Not Have

  • Articulating screen
  • Electronic viewfinder
  • Accessory hot shoe
  • Accessory filter ring
  • No ACROS film profile (But it does have Classic Chrome)

Brian the Welder "Brian the Welder" - Tierra Vegetables in Santa Rosa, CA - www.tierravegetables.com. Captured with a Fujifilm XF10 in Jpeg Fine mode, unedited. Photo by Derrick Story

If you want a 9 ounce, finely-machined 24MP APS-C camera, there's really only one option: the Fujifilm XF10. The only other game in town is the Ricoh GR II that costs $100 more and doesn't have the modern connectivity. As for me, I'm really happy the XF10 came along.

The Portfoliobox Featured Image

Have you visited our TDS Facebook Page in the last few days? If you, what do you think of the infrared image by Dan Horton-Szar as the featured banner? Maybe yours will be next.

Each week for the month of September, I'm going to feature a PortfolioBox Pro image as the banner for our TDS Facebook Page. I will select the image from my list of TDS PortfolioBox Pro users, and include the photographer's name and link.

If you've signed up for a Portfoliobox Pro account, and have published at least one page, then send me the link to that site. Use the Contact Form on the Nimble Photographer and provide your name, the link, and the subject of the page or site you've published. I will add it to our PortfolioBox Pro Directory.

I love using Portfoliobox for these reasons:

  • My images look great, both on my computer and on my mobile devices.
  • It's easy to use. Without any instruction, I'm adding a high quality page in just minutes.
  • It's affordable. There's a free plan and a Pro version. The Pro version is only $82.80 per year or $8.90 per month USD, and that's before the 20 percent TDS discount.

In addition to unlimited pages, you get a personalized domain name, web hosting, and up to 1,000 images.

Get Started Today

Just go to the TDS Landing Page to get started with your free account, or to receive the 20 percent discount on the Pro version. And if you want to see the page that I've begun, visit www.derrickstoryphotography.com.

Flickr Rolls Out a Fresh Look to its Galleries

As reported by The Phoblographer:

"Heads up, Flickr users! The platform has recently revamped its galleries, so you might want to take a look what has changed if you haven't been around making galleries of your favorite works by your favorite creatives.

According to the Flickr blog post announcing the long overdue revamp, the all new galleries now showcase photos and videos in a much larger layout to take advantage of today's new screen sizes and resolutions. The limit on photos that users can add to galleries have also been increased from 50 to 500. They also added a new modal batch for adding photos straight from our Faves.

The galleries list page has also been given a nice refresh, where we can now see a triptych of photos with the cover photo being slightly larger than the next two most recently added ones. The gallery metadeta at-a-glance also comes in a new card style that Flickr uses in the gallery itself."

And if you really want to see a treat, visit the TDS Member Photo Galleries on Flickr. Here's where I curate our outstanding Member Photo of the Day images. This new gallery interface really shows them off. It's a visual treat!

Inner Circle Members: New York Fine Art Greeting Cards

My latest printing project is creating a set of 6 fine art greeting cards from my trip to New York. Inner Circle members, not only can you help me choose the final images, but by doing so, you become eligible to win a free set of the cards.

Starting last week, I published two images on our Inner Circle site. Post a comment as to which one you prefer best, and you are automatically entered in the drawing. We'll do this once a week throughout September. At the end of each week, I'll randomly choose a name from the comments and send them a completed set of fine art cards once they are finished. This week's winner is: Edward J Shields.

If you want to participate, you can become a member of our Inner Circle by clicking on this link or by clicking on the Patreon tile that's on every page of The Digital Story.

Updates and Such

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 - Create the site that your best images deserve by visiting Portfoliobox. And get a 20 percent discount by using our landing page!

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.

Camera hardware is dominating industry news right now, and for good reason. Big announcements from Nikon, Canon, and Fujifilm definitely get the blood pumping. But once we navigate past Photokina and settle down later this month, there will also be a couple of important software releases as well.

Both macOS Mojave with its redesigned Finder and Luminar 2018 with Digital Asset Manager will provide new tools for Mac photographers wanting a fresh look on their computer screens.

gallery-mode.jpg

The redesigned Finder is good news for photographers because of its enhanced viewing experience via dark mode and gallery view. Without having to open any applications (not counting the Finder as a app), photographers can sort through folders of images using powerful search tools. Apple is also providing extensive image metadata in the gallery view, something they did not give us in Photos for macOS High Sierra.

It will be interesting to test the official release of Mojave to see how far the Finder can take us toward managing our images.

Speaking of digital asset management, Skylum is putting the finishing touches on their DAM, which will also be released this Fall. Much in the way they invigorated image editing with their Luminar app, they plan to bring that magic to digital asset management. There are working on versions for both Mac and Windows platforms. So just about everyone can take advantage of these new tools.

All of this will come at very little cost to the customer. macOS Mojave will be a free download to Mac users. The Luminar DAM will be a free upgrade for Luminar 2018 users. That's a lot of goodies for very little investment.

The second half of 2018 is boon for photographers. With all the new hardware, plus new tools on the software side, we could be looking at a much different workflow by the end of the year.

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

When I was first introduced to the Olympus PEN E-P1 in May of 2009, I saw an opportunity to work with an interchangeable lens camera that was high quality, affordable, and nimble. In June of 2009, I introduced my podcast audience to the camera. I've been working with mirrorless bodies ever since.

PEN-F-with-17mm.jpg The Olympus PEN-F.

With the latest round of announcements from Nikon, Canon, and Fujifilm, I wanted to share a few things to think about if you're considering getting more serious about this gear.

  • Don't Ditch Your DSLR - at least not right away. There are advantages to the optical viewfinder, and electronic viewfinders take some getting use to. Personally, I like both, but in different situations. I still prefer optical for outdoors and love the EVF indoors. Give yourself time to learn your preferences. Plus, take advantage of the important lenses that you already own.
  • Do Try Realtime Exposure Compensation - One of my favorite mirrorless features is realtime exposure compensation. It has improved my photography and shortened my post production time. Just look through the EVF, adjust the exposure, and see that adjustment applied in the viewfinder. Incredible.
  • Don't Get Stuck on Full Frame - Micro Four Thirds and cropped sensor mirrorless cameras produce high quality images with much smaller lenses. What good does it do to switch to mirrorless if you're not taking full advantage of reducing size and weight? Keep your full frame DSLR when you need it, and enjoy being nimble when you don't.
  • Do Your Research - Based on the numbers that I'm seeing, investing in a new mirrorless system will run you between $2,000 and $10,000 depending on what you choose. Make sure that you are adding capability to your toolbox and not just duplicating what you already have with new gear. Use your budget to fill the gaps.

My current mirrorless favorites are the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II ($1,699), the Olympus PEN-F ($999), and the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II with lens ($499 - an incredible value!). The image quality with these cameras is amazing, and you can easily bring them with you anywhere in the world.

I hope you find a system that you enjoy just as much.

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #651, Sept. 4, 2018. Today's theme is "Photography and Philanthropy - The Story of Home Alone." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Social networks have seen their share of user abuse over the last few years. But like so many things in life, the headlines often focus on the bad instead of the good. And as storytellers, we have an incredible opportunity to balance this narrative, and yes, even help others, by applying our skills online. Today, I share one such story that involves a sentimental photographer and an abandoned cat. I hope you enjoy the show.

Photography and Philanthropy - The Story of Home Alone

"Home Alone" is the name I gave to the sweet tuxedo kitty that lived next door. She was abandoned by the renters who picked up and moved away, leaving behind furniture, a non-operative truck, and this cat.

Home-Alone-TDS.jpg

I heard her meowing one morning as I was getting ready to leave for work. The renters had been gone for a couple days. She had a water and food bowl on the front porch. That was it.

I fed her and filled her water bowl, and thought to myself, "Who could do this?" She was a great cat: cute, friendly, light on her paws. I began a morning ritual of reading my email on her front porch while she ate and rubbed up against my legs. But I knew I had to find her a home.

I already had a territorial feral cat living in the backyard, rescued from the fire kitty in the house, and Dibs at the studio. So we were going to have to get the word for Home Alone.

Here's what I came up with, and how it worked. (You can visit the Facebook post that I created for Home Alone.)

Tips for Posting a Piece to Help Another

  • Leverage your existing platform. People who follow you will listen to your story.
  • Capture a good image. The picture is so important. It will garner viewers' attention and help tell the story.
  • Keep your post pithy and on target. Don't ramble on.
  • Don't be too emotional. Regardless of how you feel, don't intentionally pull at the heartstrings of others. Let them come to their own conclusions.
  • Follow up and provide closure.

The Portfoliobox Featured Image

Over the summer, I've received many notes from new PortfolioBox users who are thrilled with this platform for curating their images. And now, I want to shine a light on some of those best photographs.

Each week for the month of September, I'm going to feature a PortfolioBox Pro image as the banner for our TDS Facebook Page. I will select the image from my list of TDS PortfolioBox Pro users, and include the photographer's name and link. Each week, I will select a new image and feature it.

If you've signed up for a Portfoliobox Pro account, and have published at least one page, then send me the link to that site. Use the Contact Form on the Nimble Photographer and provide your name, the link, and the subject of the page or site you've published. I will add it to our PortfolioBox Pro Directory.

The Best Laid Plans - My Rocky Nook Webinar on Photos for macOS

Here's the sad tale of last week's webinar that I had planned so carefully for.

Inner Circle Members: New York Fine Art Greeting Cards

My latest printing project is creating a set of 6 fine art greeting cards from my trip to New York. Inner Circle members, not only can you help me choose the final images, but by doing so, you become eligible to win a free set of the cards.

Starting later this week, I'm going to publish two images on our Inner Circle site. Post a comment as to which one you prefer best, and you are automatically entered in the drawing. We'll do this once a week throughout September. At the end of the month, I'll randomly choose four names from the comments and send them a completed set of fine art cards.

If you want to participate, you can become a member of our Inner Circle by clicking on this link or by clicking on the Patreon tile that's on every page of The Digital Story.

Updates and Such

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 - Create the site that your best images deserve by visiting Portfoliobox. And get a 20 percent discount by using our landing page!

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.

An Analog Afternoon at Yankee Stadium

For $15 you can get a Pinstripe Pass at Yankee Stadium that gets you one beer and general admission access - perfect for a nimble photographer with a Nikon FG 35mm camera and a roll of Fujicolor 200 film.

Standing Room Only "Standing Room Only" - Nikon FG with Series E 50mm f/1.8 "pancake" and Fujicolor 200 film. Program mode. Photo by Derrick Story.

So we took the train to the Bronx with passes in hand and explored the new stadium (well, new to me) as the Yankees took on the Blue Jays. A little rain blew in that afternoon, but it didn't dampen the spirits of the crowd who watched the hometown favorites pound out 10 runs against the visitors from north of the border.

1435_09-TFP148-Nikon FG-NYC.jpg "Minolta Fan with Girlfriend" - Nikon FG with Series E 50mm f/1.8 "pancake" and Fujicolor 200 film. Program mode. Photo by Derrick Story.

During one of the inning breaks, I noticed another analog photographer with a Minolta hanging around his neck. "Good looking camera," I said to him. He smiled and replied, "Wouldn't mind having your Nikon, though."

"I love it," I replied. Then I looked at his girlfriend and said, "See, you thought he was crazy with that old camera. He's just cool." She smiled, and I asked if I could take their picture. "Of course!" They look great.

Then it was time to roam. I had my eye on this cotton candy vendor who was working the covered walkway. "Can I take your picture?" I asked. He looked at me, then at my throwback film camera, and replied, "Ah..., why not."

1435_13-TFP148-Nikon FG-NYC.jpg "Cotton Candy Vendor" - Nikon FG with Series E 50mm f/1.8 "pancake" and Fujicolor 200 film. Program mode. Photo by Derrick Story.

I worked my way back to the outfield. Many fans were gathered around the beer stand. You have to show your ID regardless of age. That's funny to a guy like me who's been around the block quite a few times. So I showed my license and received my complementary Bud Light. while I was waiting, I photographed these guys having a good laugh.

Having a Beer with the Guys "Having a Beer with the Guys" - Nikon FG with Series E 50mm f/1.8 "pancake" and Fujicolor 200 film. Program mode. Photo by Derrick Story.

The rain picked up again, so I headed for cover. There was this wonderful vendor area that served food and drinks and was perfect for hanging out. There were TVs everywhere, big pictures of Yankee greats, and bars and tables to lean on. People were definitely having a good time.

1435_12-TFP148-Nikon FG-NYC.jpg "Hanging Out with Yankee Greats" - Nikon FG with Series E 50mm f/1.8 "pancake" and Fujicolor 200 film. Program mode. Photo by Derrick Story.

At this point, the Yankees were leading 10-2. We decided to catch the train back to Midtown for our next adventure. On the way out, my boy grabbed my arm and said, "Let's go this way." He led me this magnificent hall where I spotted a boy playing with his dad. It was the perfect last shot of the afternoon.

A Boy and His Dad
"A Boy and His Dad" - Nikon FG with Series E 50mm f/1.8 "pancake" and Fujicolor 200 film. Program mode. Photo by Derrick Story.

And that was my afternoon at Yankee Stadium: a beer, a win, a roll of film, and my family. Pretty good stuff.

Do You Like Film?

Take a look at theAnalogstory - Film Photography in the Digital Age. We cover great 35mm cameras, personal stories from film photographers, quick tips, and even a camera shop. Stop by, won't you?

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

One of the pleasing aspects of iPhone photography is how easily you can creatively fine tune your images in the Photos ecosystem. A perfect example is a picture captured in Portrait Mode on the iPhone can be further refined in Photos for macOS, without losing the Portrait Mode magic. Here's an example.

iPhone-Portrait-Mode.jpg "Jessica" - This image was captured with an iPhone X in Portrait Mode, then opened in Photos for macOS. All of my Portrait Mode options are available, as illustrated here. Photo by Derrick Story.

Once you capture the image, it is propagated to all of your iCloud devices. Here, it appears in Photos for macOS. I can stick with the original Portrait Mode if I wish, or I can switch to one of the other options, such as Stage Mono.

stage-mono.jpg Same image, but now I've switched to Stage Mono Portrait Mode.

Once I've settled on the mode that I want to use, I can then further refine the image with Photos' adjustment tools. Any changes that I make here are also propagated back to all my iCloud connected devices.

This workflow is fast, easy, with results that your subjects are sure to like.

The Apple Photos Book for Photographers, 2nd Edition

Updated for macOS High Sierra, the The Apple Photos Book for Photographers, 2nd Ed. provides you with the latest tips, techniques, and workflows for Apple's photo management and editing application. Get your copy today!

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #650, August 28, 2018. Today's theme is "The First Shoe Dropped - The Nikon Z7." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Since our last show, Nikon officially announced the Z6 and Z7 full frame mirrorless camera bodies with three new Z Mount lenses. This is the news that many Nikon users have been waiting for, not to mention thousands of other curious photographers, myself included. So how does the new camera stack up to the competition? We'll take a closer look at it in today's TDS photography podcast.

The First Shoe Dropped - The Nikon Z7

The Nikon Z7 ($3,546) and it's little brother, the Nikon Z6 ($2,146) have given us lots to think about over the last week. The bottom line for me is that they represent a bold, yet delayed move by Nikon. And as a mirrorless shooter, there are many things that I appreciate about this tandem. Let's take a closer look.

nikon-z7-front.png

  • 45.7 MP FX-Format BSI CMOS Sensor
  • EXPEED 6 Image Processing Engine
  • UHD 4K30 Video; N-Log & 10-Bit HDMI Out
  • 493-Point Phase-Detect AF System
  • Built-In 5-Axis Vibration Reduction
  • 0.80x 3.6m-Dot EVF with NIKKOR Optics
  • 3.2" 2.1m-Dot Tilting Touchscreen LCD
  • 9 fps Continuous Shooting; ISO 64-25600
  • Top-Panel Dot-Matrix OLED; XQD Card Slot
  • FTZ Mount Adapter in the kit for $3,546

What I Like

At the top of the list is the built-in to the body is a 5-axis sensor-shift Vibration Reduction mechanism for up to 5 stops of stabilization regardless of the lens used. This system also works with adapted lenses when using the optional FTZ Adapter where 3-axis stabilization is used.

I'm also a big fan of the EN-EL15b rechargeable lithium-ion battery providing approximately 330 shots per charge with in-camera charging is supported. This camera is also compatible with EN-EL15 and EN-EL15a batteries, however do not support in-camera charging.

I'm impressed with the 3.6m-dot electronic finder for comfortable eye-level viewing. It has a high 0.80x magnification and uses NIKKOR optics to guarantee a sharp, clear image. The finder also has a Fluorine coating for easier cleaning. I'm also liking the 3.2" 2.1m-Dot Tilting Touchscreen LCD.

And finally, the overall Nikon quality factor for ruggedness and weather resistance makes this a camera that you can work with in the most demanding situations. The robust magnesium-alloy chassis is both dust- and weather-resistant to benefit working in harsh climates and inclement conditions.

What I Don't Like

The single XQD memory card slot that is compatible with CFexpress, enabling support for future media. I think there should be two slots, with the second one being SD. Just as the FTZ mount adapter helps photographers migrate to the new Z Mount system, an SD slot would allow the same thing for removable memory.

The overall size and weight with lenses mounted is substantial, and not that great savings over many DSLRs. Without lens, the dimensions are 5.3 x 4.0 x 2.7" / 134.0 x 100.5 x 67.5 mm with a weight of 1.29 lb / 585 g. Add the smallest lens available, the Nikon Z Mount 35mm f/1.8 ($846), and you add another 3.4" and 13 ounces. That's a lot of camera.

And finally, it is an expensive camera, costs $200 more than the Sony a7R III and $100 more than the Nikon D850. Its battery life is half of what Sony offers, and it is a larger camera as well.

Bottom Line

I'm thrilled that Nikon finally has a serious entry into the mirrorless space. Both the Z7 and the Z6 look like top shelf cameras that should appeal to existing Nikon DSLR photographers. I could see the Z6 making a excellent second camera for D850 photographers.

But I don't see Sony shooters jumping ship over these cameras, and I doubt many Olympus, Panasonic, or Fujifilm photographers will either unless they have a compelling need for full frame. And even then, it's going to be hard to choose the Nikon over the Sony offerings.

Panasonic Unveils the Lumix LX100 II with a 17MP Sensor and Touchscreen

Via Petapixel - Panasonic has announced the new Panasonic Lumix LX100 II, a new high-end compact camera (the seventh in the LX series) that succeeds the 12.8MP LX100 with a 17-megapixel Four Thirds sensor.

On the front of the camera is a LEICA DC VARIO-SUMMILUX 24-75mm (35mm equiv.) f/1.7-2.8 lens. Coupled with the relatively large sensor (for a compact camera), the camera is able to achieve shallow depth of field and beautiful bokeh. Photographers can directly control the aperture with the ring on the lens, which is suitable for things ranging from portraits to landscapes to macro (the minimum focusing distance is just 3cm/1.2in).

The built-in Live View Finder (LVF) has a 2.76-million-dot resolution, a roughly 100% color reproduction, a 16:9 Wide Screen aspect ratio, a 1.39x/0.7x (35mm equiv.) magnification, and a 100% field of view. Eye Sensor AF makes the camera start focusing as soon as you start looking into the LVF.

This looks like a solid upgrade. I'm disappointed, however, that there isn't a tilting LCD as part of the improvements.

Free Webinar! Building a Powerful Digital Darkroom in Apple Photos

My publisher, Rocky Nook, is sponsoring a free webinar so that I can show you how to leverage the amazing editing extensions created by companies such as Skylum, DxO, and others to build your own custom digital darkroom right inside Photos for macOS.

It's an impressive workflow, really. Your iPhone images are automatically added to the app via iCloud, and it's so easy to include images from your mirrorless and DSLR cameras as well. You can process RAWs or Jpegs, it makes no difference. And once you perfect the image using extensions such as Luminar, DxO OpticsPro, RAW Power and others, the changes are automatically saved to your other devices and computers.

It's powerful and easy. But the part that I really like is that it's fun. Join me on Wednesday, August 29 at 11am PDT to see for yourself. You can Register Here. See you then!

Updates and Such

A big thanks to Marshall Lew, Bill Armon, Bob McCarney, and Ed Spenser for contacting me about film camera donations. I've already received some of the gear, and I'm working on those pieces to prepare for the store.

You can become a member of our Inner Circle by clicking on this link or by clicking on the Patreon tile that's on every page of The Digital Story.

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 - Create the site that your best images deserve by visiting Portfoliobox. And get a 20 percent discount by using our landing page!

The Nimbleosity Report

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You Don't Need a Drone to Get High

As much as I would love to fly my Spark in New York, it wasn't practical (or even allowed) at many of the locations that I visited. But there's still the old-fashioned way of leveraging observation decks and upper-story windows to get those great views from above.

City of New York from One World Trade Center City of New York form the One World Trade Center observation deck. Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II with 9mm body cap lens. Photo by Derrick Story.

One of my favorite views was from the observation deck of the One World Trade Center. It's a 360 degree stroll around New York City. The windows are very clean (amazingly, don't know how they do it), and if you use good technique, you can come away with some dynamic views of the city below.

om-d-em5-mark-2.png

For this shot, I used the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II with the Olympus 9mm body cap lens up against the glass.

I uploaded the RAW file to Photos for macOS, then used the Luminar 2018 editing extension to process the RAW file. After output, I opened the sampled-down image in Photoshop for just a touch of Smart Sharpen.

I've always love views from above. Drones have certainly expanded that work that I do. But I'm still very attracted to an excellent observation deck in a great location.

The Apple Photos Book for Photographers, 2nd Edition

Updated for macOS High Sierra, the The Apple Photos Book for Photographers, 2nd Ed. provides you with the latest tips, techniques, and workflows for Apple's photo management and editing application. Get your copy today!

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