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Is a New DSLR Totally Out of the Question? (Pentax K-3 III) - TDS Podcast

This is The Digital Story Podcast #788, April 27, 2021. Today's theme is "Is a New DSLR Totally Out of the Question? (Pentax K-3 III)." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

With all the mirrorless announcements from Sony, Canon, Nikon, and others, it seems as though the DSLR is going the way of the film camera. But there's one holdout against this trend, Pentax, and the just-announced Pentax K-3 Mark III has some truly interesting features, including outstanding high ISO performance. So, are the reports of DSLR death are greatly exaggerated? We'll explore this idea on today's TDS Photography Podcast.

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Is a New DSLR Totally Out of the Question? (Pentax K-3 III)

Pentax-K3-III.jpg

I must admit, I'm a bit fascinated by this camera. Let's start by taking a look at some of its highlight features.

  • High ISO Performance - Specs say 100 to 1,600,000. More on this in a few minutes.
  • 1.05x-Mag. Pentaprism Optical Viewfinder The pentaprism's design has also been updated to use high-refraction glass, optimized coatings, and a distortion-correcting element to reduce aberrations and promote high clarity and color fidelity.
  • 25.7MP APS-C BSI CMOS Sensor - Sports a BSI design that promotes low noise, smooth tones, and accurate color rendering throughout the sensitivity range, from ISO 100-1600000, to suit working in a variety of lighting conditions.
  • Up to 12 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Real-Time Scene Analysis System - Using the high-density RGBIr sensor and the PRIME V image processor, the K-3 Mark III can use the Real-time Scene Analysis System to optimize exposure and AF accuracy by detecting subjects' faces and eyes with image recognition technology. This system relies on Deep Learning, an AI-based technology, for more accurate subject detection and scene judgement.
  • 5-axis SR II Shake Reduction system provides 5.5 stop-effective image stabilization - Beyond controlling camera shake, the SR II mechanism also benefits stills applications by enabling a Pixel Shift Resolution feature and an AA Filter Simulator function. Pixel Shift Resolution shifts the sensor in small increments in sequential shots in order to capture full color information at each pixel site, then composites these sequential frames to produce a single image with richer detail and resolution. The AA Filter Simulator, on the other hand, utilizes microscopic vibrations during the capture process to help mitigate moirĂ© in order to produce clean renderings of fabrics and other high-frequency materials. This system works in conjunction with the sensor that lacks an AA filter, so you have the choice between gaining the most resolution or reducing moirĂ© under specific scenarios.
  • SAFOX 13 Phase-Detection AF - Updated with more points and improved coverage, the SAFOX 13 autofocus sensor is a phase-detection focusing system that uses 101 individual points, including 25 cross-type sensors in the middle of the image frame. This array benefits focusing speed and accuracy in a variety of lighting conditions, down to -4 EV. Additionally, a new 307000-pixel RGBIr sensor and new tracking algorithm also promote more accurate tracking of subjects, even when moving at varying speeds or in irregular directions.

So I was studying this article on Petapixel titled, A High ISO Shootout: Pentax K-3 III vs. Sony a7 III, and was amazed at the ISO performance of the Pentax.

"Image quality is outstanding up to ISO 6400 and still looks clean at ISO 12800 in my opinion. Even ISO 25600 looks good enough to print up to A3 if like me you don't mind some grain. Heck, if all you need is a small postcard print and the noise is not a bother, you can go as high as ISO 204,800 in some cases and still get an acceptable image."

"For this comparison, I decided to go with the highly regarded Sony a7 III. Please note that is nothing more than a look at how far APS-C technology has come in that it can compete with a larger sensor. This is not a brand comparison. Looking at ISO 100-1600, there is no visible difference between both cameras.
"Even going up to ISO 6400 and ISO 12800, I can't see any advantage on either side. ISO 25600 is where I am really surprised. The APS-C PENTAX looks slightly cleaner to me than the full-frame camera. Looking at the maximum ISO of the Sony at 204800, they are both pretty much the same. Neither is usable for this shot, but one is not worse than the other though the PENTAX does better on the color."

Interesting Notes

I think for some folks, the feeling is that they will have outdated technology if they purchase a DSLR in 2021. But after reviewing the features in the Pentax K-3 Mark III , that doesn't seem to be the case.

So then it really comes down to form factor, EVF, and what feels better in the hands. A compact DSLR isn't very much bigger than most full frame mirrorless cameras. You can use Live View on the 3.2" LCD for a preview of the image, and the optical viewfinder the rest of the time.

I'm not saying that the K-3 Mark III is going to spark a DSLR comeback. But it's nice to see a competent camera for those who still enjoy a quality optical viewfinder and the feel of a DSLR.

The New Donation Kit for Carefree Shipping of Found Film Cameras

We have more time around the house than ever. And you finally dove into that bedroom closet that's been begging for some organization.

If you found a film camera that you're no longer using, our new Donation Kit makes it easy to pack and ship. Just visit the Contact Form on thenimblephotographer.com, click the box next to Donating a Film Camera, and let me know what you have. In your note, be sure to include your shipping address.

If it's a camera we can use for the shop, I'll send you a Donation Kit that includes a USPS Priority Mail shipping box and prepaid label. All you have to do is tape it up, insert the camera, and add the label. USPS will pick up your shipment from the front door of your house during their regular mail delivery. It's that simple!

Your donation help get analog gear in the hands of aspiring fine art photographers, and the proceeds help support this podcast.

Love Crop Sensors? Exciting Possibilities for the Future

You can read the entire article on The Phoblographer.

The internet loves to predict doom and gloom for cameras with crop sensors. How many years have we heard that Micro Four-Thirds is dead? Current offerings remain quite capable cameras. However, camera technology has been advancing rapidly. Brands like Fuji and OM-Digital Solutions (referred to as OMDS from here on) heavily rely on these cameras to survive. What do they need to do to remain relevant?

It seems that AI and deep-learning tech are here to stay. Interviews with people at Fuji and OMDS seem to confirm this. Fuji has mentioned to Imaging-Resource that they are looking at AI for more than just autofocus. OMDS told DPReview that they plan to take advantage of the fast readout of their smaller sensors. What does this mean for us? New technology could help to negate the downsides of crop sensors. Denoise technology has also jumped leaps and bounds. DxO Lab and Topaz have really begun to show us what AI Denoise is capable of.

What if we could see Full Frame level low-light performance from Micro Four-Thirds? If processing power and new sensor tech can deliver better signal-to-noise ratios, the possibility is there. We saw a great example of this with the Nikon Z50. However, I hope they don't go overboard here. There's definitely something about the organic feel of an image that isn't clinically clean. And of course, AI will continue to play a large part in new autofocus technology.

Some of the points include: Olympus Had Great Ideas, More Please; Could Modular Cameras Be the Future?; Crop Sensors Are Still Great for Video; and Will New Tech Be Enough To Save Crop Sensors? Only time will tell what the industry's brilliant engineers will do next. However, what if these technologies are implemented in larger sensor cameras too?

Virtual Camera Club News

Photos for macOS Big Sur and iPhone Essential Training

This course was just released on LinkedIn Learning and lynda.com. It shows you how to leverage both the latest iPhone technology with Photos software, on both your Mac and mobile devices.

"With the free Photos for macOS software from Apple, you can manage, enhance, and share photos in a variety of ways. In this course, photographer, author, and educator Derrick Story takes you on a detailed exploration of Photos for macOS. Derrick starts with a quick-start introduction to taking pictures on your phone, then editing them with Photos and sharing them. He walks you through how to use the options available to you when you're recording video. Derrick also covers several advanced iPhone camera techniques, such as switching among cameras, controlling the flash, working with ProRAW, and more. He covers each step of the process to edit pictures in Photos for macOS, then does the same for editing videos. Derrick offers some useful tips to enhance your experience using Photos, then concludes with resources to help you learn more."

You can Photos for macOS Big Sur and iPhone Essential Training here.

Inner Circle Members: A big thanks to those who support our podcast and our efforts! (And welcome to our new members.)

My Writing on Medium.com: I now have more than 25 published articles on Medium.com. And if you haven't visited the site, and enjoy good writing on a variety of topics, I suggest that you may want to take a look. You can just go to the home page and enter "Derrick Story" in the search field. And if you like what you read, then follow me!

EV Explorers for Those Who Are Interested in Electric Cars: I've created a new group on DerrickStoryOnline titled EV Explorers. The tagline for this group is: "Bringing Curiosity and Nimbleosity to the World of Electric Vehicle Transportation." Here we can share information, tips, discoveries and more about using electric vehicles for our photography adventures. If you want to join this group, click on this link for an invite. We're going to keep this as a private group for now, but you are invited to join us.

Affiliate Links - The links to some products in this podcast contain an affiliate code that credits The Digital Story for any purchases made from B&H Photo and Amazon via that click-through. Depending on the purchase, we may receive some financial compensation.

And finally, be sure to visit our friends at Red River Paper for all of your inkjet supply needs.

See you next week!

Product Links and Comments

There are product links in this article that contain affiliate tags. In some cases, depending on the product, The Digital Story may receive compensation if you purchase a product via one of those links. There is no additional cost to you.

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

Documenting Mom's House

For those of us who appreciate history, especially within our own family, it's worth remembering that much of it is contained within their homes.

1600-DSCF0181-Moms-House.jpg The Dining Room - Fujifilm X100V, ISO 1600, 1/15th, f/4. Handheld. Photo by Derrick Story.

This dawned on me during a recent visit to my Mom's house. I'm an early riser and was up sipping coffee on an overcast morning. I had the whole place to myself.

I began to notice how she had designed her living environment. It had been more or less the same for decades. Many of the items in the top photo are part of my childhood memories. (I once broke one of those cups while horsing around with my sister. We tried to glue it back together.)

I took out my iPhone and captured a few images. As I looked at them, I thought, "This is important. I don't know how much longer I'll have the opportunity to enjoy this space." None of us do, right?

I decided to get a bit more serious about the photography, so I pulled out my Fujifilm X100V and documented a few of my favorite scenes.

1600-DSCF0193-Moms-House.jpg Ceramic Bunny with Norman Rockwell Plates - Fujifilm X100V, ISO 640, 1/15th, f/2.8. Handheld. Photo by Derrick Story.

Photographing my Mom's house helped me appreciate it even more. Her life is here. This is where she raised her children. My father passed away in this home. She is the caretaker of our family history.

I'm sharing this because there have been moments when I didn't fully appreciate what she is doing at this stage of her life. It would be far more practical (and safer) for her to sell this home and move somewhere that's easier to maintain. But she has resisted. And walking around her home on that overcast morning, with camera in hand, I began to understand why.

There are no easy answers to these situations. So for now, I am going to enjoy spending time with her and capturing images of her home, our family's home, and hope for the best.

1600-DSCF0199-Moms-House.jpg Plastic Bonsai with Glass Fish - Fujifilm X100V, ISO 1250, 1/15th, f/4, Canon 0.8 Wide Angle Adapter for 28mm equivalent. Handheld. Photo by Derrick Story.

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #787, April 20, 2021. Today's theme is "5 Useful Accessories for DIY Photo Projects" I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

When inspiration strikes for a "do it yourself" solution to a gear-related idea that comes to mind, I've found that certain items in my photo accessory drawer are helpful time after time. This week, I'll share five of my favorite DIY accessories, and a case study of putting some of them to use. I hope you enjoy the show.

Tune-In Via Your Favorite Podcast App!


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5 Useful Accessories for DIY Photo Projects

In a recent Medium.com article, I wrote about the handiness of my photo accessory drawer. Some folks might call it a junk drawer, but nothing could be further from the truth.

Accessory-Drawer-1024.jpeg

I have a number of items in there that have become essential components when I trying to come up with a DIY solution. Here are some of my favorites that I've reached for many times.

  • Step-Up and Step-Down Rings - This is one of the items I reach for regularly. Not only do they help me adapt off-sized filters to lenses, they can connect just about anything that has threads.
  • Lens Mount Adapters Over the years I've collected a set of affordable adapters that will mount practically any vintage lens to my MFT cameras, including Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Contax, and Minolta.
  • Cold Shoe Adapters There are tons of accessories that can be mounted in a cold shoe, from bubble levels, to microphone, to LED lights, and of course, flashes themselves. And the list goes on from there.
  • Old Filters - Way back when, I did a show discussing how I never throw a filter away, because some day it will have use. That includes practically every type in every diameter.
  • Translucent Plastic Film Canisters - I've used these for everything from LED light diffusers to small parts containers. They're also handy for carrying around a set of coins that can serve as both super compact slotted screw drivers and emergency change, with room left over for tripod thread adapters and bolts.

I have other things as well, such as a variety of brackets, gaffers tape, and oddball lenses. What are your favorite items in the photo accessory drawer? Stop by our Facebook page and share them.

How to Adapt a 20-Year-Old Lens to an X100 (and save $300)

As much as I love the 35mm lens on my Fujifilm X100V, sometimes I need a bit more elbow room. I looked at the WCL-X100 II Wide Conversion Lens, wanted it, but was reluctant to spend the $350 it costs. So I came up with another angle.

I found a Canon Wide Converter WC-DC58 0.8X lens in my photo accessory drawer, and decided to try it on the X100V. I mean, why not! I already had the filter adapter for the X100V that used 49mm threads. The WC-DC58 had 58mm threads on its backside. I kept digging, found a couple step-up rings that I could cobble together, and made the connection.

Peering through the electronic viewfinder, the world looked pretty good... and wider too. This had potential. I went to the menu on the Fujifilm and found the Conversion Lens option and set it to wide.

This does two things. First, it correctly adjust the metadata to read at the wider focal length, and it removes the frame lines in the optical viewfinder presenting you with a more accurate view of the world. Very cool.

After a bit of testing and reviewing the images at 100 percent on the laptop, I can confidently say that the lovely Canon Wide Converter works beautifully on the X100V. Sharpness was good at f/2.8 and great beyond f/5.6. Colors were deliciously Fuji, and it looks cool on the camera as well.

Photos for macOS Big Sur and iPhone Essential Training

This course was just released on LinkedIn Learning and lynda.com. It shows you how to leverage both the latest iPhone technology with Photos software, on both your Mac and mobile devices.

"With the free Photos for macOS software from Apple, you can manage, enhance, and share photos in a variety of ways. In this course, photographer, author, and educator Derrick Story takes you on a detailed exploration of Photos for macOS. Derrick starts with a quick-start introduction to taking pictures on your phone, then editing them with Photos and sharing them. He walks you through how to use the options available to you when you're recording video. Derrick also covers several advanced iPhone camera techniques, such as switching among cameras, controlling the flash, working with ProRAW, and more. He covers each step of the process to edit pictures in Photos for macOS, then does the same for editing videos. Derrick offers some useful tips to enhance your experience using Photos, then concludes with resources to help you learn more."

You can check out both the free movies and the entire course here.

Did You Know You Can Archive Your Digital Photos on Analog Film?

You can read the entire article on FStoppers.

Bit rot, or the slow deterioration in the performance and integrity of data stored on various forms of digital storage media, is a real concern for photographers. Over time, digital photos degrade and some even become totally defective. The best insurance against this problem may actually be analog film.

Digital photography offers a lot of advantages over the analog process. Namely, it's a lot cheaper and it allows a greater degree of freedom when shooting. Images are also more easily manipulated and with greater sophistication. But digital photography also has its disadvantages, too. One big one is bit rot. I have been shooting digital for about 15 years and, already, I have degraded or defective images. Now, this is certainly by no means a huge percentage of my files but imagine if one of those images was one of my "greatest shots." In some cases, the degradation is only slight, but it is still perceptible. I have some files that are totally gone, that is they won't open at all.

Bit rot is not the only thing I have struggled with in the digital realm, though. I have also just plain lost images. This has happened when I have switched recording formats, computers, etc. Some photos I only had stored in clouds and then lost when I closed accounts (Facebook, for example). The point is many digital photographs I have made in my lifetime are simply gone in one way or another, from one thing or another. Others are degraded or defective. Yet, I have every single image I have ever shot on 35mm film. My negatives have followed me halfway around the world on every move and are still as good as the day they were developed. Now, to be clear, I am not saying that negatives cannot be damaged or lost, they can. I'm simply saying, in my experience, I have all of my analog images and I do not have all of my digital ones. So it goes. Your experience may be different.

Virtual Camera Club News

Inner Circle Members: A big thanks to those who support our podcast and our efforts! (And welcome to our new members.)

My Writing on Medium.com: I now have more than 25 published articles on Medium.com. And if you haven't visited the site, and enjoy good writing on a variety of topics, I suggest that you may want to take a look. You can just go to the home page and enter "Derrick Story" in the search field. And if you like what you read, then follow me!

EV Explorers for Those Who Are Interested in Electric Cars: I've created a new group on DerrickStoryOnline titled EV Explorers. The tagline for this group is: "Bringing Curiosity and Nimbleosity to the World of Electric Vehicle Transportation." Here we can share information, tips, discoveries and more about using electric vehicles for our photography adventures. If you want to join this group, click on this link for an invite. We're going to keep this as a private group for now, but you are invited to join us.

Affiliate Links - The links to some products in this podcast contain an affiliate code that credits The Digital Story for any purchases made from B&H Photo and Amazon via that click-through. Depending on the purchase, we may receive some financial compensation.

And finally, be sure to visit our friends at Red River Paper for all of your inkjet supply needs.

See you next week!

Product Links and Comments

There are product links in this article that contain affiliate tags. In some cases, depending on the product, The Digital Story may receive compensation if you purchase a product via one of those links. There is no additional cost to you.

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

As much as I love the 35mm lens on my Fujifilm X100V, sometimes I need a bit more elbow room. I looked at the WCL-X100 II Wide Conversion Lens, wanted it, but was reluctant to spend the $350 it costs. So I came up with another angle.

Canon-Aux-Lens-P4165404-1024.jpg A Canon Wide Converter WC-DC58 0.8X lens mounted to a Fujifilm X100V. Photos by Derrick Story.

I found a Canon Wide Converter WC-DC58 0.8X lens in my photo accessory drawer, and decided to try it on the X100V. I mean, why not! I already had the filter adapter for the X100V that used 49mm threads. The WC-DC58 had 58mm threads on its backside. I kept digging, found a couple step-up rings that I could cobble together, and made the connection.

Canon-Aux-Lens-P4165414-1024.jpg

Peering through the electronic viewfinder, the world looked pretty good... and wider too. This had potential. I went to the menu on the Fujifilm and found the Conversion Lens option and set it to wide.

This does two things. First, it correctly adjust the metadata to read at the wider focal length, and it removes the frame lines in the optical viewfinder presenting you with a more accurate view of the world. Very cool.

Canon-Aux-Lens-P4165405-1024.jpg

After a bit of testing and reviewing the images at 100 percent on the laptop, I can confidently say that the lovely Canon Wide Converter works beautifully on the X100V. Sharpness was good at f/2.8 and great beyond f/5.6. Colors were deliciously Fuji, and it looks cool on the camera as well.

X100V-DSCF0146-Canon-Conversion-Lens-1024.jpg Photo captured with the Fujifilm X100V and Canon Wide Converter. Processed in Capture One Pro 21.

An interesting note about this experiment. At first I was bummed that I didn't have a straight 49mm-58mm step-up ring, and had to use two rings to make the connection. I later bought a single ring and tested it. Interestingly, the pictures weren't quite as good. Seems that the slightly extra distance using the two rings is the proper calibration. I'll keep testing this, but the results are impressive with the two step-up ring configuration. I'm sticking with it for now.

In case you have a Fujifilm X100 and want to play with this, I did find the Canon WC-DC58 on eBay, usually for around $30. I'm using 49mm-55mm and 55mm to 58mm step-up rings to make the connection. And of course, you will need the Fujifilm filter adapter, which you should have anyway. In case you don't, I like the Vello LHF-X100 Dedicated Lens Hood with Adapter Ring for Fujifilm X100 for $19.95. It works great!

Oh, and guess what else I had in my photo accessory drawer? The Canon Tele-Converter TC-DC58 that provides 1.5X magnification. My oh my.

Canon-Aux-Lens-P4165398-1024.jpg

Product Links and Comments

There are product links in this article that contain affiliate tags. In some cases, depending on the product, The Digital Story may receive compensation if you purchase a product via one of those links. There is no additional cost to you.

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #786, April 13, 2021. Today's theme is "Should I Stay with Micro Four Thirds?" I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

It's been over a year since the release of the OM-D E-M1 Mark III. And it doesn't seem like we're going to see anything significant until the end of 2021 from OM Digital Solutions. Panasonic has been quiet on the MFT front as well. Meanwhile, Fujifilm and others have been quite active. Is it time for me to read the writing on the wall, or to stay the course? I discuss on today's TDS Photography Podcast. I hope you enjoy the show.

Tune-In Via Your Favorite Podcast App!


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Should I Stay with Micro Four Thirds?

pair-top-1024.jpeg

Here's why I've preferred Micro Four Thirds to this point.

  • Fantastic Lens Catalog - If I want a super telephoto and ultra compact prime lens, I can find just the right one in the MFT mount.
  • Image Stabilization Is Not a Premium Option Every Olympus MFT camera I have include fantastic IS.
  • Still the Most Compact
  • Excellent Image Quality
  • Reasonable Pricing

But, I'm enjoying shooting with Fujifilm cameras as well. I like their better resolution, film simulations, and styling.

For a look at what the future may look like for OM Digital Solutions, you may want to check out this Interview: Aki Murata of OMDS (Olympus) - 'we're more flexible now'. Lots of good insights there.

In terms of Panasonic -- Panasonic launched the LUMIX G100 on June 24, 2020, a new Digital Single Lens Mirrorless camera designed and developed for creating high-quality, versatile content.

Bottom Line

For my "system" camera, I'm going to wait and see what Olympus does over the next year. I have great lenses for the MFT mount, and I truly enjoy shooting with their cameras.

If I don't see a solid successor to the E-M1 Mark III by 2022, then we'll revisit this topic then. In the meantime, I can work just fine with the gear that I have.

A Beautiful Couple - Fujifilm X-S10 with 27mm Lens

I've been testing recent releases from Fujifilm searching for that perfect combination of functionality and nimbleosity. You've probably read about my disappointment with the X-E4. Nice camera, but missing too many features for my taste. I did like, however, the XF 27mm f/2.8 pancake lens that you can bundle with it.

When I paired the XF 27mm f/2.8 R WR lens ($399) with the Fujifilm X-S10 ($999), I found a wonderful pairing for on-the-go photography. There are a few key reasons why I preferred the X-S10 to the X-E4.

  • 5-axis image stabilization built into the camera.
  • Built-in popup flash that can also serve as an off-camera flash controller.
  • Excellent handgrip that doesn't really add bulk to the camera. It's about the same depth as the 27mm pancake lens when mounted on the body.
  • Battery charger included in the box.
  • You get all of this in a still very compact package.

All of this comes at a price, however. Combining the separately purchased XF 27mm lens with the X-S10 body tallies to $1,398 compared to the $1,049 for the X-E4 bundle. The problem is that Fujifilm isn't provided a bundle for the X-S10 and 27mm, so you have to buy them separately at regular price. When the same lens is purchased with the X-E4, you save $200 off the price of the lens.

I would love it if Fujifilm would offer us the same deal with the X-S10. That would be bring the price down to $1,198. Fujifilm: I would buy that bundle in a heartbeat.

Bottom line here is that if you're debating between the X-E4 and X-S10, I recommend the latter. The X-S10 doesn't realistically take more room in your jacket pocket, but packs many more features. It's a great camera.

The New Donation Kit for Carefree Shipping of Found Film Cameras

We have more time around the house than ever. And you finally dove into that bedroom closet that's been begging for some organization.

If you found a film camera that you're no longer using, our new Donation Kit makes it easy to pack and ship. Just visit the Contact Form on thenimblephotographer.com, click the box next to Donating a Film Camera, and let me know what you have. In your note, be sure to include your shipping address.

If it's a camera we can use for the shop, I'll send you a Donation Kit that includes a USPS Priority Mail shipping box and prepaid label. All you have to do is tape it up, insert the camera, and add the label. USPS will pick up your shipment from the front door of your house during their regular mail delivery. It's that simple!

Your donation help get analog gear in the hands of aspiring fine art photographers, and the proceeds help support this podcast.

Samyang's new AF 24mm F1.8 lens features a dedicated 'Astrophotography Mode'

You can read the entire article on DP Review.

Samyang has announced the release of one of those lenses, an AF 24mm F1.8 lens for Sony E mount cameras. (We may get a MFT version soon...)

The lens is constructed of 11 elements in 8 groups, including two aspherical elements, three high-refractive index lenses and two extra-low dispersion elements. The lens features a minimum focusing distance of 19cm (7.48"), uses a nine-blade aperture diaphragm, has an aperture range of F1.8 to F22 and is weathersealed.

In addition to a customizable focus-hold button, which will keep the lens locked at a specific point while in autofocus mode, the AF 24mm F1.8 also features an 'Astrophotography Mode.' Samyang says this mode will 'automatically set the lens focusing mode to MF, move and lock the lens to infinity focus and the Inifinity Focus Confirmation LED will light up green.' If the lens is moved from infinity focus, the LED will turn red to let you know you're no longer focused on infinity for your night sky images.

The lens also features a custom switch, which allows the focus ring to be used as an aperture ring (Mode 1 for AF, Mode 2 for aperture).

The Samyang/Rokinon/Bower AF 24mm F1.8 will be available in June 2021 for an MSRP of $549.

Virtual Camera Club News

Inner Circle Members: A big thanks to those who support our podcast and our efforts! (And welcome to our new members.)

Second Session of Integrating iPhone into a Pro Photography Workflow Online Workshop - April 21 to May 15, 2021: The first session of "Integrating iPhone into a Pro Photography Workflow" Online Workshop has sold out. But now I've posted a second session that begins April 21, 2021. If you're interested in attending, just go to catalog page.

My Writing on Medium.com: I now have more than 25 published articles on Medium.com. And if you haven't visited the site, and enjoy good writing on a variety of topics, I suggest that you may want to take a look. You can just go to the home page and enter "Derrick Story" in the search field. And if you like what you read, then follow me!

EV Explorers for Those Who Are Interested in Electric Cars: I've created a new group on DerrickStoryOnline titled EV Explorers. The tagline for this group is: "Bringing Curiosity and Nimbleosity to the World of Electric Vehicle Transportation." Here we can share information, tips, discoveries and more about using electric vehicles for our photography adventures. If you want to join this group, click on this link for an invite. We're going to keep this as a private group for now, but you are invited to join us.

Affiliate Links - The links to some products in this podcast contain an affiliate code that credits The Digital Story for any purchases made from B&H Photo and Amazon via that click-through. Depending on the purchase, we may receive some financial compensation.

And finally, be sure to visit our friends at Red River Paper for all of your inkjet supply needs.

See you next week!

Product Links and Comments

There are product links in this article that contain affiliate tags. In some cases, depending on the product, The Digital Story may receive compensation if you purchase a product via one of those links. There is no additional cost to you.

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

I've been testing recent releases from Fujifilm searching for that perfect combination of functionality and nimbleosity. You've probably read about my disappointment with the X-E4. Nice camera, but missing too many features for my taste. I did like, however, the XF 27mm f/2.8 pancake lens that you can bundle with it.

web-1600-DSCF0031-Stillwater-Cove-S10.jpg Captured with a Fujifilm X-S10 and X-Mount 27mm f/2.8 lens.

When I paired the XF 27mm f/2.8 R WR lens ($399) with the Fujifilm X-S10 ($999), I found a wonderful pairing for on-the-go photography. There are a few key reasons why I preferred the X-S10 to the X-E4.

  • 5-axis image stabilization built into the camera.
  • Built-in popup flash that can also serve as an off-camera flash controller.
  • Excellent handgrip that doesn't really add bulk to the camera. It's about the same depth as the 27mm pancake lens when mounted on the body.
  • Battery charger included in the box.

All of this comes at a price, however. Combining the separately purchased XF 27mm lens with the X-S10 body tallies to $1,398 compared to the $1,049 for the X-E4 bundle. The problem is that Fujifilm isn't provided a bundle for the X-S10 and 27mm, so you have to buy them separately at regular price. When the same lens is purchased with the X-E4, you save $200 off the price of the lens.

I would love it if Fujifilm would offer us the same deal with the X-S10. That would be bring the price down to $1,198. Fujifilm: I would buy that bundle in a heartbeat.

Bottom line here is that if you're debating between the X-E4 and X-S10, I recommend the latter. The X-S10 doesn't realistically take more room in your jacket pocket, but packs many more features. It's a great camera.

Product Links and Comments

There are product links in this article that contain affiliate tags. In some cases, depending on the product, The Digital Story may receive compensation if you purchase a product via one of those links. There is no additional cost to you.

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #785, April 6, 2021. Today's theme is "If I Were to Buy a Photo Printer." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Quite possibly a barrier to making more visual art is your printer. Do you have an aging behemoth that gives you unpredictable results at best? Has your All-in-One become an All-In-None? Would you like something that's just a bit smarter, smaller, and better looking? Well, then keep listening. Today's TDS Podcast will get you up and running again.

Tune-In Via Your Favorite Podcast App!


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If I Were to Buy a Photo Printer

Printers have come a long way in the last few years. You can buy units that take up less space and are more fun to use. Here are five of my favorites.

Epson-XP-970.jpg

Pigment vs Dye-Based Printers

Very broadly, pigment inks last longer without fading, but dye inks tend to give richer, denser colors and sink deeper into the paper surface. They're both 'inks', but they have different pros and cons and printer makers will choose one or the other (or combine them) according to what the printer's designed for. The best photo printer doesn't necessarily use one or the other - it's up to you how you want to balance immediate print quality against long-term stability.

5 Favorite Inkjet Printers

  • Epson SureColor P700 13" Photo Printer ($799) - Max Print Size: 13"x19"; Number of Ink Cartridges: 10 (pigment based); Connectivity: RJ45, USB Type-B, WiFi; Platform Compatibility: Win/Mac; AirPrint Compatible: Yes; LCD: Yes; Accepts Roll Paper: Yes; Front or Rear Feed: Yes.
  • Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-300 13" Professional Photographic Inkjet Printer ($899) - Max Print Size: 13"x19"; Number of Ink Cartridges: 10 (pigment based); Connectivity: RJ45, USB Type-B, WiFi; Platform Compatibility: Win/Mac; AirPrint Compatible: Yes; LCD: Yes; Accepts Roll Paper: No.
  • Canon PIXMA PRO-200 Wireless Professional Inkjet Photo Printer ($599) - Max Print Size: 13"x19"; Number of Ink Cartridges: 8 (dye based); Connectivity: USB Type-B, WiFi; Platform Compatibility: Win/Mac; AirPrint Compatible: Yes; LCD: Yes; Accepts Roll Paper: No.
  • If you are doing B&W printing on gallery quality fine art fiber basedmatte papers this may not be your printer. While it certainly does a good job, a pigment based printer with a flat black ink cartridge will give better results.

  • Epson Expression Photo XP-970 Small-In-One Inkjet Printer ($299) - Max Print Size: 11"x17"; Number of Ink Cartridges: 6 (dye based); Connectivity: USB Type-B, WiFi; Platform Compatibility: Win/Mac; AirPrint Compatible: Yes; LCD: Yes; Accepts Roll Paper: No.
  • And it includes a flatbed scanner!

  • Canon Pixma TS9521C Wireless All-In-One Craft Printer ($249) - Max Print Size: 11"x17"; Number of Ink Cartridges: 5 (Pigment-Based-Black, Dye-Based-Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black); Connectivity: Bluetooth, USB Type-B, WiFi; Platform Compatibility: Win/Mac; AirPrint Compatible: Yes; LCD: Yes; Accepts Roll Paper: No.
  • And it includes a flatbed scanner!

A New Infrared Photography Online Workshop Begins May 2021

Back by popular demand!

If you want to learn the ins and outs of IR photography from the comfort of your home during this online event, then check out The Second Infrared Photography Workshop that begins in mid-May.

The workshop is already half sold-out via the pre-announcement to our Inner Circle Members (who also receive a discount for the event.) But we still have seats open. I wouldn't delay however if you want to attend.

You will learn how to:

  • Choose best IR filter to start with.
  • How to test your existing digital camera for infrared sensitivity.
  • Learn about the different types of IR conversions for digital cameras.
  • See how different IR filters produce wildly different results.
  • Learn how to fine-tune your images with software you already own.
  • Discover advanced techniques to take your images to the next level.

You can sign up now for $145. Inner Circle Members, visit out Patreon site for a discount coupon code.

LG Leaves a Trail of Photo Innovations Behind As It Exits Mobile

You can read the entire article on Petapixel.

It may not have come as a surprise for those with ears to the ground in the mobile phone industry, but LG is officially walking away. Despite that, it does leave something of an imaging legacy behind.

As of July 31, 2021, it will be the end of an era for the company, as the drawdown will be completed by that date. It will continue to sell the remaining inventory -- even after that date -- but nothing new will come from here on out.

LG's struggle to carve out a steady piece of the market and grow it proved daunting. With Chinese brands emerging as serious contenders to all established players, the market squeeze forced a rethink of what to do to stand out. That's where phones like the Dual Screen G8X and V60 ThinQ, and -- especially -- the Wing, came out looking totally unique.

To my mind, one of the reasons LG lost its way is because it stumbled on the photography side. There were certainly other, sometimes related, reasons, but the imaging part of the equation was a major factor.

The V40 pioneered the triple-camera array, albeit too late to stand out among the pack. The problem was that the software wasn't good enough to help produce better photos. Google had software computation, Samsung had decent output, Huawei had outstanding performance, and OnePlus had improving quality. Tighter competition and less of a differentiating hook continued to push LG to the side.

In an era where camera performance and image quality figured so prominently as a selling point for high-end and mid-range handsets, LG struggled to make its own case. It stopped being the first to do things and followed trends instead. Its attempt at artificial intelligence input for its camera array never amounted to much in the way of innovative prowess.

The New Donation Kit for Carefree Shipping of Found Film Cameras

We have more time around the house than ever. And you finally dove into that bedroom closet that's been begging for some organization.

If you found a film camera that you're no longer using, our new Donation Kit makes it easy to pack and ship. Just visit the Contact Form on thenimblephotographer.com, click the box next to Donating a Film Camera, and let me know what you have. In your note, be sure to include your shipping address.

If it's a camera we can use for the shop, I'll send you a Donation Kit that includes a USPS Priority Mail shipping box and prepaid label. All you have to do is tape it up, insert the camera, and add the label. USPS will pick up your shipment from the front door of your house during their regular mail delivery. It's that simple!

Your donation help get analog gear in the hands of aspiring fine art photographers, and the proceeds help support this podcast.

Virtual Camera Club News

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

Second Session of Integrating iPhone into a Pro Photography Workflow Online Workshop - April 21 to May 15, 2021: The first session of "Integrating iPhone into a Pro Photography Workflow" Online Workshop has sold out. But now I've posted a second session that begins April 21, 2021. If you're interested in attending, just go to catalog page.

My Writing on Medium.com: I now have more than 25 published articles on Medium.com. And if you haven't visited the site, and enjoy good writing on a variety of topics, I suggest that you may want to take a look. You can just go to the home page and enter "Derrick Story" in the search field. And if you like what you read, then follow me!

EV Explorers for Those Who Are Interested in Electric Cars: I've created a new group on DerrickStoryOnline titled EV Explorers. The tagline for this group is: "Bringing Curiosity and Nimbleosity to the World of Electric Vehicle Transportation." Here we can share information, tips, discoveries and more about using electric vehicles for our photography adventures. If you want to join this group, click on this link for an invite. We're going to keep this as a private group for now, but you are invited to join us.

Affiliate Links - The links to some products in this podcast contain an affiliate code that credits The Digital Story for any purchases made from B&H Photo and Amazon via that click-through. Depending on the purchase, we may receive some financial compensation.

And finally, be sure to visit our friends at Red River Paper for all of your inkjet supply needs.

See you next week!

Product Links and Comments

There are product links in this article that contain affiliate tags. In some cases, depending on the product, The Digital Story may receive compensation if you purchase a product via one of those links. There is no additional cost to you.

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

When you already own a Fujifilm X100V, it's hard not to compare it to the new Fujifilm X-E4. And unfortunately for the X-E4, the X100V is going to win that battle. It's just a better camera.

IMG_0320.jpeg

But there was one thing... I really like the bundled XF 27mm f/2.8 R WR lens that's been redesigned with a new aperture ring and weather resistance. It's a lovely optic that performed quite well.

E5F24425-EB7B-4738-BBFA-0B4B36EE2CC7.jpeg The 27mm on the E-X4 make it easy to stash the tandem in your pocket for a bike ride, hike, or urban adventure.

If you buy the pancake lens with the camera, you essentially get it for half price ($200 in the bundle, $400 separately). And oddly enough, that actually tempted me to reconsider the X-E4.

Now don't get me wrong, the X-E4 is a good camera. And as I mentioned earlier, if I didn't have the X100V, I might buy it with that compact 27mm. But I'm going to try one other combination first. I have a Fujifilm X-S10 on the way, and I'm going to mount the 27mm on it and do a little exploring with that tandem. The X-S10 provides in-body image stabilization, integrated flash, and a nice grip for my large hands.

Stay tuned. More to come on this front.

Product Links and Comments

There are product links in this article that contain affiliate tags. In some cases, depending on the product, The Digital Story may receive compensation if you purchase a product via one of those links. There is no additional cost to you.

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #784, March 30, 2021. Today's theme is "The Bag I Use 90 Percent of the Time (and why)" I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

The real point of this show isn't the particular bag that I use, but the features that it has and how they are useful for the modern Nimble Photographer. My hope is that this discussion will help find a compact carrying solution that you'll reach for every time you step out the door. All of this and more on today's TDS Photography Podcast. I hope you enjoy the show.

Tune-In Via Your Favorite Podcast App!


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The Bag I Use 90 Percent of the Time (and why)

When Lowepro released the StreamLine 150 in 2013, it was intended for lightweight vacation travel with a compact camera. Its multi-device design offered dedicated storage for a 7" tablet, smartphone, compact camera, and personal items.

streamline-150.jpg

Even though DSLRs still roamed the earth then, there were a number of mirrorless photographers who appreciated the stylish practically of the StreamLine 150 and embraced it for their shrinking camera kits. One of things I like about it is the abundance of small lined pockets that I can use without additional protection cases. Let's take a closer look.

Basic Specs and Features

  • Measures 11"x10"x1" and weighs on 0.75 pounds.
  • 2 padded and softly lined device front compartments protect against dust, scratches and abrasion.
  • 2 additional front pockets for accessories.
  • Largish main pocket.
  • Two slim pockets for iPad mini or comparable tablet.
  • Weather-resistant materials and design.
  • Long shoulder strap.

The reason why it's been my go-to bag is because it's slim, stylish, and doesn't look like a camera bag. Some folks might say it looks like a man-purse :-)

I like the way it hugs my body when I'm biking or exploring urban environments. I can tuck it under my arm without attracting any attention. Yet, I have quick access to everything I need.

Inside, I typically carry an Olympus MFT body or the Fujifilm X100V. The iPhone 12 Pro Max fits perfectly in one of the front lined pockets. An extra pair of glasses fits in the other.

Lens cloths, memory cards, and other small items fit nicely in the accessory pockets. Generally, I keep my camera in the roomy main storage space. And there's still room for personal items.

The bags I carry have really become smaller over the years. And as such they are easier to protect from both the elements and prying eyes.

The Lowepro StreamLine 150 is hard to find these days. But I have a brand new one with its original packaging that I will raffle off to our Inner Circle Members. If you're part of our Inner Circle, or join us by April 5th, you can toss your hat in the ring to win the brand new Lowepro Streamline 150. The winner will be announced on next week's podcast.

A New Infrared Photography Online Workshop Begins May 2021

Back by popular demand!

If you want to learn the ins and outs of IR photography from the comfort of your home during this online event, then check out The Second Infrared Photography Workshop that begins in mid-May.

The workshop is already half sold-out via the pre-announcement to our Inner Circle Members (who also receive a discount for the event.) But we still have seats open. I wouldn't delay however if you want to attend.

You will learn how to:

  • Choose best IR filter to start with.
  • How to test your existing digital camera for infrared sensitivity.
  • Learn about the different types of IR conversions for digital cameras.
  • See how different IR filters produce wildly different results.
  • Learn how to fine-tune your images with software you already own.
  • Discover advanced techniques to take your images to the next level.

You can sign up now for $145. Inner Circle Members, visit out Patreon site for a discount coupon code.

Lens Hoods: Do You Actually Need Them?

You can read the entire article on F-Stoppers.

I was curious to hear Marc Newton, from The School of Photography, say that you absolutely must use lens hoods. In the artistic world I don't believe there are any musts really but this video breaks down the reasons he thinks lens hoods are essential pieces of equipment. He's absolute right in some of the things he says and this is a great introduction to beginner photographers, especially, who might be wondering whether to use lens hoods or not. Funnily enough, in some of the example images he provides, I prefer those without the use of a lens hood.

The New Donation Kit for Carefree Shipping of Found Film Cameras

We have more time around the house than ever. And you finally dove into that bedroom closet that's been begging for some organization.

If you found a film camera that you're no longer using, our new Donation Kit makes it easy to pack and ship. Just visit the Contact Form on thenimblephotographer.com, click the box next to Donating a Film Camera, and let me know what you have. In your note, be sure to include your shipping address.

If it's a camera we can use for the shop, I'll send you a Donation Kit that includes a USPS Priority Mail shipping box and prepaid label. All you have to do is tape it up, insert the camera, and add the label. USPS will pick up your shipment from the front door of your house during their regular mail delivery. It's that simple!

Your donation help get analog gear in the hands of aspiring fine art photographers, and the proceeds help support this podcast.

Virtual Camera Club News

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

Second Session of Integrating iPhone into a Pro Photography Workflow Online Workshop - April 21 to May 15, 2021: The first session of "Integrating iPhone into a Pro Photography Workflow" Online Workshop has sold out. But now I've posted a second session that begins April 21, 2021. If you're interested in attending, just go to catalog page.

My Writing on Medium.com: I now have more than 25 published articles on Medium.com. And if you haven't visited the site, and enjoy good writing on a variety of topics, I suggest that you may want to take a look. You can just go to the home page and enter "Derrick Story" in the search field. And if you like what you read, then follow me!

EV Explorers for Those Who Are Interested in Electric Cars: I've created a new group on DerrickStoryOnline titled EV Explorers. The tagline for this group is: "Bringing Curiosity and Nimbleosity to the World of Electric Vehicle Transportation." Here we can share information, tips, discoveries and more about using electric vehicles for our photography adventures. If you want to join this group, click on this link for an invite. We're going to keep this as a private group for now, but you are invited to join us.

Affiliate Links - The links to some products in this podcast contain an affiliate code that credits The Digital Story for any purchases made from B&H Photo and Amazon via that click-through. Depending on the purchase, we may receive some financial compensation.

And finally, be sure to visit our friends at Red River Paper for all of your inkjet supply needs.

See you next week!

Product Links and Comments

There are product links in this article that contain affiliate tags. In some cases, depending on the product, The Digital Story may receive compensation if you purchase a product via one of those links. There is no additional cost to you.

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

Often referred to as the Ultra Color filter because it lets more visible light in, the 590NM filter on a converted camera is one of my favorites. It produces vibrant colors where leaves glow golden yellow and skies are bright blue.

EMIR0479.jpeg Bike trail photographed with a converted Olympus E-M10 III, 14-42mm Olympus EZ zoom, Kolari 590NM filter, processed in RAW Power. Photos and illustrations by Derrick Story.

There are a couple scenarios where you can work with this slice of the light spectrum. The easiest is to buy a starter kit, such as the Kolari Pocket Full-Spectrum Camera with Infrared Filter Starter Kit for $229. The 590NM is included in the kit. You can also have one of your existing digital cameras converted, or you can buy a converted camera in the lens mount of your choice.

Once you have your camera, and a 590NM filter mounted on it, then make a custom WB setting on a gray card, sidewalk, or similar toned surface. Now you're ready to shoot.

When you first look at the images, they will have a color scheme that looks something like this.

unconverted-org-1024.jpeg Original file before processing. The Channel Mixer is the key adjustment required for conversion.

This is not the final product. The image is completed in post production using an editor that has a Channel Mixer. You can use Photoshop, RAW Power, or Pixelmator Pro to name a few. This is where you do what we call the "Red/Blue Swap".

channel-mixer-1600.jpg Editing the IR image in RAW Power using the Channel Mixer.

The starting point is to go to the Red Channel and set the Red Slider to 0 and the Blue Slider to 100. Then you go to the Blue Channel and set the Red Slider to 100 and the Blue Channel to 0. Then you do a second pass where you further adjust the sliders to taste. Notice in the illustration above that I have in the Red Channel Red set to -0.14 and Blue to 1.7. That's how I got the effect that I wanted.

I worked with with B&W IR photography for years before trying my hand at color. In a previous article titled, B&W Infrared Photography with an R72 Filter, I talk about that process with a regular digital camera. But now that I've ventured into color work, I love having the option to shoot with either look, with 590 being my favorite.

Product Links and Comments

There are product links in this article that contain affiliate tags. In some cases, depending on the product, The Digital Story may receive compensation if you purchase a product via one of those links. There is no additional cost to you.

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