Congratulations to Panasonic for impressing the hard to impress folks at Consumer Report Labs. They do a series of tests with all cameras and the GH3 outscored all other DSLR cameras. It won by only one point but as Consumer Reports states, “It’s just one point higher, but that’s still remarkable, since mirrorless cameras arrived on the camera market less than five years ago. But camera manufacturers have been flooding the market with these models, and our Ratings reflect this: We tested 33 SLR-likes and just 19 SLRs in this most recent batch”.
Their comment about being impressed with the a mirrorless camera doing so well is exactly what I’ve been telling my students. I’m astounded at how fast this category of cameras has matured and brought great options to the photography game. For those who missed my review of the GH3 you can read it at Testing Panasonic’s Newest Four Thirds Camera, The GH3.
Awhile back I wrote about Getty Images sealing a deal with Google that was announced on their Blog as “5,000 new photos of nature, weather, animals, sports, food, education, technology, music and 8 other categories are now available for your use in Docs, Sheets, and Slides”. 5000 images handed over to Google and Getty paid the photographers involved a whopping $12.00 each. I don’t fault Google for making this deal. It was a great win for Google. It was just another day in the world of making money for Getty and not sharing the proceeds.
iStock Photo/Getty is at it again
There’s been some interesting fallout over this Getty/Google deal. Here’s an excerpt from a recent PhotoShelter Blog post- Stock photographer Sean Locke - who has contributed more than 12,000 photos to iStockphoto and sold nearly 1 million licenses – decided to help out photographers who wanted to leave iStockphoto (although he says he was not directly related with the deactivation day) with an updated version of his popular Greasemonkey script that includes a deactivation button.
Good for Sean to make a stand and help others do the same.
One of the questions I’m often asked is what program I recommend for working with photos. I often respond with a few questions of my own to better understand the person’s comfort level and capabilities with computers. If they are new to digital photography, but computer literate, I often suggest either Lightroom or Aperture. If they are computer phobic, I’ve had fewer options until now. Just this morning I found that Apple’s iPhoto, the easiest, yet still very powerful program for photography, has added the option to “Reference” your photos. What do I mean by “Reference” photos? It’s a bit complex for those new to the concept but I’ll do my best to explain. In short, it’s a way to store your photos outside of the iPhoto Library which is an advantage for many reasons. The most notable benefit is you won’t overrun your computer’s hard drive if your images are “Referenced”. If you are serious about your photography or getting serious, this is the way you want to go.
Think of a referenced iPhoto library as the way you use a book library. The books (your photos) sit as referenced originals on a shelf (your external hard drive). The iPhoto library keeps a small version/mini jpeg on your computer. When you open your iPhoto library it shows the small jpeg but knows if you need to change anything, it reaches out to the referenced original on the external hard drive.
My new iPhoto Library with photos from our recent Patagonia trip.
Derrick Story, who contributes to Macworld’s Digital Photo Blog, does a great job explaining how to set it all up. Yes, I realize it requires using the Apple operating system, but quite frankly, when it comes to digital content, there is no better system currently being offered. Digital Asset Management, (DAM) as it’s known, is a tremendous advantage for keeping track of your precious images. One of the warmest feelings I know is to type the word Family in to my Aperture library and watch family members populate my screen by the thousands. It’s a great trip down memory lane and it can happen in fractions of a second if you just spend a little time getting it all organized. Take a look at Apple’s iPhoto if you want the simplest DAM program on the market. It’s well worth the effort.
Dell recently announced what sounds like a phenomenal series of monitors. They come in 24 and 27 inch models but their biggest claim to fame is they promise 99% coverage of the AdobeRGB color space. If true, that’s a big deal. We’ve been using Dell monitors for the past couple of years and have been very pleased with their capabilities. The UltraSharp monitors have been great in the past and with these new additions they look to be an even better option for serious graphics people including photographers.
Canon announced their version of the highly coveted 200-400mm lens over two years ago. On the Nikon side, this is the lens that has kept me shooting Nikon for a couple of decades. Now it’s this lens AND Nikon’s amazing high ISO capable full frame cameras. For the Canon folks, who shoot with us regularly on our Invitational Photo Tours, there has been a tremendous desire to get their hands on Canon’s version of the 200-400mm lens. Well, based on the website Canon Watch, the wait is nearly over. Take a look at this video that originally appeared on the Canon Watch website. It certainly will be interesting to see the price tag of this must have wildlife-enthusiast lens. Start saving your pennies, it won’t be cheap.
In a recent Blog post titled Testing Panasonic’s Micro Four Thirds Camera, the GH3, I promised I would be printing two images of a leopard I photographed with both the Nikon D4 and the Panasonic GH3. Before heading to Patagonia I had the chance to do that and I wanted to share the results. Just as I had seen on my computer, the Nikon D4 is superior to the GH3. But…. as I also mentioned in my original post, I’m seeing something I can’t quite put my finger on that just doesn’t’ add up. It seems the GH3 is sharper than what the printed image suggests. What I mean by that is, the image seems sharp but also seems to have potential movement. This also relates to the comment I made in the original post about me not being sure the Image Stabilization was as good as Nikon’s. After further investigation I’m starting to wonder if what I am seeing is a phenomenon being discussed on the web known as Shutter Shake Syndrome.
Dan comparing two images that were shot with the Panasonic GH3 and the Nikon D4.
I wanted to get this out and update everyone interested in this comparison before I left for a two week shoot in Patagonia. Let me know if any of you know more about Shutter Shake Syndrome than I do. I hope to do more tests at the studio some time when I return.
When I realized which ad they were declining, or I should say CENSORING, I about doubled over in laughter thinking this was the best kind of advertisement I could have ever hoped for. So everybody please do me a favor and SHARE this blog post with as many people you can think of. Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t want everybody to know. Like I said in an earlier post, for now it’s Instagram’s new Terms of Service. If this goes through without people screaming like crazy they’ll be doing the same with Facebook pictures. Help me tell the world, especially on Facebook since they CENSORED our ad. Let’s tell the world. Thanks for your help. You can see my original blog post titled: Facebook/Instagram’s New Policy Allow Them to Sell Your Photos With No Compensation To You. Now go get crazy and SHARE this post.
Instagram is at it again. They’re approaching their online community of professional photographers, photo enthusiasts, mom and pops, school kids and grannies, with a smile on their face and a hand shake. As their right hand squeezes down, like the grip of any crook who’s about to make off with a suitcase of cash, their left hand reaches around to your backside, fingers gently massaging your wallet or purse as they extract your credit cards and all banking information. Oh…. and he also took your last five bucks for the latte you planned to buy at Starbucks as you walk back to your apartment because your old car is in the shop for repairs. Too bad Instagram and Facebook will be getting paid for your photographs and not you. Just think how good that latte would have tasted. Now quit whining and start walking. It’s cold out here.
Ok, wakeup and smell the coffee, my little creative writing exercise is over.
Here’s the guy squeezing your right hand as he extracts cash from your pocket with his left hand. He’s the multibillion dollar business guy Mark Zuckerberg – the one who owns Instagram.
Many of you may already know that Panasonic recently released the Lumix GH3, their newest addition to their growing line of Micro Four Thirds cameras. Being a big fan of the Micro Four Thirds system I scrambled, searching the web, calling contacts and eventually got my hands on this highly anticipated photographic tool. It was hard to come by. All local channels received none on initial release. The Internet sellers were all sold out. My last chance was a newfound friend at Samy’s Camera in Los Angeles, and it was Ray who put it all together for me. Thank you Ray and Samy’s Camera. You can see some of my favorite images shot exclusively with the Panasonic Lumix GH3 by clicking on the following link, Into the African Bush with the Panasonic GH3. If you want to see our guests having a great time there’s a gallery of images here. Our Guests Enjoying Kenya
The Canon 600mm F/4 with photographer attached is on the left. On the right is me shooting the Lumix GH3 with a 100-300mm F/4-5.6 lens. In the Micro Four thirds world all lenses are multiplied 2x so the Lumix 100-300 is actually equivalent to a 200-600mm lens. The same long magnification as the massive Canon lens.
Read this article about how a recent deal between Getty and Google continues to drive photographer’s ability to make a living into the ground. Doesn’t’ surprise me. The business model of giving something away for FREE, or virtually so, is a proven money-maker for eventual profits on additional related services. Make no mistake about it, Google and Getty eventually do make money, on searches, Google ads, data mining and the like. And they do so in the Billions of dollars. It’s one thing if the owner of the products (photos being represented by Getty) are the ones to make the decision to hand out free, or nearly free images, in hopes of making additional money later on. It’s another thing to have an agent you’ve trusted with your products (photos) to take it upon themselves to make the decision to give your work away for you. As I’ve said to our guests of our Invitational Photo Tours, “anybody can give anything away for free. Hold out for a reasonable and fair payment and if they pay, you then know your work is good. If not, you need to work harder.” Thanks to A Photo Editor, Rob Haggart, for bringing this to the world’s attention.
Olympus recently announced that five new camera-makers have joined the Micro Four Thirds camera technology group. You can see a list of the new members by following this link. In 2008, Panasonic and Olympus started the Micro Four Thirds consortium with the intent to develop a new category of cameras that all share similar technology. Most importantly for the consumer, they also share the same lenses and ability to swap lenses from one partner company in the group to another. In other words, I can use my Panasonic lenses on an Olympus camera and vice-versa. Thankfully the group continues to grow, and by adding five new members the consumer gets a substantial increase in lens and camera options that can all be interchanged with each other. You can read more about my ramblings on all things related to Micro Four Thirds by clicking on the image below.
Look for this logo to be sure that the camera is Micro Four Thirds compatible.
Each year that we travel to Kenya we often bring gifts for the villages we visit. This year we decided to go one step further and buy $1000.00USD worth of textbooks for a Masai school that’s close to Masai Mara National Reserve. We couldn’t have done this without the help of our dear friend and Masai Game Guide Henry Mawani. Henry contacted the local teacher who put together a specific list of the books the children needed. Upon our return to Nairobi we visited the Text Book Store owned by Arvin Shah where we purchased four sets of all the books the teacher requested. Although four sets is helpful, the kids will share, this is just a small portion of what they need. It was great to get this program rolling and we plan to start a specific fund for additional purchases each year we return to Kenya. Stay tuned and stop by our website to find out more for how you can help donate in the future. Thanks to our very generous guests, Jim & Mimi Heywood, Fred & Kathy Kurtz, and Ed & Faris Charbonneu who donated $250.00USD each. My wife Tanya and I contributed the same. The more we travel, the more we believe that Education is Everything! See more images of our shopping spree by following this link.
Daniel Cox, Ed Charbonneau, Henry Mawani, Fred Kurtz and Jim Heywood pose for a photo in the Text Book Store they visited to purchase text books for a Masai school in Kenya.
Red Digital Cinema continues to steam roll the competition and impress the image creation world with phenomenal new technology for still and moving images. I first heard of the Red One several years ago. The Red One was Red Digital Cinema’s first barn storming camera that turned the video creation world on its head. The story of Red is as interesting as the equipment they make. We’ll get to that in a moment. For those not interested in history and this great story you can go directly to Red Digital Cinema’s tutorial page with five great videos on what Red cameras can do. Including a video that highlights grabbing cover quality, still images from Red camera’s video output. It’s mind bending!
Jim Jannard, often referred to as the mad scientist, was the sole inventor, designer, photographer and marketer for Oakley sportswear and sunglass company. He actually shot most, if not all, of Oakley’s promotional images and video. In other words he knew what he wanted as an image creator in both stills and video. Part of the story I can’t corroborate is, Jannard supposedly contacted all the large video camera manufactures, Sony, Panasonic, JVC and others to try and convince them to build the type of camera Red One eventually became. They all told him is wasn’t feasible, nobody would buy it, etc., so as any good, red blooded, American entrepreneur would do – who by the way sold his Oakley sportswear company for 2.1 billion dollars in 2007 – yes, that’s billion – he started his own camera manufacturing company now known as Red Digital Cinema. And, as they say, the rest is history.
DPReview, my favorite go to website for all camera information, recently took a poll from their readers to get their thoughts on the best camera of 2012. And the winner is the Micro 4/3′s Olympus OM-D EM-5. Nikon’s D800/D800E was second and the Canon EOS 5 Mark lll came in third. I find it interesting how the new smaller, lighter camera was voted the top spot. As many of you know I’m a big fan of the smaller, lighter cameras and in particular the Micro 4/3′s category the Olympus OM-D EM-5 is a part of.
The Olympus OM-D EM-5 takes top honor in DPReview’s survey of Best Camera of 2012
The recent Broo-ha-ha over Instagram’s new Terms of Service seemed to come to an end with Kevin Systroms semi-apology, however, until the new Terms of Service are officially released the jury is still out so to speak. One of Instagram’s most popular accounts is the king of all photography, National Geographic. Their Instagram account has over 638,000 followers. Interestingly, Nat Geo shuttered their Instagram account until Instagram backed down. They recently reinstated it but are waiting for a final decision based on the updated Terms of Service coming in the next few weeks.
National Geographic shuts down their Instagram account until they see their new Terms and Conditions.
This post was sent out a bit prematurely. I was trying my WordPress Blog App on my new iPhone 5 while in the gym. The WordPress App is pretty impressive but it posted this Blog before it was ready for primetime. Sorry to those who saw an editorial misfire.
Panasonic Lumix GX1 with the 14-42X lens. Very compact, light and superb image quality
My reason for posting was the fact that the Panasonic Lumix GX1, my favorite camera ever when it comes to travel, people and cultural photography, is now being sold on Amazon for $499.00. This price includes the fabulous 14-42mmX lens. I paid $899.00 for the same camera about a year ago, so it’s a fabulous deal. Make sure you check your local camera store for their price before going to Amazon. Maybe they can meet Amazon’s offer. I’m a firm believer in working with your local dealer if at all possible. It’s a fantastic camera if you want something that has interchangeable lenses, is small and compact, and produces outstanding stills and video.
I just finished a video I shot and edited for our Natural Exposures Invitational Photo Tours. I created this mini-video for our upcoming, new and improved, Natural Exposures website. The new site probably won’t be up for at least 2-3 more months but we wanted to get this out so those of you who don’t know Tanya and I can get a better idea of what we do. Thanks to all those who participated. I hope you can find the snippets of humor. It’s always fun to see if those who watch catch on to my little snippets of fun. Special thanks to Dave and Shiela, Bonnie and Leon as well as Linda and Cheryl. They’re all some of our favorite guests and without a doubt Shiela is the easiest one to tease. Bonnie comes a close second but takes first in the give back department. Hope you enjoy my newest video creation. It was a lot of fun to produce.
Seems Facebook’s social media reach worked against them this time. You can read the apology from Instagram here. Yesterday, I was made aware of Instagram/Facebook’s (Facebook owns Instagram) new Terms and Conditions that stipulated posting any photos to the Instagram site gave Instagram all rights, commercial and otherwise, to those images forever. You can read more in my original post. These rights included being able to sell those pictures to anybody they wanted, with no recourse available to the person who owned the photos and no compensation for the sale of those images to the rightful owner. In a nut shell, they were in the process of starting their own private Stock Photo Agency, by way of stealing the images their users had provided. This proves two very important points. One, photography is worth substantial amounts of money and two, there may be some truth in the unethical accusations made by the Winklevoss Twins. Mr. Zuckerburg once commented on the fact that FB is providing a free service so they should have the right to try and monetize it in any way they see fit. My response to that is, I’ve spent nearly $1000.00 this past year advertising with Facebook. That’s a legitimate way to monetize your business as opposed to the old fashioned art of stealing from your supporters.
Multibillion dollar business guy Mark Zuckerberg tries to put the screws to all his recently acquired Instagram photographers. I say, “Not so fast buddy, we’re not as dumb as you think”
Instagram, which is entirely owned by Facebook, recently announced a new policy that allows them to use any images you upload to their service. If they’re doing this on Instagram, it’s only a matter of time before it’s in place on Facebook. You can read a snipit of the new Terms and Conditions below. I’ve also included a link for the full Terms and Conditions.
Part of paragraph #2 under Rights of the new Terms and Conditions. “Some or all of the Service may be supported by advertising revenue. To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions, you agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you. If you are under the age of eighteen (18), or under any other applicable age of majority, you represent that at least one of your parents or legal guardians has also agreed to this provision (and the use of your name, likeness, username, and/or photos (along with any associated metadata)) on your behalf.” Read the rest of this entry »
I recently ran across a great video that compares the Nikon D600 and Canon 6D. Jett H. has put a terrific comparison video together and goes over many of the features that will interest both still and video enthusiasts alike. He mentions that he is not a professional in either video or still photography but he certainly is proficient at the technical side of both based on this video.
I’ve been shooting the Nikon D600 for a couple of months now and really like it’s weight, full frame sensor and the fact it fits nicely into my Nikon system. I thought I would share this with everybody who might be thinking about a mid-priced camera for either for yourself or a loved one to put under the Christmas tree. Take a look to get up to speed with these two quality releases from the top dogs in the digital photography world. Oh, by the way. No rules about getting one for yourself as long as you wrap it.
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