All articles by Peter Walkowiak
Review: Sequence a Mac Time Lapse Compiler
A few months ago I found myself looking for an easy way to compile all the images I took into a timelapse. I browsed the web and found ways to compile using an older version of Quicktime which I no longer had. I knew I wanted an app that would “deflicker” my footage so into the Mac App Store I went hunting around until I found Sequence. The app stood out as the premium app to transform images into a timelapse.
I’ve been an avid iPhoneographer for some time now and am always on the lookout for new camera accessories. I own plenty of lenses so when I first saw Trygger on Kickstarter and have been wanting to try it. The Trygger for those of you who don’t know is essentially a polarizing filter that slips around your iPhone’s camera. The filter should give more vibrant colors while reducing reflections.
Being a gadget freak and accessory hound I tend to collect a lot of small items for my iPhone. I’m here today to share with you all my favorite accessories for my phone from lenses to get more of the scene to batteries to get you further. I hope to save some of you from making the mistakes that I have spending money on useless items like I have.
I just stumbled on another great Kickstarter find and this time it’s Snapzoom. This product is seeking community funding to build a bridge between your smart phone and binoculars. I really didn’t expect much out of the project until I saw some example footage of some video shot through everyday Nikon binoculars. Snapzoom works with all major smartphones with or without a case. All you have to do is slide your smartphone into it and then attach it to either a dual or single eyepiece scopes. These include binoculars, spotting scopes, telescopes and microscopes.
Alongside their G6 camera Panasonic has announced a revised version of their premium kit zoom lens. The new lens is said to be smaller and lighter than its predecessor. It’s also faster due to a brand new linear stepper motors that take advantage the speedy mirrorless cameras it will be paired with. The new model now offers an aperture range of f4-5.8 with three aspheric and two ED elements. According to the press release Panasonic claims that this lens should be quiet and smoother when autofocusing while recording video.
The newly announced G6 will sit between the GH3 and above the GF3. This camera features a 16mp CMOS sensor capable of lowlight shooting up to a native ISO 12,800 which is expandable to 25,600. The display and viewfinder have both received an upgrade to 1.44 million dots inside the EVF and 1.04 million 3″ touch screen on the back.
Isn’t she a beauty? This is the new Panasonic Lumix LF1 compact camera. The race has been going for the best premium compact camera and everyone is throwing their hat in. This little camera features a 1/1.7″ 12mp CMOS sensor with high sensitivity capable of taking images up to 12,800 ISO. The LF1 is able to capture 10fps and also features a fast f2.0 lens at the wide side of its 7.1x optical zoom lens. The lens is a Leica DC Vario-Summicron lens with the 35mm equivalent of 28-200mm.
After reading the specs of this camera all I could think was “what else could they possibly add?” At a price that sits comfortably below the incredibly popular RX100 the new HX50V seems to do it all. The camera may not have the sensor of the RX100 but it does have GPS and Wi-Fi. Again it doesn’t have the large f1.8 aperture of it’s bigger brother but it does have an extremely impressive 30x optical zoom. Trade offs like these may not even be a deal breaker for some but at the price of $449 it’s still a lot to ask for a point and shoot camera.
If you are in the market for a solid carbon fiber tripod with a slick pistol grip ball head this may be the one for you. My Vanguard has become my go to support system for my various cameras and will see many beautiful places by my side.
For videographers looking to hold a specific shutter speed for their videos find themselves using ND filters. These are either used in some sort of a matte box or simply owning various sizes for different lenses. HolyManta ND is looking to do what Sony couldn’t do with the FS100 and add ND filters into your camera. The product is essentially mounts in between the lens and camera body like a traditional lens adapter would and has the ability to switch through various strength ND filters and polarizers. The lens mounts that will be available once production begins will be both E-mount and Micro Four Thirds. This is a big deal because these two mounts cover many professional video cameras including the brand new Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera.
Whether we are charging a cell phone or one of those fancy Sony cameras that charge over USB this will do the trick. When you need energy and you’re nowhere near civilization the Crankerator’s hand crank will allow you to keep going. No longer will camping in the wild hold you back from posting your “artsy” images with filters. Plug in your USB device of choice and show off your forearm strength to all your friends by cranking away at the handle. The battery inside the Crankerator holds 2000 mAH and will just about charge most phones. It can be found on Photojojo’s site for $60.
I’m a big fan of accessories, in fact I like to refer to my residence as the Radio Shack of camera related gadgets. Some of my favorite items are the ones from Peak Design. The company has come out with the Capture Clip, Leash and Cuff, both of which I have reviewed.
Famous and now deceased photojournalist Tim Hetherton will have a documentary shown about him on HBO soon.
Peak Design returned to Kickstarter with their latest project and guess what? They did it again with the same crowd funding that started it all. They set out to raise a measly $10,000 and walked away with $215,000 worth of pre-orders for their new campaign.
The newly funded project is the Leash and Cuff and customers, myself included, have had it for a couple months now. Both the Leash and the Cuff were made to work with their existing Capture Plate or on their own. The strap duo makes using straps with your camera a breeze. I’ve worn it, depended on it and put it through its paces. These are my thoughts on the company’s second endeavor.
Hey everyone look! It’s a decent looking GF series camera from Panasonic! I’m not sure what happened to their styling after the cult GF1 but they seemed to have brought it back with the GX1 and here again with the GF6. Now its not all about looks and this little guy has added some drool worthy features on the inside as well. Lets start with the new capacitive touch screen which will give you a lot better control over the previous pressure sensitive display. This new display offers 1040k dot display that also rotates 180 degrees for selfies. The camera also comes with built in Wi-Fi as well as NFC which works is there to make connecting to the camera easier. If you have a NFC compatible smart phone all you have to do is tap your device on the camera and they will be linked.
Nikon may not have Vitally or Magic Lantern behind them but they do have support from some diligent hackers. Today these brave souls have unlocked the first door to Nikons encrypted guts. Inside was the ability to record video without a limit of the usual 29 minutes. This patch is available for the D3100, D5100 and the D7000. Depending on the quality that you choose you are still limited to the archaic limitations of FAT32 of a 4GB maximum file size. A beta tester released these times on the dedicated forum page for the patch:
Products are starting to fly left and right out of NAB and here are a few from Switronix. The first product is the one featured above is the Recon Micro and its is a brand new SDI wireless monitoring / receiving system. The Recon Micro will allow you to stream uncompressed footage securely over an encrypted network. This stream can be transmitted to five receivers so your clients / director can be in the loop while out of your way. The Recon Micro will be available in May.
Technicolor announced their Color Assist software some time ago and at NAB they have a surprise for the happy FCPX fans out there. Starting today the Color Assist software will support a a roundtrip option for applying any of the color edits capable with the software. Apple put their application Color out to the pasture sometime ago and it’s left a void that’s lacked attention.
Around these parts I’m known as the Kickstarter addict or at least it’s step one to admit it. Today we have a special review for you of a successful product that came from the crowdfunding forest of toys. CineSkates is that product and is a part of the Cinetics system. The goal and purpose of CineSkates in case you’re not familiar is to give you smooth video pans in any direction.
Today is a day thats been a long time coming now, back in September Fuji released a statement saying that they are planning to cease film production and today was that day. Let it be known that on the second of April 2013 Fuji has announced that they are bringing all of their motion picture films to a halt. Fuji will continue to sell motion picture film as long as they have stock to sell but I’m sure it won’t be around for long.
One of these days I will get one of these done, I almost stopped at Photobooth in San Francisco to get my mug on a tintype. For those of us without a hipster wet plate photo booth there’s always Digital Tintypes. The company announced on the first of the month that they will be taking orders for people to send in their images to get processed early 1900s style. Now this isn’t some cheap Instagram filtered image slapped on some metal, they are actually practicing the original practice so your image will be as authentic as possible.
So for those of you who own a Sony NEX-5R or 6 there are a couple of new apps available for download. The first app is Motion Shot and it is used to capture a series of images superimposed together to show a sequence. The app will allow you to adjust the space between the images, choose the first and last of the sequence, fade in / out, picture effects, layering direction and the amount of layering images. Motion shop appears to only save in medium and small sizes while large is not supported along with object tracking. More information can be found on the apps website and will be available for $5.
Just in case you had no idea the company who makes those fantastic Plugins also makes Nikons Capture NX software. That company is Nik and they were bought out by google not too long ago. Just the other day Google showed off their new branding and pricing for their newly acquired company but didn’t let out a peep about Capture NX. Nikon has been working with Nik for some time now and even know their names are close they’ve have only been partners in software and nothing else. Someone reached out to Nikon Rumors after the announcement and it seems that development isn’t going to continue on a future version of Capture NX.
According to a recent press release it appears that FujiFilm will be raising prices on their current film lineup by 20%. The price hikes will be applied to current professional film including black and white, color negative, color reversal films and one time use cameras. The reason behind it is the same “continuing decline in demand for film products”, it also appears that material costs for film are also on the rise.
I’ve been doing some form of art for quite some time now. As far back as I can remember drawing used to be my creative outlet. Even though I had been doing it for a long time it has always been awful. It was something I would do alone and be ashamed of. To this day I don’t think anyone has ever seen my old “art” and that makes me ecstatic.
Today we have another Kickstarter to share with you and it’s the Rhino Battery Holster. The holster can easily attach to your hip or bag with its integrated clip. There’s also an option to attach a carabiner through it’s center 1/4″ socket so you can attach it anywhere. As of right now it can hold two LP-E6 Canon batteries but will support others if their stretch goals are met.
Today SLR Magic has released an updated version of their previous digiscoping lens. The improvements are said to be better contrast and sharpness because of its new MFT adapter. The lens when put in 35mm equivalent terms comes out to 840-2520mm. What I really want to see is how well the OMD’s 5 axis stabilization handles that!
Google has released version 4.3 of their Google+ social app with fancy new filters. The filters are very Snapseed like and have similar names. Filters can be tapped to shuffle the look between a few different styles. Along with the filters you can now rotate and crop images before they are posted to share with friends.
Canon Singapore has announced a new “Try and Buy” program that will have local rental shops shaking in their boots. The program at the moment is only available (or will be soon) in Singapore but if the program is successful it may come stateside. When it becomes available it will allow you to “borrow” any two lenses for up to two days at a time for a set price. There are some incentives that are also attached which include the ability to buy the lens at anytime with a discounted extended warranty. Another is if you have attended a Canon Imaging paid course / workshop will enjoy 50% off their rental.
Everyone can let out a big sigh now because Nik is still alive and kicking, that is of course under the Google brand. Along with the new name the Nik Collection is now an all in one bundle instead of individual products. If you currently own the latest version of Nik’s plugins there is no need to upgrade to this version, it is identical to their previous release.
Some days we want to dress incognito to hide our gear and others we just want to flaunt it. For those days I would express myself with some Dodge & Burn swag, that is if I didn’t spend every cent I have on gear already. For those of us who have been eyeing their t-shirts for awhile but have had trouble making the leap will be happy to hear about their current sale. Dodge & Burn is going to be offering a 15% discount on your order till the 22nd of the month.
In extreme situations the plastic mount on the GoPro Hero 3 just may not be sturdy enough. For a camera to be used professionally it has to adapt to specific rigs and have the ports to do so. Wide Open Camera has taken to Kickstarter to build 100 of the very first Combat Cages to raise the initial cash to fund the product. It should be mentioned that the final product will be anodized flat black instead of silver seen above.
It’s done wonders for Amazon so LenRentals is now offering a free shipping service like Prime. The service has been dubbed LensRentals HD and costs $79 per year. The service if you sign up will give you free shipping and half off overnight shipping for an entire year. One of the major requests from their clients has been cheaper shipping and this is the best option available.
Please folks, do not be deceived by the large image above. The Minox DCC 14.0 is actually a very tiny tiny miniaturized version of a classic camera. The Minox has the ability to fit into your hand and start conversations, I would say take great pictures but that’s yet to be seen. The images that it will take will be at 14mp with it’s CMOS sensor, the camera also has 5 tiny elements in the lens with a 4x zoom. The lens also features a f2.4 aperture with a focal equivalent of 41mm. The display on the back is 2″ and like my old Nikon D50 is only good for telling if your image is in B/W or color.
At first glance it appears to be like every other stabilizer but this guy has a trick up it’s sleeve. The stabilizer has been dubbed the Supraflux and it has a feature that they call “The Brake”. If you have ever used a stabilizer then you would know when the camera turns it seems to have a mind of it’s own. This practice takes time to master and by master I mean learn to go with the flow. Essentially the brake feature allows you to pull a lever that allows you to freeze the cameras direction. The brake locks only the vertical axis but does so electronically. How does this work? I actually have no idea but in use all you have to do is pull a lever on the grip, that’s it.
You see I can make jokes about pirating their software because not only do I dislike (hate) Adobe but I’ve never used their software for any of my work. Rant aside Adobe just launched a new video along with a blog post announcing some lesser known facts about CS6. Here are some of the neat facts that are in the video:
I’ve personally only used an old Wacom tablet for my crap drawings but here they are announcing something beautiful. This product is named the Cintiq 13HD and it packs some serious specs alongside its price. The screen is a 13.3″ beauty which can display 16.7 million colors at a resolution of 1920×1080. The pretty display wouldn’t go too far if it weren’t for the included Pro Pen which offers 2048 pressure levels and includes 9 nibs. Along with the the pen can also detect tilt, has switches all while remaining battery free.
I would call timelapses a trend or fad but these tend to go away after some time. People have been pushing the envelope for quite some time now putting together amazing short films. Some of which has created big stars like Tom Lowe and his forum. Getting started with a timelapse is a daunting task that can include just a still camera or many moving parts.
Just now Google decided to sunset their Reader service and decided to add a bit of Snapseed to the mix. You’ll have to excuse me because at the moment I’m seeing red because Google Reader is a part of my life.
There have been many sloppy launches in the past few years and this is another. After having the manual hosted online for a couple weeks Samsung decided it was finally time to make an official unveiling of their new NX1100 camera. This Samsung similar to the previous model will offer a 20mp APS-C sensor, 3″ 921k dot display, high speed capture and built in Wi-Fi. The camera also likes its predecessor can record 1080P but this one does it with full manual control as well as a mic input for better audio.
Adventure cams are all the rage and companies are battling it out for dominance. Smartphones aren’t known for their ruggedness but companies like the Optrix have been working hard to change that. Personally I wouldn’t place my phone in water regardless of what the manufacturer says but Optrix states that the case is rated at 15ft where the competition Lifeproof is only rated for 3ft. Also if you are one who is prone to dropping or attaching the phone to someone doing extreme sports it’s good to know the case can take a 15ft fall. The display and ports are still accessible while the case is on so you’ll have less hassle when using it. What truly makes this case special to me is the built in wide angle lens which makes all the difference when recording sports.
The RhinoCam by Fotodiox was announced today and is so popular that it was brought their server to the ground. This in my opinion is the biggest announcement since Metabones launched their speed booster. I’ve read numerous comments about this product and people are just assuming that it’s just like a gigapan. This is completely false, it is also not the same as taking several photos and stitching them together yourself. When I first read the announcement I thought it was a bit odd that it had to use a 645 format lens. The reasoning for the lens is the exact same for how it’s different than the Gigapan. Instead of moving around the entire lens and body only the Sony NEX body moves. Doing so doesn’t change perspective and keeps distortion the same for each photo. Since the APS-C sensor is so much smaller than the 645 lens a few images are required to capture the entire surface area of the glass.
I love DIY but sadly am too lazy to do it most of the time. Kelly Angood is a photographer out of the UK and some time ago she built a 35mm camera. This camera was featured on many tech blogs which was then followed by countless emails asking for instructions on how to build their own. This popularity spurred her to create a kit.
All of the brand new Nikon gear is now available for order over at Adorama. Here are some direct links to the new lens and cameras:
On the top of the camera you can see it’s standard hot shoe (none of that Nikon 1 nonsense) which can host either an existing GPS unit or Speedlight. Don’t bother trying to add a microphone to the Coolpix A because it is missing a mic or headphone port. If you wanted Wi-Fi built in its not all bad news, although it is lacking internally it can be added by using the WU-1a. On the top the mode dial hosts both manual and automatic functions including two user customizable ones. To power on the camera all you have to do is pull back the lever on the center dial. Doing this extends the lens and makes it ready to take a photo within seconds. On the left hand side of the camera you can see where the built in flash emerges.
You may not have head of Satechi before but they have been making accessories for some time now. Today they have announced a wireless trigger for your Canon camera using bluetooth 4.0 LE. It should be noted that this version of Bluetooth is not compatible with non 4.0 devices. The accessory is a combination of a hotshoe mounted receiver combined with an app on your smartphone. This receiver has the battery life of roughly 2-10 years based on use and can be activated from up to 50 feet away.
Matthew Duclos wants to rework existing Rokinon lens to give them more character and instead of a clean look. Believe it or not a lot of DSLR video shooters prefer old lenses for certain projects. They choose these old dogs because the glass has flaws which give the video a unique out of the box look and character.
60 day free trial? Only $100 for the full version? From one of the best camera manufactures on the planet? Yes, it’s all true and I am digging Phase One’s approach to the entry level editing crowd. A company who has been ahead of the game when it comes to digital medium format imaging is now looking to gain some new young talent to their Capture One Express software line. There is quite a gap between their $100 dollar software system to their $20,000 plus camera systems but I’m sure that roadmap is being worked on (sarcasm).
There are (crazy) expensive waterproof cases and there are cheap bags, in between them is Outex. These either have poor usability or simply make you poor. These previous types of underwater security for your camera has been focused on photography not video. Outex has taken the opportunity to create a new underwater casing that gives a good view of the cameras LCD. The “Big O” is the name that they have given the large clear window on the back of the camera to allow for easier framing while recording.
We have seen them coming for awhile now but they are finally here, the new Sony NEX-3N and Alpha A58. Both of these cameras are the new frontmen for Sony’s 2013 entry level camera lineup. The Sony 3N replaces the F3 and the A58 replaces both the A57 and the A37. To be an entry camera that usually means that a feature or two may have to be sacrificed and Sony has done it a bit here.