Array (  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 64992 [post_author] => 47213 [post_date] => 2016-04-05 12:46:58 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-04-05 16:46:58 [post_content] => Back in July, I moved out to Los Angeles to continue my career as a headshot and portrait photographer. For my entire career, I’ve used strobes on location, and largely, have ran into little problems when it comes to shooting on location. So much to my surprised, when I moved out to LA, I learned an important lesson - You Can’t.Now, I’m not a lawyer, nor do I pretend to be. But from what I’ve learned from other photographers and through my talks with Film LA (a company who runs the permit system for Los Angeles), is that any off camera flash units on light stands or use of multiple people as assistant can constitute a photoshoot as a commercial shoot. Failure to get a permit for any commercial shoot (permits run from $70-150 for a standard small photoshoot), can result in your gear getting confiscated, and significant fines for not following the laws set in place for LA filming and shooting.Now again, I’m not a lawyer, but I quickly thought to myself “Shouldn’t commercial shoots be delegated based on finances exchanged, and not by the quality of gear being used?”. By no means if I’m shooting a friend for my portfolio, should I have to pay $100+ dollars if no one is making money from the photos. Which then brought me to my next thought….”How can I bypass this?”Eventually, it hit me. Off camera lighting is not allowed, but lighting attached to the camera certainly is. By no means are officers taking cell phones from people who are snapping selfies on Venice Beach. So how to do I mount my light to my camera, and still get all the functionality that I’d expect if it was on a lightstand? Enter the Boomerang Arm by ProMediaGear.What is the Boomerang Arm?The Profoto B2 is a revolutionary flash unit. Packing 250w/s into a strobe that weight as much as a speedlight is no easy task, and give you a number of mounting options. So when the Profoto B2 was released, so was the Boomerang Arm by ProMediaGear. In short, the Boomerang arm is a swivel arm that attaches to the mounting plate of your camera, wraps around your lens, and mounts a light above the camera, and makes it all fully adjustable. It also, technically, bypasses any laws LA or any other major city has against strobing on location - since through a series of steel beams, the light remains attached to the camera.
Build Quality When I got the Boomerang arm, I was incredibly surprised by the build quality of the system. Constructed in the United States, the Boomerang arm is industrial and made from a single piece of steel. Quite frankly, it’s built better than my camera, my lights or anything else I own, giving me the certainty that it’ll mount everything without any issues. While it did come with some assembly required, it was fairly easy to set up, and extremely customizable with all the additional brackets and cold shoes it comes with.Alongside the unit is plenty of solidly constructed joints, allowing you to move the flash, and the camera system as needed. An arm on the "boomerang" portion of the unit allows your camera to shift from vertical orientation back to horizontal orientation using a spring loaded locking system. Alongside the 'Boomerang arm" joint, the unit also comes with a mounting pole, and when attached to a swivel cold shoe, you're able to move it left and right 180 degrees, giving you the ability to move the light off axis from the top of the camera, and give you wrapping effects on your subject.
Usability Perhaps the biggest question I got from those who have seen this system on my personal social media accounts is the usability. While the Boomerang arm is designed to take this kind of weight, people are used to holding such a big rig in their arms. And that was my only issue with the system. While the Profoto Foldable Beauty Dish and B2 is lightweight, it’s still a lot of weight off axis from the body. Still, I was easily able to handle the rig for a 1-hour shoot on the Venice Boardwalk and got some really great results from it.It's also important to note, that this system isn't exclusive to the Profoto B2 system. By mounting a flash trigger and flash to the cold shoe mount, you're able to get plenty of diversity in terms of what lights you can and can't use.However, I like to keep my lights close to my subjects, so I couldn't see this being a usable option on anything beyond the 50mm focal range. At 50mm it works well, but I imagine at 35mm or even 24mm, it'd be spectacular. Just be sure to keep the light out of frame. From time to time, based on my positioning, a 2FT Octabox would sit just on the edge of frame at 50mm. Certainly adjustments could be made to fix this, but it definitely felt like it was built with the 1.3' square softbox Profoto has developed.
Price Perhaps the biggest downfall to the system is that it doesn’t come cheap. ProMediaGear is a company that doesn’t cut corners, and uses the highest quality tools to help build their products, and all of that costs money. At $350, the Boomerang arm is a little pricey but has the construction to really justify the product price.
But Why Bother? The age old question always comes into place with something like this - why bother? My answer is always simple - because I like control. Some people prefer natural light photography and shoot that often for scenarios like this. While I have a special place in my heart for natural light, I still like to have control of where my light falls in conjunction with the background. Adding a little bit of fill light can change the dynamics of the image considerably, give you a nice beautiful color palette to work with, and plenty of contrast. As an example, here is a photo shot with and without the arm during a session --[caption id="attachment_65002" align="alignnone" width="1024"] With Using the Boomerang Arm[/caption][caption id="attachment_65032" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Without Boomerang Arm/Flash[/caption]You'll notice that with the light flash and boomerang arm in place, I'm able to get a nice wrap of light around my subject, which adds contrast and a lot of rich colors to the image, while still giving the natural light feel with the bokeh.
Verdict Does it work? Absolutely. During my shoot with my friend Trevor, we walked by many police officers patrolling the Venice Boardwalk. Not one of them stopped us to ask us questions or for a permit. While the system is a big bulky and cumbersome, it does it’s job well, and I intend on using it for future shoots as well. [post_title] => Beating the Law and Shooting with Strobes in Los Angeles [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => beating-the-law-and-shooting-with-strobes-in-los-angeles [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-04-05 14:09:34 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-04-05 18:09:34 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://resourcemagonline.com/?p=64992 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 26 [filter] => raw ) => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 64852 [post_author] => 30241 [post_date] => 2016-04-01 14:33:38 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-04-01 18:33:38 [post_content] => My first and, before quite recently recently, last experience with iMovie was not pleasant. Five years ago, the software was severely limited, offered only a single timeline each for video and audio, and was overall just an unpleasant experience. I was so turned off by it that I swore off the platform until earlier this year. After getting an iPad Pro, I decided that perhaps it was time to see how far iMovie had come, and boy, has it ever come a long way.It shouldn't be a big surprise to me how much iMovie has evolved over the past half decade, yet I'm still pretty impressed at where the software is now, especially for a program that is only $5 for iOS. You get multiple timelines per project (which is an absolute must now), support for 4K and 1080p60 and a layout to the editing software that makes a lot more sense than it once did.On the left is where you store all your imported footage, the bottom is where your timelines live, and the preview window is, as expected, above the timeline sequence and scalable. I like it to take up about 2/3 of the viewing space, personally.The program feels much the same on both desktop and iOS, and the software runs incredibly smoothly on both platforms, which is a pleasant surprise especially when considering the varying types of iPads and iPhones. On both my iPad Air and my iPad Pro, the program runs extremely smoothly with no hiccups or hitches. I guess this is what you get when you have the software developed and designed with and for the hardware. As far as a video editing solution goes, it simply feels the most connected and seamless. Though I edit primarily in Adobe Premiere, when I'm working within that software I am always acutely aware I'm working with unrendered video files. In iMovie (and also in Final Cut), the render is happening in the background and doesn't affect how I edit footage. I feel no slowdown, and video just... plays. It's a really nice feeling.If you have never edited video before and you're looking to get started, iMovie will feel very easy to use. Simple tools and an interface that just "makes sense" for a quick edit of family footage removes any barriers that newcomers to editing might feel with any other platform.If you have edited before and are used to what you find in Adobe Premiere Pro or Elements, iMovie can take a second to get used to. Unlike in other editing applications, each clip is separated in the timeline by a gap that is used to display the change in clips and where any transitions are also shown. It looks like it will mess with the pacing of the video, and it can sometimes be hard to match up the timing of music to a transition switch, but it's not that hard to get used to.I mentioned earlier that iMovie is on both Desktop and iOS, and that can come in handy for working while not at home. The software syncs across both allowing you to work on your iPad and continue working on the desktop. The iOS version has a few more things tossed in, such as included stock music to freely use (this might also be on desktop but I couldn't find it), and all that transfers over to the desktop when you sync using iCloud.My favorite thing to do on iOS isn't to actually edit a timeline, but to use iMovie to cull, cut and segment video for later editing on desktop. The spots I've marked in the footage are highlighted with a yellow bar in the portion of the video clip I selected. I mark the parts of the clips I want to use in iMovie...And then I can see those marks when I sync with the desktop.The thing is, when I spoke to Apple about this, they knew it was possible and were excited to show it to me, but I'm not even certain they understood the level of how useful this is. Other mobile editing apps, like Premiere Clip, are living in this weird zone of not really sure where they fit in the whole "workflow" thing. I've highlighted my issues with Clip specifically before, and as a standalone mobile editor I think iMovie is worlds above what you get in Clip. That's a different point entirely, but what I'm trying to say is that the mobile version of iMovie can either be your standalone editor (which it's quite proficient) or it can be the way you cull through video footage to select the pieces you want to use to edit later. The second method is easily my favorite, since I still prefer a mouse over my finger when editing video.The whole idea that the mobile application can be used as a culling platform is a huge deal for me, and looking back on it, I'm shocked no one has thought of this yet or at least pushed it more heavily. iMovie is only dabbling in it as a concept, and you can't take those culled marks out of iMovie and into Final Cut, which is a real shame. Even though Final Cut isn't perfect and has a lot it needs to do to be useable again by professionals, having this functionality in there that connects their software together would be a really awesome addition.Frequently I am asked what editing platform I would recommend to first timers looking to make their first video. For a while, I really had no good answer. I don't like most of the options outside of Premiere because of their ludicrous limitations. When I recommend something, I want my recommendation to have some staying power and the ability to produce good results. After using iMovie again for the first time in years, I am confident in recommending it to folks who just want to have something to get their footage put together. It's a very easy to use platform that's intuitive and friendly as well as having a good amount of horsepower behind the scenes.It's a great platform to start understanding video editing, but I wouldn't say it's quite there yet for those already confident in their editing skills. The interface is a bit weird for those used to Adobe Premiere or something similar, and the lack of customizable options for transitions and effects leaves me wishing for more fine-tunable features. If iMovie adjustments and projects synced with Final Cut the same way their iOS and desktop versions of the software currently do, then they might have something really awesome. But for now, it's a nice editor that has a fit for the newcomers, but not enough "oomph" to impress those who are used to having more.My final word here is that iMovie is a clear winner in the "what I will recommend to new users" editing software pool. It's easily the best in this category, and introduces the concepts of editing to new users extremely well. Just don't expect it to do everything, because it doesn't and I doubt it ever was intended to. [post_title] => Today's iMovie is Not the iMovie You May Remember... It's Way Better [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => todays-imovie-is-not-the-imovie-you-may-remember-its-way-better [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-04-01 14:33:38 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-04-01 18:33:38 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://resourcemagonline.com/?p=64852 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 1 [filter] => raw ) => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 64816 [post_author] => 25217 [post_date] => 2016-03-31 12:46:42 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-03-31 16:46:42 [post_content] => Admittedly, I held onto my iPhone 5 longer than anyone in their right mind should have. By the last leg of its journey, it was a complete catastrophe to operate—apps crashed regularly, it frequently dropped calls, and my screen was shattered to pieces. There was even one evening where texting over my dinner plate resulted in a mouthful of glass. So why would someone in their right mind submit to this, nonetheless a journalist? It’s because I liked how felt in my hand, and how it slipped perfectly into my pocket. I was attached to this little piece of technology, no different than a child to its favorite threadbare blankie.When it came time for an upgrade, though, I thought I would never again have a relationship like this with a device. For a while, I forgot what it was like to be so connected to an artificial object. But all of this changed when I grasped the iPhone SE in my hands for the first time—I remembered why I couldn’t stop using that broken old phone. Today marked the launch of the iPhone SE, and I’ve been using the phone for about a week now. So far, its small form factor has been an exuberant relief, especially after stuffing my 6s into my skinny jeans for the past six months. But for those who don’t already know why this phone is special, aside from its $200 decrease in price (it's priced starting at $399 to be exact), here’s the run-down on the latest contemporary yet classic addition to the iPhone lineup.The design of the iPhone SE is modeled after the 5s—Apple’s second most popular phone aside from the 6/6s—but it’s packed with all of the features that make the iPhone 6 iterations so powerful. It uses the same A9 chip with 64-bit architecture and an embedded M9 motion coprocessor. This gives it an equivalent overall CPU performance as the 6s and it is two times faster than the 5s. Heck, at times it felt even faster than that—Internet browsing is a breeze, app failure is non-existent, and every task or command I enter is executed flawlessly. Really, this phone is super quick, but most importantly, it's smaller—4.87 inches in height with a screen of 4.4 inches, compared to the iPhone 6s at over six inches in height with a screen of 5.5 inches.With this, comes another huge benefit: crazy long battery life. But if it's more powerful as the 5s, wouldn't that mean it consumes more battery, faster? Nope. Right out of the box, I went two full days before charging it. What it seems like Apple did here is take the efficient processors of the 6s and simply put it in a smaller body, therefore requiring less power. Believe it or not, one of my first questions to Apple was if there will be a battery case for the SE like the one I use for my 6s (you can complain about the design all you want, but it will seriously change your life). They told me no, because the battery life on the SE is a huge step up. They weren't kidding.Now onto the fun stuff: the camera. The SE uses the same 12-megapixel iSight camera as the 6s, capable of capturing Live Photos and 4K video (3840 by 2160) at 30 fps. However, the front camera was reduced to only 1.2 megapixels from 5 megapixels, a huge bummer if selfies are your thing. Also, it's equipped with a Retina display, rather than the HD Retina display that was introduced with the iPhone 6. It’s not a huge difference, but it’s certainly evident. This poses a problem when editing photos, as it’s a bit difficult to make fine-tuned adjustments or judge how an image will look on other devices. But what’s great about iOS is that applications such as AirDrop makes it easy to seamlessly mirror content from one device to another. So if you’re serious about Instagram or mobile photography, but love the small form factor, editing your work on your computer or iPad is convenient as ever.[caption id="attachment_64833" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] This low-light photo shows the impressive capabilities of the iSight camera found on the iPhone SE. This image has not been edited or modified in any way.[/caption]But there are still some drawbacks of a smaller phone, and the first one that got me was storage space. Personally, I love to shoot photos, while my music library is a convoluted mess of everything from John Prine to underground UK hip-hop. Now couple that with a reckless downloading habit and a compulsion to have everything in one place at one time, and it is very likely that I will soon max out the SE (the maximum storage capacity is 64gbs, compared to the 128gbs on the 6 line). Again, this is something that shouldn't affect the average person but is a bit of a drag for creative professionals.Of course, there are the more obvious impediments of a smaller phone, such as watching videos or typing text messages. I have relatively slender fingers and never watch TV or movies on my phone, so for me, this wasn't an issue. But it's easy to see why this could be troublesome for others. In addition, another feature that didn't make the cut was 3D Touch, which I can personally live without, as I have not found it to be all that helpful yet (outside of Apple-owned apps), since many applications have not introduced functionality with it.Look. I’m an Apple fanatic, and I believe the SE will turn on an entirely new generation of users, which is exactly what it's intended to do. This is more than most brands offer in any new, entry-level product, as it's sleek, powerful, and affordable. I can’t say that about any other smartphone right now. For nearly a decade, I’ve owned and trusted Apple products, and I think this phone has the potential to put thousands of others in the same place that I was 10 years ago.So should 6s users make the switch to the SE? Well, I believe that as technology gets more advanced, it will also get smaller and smarter. Eventually, it won't be so much of a commodity, but a tool that brings efficiency to our high-powered lives. The iPhone SE is undoubtedly a step in this direction, and the essence of modern hardware and software innovation: the power of a big device delivered in a small package. As we step further into the Internet of Things, our devices will become much less of a distraction, and exist more in the background of our days. It will interrupt us only when an action is required, or an outcome has been achieved, and I don't think that's possible if your phone is nearly the size of a tablet.Personally, I can’t yet decide if I will downsize to the SE, because all I can feel right now is nostalgia. But if there’s one thing I do know, it’s that size does matter. And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. [post_title] => Review: There's a Lot to Love About the iPhone SE [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => review-there-is-a-lot-to-love-about-the-iphone-se [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-09-03 16:20:09 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-09-03 20:20:09 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://resourcemagonline.com/?p=64816 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 64790 [post_author] => 30241 [post_date] => 2016-03-30 12:17:12 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-03-30 16:17:12 [post_content] => I love a nifty 50, and it's about time that Sony released one for their E-Mount system. Sure, they already have a great 55mm on the market, but giving photographers an inexpensive option is what makes it so "nifty." I had a limited amount of time (a few scant hours) with the Sony 50mm f/1.8 during a relatively controlled shooting environment, but I think it was enough to at least give my initial impressions of the lens and to show off what it can do.During the time that I had the lens, I wanted to focus on wide-open shooting to get a good feeling of the bokeh as well as a feeling for how the lens handled in low light. The images below were taken on the Sony a7R II and the new 50mm f/1.8.From the few shots I was able to get that really showed it off, I am a huge fan of the bokeh. What ensues here is a liberal use of popular "bokeh" terms that I generally don't speak aloud, but will break my rule here for the sake of an accurate editorial. Sigh. Here we go. The bokeh is dreamy, ovular to full circular in shape (depending on where the bokeh is, in the middle or the edges of the frame) and distinct. When there aren't bright sources in the background, it's what I can only describe as "creamy," which I like.There, all done with buzzwords. The takeaway? I liked what I saw.[caption id="attachment_64796" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] This should illustrate the shallow plane of focus from the Sony 50mm f/1.8.[/caption]The focusing was pretty reliable, and even in the very dark environment where I was testing the lens, I didn't have a particularly hard time locking focus. It wasn't snap-on fast, but it was more than serviceable. I do question whether it would be a good combo (with the a7R II) in something like a wedding reception environment, since locking and keeping action shots might be a stretch. Also, it doesn't have a particularly close focusing distance, so it's not going give you that particular brand of flexibility, like what you get out of the Tamron 45mm f/1.8, for example. In satisfactory to ample lighting conditions, the focusing was smooth and crisp, which is to be expected. No issues there, and I was happily able to shoot without thinking much at all about the camera or the lens- this is the ideal situation, in my opinion.The flare control appears to be satisfactory. You probably shouldn't shoot directly into a bright object, and you can see the bit of flaring in the lower right hand corner of this shot:But the control is much better here, probably due to the preponderance of black space:Basically, it's situational. It's pretty good at controlling flare, and if you wait for the light to move into a more perfect position, you won't have a problem.[caption id="attachment_64800" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Here's a mediocre photo of food. Mediocre because of the situation, not the lens.[/caption]As far as sharpness is concerned, I'm pretty happy with what I saw. Images are pretty sharp; not the sharpest I've ever witnessed but still quite good. For $250 they're amazing, and without taking cost of product into consideration, I have very little to complain about.We did not have enough time with the 50m f/1.8 to give it a full rundown, so a more complete review will come down the road. Nonetheless, it's great to see an affordable lens come to full frame E-Mount. Is this the kind of performance you were expecting? Let us know in the comments below. [post_title] => First Impressions with Sony's New $250 50mm f/1.8 [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => first-impressions-with-sonys-new-250-50mm-f1-8 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-01-31 15:09:38 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-01-31 20:09:38 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://resourcemagonline.com/?p=64790 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 64667 [post_author] => 47207 [post_date] => 2016-03-28 12:53:17 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-03-28 16:53:17 [post_content] => A few months ago I was given the opportunity to review the 32” NEC 4k Monitor which was nothing short of amazing. To follow up, the team at NEC sent me the 27” EA275UHD to get my opinions on it as well. Thankfully, the 27” “Little Brother” didn’t disappoint! Coming in at a price point of $849.00 for the 27" Monitor with Calibration Kit, it's the winning combination for the visual artist looking for insane resolution at an affordable price! The 32” version was clearly targeted at major, high-end coloring/editing houses that provide precise color accuracy and management, but if you don’t need that final top 1% in the performance department, you can save thousands of dollars by choosing the EA-series 27”. The color accuracy, quality, and contrast are more than acceptable for business and professional use. So where does the 27” differ from the 32”? Well, it's smaller to start. It weighs much less and occupies a much smaller footprint than it’s big brother, making it easier to take with you should you want to maneuver the display. The EA275UHD is a scaled down unit ready to deliver exactly what you need. A single DVI, HDMI, and DisplayPort connection is available along with a scaled down 2 port USB3 hub, and built in Audio and Control Sync connections provide more than enough options for a standard visual professional like myself! As with the 32”, the 27” upscaling at 1080p using the HDMI connection left a little to be desired, so I’d highly recommend using the DisplayPort adapter to give you the full 4k treatment! However, with the 27” model, older devices (such as my 2012 MacBook Pro) don't default to 4K resolution when using a DisplayPort connection. In fact, 4K is hidden! This appears to be a known issue on Apple’s end and NEC is working on fixing it. So when I first connected the monitor with the DisplayPort adapter, it was still displaying at 1080p, even when I selected the scaled options. The solution is to hold the OPTION key on a Mac while selecting any of the scaled options, then the full gamut of display modes will be available to you. Strange, I know, but it works, and this is my ONLY negative comment towards this device whatsoever! If you’re using an older computer like me, you’ll have to do some trickery to enable the full resolution capabilities of the EA275UHD. But otherwise, it operates like a dream! I’ve tested this on a few different computers (old to new, Windows and Mac) and the newer devices run perfectly plug and play, but the older ones will require you to enable the hidden options.The first thing you should do after connecting the monitor is run the SpectraView Calibration (Which is included in the $849 price) to get the most out of your display. I ran several tests using the SpectraView, the Spyder Calibration, and a Color Monkey and the results from the SpectraView are pretty spectacular.While it doesn’t have the color precision that the PA 32” has, the EA 27” is pretty amazing in its own right! The included stand provides nearly 360 degrees of swivel, 5” of height adjustment, 25 degrees of tilt, and the ability to rotate the monitor into “portrait mode,” with every movement feeling extremely smooth and precise.The EA Series monitors all have very similar On Screen Display menus with a plethora of options and controls very neatly organized for your use, located and activated from the bottom right corner of the screen. If you’ve ever used an NEC monitor, the layout and options will hold no surprises.Technical Specifications
|Panel Type & Backlight||AH-IPS / W-LED, edge array|
|Screen Size & Aspect Ratio||27in / 16:9|
|Max Resolution & Refresh||3840x2160 @ 60Hz|
|Native Color Depth & Gamut||10-bit / sRGB|
|Response Time (GTG)||6ms|
|Speakers||2 x 1w|
|Video Inputs||1 x DisplayPort 1.2, 1 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x DVI|
|Audio||3.5mm stereo input, 3.5mm headphone output|
|USB||v3.0 - 1 x up, 2 x down, v2.0 - 1 x down|
|Power Consumption||49w typical, .37w standby|
|Panel Dimensions WxHxD w/base||25.2 x 16.5-21.6 x 9.1in 639 x 418-548 x 230mm|
|Panel Thickness||2.9in / 74mm|
|Bezel Width||.8in / 20mm|
|Weight||20.1lbs / 9.1kg|
- Great price ($949 including calibration kit)
- Large wide screen monitor with tons of workspace
- Good color accuracy
- Consistent 4k resolution
- Lightweight and solid build/durability
After months of heavy and daily use I can honestly say that this is a fantastic investment for anyone looking to make the leap from 1080p to the 4k realm! In fact, I actually ended up ordering an EA275UHD for myself! The only drawback with this monitor, and I mean ONLY, is the manual settings you’ll have to fiddle with if you're using an older computer. Even then, it’s barely noticeable.We give the NEC MultiSync EA275UHD Monitor an 86% for its great build quality, durability, connections, price, and resolution, with the ONLY caveat being its quirkiness when connected to older computers. [post_title] => Review: The 27-inch NEC EA275UHD 4K Monitor is Beautiful [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => review-the-27-inch-nec-ea275uhd-4k-monitor-is-beautiful [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-04-01 12:10:33 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-04-01 16:10:33 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://resourcemagonline.com/?p=64667 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 1 [filter] => raw ) => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 64238 [post_author] => 47216 [post_date] => 2016-03-15 15:56:19 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-03-15 19:56:19 [post_content] => A constant goal of many artists is to make the unpleasant approachable, combining what we want to look at with what we'd rather not think about. Not only does this serve as an almost perverse form of entertainment, pitting functions of the mind against one another, but it also serves an important function within society by allowing us to digest the thoughts we would otherwise suppress. In "Wilderness to Wasteland," David T. Hanson strikes a wobbling balance between our desire to absorb the subdued colors and patterns in his landscape, aerial, and documentary photographs with our aversion to recognizing the reality of those photographs: the detrimental harm humanity has inflicted on the American landscape.This 197 page book, soon to be released by Tavern Press on April 26, includes 83 previously unpublished photographs along with a forward by Joyce Carol Oates (which is abbreviated here), an introduction by Hanson, and a lengthy concluding essay by Miles Orwell. The nearly 30 pages worth of occasionally repetitive text serves as explanation for what would otherwise be an assortment of images that focuses on aesthetics rather than morality. Each of the four sections of the book is a different series of photographs taken by Hanson in the 1980's, and each has its own context that greatly affects how the photos are received.[caption id="attachment_64248" align="aligncenter" width="558"] Fackrell’s Texaco Store & Bar, Atomic City, Idaho, 1986[/caption]The first section, "Atomic City," takes place in a nearly abandoned Idaho town that is actually named Atomic City. As the site of the world's first nuclear power plant in 1951, and first nuclear meltdown in 1955, the area went from nothing to government city to ghost town in only a couple of decades. While Hanson and his commentators consider the photographs in this section (such as the one above) the be landscapes, They have a definite documentary/street photography feeling. They seem to focus on the town itself rather than the land it inhabits. They are also the most aesthetically mundane of all the photographs in the book, which is not necessarily bad if their aim is to show a visual history and encourage factual interest rather than create an emotional or moral connection to the subject matter. Still, starting the book with the least aesthetically engaging images is a certain tip-off that "Wilderness to Wasteland" is not art for arts sake, but rather art for morality's sake.[caption id="attachment_64249" align="aligncenter" width="558"] Mt. Con Mine waste pile and remains of Corktown, Butte, Montana, 1985[/caption]The next section, "The Richest Hill on Earth," profiles Butte, Montana, once lauded as the most resource heavy mining location in the world. This section begins much as the previous one ended, with photographs of a documentary nature that examine a once bustling mining town now left to die. However, focus shifts in this section from the structures that make up the town to the structures the town has made, and Hanson begins to show us the vast pits and arid roads that the mining industry created. From the introductory texts, we know these to now be Superfunds, areas the government has deemed extremely hazardous and in dire need of environmental clean-up. It is here that we encounter the main message of this book: the irreparable and irresponsible damage America has inflicted on the landscape it occupies. Yes, the book also acknowledges that the U.S. Government and large corporations use poor Americans as pawns in their quests to dominate nature and the open market place, but as this section concludes a clear shift is made to emphasize the perhaps more troublesome issue of complete environmental destruction.[caption id="attachment_64433" align="aligncenter" width="558"] Forest fire recovery area and the Upper Gallatin River, Gallatin County, Montana, 1985[/caption]The third and largest section is the namesake of the book itself, "Wilderness to Wasteland," and rightfully so. Initially, the fact that this chapter seems to have been created before the book's inception irked me. A photo book tends to lose its flow and congruity if some of the section are merely support for a main series. While the dominance of this middle section does cast a shadow over the others, it is for good reason, as it successfully summarizes the entire plot of the book as a whole, both visually and thematically. The section combines a refreshing diversity of images from multiple states within the U.S. that are home to Superfunds. These environmental failures are photographed from the sky and the ground, giving us abstract and familiar perspectives of what the ignorance of past generations has created. Some of the leading photographs nearly hide the environmental destruction that we are now searching for, such as the remains of a wildfire that made early-summer look like late-fall (above). The scarred landscapes are juxtaposed with purely human creations, such as unfinished houses or an old grain silo. Suddenly, a shift is made from the ground to the sky and every shot is of the scorched earth below. Each image becomes more beautiful and more devastating than the last. By the end of this section, the photographs need no context to merit their inclusion in the book as colors and forms bridge the gap between complete abstraction and complete realism, proving that humanity has conquered nature by forcing it into submission.[caption id="attachment_64254" align="aligncenter" width="558" class="align center align center "] Fading Daylight along the Yellowstone River [Exxon Corporation, Billings, Montana], 1982[/caption]The final section is a slight letdown after the triumph of the last. Titled "Twighlight in the Wilderness," the photographs are long exposures of still functioning industrial cites across America. The visual style of the photographs simply doesn't fit with the rest of the book. There are similarities for sure, but their soft glow and almost complete lack of natural elements feels a little awkward after the previous three sections that dovetail securely into one another. However, there is a nice thematic shift to the future in this final section. Are these eerie industrial complexes bound to become deserted wastelands like the ones pictured in the rest of the book? Eventually, but one hopes they are at least built with enough awareness and foresight to not become Superfunds themselves. The titles of these photographs are also quite different. Instead of simply stating the location and subject of the image like in the previous sections, we see more classical titles with factual subtitles such as Fading Daylight along the Yellowstone River [Exxon Corporation, Billings, Montana] (above), or Sunset on the California Coast [Union Oil Company of California, Richmond, California]. It's almost as if landscape painters of the 19th century would have chosen the main titles for these locations, but the subtitles now fit the desolate landscapes that have become of those same views. While the final section may not continue the flow of the book in a satisfactory way, it still works and can be favorably considered a twist ending.While there is a lot to love about "Wilderness to Wasteland," and enough visual and thematic depth to revisit it many times over, there are a few minor hiccups as well. Some photographs don't add much but volume to the book, though they don't detract anything either. There is also an unshakable sense that we are seeing multiple projects that were not created to come together, but are now retrofitted into a larger work of art. Hanson points this out himself in his introduction, and it's not a problem as long as you view the book as a sort of survey of his 1980's photography practice. The message of the book is certainly striking and engaging, but it is by no means new. Still, while many have depicted the deteriorating conditions of the American landscape, few have done it with the melancholic beauty and rich historical context that Hanson achieves in this book. If the themes and images presented here have intrigued you enough to reach this point in the article, you will thoroughly enjoy the entirety of this book, which you can pre-order on Amazon. In the end, "Wilderness to Wasteland" is noteworthy for its ability to engage us intellectually, visually, emotionally, and morally in a depressing topic while still inspiring us through pure aesthetic beauty. Photographs © 2016 David T. Hanson [post_title] => In "Wilderness to Wasteland," David T. Hanson Finds Tragic Beauty in Environmental Destruction [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => in-wilderness-to-wasteland-david-t-hanson-finds-tragic-beauty-in-environmental-destruction [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-03-29 10:07:13 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-03-29 14:07:13 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://resourcemagonline.com/?p=64238 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 64102 [post_author] => 30241 [post_date] => 2016-03-14 14:12:59 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-03-14 18:12:59 [post_content] => I have said it so many times and, for the most part, my opinion remains unchanged: printers are boring. They, like tripods and lens filters, get the short end of the stick in the "sexy" equipment a photographer can own. They're seen as a tool- a means to an end. The photo gets a lot more attention while it's on the computer screen and then again when it's in a frame. The process between those two points is generally looked over or, worse, ignored. For me, this was absolutely the case up until I got a Canon imagePROGRAF Pro-1000 printer. I have been framing and matting my own images for years, but this was a big step for me. I decided I wanted to once again try and be in charge of my own prints, with my own paper choices. I have used photo printers in the past and I generally find them to not be worth the effort. Nozzles, print heads, ink wells, waste bins and complicated cleaning and maintenance processes just turned me off to the whole process. That said, I am good friends with many Canon people and they encouraged me to try their new printer line, citing that it was the best they had ever made and with a process that would leave me smiling. I took them up on that bet.Late last year I assisted my now-friend Joel Grimes at a Canon event celebrating the launch of the new printer, and I spent a good amount of time watching the prints come out and get framed- photos that I had only moments before helped Joel create. It was this experience that made me more keen to try the printer for myself. The images looked shockingly good, and the prints were coming out much faster than I thought they would. I noticed very little jams, zero mechanical issues and absolutely no ink problems. Most importantly, the photos the printer spooled out looked identical to what we were seeing on the monitor. This really impressed me, so I later when I spoke to my friends about getting a printer, it took very little convincing to get me to try the Pro-1000 for myself. As far as printers go, the Canon Pro-1000 is small. Now don't get too excited, because it's not at all compact or easily transportable. In fact, once you get this thing set up you probably won't want to move it again. It's heavy and shockingly bulky. Even in my photos here it looks pretty petite and manageable, but then I have to remind myself of the process of getting it out of the box and onto that table. It's never moving again. But once you get this thing in place, I don't really see a reason it should move. It has a permanent home in my print studio, ready to go whenever I need it.And that's where I'll start with one of the things I like about this printer: it requires so little attention. It has built-in settings that keep ink from clogging when not in use, and fires up pretty quickly whenever I want to make a print. It's liberating to be able to set and forget this printer, and then come back to it when I'm ready to put more images to paper.The original setup for the Pro-1ooo was pretty straightforward. The instruction manual that comes with the printer is a eye-busting hundreds of page long document, but you don't have to read the whole thing. From the point you plug it in to when it's ready to make its first print, the computer software and the printer itself guide you through the process swiftly and with few pain points. From plug in, through calibration to preparation, the whole process took under about an hour. The Pro-1000 comes with 12 ink colors with their own cartridges, and you can get anywhere from 20-35 prints on a single run of ink (depending on what you're printing, the color and the size of the prints, of course). That's a lot of prints, and each one of them looks just as spectacular as the next. I printed until I was told by the printer it couldn't give me any more, and the last print looked just as stellar as the first. There was no fading or missing colors- to me it seems if the printer can't make a good image out of the ink it has, it won't even try. I'm giving the Pro-1000 a personality it doesn't have, but it seems to want to make each print perfect. That, I really respect. It takes between five and ten minutes to produce one 17x22 inch print out of the Pro-1000, which to me feels really, really fast. Paper selection is easy, as the menu on the printer easily lays out all the possible paper options, making it easy to swap between styles quickly and efficiently. For me though, the actual process of hitting "File -> Print" out of Photoshop and getting a spectacular photo was the most gratifying. You can achieve even greater bit depth to the prints by going through the Canon application as well, opening your options depending on what you're printing, and for who. It should be a testament that I have pretty much nothing else to say about the Pro-1000. It's a stellar piece of hardware that works so damn well that I don't have to think about it. That's what I look for in all the equipment I love, and the Pro-1000 is the first hassle-free, joy-filled printer I've ever used. Every image comes out exactly how I wanted it to, and every print is the same experience. Like I watched happen at that Canon event, I have had absolutely no hiccups with my Pro-1000 in 30 printed images, which I think is a huge accomplishment for Canon.Being a digital medium, I can't really show you the images I took other than to take a photo of them... which isn't really ideal. It is here you'll really have to take my word for it: the images look spectacular. I have taken a very close look at the images using a print diopter (which are used in print shops to determine the alignment of the color dots) and I was really surprised: I can't discern the printed dots. The Pro-1000 does such a good job with the prints that the way the colors blend and meet is totally seamless. If you're a print nerd, this means something to you. If you're a normal person, here is what it means: "woah." This is as close to the images as I was really able to show with the camera I had on hand: Blacks are black (and I mean actually black, not just a dark bluish cyan), whites are white, and colors are beautifully rendered. The Canon Pro-1000 really is quite good at its job, and I don't think I am capable of being happier with this thing. I'm on cloud nine when I can print out one of my photos and look at it in a frame. The looks on people's faces when I gift them prints is something really special, and the Pro-1000 is helping me garner that look time and time again.Pros:
- Color accuracy — good, but not amazing as compared to the PA Series monitors.
- Input lag — while not nearly as noticeable as the 32”, with an older device that’s not designed for native 4k output you will notice a small delay in response time. On newer devices this is a null point.
- 4K with older computers — as mentioned above, 4k resolutions are not available on older computers without accessing the hidden menus via keyboard shortcuts. While this is a minor annoyance, the real problem is with the refresh rate. On older computers you’re limited to 30Hz when you should be getting 70Hz standard. On newer computers, again, this is not an issue at all.
- Ridiculously easy to take care of; basically no maintenance
- Goes from not being touched for weeks to printing beautiful images swiftly and without hitches
- Very dense ink placement means no visible dots even under a diopter (which means richer colors and dark darks without losing detail)
- Prints very fast for such high quality
- Ink cartridges last for many prints
I'm dishing out something I rarely give, and that's a perfect score. The Canon Pro-1000 deserves it, and the way this printer has changed my expectation of how a printer should work is rather impressive. In fact, this printer works so well that I find myself enraged at my office printer when it can't get a FedEx label right. At any rate... We give the Canon Pro-1000 studio printer a perfect 5 out of 5 stars for very simple setup and maintenance and exemplary performance. [post_title] => The Canon imagePROGRAF Pro-1000 is the Best Experience I've Ever Had with a Photo Printer [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => the-canon-pro-1000-is-the-best-experience-ive-ever-had-with-a-photo-printer [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-03-28 20:09:31 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-03-29 00:09:31 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://resourcemagonline.com/?p=64102 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 2 [filter] => raw ) => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 64041 [post_author] => 47229 [post_date] => 2016-03-03 15:33:54 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-03-03 20:33:54 [post_content] => Taking the leap to become a beauty photographer can be intimidating; so much goes into just one shot that it can be a little difficult to wrap your mind around it all. Thankfully, Julia Kuzmenko McKim, one of the most highly-regarded beauty photographers in the industry, has brought an comprehensive video and written guide into shooting beauty photography that will take your images from ordinary to exceptional. I was able to get a copy to view and share my first impressions of the guide.Before I dive into the video content, I do want to go over the written part of the guide. The PDF is a whopping 104 pages of beautifully laid out content that can be viewed not on just your desktop, but with any tablets that support the PDF format. I viewed the guide on both my full size iPad and my iPad mini, and both looked great. I really recommend to read the guide before you watch the video content. The video content is meant to view sporadically throughout the guide, and if you skip the PDF and go straight for just the video content you’ll be missing out on a great amount of information within this tutorial.Now on to the "meat" of this review and my thoughts on the content of this tutorial. The entire tutorial packs in so much information that it would be very difficult for me to go over everything, but here are the things that stuck with me the most:Starting off with the basics, Julia goes over fundamentals like what dynamic range is, using different light modifiers to enhance an image and even using them to help correct a model’s skin texture. What I found particularly useful was when Julia teaches how to reverse engineer other photographers' photographs to figure out how to shoot the image in question. She walks you through the process of reading light by identifying light modifiers in the model’s catchlights, reading depth of field, rim and fill lighting and even shadows caused by the photographer’s main light. This is definitely useful if you use other people’s work as inspiration for your own.She also explains throughout the tutorial what equipment you should consider using to get the desired look that you want out of a shoot, including the pros and cons of using prime lenses versus zoom lenses. Another thing that I believe many amateur photographers tend to overlook is building a proper team to help you with your shoot. She explains how to build such a team for both test shooting and collaborative portfolio work. A great quote she says is “Your team is always only as strong as your weakest team member.” She shows you what to look for in a stellar team and how to attract other industry professionals and the models that you will be shooting. She also gives some great tips on using platforms such as Pinterest to help share your creative vision with your team to make sure everyone is on the same page.The lighting portion of the tutorial is jam-packed with lighting setups from your traditional beauty looks, to some more creative lighting with gels and mixed lighting with reflective fabrics and accessories. The tutorial also covers how to shoot jewelry campaigns and how to mix colored lighting effectively. Julia takes her time to explain all of the setups and even points out common mistakes that you might make during shooting. Using both easy to read diagrams and voice over instructions along with example photos it’s very easy to follow along with the lighting portions of the tutorial. The diagrams and example photos are also included in the written guide. She reassures the viewer that practice makes perfect which I know helps me from feeling overwhelmed with such an abundance of information.I do want to add that this tutorial does not include anything retouching or post-processing related, but if you follow the advice given within the tutorial your post processing will go a ton smoother and faster than someone who may be trying to wing the shoot on just general knowledge. Retouching Academy of course has other tutorials based on just post-processing your images which can be found on their website.I only have one nit-pick for the tutorial and even though it's such a minor thing I figured I would go ahead and mention it: Throughout the tutorial you see Julia's co-writer Aleksey Dovgulya in several shots speaking to the camera giving instruction. His voice has been replaced with Julia's voice over which is fine, and I am assuming that it's the same information that Aleksey is giving, but the curiosity of wanting to know what he's saying can be a little distracting, even if it's in his native tongue of Russian. Again, this is such a minor nit-pick that it really shouldn't affect whether or not to consider the tutorial.I will say that after reading the guide fully and watching the content I can now see how many mistakes I was making while attempting to try out beauty photography. Not just with my lighting or my execution of the shoot, but with my overall approach to beauty photography in general. I can now identify the mistakes I made and hopefully with practice and a good collaborative team to back me up I can start to eliminate them and start producing breathtaking imagery. I highly recommend this tutorial to anyone who is interested not just in beauty photography, but even general portrait photography as the techniques and skills taught within are viable for both mediums.The Go Pro: Studio Beauty tutorial is jam packed with powerful advice, insightful instruction and exhilarating inspiration for both novice photographers and seasoned professionals who want to elevate their beauty photography to a whole new creative direction. You can purchase the tutorial on Julia's website for an introductory rate of just $169 for the week of its release. After that it will go back to its normal price of $199 which is still half of what other high-end photography tutorials cost. It’s definitely worth the investment if you want to take your photography to the next level.Buy the tutorial here. [post_title] => Review: Julia Kuzmenko's New Tutorial Will Elevate Your Beauty Photography to New Heights [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => review-julia-kuzmenkos-new-tutorial-will-elevate-your-beauty-photography-to-new-heights [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-03-28 19:22:40 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-03-28 23:22:40 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://resourcemagonline.com/?p=64041 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 63588 [post_author] => 30241 [post_date] => 2016-02-18 11:06:07 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-02-18 16:06:07 [post_content] =>
- Heavy? This isn't really a con. It's a realistic expectation.
We're less than two months into 2016 and new products are already dropping rapidly. While we're left trying to predict which will take off into the New Year, we can't help but get a bit sentimental when we look back on 2015. Why? Because there was a heck of a lot of greatness that happened in our industry last year. The Profoto B2, the Tamron 35mm f/1.8, the Sigma 24-35mm f/1.8, the list continues. Innovation and imagination were at the top of their game in 2015, and we certainly won't forget it. Here are our annual "Best Of" awards in a nostalgic photo series by NYC product photographer Greg Neumaier.
Profoto B2[caption id="attachment_63601" align="aligncenter" width="838"] © Greg Neumaier/Resource Magazine[/caption]
Looking back on it, I can’t believe I was so surprised that Profoto created the B2. After breaking off from their distribution group to go independent, Profoto released what is probably the best-selling portable light in the history of this industry. So getting more compact and inventive shouldn’t have come as a shock. The B2 is an astounding little light with a powerful strobe and a surprisingly bright modeling lamp. Great for light painting, location portraiture or even architecture, the B2 is the most versatile strobe Profoto has ever produced and worthy of significant praise.
Best in Category: Lighting $1,995.00
Tamron 35mm f/1.8[caption id="attachment_63593" align="aligncenter" width="838"] © Greg Neumaier/Resource Magazine[/caption]
I have to admit, I never thought I would be writing these words. For years, years folks, Tamron has played fourth fiddle to nearly everyone else in the optics market—it was for those willing to sacrifice quality for a drop in price. They were the makers of “do it all” kit lenses, but nothing for the serious professional. But with their new primes they changed that. They changed everything.
Tamron is now a hallmark of excellence, bringing stellar performance to a compact, lightweight, and markedly affordable product. The 35mm f/1.8 is a near perfect lens that shows Tamron is capable of true greatness. Tamron has stepped its game and ready to play with the big boys, and we welcome them with open arms.
The Onion Award $599.99
iPhone 6s and 6s Plus[caption id="attachment_63604" align="aligncenter" width="838"] © Greg Neumaier/Resource Magazine[/caption]
Has hell frozen over? Are we actually praising a cell phone for its camera? Well, the answer is no to the first and yes to the second: Apple has made one hell of an achievement with the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. Though they still have some work to do in super low-light capabilities, photos taken during the day or early evening look spectacular, surpassing the quality of nearly every compact point-and-shoot camera available. Not only that, but the iPhone’s 4K video looks stunning, competing with the quality we get from professional video cameras. Thanks to the iPhone, we can be ready to create something beautiful no matter where we are, and at the drop of a hat. Apple has given creative firepower to everyone and anyone. You can no longer poke fun at someone shooting with an iPhone—it’s a real professional tool.
Editor’s Pick iPhone 6s - from $649.00 iPhone 6s Plus - from $749.00[caption id="attachment_63595" align="aligncenter" width="838"] © Greg Neumaier/Resource Magazine[/caption]
Canon 5DS R
Canon needed to make a statement with their next pro DSLR, and the 5DS R certainly made it. Pushing the boundaries of megapixels in full-frame sensors, Canon elevated their camera to medium format resolution, while effectively competing with cameras half its size and an eighth its price. In speaking with photographers who made the move from medium format to the Canon 5DS, all of them genuinely told me it was because they couldn’t see a difference in the print, and they loved that it was so much easier to handle due to its excellent button/menu configuration (can’t argue with them there). Not to mention the fact that the body is pretty darn small and light. The 5DS R is an outstanding studio photographer’s camera that fulfills the role of medium format in most cases, at a price point that allows anyone to shoot with massive megapixels.
Editor’s Pick $3,599.00 (body only)
I was so ready to hate this camera, given its unconventional form factor and fixed lens. But after spending some time with Canon’s first affordable 4K camera, my emotions have flipped on themselves: I love this camcorder. Canon stuffed a ton of power into this little device, tripling the data rate of my other 4K camera without increasing the weight and size too much beyond a pro mirrorless or DSLR. I think what is most attractive about the XC10 is that it’s actually fun to use. Packed with Canon’s C-LOG, both a CFAST and SD card slot, and a fixed lens that covers basically any range you would ever want, I really couldn't be more happy with it.
Editor’s Pick $2,499.00
Lacie 5big[caption id="attachment_63591" align="aligncenter" width="838"] © Greg Neumaier/Resource Magazine[/caption]
Lacie wanted to bring huge storage and RAID security into a package that wasn’t insanely expensive, and to that end they succeeded. The Lacie 5big is a stellar example of sleek design and optimal performance. In RAID 5 configuration, the 5big can output more than enough speed to edit 4K video and beyond, so it’s more than capable of managing a photographer’s workflow.
Best in Category: Storage Solutions From $1,299.00
G-TECH G-SPEED[caption id="attachment_63599" align="aligncenter" width="838"] © Greg Neumaier/Resource Magazine[/caption]
G-TECH is focused on making their products into a working ecosystem, folding various options into one another so that every product they create has a place with each other. The G-SPEED is the latest line of drives that G-TECH has folded into their ecosystem, giving the popular RAID array built-in G-DRIVE slots. Now, their portable hard drive solutions work in tandem with their G-DOCK and G-SPEED, meaning everything you get from G-TECH will always be ready to work together. And hey, it doesn’t hurt that the G-SPEED lives up to its name, boating some impressive data speeds that more than allow for high-resolution photo and video editing.
Best in Category: Storage Solutions From $999.95
Sigma 24-35mm[caption id="attachment_63592" align="aligncenter" width="838"] © Greg Neumaier/Resource Magazine[/caption]
Sigma seems intent on proving to the world that something never before thought impossible can, indeed, be done. No one thought it would be possible to make a zoom lens with a fixed f/1.8 aperture, but Sigma did it with the 18-35mm. But then, folks complained that they “cheated” by making it only work on APS-C. Well, Sigma turned around and gave them a full-frame option with the 24-35mm f/2.0. No, it’s not f/1.8, but it’s damn close. And better yet, the performance is astounding. With excellent sharpness and a zoom range that works for both landscapes and portraits, Sigma has yet again, done it again.
Plaque of Excellence in Innovation $999.00
Lowepro Whistler BP 450 AW[caption id="attachment_63597" align="aligncenter" width="838"] © Greg Neumaier/Resource Magazine[/caption]
For a very long time, Lowepro stood for what professionals needed to get their jobs done. It’s a less glamorous segment of the industry, but bags are really, really important. We don’t give them enough credit, focusing instead on our camera and lens, but we should. The Whistler especially deserves such praise, as it is an excellent bag that distributes weight well, holds a ton of gear (both hiking and photo equipment), and was battle tested by real adventure photographers before its release. Waterproof materials were used on the exterior. With fully adjustable straps and a series of pockets and inserts, it allows you to hold everything you need to make an amazing photo atop the highest mountain. It’s one of the best adventure camera bags available, and will put up with whatever nature throws your way.
Best in Category: Backpacks $389.95
Gitzo Traveler Tripod[caption id="attachment_63598" align="aligncenter" width="838"] © Greg Neumaier/Resource Magazine[/caption]
When Gitzo puts their name on something, you know it’s going to be a high-end product. Gitzo has been making top-of-the-line tripods for years, and their latest travel tripod is an outstanding example of quality in a lightweight, unassuming package. Most travel tripods suffer from one of two issues: 1) Though light, they can’t steadily support much weight, and often “wiggle” when lightly touched or hit by a stiff breeze; 2) They’re tougher and can support some weight, but they’re not exactly “light,” which makes carrying them a challenge Gitzo eliminated both problems, making a strong and sturdy tripod that’s extremely lightweight and small.
Editor’s Pick From $679.99
Peak Design Messenger[caption id="attachment_63600" align="aligncenter" width="838"] © Greg Neumaier/Resource Magazine[/caption]
Peak Design has come onto the scene and blown up, becoming one of the most talked about brands of 2015. Their new Everyday Messenger blew past their original Kickstarter goals and has become one of the most funded photo products ever. The design is simple, but smart. Camera inserts fit well, the bag can be strapped to rolling luggage, and the access points make it easy to get to your gear. On top of all that, the bag is stylish and attractive.
Best in Category: Backpacks $249.95[caption id="attachment_63596" align="aligncenter" width="838"] © Greg Neumaier/Resource Magazine[/caption]
Elinchrom has taken a different take on the problems of high-speed sync. For most, high-speed sync means either flashing multiple times per exposure, or adjusting the amplitude so it takes a slice of the light out of the flash curve. Elinchrom has chosen the latter for their trigger, and adjusted it to work with their lights better than any other combination. What this means is now you can get a single flash burst to sync with an action photo at 1/8000 of a second shutter speed. That’s unprecedented, and totally unique.
Editor’s Pick $249.95
Sony RX100 Mark IV
If you think point-and-shoots are dead, think again. Yes, the stellar performance of mobile phone cameras has rendered many of them obsolete (especially the amazing camera in the iPhone 6S), but the Sony RX100 Mark IV is not one of them. The RX100 sports an incredible little sensor that rocks amazing 4K video and even Sony’s S-LOG format (a must-have for pro video shooters). It’s actually kind of amazing how powerful this camera is, outclassing every other point-and-shoot and even many mirrorless and entry-level DSLRs. You’ll get outstanding shadow and highlight detail when shooting in Raw, and the battery lasts so long, I can’t remember the last time I charged mine.
Editor’s Pick $948.00
Lexar CF and SD Cards
As camera technology continues to advance, so has Lexar’s ability to keep up with their needs. As data rates have increased due to larger megapixel cameras and ultra-high definition video, Lexar has continued to develop cards that are not only reliable (as in, they rarely—if ever —fail), but astoundingly fast. Lexar’s latest CFAST and SD cards are no exception, delivering excellent performance for image-centric creative professionals.
Editor’s Pick Professional 2000x SDXC - from $136.99 Professional 3600x CFast 2.0 - from $364.95
This feature article was photographed by Greg Neumaier and originally ran in the Winter 2016 "Motion Picture Issue" of Resource Magazine. Visit the Resource Mag Shop to pick up a copy. [post_title] => The Best of 2015 Photo & Video Tech in 11 Stunning Photos [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => the-best-of-2015-photo-video-tech-in-11-stunning-photos [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-01-31 15:25:26 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-01-31 20:25:26 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://resourcemagonline.com/?p=63588 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 10 [filter] => raw ) => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 63158 [post_author] => 30241 [post_date] => 2016-02-09 10:00:54 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-02-09 15:00:54 [post_content] => It's no secret I was only moderately impressed with Sigma's 24mm f/1.4. It's a good lens, don't get me wrong, but it didn't slack my jaw like previous Sigma art lenses had. The 20mm f/1.4, their latest offering, is a totally different animal: this optic is outstanding. With some seriously slick performance across the aperture range and well-controlled distortion, I've fallen in love with the 20mm f/1.4 Art.I've used the 20mm extensively for the past month and have to say, I've never felt let down by the lens.For starters, the build is exactly what you would expect of an Art lens from Sigma: though heavy (and it is heavy and quite large), it feels sturdy and reliable. It feels "expensive." You know, well made, high quality materials? Holding the Sigma and then any other lens makes the others feel almost cheap. What's funny is that the Sigma tends to be a whole lot more affordable than those other lenses, coming in at $900 (what is starting to look like Sigma's sweet spot in terms of pricing). The large, smooth focusing ring is great, and I'm glad they have never remade the mistake of the tiny focus ring found on their 24-105mm f/4.When it comes to performance, I had a really high bar set when I reviewed the 24mm. This should come as no surprise, since the 35mm f/1.4 is probably Sigma's crowning achievement, and regularly is rated as one of the best lenses you can get for a modern camera. The same can be said for the 50mm and 24-105mm. So when the 24mm was only a little better than the competition, I couldn't help but be let down.The 20mm however, surpassed my now-tempered expectations and is on par with what I wanted out of the 24mm. That is to say, this is the lens I wanted to see in the 24mm, and I got it at an even wider focal length. I call that a major win.The 20mm focuses very quickly and very accurately, but seeing that this is a very wide lens, this is far less impressive than if we were looking at a telephoto. Sure, it's very important but anything less than a perfect showing here would have been a huge disappointment. Luckily, the Sigma 20mm never missed a focus point while I was shooting with it, and each time nailed focus quickly. The AF motor is fast and quiet, just as we have come to expect from all Sigma lenses.The 20mm is pretty darn sharp, and images look clean and crisp. If however, you were trying to compare the sharpness to something like the 35mm f/1.4 from Sigma, it isn't quite there. This is not surprising, as the wider focal length is going to make getting a subject matter in the frame super sharp a considerable challenge. However, take a look at these photos. I photographed these cars from about a foot and a half away at f/11 and f/16 respectively, and they look great.Take a look again, this time at 100%:Sure, they are not the sharpest images you've ever seen, but they might be the sharpest images you've seen taken with something as wide as a 20mm. I was incredibly impressed with how this lens performed here. These photos were taken on the Canon 5DSR to test how good the performance could possibly be, at the highest resolution I was capable of shooting. Not only do they look great on screen, but I also tested these by printing them out at 17x22 inches and again, I was very impressed. The prints looks pristine and beautifully sharp.There are three other important areas we need to consider closely when looking at wide angle lenses: vignette, distortion and chromatic aberration. Let's start with the vignette.Depending on your environment, you're going to get some pretty noticeable vignette when you shoot this lens wide open. As an example, I shot indoors at f/1.4 and got this straight out of camera:With a one-click correction via the Adobe RAW editor, you can see how much the vignette there was in the original after it was removed:So yes, it is significant, but it is easily removed and some folks might even like the vignette, which can be great to force the viewer to focus on a subject in the center of the frame. The images above also serve as to show how nice the depth of field can be when this lens is wide open. The plane of focus is surprisingly succinct despite the wide angle.As expected, the more closed down your aperture is, the less vignette you will notice. It all but disappears by f/5.6.Next let's consider the distortion, which you should come into this believing there is going to be some kind of barrel distortion, as is the nature of wide angle lenses. So yes, there totally is some distortion, but it's a matter of how severe it is. Take a look:You can certainly see the trees at the corners of the frame turning in towards the center of the image. This barrel distortion is expected, as mentioned, and it's actually not terrible. Here is that same image corrected for barrel distortion as much as Adobe would allow:Can you see the difference? It's there, but it's really subtle. Basically, the lens is getting the verticals pretty darn close to the best that Adobe can attempt to correct further. No, the verticals are not perfect, but they're probably as close as a lens is capable of getting, especially when taken from this far away from the subject. If you look at the Rothman's car photo above, you'll see how perfectly aligned the edges of the car are.Here is how the lens handled a building, with no corrections applied:You'll notice that the left edge of the building, which is at the most extreme angle, does tilt inwards. The right edge of the building, which is about a quarter in from the side of the frame, is almost perfect. Keep your straight lines in a bit, and the lens doesn't barrel as severely. The takeaway here: despite there indeed being some distortion, it's not bad at all and is easily corrected for.Using that same image of the building, which is Chateau Montelena in Napa, California for those curious, we can also look at chromatic aberration. If we zoom in on the tree branches, we can take a look at how the lens handles chroma. As a point of reference, this photo was taken at f/4.5 and we are zoomed in over 200%:You'll notice just a bit of purple fringing around the edges of the branches. It does get a bit worse with the lens open to maximum wideness and does disappear completely when you close down further (you'll notice no chromatic aberration at all in the two car photos above, even in the metallic shiny areas). This is not bad at all, and I've seen far worse chroma. As far as I am concerned, this lens controls that aberration extremely well. Though not perfect, it's more than good enough.Pros:
- This lens is very, very sharp
- Extremely good distortion control
- Excellent chromatic aberration control
- Strong vignette, which some photographers will love
- f/1.4 is fast! Super fast, especially for a very wide lens
- Beautiful plane of focus when wide open
- Quick, accurate autofocus
- A very low price (considering quality and performance) at $900
- It's darn reliable
Take a moment to look at the last "pro" on my list: "it's darn reliable." My business partner and I used this lens, with the option of the very nice 17-35mm from Canon, on a high end, extremely valuable shoot with an incredibly important client (major cellular brand). We picked the 20mm nearly every time over the 17-35 because the quality of the images looked so darn good. It's super reliable, and we just loved how beautiful the images were coming out. It was our go-to wide angle, even though it wasn't our widest.The 20mm f/1.4 Art is an amazing lens. It's a "pry it out of my cold, dead hands" kind of spectacular. I feel like this lens and I have many more adventures to discover together, and that what I have done with it so far is just the beginning of a beautiful relationship. It's kind of that way with my other favorite lenses, and the 20mm is going to be in my bag. All. The. Time.We give the Sigma 20mm f/1.4 95/100 for a truly outstanding product that surpassed expectations and has earned a permanent place in my camera bag. [post_title] => The Sigma 20mm f/1.4 is a Stunner, Surpasses Expectations [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => the-sigma-20mm-f1-4-is-a-stunner-surpasses-expectations [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-03-28 17:07:52 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-03-28 21:07:52 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://resourcemagonline.com/?p=63158 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 1 [filter] => raw ) => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 63224 [post_author] => 25217 [post_date] => 2016-02-04 16:13:26 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-02-04 21:13:26 [post_content] =>
- Heavy and large
- Strong vignette, though it's easily rectified
For months, I’ve searched for a hybrid backpack to fulfill my needs as a casual photographer. I was sick of switching back and forth between two bags—one for my day-to-day items (laptop, notebook, gym clothes), and one for my photo gear. However, every solution I tried failed. Camera bags could hold my laptop, but I found myself stuffing my gym clothes into camera inserts, not to mention that they’re typically very dorky and conspicuous. Streetwear backpacks, on the other hand, look great, but I was forced to leave my camera loose at the bottom of the bag, a huge problem for those of us who aren’t gentle with our gear. And messenger bags, admittedly, just aren’t my thing. But all of this changed when I got my hands on Lowepro’s new Streetline BP 250 backpack.[caption id="attachment_63226" align="aligncenter" width="838"] Image via Lowepro[/caption]
Released earlier this week, the BP 250 is designed for the stylish commuter and traveler. It looks similar to your common streetwear bag, such as those made by Herschel or Incase, but what sets it apart is its removable “Flexpocket” insert, which can hold a camera, lens, and similarly sized items. In addition, there’s a laptop and notebook sleeve (it’s designed for a 13-inch laptop, but I stretched mine to fit my 15-inch no problem), and its vertical organization provides space for my precious gym clothes to sit snugly beneath the inserts. And the best part? It looks damn good, and is arguably more unique than the typical subway-platform-accessories that cling to the shoulders of the urban workforce. There is also very little indication that photo gear may be stored inside of it, which is important for people like me who often walk home through relatively sketchy neighborhoods on the late night.[caption id="attachment_63227" align="aligncenter" width="838"] Image via Lowepro[/caption]
However, though it’s by far the best hybrid photo bag I’ve encountered, I do have some criticisms. First off, I find the smaller pockets to be just that: small and very, very thin. There is little room to fit anything other than pens, wallets, business cards, memory cards, etc. Secondly, the side “umbrella pocket" is frustrating. On standard photo bags, that space is generally used to carry a tripod. But on the BP 250, although you could easily store a small tripod in place of an umbrella, the sleeve only runs about four inches up the side of the bag. From there, you’re left with two straps to hold your tripod in place, leaving the bulk of it exposed. This diminishes the concept of disguising a camera bag as a backpack, despite ample room for a longer, more concealing tripod sleeve.
Nonetheless, if you can get past these nit-picky grievances, I promise you won't be disappointed. These criticisms are nothing compared to what I could say about most—if not all—of the other options out there. [caption id="attachment_63228" align="aligncenter" width="838"] Image via Lowepro[/caption]
Other features include a charcoal gray weather-resistant exterior, leather handles, and my personal favorite: an easy-access side zipper, which lets you quickly grab the items stored beneath the inserts. The shoulder straps are also super comfortable and feel very natural. So many backpacks these days are equipped with short and wide shoulder straps—if you’re at least 6 feet tall you know exactly what I mean. The bottom of the straps end up falling just over your trapeziuses, which causes them to slide down your shoulders with every step you take. But with the BP 250, the straps curl right under your chest, holding the bag firmly in place. It’s incredibly comfortable.[caption id="attachment_63230" align="aligncenter" width="838"] Image via Lowepro[/caption]
And yet, given that I’ve only had the bag for about a week, I can’t speak on its durability. As far as I can tell, though, it feels pretty sturdy—there is a thick rubber outer lining on the bottom, and the zippers and buckles seem to be made with the quality we’ve come to expect from Lowepro products. The price point is reasonable, too: $199.95, falling right between the cost of a well-built traditional backpack and a reliable camera bag.
All in all, I would call the BP 250 the best in its category. It’s one of those simple products that fill a simple need that has been simply neglected. But will it stand the test of time? We’ll just have to wait and see. Like I said, I’m far from gentle with my gear.[caption id="attachment_63235" align="aligncenter" width="838"] Image via Lowepro[/caption]The biggest selling point of this bag is who it's intended for: the casual urban shooter who likely works a day job and enjoys taking pictures on the go. Pro photographers would presumably choose a devoted camera bag over this hybrid model, as they tend to carry larger gear and much more of it. However, the Streetline BP 250 is super stylish and stands out among other streetwear bags for commuters. It's also very comfortable and one of the first of its kind, while its only drawback is tripod and accessory storage. But hey, these are arguably very minor things to sacrifice for looking fresh as hell on the subway platform. [post_title] => Lowepro’s Streetline is Hands-Down the Best Hybrid Photo Bag I’ve Ever Encountered [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => lowepros-streetline-is-hands-down-the-best-hybrid-photo-bag-ive-ever-encountered [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-03-28 19:32:25 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-03-28 23:32:25 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://resourcemagonline.com/?p=63224 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 1 [filter] => raw ) => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 62749 [post_author] => 47214 [post_date] => 2016-01-21 13:52:51 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-01-21 18:52:51 [post_content] => After the long wait, the new 'flagship' camera from FujiFilm is out. It's called the X-Pro2 and is the updated, revised version of the camera that, for many people around the world, started the explosion that is the X-Series – me included. For those people who have not used a FujiFilm camera, this review might not come across as the impartial review I was asked to, and did my best to, write. But please, bear with me, as a FujiFilm X-Photographer I will try my very best to stay away from any emotional connection I have with this stunning camera or the amazing company that built it. I want to give you an honest opinion of how I feel when I shoot with this camera. To do that, I need to explain the situations surrounding the time when I first shot with the X-Pro2.
In October, I was testing the 35mm f/2 lens from FujiFilm and I had just sent back my images when I had an e-mail from Marc Horner. It said something about a big NDA then a few other things including code names about a new camera. At this stage I didn't know anything of much substance, but a few weeks later I was on my way to see Motley Crue in Birmingham when my phone rang. It was Richard Wan. We quickly made a plan to meet in a layby by Birmingham Airport and a black box was signed for. The box had my name on it and a note. I had an idea what was in the box, but it was only when I got into the gig and opened it that I knew for sure that the camera in my hand was an a new rangefinder style camera. The top plate was covered with a metal engraved plate that provided the prototype details – aside from that there are no markings on the camera. There was nothing inside of the box – aside from a camera, a note with a personal message, a battery and charger. There was no manual, no documentation, nothing. On the very bottom of the camera in very small letters that could be made out after careful inspection. The words SAMPLE had been put over the label in capital red letters. But, I didn't even have to try and make out the wording under the red lettering. I could have had my eyes closed and still known – this new camera was an X-Pro, it slotted into my hand just like my other camera had a thousand times.
I turned the camera on for the very first time and took a photo. Everything was right. The weight, the balance, the touch, the buttons – everything. Being super honest, I didn't even notice the new menus right away, it was the speed of the new camera that got me. After that I wanted to see if they had made a new film simulation mode – I found the ACROS mode and that was me happy. Everything after these two elements was only going to be extra in my eyes. The camera was faster, sharper, leaner and had a killer new Monochrome mode.
Examples of ACROS images, full resolution. Click here to download.
As there was no manual in the box, there was a little bit of fun to be had trying to work out the specs and operation of the X-Pro2. As we were on the way to the Motley Crue gig, I thought this would be a great time to try out this new mystery camera. I still no idea of megapixel count until I checked the display info to see the files in RAW, were a 4000x6000 pixels. Ah, 24 Megapixels it was then. The next thing I wanted to do was see if Lightroom would open the files. I opened up the memory card slot and WHOOP – dual memory cards, and, to make that even better, Fuji had put one UHS II 16gig cards in the camera. I doubt they will ship like that when sold, but they are UHS II card slots which is amazing and lightning fast. This lead my mind to my next thought, what needs super fast cards: 4K video cameras. I clicked through the settings to see what the video was like on the camera. Sadly, 1080P @ 60fps was the highest setting I could find. H.264 QuickTime MOV 1080/60p @ 35 Mbps to be exact. Not a massive let down, as I have the Panasonic GH4 and so far have never used the 4K mode. I understand it's a popular feature for others, I just have no application for it aside from being able to crop in, which is nice but not something I will miss here. One slight downside is the 14 minute max recording time.
As I explored my way around the camera, I looked for all the things I thought would be there. Focus Peaking in 3 colours, burst modes (8FPS), 77 Focus Points, WiFi and it does take the same battery as all the other interchangeable lens X-System cameras. Fuji did say that this camera is far more efficient with the battery too (an extra 50 shots I am told) although I have not tested this out.
Other things that jumped out at me as I checked over the camera was the dual ISO and shutter speed dial. This is a totally new way of using the dials on any camera, as far as I know. The things to take note of are the fact that this camera will do a shutter speed of of 1/8000 and you can boost that to an impressive 1/32000 if you want to shoot with the electronic shutter over the mechanical one. I do love to have these options, but I would also like to start to see things like ND filters built in. The ISO dial goes from 200 all the way to 12,800 with an in camera boost all the way to 51,200 if you need it. The exposure comp dial is big enough to slide with your thumb if your the type of photographer who uses it, plus, it has a 'c' setting that bumps +5 ev to the image if you need it too. It is the same size as the dial on the X-T1. Personally, I have never touched this dial on any camera ever, but, it is there if you like to use it and are a jpeg shooter. As my buddy also noted during his review of the camera, I like the that ISO extensions can be recorded in RAW not just jpeg like in earlier cameras. It should also be pointed out that when looking back at the images shot at super high ISOs, the noise and grain that comes out of this camera is very nice. You could almost say the natural noise is pleasant if you are going for a grainy image.
The EVF is better, much better, even better than the X-T1 in my eyes. This is for a few reasons. Firstly, I much prefer the location of the EVF as this body is a rangefinder design over the 'mini' DSLR body of the X-T1. In case you are curious, the raw EVF stats are: Size - 0.48 in/12 mm, 2.36 million dots and 100% coverage with a 85fps refresh rate.
Onto the new menu system – it's new and I like it. One of the really nice things about Fuji cameras is the fact that I spend very little time in the menus and when I do, it is a quick and clean experience. Nothing winds me up more than a bad UI. The screen on the X-Pro2 is nice, very nice in fact. The menus are very detailed and there is a ton of stuff to go through and customize. From all the things you would expect such as focus and shooting settings to the new Grain setting, they are all super easy to locate using the arrow keypad or the new joystick control. Most things you will need to use though are still on the 'Q' menu which has its own button on the back. But, as many Fuji photographers know, the beauty of the system is the fact you spend very little time buried in the menus with these cameras.
New power management options:
The X-Pro2 is four times faster than anything in the current lineup - so I am told - and in real life testing I would have to say that's spot on: This camera is nippy and zippy. The new processor goes under the title of the X-Processor Pro, and the new chip is the thing that provides the power behind the jpeg engine, white balance system, autofocus and also now can provide a compressed RAW file. The stronger chip combined with the hundreds of phase detection pixels is seamless. The sensor is still built around the X-trans tech, but this is a newer version gives almost twice the readout speeds over the X-T1 due to a new manufacturing method using copper in place of aluminum between photo sites. This is what gives that impressive ISO range and the higher megapixels. The last little bit of 'uber geekism' is that there is now 40% more coverage of the phase dedication pixels with the third generation X-trans Sensor.Let's talk about the files. At first I could only shoot JPEG if want to use an Adobe workflow, since the RAW profile is not yet available. This was fine as the JPEGS are near the best I have ever seen. But to really evaluate the camera's true potential, I needed to get the best access to the RAW as I could. To do this, Japan sent out a super new beta version of the SilkyPix program which allowed me to convert my RAW files into 16bit Tiffs for processing. This was the first real time to get a close up of what this camera can do, and as close as I'll come before the profiles are released closer to the camera's sale date. Since I am not able to process the RAWs directly though the same way as normally do, I processed some X-T1 files though SilkyPix (the same method I am having to use to get X-Pro2 RAWs right now) to compare and yes, the images from the X-Pro2 are better. Bigger and better and with a higher focus hit rate. The tiffs are full of color and tone, and shadows and highlights are dealt with wonderfully.So, back to the gig for a moment, as I was there watching Motley Crue rip though there last show ever, I was shooting away on this new camera. I didn't at that point know anything about the sensor's "40% extra of this" and "10% more of that." The things I cared about was that it was near pitch black and I was able to pick this camera up and use it – things like that are super important to me. Fast-forward five weeks and I still am using the camera pretty much every day. There was still an embargo on the camera and I didn't really know what was inside it, only how it performed. I was reading the rumor sites with everyone else going, "Ah, that makes sense now," and giggling to my self when they got something right. The 15th of January came around, and like everyone else I was watching the news unfold and all the 100 Photographs around the world talk about their time with the camera. Then something happened. The French team showed a video of what the inside of their viewfinder looked like and it blew me away. They had a photo which showed the viewfinder overlaying an LCD image over the optical one. It turned out there was a button which I had not pressed yet. I fell in love with my little black box even more, I had just found a way to shoot in the perfect way for my style. As my buddy Kevin explains:
- High performance: EVF: 6000x4000 res, 85fps refresh, 210 shots, Very fast AF
- Standard perf: EVF: 6000x4000 res, 54fps refresh, 250 shots, Very fast AF
- Economy mode: EVF: 3000x1000 res, 54fps refresh, 330 shots, Fast AF
I like using the OVF for many reasons, but primarily I believe its a quicker shooting experience and it allows me to “see more.” I can watch and observe a lot more using the optical viewfinder. The X-Pro2 has a cool feature called Multi-Magnification which automatically switches the viewfinder magnification according to the lens in use and an electronic rangefinder that simultaneously displays the electronic viewfinder on top of the optical viewfinder (allowing you to see a live view of the exposure). I call this the best of both worlds!
Since I have had the camera, I really have not used anything else, I am still not 100% sure if it has knocked my D800 or the Pentax 645z out of my camera bag for good as they are different cameras for different things, but I am still confident that this is just the most fun, most amazing, most enjoyable camera you can buy today, or pre-order today anyway... Most cameras are tools: this is not a tool, it's a Fuji. And in this day and age of blandness and DSLRs, that really does mean something.
There is something very fun about testing a camera blind: Not knowing what the camera is, what the retail price will be or the details of the pixel peeping specs. Just going on the touch and feel alone, I like this camera. I would have liked this camera if it was still 16 megapixels and I would have liked this camera if it only had one SD card slot – UHS I or II. The fact that this camera is weather sealed is not the big plus point for me, and conversely the lack of a tilt-able screen really is not a worry. It's not like we moaned about a lack of a tilt-able screen when we were shooting film.
My final thoughts are as such: I like this camera and I am pretty sure you will too, unless you try pretty hard to not like it, or the rangefinder style isn't your cup of tea. It is a photographer's camera and the eccentricities of the X-series are still very present in this new camera. The things that make you excited about shooting are loaded into this body and I would find it hard that any true photographer would not be interested in it. All that said, there are probably folks who won't enjoy the camera. No product appeals to 100% of the population.
Anyway, go rent one, go see a show or a buddy who has one because let's face it: no online review, not even this one, will tell you what the X-Pro2 feels like in your hand – this is all part of the charm.
The X-Pro 2 is an amazing camera. In terms of design aesthetic and a technological point of view the X-Pro2 is the very camera I have come to expect from FujiFilm. It fills the gap between the DSLR market and the lower end cameras and feels like a camera made for the love of photography. Combined with the continual development of outstanding lenses, the X-Pro2's 24 megapixel sensor is perfectly paired to take full advantage. The predecessor to this camera kick-started my love affair with the FujiFilm X-System and this update has refined that first love, making it leaner, meaner, stronger, sharper and more dynamic, all while still keeping all the elements that made me connect with the camera the first time around.
Class leading, packed full of innovation and premium quality from every element of the camera, in all the expected (and unexpected) ways, the X-Pro2 is a camera we will be talking about in years to come, as we did the X-Pro1. [post_title] => The Extensive Pro-Shooter's Review of the Fuji X-Pro2 (Contains NSFW Images) [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => the-extensive-pro-shooters-review-of-the-fuji-x-pro2-contains-nsfw-images [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-01-22 10:59:08 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-01-22 15:59:08 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://resourcemagonline.com/?p=62749 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 3 [filter] => raw ) => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 62536 [post_author] => 30241 [post_date] => 2016-01-19 13:58:12 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-01-19 18:58:12 [post_content] => Though claiming that by itself, going mirrorless is going to make your backpack lighter isn't as true as many of us might hope, there are many ways to reduce the size and weight of your gear when traveling. One such way is picking up an Olympus or small Sony camera and a few compact lenses and picking a backpack to match. Lowepro has you covered on that second bit with their ProTactic BP 250, a smaller, more compact version of their popular ProTactic series that will keep safe your smaller equipment in a much more manageable size.The ProTactic 250 is built basically identically to its larger brethren, just in miniscule. Though you can fit a larger camera in the bag (I managed to squeeze a Canon 5D Mark III in it), it's not really what this bag is suited for. It does carry a tablet/small computer, small mirrorless camera (like an Olympus Pen) and a few lenses along with other accessories you might need to get a shot. It's not going to carry a full size computer and it will struggle with larger lenses... but that's the point: it forces you to get lean with your gear kit and in exchange, you can focus on being more mobile.The build of the ProTactic 250 is tough and rugged, and the zippered "cap" on top of the bag feels downright armored. Placing your camera there will allow for quick access to it without exposing the rest of the interior and without sacrificing protection. The bag also has the side-access zipper if you prefer your camera to have a bit more nestled protection in the lower region of the bag. I think that's what makes the ProTactic so lovable: it's ability to adapt. Though tiny, the bag has several different ways it can be used depending on the taste of the wearer, which means you aren't forced into a certain use-case with it. The interior is completely re-arrangeable to whatever you like, and the included dividers are tough and sturdy, what is becoming a trademark with Lowepro bags.The ProTactic has rather impressive structural integrity. I don't like saggy, floppy bags when transporting gear. I want to know that the equipment I'm carrying doesn't rub against one another, or get smushed against the side of the bag that I will inevitably drop on the ground or lean against. The ProTactic is surprisingly sturdy. I can't really twist it or bend it in any direction without feeling the bag fighting back, attempting to remain straight and rigid. It feels very well constructed and gear inside stays safely in place.The laptop/tablet sleeve is located in the back panel and is well padded despite the bag's slim profile. There is room for a few other small items in the back panel, such as batteries or memory cards, but again don't expect to pack too much into this guy. In fact, if you find yourself thinking it is too small, it's clearly not what you're looking for in a bag. This is supposed to be a very small, very portable solution and there it does excel... at the cost of much of the pocket space I generally gravitate towards with bags.Like the original ProTactic bags, the 250 has exterior nylon straps that can house a variety of add-ons. If you insist on carrying more accessories, LowePro provides pouches that can strap to the outside of the bag and hold cables or other small necessities like an intervalometer or additional batteries. It also comes with a tripod foot and strap which lets you carry smaller tripods with you. Avoid using something too large though, as the bag can really only support travel-sized tripods or, as shown below, a larger GorillaPod.The only real let-down with this bag are the straps, which are not particularly well padded or rigid. They lack any kind of shoulder adjustment, but this is normally only a problem if a bag is capable of getting very heavy. The ProTactic 250 can't really (unless you fill it with lead), so the fact that the straps are what would be considered sub-par on a larger bag are adequate here. If you use the bag as intended, with the smaller gear it's more suited for, you should not have a problem with how the straps fit on your shoulders, male or female.That's really all there is to this tiny bag, and I think that's ok. It's small, simple and tough: all things I look for in a small day bag.Pros:
Cons: Perhaps the biggest question here is who this bag is for. Most folks who are fans of the ProTactic would likely lean towards the larger original, since they will likely want bigger equipment with them when they travel. Amateurs and hobbyists tend to gravitate towards the sling-style bag, or something that looks good strapped across their shoulders while they walk through New York. The ProTactic isn't a "pretty" bag: it's design built for function. It excels at that function, and if you're looking to have a bag that sits between the looks of an ONA and the pro-feel of the original ProTactic, then the ProTactic 250 is an excellent choice. We give the ProTactic BP 250 four out of five stars. [post_title] => Condensing Your Camera Gear? Lowepro's ProTactic Mirrorless Bag Fits the Bill [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => condensing-your-camera-gear-lowepros-protactic-mirrorless-bag-fits-the-bill [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-03-28 20:25:43 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-03-29 00:25:43 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://resourcemagonline.com/?p=62536 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 1 [filter] => raw ) => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 62233 [post_author] => 30241 [post_date] => 2016-01-14 15:21:28 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-01-14 20:21:28 [post_content] => The iPad is a product that created an industry for itself. Before the iPad, there was no tablet. There was no idea of a tablet. There was no market, and there was no demand. Now, six years after the original iPad graced store shelves, the tablet has become so much more. In fact, Microsoft has created an entire operating system based on a tablet/laptop hybrid. Nearly every computer manufacturer makes a version of a tablet, and nearly every household owns at least one. It is into this market that the newest iPad enters, one vastly different than the first and even its more recent predecessors. It is a more challenging, demanding and certainly more crowded one. So, how does the iPad Pro fare?Before we get too far into this, one thing needs to be made clear- there is one thing that the iPad Pro is not: a computer. The large size and full keyboard can make you forget this, but the operating system and app selection will quickly remind you. If you were expecting a Microsoft Surface, you're probably going to be disappointed. It runs the familiar and ubiquitous iOS platform we all see on every other Apple mobile device. It's a great platform, but it doesn't have the ability to run anything other than what you can find on the App Store, and unfortunately that means no full version of Photoshop or Premiere, which is a bit of a bummer.The iPad is fast, reliable and though it can't replace your laptop, it comes darn close (so close that I really wish it could, honestly. Seriously, there is no shame in building 2-in-1 devices, since Microsoft and Dell are clearly still in business, the idea hasn't fallen flat on its face like many anticipated). Though it's not perfect, it's an excellent first attempt at this style of product, though we will be setting the bar of judgement a bit higher since we are indeed talking about Apple.Let's start by discussing the hardware. Like with all Apple products, the screen is gorgeous. With 5.6 million pixels, the iPad Pro has the highest resolution of any iOS device, and when viewing videos on YouTube, HBO Now and more importantly, 4K video edited on iMovie, you really notice. The viewing experience is spectacular, and editing video is beautiful and engrossing- more on editing video later.The speakers are wonderful. They're loud, crisp and have decent bass. Of course there are limitations with how good they possibly could be, but it appears Apple has hit that limit as the sound out of the iPad is engrossing and room-filling. I rarely have the volume turned to max, even when I'm showing a group of friends a video.The iPad Pro's battery life is outstanding. I've had this thing for weeks and have charged it only on a couple of occasions. Most of the time, it either lives in my living room or in my backpack, ready to go. Unlike my phone which I must charge every night, I can get several days of use out of this thing before it needs some juice. Maybe I'm not using it enough, maybe it's because I'm not using the cell signal, but I'm very impressed with how long it lasts. I typed feverishly through a two hour press briefing at CES and when it was over, I was only at 99% battery.They keyboard cover is, to me, as much a part of the iPad as the actual piece of glass and steel. Though the way it unfolds and refolds back together to form an actual cover is a bit clunky, when in use it is an absolute joy for the fingertips. Remember that first Surface Pro keyboard? How terrible it was and unresponsive to most keys? It was pretty much impossible to get through a single line of text without flubbing words and missing letters.The iPad keyboard is nothing like that. It's wonderful.I have been using the flat Apple keyboard for iMac and the MacBook for years now, and have gotten my typing speed up well over 100 words a minute. Moving to the iPad keyboard was seamless, and my high typing speed and accuracy was not compromised in the least. The iPad keyboard isn't just a good mobile keyboard, it's great. It's easily my favorite thing about the iPad Pro and I'm super impressed that Apple came up with a design that just feels good under the fingertips.As far as construction, it's very well made. I mentioned the weird way it folds and unfolds together and it's probably not the best design of such a cover. Samsung's new 2-in-1 laptop they built in association with Microsoft has a much better folding design, however the build of their keyboard keys is considerably less good. As far as I'm concerned, there is no real best of both worlds here yet. What makes the iPad keyboard so good is how Apple built the keys, how those keys feel under your fingers, and how responsive they are to being pressed. Apple built the keys to be physical, yet not visibly press down when you're typing. They do press, but a thin cover holds them in place and prevents dust and grime from getting under the keys. It's a hybrid of a normal keyboard and what the original Surface tried to do and it works flawlessly. My only concern is that the keyboard is covered in a fabric-like weave material that, though pleasant to touch, might be prone to quicker wear and tear than a traditional keyboard.One small adapter that is surprisingly useful is the SD to Lighting connector, which works really well for getting photos off of most cameras that aren't your iPhone. The app Apple built into the iPad to read incoming SD cards works really well, and though it can struggle a bit with cards full of a lot of photos (takes quite a while to show a preview of them all), it's a great option if you're trying to ditch a laptop for a few days and go full iPad.Before I get to the last piece of optional hardware, I want to talk about the processing power of the iPad Pro. What you can do on it, which is use a set of optimized apps like iMovie as well as several others available on the App Store, runs really well. iMovie specifically buzzes along at a surprisingly chipper pace, despite large project files and 4K video- three simultaneous streams at one time even. In fact, if you want to get into video but are a bit daunted by Adobe Premiere, I can actually recommend iMovie on iPad as a wonderful place to start. I won't go too far into detail regarding the actual application and instead save that for our iMovie review, but what I will say is that the app runs swiftly and fluidly. Apple's new A9X, their third?generation chip with 64?bit desktop?class architecture, delivers up to 1.8 times the CPU performance and double the graphics performance of iPad Air 2. You can feel that power, and when using the latest in iOS, doing splitscreen work on the iPad is glorious.Unfortunately, not only are there scant few apps built to take advantage of the iPad Pro's potential, not even every app can go split screen. For example, I was able to use Chrome and Messenger together, but not Chrome and Gmail, since it appears Gmail hasn't been either allowed by Apple to go split screen, or there is something in their app code that doesn't allow it to happen. I'm willing to wager it's the latter.And therein lies the largest question mark with the iPad Pro: where are the apps? Or even, what are the apps? Right now it's rather challenging to test the iPad Pro's capabilities because there is only a small pool of creative applications that have been optimized for it that a photographer/video editor would use. I've tried Forge and Pinnacle as well as every single Adobe app for iOS, but these are apps that already work just fine on other iPads, so of course they are smooth on the iPad Pro (though increased file size is really great). All of Adobe's creative apps have been optimized for the iPad Pro, which allows them to handle much larger files sizes, but I argue that is not what we really need in apps for this wonderful device. Bigger files are great, but we need more functionality in the apps. I'm happy that images look better and files can be larger, but we need to be able to actually do more inside the apps.So yes, right now the iPad Pro seems totally unencumbered by any app you could run on it. Heck, run two apps at a time. Run three streams of 4K in iMovie editing. That's awesome, and it shows how powerful the iPad Pro is. But I want the ability to do more in the apps, not just process more data in the same format as the iPad Air. I want an app to feel powerful, as powerful as the iPad Pro feels when I'm running iMovie.At least from Adobe's perspective, the iPad was a device to start a project on, and then finish on a full computer. To me, the iPad Pro feels powerful enough to be an all-in-one device where I conceive, start and finish a project. And perhaps that is where the disconnect lies. I want to do everything on my iPad, but my app selection often hinders that desire.Ok so the final piece of hardware I want to cover now is one that kind of baffles me: the Pencil. The pencil, which is an additional piece of hardware not included with the base model iPad Pro, is at times glorious and at others strangely un-Apple. What makes it great? Using it. The pencil itself feels perfect for the iPad Pro, and the fluid nature of how it works with drawing apps is outstanding. It is sensitive to both tilt and pressure, so depending on the application it can feel like a pencil or a brush, depending on what you desire. It's also much better able to pinpoint places in text than your finger, making word processing easier. The pencil is also light, but with the right weighting to make it feel at home in your hand. It's an example of how Apple's products quite often just feel right, and that's a great thing.The pencil is less great in the actual implementation of the device. What do I mean by that? I mean that the way you sync the iPad with the pencil and the little pieces of plastic that come with it to charge it just seem very... un-Apple, and certainly not something I imagine Steve Jobs finding to his liking. To sync the pencil with the tablet, you have to physically plug the pencil into the iPad, which seems totally backwards for a company built on cutting cords, wires and hassle. In fact, I can't think of a single other accessory that Apple has ever made that requires physically attaching two wireless items in order for them to communicate wirelessly. The pencil has a Lightning male adapter hidden under a small magnetic cap on the backside of the pencil and that is what plugs into the charge port of the iPad. But the pencil also requires charging, so Apple had to also include a tiny female-to-female Lightning adapter so that it would work with their standard lightning charging cables. That is now two tiny pieces of plastic I'm probably going to lose. If I do lose them, especially that female-to-female charger adapter, my Pencil is pretty much useless.Additionally, the Apple Pencil will not work with any other Apple device other than the iPad Pro, and the reason Apple Pencil only works with iPad Pro is because they re-architected the screen of iPad Pro to specifically work with Apple Pencil. The new touch subsystem in iPad Pro knows whether you’re using your finger or Apple Pencil, so when iPad Pro senses Apple Pencil, it scans for its tip signal at 240 times per second (which, incidentally is twice as fast as when it scans for your finger), giving it the ability to collect twice as many data points as it would with your finger. This is what allows for almost no latency when using Apple Pencil. Other iPads do not have this new touch subsystem and therefore cannot work with Apple Pencil. A shame, but it makes sense.Finally, where does Apple expect me to store this Pencil? It doesn't magnetically stay attached to the iPad or the keyboard cover, and there is no clip to even jury rig it to anything. It's small enough of a device for me to lose, so I'm pretty sure I will. It's the same problem Microsoft had with the Surface Pen, which they later solved with it magnetically adhering to the side of the Surface. That's what Apple should have done here as well, but instead I'm left with a device I'm regularly worried I'll misplace.It's just a lot of little things that sort of leave you wondering if there was a better way to do this. When you look at the Surface Pro pen, for example, it does not require charging (it takes AAA batteries but they last forever, and I have rechargeable AAAs anyhow) and is immediately paired with your tablet without you having to do anything. As many flaws as the Surface might have, they seem to have implemented the hardware portion of the pencil in a pretty good manner.But I still like the pencil a lot. I'm full of conflicting emotions regarding this thing, and I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing. Maybe it's neither. I'm happy they made a stylus? Yeah, that feels like the right statement.So where does that leave us?Pros:
- Very small and light weight when empty, and only carries enough gear for short trips
- Excellent rigid structure and divider system
- Works well in various customizable ways
- Compatible with Lowepro's exterior bags and straps found on the original ProTactic
- It's a powerful, beautifully thin little machine that is a beloved tablet trying to be a laptop without looking like it's trying to be a laptop
- It's lightweight and easy to transport. It's basically a perfect size for doing real work on an iPad
- The screen is gorgeous, as expected, and viewing photo and video content is better on the iPad Pro than on any other iPad product (and most of the laptops)
- The keyboard is genius. Though the folding nature of the cover is a bit convoluted, the actual keys are a marvel. The most Apple-esque thing about this Apple product, the keyboard is a real winner
- Battery life is preposterously good. I rarely charge this thing
- The speakers are excellent. They're better than the ones in my 2012 MacBook Pro
- The software runs fast and smooth, even when doing split-screen activities. That said, we haven't seen an app that can really test this thing yet
- The pencil, once synced, works very well and arguably is necessary when word processing due to its ability to quickly pinpoint areas in text that your finger is probably too fat to. Well, mine is at least
I absolutely adore my iPad Pro. It's a great size, the keyboard is an outstanding achievement and it seems like it's way more powerful than any other tablet. But therein lies the rub: it can only seem right now, because we have no real way of quantifying that feeling. The lack of apps really hurts the "pro" in iPad Pro, so much so that I really can only use this thing like I would a Chrome Book. If I need to do anything browser-based, it's glorious. I just want it to also run more robust creative apps... which it probably could if those apps existed.Looking at the device as a standalone, app selection aside, it is really excellent. It's not perfect, that inhibited by the Pencil experience and the weird way the cover folds, but overall it's an absolutely enjoyable product. It's far and away the best iPad Apple has ever made. There is room for improvement however, but in some pretty easy to solve places. We give the iPad Pro from Apple four out of five stars. [post_title] => The Apple iPad Pro is the Best iPad Yet, But It's Not Perfect [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => the-apple-ipad-pro-is-the-best-ipad-yet-but-its-not-perfect [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-01-14 16:48:30 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-01-14 21:48:30 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://resourcemagonline.com/?p=62233 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 61222 [post_author] => 47216 [post_date] => 2015-12-11 10:45:53 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-12-11 15:45:53 [post_content] => AIR by Vincent Laforet, takes time. It's a thick book with hundreds of huge, detailed, aerial images to comb over for hours on end. But more than that, this book takes time to understand and appreciate to its fullest potential.At first, I was hesitant to put much effort into AIR. Leafing through the pages halfheartedly, I confirmed my initial suspicion that this was just over-processed social media bait with no real purpose or substance. The images are just so damn ridiculous, this book couldn't possibly be saying anything except, "Whoa, look at this crazy shit!" This type of photography is becoming all to common as the purpose of the medium continually shifts from capturing unique ideas that can only be expressed through visualizations of reality to a method of getting a click and three seconds of eye-time for banner ads. Photographers have become more focused on catching the attention of a viewer and are forgetting to say something important. One look at AIR will tell any Photoshop or Instagram user that Laforet is after one thing: your attention. But anyone who thinks that (including me) would be wrong.
- It is a beloved tablet trying to be a laptop without looking like it's trying to be a laptop (because since Microsoft and Dell are still in business, it's clearly ok to make 2-in-1 products. This is kind of a 1.25-in-1)
- Though it's not really a downside due to the tablet, there isn't really any other place to say this: we are devoid of apps for this iPad. There are scant few apps that test its strengths and I feel like I have yet to find the perfect use for it (at least from the perspective from a video editor/photographer). It is a device that clamors for more powerful software
- The design of both the folding parts of the keyboard cover and the integration of the Pencil are at best head-scratchers and at worst deal breakers. The Pencil is ludicrously un-Apple in design, and there had to be a better way to design the fold of the cover
- The Pencil wants to get lost. We need a way to adhere it to the iPad
- Speaking of the pencil, I hate the adapters required to charge it
- It bothers me that it requires charging at all. Why can't it adhere to the iPad, and also charge via that magnetic induction? That would be sweet. I can't imagine the pen really needs so much power that it would be a heinous draw on the great battery life of the iPad
- I also don't like that it doesn't work on other iPads
- Too many small parts
- I'm done talking about the Pencil now
- The cover scuffs easily and the rubberized surface attracts crumbs and dog hair
- This thing is expensive, and without an ecosystem of great applications that actually can push this iPad into a real pro tool, it's up to you if that price point is worth it
[Copyright Vincent Laforet, laforetair.com] As soon as I got my hands on this book, it was impossible to resist the urge to crack it open and start binge flipping through the pages. But long before I saw them all, the novelty of the extremely repetitive imagery wore off. I set the book down and chalked it up a colorful coffee table accessory, great for starting conversations or distracting in-laws. It wasn't until I started researching the book for this review that I understood what it was about (helpful tip: read the introduction, and the fascinating forward by astronaut Donald R. Pettit).Though it definitely works as click-bait, as evident by its viral start on storehouse.co, there's more to AIR than that. The goal of the book, as described by Laforet on the inside sleeve, is to create a visceral awareness that, "The world is much smaller than we think. Borders are irrelevant and distances shortened. Clearly, we are more intimately connected to one another than we may realize." Even the initially vapid title "AIR" is adequately defended by Laforet. He explains, "I chose the title AIR because it's something we all share and are all equally responsible for. By definition, air doesn't belong to anyone. It belongs to us all regardless of background, social status, or origin, as does this project." While the statements in this quotation are questionable, especially that the project somehow "belongs to us all," there is clearly thought and purpose behind the title and the project in general.
[Copyright Vincent Laforet, laforetair.com] When I see one of Laforet's particularly unbelievable photograph like the one above, I immediately reject it mainly for the colors. This is not what life looks like. I assume that these were much lower contrast, higher grain, dull images that went through multiple layers of color adjustments filters to get to where they are now. However, Laforet wisely addresses this obvious concern in his introduction, "The truth is that we do very little to these images. All of the colors are naturally there, because the different city lights have different 'color temperatures.'" If that's true (and I doubt Laforet is lying), then these images really do reveal a lot about a city, its citizens, and its history. When you compare a photo of the relatively new city of Sydney above and a photo of the far older Berlin below, you can see how a city's history shapes its landscape as well as its lighting. Laforet notes that the divide between East and West Berlin is still visible today, "The former communist block remains noticably darker and more yellow than its western counterpart, where the lights are brighter and bluer in tone."
[Copyright Vincent Laforet, laforetair.com] Laforet notes that this type of photograph has only become possible in the last few years. The combination of low light and camera shake from the helicopter used to mean that these images were impossible to take. However, now that camera technology allows super high ISO values without significant quality loss, Laforet can make this type of photograph that has never been seen before. Though the imagery and process scream "high-tech," Laforet opts to occasionally implement a tilt shift lens à la the large format film cameras of yesteryear. This is an unfortunate choice, as it not only takes away the objective character of this book but also ads an even more clichéd style to a collection that's already riding the edge of art and pop. Sure, the miniaturizing effect bluntly illustrates his thesis that the world is smaller than you think, but it takes away the fun of looking at all the minute details of the city and looks like it was done in post-processing, something that all too common these days.
[Copyright Vincent Laforet, laforetair.com] Despite the sometimes rash aesthetic choices in this book, I found it to be a fascinating and beautiful study of humanity. Though the images are repetitive, you can still return to this book many times to discover something new and interesting or to simply day dream. If you're familiar with one of the cities featured in AIR, you will certainly enjoy that city's section best as you scan the landscape and gain a new perspective, both literally and figuratively, on the buildings and streets you've walked in real life.Overall, we give AIR a 4/5, subtracting half a point for a theme that would benefit from a deeper and more prominent explanation and half a point for the Instagram aesthetic that somewhat discredits an otherwise thoughtful book. Still, if this book's theme or aesthetic interests you, I would definitely recommend picking up a copy. Just make sure to read the introduction. [post_title] => Book Review: "AIR" by Vincent Laforet is More Than it Seems [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => book-review-air-by-vincent-laforet-is-more-than-it-seems [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2015-12-11 10:45:53 [post_modified_gmt] => 2015-12-11 15:45:53 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://resourcemagonline.com/?p=61222 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ))