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The day after Thanksgiving seemed like a good opportunity for updating the firmware on my OM-D E-M5 Mark II. And as it turned out, I did need more time than I expected. But like they say on the Upgrade page: you're downloading a whole new camera.

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The first step is to launch the OLYMPUS Digital Camera Updater app that came with your camera (Mac or PC). You can also download it from the Olympus site. Connect the OM-D via its USB cable, and let the application walk you through the steps. Be sure to pay close attention to the prompts, and do not turn off your camera until you see the OK message on the LCD.

There are a few lenses that you might want to update at the same time. The Updater app reads the firmware for both camera and attached optic. In my case, I also needed to update the 60mm f/2.8 macro, 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO zoom, 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO zoom, and the 14-42mm EX pancake zoom. Each of these take a few minutes to update, so make yourself comfortable as you perform the operation on each one.

Once body and optics are up to speed, you'll need to reconfigure your menu settings. I reprogrammed my function buttons, added my copyright information, turned off Quick Sleep Mode (Hate that one! Gear Menu K > Quick Sleep Mode), and made sure my Jpegs were recording in SuperFine, not fine. This process takes another 15-30 minutes.

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But now you get to enjoy the fruits of your efforts. As you can see by the above list, there are plenty of new goodies to play with. I reprogrammed Fn1 to enable the Simulated Optical Viewfinder (S-OVF), so I can now toggle between that view and the standard EVF rendering.

I'm also able to use Focus Bracketing (Shooting Menu 2 > Bracketing > Focus BKT ) to automatically record a series of images at different focusing points that can be composited into one sharp image in post production. I recommend the Olympus 60mm f/2.8 for this task.

4K Time Lapse Video output is also available. You can find that setting in Shooting Menu 1 > time lapse (bottom of the menu)> Time Lapse Settings > Movie Settings. This allows you to save your time lapse masterpieces in full 4K glory.

And finally, for those of you who have been befuddled by accidentally sliding your PRO lens into manual focus, you can now prevent that from happening by turning on Manual Focus Clutch Disable via Gear Menu A > MF Clutch > Inoperative.

These are my favorite improvements, but as you can see from the list, I still have more to experiment with. It does feel like a whole new camera...

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The annual Nimble Store Sale starts now and runs through CyberMonday, Nov. 30th. Some of our most popular items are deeply discounted. Plus, there's free shipping for everything using discount code: FreeShip2015.

nimble-store-items.png Just a few of the items on sale in The Nimble Store.

The discount code is only valid through Nov. 30th, 2015, as are the sale prices. Some of the goodies that you might want to browse include the Nimble Fingerless Gloves ($8.99), the Walking Man Flask Set ($24.95), and the Walking Man Cap ($19.95).

Quantities limited on all of these items. When they're gone, they're gone. There are no rain checks for sold out items. We ship to U.S. addresses only.

It's turkey and Black Friday and Cyber Monday all rolled up into one event. Take a look for yourself. And Happy Holidays!

The Nimbleosity Report

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This is The Digital Story Podcast #507, Nov. 24, 2015. Today's theme is "When Manual is Actually Easier." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

During the holidays, should you bring your camera to the table? This is a discussion we had the other night, at of all places, the dinner table.

My initial feeling is, that if you demonstrate some common sense and respect for others, then it's OK to bring your smartphone or digital camera to the dinner table during the holidays. Other folks believe that we should stay in the moment and leave our digital devices elsewhere.

I can see both sides to the story. How do you feel about it? Post your comment on the TheDigitalStory Facebook page, and I'll read one from each side next week.

When Manual is Actually Easier

Open with the anecdote with a booth visitor in Texas.

My default settings, before I turn off the camera are Program Exposure Mode, Auto ISO, and Auto White Balance. I do that because if a great photo op presents itself, I want to be able to capture the image quickly, and have a reasonable file to work with.

But I do switch to Manual Exposure and Manual Flash regularly. Not because that's how real photographers shoot, but because it's actually easier sometimes.

My favorite scenario for this approach is for portraits when I want to balance ambient lighting with the flash. Here's how I do it. First I use Manual Exposure for the ambient lighting. I make sure the shutter speed stays below flash sync. Then I manually adjust the flash output for the subject. Now I can enjoy wildly consistent exposures knowing that a false TTL reading won't fool the camera. More on this during today's feature story.

The Screening Room

This week's Screening Room selection is Using Wacom Tablets with Photoshop with Kevin Stohlmeyer. In this course, Adobe Certified Instructor Kevin Stohlmeyer shows how to optimize your Wacom tablet for use with Photoshop. He reviews each component of the tablet and Grip Pen and shows how to adjust preferences and customize your tablet to work best with Photoshop. Plus, he helps you experiment with Photoshop's default brushes, natural tips brushes, erodible brushes, and Mixer Brush.

In the News

Alien Skin Exposure X 'nondestructive' photo editor to launch by year's end - DPReview - "Exposure X won't use a catalog file in an effort to keep things simple and fast. For this reason, the application doesn't require photos to be imported, instead it uses any folder the user selects to access photos and save image edits. In a new post published today, the company detailed how new brushing and layers features will work. The software will be available as a standalone application or as a plug-in. Additionally, Exposure X supports file management, including renaming and moving images, and offers organization tools like star ratings, flags, and colors." No price yet.

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Wood Prints

When Leah was at work the other day, and I was at home, I got this text from her: "O my gosh, is hat really a photo somehow miraculously pressed onto wood? It's gorgeous!" I replied, "Yes, indeed. It's a Wood Print by inkdot. And I think it's really cool too.

They are 5/8" thick and printed on Baltic Birch. They are archival, moisture, and UV resistant. They take two days for printing, then of course ship time. Sizes range from 6" x 6" to 24" x 36". The 12"x12" print I have of mother and daughter zebras runs $58.

Inkdot makes a variety of cool stuff, and you'll be hearing more about that on future shows. But for the holidays, you definitely should consider the wood prints. Learn more at www.inkdot.com.

Essence of Photography Book Winners

Congratulations to Linda Sullivan and Harold Mancusi-Ungaro for being randomly selected to receive The Essence of Photography by Bruce Barnbaum. They were selected from the subscriber list of The Nimbleosity Report, a twice a month newsletter with inside scoops and discounted deals. Adorama is coming onboard and will be offering a special item at a super discount for each edition.

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This week's giveaway is two copies of Street Photography - The Art of Capturing the Candid Moment by Gordon Lewis. Everyone on the subscriber kist for The Nimbleosity Report is eligible. If you haven't signed up, the link is in the show notes. The next drawing is Monday, Nov. 30.

Member Quote of the Week

Intelligent comments culled from The Digital Story Facebook page.

In regard to last week's podcast, Top 10 Gifts for Photographers, Fred Brundick comments about The Tile: "The Tile wouldn't help me because I'm always misplacing my iPhone ;-) I've used Find My iPhone a few times when I couldn't find my phone in my condo."

Post your thoughts on our Facebook page. Believe me, I read them.

Eight Printing Tips for Greeting Cards

Here are Eight Card Printing Tips complements of Red River Paper. The first one is "Create a Custom Paper Size in your Printer Properties" and they show you how. Then go on from there. Check out all eight and make some wonderful gifts this holiday season.

Found in the Bottom of the Bag

Registration is open for The 2016 Street Photography Workshop in San Francisco. And I've posted the full preliminary itinerary on the Workshops page. And if you plan on ordering through B&H Photo or Amazon, please stop by the TDS site first, click on their respective ad tile, then place your order. That extra step helps support the site.

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

lynda.com - Learn lighting, portraiture, Photoshop skills, and more from expert-taught videos at lynda.com/thedigitalstory.

Red River Paper -- Keep up with the world of inkjet printing, and win free paper, by liking Red River Paper on Facebook.

inkdot Innovative printing output and accessories for the creative photographer. Visit www.inkdot.com today.

The Nimbleosity Report

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

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Sometimes your lighting has to move as quickly as your subjects. My FlashPole rig is a variation on a setup I saw a wedding photographer use on location in San Francisco. It requires an assistant, and the results are terrific.

My kit includes the Manfrotto Compact Xtreme 2-in-1 Monopod & Pole, flash mounted on a bracket, wireless trigger, and a 27" photo umbrella. The lighting is attached on the "selfie end" of the Manfrotto pole (or the ground end of the monopod) so your assistant has a solid grip for holding the rig.

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The pole can be extended for when the lighting needs to be at a high angle, and collapsed for low angle positioning. Thanks to the excellent design of the Manfrotto Xtreme, the rig is very balanced and easy to hold for long periods of time. When the shoot is finished, the entire kit collapses into a highly totable bundle.

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As for the results, it's studio lighting in an outdoor setting. Standard light stands are too cumbersome for these types of assignments, plus any puff of wind will blow them over. And young subjects just don't have the patience for you to fiddle with your gear.

PB212876.jpg Family portrait captured with the FlashPole rig. OM-D E-M5 Mark II with Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 zoom. All Photos by Derrick Story.

I prefer to set my lighting manually and use manual exposure on the camera. That way I can lock-in the mix of ambient lighting with just the right amount of output from the flash, and not worry about random TTL readings that might provide inconsistent results. Plus this approach allows me to use inexpensive strobes and triggers.

The FlashPole rig works well for event coverage, weddings, and outdoor portraits. It's inexpensive, and very easy to use. I also use the Manfrotto Xtreme for high angle photography. Check out the article, Aerial Photography Without a Drone.


Nimble Photographer Logo

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

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

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I've been waiting for this price drop for some time. The highly rated Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5 with 12-32mm lens is now half price at $469. That's a deal.

Consider that the 12-32mm image stabilized zoom runs $299 by itself. I've wanted that lens because it's wider (12mm) than my Olympus 14-42mm pancake zoom (that I also love!). Subtract the zoom from the kit, and essentially you're getting the camera for $170. The same Micro Four Thirds compact that earned a Silver Award from DP Review and includes a built-in electronic viewfinder.

The kit is available in both red and black. Either way, you can't miss with this one.

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!

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LED Panels - Great, but Diffuse Them

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LED panels for photo work have many advantages over previous light sources. They are cool to the touch, easily adjusted for output, and we can even tweak the color temperature. One thing that LEDs do share with their predecessors, however, is the need to be diffused.

Take a look at the example below. The image on the left was captured with a simple diffusion panel over the light. The photo on the right had a Rosco frosted gel over the lights, but nothing more. As a result, the highlights are quite bright and the shadows are intense.

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The product shot on the left used an additional diffusion panel; the image on the right had just a basic frosted gel.

Granted, this is a difficult subject with its dark color and reflective surface. But we have to photograph these types of objects all the time.

For my lights, I've added a fabric diffusion panel made from the same material as our traditional soft boxes. By doing so, I've tamed the light when needed, making it easier for both product shots and portraits.

PB170595-led-diffusion.jpg Diffusion panel added to the LED light to soften the contrast.

This doesn't mean that I won't use strobes and soft boxes when the job demands it. I will. But for quick product shots and basic portraits, this system works great.

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Note: The light illustrated in this article is the Dracast LED500 Pro Bi-Color LED Light with V-Mount Battery Plate outfitted with the optional Barndoors kit.

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!

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #506, Nov. 17, 2015. Today's theme is "Top 10 Gifts for Photographers." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

I'm so jazzed because I just finished and published the itinerary for the SF Street Photography Workshop. This 3-day event takes us to the coolest locations throughout the City, and even on a ferry to Sausalito (one of the best ferry rides around). Signups are already underway, so please don't procrastinate if you plan on attending.

Photographer's Top Ten Gift Guide

Here are 10 gift ideas that should surprise and delight the photographer in your life.

  • The ikan Micro Spot On-Camera Light $69.95 - This lightweight, cool-to-the touch, daylight-balanced, on-camera LED about the size of a small flashlight. The front of the light incorporates a lens system that creates a 30° beam angle providing a directional light well suited for on-camera use or also as a kicker light. The unit features a discrete on/off switch and is dimmable from 100 to 10% on using an integrated thumb wheel on the side. You can read more about in my article, Super Nimble LED Lighting Kit for Photogs on the Go.
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  • The Koolertron Pan and Tilt Flex Head $39 is a foldable, Z-shaped tripod head or standalone support. It's constructed of high quality aluminum, folds flat for easy transport, and can be used by itself or mounted on a tripod. It weights only 1 pound, but can hold a camera up to 6 pounds. When folded flat, it only measures 4.7" x 2.4" x 1.2". Note: If you want it by Christmas be sure to choose Expedited Shipping. It';s $15, increasing the total price to $54.
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  • The RavPower All-in-1 Filehub $45.99 - is a 5.4 ounce device that measures a mere 3.82 x 1.06 x 2.13 inches is WiFi enabled with a USB port on one end and a SD card reader on the other. Using the free iOS or Android FileHub Plus app, travelers can copy files from the SD card to an USB Flash drive for backup. There are many more functions available with the RavPower, but this one in particular is vital to mobile photographers. You can read more about it in my article, RavPower All-in-1 Filehub for Super Nimble Backup.
  • The Manfrotto Compact Xtreme $44.88 boasts 4-section tubes made of a combination of Adapto and aluminum and can hold a payload up to 1 kg. It features a 1/4 thread both on top and underneath, allowing a rapid change in the product's configuration in just a few easy steps.
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  • The Vanguard Havana 21 Shoulder Bag $39 - Whether you're going on a desert safari or an urban one, the tan Havana 21 Shoulder Bag from Vanguard will hold and protect your DSLR or Mirrorless camera with attached lens, 1-2 extra lenses, flash unit, accessories and a 7" tablet. The bag features a zippered main compartment with a removable, padded insert. Simply remove the insert to free up space for everyday excursions which don't involve photography. Within the shoulder bag next to the insert is a slip-in pocket with a touch-fastening tab for storing your 7" tablet.
  • The Tile (Gen 2) - Phone Finder. Key Finder. Item Finder $25 is a great way to keep track of keys and camera gear. The Tile works with its free companion iOS or Android app to log the last time the device was "seen," and you can instruct it to chime when in range. I keep one on my key ring, and drop my keyring into my messenger bag when on the go for double protection.
  • The Olympus 9mm f8.0 Fisheye Body Cap Lens $89 is one of the coolest optics for Micro Four Thirds camera bodies. About the size of an Oreo cookie, this little wonder provides amazingly sharp, gloriously wide views of the world. Easy on both the pocketbook and camera bag.
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  • The Cooperative of Photography Original Photo Glove 139 Euros are possibly the nicest gloves I've ever used for photography. Made from super soft leather with silicon logo imprints on the palm side for better grip, these gloves are as fashionable as they are functional. The index finger on each hand is specially designed for precision control of camera buttons and dials, plus works with touchscreen devices. So you can operate all of your devices while keeping your hands warm in the gloves. European customers can order in sizes ranging from Small to XXL from the COOPH online store. I recommend that you purchase one size larger than you normally wear. U.S. customers can buy the Original Photo Gloves from these U.S. dealers.
  • The Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM lens $149 is a wonderful optic for street photographers providing a versatile 38mm focal length on APS-C bodies (lens does not work on full frame Canons). With its slim design that only measures 1" thick, plus 7 blade aperture for smooth bokeh effects, not to mention the relatively fast f/2.8 maximum aperture, this optic is light enough to take anywhere, yet provides pro results everywhere.
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  • The The Essence of Photography $29 by Bruce Barnbaum demonstrates that photographic seeing and creativity can be taught, learned, and improved. This book expands on the ideas that are central to Bruce's method of teaching photography, which he has used in workshops for the past 41 years. 196 pages, soft cover, 10" x 10".

And I have two copies of Bruce's book to give away this week. All you have to do to enter is sign up for The Nimbleosity Report before Monday, Nov. 23. You'll receive twice-a-month highlights from The Nimble Photographer and The Digital Story, plus be eligible for a free copy of the book. I'll announce the recipients on next week's show.

Get Your Training On

This week's lynda recommendation is iPhone and iPad Photography with iOS 9 with Sean Duggan. We have these powerful devices with us practically everywhere we go. Here's how to get the most out of them as imaging tools.

Software Download

iWatermark +. The Essential Watermarking App for Professional and Beginning Photographers. Watermarks, once added to a photo or video, display that it was created and is owned by you. Easily, secure and protect your photos by signing them with 9 visible and 2 invisible = 11 watermark types. These days any unique photo can suddenly go viral and lose all connection to it's owner/creator. A watermark subtly displays, no matter where your photo goes, that it's your property and can provide a link to your website. $3.99 - available for iOS, Android, Mac OS X, and Windows.

Cash In on Greeting Cards

Red River Paper posts in their blog: "The Greeting Card Association estimates that more than 7 billion paper cards were sold last year at prices ranging from $2 to $10 and that women accounted for 80% of the sales. Despite the e-card phenomenon, nine out of ten people still prefer receiving (and keeping) a card they can display- on a desk, bedside table, or taped to the fridge." Red River Paper is the longest running sponsor of The Digital Story.

See you next week!

Download the Show

In addition to subscribing in iTunes, you can also download the podcast file here (33 minutes). You can support this podcast by purchasing the TDS iPhone App for only $2.99 from the Apple App Store.

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

lynda.com - Learn lighting, portraiture, Photoshop skills, and more from expert-taught videos at lynda.com/thedigitalstory.

Red River Paper -- Keep up with the world of inkjet printing, and win free paper, by liking Red River Paper on Facebook.

Zenfolio If you want your site to look as good as your photos, visit www.zenfolio.com today.

SizzlPix! - New 5k Ultra High Definition SizzlPix output for your photography. You've never seen your imagery look so good. SizzlPix.com.

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 San Francisco Street Photography Workshop is SOLD OUT for 2016. Please see our other events on the TDS Workshops page.

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From the colorful shops in Chinatown to the haunting ruins at Fort Point, the SF Photography Workshop puts you on the ground in one of the most interesting urban centers in the U.S.

Our headquarters is based in the Union Square area of the city, at the historic Cartwright Hotel. All you have to do is walk out the front door to capture great shots. But we'll push even farther to locations that are sure to fill up your memory cards. It's Nimble Photographer meets Urban Explorer.


Photo from 2015 workshop by Mike Boening


We begin Friday morning, April 15, 2016 in our private conference room (yes, with coffee and tea service). Your leaders are Derrick Story and Olympus Visionary Mike Boening, and together they will provide a mix of classroom instruction and hands-on shooting in the streets of San Francisco. Here's the preliminary itinerary.

Itinerary for San Francisco Photo Workshop

Friday, April 15

  • 8:15 am - Doors open in the conference room
  • 8:30 am - Welcome and introductions
  • 9:00 am - Street Shooting Etiquette - Derrick and Mike
  • 9:30 am - Break with gear preparation
  • 10:00 am - Depart for North Beach
  • 10:30 am - North Beach Street Shooting
  • 11:30 pm - Lunch on Your Own
  • 12:30 pm - Depart for Palace of the Fine Arts
  • 1:00 pm - Palace of the Fine Arts Shoot
  • 2:00 pm - Depart for Fort Point
  • 2:30 pm - Fort Point Shoot
  • 4:00 pm - Depart for Chrissy Field
  • 4:30 pm - Light meal at Chrissy Field (Part of Workshop)
  • 5:30 pm - Class on Twilight Shooting - Mike Boening
  • 6:15 pm - Twilight Shoot at Chrissy Field
  • 7:30 pm - Day 1 Concludes
  • Sat., April 16

  • 8:15 am - Doors open in the conference room
  • 8:30 am - Preparations for Sausalito Shoot
  • 9:00 am - Depart for Ferry Building
  • 10:40 am - Ferry Ride to Sausalito
  • 11:15 am - Orientation Meeting
  • 11:30 am - Lunch on your own
  • 12:30 pm - Sausalito Street Shooting
  • 3:50 pm - Depart Sausalito
  • 4:20 pm - Arrive SF Ferry Building
  • 4:30 pm - Orientation Meeting
  • 5:00 pm - Street Shooting on the Embarcadero
  • 6:30 pm - Optional Twilight shoot
  • Sunday., April 17

  • 9:15 am - Doors open in the conference room
  • 9:30 am - The Nimble Photographer - Derrick Story
  • 10:00 am - Chinatown Street Shoot
  • 11:30 am - Group Lunch in Chinatown (Part of Workshop)
  • 1:00 pm - Lab Session with Post Production Tips
  • 3:00 pm - Class Presentation of Favorite Images
  • 5:00 pm - Workshop Concludes

workshop-crew.jpg Can you spot the workshop photographers in this image from the 2015 event? There are four... Photo by Derrick Story.

Price for all three days is only $695. Plus you'll get special $169 room rates at the Cartwright Hotel, coordinated by us. To reserve your spot, simply pay the workshop tuition, and you're set. Group size is limited to 8 participants, and registrations are already underway (so don't wait too long). Once your spot is reserved, we'll contact you for the follow up details.

For questions and more information, just send email to:

I hope you can join us for this 3rd Annual Photo Workshop in San Francisco. It is an amazing good time.

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!

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

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Once you've used a flicker-free, variable-color LED light panel, it's hard to go back to the single temperature models. Thankfully, as prices come down, you don't have to.

Case in point is the Genaray 7100T Variable-Color LED panel that's currently available for $189. Its feature set includes:

  • 3200-5600K Adjustable Color Temperature
  • Up to 1400 Lux Brightness at 3 feet
  • 100-10 percent Flicker Free Brightness Dimmer
  • Smooth, Stepless Color/Brightness Dial
  • Dual Sony L Series Battery Mount (NP-F550 type)
  • Two Batteries, Charger, AC Adapter included in the kit
  • Magnetic, Snap-On Diffuser
  • Ball Head and Carry Case

The maximum output from the 312 LED bulbs is 1400 Lux at 3 feet - plenty bright for most indoor applications. The case is made of plastic, so you will have to be somewhat careful when transporting it and using it on location.

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The back panel controls are good and work well. There's the color temp knob on the left that allows for adjustment from 3200 K to 5600K. The battery status can be checked by pressing the raised "T" button. And the rotating luminance dial is adjustable from 10-100 percent.

I like the dual battery configuration, which allows for smaller units that are balanced on both side of the Genaray. The bulbs will power with just one battery, and you can swap out either one without have to power down. This seems particularly handy during long shoots and video recording when you need to leave the light on.

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Another clever design feature is the diffusion panel that attaches with magnetic contacts. It locks into place snugly and stays secure during use, but it's easily removed when necessary. There's a secure pocket inside the top flap of the case to store the panel when not in use.

The best part is, however, variable color adjustment. I'm getting to the point where I can eyeball the color temperature I want. I love the control of being able to dial the control a little cooler for techy product shots, then warm things up for portraits. When used in tandem with my Dracast LED500 Pro Bi-Color LED Light, I have tremendous control over configuring both the luminance and the color for a scene.

My only real nits have to do with the mounting. The 1/4" threaded socket in the bottom of the unit doesn't feel that solid. It's not confidence inspiring, if you know what I mean. So far, there haven't been any problems, but I could see it breaking away from the case during an accidental tumble. And the cheapo ball head that's included could certainly use an upgrade.

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Aside from the mounting complaints, the Genaray 7100T Variable-Color LED panel is a handy, versatile lighting unit that includes lots of accessories and is a good value at $189.

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.

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

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

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

The Workflow

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

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

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

But Wait, There's More

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

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

Final Thoughts

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

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

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The RavPower All-in-1 Filehub has a high Nimbleosity Rating. What does that mean? You can learn about Nimbleosity and more by visiting TheNimblePhotographer.com.

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