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The Canon EOS M mirrorless camera has been officially announced. We've had some discussion on TDS about "is it the next camera for you," and I cover that conversation as the top story this week.

Then we get in to the Burger King Bust. Three employees at the hamburger shack photographed themselves standing in lettuce bins used for preparation. Then published the photo online. They were tracked down via geodata and fired.

And finally, the $25 wireless flash trigger from Cowboy Studio. What a deal! All of this and more on this week's TDS podcast.

Listen to the Podcast

You can also download the podcast here (31 minutes). Or better yet, subscribe to the podcast in iTunes. You can support this podcast by purchasing the TDS iPhone App for only $2.99 from the Apple App Store.

Monthly Photo Assignment

Hot is the July 2012 Photo Assignment. You can read more about how to submit on our Member Participation page. Deadline for entry is July 31, 2012.

More Ways to Participate

Want to share photos and talk with other members in our virtual camera club? Check out our Flickr Public Group. And from those images, I choose the TDS Member Photo of the Day.

Podcast Sponsors

Red River Paper -- The $7.99 Sample Kit is back! And with free shipping.

Make Your Photos Sizzle with Color! -- SizzlPix is like High Definition TV for your photography. Get a 20% discount during July by adding "TDS" in the comment field of your order.

Need a New Photo Bag? Check out the Lowepro Specialty Store on The Digital Story and use discount code LP20 to saven 20% at check out.




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The Micro Four Thirds system supports a variety of lenses by Olympus, Panasonic, and Sigma. But even with that wide selection, there are a few gaps. For example, I needed a fast aperture zoom for a recent assignment. Thanks to the Olympus MMF-3 4/3 Adapter($165), I was able to use one of my favorite Olympus optics, the Olympus Zuiko 12-60mm f/2.8-4.0 zoom(which is the equivalent of 24-120mm).

om-d_adapter.jpg

The MMF-3 is the latest Four Thirds to Micro Four Thirds adapter from Olympus. It's weather sealed, so when used with the 12-60mm zoom and the OM-D EM-5, the entire unit is moisture and dust resistant.

In terms of image quality, the MMF-3 combined with the 12-60mm zoom produces sharp, colorful photographs. And its wide maximum aperture combined with the OM-D's extended ISO performance provided an excellent tandem for existing light photography.

begonia_om-d_12-60.jpg Begonia photographed with the Olympus 12-60mm Four Thirds zoom mounted on an OM-D using the MMF-3 adapter. Photo by Derrick Story

The weakness with this combination is focusing speed. The 12-60mm locks-in much slower than native Micro Four Thirds zooms. Over the course of two days of event shooting, I probably missed a half dozen shots because of focus lag.

For everyday shooting -- landscapes, even portraits -- the focusing speed shouldn't be a problem. But for fast moving subjects and events, it could be frustrating.

Bottom Line

If you have a favorite Four Thirds lens that you'd like to use on the Olympus OM-D or PEN, the weather-sealed MMF-3 adapter will make the connection for you. On the lenses I tested, image quality was excellent across the board.

So if the decrease in auto-focusing speed isn't an issue for you, you can save a bundle of money with the MMF-3. In addition to the 12-60mm zoom, I'm also testing it with the Olympus 9-18mm Four Thirds lens - that's $1,600 of glass that I can mount on the OM-D for only a $165 investment.


You can find more photo tips and "photography how tos" on my Pinterest page.


Is the Canon EOS M for You?

canon_eos_m_front.jpg

At last the other shoe has dropped and now Canon has their entry into the mirrorless camera derby. And it's a good one.

The Canon EOS M is a sophisticated CSC aimed at transition photographers and movie makers. Where other manufacturers included HD movie capture on their still cameras, Canon emphasized it.

With its 18.0-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor and full HD movie mode with movie servo AF for continuous focus tracking of moving subjects, the EOS M is targeted directly at those for whom video is a priority. It even has an external mic jack.

In October, the body with kit EF-M 22mm f/2 STM lens will be available for $799. Canon will also have a EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens for $299 and an adapter for EF-S and EF lenses. For photographers already in the Canon DSLR camp, the adapter is a no-brainer.

Will I place my order for the new EOS M? Probably not. I'm going to wait and see what's released up the road. For the time being, the Olympus OM-D E-M5 is a better fit for me. I shoot stills first and video second. And the OM-D is a fantastic still photography camera.

But don't underestimate what Canon has done here. They have studied the market and targeted a solid camera right at the generation ready to move from point and shoot to something more sophisticated. It's going to be fun to watch how this plays out.


You can find more photo tips and "photography how tos" on my Pinterest page.


You can stream from iPhoto on your iPad to your HDTV via Apple TV. The trick is to reveal the hidden AirPlay button while working in iPhoto.

apple_tv_streaming.png

First, make sure that "mirroring" is enabled in iPhoto for iOS. You can check by going to the Albums page, clicking on the gear menu in the upper right corner, and sliding the "ON" button for "Mirror on TV."

Then double-tap the home button to reveal all the apps that are currently active in the Dock. If you swipe the dock to the right, it will reveal your media controls, as shown in the illustration above. Tap the AirPlay button, choose "Apple TV," double-tap the Home button again, and iPhoto for iOS will be mirrored on your HDTV.

Now you can share images with friends and play slideshows on your HDTV directly from iPhoto. And since Apple TV is so portable, you can easily pack it in the suitcase when traveling on vacation.


You can find more photo tips and "photography how tos" on my Pinterest page.


When Apple released the new MacBook Pro with retina display, they also updated Aperture and a handful of other applications to take full advantage of the dense pixel LED monitor. No doubt about it. Aperture looks fantastic on the new MBP.

But what about Lightroom 4.1? I've seen comments on the Internet ranging from "My images now look horrible" to "Lightoom looks gorgeous on the new MacBook Pro." Obviously Adobe will update Lightroom for the retina display. But in the meantime? Well, let's take a quick look.

lightroom4_mbp_retina.jpg Lightroom 4.1 on a MacBook Pro retina display. Click on image for larger version. Photo by Derrick Story.

Lightroom's interface and rendering of images look absolutely fine on the new MacBook Pro retina display. The type is clean and the rendering of the images is accurate. The interface icons will have to be updated with more resolution for the next version, but if I didn't point that out, you probably would have never given it a second thought.

By comparison, here is a screenshot of the Aperture 3.3.1 interface on the retina display.

aperture3_3-mbp-retina.jpg Aperture 3.3.1 on a MacBook Pro with retina display. Click on image for larger size.

As you can see, Aperture 3.3.1 looks really good on the new MacBook Pro. Image has wonderful detail, icons and typography are very crisp.

My favorite way to compare these screenshots is to download them, open both in Preview, then toggle back and forth between the images. That will help you see the subtle differences. And keep in mind, the monitor you're viewing these images on will influence your perception of them.

Bottom Line

If you're a Lightroom 4 user, I would not delay getting a new MacBook Pro with retina display. This MBP is the best laptop I've ever used, for photography and otherwise. Lightroom looks great now, and will probably get only better with version 4.2.

And if you're an Aperture user... well, the upgrade is a no-brainer.


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Have an older flash that you really like, but it just doesn't fit with your new camera gear? For less than $25 you can use that light again with the Cowboy Studio Wireless Hot Shoe Flash Trigger/Receiverkit. It brings wireless flash photography to just about any flash/camera combination.

cowboy_studio_trigger.jpg The NPT-04 Cowboy Studio kit (Canon flash not included!)

In my case, I have a cool little Canon Speedlite 270EX that isn't much bigger than a deck of cards. I hadn't been using it because it doesn't have the wireless capability of the newer Canon Speedlite 270EX IIflash. So in a drawer it sat.

Thanks to the Cowboy Studio radio trigger set, however, I'm now carrying the 270 EX in my "bum around" backpack and using it with the new Olympus OM-D E-M5camera. This rig also works with my Canon 5D Mark II, which doesn't have a flash or a flash trigger built in to the body.

The Cowboy Studio trigger operates on a 433 MHZ radio frequency and has four different channels. You can use shutter speeds up to 1/250th of a second with the kit. The receiver uses 2 AAA batteries and the transmitter includes a 23A, 12V battery. The kit is light and compact. And it works great. There's even a PC socket on the receiver.

What you don't get is ETTL capability. In other words, no dedicated flash. For some, this may be a deal breaker. But I've been using manual flash most of the time anyway. With digital cameras, where you can check your results immediately on the LCD, it really isn't a problem.

For indoor shoots, I usually start with these settings:

  • ISO 400 or 800
  • Manual exposure mode, 1/30th at f/5.6
  • If the subject is too bright, I stop down to f/8 or more
  • If the subject is too dark, I open up to f/4 or more

I'm having a blast with the Cowboy Studio Wireless Hot Shoe Flash Trigger/Receiverkit. It's great knowing that I have off-camera flash capability with just about any camera/flash combination in my bag.


Check out The Digital Story on Pinterest.

Answer to Macro Question

The answer to yesterday's Can You Guess This Shot? is: a spider web with dew.

macro_answer_web.jpg

I noticed this potential shot outside the front door to my studio the other morning. So I put my Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro lenson the 60D, and composed as tightly as possible. The closer I got, the more abstract the composition became.

Macro When you get very close, it's sometimes hard to tell exactly what the subject is. Click on the image for a larger version. Photo by Derrick Story.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming...


Check out The Digital Story on Pinterest.

Can You Guess This Shot?

One of fun things about macro photography, is how it can abstract your subject. I captured this shot with the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro lenson a Canon 60D.

So the question is, "Can you guess the subject of this photo?" If you think you know, post your answer in the comment space below.

Macro What is this? Click on the image for a larger version. Photo by Derrick Story.

I'll post the answer in tomorrow's TDS blog post, plus a little info on how I captured it.


Check out The Digital Story on Pinterest.

Nikon officially announces their 800mm f/5.6 super telephoto. It's the longest focal length of any Nikkor autofocus lens. Then, in the second story, I try not to get my hopes up about the latest Canon rumor for an entry-level full-frame DSLR with some tantalizing (rumored) specs. I also cover how to put some pizazz in your group shots, and the value (and use of) a shot list for event photography. All of this and more on this week's podcast episode.

Listen to the Podcast

You can also download the podcast here (31 minutes). Or better yet, subscribe to the podcast in iTunes. You can support this podcast by purchasing the TDS iPhone App for only $2.99 from the Apple App Store.

Monthly Photo Assignment

Hot is the July 2012 Photo Assignment. You can read more about how to submit on our Member Participation page. Deadline for entry is July 31, 2012.

More Ways to Participate

Want to share photos and talk with other members in our virtual camera club? Check out our Flickr Public Group. And from those images, I choose the TDS Member Photo of the Day.

Podcast Sponsors

Red River Paper -- The $7.99 Sample Kit is back! And with free shipping.

Make Your Photos Sizzle with Color! -- SizzlPix is like High Definition TV for your photography. Get a 20% discount during July by adding "TDS" in the comment field of your order.

Need a New Photo Bag? Check out the Lowepro Specialty Store on The Digital Story and use discount code LP20 to saven 20% at check out.




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The Effects panel from iPhoto has found its way into Aperture's Adjustments tab. It's a bit like the new roommate who brings his HDTV along with the move in to the apartment. He'll also bring a few things that you're not crazy about too.

iphoto_effects_in_aperture.jpg

Edge Blur is one of new iPhoto tools that I like. Plus, in Aperture, it's easier to use. I like to apply Edge Blur to throw the background out of focus to direct the viewer's eye to the main subject. When used with restraint, it can be very effective.

Other bonus effects that I like include the Antique filter and the Fade slider. For this image captured at the U.S. Open in San Francisco, I played with Antique and Edge Blur.

I'm not as wild about some of the other iPhoto Effects, such as Matte and Vignette. We already have more elegant versions of them in Aperture. But like the roommate with the HDTV, you get the cool along with the unnecessary.

You can enable iPhoto Effects via the Add Adjustment popup menu in Aperture's Adjustments tab. Once you do, they'll appear as a new adjustment brick, as in the screenshot above. Some of them are fun. Take a look!

Aperture Tips and Techniques

To learn more about Aperture 3, check out my Aperture 3 Essential Training on Lynda.com. Also, take a look at our Aperture 3 Learning Center. Tons of free content about how to get the most out of Aperture.

My next open Aperture Workshop is scheduled for Nov. 2012, in Santa Rosa, CA. You can get on the pre-registration list, plus learn about all the other photography workshops offered this season by visiting the TDS Workshops page.


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