Archive for the 'Reviews' Category

Fred just picked up a new laptop and in today's episode, he will discuss the pros and cons of the new Dell XPS 15" laptop.

In recent news, Immaga Wordroom uses AI to automatically keyword Lightroom images (https://wordroom.org/).  Australian researches have created a new battery than can power a smartphone for up to five days. The team behind the Platypod have started a Kickstarter project for a new high-tech ball head, the PlatyballDynaLite, the photographic lighting company founded in the 1970s, has been forced to file for bankruptcy and permanently shutter its service. The US Interior Department grounds Chinese-made drones in its fleet citing ongoing security concerns.  A new UK bill would enable police to stop, search and seize drones. Parliament recently conducted a second reading of a new bill that will give UK Police the power to stop and seize drones.

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Decent computers are now a part of the photographer's kit in order to process captured images.  Fred just picked up the new Dell XPS 15" laptop and discusses the attributes of this machine and why you might consider it for your next computer purchase.  The new XPS features a 4GB Nvidia graphics card, so this machine will also be useful for video production.  If you have experience or comments on the Dell laptop, please leave you comments below, or better yet, on The Fotobug YouTube channel!

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In recent news, Five photojournalists have partnered with the ACLU to sue the U.S. Department of Homeland Security after it targeted, detained and interrogated them at the U.S.-Mexico border.  A drone pilot was fined $20,000 when his drone flew away and landed at McCarran International airport. B&H Photo spokesperson Jeff Gerstel has shared a detailed statement in response the New York Attorney General's accusations. A number of anti-virus programs have been flagging Nikon's software as a virus due to mistakenly identifying a specific installation file. Nikon has updated its suite of Windows software to correct this issue.  Check out the podcast for more!

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Jim recently backed a Kickstarter project by Chasing Technologies.  The product has now been released - the Chasing Dory, a submersible drone that is operated over a WiFi link through a smartphone app.  The Dory has an HD camera that can also capture stills, has two LED lights, contains 32GB of memory and can dive up to 15 meters (50 feet) underwater!  In addition, the Dory can maintain its depth, can maintain a 45 degree angle (up or down) and the WiFi buoy is  good for up to 50 feet from the smartphone (or tablet).  There is also an optional backpack, towel and tether available.  Jim and Fred take the Dory to Roger's Park on the Weeki Wachee river and test it out!  The Dory is now available for $499!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!

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Lots happening in the photography world! Apple has failed to overr-throw patents held by RED for compressing raw video.  The Kodak film division posts a 21% gain while the rest of Kodak posted a loss.   Adobe has showcased a prototype tool that uses AI to detect when edits have been made to a face in PhotoshopGetty has announced they are doing away with Rights-Managed licenses for photos.  By the end of November, the UK will require all drone operators to pass a pilot test and register their drones - similar to Canada.  DJI is developing an app to show drones that are flying nearby.  B&H owes New York $7 million dollars in taxes.  For more, watch the podcast!

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GoPro recently released the Hero 8 so The Fotobug guys grabbed one and decided to compare it to the previous model, the Hero 7 Black!  The new Hero 8 boasts improved audio, improved video, stabilization and also has a lot of new features.  Is it really better than the Hero 7?  Well, Jim and Fred decide to find out and compare the cameras for audio recording, wind suppression, and video quality.  Check out the podcast for even more!

Next time - review of the new Chasing Dory underwater drone!

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Fred and check out out the Zhiying app settings for time lapse photography for the Neewer slider.  But first, recent news!

Researchers in Germany may have  a sensor with an increased dynamic range capable of HDR photography with a single capture.  Adobe has launched a redesigned version of its Creative Cloud desktop.  Canon's new sensor featured in the 90D has shown to be quite impressive. Researchers have developed a plant-powered camera and in Utah, a senator has introduced a bill to allow cities and private individuals to control the first 200 feet over their property for controlling drones.  The FAA doesn't like the idea (and neither do we!).  Check out these stories in the podcast.

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The Zhiying app that controls the Neewer motorized slider doesn't come with any instructions and the timelapse settings are especially confusing.  So, Jim and Fred demonstrate a couple methods to capture timelapse videos with the app and the slider. If you have any suggestions or insights, please share them with us in the comments below!

Also, please subscribe to The Fotobug Youtube Channel for more reviews and DIY projects!

 

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Please tune into the podcast for all the latest photography news!  In summary, the winner of the African Geographic Photographer of the Year has been disqualified for photo manipulation. Facebook may be reconsidering their policy on nudity. DxO has updated the Nik Collection. A Sony investor wants the sensor division to be a separate company. Researchers have developed an AI program that can animate a figure from a single photograph or artwork!  Watch the podcast for even more!

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Jim purchased the HP Zbook X2 G4 2 in 1 computer and has now had 3 months to work with it.  HP worked with Adobe to produce a laptop that is optimized for Photoshop, Premiere, After Effects and other Adobe graphics products.  However, the machine does have some issues despite the high price tag and specifications - many due to HP!  Jim explains and discusses the Good, Bad and Ugly issues with the machine as well as dealing with HP ordering and product support!

If you have experience with HP and/or the Zbook line of computers, please leave comments!

The Black Hills Photo Shootout will take place this year the last weekend in September, this time in Deadwood, South Dakota.  Keep tuning in for more details as they are released, including registration.

 

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Jim and Fred check out the Yuneec Mantis Q drone.

But first, the latest photography news!

Bowens is back! Aurelius has purchased the brand which went into liquidation after 94 years in business.  If you have the free Flickr account - only 1000 images are allowed and the rest will be removed! Trend Micro claims 29 camera apps were removed from Google Play for malicious ads and storing customer's images without permission. Some Macbook users have complained that the update to Adobe Premiere has caused serious issues with their speakers.  A working USB thumb drive was found frozen in seal poop!  Check the podcast for more details!

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 Fred recently picked up a Yuneec Mantis Q and shares his experience.  Fred had some issues when applying the latest firmware - it kept failing. Yuneec couldn't figure out a solution by phone, so Fred sent the Mantis to New York and waited.  New York couldn't get it to update and ended up sending it to their California repair office.  Fred waited some more - after a few weeks, he received notice that the Mantis was repaired and he would be getting it back.  He did - without the firmware upgrade and it still won't upgrade.  He re-opened the support ticket and is still waiting for a reply.  Needless to say, the Fotobug guys are NOT impressed with Yuneec customer support.  Check out the podcast for a complete review!

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Welcome to 2019!

Bad news for one of our sponsors, the Hunts Photo store in  Manchester, New Hampshire was broken into just before Christmas and the thieves made off with $50,000 worth of camera gear.  This was the second break-in in four months.  Hopefully the thieves will be captured soon. The open source program Darktable, which is a Lightroom like program, has been recently upgraded.  Darktable is a free download for Mac, Windows and Linux.  A recent study in the Journalism and Mass Communications Journal highlights how photographs taken by non-professionals leave viewers less engaged.

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The Fotobug guys review the new gimbal from DJI, the Ronin-S.  Gimbals are becoming more important and more prevalent for video makers wanting to improve their videos by capturing smooth Hollywoodesque moves.  The Ronin-s is an affordable 3-axis option from DJI, which has moved into professional gimbals in a big way.  The Ronin-s currently supports a number of cameras to control focus triggering the camera on and off - more cameras are being added all the time.  A number of accessories are also available including third party accessories.  The unique design of the gimbal with the 45 degree rotating motor which allows the LCD view screen to be seen while operating the gimbal in normal or flashlight mode.  DJI has also released an app which can control the gimbal including timelapse, tracking and panorama modes.  Priced at $749, it went on sale over the holiday for $549.

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Jim and Fred are eager to review the new Mavic Phantom 2 Zoom, but first, recent photo news!

The Jackson Hole Travel and Tourism Board is now asking visitors not to geotag specific locations when visiting Wyoming's National Parks to keep everyone from going to the same spots.  The Colorado Tripod Company has released the first titanium tripod system. The hollow ball and tripod are now on Kickstarter for a support price of $399.  GoPro has announced it may be bringing its production back the the United States due to the tariff concerns. A drone may have struck a 737 and damaged the nose of the plane.  In addition, a number of drones flying near an England airport caused the airport to be shut down.  At least two people have been arrested.  DJI has also announced a new Mavic Enterprise drone with twin cameras - one is an Infrared camera - release price is $2699,  For these stories and more, tune in to the podcast!

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DJI is now the leading manufacturer of drones for consumers.  Jim and Fred review the latest version of the Mavic 2, which comes in two models - The Zoom and the Pro.  This review covers the Zoom model.  Both drones are identical except for the cameras.  The Zoom features a 1/2.3" sensor but the camera is fitted with a 2x optical zoom.  The Pro model has a Hasselblad branded camera with a 1" sensor and a variable aperture, but no zoom.  Both models features 360 Obstacle avoidance in some flight modes, 31 minute flight time, low-noise props, 44 mph in sport mode, and Occusync 2.0 Wifi for sending HD video to the transmitter from up to 5 miles away.  The Mavic 2 Zoom has a MSRP of $1249 and the Mavic 2 Pro is listed at $1499.

Be sure to check out and subscribe to our new Fotobug YouTube channel featuring a free Photo course!

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Jim and Fred have some suggestions for holiday shoppers for photographers, but first, the news!

The FAA has granted Vantage Robotic's 4K camera drone Snap a certification to allow it to be flown over crowds of people for commercial and non-commercial purpose.  Underwater camera housing manufacturer Nauticam has released a housing for the Nikon mirrorless camera.  DJI has released a new Osmo gimbal called the Osmo PocketTumblr has announced all adult content will be removed from the site by December 17th. Photokina 2019 has been cancelled and will become an annual event beginning 2020.

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The Holidays are right around the corner, and the Fotobug guys have some suggestions for the photographer in your life (or maybe even for yourself!).  Links to many of the suggestions in the podcast are listed below.  If you have suggestions or comments, please leave them below and we wish you all the best of the Season!

Coming up: a review of the DJI Ronin-S and the new Mavic Zoom drone.

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Product links mentioned in Podcast:

Drone Tablet Stent - https://goo.gl/nZv31S

Neewer ND Filters - Mavic - https://goo.gl/ToHE7k

PolarPro ND Filters - Mavic - https://goo.gl/6Dt4Mn

USB Card Reader - https://goo.gl/WPjeLt

Carson LED Sensor Loupe - https://goo.gl/EXxduF

Lens Pen - https://goo.gl/wJVj5W

AA Battery Caddy - https://goo.gl/5CCF5n

Camera Rain Sleeve - https://goo.gl/JrezuT

BlackRapid Camera Strap - single - https://goo.gl/sKvf5r

BlackRapid Camera Strap - double - https://goo.gl/4pqMqR

Rogue Safari Popup Flash extender - https://goo.gl/23Y24c

Hoodman Loupe - https://goo.gl/rNeaGP

Redhead Glomitt Gloves - Cabelas or Bass Pro Shops - $19.95

 

 

 

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Despite the fact that The ninth annual Black Hills Photo Shootout has been cancelled, Fred and Jim are still heading to Rapid City to meet up with photographers still planniing to attend and many photo activities are being put together for free!!!  If you have no plans for the end of September, why not join us?

In the news, Nikon has released 2 new mirrorless cameras, the Z6 and the Z7.  The Z7 is now available and the Z6 will be available in November. More details in the podcast!  The European Imaging and Sound Association has announced its awards and Sony came away with five of the 18 prizes.  Huawei was caught again passing off DSLR images as images captured with its smart phones!  DJI has announced two new drones, the Mavic Pro 2 and the Mavic Pro 2 Zoom.  Watch the podcast for more details!

 

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The Magilight was an Indiegogo project for a light stick for light painting.  The Magilight not only produces swirls of colored light, but via an SD card, can actually "paint" BMP images that you produce on your computer.  Many images are also included with the unit and more are available through the Magilight Facebook Page.  Jim and Fred take the Magiilight out for a trial run and we want to thank our volunteer model, Scarlett Dawn (www.modelsociety.com) and Jason Hahn for allowing us to use his new Cypress Creek Studio for many of our test images. You may purchase your own Magilight for $299 ($100 off) at https://www.fotorgear.com and also on Amazon at https://goo.gl/aFsVV6 also for $299.

Hope to see you in Rapid City end of September!

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