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You want to capture quality, but not necessarily a huge file size. Is the new Nikon sRAW format the answer?

Nikon Rumors posted, What exactly is the new Nikon sRAW file format? that provides a good overview with a link to even more detail if you want it.

Personally, I've shied away from sRAW on Canon because of some decoding problems with image editing apps. I'll be curious to see how Nikon users embrace this streamlined format.

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OTTO is an interesting little camera with an unique set of features. Powered by Raspberry Pi, you can customize and even create new shooting modes via WiFi and your mobile device.

Currently, its creators are raising money via its KickStarter program that is open until June 14, 2014. Backers can pledge $199 to receive the first shipment of OTTOs if the project is successfully funded.

Among its talents, OTTO can capture animated Gifs in-camera, time-lapses, stereo images, and really just about anything the mind can conceive. Part of this magic stems from its brains. OTTO is the first product to be powered by the brand new Raspberry Pi Compute Module, a thumb-sized system on module identical to the Raspberry Pi Model B, but in a much smaller package meant to be embedded in products.

It includes an optical viewfinder, 35mm f/2 manual focus lens, 5MP CMOS sensor that also captures Raw, and HD video up to 1080p30 / 720p60, and VGA 640x480 at 90 frames per second.

If I were teaching a high school photography class, I would probably buy a half dozen of these for exploring and creating new media.

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The next issue of c't Digital Photography Magazine is ready to go to press. But I have the cover to preview now.

Topics include full-frame cameras, Lightroom vs Photoshop, macro photography, and much more.

New subscribers can receive a 20% discount through the end of May. If you subscribe by Friday, you'll be included in the first shipment of this latest issue.

c't Digital Photography Magazine is for those who like depth and detail. It's German engineering for photography. If you want to see for yourself, check out their Free Downloads Library. If this type of expertise is appealing to you, take advantage of the May Discount Offer. Subscribers also receive the electronic version of the publication.

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This week on The Digital Story Photography Podcast: A Preview of the Sony RX100 Mark III, Is Fujifilm Working on a Medium Format Mirrorless Camera?, The 4-Pound Urban Lighting Kit, The Difference Between Presets and Plugins - All of this and more on today's show with Derrick Story.

Story #1 - The Weekly Update: Sony RX100 Mark III Preview (Source DP Review)

In other news, Sony Alpha a7S Mirrorless Digital Camera Comes in at $2,498 via B&H Photo. The early guesses were around $3,500 for this full frame 12MP camera that features ISO 50-409600 and 4:2:2 UHD 4K Output via HDMI.

And finally, Fuji Rumored to Be Working on a Medium Format Mirrorless Camera. "Details are sparse, but the anonymous source told FR that the prototype of this mystery camera looks something like an X-Pro1, with hybrid viewfinder, but "more of a size of the Fuji GF670." The source also claims the camera uses the same Sony sensor found in the Pentax 645z." (Source: Petapixel)

Story #2 - The Difference Between Presets and Plugins for Lightroom and Aperture - Recently, I published the article Spice Up Your Image Editing with Presets and Plugins. I think both of these editing tools help bring creativity to our post production. But they are quite different. I explain how in the second segment of today's show.

Story #3 - The Nimbleosity Report: "Street Portrait Lighting Kit that Weights Less than 4 pounds. The lighting kit I'm going to use for the upcoming SF Street Shooting Workshop will include a Manfrotto MS0490A Nanopole Stand with the new Manfrotto Snap Tilthead with Shoe Mount and Cowboy Studio wireless flash triggers. The whole kit, including flash and diffuser weights less than 4 pounds. Here's more about it.

Story #4 - From the Screening Room - Video Production Techniques: Location Audio Recording with Anthony Q. Artis. When it comes to movie making, audio is half the picture. And nobody know that better than Anthony. This is a terrific title to help visual artists get the sound right.

You can watch Anthony in action by visiting the TDS Screening Room at lynda.com/thedigitalstory. While you're there, you can start your 7 day free trial to watch other design, photography, and computing titles, plus every other topic in the library.

Virtual Camera Club News

May is Wow and Double Wow Month For Mothers Day, Graduation, Engagements, June Weddings, Birthday, Fathers Day ... and, because SizzlPix! loves making you a super hero with a camera strap around your neck, order TWO: one for them; one for yourself, and your second SizzlPix! is 25% off! Any two SizzlPix!, from the same image or two different, any sizes, any hanging options, save 25% on the second or more.

Save on Ground Shipping for Red River Paper: Use coupon code ground50c to receive a 50 percent discount on UPS ground shipping for Red River Paper. No minimum purchase required.

Photo Assignment for May 2014 is "Around the House".

If you haven't done so already, please post a review for The Digital Story Podcast in iTunes.

BTW: If you're ordering through B&H or Amazon, please click on the respective ad tile under the Products header in the box half way down the 2nd column on thedigitalstory.com. That helps support the site.

Listen to the Podcast

In addition to subscribing in iTunes, you can also download the podcast file here (32 minutes). You can support this podcast by purchasing the TDS iPhone App for only $2.99 from the Apple App Store.

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

lynda.com - Learn lighting, portraiture, Photoshop skills, and more from expert-taught videos at lynda.com/thedigitalstory.

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

SizzlPix! - High resolution output for your photography. You've never seen your imagery look so good. SizzlPix.com. SizzlPix! now is qualified for PayPal "Bill Me Later," No payments, No interest for up to 6 months, which means, have your SizzlPix! now, and pay nothing until August!

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For the upcoming San Francisco Street Photography Workshop, We'll be working with two Bay Area models for urban portraiture. As we explore the plethora of nooks and crannies in the city, we're going to need some off-camera lighting to create the effects we want.

The rig I'll be using folds down to 19.3 inches. It weighs just a few pounds, yet can be extended to over 6 feet high. The entire lighting rig fits in a simple drawstring bag that's less than 2 feet long that I can throw over my shoulder.

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This setup will work with any camera that has a hot shoe. So regardless of what brand workshop attendees have with them, they can take advantage of off-camera flash. And the best part is, the entire kit cost less than $239, and that includes the aluminum folding stand, adjustable swivel head, radio triggers, and the flash. Here's the parts list.

The Manfrotto NanoPole Stand is a real improvement over my traditional light stands, especially for outdoor work. The center pole can be detached from the feet providing a boom for lighting or audio. The adjustable "leveling leg" makes it easy to keep the stand vertical on uneven surfaces. And the sandbag hook allows you to add weight to the base of the stand for more stabilization.

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I'm also impressed with the Snap Tilthead with Shoe Mount that attaches to the stand quickly and accommodates just about any type of speedlight. There's no need for hot shoe adapters since that's built in, and the spring-loaded smart-tilting mechanism prevents your flash from crashing downward on to the pole.

To have a complete lighting setup that collapses to less than 2 feet of space and weighs a mere 4 pounds is perfect for city shooting. I even have room to pack a Rogue FlashBender Kit to help me shape the light. These modifiers work much better outdoors than umbrellas and soft boxes that are top heavy and can make your stand tip over.

I'll share some portraits after the workshop. It's going to be a blast using these tools in San Francisco.


Nimble Photographer Logo

The Manfrotto NanoPole Stand has a high Nimbleosity Rating. What does that mean? You can learn about Nimbleosity and more by visiting TheNimblePhotographer.com.

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Here's a clever idea that I read about on Engadget. It's a macro ring light that you can use topside or underwater that fits over the front of any of the Olympus TG cameras (TG-1, TG-2, and TG-3).

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The Olympus LG-1 LED Macro Ring Light channels the camera's LED illuminator into a round, even light source perfect for close-ups and macro photography. So you don't have extra batteries to worry about or concern underwater about using a supplemental light source for close-up shots.

There are a number of sample pictures with this accessory over at the Engadget article. So you might want to take a look. I'm hoping that it arrives before my trip to Maui in July. If so, I'll report back on my experience with it.


Nimble Photographer Logo

The Olympus LG-1 ring light has a high Nimbleosity Rating. What does that mean? You can learn about Nimbleosity and more by visiting TheNimblePhotographer.com.

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Much in the way that a new lens can invigorate your passion for taking pictures, presets and plugins can do the same for working in Aperture. If you haven't explored this brave new world, I have a treat for you.

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Presets are recipes that other photographers have created that use the existing tools in Aperture. Plugins are separate applications that work in concert with Aperture. I cover both in my latest article for lynda.com titled, Spicing Up Aperture with Plugins and Presets.

In terms of file management, presets are more friendly because you can try different looks for your pictures without adding megabytes to your library. Plugins, on the other hand, use largish Tiff files for the round trip from Aperture to the editing application. For that reason, I only use plugins for my favorite photos.

If you feel like your image editing life could use a pick-me-up, then read Spicing Up Aperture with Plugins and Presets and give a couple of these tools a try.

Personally, I love 'em. They've done a lot to keep me and Aperture together all these years.

Aperture Tips and Techniques

To learn more about Aperture, check out my Aperture 3.3 Essential Training (2012) 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.


The Digital Story on Facebook -- discussion, outstanding images from the TDS community, and inside information. Join our celebration of great photography!


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Who says compact cameras are dead? Sony just announced the Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III ($799) that features a pop-up electronic viewfinder and fast Zeiss Vario-Sonnar 24-70mm T* f/1.8-2.8 zoom lens. Add a 1" image sensor, and you have a lot of camera in a small 10 oz package.

Other specs include:

  • BIONZ X Image Processor
  • 3.0" 1229k-Dot Multi-Angle Xtra Fine LCD
  • Full HD Video in XAVC S, Clean HDMI Out
  • Built-In Wi-Fi Connectivity with NFC
  • ISO 12800 and 10 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Manual Control Ring & Built-In ND Filter

The zoom lens is faster than its predecessors, but it's also shorter, topping out at 70mm instead of 100mm. Also, the multi-interface port with hotshot is gone with this version, although it's hard to complain about that when you get in exchange a pop-up SVGA OLED electronic viewfinder with 1.44M dots.

To be honest, this looks like an amazing camera. At $800, it's certainly not an impulse purchase. But if the reviews back up the specs, this compact just might find itself at the top of the heap.


Nimble Photographer Logo

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

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Once you've enjoyed the speed of a solid state drive in your laptop, I doubt if you could ever return to spinning platters. So how do I manage my ginormous Aperture library with just 256 GBs on my laptop?

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It's easier than you think. Thanks to the ability to merge and separate libraries with Aperture, I create a fresh library when I hit the road, then simply merge it into my master library on the Drobo when I return. I spell out the entire scenario in my latest lynda.com article, The Unlimited Laptop and Aperture.

If I want to bring a portion of the master library on the road with me, let's say all of my 2013 photos, I can use this technique to extract those images from the master collection and put it on a portable hard drive. I usually don't make changes to those past photos while traveling, but if I did, I could simply merge those files back into the master library when I'm back at the studio.

It's a great system that is easy to use and practically fool-proof. Check out The Unlimited Laptop and Aperture and see what you think.

Aperture Tips and Techniques

To learn more about Aperture, check out my Aperture 3.3 Essential Training (2012) 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.


The Digital Story on Facebook -- discussion, outstanding images from the TDS community, and inside information. Join our celebration of great photography!


It's 2014 - WiFi is now Required

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Whenever I read a new camera announcement and see that WiFi is optional, instead of built-in, I move on. It happened this morning when scanning the specs for the Nikon S2 1-System mirrorless camera that requires an optional module for WiFi.

Next.

It's 2014, and WiFi is required - especially in compact and mirrorless cameras.

The problem is, once you've experienced good wireless connectivity with your mobile device, going back feels like washing your clothes in the stream. Great while camping, but not for everyday life.

I have excellent WiFi on my Canon S110, 70D, Olympus OM-D E-M1 and E-M10. Guess what cameras I carry with me when I walk out the door? I do make an exception for the Fujifilm X20 (with a Mobi card), but it's been around for a while. I'll bet dollars to doughnuts that the X30 has WiFi.

When I see a shot that I want to share with the world via Instagram, Facebook, or Flickr, I want to capture and publish in one swoop. WiFi allows that. I love having an intelligent remote control app on my iPhone that allows me to put my camera on a tripod an shoot without vibration. WiFi makes it easy.

We get to a point when certain features are expected: image stabilization, TTL flash, and now... WiFi.

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Join me on my Instagram site as I explore the world of mobile photography. And now Instagram features 15-second movies too.