Canon 7D-1080P, 24FPS, and 12,800 max ISO. Oh yeah, it takes still photos, too

The race continues on.
Or is it a competition?
Every new DSLR coming down the pike, is all about the video improvements, although it usually helps the still side of the equation, also.
Whichever way you look at it, the customer wins.
Canon introduced this new 7D, and took care of some of the issues folks had with the 5D video options: 24FPs and 25FPS were great improvements and the incredibly high ISO range, up to 12,800 is pretty useful.

Chuck Westfall, from Canon, takes you on a little tour of the camera:

For about $1700 USD, it’s a very powerful unit for whatever you want to do, stills or HD video.
Improvements include a simpler way to get into the Live View and subsequently, video.
We do hope that, one day, these DSLR video rigs will shoot in a RAW video format for the highest quality.
Maybe the next round.

Photoinduced Holiday Gift Guide 2009 – MultiMedia Version: This time it Moves!

Just when you thought it was safe to ask for a lens, a camera bag, or maybe a speedlight for the holidays, along comes the multimedia explosion.
The choices out there for capturing multi media content are massive, but you knew that.
The gear suggestions we are putting on the list are relatively affordable, and will get you on your way in the world of multimedia.
All items have been vetted, and are listed only after our extensive research.
Just remember that overall, you, or the gifter, are spending some real dough on a full set-up, even if it’s a start up.
As in the stills only portion of the list, we have added Why We Like It to most items to let you know some quick reasons fro it’s inclusion on the list. It is abbreviated to WWLI, so hopefully it will help.

Strap on in, because it’s going to be a bumpy night. This motion and sound world can get very, very, expensive quickly.
Here we go:

Support:Shoulder mounts:
theEvent_lgRedrock Micro system: A full line of mounts, braces, follow focus, and all kinds of accessories to make your video life better
WWLI: with it’s modular system , you can custom design the setup you like, or need.
Because we use a few different cameras systems for video and sound, a combo of the deluxe shoulder mount, Microbrace, and 3 micro mounts, allowed us to build 2 supports to be use depending on camera and use. More on that in an upcoming review. Shown here is the DSLR shoulder brace set-up.

Also check into Cavision,andCinevate, both companies make excellent products. Be sure to check into follow focus units from all companies.
3e1bc0a398a08c1557edb110.L._AA200_Manfrotto 503HDV Video Tripod Kit with 503HDV Pro Fluid Video Head and 351MVB2 Tripod with Spreader

WWLI: Good fluid head, solid tripods, sold with a great case. You can go with your current stills tripod. but adding fluid head will insure a smooth pans and tilts.

Manfrotto 561BHDV Video Fluid Monopod with Head Replaces 561B
WWLI: When you need to move fast and have not a ton of space, this unit is what you need. Get the steady support with fluid movements for non-shaky cam video.

SVM-2T Rode Stereo VideoMic On-Camera Microphone

For your lavalier, we prefer:
WWLI: Rich, warm, tone; great sensitivity even when place inside clothing. comes with full up attachment kit. Must be ordered with specific jack, depending on where you will be inputting it: XLR, Lectrosonic, Sennheiser,etc.

41PlwGul0RL._SS500_Sennheiser EW100ENGG3A Wireless System
for wireless rec/transmitter.
WWLI: It works every time and has for years, for us. Adjustable freq, 4 presets, easy to use. Yes, we know that there is a lavalier mic in this setup, but the Tram is better. The included lav can be your back-up.
Plus the system can handle pro-XLR output. You can find the G2 system on Ebay for less, but remember to stay with the “A” or “B” freq.
The “C” will not be legal soon.

The Shotgun mic choice is very subjective, and if you can, check out the mics in person before you buy.
Or have a listen here.

Rode NGT-2 or the Sennheiser ME66 shotgun mics, are 2 of the most popular.

Digital recorders:
11157-h4npiWe usually prefer to record directly to the camera. Saves time syncing later.
The DSLR solutions on board, are not great. You must go through a pre-amp/mixer first, if you are recording directly to the camera. Otherwise, you may be disappointed with the quality. Since audio is 50% of the final, don’t scrimp here.

Juicedlink is our preferred choice, but the Beachtech has a headphone output to monitor the sound. You can still do it with the Juicedlink, but you need to add a $5. splitter. No biggie. Better pre-amps so better sound, in our opinion.

Best bet on the DSLR video sound recording, is an outboard digital recorder.
Zoom H4n Handy Portable Digital Recorder
– About $300.
4 track recorder with 2 XLR inputs: Affordable and a multitude of features to grow with you.
WWLI: Best starter unit out there for the price. You can also plug 1/4″ plugs in direct for guitars and leave an XLR input for a mic. Versatile, and the new one has better pre amps than the previous model.
However when you grow, you may desire a higher end recorder such as
Fostex FR2LE CF Recorder or Marantz PMD661 Portable SD Recorder
All of these record to both an internal hard dive and removable media.
After these options, the price goes way up.

416kAiqeecL._SS400_HeadphonesSony Pro MDR-7506 Headphones
or ear buds
Side bar:
For interviews, wild sound, and sound exfx sample we like the Olympus LS-10 Linear PCM Recorder
WWLI: Because it is so small, we always have it with us. You can always get the sound/interview , even shoot some stills, and not lose the moment. Comes with all accessories, records pro level files.


41bXRMwGWdL._SL500_AA280_Litepanels, or Chimera Video Pro Plus 1 Light Bank, Small 24 x 32
with an Arri Lighting Kit
or a Lowel Tota-light
The Lowel’s are reasonably priced and versatile.

If you are working with hot lights always remember extra bulbs in the kit and some heat resistant gloves, and loooong extension cords.
Your reflector from your still work will do the same jobs, so no need to duplicate.

store_bundle_imageForget focusing in the tiny LCD on the camera. Really watch what you are doing and make those focus choices.
SmallHD is our #1 choice.
WWLI: Actual 1280 HD, slim design, solid construction. HDMI input. Excellent customer service. The package with monitor, sunshade, 2 batts, neoprene case, plus extras is only about (gulp) $950 including free shipping.
Also look at Marshall (real pro stuff-a bit pricier), and Ikan V8000 HDMI 8 (prosumer, lower cost)

Portable Hard Drives:
getchpiMake sure you are using a 72000 rpm speed drive and firewire or ESata for in/out transfers. Speed is of the essence for video work.
Our first choice is 500GB G-raid Mini 7200
WWLI: built in fan (the 7200 drives can heat up fast), 7200 speed, leather case, industry standard
Also like the LaCie-1TB in a tiny space, no fan, but heat sinks. After a 8 hour working test, still pretty cool to the touch.

No matter what brand you chose, remember that it is never a matter of if a drive will fail, but when. Always back it up. We travel with 3 external drives on the road. Or you can burn to Archicval DVD”s as you go.

Light stands
We like Matthews or Manfrotto, and your still photo stands will do just fine.
WWLI: solid, don’t fail, Matthews is a standard in the film industry, especially with their “C” stand. Manfrotto also has some great tiny stands for travel.

Multimedia bags from ThinkTank for your DSLR
WWLI: Designed with the still photographer in mind, this modular bag system will help make your multimedia life more organized. Check out the video.
Tenba cases for grip gear stands, soft boxes.
WWLI: We use the Tripak for ENG type work and it is just the right size. That’s all.
Pelican for storage and shipping.
WWLI: Easy to customize foam inserts, stackable, airtight seals, and ability to lock securely with cables.

Final Cut Studio
WWLI: It is the standard. Everyone uses it, and therefore, there is a huge amount of support for you, including training DVD’s and books.
iMovie and Adobe Premiere will also do what you need, depending on complexity of project. We have used it on the road and it’s fine for the simple stuff.
FYI: Check out the Frank Rohmer: Final Cut Pro for Photographers DVD.
The best training DVD we’ve seen.

So there you have it.
A fast sampling of things you may need in the multi media world. All quality goods, but of, course you can go so much higher in price and sophistication.

Only you know if you’ve been naughty or nice this year. Hopefully extra nice.
Whomever is bringing the presents,though, hopefully has a solid credit limit.
Remember, there is probably a great deal of items in your still gear set-up that can work for your new multimedia life.
Here are a coupla videos on Chris Weeks, who walked us through his gear choices on the subject.

Hope it all helps!

Weekly Giveaway – onOne Plug-in Suite: Plenty of tools all in one package

We’re going to start the Dec. giveaways big!
First up is a great package of plug-ins for Photoshop, from onOne Software:
Plug-In Suite 4 : Professional Edition

We are huge fans of this company (they made the DSLR Remote Control for the iPhone) and have packaged a solid group of programs that will make your digital darkroom work better, faster, stronger, (thanks Daft Punk) and easier.
onone giveaway
(by the way, this plug-in suite works with most of the Adobe Photoshop versions, and software like Elements and Lightroom. Check here for more info.

Genuine Fractals 5 Print Pro can resize digital images over 1,000% with no loss of detail or sharpness; allows poster-sized prints to be made from almost any image. Hard to illustrate here, but it works.

Unlike with traditional Actions in Photoshop, with PhotoTools Professional Edition, you get a large preview of the effect before you apply it. You can combine multiple effects together and adjust the strength of each effect. You can even save combinations of effects as a preset for easier use in the future.

Use PhotoFrame 3.1 Professional Edition to create stunning border and edge effects right out of the darkroom. Select from thousands of edges, including authentic film and artistic mediums.

(L to R: Mask Pro Results on Solid Background, Mask Pro Results on New Background, Original Image.)
With Mask Pro 4.1 you can easily create high-quality masks and selections even from tough subjects like hair and glass, making it easy to place a subject in a new background. Suggest you get that Wacom tablet right about now.

PhotoTune 2.2 corrected the color in this flat digital capture in six easy steps

FocalPoint 1
is a new plug-in that simulates selective focus or tilt-shift lenses, helping photographers blur and/or vignette an image
IMG_0105-105x final

This sample was made in about 5 mins.. If you want to guide the viewers eye, or do some of that trendy “miniature” look, so popular now, this part alone will keep you going for hours. Yep, we shoot most of our meals.

2 things though to make it ALL easier for you:
Get Wacom Tablet, and know when to stop touching it.
We have all been taught how to do that, right?
This is a powerful set of tools that will open up a ton of things in your photographic life, that will keep you busy for awhile.
And yes, it’s true that there is an upgrade out now to the 5 series. Tweaks and such but we use this one at present. And there are updates to the 4.5.1 series that are free. Free, like this weeks giveaway.
Just make sure you are signed up for the weekly NEWSLETTER. That is the ONLY way to be eligible to get this software package for free, from us.
Sign up here or at the top of this page.
And then on Weds.,at 9:00AM PST, the Newsletter gets sent into the interweb, to all of the subscribers with the simple instructions on how to get this for your very own without spending a dime.
How simple?
It works like this –
1. Hit reply to the NEWSLETTER
2. Put the “special word” into the subject line of the email (included/revealed in the newsletter)
3. Delete body of email (saving server space)
4. Add a shipping address
5. Hit Send

Then, if you have followed all of those steps, a certain number reply will get the item. that number is also revealed in the Newsletter
See, we told you it was simple.
Later this month we have an HP server to give away, as well as all kinds of excellent items to enhance your photographic life.
And the Newsletter gives you an overview of new photo news, and links to articles you may have missed.
Remember, we ship ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD!

Oh, and in Dec. we add more giveaways, with some happening right here on the site, or via Twitter, or maybe our Facebook page

Photoinduced Holiday Gift Guide 2009 – Let’s get ready to ruuuummble!

Sure , it’s been a ..different kind of a year.
Fine, we won’t sugar coat it: it’s been darn rugged. The new economy is getting old, and we are spinning twice as fast for half as much.
Well, almost.
There is still this time of year though, that encourages you to spend some of that money you have and either treat a loved one, friend, or business associate to a token of your appreciation for what they have meant to you this past year.
Habit? Perhaps, but culturally we are all there. Admit it.
We’ve put together a list of things for you to give, or give someone a clue as to what you really want this holiday season.
Like we said, with the economy kinda dicey right now, you don’t want to guess or have someone else miss the mark, right?

We’ll be speeding through this a bit with a new descriptor to the item : Why We Like It.
This will be abbreviated ( WWLI) and added to every item we put here. Hopefully it’ll make things easier.
You can shop AND watch the movie on TV.
Plus we’ll add the Black Friday ads for those in the US to check for deals, at the end of the guide.
Let’s HIT IT!!!!!

Misc. under $30
41rh8oPpSLL._SL75_ Joby Gorillapod
WWLI: simple tripod can also double as an Iphone holder for watching. well built and just fun to deal with.
(yes, they do go up in size and price depending on your needs)
31JN1XKopWL-1._SL500_AA280_Think Tank Pixel Pocket Rocket, for Storing 10 CF Memory Cards, with Security Leash.
WWLI: well built, hold good amount of media, fits well in any pocket, and has security strap plus biz card holder
Canvas Photo Bag– from ICP
WWLI: green way to go for shopping, show your passion on your bag, support ICP. lens cloth
WWLI: great cloth stuffs into its own neoprene bag, no ridonkulous folding into a junk plastic wallet. Ask nicely, and we will give you one.

Speaking of Media Cards:
Lexar 600x
WWLI: Never, ever had a failure in all of the time we’ve been digital. New faster speed is the real deal for action.

fongsamllGary Fong Lightsphere
for speedlights

WWLI: New version packs right, light from the harsh speedlight just looks better, softer, smoother.
Lightpanels MicroPro LED Light
WWLI: Portable, cool to the touch, daylight balanced, comes with gels, battery powered. We always pack these.

Sooooo many camera bags to choose from, and it all depends on the user. and how it being used. Tough call but we had to start somewhere.

Camera bags (stills):
Think Tank Airport International 2.0
WWLI: traveled all over the world with this, and it is the most stealth, well made, roller bag we’ve seen, to say nothing of it’s brilliant design. One of the best parts? lowered dividers so your laptop fits inside the case.
Lowepro Magnum 650 AW Shoulder Bag
WWLI: when you have a bunch of gear, and smaller light packs like dynalites, this is the ticket. Stackable, sturdy, size choices.
Boda Bag V3
WWLI: designed to let you work fast, and carry the tools you need. Major comfort on the shoulder, and pockets to keep your gear workflow right.
Not for transport, for working.

Adobe Photoshop Elements 8
WWLI: Adobe is constantly using improvements in the flagship to make this product better. Well under a$100, powerful tools, can’t miss gift.
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2
WWLI: Most intuitive, powerful asset management program we’ve found, and it integrates into your favorite program,CS4 , seamlessly.
Adobe Photoshop CS4
WWLI:> Really? Hmmm..the best digital darkroom you will ever use. Just get it.
OnOne Plug-In Suite 4
WWLI: useful, easy, integrated tools for CS4. Sure there are some other great choices out there, but we like the ease of operation on the OnOne framework.
Wacom Bamboo Pen Tablet
WWLI: you will find your digital darkroom life much better when you step away from the mouse and pick up a pen and use the Wacom tablet. Start with the Bamboo, and then you can move up.
checkersmallX-Rite ColorChecker Passport
WWLI: if you want to speed up your time in the post part of your digital photography, start out with a quick shot of a color chart in the situation. This item is always in our bag. The included software is the key here; gives you a preset right in Lightroom.

We’ll tread lightly on this one as the camps are divided and the cost implications are huge.
So, in the point and shoot range:
Canon PowerShot SD780IS
WWLI: perfect suit jacket camera, small efficient, shoots HD, 12 megapixel ,and plenty of features,
nikonsmallNikon Coolpix S1000pj
WWLI: the whole idea of a point and shoot is mainly to share experiences with folks and a small camera helps the situation. This one has a cool pico-type projector that lets you shoot AND project the shots from the same unit onto a nearby wall, clothing or whatever.
Canon PowerShot D10
WWLI: Point & Shoot goes underwater, in the snow, shoots great snaps and video. Simple, good, family fun camera.
Lomography Holga 120N Medium Format
WWLI: Every photographer must experience a Holga. Shoots real film, has amazing imperfections, leaks light, plastic, and has the sweet quality of the unknown when you shoot. Join the worldwide cult.

We’ll leave the DSLR’s, and some other specialty cameras for another post.

So many to choose from, with classics still high on our list. We’ve only included one oldie, here.
Looking In: Robert Frank’s The Americans
WWLI: The contacts sheets, the insight, the exhibitions, all wrapped up into one very large volume. On the 50th anniversary, this book deserves the close look.
Photographing America: Henri Cartier-Bresson / Walker Evans
WWLI: This book was an exhibition in Paris and was only released with an English translation this year. We know, “why do you need the words, it’s a book of photographs”. Trust us, it greatly enhances the experience. Excellent printing of 2 masters work, and their views of the US between the early 30’s and the early 40’s.
rocksmallWho Shot Rock and Roll
WWLI: In the year of the Woodstock 40th anniversary, the images are iconic to fewer people. Having a book that gives some insight into the photographers has more value to more people. Nice way to spread the gospel.
The Family Of Man
WWLI: Not a new book, but one that should be on everyone’s shelf. The most attending photography exhibit in history, this document of the human condition will be a welcome gift for anyone. Heck, we’re going to give one away on the site in Dec.
brandt smallA Shadow Falls
Nick Brandt

WWLI:Sometimes you want to give a current coffee table book to someone who loves a good looking photo, but maybe does not want to look more a the human condition. Fair enough.This book is beautifully produced, with strong images that we are happy to have on our coffee table.
The Digital Photography Book, Volume 3
WWLI: Easy to digest one page bites on things you want to now about digital photography. Call it a stocking stuffer is you like, but this little paperback is an incredible value.
jojobook smallPhotojojo!: Insanely Great Photo Projects and DIY IdeasWWLI: In a very cool layout are some real solid projects for the not just the photog looking for fun, but those that want to get a little bit more serious. Mirroring the attitude of the site, it’s a pretty fresh look at DIY photo projects.

Let’s be honest here: love to support the galleries and bookstores but just has the best prices on books.
If you can the book there, do it.
Get em signed if and when you can. Always a plus as a gift.
By the way, even thouggh we are an online resource, please remember the photo mag subscriptions. Inexpensive, delivers your gift 12 times a year at least (at the Photo Expos you can get deals like 4 years fro $25. on some), and you can read it in many places you may not take a laptop. You do the math.

Best iPhone apps:
OnOne DSLR Remote
WWLI: full functionality of your DSLR on the iPhone including Live View. Self portraits have a whole new meaning. Sure you’re tethered, but it’s the best $20 you’ll spend on an app. mobile.
WWLI: Touch screen controls, all the tools you need, free.
WWLI: the ability to transform any shot you take or have loaded onto your phone, into a Lomo, polaroid, 1972, 60’s, fish eye, B7W or infra red image is just too cool. Easy fun, looks great. Now available for the desktop.

We download a bunch of these to see what works well and what you would actually use.
The ones listed above float to the top.

And tomorrow, we’ll give you a bit of a multimedia gift list for the photogs making the move.

All items have been touched,tested, tasted, weighed and/or measured by us. Only way we can do a recco.
If you have questions on what to buy, shoot us an email. We’re happy to

We have many of the items listed here, all in one place in our Amazon store. Same great Amazon price, same great service.

Some Black Friday Sale links here. And here.
We’ll be up at 5:00 AM on Friday.
But just taking someone to the airport.
No Door Busters for us.

This is not an empty shell : Redux

( This article was first posted on Nov. 27th 2008. It still feels the same.)

[photopress:MagrittePipe.jpg,thumb,alignright] Not like “This is not a pipe” (Ceci n’est pas une pipe) the famous painting by Magritte.

Nothing like that.

Instead it’s a bit of thanksgiving memory that has a photo of an object as it’s touch point.


When I was a kid, we used to have thanksgiving dinner at out house or apt. The cousins always joined us, the good flatware came out, and that’s just what you did.
Mom cooked the turkey in a paper bag to keep it at a certain moisture level, and the pies were a sweet pecan.
But the appetizer was the most unique item.
A seafood mixture with a creamy binder, the origins of which I can’t remember, and bread crumbs.

All mixed together and served in shells. Like this one shown above.
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