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This is The Digital Story Podcast #758, Sept. 29, 2020. Today's theme is "The Glass I Love and the Glass I Use." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

No doubt, one of the best investments any artist can make is in quality photography lenses. And I do have some beauties. But what's fascinating to me, is that I have lenses that I absolutely love and would be reluctant to let go of, and then I have those optics I use on a daily basis. And the two aren't always the same. I'll explain on today's TDS Photography Podcast.

V40mm-f:2.jpg

The Glass I Love and the Glass I Use

One of the lenses that I owned for the longest time, I mean decades, was the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8. I bought it new when I was shooting weddings with a Canon EOS Elan 35mm film camera.

I loved that short tele because it was fast (f/1.8), light, quiet focus, handsome, and it took great pictures. In fact, one of the metal prints that I have hanging in the studio was captured with that lens on a Canon 5D in Washington D.C.

As much as I loved that lens, I didn't shoot with it that often. Normally I would have a zoom on the camera body, something like the EF 24mm-105mm f/4. A perfectly good lens that I used daily, but I did not love it. In fact, I hadn't even thought about it until preparing for this podcast. Yet, I still think about the 85mm all the time.

I thought you might be interested to know other optics that fall into one of these two categories, and map them to your own favorites. So here's what we're going to do. I'm going to describe 5 lenses that I currently own, but I'm not going to say which category they fall into until the end of the segment.

As I describe them, as straight as I can, guess which category that each one belongs in: a lens that I love, or a lens that I use. And one of them will be both. Let's get started.

  • Olympus Digital ED 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ ($224) - Distinguished by its slim pancake form factor, the black M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ from Olympus is a versatile 28-84mm equivalent zoom designed for Micro Four Thirds mirrorless cameras. Despite its compact profile, this lens includes an advanced optical design, which includes aspherical, low dispersion, and high refractive index elements to achieve a high degree of sharpness and clarity throughout the zoom range. A ZERO coating has also been applied to individual elements to suppress flare and ghosting for high contrast, color-accurate imagery. In addition to the optical design and small size, the lens is also characterized by its Electronic Zoom mechanism, for smooth and constant zoom movements, and a Movie & Still Compatible (MSC) AF system that is quick, quiet, and precise to suit both video and photo applications. (Love It or Use It?)
  • Voigtlander Ultron 40mm f/2 SL IIS Aspherical Lens for Nikon F ($419) - Featuring a slender profile and a slightly wider-than-normal focal length, the black-rimmed Ultron 40mm f/2 SL IIS Aspherical from Voigtlander is a versatile prime well-suited to everyday shooting. The double Gauss optical design employs a single aspherical element, as well as ultra-high refractive index glass, to produce well-controlled, sharp imagery void of spherical aberrations. Its slightly wide focal length pairs with the bright f/2 maximum aperture to benefit making shallow depth of field imagery as well as working in low-light conditions. The smooth manual focus operation also contributes to controlling focus position, and both depth of field and focus distance scales are featured on the metal lens barrel to aid in pre-focusing or setting hyperfocal distance. This lens' physical design also features a scalloped focus ring to recall classic lens designs of the 1960s as well as afford more secure handling during use. Mixing the classic-inspired design with contemporary usage, the lens also sports an AI-S type CPU to permit in-camera adjustment of the aperture setting for faster, more intuitive exposure control.(Love It or Use It?)
  • Pentax HD Pentax DA 70mm f/2.4 Limited Lens ($479) - The black HD Pentax DA 70mm f/2.4 Limited Lens from Pentax is a prime portrait-length lens providing a 35mm-equivalent focal length of 105mm. This short-telephoto 23 degree angle of view is well-suited to portrait and landscape shooting as well as general long lens applications. A high-grade multi-layer HD coating has been applied to lens elements to help minimize flare and ghosting for enhanced contrast, clarity, and color fidelity and a nine-blade diaphragm contributes to an aesthetic out-of-focus quality to benefit shallow depth of field imagery. Additionally, an SP Protect coating has also been applied to the front lens element to effectively protect it from dirt, oil, and finger prints. (Love It or Use It?)
  • Olympus Digital 17mm f/1.8 Lens ($399) - A flexible lens for general shooting, the silver M.Zuiko Digital 17mm f/1.8 from Olympus is a 34mm equivalent wide-angle prime for Micro Four Thirds mirrorless cameras. The wide field of view pairs with the bright f/1.8 maximum aperture to benefit working in difficult lighting conditions, and it also offers increased control over depth of field for working with selective focusing techniques. The optical design makes use of aspherical and high refractive index glass elements to control spherical aberrations and distortion throughout the aperture range for increased sharpness and clarity. Additionally, a Movie & Still Compatible (MSC) autofocus system is employed to deliver quick and quiet focusing performance and a manual focus clutch can be used for more intuitive adjustment and control over focus. (Love It or Use It?)
  • Olympus Digital ED 75mm f/1.8 Lens ($799) - Characterized by its telephoto design and bright maximum aperture, the black M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm f/1.8 from Olympus is a 150mm equivalent prime for Micro Four Thirds mirrorless cameras. Coupled with the reach and visual compression of the focal length, the bright f/1.8 maximum aperture enables extensive control over depth of field to make this lens ideal for portraiture applications. Its optical design incorporates three extra-low dispersion elements and two high refractive index elements to reduce a variety of aberrations and color fringing for sharp, clear, and color accurate imagery. A ZERO coating has also been applied to individual elements to suppress surface reflections and flare for greater contrast and color fidelity in a variety of lighting conditions. Additionally, a Movie & Still Compatible (MSC) autofocus system is employed to deliver quick, quiet, and precise focusing performance to suit both video and photo applications.

OK, so are you ready for the answers? Here we go.

Newspaper Navigator Lets You Search 1.56M Newspaper Photos Throughout History

You can read the entire article here on PetaPixel.

The Library of Congress has created something really cool. It's called the Newspaper Navigator, and it's an AI-powered image search that lets you browse through over 1.5 million newspaper photos from over 16 million pages worth of digitized newspapers published between 1900 and 1963.

The Newspaper Navigator project is the brainchild of Computer Science PhD student Benjamin Charles Germain Lee, who is a part of the Library of Congress' 2020 Innovator in Residence Program.

The project is essentially a machine learning-based search engine built on top of the LoC's Chronicling America project; Chronicling America already allows you to search old newspaper photos by text using Optical Character Recognition (OCR), but Lee's Newspaper Navigator takes that to the next level by allowing you to search this same archive by image.

He achieved this by training a machine learning model using thousands of manual annotations created by real people as part of the Library of Congress' "Beyond Words" initiative. That data helped the computer "learn" the difference between image categories like Cartoons, Illustrations, Maps, and Photographs, as well as identifying key content within each image. This allowed him to automatically tag the photos and make the database searchable.

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.

The Online Eastern Sierra Photography Workshop

I'm thrilled to announce the Online Eastern Sierra Photography Workshop on November 6-7, 2020.

This event will be unlike others that you may have read about or even attended yourself. We are taking the popular components of the TDS physical workshops and digitizing them. Here are a few examples.

  • The Opportunity to Share Your Photos with Me and the Class - Even though the live event begins on Friday, Nov. 6, You will receive lesson tutorials on Oct. 21 and 28, then have time to go outside and practice these techniques. If you wish, you can share your favorite images from the practice sessions to be incorporated in the workshop.
  • Small Group for a More Personal Experience - Even though it's an online event, class size is limited to 15 to ensure you have ample opportunities to get your questions answered (by me and other class members).
  • Ongoing Conversations Beyond the Event Itself - I'm setting up a page online that will feature content from our event with the ability for ongoing conversations among class members.

Even though I'm using the Eastern Sierra as a backdrop for my tutorials, your photography and contributions to this workshop could be from anywhere in the world. In other words, it's all about the photography, not the specific location.

Since this is our first online event of this type, the tuition is only $150. Seats are limited and available on a first come, first served basis. Sign up today by visiting the Online Eastern Sierra Photography Workshop page at theNimblePhotographer.com.

Updates and Such

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

B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. (The Digital Story is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.) And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members:

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.

The most tantalizing feature in the new Pixelmator Photo 1.4 is ML Super Resolution, which uses machine learning to enlarge images with just one tap. The feature was designed for Apple's new powerful iPad Air, but I decided to test it on my iPad mini 5 to see if this was a viable tool for me as well. I'm happy to report that it is.

Pixelmator-Photo-ML.jpeg

If you're not familiar with Pixelmator Photo, you should check out my review from October 2019 titled, Pixelmator Photo - Incredible iPadOS App. This year's update includes double-tap gesture support with Apple Pencil, a comparison slider, and ML Super Resolution.

I opened an iPhone X Jpeg in Pixelmator Photo and checked its resolution, which was 4032 x 3024 pixels. I then enabled ML Super Resolution and checked again. Now the info box read 6048 x 4536 pixels.

IMG_0163.jpeg

I think the best way to appreciate the sample-up difference is in terms of print size. The original iPhone picture could be printed at 13"x10" at 300 dpi. The sampled-up version could be printed at 20"x15" at 300 dpi. That's a big difference. What it means for me is that I can now make a legit 13"x19" print from an iPhone picture... from my iPad mini.

I magnified both versions of the shot and didn't discern any loss of detail or smearing. In fact, the Pixelmator image looked better, even after sampling up.

original.jpg Original iPhone Photo (above)

pixelmator.jpg Sampled Up Pixelmator Version (above)

All of this is terrific news for iPad photographers. Yes, you can sample up images on your computer. That's not the point. What's interesting here is that you can sit back with an iPad in hand and do serious image editing, and enjoy it more while doing so, and practically anywhere that you want.

IMG_0159.jpeg

Oh, and just one more thing: Pixelmator Photo is available now for $7.99.

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #757, Sept. 22, 2020. Today's theme is "Backup Is Not a 4-Letter Word." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Seems like every endeavor has a component that's not as much fun as the others. In the pursuit of photography, backing up files is a perfect example. But we can make it better. And on this week's show I share five tips toward that goal, plus introduce you to a nifty hardware device that fits right in to our discussion. All of that, and more, on today's TDS Photography Podcast.

Backup Is Not a 4-Letter Word

If you've ever seen Dustin Hoffmann in the movie, The Graduate, you'll recognize what I'm about to say. He received sage advice for his career in just one word: Plastics. Well, I have just one word that should be at the foundation of your backing up and archive strategy: Automate.

Backup-graphic.jpg

I will cover a few different techniques today, but at the heart of the process is having as much automation as possible. In my case, I have iCloud and Dropbox grabbing files and storing them without me manually having to do anything. You may choose a different service, but I encourage you to bring as much automation as you can into your backup plan.

Also, just a note on the difference between backing up and archiving. Backing up is what you do during a project to ensure that you don't lose your work. Archiving happens once the project is over in case you need to revisit it. Archives are the final versions. Backups are the works in progress.

You need to be able to tap backups quickly, but archives can live on devices that aren't as speedy, but are indeed reliable.

Here are five additional thoughts to consider when endeavoring to preserve your work.

  • 3-2-1 Rule - 3 copies of your data (1 primary copy and 2 backups), 2 types of storage media (local drive, network share, etc.), one copy offsite (or in the Cloud)
  • Don't Erase Memory Cards Until 3-2-1 Is in Place - Or at least consider your memory cards one of your 3 copies until superseded by something else.
  • Once Your Develop Your System, Test It - You don't want to wait until disaster strikes to discover that you have a flaw in your approach.
  • Spin Up Your Hard Drives at Least Twice a Year - Help them stay healthy with regular tests.
  • Continue to Explore New Technologies that Can Make Your Job Easier - Things are constantly changing in this area. Keep up with those changes to make your approach as easy as possible.

Once I'm not a working photographer anymore, I'm not sure how much content I will retain - maybe just images that have personal meaning to me and those close to me. But until then, I'm trying to make this process as simple as possible.

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.

Kingston DT2000 Encrypted USB Flash Drive Review

Protecting your data during transport involves both physically ensuring its integrity and guaranteeing its safety from other people. The Kingston DT2000 Encrypted USB Flash Drive does both.

Top-Notch Encryption

Kingston's DataTraveler 2000 is designed to be secure, with an alphanumeric keypad that locks the drive with a word or number combination, for easy-to-use PIN protection. DT2000 features hardware-based, Full Disk AES 256-bit data encryption in XTS mode. Encryption is done on the drive and no trace of the PIN is left on the system. It's FIPS 140-2 Level 3 certified, to meet a frequently requested corporate IT requirement.

Feature highlights include:

  • Alphanumeric keypad makes it easy to unlock your device.
  • FIPS 140-2 Level 3.
  • Full Disk AES 256-bit hardware-based encryption.
  • Administrator (Admin) PIN - Enables admin access to the drive and ability to issue new user PIN if user forgets PIN.
  • Can be used on any device with a USB 2.0 or USB 3.1 Gen1 (USB 3.0) port (and I've used via USB-C as well with an adapter).
  • Read-Only Access - Admin can pre-provision a drive with pre-loaded content as read-only for the user.
  • Compatible with: Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, macOS v.10.12.x - 10.15.x, Linux kernel v.4.4.x, Chrome OS, and Android3.
  • Speed: USB 3.1 - 135MB/s read, 40MB/s write; USB 2.0 - 30MB/s read, 20MB/s write.

Bottom Line

After having tested both the Kingston Datatraveler 2000 64 GB model ($153) and the Kingston Datatraveler 2000 128GB model ($234), I can say that they are confidence-inspiring devices.

LinkedIn Learning - Get Serious about Protecting Your Digital Files

You can start fine-tuning your workflow today by watching Organizing and Archiving Digital Photos on LinkedIn Learning and on lynda.com. It's a great way to begin the process of protecting your digital media for years to come.

Updates and Such

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

B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. (The Digital Story is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.) And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members:

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.

Protecting your data during transport involves both physically ensuring its integrity and guaranteeing its safety from other people. The Kingston DT2000 Encrypted USB Flash Drive does both.

1024-DSCF2069-Kingston-DataTraveler.jpg

Robust Design

Starting with the physical, the DataTraveler 2000 is an all metal USB 3 drive with a keypad. It's well-constructed and feels more like an electronic device than it does a flash drive. The entire unit slides into a metal sleeve and is sealed at the opening with a gasket on drive. You can see the gasket below the blue light in the above illustration.

A wire loop on one end of the drive allows you to attach it to other objects for safe keeping during transport. You can open the loop by unscrewing the black sleeve. Nicely done.

The entire package feels robust and well-designed. It looks good too.

As for the USB connector, some might wonder why such a modern design features a USB 3.1 Gen1 (USB 3.0) port that's also backward compatible with USB 2.0 instead of USB-C. I didn't ask the engineering team about this because my thinking is that they wanted it compatible with as many devices as possible, and USB 3 provides a nice balance of speed with a wide variety of devices.

That being said, I used a USB-C adapter to connect the DataTraveler to my MacBook Pro (as shown in the top illustration). Everything worked great.

1024-DSCF2065-Kingston-DataTraveler.jpg

Top-Notch Encryption

Kingston's DataTraveler 2000 is designed to be secure, with an alphanumeric keypad that locks the drive with a word or number combination, for easy-to-use PIN protection. DT2000 features hardware-based, Full Disk AES 256-bit data encryption in XTS mode. Encryption is done on the drive and no trace of the PIN is left on the system. It's FIPS 140-2 Level 3 certified, to meet a frequently requested corporate IT requirement.

Feature highlights include:

  • Alphanumeric keypad makes it easy to unlock your device.
  • FIPS 140-2 Level 3.
  • Full Disk AES 256-bit hardware-based encryption.
  • Administrator (Admin) PIN - Enables admin access to the drive and ability to issue new user PIN if user forgets PIN.
  • Can be used on any device with a USB 2.0 or USB 3.1 Gen1 (USB 3.0) port (and I've used via USB-C as well with an adapter).
  • Read-Only Access - Admin can pre-provision a drive with pre-loaded content as read-only for the user.
  • Compatible with: Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, macOS v.10.12.x - 10.15.x, Linux kernel v.4.4.x, Chrome OS, and Android3.
  • Speed: USB 3.1 - 135MB/s read, 40MB/s write; USB 2.0 - 30MB/s read, 20MB/s write.

Setting Up and Using the Device

Because the technology is sophisticated, it does take a couple minutes to properly set up the DT2000. I followed the steps for the Logging In video about half way down the product page, and I was successful on my first attempt to establish my personal password.

Since doing that, I've logged in a number of times and have copied items to the drive, then from the drive on to other computers. It performed as I expected.

I found it easiest to use by unlocking the device first before inserting it into the computer's USB port. I pressed the key button once, entered the passcode, pressed the key button again, then waited for the green light to illuminate. Once it did, I could insert the drive into the computer's USB port and begin working.

Once you're finished, you can hold the Key button for 3 seconds, and the drive will eject and lock, allowing you to safely remove it from the computer. If you unlock the DataTraveler 2000 and don't insert into a computer within 30 seconds, it will automatically lock again. It a very smart device.

The drive is fast enough, especially when using USB 3, to work directly from it without having to copy data to the computer. This is a primary reason why I like the two bigger capacity models (64GB and 128GB). They become flexible working drives that you don't have to worry about being compromised by others.

IMG_6797.jpeg

Bottom Line

After having tested both the Kingston Datatraveler 2000 64 GB model ($153) and the Kingston Datatraveler 2000 128GB model ($234), I can say that they are confidence-inspiring devices.

I highly recommend both models.

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.

With the announcement of the Sony Alpha a7C Mirrorless, we see another step forward in quest to create compact, full frame digital cameras. And I might add, with impressive success.

sony-a7c-top.jpg Sony a7Cfull frame camera with with 28-60mm compact zoom lens

Along with the Nikon Z5 and the Canon EOS R, designers are trying to deliver as many features as possible in more compact packages. But the full frame reality is, that no matter how compact the camera body, the lenses will be bigger than their cropped-sensor counterparts.

1600-P9144352-Nikon-Z5.jpg Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II with 14-42mm compact zoom (foreground) compared to the Nikon Z5 with 24-50mm compact zoom. Photo by Derrick Story.

If, for example, you compare the latest Nikon full frame with its most compact zoom to a Micro Four Thirds body with its most compact zoom, you'll see a noticeable difference. Even though the MFT body is smaller, that's not where the real savings are. It's with the lens.

Let's take a look at the Olympus 25mm f/1.8 (50mm equivalent) in comparison to the Nikon 50mm f/1.8. You'll see a striking difference in size, and price.

The Olympus 25mm weighs 4.8 ounces and is 1.6 inches long. It costs $299. The Nikon 50mm f/1.8 weighs 14.6 ounces and is 3.41 inches long. It costs $596.

My point isn't to disparage full frame cameras. I have a couple myself. But I do want to remind photographers that any size savings you reap from the newest bodies will be quickly countered by the optics that you mount on them. I recommend keeping both lenses and bodies in mind when choosing your camera system.

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #756, Sept. 15, 2020. Today's theme is "Nikon Z5 Review + New Online Workshop." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

The Z5 is Nikon's more affordable full frame mirrorless camera that accepts Z-Mount lenses. I pack one for my scouting trip to the Sierra and report today what I think. And speaking of the Sierra, I'm announcing our online Eastern Sierra Workshop today with all the details. Let's get to it!

Nikon Z5 Review

One of the things that attracted me to the Z5 was the Nikkor 24-50mm f/4-6.3 zoom lens that you can get bundled with the camera. Both together will set you back $1,696.

1024-P9144353-Nikon-Z5.jpg

My thinking was that this tandem would be a good full frame option for hiking and travel. I put that theory to test with an 8-mile hike to Crystal Cove in South Lake Tahoe. Before I tell you how that went, let's take a closer look at the specs for this camera.

Features and Specs

  • 24.3MP CMOS sensor and EXPEED 6 processor afford wide sensitivity to ISO 51200, quick shooting at 4.5 fps.
  • Autofocus system with 273 selectable points, and is a hybrid focusing system that uses both phase-detection and contrast-detection methods
  • A large 3.2" 1.04m-dot LCD screen is available for bright, clear, and vivid image playback and live view shooting. The screen has a tilting design to suit working from high and low angles and it is also a touchscreen for more intuitive operation, navigation, and settings control.
  • A 3.69m-dot electronic finder is present for comfortable eye-level viewing.
  • Dual SD memory cards slots both support up to the UHS-II protocol for high-speed and efficient photo and video file saving.
  • Built-in to the body is a 5-axis sensor-shift Vibration Reduction (VR) mechanism that compensates for up to five stops of stabilization regardless of the lens in use. This system also works with adapted lenses, when using the optional FTZ Adapter, where 3-axis stabilization is used. Also, benefitting video recording, Electronic VR is available to help steady footage to suit handheld shooting.
  • the Z 5 supports UHD 4K video recording at up to 30 fps and Full HD recording at up to 60 fps, with the ability to save movie files to the in-camera memory cards or to an optional external recorder via HDMI out. UHD 4K recording uses a 1.7x crop of the center portion of the frame while Full HD recording uses the entire full frame. Additionally, in-camera time-lapse shooting is also possible with the ability to produce a finished UHD 4K video file directly from the camera.
  • USB charging as well as a dedicated battery charger in the box.
  • A robust magnesium alloy chassis is both dust- and weather-resistant to benefit working in harsh climates and inclement conditions.
  • Focus Shift mode automatically takes a series of up to 300 sequential images while advancing the focus position in each shot. These images can then be stacked into a single image with extended depth of field, making it ideal for close-up shooting of smaller objects as well as for landscapes and other still subjects.
  • What I Liked

    In use, there are many things that I like about the Z5. It feels great in the hands; really comfortable to shoot with. If you hand it to someone, they will likely remark that it feels lighter than it looks (1 lb, 4 oz). And I agree.

    The tilting LCD works very well, as does the EVF. The controls are intuitive and well placed, and the battery lasted the entire day.

    Image quality was excellent! I really liked both the Jpegs and the RAWs (processed in Lightroom CC). I was quite impressed with the 24-50mm Nikkor. It's a gem of a lens and about as compact as you can get for a full-frame zoom.

    Video was also quite good, and I appreciated having both mic and headphone jacks on the left side of the camera. The vibration reduction make handheld recording possible, which is something that I can't do with my Fujifilm X100V.

    A Few Complaints

    I do have my nits, however. The electronic level is quite invasive, in the center of the screen and not really useable for general photography. The camera is also slow to wake from sleep. So much so, that I ended up adjusting the sleep timer to 30 minutes and turning off the LCD. It was worth the tradeoff in battery life.

    Also, I was hoping for a built-in popup flash. I know real estate is at a premium in a mirrorless camera, but having to buy and carry an additional flash for a travel camera is a bit of a bummer.

    And finally, if you want to expand your lens collection beyond the 24-50mm zoom, the Nikon glass feels very expensive to me. I wrote about this in the Medium.com article titled, She's Great, but the Family's a Problem where I pointed out: "I felt a sinking feeling when meeting the Nikon lenses for the Z5. The first relative, a Nikkor 50mm f/1.8, was $596 and not easy on the eyes. I know I'm not supposed to say these things, but it's true. The situation became even worse with the 35mm f/1.8 -- $846. That's expensive."

    The Bottom Line

    Unto itself, the Nikon Z5 with 24-50mm zoom is an attractive, robust mirrorless camera that delivers excellent image quality in a reasonably sized package. I certainly can recommend it for photographers already invested in the Z-Mount lens library. For those just starting out, however, your investment can balloon quickly to well over $3,000.

    The Online Eastern Sierra Photography Workshop

    I'm thrilled to announce the Online Eastern Sierra Photography Workshop on November 6-7, 2020.

    This event will be unlike others that you may have read about or even attended yourself. We are taking the popular components of the TDS physical workshops and digitizing them. Here are a few examples.

    • The Opportunity to Share Your Photos with Me and the Class - Even though the live event begins on Friday, Nov. 6, You will receive lesson tutorials on Oct. 21 and 28, then have time to go outside and practice these techniques. If you wish, you can share your favorite images from the practice sessions to be incorporated in the workshop.
    • Small Group for a More Personal Experience - Even though it's an online event, class size is limited to 15 to ensure you have ample opportunities to get your questions answered (by me and other class members).
    • Ongoing Conversations Beyond the Event Itself - I'm setting up a page online that will feature content from our event with the ability for ongoing conversations among class members.

    Even though I'm using the Eastern Sierra as a backdrop for my tutorials, your photography and contributions to this workshop could be from anywhere in the world. In other words, it's all about the photography, not the specific location.

    Since this is our first online event of this type, the tuition is only $150. Seats are limited and available on a first come, first served basis. Sign up today by visiting the Online Eastern Sierra Photography Workshop page at theNimblePhotographer.com.

    Why These Top Pros are Sticking with Olympus

    You can read the entire article on AmateurPhotographer.co.uk

    Since Olympus announced it was selling its camera division, some owners are questioning whether to stay with the brand. We asked leading Olympus users why they chose the brand and whether they have any plans to change. Here's what they said:

    From there, 11 top pros talk about their favorite Olympus gear and why they have no plans to switch. It's a great read.

    New Release: "How to Get Started with Vinyl Records"

    Take a hands-on journey with Derrick Story as he shows you how to set up a HiFi stereo system, add vinyl records to your music library, care for them, and finally, how to digitize the albums for personal listening.

    Everything that you need to know to get started with records, or to rekindle your love for vinyl LPs. Plus, you'll get 30-percent discount codes for digitizing software from Rogue Amoeba. The money you will save is more than you'll spend for the price of this online course. What a great value!

    In this online course, Derrick will show you:

    • All of the gear that you need to set up a HiFi system.
    • How to wire up and configure your kit.
    • Where to find records and what to look for.
    • How to take care of your vinyl so that it lasts a lifetime.
    • How to digitize your albums and add them to your digital music catalog.
    • Tips and tricks to enhance your enjoyment.

    Updates and Such

    Inner Circle Members: A big thanks to those who support our podcast and our efforts! You're eligible for a $25 discount to our online Eastern Sierra Workshop. Visit our Patreon page now for all the details.

    How to Watch Photos for macOS Catalina and iPadOS - Learn everything you need to know about Photos for the Mac and iPad by checking out my latest course on LinkedIn Learning and on lynda.com. This course is perfect for Mac and iPad based photographers who shoot with iPhone, Mirrorless, and DSLR cameras. It covers both photography and movies. And if I say so myself, it's a lot of fun.

    B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. (The Digital Story is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.) And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members:

    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.

Photography in Challenging Times

I've thought a lot about "photography in challenging times" lately, and have been figuring out how to approach it. I've never been a "doom and gloom" reporter. But I'm also a realist and see clearly what's going on around me. So how does that affect what I do with my camera?

san-rafael-bridge.jpeg San Rafael Bridge Heading West During the Summer 2020 Fires - Photo by Derrick Story

The short answer is: "I keep shooting."

The bulk of my pictures are for documentation and the ongoing photo diary. It's important to me to have an accurate account of these events for future reference.

I also share and publish a portion of the work because reporting to the outside world is important. Firsthand experiences are powerful. But for me, it is a matter of balance. I'll try to explain.

We've been going through the pandemic, economic challenge, social unrest, bizarre weather, and unprecedented fires for quite some time now. All of 2020 is scarred by these events.

Images representing these conditions do show up in my Instagram feed. But along the way, we've also seen Comet Neowise, reinvention, and perseverance. And I would like those represented as well.

Good things happen in bad times. I think finding engaging examples of both is important right now. And that will be my focus as we move through the remainder of the year.

I'm curious about your thoughts on this subject. You can share them at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

I'm Back from the Eastern Sierra

Over the last five days I've recorded video for our upcoming online Eastern Sierra Workshop and have put the Nikon Z5 through its paces. I will have reports about both on next week's TDS Photography Podcast.

2048-DSC_0188-Eastern-Sierra.jpeg The Winding Road - Nikon Z5 with Nikkor 24-50mm zoom lens. Photo by Derrick Story.

I had a number of people check in with me to make sure that I was OK because of the wildfires in Northern California. (Thank you!) Fortunately, I was able to avoid the hot spots. I'm now safe and sound in the Santa Rosa studio.

Lots more to come about all of this in our next podcast. Stay tuned.

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #755, Sept. 8, 2020. Today's theme is "5 Years with a Photo Diary." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Back in 2015, when I began my photo diary, the world was a much different place. I didn't know it at the time, but over the next few years, I would experience monumental changes in both my personal and professional lives. Many of those changes have been captured in pictures and words. Today, I'll share a few of those entries, and discuss the value of creating your own photo diary.

5 Years with a Photo Diary

One of the interesting things about a dairy of any type is that you can measure how quickly life changes. Not just your perceptions, but with actual dates and events. Here are a few examples.

photo-diary.jpg

  • Aug. 16, 2016 - Giants Baseball - I packed the Contax 139Q for some street shooting in SF on our walk to AT&T Park for a Giants game. Four of us were going to the game: Zach, Max, Jason, and myself. We took the Larkspur Ferry over to the Embarcadero, strolled for 1 mile to the ballpark, then returned to Larkspur on the Giants Ferry after the game.
  • Dec. 27, 2016 - Apple Photos Book at Barnes & Noble - I was killing some time downtown waiting for the battery to be replaced in my iPhone 6S. So I ducked into our local Barnes and Noble bookstore to see if my The Apple Photos Book for Photographers was in stock. Much to my delight, there was one copy left. So I did what any photographer would do: I faced it forward and took a picture.
  • Jan. 31, 2017 - Ron and Lynn Story - Dad was recovering from his broken hip (and many other things) at Claremont Manor. On the last day of my January visit, I posed them together for this classic portrait. They are both in their 80s. [Note, this is the last photo of my dad that I took.]
  • March 10, 2017 - A celebration of Ron's Life: When my dad passed away near midnight on Monday, March 6, 2017, my family gathered at my sister's house in Huntington Beach California, and at my mother's home in Upland California. The first few days were just taking care of the many, many details that need to be addressed after such an event. Then on Friday, March 10, we had a gathering of family at Dalene's to celebrate Ron's life. This roll of film is from that event.
  • Oct. 19, 2017 - Steve and His 2 Hearts: I was able to take my first bike ride today since the firestorm. The breeze was coming from the west in the air-quality was quite good.
    I packed my camera and rode around the neighborhood. Photographing little things that will help me remember how horrible last week was.
    At one point, I met Steve. He had crafted these two hearts and wanted to post them somewhere to make people feel a little better.
    "I wanted to create a message without words," he told me. I talked with him for a bit more, felt a little better about things, then rode off to complete my errands. Steve had accomplished his goal.

Over the 5 years, I have 920 photo entries. And the more I look at the diary, the more I wish I had added more moments.So I'm going to rededicate myself to this project. After all, now the rebuilding begins, and I don't want to miss any of that!

Using Day One as a Photo Diary

In this spot, I talk about why I use Day One to record the entries for my photo Diary.

Panasonic unveils new 24, 35, 50 and 85mm F1.8 L-mount primes

You can read the entire article on DP Review.

The S5 is at the center of the Panasonic's announcements today, but the company has also revealed plans to release a handful of F1.8 prime lenses. Details are thin at the moment, but we know that S-series 24mm, 35mm, 50mm and 85mm F1.8 lenses are on the way, and that the 85mm will be available in November.

A YouTube presentation by Panasonic shows all four primes as being the same size, each of them smaller (and presumably less expensive) than the existing F1.4 L-mount options at these focal lengths, which will bring some added variety to the growing lens system.

New Release: "How to Get Started with Vinyl Records"

Take a hands-on journey with Derrick Story as he shows you how to set up a HiFi stereo system, add vinyl records to your music library, care for them, and finally, how to digitize the albums for personal listening.

Everything that you need to know to get started with records, or to rekindle your love for vinyl LPs. Plus, you'll get 30-percent discount codes for digitizing software from Rogue Amoeba. The money you will save is more than you'll spend for the price of this online course. What a great value!

In this online course, Derrick will show you:

  • All of the gear that you need to set up a HiFi system.
  • How to wire up and configure your kit.
  • Where to find records and what to look for.
  • How to take care of your vinyl so that it lasts a lifetime.
  • How to digitize your albums and add them to your digital music catalog.
  • Tips and tricks to enhance your enjoyment.

Updates and Such

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

How to Watch Photos for macOS Catalina and iPadOS - Learn everything you need to know about Photos for the Mac and iPad by checking out my latest course on LinkedIn Learning and on lynda.com. This course is perfect for Mac and iPad based photographers who shoot with iPhone, Mirrorless, and DSLR cameras. It covers both photography and movies. And if I say so myself, it's a lot of fun.

B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. (The Digital Story is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.) And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members:

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.

This is The Digital Story Podcast #754, Sept. 1, 2020. Today's theme is "5 Easy Ways to Edit Movies Recorded with Your Camera." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Practically every camera on the market today captures video in addition to still pictures. Yay! But capture is not the roadblock for most photographers turned movie makers; it's the editing that slows them down. I can help with that. Today, I'll show you five different apps that make it easy to trim up your clips and share them with the world. And the best part, you probably already have the software on your computer. I hope you enjoy the show.

5 Easy Ways to Edit Movies Recorded with Your Camera

The number one need in the world of amateur video is trimming. If you could easily clean up the beginning of the clip and the end, you've fought half the battle.

QuickTime-Player.jpg

Adding a title or two is another very common request. And then exporting the footage in a format that will work on social is darn important as well.

For these tasks, you don't need to invest in high end video editing software. In fact, you probably have apps on your computer right now that can meet your basic needs. So let's take a look at them and see if any are right for you.

  • QuickTime for Mac - QuickTime Player lets you trim movies, stitch clips together, and move them around once they're on the timeline. Once you've finished your editing, you can export the new file or share it to YouTube and social networks. It's really quite incredible.
  • Photos for Windows and Photos for Mac - There's a nifty video editor inside Photos for Windows 10 that allows you to split and trim clips. So you can do quite a bit of editing once you get the hang of it. Photos for macOS enables trimming of video clips, and then you can stitch them together by creating a Slideshow. You can also create and add graphics there. Here's a good article on editing video using Photos for Windows 10.
  • Photos for iOS on iPad - Funny enough, the iPad is a more powerful machine for editing videos using Photos than the Mac itself. On the tablet you can not only trim, but add filters, adjust colors, tweak exposure, crop, and even add a vignette. Since the iPad and Mac are connected via iCloud, you could use them as a tandem. Edit the clips on the iPad, then stitch them together using Slideshow on the Mac.
  • Lightroom Classic for Mac and Windows: The Classic version is quite good at video editing. You can trim, adjust tone and color, and even play with clips. Check out this excellent tutorial for using Lightroom with movies.
  • iMovie for macOS and iOS: If you haven't looked at iMovie in a while, you should revisit it. Not only is it excellent for editing your videos, you can create trailers and other fun projects. Take a look at trailer I created for the How to Get Started with Vinyl Records online course.

As your comfort level increases, you can push into more sophisticated apps such as Final Cut. But for basic work, it's amazing you can do with software that you probably already own.

Sony to Debut a New Line of 'Compact' Full-Frame Cameras Starting this Month: Report

You can read the entire article on PetaPixel.

Sony might have some interesting gear in the works. According to the latest rumors, the company is planning to debut a new line-up of "super-compact" full-frame a7 and a9 cameras aimed at vlogging and travel. And the first one, dubbed the "Sony a7C", will arrive this month.

According to Sony Alpha Rumors, two reliable sources have "confirmed" speculation that Sony is planning to release a new entry-level full-frame camera this month... but they actually said a lot more than that. Apparently, the camera will be part of a new line of super-compact "C" cameras that will live alongside the regular a7 and a9 series.

The first to arrive will be the Sony a7C--an entry-level model, on par with the Sony a7 III--but other "C" cameras are rumored to follow, creating a whole line of compact cameras aimed at vloggers and travel shooters who prioritize portability and features like a flip screen.

The first camera, the so-called Sony a7C, is rumored to arrive sometime in "mid-September" as a sort of hybrid between a Sony a7 III and the a6600. According to SAR, the camera will combine the body of an a6600 with the sensor and performance of the a7 III, the fully-articulating screen of the a7S III, and a pop-up EVF like we've seen on several of the RX100 cameras.

Other specs include a single SD card slot, USB Type-C, both a mic and a headphone jack, and built-in WiFi and Bluetooth. All of this for a little more than $2,000 MSRP at launch. Finally, the "C" line of cameras will allegedly be released alongside a new line of compact lenses to match.

New Release: "How to Get Started with Vinyl Records"

Take a hands-on journey with Derrick Story as he shows you how to set up a HiFi stereo system, add vinyl records to your music library, care for them, and finally, how to digitize the albums for personal listening.

Everything that you need to know to get started with records, or to rekindle your love for vinyl LPs. Plus, you'll get 30-percent discount codes for digitizing software from Rogue Amoeba. The money you will save is more than you'll spend for the price of this online course. What a great value!

In this online course, Derrick will show you:

  • All of the gear that you need to set up a HiFi system.
  • How to wire up and configure your kit.
  • Where to find records and what to look for.
  • How to take care of your vinyl so that it lasts a lifetime.
  • How to digitize your albums and add them to your digital music catalog.
  • Tips and tricks to enhance your enjoyment.

You can learn more and purchase the course here.

Updates and Such

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

How to Watch Photos for macOS Catalina and iPadOS - Learn everything you need to know about Photos for the Mac and iPad by checking out my latest course on LinkedIn Learning and on lynda.com. This course is perfect for Mac and iPad based photographers who shoot with iPhone, Mirrorless, and DSLR cameras. It covers both photography and movies. And if I say so myself, it's a lot of fun.

B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. (The Digital Story is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.) And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members:

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.