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The Nikon folks have their thinking caps in high gear. It's about time someone put movie mode on a DSLR. Think about it - Live View LCDs, big image sensors, and great glass. And you get all of that on the new Nikon D90.

They start with a new 12.9 MP CMOS sensor. Add a 3" LCD screen with Live View. Then add movie capture at 720p (1280x720) at 24fps with mono sound.

I am so impressed with the innovation coming out of Nikon right now. Canon, what is your response?

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When the Canon 5D was released in Aug. 2005, the 20D was its APS-sized cousin. Then we saw the 30D, 40D, and now the 50D. Yet, in the affordable full-sized sensor arena, we still have the venerable 5D. That's why I was hoping that the pre-Photokina press release would be about the new Canon 5D. But alas, no.

The good news is (for other people), is that the 50D looks like a great camera. It sports a 15.1 APS sized CMOS sensor, 6.3 fps continuous mode, DIGIC 4 processor, 3" LCD with Live View and Face Detection, improved high ISO performance, and HDMI connectivity for HiDef playback. But my main camera is the 5D, and I really don't want to buy an APS body right now if an updated full-sensor shooter is around the corner. Who knows, maybe we'll see it at PMA next Winter.

Event Calendar

Events! See the TDS Event Calendar for photography workshops, speaking engagements, and trade show appearances.


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I wrote a post on Inside Aperture titled, Plug-Ins Same as External Editor? I Don't Think So, where I disagreed with some folks on the web who say that Aperture's plug-in architecture is no different than using an external editor in Lightroom. Personally, I think there are differences, and pointed to an article by Micah Walter that does a good job of listing them. But some readers disagreed. And what followed in the comments is an interesting debate about Aperture, Lightroom, and sometimes even Photoshop. I thought you might want to take a look and decide for yourself.

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Big Beijing Photos on Deke.com

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My friend Deke McCelland wrangled nine new photos out of me, 1200 pixels wide, and published them on deke.com. Some fun stuff here if you like to see 'em big.

Photo of Olympic Opening Ceremonies at the Bird's Nest by Derrick Story, Canon 5D, Sigma 50mm lens.


Now Available! The Digital Photography Companion. The official guide for The Digital Story Virtual Camera Club.

  • 25 handy and informative tables for quick reference.
  • Metadata listings for every photo in the book
  • Dedicated chapter on making printing easy.
  • Photo management software guide.
  • Many, many inside tips gleaned from years of experience.
  • Comprehensive (214 pages), yet fits easily in camera bag.

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Rob Galbraith posted a piece that explains how photographer Kari Kuukka (photo credit for this screenshot) captured a 360 degree pano inside the Bird's Nest in Beijing 30 minutes before the start of the men's 100m final.

There's a link in the piece so you can load up the panorama yourself and enjoy its magnificent breadth. BTW: I have one of those beige photographer's vests that you see in the shot.

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I just read DP Review's test report of the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 lens, and they back up what I've been saying about this beautiful glass. I used the Sigma often during my Beijing trip, and considered it my "go to" glass when working indoors.

But, if you need test results, DP Review now has them. The major drawback, from their perspective, is the $499 US price tag. I agree. It is expensive. And I thought twice before putting down my hard-earned money for it. But after depending on it for two weeks in China, I have to say the price doesn't seem quite as steep now.

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Photo of tired photographer captured inside the Main Press Center in Beijing by Derrick Story using the Sigma 50mm lens mounted on a Canon 5D.


Now Available! The Digital Photography Companion. The official guide for The Digital Story Virtual Camera Club.

  • 25 handy and informative tables for quick reference.
  • Metadata listings for every photo in the book
  • Dedicated chapter on making printing easy.
  • Photo management software guide.
  • Many, many inside tips gleaned from years of experience.
  • Comprehensive (214 pages), yet fits easily in camera bag.

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Many things went right during a recent trip to the Beijing Olympics, and one of my most important assets was my little white MacBook.

When I'm working on the road, I can't always wait until it's convenient to process my pictures. I may not see a hotel room for 20 or more hours. So I need to get things done on buses, airplanes, in stadium stands, workrooms, restaurants, and even sitting on a bench in the park. This is where the MacBook shines. It's light, durable, powerful, and fits in my camera bag. I carry an extra battery, so I can work for hours just about anywhere.

I load it up with 4 GBs of RAM. By doing so, I can run Aperture, Photoshop, Mail, and Safari all at once. If there's WiFi available, I grab it and post to my blog using MarsEdit. I can quickly share galleries of images using the "Aperture to MobileMe" tandem. And because I set up managed libraries in Aperture on the road, once I finish processing a shoot, I back up my work using Aperture's Vault and a portable FireWire drive. That way I can erase my memory cards with confidence.

Once I return home, I export the Aperture Projects to my main library. Everything is intact, including my masters, image processing, metadata, slideshows, and anything else I created. I then clean off the MacBook, and it's ready for the next trip.

The MacBook is a tough road warrior. Without it, I would not have been able to publish daily on the road, nor arrive home organized and ready for my next assignment, which in my case was shooting a wedding the day after I arrived home from Beijing.

Photo of Forbidden City by Derrick Story, captured with a Canon 5D, processed in Aperture, designed into a slide title in Aperture, and incorporated into my current presentation on Beijing.

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Victory on the Volleyball Court

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Beach volleyball was in my viewfinder today, and I had a great time watching the Americans and Chinese win their respective matches. The US team of Walsh and May-Treanor defeated the tandem from Norway. Here, Kerri Walsh greets the crowd after their victory.

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The Chinese team lead by phenom Zhang Xi performed well against the German team. Shown here she greets her teammate after the win.

The other matches were excellent too. I especially enjoyed watching Arvaniti of Greece serve one fireball after the next.

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Then, in the afternoon, the rain came in. So it was time to catch the bus back to the Main Press Center and process the images. Thank goodness for Aperture.

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Photos by Derrick Story, captured with a Canon 5D, with a 70-200mm Canon L using a matching 1.4X multiplier.

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Since I had the night shift tonight, that left my entire day open to hit the streets of Beijing with just a fanny pack and my Canon G9. My mode of transportation was the excellent subway system. It's air conditioned, easy to figure out, and free if you have a media pass for the Olympics (note mine hanging around my neck in the shot above.)

My plan was basic. Take the subway somewhere, get off and wander the streets, then get back on the subway to somewhere else. I found some interesting alleys along the way, and was able to work without drawing a lot of attention to myself thanks to the G9.

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I also climbed up a few overpasses for a bird's eye look at the world below.

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Then, to end my day, I took a stroll through the park surrounding the Temple of Heaven. There I came upon this talented lady twirling a long colorful flag. But that was all I had time for. So, back on the subway to my hotel for a quick shower before reporting to work at the MPC

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Photos by Derrick Story, captured with a Canon G9 compact camera in Raw mode.

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Inside the Main Press Center, Beijing

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The Main Press Center, known as the MPC, is where I go to work everyday in Beijing. In the Kodak Digital Photography workroom, we have more than 200 workstations (Mac and PC) and a variety of services for photographers. The MPC is a world unto itself, complete with a food court, banking, dry cleaning, basic goods, and just about anything you'd need while working here.

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The one thing you don't have in the MPC is a place to sleep. The days are incredibly long, and we have to ride buses back to our hotels, which can take as long as 45 minutes each way depending on you luck. So photographers often don't go back to their rooms until they absolutely have to. And sometimes they just run out of gas before getting there.

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We have terrific volunteers who are Beijing locals and help with just about every aspect of running our little city. Many of them have an interest in photography and are learning the tools of the trade during the Olympics. The Kodak and Apple staff members have been enthusiastic about showing these upcoming photographers best practices for their craft. Here they are processing their images in Aperture on an Apple 30" Cinema Display.

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It's the Olympic Games, however, that has brought us together here. And in the lobby there is a giant Panasonic HD display that features the hot event of the moment. At times, such as this overtime basketball contest between China and Spain, people will gather around and cheer for their country. Unfortunately for many of the volunteers watching this game, Spain prevailed over China. But there's always tomorrow and a new slate of events.

Photos by Derrick Story, captured with a Canon 5D with Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 and Sigma 50mm f/1.4 lenses.


Now Available! The Digital Photography Companion. The official guide for The Digital Story Virtual Camera Club.

  • 25 handy and informative tables for quick reference.
  • Metadata listings for every photo in the book
  • Dedicated chapter on making printing easy.
  • Photo management software guide.
  • Many, many inside tips gleaned from years of experience.
  • Comprehensive (214 pages), yet fits easily in camera bag.

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