2020 has sucked for the most part. There’s no other way to say it. However, I feel that better days are on the horizon. With that said, people look to me for holiday gadget recommendations, and quite frankly I haven’t really been in the mood to flaunt gear with so many people out of work and struggling due to the pandemic. So this year, I’m going to keep the list short and relatively low cost.Continue reading “The Ultimate 2020 Stocking Stuffer”
I’ve been carrying a laptop Mac pretty much since the category was created. Although they have become thinner, lighter and much more powerful than the early days, mobile devices are just easier to bring along. I always have my iPhone with me and in most cases I have my iPad Pro 10.5” with me. The iPad is becoming more and more useful as a potential MacBook Pro replacement. As a matter of fact I’m on a plane as I write this post on my iPad Pro.
When I do a photo shoot on location I either shoot with my Nikon D850 DSLR or my iPhone X. When shooting with the D850 I’m usually anxious to see what I got and share a couple on social media. I rarely share an image right out of the camera. This means that I usually apply a few edits in Lightroom CC on mobile first. While there is a mobile app for Nikon that allows me to wirelessly transfer images to my iOS devices right from the camera, as it stands today it can only transfer JPEGs. This means that I would either need to shoot RAW+JPG or convert individual images into JPG and then transfer them.
There’s a better, safer way
Live streaming has become a big part of my life. So much so that it’s actually a major part of my day job. I stream live Adobe tutorials regularly to YouTube and Facebook. Since this is what I do for a living I wanted to have high production values.
Therefore I setup a dedicated live streaming studio in my home. Being a photographer I’ve setup a few photography studios and no matter how you equip your studio you can always find more gear that you want and ways to improve it. I’ve been building out this live streaming studio since May 2016. I have everything I “need” to do my streams, but I’m always looking out for ways to improve upon what I have.
Like a photography studio, your streaming setup can be very basic or very elaborate
I got the opportunity to review the 2017 DSLR of the Year. It’s the Nikon D850. This camera is so hot that it’s still in short supply several months after it’s release. When Nikon offered to send me one for review (full disclosure, it was a loaner and has been returned. This was NOT a paid review. P.S. I don’t do paid reviews), I jumped at the chance. I wanted to do something beyond just listing specs and showing sample photos. I wanted to do a LIVE shoot, but let YOU the user experience the entire video in 360°. Here’s how it came out:
If you watch the above video you should be able to pan around in a 360° space and watch anything you want when you want. As far as I can tell, this is the first review of the D850 of this kind. If I’m not the first to do it, it’s still a first for me 😀
A few things that are not in the video
I’ve really enjoyed flying my drones over the past few years and adding them as a tool to my photography/videography story telling. My trip to Iceland last year was the first time I shot more footage with my DJI Mavic Pro drone than any other camera that I brought with me on the trip (see my Iceland video here). The more I flew it the more confident I got that I wasn’t going to lost it. This allowed me to capture footage that I probably otherwise wouldn’t have gotten because I wouldn’t have stepped out of my comfort zone.
This year it’s all about the DJI Mavic Air
I gotta admit that I was suffering from DSLR fatigue. I haven’t been excited about a new DSLR for a long time. However, I had a wishlist for whatever my next DSLR would be have and low and behold Nikon built 99% of it in the NEW Nikon D850!
- 45.7MP FX-Format BSI CMOS Sensor
- EXPEED 5 Image Processor
- 3.2″ 2.36m-Dot Tilting Touchscreen LCD (on my wishlist “tilting and touchscreen”)
- 4K UHD Video Recording at 30 fps (on my wishlist)
- Multi-CAM 20K 153-Point AF System
- Native ISO 25600, Extended to ISO 102400
- 7 fps Shooting for 51 Frames with AE/AF
- 8K Time-Lapse, Negative Digitizer Mode (wasn’t on my wishlist, but damn!)
- 180k-Pixel RGB Sensor, Focus Shift Mode
- SnapBridge Bluetooth and Wi-Fi (on my wishlist)
Still missing from my wishlist: built-in GPS, sigh…, but at least I can still use my external one.
You can pre-order the NEW Nikon D850 here.
Whether I go with the NEW D850 or whatever the successor is to the D750, I will keep my current D810 as my backup/second body.
I have been telling photographers for years to always have at least three copies of your images/videos. This also applies to traveling photographers. I have also said for many years that “there are two types of computer users: those who have lost data and those who will.” With this in mind you would probably think that I’d be one of the last people to lose some of my precious images/video, but that’s exactly what happened. I didn’t follow my own advice and it’s no one’s fault but my own. I can’t blame the hardware. I can’t blame anyone else. It was all me. I knew better!
I’m telling you my sad story so that hopefully it won’t happen to you.
Hey everyone! I’m back from Iceland and as usual I learned a lot and had a blast. With that said there are a lot of questions that come up when ever I do a photographic excursion and this trip was no different. The questions started even before I left about the equipment I was taking and in some cases why I wasn’t taking more? As promised here is the list of gear I took based on the load out pic above.
- Targus laptop rolling backpack. I initially bought this for Photoshop World so that I would have to carry my heavy backpack back and forth. For the Iceland trip it served as a secondary equipment bag.
- Thinktank Streetwalker Backpack. I love this camera bag because it not only holds my camera gear, but also my iPad Pro and MacBook Pro.
- Klear micro fiber cleaning cloths.
- WD My Passport Wireless 2TB HD. This drive is a lifesaver as it allows you to backup your SD cards without having to use a computer. It has a lithium ION rechargeable battery and you can just plug your SD cards in and they automatically copy to the drive.
- Klear wet pack screen cleaning pads.
- SkyRoam contract free WiFi Hotspot
- Platypod Max camera tripod without being a tripod.
- Rode SmartLav+ microphone for doing live streaming and interviews.
- Arkon Smartphone Tripod for capturing 360° and iPhone videos in general
- Gitzo Traveler Carbon Fiber Tripod
- Nikon cable release for capturing long exposures without having to touch the camera.
- DxO ONE 24MP DSLR quality camera for iPhone.
- Mevo Live Streaming 4K Camera.
- Insta360 nano 360° still, video camera and live streaming camera.
- Ricoh Theta S 360° still and video camera.
- FlatHat Drone collapsable landing pad.
- Nikon 14-24mm Wide Angle Lens
- Nikon D810 DSLR 36MP full frame camera
- Nikon 28-300mm Zoom lens
- DJI Mavic Pro 4K Drone
- Anker Solar 15W USB charger.
- Monster 4 port AC travel power strip
- OREI 2 in 1 USA to Europe Adapter Plug
- Anker backup batteries for charing USB devices.
- Vovomay Hardshell Shoulder Waterproof Suitcase Bag For DJI Mavic Pro
- iPad Pro 12.9″ 256GB WiFi-4G Gold
- Apple Pencil for iPad Pro and case.
- MacBook Pro 15″ Retina 2014 with custom Gelaskin.
- PlugBug USB port for Apple wall charger.
- iPod touch 32GB
- Apple AirPods, but my Blackpods arrived the day I left.
- Coast Head Light dual color.
- Anker PowerLine+ Lightning cables.
- Camera Rain Protection.
- di-GPS for my Nikon DSLR
See the whole story below…
A good video has great light and good sound. A great video is short, great content, good light, good sound AND STEADY. A shaky unstabilized video may cause your viewers to stop watching for fear of getting motion sickness. While smartphones can capture great video quality these days, the small form factor is hard to hold steady if you are moving or walking. The iPhone 6s Plus can shoot stabilized video and I can stabilize it in post with Adobe Premiere Pro CC. However, if you’re walking your video may be so shaky that the stabilization methods above may not be enough. That’s where a gimbal comes in…
It’s that time of year again. Once a year at least one new iPhone model comes out and I upgrade to the new model. Ever since the iPhone 3GS Apple has done an incremental update to the iPhone before the next major update. So we’ve had the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4s, iPhone 5s and now iPhone 6s. Sure we can probably expect and iPhone 7 next year, but the question becomes do you wait or do you upgrade to the 6s or 6s Plus. As usual it really depends on what you have now. If you’re on an older model such as the iPhone 5s or older then the iPhone 6s is a monumental upgrade. If you upgraded to the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus last year and you’re under a contract then you can probably sit this one out.
What’s New and What’s Cool?
It’s funny when I read comments online proclaiming the iPhone 6s to be EXACTLY the same as the iPhone 6. In other words they claim that there are NO DIFFERENCES. Really? I’m not sure if these are just haters or really uninformed people. While the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus look pretty much identical to last year’s models, there are significant changes under the hood. Like I said above Apple typically doesn’t change form factor for two models. Look back at the iPhone 3G, iPhone 4, iPhone 5 and iPhone 6. Each one was a significant change in form factor. The “s” models are usual changes all on the inside. The iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus are no different. While they look just like last years models there are some great changes on the inside. Here are a few: