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This is The Digital Story Podcast #766, Nov. 24, 2020. Today's theme is "The Anti-Black-Friday Gift Guide for Photographers." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Over the next several days, you're going to hear the BF term many, many times - even after the actual day has passed. The truth of the matter is that you will be able to get decent deals on just about anything you set your sights on, so let's focus on quality gear with lots of appeal. I hope you enjoy these gift ideas.

The Anti-Black-Friday Gift Guide for Photographers

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  • Think Tank Photo Lens Case Duo 15 (Green) $19 ($8 savings) And the Think Tank Photo Lens Case Duo 30 (Green) $20 ($8 savings)- Keep your lens protected while maintaining access with the green Lens Case Duo 15 or 30 from Think Tank. With multiple carrying options like a grab handle and belt loop, this case adapts to your carrying equipment. Its water-resistant nylon exterior keeps moisture away from your sensitive lens. Two zippered openings allow for quick access to your equipment. Additionally, stretchy front pockets can hold a variety of accessories like lens caps and memory cards. 6.7" Interior height.
  • Kingston DataTraveler Duo ($9.99) - I can't be the only guy who has a USB-C laptop and a USB-A desktop. The world of technology is always in transition, and the different USB connectors are one of the more aggravating side effects. Fortunately, Kingston is helping out with their Kingston DataTraveler Duo ($9.99), and I couldn't be happier. One flash drive that works with all of my computers.
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  • PL-190R Photography LED Light 5000mah on-Camera Video Light, 2500K-8500K RGB Full Color Fill Light $49 - PL-190R Photography LED Light 5000mah on-Camera Video Light, 2500K-8500K RGB Full color Fill Light Features: 5000mAh, Extra-large capacity battery gorgeous sufficient charge. Small and exquisite, easy to carry. 12 ounces. 6"x4".
  • Lowepro Photo Hatchback Series BP 250 AW II Backpack (Midnight Blue/Gray) $56 ($56 savings) - Designed to hold a DSLR with attached lens, two extra lenses, related accessories, and personal gear. On the front of the pack is a zippered storage area for personal items, accessory pockets, key fob, and a CradleFit pocket for your tablet. Camera equipment is stored inside the removable, padded insert, which is accessed through the back of the pack. Padded, touch-fastening dividers are helpful for organizing gear to your liking. A versatile pack, the insert seals at the top and features two carry handles for storing separately when converting the pack to general usage.
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  • Rode VideoMicro Compact On-Camera Microphone with Rycote Lyre Shock Mount $59 - The VideoMicro is a compact microphone designed to improve the audio quality of your videos. It incorporates a high-quality cardioid condenser microphone capsule for great quality audio recordings when used with a wide range of cameras. A directional microphone, the VideoMicro reduces distracting peripheral sounds and focusses on the audio in front of the camera. Its pickup is more forgiving than RØDE's other on-camera microphones providing a more natural sound when recording indoors. Perfect for capturing incredible audio to accompany inspiring vision. The microphone body is made from aluminum, giving it a high level of RF rejection, and is finished in RØDE's high-grade ceramic anti-glare black coating. Included with the VideoMicro is a camera shoe mount featuring a Rycote Lyre shock mount. No Battery Required. 3.5mm mini-jack.

  • Ruggard Electronic Dry Cabinet (30L) $119 ($30 savings) - The cabinet's fast-acting TE Cooling Wafer regulates the interior's relative humidity from 60 to 35% to help prevent fungus and corrosion that can damage your gear. Humidity adjustments take place over a 1- to 3-hour period.
    The cabinet features a keyed door with a plastic front handle built into the gasket-sealed glass door. A large, dimmable LCD displays ambient temperature (in Fahrenheit or Celsius), relative humidity, and other settings. Interior LED lights make viewing and finding gear easier. Both the base and the adjustable plastic shelf are padded to help guard against scratches, and the shelf's padding is contoured to accommodate lenses.
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  • Panasonic LUMIX G 14mm f/2.5 ASPH II Lens $197 ($100 savings) - Assuming a truly thin profile of just 0.8"-thick, the Panasonic LUMIX G 14mm f/2.5 ASPH II Lens is a sleek wide-angle prime designed for Micro Four Thirds system cameras. Offering a 28mm-equivalent focal length, this lens takes on a wider-than-normal perspective to benefit its use in a broad variety of shooting situations. A stepping motor provides quick, quiet autofocus performance that is beneficial to both movie and still recording and an inner focusing system maintains the overall lens length during operation for greater responsiveness. This compact and versatile lens is an ideal option for everyday use.
  • Rokinon 12mm f/2.0 NCS CS Lens for Micro Four Thirds $249 ($150 savings) - Providing a 24mm effective focal length and a broad 83° angle of view, this lens is perfect to working in low-light conditions.
    Three extra-low dispersion elements and two aspherical elements have been incorporated into the optical design to minimize chromatic aberrations and distortion in order to produce sharper images. Additionally, a Nano Coating System (NCS) has been applied to the lens elements in order to reduce surface reflections and prevent lens flare and ghosting for improved light transmission and more contrast-rich imagery
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  • Olympus Tough TG-6 Waterproof $349 ($100 savings) - You live for the outdoors. Hiking steep mountain trails. Backpacking through a desert Canyon. Skiing in the wilderness. The tough tg-6 is ready for adventure. It's built to endure all the extreme environments you love exploring. You can drop it. Step on it. Go deep underwater or out into a freezing blizzard. It just keeps on shooting awesome stills and video. Packed with pro features, you'll nail difficult shots -- even in low light. Shoot intricately detailed macro photos and unique shots underwater with vivid color. The lightweight, compact tough tg-6. Engineered to survive the world's toughest places.

Kodak to Release '70s-Inspired Metal Film Cases in Six Colors

You can read the entire article here on PetaPixel.

Kodak-canister.jpg

A new product bearing the Kodak name seems to ask, "If you're shooting film, why not immerse yourself in the experience?" The company is releasing metal film canisters commonly used in the 1970s brand new for 2020. Groovy.

Retopro is a brand licensee of Eastman Kodak Company and has emblazoned the iconic photography brand's logo on metal canisters designed to hold film rolls. The body is made of aluminum and the cap is made of steel, a design popular in the 1970s before the industry made the switch to plastic.

"We are inspired by the selection of materials and colours, and wish to recreate a new version of the Kodak Film Case, only to make it even more practical and stylish," the company writes.

You can order now for $25 each.

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.

Updates and Such

The Ultimate B&W Photography Workshop Now Has a Second Session

The first session sold out in two days. So I've added a second session of the The Ultimate B&W Photography Workshop begins with its first assignment and check-in on Dec. 22 and builds to our class presentation on Saturday Jan. 16, 2021. We currently have 2 seats open for the second session.

I've created a new space called DerrickStoryOnline to support our virtual and physical workshops. Those who signed up for the Eastern Sierra event will have permanent access to this growing community.

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

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 #765, Nov. 17, 2020. Today's theme is "Canon EOS RP - The Affordable Full Frame Mirrorless." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

At only $1,300 with a kit 24-105mm zoom lens, the Canon RP packs a lot of full frame value into a likable compact design. After spending a month with the RP, I'm ready to share my both my likes and disappointments with this breakthrough camera.

Canon EOS RP - The Affordable Full Frame Mirrorless

If you didn't already know and were asked to guess the price of the Canon RP with its 24-105mm zoom, I'm pretty sure that you would say it costs more than $1,299. I would. You get a lot of spec for that humble price tag. Let's take a look at some of the highlights.

IMG_0024-1024.jpg Christmas Cactus - Canon RP, 24-105mm zoom, ISO 8000, f/7.1, 105mm - Photo by Derrick Story.

Features Overview

  • 26.2MP Full-Frame CMOS Sensor with DIGIC 8 Image Processor - The EOS RP has a wide native sensitivity range from ISO 100-40000 for working in a variety of lighting conditions. (6240 x 4160 resolution)
  • Integrated 2.36m-dot OLED EVF and Rear 3.0" 1.04m-dot LCD with vari-angle design - It is also a touchscreen for intuitive control over shooting, playback, and menu navigation controls.
  • UHD 4K Video Recording - UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) resolution recording at up to 23.98 fps at 120 Mb/s, along with Full HD 1080p and HD 720p at 60 fps for slow motion playback. When recording in-camera, 4K video has 4:2:0 sampling and 8-bit color depth, and 4:2:2 8-bit output is possible when using an external recorder.
  • Recording Extras - Audio can be recorded using the on-board stereo microphone or an optional external mic can also be used via the 3.5mm mic jack. Headphone jack is also included. Plus, 5-axis Dual Sensing IS can be used when recording video to electronically reduce the appearance of camera shake for sharper, smoother recording.
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF - Offers smooth and fast focusing performance in a similar manner to how a camcorder acquires focus. This system integrates two separate photodiodes within each pixel to provide a broad and dense network phase-detection gathering elements across a majority of the image sensor to reduce focus hunting for faster, more direct control of focus placement.

Compromises

But there are compromises as well. The digital, 5-axis image stabilization is for video only. If you want IS for still photography, you'll need a lens with optical stabilization.

This is not a customizable camera either. There's one function button with limited options. Some of the controls that we take for granted on other mirrorless cameras, such as exposure compensation aren't as easy on the RP.

One SD card, which I expected. But it's on the bottom of the camera in the battery compartment. It is however, a UHS-II slot.

And finally, there's not pop-up flash, which is something that I always like on consumer/enthusiast models. So you're going to have to purchase and carry a flash if you want that capability.

Image Quality

I was very pleased with the Jpegs that the camera produced. The colors were pleasing and the detail was sharp. Comparing the Jpegs to the RAWs I noticed that Canon does a nice job of applying optical corrections as well, including distortion and vignetting at the 24mm focal length of the lens.

The RAWs were nicely workable and looked good after applying Lens Corrections in Adobe Lightroom. After just a little work, I did prefer the RAW versions. But that's no knock on the excellent Jpegs.

The RF 24mm-105mm f/4-7.1 IS STM Zoom

I'm of two minds when it comes to this lens. On one hand, it's a great value for a Canon IS zoom. The image quality is quite good and the optical IS is solid.

But it's also bulky and very slow at the telephoto end. If I were to buy this camera, I would get the kit with the lens as well because it is versatile and affordable.

As soon as I was able however, I would also spend the dollars to get the RF 50mm f/1.8 STM lens for $199 or the RF 35mm f/1.8 IS macro STM lens for $499. Either would provide a more compact, faster option for those times I don't want to lug the 24mm-105mm around.

Bottom Line

The Canon RP with its 24-105mm zoom is a great value at $1,299. The image quality is excellent, even at high ISO settings. It's light and adds great movie options as well.

As long as you can live with its constraints such as 5 fps frame bursts and limited customization, it's a solid choice into full frame photography and puts you in a system with lots of room to grow.

Google Photos will end its free unlimited storage on June 1st, 2021

You can read the entire article here on The Verge.

After five years of offering unlimited free photo backups at "high quality," Google Photos will start charging for storage once more than 15 gigs on the account have been used. The change will happen on June 1st, 2021, and it comes with other Google Drive policy changes like counting Google Workspace documents and spreadsheets against the same cap. Google is also introducing a new policy of deleting data from inactive accounts that haven't been logged in to for at least two years.

All photos and documents uploaded before June 1st will not count against that 15GB cap, so you have plenty of time to decide whether to continue using Google Photos or switching to another cloud storage provider for your photos. Only photos uploaded after June 1st will begin counting against the cap.

Google already counts "original quality" photo uploads against a storage cap in Google Photos. However, taking away unlimited backup for "high quality" photos and video (which are automatically compressed for more efficient storage) also takes away one of the service's biggest selling points. It was the photo service where you just didn't have to worry about how much storage you had.

Google points out that it offers more free storage than others -- you get 15GB instead of the paltry 5GB that Apple's iCloud gives you -- and it also claims that 80 percent of Google Photos users won't hit that 15GB cap for at least three years.

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.

Updates and Such

The Ultimate B&W Photography Workshop Now Has a Second Session

The first session sold out in two days. So I've added a second session of the The Ultimate B&W Photography Workshop begins with its first assignment and check-in on Dec. 22 and builds to our class presentation on Saturday Jan. 16, 2021. We currently have 2 seats open for the second session.

I've created a new space called DerrickStoryOnline to support our virtual and physical workshops. Those who signed up for the Eastern Sierra event will have permanent access to this growing community.

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

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 #764, Nov. 10, 2020. Today's theme is "Inside a Workshop Photo Critique." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Our first online workshop wrapped up this weekend. It was the culmination of two weeks of photo projects where everyone brought their images to the table to share on Friday and Saturday. I find these discussions fascinating. And I thought you might want to sit in on three short critiques to get a feel for what happens at these events. I hope you enjoy the show.

Inside a Workshop Photo Critique

Derrick opens this segment talking a bit about the Eastern Sierra Online Photography Workshop.

 Travis-Waldrip-Thirds.jpg Photo by Travis Waldrip, workshop participant.

Session #1 - Travis shares one of his images from the Rule of Thirds assignment.

Session #2 - Richard also discusses Rule of Thirds, but with a bit of a surprise.

Session #3 - Peter came across an interesting photo subject that fascinated all of us.

Announcing the Ultimate Black & White Photography Workshop

If you love Black and White photography and want to explore the creation of stunning monochrome and duotone images, then this event is for you.

Tutorials and assignments begin on Dec. 16, 2020 with the culmination of our work coming together for an all-day online event on Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021.

Workshop participants will have access to our new virtual workroom, DerrickStoryOnline. This is the platform that we used to run the Eastern Sierra Online Photography Workshop. It will feature tutorials, photo sharing, assignments, chats, and event scheduling. Plus you'll get to meet the participants from the Eastern Sierra event who are actively working there.

The Ultimate Black & White Photography Workshop will feature:

  • How to see and capture great B&W with your digital camera.
  • Post processing techniques to elevate your work to the highest level.
  • Tips and techniques for printing your images for archival endurance that will last generations.
  • A look at B&W film photography with the simplest way to process at home without a darkroom.
  • Specialized software that helps you explore new looks for your B&W photography.

This event is limited to 10 participants. It includes the all day presentations on January 9 with feedback on your images, 3 photo assignments with tutorials to help you prepare for each, online chats and checkins with the group, and unlimited access to DerrickStoryOnline before, during, and after the event.

Reservations are open now on a first-come, first served basis. Tuition is only $150 for the entire course. You can sign up now at www.thenimblephotographer.com.

123 Sony announces it's getting into the drone game with its new 'Airpeak' brand

You can read the entire article here on DP Review.

Watch out, DJI. Sony Corporation announced today it is getting into the drone market under the brand name 'Airpeak.'

In a short press release, accompanied by the above teaser video, Sony says the Airpeak brand will 'reflect its aspiration to contribute to the further evolvement and the creation of the unprecedented value through its imaging and sensing technology.'

While Sony does hint at industrial purposes for its drones, the company specifically says the Airpeak brand 'will support the creativity of video creators to the fullest extent possible.'

Sony says the project will launch in spring of 2021. In the meantime, it will share information along the way and work on partnerships to test their products and get feedback from drone users. You can keep up with the latest updates on Sony's new Airpeak website.

Updates and Such

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

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 #763, Nov. 3, 2020. Today's theme is "An Illuminating Look at Lighting." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

How to adjust lighting for a person's face, whether it's yours or someone else's, is probably the single most important factor in determining success. In today's podcast, I'll cover techniques for both video and stills photography, to help us all present the best versions of one another. I hope you enjoy the show.

An Illuminating Look at Lighting

I think videoconferencing has prompted me to revisit a discussion about lighting. In a way, the last 6 months has been a tour de force in what not to do when lighting faces.

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I've seen a lot of harsh backlighting, unflattering side lighting without fill, and lights with no diffusion what so ever. Since many of the same rules for lighting people for video apply to still photography as well, I thought this would be a good time to review 5 techniques for better portraits, both online and otherwise.

  • Side Lighting vs Front Lighting - Light from the side increases texture while light from the front smooths it.
  • The Size of the Light Source Matters - Why are cloudy days better for portraits than laser beam sunshine? Because the clouds create a large light source compared to a pinpoint sun.
  • Distance Matters as Well - As the saying goes, the larger the light source the closer to the subject, the more flattering the rendering.
  • If You Can't Avoid Backlighting, Compensate for It - Your two best options are via exposure compensation or fill lighting.
  • Good Lighting Technique Reduces Post Production Time - If you're someone that likes to get it right in the camera, then these portrait techniques will save you tons of time in post.

One of my favorite questions during portrait shoots is, "Do you retouch the pictures as well?" My response is a confident, "We won't need to do that, just you wait and see." The subjects would be amazed at how good the pictures looked on the back of the camera. And the reason for that? Good lighting technique.

The Most Stress-Free and Straightforward Place to Sell Your Used Gear

You can read the entire article here on f-Stoppers.

Selling gear always makes me feel more nervous than buying it for some reason. It is also more of a hassle, not just because I have to pack and ship all the gear (that is generally unavoidable), but because I have to deal with things like increasing commission fees and the like. eBay has gotten ridiculous, in my opinion, as their final value fee now stands at 10%, meaning if I sell a lens for $2,000, $200 goes out the door to eBay. Sure, eBay should get some kind of commission, whether that is a flat fee or a percentage, but I personally feel that 10% is quite exorbitant for the service provided.

So, I started looking for alternative places to sell gear. There are a lot of dedicated groups for this sort of thing on Facebook, some particularly large. The one thing eBay always had going for it that Facebook does not, however, is a robust feedback system. This made it a bit easier to trust the process of selling to strangers, as I could immediately see if I was working with a trustworthy person.

So, what do I prefer? I use Fred Miranda's buy and sell forums. The site was founded in 2000 and features an extensive forum network, including a very active buy and sell forum. So, why do I like it over other options?

First, it is a buy and sell forum by photographers, for photographers. This means that as a buyer, you can find pretty much any bizarre, esoteric body or lens you want, along with the more standard fare, which is great for gear nerds and working professionals alike. And with hundreds of new posts a day, there is a steady flow of options. And thanks to the feedback system, it is easy to trust who you are dealing with. Sellers also generally do a good job of conservatively rating the quality of their gear so you know exactly what you are getting.

The best part, though, is the price. As I mentioned earlier, I left eBay because the commission fees had gotten out of control. Fred Miranda, on the other hand, does not charge any commissions for selling gear, only a flat fee to be a member of the buy and sell forum. The current price is $15 for 30 days, $29 for 3 months, $59 for a year, or $99 for two years, though you can buy things for free; only those who want to post items for sale need to pay for a membership. To me, it is easily worth what I save in commission fees alone, but the added bonuses of a robust community of professionals and dedicated amateurs looking to buy, sell, and trade equipment with other photographers make it, in my opinion, the most enjoyable and easy place to sell gear. I have personally never had a bad experience on the forum either as a buyer or a seller, and I have saved a lot of money by getting used gear I know I can trust when I need something.

The Essential Steps to Impressive Video Conferencing

If you want to learn more about looking and sounding great for your next online interaction, then I think you'll very much enjoy my online workshop, The Essential Steps to Impressive Video Conferencing.

This 1-hour deep dive focuses on the three major areas of successful online interaction: Audio, Video, and Environment. During the course, I walk you through a variety of techniques that range from using gear that you already have, to improving your chops through a few inexpensive purchases.

The course is available on our Nimble Photographer Workshop Page for $14.95.

I have tons of great tips and techniques waiting for you there. If you want to get serious about how you appear during online meetings, classes, interviews, and family interactions, then you definitely will want to watch this course.

This is what photos from a $6000 compact camera look like

You can read the entire article here on Digital Camera World.

After two years of waiting the Zeiss ZX1 compact camera is now available to pre-order. Costing $6,000 this camera with its fixed 35mm f/2 wide-angle lens justifies it high price tag with its designer looks, precision engineering, and its full-frame sensor. The camera also has a built-in Android computer operating system, which means it has Lightroom built in. But what do pictures taken with this luxury compact look like?

We have yet to get this camera for review, and we suspect that given the Zeiss ZX1 is only going on sale in Germany and the USA, that this unusual camera may be hard to find on sale when it actually goes on sale in November. But to give a taste of what this camera can do, Zeiss has handily provided sample images from three professional photographers who have been using the 37-megapixel Zeiss ZX1.

Featured are the images provided Swedish photographer Hans Strand, Hungarian born Csaba Desvari, and LA-based music shooter Greg Watermann

Updates and Such

The Online Eastern Sierra Photography Workshop Begins Its Second Week

Our sold out Online Eastern Sierra Photography Workshop begins with its first assignment this week.

I've created a new space called DerrickStoryOnline to support our virtual and physical workshops. Those who signed up for the Eastern Sierra event will have permanent access to this growing community. Soon, I will announce our next event. If you want to be a part of this, keep your eye peeled.

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

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 #762, Oct. 27, 2020. Today's theme is "The Rules We Follow (but not sure why)." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

I'm having more conversations than ever about photography, and I think part of the reason is that we're all cooped up and not going to conferences and workshops. One of the things that I've picked up on are some classic self-imposed rules about photography. So I picked a few of my favorites to discuss for today's show.

The Rules We Follow (but not sure why)

PhotoSummary-1024.jpeg

Like practically everything in photography, there are no perfect right and wrongs. Yet, many of us, myself included, find ourselves constrained by rules that should or should not always apply to our work. I thought I would explore a few of these today. And I'm curious if any of these apply to you.

  • The subject should never go in the middle of the frame.
  • I keep the original aspect ratio when cropping.
  • I don't use high ISOs because there is too much noise.
  • I only shoot natural light because flash looks artificial.
  • Program mode is for rookies only.

I comment on each of these in today's podcast.

Fujifilm to improve X-T3 AF performance with new firmware, bringing it more in line with X-T4

You can read the entire article here on DP Review.

In addition to announcing a camera, lens and more, Fujifilm has also revealed it will soon release a free firmware update for its X-T3 that will improve autofocus performance and more.

The firmware update will go live on October 28, according to Fujifilm's press release. The improvements should see autofocus speeds more than double, taking focus times drop from 0.06 seconds to 0.02 seconds, bringing the X-T3's autofocus performance more in line with the X-T4.

Fujifilm says it's also improved the algorithm for predicting subject movements, which should result in a >90% 'hit rate.' The Face Tracking and Eye AF algorithm has also been re-written to double the tracking performance in continuous shooting modes.

Other improvements include the ability to use AF in low light levels down to -7EV with the new Fujinon XF 50mm F1.0 R WR lens, a new 'Focus Limiter' feature for setting pre-determined focus ranges, the ability to change the size of Single AF points while recording video and improvements that make it possible for third-party programs to read the ratings applied to pictures in-camera.

The Essential Steps to Impressive Video Conferencing

If you want to learn more about looking and sounding great for your next online interaction, then I think you'll very much enjoy my online workshop, The Essential Steps to Impressive Video Conferencing.

This 1-hour deep dive focuses on the three major areas of successful online interaction: Audio, Video, and Environment. During the course, I walk you through a variety of techniques that range from using gear that you already have, to improving your chops through a few inexpensive purchases.

The course is available on our Nimble Photographer Workshop Page for $14.95.

I have tons of great tips and techniques waiting for you there. If you want to get serious about how you appear during online meetings, classes, interviews, and family interactions, then you definitely will want to watch this course.

Halide gets a major update with upgraded RAW processing and new pricing

You can read the entire article here on The Verge.

Halide has launched a new version of its popular iPhone camera app, now dubbed Halide Mark II, and it comes with a lot of new features. Those include a redesign, upgraded RAW processing, and a new pricing model.

Halide says Mark II features a "bottom-up redesign" with the goal of staying out of your way. All of the photo controls should now be within your thumb's reach, no matter what model of iPhone you're using the app with. There's a new typeface, and even the preview of the last shot you took that sits in the bottom-left corner of your screen matches the curvature of your iPhone's screen. It's all meant to feel familiar to people who use Apple's default camera every day -- but as always, Halide packs in a ton of advanced photography tricks.

The new Mark II version of the app can now capture both RAW and the iPhone's computationally processed photos at the same time through a feature Halide calls Coverage. Most photo filter and social media apps don't accept RAW images, but the benefit of RAW is that you get a photo without any processing applied that you can edit later. The benefit of Coverage means you get two images when you take one photo -- one you can post right away, and one you can edit later. Coverage will be off by default, however.

Mark II also gains a new Instant RAW feature, which "intelligently" develops a single RAW image through a 17-step process without you having to adjust sliders or levels yourself. "Instant RAW can work as a midpoint between a completely unedited RAW and a totally processed JPEG," Halide said in today's announcement blog. The company tells The Verge an Instant RAW image will look different than the JPG you might get from an image with Apple's Smart HDR processing applied. Halide's processing approach was modeled after how film photography develops, the company says. (You can still send your RAW images to other apps like Darkroom for more thorough editing if you want.)

If you've already paid for Halide, you get Mark II for free as well as a year-long subscription with all of the perks that includes. If you're a new Halide user, you have a couple of options. You can pay once for the app, which costs $30 at launch and $36 at some point in the future. Halide says it plans to raise that one-time price as new features are added to the app.

Updates and Such

The Online Eastern Sierra Photography Workshop Begins Its Second Week

Our sold out Online Eastern Sierra Photography Workshop begins with its first assignment this week.

I've created a new space called DerrickStoryOnline to support our virtual and physical workshops. Those who signed up for the Eastern Sierra event will have permanent access to this growing community. Soon, I will announce our next event. If you want to be a part of this, keep your eye peeled.

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

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 #761, Oct. 20, 2020. Today's theme is "Imagine Large Sensor Computational Photography." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

If you followed last week's Apple Event, then you're probably familiar with the term ProRAW, a new format that Apple will be making available on iPhone 12. Among other things, ProRAW attempts to blend computational photography with the benefits of RAW. And it got me thinking: what a shame to waste such a brilliant idea on a small sensor camera. I explain why in today's TDS Photography Podcast.

Imagine Large Sensor Computational Photography

I recently published a piece on Medium.com titled, "The Case Against Full Frame." The point of the article was that the major camera manufacturers are relying on the brute force of a large sensor while smartphones are using machine learning to advance their cause. In other words: brains vs brawn.

computational-photography.jpeg

But what if we could have both? We saw a glimmer of that with Olympus in the E-M1 Mark III and the E-M1X - combining computational photographer with a larger sensor. Aside from the specific processors and engines, we would need software to make it all hang together. And the ProRAW format seems like a reasonable bow to tie everything up.

The thing about RAW, as we all know, is that it's rather dull on its own. Yes, we can apply profiles in Lightroom and Capture One Pro that give us a more palatable starting place. But what if we could go beyond those simple profiles to computational versions that presented us with initial images that knocked our socks off?

Plus, have the added benefit of being able to adjust those initial presentations with non-destructive tools? That would be a workflow that I would be very interested in.

Remember George Bernard Shaw's quote that "youth is wasted on the young." I'm starting to understand what he meant now. But to put it into photography terms, machine learning is wasted on the small. Why do we have to choose between smarts and muscle?

While you ponder that, let me tell you a bit more about Pro RAW.

"ProRAW gives you all the standard RAW information, along with the Apple image pipeline data. So you can get a head start on editing, with noise reduction and multiframe exposure adjustments already in place -- and have more time to tweak color and white balance."

"Get a head start on editing" is really the beauty of this for mobile photographers. Many of us shoot with both an interchangeable lens cameras and an iPhone. But the workflows are much different.

For my Olympus PEN-F for example, I shoot in RAW+Jpeg, use the Jpegs when I nail it, and go to the RAWs if the photo needs a bit more work. On my phone, I rarely shoot in RAW because I have to use a different camera app and the workflow isn't as smooth. Plus, editing RAW files on the phone isn't that fun.

With Apple ProRAW, I don't have to start from scratch with my mobile RAW files. I can enjoy the magic of computational photography, then tweak the results to my personal tastes without compromising the file. This is something that I would love to see expand beyond iPhone photography.

So how do we get there?

I think we need to ask for it. We need to let camera manufacturers know that we want similar benefits that smartphone users currently enjoy. I don't think we can leave it up to them. Because to this point, they just haven't been reading the memo.

Fujifilm Announces the X-S10

You can read the entire article here on DP Review.

When you first catch a glimpse of the Fujifilm X-S10, your first thought might be 'this is a Fujifilm?' With a deep grip, more pronounced viewfinder 'hump' and a big dial that adjusts your shooting mode rather than the shutter speed, the X-S10 is something of a departure in design from previous midrange and high-end X-series cameras.

The company describes the X-S10 as a cross between the X-T30 and the X-H1: You get the guts from the former and the design and in-body image stabilization feature (in a new miniaturized form) from the latter. The camera is targeted toward users who may have Canon Rebels or lower-end Nikon DSLRs who want something a little more 'familiar' than a typical Fujifilm camera. And, with a price of $999 for the body - $100 more than the X-T30 - it's not necessarily out of reach for that audience.

  • 26MP X-Trans BSI-CMOS sensor
  • 5-axis in-body image stabilization
  • On-sensor phase detection
  • 3", 1.04M-dot fully articulating touchscreen
  • 2.36M-dot OLED electronic viewfinder
  • 30 fps burst shooting with crop (up to 20 fps without)
  • DCI and UHD 4K capture at up to 30p with F-Log support
  • External mic and headphone sockets
  • 325 shots per charge using LCD
  • USB Power Delivery support
  • Single UHS-I card slot
  • Wi-Fi + Bluetooth

The X-S10 is very much a blend of the X-T30 and X-T4 in terms of specs. You get the same sensor, processor and performance of the X-T4, but with things like the EVF resolution and single, slower SD card slot on par with the X-T30.

In terms of pricing, the X-S10 Mirrorless Digital Camera with 18-55mm Lens is available for pre-order now for $1,399 and should ship on Nov. 19. That's a pretty good deal for what looks like a terrific camera for serious enthusiasts.

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.

Updates and Such

The Online Eastern Sierra Photography Workshop Begins this Week

Our sold out Online Eastern Sierra Photography Workshop begins with its first assignment this week.

I've created a new space called DerrickStoryOnline to support our virtual and physical workshops. Those who signed up for the Eastern Sierra event will have permanent access to this growing community. Soon, I will announce our next event. If you want to be a part of this, keep your eye peeled.

Inner Circle Members: A big thanks to those who support our podcast and our efforts! If you want to learn more about our Patreon supporters and their community, visit our Inner Circle page.

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:

Podcast Player is Fixed: For those of you with updated Safari browsers, you may have noticed error messages of late. Well, we fixed the problem!

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 #760, Oct. 13, 2020. Today's theme is "5 Things Photographers Wonder About and Sometimes Debate." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Sometimes it's nice to have someone to bounce ideas off, or just ask random questions. For example, are generic camera batteries as good as the ones offered by the manufacturers at twice the price? Or what do I use if I don't like Lightroom? Well for today, I'm here for you. And I have thoughts on these and more in today's TDS Photography Podcast. I hope you enjoy the show.

5 Things Photographers Wonder About and Sometimes Debate

I think at one time or another, many of us have had at least one of these questions bouncing around in our heads. Today, we're going to get them out on the table.

IMG_1349.jpeg

  • Are Generic Batteries OK to Use and as Good as Those Sold by the Manufacturers at Twice the Price?
  • Should I Use Protection Filters or Not? -
  • Do I Really Need a Tripod? -
  • Do I Need a Full Frame Camera to be a Professional Photographer? -
  • What Do I Do If I Don't Like Lightroom? -

The answers to these in today's podcast.

A Big Misstep for Micro Four Thirds: Panasonic G100 Review

You can read the entire article here on the Phoblographer.

The Panasonic G100 has good but not great build qualities. For a camera that costs $747.99, I was expecting a little more. The Panasonic G100 does not feel as nice as the Olympus E-M10 IV. It falls quite short of the Fujifilm X-T200 and is behind the Sony a6100 and Nikon Z50: all of which have similar price points. The plastic body feels just okay. The texture on the grip feels pretty cheap. All of the dials are plastic, and a few of the buttons feel mushy when pressed. The on/off switch honestly feels like it might break. I'm sure the camera will stand up to a few bumps and bangs, but it doesn't exactly instill a lot of confidence in me.

Not surprisingly, the Panasonic G100 does not have weather sealing. No weather sealing means you cannot take this camera out into the snow or rain, and the sensor will be more prone to becoming dirty with dust. When a camera doesn't have built-in dust removing features (like the Panasonic G100), dust on the sensor will quickly become a problem. If you're careful with the G100, it should last a while.

I think Panasonic had good intentions with the Panasonic G100, but they missed the mark. The camera will appeal to vloggers because of its small size and weight. The fully articulating screen is nice too, and that's great for both stills and video. The sensor can produce excellent images, and a lot can be done with the RAW files. The colors are pleasant, and you'll find there's plenty of dynamic range. But, there are too many shortcomings. It appears Panasonic thought a higher resolution EVF and LCD would be better than IBIS. To keep the cost down, they could have had either one, but not both. They made the wrong choice. I love the EVF and LCD, but removing IBIS was a mistake.

Panasonic Lumix G100 is capable of producing splendid images, but the autofocus performance, lack of IBIS, and mediocre battery life really harm this camera. At $747.99 (with a kit lens), it's priced a little high. In this price bracket, there are better options out there that perform better in almost every area for hybrid shooters.

How to Get Started with Film Photography (eBook)

This 57-page eBook in universal PDF format provides an excellent introduction to film photography. Along with an abundance of illustrations, you'll learn how to:

  • Find the right camera for you
  • Choose the best film for your kind of photography
  • Discover the lenses that you should add to your kit
  • Learn the ins and outs of film processing
  • Find out how to develop B&W film at home
  • Master basic shooting techniques
  • See how to care for your gear
  • And more!
  • >/ul>

    You can read How to Get Started with Film Photography on your computer, smartphone, tablet, and practically any other electronic device that displays PDFs. So you can always have it with you for reference.

    Get up to speed quickly with film photography and start making beautiful images. Download How to Get Started with Film Photography today!

    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.

This is The Digital Story Podcast #759, Oct. 6, 2020. Today's theme is "Should You Create a Photography Budget?" I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Photography gear should not be an impulse buy, especially when that decision sends a $2,500 charge to your credit card. By the same token, new gear helps keep us motivated and creating new images. So how do we balance the two forces? My argument is an approved photography budget. And I'll explain why on today's TDS podcast.

Should You Create a Photography Budget?

Budget-Illustration.jpg

After the first week of shooting with the Nikon Z5 mirrorless camera with its 24-50mm lens, I started asking myself, "where can I reasonably come up with the $1,700 to buy this kit?"

I was so impressed with the images I was making from the Eastern Sierra and Lake Tahoe with the camera. It wasn't too heavy, the compact 24-50mm lens was performing beyond my expectation, and I had lots of Nikon glass that I could use with an adapter. I was so very, very tempted.

Fast forward three weeks later - I boxed up the Nikon Z5 and attached the shipping label to return it to B&H Photo who had let me use it for a month. By this point, I was OK sending it back. I didn't want to, but it was the right decision.

Why? Because that $1,700 plus another $400 for accessories was not in my 2020 photography budget. In fact, we're only in October, and I have less than $700 left to spend. So back to New York the Z5 goes.

Even though on one level I hate them, I'm a big fan of budgets. I have an overall monthly for the business, a break-out budget specifically for gear, and I create budgets for trips as well. Well, I did anyway until 6 months ago.

My photography budget protects me from me. I know how easily a new camera or lens can turn my head. So easily, in fact, that I usually have to create a pros and cons list in addition to a budget to reach a sound decision.

Earlier this year, I wanted the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III. It was $1,800 then. Now you can get one for $1,400. That's still twice as much as my remaining $700.

And I can't justify it because my Mark II is still an amazing camera and I'm currently without photo assignments. I also wanted (and still covet) the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-45mm f/4 PRO lens. It's now available for $549. If it's still at that price in late November, I may go for it.

The point that I'm trying to make is that photography budgets bring rational conversations to gear acquisition. And now is the time to start working on yours for 2021.

My is based off the dollar amount that I anticipate I'll have available for investing in new equipment. So that forces me to look at overall projected income and expenses.

Once I have that number, I reduce it by one-third to keep me from accidentally over-spending since other expenses tend to rise unexpectedly.

One tip that I have for married photographers is to complete your analysis well ahead of time, then have it pre-approved by your partner. So now you only have to have one potentially difficult conversation instead of many spread out through the year.

And finally, create a separate gear account and start funding it right way. That allows you to take advantage of programs like Payboo by B&H that saves you paying sales tax and interest if you pay off the purchase by the next billing cycle.

My new camera for the year was the Fujifilm X100V. And I love it as much today as that moment back in March when I first laid hands on it.

I hope I do equally well with my decision making in 2021.

Panasonic Doesn't Expect Olympus Owners to Switch To Its Products

You can read the entire article here on PetaPixel.

In the wake of Olympus' finalized deal with Japan Industrial Partners to assume control of the company's imaging business, Panasonic apparently isn't very hopeful that many of Olympus' Micro Four Thirds photographers will make the jump over to Panasonic camera equipment.

Panasonic has for years seen its positioning of MFT as complementary to that of Olympus, rather than as a direct competitor. While Olympus excels at image quality and technological advancements in still image capture, Panasonic has spent the lion's share of its energy in video capture.

Panasonic expanded out of the MFT market with its S series of cameras which both diversified and bolstered its camera line, while Olympus remained set in its ways with a recommitment to MFT. It's possible to see that refusal to expand as a reason for Olympus needing to bow out of the imaging market entirely, but Panasonic has repeatedly informed us that it does not intend to abandon MFT. And while Panasonic has released several full-frame cameras since its last flagship MFT body, the company will still to this day strongly throw its support behind the format if asked.

I'm curious. Olympus shooters, does this resonate for you? Or are you giving Panasonic a second look?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.