Camera Firmware updates – The Upgrade Variety

It’s about time.
How can you extend the life of your digital camera, and not get stuck in the “computer with lens” upgrade costs? Many companies offer firmware upgrades that will fix problems, and give very minor new features. (Do many of you even do the upgrade?)
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Fuji released a 27 point firmware upgrade to the Fuji XT-1, in December, that almost gave you a new camera.
They must have listened to the users, or in a rush to market they had left out some things they wanted in, and were ready to add.
Whatever the reason, The list of improvements was substantial, adding things like SILENT mode, ( not just very quiet, but a true silent shutter), a 1/32,000 top shutter speed, addition of a Classic Chrome color option to the already robust group, plus 24 more. Fast note on the color option: for those of you who shot with film, Fuji film was the last great standard and they have emulated those color palettes in the camera. Only in JPEG now, but no doubt they will upgrade that.
The has been a rumor about Nikon taking a similar tact on their more recent models-D750, D810, D800, D800E, D610 and D600.
What company may be next? Sony has done some good upgrades to low-light functions, but let’s look at Fuji as the standard bearer right now.
Continue Reading »

Dude! Where’s My Gear ?? Real World Reviews of Tracker Tags

You may to go to a shoot where you won’t have your camera bag with you at all times.
Trade shows, Weddings, Events. Or in my recent experience flying back from CES, having Jet Blue insist on checking your camera bag, although it was promised to be hand checked and meeting me at the gate on the other end.
Yes, still abit sore about the situation, but as every cloud has a silver lining, this was a perfect opportunity to test out 4 different tracking devices.
They are meant to let you know when you have left something behind like a bag, phone,keys or can’t find it in your house, like your wallet.
They are not meant to be the robust “Find My Phone” type operations.
Essentially, if you are 150 ft, from your property, the system either beeps or, in the case of a couple of these, will send you a notification on your phone.

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I tried the Trackr, The Tile, XY, and Duet. All about the size of a quarter, battery operated, only one, The Tile, can’t have the battery changed by the user.
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Slipping the 4 into the back pouch of the ThinkTank Photo Airport International, I was ready to go.
The results were not what I expected.
Continue Reading »

Nikon Starts the New Year Off with Something for Everyone

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Today, Nikon Inc. announced its latest DX-format DSLR, the Nikon D5500, that offers a built-in Wi-Fi connectivity a 24.2-megapixel CMOS sensor with no optical low-pass filter (OLPF), like the D800E, and a new 3.2-inch Vari-angle touch operation LCD display.
The removal of the sensor’s OLPF allows for an impressive level of detail and sharpness from an affordable DSLR, while the addition of the EXPEED 4 image processing engine works to improve overall speed and performance in a variety of shooting situations. When shooting in low-light, D5500 users can also take advantage of an expanded wide-ranging ISO spanning 100-25,600, which makes it easy to capture great images, even when available light is scarce.
Continue Reading »

CES 2015: The Prequel

With over 2 million sq. feet of exhibition, conference and keynote space, CES 2015 is an overwhelming array of technological displays and the promise of products that will make your life better.

It has now spread out to 3 main locations in Las Vegas, with the Convention center holding most of the displays, including 10 automotive manufacturers showing off how they can connect your life, in your car.
Yes, PMA is also there, and we’ll see how viable that show is after a huge Photokina and the PhotoPlus. I’m sure the manufacturers get a good chance to connect with international buyers.

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The taxi line at the airport was incredibly empty for the first time in 8 years of coming here. Perhaps the split of the show into 3 main areas did that
Last night they started off the press corp, with a preview called CES Unveiled.
Jam packed with a lot of products: some available, more still waiting to get to market.
Just some fast notes after day one:

Not a ton of breakout goods, but this preview has never been a massive groundbreaker.
Lots of home security, wearable cameras, health tech wearables and tracking tech.

A large number of products from France for some reason, but they have been at the recent forefront of tech in the visual special effects business as well. Don’t know if there is a coorelation.

It wasn’t a huge for the photo market at this preview, but there were some standout products.

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One of my favorite categories is the 360º camera arena. Giroptic (from France)was showing off their latest, and let us know they are about to start shipping.

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A new take on storage solutions came from a Kickstarter offering called Lima.
You basically store all of your files, from all of your devices in an encrytpted cloud, 7TB worth, and free up the storage on your devices. One time cost for the hardware, and then you have access to all of your materials on any device, when you connect to the internet.As you can see, it’s a pretty small unit.
Right now, it’s available for pre-sale for $100. Ships in April.

There were companies with new glass screen protectors for smartphones,which speaks to what are you covering your phone’s camera with? We’re going to test the ITG, at the show. And who hasn’t had to replace a broken screen or know someone who did.

Trouble sleeping after that stressful shoot? Try this Sleep headband with bluetooth and inductive charging.
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Program a restful playlist, to lull you to sleep.

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Headphones always abound. Marshall (the amp people) have a great unit for under a $100 that kicks Beats butt and is lighter.
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The control Ring- a gesture control for your electronic life. – sometimes, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should
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No, you can’t use it as a gesture control for Photoshop, I asked.

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From a company called Humanscale, a cool table / chair combo that takes away the need to wear the tracking device like an UP, and it’s set in the chair. It raises easily to convert for a standing position. How many hours do you spend at your desk?

There were 2 incredibly useful products: Roost had a 9 volt battery for your smoke alarm that lasts 5 years, and send you an alert when it’s time to change instead of waking up in the middle of the night for a chirp. Of course will they be around and will you still have that app in 5 years?
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And a tape measure that had a real tape measure and a digital display with a memory so you could measure an area and remember all the dimensions.

Some players from previous years had folded up their tents and were out of business. So goes product development sometimes.

Lots of press events today. Biggest is Sony.

And I promise you some pretty cool photo gear news. Just waiting to sit down with the manufacturers in the next few days.

Yes, it’s quite fabulous.
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You’ve Got The New Gear, Here’s What You Carry It In : Think Tank Photo

Since I was a young man, there has been a gear bag in my life.
My shoulders were the main load bearers.
When backpacks came onto the scene, the weight would be distributed across the back, instead of just giving you a one shoulder slant.
There have been many bags come onto the scene, and I may have tried them all.Sound familiar?
The primary company that I now look to for all of my carry bag needs, is hands down Think Tank Photo.
Here’s why: The designs are generated by the owners who also happen to be real photographers, including the Pulitzer Prize winning Deanne Fitzmaurice.
What that means is that each bag is created as a solution to a problem. Your problem. My problem.
The first time I saw this company was at PhotoPlus Expo, in NYC.The booth was a sea of black bags, with a hint of blue.
Had to go over.
This bag was the first demo I saw:
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I was hooked. A rolling camera bag was never in my purview, but this was a great travelers solution. Continue Reading »

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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?
Let us know on twitter.

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

Is there an exhibition we’re missing? Let us know on twitter.

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