Cameras, camcorders, and photography advice.
Photography and Video
Chris says that the last Sunday in April is World Pinhole Day, which is the simplest way to take a picture. You just need a light tight box with a pinhole in it. Something light sensitive. No Lens. It's called Camera Obscura and today is the day we celebrate it. People make pinhole cameras from anything, including beer cans. The hole gives you a special property ... everything is equally sharp and unsharp at the same time. That gives it a bit of a dreamy look. Everything is also in focus. Solography is photography that uses a pinhole camera to take a picture of the sun.
This week's photographic super power is how to shoot people's portraits. When it comes to having their picture taken, people can be very self conscious and it requires building of trust to get them to relax and look natural. How to do that?
Tom has a neighbor who uses a security camera for his apartment, but they don't have internet access to monitor it. How can he create a local recording option to an SD card? Leo says that's going to be a challenge, having to collect SD cards every day. A closed circuit TV option may be a better choice, but setting up a local Wi-Fi network and recording to a computer will also work. He'll just have the cameras join an adhoc network and record to an old PC. Or he can buy several SD card based security cameras and stick them everywhere.
Mike wants to get a Chromebook. Can he use it to digitize video? Leo says no. It's just a browser and keeps everything in the cloud. As such, it can't do specialized applications like video conversion, because it doesn't have the hardware and software to do it. Chromebooks don't have a lot of storage, either. So what he'll want is a regular PC like a Windows or Mac. He'll also need a Firewire converter. The best laptop makers are Dell, Lenovo, HP, Asus, and Acer. Those are the top five.
Ronette would like to upgrade her Nikon D3300 and Panasonic Lumix G3 digital cameras. What would be the next level? Leo says that the next step would be to go with a bigger sensor, like full frame. That will give her more dynamic range and the ability to take in more light. Leo says that mirrorless cameras like the Sony A7 could work. They are remarkable, but many photographers prefer the 'through the lens' mirror design. The quality of the images would be the same, so it really comes down to preference.
James would like to use his Yi Action Camera to do live streaming like the GoPro does via Periscope. Leo says that he doesn't know any apps that can do that for the Yi. Android may have something. It's definitely something worth trying to make happen.
Chris says that with Spring, people are more likely to break out their cameras just to take pictures. The light is better, and the weather is warmer. As such, here are three exercises to get back in the groove:
Chris always gets a question about whether you need filters or not, and if you do, what filters do you need? Chris says that there are some you need, and some you don't. The two you need include the polarizing filter and a neutral density filter. The Polarizing filter gives you better color, but takes away some light. It's good in bright, direct sunlight, making it great for the beach. It works much like those polarizing sunglasses. What about a circular polarizer? Chris says that these have two layers, one with lines and one with a circular array.
Dorothy wants to be able to make copies of all her family photos to share with her family. Leo says that she can scan them and put them on Google Photos for everyone to grab. She won't even have to label them, since it has facial recognition so she can search by faces. She can train it as well. It can also scan by location and by date.