Nixplay Iris Review - Show YOUR photos in my living room!?!?

iris-bronze-frame.8b1b80a0-400x214.jpg

I have spent a few weeks with the Nixplay Iris wifi cloud frame and discovered a cool feature that I need your help to use! watch till the end - I have thoughts on this $175-$200 digital frame with 10GB of cloud storage. I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Buy the Nixplay IRIS

Amazon

Amazon

B&H

B&H

Safari Review - Sony 100-400

I take the Sony FE 100-400 and Sony 1.4x Teleconverter on Safari in Tanzania, Africa with McKaylive.com and https://thomsonsafaris.com/ - I loved, LOVED the results and share with you my full review of the Sony 100-400, with sample photos and a report of how the Sony 100-400 performs paired with the Sony 1.4x Teleconverter for wildlife and portraits!

Your use of these links supports these reviews and costs you nothing extra.

Sample Photos Sony FE 100-400 f/4.5 - 5.6

[gallery ids="18038,18039,18040,18041,18042,18044,18045,18046,18047"]

Sony FE 100-400 with 1.4x Teleconverter Sample Photos

[gallery columns="4" ids="18048,18049,18050,18051,18052,18053,18054,18055"]

Sample raw files for personal use only.

Pick up the Sony G Master FE 100-400mm Today

Sony 100-400

Sony 100-400

Amazon

Amazon

B&H

B&H

Sony 100-400mm F/4.5-5.6 Specs

Focal Length

100 - 400mm

Aperture

Maximum: f/4.5 - 5.6Minimum: f/32 - 40

Mount

Sony FE (Full Frame or APS-C)

Angle of View

24° - 6° 10'

Minimum Focus Distance

3.22' (.98 m)

Magnification

0.12 - 0.35x

Optical Design

22 Elements in 16 Groups

Blades

9, Rounded

Image Stabilization

Yes

Auto Focus

Yes

Tripod Collar

Yes, Removable

Filter Size

Front: 77 mm

Dimensions

Approx. 3.70 x 8.07" (93.9 x 205 mm)

Weight

3.07 lbs (1395 g)

Canon M50 at WPPI - Baby Steps?

Canon has released a mirrorless 4k camera and Toby spends a few minutes at WPPI sharing his thoughts on the M50. This is Canon's vlogging camera, at a low price point it's touted with 4K while keeping a small size and being budget friendly. As their first strong go into the mirrorless market does it work? Watch Toby's video to find out.Preorder/Buy the Canon M50: https://bhpho.to/2FPrsdz 

Sony a7III Review - The Only Thing Entry Level Is the Price

Sony a7III Review

Sony a7III Review

This camera really redefines what it means to offer an entry-level full frame camera. With the a7III, Sony even seems willing to risk sales of their higher end models. Packed inside is a redesigned 24MP sensor, using the newer backside illuminated design for improved lowlight performance. Capable of 10 frames per second (silent or mechanical shutter) with In Body Image Stabilization (IBIS). Sony borrowed from the a9 with 693 autofocus points using Eye-AF and tracking better than the Sony a7RIII. Videographers should also be happy shooting 4K with HLG(HDR) and S-Log2 and S-Log3 - feature serious videographers will appreciate. And the addition of a touchscreen for touch to focus improves the usability of the camera and makes shooting video easier too. As an entry-level full frame camera, the Sony a7III doesn't pull any punches.

  • Redesigned 24MP Sensor

  • 693 AF Points with A9s Eye-AF system (Better than a7Riii)

  • 15 stop Dynamic Range

  • 5 axis IBIS

  • 10fps with 14 bit raw (also 14 bit raw while silent)

  • 4k HDR, 6k full readout, Slog 2 & 3 and HLG

  • Uses Z Battery Rated at 710 shots longest battery life of any mirrorless camera ever (We got a ton more photos than that in real-world use, 4,000!)

  • Dual SDcard slots, joystick, touchscreen, USB-C

Short answer? Buy this now, seriously here's the link to Amazon.As it stands the a7III is the entry-level full frame to beat. 

Sony a7III ISO

Sony a7III ISO

SmallGif.gif
Sony a7iii s-log

Sony a7iii s-log

As a big point for this series, the body and user interface have been redesigned with a joystick, touchscreen, and dual card slots. At 710 shots per charge with a newly redesigned battery, it has the highest shot count of any mirrorless camera to date. After taking 2,000 photos and using the camera all day at 20 percent left the a7III still got another 2,000 shots from a timelapse... on a single battery!The a7III can go up 204,800 ISO in Extended Mode, and in testing, this camera is pretty good. At 51,200 ISO we found that images are still usable at least for social media purposes. Versus the a7RIII results are similar but the a7RIII does have a slight advantage at higher ISO. Versus the Canon 6d MarkII up to 12,800 ISO, the Canon compares quite well, then the a7III starts to have much better photos.The Eye-AF system is BETTER than the a7RIII! And it’s REALLY good in the A7RIII! For cases where that's not an option, the focus point joystick can change points on the go. In darker scenes focus is good, Eye-AF does struggle in lower light if it can't recognize an eye. Otherwise set to medium spot it grabs focus well in those situations, as well as some of the other automated focus modes. Lock on tracking is nice but in testing, it does miss on occasion in our experience but overall it still works great.Buffering was an issue with previous Sony cameras, filling up, and locking you out of some options. The a7III is improved. Also, the a7III does not have apps, just like the a7RIII and a9. No timelapse or reflection app but there's always other options such as the Miops mobile or dropping S&Q to one frame a second. [Timelapse options on Sony a9, a7Riii, a7iii]For video, you get 1080p at 30/60/120 fps up to 100 Mbits a second, it also has 4k at 30 and 24 fps at 8 bit.  Super 35 and full frame (both work in 4k and 1080p) are equally sharp and give you more options for shooting as the crop ratio can help you get closer or wider when needed. 4k at 30fps does have a 1.2 crop, 24fps is a full frame readout. ISO up to 6400 is good, 12800 is a pinch, reducing 4k to 1080p does reduce a lot of noise. For editing, you'll be good with access to S-Log 2 and 3 and multiple picture styles. Proxy support is included as well, a second smaller copy recorded alongside the 4K file that allows you edit on a laptop, having the ability to swap it out with the 4K file laterInterested in how the a7III stacks up to the a7RIII? Check out Photorec.tv/a73vs for the full comparison. Really, 42MP plus pixel shift is what you get with the a7RIII. But, for those that don't need the megapixels, this is more than you need and you can spend the extra cash on a new lens.For $2,000? The Sony a7III is just worth it, as an entry level full frame Sony wants to dominate the space. This camera lives up to the hype with a 24mp sensor, great autofocus, and 10 fps for any professional shoot. The redesigned body and UI is great and much better to use than previous generations. Then there's a battery that can shoot up to 4,000 shots, 4K with video options, and IBIS... This is the entry-level full frame to beat.

Sony a7III Available for Preorder Today

Sony a7III review

Sony a7III review

Amazon

Amazon

B&H Photo

B&H Photo

FE 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS Lens KitAmazon | B&HVario-Tessar FE 24-70mm f/4ZA OSS Lens KitAmazon | B&HFE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS Lens KitAmazon | B&H

Basic Specs

  • 24MP Full-Frame Exmor R BSI CMOS Sensor

  • BIONZ X Image Processor & Front-End LSI

  • 693-Point Hybrid AF System

  • UHD 4K30p Video with HLG & S-Log3 Gammas

  • 2.36m-Dot Tru-Finder OLED EVF

  • 3.0" 922k-Dot Tilting Touchscreen LCD

  • 5-Axis SteadyShot INSIDE Stabilization

  • ISO 204800 and 10 fps Shooting

  • Built-In Wi-Fi and NFC, Dual SD Slots

  • USB Type-C Port, Weather-Sealed Design

Sample Photos

Sony a7iii vs a7Riii

The Sony a7iii is better than the Sony a7Riii but costs $1200 less? It's Sony a7III vs a7rIII, let's talk about the differences and decide which is best for you. Toby's back from Las Vegas at WPPI with Sony and we've got the answers you need.

A7RIII Strengths:

  • More megapixels, 42 vs 24

  • Better electronic viewfinder and LCD

  • Pixel Shift, combined photos for more detail

  • Slightly better build time and lifespan

A7III Advantages:

  • Better autofocus, 693 vs 399

  • Better battery life

  • Better low light performance

  • $1,200 cheaper

Sony a7Riii: $3200 - BUY AT B&H Photo - https://bhpho.to/2AYk9h0Sony a7iii: $1999 -PREORDER AT B&H Photo - https://bhpho.to/2EZ1h3G

I have owned the a7R iii from the moment it was released - it's come along with me to Yosemite, Yellowstone, Alaska, and Vietnam.  Now I just spent three days with the a7 iii and I think that makes me pretty qualified to help YOU answer the question of why you may or may NOT want to spend an additional $1200 for the a7R iii. Let's start with what the a7R iii offers over the a7 iii -A better EVF - when looking through the viewfinder of the a7R iii, it does not feel like a screen. it's beautiful, crisp and clear. When you put your eye up to the a7iii you can just start to see the pixels. I honestly didn't notice until I saw the spec differences and then held both up to my eye one after the other. It's not a difference that I feel will impact your photography - the LCD is also slightly lower res - not something I noticed. The a7R iii offers pixel shift - a feature where 4 photos are taken and combined in software on the computer for noticeably increased detail - I am blown away but how much more detail is captured when you take the time to use pixel shift but despite that I have used only it a few times- part of that is the way I shoot - I lump myself more into the travel photography category than landscape, typically on the move, often not on a tripod which is required.  For landscape photographers looking to get as much detail as possible in a shot - there is nothing short of carrying around medium format gear that comes close to what the a7R iii and pixel-shift provide.More megapixels The a7R iii offers 42MP, the a7 iii 24mp. It sounds like a big significant difference  - Maybe Enough of a difference that I could say the a7R iii offers FORTY-TWO Megapixels and the a7iii offers JUST 24mp.  JUST 24?! Here is a representation of the difference. Here is an actual shot - here are both at 100% view  I have sent both off to be printed at 16x20 - the won't be back before I leave for the Serengeti but I will revisit this discussion at some point in the future.  We will touch back on this MP discussion in a minute - There are a few other differences  - the a7R iii has more weather sealing though until a tear down we don’t know the real differences, The use of metal screws when the a7iii uses plastic  and the a7R iii shutter is rated for a longer life span - These are not factors that would sway my decision one way or the other but I want you to have as much info as possible. let's now look at what the a7 iii offers over the a7R iiibetter AF system - borrowing from the a9 we have 693 points, greater coverage and because we have more points the Eye-af system is even more accurate, even more responsive.  Honestly, I didn't see a huge difference but it feels very responsive and accurate.Better battery life - The official CIPA rating of the new camera is 710 shots - I know that on one full day of shooting I was able to capture just under 4,000 photos on one battery.  The a7R iii is rated just at 610 shots but I have had similar experiences and rarely needed more than one photo for a day and that includes shooting in Alaska and Yellowstone with below freezing temps.Better Low light performance on the photo side of things it is similar and when you downsize the A7Riii pics they look a little better  but in video the a7iii is better, noticeably and in ways that videographers who don't care about the improvements that the a7Siii  will bring will likely take notice - at this price point the a7iii is extremely impressive for the video quality provided.Let's recap the differences that matter. - a7R iii offers those megapixels, The a7 iii improved AF,  better video quality at the higher ISO and saves you $1200.Here's what I say I feel that if you are watching this video, you might be on the fence and if you are on the fence - you don't need 42MP,  24 is more than enough and the savings can be put toward a lens or a trip that is going to put you someplace awesome where you can make beautiful 24mp photos . There are fewer of you that need 42MP but if you do, you should know it.  And if you are a Lightroom user - Lightroom will certainly feel more responsive when browsing 24mp files.and briefly, have heard some people say why buy the a9? In my opinion, The a9 is a different beast offering 20 fps silently without worry about distortion due to rolling shutter.I know some of you also wonder about the 7Rii vs the a7iii since they are similar in price  - I think this is an easy choice for most of you. The improvements in the newer a7 series really make the a7 iii much more user-friendly and capable of handling a greater number of photography tasks - for that reason, I think most people would be better off going a7ii to a7iii even though you don't get an increase in MP.

a7III

a7RIII

Sony a7III

Sony a7III

a7RIII

a7RIII

  • 24MP Full-Frame Exmor R BSI CMOS Sensor

  • BIONZ X Image Processor & Front-End LSI

  • 693-Point Hybrid AF System

  • UHD 4K30p Video with HLG & S-Log3 Gammas

  • 2.36m-Dot Tru-Finder OLED EVF

  • 3.0" 922k-Dot Tilting Touchscreen LCD

  • 5-Axis SteadyShot INSIDE Stabilization

  • ISO 204800 and 10 fps Shooting

  • Built-In Wi-Fi and NFC, Dual SD Slots

  • USB Type-C Port, Weather-Sealed Design

  • 42MP Full-Frame Exmor R BSI CMOS Sensor

  • BIONZ X Image Processor & Front-End LSI

  • 399-Point AF System & 10 fps Shooting

  • UHD 4K30p Video with HLG & S-Log3 Gammas

  • 3.69m-Dot Tru-Finder OLED EVF

  • 3.0" 1.44m-Dot Tilting Touchscreen LCD

  • 5-Axis SteadyShot INSIDE Stabilization

  • ISO 102400 & Pixel Shift Multi Shooting

  • Built-In Wi-Fi/Bluetooth, Dual SD Slots

  • USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C Port & PC Sync Port

Amazon

Amazon

B&H Photo

B&H Photo

Amazon

Amazon

B&H Photo

B&H Photo

How-to: Photograph the Milky Way

Simple tips and tricks for getting the best milky way photos - from when to go, where to go and what gear to use.

When to Shoot

20170819-joshuatreeCRYS-DSC01531ILCE-7RM214mm-F1.8-DG-HSM-Art-01725.0-sec-at-f-1.8-400x267.jpg

March to October is good but the best times to see the galactic core is late April to late July here in the Northern Hemisphere. In the southern hemisphere February to October with the galactic core best visible during June and July - The galactic core is arguably the most interesting and most photogenic section of the milky - So take a moment and add a calendar reminder to watch this video again in the spring.You also want nights with no moon - this means a new moon or dates when the moon is below the horizon - a quick search online yields lots of helpful info. On iOS and Android, I love Photopills it has at a glance moon info as well as rise/set times for the Galactic core for your location AND a mode that lets you overlay the night sky & milky way on the landscape where you are standing!

Location

Someplace with low amounts of light pollution - to figure out the closest dark skies visit website Dark site Finder - Yellow is eh, Green is ok, blue is good, black is even better. But don’t let this stop you from trying - Your milky way shots might not be the best but at least get out, practice and develop the skills so when you end up at the right time and place you can get THE SHOT.DO include interesting foreground elements - rocks, trees, mountains, something to ground your viewer on earth while giving them a taste of the stars above.

Gear

Irix Firefly

Irix Firefly

You need a sturdy tripod - I have my favorites listed below. As for lens choice. Full Frame equivalents of 14 to 30 work well for me. The IRIX firefly is my current budget favorite - I have a review of several lenses perfect for astrophotography linked below. You could go fisheye or shoot a panorama if you have a full view of the sky with little light pollution.

Camera Settings

Get manual focus during the day and then tape or lock your focus ring at that point.

  • Aperture - Use the widest your lens allows - f/2.8 is great wider is even better Kit lenses at f/3.5 are a possibility too.

  • Shutter speed - Probably about 20 seconds but follow the 500 rule and keep that shutter speed as short as possible so stars are pinpoints and not streaks. Taking multiple shots and stacking for lower noise higher detail is an option too - I haven’t done that yet - I have been happy with single shots.

  • ISO You are probably going to end up around 1600 - lower if you have a faster lens than f/2.8 - higher if you have a slower lens.

20170818-joshuatree-DSC01476ILCE-7RM215.0-sec-at-f-2.8-320x400.jpg

In Post

Post Processing I typically cool the image - brighten overall image but especially the stars by increasing the highlights and I use a brush to increase the brightness of the milky way and a second brush to decrease the brightness of the darker sections - overall increasing contrast and making the milky way stand out more. 

Fuji Vs the Competition (Sony, Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic)

Scroll down for recommended lenses and comparisons against the competitors

https://youtu.be/OKew22eOUQIDownload Fuji X-T2 Raw files - Sign up for my occasional and non-spammy newsletter

[mc4wp_form id="10733"]

 [gallery td_select_gallery_slide="slide" ids="16055,16056,16057,16058,16059,16060,16061"] The Fuji X-T2 is one of the most well-rounded, mirrorless, camera on the market today. You can even drop the mirrorless qualifier and I feel the statement still holds true. But, this camera isn't for everyone and there are a host of fantastic cameras to choose from. In this post, I share some thoughts on worthy Fuji Competitors and how they match up.I mentioned in the video

The Canon 6D Mark II (Full Frame DSLR) vs Fuji X-T2 (APS-C Mirrorless)

Canon EOS 6D Mark II DSLR Camera (Body Only) $1,999.00Fujifilm X-T2 Mirrorless Digital Camera with 18-55mm Lens $1,899.00Canon wins with low light performance and a huge lens selectionCanon loses on size, weight, video features and lack of dedicated AF joystick and single card slotThe Canon is larger, heavier and uses larger and heavier full frame lenses - making the entire package a good bit more serious to carry around BUT the 6D Mark II does better in low light and offers a HUGE selection of Canon and 3rd party lenses, many of which are quite affordable and some help with the portability (pancake primes like the 40mm f/2.8). The Canon also has a fully articulating touch screen which makes recording yourself easy though you are limited to 1080p at just 60fps and the quality while decent isn't exciting.  The Fuji provides 4K at 30fps, better AF coverage, much faster burst rate and a dedicated joystick for AF control along with dual card slots. Travel photographers and landscape photographers that are hiking to destinations, I think you will find the smaller size and weight of the Fuji and associated lenses to be a serious advantage along with the ability to charge on the go. 

The Sony a6300/a6500 (APS-C Mirrorless) vs Fuji X-T2 (APS-C Mirrorless)

Sony wins on price, weight and video performance (especially a6500 stabilized)Sony loses when you compare ergonomics, aps-c lens(selection and quality) and lack of dual card slots.Sony Alpha a6300 Mirrorless Digital Camera with 16-50mm Lens & Free Kit $998.00Fujifilm X-T2 Mirrorless Digital Camera with 18-55mm Lens $1,899.00While the Sony a6xxx series is more traditional in the sense of a mode dial and layout, the Fuji is a far more physical camera with well-marked buttons and dials for just about everything a photographer could need.  The Sony weighs less - offers similar image and video quality and offers nicely portable lenses like the Fuji but- there are only a handful of APS-C lenses for sony that are really exciting and very little is weather sealed. For the sharpest glass, you will likely buy full frame Sony- expensive and heavy. Also in a battle of the kit lenses - Fuji kills Sony's little 16-50 lens which is exceptionally travel-friendly but not the highest quality. Note - the a6500 offers a stabilized sensor.

The Panasonic G85/GH5 (Micro 4/3rds Mirrorless) vs Fuji X-T2 (APS-C Mirrorless)

The Panasonic wins on video features, battery life and massive selection of micro 4/3rd lenses along with a FULLY articulating touchscreenThe Panasonic loses on AF and AF tracking.The Panasonic G85 and GH5 are amazing video focused cameras. While the GH5 is a serious video tool, offering dual stabilized 4k footage up to 60fps it also takes great photos but this is one of the easiest matchups on the page - if you are serious about video the Gh5 or the smaller, cheaper lighter G85 offers lots to love. If you are serious about photos and videos is secondary - the Fuji X-T2 does very well.Note- the G85 is a much cheaper version of the Gh5 and while it lacks some of the pro level video features it offers a great value. My Full Review of the G85Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera (Body Only) $1997.00 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G85 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera with 12-60mm Lens $997.99Fujifilm X-T2 Mirrorless Digital Camera with 18-55mm Lens $1,899.00

Sony a7ii (Full Frame Mirrorless) vs Fuji X-T2 (APS-C Mirrorless)

Sony wins in low light performance, stabilized sensor and priceSony loses in ergonomics, dual card slots and lack of 4k videoSony Alpha a7 II Mirrorless Digital Camera with 28-70mm Lens and Accessory Kit $1698.00Fujifilm X-T2 Mirrorless Digital Camera with 18-55mm Lens $1,899.00The Sony weighs about the same as the Fuji X-T2 but requires full frame lenses and quickly gets heavier. However, the Sony does do better in low light, offers a stabilized sensor and decent ergonomics but not as nice as the very physical feeling Fuji. What else would you like to see matched up against the Fuji X-T2?

GH5 Hands-on

UPDATE: NEW VIDEO - 6 MONTHS WITH THE GH5I have had the GH4 for three years, the GH5 for three days - Here are my early thoughts on the GH5https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLTkpT6hBVQSummary Review: 

  • The GH5 offers 4k at 60fps and it looks gorgeous or shoot 4:2:2 10bit 4k for better color grading
  • The sensor is stabilized providing extremely smooth handheld footage with IS enabled lenses
  • Slow mo options are better and higher quality
  • Low light performance has improved - noticeably better but not OMG amazing difference
  • Autofocus seems to be similar, no real improvements over GH4
  • Additional Pro level tools- Focus Transition, Waveform and Vector Scopes

SAMPLE GH5 Photos

The GH4 pushed the envelope with a full featured video camera and became an extremely popular camera for videographers of all levels. I personally enjoy how beautiful the footage looks and how user friendly the camera is, well suited to casual vlogging or more serious work.   The GH5 continues to be a class leader with frame rates and/or bit rate recording offerings not seen in any other cameras at this price range.  The stabilized sensor now makes it possible to shoot gorgeously smooth handheld video and the sensor upgrade does better in low light(noticeably better but not dramatically better). Autofocus does still seem to be the achilles heel. Not sure I see any noticeable improvement in AF abilities over the GH4 but I plan to test more and make use of several new AF settings in the menu system.    Follow me on Instagram or twitter for updatesBuy the GH4 from B&H PhotoBuy the GH5 from B&H PhotoBuy the Rode Video Mic Full Review:The Gh5 form and button placement is very similar to the GH4 - though we do have a little joystick nub - useful for menu navigation, focus point selection, the record button has moved up top and the whole camera is slightly bigger and about a 1/2 lb heavier. I am a little bummed that they went bigger heavier, I really like the size of the GH4 but it did allow them to upgrade the viewfinder -which is noticeably bigger and add dual card slots - in the years of hard use and abuse the Gh4 has seen - including shooting days worth of footage in hot Tanzania - I have never had a card or camera write error but having two slots gives you backup, or split video and stills OR just have a massive amount of storage. We also have a full HDMI port and a USB C connection, I am so glad, I hate those fiddly usb3 connections. The USB-C allows for fast image download but does NOT support charging over USB. if you want to charge on the go you need to pick up one of these - And while the Gh5 uses the same battery it does seem like battery life is marginally shorter -likely do to the slightly higher resolution LCD AND the stabilized sensor.A stabilized sensor! And like the G85 I just reviewed and the Olympus OMD em1 Mark II - when paired with certain lenses you get dual stabilization - useful for longer exposures , though so far I can’t can’t seem to hand hold reliably past a 1/2 second -with the olympus I could get 4 seconds and that was without the dual IS lens. But for video you now have silky smooth footage and can throw on small primes and still get decently smooth footage.Let’s take a look at the rest of the features4K at 60fps, nothing else close to this price offers 4k at 60FPS and full sensor use for 4k, no additional crop at 4k like you had with the GH4 - wide lenses stay wide and this provides slight low light improvements. You also have 10 bit recording internally- this means the files respond better to grading and improved slowmo with 180fps at 1080 vs just 120 fps in the Gh4. And with 60 fps at 4k you can do the kind of cinematic slow mo at 30fps and stay at 4KYou now have AUTO ISO available when shooting in Manual Video mode - something I personally appreciate.And while this isn’t a difference from the Gh4 - it's important to mention as I get asked often - there is NO recording limit on the GH4 - as long as you have space on the cards and power, the camera will continue to record. It will NOT stop at 29:59 seconds!And also important for me to mention that you can continue to record 4k even when using the very capable wifi remote - something that sets this camera apart from Olympus and fuji.It’s not just on the video side, this is a more capable stills camera - with a 20MP sensor ,improved low light handlingDOWNLOAD FULL RESOLUTION FILES FROM BOTH CAMERAS
And you have the 6K photo feature - this is where the camera will take 18MP at 30fps and you can pull out individual still images - they are jpegs so it isn’t terribly exciting BUT certainly lets you nail important moments with basically 30fps!You also have the post focus feature and in camera 4k timelapse that I mentioned in the G85 reviewGH4/GH5 AutofocusThe Gh4 AF I have found to be adequate for my uses - I mostly get focus before starting my videos and it always is fast and responsive when you force focus, half press shutter or back button. When I leave AF on during my videos and record my face - it usually does good job, if you watch some of my videos you can see it hunt some when it really shouldn’t in my opinion and those times I want to have a slightly more dynamic video - walking toward or away from the camera - it’s just OK- I’d give it a 6/10 for reliability with tracking, maybe 6.5. The canon 80D or a sony a6500 gets an 8/10 in my opinion. The GH5 seems very similar to the GH4 in regards to focusing. This is something I don’t want to talk in depth about yet because I haven’t tested enough, I will be back with more as soon as I feel I can definitely say if it is the same or better - but for now it seems very similar so if you were really hoping to get a noticeably better AF system with the GH5 - hold off.They have added a sweet focus transition tool - basically let’s you rack focus - setting 3 positions and jumping between them during recording. A great way to use AF during video but with the reassurance it is going to land exactly where you want.   They have also added waveform and vector scopes, pro level features no one else offers.Summary Review: The GH4 pushed the envelope with a full featured video camera and became an extremely popular camera for videographers of all levels. I personally enjoy how beautiful the footage looks and how user friendly the camera is, well suited to casual vlogging or more serious work.   The GH5 continues to be a class leader with frame rates and/or bit rate recording offerings not seen in any other cameras at this price range.  The stabilized sensor now makes it possible to shoot gorgeously smooth handheld video and the sensor upgrade does better in low light(noticeably better but not dramatically better). Autofocus does still seem to be the achilles heel. Not sure I see any noticeable improvement in AF abilities over the GH4 but I plan to test more and make use of several new AF settings in the menu system.    Follow me on Instagram or twitter for updatesBuy the GH4 from B&H PhotoBuy the GH5 from B&H PhotoBuy the Rode Video MicConsider becoming a photorec.tv member - where you get access to my support group along with awesome additional perks and we can have those conversations where you get the answers you are looking for.

Panasonic GH5 - 6k Video... Linkbait?

screenshot-2016-09-19-10-35-26The Panasonic GH5 has been announced - The 6K video that is being passed about as a spec isn't quite true.  Even without true 6K video this looks like a serious step forward for videographers with 4k at 60p and the ability to record 10-bit 4:2:2 (more data is better)The specs we have

  • 6K/30p 18mp
  • 8mp/60fps burst photo
  • 10-bit 4:2.2
  • 4K/60p

Body style looks very similar to the GH4.Panasonic also announced further collaboration with Leica together they will be releasing three new lenses8-18mm, 12-60mm, and 50-200mm- all offering f2.8-4.0. Camera and lenses will be available in the first half of 2017Panasonic Press ReleasePanasonic Announces the Development of the World’s First 4K 60p/50p Video Recording CSC Featuring 6K PHOTOIntroducing the LUMIX GH5Panasonic today announces the LUMIX GH5, the world’s first Compact System (CSC) interchangeable lens camera capable of recording high-precision smooth 4K 60p/50p and faithfully reproductive 4:2:2 10-bit 4K video. This premium camera will offer exceptional performance for professional photographers, videographers and emerging photo/video-hybrid creators.The new LUMIX GH5 is scheduled to enter the market in the first half of 2017 and will feature Panasonic’s new ‘6K PHOTO’ offering – an approximately 18-megapixel-equivalent still image extraction from an ultra-high quality video with approximately 9x higher resolution than Full HD. Furthermore, an approximately 8-megapixel equivalent ‘4K PHOTO’ can be extracted from a video shot at 60 fps.Panasonic also announces the new LEICA DG VARIO-ELMARIT F2.8-4.0 lens series. These announcements demonstrate Panasonic’s dedication to continually deliver outstanding customer value and new culture in photography and film production by developing premium, new-era products and functions.Commitment to innovationThe LUMIX GH5 will allow creative minds to capture their vision with ease and style, and further confirms Panasonic’s commitment to develop incomparable products and functions to address the new demands in photography and film production.Panasonic is committed to the development of innovative digital cameras under the theme “create a new photo culture in the digital era”. The company brought the world’s first CSC, the DMC-G1, to market in 2008 and the succeeding DMC-GH1 achieved the world’s first Full HD video recording in 2009.Professional, versatile 4K videography with freedom and easeThe LUMIX DMC-GH4 has received much critical acclaim since its launch in 2014 and was the first camera to realise 4K 30p/25p video recording. Building on its predecessor’s success, the LUMIX GH5 will offer a new world first: 4K 60p/50p and 4K 30p with 4:2:2 10-bit.Exceptional 4K video recording will be packed into a compact, lightweight design created for videographers to take the camera anywhere and shoot in any location. With the unprecedented video recording performance of the LUMIX GH5, Panasonic aims to elevate its status in the film production industry.Elevating outstanding photography to new heightsThe LUMIX GH5 will dramatically advance the conventional ‘4K PHOTO’ function with ‘6K PHOTO’ that will cut a still image out of ultra-high definition video (4:3 or 3:2 video footage) with approximately 9x higher resolution than Full HD.Silent and unobtrusive with quick focus to capture the moment, the LUMIX GH5 will allow photographers to take advantage of high-speed, long-time high frame rate shooting capability. Unmissable moments can also be saved as beautiful photographs in a higher resolution that complies with larger size of printing by substantially increasing the resolution from 8-megapixel (4K PHOTO) to 18-megapixel (6K PHOTO) equivalent resolution.New LEICA DG VARIO-ELMARIT F2.8-4.0 lens seriesThe LUMIX GH5 will be featured at Photokina 2016 alongside a new LEICA DG VARIO-ELMARIT F2.8-4.0 lens series. Achieving both high optical performance and compact size, the LEICA DG VARIO-ELMARIT F2.8-4.0 lens series will include a new 12-60mm standard zoom lens, an 8-18mm wide zoom lens and a 50-200mm telephoto zoom lens. All lenses will be showcased as reference exhibits at the Panasonic booth.

GoPro Karma Drone - $799 DJI Killer? & New GoPro Hero5

GoPro has finally announced the much teased and anticipated drone - Called the Karma it offers a very portable system that includes a drone and a handheld stabilizer all in a very portable package.GoPro Promotional Video for Karmahttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjNjcrQZtd8Here is what GoPro is saying about the Karma -Karma is so much more than a drone. It captures amazingly smooth GoPro footage in the air, handheld, and mounted to your favorite gear. Compact and ultra portable, the Karma Drone folds to fit into its own lightweight case. The game-style controller with an integrated touch display makes Karma easy and fun to fly. The included camera stabilizer can be removed from the drone and attached to the included Karma Grip for ultra steady professional-looking handheld and gear-mounted footage. Hollywood-caliber stabilization in a backpack you can wear during almost any activity...for $799.Preorder GoPro Karma with GoPro Hero4 Black $???Preorder GoPro Karm with GoPro Hero5 Black $1099.00 GoPro has also announced the new Hero5 GoPro model -screenshot-2016-09-19-10-20-29screenshot-2016-09-19-15-12-20The big changes. . .

  • The cameras themselves are rugged/waterproof. No more need for the cases
  • Voice activated and controlled "GoPro take a photo" GoPro start video" - understands 7 languages.
  • Touchscreen
  • Shoot RAW and WDR (wide dynamic range)
  • Built in GPS
  • Automatic Cloud backup
  • Stabilization built in
  • Compatible with existing cases/mounts
  • Price drop!!

Excited?  $399 available in early October.Preorder from B&H Photo Sun, Oct 2 3pmAlso a new GoPro Hero Session - the little square GoProscreenshot-2016-09-19-15-15-49

  • Supports 4K, 2.7K, 1440p, 1080p Video
  • Capture 10MP Photos at 30 fps
  • Ultra Wide Angle Glass Lens
  • Waterproof to 33'

Preorder the new GoPro Hero Session $299.99The GoPro Hero5 Promo videohttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FR4NB7_viU 

Z1 C Smooth - Magic Steadicam

We spent a few weeks with the ZHIYUN Z1 Smooth C Hand Held Stabilizer and share the results with you.  In the past we have used the larger gimbal like the Nebula 4000, Pilot Fly H1+ and soon the Behold DS1 - but when you want to travel lighter a gimbal with something like the LG V10 can rival the DJI Osmo. . . or can it?If you have a smartphone capable of shooting decent video - the Z1 Smooth C is an excellent choice for shooting very stable video on the go.Buy from Amazon $248.00z1 smooth c gimbal

New Cameras - Panasonic GX8 and FZ300K

Panasonic has announced two new cameras- The GX8 and the FZ300Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital CameraPanasonic GX8Basically this is a little brother to the GH4 in size/shape that offers some significant advances in features and I believe tips the hand off what Panasonic will offer in the GH5.

  • 20.3 MP Digital Live MOS Sensor (the first 20MP sensor in 4/3, previous sensors were 16MP)
  • Tilting 2.36m-Dot 0.77x OLED EVF (The viewfinder is capable of tilting 90 degrees)
  • 3.0" 1.04m-Dot Vari-Angle Touchscreen (full articulated and touch to focus)
  • 4K UHD Video Recording at 30/24 fps (4K video and 4k photo modes)
  • Built-In Wi-Fi Connectivity with NFC
  • 10 fps Shooting with AF-S and ISO 25600
  • DFD AF System (Significantly Improved autofocus system)
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization, Dual I.S. (In body image stabilization also works in conjunction with IS enabled lenses for additional stabilization)
  • Splash proof magnesium alloy construction

Preorder from B&H Photo for $1197.99 Body Only - Shipping August 15thPanasonic GX8 Panasonic GX8Preorder from B&H Photo for $1197.99 Body Only - Shipping August 15th 

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300 Digital Camera

These superzoom cameras continue to improve and while not at the level of a DSLR with massive zoom lens they do offer excellent image quality, crazy amount of zoom in a reasonable size, weight and priced package.Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300 Digital Camera

  • 12.1 MP 1/2.3" MOS Sensor
  • Venus Engine Image Processor
  • Leica DC Vario-Elmarit f/2.8 Lens 25mm-600mm (35mm Equivalent)
  • 1.44m-Dot 0.7x OLED EVF
  • 3.0" 1.04m-Dot Free Angle Touchscreen
  • 4K UHD Video Recording at 30 fps
  • Built-In Wi-Fi Connectivity
  • ISO 6400, 12 fps Shooting, 4K Photo Mode
  • 5-Axis HYBRID O.I.S.+, DFD AF System

Depth-From-Defocus AF TechnologyFor accelerated autofocus performance, DFD (Depth-From-Defocus) technology is employed to quickly calculate the distance to subjects and adjust the focusing position to benefit continuous shooting and movie recording modes. This contrast-detection type focus method also benefits subject tracking performance for maintaining sharp focus on moving subjects. Additionally, supporting working in low-light conditions, a Starlight AF feature enables accurate AF performance in dim environments.Assisting manual focus operation, focus peaking is available that highlights bright edges of contrast with a colored outline for quickly recognizing your focus point, as well as Touch MF Assist for touch-to-focus operation.Preorder from B&H Photo for $597.99 Body Only - Shipping August 15thScreenshot 2015-07-16 09.18.48 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300 Digital CameraPreorder from B&H Photo for $597.99 Body Only - Shipping August 15th

Hack your Camera with an Axe?

Youtuber Casey Neistat uses a Canon 70D(among other cameras) to record his popular daily vlogs - They regularly reach several hundred thousand views each day. On a recent blog he got the error "Movie recording has stopped automatically" with his 70D And according to Casey- he get's this often even though he uses a fast card.  His method of dealing with the error is. . well you can guess from the title and you can watch the video below. I have it queued up for you to start right before the camera violence.https://youtu.be/dK9SSu3uZ2Q?t=4m21sI have shot with lots of Canon cameras and have a 70D, and we have two 5D Mark III that we regularly use (see what's in our bag) and the ONLY time I get that error is when I am using a card that is slow or bad.  Before smashing a camera I would highly recommend trying a different card. He shows the card he uses, they are actually on sale today at Amazon, and even though it states it is a fast card and I have never had an issue with Transcend cards - they can and will go bad or even arrive bad.   Also he smashes the lens too which clearly is not part of the problem - it's his gear, he can do what he want but it certainly feels wasteful.    

Canons NEW 4K Video/Stills XC10 Camera

Canon has announced a compact, lightweight video and digital stills camera that provides professional 4K quality and some say signals a convergence of video and stills.Canon XC10 4K Professional CamcorderThe XC10 offers

  • 1-inch sensor
  • Max ISO sensitivity of 20,000
  • 12 stops of dynamic range
  • 305Mbps 4K video up to 30fps
  • 12-megapixel photos
  • SDHC/SDXC and CFast Card Slots
  • Lens is fixed with a 10x 24-240mm-equivalent f/2.8-5.6 zoom
  • Small size at just 4.9 x 4 x 4.8 inches
  • Microphone jack
  • Headphone jack
  • HDMI 1.4 port
  • DC power
  • Built-in neutral density filter
  • Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Tilting Hand Grip
  • Tilting Touchscreen with included add-on viewfinder

XC10 AccessoriesMy Quick Thoughts on the Canon XC10

  • It looks well built and likely will take professional use day in day out
  • Uses same battery as many current Canon pro bodies and will offer excellent battery life
  • Price is an issue,  For $2499 you can pick up a Panasonic GH4 and a really nice lens or two.
    • Benefit of the GH4- Huge lens selection and likely better low light quality - especially with fixed aperture lenses
    • Benefit of the XC10- smaller with broadcast quality bit rates

Available in June - Preorder from B&H for $2,499 or AmazonCanon AU Promo Video:Canon USA Intro Video:

GoPro Hero 3+ First Thoughts

A GoPro has been on my wish list forever and with the recent update to line I used that as an excuse to buy, along with the fact that I am currently reviewing the competitor model from Garmin, the VIRB.  I will have full reviews of both as well as a comparison of the two- quick thoughts. GoPro offers a huge ecosystem and sweet video quality. Virb offers really slick integration with a variety of ANT+ adapters letting you overlay info on the video, wouldn't we all like to see athlete's heart rates as the fly down the mountain side?  You also get a built in screen with the Virb - nice for quick composing of shots/footage.

Early thoughts about the new GoPro Hero3+

  • It is small, tiny really!
  • It doesn't come with a Micro SD Card? Not sure how I missed that, see list below for recommended Micro SDcards.
  • The user interface on the camera is not the best, thankfully the WiFi works well and in seconds I was connected to my GoPro, I renamed its wireless littlehero ;) and was controlling the camera with a nice live stream.
  • So many mount options and many of them are affordable.  See my list that I have ordered below.

20131004-IMG_676020131004-IMG_6761 

Early Thoughts on the Garmin VIRB

  • It is heavy and feels SOLID. Only waterproof to a meter, separate WP housing not included. I worry about the convex lens that sticks out - seems it screams for scratching.
  • The user interface is lovely and navigating it is dreamy
  • Mounts are hard to find and/or more expensive - to be fair it is a much newer product with smaller ecosystem
  • The integration with various Garmin GPS sensors and ANT+ devices is awesome and I have just barely scratched the surface - lots more thoughts soon.

 20131004-IMG_6763Recommended microSD Cards for the GoPro Hero3 or 3+ Black Edition

IMPORTANT- I have hard that when you use the SanDisk cards GoPro firmware limits the bitrate to avoid issues because of the super slow SanDisk Ultra cards.  Basically those cards suck(I haven't tested the Micro SD version of the Ultra cards but I have an SD version and it is the only card I have seen repeatedly fail during video) and as a result GoPro limits the speed for all SanDisk cards. It is difficult to wade through anecdotal evidence but I am forming a consensus that the Samsung 64GB SDXC card is going to give you some of the best results.  Now - all the cards listed above will work fine this really only becomes an issue when you want to use the higher bitrate ProTune mode.Mounts I have bought for the Go Pro

What else should I order?  Leave a comment below with your favorite GoPro Accessory.Buy The GoPro | Buy the Virb   

HOW-TO: Sparkler Photos - Long Exposure Light Painting

For many summer means fireworks and sparklers - here are my quick tips(with video) on capturing cool photos using sparklers or really any small light source.

You need:

  • Camera with control over manual settings

  • Tripod

  • Flashlight or cell phone (for low light focusing help) OR Hotshoe LED light

  • Pile of sparklers or a glow stick or small flash light - any light source really

  • Remote shutter release - Not mandatory but helpful (Recommended cheap one)

First task is to do this all safely.  Don't hurt anyone in an effort to get a photo and make sure you are complying with all fireworks and sparkler laws in your area - beautiful photos can be made with glow sticks, flash lights and other non-dangerous light sources.

Your shutter speeds are going to range from 2 seconds on up to Bulb mode so the use of a tripod is a must.  

Setup your camera - manual mode (M), a good starting point is a 5 second shutter speed, ISO 200 and an aperture around f/4.5.

Have your subject stand still and hold up a small light source so you can focus on them, either auto focus or manual, zoom in. After you get focus switch to manual so that the camera isn't struggling to get focus in the dark.  You can also use back button focus to avoid this issue. They can now put away the little flash light

Once you have focus have them light the sparkler and start moving it around.  Use the remote release to trigger the shutter or gently press the shutter button on the camera (you really need to be careful not to wiggle the camera when you press the button, alternatively you can use the self-timer: 2-sec delay but that does require a bit more coordination with your subject.

A third option is to use the remote shutter release and BULB mode in your camera.  In the T4i/T5i bulb mode is activated by setting the camera to M and increasing the shutter speed past 30 seconds. This doesn't mean the shutter has to be longer than 30 seconds for your exposures, it will just stay open as long as you hold the shutter release button down.  This is great if someone is trying to write their name with a sparkler, you hold it down just as long  as it takes the subject, when you release the button the shutter closes. With sparklers I notice that the slower you move them the more sparky trails you get - fast moving sparklers leave a more smooth line of light.   You are limited by your imagination!

Video: Sparkler Photos - Long Exposure Light Painting

Related Video - How To Photograph Fireworks

Monday Notes- Backups, T5i and Giveaway

 A few quick notes

    • CrashPlan- an excellent backup system/solution is offering a free year.  Enter your email and the price for 1 computer for one year drops to $0, even at $50/year it is an excellent value and painless way to backup your precious photos/documents.  Do not wait until you have a horror story to start backing up. https://www.crashplan.com/carboniteswitcher/

 

    • My T5i Unboxing went up this weekend, You will hear me say this in the review- I think we will all be a bit happier if we think of the entry level DSLR market like the auto industry, every year there is a refresh of the product line and sometimes it is exciting with real changes and sometimes it is a polish with minor changes. This is one of those fairly minor changes.  I will have more thoughts in my review in a few days.   Take a few moments and watch the video and give it a thumbs up please.  I also have some sample video showing the silent and smooth focusing of the new 18-55 STM, not lots different from the 18-135 STM.

 

    • I spent the weekend shooting with the T5i and creating a video review of a brand new video monopod from Berno that will be part of my upcoming giveaway.  This giveaway that I have been mentioning for what feels like MONTHS now will start THIS WEEK! All the stuff  has arrived- I will be photographing, listing and putting this all together in the next few days, it is so exciting to be able to give away awesome gear.    You all taking the time to like my Facebook page, Subscribing to my Youtube Channel and visiting the website have made it possible. Thank you!

 

    • Last bit of housekeeping - Facebook has recently changed the admin system for pages, it now is more difficult to keep track of comments, if you leave a comment or questions on a post and I haven't answered it in a day or two please send me a message or post directly on the wall. I try to answer everyone's questions or comments that need a response so it is only because I missed yours that I haven't answered yet and I welcome a reminder or a nudge that you are waiting.