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Luminar 3.1.2 is now available with a few new tricks up its sleeve. The most notable is "On This Day."

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"'On This Day' will let you relive your photography memories. Available for both Mac and Windows, this new feature gives you the opportunity to look back on the pictures you took one or more years ago. To get started with this, simply click the On This Day shortcut in the menu. (Note that the On This Day feature will only show up if you have photos in your Library taken on the current month and day in previous years.)

Additionally, on the Mac side of things, they've also added a faster import from your memory card, and you can add plugins from Nik Collection to your workflow. Windows users will see a faster scroll on Single Image view. Plus, they'll see speed improvements to the switching process between Single Image view and Gallery view.

Skylum is also running a special offer through July 10, 2019:

  • $50 for Luminar 3
  • $60 for Luminar 3 + The Big Screen LOOKs pack by Ilya Nodia
  • $120 for Luminar 3 + The Big Screen LOOKs pack by Ilya Nodia + Aurora HDR'19

You can access all of these offers via this link.

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #694, July 2, 2019. Today's theme is "Are Your Cloud Storage Costs Out of Control?" I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

I had just completed a job in Adobe Lightroom when this notice flashed on my screen, "You've used your 20 GBs of storage. Would you like to upgrade your plan?" Where have I seen that before? Oh yeah, with every other service that I'm currently using. Then it dawned on me: "How much am I spending for online storage?" The answer is the topic of today's TDS Photography Podcast.

Are Your Cloud Storage Costs Out of Control?

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It's funny how I have thoughts in the back of my head that I don't act upon, until there's some sort of tipping point. In this case, that moment was when I ran out of space for my current Adobe Photography Plan that includes Lightroom, Photoshop, and 20 GBs of storage for $10 a month.

I had just been notified that my Dropbox plan would increase $20 a month upon renewal. And I had just ponied up for another year of Flickr Pro. Then there's Smugmug, Apple iCloud, and probably others that I can't even remember right now. How much am I spending on Cloud storage? Well, here's a breakdown.

Current Cloud Storage Costs per Year

  • $120 - Adobe Photography Plan - Includes 20 GBs of storage, plus access to Lightroom and Photoshop. Could upgrade ti 1 TB plan for $240 a year with a $60 discount for the first year.
  • $120 - Apple iCloud - Plan includes 2 TBs or storage for my photos and other files in the Apple ecosystem.
  • $120 - Dropbox - Just raised their rates and doubled our storage space. I will have another 2 TBs there if I renew.
  • $49 - Flickr Pro - Unlimited photo storage, ad free browsing, and access to all of Flickr's services.
  • $72 - Smugmug account - I'm not really sure of the storage limitations here. But to this point, I haven't received any additional notices.
  • $83 - Portfoliobox Pro - 1000 images and unlimited pages, plus custom domain and publishing platform.

If I renew all of these plans, my total will be $564 a year, breaking down to $47 a month. Now keep in mind, this doesn't include web site fees, domain name renewals, Internet costs, mobile phone subscriptions, etc.

Upcoming Nimble Interview - Filmmaker Joanna James

Joanna is a filmmaker and directed the movie, "A Fine Line." In her interview, she takes us behind the scenes of independent filmmaking. It's an interview you don't want to miss. Look for it later this week.

To ensure that you don't miss any of the podcasts, I recommend that you subscribe to The Nimble Photographer Podcast on Apple Podcast, Stitcher, Google Play, or where every you tune in.

How Mirrorless Cameras Are Changing the Game for Photojournalists

You can read the entire article here. Here are some of my favorite passages:

One of the best features of mirrorless cameras is their ability to shoot totally silently thanks to the lack of a mechanical mirror. That feature turned out to be a great boon to a photojournalist at the recent Democratic debate, allowing him to shoot in a position where others couldn't.

The Sony a9 is known for its electronic shutter with fast readout and no viewfinder blackout, which allows photographers to shoot in complete silence. For New York Times photographer Doug Mills, that became a great advantage at the recent Democratic debate.

It turns out that the sound of the DSLRs used by other photojournalists was picked up by the broadcast microphones, leading NBC to tell them to only shoot during audience applause. When Mills was brought to the side of the stage for his turn, he was told he couldn't shoot, but he quickly explained that his camera didn't make any noise, leading the NBC tech to remark that such cameras should be standard for all photojournalists.

If you've ever listened to any live political event, you've probably heard the constant clatter of DSLRs, so surely, an eventual migration to mirrorless cameras would be beneficial in that sense. Nonetheless, press companies are deeply invested in Canon and Nikon cameras and lenses, so such a change won't happen overnight.

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

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

Updates and Such

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

B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. 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.

Apple iPad mini 5 Review

After one month with the iPad mini 5, I can honestly say that it's my favorite tablet to date.

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In some ways, it's a unique creature, with a combination of traditional Apple features mixed with some new stuff as well. The result is a satisfying, portable device for both work and play. The basic specs include:

  • 7.9" Multi-Touch Retina Display
  • 2048 x 1536 Screen Resolution (326 ppi)
  • Apple A12 64-Bit SoC + M12 Coprocessor
  • 4G LTE | Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) | BT 5.0
  • Front 7MP FaceTime Camera
  • Rear 8MP Camera
  • Lightning Connector
  • Touch ID Fingerprint Sensor
  • Supports Apple Pencil (1st Gen)

Traditional Features that Might Surprise You

Three things that might jump out while reviewing the specs is that the mini 5 uses Touch ID (instead of Face ID) and sports a Lightning connector (instead of USB-C). It also includes a standard mini-stereo port for traditional headphones.

At first, these features may feel like a step backwards. But in reality for me, and I suspect for many iPad mini users who are upgrading from previous models as well, they make the transition easy with a minimum of expenditure for new accessories. All of your existing chargers and headphones will work great with this device.

And besides, because it runs iOS 12 so well (and upcoming iPad OS), there is very little reliance on the home button, except for Touch ID. Almost all of my navigation is swiping, just like with the iPhone X that I carry in my pocket.

But You Will Need a New Case

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I tried to repurpose a few of my cases from my previous iPad mini 2, but I could not use them without a little hacking. The iPad mini 5 is approximately the same width as the previous models, but it's a bit taller.

After a week of DIY case hacking, I broke down and bought a a fitting home for it. Since the mini is a bit slippery when held naked, I highly recommend finding some proper apparel for it.

Then, There Is the New Stuff

This little guy is a powerhouse under the hood. The Apple A12 64-Bit processor is a beast. I maxed out the memory, which is only 256 GBs, but seems plenty for my on-the-go work, especially in tandem with iCloud.

I do recommend going the cellular LTE route if you can afford it. My approach is to use a different carrier than with my iPhone, which is AT&T. So I use Verizon for the iPad. That way, when hotel WiFi fails me, I'm assured of being able to connect to one of these networks.

And, of course, the mini 5 is also compatible with the first gen Apple Pencil. I love this!

I've been using the pencil with the built-in Notes app and with Notability. Since I'm not an illustrator, using the first gen model isn't a drawback for me. I'm annotating images and jotting thoughts. The pencil works great for this.

Favorite Camera App

At first you wouldn't think that one would be taking many pictures with the iPad. But I've found that when I'm using it for documentation, being able to add a picture in realtime is quite efficient.

After some testing, I've settled on Camera+ 2 as my favorite photo app for this device. It behaves natively on the large Retina screen, has a great feature set, and there are a ton of options to provide you with the images you need.

Lightroom Mobile is also very good on the iPad mini.

The Bottom Line

With the iPad mini 5, I'm ready for iPad OS later this year. In the meantime, I'm very much enjoying its classic portability with a substantial processing bump. The addition of the Apple Pencil is a nice touch. It's really an appealing package.

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

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When I feel like just having fun with photography, I often reach for a roll of B&W film and my set of filters to go with it. Typically, I work with a prime lens and yellow, orange, and red filters. On this day, my camera of choice was a Nikon FA, Nikon 28mm f/2.8 lens, T-Max 100 film (only slightly expired), and a Tiffen 21 orange filter.

If you haven't worked with B&W film and these filters, it's amazing at how much (and how easily) you can alter the image with them. The yellow filter is a great all-around contrast enhancer. The orange and red varieties are a bit more dramatic, depending on the colors in the scene. Take these orange cones for example.

7540_25A.jpg "Orange Cone with Orange Filter" - Nikon FA, Nikkor 28mm lens, Aperture Priority at f/2.8, Kodak T-Max 100 film. Photo by Derrick Story. (Click on images to enlarge.)

7540_28A.jpg "Orange Cone, No Filter" - Nikon FA, Nikkor 28mm lens, Aperture Priority at f/11, Kodak T-Max 100 film. Photo by Derrick Story.

It's amazing at how different the two images are. The top photo has the orange color "filtered out" with the filter. Plus, the wide aperture setting softens the background a bit, even with the wide angle lens.

The second image, without a filter, renders very differently. Plus there's more depth of field thanks to the f/11 setting.

This entire roll of film is filled with images that are fun and make great fodder for social posts, fine art cards, and articles like this. But the best part is, I had a great time that morning and was reminded once again why I like photography so 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 #693, June 25, 2019. Today's theme is "5 Things that I Like About the Panasonic Lumix DC-G95 (and 2 I don't)." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

When I first picked up the Panasonic Lumix DC-G95, I loved the way it felt in my right hand. The grip is substantial, the body light, and my lenses balanced nicely on the camera. And there's a lot beneath the surface to appreciate as well. Today, I share my 5 favorite features and a couple complaints. I hope you enjoy the show.

5 Things that I Like About the Panasonic Lumix DC-G95 (and 2 I don't)

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Even though Olympus and Panasonic share the same Micro Four Thirds mount, they tend to be very different cameras. Olympus favors supremely flexible, if not at times confusing, operating systems housed in their classic design aesthetic. Panasonic, on the other hand, sports a more modern look and prides itself in both still photography and video. In that sense, the G95 is the archetypal Panasonic MFT camera.

It captures beautiful 20 MP stills one moment, then outstanding HD or 4K video the next. It's equipped to handle both with equal ease and sophistication. Here's a look at its basic specs.

Noteworthy Specifications

  • 20.3MP Digital Live MOS Sensor
  • UHD 4K 30p Video (not time limits), Pre-Installed V-LogL gamma profile (8-bit only)
  • 5-Axis Sensor Stabilization; Dual I.S. 2
  • 0.74x 2.36m-Dot OLED Viewfinder
  • 3.0" 1.24m-Dot Free-Angle Touchscreen
  • DFD AF System (49 areas)
  • ISO 25600 and 9 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Bluetooth LE and Wi-Fi Connectivity
  • 3 Control Dials
  • Built-in Flash
  • Dust and Splash Resistant
  • 1 SD Card Slot (UHS-II)

Five Things that I Do Like

All in all, very good specs. But after shooting with the camera for a month, here are five things that I really appreciated about it.

  • High Quality Image Files - I processed the RW2 files in Adobe Lightroom, and was quite pleased with their out of the camera color, tonality, and crispness. The photos had excellent character. And the camera did an excellent job of capturing quality pictures in a variety of lighting conditions.
  • L.Monochrome D - If you like rich B&W photography, you will love L.Monochrome D on the G95. It is gorgeous, and if you're capturing RAW+Jpegs, I doubt you'll ever look at the RAWs unless you need a color version of the shot.
  • Perfect Location for the Mic Port - One thing that has drove me crazy with my Olympus cameras was the positioning of the mic port. It was in direct conflict with the articulated screen. Panasonic has moved their port to the upper left of the camera. It's out of the way of the screen, and in perfect position for a hot shoe mounted microphone.
  • Excellent Creative Tools - The in-camera HDR is quite good, as is 4K Photo, multiple exposure, time lapse, panorama, focus stacking, and serious in-camera RAW processing. Plus, Panasonic introduces Live View Composite with this model. Lots of good stuff for the creative photographer.
  • USB Charging - And you get a separate charger as well!

Two Things that I Don't Like

As for the two things that I certainly did not like:

First, the G95 is only available with the bundled Lumix G Vario 12-60mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom. So, instead of being able to buy the body alone for around $900, I have to spend $1,200 and get a zoom that I really don't want.

Second, even though this camera is touted as a robust hybrid, it has a substantial crop of 1.25X for the 4K video. So even when you're shooting at the wide end of the bundled 12-60mm zoom, in real life, about the widest you can go is 30mm (12mm x 2 x 1.25).

The only reasonable answer for this is a lack of processing power. For a camera that includes so many video-friendly features (mic port, headphones port, V-Log, multiple formats, sound adjustments, etc.), have this sever of a crop on the sensor just doesn't add up.

Bottom Line

I truly enjoyed shooting with the Panasonic Lumix DC-G95. It's comfortable to hold and produces wonderful images. The camera is packed full of creative features that can keep the artistic photographer busy to no end.

But considering the $1,200 price tag, I'd be tempted to wait for the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III before making a buying decision. Once that camera is released, we'll be able to make a better buying decision for the advanced enthusiast class of photographer.

New Nimble Photographer Podcast - Musician George Shaw

As a young man, George Shaw flew from city to city for two years, cassette recorder in hand, with a question he posed to each music professional he interviewed: "How can music, and in particular improvisation, best be taught?" After studying their answers and writing a dissertation on this subject, Dr. Shaw applied what he learned to teaching music and improvisation at the college level.

Here's an excerpt from the show.

You can listen to the entire interview by visiting the Nimble Photographer site. The show is also available on Apple Music, on Google Play Music, and wherever you listen to your podcasts.

You Can Moan About Adobe but the Company Is Making More Money Than Ever

You can read the entire article here. Here are some of my favorite passages:

You may frequently hear complaints about Lightroom and Photoshop -- too buggy, too slow, too bloated, too expensive -- but it doesn't seem to be putting a dent in Adobe's performance. In fact, it's quite the opposite as the company announced last week that it has achieved record revenues for the second fiscal quarter of this year.

As reported in a press release last week, Adobe generated $2.74 billion in the second quarter of 2019, a record for the company and a growth of 25 percent year-over-year. The success is attributed to "the explosion of creativity across the globe," the need for companies to deliver "engaging customer experiences," and their "strong ecosystem of partners."

Many photographers have objected to the shift to a subscription-based model and given the complaints, you'd be forgiven for thinking that Lightroom is falling from favor in face of competition from Capture One and a growing assortment of alternatives such as ACDSee, Luminar and ON1. Photoshop is also seeing strong challenges from Affinity Photo and Pixelmator Pro.

Despite the anecdotal grievances, Adobe appears to be doing better than ever.

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

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

Updates and Such

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

B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. 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.

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I first learned about the wonderful Panasonic Lumix G Vario 35-100mm f/4-5.6 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S. zoom when preparing for a trip to Cuba where I had stringent weight limitations for my gear. This little powerhouse, only 4.8oz/135g and roughly 2" long, delivered the image-quality goods on that adventure.

And it has come to my rescue many times since. The latest being during the graduation ceremony at Santa Clara University where the school had strict rules concerning "professional" camera gear. After four years of private school tuition, I was not going to be denied those precious moments of celebration.

Happy SCU Graduate Happy Grad Student - Captured with the Panasonic G95 and 35-100mm zoom lens. Photo by Derrick Story.

So I opted for the Panasonic Lumix DC-G95 camera with the petite Panasonic Lumix G Vario 35-100mm zoom mounted on it, and never garnered a second look from security staff.

Once inside, that combo delivered a gallery of images that I will cherish forever. This is one of the facets that I truly respect about Micro Four Thirds photography: I can travel light and move through the world unnoticed, but I don't have to compromise on the images that I capture along the way.

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

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Were you just slightly envious of the improved AF performance of the E-M1X? Well, your E-M1 Mark II is about to get an upgrade. Olympus just released Firmware 3.0, and here's what it does.

Advanced AF Performance - This upgrade utilizes the OM-D E-M1X algorithm, which was developed based on the shooting needs of the professional photographer. With the goal of achieving performance that responds to demanding shooting conditions, such as fast movement in sports, etc., C-AF Center Priority delivers high-precision tracking of moving subjects and sudden subject movement. AF precision for still subjects when using S-AF is improved for various subjects compared to OM-D E-M1 Mark II firmware Version 2.3. Active use of information from the On-chip Phase Detection AF sensor also improves AF performance while shooting video.

Newest AutoFocus Features - Group 25-point has been added to AF Target, and is effective for photographing birds and other small subjects. C-AF Center Priority is now available, and repeatedly autofocuses with priority on the center pointin Group 5-point, Group 9-point, and Group 25-point. If AF is not possible in the center point, the peripheral points in the group area assists, which is effective for subjects that move around quickly. In addition, C-AF+MF is included, which allows users to instantly switch to MF by turning the focus ring while in C-AF for fine-tuning the focus.

Low Light Limit Update - The AF low light limit when an f/1.2 lens is attached is -6.0 EV (ISO 100 equivalent for S-AF), enabling high-precision focusing in both dark scenes and for low-contrast subjects.

Improved Image Quality - Low ISO Processing (Detail Priority) has been added for higher resolution when shooting at low ISO sensitivity, making it possible to reduce noise while shooting with low ISO settings. Compared with OM-D E-M1 Mark II firmware Version 2.3, noise that occurs when shooting at high ISO sensitivity is improved approximately 1/3 of a stop.

USB RAW Data Edit is now supported for much faster RAW processing in Olympus Workspace by connecting the camera to a computer to use the power of the OM-D E-M1 Mark II TruePic VIII image processor.

At the same time, Olympus also released Firmware Version 1.1 for the OM-D E-M1X. Here's how it compares to Firmware 3.0 for the E-M1 Mark II.

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Both firmwares can be applied using the Olympus Digital Camera Updater. For more information, visit the Software and App Downloads page.

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #692, June 18, 2019. Today's theme is "You are More Influential than You Realize." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Engaged photographers, such as ourselves, take certain things for granted. We're current on the latest gear offerings, we understand the value of preparing for and capturing important moments in our lives, and we know that technology can instantly evaporate a lifetime of images just as easily as it enabled us to capture them in the first place. But not everyone understands these things as we do, and my thoughts on sharing our knowledge is the topic of today's podcast.

You are More Influential than You Realize

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Over the last four days, I've logged more than a thousand highway miles, attended two undergraduate graduation ceremonies, attended four celebration meals, two parties, and a music concert at Santa Barbara Bowl.

During all of those events, I had conversations with freshly minted college graduates, proud fathers, excited moms, and a variety of extended family members, friends, and strangers. Inevitably at some point in the conversation what I did for a living would surface, and the exchanges that followed fascinated me. And my primary takeaway was that we all could be doing more to help the casual photographers that we come in contact with. Here are five ways that I've observed.

  • Canon or Nikon? - An early question for me was, "Do you shoot Canon or Nikon?" When I responded that I typically shoot mirrorless cameras, the response was, "Oh, I've never heard of that brand." There are thousands upon thousands of people who don't know what mirrorless cameras are, and who could benefit from using them.
  • Encouragement - As I watched hundreds of people capturing moments with their iPhones, I was moved by how delighted they were when then got the shot they wanted. With my own friends and family, I decided that I should jump in, offer encouragement for their efforts. I would see, right on the spot them applying some of the techniques we discussed on their next round of captures.
  • Protection - I've started working the question: "Do you have cloud backup for your images?" into these conversations. In some instances, I could show them right on the spot how easy it was to enable this on their phones, and how important it was to do so.
  • Follow Up - I carry business cards for all sorts of reasons, but over the last few days, I've used them for people who might need help choosing their next camera or some other aspect of photography that they were wondering about.
  • We're All in this Together - Photography is one of the most satisfying hobbies in the world. Technology has certainly made aspects of it much easier. But I've discovered there is so much that many people don't understand, and that you and I can help them, which in turn nurtures our entire community.

HyperCube Automatically Backs up Your Smartphone Pics While Charging

You can read the entire article here. Here are some of my favorite excerpts:

Running out of storage space on our smartphones and tablets is a common problem. Now, there's now a tiny device designed to address that, and it does so while you charge your device. Called the HyperCube, it's the latest offering HYPER by Sanho Corporation dropped on Kickstarter following their highly successful, crowdfunded USB-C hubs.

The HyperCube has a micro SD slot, a male USB connector, and two female USB ports. It connects between the USB charger and your iPhone or Android smartphone or tablet. A free app allows you to automatically backup all the photos, media, and contacts onto a micro SD slot or USB drive as your device charges. You can disconnect anytime, as the backup resumes once you reconnect. No more scrambling to delete photos and videos from your phone and card storage when you run out of space!

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

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

Updates and Such

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

B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. 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.

When you're thinking about traditional 50mm field of view and the options between full frame and Micro Four Thirds, these two lenses sum up your choice pretty well. Both optics will provide excellent image quality. Softer backgrounds will be easier with the Canon because of the larger sensor. Both lenses qualify as professional gear. But what a difference physically between the two... and price.

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The Canon RF 50mm f/1.2L USM currently runs $2,099 and weighs 950 grams.

The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 25mm f/1.2 PRO is selling for $1,099 and weighs in at 410 grams.

(Because of its smaller size, a 25mm optic on a Micro Four Thirds sensor presents an equivalent field of view to a 50mm lens on a full frame chip.)

I'm not advocating one over the other. But what I do want to point out, and what isn't discussed as much these days, is that you have some distinct options in price and weight for high level photograph gear.

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

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As the saying goes, "It was hot. Africa hot."

I wasn't on the subcontinent with a Panasonic G95 in hand, but rather at Safari West during a heat wave that had stifled Northern California.

I wanted to see how Panasonic's latest MFT camera body would hold up in adverse conditions while working with my Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO lens. The G95 is billed as an excellent travel camera. And for good reason. It's light in weight, relatively compact in size, and it supports a variety of still photography and video features. The oversized handgrip (that's very comfortable) seemed like a good match for the longer telephoto lens. And the 20 MP sensor combined with 5-axis sensor stabilization felt like a robust tandem for this assignment.

White Rhino "White Rhino" - 1/500th at f/2.8, ISO 200, 150mm - Photo by Derrick Story.

The first thing that I had to figure out was the focusing array. After some fiddling around and experimentation, I settled on the Custom Multi pattern with the more compact AF area. This provided me with a little margin for error in the center part of the frame, but limited the focus point choices. There are 3 sizes to choose from with the pattern, I went with the middle option. In the future, I think I'll go with the smallest to provide me with the most control. That being said, most of my images were crisp with very few focusing misses.

Zebra "Zebra Pair" - 1/400th at f/2.8, ISO 200, 150mm - Photo by Derrick Story.

The next adjustment that I made was to reconfigure the dial around the shutter button for exposure compensation. I have all of my Olympus cameras set up this way, and it's one of my favorite features of mirrorless photography. In the menu, it's under custom wrench > Operation > Dial Set. This allowed me to quickly adjust exposure without missing the shot.

Flamingo "Flamingo" - 1/400th at f/2.8, ISO 200, 150mm - Photo by Derrick Story.

In the field, focusing responsiveness with the Olympus 40-150mm lens was good. The manual focus override worked well when I needed it, complete with focusing assist. The exposures were quite accurate and the color was pleasing.

I did switch to Silent Mode (via the menu) so as not to annoy my comrades with focus confirmation beeps. At one point, my brother-in-law turned to me and asked, "Are you taking any pictures?" He hadn't heard a thing. That was exactly what I wanted.

Big Horns "Big Horns" - 1/800th at f/3.2, ISO 200, 150mm - Photo by Derrick Story.

I captured in RAW+Jpeg so I could evaluate both formats. I processed the RAWs in Lightroom 2.3, which did a good job of decoding the RW2 files. The Jpegs looked quite good. But when compared side-by-side with the unedited RAW files, I still preferred the look of the RW2 pictures, even without adjustments.

Wild Pig "Wild Pig" - 1/320th at f/3.2, ISO 400, 150mm - Photo by Derrick Story.

The camera did heat up, but it didn't seem to adversely affect image quality. Performance was good. The battery hung in there for the entire shoot. And the images are pleasing.

I would say that the Panasonic Lumix G95 did itself proud under these challenging conditions. Next stop with the camera is Santa Barbara. Stay tuned.

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