Archive for the 'Reviews' Category

How about some great photo tips for your summer shoots!

In recent photography news, Arsenal has a Kickstarter AI project that will automatically set your camera settings depending upon current light conditions..  Fred and Jim wonder if this is really necessary or even desirable!  Binded is a new free service for ensuring no one is stealing your images for unauthorized use.  It doesn't currently include copyright registration, but that may be coming soon!  Google has announced it will no long update the Nik plugins.  Microsoft is working on a technique to create curved sensors from conventional silicone sensors.  A swiss village, Bergün officially banned photography in their town, but then had to retract the ban due to all the negative press they received!

 

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Every photography has favorite gadgets and techniques that allow them to capture unique and exciting images.  Jim and Fred share some of their favorite tips and techniques as well as gadgets and items to consider this summer for improving your image captures.  Why not share some of your favorite tips or gadets or DIY items on our Facebook page or send them to us - jim@thefotobug.com or fred@thefotobug.com.  We'll share them with the rest of our viewers!

Coming up in September is the Black Hills Photo Shootout - www.thephotoshootout.com.  Pre-registration is now available, so sign up now and meet us in Spearfish South Dakota at the end of September!

 

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Our entire podcast this time is devoted to the Tamron 150mm - 600mm zoom lens, the first generation versus the newest version! We at the Fotobug want to thank Tamron for allowing us to borrow the newest version of their long zoom lens in order to test and to Fred who purchased the original version of the lens.  We also want to thank Jillian from Tamron and Jeff for showing us the USB Tap-in Console and software.  Also, to Michael from Johnson PhotoImaging in Bradenton Florida for his comments on using the newer lens with older digital camera bodies.  We welcome your input and your own experiences with the new Tamron 150-600mm!

 

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If you would like to try out the new Tamron lenses for yourself, plan to attend the Black Hills Photo Shootout in South Dakota in September!  www.thephotoshootout.com.

 

 

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Happy Holidays to everyone! 

In recent  photography news, the Freedom of the Press Foundation wants encryption to be built into cameras or memory cards to protect sources in case of theft, a Kickstarter project for Hitch Hiker, a new tripod head design is now active, the original Canon 7D has a firmware update available, Yahoo had a security breach which effects 1 billion users, Engineers are working on new sensors capable of recording even higher sppeds (up to 1 million fps),  and even more on this episode of The Fotobug.

 

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Jim and Fred review the new Rollocam (www.rollocam.com) which is the world's smallest camera dolly.  Yet, it can handle a camera up to 10 pounds!  The dolly works great for cell phones and action cameras, but will handele a DSLR as well.  If you are into video, this might be an item to consider!  The Rollercam not only does real-time movement, but also can be used for time lapse squences, though it doesn't trigger the camera.  Jim had a couple of issues with the unit - the battery connector seems quite frail and the top speed of the unit seems a bit slow.  Jim also reports that customer service was outstanding! There are 3 different packages available priced from $149 to $249 and there are also dolly tracks available. For complete information, check out the podcast!

Please check out the latest video on www.thefotobug.net to see if GoPro cameras can withstand an extended dip into liquid nitrogen!

The date for the Tampa Bay Photo Shootout (www.thephotoshootout.com) has been changed to the last weekend in February in Clearwater, Florida.  Come join us and best to sign up now so you don't get shut out of your favorite workshop.

On the next podcast, Jim will show off information about Secret Canyon, a slot canyon in Arizona near Antelope Canyon and Jim and Fred will give their photography predictions for 2017.  Don't miss it!

 

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We will continue our coverage of Cuba in the curernt podcast as well as a review of Alpine Labs Pulse.

 In recent news, Chronos is raising funds for a new high speed camera and Jim and Fred show off a sample vidoe taken with with a prototype.  $3000 required to reserve one of your own!  Pogocam is a camera that attaches to the frames of your glasses!  A Nikon 1 sold at auction recently for over $400,000.  GoPro has announced layoffs and cutbacks and have released the Karma grip unbundled from the Karma Drone.  Canon has filed a patent for a curved sensor!

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Jim shows off more footage from his recent trip to Cuba.  There are now regular commercial flights from the US to Cuba as well as cruise ships. Cuba ia a wonderful place for photography and a great place to chase elusive images!  To wrap up the podcast, Jim and Fred include a review of the Pulse from Alpine Labs. https://alpinelaboratories.com -just $99.  The Pulse is a blue tooth remote camera controller - watch the podcast to see what all it can do!

The dates fior the Tampa Bay Photo Shootout have cahanged to February 24, 25 and 26.  More information and registration is at www.thephotoshootout.com - hope to see you there!

 

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Before we get to today's review, in the news News Corp Photographer Brett Costello had his bag of photo gear stolen in Ipanema while photographing the Rio Olympics. In a twist, the thief later showed up at an Olympics venue wearing Brett's photo vest and was promptly arrested!  On1 is soliciting feedback and suggestions for their new Raw convertor.  F-Stop gear announced that their Kickstarter project bag is not practical to bring to market but others are screaming "scam"! NASA is testing a video camera that can record HDR video!  Seagate announced a 60TB SSD drive, Eye-Fi announced they will continue to support older cards on the Mac platform and the Brooks Institute announced it is closing down.

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Breakthrough Photography (www.breakthrough.photography) designed new ND and Polarizer filers and claim they are color neutral.  So, the Fotobug guys decided to put them to the test  Our methodology includes photographing a gray card without a filter with the camera set to a fixed white balance. We then took the same image with the X4 ND 6 stop filter, then the polarizer.  But they didn't stop there!  They also included a Cokin style 3 stop ND filter and a variable ND filter.
Next, the images were brought into Photoshop and took color samples of the gray card to compare to the image photographed without a filter.  For the full results, watch the podcast!
Coming up at the end of September is the Black Hills Photo Shootoutwww.thephotoshootout.com.  Registration is now open so we hope to see you in South Dakota!  For those who can't make it, but would like to participate, The Fotobug guys are going to do at least 1 live Facebook video broadcast from the event!  Follow us on The Fotobug Facebook page or the Black Hills Photo Shootout Facebook page for the exact time and date of the broadcast.  This will give you a chance to participate, ask questions and be a part of The Photo Shootout!
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Jim and Fred take a look and test out the new Phantom 4 from DJI.

In recent news, you may have noticed when you upgrade Photoshop to the latest 2015.5 version, all the plugins vanish!  Jim and Fred give a couple tips to restore your plugins. Soldiers in  Rosenthal's iconic 'Rasing the Flag on Iwo Jima'  photo have finally been identified. A review panel considering 'all available images, film, statements and previous investigations' found the man to be Private First Class Harold Schultz. New  York fashion street photographer Bill Cunningham has passed away.  Jim recommends the documentary Bill Cunningham New York. Apple has been awarded a patent for a system that allows for the camera on an iPhone to be disabled remotely via an infrared signal. The technology could be implemented in concert venues, classified areas or any other location where photography is not allowed. Eye-Fi will soon end support for its X2 and older wireless memory cards


Fred and Jim first presented a home-built tricopter about 5 years ago to be used for aerial photography.  Since then, the UAV (drone) market has exploded and the little machines are becoming more and more sophisticated.  In the current episode, Jim and Fred present a first look of the new DJI Phantom 4 which features collision avoidance, a 4K camera capable of taking 12 MP RAW images, redundant GPS and IMU systems, and a new improved gimbal.  Although not cheap, the new quadcopter offers a lot for the money.  The Fotobug urges all users of UAVs (drones) to be mindful of the FAA rules and regulations and to fly safely. The Fotobug guys will be offering more information and tips on the Phantom 4 in future podcasts, but present here a first look at this new offering from DJI!

Be sure to keep listening and plan to attend the Black Hills Photo Shootout in September in South Dakota! 

Until next time, keep chasing those elusive images!

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Lots of news this episode!  For full details, watch the podcast.

Adobe Camera Raw gets a new look with version 9.5, now available. REVL has launched an Indiegogo campaign to create a 4K action camera with an integrated motorized gimbal.  Tamron has announced pricing for its 85mm F1.8 lens (come see it at the Tampa Bay Photo Shootout!).  Google's NIK collection is now free!  Lexar has relaeased a new SDXC card with a capacity of 200GB and read speeds up to 95MB per second.  LRTimeLapse 4.6 has been released and is a free upgrade for current owners..  Sony is considering splitting off its imaging products business.  Finally, the future of Yahoo and its operations such as Flickr is uncertain.

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In the last Fotobug podcast, Fred and Jim mentioned the Polaroid branded LED light wand named "BrightSaber".  Jim discovered that many companies have offered the same or similar unit for less money.  So, he purchased one and Jim and Fred put it up for review.  The unit test comes with an AC adapter/charger with 3 plugs for US, UK and European style electric sockets, 2 batteries, a CTO filter, an IR remote and a carrying case.  The united test cost about $35 less than the BrightSaber.  Jim and Fred were impressed by the build quality of the unit as well as the inclusion of 2 batteries.  In use, the unit has 10 levels of brightness - and the 228 LEDs put out a great deal of nice soft light.  The wand also has a 1/4 20 thread hole in the handle to allow it to be mounted to a light stand or tripod.  Jim and Fred were less impressed with the strobe modes (one flashes SOS!) - and didn't see a practical use for those.  Jim also showed off a set of barn doors which will work with these units.

Here's where you can check out these products for more information and purchase:

BrightSaber
Eachshot LED Wand
LED unit tested (Note: price went up to $124.95 since we purchased it)
Barndoors

This is your last chance to sign up for the Tampa Bay Photo Shootout taking place on April 8, 9, and 10 where you can see one of these light wands for yourself as well as check out and use a Tamron lens of your choice - www.thephotoshootout.com .  Stay tuned next time for highlights of the Photo Shootout!  Don't forget, the Camargue, France workshop at www.outdoorphotoworkshops.com

 

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Welcome to The Fotobug podcast 152 and our sixth anniversary of bringing you news, reviews, interviews and how tos!

In the news this episode, Fujifilm Japan has announced that it is going to stop producing FP-100C instant film used in old Polaroid-type cameras.  There is another new LED light wand on the market, a Polaroid-branded model called BrightSaber.  However, check out the podcast to see how you can get the same model for considerably less money!  Lee Filters has announced a 15 stop variable neutral density filter.  Sigma has announced a firmware upgrade for it's 150-600mm lenses claiming it is making the auto focusing up to 50% faster.  Serif has announced that its Affinity apps will soon be available for Windows.

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Jim and Fred update their recent review of the Radian 2 time lapse system. The Radian 2 can pan, tilt, and even drive the camera on specific sliders.  However, the most important feature is the ability to control the camera exposure during the capture over blue tooth without touching the camera. If you remember from our first review in podcast 146, there were a number of issues with the firmware.  However, Alpine Labs has been working very hard to fix these issues and we are happy to report they have succeeded!  We tested the Radian 2 by capturing time lapse sequences of sunrises and sunsets where the exposure had to be adjusted during the capture.  The sequences were then processed by LRTimeLapse.  There are still a few minor issues, but we are confident Alpine Labs will overcome these and will be adding additional features as well!

Coming up next month is the 2nd Annual Tampa Bay Photo Shootout in Clearwater, FL.  Registration is now open at www.thephotoshootout.com. Plan to come to Clearwater April 8, 9 and 10 for this great event!  Also, if you are interested in the Camargue France workshop with Tim Mannakee and wish a discount, you must contact Jim at jim@thefotobug.com before the end of March!  Also, write Jim if you would be interested in receiving information about a workshop in Cuba!

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Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday to everyone! This is the last podcast of 2015.  In recent photography news, action camera manufacturer GoPro has officially named its forthcoming camera drone - Karma. If you received a UAV (drone) for a gift or already own one or two, , you must now register with the FAA. Until January 20th, the $5.00 fee will be waived. Since May of 2015, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has been beta testing a new smartphone app called B4UFLY which will show where it is safe and where it is not safe to fly your UAV. Adobe has launched version 2.1 of Lightroom for mobile for Apple iOS devices. Chinese lens manufacturer Kipon has announced that next year it will make available a reducing adapter designed to allow medium format lenses to fit on full frame cameras.  Stay tuned for more news on what 2016 will hold!

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NASA EARTH RISE

Jim received the new Radian 2 and The Fotobug guys do a quick review.  Unfortunately, the unit still has some firmware issues which kept it from functioning properly.  Jim has been in touch with Alpine Labs and as soon as the issues have been resolved we will be doing a thorough review of the unit.  For those interested in time lapse photography, the Radian 2 has a lot of potential and we are excited about what it is capable of. 

If you wish to see the new Radian 2, be sure to sign up for the time lapse workshop at the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival in Titusville, FL from January 20-25.  Sign up now at (www.spacecoastbirdingandwildlifefestival.org). There is something for everyone at this event!

Stay tuned for the next podcast in 2016!


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 Welcome to The Fotobug Podcast number 143!  In current news, camera manufacturers have been declaring decent profits, but digital camera sales have been declining. The trend seems to be toward mirrorless cameras.  Polaroid is suing GoPro over the new Hero 4 Session which Poloroid claims is a copy of The Cube.  Medium format camera maker, Hasseblad has sold a minority stake to DJI Technology in China which makes the popular Phantom UAV.  National Geographic just announced a lay-off of nearly 10% of its workforce due to a cost cutting measure after it was acquired by Rupert Murdoch.  


Those smart photographers that follow us on Facebook were able to take advantage of a new Kickstarter project by Alpine Labs and take advantage of an early-bird pricing for a new remote camera trigger which operates from smart phones (IOS and Android).  It allows most camera settings to be adjusted from the phone and will even do time lapse!  There is still time to get better pricing before the unit goes to market - just go to Kickstarter and search for Pulse by Alpine Labs.

Jim and Fred take the Rogue Safari flash enhancer out for a spin.  The Safari is for cameras with pop-up flash units and fits onto the hot shoe.  The device then focuses the output of the flash and extends its range to around 25 to 30 feet.  Although the Safari works just as promised, there are some caveats and things you should know when using any kind of flash enhancer.  For example, it can increase the chance of red-eye and if left on your camera, the sun can damage your camera or your flash.  The Safari should also be used with lenses of 100mm or greater (when using a camera with a crop sensor).  Watch the podcast as Jim and Fred take the Safari into a local state park and demonstrate how to use it.

Be sure to tune into the next podcast for an interview with a member of the Space Coast Birding and Nature Festival coming up in Titusville, FL this coming January!  For more information go to www.spacecoastbirdingandwildlifefestival.org

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