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This is The Digital Story Podcast #795, June 15, 2021. Today's theme is "The Breathtaking Perspective of Ultra-Wide Lenses." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

We all have our favorite optics, and often we begin a photoshoot with our comfortable old friend of lens. But, before you pack up and move on to the next location, I encourage you to break out your widest optic as well. In today's TDS Photography Podcast, I'll tell you why and an easy way to bring ultra wide into you life. I hope you enjoy the show.

Digital Photography Podcast 795

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The Breathtaking Perspective of Ultra-Wide Lenses

Last week, Olympus announced their new Digital ED 8-25mm f/4 PRO Lens ($1,099). At its widest end, this zoom gives you an effective focal length of 16mm. And that's a perspective worth exploring.

Why, you might ask? I'll share a real life example. We had some beautiful clouds this morning in Sonoma County, and I've had my eye on this barn I wanted to photograph when the conditions were right. Today was that day.

Waltzer-Barn.jpeg Fujifilm GFX 100S with GF 50mm lens. Photos by Derrick Story.

So I dashed out the door with the Fujifilm GFX 100s with the GF 50mm lens and my iPhone in my pocket.

After about 15 minutes of intense photography, I took a deep breath knowing that I had captured some frames that I was going to really like. The 40mm equivalent of the GF 50mm was a comfortable focal length for composition. And with the great lighting and active sky, I was feeling a definite "mission accomplished" sense of well being.

But before I left the site to return to the studio, I pulled out my iPhone 12 Pro Max and fired up the Ultra Wide camera. It has an equivalent focal length of 13mm, and I thought I might be able to capture something wonderful with it as well.

IMG_0467.jpeg The Ultra-Wide Camera on an iPhone 12 Pro Max.

After reviewing the entire shoot on my MacBook Pro, I was indeed happy with the Fujifilm shots. But my eye kept wandering back to the two ultra wides I had captured as well. I opened up my favorite of the two and spent a couple minutes enhancing it. And lo and behold, I sprang to life.

So much so, it's my favorite of the shoot. That is the breathtaking perspective of an ultra wide lens.

So, what do I look for in these optics? Three things:

  • A focal length of at least 20mm.
  • Size that is compact enough to always have with me.
  • I prefer that it not be a fisheye, but I don't rule those out either. In other words, I prefer rectilinear and distortion mild.

Before I had the iPhone 12, I carried the Olympus Fisheye Body Cap 9mm f/8 Lens ($99). Even though it's a fisheye, I used that rendering to my advantage and have come away with some wonderful images over the years.

I also have the Samyang 7.5mm f/3.5 UMC Fisheye MFT Lens ($229). It's a very nice manual focusing lens for MFT that provides a very wide perspective.

So dig around in your lens stash and retrieve the widest optic that you have available. On your next shoot, pull it out, try to keep the subject plane and camera plane parallel, and add an entirely new perspective to the shoot.

You just may find the results: breathtaking!

Venus Optics' new $549 7.5mm F2 MFT lens now has electronic aperture control

You can read the entire article on DP Review.

Venus Optics has announced an updated version of its Laowa 7.5mm F2 Micro Four Thirds (MFT) lens that has electronic aperture control and an onboard chip for transferring metadata from the lens to the camera.

As for dimensions, the lens comes in at 3mm (.12") larger in diameter and 7mm shorter (.28") than the manual version. Also, despite adding the electronic aperture control and onboard CPU chip, Venus Optics managed to reduce the lens' weight to 150g (5.3oz), down from the 170g (6oz) weight of the manual version.

The Laowa 7.5mm F2 lens with electronic aperture control is available to order on Venus Optics' website for $549. You can view a gallery of full-sized sample images on Venus Optics' Flickr album.

New Release: Capture One Pro 21 Essential Training

Capture One Pro is a complete digital photo management and editing application for professional photographers and serious enthusiasts. Photographers who appreciate outstanding RAW processing, expert color control, and logical organization should consider Capture One Pro for its comprehensive feature set. In this course, professional photographer and instructor Derrick Story helps you learn the basics quickly, then takes you deeper into the application to master its finer points. For seasoned users, Derrick also covers all the new features in version 21, including Speed Edit, the Dehaze slider, and Style Brushes that allow you to enhance specific areas of a photo. To wrap up, he shares tips and techniques that can help you ensure your workflow is as efficient as possible.

You can check it out now by visiting LinkedIn Learning.

The New Donation Kit for Carefree Shipping of Found Film Cameras

Greg Croasdill recently wrote me this: "My father-in-law passed away recently and I would like to donate his film cameras to the Film Camera Shop. I've heard you speak of this for years on your podcast and now finally I have some good equipment to send you way."

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

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

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

Virtual Camera Club News

0 Seats Remaining for Our Ultimate B&W Photography Workshop - July 2021.

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

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

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

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

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

See you next week!

Product Links and Comments

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

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

On today's TDS Photography Podcast, we sit around the audio interface and share stories of cheer and disappointment from my birthday.

IMG_0459.jpeg

Tune-In Via Your Favorite Podcast App!


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New Release: Capture One Pro 21 Essential Training

Capture One Pro is a complete digital photo management and editing application for professional photographers and serious enthusiasts. Photographers who appreciate outstanding RAW processing, expert color control, and logical organization should consider Capture One Pro for its comprehensive feature set. In this course, professional photographer and instructor Derrick Story helps you learn the basics quickly, then takes you deeper into the application to master its finer points. For seasoned users, Derrick also covers all the new features in version 21, including Speed Edit, the Dehaze slider, and Style Brushes that allow you to enhance specific areas of a photo. To wrap up, he shares tips and techniques that can help you ensure your workflow is as efficient as possible.

You can check it out now by visiting LinkedIn Learning.

The New Donation Kit for Carefree Shipping of Found Film Cameras

Greg Croasdill recently wrote me this: "My father-in-law passed away recently and I would like to donate his film cameras to the Film Camera Shop. I've heard you speak of this for years on your podcast and now finally I have some good equipment to send you way."

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

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

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

Virtual Camera Club News

0 Seats Remaining for Our Ultimate B&W Photography Workshop - July 2021.

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

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

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

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

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

See you next week!

Product Links and Comments

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

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #793, June 1, 2021. Today's theme is "Get Serious: The Fujifilm GFX 100S Medium Format Mirrorless." I'm Derrick Story.

GFX100S-Front-P5311568-GFX100S.jpg

Opening Monologue

When you first pickup the GFX 100S, you know you're playing in a different league. Its heft combined with confidence-inspiring specification builds anticipation that something wonderful is about to happen. And the pictures do not disappoint. The question is: Is this camera for you? We'll explore that topic on today's TDS Photography Podcast.

Tune-In Via Your Favorite Podcast App!


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Get Serious: The Fujifilm GFX 100S Medium Format Mirrorless

The Fujifilm GFX 100S ($5,999) is a 102MP mirrorless camera featuring a 43.8 x 32.9mm BSI CMOS sensor. It produces files that measure 11,648 X 8,736 pixels, yet feels like a pro caliber DSLR in the hands.

I've been shooting with the hefty but amazing GF 80mm f/1.7 R WR lens ($2,299) that provides an effective focal length of 63mm, and the relatively compact Fujifilm GF 50mm f/3.5 R LM WR lens ($999) with a 40mm effective focal length. Both optics are outstanding.

Basic specs for the GFX 100S include:

  • 102MP 43.8 x 32.9mm BSI CMOS Sensor
  • X-Processor 4 Image Processor
  • 4K 30fps Video; F-Log Gamma, 12-Bit Raw Out
  • 3.69m-Dot OLED EVF
  • 3.2" 2.36m-Dot Tilting Touchscreen LCD
  • 5-Axis Sensor-Shift Image Stabilization
  • 425-Point Phase-Detection Autofocus
  • ISO 100-12800, Up to 5 fps Shooting
  • 400MP Pixel Shift Multi-Shot
  • 19 Film Simulation Modes
  • 16-bit RAW files
  • Dual Slot SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-II) memory

cat-portrait-GFX100S-1600.jpg

In so many ways, it feels like a mirrorless camera. What I thought was interesting was that since I shoot regularly with a Fujifilm X100V, I felt right at home with the GFX 100S. The menu system, controls placement, and general behavior are very similar. Honestly, the GFX felt like its bigger brother.

There are differences of course. The GFX tops out at 5 fps burst mode, the picture taking experience is more sounds and feels more like a DSLR, and the lenses are much larger as well.

The camera's interaction with the Fujifilm Cam Remote app was just as sure-footed as with the X100V. I especially appreciated the realtime geotagging that the tandem accomplishes with ease.

In terms of shooting experience, the autofocusing was both responsive and accurate with both the 50mm and 80mm optics. In addition to click aperture settings, each lens sports the "A" and "C" options that allow you to use automatic mode or customize the aperture changes with the front dial on the camera. Very nice!

The camera is very comfortable to hold, especially if you have large hands. The grip is deep and is complemented by an excellent thumb rest on the back. You could hold the camera with one hand and shoot, which is saying something for a medium format machine.

I love the back LCD. Not only is it sharp and bright, but it tilts both up and down, and sideways. Very clever and useful. Once again, the camera behaves like a modern mirrorless allowing for easy and fast composition on the back LCD. In fact, it's really fun to shoot this way.

GFX100S-Top-P5311579-GFX100S.jpg

The top LCD is also wonderful. You have your choice of white lettering on a black background, or black lettering on a light gray background. So you can use it in any type of lighting.

As you might suspect, image quality is outstanding for both Jpegs and RAWs. I very much enjoy editing the files in Capture One Pro 21. So much data to work with!

Is this camera for you? I discuss this in the podcast.

Capture One announces native M1 support, promises significant performance improvements

You can read the entire article on DP Review.

Add another high-end photo editing application to the list for Apple M1 Macs. Capture One has announced that Capture One 21 is now ready for Apple Silicon. A new update, available now, allows the popular editor to run natively on the M1 chip.

When Apple announced its silicon and the new M1 Macs, which currently comprise MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, Mac mini and iMac models, Apple remarked how simple it was for software to be ported from Intel to Apple's silicon. It was a far deal more complicated for some software, such as Capture One.

Capture One says that given the power of Apple's M1 chip, and the 'seismic shift' the new technology represented, it was time to 'completely rethink' its software. To get Capture One running natively on M1 Macs and for it to take full advantage of the hardware, Capture One had to go further than ever before.

Capture One had to be rearchitected from the ground up. Today's update a fundamental redesign of the software and one that Capture One believes is well-positioned for the future. As Capture One writes, 'the future looks fast.' Capture One on an M1-powered Mac has many impressive performance improvements. The new Advanced Imported is 50% quicker. Key tools such as Crop and Rotate are twice as fast. Making local edits with brushes and using Style Brushes is smoother than ever.

The new Capture One 21 update is available now to all existing users.

Editor's note: I've seen tests that report that importing is 30 percent faster with this version of C1P on an M1 compared to the previous version.

New Release: Capture One Pro 21 Essential Training

Capture One Pro is a complete digital photo management and editing application for professional photographers and serious enthusiasts. Photographers who appreciate outstanding RAW processing, expert color control, and logical organization should consider Capture One Pro for its comprehensive feature set. In this course, professional photographer and instructor Derrick Story helps you learn the basics quickly, then takes you deeper into the application to master its finer points. For seasoned users, Derrick also covers all the new features in version 21, including Speed Edit, the Dehaze slider, and Style Brushes that allow you to enhance specific areas of a photo. To wrap up, he shares tips and techniques that can help you ensure your workflow is as efficient as possible.

You can check it out now by visiting LinkedIn Learning.

Did You Shoot the Lunar Eclipse?

I had clear skies last Wednesday morning allowing me to shoot the lunar eclipse with my Olympus 40-150mm PRO lens and an OM-D E-M5 Mark II camera. You can see the shot here. It made Flickr Explore.

Using OI Share made it a wonderful experience. I'll discuss it on the podcast.

The New Donation Kit for Carefree Shipping of Found Film Cameras

Greg Croasdill recently wrote me this: "My father-in-law passed away recently and I would like to donate his film cameras to the Film Camera Shop. I've heard you speak of this for years on your podcast and now finally I have some good equipment to send you way."

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

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

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

Virtual Camera Club News

0 Seats Remaining for Our Ultimate B&W Photography Workshop - July 2021.

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

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

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

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

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

See you next week!

Product Links and Comments

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

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #792, May 25, 2021. Today's theme is "How to Photograph the Upcoming Lunar Eclipse." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Photographing celestial events is a wonderful way to add variety to your photography. No matter what your thing is (unless you're an astrophotographer), capturing a comet or an eclipse in your viewfinder can add a dash of enthusiasm to your creative endeavors. If you agree, then I have a great opportunity for you in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, a total lunar eclipse. And on today's show, I'm going to discuss how to make the most of it.

Tune-In Via Your Favorite Podcast App!


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How to Photograph the Upcoming Lunar Eclipse

watchers-1024.jpeg

In this first segment, I cover everything you need to know to photography the upcoming lunar eclipse. If you want to read more about it, check out this great article, How to Photograph a Total Lunar Eclipse on Petapixel that I used for reference.

Adobe update brings camera phone 'portrait mode' to Photoshop

You can read the entire article on Digital Camera World.

The latest update to Adobe Photoshop will give desktop photo editors an instant portrait effect similar to that of the 'Portrait Mode' found on camera phones. The update includes a new Neural Filter called Depth Blur that lets photographers choose different focal points in their images and blurs the background intelligently, in doing so creating a bokeh effect similar to using a fast portrait-length lens.

It is already possible to create this effect in Photoshop by using various blurs and manually masking subjects, but the process can be tedious and time consuming, especially for beginners. The Depth Blur feature automates the process and, although not instant, makes achieving sharp subjects and blurred backgrounds much easier.

The new tool is part of a May 2021 update to Adobe Photoshop and can be found in the 'Filters' drop-down menu, under 'Neural Filters'. It works by creating a depth map of your image which can be adjusted with an artificial depth of field. The effect can give images that were not taken with a wide-open fast lens the appearance of one (giving you the option to focus on foreground or background objects and blur out the background or foreground respectively).

There is plenty of room for altering the strength of the effect, with Blur Strength, Focal Range, Focal Distance, as well as Haze, Warmth, and Brightness adjustment available before applying the filter. You can preview the effect these adjustments will make as well as changes to the desired focal point in the image.

New Release: Capture One Pro 21 Essential Training

Capture One Pro is a complete digital photo management and editing application for professional photographers and serious enthusiasts. Photographers who appreciate outstanding RAW processing, expert color control, and logical organization should consider Capture One Pro for its comprehensive feature set. In this course, professional photographer and instructor Derrick Story helps you learn the basics quickly, then takes you deeper into the application to master its finer points. For seasoned users, Derrick also covers all the new features in version 21, including Speed Edit, the Dehaze slider, and Style Brushes that allow you to enhance specific areas of a photo. To wrap up, he shares tips and techniques that can help you ensure your workflow is as efficient as possible.

You can check it out now by visiting LinkedIn Learning.

Photoshop's Brand New Depth Blur Feature Needs a Lot of Work

You can read the entire article on stoppers.

With the latest batch of updates, Photoshop has added a new feature to its array of neural filters: depth blur. Very much in beta, this tool has potential, but there's clearly a lot of improvements required before it becomes worth using.

Unmesh Dinda of PiXimperfect runs you through the new feature that arrived in the latest update of Photoshop, and while the depth mapping functionality will bring lots of possibilities, it's clear from this beta version of Depth Blur that Photoshop has a lot of work to do before it becomes useful to photographers working with high-resolution images. Dinda shows that existing tools within Photoshop can create far better results, and it's possible that Adobe's engineers will seek to merge these techniques to create improvements.

While Dinda's experiences show the current limitations, Adobe's potential to harness machine learning will only expand, particularly as more images become available. If you're wondering why Adobe has decided to roll out a beta feature that is still so far from producing good results, it's probably because its machine learning needs to figure out what works and what doesn't -- notice how the dialog box asks you each time if you're happy with the results. The neural filters depend on this feedback to improve.

While it's easy to scoff at these early efforts, it's quite possible that in five years you will struggle to differentiate between an image shot at f/1.4 and the same scene shot at f/5.6 with some depth blur applied. Whether this will merely increase the number of images with an insanely shallow depth of field or if it has a practical application for photographers remains to be seen.

The New Donation Kit for Carefree Shipping of Found Film Cameras

Greg C. recently wrote me this: "My father-in-law passed away recently and I would like to donate his film cameras to the Film Camera Shop. I've heard you speak of this for years on your podcast and now finally I have some good equipment to send you way."

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

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

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

Virtual Camera Club News

0 Seats Remaining for Our Ultimate B&W Photography Workshop - July 2021.

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

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

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

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

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

See you next week!

Product Links and Comments

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

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #791, May 18, 2021. Today's theme is "It's Spring! 5 Tips to Clean Up Your Photography Act." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Spring cleaning shouldn't be limited to our yards, garages, and closets. We get behind on photography-related tasks as well. It's not that we're lazy or distracted (OK, well maybe distracted), it's just that we forget to do certain things that may really help us in the long run. Consider today's show a handy checklist for those springtime tasks. Look at it this way, everyone of these is more fun than cleaning the garage. I hope you enjoy the show.

Tune-In Via Your Favorite Podcast App!


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It's Spring! 5 Tips to Clean Up Your Photography Act

disk-utility.jpg

I remember that I once saw a pie chart of how a professional photographer's time was spent each week. Ironically, on about 15 percent was actually taking pictures.

Fortunately, as enthusiasts, we have far fewer business chores to attend to. But that doesn't mean we're off the hook entirely.

Take a look at this checklist and start mapping out your plan.

  • Firmware Updates - I had missed one for my X100V only to discover that it added webcam ability to my camera. That's a pretty big deal these days. Be sure to review your firmware status for both camera bodies and lenses.
  • Equipment Inventory - I'm sure I just did one not too long ago. I looked it up, and yes, more than 5 years had passed. Wow! Time flies. And boy has my gear changed a lot since then. Be sure to record pictures, serial numbers, and any purchase information you may have.
  • Get Rid of Gear that You're Not Using - It's amazing how fast we can accumulate new gear. And many times those new pieces render stuff we already have as obsolete. You can tie this project to your inventory efforts and get bonus points for efficiency.
  • Test Your Backup - I know you're already backing up your valuable images. But when was the last time you tested your system for integrity? Now would be a good time to ensure you can actually restore.
  • Clean Off Your Laptop Hard Drive - Now that the sun is shinning for those of us North of the equator, you'll probably be adding many more pictures to your photo catalogs. Clean off those laptop drives now!

You may not have time for all of these. But accomplishing just one or two can pay off big up the road.

News Corp Australia Has Laid Off the Last of Its Photographers: Report

You can read the entire article on Petapixel.

News Corp Australia has reportedly laid off the last of its staff photographers and converted fully to using freelancers according to a new report. The last eight photographers were informed last week that their positions were being made redundant.

According to The Guardian, the Rupert Murdoch-owned publication giant called the last photographers who worked for the Geelong Advertiser, the NT News, the Hobart Mercury, Townsville Bulletin, the Gold Coast Bulletin, and the Cairns Post into a management meeting and were told them that they would be replaced by freelancers.

The report also states that those eight staff members -- the last of a full-time staff that once numbered over 100 -- were given the opportunity to purchase their staff photography equipment at discounted prices and come back as outsourced, freelance labor.

News Corp has been moving towards a freelancer model when it comes to photography for several years. Last year, the company let its chief photographer Gary Ramage go, and in November it cut 16 photography positions out of 25 total jobs it eliminated.

New Release: Capture One Pro 21 Essential Training

Capture One Pro is a complete digital photo management and editing application for professional photographers and serious enthusiasts. Photographers who appreciate outstanding RAW processing, expert color control, and logical organization should consider Capture One Pro for its comprehensive feature set. In this course, professional photographer and instructor Derrick Story helps you learn the basics quickly, then takes you deeper into the application to master its finer points. For seasoned users, Derrick also covers all the new features in version 21, including Speed Edit, the Dehaze slider, and Style Brushes that allow you to enhance specific areas of a photo. To wrap up, he shares tips and techniques that can help you ensure your workflow is as efficient as possible.

You can check it out now by visiting LinkedIn Learning.

The 5 favorite camera brands in Japan (and you won't believe who's first!)

You can read the entire article on Digital Camera World.

Japan's favorite camera brand isn't Canon. It isn't Nikon. It isn't Sony, or Olympus or Fujifilm. No, Japan's favorite camera brand is Pentax / Ricoh.

That's according to the latest results in a survey being conducted by IT Media, asking Japanese consumers to choose their favorite digital camera maker. And despite the best Pentax cameras all being DSLRs, and facing quite a technological disparity compared to the likes of the best Canon cameras and best Sony cameras, that hasn't stopped Ricoh being Japan's most beloved brand in the camera industry.

The survey (spotted by Pentax Rumors) still has another ten days to run, closing on 27 May, but so far the results are pretty eye-opening. Almost a quarter of Japanese users say that Pentax / Ricoh is their favorite brand, with nearly a fifth pledging allegiance to Nikon.

Here are the top 6 - Pentax, Nikon, Canon, Sony, Olympus, and Fujifilm.

The New Donation Kit for Carefree Shipping of Found Film Cameras

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

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

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

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

Virtual Camera Club News

2 Seats Remaining for Our Ultimate B&W Photography Workshop - July 2021.

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

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

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

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

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

See you next week!

Product Links and Comments

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

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #790, May 11, 2021. Today's theme is "Supercharge Your Editing App." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

One of the reasons we don't move from an existing photo management app, such as Lightroom, to another is because we have so much time invested in it. Changing horses doesn't make sense. But what if we could breathe new life into our existing workflow without having to relocate a single file? That sounds more palatable. And it's the first story in today's TDS Photography Podcast. I hope you enjoy the show.

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Supercharge Your Editing App

Most of us are familiar with plugins. Over the years I've covered quite a few including RAW Power, Luminar, and Pixelmator. I had always wanted to include ON1 in that list, but my tests had hit bumps in the road. But now with ON1 Effects 2021, I can say that it's been a great ride.

on1-effects-1024.jpg

Can Use it with and for Practically Everything

Regardless of what your base app is - Lightroom, Photoshop, Capture One Pro, Photos for macOS, PaintShop Pro, or Affinity Photo - Effects can add creativity and capability to your existing workflow.

It includes tools for masking and retouching. There are tons of presets included, and you can create your own as well. My favorite part are the Filters. There are some truly interesting and creative ones including B&W, Glow, Grunge, Dynamic Contrast, Channel Mixer, Skin Retouching, Sun Flare, and many, many more.

Powerful, but Easy to Use Printing too

One of the delightful surprises I discovered while testing Effects was its well thought out printing module. This is something that I've been disappointed with time and time again with other applications. Not this time.

The Effects print module is easy to use, but provides the options that most photographers are looking for. And the very cool thing about it, is that you can use the print module while in plugin mode. In the case of Photos, I went to Edit, chose Effects, then set up my print job within the plugin. It worked great.

And if you load your manufacturer's print driver instead of using AirPrint, you'll have even more options in the Setup dialog.

This is very nice.

Downloading a Free Trial or Purchasing ON1 Effects 2021

You can try ON1 Effects 2021 free for 14 days. If you decide to purchase, you can buy for $69.95. Save 15% off that price by using coupon code: THEDIGITALSTORY.

Bottom Line

I started using ON1 Effects for my infrared photography because of its excellent Channel Mixer, LUTs, and presets. But I've discovered that it's useful for all of my photography. It's a robust tool for both my Photos and Capture One Pro workflows. And it's a great way to get the most out of my iPhone shots as well.

Next MacBook Air Powered by M2, To Come in Multiple Colors: Report

You can read the entire article on Petapixel.

If a new rumor is to be believed, Apple wasn't done using color with its new M1 iMac series: the design aesthetic is coming to the next MacBook Air as well.

Famed Apple leaker Jon Prosser, who has a pretty decent track record, has released a set of new renders that he says is indicative of MacBook Air designs he was shown from his own source at the company.

As reported by Digital Trends, the renders feature several notable changes to the current MacBook Air design. The most obvious change is that the computer will supposedly be available in one of seven colors: Silver, Blue. Yellow, Orange. Pink, Purple, and Green. Not coincidently, those are the same colors that Apple's newly-announced M1 iMacs are available in.

New Release: Capture One Pro 21 Essential Training

Capture One Pro is a complete digital photo management and editing application for professional photographers and serious enthusiasts. Photographers who appreciate outstanding RAW processing, expert color control, and logical organization should consider Capture One Pro for its comprehensive feature set. In this course, professional photographer and instructor Derrick Story helps you learn the basics quickly, then takes you deeper into the application to master its finer points. For seasoned users, Derrick also covers all the new features in version 21, including Speed Edit, the Dehaze slider, and Style Brushes that allow you to enhance specific areas of a photo. To wrap up, he shares tips and techniques that can help you ensure your workflow is as efficient as possible.

You can check it out now by visiting LinkedIn Learning.

The New Donation Kit for Carefree Shipping of Found Film Cameras

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

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

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

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

Virtual Camera Club News

Photos for macOS Big Sur and iPhone Essential Training

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See you next week!

Product Links and Comments

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

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #789, May 4, 2021. Today's theme is "The Workshop Plan." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Going into the second half of 2021 and planning the entire 2022 season, I want to share our TDS Workshop Plan with you. Many of us are already considering travel plans and thinking about the things that we want to do. I'm hoping to be very much part of those plans. Here's what I'm working on.

Tune-In Via Your Favorite Podcast App!


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The Workshop Plan

Scott-Davenport-US-Oregon-2018-11-09-0022-Along+Sweet+Creek+In+Oregon.jpg Along Sweet Creek, Oregon. Photo by Scott Davenport.

Our workshops moving forward are going to be better than ever. We have events on the books right now, and there are others in the works. So I'm going to give you a preview today of how things are going to play out moving forward.

Two Types - Physical and Online

The online events are definitely here to stay. They have so many positives. They are affordable, convenient, and still provide some excellent interaction.

But now that physical events are coming back to the calendar, they are going to be enhanced as well through our online site and Zoom meetings leading up to the actual event.

The 2022 season will probably feature 3 physical events and a half dozen online workshops. This means that regardless what time of year it is, or where you live, you should be able to join your fellow photographers for one of these events.

But First, The Second Half of 2021

The next thing we have planned is the The Ultimate B&W Photography Workshop that begins on June 30, 2021. If you love Black and White photography and want to explore the creation of stunning monochrome, duotone, and infrared images, then this event is for you.

In November, we have our first physical event scheduled in more than a year: The Oregon Coast Photography Workshop that runs the week of November 8, 2021.

I'm teaming up with photographer Scott Davenport for this exciting exploration of the stunning Oregon landscape. We will headquarter in Florence, OR. It's a direct line west from the Eugene Airport. So if you're flying in, you'll be able to rent a car and easily drive to our headquarters.

This workshop features two instructors, four full days, pre-workshop meetings online, lifetime membership to our virtual workshop site, and plenty more. This will be our first physical event where we incorporate our online tools as well.

Registration for the Oregon Coast Photography Workshop is limited to 10 photographers. Tuition is $1,295. You can secure your spot now with a $295 deposit.

If you have a balance from the 2020 workshop season, it can be applied in full for this event. Plus, our Inner Circle Members will receive a $100 discount for the second payment.

I'm going to be driving our new TDS Workshop Transport, the all electric Volkswagen ID.4 for this event. If you're curious about EVs, I'll have a birds of a feather session about them one of the evenings during our event.

This is going to be a amazing week. Scott and I are already counting the days until we gather together.

More on the 2022 Season

Coming this summer, I'll release the 2022 workshop season. Potential locations include the Humboldt Redwoods, Eastern Sierra, Lassen Volcanic Park, Costa Rica, and others.

If one of these sound particularly tantalizing to you, please drop me a note via the Contact Form on TheNimblePhotographer.com

I can't wait to hit the road and get back to work with all of you!

Xencelabs Pen Tablet Review: Already Better than Wacom

You can read the entire article on Petapixel.

What do you get when you take a bunch of former Wacom employees, start a new company, and give them carte blanche to develop a brand new pen tablet? What you get is Xencelabs, a new player in graphics that is bringing some much-needed innovation to a stale market. This is no cheap knock-off we're talking about, Xencelabs' new Pen Tablet Medium just put Wacom on notice.

For those of you who haven't been following this space, it's not that Wacom has been short of competition lately. XP-PEN and Huion in particular have been releasing high-quality pen tablets and pen displays at an alarming clip, while also charging a fraction of Wacom prices for a similar combination of core specs. We've reviewed a few of these products and have been duly impressed by what we found.

But both XP-PEN and Huion are very clearly Wacom knock-offs. They are high-quality knock-offs that offer similar performance for a lot less money, but knock-offs all the same. You can't shake the feeling that you're using a product designed to undercut Wacom, which usually means cutting a few corners when it comes to build quality, software, customer support, and extraneous features like wireless connectivity.

That's where the Xencelabs Pen Tablet sets itself apart. It's a true-blue competitor that meets or exceeds the most stringent build standards, adds some refreshing design elements, and checks all the professional-grade boxes.

The New Donation Kit for Carefree Shipping of Found Film Cameras

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

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

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

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

DPReview TV: Olympus OM-D E-M10 IV review

You can read the entire video on DP Review.

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 IV is a compact, stylish and low-priced Micro Four Thirds camera with a 20MP sensor and in-body stabilization. Chris and Jordan put it through its paces in the latest episode of DPReview TV.

Virtual Camera Club News

Photos for macOS Big Sur and iPhone Essential Training

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See you next week!

Product Links and Comments

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

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

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

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

Opening Monologue

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

Tune-In Via Your Favorite Podcast App!


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

Pentax-K3-III.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

Interesting Notes

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

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

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

The New Donation Kit for Carefree Shipping of Found Film Cameras

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

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

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

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

Love Crop Sensors? Exciting Possibilities for the Future

You can read the entire article on The Phoblographer.

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

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

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

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

Virtual Camera Club News

Photos for macOS Big Sur and iPhone Essential Training

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See you next week!

Product Links and Comments

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

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

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

Opening Monologue

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

Tune-In Via Your Favorite Podcast App!


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5 Useful Accessories for DIY Photo Projects

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

Accessory-Drawer-1024.jpeg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photos for macOS Big Sur and iPhone Essential Training

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

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

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

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

You can read the entire article on FStoppers.

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

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

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

Virtual Camera Club News

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

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

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

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

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

See you next week!

Product Links and Comments

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

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

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

Opening Monologue

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

Tune-In Via Your Favorite Podcast App!


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Should I Stay with Micro Four Thirds?

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

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

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

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

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

Bottom Line

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The New Donation Kit for Carefree Shipping of Found Film Cameras

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

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

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

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

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

You can read the entire article on DP Review.

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

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

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

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

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

Virtual Camera Club News

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

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

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

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

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

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

See you next week!

Product Links and Comments

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

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