Cameras, camcorders, and photography advice.
Photography and Video
Chris just got back from 11 days around the islands north of Norway, just inside the North Pole. The light is amazing. The landscape is incredible. A great place to explore and take pictures. The Aurora Boreallis is also a challenge to shoot because it can be a bit faint. You really have to set it up with a tripod, a wide lens, and a long exposure. Shoot ISO 1600. F2.8 or wider. Expose for 20 seconds. That's the starting point. Rich wants to know if you can shoot it with the smartphone. Chris says no. Not even the pro settings are good enough for shooting the northern lights.
With Hurricane Florence bearing on top of the Carolinas, it gives Rich pause to think about those precious home videos and still images that you have collected with over a lifetime of memories. Rich says you have two choices for preserving that material:
Chris says that while Kodachrome is probably gone for good, Kodak is bringing back EktaChrome, but it had to be re-engineered because Kodak can't use the same chemicals as before. But the new EktaChrome is being beta tested now and will be out on the market really soon.
Sal wants to move data over to an external drive, but when he does, it changes the created date to the date he transfers the data over. How can he avoid that? Leo says that Windows copy is notoriously bad on that. Use a different copy app like RoboCopy. But for photos, most cameras store the date an image was taken in its EXIF data.
Chris says that cameras have gotten really smart, essentially allowing you to just point and shoot, no matter what camera you have. You can even tell it to track a subject and keep it in focus. Amazing. But sometimes, it makes the wrong choice as a result. And the more advanced you get as a photographer, the more you want to take control of the image settings to experiment and make the image look the way you want.
App of the week - Slow Shutter Cam. It will allow you to create a longer exposure by merging several shorter exposures. Great in low light. Motion Blur. $1.99 iOS.
Chris wants to talk about macro lenses today. Designed to get really up close shots with very shallow depth of field, a Macro lens is a great way to get up close and personal. There are 50-100mm macro lenses, which are designed to get up close without being close. It's called the "flight distance." There's a macro lens on Kickstarter which is also a wide angle lens as well. It's called the Laowa 24mm F/14 probe lens, which lets you get super close without getting the camera in the way. But at $1400, it's a very specialized lens.
Chris has a SONY credit card and he has amassed a bunch of points to use to get a camera. Is the Sony A7 good? Leo loves his Sony A7R II. Great camera. But if you're just a hobbyist who loves to take snapshots, the Sony RX100 is a great point and shoot camera, but it isn't cheap at $1200. And if you have a ton of points, then the RX100 Mk. V is last year's model and it's still a great camera. It really comes down to just how much you want. Since Chris already has an Alpha camera, using the Sony A6000 would probably be a good choice as well.
George is running out of room on his iPhone. How can he make space without deleting his photos and videos? Leo says the first thing to do is turn on iCloud to backup your photo storage. Also, use the replace photos with thumbnails option so that the originals aren't left on your phone. You may need to buy extra iCloud space though. So the other option is Google Photos. Download that app and backup your photos and videos to Google Photos. You get 15GB of uncompressed space, or unlimited high resolution space. All for free.