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It's 2014 - WiFi is now Required

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Whenever I read a new camera announcement and see that WiFi is optional, instead of built-in, I move on. It happened this morning when scanning the specs for the Nikon S2 1-System mirrorless camera that requires an optional module for WiFi.

Next.

It's 2014, and WiFi is required - especially in compact and mirrorless cameras.

The problem is, once you've experienced good wireless connectivity with your mobile device, going back feels like washing your clothes in the stream. Great while camping, but not for everyday life.

I have excellent WiFi on my Canon S110, 70D, Olympus OM-D E-M1 and E-M10. Guess what cameras I carry with me when I walk out the door? I do make an exception for the Fujifilm X20 (with a Mobi card), but it's been around for a while. I'll bet dollars to doughnuts that the X30 has WiFi.

When I see a shot that I want to share with the world via Instagram, Facebook, or Flickr, I want to capture and publish in one swoop. WiFi allows that. I love having an intelligent remote control app on my iPhone that allows me to put my camera on a tripod an shoot without vibration. WiFi makes it easy.

We get to a point when certain features are expected: image stabilization, TTL flash, and now... WiFi.

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Join me on my Instagram site as I explore the world of mobile photography. And now Instagram features 15-second movies too.

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Coming this June, Canon will start shipping the EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM for $299. This is great news for APS-C shooters who want an affordable wide angle lens.

According to Canon: The EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM ultra wide-angle zoom lens features a compact and lightweight design with an Optical Image Stabilizer for shake correction up to four shutter speed stepsiii, enabling handheld shooting in low light. The lens' stepping motor and newly designed focus mechanism are ideal for Canon EOS Movie Servo AF (available on EOS 70D, EOS Rebel T5i and EOS Rebel SL1 cameras) to provide smooth, quiet and continuous autofocusing during video shooting, as well as when taking photos.

I can't wait to test it!

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This week on The Digital Story photography podcast: Canon G1X Mark II, B&W Printing Tips; Fujifilm XT1 Sharpness, To Watermark or Not? - All of this and more on today's show with Derrick Story.

Story #1 - The Weekly Update: Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II Review (Source DP Review)

In other news, Is the Fuji X-T1 the sharpest APS-C camera out there? You be the judge: Image comparison tables posted on Imaging-Resource.com.

And finally, Cactus V6 Trigger is Capable of Being Used with Almost Any Flash System. (Source: Petapixel)

Story #2 - B&W Printing Tips - Have you seen Red River Paper's Best Inkjet Photo Papers for Black & White Printing that includes a downloadable "basics" guide? This page covers "the best" papers for the task and breaks them up by warm and cool tone. That segmentation resonates with older customers who remember buying darkroom paper that was either warm or cool. It also gives people a mental image of how paper contributes to the end result.

Story #3 - The Nimbleosity Report: "To Watermark or Not?" Photographer Sean Duggan wrote on The Nimble Photographer: "I favor a very small, subtle watermark in one of the lower corners of the mage (or sometimes along a vertical side...also in a corner) that has a lower opacity. I want it to be visible and legible, but not get in the way of the image. It's there to help honest people track the image back to me if they want to use it for anything. I can't worry about those who would crop it off or retouch it out of the image. But it's so easy for web images to become 'orphaned' and disconnected from their original posting context, as well as having embedded metadata stripped out, that a subtle watermark is important." I think he makes a great point.

Story #4 - From the Screening Room - iMovie 10.0.2 Essential Training with Garrick Chow. iMovie is sometimes overshadowed by Final Cut Pro X. But it can produce professional results easily. And Garrick is an excellent trainer.

You can watch Garrick in action by visiting the TDS Screening Room at lynda.com/thedigitalstory. While you're there, you can start your 7 day free trial to watch other design, photography, and computing titles, plus every other topic in the library.

Virtual Camera Club News

May is Wow and Double Wow Month For Mothers Day, Graduation, Engagements, June Weddings, Birthday, Fathers Day ... and, because SizzlPix! loves making you a super hero with a camera strap around your neck, order TWO: one for them; one for yourself, and your second SizzlPix! is 25% off! Any two SizzlPix!, from the same image or two different, any sizes, any hanging options, save 25% on the second or more.

Workshop News: I've sent out invites to the Reserve List for the Fall Color with Safari West Workshop, October 24-26, 2014. You can learn about them both, plus request a reservation form by visiting the TDS Workshops Page and using the "Send Me Info" box.

Photo Assignment for May 2014 is "Around the House".

If you haven't done so already, please post a review for The Digital Story Podcast in iTunes.

BTW: If you're ordering through B&H or Amazon, please click on the respective ad tile under the Products header in the box half way down the 2nd column on thedigitalstory.com. That helps support the site.

Listen to the Podcast

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.

SizzlPix! - High resolution output for your photography. You've never seen your imagery look so good. SizzlPix.com. SizzlPix! now is qualified for PayPal "Bill Me Later," No payments, No interest for up to 6 months, which means, have your SizzlPix! now, and pay nothing until August!

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Dust Off Your Old Glass

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Let's face it: you're probably not going back to film.

But you might have a few choice lenses from the SLR days that you just can't bear to part with. I do too. That's why I bought an adapter for my Olympus OM-D camera bodies and put my Zeiss lenses back to work.

I have a nice collection of primes from when I shot Contax SLRs: 35mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.7, 85mm f/2.8, 135mm f/2.8, and a 200mm f/3.5 that's inscribed, "Made in West Germany." I bought a lens adapter and started experimenting with these optics on my OM-D cameras.

It's been fun, and the images have a different look than my Olympus primes. For example, the photo in this post of the Zeiss 50mm was captured with the Zeiss 85mm, wide open, on a OM-D E-M5.

If you want to see more pictures and get more of the story, check out my article, Classic Lenses on Modern Cameras on c't Digital Photography.

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With a terabyte of free storage, it's easy to think of Flickr as the hall closet where you stuff all your photos. But consider its immersive audience and sharing tools; you may want to revisit your approach.

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For example, if you click on the Photo Gallery button of The Digital Story, it takes you to my Flickr Photo Stream. Once Flickr redesigned their site, I felt that the presentation was strong enough to showcase my images.

In my latest article for lynda.com, Use the New Flickr to Promote the New You, I advocate the following points for increasing your online presence with Flickr.

  • Think of Flickr as a showcase, not a dumping ground
  • Use Flickr as a tool to help you develop your photographic style
  • Stay out of ruts
  • Post-processing is a good thing
  • Don't be afraid of filters
  • Follow interesting people
  • Look at the metadata of the images that you like

You can still use that terabyte of free storage. Just keep the bulk of those images "private" and only make public the interesting shots. By doing so, you can begin to project your style as a photographer, and hopefully attract others to it.

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Flickr Essential Training 2013 - I explore the entire Flickr universe, mobile and computer, in my lynda.com title, Flickr Essential Training. Stop by and take a look.

I've just been reading in-depth articles on Build Your Own Studio Gear and Time-Lapse Photography from the new Free Articles Downloads page on c't Digital Photography's website. The time-lapse article is 12 pages and the studio gear is 24 pages long.

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This technical library was just launched this week, and new items will be added on a regular basis. There's no charge for any of the content, but you do have to provide your email address for the c't Digital Photography Newsletter to enable the download button.

If you're grabbing multiple articles, be sure to use the same email address so that you only receive one newsletter.

These are actual articles from c't Digital Photography Magazine. In part the library is made available to you as a introduction to this great content. If you like what you read (and I'm thinking you will), then consider a annual subscription that includes both the paper version of the publication and the electronic editions too.

c't Digital Photography Magazine is offering an "Open House" 20 percent Discount for the month of May.

In the meantime, check in with the new c't website a couple times a week to keep up on the world of serious enthusiast photography.

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I've tested a variety of ways to add watermarks to my mobile photos, but Tagg.ly is the easiest. And the iOS app is free.

Your options include a single text field (I added my name and URL), timestamp, location, and logo. The text information is elegantly placed in the lower left corner. The logo, if you choose to add it, goes in the upper right. I found it a bit intrusive for my tastes. But I like the text placement.

Tagg.ly doesn't rely on metadata. It's part of the image. So unless someone intentionally crops it out, your name won't be accidentally stripped from the photo by a rogue app.

You can use the app's built-in camera function. But I prefer to shoot with my regular camera app, then open Tagg.ly to apply the watermark to images I plan to share. Since it taps your Camera Roll, it's easy to pull up a shot, tag it, then have the new version saved to your iPhone or iPad (Yes, it works with the iPad too).

And since the text field is so easy to change, you could use this app for adding captions to photos before publishing them. So, even though it's quite simple, it's very handy. And I anticipate that will see more features in future versions. I think it's terrific.

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Join me on my Instagram site as I explore the world of mobile photography. And now Instagram features 15-second movies too.

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I've been testing the robust Samsung Pro SDHC UHS-1 memory card in all of my SD-compatible cameras. These cards are relatively new, and should become easier to find in the coming months. (Note, link here appears to be for the microSD version even though the SDHC model is shown in the picture.)

First and foremost, the Samsung cards tackle a big problem with SD memory: ruggedness. Their robust build inspires confidence. Samsung says these new SD cards are: "Built to Last: Waterproof, Temperature Proof, X-ray Proof and Magnetic Proof." In other words, your pictures should be safe.

The speed is good too. Read data up to 90MB/s and write up to 80MB/s. The Samsung cards are also rated UHS-1 (Ultra High Speed, a new technology that enables higher bus interface transfer rates) and Class 10.

Inside the card there's a top quality controller and original memory designed and manufactured by Samsung. So you don't have to worry about substandard components that are often found in off-brand memory cards.

As of this writing, I haven't been able to find this particular card at my normal retail outlets. But I suspect they will be surfacing soon. And when they do, you might want to give 'em a test. I'll be taking mine to Europe next month.

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Olympus E-M1 and the Samsung NX30

This week on The Digital Story photography podcast: Samsung NX30 - Does a bigger sensor justify a larger camera?; a PDF Library for Technically Minded Photographers (with free downloads); and Shooting Better with the iPhone 5s - All of this and more on today's show with Derrick Story.

Story #1 - The Weekly Update: The top story this week is the Get a FREE copy of onOne Software's Perfect Effects 8 Premium Edition ($99.95 value). All you have to do is provide you name and email to download. Works with Lightroom, Aperture, Photoshop, and as a standalone. Requires 8GBs of RAM. Terrific software! (Source: onOne Software)

In other news, Olympus OM-D E-M10 Full Review on Imaging-Resource.com. I've fallen in love with this little camera. This review highlights many of the reasons why.

And finally, Canon releases report on consumer fraud saying that 18 percent have unknowingly purchased counterfeit consumer electronics. It's an interesting study worth perusing. (Source Canon USA)

Story #2 - Samsung NX30: Does a bigger sensor justify a larger camera? Holding the NX30 feels more like handling a small DSLR than a mirrorless ILC. But you also get that beautiful APS-C sensor. Is it worth it?

Here are a few my favorite features on the NX30:

  • 20.3 MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • Tiltable electronic viewfinder and articulated 3" LCD screen
  • WiFi and NFC connectivity
  • Includes Lightroom 5
  • Currently available for $799 with 18-55mm zoom

But how does it stack up compared to its micro four thirds competitors? I discuss during this segment of the show.

Story #3 - New Online Resource for Technically Minded Photographers. Our friends over at c't Digital Photography Magazine have just launched a PDF Library with free article downloads. Topics include: Managing Multiple Cameras with Lightroom, Micro Four Thirds Lens Review, Image Processing in 32-bit Mode, Time-lapse Photography, How to Shoot Gigapixel Images, Build your Own Studio Gear, and more.

As part of this Grand Opening, you can receive a 20 percent discount for an annual subscription, that includes both paper and electronic versions of the magazine.

Story #4 - From the Screening Room - Shooting with the iPhone 5s with Ben Long. Do you have an iPhone but feel like you aren't getting the most out of its built-in camera? If that's the case, this week's Screening Room selection is for you.

You can watch Ben in action by visiting the TDS Screening Room at lynda.com/thedigitalstory. While you're there, you can start your 7 day free trial to watch other design, photography, and computing titles, plus every other topic in the library.

Virtual Camera Club News

New SizzlPix Winners! Congratulations to Mike Boening (Dec 2013 High ISO #93), Kyle Howard (Jan 2014 White # 94), and David Blanchard (Feb 2014 Smartphone #95). You are the latest class of SizzlPix Pick of the Month photographers.

Workshop News: I've sent out invites to the Reserve List for the Fall Color with Safari West Workshop, October 24-26, 2014. You can learn about them both, plus request a reservation form by visiting the TDS Workshops Page and using the "Send Me Info" box.

Photo Assignment for May 2014 is "Around the House".

If you haven't done so already, please post a review for The Digital Story Podcast in iTunes.

BTW: If you're ordering through B&H or Amazon, please click on the respective ad tile under the Products header in the box half way down the 2nd column on thedigitalstory.com. That helps support the site.

Listen to the Podcast

In addition to subscribing in iTunes, you can also download the podcast file here (32 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.

SizzlPix! - High resolution output for your photography. You've never seen your imagery look so good. SizzlPix.com. SizzlPix! now is qualified for PayPal "Bill Me Later," No payments, No interest for up to 6 months, which means, have your SizzlPix! now, and pay nothing until August!

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

If you have a special event on the horizon, such as a prom, graduation ceremony, or wedding, you may want to brush up on your outdoor portrait technique. Here are a few tips to help you capture the beauty of the moment.

outdoor-couples-shot-2.jpg "Ready for the Prom" by Derrick Story. Olympus OM-D E-M10, 14-42mm lens, fill flash.

  • Use fill flash. Whether you're shooting with a compact camera, mirrorless, or DSLR, fill flash adds a twinkle to the eyes and smooths out contours on the face.
  • Learn flash exposure compensation. Every camera has it, and by accessing this control, you can dial down the intensity of the flash for more natural looking portraits.
  • Position the camera even, or slightly below, the eye level of your subjects. This becomes easier when your camera has a tilting LCD screen. Tripods are also excellent aids in maintaining a good camera position.
  • Practice before the event. Chances are that you will only have a minute or two to get the shot at the event. People like photographers who work quickly. Practicing ahead of time facilitates speed during the actual shoot.
  • Remind the subjects to look directly at the camera lens, not at you. For these types of portraits, eye contact with the camera often produces the most engaging results.
  • Watch your background. Choose an area free of distracting elements such as power lines, white fences, and reflecting cars.
  • Add a fun shot to the mix. Yes, you need to capture the straight portrait. But once you have that, add a fun shot too. This is the bonus picture that's often used for Facebook and Instagram. And the subjects just love having it.
  • fun-group-shot-2.jpg

  • Warm up the white balance. Overcast days and shady locations can lead to cool skin tones, which aren't very flattering - not to mention that the flash itself is a cool light. You can offset these effects by changing your white balance setting to cloudy. It will help warm up those skin tones.
  • Fine tune the best shots in post production. Simple adjustments such as white balance, fill light, and vignette, make a big improvement with the final image.

If possible, get the images to the subjects the next day. That way they can enjoy them while in the afterglow of the event.

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