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This is The Digital Story Podcast #649, August 21, 2018. Today's theme is "Inside Skylum - A Visit with Scott Bourne." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Skylum Software, creators of Luminar and Aurora HDR, has established its U.S. headquarters in Bellevue, WA. I stopped by on my way to New York for a visit with Scott Bourne, Alex Tsepko, and the rest of the Skylum team who were there for the grand opening of the new office. And I thought you might also enjoy a peek behind the curtain. That's the top story on today's TDS photography podcast.

Inside Skylum - A Visit with Scott Bourne

I've been a big fan of Luminar since day one. So much so, that I wanted to be a part of the Skylum team as they continue to evolve it and their other products.

Among my responsibilites, I'm the moderator for the Skylum Photography Public Group on Facebook, the redesign project for their marketplace, and developing new outreach initiatives for them.

To share with you some of the things that I've learned during my time of working with Skylum, I sat down with Scott Bourne, President, to talk about where we've come and where we're headed.

IMG_2896.jpg Bellevue, Washington. Photos by Derrick Story.

P8161078.jpg Skylum U.S. HQ Photo Studio.

P8161068.jpg Team work area with break room in the background.

P8161083.jpg Scott Bourne, President (center), Alex Tsepko, CEO (right), and Scott M. Smedresman, lawyer (left).

Lexar Memory Cards are Coming Back from the Dead

Via Petapixel - "Back in June 2017, Micron announced that it would be discontinuing its entire Lexar removable storage business that included memory cards, readers, flash drives, storage drives, and more. A few months later, the Chinese company Longsys swooped in and acquired the brand. Longsys now says that Lexar will be returning from the grave.

Now a Longsys-owned business, Lexar announced this week that it's resuming full production of its products and will begin shipping to major retailers again this fall.

The product lineup will include memory cards, card readers, solid state drives (SSDs), and USB flash drives geared toward professional photographers and other creators.

You may recall a reference to this possibility back in June when I interviewed Wes Brewer, ProGrade CEO for the Fascinating ProGrade Digital Story.

Do You Have a Film Camera that Needs a Good Home?

Over the last year, I've received donations from TDS members who have film cameras that need a good home. What I do is inspect the items, repair and clean as I can, then list them in TheFilmCameraShop where I can find a good home for them. If you're interested in donating, please use the Contact Form on TheNimblePhotographer site. And thanks for you consideration!

Updates and Such

You can become a member of our Inner Circle by clicking on this link or by clicking on the Patreon tile that's on every page of The Digital Story.

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 - Create the site that your best images deserve by visiting Portfoliobox. And get a 20 percent discount by using our landing page!

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.

The Full Frame Calm Before the Storm

Sony just announced it has sold more full-frame cameras than any other brand in the US over the past six months, measured both by units sold and by value. In part, this is because, as we all know, Sony cameras are top notch. But it's also because they have more recent releases in this category.

sony-alpha.png

On August 23rd, Nikon will announce their full frame challenger, with possibly some very interesting lenses on the road map. Make no doubt about it, Nikon realizes the importance of the moment. My prediction is that their entry will be formidable.

And let's not forget about Canon. It is quiet at the moment, other than a few snorts from the sleeping giant. But once we work through the Nikon announcement, we will hear from them. And like Nikon, Canon realizes that there is little margin for error.

Why is all of this full frame thunder so important? Ultimately, it's bragging rights. The psychology of camera brands is that if you satisfy the pro, the enthusiasts will follow. If you see Canon lenses on the sidelines of the Super Bowl, that is a stamp of approval for thousands of amateur photographers who will follow in that wake. Pros shoot full frame. What they choose is of vital importance to all three brands.

Personally, I'm not a big sensor guy. It's not necessary for my work. I would rather have smaller, lighter lenses. And since I don't have a dog in this race, I'm really going to enjoy the show.

Photokina begins on September 26. PhotoPlus Expo follows the next month on October 25th. During that stretch, Sony will impress upon us of their current dominance, Nikon will remind us of their tradition of greatness, and Canon will take them both on.

What a fantastic way to close out 2018!

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #648, August 14, 2018. Today's theme is "Is the Panasonic TS7 as Smart as it is Tough?." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

When I first laid eyes on the Panasonic TS7 digital camera, I knew I had to get my hands on it. And once I did, it felt every bit as good as I imagined. But once you get past its rugged good looks, how does it perform? Does it have the brains to match the body? This is the question that I'll address in today's TDS Photography Podcast.

Is the Panasonic TS7 as Smart as it is Tough?

The Panasonic Lumix DC-TS7 is no lightweight, that's for sure. It feels like a crush-proof camera that can be submerged 100' below the surface of the ocean. And it packs some pretty powerful specs as well. But in the field, does it live up to its promise?

Lumix-TS7-1024.jpg

Here are some of the features of the Panasonic TS7 that got me excited:

  • 20.4MP High-Sensitivity MOS Sensor
  • 4.6x Zoom Lens, 28-128mm (35mm Equiv.)
  • UHD 4K 30p and 24p Video Recording
  • 1.17m-Dot Electronic Live View Finder
  • 3.0" 1.04m-Dot LCD Monitor
  • 4K Photo Modes and Post Focus

Now, let's talk about how those features actually worked. And if you're an Inner Circle Member via Patreon, I have a fun video waiting for you that shows you more of what I've discussed here. Jump over there and take a look.

Photographer Typecasting

I was reading a Steve Huff article titled, Amazon 1dX II Scam Update where he was following up to an earlier article about being scammed via Amazon for a Canon 1DX order. But a funny thing happened along the way that caught my ear.

How the Original Canon 5D Stacks Up Against the 5D Mark IV

Via Petapixel, they write:

Photographer Pablo Strong recently did a shootout to see how the original Canon 5D from 2005 stacks up against the latest Canon 5D Mark IV from 2016. The 7.5-minute video above is a report of his findings.

The Canon 5D, which Strong calls "arguably the best deal in photography" when paired with the 50mm f/1.8 II lens, was a camera that helped full frame cameras break into the mainstream. It was the first full-frame DSLR in a smaller, standard camera body and its price tag of $3,300 also set a new standard for how affordable full-frame cameras could be.

The camera is 13-years-old now and can be purchased used for about $350 these days. Pair it with the 50mm f/1.8 II (which costs about $75 used) and you have yourself a full-frame DSLR kit for around $400.

Do You Have a Film Camera that Needs a Good Home?

Over the last year, I've received donations from TDS members who have film cameras that need a good home. What I do is inspect the items, repair and clean as I can, then list them in TheFilmCameraShop where I can find a good home for them. If you're interested in donating, please use the Contact Form on TheNimblePhotographer site. And thanks for you consideration!

Updates and Such

You can become a member of our Inner Circle by clicking on this link or by clicking on the Patreon tile that's on every page of The Digital Story.

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 - Create the site that your best images deserve by visiting Portfoliobox. And get a 20 percent discount by using our landing page!

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 the Panasonic Lumix DC-TS7 was released, it reopened the debate for which rugged compact I would pack for my outdoor adventures. Would the TS7 dethrone my current favorite, the Olympus Tough TG-5?

cameras-front-1024.jpg Side by Side - Panasonic TS7 on the left with the Olympus Tough on the right.

Here's what tempted me with the Panasonic TS7:

  • 20.4MP High-Sensitivity MOS Sensor
  • 4.6x Zoom Lens, 28-128mm (35mm Equiv.)
  • UHD 4K 30p and 24p Video Recording
  • 1.17m-Dot Electronic Live View Finder
  • 3.0" 1.04m-Dot LCD Monitor
  • 4K Photo Modes and Post Focus

With the Panasonic, I would get more resolution (20MP vs 12MP), greater zooming range (28-128mm vs 28-100mm), an electronic viewfinder, and a higher resolution LCD back screen. Both cameras have 4K video recording, but the Panasonic has the 4K Photo mode.

cameras-top-1024.jpg

So I carried the TS7 around with me for a couple weeks of summer activity. The Jpegs still images were very good. (But, I was surprised that I did not have a RAW option like I do on the Olympus Tough.) I particularly liked the the burst mode in 4K Photo. In this mode I could capture at 30fps, then choose the frame that I wanted for the still image at 8MP resolution. This was my favorite feature on the Panasonic. It's fun and effective.

Little Girl Watching Ride "Little Girl Watching Ride" - Captured in 4K Photo mode with Panasonic TS7

I was also looking forward to the 4K video capture. But I had a difficult time focusing. Once I started the video recording, the camera seemed to have a mind of its own in terms of choosing focus point. This could be due to my lack of experience with the device. But even when I sat down and tried to figure it out, I still walked away with clips that were not sharp. This was my most disappointing feature with the TS7.

cameras-back-1024.jpg The electronic viewfinder is visible on the black TS7. The Olympus doesn't have that feature. Instead, the GPS module sits atop the camera.

The built-in electronic viewfinder was a welcome addition. I didn't use it as much, however, as I thought I would. In part, that was because the high resolution LCD was quite good and convenient. Also, the EVF is a bit small and not that enjoyable for composing. So for me, the electronic viewfinder is in the category of nice to have when I need it, but not much beyond that.

So what's the bottom line here? Am I going to switch from the Olympus to the Panasonic for my adventure compact? No, I'm not. Here's why.

Both cameras are tough and waterproof. So I can take either anywhere. But with the Olympus, I get RAW format, realtime GPS geotagging, smaller form factor, and a faster maximum aperture. Plus, the TG-5 is $379, $60 less than the TS7.

There were definitely things that I liked about the Panasonic TS7. I like its handsome good looks, viewing options, and the wonderful 4K Photo mode. But I struggled with its video capture, and I do miss having RAW for hard-to-tame contrasty lighting - something that I seem to encounter often during summer adventures.

Also, the built-in geotagging that the Olympus provides is top notch. I don't have to do anything, and the location data is added to my shots. The Panasonic has a feature that lets you add tags via your smartphone. It's not the same by any means.

So, would I discourage someone from choosing the Panasonic Lumix DC-TS7? Absolutely not. It's a good camera that has a lot going for it. It's just not my favorite of the two.

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

It's tempting, isn't it? The Canon Pro-100 13" photo printer released in 2012 for $499 is available now for just $119 after rebate. That's a pretty big savings for an output device with a 4.5 star user rating on B&H Photo's site.

canon-printer-1024.jpg

As you may recall, I took the Canon Rebate Challenge, and they did indeed deliver my $250 Mastercard gift card. So, that leaves us with the investment itself.

In terms of actual prints, I think the Canon Pro-100 printer is worth every penny. When I send a job its way, the Pro-100 gets right to work and produces beautiful output.

I can connect with it via USB cable, WiFi, and AirPrint. It doesn't seem to care which method I use to send data. It just works.

When Canon releases their new 13" photo printer, which they are sure to do soon, I would expect certain upgrades. For example, there will be a nice LCD screen on the device to assist in setup and use. With my older Pro-100, communication requires a computer and the proper Canon software. An LCD would be a highly welcome feature.

They may be improvements in the dye technology. New ink formulas are possible, for sure. How will they impact what emerges from the printer, who knows? Chances are reasonable that it would be hard to tell the difference between actual output without knowing.

The latest Canon multifunction printers include goodies like Alexa commands. That, I couldn't care less about. Although, I would like more printing options via the existing AirPrint technology.

As much as I would enjoy some of these improvements, especially the LCD screen, I'm not sure they are worth the extra $300-$400 that they would cost me. So as long as I can get ink for the Pro-100, it's a better choice for my budget at the moment. (I say this now without seeing what Canon will actually release in the future :-)

But there is one thing that I know for sure. Thanks to the great Pro-100 deal, I'm making prints right now. And that's definitely worth a lot to me.

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #647, August 7, 2018. Today's theme is "Digitizing, Printing, and More!." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

I guess you could say that I'm a 2-way photographer. In one direction, I'm keenly interested in making prints from my digital images. Going the other way, I'm fascinated by methods for digitizing my analog shots. And in today's TDS podcast, I talk with Peter Krogh, author of "Digitizing Your Photos". Plus I share my first experiences with the Canon Pro-100 and Red River's Polar Luster Metallic paper. What a show!

Interview with Peter Krogh

Peter's book, Digitizing Your Photos with Your Camera and Lightroom is a cornucopia of helpful information for developing an efficient and high quality workflow for scanning analog content.

I sit down and talk with Peter during the first segment of today's show.

Use this link for a 10 percent discount. I also have a coupon code that you can use at checkout as well: AFFstory

Setting Up and Testing the Canon Pro-100 Printer

Now that I have my rebate, it's time to start printing with the Canon PIXMA PRO-100 Wireless Professional Inkjet Photo Printer . It's still on sale until the end of August with a $250 rebate, resulting in a final price of $119.99.

After my first day of printing with it, here are my pros and cons.

The Amazing Red River Polar Luster Metallic 255 Inkjet Printing Paper

Prints-1024.jpg

I've never used inkjet stock like the Red River Polar Luster Metallic 255. The luster surface with the metallic base create a compelling look that is magical under direct lighting.

In fact, I'm adding a new light set up to my studio just for these prints. More on this during this segment of the show.

Updates and Such

You can become a member of our Inner Circle by clicking on this link or by clicking on the Patreon tile that's on every page of The Digital Story.

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 - Create the site that your best images deserve by visiting Portfoliobox. And get a 20 percent discount by using our landing page!

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.

Mirrorless cameras in general, and Olympus Micro Four Thirds bodies specifically, are excellent hosts to vintage SLR optics. But just like everything else in life, some matches are better than others.

Nikon Series E 50mm Olympus PEN-F with Nikon Series E 50mm f/1.8 "Pancake" lens. Photo by Derrick Story.

A particularly good combination are the Nikon Series E optics with, in my case, the Olympus PEN-F mirrorless camera. Not only does the styling of the PEN-F look good with these lenses, it also has specific settings to facilitate the use of these older optics.

Nikon Ahead of its Time with the Series E Optics

The Nikon Series E lens family has an interesting history. They were originally introduced the 1980s to accompany the new line of compact Nikon bodies, including my favorite, the Nikon FG. Both the Series E lens family, and the FG were designed to be light and versatile. But traditional Nikon shooters generally criticized the tandem as too lightweight and not deserving of the Nikon nameplate.

Turns out, at least in my opinion, Nikon was ahead of its time. The FG is intelligent, easy to use, and not much bigger than my MFT cameras. My favorite Series E optics include the 50mm f/1.8, 35mm f/2.5, and the 100mm f/2.8. They are sharp, light, and mount beautifully on mirrorless bodies.

Nikon Series E 100mm Olympus PEN-F with Nikon Series E 100mm f/2.8 portrait lens. Photo by Derrick Story.

The Olympus PEN-F Perfectly Designed for These Lenses

lens-settings.jpg

For my Olympus PEN-F, I'm using an affordable K&F Concept Lens Mount Adapter ($22) that's well-machined and provides a snug fit.

The PEN-F even allows me to write lens metadata to the file at time of capture using its unique Lens Info Settings menu (Gear K > Utility > Lens Info Settings). I can create a profile for each non-digital lens that I use, and the PEN-F will include its metadata with the rest of the file info. It's so cool. I've programed a function button on the PEN-F to bring up that menu so I can quickly change the profile when I switch out lenses.

Because of the cropped sensor, I use the Series E 50mm as a 100mm optic, and the Series E 100mm as a 200mm telephoto. Their compactness makes it easy to include them in my carry-around kit. Here's a comparison of the Nikon Series E and Canon FD 100mm optics.

P8046477-etsy-canon-nikon.jpg The Nikon Series E 100mm f/2.8 next to the Canon FD 100mm f/2.8.

And the weight difference is even more dramatic. The Canon tipped my scale at nearly 13 ounces, and the Nikon weighed in just over 7 ounces. When you're a Nimble Photographer, those differences really add up.

Images That Truly Look Different

At this point, it's time to talk about the images themselves. I really like the Series E 50mm for portraits. I shoot with it wide open at f/1.8. It provides a flattering sharpness at the point of focus, with softened tones in the foreground and background.

Here's a portrait of Theresa working on the back patio using this combination. I captured in RAW with the PEN-F and processed it in Capture One Pro 11. I didn't use any sharpening or softening adjustments - just let the image stand on its own so you could see the character of the lens/camera combination.

Theresa with Series E 50mm "Theresa Working in the Backyard" - Olympus PEN-F with Nikon Series E 50mm lens set to f/1.8. Photo by Derrick Story.

I focused on her glasses. Notice how the laptop and pants in the foreground have this delightful glow to them? Here hair, skin tones, and eyes are nicely in focus, but not edgy. And the background has a soft bokeh that looks far better than what my iPhone created for the reference shot in its computational photography Portrait mode ;-)

The Bottom Line

If I told you that this new portrait lens setup was available for less than $100, you probably would think that's a mistake. But it isn't. And that's the beauty of using vintage lenses with cameras that are truly designed to accommodate them. It's the creative gift that just keeps giving.

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

For those times that you want 4K video, but don't want to part with your favorite camera that doesn't support it, Canon offers the PowerShot SX740 HS for $399.

canon-sx740.png

This pocketable zoom includes:

  • 20.3MP CMOS Sensor
  • DIGIC 8 Image Processor
  • 24-960mm (35mm Equivalent)
  • 40x Optical Zoom with OIS
  • 3" Tilting LCD Display
  • ISO 100-3200 (Extended)
  • 4K Video and 4K Time-Lapse Recording
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Connectivity
  • 10-fps Continuous Shooting

The release of this camera is interesting to me. It seems designed to fill gaps in a traditional photographer's kit by offering 4K video and 4K time-lapse at a somewhat affordable price. And since it doesn't take up much room in the camera bag, the SX740 can quietly augment your existing toolset.

I have no idea if this strategy will be effective. But in the age of dying low-end consumer compacts, it seems worth a try.

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

This is The Digital Story Podcast #646, July 31, 2018. Today's theme is "Sony RX100 VI: You Can Have it All" I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

A subcompact camera with a 1" sensor is a luxury indeed. And for that reason alone, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 VI Digital Camera is worth a look. But then add a relatively fast Zeiss Vario-Sonnar 24-200mm zoom, popup electronic viewfinder, and 4K video recording, and you have to ask yourself, "What the heck is going on here?" We're going to answer that question in today's TDS photography podcast.

Sony RX100 VI: You Can Have it All

There is a lot to like about this camera... so much so, that it would probably take me two more articles to cover all of the stuff that I didn't get to here. And if you're looking for an ultra-compact all-in-one capture device, it's going to be hard to find a more capable machine.

P7256358-gear-RX100.jpg

That being said, the one thing that was missing for me was the physical experience of holding a more substantial camera. In other words, I missed the feeling of taking pictures with a camera that feels great in the hands.

This is not a knock on the RX100 VI. It was designed to serve as a marvelous compact for those who need a small form factor. And as such, Sony knocked it out of the park. And if that's what you need for business travel or vacation, I can easily recommend this camera...

... except for the one thing that I haven't talked about yet: its cost is $1,200. On one hand, it's totally worth the steep price tag. Combine the features, image sensor, and exceptional zoom lens, and you have a deluxe package that should command a premium price. But the fact of the matter is, $1,200 is a lot of money for a compact camera. And if you invest that amount of money, you'd better get your shots out of it, and that means using it more often than just during travel.


Read the full review! "The Sony RX100 VI - A Compact Beast" - The RX100 VI is a pricy, no-holds-barred compact camera. Does its extensive feature set and fantastic image quality justify the price? Here's my take - http://thedigitalstory.com/2018/07/Sony-RX100VI-review.html.


So, then, what is the answer to the question: Is it worth it? I can say, "Yes it is." But, is the Sony RX100 VI for you? Well, that depends on your credit card balance, disposable income, and yes, the most important person in your life who might see you using it and ask: "Oh, that's a cute camera. How much did it cost?"

Nauticam Releases Underwater Housing for Sony RX100 VI

F-Stoppers reports: "While the pocket-sized camera is clearly ideal for travel, the NA-RX100 VI housing is just as practical. Weighing 2.3 pounds (1.05 kilograms), you'll be happy to hear the system will take up very little space and weight in your carry-on or checked baggage.

If you like deep dives, the underwater housing can be taken to a depth of 380 feet (100 meters). It's a nice selling point, but how many divers go to such depths? The housing ships with a standard interchangeable port, which was not found on earlier versions of the Sony RX100 underwater housing line. The standard port allows use of the full zoom range -- up to 200mm -- and can be equipped with the M67 Flip Diopter Holder, which allows photographers to add the SMC-1 Super Macro Converter for shooting the tiniest ocean critters.

The new NA-RX100 VI is priced at $1,100 and is available to order now through the Nauticam website.

No Longer Waiting for my Canon Rebate

On the June 11, 2018 TDS Podcast I mentioned that "I'm Taking the Canon PIXMA PRO-100 Rebate Challenge" and had mailed in all the required documents for my $250 rebate. And I'm happy to report that I now have my rebate. Here's the final chapter.

Nikon counts down to new mirrorless

DP Review reports: "Following an earlier leak, Nikon has officially started the clock on a countdown to its upcoming 'special event', widely assumed to be the launch of a new mirrorless system. The timer is counting down to 1pm, on the 23rd of August (Tokyo time). That's midnight in New York, 5am in London and 9pm on the previous day for the DPReview office here in Seattle."

Do You Have a Film Camera that Needs a Good Home?

Over the last year, I've received donations from TDS members who have film cameras that need a good home. What I do is inspect the items, repair and clean as I can, then list them in TheFilmCameraShop where I can find a good home for them. If you're interested in donating, please use the Contact Form on TheNimblePhotographer site. And thanks for you consideration!

Thanks to Bill Armon, and others who have previously contributed their gear to TheFilmCamerasShop.

Updates and Such

I've updated our Directory to Portfolios by TDS Photographers page. Stop by and see what your peers are publishing.

You can become a member of our Inner Circle by clicking on this link or by clicking on the Patreon tile that's on every page of The Digital Story.

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 - Create the site that your best images deserve by visiting Portfoliobox. And get a 20 percent discount by using our landing page!

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.

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 VI digital camera refuses to acknowledge the normal physical limitations of traditional compact photography. Measuring a mere 4.0" x 2.3" x 1.7", and weighing-in at just 10.6 ounces, most of us would be thrilled to get a 1" sensor with 20MPs resolution, which we do. But there's a whole lot more to this sophisticated device.

P7256362-gear-RX100.jpg

I've been shooting with the RX100 VI for a few weeks. And during that time, a number of its attributes have really impressed me. And those are what I'll cover in this article. Let's start with the body itself.

Physical Design

Aside from being wildly compact, I was surprised by many of its physical features. The 3" LCD back panel is gorgeous, rendering sharp, colorful images using its 921,600 pixels. Not only is it a touchscreen as well, but it tilts using a clever hinged design that allows for low and high angle shooting, and for selfies.

The only knock against it is that I couldn't view the screen horizontally while wearing polarized sunglasses. That seems like a small thing, but it was a real bummer when working outside. I could either remove my sunglasses, or turn the camera vertically. This seems opposite of what it should be - one of the very few missteps I encountered during testing.

P7256364-gear-RX100.jpg

The popup .39" XGA OLED electronic viewfinder (EVF) has an impressive resolution of 2.36m dots for easy composition. The EVF also uses a ZEISS T* coating, to ensure clarity, and has a one-push access design for convenient switching between the LCD and EVF.

For as tiny as the EVF is, it's easy to use. And when you enable it via the "finder" switch on the side of the camera, it also powers up the device. There's also a diopter adjustment to calibrate the view to your eyesight. And, incredibly, readouts as well. I was wildly impressed with its performance.

Right beside the EVF is the popup flash. That's right, you get both. I wouldn't recommend it as the sole light source for a scene. But as a fill light, it comes in very handy.

And finally, the control ring around the zoom lens is very useful for changing the aperture in aperture priority mode, or for enabling program shift in program mode.

P7256366-gear-RX100.jpg

The LCD can be configured to your tastes, depending on how much info you want displayed, by cycling through the views via the display button. If you press the separate function button (Fn), a very nice screen overlay appears with options for most of the basic settings that you'd want, such as ISO, metering mode, and flash compensation setting.

Performance

In short, this is a very responsive camera. It powers up quickly, swiftly focuses, and has virtually no shutter lag. You're not going to miss many shots with the RX100 VI.

Lens and Image Quality

The Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar zoom is a beauty. This lens is comprised of 15 elements in 12 groups, 8 of them aspherical. That's right, 8 aspherical elements. The f/2.8 maximum aperture is welcomed at the wide end (24mm). But even when you zoom all the way out to 200mm, the maximum aperture is still a respectable f/4.5.

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There's really no practical subject that you can't cover with this lens. I used the 24mm wide more often than I anticipated. But also zoomed in to 200mm optically, and could go even beyond that with clear image zoom (16X) and digital zoom (32X). Going whale watching? Not a problem.

The Jpeg files were sharp, contrasty and colorful. The detail was excellent. Quite frankly, they looked as I expected them to. The following files are at full resolution and straight out of the camera with no editing or enhancement.

Audi Wheel

Audi Interior

Close Up of Tribute

Detail of Tribute

I wasn't able to test the RAWs, because none of my apps could decode the new RX100 VI files. I do have them in storage, however, so I will be able to peek at them up the road.

Overall, an excellent performance for image quality.

Bottom Line

There is a lot to like about this camera... so much so, that it would probably take me two more articles to cover all of the stuff that I didn't get to here. And if you're looking for an ultra-compact all-in-one capture device, it's going to be hard to find a more capable machine.

That being said, the one thing that was missing for me was the physical experience of holding a more substantial camera. In other words, I missed the feeling of taking pictures with a camera that feels great in the hands.


Listen to My Hands-On Review! "Sony RX100 VI: You Can Have it All - TDS Photo Podcast 645" - http://thedigitalstory.com/2018/07/Sony-RX100VI-review-podcast.html.


This is not a knock on the RX100 VI. It was designed to serve as a marvelous compact for those who need a small form factor. And as such, Sony knocked it out of the park. And if that's what you need for business travel or vacation, I can easily recommend this camera...

... except for the one thing that I haven't talked about yet: its cost is $1,200. On one hand, it's totally worth the steep price tag. Combine the features, image sensor, and exceptional zoom lens, and you have a deluxe package that should command a premium price. But the fact of the matter is, $1,200 is a lot of money for a compact camera. And if you invest that amount of money, you'd better get your shots out of it, and that means using it more often than just during travel.

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So, then, what is the answer to the question: Is it worth it? I can say, "Yes it is." But, is the Sony RX100 VI for you? Well, that depends on your credit card balance, disposable income, and yes, the most important person in your life who might see you using it and ask: "Oh, that's a cute camera. How much did it cost?"

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 VI digital camera is available now for $1,198.


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The Sony RX100 VI digital camera has a high Nimbleosity Rating. What does that mean? You can learn about Nimbleosity and more by visiting TheNimblePhotographer.com.

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