Home Posts tagged "Camera Tips"

White House photographer Pete Souza reveals what’s in his bag

Published on July 1, 2016 by in News

 ‘The Situation Room’, photo by Pete Souza. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, along with members of the national security team, receive an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden in the Situation Room of the Whi…

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App review: Full Frame is a quick, easy JPEG viewer, EXIF editor

Published on June 28, 2016 by in News

Full Frame is a Mac-based image viewer, photo importer and metadata editor that centers around an incredibly clean and intuitive user interface. Released by California-based Inland Sea and available now in the App Store, its potential to speed up one’s workflow caught our attention.

Of course, there are a lot of different photo viewing, ingesting and sorting programs available on market, many of which are geared toward casual users. Full Frame, on the other hand, is targeting more toward high-end users like photo enthusiasts.

In Use

Having spent some time trying out using Full Frame in my own workflow, it seems its closest competitors are Photo Mechanic, a time-honored program with a cult-like following from photojournalists world-wide, as well as Adobe Bridge.

Unlike Adobe Bridge, which I find frustratingly sluggish and cluttered in design, Full Frame comes across as exceptionally lean in terms of speed (except when working with un-supported Raw files) and design. It has much more in common with Photo Mechanic like quick startup and image load times. Of course the spectrum of its functionality is much more limited than that of Adobe Bridge.

I took Full Frame for a spin while sorting images to post to one of my personal sites. Specifically,  I used it to move and rename selects from one drive, to a folder on another.

Once you have Full Frame fired up, users simply select the source folder and destination (assuming you are copying files) in the upper-left of the screen. The above screenshot represents the entire window when the program is open. There is literally nothing to get in your way of viewing images and deciding which to keep and which to trash.

To select an image to copy, simply click on it and a checkmark appears. Alternatively you can select all by hitting ‘Command A’ and uncheck the ones you don’t want. In the upper-left portion of the window you’ll find a slider to zoom in the grid view as well as options to view metadata and delete files from their source.

With your mouse hovering over an image, a small plus sign will appear in the upper left of the photo. Click on it to expand the view. Once in the single image viewer, users can use the slider at the top to zoom the image in and out, to check for critical focus. Unfortunately, when zooming in and out, there is no display of the percentage you are zoomed to, unlike in Photo Mechanic.

One of the best features of Full Frame is the metadata/EXIF viewer. It offers an incredibly detailed list that goes above and beyond what a lot of other programs show, including Photo Mechanic.

Users can also add EXIF info to any imported files from within the preferences panel. One thing I’ve always really liked about Photo Mechanic is how simple it is to add copyright warnings and contact info to my files. In Full Frame, it is just as painless. From within the preference panel users can also assign rules for renaming files on import, which is very handy. 

In many ways, Full frame comes across as a utilitarian program, built to accomplish several specific tasks related to moving and organizing images. However it also doubles as an outstanding way to show off your work to clients, friends or families. The grid view is frankly gorgeous, and once in the single image view, users can simple use the arrow keys to move from image to image. It also starts up very fast, which is a plus.

Things to consider

While I found a lot to like about Full Frame, there are some things to consider before purchasing it: First and foremost, despite the claims of Raw support, I found numerous files, from varying manufacturers, to be unsupported. For instance, Raw files from the Nikon D750 are unsupported, as are those from the Sony a7 II. However, if you have Raw+JPEG files, load times will slow significantly but you can at least view and import your images.

This is really quite unfortunate. Sure, app updates could bring about Raw support but who has time to wait around? On the other hand you could always covert to DNG first, but if the whole point of this program is to speed your workflow, that also makes little sense. Photo Mechanic on the other hand does not have this problem, it can display a JPEG rendering from any Raw file, and loads quickly regardless.

Another beef I have with Full Frame is that there is only one option for sorting/rating images. In Photo Mechanic and Bridge, there are numerous ways to rate and sort images. For instance, when choosing my selects, I first do an initial sweep and check mark all of the ones I like, I then assign color or star ratings until I’ve got the images sorted down to a manageable amount.  At that point I copy the selects to a separate drive to be imported into Lightroom for processing.

The Takeaway

Full Frame is not a program that can do it all, but the things it can do, it does well. If you need a quick, easy way to view JPEGs or edit/view EXIF info, it might be your cup of tea.

Full Frame is an outstanding option for photographers seeking a powerful EXIF viewer/editor or a quick and easy way to import and rename files. Its spotty Raw support is the main thing holding it back. But at $30, Full Frame is a major bargain compared to Photo Mechanic, which will set you back $150. It is also a much faster way to quickly view and sort JPEG files than Adobe Bridge.

What we like:

  • Intuitive user interface
  • Very clean, simple design
  • Powerful EXIF viewer and editor
  • JPEGs load very quickly
  • Can be used to import, sort, batch rename files
  • Support for video files

What we don’t:

  • Despite claims of Raw support, many Raw files not supported
  • No percentage shown on zoom slider
  • Not as many options for rating photos as competition


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Canon EOS 80D Camera Review

Published on June 28, 2016 by in News

Performance plus value equals one great DSLR

The Canon EOS 80D is the perfect camera for those who want a great DSLR without the DSLR price…

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Correct name of mis-identified Iwo Jima flag raiser revealed after 70 years

Published on June 27, 2016 by in News

Photo By: Office of U.S. Marine Corps Communication, Headquarters Marine Corps

One of the officers in Joe Rosenthal’s iconic ‘Rasing the Flag on Iwo Jima’ has been mis-identified for over 70 years, according to a statement by the U.S. Mar…

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Twitter Stickers Are a Fun Way to Completely Ruin Your Photos

Published on June 27, 2016 by in News
Twitter photo stickers

Have you ever thought all your photos needed cartoon sunglasses? You’re in luck!

In a move clearly aimed at competing with Snapchat, Twitter has introduced #stickers that can be plastered on shared photos…

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Cactus promises 1/8000sec flash sync with V6 II transceiver, new version for Sony users

Published on June 27, 2016 by in News

Hong Kong-based flash and flash trigger manufacturer Cactus has upgraded its V6 wireless transceiver system to allow flash sync speeds of up to 1/8000sec. The company, claiming its transceivers can apply TTL control to multiple brands of flash at the same time, says that the V6 ll will be compatible with units from Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic and Pentax. Cactus also plans to bring high speed flash to Fujifilm X cameras even though Fuji doesn’t support the feature with its own flash units. Cactus has, at the same time, announced a V6 lls for Sony users with the same capabilities, but offers a Sony-compatible hotshoe foot.

The Cactus V6 ll offers an LED AF-assist light and remote control of the flash’s power output and zoom head position, as well as the features of the previous version. Also new is the ability to detect the on-camera flash in the network and to assign an automatic profile to that flash on start-up. This should make the system easier to work with.

The Cactus V6 ll will be available from July priced at $95. The Sony version is scheduled for an August release. For more information and a list of pre-installed flash profiles visit the Cactus website.

Press release:

Go high-speed sync! Cactus launches the V6 II, a newest version of its popular Wireless Flash Transceiver to add cross-brand HSS and the V6 IIs, a dedicated Sony version.

After two years in the making, Cactus V6 II & IIs – the second generation of the World’s First cross-brand wireless flash transceiver, NOW supports high-speed synchronisation (HSS)!

Besides the revolutionary remote power control of Canon, Fujifilm, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic and Pentax flashes all at the same time, the new models now support HSS / FP mode in the same cross-brand environment.1 This unique function gives photographers flexibility undreamed of. Matching flashes with same camera system for off-camera flash photography is over.

Two High-Speed Sync Modes
1. Normal HSS: Supports shutter speed up to 1/8000s.
2. Power Sync: Boosts flash contribution above camera’s x-sync speed, perfect for extreme conditions where Normal HSS is not powerful enough. 2

Cactus also extends HSS capabilities to Fujifilm cameras despite them not yet
supporting high-speed sync at the time of writing.

Both the V6 II and IIs now has an automatic LED AF-assist light that makes autofocusing in dark environments possible – even in pitched-black!3 Besides the camera-mounted V6 II/IIs, off-camera units will also activate the AF-assist light, which helps focusing even when camera is far from the subject.

V6 IIs for Sony
The dedicated Sony version – V6 IIs, embodies all the desirable functions of its sibling V6 II but with a Sony compatible hot shoe on the transceiver body, ensuring a seamless and secured connection with Sony cameras and flashes. Mounting the V6 IIs on a Sony Alpha camera allows the photographer to shoot above camera’s maximum x-sync speed and control power and zoom of Sony, including those with a Minolta/Sony hot shoe via an adapter, and other V6 II compatible flashes. 4 It is the perfect wireless flash trigger for existing and new users of Sony Alpha cameras, especially those who may still have non-Sony system flashes in their camera bags.

Highly Intelligent
V6 II and IIs can now auto-detect the on-camera portable flashes at device start-up by selecting the system the flash belongs to and assigning an Auto flash profile. Similarly, the V6 II will auto-detect the camera and selects the system accordingly. 5 This simple plug-and-play makes the setting up extremely quick and easy that both amateurs and professionals appreciate.

Expands Flash Compatibility
Remote zoom control now applies to all compatible TTL flashes, gives the photographer much quicker controls. Better still, previously unsupported digital TTL flash models on the V6 are now being supported.

Features at a Glance
1. Cross-brand wireless manual power and zoom control with HSS support of Canon, Fujifilm, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, Pentax and Sony flashes;

2. Two cross-brand high-speed sync modes:
•?Normal HSS supports shutter speeds up to 1/8000s;
•?Power Sync boosts flash contribution above camera’s x-sync speed;

3. Multi-master supports up to 20 photographers firing the same set of flashes at their own power settings;

4. AF-assist light assists focusing in low light environment;

5. Flash profile customization ensures accurate power output;

6. Work seamlessly with the RF60 series to support HSS and Power Sync;

7. Other useful features inherited from the V6 including:

  • Lo Power
  • Absolute Power
  • TTL Pass-through
  • Group Sequence
  • Sport Shutter
  • Remote Shutter
  • Relay Mode
  • Delay Mode
  • Firmware Update support

Price and Availability
Cactus V6 II and IIs are currently scheduled to be available in 2016 July and August respectively and both are priced at US$95.00 (ex VAT).

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Street style chronicler Bill Cunningham passes away at 87

Published on June 27, 2016 by in News
Bill Cunningham at Fashion Week photographed by Jiyang Chen. May 2012.

Over the weekend, the photography and fashion communities lost a living legend when Bill Cunningham passed away at age 87. He chronicled New York City street fashion trends – from fanny packs to designer bags – for almost 40 years for the New York Times.

‘I never bothered with celebrities unless they were wearing something interesting.’ Cunningham’s 2002 article on his own body of work for the Times explains his approach. He took as much interest in what people were wearing in Harlem and downtown as he took when photographing New York’s elite at countless galas and runway shows. Cunningham was known by his signature plain blue jacket and bicycle, and was named a ‘living landmark’ by the New York Landmarks Conservancy.

Cunningham was hospitalized recently after a stroke, and the news of his passing came not long after this Saturday. 

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Fujifilm launches Instax SP-2 with faster printing speeds

Published on June 27, 2016 by in News

Fujifilm has announced a new and improved version of its Instax printer. The SP-2 follows on the SP-1 and comes with improved Wi-Fi connectivity and faster printing speeds, producing a print in 10 seconds rather than the previously required 16 s…

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Fujifilm Instax Share SP-2 Instant Film Printer Gets a Redesigned Body, Faster Printing

Published on June 27, 2016 by in News

GearThe new Fujifilm Instax Share SP-2 instant film printer is faster, sleeker, and has more printing options for smartphone and social media photos.

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Watch This: Ansel Adams Describes His Process For His Iconic “Moon Over Hernandez” Photo

Published on June 27, 2016 by in News
Ansel Adams Moonrise Over Hernandez Story

Light meter? Ansel Adams didn’t need a light meter.

Ansel Adams tells the story of one of his most iconic photos…

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