Nikon updates: D7200, Cutting the Wires, And Going Long

After last months announcement about the D810A intended for the Astrophotogrpahy market, the latest news is looking at a more general market. With an update to the D7100, a super zoom point and shoot, and wireless mics, Nikon is listening closely to their audience.

First up is an update to the best selling D7100, surprisingly: D7200.
In the current trend of removing the low pass filter allowing for sharper images, the new DX 24.2 CMOS Sensor, gives you all that. Remember that you are more susceptible to moire with that filter gone.
The D7200 brings you a better shooting experience with an 18 shot RAW buffer, 100 shot jpeg fine buffer,and 6 FPS.
The ISO range is interesting: 100-25,600, which is cool, and 2 higher ISO speeds 51,200-102,600 in BLACK & WHITE only!
Yep, they realized that at the extreme ranges, the grain is truly significant but with B&W, it’s mainly considered grain and acceptable.
Timelapse up to 9999 images, with exposure smoothing.
For videographers, you can now record uncompressed full HD in 1080/30p in this camera. You want that to give you a full size file to work with.That will give you the best opportunity to craft your specific look in a program of your choice (like Magic Bullet, perhaps). Think of it like getting a raw image file, and adding your creativity in the final. And, if you like, you can see your in-camera decisions in Live View, now. Or decide in post.
Built in Wi-Fi and NFC, it uses Dual SD ( time to get the fast cards, now!) And when available, it will sell for about @1200., body only.
Sure, there is a built in stereo mic, but I’d only use it to record a guide track.
Using built in mics is a rookie move on any DSLR, as you will be driven crazy in edit, trying to work around the sound of your hands adjusting the camera, and very likely, the sound of your breathing. Get yourself Plural Eyes, if you record with an external mic.And on that subject….
So now, Nikon is also introducing a wireless mic, ME-W1, so you can mic up your subject, and record up to 164ft away. Takes AA batts, easy to find anywhere, and uses bluetooth. About $250.

Next up is a new super zoom.
The P900 has a 24-2000mm optical zoom! a 16mm camera that may be the first compact that you would want to put on a tripod.
Seriously, when I first saw Nikon’s entries into this categories, I was blown away. Sitting in a booth at CES, they pointed the camera upward and shot one of the ceiling light in the Las Vegas Convention center.
You could read the writing on the light bulb, and this new version looks like it follows suit and then some.
16 megapixel CMOS with 7 frames a sec for getting all of the kids sports events.Go for the burst to guarantee capturing the moment.
The optical VR claims to have a 5 stop increase in shutter speed. when you have that long of a lens through and you have a small camera, you will get camera shake at some point. This camera seems to take every precaution to prevent that.
Sure it’s 2.9-6.8 f/stop, but that is sweet considering the focal length at the longest throw.
There is a birdwatching and MOON mode ( someone at Nikon design loves the stars!)
Variangle LCD screen and built in Wi-Fi, this P900 will run you about $600 when it’s released.
Seems like a perfect camera for the family that wants to get close enough to all the action and don’t want to bother with the hassle and expense of interchangeable lenses.

Think I need to get one of these in my hands and try it out. Nikon? What do you think?

Leggo My Miggo! Camera Strap Gives Great Gear Protection

The mirrorless mindset has come home to me as a 2 part phenomenon:
A. Less weight in the bag
B. Using more primes
It’s true. When I shoot an event, the Nikon Full Frame DSLR’s still come out and the trinity of lenses (14-24, 24-70,70-200) are at the ready. They travel protected in a ThinkTank bag, and are built like tanks.
On the street, I was looking for a smaller, high quality rig, that I could carry easily in any bag.
Leica is out of my range, and the Fuji X-T1 system is just right (full review coming soon) Still not an inexpensive alternative, but built well. And I want to keep the gear in mint condition.
I am prone to use a messenger bag for easier access to the camera on the street. The Thinktank CityWalker is my bag of choice, and i remove the insert to reduce bulk.
When I fly, though, more gear ends up in the carry on bags, both roller and “personal bag”. Needed protection.
Miggo has had a neoprene camera wrap, designed as a camera strap as well. I’ve liked it as a camera protector, and the wrap design protects your DSLR from bumps and scrapes, although you are either putting primes or smaller zooms on the body. Admittedly, I use it only for transport and protection, not as a camera strap.
They also have a wrist strap version for mirrorless, called the Grip & Wrap, and it fits my Fuji X-T1, even with a 56mm 1.2, perfectly.
This is how it works:

You can secure your camera with a the 1/4-20 tripod connector, and it is a safe, non marring, rubberized piece.
The wrist strap on this model actually fits great and is surprisingly comfortable while shooting. You can unwrap, shoot, rewrap quickly, and toss back into your bag. It is still a bit more material than I want on my hand while shooting on the street, but in other slower situations should work well. The tripod disk allow the whole unit to be put onto a monopod or tripod with ease.
OR… you can forget about the tripod connection and just have a great wrap for your camera.

That is my main use; Well made, fitted, protection. Here is my Fuji X-T1 with 56mm lens, wrapped up safe in the Miggo.


And opened up. The lens shade was not extended, but was reversed on the lens, ready to go.
Using your regular daybag or backpack, wrap up the camera and toss it in the bag,

When you have a combo of about $2000. investing in a camera lens combo, $40 is a small price to protect that investment. Order one (or two) right here.

This is not an empty shell

( This article was first posted in 2008. Updated, it still feels the same.)


Not like “This is not a pipe” (Ceci n’est pas une pipe) the famous painting by Rene Magritte, below


Nothing like that. Well, maybe a little borrowed concept for the sake of this post.

Instead it’s a bit of memory that has a photo of an object as it’s touch point.

When I was a kid, we used to have thanksgiving dinner at our apartment. The cousins always joined us, the good flatware came out, and that’s just what you did.
Mom cooked the turkey in a paper bag to keep it at a certain moisture level, and the pies were a sweet pecan.
But the appetizer was the most unique item.
A seafood mixture with a creamy binder, the origins of which I can’t remember, and bread crumbs.

All mixed together and served in shells. Like the one shown above.
Continue Reading »

Keegan Allen: Life. Love. Beauty – A Mature Collection From A Young Man

Keegan_01Pretty Little Liars fans will recognize the name Keegan Allen, as character Toby Cavanaugh.
But this isn’t Entertainment Tonight.
This post is about his new book.
I’ll admit that when I was first contacted about the book, my Hollywood spidey sense was tingling, as I imagined it could be a vanity press book, about a bored actor on set.
In the first pages my mind was changed. This was a passionate photographer, exploring life around him, and documenting it in a current style of images and journaling. Not someone who used a Leica as an accessory.

keegan old © Keegan Allen

From his early images of his mother and father, added to the explanation of getting his first use of a real camera, you get the sense of a thoughtful, open, person. The passion leaks off of the pages and I was hooked after the first section.

As many personal photographers chronicle life around them, when Hollywood is your street scene, it has a color all of it’s own.The grit is gliztier and reflects all the dreams that have faded or blossomed, but he chose first to photograph and feature the nearby natural beauties, sprinkling in the Venice Beach scene, as the journey advances.
Very aware of himself, as many actors are, there is a generous sprinkling of self portraits, all through the book.
But here’s the thing: I really don’t get a sense of arrogance with the self portraits, as much of a self reflective exploration. the difference? They appear more curious, as the accompanying text gives you a scenario or his state of mind. You wonder if he is building a compilation of his appearance as he ages. A little “Boyhood” perhaps. KEEGAN ALLEN© Keegan Allen

As every photographer does, you photograph those around you. And in his case there are many attractive women; friends and lovers.They are shot as honest, friendly, portraits. If there is a revelation, it is that the subjects are very comfortable with the person behind the camera.
As a successful, working actor there is an abundance of set photos and portraits. You can feel that he strives to make these images more than just a record of the time.

73© Keegan Allen

Was it Jack Nicholson who said “I don’t get paid to act, I get paid to wait”. Keegan Allen takes his down time on set, and buys himself time to indulge in his passion.

Overall this book is a good read, and because of the blend of images and text, it glides you through the 320 pages, easily. The writing style is easy going, and tells the story of his life till now with an accessibility, you may find more likely in social media.
It all feels fresh and emotional. Not sappy, but honest.

One particular thing I appreciate is the lack of many images going across 2 pages. He seems to know what that costs you in a narrative. Even with that restriction, the images live well within the page size. About 7×9. The trend is towards smaller photo books these days, other than the Steidl reprint of The Decisive Moment. Less shelf space, and I’m glad to have a hard copy of this.

Admittedly, the poetry, which is liberally sprinkled throughout, is not my cup of tea. Not much poetry resonates with me, other than Baudelaire.

Well worth your $20. You can pick up the book, here.

Octa : Tablet Mounting System – Packs Small, Plays Big

Since the incorporation of the iPad and others into your workflow, the biggest issue has been the best mounting system to use. It could be a tethered screen, or camranger, or shooting notes or lighting sketches you need to have in front of you
Whether you need to access the tablet on a light stand, table, or another grippable surface, the choices were few.
There is the Manfrotto clamp, magic arm (about $145.) and coupled with the Wallee iPad case (about $40.), gives you a solid and immovable mounting kit. But if you want to change the direction or move angle of the arm, it takes a strong arm to unlock the rig. Expensive full kit, and tablet specific. Has to be a naked tablet (no case).
Another choice is the iKlip who, with their experience in the music world, created a sweet ball joint, clamp system, that has an adjustable spring loaded tablet holder. Meant as a tool for musicians to us the iPad for lyrics, or recording, it’s perfect for the shooters needs. Right price, needed to stay close to the stand. Will fit a tablet with case. About $40.

Then came Octa, and the TabletTail: Lynx

Not a one-off product, but a system with a menu of attachments to suit your needs.

The design is based on a lot of ratcheting, to get the sizing you need.
To start with is the tablet holder. Spring loaded, it pops open with a button, and adjusts easily to whatever size tablet or E-Reader you use. It will hold an iphone 6, but not tight. Perhaps the iPhone 6 plus will work better but it’s designed for tablets.

The Bridge is a flexible, yet stiff connector, about 5″ long including rotating caps on each end. The clamp is also an adjustable ratcheting system, that will grip to most surfaces, and release with a button tab. There is a locking system to ensure that the clamp and holder aren’t going anywhere, yet can rotate. The 3 parts combine to give a huge amount of versatility.

It is able to rotate, change angles, and stay secure. The Bridge is a little shorter than I wanted, but there is a slew of options you can get, once you are in the system. It’s a little longer than the iKlip.
The screen stayed where I put it by just by moving the tablet, without having to unlock anything.
One of the other great things about this system was that it packs small, and plays big.
What do I mean by that? The parts can be unlocked, folded down and fit in a gear bag easily.
Brilliant design actually.

There is a small note about the ratcheting clamp: Octa reminds you not to over tighten, as this is made of high impact plastic, not metal. The rubber grips ensure no marring of a surface, but I was mindful of the warning.

The Lynx sells for about $99., and can be purchased direct from Octa or Amazon, with this link


Upcoming Events

  • Photoshopworld
  • August 10-13, 2015
  • Mandalay Bay Hotel
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • N1-800-201-7323

Is there an event we should know about?
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Current Exhibitions

  • Annenberg Space For Photography
  • “Sink or Swim: Designing for a Sea Change”
  • Through May 3rd, 2015
  • 2000 Avenue of the Stars, #10
  • Century City, CA. 90067
  • Tel: 213.403.3000
  • Clampart
  • Jill Greenberg – Paintings
  • Feb 19th – March 28th, 2015
  • 531 W 25th St
  • New York,NY 10001
  • Tel: 212-414-0370
  • Getty Center
  • Josef Koudelka
  • Through March 22nd, 2015
  • 1200 Getty Center Drive
  • Los Angeles, CA. 90049
  • Tel: 310-440-7300
  • Yossi Milo Gallery
  • Alison Rossiter – Paper Wait
  • Feb 26th -April 4th 2015
  • 245 Tenth Avenue
  • New York,NY 10001
  • Tel: 212-414-0370
  • Howard Greenberg Gallery
  • Ken Schles:Invisible City/NightWalk
  • Through March 14th, 2015
  • 41 East 57th Street, Suite 1406
  • New York,NY 10022
  • Tel: 212-334-0100
  • Staley-Wise Gallery
  • Deborah Turbeville
  • Jan 23th – March 21st, 2015
  • 560 Broadway
  • New York,NY
  • 10012
  • Phone: 1-212-966-6223
  • Museum of Modern Art
  • Modern Photographs from the Thomas Walther Collection, 1909–1949
  • Dec. 13th, 2014 – April 19th, 2015
  • 11 West 53rd Street
  • NYC,NY
  • 10019-5497
  • (212) 708-9400
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Thomas Struth: Photographs
  • Through February 16, 2015
  • 1000 Fifth Avenue (at 82nd Street)
  • New York, NY 10028
  • Phone: 212-535-7710

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