PhotoCon LA 2016: Olympus PEN-F Camera and 300mm Prime Lens

Allison interviews Ray Acevedo from Olympus about two of their new products: the PEN-F camera and the M.Zuiko 300mm lens. The PEN-F is a mirrorless, range-finder style camera with the same internals as other Olympus OM-D cameras. It has a vintage design and is well suited for street photography. The M.Zuiko 300mm fixed focal length F4.0 lens is part of Olympus’ PRO line designed for micro 4/3 cameras. It provides the equivalent zoom of a 600mm standard DSLR lens at a significantly reduced price, size and weight. This lens offers the highest resolution of any lens Olympus has ever made. The setting is The Reef in downtown Las Angeles.

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NC #576 Ricoh Theta S Update, HiDPI Images & Trig, FoxFury Lighting, Audio-Technica AT2020USBi Mic

Turns out the Theta S software works great on the iPhone, IF you have the right version. We’ll have a nice Trigonometry lesson as I try to explain what interpolation means and why you might care about it if you’re editing images. We have an interview with FoxFury Lighting and Audio-Technica from NAB.

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CCATP #439 Antonio Rosario on Photo Processing

Antonio Rosario of the Switch to Manual Podcast at… joins us again to answer some of my photo processing questions. He tries to explain to me the difference between a filter and an adjustment in programs like Photoshop and Affinity Photo (and I think he succeeds), we talk about how to avoid falling into the pitfall of having your camera set up all wrong from a previous shoot, and what a light meter is and why you might want to use one. You can find Antonio on Twitter, Flickr, Google Plus and Instagram as @amrosario and on Facebook at

[Note: I say the wrong episode number at the beginning!]

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HiDPI Images or “Fun With Trigonometry”

Export affinity photo showing 2x and 3xThis week I was in the process of ordering a metal print of one of my turtle photos from my vacation. The instigator of this is photographer Mark from Twin Lakes Images, the artist formerly known as Switcher Mark. He’s a big believer in printing photographs and he convinced me this would be fun.

Printing the photo meant making a lot of decisions, including not just the medium (I wanted to try metallic because it looked cool in a gallery I visited recently) but also the size and proportion of the print.

While this photo was taken on a GoPro and was a 10MP image, the resolution was a bit low for the size print I wanted to do. In Affinity Photo in the Export Persona (they call the different modules personas for some reason) they have options for 1x, 2x, and 3x. Mark and I inferred that the latter two buttons would up-sample the image. Up-sampling an image means to add pixels to an image.

I suggested that this was fake, cheating, misleading or at the very best silly, because the pixels don’t exist so the software has to make them up. I told Mark that the software would have to interpolate to figure out where those extra pixels were supposed to be. (At the end of this story I’ll tell you that I figured out it’s not interpolation but we can’t get there yet!) Continue reading “HiDPI Images or “Fun With Trigonometry””

Ricoh Theta S “360” Camera Review

Theta first photoSteve loves photography and videography, having a barrel of fun with his iPhone 6s and his GoPro Hero 3. The GoPro’s ultra wide angle lets him take selfies with a lot of people in the photo. One of his favorite photos (which has been Lindsay’s cover photo for ages) is one of his entire family, 22 of us, all in one shot. That’s really hard to get with any other kind of camera. He also gets phenomenal shots of scenery with his GoPro, often with the two of us in the close foreground. Landscape photography alone can be a bit boring and selfies alone get overdone, but a combination can be a nice change.

There’s only one thing cooler than an ultra wide photo from a GoPro, and that’s the new 360 degree photos and videos you can get with specialized cameras. Before we go too far, I want to acknowledge that “360 degree” isn’t technically correct, because in reality these photos are 4π steradians. Degrees (or radians) only describe one dimension, you need 4π steradians to describe all directions at once. But for the purpose of not sounding like the nerd ball I am, I will use the conventional 360 term. Know that it bugs me every time I say it though.

Alex Lindsay on MacBreak Weekly bought a 360 camera called the Ricoh Theta S and used it to take a photo of 30 of his relatives at his father’s 90th birthday party. He put the camera in the middle of the table and had everyone gather in a circle. It’s so cool! I knew that Steve would love one of these. Luckily Father’s day is coming up soon so I bought one for him early and couldn’t wait to give it to him. The Ricoh Theta S is $350 on Amazon right now, so think GoPro pricing.
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NC #574 Saving DTNS, Ikan Smartphone Gimbal, Affinity Photo Part 1

I’m back from vacation, and so thankful to Bart and Allister for taking care of the show while I was gone. This week we’ll talk about how Steve and I saved the Daily Tech News Show with Tom Merritt and the price he had to pay for our help, we’ll hear an interview from NAB 2016 with Ikan about their Smartphone gimbal, and I’ll give you part one of my Affinity Photo review. This is an application that’s so huge and powerful for only $50 that I had to split it in two. This week is all about how to use the Affinity Extensions and next time we’ll talk about all of the advanced features you get with the standalone application.

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Affinity Photo Review – Part One – Extensions for Photos

Haze removalI have fallen in love with Affinity Photo. If you heard Chit Chat Across the Pond this week with Devin King, you’ll have heard me chat a bit about it as a fantastic image editor. I wanted to give you a more in depth look into this fabulous new program and why even if you’re not a huge photography fanatic, you might still want to give it a look. I’m preparing a video for Don McAllister’s ScreenCasts Online podcast, so I’m learning a lot about it right now and the more I study it, the more I like it.

Let’s define some problems to be solved first. They fall into a few categories, the first being money, or lack of disposable money: Continue reading “Affinity Photo Review – Part One – Extensions for Photos”

CCATP #437 Devin King on Photography

In this week’s episode of Chit Chat Across the Pond, we’re joined by Devin King, the first VP and Program Director for SMOG, the Southern California Macintosh Owners | Users Group ( He’s a photographer who converted from a giant Canon DSLR to carrying two mirrorless cameras, the Olympus OM-D E-M1 and the Fuji X-T1.

We talk about what drove him to abandon the DSLR form factor and go to mirrorless cameras, and why he bought two of them, and the differences between them. We talk about applications for processing photos from Apple Photos to Lightroom and a whole lot of other editors:

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If you’re interested in chatting with Devin directly, you can contact him at or follow him on Twitter at @devinking

NC #560 Apple Rant, Facebook Group, PIQ Sports Sensor, Brydge Keyboards, Ring Video Doorbell, ALLie Spherical Camera, SureCall Cell Booster

We start with an Apple rant about some “interesting” tech support calls I endured. I explain how I gave in and created a Facebook Group after all, but please don’t judge me. We have four interviews: PIQ Sports sensor to help you analyze your game, adorable Brydge keyboards for your iPad, ALLie Spherical Camera and SureCall cell phone booster (I think I might buy one of these). I also did an in depth review of the Ring Video Doorbell.

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Olympus 60mm f/2.8 Macro Lens

EyeballWhen I had a giant digital SLR, I only used one lens. It was a terrific wide angle to big zoom (28-300 mm equivalent). It was so versatile I never took it off. I did buy other lenses, like a “nifty fifty”, or 50mm equivalent because all the cool kids had them. Photography is like that, you hear about a lens and then you need that lens. You may not know why but you do. I hardly ever used that lens. It took beautiful photos, and was super fast so I could take photos in low light but the focal length just didn’t work for me. I loved it for portraits but I had to be right in their faces to get a good shot so they usually had a look of horror on their face because I was so close to them!

When I got my mirrorless camera (the Olympus E-M10) I bought a lens much like it, the Tamron 28-300 equivalent. I love that lens, all the versatility of my old lens but at less than half the weight and about 40% of the volume. I didn’t need any other lenses.

But one day in a bored moment I went out looking at the Wirecutter to see what kind of lenses I might want. Continue reading “Olympus 60mm f/2.8 Macro Lens”

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