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This is The Digital Story Podcast #731, March 24, 2020. Today's theme is "How to Disinfect Your Gear." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Whether it's our smartphone or an interchangeable lens camera, our tech gear qualifies as some of our most personal possessions. We hold them in our hands, bring them to our face, and show them to other people. It only makes sense that we keep these items as clean as possible. This week I'll talk about good habits for healthy photography, both with our gear and our immediate surroundings. I hope you enjoy the show.

How to Disinfect Your Gear

One of the first rules when we were working in LA was that you could not hand your camera to another person. Depending on environmental conditions, germs can linger on those surfaces for 24-72 hours. In group conditions, we decided to play it safe.

IMG_2828.jpg

But it's not just others we should be concerned about. We need to take care of ourselves as well. I'm going to talk about cleaning techniques that are worth embracing at any time. So let's get to work.

Follow all instructions on the labels of any products you use. Read the safety notes and follow them!

Dwell Times: What Are They and Why Do They Matter?

This is from the article PathoSans.com. You can read it in its entirety there.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines dwell time as, "the amount of time that a sanitizer or disinfectant must be in contact with the surface, and remain wet, in order to achieve the product's advertised kill rate." Different disinfectants target a wide array of different pathogens. The surfaces these pathogens inhabit also vary greatly. For best results, professional cleaners must know the target pathogens and the corresponding dwell times. Some products may have dwell times of only seconds, while others may require up to 10 minutes or more before they achieve the desired pathogenic control.

For most projects, the dwell time should be listed on the back label with its application directions.

For maximum effectiveness, we recommend using the two-step cleaning process to help prevent the spread of disease-causing pathogens. Step one: Clean and remove unwanted soils from surfaces using a cleaning solution with a microfiber. This will help to remove potential microbial harborage areas. Step two: Apply a disinfecting solution to surfaces while adhering to the manufacturer recommendations for dilution, safety, and dwell time. Finally, after waiting for the recommended dwell time, remove the solution with a wet/dry vacuum or microfiber.

How to Disinfect Camera Equipment and Spaces

This is from the article LensRentals.com. You can read it in its entirety there. Roger Cicala writes:

I'm qualified to talk about this subject to some degree; I take care of a ton of camera equipment, and I was a physician in my past life. And I've had so many requests for information about this that it seems logical to put something out, so everyone has access to it.

That being said, at this moment in time, there are NO right answers. This is my best knowledge and best opinions. Other people have other thoughts. Two weeks from now, new information may make some of this incorrect or show there are better ways to do things. If I say something today and the CDC says something else next Thursday, go with the CDC.

Finally, we're talking about using products that can have some side effects and cause problems. What I'm going to discuss is relatively safe, but if you use one of these suggestions, be smart, test a small amount on yourself and your gear and make sure it doesn't cause any problems for you.

What Roger says about disinfectants:

  • Soap and Water - Used for 20 seconds is superbly effective on skin and other surfaces. Whatever soap is fine, it works by dissolving the lipid (fatty) capsule around the virus. And here's an alternative for those of you freaking out about "I can't get Lysol wipes". Just use some soap and water, it's effective if not quite as easy.
  • Isopropyl Alcohol - At concentrations of 60% or higher this is very effective although it works a bit better on surfaces than on skin. Purell and most other hand sanitizers are basically 60% isopropyl alcohol. Alcohol may not work as fast as soap, and the rule of thumb is just let it dry rather than wiping it off.
  • Chlorine Bleach - Standard laundry bleach is usually 2.6% to 5.25% sodium hypochlorite (bleach), which is WAY too high a concentration to use for disinfecting. To make a disinfectant, you want to add 20ml of 5.25% bleach to a liter of water. Double it to 40ml if you have 2.6% bleach, etc.
    Two important notes here: NEVER mix chlorine bleach with any other cleanser, or put it into a bottle that used to have another cleanser without thoroughly rinsing the bottle. And mix it in a well-ventilated area just in case. Bleach plus ammonia, vinegar, and several other things can cause noxious fumes. Chlorine bleach is very effective, hospitals use it, but it can be irritating in large quantities, and it can fade dyes and color. If you decide to spray down an entire room, for example, keep people out of that room until the fumes clear.
  • Non-Chlorine Bleach / Oxidizing Agents - There are a lot of products in this category; basically oxy-this, non-bleach that, 'safe bleach,' and of course the dreaded 'non-chemical', 'all-natural', and I'm sure you can get it as organic and non-GMO bleach at slightly higher prices. They mostly are peroxides, like hydrogen peroxide, but often slightly different chemicals that are more stable; regular hydrogen peroxide tends to bubble off and lose effectiveness over time once it's opened.
    You need at least 2%, and probably 3% peroxide to be an effective disinfectant, and even then, its effectiveness against Coronavirus is 'probable,' but not guaranteed.
  • Quarternary Ammonium Products - There are tons of these (tons of slightly different chemicals, more tons of products containing them). Benzalkonium Chloride is probably the one you see most commonly if you read ingredient labels, but if you're interested in chemical names, just google it. They are both detergents (like soap) and disinfectants, so they're very common in disinfecting wipes and such. They're also what's in most fabric softeners.
    While I haven't seen any actual studies regarding specific effectiveness against Covid-19, they are effective against other coronavirus and expected to be effective against this one.
  • Dryer antistatic sheets usually contain lots of quaternary ammonium compounds. My significant other (an ICU nurse) carries a few in her purse as door grabbers and emergency cleansing wipes.

What Roger says about cleaning your gear

First, remember that if your gear has been sitting away from people for a couple of days, it's safe. If you're on a video production or multi-camera shoot, don't share cameras. Assign who uses what equipment as much as is possible.

Alcohol and Soap - Despite what some manufacturers have said, we, and every repair shop I know have used isopropyl alcohol in 60% or greater concentrations on camera equipment for a long time and haven't seen any adverse effects. Some manufacturers said 99% isopropyl might maybe affect lens coatings. I respectfully disagree, although I will say vigorous rubbing can affect some lens coatings, so take it easy and don't use wire brushes or such.

Don't soak it; that is asking for trouble and isn't necessary. Just moisten it. Use common sense to try to keep your disinfectant on the outside and not let it run into the inside. A light mist with a spray bottle, or a cloth or paper towel dipped in alcohol works great for large surfaces. You might want to dip a Q tip or similar thing to get into small areas or places where you'd rather not spray.

There is a chance that alcohol used repeatedly could dull the rubber of lens rings or camera bodies. I haven't seen it, but I have seen it claimed. I have also heard that it can dull or fog the finish of LCD screens, but again I haven't seen it, and I do know the 'monitor cleaner' I use contains isopropyl alcohol. Still, given the others who claim it can, at least in some cameras, I'd try to keep it to a minimum.

A final note about cameras - I think it's pretty easy and pretty safe to disinfect all of your equipment and studio space or office effectively EXCEPT, for your camera. Let's face it; you (or them) got your face all up in there, so it's the most likely place to have received a big viral load. It's also the place you DON'T want to soak and saturate with any of the above solutions. Plus, the areas around the LCD, viewfinder, etc. are full of nooks and crannies, making them more difficult to get to, and according to some manufacturers, LCD screens might be sensitive to disinfectants. (Again, my own opinion is I haven't seen it, but what manufacturer's say can't just be ignored).

I'd recommend just not sharing cameras on a shoot, right now. If you do share, disinfect it carefully with a minimal solution and set it aside for 24 hours; 48 hours if you are paranoid. Virus particles don't make spores and are not going to last on a surface for a long time. I, personally, am comfortable that 24 hours is long enough, but there is some evidence that it takes 72 hours to be absolutely safe.

Portfoliobox 4 Offers Great Enhancements and Is Available for Free to TDS Listeners

We have many, many Portfoliobox photographers in our community, including myself, and I think all of us are going to enjoy the new features in Version 4 that just launched today.

And if you're not currently a Pro user, I have great news for you at the end of this spot. Here are the highlights for Portfoliobox 4.

  • Add sections to your pages - The initial content of a page can be extended with one or several sections. You can add different types of sections: gallery, text, links, services, team, submenu, contact form, and even blog or store teaser. This allow you to build your page as you like.
  • Add elements to your section - Each element in a section is independent from the others. You can add elements below existing elements, e.g. you can add a border under your menu, or a button below a text. You can even reorder the elements.
  • Edit margins, padding and position - You can easily fine-tune your website by editing the margins, padding or position of each elements on your page.
  • Animations - You can add animation to each element of your website, e.g. fade in, zoom, etc.
  • Client proofing gallery - Allows you to share dedicated and protected photo galleries with your clients. Your client can log in, check the gallery, comment and share their favorites with you. This makes it easy to share and proof directly from your website. You also have the possibility to automatically add a watermark to your photos.
  • E-commerce improvements - New features and functions that will make it easier for your to handle your products & orders. Here is a non-exhaustive list of the new features: digital product, discount codes, flexible shipping rates, duplicate product, stock management, multiple payment solutions, etc.
  • Preview your site before publishing it - You can now build your site offline peacefully, take the time you need to get the result you want. When you're ready, publish your site and choose a domain name. Meanwhile, you can fully preview your work by clicking the preview button at the lower-left corner of your site.

They have published a super helpful 30-minute video that you can watch here to help you get the most out of these features.

And if you don't have a Portfoliobox Pro account, you can get free year by going to www.portfoliobox.net and using Special Offer Code: 15SAMDPTBL81M5. That's right, a 100 percent discount for the first year.

Next week I'll dig deeper into some of these new exciting features. Until then, sign up today so you can follow along with me. And a big thanks to Portfoliobox for co-sponsoring this show.

Update for the TDS 2020 Photography Workshop Season

If you want to join us for a workshop later this year, hop over to the 2020 Workshops Signup Page and get on the Reserve List.

If you have questions about the 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.

  • Humboldt Redwoods and Coast Workshop - May 12-14, 2020 - 2 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 - 0 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.

This is The Digital Story Podcast #730, March 17, 2020. Today's theme is "Workshop Attendees Speak Out in LA." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

We exited the Uber XL and stepped out into a sparsely populated Hollywood Blvd. I directed us across the street to the Metro station where we descended into its depths via escalator. What we found down there was a scene from a Sci-Fi movie. In this week's TDS Podcast, we talk about this moment and many others that we experienced together during the LA Street Photography Workshop. Hear directly from the four participants who documented this moment in time.

Workshop Attendees Speak Out in LA

Our team had been cut in half. We were down to four photographers and myself. Those who gathered with me at the Rest Haven Cottage in Santa Monica included Susie Powell, Cokie Lepinski, Dave Wilson, and Craig Rowley. They are the voices who you're about to hear from.

LA-Metro-Susie-Powell.jpg Hollywood and Vine Metro Station During the coronavirus - Photo by Susie Powell.

We recorded this conversation on a Sunday afternoon at the kitchen table in the cottage where we held our classes and lab sessions. We had been in the LA area since Thursday, and had witnessed a rapidly changing environment in Southern California.

Over the course of the next few days, we talked with Uber drivers, service providers, and people on the street. Not only did we focus on their stories, but our own safety as well. We constantly cleaned our hands, avoided public transportation, wiped down shared surfaces daily, and did not allow physical contact.

In addition to that, a rain storm had parked over the LA area. Fortunately we were prepared for the showers and all had weather resistant cameras. Three participants shot with Olympus and two with Fujis.

So after nearly three days of this work, I thought it would be a good idea to sit down and discuss what we saw and how we felt about it. So, I'm going to turn the mike over to Susie, Cokie, Dave, and Craig.

Portfoliobox 4 Offers Great Enhancements and Is Available for Free to TDS Listeners

We have many, many Portfoliobox photographers in our community, including myself, and I think all of us are going to enjoy the new features in Version 4 that just launched today.

And if you're not currently a Pro user, I have great news for you at the end of this spot. Here are the highlights for Portfoliobox 4.

  • Add sections to your pages - The initial content of a page can be extended with one or several sections. You can add different types of sections: gallery, text, links, services, team, submenu, contact form, and even blog or store teaser. This allow you to build your page as you like.
  • Add elements to your section - Each element in a section is independent from the others. You can add elements below existing elements, e.g. you can add a border under your menu, or a button below a text. You can even reorder the elements.
  • Edit margins, padding and position - You can easily fine-tune your website by editing the margins, padding or position of each elements on your page.
  • Animations - You can add animation to each element of your website, e.g. fade in, zoom, etc.
  • Client proofing gallery - Allows you to share dedicated and protected photo galleries with your clients. Your client can log in, check the gallery, comment and share their favorites with you. This makes it easy to share and proof directly from your website. You also have the possibility to automatically add a watermark to your photos.
  • E-commerce improvements - New features and functions that will make it easier for your to handle your products & orders. Here is a non-exhaustive list of the new features: digital product, discount codes, flexible shipping rates, duplicate product, stock management, multiple payment solutions, etc.
  • Preview your site before publishing it - You can now build your site offline peacefully, take the time you need to get the result you want. When you're ready, publish your site and choose a domain name. Meanwhile, you can fully preview your work by clicking the preview button at the lower-left corner of your site.

They have published a super helpful 30-minute video that you can watch here to help you get the most out of these features.

And if you don't have a Portfoliobox Pro account, you can get free year by going to www.portfoliobox.net and using Special Offer Code: 15SAMDPTBL81M5. That's right, a 100 percent discount for the first year.

Next week I'll dig deeper into some of these new exciting features. Until then, sign up today so you can follow along with me. And a big thanks to Portfoliobox for co-sponsoring this show.

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.

  • 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.

This is The Digital Story Podcast #729, March 10, 2020. Today's theme is "My Approach to Coronavirus in 2020." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Having seen my fair share of natural disasters over the last few years, I've refined my approach to decision making in challenging situations. My inclination is to get the facts, evaluate their potential implications, and build a course of action based on that information. Coronavirus is the latest phenomenon for us to contend with. And today I'll talk about my approach as a journalist and artist to the threats and fears surrounding it.

My Approach to Coronavirus in 2020

I was thinking back to my life 10 years ago, and how simple it seemed in comparison to today.

Before I start, I want to say that if anyone in our community is under the weather as a result of seasonal flu of COVID-19, I hope you feel better soon. I care about everyone in our community.

So, we all know about the headlines - the stock market's recent dive, supply chain difficulties for the technology industry, the lack of vaccine for COVID-19, and the introduction of a new term, "social distancing".

wine-tasting-1024.jpg

What I think would be more productive for our time together today is for me to relay what I've witnessed firsthand over the last couple weeks, and then talk about plans moving forward for our community. Let's start with my firsthand accounts from recent activity.

  • Sharks vs Maple Leafs at SAP Center
  • Warriors vs 76ers at Chase Center
  • Holiday Inn Express in Burlingame
  • Cancellation of jobs by LinkedIn and others
  • Questions about TDS Workshops

When I've been in public, I've seen very little coughing. I treat every surface outside of my house as a potential germ-spreader. So I'm careful not to touch my face until I can throughly wash my hands.

When I arrived at the Holiday Inn Express, I wiped down the room including door knobs, phones, remotes, and countertops with disinfectant wipes. I carry tissues and folded paper towells in my pocket incase I do have to touch my face, but I also use them for public surfaces as necessary. I've also been keeping my phone, laptop, iPad, and cameras clean.

Additionally, I've added an hour a night to my sleep, and increased my water intake using the refillable bottle that I always have with me now. I'm also getting as much fresh air as possible and maintaining my exercise routine. I want to be a strong and vibrant as possible right now. And I don't want to create a constant environment in my nose and throat when virus like to congratulate.

I've thought a lot about social distancing, and I've decided that under the current circumstances, I'm going to continue to interact with others. If the numbers change in the areas that I'm working, I will reevaluate my behavior based on those numbers. Until then, I will continue to go about my work.

In terms of our workshop season for 2020, I do not anticipate any changes to our schedule. We're in Los Angeles this week, and I'll be reporting what I experienced there in next week's show. We have our own cottage, which I can wipe down. It will only be us going inside and out of that area. In public, we'll practice appropriate hygiene for the times we live in.

The subsequent events are all in remote locations: Humboldt, Lassen, and Eastern Sierra. I will be able to maintain clean environments at all of those venues. And personally, I think the escape from daily headlines will greatly benefit our artistic pursuit of photography.

I want to remind you that point of this segment is not to make recommendations for you. You have your own process for that. But since our lives are intertwined, I want you to know how I plan to move forward over the course of this year. I think it's important for you to know where I stand and what you can count on. If things change, I will update my plans based on those facts.

Here's What You Can Count on From Me in 2020

The podcast will continue to publish weekly on Tuesdays. Regular posts will continue to flow to thedigitalstory.com, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I will maintain my photography jobs with clients, and best that I can, my teaching for LinkedIn Learning and lynda. And we're going to continue to have workshops in great locations throughout California.

My prediction is that 2020 will be a tough financial year for me and many other solopreneurs. But I've built-in some diversity to help offset the losses. We have a loyal Patreon audience. I have level-headed photography clients. And I have the ability to develop new products quickly in a changing environment.

There may not be much that you feel like you can depend on right now. But know that this corner of your world is there for you. I'll see you next week once I return from Southern California.

Do You Have a Film Camera that Needs a Good Home?

Over the last year, I've received donations from TDS members who have film cameras that need a good home. What I do is inspect the items, repair and clean as I can, then list them in TheFilmCameraShop where I can find a good home for them. If you're interested in donating, please use the Contact Form on TheNimblePhotographer site. And thanks for you consideration!

The Upcoming iPhone 12 Pro May Pack a 64MP Camera

You can read the entire article by visiting this link to PetaPixel.com.

If you use an iPhone and megapixels are your thing, the upcoming iPhone 12 may delight you with its camera specs. A new leak suggests that Apple is working to stuff a 64-megapixel sensor into its next top-of-the-line smartphone.

The leaked details were shared by the popular YouTube channel EverythingApplePro, which received the information from tech leaker Max Weinbach, who nailed several iPhone leaked details in 2019.

"For the first time in years, Apple will be crossing the megapixel threshold that they've been at for quite some time -- 12 megapixels -- and bumping up the sensor quality, potentially up to 64 megapixels," Filip Koroy of EverythingApplePro says in the 12-minute video. "Weinbach is reporting that they're testing various sensor sizes. 64 megapixels would be the Sony sensor, very likely, and Apple will be focusing heavily on the camera for the iPhone 12 Pro."

The aperture of the ultra-wide lens on the next iPhone will reportedly be bumped up in size from f/2.4 to around f/1.6 or f/1.7, possibly to allow for Night Mode when using that camera. And the minimum focusing distance is said to be decreasing on the ultra-wide camera, allowing for macro photos to be shot with it. Other features and specs Weinbach is hearing include an improved Smart HDR, a bigger battery (by about 10 percent), a 120Hz display, and 5G.

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.

This is The Digital Story Podcast #728, March 3, 2020. Today's theme is "The Fujifilm X100V Hands On." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

The Fujifilm X100V APS-C compact camera has been steadily evolving since I first saw it at Photokina 2010. Immediately after release, it developed a dedicated following. But there were many, including myself, who remained on the sidelines monitoring its evolution through 5 generations. Today's camera, the 100V, is the result of 10 years of development. And it's the lead topic in today's TDS Photography Podcast.

The Fujifilm X100V Hands On

DSC_0688-2048.jpg

There are so many ways to walkabout the Fujifilm X100V. I've decided to highlight the features that finally won me over, while still noting the couple items that are on my wishlist for the future.

A few of the items that I'll cover have been part of the camera previous to the latest release. But they have been improved, bringing the overall functionality to a new level.And combined with the new introductions, they created the tipping point for me to carry it in my backpack.

So without any further delay, let's get to it.

The Features that Won Me Over for the X100V

  • Hybrid Viewfinder - "The popular Advanced Hybrid Viewfinder has been updated with a higher resolution 3.69m-dot OLED EVF (vs 2.36m-dot) for clearer viewing and a faster refresh rate of 100 fps. This can still be flicked away to reveal a clear 0.52x-magnification optical finder to suit the purists' way of photographing." And that's the deal, I get to have a very cool optical viewfinder with overlay information and an EVF in the same camera. And I use both.
  • 3.0" 1.62m-dot LCD Touchscreen, - This just had to happen for me. So much of my work depends on me using low angles and perspectives from over my head. And without a tilting LCD, I just can't justify the camera. The LCD for the X100V is beautiful. And the tilting functionality elevates the camera to a new level, literally.
  • The Redesigned Fujinon 23mm f/2 Lens - The optic (8 elements in 6 groups) features a revised design that now includes two aspherical elements for improved sharpness and clarity. Improved performance at f/2, especially on the corners. Additionally, a Super EBC coating has been applied to suppress lens flare and ghosting for greater contrast and color fidelity when working in strong lighting conditions. It is wonderfully sharp, and it's close range performance has improved as well. All current accessories from previous models work on the 100V as well.
  • Updated Bluetooth with Realtime GPS Tagging that Actually Works - This is another big deal for me for a camera that I'm going to depend on while traveling. I want to be able to use more than my iPhone for geotagging images. With the updated Bluetooth (v 4.2), the X100V does a great job of staying in contact with my iPhone (via a setting that can be turned on or off) and adding geotags to my images. And it worked perfectly.
  • Weather Resistant Body - Again, a travel camera needs to be able to withstand, well, travel. I added the Vello LHF-X100B adapter and lenshood with a Hoya MNC filter to complete the weather sealing for this camera.
  • Built-In Selectable HDR and Panorama Modes - This is the first built-in camera HDR with 5 settings and 4 strengths that I can actually use without reservation. I'm particularly fond of the HDR 200 and HDR 400 settings that produce very natural results. And the Panorama mode is wonderful.
  • High Speed Movie Mode - I can now record at 120P in full HD and have it playback at 29.97P. And there are many other high speed options as well.

On my wish list, I'm hoping that Fujifilm can find a way to build image stabilization into this same sized body. It's great having 4K and high speed video, but IS makes it so much more usable. A standard headphone jack would be very nice indeed instead the current approach where we have to use an adapter.

I would also like 120fps refresh rate for the EVF vs the current 100 fps. And I don't mind the single SD card slot, but I would like it upgraded from the current UHS-I to UHS-2.

Just a Few More Things that I really Like

The programmable front command dial is wonderful. I set the Exposure Compensation dial to "C" and use the front dial for exposure comp. Very nice! The flash, just like the one on my XF10, is outstanding. Lots of settings and it really gets the job done. And if you need an external flash as well, the hotshoe or wireless capability will get the job done.

The front lever to switch from optical viewfinder to EVF is very convenient. And I use its function button to turn on and off face/eye detection focus, which is much improved. I also appreciate 1/3 clickstops on the aperture ring. I don't recall ever having that luxury. And finally, the film simulations are really enjoyable. And I'm so happy that I finally have Acros and the new Eterna Cinema options. Both are just great.

Bottom Line - The Fujifilm X100V has evolved into a camera that I want to have with me. It's outstanding image quality, unique viewfinder, and host of creative functions will keep me energized about my photography for years to come. It's earned a very high nimbleosity rating.

Do You Have a Film Camera that Needs a Good Home?

Over the last year, I've received donations from TDS members who have film cameras that need a good home. What I do is inspect the items, repair and clean as I can, then list them in TheFilmCameraShop where I can find a good home for them. If you're interested in donating, please use the Contact Form on TheNimblePhotographer site. And thanks for you consideration!

Why I Want Trade Shows to Survive

I tell the story of meeting the Fujifilm X100 at Photokina 2010, and that it'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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Podcast Sponsors

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

Skillshare is an online learning community with thousands of classes for creators, entrepreneurs, and curious people everywhere. Get two months of learning for free by visiting www.skillshare.com/tds.

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.

This is The Digital Story Podcast #724, Feb. 4, 2020. Today's theme is "Is DxO PhotoLab 3 the Alternative You've Been Looking For?." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

We spend a fair amount of time talking about Lightroom, Luminar, Capture One, and Photos. But there's another quality image editor out there that should be in the conversation as well: DxO PhotoLab 3. It features powerful tools, digestible interface, and reasonable cost. And we're going to pull back the curtain on this terrific app on today's TDS Photography Podcast.

Is DxO PhotoLab 3 the Alternative You've Been Looking For?

photolab3-overview.jpg

I first became a fan of DxO software with OpticsPro for Photos. It's this wonderful editing extension that I use to this day that provides top notch lens corrections within the Photos app.

As a result of this good experience I've been following the French software company, and with the release of PhotoLab 3, decided to get serious about learning it. I can tell you right now, this was time well spent.

PhotoLab 3 is available in two versions: Essential ($129) and Elite ($199). Both are excellent, but you get some additional sophisticated tools with Elite, plus 3 activations (instead of two). So I'm going to focus my comments on the Elite version.

PhotoLab 3 is a complete image organization and editing application. It's PhotoLibrary displays the contents of the hard drive it is pointed too. For photographers who have an organized Finder-based system, this is a perfect match.

But you can also create Project in the PhotoLibrary that allow you to work with images from different sources without disrupting your Finder-based organization. So you can have it both ways. Plus you have star ratings and pick/reject functionality with filtering capability that make it easy to cull your shoots.

But the real fun begins when you click on the Customize tab and have the opportunity to edit your images with PhotoLab's powerful tools. In addition to the usual suspects that you would expect there, here are some of my favorite features.

  • DxO Optics Modules - In many ways, this is the heart of PhotoLab. As you upload RAW files, the app identifies the lenses and cameras used, then asks for permission to download the corresponding modules. These provide outstanding lens corrections that truly improve your pictures.
  • DxO Smart Lighting - Intelligent dynamic range expander that recovers highlight detail and unblocks shadows. You have complete control over its intensity.
  • DxO ClearView Plus - Improves contrast and sharpness of images by removing the effects of atmospheric haze and fog. Again, you have control over how much or little you use.
  • PRIME Noise Reduction - Probably the best in-app noice reduction I've used. It is flat out impressive.
  • Control-Point Technology for Localized Editing - Precise control points give you tremendous control over your corrections.

Other goodies that I really appreciate includes the integration of Nik Collection and FilmPack 5. You can work with the Nik tools from within the PhotoLab environment. It's very convenient.

For those on Macs, there's an Add to Photos button that makes it super easy to send any image within PhotoLab over to your iCloud environment for sharing among your devices and backup. This function works flawlessly, and I love using it while on the road.

Additional features include excellent Metadata display with Keyword functionality, tons of built-in presets, strong compare tools, customizable workspaces, copy and paste corrections, virtual copies, and retouch tools.

I've been using it on my super-nimble 11" MacBook Air travel computer, and it performs like a champ on that machine. Bottom line is this, DxO PhotoLab 3 should be part of any serious photo management conversation. It's outstanding.

TDS Soundbites

We have a new feature that publishes every Wednesday called TDS Soundbites. They are technology tidbits that are 5 minutes or less. I cover digital photography, audio, mobile computing, smart home, and more.

If you haven't checked them out yet, all you have to do is look for the newest Soundbite in the Recent Entries box on thedigitalstory.com, or enter SoundBites in the Search box and click on the Search button.

So far, I've covered in-Camera RAW Processing, Slow-Sync Flash, and Business Card Flash Modifier. And I have a new SoundBite ready to go this Wednesday.

They're perfect for your next coffee break!

The Oben CT-3565 Carbon Fiber Tripod - Inner Circle Reviews

Editor's Note: This guest blog post by David Hearne is part of our Inner Circle Reviews program. You can learn more about David at the end of this article.

In the last decade plus, a major trend in photography has been towards high quality but lighter, easier to carry equipment. Our Derrick Story describes it as nimble photography. For nature and landscape photographers, such as myself, a tripod is an essential tool, and to borrow from a popular saying "the best tripod is the one you have with you".

High quality but more compact tripods have evolved right along with our cameras. The Oben CT-3565 Carbon Fiber Tripod (3.2 lbs) clearly fits in the category of compact, light weight but stable support for Micro 4/3s and other small cameras.

My impressions are formed by comparison to 2 tripods that I own: a Gitzo 1228 carbon fiber with a Markins base/Arca Swiss Mono Ball (5.5 lbs) and a MeFOTO Roadtrip Classic aluminum with Q1 ball head (3.6 lbs). The Oben 3565 and the MeFOTO Roadtrip are similar tripod systems with very similar performance.

Job 1 for tripods and ball heads is stability. I evaluated stability using my E-M1X mounted with a 40-150mm/2.8 m.Zuiko PRO lens (4 lbs total). Note, the center column was not raised for this evaluation. With camera and lens mounted, the Oben 3565 ball head easily locked the camera in place and maintained framing.

However, with both the Oben and the MePhoto tripod legs pushing down on the camera will flex the fully extended legs. My Gitzo rig is decidedly more stable. By zooming out to 150 mm the deflection can be detected on the LCD at times when pushing the shutter and may generate enough movement to cause a slightly out of focus shot. Collapsing the skinniest leg greatly reduces this flex. To completely eliminate this flex a best tripod practice is to use a 2s shutter release delay, especially on travel tripods. However, the collapsed length (16 in) and lower weight are acceptable trade offs for me and the Oben is easily carried on my hiking daypack. My Gitzo rig is just too heavy and bulky for me to hike with.

The Oben 3565 is indistinguishable from the MeFOTO Roadtrip in several features including the rapid twist locks and working height. Compared to the MeFOTO, the Oben 3565 has some nice touches.

Like the MeFOTO, a bubble level is integrated into the Arca Swiss release plate. Additionally the plate tightening screw also has a level that can be utilized when vertical shooting using the 90 degree slot. The locks for the leg spread positions (3) are spring loaded and legs repositioned more easily than on the MePhoto.

The Oben 3565 comes with an alternate short column which allows a minimum working height of 9.5 inches. The MePhoto short column is a $30 accessory. Finally the Oben has integrated spiked feet. The MePhoto comes with interchangeable spiked feet.

In summary, the Oben CT-3565 Carbon Fiber Tripod ($210) is a quality travel/hiking tripod for micro 4/3s cameras at a very good value price point.

About the Author

David Hearne is a photographer based out of North Carolina. You can visit his website, American Roots Photography, to see his images and learn more about him.

David is also a member of The Digital Story Inner Circle where he gained access to the Oben 3565 Carbon tripod for this review.

Update for the TDS 2020 Photography Workshop Season

What makes these events so special? It's the magic blend of fellowship, location, inspiration, and focus. You can actually be single-minded about your craft. I'll take care of everything else.

When I was discussing this on our Patreon site, one Inner Circle member raised a concern about the class presentation on the final day. I'm going to tell you what I say at every workshop. This is not a competition. It is the most supportive creative environment that you will ever share your work with. And no matter your skill level, the floor is yours to discuss your experience and share a few images. I promise you, you will love it.

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.

Skillshare is an online learning community with thousands of classes for creators, entrepreneurs, and curious people everywhere. Get two months of learning for free by visiting www.skillshare.com/tds.

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.

This is The Digital Story Podcast #723, Jan. 28, 2020. Today's theme is "Is Pro Gear Worth the Premium Price?." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Camera manufacturers build pro gear for the handful of professionals who need its durability for their work, and for bragging rights that create a halo effect for aspiring shooters who want the very best. But for weekend warriors and enthusiasts, is the premium price tag a wise investment? We'll explore this question and more on today's TDS Photography Podcast.

Is Pro Gear Worth the Premium Price?

I have made a lot of clients happy over the years using cameras such as the Canon 5D Mark II, Nikon D610, Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II, and the Pentax KP. No one every asked my why I wasn't shooting with a Nikon D5 or Canon EOS-1D X Mark II. And the investment difference was substantial, to say the least.

canon-pro-dslr.jpg

Similar considerations apply to lenses. One of my favorite examples is the Canon EF 70-200mm. You can buy the amazing EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II for $1,299. It is one of the sharpest 70-200s on the planet. Or you could spend $2,100 (when not on sale) for the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III. That extra f/stop cost $800.

Which lens is best for you? Ask yourself these five questions to help you match the proper investment with your photography needs.

  • How much is emotion driving my decision? - I'm putting this one right up front because it's something that most of us are vulnerable to.
  • Do your research - Research can be the anecdote for emotional decisions. Here's an example: The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm f/1.8 lens is on sale right now for $299. It is compact, amazingly sharp, fast, and affordable. But it isn't weather resistant, and to be honest, isn't as sexy as the PRO model. The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 45mm f/1.2 PRO Lens is on sale for $1,049, roughly 3.5 times the price of the f/1.8 version. It is larger, sexier, faster, and weather sealed. Both optics are sharp. But if you take the emotion out of it and let your research determine which is best for you, you could save more than $700.
  • Renting specialized gear instead of buying - Am I a generalist or do I need special gear for niche assignments? You can get top quality gear for general photography at affordable prices. But if you have a specialized area of interest, you will most likely need more budget. Figure out what you are realistically going to shoot. Once you figure that out, maybe it's better to rent specialized gear for those occasions.
  • Consider resale value - I did exceptionally well when I sold my Canon DSLR gear. I kept the original boxes and paperwork for all items. But you should look at the market and try to figure out where it's going when debating about new gear. If you're fairly confident that you will be able to resell it at a good price, you can factor that in to the bottom line cost.
  • Used vs New - One of my favorite lenses, the Panasonic Lumix G 20mm f/1.7 II ASPH. lens was purchased used because I needed it at a time when my budget couldn't accommodate a new version. It has served me well ever since.

Using these five steps, I've been able to meet all of my assignment needs while maintaining a tight budget that I could justify to anyone. It feels good to do business this way.

Speaking of Moving Gear Along

We have had some key contributions for community members lately. They have donated analog gear or older digital gear to The Digital Story. Not only does this prevent needless landfill waste, but it puts creative tools in the hands of those who really appreciate these items.

A warm thanks to Kevin, Mark, and Colin for their recent contributions. And those of you took the time to ship your unused items to me last year, I want to thank you again.

Lady Gaga Criticizes Music Pirates with Pirated Photos. Shutterstock Responds

You can read complete article here on PetaPixel.com.

After Lady Gaga's new song "Stupid Love" leaked onto the Internet and went viral last weekend, the singer called out fans who had listened to the unauthorized release. Problem was, Lady Gaga's Tweet used "pirated" stock photos that had "Shutterstock" watermarks splashed across them, and this unauthorized usage didn't escape the company's notice.

"We hear you!" Shutterstock writes. "We like artists to be paid for their work too. Here's a link to the photographer's work where you can license these quality images."

It turns out the photographer behind the stock photos is children's author Richard Nelson, and he doesn't seem to mind not getting paid for the usage -- in fact, he Tweeted out a non-watermarked version of Lady Gaga's message for the singer to use:

@ladygaga As the photographer of this picture, I've got you.

But from the conversations this incident has sparked online, it seems clear that the vast majority of photographers agree with Shutterstock: copyright is important, but not just for musicians -- it needs to be respected and defended for all artists, including photographers.

Update for the TDS 2020 Photography Workshop Season

What makes these events so special? It's the magic blend of fellowship, location, inspiration, and focus. You can actually be single-minded about your craft. I'll take care of everything else.

When I was discussing this on our Patreon site, one Inner Circle member raised a concern about the class presentation on the final day. I'm going to tell you what I say at every workshop. This is not a competition. It is the most supportive creative environment that you will ever share your work with. And no matter your skill level, the floor is yours to discuss your experience and share a few images. I promise you, you will love it.

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.

Skillshare is an online learning community with thousands of classes for creators, entrepreneurs, and curious people everywhere. Get two months of learning for free by visiting www.skillshare.com/tds.

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.

This is The Digital Story Podcast #722, Jan. 21, 2020. Today's theme is "Non-Confrontational Street Photography." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Many photographers who I've worked with over the years like the idea of exploring urban environments with their cameras, but aren't comfortable approaching strangers for pictures. I understand the sentiment, and have worked on a strategy that I call Non-Confrontational Street Photography. And the best part? People shots will still be part of the mix. I hope you enjoy the show.

Non-Confrontational Street Photography

Not everyone is cut out to walking up to a stranger and saying, "Can I take your picture?" Yet, the images that we can capture in urban environments can be truly memorable.

IMG_0315-1024.jpg

So how do folks who are a bit more on the shy side work the city streets? Here are five tips for what I call Non-Confrontational Street Photography. We'll be practicing these during my upcoming LA Street Photography Experience Workshop in March.

  • Let them come to you - Many new street photographers think that they always have to be on the move, hunting their subjects like lions in Africa. But that's just not necessary. Find an interesting spot, park yourself with camera ready, and let the world come to you. Be friendly, smile, and make eye contact.
  • Be ready for street performers - Make sure that you have a few $1 bills in your pocket for street performers. They can appear on the corner of a busy intersection, or inside a subway car. They are perfectly fine with photos. Be sure to offer a tip and ask for a hashtag.
  • The more colorful, the easier to approach - When you see someone with an outlandish outfit or dressed very uniquely, they tend to want attention. You can politely approach these characters, tell them how much you love their look, then ask for a snapshot.
  • Have business cards ready - If you're not a stranger to them, they will be more comfortable with you. Carry simple business cards that have your name, email, and website printed on them. Hand the card to a potential subject, and tell them that you are an amateur photographer who loves to take portraits, and you would love to capture their picture. If they ask for a copy, then tell them to send you a note to the address on the card.
  • Have someone friendly with you - In my case for example, I'm a tall, big guy. So I find it helpful to have a friendly woman with me who can make small talk and help people feel at ease while I capture their portrait.

As for cameras, my PEN-F is perfect for this assignment. It's not intimating, looks interesting, and sometimes becomes a bonding topic of conversation.

As I mentioned earlier, I'll be teaching these practices, and more, during my upcoming LA Street Photography Experience Workshop in March. Also, you may want to check out my article, Join Me in March for the LA Photography Experience Workshop that has images and information from last week's scouting trip in Southern CA.

How Sharp is Too Sharp?

This falls into the category of knowing your lenses and not applying the same amount of sharpness in post to all of them. I explain more in this second segment.

The TDS 2020 Photography Workshop Season

What makes these events so special? It's the magic blend of fellowship, location, inspiration, and focus. You can actually be single-minded about your craft. I'll take care of everything else.

When I was discussing this on our Patreon site, one Inner Circle member raised a concern about the class presentation on the final day. I'm going to tell you what I say at every workshop. This is not a competition. It is the most supportive creative environment that you will ever share your work with. And no matter your skill level, the floor is yours to discuss your experience and share a few images. I promise you, you will love it.

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 - 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 - 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 - 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 - Autumn 2020 - 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.

Skillshare is an online learning community with thousands of classes for creators, entrepreneurs, and curious people everywhere. Get two months of learning for free by visiting www.skillshare.com/tds.

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.