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It's no secret. The vignette tool in Capture One Pro left plenty to be desired. But with the release of version 12, we now have the Radial Gradient Mask. And suddenly, we have much better control for creating a vignette effect.

vignette-1024.jpg Standard vignette in Capture One Pro. For portraits like this, the shading covers part of the face, and there's no way to position the effect. Photos by Derrick Story.

The steps to create a radial mask are as follows:

  • Create new Empty Layer in the Layers panel.
  • Choose Draw Radial Gradient Mask from the brush tools in the Layers panel.
  • Adjust the size and shape of the mask by dragging on its handles.
  • Use the tools in the Exposure panel to adjust the tones of the mask.

It's that simple! Here's a radial mask in progress.

radial-mask-1024.jpg You can toggle the red mask indicator on and off by pressing the M key.

And here's the finished (and improved) vignette using the radial gradient mask.

better-vignette-1024.jpg More natural vignette effect using the radial gradient mask instead of the vignette tool.

At first you may think that's it's more complicated to create a mask than just using the vignette slider. But to tell you the truth, once you've done it a couple times, it's just as easy... and so much better.

Learn Capture One Pro

You can get familiar with this imaging software by checking out Capture One Pro 11 Essential Training on LinkedIn Learning. You can also tune in on lynda.com if you prefer your training there. My updated Capture One Pro 12 Essential Training should be out next month. Stay tuned.

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #672, Jan. 29, 2019. Today's theme is "The Olympus OM-D E-M1X - It's Not What You Think." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

One of the first questions that you may have asked yourself after hearing about the E-M1X is: "Why did Olympus make this camera?" It's relatively big, somewhat expensive, and it's not full frame. The Internet is brimming with posts explaining why this camera won't succeed. What they're missing is the bigger picture. And I'll tell you what that is in today's TDS photography podcast.

The Olympus OM-D E-M1X - It's Not What You Think

E-M1X_0005_Back_Horizontal_LCD_High angle.jpg

The 20MP Olympus OM-D E-M1X ($2,999) has an impressive spec list.

  • Computational Photography Functions Powered by Dual TruePic VIII Image Processors (digital neutral density filter for example)
  • Integrated Vertical Grip, Dual Batteries
  • Dual SD Memory Card Slots
  • Handheld High Res Shot mode - 50 MP
  • Built-in Field Sensor System sports an integrated GPS module (GLONASS and QZSS) along with an electronic compass, manometer, temperature sensor, and acceleration sensor.
  • DCI 4K/24p & UHD 4K/30p Video Recording
  • 5-Axis Sensor-Shift IS up to 7 stops
  • 15 fps Shooting and Expanded ISO 25600
  • 121-Point All Cross-Type Phase-Detect AF
  • Super Weather-Sealed Construction

Will this be the next camera for the greater Micro Four Thirds audience? Probably not. But that's not why Olympus made it...

The Portfoliobox Tip of the Week

Allowing visitors to right-click on images so that they can save them.

To enable the right click and allow your visitors to save your images, go to Settings. Under General, in the Website section, check the box Enable Right Click.

You can read the step-by-step instructions right here!

Photo Contest: Up Close

To enter, send your best close-up image to thenimblephotographer@gmail.com by Feb. 12, 2019. Subject Line: Up Close. Entrant must have captured the image and performed all of the post production on it. Recommended size of the image is 2000 px on the longest edge. The selected image will be featured on TheDigitalStory and the photographer will receive a 1-Year Pro Account with Portfoliobox.

Speaking of winners, congratulations to Rhys Gwyn - Tops in the TDS B&W Portrait Challenge. To honor his top entry, Rhys will receive a 1-year Portfoliobox Pro site upgrade. Way to go!

To create your own Portfoliobox site, click on the tile or use this link to get started. If you upgrade to a Pro site, you'll save 20 percent off the $83 annual price.

Capture One Pro 12 Essential Training Coming Soon

Just wanted you to know that I'm putting the finishing touches on my Capture One Pro 12 Essential Training title that will be available on LinkedIn Learning and lynda.com. Capture One Pro 12 is an outstanding release, and I think you will enjoy learning all about it. Stay tuned!

TDS Workshops Update

Joshua Tree Update

Our Spring workshop in the high desert is sold out. But but I promise that we'll share reports from the event.

San Francisco Street Photography Workshop

I think after 5 great seasons, this workshop has run its course. At the moment, I don't have enough deposits to move forward with the event, so I'm going to cancel it. Thanks to everyone who has made this event one of my favorites!

Sonoma Coast Workshop Update

I've secured a beautiful home for us just south of Bodega Bay. This will serve as our headquarters during the event. There's plenty of room for our classroom and presentation work, plus beautiful areas for relaxing, and even sleeping accommodations for those who wish to stay there.

If you do want to join us July 17-19, and I hope you do, please visit the Workshops Signup Page and place your $100 deposit. That will secure your ability to attend when official registration begins later this month. You can also read more about the event on the TDS Workshops page.

Updates and Such

Inner Circle Members: Our new Photo Challenge is RAW Capture. Check your Patreon page for the details and prize. And thanks for supporting this podcast!

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.

Congratulations to Rhys Gwyn! His submission to the Portfoliobox B&W Portrait Challenge is the top entry.

Rhys-Gwyn-BW.jpg Image by Rhys Gwyn

The judges selected this portrait because of its excellent tonal quality and interesting subject content. It's truly a unique image.

As a result, Rhys will be awarded a 1-year Portfoliobox Pro account with custom domain name. We look forward to seeing more work by Rhys Gwyn presented handsomely on his Portfoliobox site.

We also want to acknowledge our runner-up, Alex Casares, for his outstanding portrait of a dog in a studio setting.

Alex-Casares-BW.jpg Image by Alex Casares

Once again, beautiful tones and an excellent rendering of his subject. Well done!

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Portfoliobox B&W Portrait Challenge. All of the entries were compelling and enjoyable. It was truly a challenge for the judges to choose the top two entries.

A new challenge launches on January 29. To find out all of the details, tune in to the next TDS Photography Podcast that airs on Tuesday morning.

And a big thanks to Portfoliobox for sponsoring this series of photo challenges. If you want to showcase your finest work in the best light possible, Portfoliobox is the artist's choice.

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

For Pros - The New Olympus OM-D E-M1X

The just-announced pro level 20MP Olympus OM-D E-M1X incorporates an integrated vertical grip and offers the world's highest image stabilization performance with approximately 7.5 shutter speed steps of compensation.

OM-D E-M1X+ PRO Lenses-694.jpg

Its Zero-lag Pro Capture Mode and 60 fps high-speed continuous shooting ensures photographers will never miss a shot. The dual TruePic VIII Image Processors provide for high-speed responsiveness and a handheld High Res Shot Mode. The camera's 121-point all-cross-type on-chip Phase Detection AF sensor and an AF Multi-Selector provides greater freedom over composition.

Key features include:

  • Integrated Vertical Grip
  • Precise Autofocus system with AF Multi-Selector, All-Cross-Type On-Chip Phase Detection AF Sensor, and Intelligent Subject Detection AF
  • Pro Capture Mode and 60 fps High-Speed Sequential Shooting
  • Dual TruePic VIII Image Processors
  • The World's Highest Image Stabilization Performance

OM-D E-M1X_Top1-113.jpg

The OM-D E-M1X clears Olympus' in-house splashproof tests that are far more rigorous than IPX1 water ingress testing. The body is designed for shooting in the severe conditions professional photographers often find themselves. Dustproof, splashproof, and freezeproof (14 degrees F / -10 degrees C) performance is maintained even when the remote cable, microphone, and headphone jacks are in use, enabling shooting that's not affected by poor weather.

A new coating is used on the Super Sonic Wave Filter, which vibrates at 30,000 times per second to remove dust and dirt, boosting dust removal effectiveness by 10 percent compared to previous Olympus models. The OM-D E-M1X also features durability and reliability to put pro photographers' minds at ease, including construction that dissipates heat when shooting video and during high speed shooting in very hot conditions, which can typically cause the temperature to rise and limit functionality, as well as a shutter life actuation counts of 400,000.

OM-D E-M1X_.jpg

The OM-D E-M1X is equipped with a cartridge battery insertion system with the capacity for two BLH-1 lithium-ion batteries (also used in the OM-D E-M1 Mark II). Users can capture up to approximately 870 shots and easily replace the batteries even when the camera is attached to a monopod or tripod. The camera also supports USB-C power delivery from a maximum 100 W USB-C standard power source with no special adapter required. This makes it possible to charge the two BLH-1 batteries in the camera body in approximately two hours.

OM-D E-M1X_Battery Tray.jpg

The OM-D E-M1X features high-speed sequential shooting at a maximum 60 fps for capturing scenes in high definition that even the human eye cannot see. Both the 60 fps high-speed continuous shooting in AF/AE Lock, and maximum 18 fps continuous shooting with AF/AE Tracking can be used in Silent Mode for shooting a variety of activities, performances and events where the photographer does not want to disturb others with the sound of the shutter.

The OM-D E-M1X's new gyro sensor enables superior image stabilization performance, delivering a maximum of 7.0 shutter speed steps of compensation performance when using the camera body stabilization alone, and the world's highest 7.5 shutter speed steps of compensation when combined with the stabilized M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm F4.0 IS PRO lens. This feature makes handheld shooting possible at lower shutter speeds than ever before, which is perfect for nighttime and indoor shooting.

The OM-D E-M1X contains a built-in GPS sensor, temperature sensor, manometer and compass, collectively known as 'field sensors'. In addition to location information, including longitude and latitude, these sensors detect and record the temperature, elevation, and direction of the camera for adding detailed shooting information to images.

E-M1X_0003_Right_Horizontal.jpg

The Olympus OM-D E-M1X (black) will begin shipping in late February 2019 for $2,999.99 (U.S.) and $3,899.99 (CAD). You can preorder yours now.

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

I had high hopes that the latest Mojave update (10.14.3) would fix the printing problems with my Canon Pro 100. Unfortunately, it did not. For those who have similar issues outputting 5x7 prints, I do have a workaround that I hope will help.

canon-pro100-1024.jpg

The problem seemed to arrive with macOS Mojave. When I attempted to print 5x7 borderless prints, I would get a much smaller version of the image positioned in the upper right corner of the paper. This happened regardless of which app I used to print with: Photos for macOS, Preview, etc.

I worked through the usual trouble-shooting steps including removing the exiting printer from System Preferences, reinstalling the latest driver, and reinstalling the printer. No luck.

I did however figure a couple settings that would produce 5x7 prints. The first adjustment was to Not Print Borderless. I changed this setting.

5x7-with-border.jpg

The second adjustment was to switch the quality setting to the default Normal (Fine) instead of the typical Fine setting that I use.

normal-setting.jpg

This produced good-looking 5x7 prints with borders. If you are having the same issue that I described, try giving these settings a whirl. You might also want to check out the article, [Fixed] Unable to make Print Out on macOS Mojave on pc-mac-help.com. There are some good tips in there.

What really needs to happen is for Canon and Apple to get their heads together and fix this problem. There are thousands of Canon Pro 100 printers out there connected to Macs. C'mon guys!

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #671, Jan. 22, 2019. Today's theme is "The Real Tintype, Not the App: An Interview with Jeremiah Flynn" I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Tintype photography dates back to the 1850s. And in the hands of today's capable artists, it's still alive. For some folks, their knowledge of Tintype is confined to an app on their smartphone. But the actual process is fascinating, and today, we'll chat with a true Tintype photographer, Jeremiah Flynn, to learn more about this wonderful art form.

The Real Tintype, Not the App: An Interview with Jeremiah Flynn

Jeremiah-1024.jpg

I grabbed by portable recorder and visited Jeremiah Flynn at his place, Jeremiah's Photocorner in Santa Rosa, CA. His Tintype studio is there as well. If you want to see samples of his Tintype work, jump over to JeremiahFlynn.com.

I hope you enjoy learning about this incredible photographic artform from one of its accomplished technicians. We chat about other related topics as well.

The Portfoliobox Tip of the Week

Did you know that you can display your instagram photos on your Portfoliobox site?

Creating an Instagram page is an easy way of having fresh content on your site. You just need to connect your Instagram account with your Portfoliobox site and each time you post an image with a specific tag, the image will also display on your Portfoliobox site. Easy, right?

You can read the step-by-step instructions right here!

Photo Contest: B&W Portraits

To enter, send your best B&W portrait to thenimblephotographer@gmail.com by Jan. 22, 2019. Subject Line: B&W Portrait Contest. Make sure you have permission from the subject. Entrant must have captured the image and performed all of the post production on it. Recommended size of the image is 2000 px on the longest edge. The selected image will be featured on TheDigitalStory and the photographer will receive a 1-Year Pro Account with Portfoliobox.

To create your own Portfoliobox site, click on the tile or use this link to get started. If you upgrade to a Pro site, you'll save 20 percent off the $83 annual price.

Big Thanks to James Hess and Jozsef Scheiber for Their Generous Donations

Both James and Jozsef have pulled together impressive analog camera kits, packed them up, and sent them to me for refurbishing and listing in TheFilmCameraShop. I want to express my gratitude to both gentlemen for their support of this podcast and the world of film photography.

If you have analog gear that you'd like to see in the hands of an enthusiastic film photographer, please us the Contact Form on the Nimble Photographer to get in touch. We'll work together from there.

TDS Workshops Update

Joshua Tree Update

Our Spring workshop in the high desert is sold out. But but I promise that we'll share reports from the event.

San Francisco Street Photography Workshop

I think after 5 great seasons, this workshop has run its course. At the moment, I don't have enough deposits to move forward with the event, so I'm going to cancel it. Thanks to everyone who has made this event one of my favorites!

Sonoma Coast Workshop Update

I've secured a beautiful home for us just south of Bodega Bay. This will serve as our headquarters during the event. There's plenty of room for our classroom and presentation work, plus beautiful areas for relaxing, and even sleeping accommodations for those who wish to stay there.

If you do want to join us July 17-19, and I hope you do, please visit the Workshops Signup Page and place your $100 deposit. That will secure your ability to attend when official registration begins later this month. You can also read more about the event on the TDS Workshops page.

Updates and Such

Inner Circle Members: Our new Photo Challenge is RAW Capture. Check your Patreon page for the details and prize. And thanks for supporting this podcast!

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.

The petite Metz mecablitz 26 AF-2 flash ($139) solved a big problem for me: It provides a fill light for my editorial work that can bounce and wirelessly operates off-camera, yet fits in my shirt pocket. Now that I've used it on a number of assignments, I can't imagine work without it.

P1167226-gesr-Metz-1024.jpg

The 26 AF-2 comes in six flavors: Sony, Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Fuji, and Olympus/Panasonic/Leica. I've been using the Pentax model with my Pentax KP DSLR ($799) for editorial work. I like it so much that I'm going to get a second one for my Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II ($1,699) as well.

Overview of Feature Set

The Metz 26 AF-2 packs a lot of functionality into a small unit.

  • Guide Number: 85' at ISO 100 and 85mm
  • Coverage: 24-85mm
  • LED Video Light with 2 Output Levels
  • Tilts Upward 90 degrees
  • Wireless Slave TTL Functionality
  • Recycle Time: 0.3-8 Seconds
  • 1st & 2nd Curtain Sync
  • USB Socket for Firmware Updates
  • Runs on 2 AAA Batteries

P1167214-gesr-Metz-1024.jpg

Wireless TTL Mode

It's a particularly good companion for cameras that have a built-in popup flash with wireless functionality, because that popup can serve as the controller for off-camera work with the Metz. The TTL exposures were quite good in wireless mode.

To set up, turn on the Metz, press the SLAVE button on the back of the unit, popup the flash on the camera, and enable Wireless TTL mode. The Metz can receive from channels 1-4, so at this point, all you have to do is take a picture.

P1167216-gesr-Metz-1024.jpg Slave Mode enabled.

The flash does come with its own portable stand that has a tripod socket on the bottom. So it's easy to position off-camera if you're not holding it (as I usually am). The slave sensor is in the front, so I typically position the flash at a slight angle so it can see the signal emitting from the camera.

On-Camera Flash

When the Metz is mounted directly on the camera, more controls are available, such as flash exposure compensation. I tested its coverage by taking a series of shots of a brick wall. I preferred the illumination when enabling the little recessed diffuser that is part of the the unit. I use this flip up gizmo for all of my direct flash shots because it creates better edge-to-edge lighting than without it.

P1167222-gesr-diffuser.jpg Recessed Diffuser pulled into place.

For most assignments, I can leave the flash on the camera in the down position, then raise it upward as needed, such as for bouncing light off the ceiling. In all honesty, the flash looks so good on the camera that it feels part of its original equipment.

LED Light

When you need a constant light source, such as for video, light painting, or even to help with your smartphone shots, the dual-power LED light is very handy. Push the LED button once, and it emits at full power, push it again and it shines at 50 percent. It's a nice option to have.

P1167219-gesr-Metz-1024.jpg LED Light on

Firmware Updates and Current Features

There's also a USB port on the flash that can be used for firmware updates. But you better have a Windows machine handy if you want to do that. I couldn't find an updater that was Mac compatible.

function-list.png List of functions for Olympus and Pentax. The list is similar for the other brands as well.

The Bottom Line

The Metz mecablitz 26 AF-2 flash is an excellent tool to provide that spot of light that we often need while working in the field. It's easy to use, effective, and affordable. And if you don't have a reliable pocket strobe for your camera, I would definitely take a look at this one.


Nimble Photographer Logo

The Metz mecablitz 26 AF-2 flash has a high Nimbleosity Rating. What does that mean? You can learn about Nimbleosity and more by visiting TheNimblePhotographer.com.

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 #670, Jan. 15, 2019. Today's theme is "The DJI OSMO Pocket Review, Las Vegas, and More." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Las Vegas was lit during CES week. Thousands of technology professionals from all over the world converged on sin city to show their inventions and discover those by others. I was in the middle of it all, and with me was the DJI OSMO Pocket to record the sights and sounds of this consumer tech wonderland. So how did it perform? Is the OSMO Pocket a breakthrough device or just another geek toy? Stay tuned for my verdict.

The DJI OSMO Pocket Review

P1127194-Osmo-dji-osmo-pocket-1024.jpg

The DJI OSMO Pocket ($350) debuted before CES with much fanfare and discussion. The petite 3-axis gimble 4K movie camera fits nicely in a top shirt pocket, but packs an incredible amount of imaging power in its svelt frame. It is not perfect, but by any reasonable measure, it is a breakthrough device.

Its highlight features include:

  • Gimbal Camera with 1/2.3" CMOS Sensor
  • Compact 4.1 oz, 4.8" High Design
  • Up to 4K Video at 60 fps, up to 100 Mb/s
  • Connects to Smartphone via Mimo App
  • 12MP JPEG or DNG Raw Still Photos
  • Includes Lightning & USB Type-C Adapters
  • Optional Wi-Fi & Bluetooth Monitoring
  • POV, ActiveTrack & FaceTrack Modes
  • Standard Time-Lapse & Motionlapse
  • NightShot & Panoramic Modes

The features that I was most interested in were video recording (1080p and 4K), SloMo capture, timelapse, panorama, and audio recording. Here's my opinion on all of those functions.

For sample videos, audio, and images, see my post titled, DJI OSMO Pocket Review - It's Probably for You on TheDigitalStory.

The Portfoliobox Tip of the Week

How do I make a Portfoliobox page private? In order to make a specific page private, you need to lock it with a password. Follow the steps below:

  • Click on Edit this page
  • Click on Settings
  • Check the box Password protect
  • Choose a password

Please note that to test this setting, you must log out from the admin panel. When you are logged in as admin, you have access to all the pages.

Photo Contest: B&W Portraits

To enter, send your best B&W portrait to thenimblephotographer@gmail.com by Jan. 22, 2019. Subject Line: B&W Portrait Contest. Make sure you have permission from the subject. Entrant must have captured the image and performed all of the post production on it. Recommended size of the image is 2000 px on the longest edge. The selected image will be featured on TheDigitalStory and the photographer will receive a 1-Year Pro Account with Portfoliobox.

To create your own Portfoliobox site, click on the tile that's on every page of TheDigitalStory or use this link to get started. If you upgrade to a Pro site, you'll save 20 percent off the $83 annual price.

5 Things to Keep in Mind When Visiting Las Vegas

The odds of having a great time in the desert wonderland increase if you follow these five tips:

  • Set your gambling budget before you leave, and stick to it. If you lose your money, it's gone. And throwing more money after it will not bring it back.
  • Alternate water and alcohol when out on the town. Have one cocktail, then one ice water. Repeat as often as necessary.
  • Do not accept anything handed to you on the street. Period.
  • Avoid rip-off cab companies. My experience is that it's best to stick with ride sharing and the monorail. But if you have to take a cab, such as from the airport to the hotel, ask what the expected price should be and if there are any add on charges beyond what the meter reads. Fares to most hotels on the strip should not be more than $23.
  • Shy away from over-priced restaurants. There are many fine eating establishments in Las Vegas. Do your homework first and avoid the outrageous steak houses and big name chefs.

Sonoma Coast Workshop Update

I've secured a beautiful home for us just south of Bodega Bay. This will serve as our headquarters during the event. There's plenty of room for our classroom and presentation work, plus beautiful areas for relaxing, and even sleeping accommodations for those who wish to stay there.

If you do want to join us July 17-19, and I hope you do, please visit the Workshops Signup Page and place your $100 deposit. That will secure your ability to attend when official registration begins later this month. You can also read more about the event on the TDS Workshops page.

Updates and Such

Inner Circle Members: Our current Photo Challenge is Repetitive Pattern. Check your Patreon page for the details and prize. And thanks for supporting this podcast!

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.

The DJI OSMO Pocket ($350) debuted before CES with much fanfare and discussion. The petite, 3-axis gimble, 4K movie camera fits nicely in a top shirt pocket, but packs an incredible amount of imaging power in its svelt frame. It's not perfect, but by any reasonable measure, it is a breakthrough device.

DJI OSMO Pocket - Front

Highlight features include:

  • Gimbal Camera with 1/2.3" CMOS Sensor
  • Compact 4.1 oz, 4.8" High Design
  • Up to 4K Video at 60 fps, up to 100 Mb/s
  • Connects to Smartphone via Mimo App
  • 12MP JPEG or DNG Raw Still Photos
  • Includes Lightning & USB Type-C Adapters
  • Optional Wi-Fi & Bluetooth Monitoring
  • POV, ActiveTrack & FaceTrack Modes
  • Standard Time-Lapse & Motionlapse
  • NightShot & Panoramic Modes

The functions that I was most interested in were video recording (1080p and 4K), SloMo capture, timelapse, panorama, and audio recording. Because I've been using a DJI Spark for over a year, I felt like I already knew the OSMO when I first fired it up. They are indeed cousins from the same family.

Initial Setup

And like a DJI drone, the initial introduction might test your patience. Instead of powering up and recording a video, you must first endure a mildly tedious setup process where you register the device with your DJI account. All I have to say is you will get through it, and don't let it deter you from your goal of embracing the OSMO. Do plan on 10-15 minutes before you can actually get to work.

Using as a Standalone Device

DJI OSMO Pocket - LCD

There are two basic ways to use the OSMO Pocket: as a standalone device and connected to your smartphone. I began my journey using it as a standalone, walking through the press events at CES. It must have been quite a sight seeing a tall man strolling through the crowds with this petite device in his hand. As you will witness from the movie, no one seemed to care. The OSMO Pocket is too cute to be intimating.

With a little practice, I learned to shorten my stride providing even smoother capture. The gimble is terrific, in spite of the cameraman, and viewing the footage creates a real sense of presence. At this point, I was already hooked.

In standalone mode, you have a 1-inch screen to serve as the monitor. It's helpful for initial setup. Swipe right-to-left to configure the video settings, swipe up to initiate any of the special features such as ActiveTrack, and swipe down for the settings menu. When you've recorded the footage, swipe left-to-right for playback. It's that simple to operate.

But the real key to using the OSMO in motion is to set it up, then use your eyes to make the movie. Once I centered the screen on the scene that I wanted to record, I only checked it sporadically during capture, instead concentrating on holding the device steady as I moved through the crowd. With a little practice, this technique can produce very intimate moments. It's a little like becoming at one with the universe.

Working with a Connected Smartphone

When I did need to be more involved with the settings, such as working outside in contrasty light, I connected the OSMO Pocket to my iPhone X. This also requires downloading the DJI Mimo app. Again, controlling my Spark with the iPhone made the transition to the Mimo app quite comfortable. (The OSMO Pocket is both iOS and Android compatible, each with their own interchangeable connectors.)

Osmo-OSMO-Pocket.jpg

Adding the iPhone X to the mix not only gave me a bigger screen to work with, but better controls for exposure and gimble operation. Plus reviewing the video is quite nice, and you can even save and publish at this point if you wish.

The Mimo app can also stitch your panoramas and produce the timelapse videos you've captured. If you want to build your own panos, such as with Lightroom, the individual files are the microSD card in the OSMO.

Night Photography and Slow Motion Capture

Since I was in Las Vegas, I decided to really push the envelope and record night video in slow motion mode. The OSMO Pocket has a tiny 1/2.3" CMOS Sensor, so this seemed like a challenging test.

I'll let you judge for yourself by viewing the following movie. Clearly, the footage isn't theater quality, but it's impressive if you stop and think that all I've done is pull this little device out of my pocket, hold it in my hand, and record.

Vlogging and Audio

Some of the harshest criticism of the OSMO Pocket comes from the very audience it was designed for: video bloggers. Triple-tap the right button, and the camera lens whips around pointing directly at the operator. Press the record button, and start talking.

The mic port is on the back side of the OSMO, so it's clearly there for field reports. I recorded my spot with car traffic in the background so you could get a feel for the dialog in normal outdoor settings. (I haven't enhanced any of the clips in any way.)

And just to be brutal, I set the OSMO Pocket to 4K capture. I thought it handled both the audio and video quite well, and is definitely usable for individual field reports. See what you think.

Bottom Line

The DJI OSMO Pocket is a perfect device for those who want to capture the world while moving through it. You can easily add your own commentary, suplement the reporting with 12MP still images, panoramas, and timelapse clips.

I don't see it as a device for two-person interviews and more sophisticated reporting. The OSMO Pocket is for individuals, sharing their thoughts and their view of the universe. And as such, I consider it a breakthrough device, especially for $350.


Nimble Photographer Logo

The DJI OSMO Pocket has a high Nimbleosity Rating. What does that mean? You can learn about Nimbleosity and more by visiting TheNimblePhotographer.com.

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5 Takeaways from Day 1, CES 2019

The doors opened at Las Vegas Convention Center and the people flowed through them to experience the first day of the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show. After exploring both the North and Central Halls, here 5 takeaways from my adventure.

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Automotive is Cool

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Transportation is indeed getting exciting. Automotive technology is sophisticated and seems to entering a new golden age. And it's not just cars as we know them, but versatile robotic devices that can transport people and cargo in a variety of situations.

Polaroid and Kodak Refuse to Give Up

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3-D Printing, instant photography, clever projectors, and a variety of fun imaging tools filled both booths. To be honest, they were a couple of the most fun places to hang out.

Full Frame Mirrorless is Just Too Big

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I got a good look at the Panasonic S2, spent time in the Sony booth, checked out Nikon, and visited Canon. Most lenses for full frame mirrorless, especially the zooms, are just to dang big and heavy. In terms of size and weight, it feels like DSLRs all over again.

Sony Puts Pro Support on Display

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Among all the glitz and glamor in the Sony booth, there was the Pro Support team working on cameras. Not sure whose they were, but the message was clear that Sony wants to be a player with professionals.

CES is Fun

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There's a reason why the halls are crowded. CES is a fun event. It's thought-provoking, entertaining, and sometimes just plain whacky. But it's a treat for the senses, and it provides some insight into the direction of consumer technology for the year ahead.

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