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There is something truly exciting about a prime lens with a big hunk of objective glass encased in a smooth functioning all-metal design. And the heart beats even faster upon discovering that such lens can be purchased for $249. Let me introduce you to the Kamlan 50mm f/1.1 Mark II.

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I purchased the optic on Kickstarter for $199 with metal lens hood and 62mm ND4 filter. It's now showing up on on Amazon for $249 (without the ND filter), and I'm sure we will see it plenty of other places. I've been shooting with it on my OM-D E-M5 Mark II, and I can tell you, this lens is the real deal.

One important thing to note if you start shopping around for the Kamlan 50mm, is to make sure you're purchasing the Mark II, which should cost you around $249. There are still plenty of Mark I versions floating around online. They cost less, about $175, but they are not optically as good as the Mark II.

IMG_0374.jpg

It's designed with 8 elements in 7 groups, 11 aperture blades that form a beautiful circular opening, weighs about 600 grams, and is available in Micro Four Thirds, Sony E, Fuji XF, and Canon EOS-M mounts.

The manual focusing in well-dampened and a pleasure to use. The "clickless" aperture ring turns smoothly allowing for "aperture racking" in video work. The outstanding metal lens hood is cleverly designed to screw into the outer edge of the lens allowing for filters to be mounted separately with the inner threads that are 62mm. And yes, the lens hood reverses, making this already relatively compact wide aperture telephoto very portable.

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To take full advantage of its optical design, I recommend setting the aperture between f/1.1 and f/4.0. Center sharpness is good at f/1.1 and overall sharpness from corner to corner is terrific by f/4. There's really no need to stop down more than that.

Kamlan 50mm f/1.1 II MFT Kamlan 50mm f/1.1 at f/1.1 on an Olympus E-M5 Mark II. Photo by Derrick Story.

At wide apertures, depth of field falls off quickly, even with the smaller Micro Four Thirds sensor. Dibs was sitting on an ottoman that was right next to the futon. Both the back of the ottoman and the futon are dreamily rendered in the image. Center sharpness is quite good.

The biggest challenge with the lens is accurately focusing with an electronic viewfinder that isn't really designed for this type of optic. I switched to the PEN-F to see what the difference would be compared to the E-M5 II.

On the plus side, the superior EVF on the PEN-F made focusing much easier. Also, the Lens Info function allowed me to set up metadata for the Kamlan that would appear in the EXIF. On the downside, the lens doesn't balance as well on the PEN-F as it does on the E-M5 or the E-M1. That being said, I love the results that I get with the Kamlan on the PEN-F.

Kamlan 50mm f/1.1 II MFT Kamlan 50mm f/1.1 at f/1.2 on an Olympus E-M5 Mark II. Photo by Derrick Story.

One thing to keep an eye on with this lens is the aperture changing without your noticing right away. You won't get any indication in the viewfinder (other than the shutter speed adjusting). But being a clickless aperture ring means that you can accidentally turn it while focusing if you misgrip. This wasn't a huge problem for me, but I did shoot some images at f/1.2 and f/1.4 without realizing that I had stopped down a bit.

The weight is going to bother some more than others. On one hand, the metal design feels like a quality optic designed by a premium manufacturer. The heft has a certain confidence about it. On the other hand, we are talking about 600 grams. So if you're super nimble, this might feel just too darn heavy.

And finally, do use that lovely lens hood in bright conditions, because the lens will flare a bit with the sun shining on it. If you're going for that, you'll have a blast. But if you want to retain the excellent contrast and color that normally comes with this optic, use the lens hood.

None of these cautions dampened my enthusiasm for this bokeh beast. I appreciate the quality build, smooth focusing, handsome design, and best of all, the images themselves. I've always liked the 100mm focal length, and I'm so pleased to have it for my MFT cameras.

The bottom line is that the Kamlan 50mm f/1.1 Mark II is an excellent value for those who enjoy wide aperture photography. And for those of us who shoot Micro Four Thirds, it is a real gift. Highly recommended.

What Is AI Structure in Luminar 4?

As we lead up to the release of Luminar 4, Skylum is teasing us with new features to chum the waters. The latest is AI Structure, which is potentially quite useful.

luminar-ai-structure.jpg

Structure is a detail-enhancing tool found in most image editing applications. Depending on its particular algorithm, it typically increases midtone contrast with a bit of clever sharpening. It's particularly useful for architecture and landscape work.

The challenge is, when applied globally, is that there may be elements in the composition, such as people, where you don't want the structure applied. Who wants to increase the skin texture of their mom?!

Our best option then is to apply structure with a brush so we can use the enhancement locally instead of globally, only increasing the contrast and detail to the areas of the image that can benefit from it. This works well, but it is time consuming.

What Skylum proposes with AI Structure in Luminar 4, is to use machine learning to identify the areas in the image that would benefit from structure enhancement, and leave the other areas alone.

I think the best example of this is the "Human Aware" before/after illustration on the Luminar 4 page, where the woman is untouched during the application of structure, but we see real enhancement in the wood background.

The key to all of this working is accurate masking with no halos. The better the algorithm, the more useful the tool. In this case AI Structure looks darn good.

We will continue to see changes to our image editing tools thanks to machine learning. This latest innovation in Luminar 4 promises to be a good one.

You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

This is The Digital Story Podcast #702, August 27, 2019. Today's theme is "5 Things I Learned Taking Pictures on Las Vegas Blvd." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

I packed my carry-on bag with three cameras, a couple changes of clothes, and a water bottle and flew to Las Vegas for the week. My goal was to explore The Strip, not as an afterthought as I normally do while there for a conference, but as a primary goal. Four days later I returned home with a collection of images and a bit wiser than when I had left. The latter is the focus of today's TDS Photography Podcast.

5 Things I Learned Taking Pictures on Las Vegas Blvd.

I have a screenshot of the weather app on my iPhone that was captured at 7:46pm last Wednesday in Las Vegas. It reads that the current temperature was 106 degrees. By the time I wrapped up the evening's photography at 11pm, the temp had dropped to tepid 92 degrees.

Weather was definitely a factor during the entire week's shoot. And it is the best place for me to start with lessons learned.

  • Do Your Homework - With a little bit of research, I learned that there is a second Monorail access at the MGM Grand that saved me 15 minutes of walking through the smoky casino to the entrance that everyone knows about. I learned about free trams that I didn't know about. I found ATMs that were a fraction of the service charge price in most casinos. And I found the best places to eat at an affordable price.
  • Take into Account Factors that affect Your Energy - As I've said many times before, creativity and energy level are tied to one another. In order for me to be effective in the searing Nevada heat, I had to plan my excursions to incorporate relief during the shoot itself. For camera bag, I was carrying the Think Tank Urban Approach 5 with Canon G5X Mark II, Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II, Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 lens, and sometimes a Contax Aria film camera with 50mm lens.
  • Don't Shy Away from Tourists, Embrace Them - To be perfectly honest, most people in tourist locations don't care about you or your camera. I would stand there taking pictures as people walk by without ever a word about what I was doing. And if they did ask, I would say that I'm a tourist as well capturing the sites and sounds of the location. I often initiated conversations just to learn more about folks.
  • Don't Look Like a Pro - Leave the DSLR with super tele at home. Forget your humongous tripod. And don't even think about a bulky photographer's vest packed to the gils. These items will make people uncomfortable and attract unwanted attention to yourself. Save the bulky gear for your next landscape shoot where the trees don't care. And you definitely want to stay off the radar of security personal and people who don't like photographers.
  • Be Flexible - This applies to all aspects of your being. Be flexible mentally and adapt to your environment. Be flexible in your choices of subject and technique. Be flexible physically and remember to work all of the angles from low too high. And be flexible emotionally, understanding that the world doesn't care about your photography and isn't there to accommodate your needs.

So, now that I'm home, how do I feel about the photo shoot? In my pick set, I currently have 32 images that show the people and places on the Las Vegas Strip. And I very much like those photographs. I can tell that I was more focused about my photography than I had been in trips past where I did not make it my primary work.

New Course Offering: Podcast Skills

A course on podcasting has been the number 1 request for new workshop topics. And after some time thinking about the best way to make this happen, I've come up with a one day skills course that you can attend from home, or wherever you have an Internet connection.

This one day event will cover the following topics:

  • Recording Hardware
  • Editing Software
  • Concept and Creation
  • Essential Storytelling Techniques
  • Show Notes
  • Syndication and RSS Feeds
  • Getting Your Show on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, Stitcher, and More
  • Adding Music to Your Show (and Where to Get It)
  • Editing Workflow
  • Promoting Your Podcast
  • The Ins and Outs of Advertising and Sponsorships

The topics will be divided into modules and presented live, and they will be recorded as movies as well. Each participant will receive the catalog of HD movies from the day as part of their tuition.

The course will include insider tips, best practice techniques, and multiple Q&A sessions. Each participant is also entitled to one follow up one-on-one session after the workshop to address questions unique to his or her goals.

The live course, set of recorded videos, and the follow up one-on-one session costs only $249. Inner Circle Members get a 10 percent discount on tuition.

The first two course dates are scheduled for October 12 and November 9, 2019. Participation is limited to 10 people per course, first come, first served. Registration is open now at www.thenimblephotographer.com. Click on the Workshops tab.

How Do You Listen to Your Podcasts?

Here are the results from, How Do You Listen to Your Podcasts?.

  • Apple Podcasts (twice as many as second place)
  • Overcast
  • A smattering of others including Pocket Cast, Google Play, and Spotify.

paul-and-dad-1024.jpg "Paul and His Dad" - Las Vegas Blvd. - Canon G5X Mark II - Photo by Derrick Story.

The Story of Paul

When people approach me on the street, it usually takes me a few seconds to gauge how to react. So when Paul plopped his backpack down on the bench where I was working, I wasn't sure what to think at first.

This story is about what happened next.

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Updates and Such

Inner Circle Members: A big thanks to those who support our podcast and our efforts!

B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members:

And finally, be sure to visit our friends at Red River Paper for all of your inkjet supply needs.

See you next week!

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

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You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

I was thinking about last week's podcast during a morning shoot on Las Vegas Blvd., and how reflections could be used creatively.

IMG_0310-1024.jpg "Las Vegas Reflection" - Canon G5X Mark II - Photo by Derrick Story.

It began when I spotted a group of buildings across the street reflected in a store window. I thought the elements worked well together, creating an interesting juxtaposition of shape and color. This motivated me to seek out more compositions.

Woman with Yellow Hair "Woman with Yellow Hair" - Canon G5X Mark II - Photo by Derrick Story.

One of the things that I talked about in the podcast was how two worlds could be captured at once using reflections. In the "Woman with Yellow Hair" image, we have the one group going in the doors while a shadowy stranger approaches in the reflection. They work nice together, and I think all of the elements are more interesting as a group than just any single person.

Then there are more active reflections, where I have both versions of the subject in the same frame.

Man in Red Shirt "Man in Red Shirt" - Canon G5X Mark II - Photo by Derrick Story.

In the "Man with Red Shirt" photo, it appears that he is admiring himself in the glass. I think he's merely watching the street below, but I don't know for sure... and that interests me. Plus we have the other group visible in the glass but not in reality.

And finally, I combine two "mistakes" in the "Tourist Pointing" photograph. I have the reflection of the man in the white shirt, and just his physical hand on the right edge, adding "off-framing" to the mix. Viewers may or may not spot his hand, and that's part of the fun.

Tourist Pointing "Tourist Pointing" - Canon G5X Mark II - Photo by Derrick Story.

I captured a variety of images that hot morning in Las Vegas, many of which I like. And the reflections series definitely added some variety to the mix.

You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

Canon's new premium compact, the G5X Mark II, now has RAW support from Adobe thanks to Lightroom 2.4. Since I'm shooting with the camera in Las Vegas, what better place to try out the new .CR3 files? And while we're at it, let's revisit the newish PhotoMerge that was added to Lightroom (CC) earlier this year. I'll start with the RAW files.

.CR3 RAW Decoding with Lightroom 2.4

New York, Las Vegas Canon G5X II with single RAW file processed in Lightroom 2.4. Photo by Derrick Story

Overall, I thought the .CR3 RAW files were moderately responsive in Lightroom 2.4. Shadows opened up reasonably well. I could recover highlights, although I was wanting for more recovery for many of my shots. Color and sharpness were very good. Overall, a thumbs-up rating.

IMG_0139-1024.jpg Canon G5X II with single RAW file processed in Lightroom 2.4. Photo by Derrick Story

I'm looking forward to comparing Capture One's decoding of the .CR3 files once it releases its RAW update. As I look at the Lightroom versions, I feel like there is a little "pop" missing with this tandem. I could be wrong. Time will tell when I have something to compare it to.

Bottom line, however, if you're already a Lightroom user and have been considering the Canon G5X Mark II, then the coast is clear. The RAW decoding is solid.

Photo Merge with .CR3 Files in Lightroom 2.4

Earlier this year, Adobe added HDR merging to its Creative Cloud version of Lightroom. I had worked with it previously, but I felt that these .CR3 files in Las Vegas would be perfect for further research. I was right. This was fun.

NYNY Restaurants HDR NYNY Restaurants - Canon G5X II with three RAW files processed in Lightroom 2.4. Photo by Derrick Story

The Canon G5X II doesn't have an HDR mode per se (HDR Backlight doesn't count for me), but it does have the traditional Canon Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB). So I set the self-timer to 2 seconds, and set AEB to -1.7, 0, +1.7 and captured my .CR3 source files while exploring the interiors of some of my favorite hotels.

I then tapped Photo Merge in Lightroom 2.4 (Photo > Photo Merge > HDR Merge) and let the software do its thing. The result was a great looking DNG file that I could further edit in Lightroom if I wished.

Before the Party Begins Before the Party Begins - Canon G5X II with three RAW files processed in Lightroom 2.4. Photo by Derrick Story

From earlier testing with the G5X II, I had already felt that the Jpegs produced by the 20MP 1" Stacked CMOS sensor and DIGIC 8 processor were definitely street photography worthy.

But now, with RAW processing available in Lightroom and tapping Photo Merge as well, I can squeeze a lot of quality out of this compact if I just slow down a bit and use good technique. I still have another day here on location. I'll see what I can get next with it. But to this point, the Lightroom 2.4/Canon G5X II dynamic duo are getting the job done.

You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

This is The Digital Story Podcast #701, August 20, 2019. Today's theme is "The Art of Mistakes and Miscalculations." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Mistakes are sometimes in the eye of the beholder. An off-center subject may be viewed by one person as poor composition and seen as dynamic by another. After visiting the exhibition, Don't! Photography and the Art of Mistakes at SF MOMA, I have 5 techniques that can be dazzling to some folks and head-scratching to others. Tune in and see which camp you fall in to.

The Art of Mistakes and Miscalculations

I want to start by reading you the opening text to the exhibit at SF MOMA, because I think it frames this conversation well.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, proscriptive texts by self-proclaimed photography experts proliferated in amateur manuals and periodicals. The next generation saw the rise of photographers who challenged these rules and strictures.

Pairing modernist images by artists including Man Ray, Florence Henri, and Lisette Model with historical documents, this exhibition examines the shifting definitions of "good" and "bad" photography, while considering how tastes evolved during this transformative period for the medium.

BTW: This show runs through Dec. 1. So if you're in San Francisco, I highly recommend visiting MOMA and seeing it for yourself.

So here are five of these "mistakes" that could turn into real works of art.

5 Techniques that Could be Wonderful

  • Off-Framing - In the early days of photography, tripods were required because of the low sensitivity of photo medium. Compositions tended to squared up and realistic. But as film speeds increased and handheld photography became more common, so did composing mistakes and victories. One of my favorites is the 1956 image, "Little Man, Stepping Off a Cable Car" by Dorothea Lang.
  • Reflections - Shop windows, for example, can be perplexing for photographers. If you shoot straight on, you see yourself in the picture. From an angle, the surrounding environment appears in the shot. Many books recommended avoiding this situation all together. That is until more adventurous photographers began to integrate these reflections into their shots showing dual realities at once.
  • Motion Blur - Standard advice to prevent motion blur was to use faster film, adequate lighting, and increase the shutter speed. But later artists discovered that blur could actually convey motion or indicate speed. And to even get more creative, a blurred moving face could convey an emotional state.
  • Distortion - Photographers were instructed to not position an arm, hand, or leg closer to the lens than the other parts of the body because distortion would elongate or enlarge that body part. But then more adventurous artists discovered that they could create abstractions, similar to modern art techniques, that departed from making photographs always look realistic.
  • Lens Flare - Photographers were cautioned about pointing their lenses in the direction of strong light sources, such as a bright lamp or the sun, because it increased the chances of lens flare. But because of its unpredictable nature, art photographers embraced the technique and were eager to see how the effects of flare impacted their compositions.

Photography is an ever-evolving medium. And the rules are seldom adhered to for very long. And to be honest, sometimes images that feature these "mistakes" are far more interesting than the "perfect" ones.

New Course Offering: Podcast Skills

A course on podcasting has been the number 1 request for new workshop topics. And after some time thinking about the best way to make this happen, I've come up with a one day skills course that you can attend from home, or wherever you have an Internet connection.

This one day event will cover the following topics:

  • Recording Hardware
  • Editing Software
  • Concept and Creation
  • Essential Storytelling Techniques
  • Show Notes
  • Syndication and RSS Feeds
  • Getting Your Show on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, Stitcher, and More
  • Adding Music to Your Show (and Where to Get It)
  • Editing Workflow
  • Promoting Your Podcast
  • The Ins and Outs of Advertising and Sponsorships

The topics will be divided into modules and presented live, and they will be recorded as movies as well. Each participant will receive the catalog of HD movies from the day as part of their tuition.

The course will include insider tips, best practice techniques, and multiple Q&A sessions. Each participant is also entitled to one follow up one-on-one session after the workshop to address questions unique to his or her goals.

The live course, set of recorded videos, and the follow up one-on-one session costs only $249. Inner Circle Members get a 10 percent discount on tuition.

The first two course dates are scheduled for October 12 and November 9, 2019. Participation is limited to 10 people per course, first come, first served. Registration is open now at How Do You Listen to Your Podcasts?. Pop over and let us know if you're a Spotify, Overcast, Apple Podcasts, or fan of some other platform for listening to your shows. Plus, it's fun to see what others are saying.

moma-1024.jpg

Alfred Stieglitz: 5 Random Don'ts

From the SF MOMA exhibit: Don't! Photography and the Art of Mistakes.

  • Don't believe you must be a pictorial photographer... Bad pictorial photography, like bad "art painting," is a crime.
  • Don't plagiarize if you can help it. It can't give you any real pleasure to know yourself akin to a thief.
  • Don't believe you became an artist the instant you received a gift Kodak on Christmas morning.
  • Don't believe that experts are born. They are the results of hard work.
  • Don't go through life with your eyes closed, even though you may have chosen photography as your vocation. The machine may see for you, but its eye is dead. Your eye should furnish it with life. But don't believe that all open eyes see. Seeing needs practice - just like photography itself.

PS: Don't believe I claim any originality for the above random remarks.

From Photographic Topics 7, January 1909.

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Updates and Such

Inner Circle Members: A big thanks to those who support our podcast and our efforts!

B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members:

And finally, be sure to visit our friends at Red River Paper for all of your inkjet supply needs.

See you next week!

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 - Keep up with the world of inkjet printing, and win free paper, by liking Red River Paper on Facebook.

Portfoliobox - Your PortfolioBox site is the best way to show off your best images.

The Nimbleosity Report

Do you want to keep up with the best content from The Digital Story and The Nimble Photographer? Sign up for The Nimbleosity Report, and receive highlights twice-a-month in a single page newsletter. Be a part of our community!

Want to Comment on this Post?

You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

When photographing people in motion, I prefer to have the action coming toward me, not moving away. I think it makes for a more dynamic image. Here's an example.

IMGP9157-Kunde-Move-In-1024.jpg Moving In - The more exciting shot is the movers coming up the stairs toward me, not me at the bottom having them go out of the frame. Photo by Derrick Story.

Another technique that I use to get people shots when they are in a group is to position myself so they are "walking through me" and I photograph them during this process. (This is helpful for tours and other situations like that.) Also, the idea of having a photographer standing there taking pictures usually causes a few reactions and smiles along the way.

IMGP9204-PET-Welcome-1024.jpg

Of course the trick to all of this is you being comfortable enough to position yourself front and center in the action. Generally speaking, photo subjects are fine with this. You will get reactions such as people covering their face or giving you an odd look. But it's all part of the mix. And if you're there in an official capacity, this technique is even easier.

Give this a try yourself. Try these shots from both angles, and see which one is more interesting to you.

You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

Students at Santa Rosa Junior College are preparing to return to class, so I've been on campus capturing images for the PR Dept. The weather is hot and the light is harsh. So I've been leaning on fill flash to help me tame the contrast.

IMGP8783-SRJC-08-14-19-1024.jpg Fill flash outdoors to help tame contrasty light. Photo by Derrick Story.

My preferred strobe is the Metz mecablitz 26 AF-2 Flash ($129) that's available for practically every brand of camera. It's compact, versatile, and works seamlessly with my Pentax and Olympus bodies.

The nice thing about fill flash is that you can let the gear do all of the calculations for you. In this environment, I put the camera in program mode and set the flash to TTL. The two units work together to provide me with a balanced exposure.

The results are typically very good. And for any type of environmental portrait in harsh lighting, the subjects benefit greatly from this technique.

Indoors, I often position the flash in the up position (bounce lighting), then rubber band a white business card behind the head. This creates a nice little diffused light source that's more pleasing for skin tones in flatter light.

IMGP8814-SRJC-08-14-19-1024.jpg Fill flash indoors to augment existing light. Photo by Derrick Story.

The Metz mecablitz is smaller than my iPhone, so I can carry it in my pocket. Or better yet, just leave it on the camera.

IMG_3857.jpg Metz flash mounted on a Pentax KP. So compact, but quite powerful.

Either way, if you have to come away with good portraits in bad lighting, fill flash can save the day.

You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

This is The Digital Story Podcast #700, August 13, 2019. Today's theme is "Street Photography with the Canon G5X Mark II." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

The Canon G5X Mark II is compact enough to fit in your pants pocket, but it pairs a 24-120mm zoom lens with a 20.2 MP 1" Stacked CMOS Sensor. That's a lot of imaging potential in a small package. And it seemed to me worthy of serious street photography. So I headed off to South San Francisco to see what it could do. I share my findings on today's TDS Photography Podcast.

Street Photography with the Canon G5X Mark II

Canon-G5X-Front-1024.jpg

You may be wondering why my first inclination for the Canon G5X was for street photography. Well, the answer came within minutes of my exploration of South San Francisco with the camera.

I was photographing a fabulous neon blue hotel sign downtown when a middle-aged man came storming out the front door calling to me, "What are you doing? What are you doing!"

I lowered the camera and turned to him, "I'm taking pictures of that sign."

"Why are you doing that?" he asked with way too much intensity.

"Because I like the way it looks," I responded. "I'm just having fun. Look," I said holding the diminutive Canon G5X up to his face. "Just having fun."

"Well, OK," he said begrudgingly and went back inside.

We have come to the point where we can't take a picture of a hotel sign on a public street without an inquiry as to our intentions. And one of the reasonable lines of defenses against this unreasonable behavior is a small camera that looks like something only a tourist would carry.

That's why I thought the G5X was a good choice for the day. And as it turns out, I was right.

After a week of steady shooting with the Canon, there are five features that I think are worth discussing for those interested in a compact camera for travel, street photography, and family outings. Let's dig deeper.

S. SF Ex Phone Booth

5 Noteworthy Features on the Canon G5X Mark II

  • Electronic 2,360,000 dot Viewfinder and Tilting 3" 1,040,000 dot LCD - The popup viewfinder works well for both left and right eye photographers. Once popped up, the eyepiece pulls outward providing plenty of viewing distance. This adjustable diopter is a great touch, and the image is outstanding. The tilting LCD is wonderful for street photography when you want to get low or high angles. This tandem really makes this a versatile, easy to use camera.
  • Front Control Ring for More Precise Zooming - The adjustable ring around the lens can be programmed as a step zoom with click stops for 24mm, 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, 100mm, and 120mm. Since I'm already familiar with those focal lengths, I found this far more useful than just randomly pushing a rocker switch in one direction or the other to adjust the zoom.
  • Easy to Use Exposure Compensation Ring - If you enable Exposure Simulation, you can take full advantage of the easy to adjust exposure compensation ring that provides real time visual feedback as your rotate it with your thumb.
  • Relatively Fast f/1.8 - 2.8 Zoom lens - Not only is the zoom range good - 24mm to 120mm - so is the maximum aperture ranging from f/1.8 - 2.8. This makes it easier to capture images in a variety of lighting environments without having to jack up the ISO.
  • Versatile Charging Options - In-camera battery charging, from a power bank, outlet, or computer, is possible via the USB port. And unlike many other cameras that allow for USB charging, Canon also includes the standalone charger in the box. So you have both options available.

Stanford Mall Shopping

I do have a few nits as well. The battery indicator is less than accurate. It may show half charge available one minute, then suddenly shut down the next. The back panel controls are too easy to accidentally change during the shooting process. And I would love to have a custom function button or two.

But overall, I really like the Canon G5X Mark II ($899). The imaging pipeline produces excellent shots, there's a bounty of useful features, and the body is truly compact. It's a winner!

The B&H Deal of the Week

Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 ASPH. Lens with UV Filter for Micro Four Thirds

The Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 lens is on sale for $147.99 - that's $100 off.

One UHR (Ultra-High Refractive Index) element pairs with two aspherical elements to reduce spherical aberrations and distortions for consistent edge-to-edge sharpness and illumination. A Nano Surface Coating has been applied, too, and helps to reduce flare and ghosting for increased contrast and color fidelity. The optical construction also helps to realize a compact overall form factor, measuring just 2"-long and weighing 4.4 oz. Benefitting both stills and video capture, this lens also incorporates a stepping motor for smooth, quiet autofocus performance that is compatible with Lumix cameras' high-speed contrast-detection focusing systems.

Great for both Panasonic and Olympus MFT cameras, especially at this price!

74 Samsung officially unveils 108MP ISOCELL Bright HMX mobile camera sensor

You can read the entire article here. Here's the scoop:

The ISOCELL Bright HMX is the first mobile sensor to feature a 1/1.33" size, according to Samsung, which says its Tetracell tech enables the HMX to 'imitate big-pixel sensors' for better quality 27MP images.

The 1/1.33" format equates to around 9.6 x 7.2mm, which is around 40% smaller than a 1"-type sensor, but nearly 3 times larger than the 1/2.5"-type chips in the many of smartphones. The Tetracell design, much like Sony's 'Quad Bayer' technology, places four pixels under each color of its color filter, making it easy to combine pixels to give better performance at 1/4 resolution, but also means additional processing needs to be done to attempt to replicate what a standard Bayer sensor would capture, if it had 108 megapixels.

New Course Offering: Podcast Skills

A course on podcasting has been the number one request for new workshop topics. And after some time thinking about the best way to make this happen, I've come up with a one day skills course that you can attend from home, or wherever you have an Internet connection.

This event will cover the following topics:

  • Recording Hardware
  • Editing Software
  • Concept and Creation
  • Essential Storytelling Techniques
  • Show Notes
  • Syndication and RSS Feeds
  • Getting Your Show on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, Stitcher, and More
  • Adding Music to Your Show (and Where to Get It)
  • Editing Workflow
  • Promoting Your Podcast
  • The Ins and Outs of Advertising and Sponsorships

The topics will be divided into modules and presented live, and they will be recorded as movies as well. Each participant will receive the catalog of HD movies from the day as part of their tuition.

The course will include insider tips, best practice techniques, and multiple Q&A sessions. Each participant is also entitled to one follow up one-on-one session after the workshop to address questions unique to his or her goals.

The live course, set of recorded videos, and the follow up one-on-one session costs only $249. Inner Circle Members get a 10 percent discount on tuition.

The first two course dates are scheduled for October 12 and November 9, 2019. Participation is limited to 10 people per course, first come, first served. Registration is open now at www.thenimblephotographer.com. Click on the 2019 Workshops tab.

Updates and Such

Inner Circle Members: A big thanks to those who support our podcast and our efforts!

B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members:

And finally, be sure to visit our friends at Red River Paper for all of your inkjet supply needs.

See you next week!

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 - Keep up with the world of inkjet printing, and win free paper, by liking Red River Paper on Facebook.

Portfoliobox - Your PortfolioBox site is the best way to show off your best images.

The Nimbleosity Report

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You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

Sometimes you can stand there in the city, on a bright, contrasty day, and not see a single thing to photograph. That's when you need to reach into your bag of tricks. And one of those techniques is working with frames.

Burlingame Train Station Burlingame Train Station - Canon G5X Mark II - Photo by Derrick Story.

Working with structures to create frames takes that contrasty light and actually makes it interesting. You can arrange those alternating bold tones into compelling patterns that can delight the viewer's eye if they take a moment to explore your composition.

Take your time to compose the image so that you're managing all of the elements artistically. Look for repetition of theme, darks and lights, and of course, proper placement of people.

These compositions are also fun to play with in post production, where you can further enhance the texture and lighting. Don't be afraid to push the envelope a bit. What started out as a terrible photo op can result in a compelling image.

So when the light gets hot, change gears, and go with it. You might be delighted by the results.

You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.