Archive for the 'Reviews' Category

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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Fred is back from his recent trip, but photography news the past two weeks has been a bit light!

Nikon has posted a teaser video featuring what is likely its forthcoming mirrorless camera.  Fujifilm is ramping up it operations in Japan with a goal of a 70% capacity increase. Argos released a new catalog that features what are likely the two new Mavic Pro drones, one with a zoom lens.  The new drones feature a 1 inch sensor, 35 minute flight time, and full 360 obsticle  avoidance. According to a report in PetaPixel, Canon is the most popular mirrorless camera in Japan.  These stories and more in the podcast!

 

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The Fotoug is often contacted by manufacturers to review new photography items, so Fred and Jim will show off some items they have received and even purchased themselves!  If you are interested in purchasing any of these items, the links are listed below:

Mini tripod - https://goo.gl/fiUgni

Rode Microphone - https://goo.gl/Jcjnva Includes a $29 discount!  Thanks to Hunts Photo and The Fotobug guys!

POPVoice Smarphone mike - https://goo.gl/dbiEHw

POPVoice lavalier mike - https://goo.gl/YJKZ2B

Stroboframe Vertaflip PHP - We are sorry, but discovered the Vertaflip is no longer sold, but may be found used on auction sites such as eBay.

 

 

 

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 Drones are becoming more and more common for photographers and Fred just recently picked up a bargain which we will review in the current episode!

In recent news Kodak is bringing back Alaris Pro Image 100 film - in Europe.  No word on when or if it will be available in the States.  Also, the Kodak-branded "Kashminer" which mined for bitcoins has collapsed and Kodak is distancing itself from the failed company.  Nikon has discontinued its Nikon 1 line of mirrorless cameras. Hamm Camera Company has created a Kickstarter project to create a DIY pinhole camera - you can be a backer for only $20.  A reliable source claims Adobe will be coming out with a version of Photoshop for the iPad

For more please watch the podcast!

 

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The Fotobug guys have a long history of working with drones - now Fred has one of his own!  Yuneec recently had a number of sales of refurbished drones for amazing prices.  One such drone was the Q500 4K drone which Fred managed to nab! This drone features a 4K removable camera and many features which makes it a perfect drone for beginners and intermediate users alike.  More advanced users may wish to look into the Typhoon or some of DJI drones. but if you are just starting out, check the refurbished page on both DJI and Yuneec.

Please be sure to follow The Fotobug on our new YouTube channel!

Remember, September is the Black Hills Photo Shootout - www.thephotoshootout.com - we hope to see you there!

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In recent news, Sony has unveiled a faster higher resolution OLED panel for mirrorless cameras that also adds a 240fps mode for a more lifelike preview.  Bill Ingalls lost his Nikon camera photographing a Space-X launch when the rocket launch started a brush fire near the camera.  Canon has announced that it will stop selling the last of its film-based cameras.  DJI has announced the Ronin-S, a single-handed stabilizer for large DSLR cameras for $699.  Finally, Parrot has launched it's latest drone, the Anafi which will retail for $699 and features a 21-MP camera that can be pointed straight up while in flight!  More details and more news in the podcast!

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Drones are being used by more and more photographers to record fascinating videos and gaining new perspectives.  However, Jim and Fred have discovered there are some essential devices that make drone flying and image capture with drones easier and some are absolutley essential (such as ND filters!).  Jim and Fred present their list of 10 items they have found should be on everyones list!  Links to the products mentioned are below.

Landing Pad - https://goo.gl/m4UUUg

Leg extensions - https://goo.gl/L24LBP

Strobe - https://goo.gl/wBrqQi

Smart phone shield - https://goo.gl/qFuwRU

Transmitter RF Focus - https://goo.gl/kPp18T

Lens Shade - https://goo.gl/88BV7h (Note: we don't necessarily recommend this - and hope to find a better solution!)

AC Adapter - https://goo.gl/fJoECx or https://goo.gl/vTgJva

Card reader - https://goo.gl/2razRS

BONUS - Lipo Safe bag - https://goo.gl/VRPzRN

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Jim and Fred have spent the last couple months working with the new Mavic Air from DJI and are now ready to reveal their opinions!

In recent news, Rollei has revived its iconic Rolleiflex twin lens reflex lineup with the new Rolleiflex Instant Kamera. Rollei will shortly seek funding for the nwe camera on Kickstarter.  The winner of the Environment category of the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition has been disqualified after the competition’s organizers discovered the anteater starring in the dramatic nighttime image is actually stuffed. led for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, but says the move 'will not affect customers.' In fact, DxO teased updates to the Nik Software Collection and DxO PhotoLab in the same press release. The hotel chain Days Inn is looking for a photographer who wants to spend one month this summer shooting sunsets all over the United States. The gig pays $10,000, covers all travel expenses, and more. A man in India was mauled to death by an injured bear when he attempted to take a selfie with it.  Even worse - The Hindustan Times also reported the bystanders "were busy shooting the incident on their mobile phones instead of trying to rescue him." DJI has released a new(ish) drone: the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0. The updated P4P features almost all of the same internal specs of the original, but integrates a new high-res low-latency 'OcuSync' transmission system and decreases flight noise by 60%.

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Jim has been building UAVs (drones) for many years and these drones have been featured on past episodes.  Recently, Jim picked up the new DJI Mavic Air and he and Fred have been checking it out and are now ready to give their opinion on this new offering from DJI.  Is this the perfect travel drone?  It folds into a nice compact size and has a number of new filming modes as well as 12MP still captures and even a 32MP panorama mode.  Jim and Fred demonstrate some of the capture cinematic modes and offer their opinioins on the pros and cons of this new drone.

Our friend, Maurice Ribble, is currently running a Kickstarter project to raise funds to update the Camera Axe which we have featured in the past for water drop photography and even capturing a pellet gun shooting water balloons and crackers.  Please go to Kickstarter and consider back this project!

Early registration is now open for the Black Hills Photo Shootout in Rapid City, SD - go to www.thephotoshootout.com to register!

Coming up on the podcast in 2 weeks - why a pro photographer dropped Nikon for Sony!

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Before we tell you all there is to know about beanbags, there was more photographic news in the last couple of weeks!

Chinese company Xiaomi may purchase GoPro. Details on the potential buy-out are sparse at this point, but a report claims the deal could be worth as much as $1 billion.  One of the weirdest copyright cases in the history of photography is finally over. The courts have sided with photographer David Slater and rejected PETA's claim that the monkey who took the infamous selfie has any claim over the photograph's copyright. Skylum Software has released the latest update to its image processing software Luminar. The large-format digital LargeSense LS911 is the "world's first 8x10 digital single shot camera for sale and will set you back $106,000!! Gopro will now accept any old digital camera for trade-in. The program first launched last year, but only as a temporary promotion limited to previous-generation GoPro cameras. SmugMug has acquired struggling photography site Flickr.  DxO Labs has filed the initial proceedings to start the bankruptcy process in France. The latest update to Lightroom Classic CC brought with it a slew of major bugs, including some that would cause the program to crash.  For more details and more, check out the podcast.

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Beanbags - what are they good for?  Well, be sure to check out this week's podcast as Fred and Jim will tell you everything there is to know about Beanbags, including field uses and even the best things to use as fill material - pros and cons!  Please also check out the new Fotobug YouTube channel for this video and lots more - please subscribe so that we can add a lot more new material including previous videos from The Fotobug vault.  If you would like to purchase your own beanbag, please check out Rob Daugherty's website, The Vest Guy, to buy the beanbags that Fred and Jim used in this podcast.  Thanks to Rob for providing us with these great bags! https://thevestguy.com/

Also, EMS Photo Adventures still has a couple spots open for the Colorado Dude Ranch workshop in Colorado led by Pulitzer Prize winning photographer, Essdras Suarez - just prior to the Black Hill Photo Shootout - this would be a great combination!  http://emsphotoadventures.com/

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