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Actually, I'm surprised it's taken this long. Based on the success of the Canon S series (the latest model is the PowerShot S120), it was only a matter of time before Nikon produced a worthy competitor. With the announcement of the Nikon COOLPIX P340, that day has come.

Headline features include:

  • 12.2 MP 1/1.7" CMOS sensor
  • 5x NIKKOR zoom lens (24-120mm)
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • 3.0" LCD rear screen (921,000 pixels)
  • Continuous shooting up to 10fps
  • Full manual exposure control
  • Full HD 1080p videos with stereo sound
  • Bundled Nikon ViewNX 2 Software
  • 4.1 x 2.3 x 1.3" and weighs 6.4 ounces
  • Price $377 US

The price comes in $20 less than the Canon S120. Many of the specs are similar. How the WiFi is implemented is important. I think Canon's Camera Window app for iOS is quite good. And of course, image quality is a big factor too! Will keep you posted here.

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The Nikon Coolpix P340 has a high Nimbleosity Rating. What does that mean? You can learn about Nimbleosity and more by visiting

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I'm Tempted by the Padcaster Mini

Now that I'm using the iPad mini exclusively, I need a way to mount it for various projects. This Kickstarter project, for the Padcaster Mini is very tempting.

For $99 I could get the aluminum frame lined with 1/4-20 and 3/8-16 threaded holes for attaching lights, mics and other camera gear. The insert is removable. So not only could I use this device for recording with the iPad, but also as a general studio accessory.

Included with every Padcaster Mini are two cold shoe adapters for your favorite lights or mics, a lens bracket with both 72mm and 58mm threads for your choice of wide angle or telephoto adapters, four hand-tightening screws to attach the lens bracket and even a custom camera mount screw to use the Padcaster Mini frame as a standalone DSLR cage!

If you're tempted by this too, the Kickstarter project is underway now.

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This product has a high Nimbleosity Rating. What does that mean? You can learn about Nimbleosity and more by visiting

Enthusiast photographer Jim Gilliland had an opportunity to photograph Keith Urban in concert. Off to the event he went with a single battery for his Olympus OM-D E-M5. I'll let Jim tell the story from here.

jim-gilliland-om-d.jpg Olympus OM-D E-M5 with the 45 mm f/1.8 lens. "I was shooting at ISO 800 at F4.5 and 1/160 sec. with no EV." Photo by Jim Gilliland.

We went to the Keith Urban concert last night here in Nashville. For the first time, I took my OM-D with me.

Our seats were not real close to the stage but had a great view. I had packed the camera with the 45mm 1.8 lens. I shot most of the concert at ISO 800 and was able to keep the shutter set between 1/100 and 1/160 and f/stop between 1.8 and 4.5.

I was amazed at the quality of some of the photos and fired off a lot of frames, in fact too many. At the 1 hour and 45 minute mark, the battery was dead and I had not brought a spare.

The real bad news was... about the time the battery died, one of Keith's managers came up and asked us if we would move back 2 rows so they could quickly set up a small stage. Yes, here I was with a dead battery, and Keith Urban shows up right in front of us. All I had was my iPhone.

You'll never again catch me without a spare battery.

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The Olympus OM-D has a high Nimbleosity Rating. What does that mean? You can learn about Nimbleosity and more by visiting

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There are few places these days where you can immerse in comprehensive reporting for enthusiast photography. One of those places, and my current favorite, is c't Digital Photography Magazine. And I know what I'm talking about here, because after months of discussion and exploration, I've accepted an Associate Editor position with the publication. Let me tell you why.

c't's home base is Heise Zeitschriften Verlag GmbH & Co. KG in Hannover, Germany. If you live in the US, that's probably why you haven't heard of them before. But over the last 14 quarterly issues (that run approximately 140 pages each), they have been exploring the details of exceptional photography, whether it's the latest micro four thirds lenses, state-of-the-art WiFi cameras, or an artist who's able to capture the world with an unique perspective.


On average, I spend a week with each issue. It resides on the coffee table in my living room where I can pick it up, flip the pages until I discover something new, then learn more about it than I imagined possible.

Last night I immersed myself in an 18-page presentation titled, "The Art of Color Photography." Topics included, color and emotion, accents, using filters, abstract photography, ordering chaos, color portraits, and more. The night before that, I read their "WiFi System Camera Test."

Nested inside each issue is a DVD. Each disc covers three basic areas: tools, sample images, and videos. The platforms supported for the tools are Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux. The video I have running right now is a 13-minute piece with pro Steven Van Veen on using ring lights for portrait photography. There's also plenty of software to experiment with for each platform. Plus, lots of sample images for lens tests and cameras.


How to Get Onboard

2014 is going to be a great year for c't Digital Photography, and here's how you can get onboard. If you're on Facebook, go over and Like c't's Facebook page. We're running about 3 posts a day there, and you definitely want that content in your news feed. For Twitter users, the c't page is here.

And as part of my coming out party for the North American editions of the magazine, we're offering a 20 percent discount for a yearly subscription. The subscription includes four issues of the magazine, the DVDs, and the digital version (that I'll talk about in another post). All of that content, over 500 pages with minimal advertising, for $39.96 a year. The discount is valid until Feb. 21, 2014.

I hope you'll become a part of the c't Digital Photography experience. If you're ready to improve your photography expertise, now is the time.

This week on The Digital Story photography podcast: How High is Too High?; From the Screening Room: Nigel French: Designing a Photo Book; and on the Nimbleosity Report: olloclip auxiliary lenses for your iPhone - All of this and more on today's show with Derrick Story.

Story #1 - When it comes to ISO settings these days, how high is too high? That's a judgement call, for sure. But I also think it's worth revisiting. Sometimes we stick to the things we learned a few years back without reexamining them on a regular basis. ISO settings is one of those topics worth a second look. And that's what I'm going to do in today's top story.

Story #2 - From the Screening Room - Nigel French: Designing a Photo Book. This week's featured artist is book designing expert, Nigel French. In this title on, Nigel goes beyond step by step teaching and actually explains to you the fundamentals of good book design.

You can watch Nigel in action by visiting the TDS Screening Room at While you're there, you can start your 7 day free trial to watch other photography titles, plus every other topic in the library.

iPhone 5S image captured with the olloclip fisheye lens attachment.

Story #3 - The Nimbleosity Report - There's nimble, then there's iPhone-only nimble. The olloclip line of auxiliary lenses allow you to travel ultralight with just your iPhone, yet have the advantage of an interchangeable lens camera. I talk more about these lenses in the 3rd segment of today's show.

Virtual Camera Club News

Photo Assignment for February 2014 is Smartphone.

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 That helps support the site.

Listen to the Podcast

In addition to subscribing in iTunes, you can also download the podcast file here (35 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 - Learn lighting, portraiture, Photoshop skills, and more from expert-taught videos at

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.

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How to Survive on Only 256 GBs a Year

The choice between speed and storage is a tough one for photographers. When I bought my stock MacBook Pro with Retina Display in mid-2012, I wanted speed. So I've had to learn to live with 256 GBs of built-in storage for my daily work.

backing-up-libraries.jpg Copying libraries from my MacBook Pro to the Drobo 5D.

How do I do it?

I rely on Aperture's excellent Project/Library management structure. I only store my current projects on the MacBook Pro at any given time. That initial phase is when I'm image editing, which is when I need the best performance.

Once the project has reached a mature state, I move it off the laptop and integrate it into the master library on the Drobo 5D. If I need to work on those images at a later time, I simply connect the Thunderbolt cable from the Drobo, and open the library enabling me to touch-up a photo then export it for publishing.

I keep a separate portable hard drive in my laptop bag. It contains a library of images from the last year, just in case I need to grab something while on the go.

Using this system, I have survived with my internal 256 GB Flash drive for almost 2 years. I couldn't have done it without Aperture's versatile library management system and a Thunderbolt external drive.

The good news is that I should be able to afford a bigger internal drive with my next MacBook Pro. But I'll continue to use the same system... just with a bit more breathing room.

Aperture Tips and Techniques

To learn more about how to manage your projects and libraries in Aperture, check out my Aperture 3.3 Essential Training (2012) on 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!

"High ISO" - TDS Photo Assignment 93

For the Dec. 2013 Photo Assignment, TDS shooters jacked up their ISO setting and explored fading light. See for yourself in our gallery, High ISO. And which one will be the SizzlPix Photo Assignment Pick of the Month?


Fred S. Brundick writes, "I took this at the gallery event. I had my 50mm f/1.8 wide open and set the ISO to 3200 so I wouldn't need a flash." See all of the great images from this month's assignment by visiting the High ISO gallery page.

Participate in This Month's Assignment

The Feb. 2014 assignment is "Smartphone." Details can be found on the Member Participation page. Deadline is Feb 28, 2014. No limit on image size submitted.

Please follow the instructions carefully for labeling the subject line of the email for your submission. It's easy to lose these in the pile of mail if not labeled correctly. For example, the subject line for this month's assignment should be: "Photo Assignment: Feb. 2014." Also, if you can, please don't strip out the metadata. And feel free to add any IPTC data you wish (These fields in particular: Caption, Credit, Copyright, Byline), I use that for the caption info.

Gallery posting is one month behind the deadline. So I'm posting Dec. 2013 at the end of January, the Jan. gallery will be posted at the end of Feb., and on and on.

Good luck with your Feb. assignment, and congratulations to all of the fine contributors for Dec.

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iPad for Digital Photographers

If you love mobile photography like I do, then you'll enjoy iPad for Digital Photographers-- now available in print, Kindle, and iBooks versions.

High magnification reveals new worlds hiding in everyday objects. I've been photographing old RAM chips with the olloclip Macro 3-IN-1 Photo Lens and the olloclip Quick-Flip Case + Pro-Photo Adapter.

Using the InstaFocus Hood that's included with the kit, both lighting and focusing are easy. Just attach the hood to the lens and set it on the object you want to photograph. Tap on the iPhone screen, and the image snaps into clarity.

I recommend using the olloclip app available in the iTunes App Store to capture the image. Not only is it designed to work with the lenses, it also features a Mesh Editor Tool that makes distortion correction easy before saving the picture to your Camera Roll.

Macro Set Up with iPhone 5S The iPhone 5S with olloclip lens and case and Joby Gorillapod for additional support. Photos by Derrick Story.

You can learn more about the olloclip Macro at their site. It's available for $69.99 directly from olloclip or from Amazon.

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The olloclip has a high Nimbleosity Rating. What does that mean? You can learn about Nimbleosity and more by visiting

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My Favorite Mac of All Time

The iMac DV Special Edition was my first race car. When I bought this Macintosh in 1999, I felt like I had the sexist machine on the planet.

iMac DV Special Edition

Not only was it beautiful to look at, and still is, it packed a 400MHz processor, a full megabyte of L2 cache, and a Rage 128 graphics chip. I used this machine to design my first web sites and make the transition to the online world.

iMac DV 1999

The iMac DV still runs to this day. The internal hard drive died years ago. So now I boot it from a 6 GB FireWire external drive. As you see in the above photo, the iMac is logged on to my studio network and browsing the Web via Safari. It's running Mac OS X 10.4.

What's Your Favorite Mac of All Time?

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

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 wasn't the only good news from Olympus today. They also announced a handful of tantalizing accessories.


Starting with the M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ Lens in black or silver for $349. This pancake zoom lens measures just .9 inches thick. It has a smooth electric zoom that is suitable for shooting movies, and can also be zoomed in and out remotely using compatible smartphones through the updated Olympus Image Share app.

I'm also pleased that Olympus has improved the accessory grip for the E-M10 with the announcement of the ECG-1 for $59.95. They've designed a quick release lever that makes for simple removal of the accessory providing easy access to the battery.


The 9mm f/8.0 Fisheye Body Cap Lens for $99 adds a functional twist to the standard camera body cap. The super wide angle coverage (140 degree field of view) is perfect for adding a little creativity to your photography.

And finally, there's the new MCON-P02 Macro Converter ($64.95) that shortens the focusing distance for six lenses, including the 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ, 14-42 f/3.5-5.6 II R, 45mm f/1.8, 25mm f/1.8, 17mm f/1.8, and the 12mm f/2.0 lens.

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These accessories has a high Nimbleosity Rating. What does that mean? You can learn about Nimbleosity and more by visiting

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