Ok, So Now What?

I had about 4 diff posts ready to go, and then the Covid-19 hit and I kept revising as the intensity increased.

Do you really need to know about the latest Spider wrist strap right now. Probably not. It’s the best, but you may have other things on your mind. And they have new products which are super cool, and we’ll come back to them, I promise.

The question is, what can we all do as we keep the social distancing, and a walk outside is a gift? Especially living in NYC?

Well, here are some ideas, and things to do that may serve you well when we come out of this. And we will.

For instance, I’ve signed up for a Udemy Master Photoshop Class online. Yes, have taken the adobe tutorials, just wanted to check it out. Great price right now as well. Currently just above a mid level. So far a good thing.

And then another thing is practicing and getting better at gimbal work. Not as much space to run around, so that becomes part of the challenge.

Then there is audio. Just moved to a MixPre 3ii as a portable interview rig, and learning a new piece of kit is pretty fun, and useful.

And the books. So many books. For lightness, it’s been going back over and looking at the primarily image based books. Nothing like finally relaxing and sitting back fro another look.

Midlevel on that is the Aperture series, that I quite enjoy, on process of the master photographers. Like Mary Ellen Mark.

Then a move onto the heavier stuff, like the Sally Mann autobiography. Saw her speak, bought a book, had it signed, and just never got to it. Till now.

And there is the Marie Kondo part of the time. You know her, the master of organizing and cleaning up your overload on possessions? Yep, have accumulated many things that could be turned around. Selling will begin soon. We know how many bags we all have!

How are you spending the social distancing time? It would great to share your ideas here! or on our FB page, or twitter @photoinduced.

Fuji Unveils The New X-T4 – Is It all You Wanted?

It’s always a tough call when there are product leaks, and you know what you hope for in a new model of a camera.

I do love the Fuji line, and the files are beautiful, so when this new X-T4 was announced, I had a wish list.

and like all things in life, I got some, and missed some.

Yes, IBIS on board. A flippy LCD?

Sure, that would come in handy. Double the battery life? OK, have to buy new batteries, but if that will make my pockets less weighed down, cool.

Double the shutter life is awesome, as i run these into the ground!

Now, it’s the same sensor as the X-T3, so no change up.

What did I miss? A headphone jack! Yes, i sometimes shoot video with my still camera and it would come in handy. I’ve heard that there is a USB-C jack, so you can use a dongle and hook up some 3.5 mm jacked headphones. and use a splitter if you want to power the cam at the same time. Probably not.

So…. should you upgrade? good question. Unless that flippy LCD, the battery, and the onboard IBIS is a must have, maybe the X-T3 will be just fine. If you shoot video, that IBIS is a must have.

Until I have the camera in hand and actually use it in real world situations, I can’t say.

Here are the specs. Notice how the “audio out” is not listed.

How do you make my favorite camera better?

It’s a tough call. My absolute go-to camera for walk around and street shooting, is going through some growing pains.

Well, maybe not exactly pains, but some upgrades.

Sure, I know nothing will stay the same, and improvements keep happening. The question is, should I/you upgrade??

The Fuji x100F has not only beautiful files, and all of the features I think I need, like a easy nodule button to choose focus points, 24 MP, perfect 23mm f/2 lens, and all of the sweet film algorithms that I want to choose the look in camera. (honestly, I shoot RAW/JPEG, and post via wi-fi the jpegs for speed if desired)

And them, of course, the new X100V gets announced today!

What’s new?

  •   Featuring a new 23mmF2 lens, advanced hybrid viewfinder, optional weather resistance*, and 2-way tilting rear LCD screen, among a host of other product line updates, the X100V also uses the latest generation X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor and X-Processor 4 
  • Weather resistance appears for the first time in the X100 line when the optional AR-X100 adapter ring and the PRF-49 protection filter are attached. Additionally, a new two-way tilting touchscreen LCD screen fits flush at the back of the camera and provides intuitive touch controls, unlocking even more possibilities for image-makers to see, frame, and create images. 
  •  a new 23mmF2.0 lens to ensure that every detail from its X-TRANSTM CMOS 4 Sensor is resolved beautifully. Designed for higher resolution, lower distortion and improved close focus performance, this lens is a significant upgrade from the design used on previous X100 cameras, while maintaining the same overall size and compatibility with legacy WCL/TCL conversion lenses, and retaining its internal ND filter that now features 4 stops. 
  •  state-of-the-art X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor and X-Processor 4 combination. The 26.1MP sensor uses a back-illuminated design to maximize quality and dynamic range, while its unique color filter array controls moiré and false color without the need for an optical low pass filter. All complemented by the quad-core X-Processor 4. 
  • the ability to record 4K video at up to 30 frames per second or capture 120 frames per second at 1080p to create super slow motion effects. Filmmakers needing extreme color fidelity can record 10-bit, 4:2:2 color externally via the HDMI port and leverage Fujifilm’s advanced color reproduction technology, to apply film simulations, like “Eterna”, to your video footage. 

So slightly more MP, weather resistance with optional bits, 4K video, face/eye detection, upgraded lens.

I’ll be honest – if you don’t have one of this series of cameras, buy this. Do Not Hesitate. Pre-orders are now available. If you do have one, like the X100T, or X100F, I question the upgrade. MSRP of $1400.

Hmmmmmm…I do think my love affair with the X100F is still on.

Some things I did miss on this: I wish there was a headphone jack to monitor video. I’m not clear on the “Drive Delete” button is on the back, but it scares me. Strange, but they didn’t supply any images of the articulated LCD, or I would have shared.

Overall though, this FujiFilm camera series design is outstanding, and is my sidekick, at all times. And now, the X100F will drop in price. Just saying.

CES 2020 – Look Ma, No Wires!

This year at CES we saw so many earpods, headphones, and wireless chargers, the market is so crowded, and you have to figure out what to get. And you know that in a year there will be better, faster, smaller. So what do you go for now?

Let’s start with the wireless charger category. Does this scene look familiar, when you travel, or even at home?

When I land at a hotel, I unload my Peak Design tech pack, and get the multi hub block set up, then attach all of the charging cables for my devices. 2 phones, watch, extra battery charger, headphones (not shown). A real mess.

Enter the wireless chargers!

Mophie Wireless Charge Pad

You know how they work: a coil is set inside a platform, and the phones. or devices that can, get recharged, just by being placed on the platform. No cables.

Here is a basic rundown: there are the simple circles for a single device, then the multi chargers that currently handle 3 devices. OK, yes, saw one at CES that handled 6 devices, but it was not something you travelled with. Twas heavy and expensive, about $250. And not available yet.

In the single circle versions for one phone or AirPods, the brands you love have a version: Mophie, MyCharge lead the pack. One thing to remember is that due to current technology, the device has to be in direct contact with the circle to charge.

Not a big deal, unless you use some sort of pop-socket, or a rig to help you hold onto your phone. It the raises the phone off of the charging base, which means no direct contact, and no charge.

Pop-Socket, who has a massive following, introduced a wireless charger with a circular opening well, to fit the pop-socket while on the case, allowing your phone to have direct contact with the charger! If you are a pop socket person, you need to get this charger. It has some weight, so maybe just for home/office, but they heard the fans, and created the right product.

Winner! No more having to take off your case to enjoy wireless charging! Whew! BTW, just had a look and the charger is sold out, so get on that list of you are a pop socket fan!

And that mess of wire at the top of the post? How do you take care of that?

Satechi has currently won the war for this multi device, perfect travel charger. Lightweight, small footprint, and critical point here: retracting Apple Watch charger! And about $110 after the on-site discount code.

There are a few companies that showed products that were not ready for market.

Ampere shared a folding charging unit (above) with some cool new designs coming. This unit is available now. Like so many things about this design, but the weight and bulk kinda stuck with me. Since this is designed (I think) to be a travel unit, that became part of the assessment. As a home unit, just fine.

Eggtronic had a multi unit with retracting watch charger, than will charge faster. coming soon.

Mophie has a perfect 3- device solution, which is great for the home, but the watch charger doesn’t retract, so a tough call for travel. I’ve been using this one on my nightstand.

So for my money, the Satechi is the current travel champ, and will be coming with me on the road .

After all, who needs that rat’s nest of wires on you bathroom counter??

NB: all of the current tech call for a 2-3 mm max height diff for contact between device/charger. Coming tech will be a 12mm clearance allowing more grips on the back of phone cases to be used.

Silly stuff? Maybe, but when you get hooked on the wireless charge, you want it to work in all facets of your life. And it will keep evolving: design wise, power delivery, and then that whole ” no need to be in direct contact” tech.

Why 2 Phones, Not 2 Phone Numbers

I thought it was a crazy idea: who needs 2 phones? One is working just fine.

Then I realized how it could make sense. Social media for one part. I know, I maybe so late to the party. Years ago at CES, I saw people with 5 phones, and used each to post for specific sponsors and clients. Looked like a nutty proposition. The early days of influencers.

After years of covering CES and other events with DSLRs and full up video cameras, then moving to mirrorless and smaller vid cameras, this year I decided to go with only shooting video on mobile for trade show coverage, and a mirrorless for, well, I had to have that format in my hands. Old habits. And I love the Fuji X-T3!

Here is the rig: Beastgrip, Rode VideoMic NTG, Samsung Note 10+.

This is why, after looking at many options, is the working set-up.

Of course the main component is the mobile device.

The Samsung Note 10+, has a key feature that keeps getting used – the stylus! They call it the S-Pen, and it is not just a stylus. It has some cool tech inside that allows you to control the phone by BT. 12mg of RAM makes sure you have fast working vids. The size of the screen, the high quality of the image, and the ability to have a removable 1TB micro SD card, all led me to this device. After years of using an iPhone forever, this Note 10+ provided the specific features I needed. (hot tip-since you can add a microSD, no need to but the heavy internal storage model.

A fast backtrack first: After shooting a concert in NYC, I was on a plane to Asia, and needed to do some initial editing. As it’s first test, I backed up the files to the Micro SD card and put that card into the Note 10+.

With the advantage of the Adobe Lightroom app loaded, the edit and adjustment process became a breeze, due to the large, beautiful screen, and the all important stylus. Battery life was great, and of course, always carry an extra batt pack to keep working. Once done, the images could be immediately uploaded to my social channels. All from a mobile device.

OK, that was why the initial selection of the Samsung Note 10+. One other small note – I do not use a SIM card, as I depend on wireless. Works like a champ, and yes, I have a second phone.

So this becomes a great editing device, but there is more.

As you can see on the video rig, The large screen is helpful, and the BeastGrip has cold shoes to add things like mics, and lights if you desire. A LumeCube is a great addition, and keeps the footprint small. Honestly, the zoom-mic feature of the Samung Note 10+ is pretty sweet if you don’t want to add an external mic. Video quality is outstanding, and the ability to adjust the resolution up to 4K is helpful.

It’s the dang stylus that was the huge sell for me. and Samsung announced a new more affordable version of that device coming soon w/stylus. Apple seems to have missed the boat on that, unfortunately.

Here is a sample vid: No extra titles have been added yet, nor the #s. Pretty much straight out of the smartphone, and went right to Instagram. The RAW stuff. Click to view. Down rezzed for posting here.

Why BeastGrip and not a gimbal? Trust me, I thought the gimbal would be the winner, and had put a special cold shoe ring on the DJI Osmo 3 to make that happen. The issue was the mic wires impeded a smooth, unfettered, gimbal move, defeating the purpose of the gimbal to begin with! So gimbal best with phone alone, but not what I was looking for.

The build on BeastGrip is just right, and is customizable. I would like an additional grip part on the left side, but with all of the 1/4-20’s (tripod sockets) on this, I’m good for now.

For external audio, there are so many choices. With a mobile device, you have to be a bit more clever in the setup. For CES2020, the newly released Rode VideoMic NTG, was the call. The feature set is crazy good, as a shotgun, with the ability to monitor as you record, and a built in clipping light, all worked out. Another good choice is the Rode Wireless-Go for the lavalier mic choice.

I do reserve the higher end Sanken mics for the bigger video rigs, with Sennheiser AVX wireless system in play.

So back to the initial thought: Having one mobile device dedicated to the video, allows you to go live, capture for later, shoot vertical easily, post with no problem, and ALWAYS BE IN TOUCH ON THE ACTIVE MOBILE DEVICE! And seriously, since a lot of this coverage is social or online, the high quality of the Samsung Note10+ works perfectly.

Yes, we are now seeing more feature, story telling content being shot with mobile devices. A master cinematographer using those tools can create magic. This post is only about event coverage. (or is it?)

Separation of uses, with one phone for calls, and the other device for a full working creation tool.

And with no SIM card, there is no need for additional line charges. Bonus!

Another tool I bring with me now is the LaCie Boss,

This a Swiss Army type of SSD storage, that allows me to transfer, and save files, between multiple devices on the fly. With a built in SD slot and all the cables you may need for transferring materials to and from any device, winner right here. Plus if you have a card reader, your can transfer any card you like! I have the 1TB model and it holds all the video, too!

And yes, it’s true that if you make a purchase using the links above, it does help support this site. Thank you in advance!

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