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It looks like WPPI 2020 came off without a hitch, but there's still uncertainty surrounding Photokina this approaching May. In addition to the immediate challenge of coronavirus, they are already missing major players that include Olympus, Leica, Fujifilm, and Nikon. That's a lot of lumber missing from your lineup.

Photokina-Flags-1024.jpg

Personally, I'm hoping that Photokina can overcome these challenges, as I do for PhotoPlus Expo, Camera & Imaging Show (CP+), and the other major events. Why? Well, for all of the hassle and expense, there's something about physical interaction that tells me more that I could ever get from a web page. I'll give you an example.

FujifilmX100.jpg

The Fujifilm X100 debuted at Photokina 2010. I was there working for Lowepro at the time. I remember visiting the Fujifilm booth and talking to them about their new creation. At the time, Fujifilm was trying to find its niche in a quickly changing market. They thought they had something unique with the X100, but they weren't sure.

Discussing the camera with them enlightened me to the creativity and passion they brought to the world of imaging. I've always used their film, and I've admired some of their cameras, but their anxious enthusiasm for the X100 debut stayed with me. I've followed them ever since. These people LOVE photography.

It's hard to say how I would feel about Fujifilm these days had I not experienced that memorable visit back in 2010. But I doubt that I would understand them as well, nor follow them as closely. Since that time, I've bought an X20 and the Fujifilm XF10, and I'm now carrying the new Fujifilm X100V (and I love it!).

My point is, that's just one of dozens of interactions I've had over the years that couldn't happen any other way. Plus, I love watching how other people approach the booths, where the crowd gathers, and witness how photographers engage with new products. I find this invaluable and entertaining.

I know that photography trade shows are not the most practical expenditure of funds for visitors or exhibitors. But there's an element of magic to them. And I hope that together we can find a path forward for them in 2020 and beyond.

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.

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If you don't have a dedicated studio, but need to do studio work on occasion, you might be interested in the Angler Collapsible Softbox for 6x12" LED Lights ($49). When open, it measures a very handy W: 15.9" x H: 16.3" x D: 7.2" (W: 40.4 x H: 41.5 x D: 18.4 cm) that's perfect for many types of assignments including portraits and product shots. And when not it use, it collapses neatly into a 9" pouch.

It has all the goodies that you most likely would want, such as a reflective silver interior and an optional grid. And it doesn't need any attachment hardware when working with LED panels. I'm using it with the Genaray LED-7100T 312 LED Variable-Color light ($160). I use the larger batteries on the back of the unit, and attach the softbox to it using its hook and loop straps.

P2250732-Etsy-lighting.jpg

The combination of the Genaray LED panel and the Angler softbox create a portable but pleasing lighting set up for product shots that I use for the TheFilmCameraShop.

I would say that the Genaray LED-7100T 312 LED panel is the smallest light source that you would want to use with the Angle softbox, which can accommodate larger lighting units. But, personally, I like the more portable panels. So as long as I use the full-sized batteries, the tandem works quite well.

P2250738-Etsy-lighting.jpg

The other thing I appreciate is how compact this lighting setup is, not only for storage, but for work away from home base. If you've been looking for a nimble lighting modifier, I would recommend taking a look at the Angler Collapsible Softbox for 6x12" LED Lights.

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.

IMG_5991.jpg

The new Fujifilm X100V has plenty of resolution (26.1 MP) and outstanding image quality. But it also has a single Fujinon 23mm f/2 lens that is a 35mm equivalent. Some photographers wonder if they can live by one lens alone.

But through its digital wizardry, Fujifilm also provides 50mm and 70mm perspectives, and at the full 6240x4160 resolution. In other words, the camera isn't just cropping the picture, it's actually providing you full resolution of what you see in its handsome hybrid viewfinder.

DSCF0013.jpg The 35mm angle of view from a Fujifilm X100V.

DSCF0014.jpg The 50mm angle of view from a Fujifilm X100V.

DSCF0015.jpg The 70mm angle of view from a Fujifilm X100V.

The only real catch to tapping these options is that you have to shoot in Jpeg mode. And to be honest, that's what I'm using most of the time with this camera because the color is excellent.

Once you're in Jpeg mode, just twist the control ring around the lens to switch from 35mm - to 50mm - to 70mm. You don't give up any pixels, and the image quality is quite good.

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 #727, Feb. 25, 2020. Today's theme is "The Anatomy of a Location Photo Shoot." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

There are many moving parts to a location photo shoot assignment. And even when you think you have all the bases covered, an unexpected challenge can rear its head. Today, I talk about how I prepare for and execute an assigned photo shoot on location. Hopefully there will be a few tips here that you can glean for your next assignment.

The Anatomy of a Location Photo Shoot

Most of my assignments are away from the studio on location. Since I came into the business as a photojournalist, I'm very comfortable dealing with the outside world when I work.

But there are also extra preparations one needs to attend to when away from the comfy confines of their home base. First, I'll talk about my basic workflow, then I'll add a few tips to finish things off.

P2213067-D-Story.jpg

Let's start with the 5 basic steps for the shoot.

5 Steps to a Location Photo Shoot

  • Corner the Client - Even the best clients believe that we have special mind reading powers that guide us to the exact shots that they are hoping to receive. I do have decent intuition and a pretty good eye, but I've learned that the shoot will almost always go better if I have a conversation beforehand about what our goals are. For weddings, I get as formal as a detailed shot list. But for most other assignments, a conversation with notes gets the job done.
  • Make Sure Your Permissions Are in Order - Will you need access to a building, school, or office? Are model releases required? Are the subjects aware that you're coming, at what time, for how long, and what you're going to be doing? After your chat with the client, make sure that you get the required permissions before the photo shoot begins.
  • Pack Your Equipment the Day Before - Sometimes we have no choice but to grab our bag and run out the door. But if you do have the luxury of time, pack the day before. Then, in the middle of the night when you realize that you forgot to include the reflectors, you still have time to add them to your kit.
  • Really Think About Your Lighting - This impacts everything. Your approach to lighting on the assignment influences your lens selection, set up time, actual shooting time, and of course, final results. Are you relying on natural lighting, augmenting with reflectors, using remote strobes, or mounting LED panels? Figure out your approach, best you can, and visualize how the shoot is going to turn out.
  • Two Cameras, Four Lenses - Once you analyze the assignment, choose your lenses and cameras. Typically, I'll have the appropriate zoom on one camera body and the specialized prime on the other. Switching between bodies is much faster that swapping out lenses. Then, to be safe, have an anticipated optional optic on hand for each camera.

Once you've completed the assignment, make sure you're clear on the deliverables and their timing. Make sure the client and you are on the same page. Are you responsible to sending images to the subjects as well? Make sure that's all buttoned down before you pack the car and drive away.

A Few Bonus Tips

Be sure pack business cards, because hopefully people will ask for one :-) Dress appropriately. You'll be more comfortable and better received by the subjects. Water and power bars will really help you when the assignment goes longer than anticipated, which does happen. I always have my water bottle with me.

Don't skimp on post production. I edit my selects, let them sit, review them all in a slideshow, note the outliers, re-edit those, then watch another slideshow until the entire deliverable looks consistent and beautiful.

If you do these things, and do them with a cheerful, professional attitude, chances are very good that you will hang on to your existing clients, and with a little luck, gain a few new ones as well.

A recent survey reveals wedding photographers spend only 4% of their time taking photos

You can read the entire article here on DP Review.

The other 96 percent was culling, editing, business admin and communication. The biggest chunk, not surprisingly, was editing. This makes me think fondly back on the film years when I just dropped off the film at the lab.

So where did this information come from?

UK-based company Your Perfect Wedding Photographer recently conducted its fourth annual industry survey. Although more than 300 full-time wedding photographers participated in the survey, it's important to remember that the findings reflect a small segment of local wedding photographers and the results may be more typical for a specific region rather than the industry as a whole. That said, there are a few interesting tidbits from the data.

  • The average number of weddings captured a year is 28, down by 1 from 29 in 2018.
  • The average cost of a full day starting package is �1,590 ($2,063 USD), up by �30 from �1,560 ($2,023 USD) in 2018.
  • 40% of Photographers use a Canon Camera, 31% Nikon, 22% Sony, 7% Fuji.
  • The average age of those surveyed is 39 years old, up 1 year from 38 in 2018.
  • 44% of respondents were women and 56% are men.

Participants also shared their thoughts on this industry. 'It's getting more competitive with more people charging less. I would love for photographers to charge properly so the average moves from �1500. It has been this for so many years and hasn't moved with inflation or other external costs increasing. My rate reflects my experience and the level of service but at a glance, it can be harder when someone is comparing primarily on price,' laments one commenter.

Update for the TDS 2020 Photography Workshop Season

Those of you on the registration list for the Humboldt Redwoods Workshop, keep an eye out for the registration packet that will go out later this week. We have a great event for you, and I'll be working with you to ensure that you are fully prepared to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity. Plus, we had one seat open up (moved to another workshop), so if you want to join us, hop over to the 2020 Workshops Signup Page and get on the Reserve List.

If you have questions about the other workshops, feel free to drop me a line using the Contact Form on www.thenimblephotographer.com.

When you decide which event is best for your, jump over to our 2020 Workshops Signup Page and place a $100 deposit to secure your place. Only participants on the Reserve List who have placed a deposit will be eligible to register for a workshop. If you have questions or need more information, fill out the "Send Me Info!" request form. I'll get back to you asap.

  • LA Street Photography Experience - March 13-15, 2020 - 1 Seat Remaining - This hands-on workshop guides you on an exploration of classic Los Angeles locations and architecture. Our excursions will take us as far west as Venice Beach, as well as famous movie spots and the back streets of this fascinating Southern California area. Limited to 9 participants and featuring two instructors (Derrick Story and Mike Boening), you will enjoy great photography, food, and friendship with our fellow enthusiasts. Three days, $749. You can place your deposit here.
  • Humboldt Redwoods and Coast Workshop - May 12-14, 2020 - 0 Seats Remaining -- Our home base for this experience is in the hospitable town of Fortuna that's on the banks of the Eel River. From there we explore the magnificent redwood groves of Humboldt County and the rugged coastline of Northern California. This workshop explores three distinct ecosystems in a satisfying 3-day event. Limited to just 9 participants, you can reserve your spot and learn more about this event here.
  • Lassen Volcanic Park Photo Workshop - July 16-18, 2020 - 2 Seats Remaining -- We'll convene at a spacious cabin at Lake Almanor that serves as our HQ. From there we explore the stunning Lassen landscape, peaceful shores of Lake Almanor, and the magnificent mountain night skies. This hands-on photo workshop is limited to 8 participants and is a wonderful blending of experience, camaraderie, and artistry. Limited to just 8 participants, you can reserve your spot and learn more about this event here.
  • The Eastern Sierra Photography Workshop - Oct. 1-3, 2020 - 2 Seats Remaining - Our event is headquartered at the Silver Maple Inn in Bridgeport, CA - gateway to Bodie, Mono Lake, and June Lake. We'll take advantage of the magical morning light to photograph some of the most unique landscape in North America. We'll photograph the sparkling night skies of the Sierra and explore rustic urban environments. Limited to just 9 participants, you can reserve your spot and learn more about this event 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!

More Ways to Participate

Want to share photos and talk with other members in our virtual camera club? Check out our Flickr Public Group. And from those images, I choose the TDS Member Photo of the Day.

Podcast Sponsors

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

The Nimbleosity Report

Do you want to keep up with the best content from The Digital Story and The Nimble Photographer? Sign up for The Nimbleosity Report, and receive highlights twice-a-month in a single page newsletter. Be a part of our community!

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

Bus Window B-Roll - TDS SoundBites

When visiting new lands, we can find ourselves on buses for hours at a time. Often, these journeys take us through interesting towns and villages. These trips can be excellent B-Roll opportunities... that is, if you follow these few basic tips. Listen in to learn more.

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And if you want to see a sample from Costa Rica, take a look at this 30 second clip.


For more TDS SoundBites, visit TheDigitalStory, and enter "Soundbites" into the search field at the top of the page. They will magically appear on your device.

Technology tidbits that are 5 minutes or less. I cover digital photography, audio, mobile computing, smart home, and more.

Previously on TDS SoundBites

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III First Impressions.

Capture Flowing Water with Your iPhone.

In-Camera RAW Processing.

Slow Sync Flash.

Business Card Flash Modifier.

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #726, Feb. 18, 2020. Today's theme is "Hands-On Review of the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

After spending 4 days in Costa Rica and continuing to shoot with the camera since then, I can comfortably say that I have a good feel for the Olympus E-M1 Mark III. It is neither the manna from heaven that many users hoped for, nor is it the disappointment that some reviewers have complained about. It's a solid semi-professional camera for nimble photography that's only limited by the user's imagination. I'll explain my views on today's TDS Photography Podcast.

Hands On Review of the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III

There was a moment on the bus while talking with a fellow journalist, that I realized how the reviews were going to go for the Olympus E-M1 Mark III. He was disappointed with the not-updated sensor (as are many reviewers), the comparatively low resolution LCD (1 million dots), non-state-of-the-art EVF (2.36 M dots), the lackluster performance of AF tracking, and the relatively high price for a small sensor camera ($1,799).

EM1MIII_BLK_Right.jpg

Since I'm not an apologist for Olympus nor any other brand, I offered a few tips and left it at that. But I've decided to lead off this review addressing those five comments, because I have seen them in more than one review. We'll get to what I like after that.

Before we get into the specifics, however, I want to comment about the Olympus mindset when it comes to camera design. They take a very wholistic approach, and they will live and die by those choices. In other words, they don't so much look at the individual components; rather, how everything works together to create the experience they're striving for. I sum it up as the 3-Cs: Compact, Creative, and Capable. With that in mind, lets move forward.

The Most Common Criticisms of the Mark III

  • Non-Updated 20.4MP Live MOS Micro Four Thirds Sensor - When Olympus debuted the 20.4 MFT sensor in Sept. 2016, it scored the highest according to DxO Mark of any Four Thirds sensor, edging out the Panasonic competition and the 20.3 sensor in the PEN-F that was released earlier that year. That same 20.4 chip is in the E-M1 Mark III, but with a TruePic IX Image Processor compared to the TruePic VIII found in the E-M1 Mark II and the TruePic VII housed in the PEN-F. After shooting with all three cameras, my view is that it's the processor, not the sensor, that we should focus on with the Mark III. I discussed this in last week's podcast. Just think about the evolution of smartphone cameras and where the real progress is made. It is in computing power and software, and that's where the upgrade is for the Mark III.
  • 3.0" 1.037m-Dot Vari-Angle Touchscreen - I will agree that reviewing images on the E-M1 Mark III is not as lovely as on the Sony A7R Mark IV with its 3.0" 1.44m-dot rear LCD. But there's a price difference as well. And there's a trick to getting the most from your E-M1 LCD that a lot of users don't know. What you want to do is review pictures at 1:1. When doing so, the screen works remarkably well. The setting is Gear D2 > Default Setting > Equally Value. On the LCD that's 7X, and you can really evaluate your image well as such.
  • 2.36m-Dot 0.74x Electronic Viewfinder - Again, let's compare it to the flagship Sony that has a UXGA OLED Tru-Finder EVF with 5.76m-dot resolution with 120 fps refresh rate. The Olympus default is also 120 fps, and with the lag time a minuscule 0.005 sec for smooth display that allows capture of fast-moving subjects. So, depending on your needs and preferences, if similar refresh rates and low latency get the job done for your photography, then the resolution might not be as much as an issue. This one is up to you.
  • Continuous AF + Tracking - I agree with everyone on this setting: it under performs. We've known that for some time, and most serious Olympus shooters use Continuous with their preferred set of sensors. With the E-M1 Mark III, there is a much better option. In my case, I used C-AF with the 3X3 array giving me 9 sensors to track moving objects (called Group 9-Point Target Mode). With the new joystick on the back of the camera, you can move the array quickly to any part of the frame. I had my best success rate ever in Costa Rica.
  • $1,799 Price Tag - The Mark III, with all of its upgrades, launches $200 cheaper than the Mark II. Enough said there.

5 Features that I Think are Really Terrific

So, with all of that out of the way, what am I excited about with the Mark III? There's plenty. Here are five of my favorites.

  • Live ND - Live ND results in blurred subject movement by compositing exposures to replicate the look of a single image taken at a slower shutter speed. Particularly suitable for photographing moving water, five modes are available: ND2, ND4, ND8, ND16, and ND32 to vary how movement is portrayed.
  • Handheld High Res Shot - Like the Tripod mode, produces a 50MP JPEG or raw file by compositing sequentially recorded files into a single image. The Handheld High Res Shot mode differs from the Tripod mode by recording 16 independent frames, opposed to eight, and the slight movement caused by hand-holding provides the range of movement needed to produce the larger final image. It's brilliant.
  • 120 FPS FHD Video Capture - Not talked about much, but I love this capability and wish it were on my E-M1 Mark II. You can capture Full HD at 120 fps, then have it set to playback at 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, and 24p. So, if you set it to playback at 30p, you have this lovely slow-motion video at .25 speed. And it looks great. No post production headaches. Plus, there's handheld 4K video as well. Nice!
  • EM1MIII_BLK_Back.jpg

  • AF Joystick (Multi-Selector) - With 121 cross-type sensors and a wide variety of AF patterns, the joystick is the perfect complement to this system. It is well-designed and works great. And speaking of autofocus, Starry Sky (new AF algorithm fully dedicated to night photography) AF really works. If you're an action shooter, you're going to love the Multi-Selector.
  • Improved Supersonic Wave Filter - The E-M1 Mark III added a coating to the SSWF (Supersonic Wave Filter), which was evolved with OM-D E-M1X. It's design is to repel dust. It allows for lenses to be swapped even at dusty outside, the high reliability makes possible to concentrate on shooting.

If I had to pick one thing that really impresses me about this camera, is the flexibility and speed of the autofocusing. The ability to customize AF point arrays, then quickly move them with the multi-selector, really increased the number of successful shots I captured of moving objects.

But Wait, There's More!

I should also mention that I did not use a tripod once on the Costa Rica trip. That included using focal lengths as long as 600mm, long exposures for moving water, and even focusing on stars at night. Think about it: a camera that provides super-fast AF, long reach, and minimal equipment weight at this price point.

USB-C charging was a welcome addition as well. I used the included cable with a 10-watt iPad USB charger and was able to replenish the E-M1 Mark III. My advice is to always have a cable with you when you travel. You just never know.

There are many very nice touches that seem to be overlooked as well, such as the Anti-Flicker setting where the camera detects the frequency (flicker) of artificial lighting such as fluorescent light, and activates the shutter at peak brightness to smooth out any exposure and color differences between frames. Not a big deal, that is, unless you shoot indoor sports.

And then you get features that aren't even on the E-M1X (yet) such as advanced face/eye AF detection and Starry sky AF. Plus the things we already know about including dual card slots and 400,000 shutter life.

I fully understand that the Olympus E-M1 Mark III isn't for everyone. But it certainly is for me. I was relying on the 40-150mm PRO and the 12-45mm PRO zooms for the bulk of my work, and was traveling as light as a feather. My shots look incredible. And I never got tired during the long days. It's a heck of a camera, heck of a camera system.

Two thumbs up for me.

The M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-45mm f/4 PRO Zoom

Amid the understandable excitement surrounding the OM-D E-M1 Mark III, Olympus also debuted a new optic specially designed for Nimble Photographers desiring the highest quality in a compact package - the M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-45mm f/4 PRO zoom ($649). This lens is a gem.

Here are the spec highlights:

  • 12 to 45mm (35mm Equivalent Focal Length: 24 to 90mm)
  • F/4 constant aperture
  • Minimum focusing distance of 4.72" / 12 cm with 1:2 Macro Reproduction Ratio
  • 12 Elements in 9 Groups with 7 rounded aperture blades
  • 2.5 x 2.76" / 63.4 x 70 mm and weighs only 8.96 oz / 254 g

It mounts beautifully on the PEN-F, E-M5 Mark III, and E-M1 Mark III. The autofocus is fast. But what I really like about it are the images it produces - colorful, sharp, and with excellent contrast. I also like that it features a nicely dampened manual focusing ring that feels great - a welcome feature in pro AF lens.

Other niceties include a ZERO (Zuiko Extra-low Reflection Optical) coating that has been applied to individual elements to minimize lens flare and ghosting for improved contrast and color fidelity when working in strong lighting conditions. Plus it's dust, freeze, and drip-proof design ensures the lens performance in inclement and harsh conditions.

The M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-45mm f/4 PRO zoom will begin shipping on Feb. 24th. You can pre-order is now... just in time for our travel season!

Update for the TDS 2020 Photography Workshop Season

Those of you on the registration list for the Humboldt Redwoods Workshop, keep an eye out for the registration packet that will go out later this week. We have a great event for you, and I'll be working with you to ensure that you are fully prepared to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity. Plus, we had one seat open up (moved to another workshop), so if you want to join us, hop over to the 2020 Workshops Signup Page and get on the Reserve List.

If you have questions about the other workshops, feel free to drop me a line using the Contact Form on www.thenimblephotographer.com.

When you decide which event is best for your, jump over to our 2020 Workshops Signup Page and place a $100 deposit to secure your place. Only participants on the Reserve List who have placed a deposit will be eligible to register for a workshop. If you have questions or need more information, fill out the "Send Me Info!" request form. I'll get back to you asap.

  • LA Street Photography Experience - March 13-15, 2020 - 1 Seat Remaining - This hands-on workshop guides you on an exploration of classic Los Angeles locations and architecture. Our excursions will take us as far west as Venice Beach, as well as famous movie spots and the back streets of this fascinating Southern California area. Limited to 9 participants and featuring two instructors (Derrick Story and Mike Boening), you will enjoy great photography, food, and friendship with our fellow enthusiasts. Three days, $749. You can place your deposit here.
  • Humboldt Redwoods and Coast Workshop - May 12-14, 2020 - 0 Seats Remaining -- Our home base for this experience is in the hospitable town of Fortuna that's on the banks of the Eel River. From there we explore the magnificent redwood groves of Humboldt County and the rugged coastline of Northern California. This workshop explores three distinct ecosystems in a satisfying 3-day event. Limited to just 9 participants, you can reserve your spot and learn more about this event here.
  • Lassen Volcanic Park Photo Workshop - July 16-18, 2020 - 2 Seats Remaining -- We'll convene at a spacious cabin at Lake Almanor that serves as our HQ. From there we explore the stunning Lassen landscape, peaceful shores of Lake Almanor, and the magnificent mountain night skies. This hands-on photo workshop is limited to 8 participants and is a wonderful blending of experience, camaraderie, and artistry. Limited to just 8 participants, you can reserve your spot and learn more about this event here.
  • The Eastern Sierra Photography Workshop - Oct. 1-3, 2020 - 2 Seats Remaining - Our event is headquartered at the Silver Maple Inn in Bridgeport, CA - gateway to Bodie, Mono Lake, and June Lake. We'll take advantage of the magical morning light to photograph some of the most unique landscape in North America. We'll photograph the sparkling night skies of the Sierra and explore rustic urban environments. Limited to just 9 participants, you can reserve your spot and learn more about this event 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!

More Ways to Participate

Want to share photos and talk with other members in our virtual camera club? Check out our Flickr Public Group. And from those images, I choose the TDS Member Photo of the Day.

Podcast Sponsors

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

The Nimbleosity Report

Do you want to keep up with the best content from The Digital Story and The Nimble Photographer? Sign up for The Nimbleosity Report, and receive highlights twice-a-month in a single page newsletter. Be a part of our community!

Want to Comment on this Post?

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

Why Flip Screens Are Important

One of the best ways that you can improve your compositions is by experimenting with viewing angle. It's easy for us to fall into the rut of always composing from a standing position at eye level. But that's not always the most interesting perspective for our subjects. And flip screens are wonderful tools to help us present refreshing views of the world.

P2060219.jpg Olympus E-M1 Mark III set on the ground with subject composed in the articulated LCD. 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO lens. Photo by Derrick Story.

One of the reasons why I carry the PEN-F as my street photography camera is because of the articulated LCD. It's particularly handy when nothing much is going on, so I can start experimenting with angles instead of action. Shooting over my head or at my feet opens up a new world. Plus, I can protect the LCD itself by folding the screen so it's tucked into the body and not exposed to shirt buttons and zippers.

PEN-F-screen.jpg Olympus PEN-F

Fujifilm is going to attract a new generation of photographers with its recently announced X100V digital camera, in large part thanks to its tilting 3.0" 1.62m-dot LCD with touchscreen. As nice as the X100 series has been, its lack of tilting LCD has kept many of us on the sidelines. Think about it... this is a camera designed for on the go, creative photography. It needs a tilting LCD. And now that it has one, I think many urban photographers and travelers will give it a second look.

fuji-x100v.jpg Fujifilm X100V

And what if you already have a camera with an articulated screen? Are you truly tapping its potential? My suggestion is to make it a point to compose at different angles on your next shoot and see what you think.

These wonderful, versatile, LCD screens are one of the true joys of digital photography. Make sure you get the most out of them.

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12-45mm-front.jpg

Amid the understandable excitement surrounding the OM-D E-M1 Mark III, Olympus also debuted a new optic specially designed for Nimble Photographers desiring the highest quality in a compact package - the M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-45mm f/4 PRO zoom ($649). This lens is a gem.

Here are the spec highlights:

  • 12 to 45mm (35mm Equivalent Focal Length: 24 to 90mm)
  • F/4 constant aperture
  • Minimum focusing distance of 4.72" / 12 cm with 1:2 Macro Reproduction Ratio
  • 12 Elements in 9 Groups with 7 rounded aperture blades
  • 2.5 x 2.76" / 63.4 x 70 mm and weighs only 8.96 oz / 254 g

It mounts beautifully on the PEN-F, E-M5 Mark III, and E-M1 Mark III. The autofocus is fast. But what I really like about it are the images it produces - colorful, sharp, and with excellent contrast. I also like that it features a nicely dampened manual focusing ring that feels great - a welcome feature in pro AF lens.

P2050013-d-story.jpg Roadside Fruitstand in Costa Rica - JPEG - Olympus E-M1 Mark III with 12-45mm f/4 PRO zoom, ISO 200, f/5.6 at 1/125th, -0.7 EV, 13mm. Photo by Derrick Story.

Other niceties include a ZERO (Zuiko Extra-low Reflection Optical) coating that has been applied to individual elements to minimize lens flare and ghosting for improved contrast and color fidelity when working in strong lighting conditions. Plus it's dust, freeze, and drip-proof design ensures the lens performance in inclement and harsh conditions.

P2141127-xmas-cactus-D-Story-12-45.jpg Christmas Cactus - Olympus PEN-F with 12-45mm f/4 PRO zoom, ISO 800, f/8 at 1/80th, +0.3 EV, 45mm at 1:2. Photo by Derrick Story.

The M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-45mm f/4 PRO zoom will begin shipping on Feb. 24th. You can pre-order is now... just in time for our travel season!

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Olympus has created the camera that many of us were hoping for: The intelligence and speed of the E-M1X in a more compact form factor. Nimble Photographers, meet the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III. Listen-in for my thoughts after working with this camera in Costa Rica.

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The E-M1 Mark III uses the same battery, grip, and of course lenses as the Mark II (yay!), but you get the brawn of the E-M1X including:

  • Up to 7.5 shutter speed steps of compensation.
  • 121-point all cross-type on-chip Phase Detection AF sensor for high-precision focusing.
  • Starry Sky AF delivers revolutionary autofocus performance for astrophotography (and it works handheld as well as on a tripod).
  • Advanced Face/Eye Priority AF tracks and ensures the subject's eye is continuously in focus.
  • Advanced weatherproof construction, resulting in dustproof, splashproof, and freezeproof performance.
  • The SSWF (Super Sonic Wave Filter) vibrates the image sensor at a frequency of 30,000 times per second to shake off dust and dirt. The new dust resistant coating recently introduced on the OM-D E-M1X is also used on this model, making it less likely for dust and dirt to stick to the image sensor, reducing spots in images by 90 percent.
  • Long-life shutter unit rated for 400,000 actuations. It offers a high level of reliability that professional photographers can feel comfortable with.
  • OM-D Movie makes handheld 4K/C4K shooting possible due to a powerful image stabilization mode specifically designed for video recording (M-IS1). This offers three levels of performance to allow handheld 4K and Cinema 4K (C4K) high resolution shooting.
  • New image processing engine, TruePic IX paired with a 20.4 MP 4/3" Live MOS sensor.
  • Improved AF algorithms and high resolution, high speed performance allow for features such as Handheld High Res Shot, Live ND (which is truly amazing), Starry Sky AF and improved face/eye priority AF.
  • And much, much more.

c07_EM1MIII_BLK_Top_O.jpg

c04_EM1MIII_BLK_Back_O.jpg

Pricing and Availability

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III (black) will be available beginning February 24, 2020. The camera body only will have a suggested retail price of $1,799.99 USD and $2,399.99 CAD. The camera body bundled with the M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm F2.8 PRO Lens will have a suggested retail price of $2,499.99 USD and $3,299.99 CAD, and the camera body bundled with the M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100 F4.0 IS PRO Lens will have a suggested retail price of $2,899.99 USD and $3,799.99 CAD.

Stay tuned for a lot more about this camera and the new 12-45mm f/4 PRO lens also announced today. I'll be sharing pictures and field experiences with this gear.

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Technology tidbits that are 5 minutes or less. I cover digital photography, audio, mobile computing, smart home, and more.

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Capture Flowing Water with Your iPhone.

In-Camera RAW Processing.

Slow Sync Flash.

Business Card Flash Modifier.

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This is The Digital Story Podcast #725, Feb. 11, 2020. Today's theme is "Why Smaller Sensors Will Make a Comeback." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

2019 was certainly the year of the full frame camera. At great cost to the bottom line, we saw new large sensor offerings from Canon, Nikon, Panasonic, and Sigma. Meanwhile, Fujifilm and Olympus doubled-down on their respective APS-C and Micro Four Thirds devices. That seems crazy, doesn't it? Well, maybe not. Because I think, thanks to computational photography, we're going to see the second coming of the smaller sensor. Tune in to find out why.

Why Smaller Sensors Will Make a Comeback

Just a few days ago I found myself on a lovely beach at twilight. I was standing there with a very modern Olympus camera shooting sunset pictures with rolling waves in the foreground.

With low ISO and an astonishing shutter speed of 1/2 second, my handheld shots displayed a lovely softened ocean thanks to the water motion combined with a longish exposure, a colorful sky with a perfectly sharp setting sun, and virtually no noise to contend with.

micro-four-thirds.jpg

How could all of this be possible with a Micro Four Thirds camera housing a sensor that is already many years old? The specific answer was a feature called Live ND, that in-camera composites exposures to replicate the look of a single image taken at a slower shutter speed. The broader answer is computational photography.

For sometime now, photographers have been asking for smartphone features in their interchangeable lens cameras. Now, in 2020, that request is being answered. And the ramifications are tremendous.

If, for example, you didn't need an expensive large sensor beast to photograph handheld in low light, wouldn't you at least be a bit curious? Think about the benefits for travel photographers who didn't need to lug large lenses and tripods all across the planet.

Here are five reasons why I think smaller sensors are going to start a comeback in 2020.

  • MFT and APS-C Are Gigantic Compared to the Sensors in an iPhone - Look at the amazing quality that you can get from that tiny sensor in your iPhone. That is the perfect example of the power of computational photography. Now apply that same computing horsepower to Micro Four Thirds and APS-C.
  • Smaller Sensors Can Be Virtually Noise Free - Remember that old trick in Photoshop where you overlay a series of night exposures and they cancel out the noise in the sky. We can now do that instantly in-camera, and with even better results.
  • Smaller Sensors Mean Smaller Lenses - The biggest drawback for me with large sensor cameras isn't as much the camera as it is the lens required for full coverage. You can reduce both weight and cost with smaller sensor cameras.
  • Practically Any Effect Can Be Digitized In-Camera - You want creamy bokeh, edge to edge sharpness, diffraction reduction? There's an algorithm for that.
  • Tremendous Cost Savings for Photographers - If you don't think prices are going up because of reduced demand thanks to smartphones, then think again. One way to offset those price increases is with smaller, smarter cameras.

And none of this takes into account the amazing things that we can do with our images once they're in the computer. Optical corrections, noise reduction, sampling up, and special effects can be applied to our small sensor photos with high quality results.

On my last trip, I was traveling with a small backpack that would fit in the overhead bin of a bus. I had four professional lenses inside, along with two camera bodies, with an effective range of 14mms wide to 600mms on the telephoto end. I worked from 7am to 9pm, much of it on foot, and my back and shoulder felt as good when I went to bed as when I had awakened.

The camera industry desperately needed something new to reenergize slumping sales. It grasped for full frame. And for some photographers, that's the right call. But it isn't the only high quality option.

We live in a digital age where computing smarts can defy the laws of physics. If you want to carry around a heavy kit, that's your choice. But it's not necessary, and will become even less so as this decade unfolds.

You Want High Quality Wide? The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO

With an effective viewing field of 14mms to 28mms in full frame terms, this relatively compact, fast, zoom is perfect for travel photographers, landscape assignments, and for anyone who has to work in tight quarters.

The Olympus 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO measures 3.11" x 4.17" and weighs only 1.17 pounds. Its angle of view is a beautiful 114 degrees to 75 degrees.

It is weather resistant, fast focusing, and beautifully sharp. It's currently available for $1,299, and should supply years of outstanding service.

Update for the TDS 2020 Photography Workshop Season

Those of you on the registration list for the Humboldt Redwoods Workshop, keep an eye out for the registration packet that will go out later this week. We have a great event for you, and I'll be working with you to ensure that you are fully prepared to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity. Plus, we had one seat open up (moved to another workshop), so if you want to join us, hop over to the 2020 Workshops Signup Page and get on the Reserve List.

If you have questions about the other workshops, feel free to drop me a line using the Contact Form on www.thenimblephotographer.com.

When you decide which event is best for your, jump over to our 2020 Workshops Signup Page and place a $100 deposit to secure your place. Only participants on the Reserve List who have placed a deposit will be eligible to register for a workshop. If you have questions or need more information, fill out the "Send Me Info!" request form. I'll get back to you asap.

  • LA Street Photography Experience - March 13-15, 2020 - 1 Seat Remaining - This hands-on workshop guides you on an exploration of classic Los Angeles locations and architecture. Our excursions will take us as far west as Venice Beach, as well as famous movie spots and the back streets of this fascinating Southern California area. Limited to 9 participants and featuring two instructors (Derrick Story and Mike Boening), you will enjoy great photography, food, and friendship with our fellow enthusiasts. Three days, $749. You can place your deposit here.
  • Humboldt Redwoods and Coast Workshop - May 12-14, 2020 - 0 Seats Remaining -- Our home base for this experience is in the hospitable town of Fortuna that's on the banks of the Eel River. From there we explore the magnificent redwood groves of Humboldt County and the rugged coastline of Northern California. This workshop explores three distinct ecosystems in a satisfying 3-day event. Limited to just 9 participants, you can reserve your spot and learn more about this event here.
  • Lassen Volcanic Park Photo Workshop - July 16-18, 2020 - 2 Seats Remaining -- We'll convene at a spacious cabin at Lake Almanor that serves as our HQ. From there we explore the stunning Lassen landscape, peaceful shores of Lake Almanor, and the magnificent mountain night skies. This hands-on photo workshop is limited to 8 participants and is a wonderful blending of experience, camaraderie, and artistry. Limited to just 8 participants, you can reserve your spot and learn more about this event here.
  • The Eastern Sierra Photography Workshop - Oct. 1-3, 2020 - 2 Seats Remaining - Our event is headquartered at the Silver Maple Inn in Bridgeport, CA - gateway to Bodie, Mono Lake, and June Lake. We'll take advantage of the magical morning light to photograph some of the most unique landscape in North America. We'll photograph the sparkling night skies of the Sierra and explore rustic urban environments. Limited to just 9 participants, you can reserve your spot and learn more about this event 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!

More Ways to Participate

Want to share photos and talk with other members in our virtual camera club? Check out our Flickr Public Group. And from those images, I choose the TDS Member Photo of the Day.

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