Cameras, camcorders, and photography advice.
Photography and Video
Vinesh has noticed that nobody calls about camcorders anymore. Leo says that the show evolves as technology evolves. It used to be primarily about Windows issues. Then it transitioned to internet issues. Then just about any hardware imaginable including cameras, mobile phones and the like. So it evolves constantly because technology is constantly evolving. Now that camcorders are becoming less useful due to how good the cameras have gotten in mobile phones, we don't get those calls much.
This week Google announced a ton of new products, including a new Google Home and a donut sized version of Google Home (called the Mini) that Leo says may be better than Amazon Echo. Though Leo says that Amazon has a huge lead, in the long run, Google may have the advantage. Meanwhile, Amazon did get a shot in the arm this week with the announcement that Sonos will partner with Amazon to bring connectivity of Sonos to the Amazon Echo. But that may be short-lived since Sonos plans to work with Google and Apple as well.
Today's topic is the cinematic look of split focus. The Hateful Eight was shot on old 70mm Panavision film cameras with anamorphic lenses and it shows something really close and really far in the same shot, with both in focus. That's not easy to pull off. You need something called a Split Diopter on your lens. It splits the lens in half and shows both in focus. Citizen Kane and The Andromeda Strain used it as well. Strain has over 200 scenes filmed with it.
Chris says that the iPhone X will give you technically better images because the camera has been improved. The Portrait Lightning is also a great new feature. Auto HDR has improved, with a wider color range. It also has a slow sync flash, which gives the background more light to make it look better. 4K/60 in video mode or 240 fps at 1080p. It has a lot of options. But just remember, even with all of these new photo features, it won't make a good photo composition for you. You still have to decide what looks best.
Chris wants to talk about the technology of a digital camera. Every DSLR camera has a bump on it and that houses the penta-prism or penta-mirror. The electronic viewfinder is also in there. Why does an electronic camera still have a mirror? Well, mirrorless cameras don't have the mirror array, but they do have a viewfinder. A DSLR needs one to bounce the image in order for you to see the image, and the prism makes sure it shows up right side up. When it's mirrorless, then the camera doesn't need to reflect any image, it just broadcasts it to an electronic viewfinder.
Linda is going on an Alaskan cruise and is looking to get a good phone that has a great camera. She also wants to get binoculars, though. Leo says binoculars will probably be on the ship. She should take that money and put it towards a good camera. The problem with a camera phone is that the zoom is digital and it still won't be that good for her sole means of capturing memories. A nice point and shoot with 10x optical zoom would be a better choice. The Panasonic Lumix LX10 is a good choice.
Chris has a granddaughter that wants to take professional pictures, but Chris doesn't want to spend much more than $500. For $600, Leo recommends the Sony Alpha a6000Mirrorless Digital Camera with 16-50mm Power Zoom Lens, which is an affordable body that leaves room for more lenses if the photography hobby gets serious. Leo also recommends the Nikon D3400 DSLR Camera 2 Lens Bundle, which comes with a broad range of lenses and a memory card.
Mark wants to get a DSLR that will use the lenses from his dad's old OM1 film camera. Leo says the the Olympus OMD is a great choice for a new body, and Mark will need an adapter to fit the lenses in most DLSR cameras.
The topic for today's Photo segment is why lenses are round and not rectangular like the images. Chris says that a lens is essentially a projector, and all projectors cast a circular image. What makes the image square is the sensor, though the original Kodak actually printed round images. It's also better to have round lenses because round motion can convert to linear motion more easily.
Gabby is trying to digitize video tapes with her computer, but it won't play on the laptop with her capture software. What Leo suspects is the the device isn't seeing her VCR. She may also need to look in the VCR's menu settings to see if it has the right output settings. The TV she has connected is probably causing a handshake issue, so it's advised to disconnect it from the equation.