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 Wednesday, April 4, 2018
By Sean Setters
 
While on vacation in Pigeon Forge, TN, my wife and I decided to tackle some easy-to-moderate trail hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Being spring break for many primary school students, the park was more crowded than usual. With that in mind, we decided to avoid all the paved trails which are typically popular for family hikes. While we had a few trails in mind, a stop at the Sugarlands Visotors' Center and a talk with one of the rangers proved vital to determining which trails we would ultimately traverse as the ranger provided previously unknown information like temporary road temporary road closures, likely crowd sizes and the types of things we might see on each trail. In the end, we settled on the Porters Creek Trail / Fern Branch Falls at Greenbrier and Cucumber Gap Loop at Elkmont.
 
Photography was not a primary goal for these hikes; spending quality time with my wife who thoroughly enjoys hiking was. However, going on the hikes without a camera seemed unimaginable to me, so I decided to pack a small kit with the intent of pausing our hike periodically so that she could meditate to the tranquil sounds of the wind in the forest and the gently flowing creek. At least, that's how I sold the idea to her as she watched me pack my small camera backpack.
 
I knew that our hikes would follow a couple of creeks and their smaller tributaries. I wanted to use long exposures to capture silky movement in the water, which meant that an ND filter was necessary. I decided to bring my Singh-Ray Vari-N-Duo filter because its variable neutral density filter and circular polarizer combination seemed well suited for photographing flowing water. Note that I didn't say "perfectly suited" as I own the standard version of the filter which is very thick (it extends .69" / 17.54mm from the end of the lens) and causes significant mechanical vignetting at focal lengths wider than roughly 50mm on the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM (mounted on a full frame EOS 5D Mark III) that I took with me. In short, the tradeoff for getting an ND + polarizing effect was the loss wide angles of view.
 
Using exposures long enough to capture ample motion blur in the water necessitated a stabilized camera, and that meant I needed to bring a tripod or alternate method of stabilization. My primary tripod and head weigh in at nearly 6.5 lb (2.9 kg) and when compacted, are still 27.75" (70.49 cm) long. The size and weight of the tripod made it an inconvenient and cumbersome choice for the hikes, especially considering the small camera backpack I planned to take on the trips.
 
In place of the primary tripod I opted to take my Feisol TT-15 Carbon Fiber Tabletop Tripod. Even with a small travel-style ball head attached, the tripod and head weigh less than 1 lb (0.45 kg) and are only 8.38" (21.29 cm) long when folded down. The combo's small size and minimal weight made carrying the tripod a breeze yet it allowed me to capture the long exposures I was hoping to get. That said, there was one significant drawback to the diminutive tripod, which is that the framing and composition options available at any given time depended on the surfaces (and especially the height of those surfaces) available at any specific location. There were several locations that I thought looked interesting but couldn't find a suitable platform high enough to get the composition I wanted. But in most cases along the Smoky Mountain Trails we traversed, a large rock bordering (or in) the water or a fallen tree trunk provided a sufficiently high enough platform for pleasing compositions.
 
Porters Creek Trail, Great Smokey Mountains National Park #2

In the end, I was extremely happy I had the Feisol TT-15 Tabletop Tripod in my kit. Consider picking one up if you plan on hiking moderate-to-long distances and want to reduce the weight you bear with every step.
Post Date: 4/4/2018 10:52:22 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
Johnnie Behiri of cinema5D was given exclusive access to SIGMA's Aizu cinema zoom and Art-series lens manufacturing facility in Bandai, Fukushima, Japan. During his visit, he got to sit down with Kazuto Yamaki-san, SIGMA's CEO, to discuss the company's manufacturing processes and the legacy of Yamaki-san's father, Michihiro Yamaki, the founder of SIGMA.
 
B&H carries SIGMA lenses. Be sure to check out our SIGMA Lens Reviews for more details on the various Art, Sport and Contemporary-series lenses.
Post Date: 4/4/2018 6:54:58 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Through midnight tonight Eastern Time, B&H has the Domke F-803 RuggedWear Messenger Bag (Military Green/Brown Trim) available for $59.99 with free shipping. Compare at $109.99.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • Holds DSLR or Mirrorless, Lens, Flash
  • Padded Interior Compartment with Divider
  • Water-Resistant RuggedWear Canvas
  • Two Large Expandable Cargo Pockets
  • Leather Gripper Shoulder Strap
  • Reinforced Top Handle
See today's full list of B&H Deal Zone Deals for excellent savings opportunities.
 Tuesday, April 3, 2018

 
Adobe has updated Camera RAW by incorporating the Camera Profiles (now simply called "Profiles") section (previously found on the Calibration tab) with the basic tab where Exposure, Contrast, Highlights & Shadows adjustments are made.
 
Surprising is that Adobe has changed the default profile for RAW files to something new – Adobe Color – which features warmer reds, yellows and oranges and increased contrast compared to the previous default, Adobe Standard.
 
Note: If you have created custom camera profiles with an X-Rite Color Checker Passport, you can find them under the "Profiles" section after clicking "Browse Profiles." However,if you choose the "Legacy" section, you'll see previews of Black & White versions of your custom profiles (for some reason). [Sean]
 
B&H carries Adobe Photography Plan subscriptions.
 Monday, April 2, 2018
From LensRentals:
 
It's up to you!
 
Take $25 off an order of $100 or 15% off your total order of any amount. Valid on order arriving 4/2 - 4/13.
 
Use GIVEME25 or GIVEME15 at check out. Limit one per customer.
Post Date: 4/2/2018 12:53:06 PM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
From the Adobe Photoshop YouTube Channel:
 
Learn how to create a custom brush in Photoshop during this week's episode.
 
B&H carries Adobe Photography Plan subscriptions.
Post Date: 4/2/2018 5:59:37 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Through midnight tonight Eastern Time, B&H has the Pacsafe Carrysafe 50 GII Anti-Theft DSLR Camera Wrist Strap (Hawaiian) available for $12.95 with free shipping. Regularly $34.95.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • Holds a DSLR or MSC Camera with Lens
  • Hard-to-Cut, Anti-Theft Dyneema
  • Strap Lug & Tripod Socket Connectors
  • Comfortable 1.4" Width
  • 10.1" Wrist Strap Circumference
  • Nylon for Strength & Durability
  • Padded Neoprene for Comfort
  • Included Camsafe Mounting Plate
See today's full list of B&H Deal Zone Deals for excellent savings opportunities.
 Friday, March 30, 2018
From Nikon USA:
 
World Leader in Motion Control Debuts New Tools for Broadcasters and Sports Clubs
 
MELVILLE, NY – Experts in camera robotics, MRMC, a Nikon company, announced today a variety of automated image capture solutions that will debut at the NAB 2018 tradeshow. These new offerings provide more angles and creative control of image and video capture at sports venues, providing cost effective and reliable solutions.
 
Nowhere else is the cutting edge of capture technology on display more than solutions for live sports. Broadcasters and sports clubs need high-speed precision, flawless control and unquestionable reliability. MRMC has therefore created solutions that can deliver on the increasing demands for alternate multi-view perspectives and analysis systems.
 
“MRMC has a strong history of making bespoke solutions for major broadcasters and many other types of productions,” said Assaff Rawner, Managing Director at MRMC. “Together with Nikon, we have the resources to introduce new innovative technologies to the wider sports and traditional broadcasting market, effectively giving creative people the creative control.”
 
For broadcast in-stadium, MRMC’s new Polycam Chat solution simplifies and augments the small-scale studio environment with AI, while minimizing footprint and production costs. The system uses face detection in combination with limb recognition for unrivaled accuracy and stability. The Polycam Chat automates the camera operation for up to four presenters and guests in one studio and can easily track a talking head with maximum stability within the frame. The simple interface makes it easy for operators to use, while the flexible platform means it can be used with a number of different broadcast camera solutions including Nikon DSLR cameras.
 
Clubs, leagues and venues know that an automated, high-mounted and wide-angle video analysis solution gives the advantage at game time. The Polycam Player is a robotic video capture system that offers an unbeatable level of automation, flexibility and low-light image quality. Using ChyronHego’s TRACAB player tracking solution, Polycam Player physically moves the camera and adjusts the zoom and focus to automatically keep the team or the player in the frame. Unlike other systems which pan and scan footage from very wide-angle camera arrays, the Polycam Player mimics the natural movement of a camera operator from locations which would be impossible to physically put a human. This technology gives clubs the ability to analyze opponents, monitor players and strategize with unprecedented information, all while providing broadcasters with additional low-cost camera angles to enhance content. Four camera positions are available at launch; two high end zone cameras (high behinds), a high center-line camera (tactical) and a player tracking camera. The individual player-tracking solution also offers live composition control. This technology feature lets the operator tightly frame the player, yet dynamically adjust the framing while continuing to automatically follow the player, resulting in higher quality editorial style output.
 
To give broadcasters complete control of their content, MRMC is releasing new software updates to MHC (Multi Head Controller). The Multiviewer Skin is a new feature in MHC, and will be available to clubs and broadcasters who want the ability to remotely control up to 12 multiple cameras straight from a single multiviewer touch interface. Additionally, MRMC will be offering the first ever remotely controlled full-live color adjustment for the Nikon D5 DSLR camera. The new Color Control Panel will give MHC users true customization on-the-fly. For the first time, integration of a DSLR into a mixed broadcast camera production is easy with a wide range of remote functions and adjustments including color, white balance and other image setting parameters. Also announced, Live Skin is a new full-screen touch control solution which allows a remote operator to physically move the robot into position using the interface. Live Skin is designed to be user-friendly, letting operators physically engage with the live image stream while maintaining their focus on the subject.
 
For more information on these and other MRMC automated capture solutions, please visit: https://www.mrmoco.com/NAB2018.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 3/30/2018 7:44:07 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Thursday, March 29, 2018
From GoPro:
 
Proven Design at a Powerful Price $199 HERO Joins $299 HERO5 and $399 HERO6, Making GoPro Life-Capture Accessible to All
 
SAN MATEO, Calif., March 29, 2018 – GoPro, Inc. (NASDAQ: GPRO) has added a new HERO camera to the family. On sale now, HERO is a $199, go-anywhere, capture-anything camera that makes it easy to share experiences that would be difficult to capture with a phone. GoPro launches entry-level HERO at the powerful $199.99 price.
 
HERO features a 2-inch touch display, is waterproof to 30 feet and is extremely durable, making it the perfect GoPro for kids, adventurous social sharers and travelers.
 
"HERO is a great first GoPro for people looking to share experiences beyond what a phone can capture," says Meghan Laffey, GoPro's VP of Product. "HERO makes it easy to share 'wow' moments at a price that's perfect for first-time users."
 
Sharing cool experiences with HERO is simple. It offloads your photos and videos to the GoPro app which creates fun, shareable videos for you, automatically. No more fumbling with your SD card or plugging your camera into a computer. HERO makes it simple.
 
GoPro HERO Back

Those looking for the ultimate GoPro-experience can subscribe to GoPro's PLUS subscription service. Cloud backup, damaged camera replacement, 20-percent off accessory discounts and more are included with a PLUS subscription for just $4.99 a month, cancellable anytime.
 
HERO is available today at retailers around the world. Key features include:
 
  • Award-Winning Image Quality: HD Video (1440p60 and 1080p60) and 10MP photo performance
  • 2-Inch Touch Display: Using HERO is as easy as using your phone thanks to its touch display
  • Voice Control: Tell HERO to start and stop recording, take a photo, turn off and more
  • Waterproof + Extremely Durable: Waterproof up to 30' (10M) and designed go everywhere your smartphone can't
  • Video Stabilization: HERO features video stabilization that helps smooth out the shakes
  • Smartphone Compatible: HERO offloads your photos and videos to the GoPro app which creates fun, shareable videos for you, automatically
  • Body and Gear Mountable: compatible with 30+ GoPro mounting accessories
B&H has the GoPro Hero in stock with free expedited shipping.
Category: GoPro News
Post Date: 3/29/2018 11:29:27 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
B&H has the Godox AD600B Witstro TTL All-In-One Outdoor Flash available for $674.10 with free shipping. Regularly $749.10.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • 600Ws Monolight, Li-Ion Battery Powered
  • Up to 500 Full-Power Flashes per Charge
  • Compatible w/ Most Major TTL Systems
  • Built-In 2.4 GHz Wireless X System
  • 1/256 to 1/1 Power Control
  • 0.01-2.5 Sec Recycling Time
  • Flash Durations: Short as 1/10,000 Sec
  • 1/8000 Sec High-Speed Sync
  • Optional AD-H1200 Head Gives 1200Ws
Post Date: 3/29/2018 7:01:11 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
B&H has ProGrade Digital CFast 2.0 and SDXC UHS-II Memory Cards in stock.
 
Unfamiliar with the ProGrade Digital? The company was formed by formar Lexar executives with a focus on memory cards with superior quality, performance and reliability.
Post Date: 3/29/2018 6:46:30 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
B&H has the newly announced Apple 9.7" iPads available for preorder.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • 9.7" Multi-Touch Retina Display
  • 2048 x 1536 Screen Resolution (264 ppi)
  • Apple A10 Fusion SoC & M10 Coprocessor
Category: Preorders
Post Date: 3/29/2018 6:37:41 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Amazon is featuring Eneloop Rechargeable Batteries as a Gold Box Deal of the Day.
 
Eneloop rechargeable batteries have been a favorite of photographers for years because of their superior re-charge performance and reliability. Don't miss this opportunity to stock up on batteries for all your flashes and electronic gadgets.
Post Date: 3/29/2018 6:25:32 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
B&H has the Alto Professional 6-Outlet Surge Protector with USB 3.1 Gen 1 Hub & Charging Port available for $29.95 with free shipping. Regularly $79.95.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • 6 x Surge-Protected AC Power Sockets
  • 4 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A for Data/Charge
  • 1 x USB Type-A for 5V/2.1A Charging
  • 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-B to PC
  • Connect up to 11 Devices
  • Backward Compatible with USB 2.0
  • 15A Maximum Output Current
  • 6000A Maximum Surge Current
  • 120 VAC, 60 Hz Operating Voltage
  • 6', 14 AWG Line Cord
 Wednesday, March 28, 2018
Through midnight tonight Eastern Time, B&H has the SmallHD FOCUS 5" On-Camera Monitor available for $399.00 with free shipping. Regularly $499.00.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • 5" 1280 x 720 Touchscreen Display
  • Micro-HDMI Input
  • 800 cd/m² 10-Bit IPS LCD Panel
  • SD Card for Presets and Loading LUTs
  • L-Series Battery Mount
  • 3.5mm Headphone Output
  • Camera Power Output
  • Swipe OS
  • Includes FOCUS Tilt Arm
See today's full list of B&H Deal Zone Deals for excellent savings opportunities.
Post Date: 3/28/2018 5:08:37 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
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