30 2016 Jun

Selecting Digital Cameras for Action Video.

Olympus Tough TG4A digital camera for action video gives me the freedom to record and share an exciting day of events from my view, friends and family sports action from a gathering, or simply portraits of distant family members who are visiting to archive for future reference. It gives me a choice to shoot great video, when only a video will do my subjects justice, or high quality stills of those subjects when I choose.

A digital camera for action video allows me to carry one camera to perform the function of two. So there is only one camera bag to carry, an extra battery pak and, maybe, a lens or two. I get to travel light and still have all the capabilities I need to capture all the action and stills that I want.

I choose a good quality action camera from a reliable manufacturer that is waterproof, shock proof, light to carry, and has controls configured so it’s easy to set up quickly for shots in various environments. Better yet, it lets me reconfigure those controls as I choose. Of course, it also has some automatic functions, like face detection, that save me a lot of time.

Until next time, Happy Shuttering!

29 2016 Jun

A Digipower Rechargeable Battery Gives Me an Extra to Use with My Camera

digipower batteryWhen I go on a trip, I like to make sure that I have all of the battery power that I’ll need for my camera because I will generally be taking pictures constantly. When I take a lot of power, my camera is not able to last long on just one battery. I try to make sure that I always have a backup battery, but these rechargeable batteries are really expensive.

To make sure that I am able to power my camera for the length of any trip that I go on, I have to have a few batteries at least. I have found that I can save money while still getting quality batteries when I buy batteries that are not from the same manufacturer as my camera. I can buy cheaper DigiPower batteries that are perfect to use with my camera.

I like these batteries since they power up my camera the same way the other batteries do. They are also great because I can recharge them in the same charging station that I would use for the battery that came with my camera. It is great to be able to use the camera for longer when I have these excellent batteries with me.

28 2016 Jun

Selecting a Great Digital Camera.

elph160blA point-n-shoot camera is a digital camera that I can carry around with me all day, every day. There’s no fussing around with camera bags or extra gear. I can just slip my camera into my pocket, even a separate battery pak if I think I might need it, and just pull it out and shoot when I need it.

My camera takes great pictures, with a 20MP 1/2.3″ CCD image sensor and DIGIC 4+ image processor. Its 8x optical zoom lens provides a 28-224mm equivalent focal length range, which covers wide-angle to telephoto perspectives for shooting in a variety of environments. Smart AUTO intelligently selects the proper camera settings based on the camera’s detected scene types and if I forget what a control does a Help Button is available to remind me what the controls and settings of my camera do. I’m always ready to shoot thanks to the Focus Rechargeable Replacement Lithium Ion Battery that’s sitting at home charging away, while I’m carrying my camera with the other battery installed.

As you can see, I have a lot of reasons to love my little point-n-shoot. I carry it often.

Until next time, Happy Shuttering!


27 2016 Jun

Choosing the Best Camera Tripod.

Manfrotto PIXI MiniThere are times when I don’t want to lug around my camera bag, with all its cameras, lenses, and other accessories. On those occasions I still have my cell phone for photos, but I notice that my hands aren’t as steady as they used to be, so I carry a mini camera tripod along, as well.

The Manfrotto PIXI Mini Tripod comes equipped with a universal smartphone clamp that holds my smartphone securely, for higher quality photos. It is light, at less than half a pound, so it doesn’t weigh me down while traveling and supports virtually any smartphone. It also has 2-1/4 inch female threaded sockets located at the base and on the back of the Clamp that allow multiple positioning.

Thanks to its universal 1/4″ screw thread and its excellent stability, PIXI can also be used with a compact digital camera or an entry level DSLR. The max load of the PIXI is 2.2 pounds. It is made of sturdy aluminum, with a maximum height of 8.3 inches, folded length of 10.2 inches, making it easy to carry with me.

I find this to be the ultimate solution for those days that I don’t want to carry my more professional equipment with me, while still allowing me to capture and share those high quality photos that friends and family expect. And, since it’s manufactured by a quality tripod manufacturer, I know it is engineered to perform well for me year after year.

Until next time, Happy Shuttering!

24 2016 Jun

How to select a lens filter for your DSLR?

IR Filtered ImageInteresting and unusual effects can be created using an Infrared (IR) Filter. So this is another lens filter for your DSLR that you may want to try. And this is an effect that cannot be mimicked in Photoshop.

Infrared light is invisible to the naked eye, but your camera sees it. An IR filter blocks out all light except for that within the infrared spectrum. Since the human eye can’t see this spectrum, using an IR filter creates a surreal, dramatic image.

Colors appear much different when reflecting infrared light. Green foliage, for example, will appear white. Along with the differences in color, skies will appear more dramatic, and skin smoother. A pair of sunglasses shot with an IR filter look more like a normal pair of glasses. IR photography also tends to have much more contrast and a look that isn’t found in any other type of photography.

IR filters typically come in the circular, screw-in type. One drawback when using an IR filter is that most of the light is blocked, so IR photos taken with an IR filter need to have much longer exposure times. Digital camera sensors are designed to block out IR light, so when using an IR filter you need to focus the camera before attaching the filter, then use a tripod and a long exposure with the filter. IR photography can also be done with an IR modified camera, but this method is much more expensive.

Until next time, Happy Shuttering!

23 2016 Jun

Selecting Digital Cameras for Action Video.

Canon Rebel T5Today I’m going to focus on composition when using your digital camera for action video. Remember the old days, when you got your first movie camera? (Ok, some of you may not have experienced this.) Maybe it was a Bell and Howell or Kodak. A booklet came along with the camera that told you how to use your camera to take good films. In the booklet, I’ll bet that the first thing it said was to “move the camera slowly”. So you put film in the camera and gave it a try. You thought you were moving the camera slowly, but when you viewed your movie later on screen you were disappointed. Your subjects jumped around on the screen, revealing to you that “moving the camera slowly” meant a lot more slowly than you imagined.

I expect we’ve all had this experience, and it’s just as important in the digital world as it was in the 8mm film world. When using your digital camera to shoot action video, you need to pan slowly and zoom in and out slowly to avoid a jumpy, flitty video clip that is really hard for your audience to watch. It is also a good idea to use a tripod or monopod to remove any camera jitter from your clips. Pan slowly and zoom slowly, whenever possible. Your audience will appreciate your videos even more.

Until next time, Happy Shuttering!

22 2016 Jun

A Sony Lens Filter Adapter Makes it Possible to Use the Filters I Want

sony lens filter adapterSince I love to take pictures with my camera, I do what I can to make sure that I am able to take the best kinds of pictures in all of the different conditions that I face when taking pictures. I quite often have a bit of difficulty getting shots just right at first, but with the right lens or filter I am able to quickly make it so that the shot is more of what I am looking for.

To make sure that I can get the filters that I have to work with both of the cameras that I own, I have to use some kind of an adapter to make sure that they will fit properly. I generally will work with my Sony lens filter adapter when I am using the smaller camera, as the adapter makes it easy for me to use the larger filters on it all of the time.

I am glad that I have such a useful object since it has saved me so much money that otherwise would be spent on buying new types of filters that would fit the smaller camera. I am able to capture great shots with the filters that I love for either camera. It is great to be able to have this versatility while using my filters on a regular basis.

21 2016 Jun

Selecting a Great Digital Camera.

coleman waterproof camera 6-07-16Are the controls on your digital camera programmable? Is it easy to change your camera’s configurations by feel while shooting? These are a couple of questions I ask myself when making my final decision of one camera over another.

I find that I have to adjust my camera’s configuration to get the most out of it for different types of events. For example, when attending a wedding I am more interested in taking high quality shots of portraits and short video clips of people socializing at a more leisurely pace. If I am attending a sporting event, such as racing, motocross, or soccer, I’m shooting high-speed video clips and constantly zooming in and out, adjusting focus to get all the action. Different environments will require me to reconfigure my camera’s controls to some extent. From there, I may still want to make minor changes to the controls on-the-fly for convenience.

The best digital cameras will provide at least some programmable buttons and sometimes multiple ways to reprogram them. I like to try to get the controls so that I can make changes on the fly, by feel if possible, so that I don’t lose any action while fidgeting with my camera’s controls.

Until next time, Happy Shuttering!

17 2016 Jun

How to select a lens filter for your DSLR?

Another lens filter that I have been experimenting with is made from two pieces. They are called Multivision Filters and come in two types; linear and circular.

Cloning an object in Photoshop (and making it look right) is a laborious process. Multivision filters create the same effect almost instantly.

Multivision filters are circular, screw-in filters. similar to a polarising filter, they are made from two pieces. When the front element is rotated the multivision effect will be adjusted. This usually multiplies the subject between 2-6 times. Linear multivision filters create these duplicates in a straight line, whereas circular multivision filters make the duplications appear in a circle.

Can you mimic this effect in Photoshop? Yes, but multivision filters do it without cutting and pasting. Photoshop gives you more control, where a filter allows for more simplicity. Plus, it’s fun to tell people you shot the multivision photo without the use of Photoshop.

Until next time, Happy Shuttering!

16 2016 Jun

Selecting Digital Cameras for Action Video.

So, under what conditions would a camcorder be a better choice than a digital camera for action video? Personal preference aside, there are several primal reasons that will make a camcorder a better choice than a digital camera, when shooting action video. I have discussed these in length in past blog articles, but I want to review the main reasons here.

First, we all know that audio is typically a weak link with digital cameras. It is possible to obtain better quality audio with more expensive digital cameras, but the audio qualities preferred by the professional videographer simply aren’t there, especially within an enthusiast’s budget.

Video clip limits are another issue with digital cameras. Since you are limited by the storage space on the digital camera’s available storage media, you don’t typically have the capability to record an entire wedding ceremony, for example.

Quality raw video is still limited by frame rate in digital cameras. While manufacturers of digital cameras have found various methods to recreate (or manufacture) quality video from the slower raw frame rate, it still falls way short of the raw video power of a professional camcorder.

For most of us, these drawbacks to digital cameras are quite acceptable and manageable. For the true videographer or those seeking to become one, a professional level camcorder is a better choice.

Until next time, Happy Shuttering!