PhotoCon LA 2016: Zoom Portable Audio Recorders

Allison interviews Ross Hornbuckle from Zoom about their new portable audio recorders. The H5 and H6 field recorders are both designed for handheld use or attachment to DSLR and video recorders. They’re ideal for live recording, live broadcasting and professional film/video work. The H5 provides four tracks of simultaneous recording while the H6 provides six tracks. Both recorders support interchangeable microphones as well as mic- and line-level audio inputs. The H5 is powered by 2 AA batteries providing up to 15 hours of continuous recording while the H6 uses 4 AA batteries and provides up to 20 hours of operation. The setting is the PhotoCon LA show floor at The Reef in downtown Los Angeles.

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Affinity Photo – Part 2

Affinity interfaceA couple of weeks ago I told you about Affinity Photo’s extensions to Apple’s Photo app. I promised that I’d come back later and give you an idea of what you can do with the full Affinity Photo from…. Just to make sure we’re all on the same page, remember that Affinity Photo is only $50 in the Mac App Store.

I’ve struggled a bit to do this review because the tool is so crazy capable, I can’t possibly go through everything it can do, but on the other hand if I don’t, you might walk away thinking it’s another Pixelmator, when in reality it might be another Photoshop. I’m not a Photoshop expert by any means but I’ve been showing Affinity Photo to a bunch of my photography friends and they’ve all been very impressed. I’m going to pick out a few things that make Affinity Photo stand out from the crowd, while continuing to stress that this is a $50 piece of software with no monthly fees.

I’m going to tell you about the interface, call out interesting highlights and try to give you a feel for the breadth of the tool. Hope this works!
Continue reading “Affinity Photo – Part 2”

PhotoCon LA 2016: SLIK Monopod & AquaTech Camera Housings

Allison interviews Michael Turnham from Kenko-Tokina about a few of the photography related products they sell. The first is the Pro 382CFL carbon fiber monopod made by SLIK. This monopod is as sturdy as aluminum yet weighs less than 16 oz., extends to 64 inches and folds down to less than 20 inches in length. Michael also shows several underwater camera housings made by AquaTech. These housings are designed to fit several brands and models of professional DSLRs and provide full control of the camera while underwater. They are designed for depths of 1 atm. so are best suited for photography near the water surface and not appropriate for deep diving. The setting is the PhotoCon LA show floor at The Reef in downtown Los Angeles.

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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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Continue reading “NC #574 Saving DTNS, Ikan Smartphone Gimbal, Affinity Photo Part 1”

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”

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