One Tiny Change in Photoshop to Speed Up Cropping

One Tiny Change in Photoshop to Speed Up Cropping

For many of us, we’ve been using Adobe Photoshop for so long that at this point we don’t question our own workflows; we do what we’ve done before because that’s the way we’ve always done it. I did something crazy the other day though. I questioned if a tooltip’s displayed information could be changed. And I was a little shocked that yes, it could be.

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“There’s Something to Be Said for Eliminating Variables and Keeping Things Simplistic”: DP Mike Gioulakis on the Doppelgängers of Us

In Jordan Peele’s Us, a middle class family returns home from a day at the beach to find themselves under siege by murderous doppelgängers clad in red jumpsuits and wielding scissors. Instead of leaning primarily on face replacements, compositing and other post production tricks, cinematographer Mike Gioulakis emphasized clever camera placement and the use of doubles to create the illusion of Lupita Nyong’o and her clan battling their alter egos. With Us hitting Blu-ray and other home entertainment platforms last week, Gioulakis walked Filmmaker through some of the film’s most memorable shots. Filmmaker: Since we spoke for It Follows, you’ve shot two M. Night […]

Jumping Back in to the Darkroom

Jumping Back in to the Darkroom

As a sort of part 2 to my last video, I’m taking the black and white film from that same shoot and jumping into the darkroom. It’s been a while since I’ve ventured in, so I thought it would be fun to take you along with me while I kicked off the cobwebs.

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Galactic Innovations: STAR WARS and ROGUE ONE

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences  will be hosting “Galactic Innovations: STAR WARS and ROGUE ONE,” panel on Thursday, June 27th. Held at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater, the evening event will contrast the analog technologies developed for the first STAR WARS released in 1977 with the all-digital toolsets used to create ROGUE ONE […]

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Camerimage Last Call For Entries

The deadline for submitting narrative feature films and documentary films to the 27th Edition of Camerimage, the International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography, is Sunday, June 30th. The deadline for other categories (music videos, TV pilots, student etudes) is Wednesday, July 31st. All submitted feature films will be evaluated by the selection committee, […]

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Women in Media: Black Carpet Genre Brunch and Panel

The Women In Media hosted a Black Carpet Genre Brunch and Panel to celebrate and honor five talented women for their outstanding achievements in the industry held at Taix French Restaurant on Sunday, June 23, 2019. The five ladies were each presented by a different Toast Master as Women In Media Executive Director Tema Staig […]

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Achieve A Slow Push-In in Post with Vashi Nedomansky’s Premiere Pro Preset

The slow push-in is a fundamental building block of cinematic storytelling. Here’s how you can achieve it in post.

We listed the slow push-in as one of our 8 camera moves that will help you tell better stories, and for good reason.

The push-in often takes place when the audience is receiving a key piece of information. The filmmaker is inviting the audience to lean forward. The camera slowly moves towards the subject to emphasize an important moment. It’s a way to subtly say, “Pay attention! This story beat is important.”

Classically, a slow push-in is accomplished with a dolly or a zoom lens.

But what if you didn’t have a dolly? What if you couldn’t get that perfect shot on set?

Vashi Nedomanky has your back.

Nedomansky, editor of Sharknado 2, created a free set of 10 presets for Premiere Pro that can be easily added to your footage, still images, and even text.

This preset package includes 5 scale percentage options for you to choose from, ranging from most subtle to most aggressive: 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25.

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You Can Moan About Adobe but the Company Is Making More Money Than Ever

You Can Moan About Adobe but the Company Is Making More Money Than Ever

You may frequently hear complaints about Lightroom and Photoshop — too buggy, too slow, too bloated, too expensive — but it doesn’t seem to be putting a dent in Adobe’s performance. In fact, it’s quite the opposite as the company announced last week that it has achieved record revenues for the second fiscal quarter of this year.

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Bye Bye Camera is an iOS app that removes humans from photos

Bye Bye Camera is a new app for iOS that does one thing and one thing only: it detects people in the image, removes them and fills in the background. The function should be welcome by landscape or travel photographers who shoot at popular locations that are busy with tourists but is meant to be an artistic statement rather than a photographic tool.

Artist Damjanski created the app alongside his art collective Do Something Good. Talking to Artnome Damjanski said:

I’ve created this project together with two of my longtime collaborators, Andrej and Pavel, from Russia. A couple of years ago I created a collective called Do Something Good where I connected all the people I’ve collaborated with online. By now we’re 16 people around the world from different fields and collaborate on different projects.

The app takes out the vanity of any selfie and also the person. I consider Bye Bye Camera an app for the post-human era. It’s a gentle nod to a future where complex programs replace human labor and some would argue the human race. It’s interesting to ask what is a human from an Ai (yes, the small “i” is intended) perspective? In this case, a collection of pixels that identify a person based on previously labeled data. But who labels this data that defines a person immaterially? So many questions for such an innocent little camera app.’

On a technology level, the app works by using functionality from an image recognition app called Yolo and combines it with a neural network that analyzes the visible elements in the background and fills in the gaps once the person is removed.

This is by no means new technology but on this occasion it is applied with a slightly different purpose in mind: the app wasn’t designed to remove the odd bystander who sneaked into your frame but to wipe all humans from your images and capture post-human scenes. If this sounds like something you’d like to try you can download the app from the App Store now for $2.99.

What the Hell Happened to Brand Loyalty?

What the Hell Happened to Brand Loyalty?

There was once a time when Canon and Nikon users warred like zealous tribes and the act of switching made you a heathenish deserter. Now it’s just par for the course. So what happened to brand loyalty? Did it ever really exist?

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Hurry and Join This Group Buy to Get Up to 30% Savings On Lighting Gear From Westcott

We’ve crushed Tier One, and are solidly in Tier Two for all three items–that already means a 20% discount! Tier 3 (and even bigger savings) are within reach!

The offer includes Wescott’s Slim Jim Cine kit, their Bi-Color Flex lights(w/X-Bracket Kit), and Ice Light light wand. An easy to assemble diffusion, extremely adjustable LEDs, and a 50% more powerful light wand are all great tools for any level of filmmaker.

Got any questions about the gear?

Ask us in the comments and our own Charles Haine will reply!

Refer to the form below for group buy structure and instructions on how to participate:

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Product information, specs, and images below:

Wescott Scrim Jim Cine Kit

If you need to shape, diffuse, cut, or bounce light, Wescott’s Slim Jim Cine might be right up your alley. The Scrim Jim Cine has a lot of desirable features, including heavy-duty modular construction, positive-locking connectors, quick assembly, and easy portability.

https//www.youtube.com/watch?v=ziVATf7_9Z8

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Did Canon just say that DSLRs are dead?

Canon

Canon may have just announced that the modern DSLR is dead. In a recent video explaining the technology behind the new RF lens, the company talks about a new age and mirrorless is the keyword used.

Which system is better: reflex or mirroless? The question has divided opinions and no one has, yet, found the right answer. The problem, though, may be that those discussing the advantages and disadvantages of both systems looked at the cameras, when they should look at lenses. Yes, cameras are important, and those who have opted for mirrorless say their system is better, while those who prefer an optical viewfinder and the slapping mirror say otherwise. I must admit I prefer DSLRs, as I appreciate seeing a real world image framed in the viewfinder, instead of millions of pixels translating the light reaching the sensor through the lens.

Electronic viewfinders have evolved to a point where even I can accept what they offer, but up until now the discussion “mirrorless or DSLR?” has had no meaning for me. This may change in the future, because Canon, that only recently adopted full frame mirrorless cameras, with its EOS R system, may just have put a nail – one more? – in the coffin where the DSLR will be buried. No, they did not say it directly, but a recent video published by the company, explaining the technology behind the RF lenses, does suggest that mirrorless may be the future… even for those who use DSLRs now. Why?

The next EOS 7 will be mirrorless? And APS-C?

Because in the video, which you can watch here, Canon does say that the RF system opens “new possibilities in photographic expression” and the “RF mount unlocks the potential of imaging for a new age”. When you mix those notes with the rumors that the EOS 7D family is probably being abandoned, and that Canon may offer a mirrorless instead – does this mean there will be an APS-C mirrorless in the EOS family, maybe called EOS R7? – users may refrain from buying new EF lenses, waiting for a sign from Canon. No lenses sold could contribute to the end of DSLRs.

Still, a new EOS DSLR is expected this Summer. Rumors suggest it will be named EOS 90D, and will mix elements from the EOS 80D and EOS 7D. But with Canon saying that mirrorless cameras are better, because of the lenses that can be designed to work with them, who will invest in a new DSLR? Buying a mirrorless model, like the EOS RP, allows to make the transition to the future Canon talks about, and an adapter will allow you to use EF lenses, those lenses that Canon says now, offer less quality than the models designed for mirrorless.

Lenses for mirrorless cameras are better?

Canon says that the large diameter of the RF mount is one of the reasons why the new lenses are better, but the company may just say it to make Sony users feel bad, because Sony’s mirrorless models use a mount with a smaller diameter. In fact, the RF mount is similar, in size, to the EF mount, which Canon adopted decades ago, paving the way for its future systems at a time when mirrorless was not even on the horizon.

The large diameter of the RF mount works better… because it is associated with the short back focus that mirrorless allow. That’s what makes the difference, as the video explains. It’s the combination of large mount and the proximity of the rear element to the sensor that enables Canon to create lenses that are, apparently, better. This is not a Canon exclusive, but something that happens with the mirrorless systems from Nikon, Fujifilm, Olympus, Panasonic and, yes, Sony. There may be differences in the way smaller diameters work, but it’s the pair of diameter and short back focus that allows for better optical solutions.

Canon

RF mount allows a different optical design

As the video explains, when light passes through a lens it is refracted, with more refraction resulting in more aberrations that have a negative effect on image quality especially on the outer edges of the image. With lenses designed for DSLRs, the distance between the rear elements of the lens and the sensor is too far and the light gets condensed, making it difficult to correct aberrations. To counteract this and have better image quality, the front element of a DSLR lens need to be large, meaning the lens will be bulkier and heavier.

Because the EOS R is a mirrorless system, the RF lenses have a short back focus, as the rear element is placed closer to the sensor. This translates in light rays that are spread out and allow for precise correction of aberrations. Also, because of the large diameter of the RF mount, wider lens elements can be placed closer to the sensor, reducing light refraction while it eliminates the need, according to Canon, “to excessively bend light rays as with small diameter lens mounts” a note that reminds us, again, of the smaller diameter of Sony mirrorless system.

Controlling flare and ghosting

Canon says that “these characteristics minimize aberrations and facilitate more effective lens arrangements making possible higher image quality and high spec performance in more compact designs”. On the other end, a short back focus creates a problem: light rays produced by reflections within the lens may hit the sensor, resulting in flaring and ghosting.

To solve the problem, Canon employs lens coating technologies that include a special multi-layer coating on the lens surface known as ASC, to reduce light reflection. Another coating, comprised of countless nano sized wedges aligned tightly together on the lens surface to reduce reflection known, as SWC minimizes flare and ghosting to make a short back focus possible.

Canon

RF offers exquisite image quality

According to Canon, the RF lenses are born of the company’s pursuit of the ideal lens, and the new solutions present “new possibilities in photographic expression”. The new mount, with its enhanced electronic connections “further strengthens communication between the camera and lens enabling high-speed large volume data transfer and future proofing the system for many years to come” and “allows the camera to make corrections tailored to each lens and achieve high precision image stabilization resulting in exquisite image quality”.

How much of this is marketing blurb is anyone’s guess. There is no doubt, though, that if Canon believes the RF mount represents a better bet for the future, they may leave EF lenses behind. In a recent interview published by DPReview, Canon engineers said they are developing, simultaneously, multiple DSLR, M-series and R-series models, but they also add that “our approach is to leverage our lineup strategy but at the same time, we’d like to listen to our customers’ feedback and make decisions based on this.”

Canon

The EOS RP is full frame for all

In the same interview the Canon engineers also say that “one of the goals of the EOS RP was meant to be a good step-up for current APS-C users. We hope it’s possible for APS-C users to step up to the FF camera market.” The two comments seem to contradict each other. If Canon wants users to move from APS-C to FF, and they say the EOS RP was launched with that goal in mind, doesn’t it then mean that they are leaving APS-C and, probably the EF mount and DSLRs? After all, the EOS RP is Canon’s entry-level model in the mirrorless world, priced to function as a modern day EOS 300D.

Canon influencers are doing their job too, and these days you’ll find, online, multiple articles stating that the EOS R mirrorless has features that they always dreamt about. From outdoor photographers as George Lepp comparing the EOS 5D Mark IV size with a 24-105mm attached to the size of a EOS R, with the R mount version of the same zoom, and stating that the EVF is also an advantage, to articles where you’re told EVFs are amazing when it comes to shooting in both indoor and outdoor lighting, when compared to DSLRs,  AF is better than DSLRs, and many other “advantages”,  there is a barrage of new info and suggestions. It makes you wonder if you should sell your DSLR…

Marketing the EOS 20D as a professional camera

If these articles contribute to shift opinions, Canon may well be signing the death of DSLRs. Only time will tell. Three decades ago Canon broke its links to the past, moving from the FD mount to an EF mount that pointed towards the future. The new RF mount has similar diameter (1mm more…) but, as Canon says, points to a new age. Is that new age one where DSLRs become a thing of the past? I don’t know, because DSLRs may be doomed, but they are not dead yet.

I, for one, will keep my DSLRs ready to go out and shoot. Even my old EOS 10D or EOS 20D continue to give me good results, and I surely like the touch of the EOS 10D. It was not so long ago that those were the references when we talked about innovation.

For one Canon ad published in a photography magazine George Lepp wrote, commenting a photo of cranes  used as illustration: “the [camera] really excels. The 5 frames per second capture rate and the sophisticated DIGIC II Image Processor… allow me to to set a high ISO to stop action. He also wrote “with the lighting fast autofocus and unparalleled Image Stabilization, I can concentrate on composition, not camera settings.”

This was written in 2005, for one Canon ad published in Popular Photography magazine. The comment was about the EOS 20D, presented, then, as having “All the features the pro require. And you really, really want”. Has photography changed that much?

The post Did Canon just say that DSLRs are dead? appeared first on ProVideo Coalition.

Leica M-E (Typ 240) Announced, Lowers Cost of Entry to M System

Leica M-E (Typ 240) Announced, Lowers Cost of Entry to M System

Next month, Leica is adding the full-frame mirrorless Leica M-E (Typ 240) to their lineup of M-system rangefinder cameras. Is the price low enough to gain a larger following?

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Leica Unveils the M-E (Typ 240) Entry-Level M Rangefinder

Leica has just announced the new M-E (Typ 240) digital rangefinder camera. The camera is designed for newcomers to the M system, “making it the new entry-point of Leica M rangefinders.”

Inside the M-E (Typ 240) is a 24-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor backed by a Leica Maestro image processor and a 2GB buffer (up from the 1GB buffer of the original M240). The ISO range is 200 to 6400.

Each of the cameras is handcrafted in Germany. The body is resistant to spray water and dust, and the leather trim across the surface provides a safe grip.

The top and base brass plates of the camera feature an anthracite grey paint developed specifically for the M-E.

On the back of the camera is a 3-inch TFT display with 920,000 pixels and scratch-resistant glass.

In the area of video, the M-E (Typ 240) can capture 1080p Full HD. There’s a dedicated recording button that will be handy for users who often need to quickly switch over from still photos to video recording.

Other features of the camera include Wi-Fi, 3fps burst shooting, a

The Leica M-E (Typ 240) will hit store shelves on July 25th, 2019, with a (relatively) low price tag of $3,995. It’ll come with a 2-year warranty.

OWC Announces World’s Fastest Portable USB-C Drive

OWC hits a sweet spot between speed, form, price and ruggedness with the new USB-C Envoy Pro EX.

Other World Computing has just announced a ruggedized USB-C version of the already well-regarded Envoy Pro EX line of external hard drives. These portable drives offer screaming fast data transfer speeds up to 980 MB/s in a tiny, weatherproof form factor. This brings great on-the-go performance to Windows users and a more affordable and durable option to Mac users who don’t need the 2,800 MB/s throughput of their Thunderbolt 3-only drives (while retaining Thunderbolt 3 compatibility).

In addition, these drives are housed in an IP67 rated 100% dustproof and waterproof anodized aluminum case. The IP67 rating certifies that it will survive 30 minutes in up to 1 meter of water. The operating temperature range is from 32 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit. All of this in a bus-powered form factor that weighs only 148 grams. The retail price for the 2.0TB version is $429.75, an unimaginable price-point for this kind of performance in this form factor only a couple of years ago.

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Why Nikon is Failing in the Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera Race

A few decades ago, Nikon was the number one manufacturer for high-end professionals. If you were a pro photographer who shot with a 35mm full-frame camera, you probably shot with a Nikon.

Over the years, Canon took this position from Nikon and became the largest full frame camera manufacturer in the world. Nikon resigned itself to the number two position and this remained consistent for quite some time. Recently, however, we’re starting to see some major changes in the industry and Nikon’s position is under threat yet again.

Over the last year, we’ve seen a whole bunch of new full-frame mirrorless camera hit the market. Sony was the company that pushed the drive towards mirrorless, and the rest of the manufacturers followed suit. Even companies like Panasonic, which hasn’t really been known for producing full-frame cameras, have come to try their luck in this market segment. All this new competition has had a massive impact on the market positions for all of the companies.

Too Small to Compete?

Nikon is the runt of the pack. As a company, Nikon ($5.7B market cap) is significantly smaller than all its major competitors. Companies like Canon ($30B+ market cap) and Sony ($64B market cap) are multiple times larger in terms of market value. Even Panasonic ($20B market cap) is significantly larger as a company in comparison.

Of course, one could argue that their respective camera divisions are comparable in size to Nikon: however, the extra scale does have its advantages. The financial potential for all the other manufacturers is far greater than what Nikon has available to itself. Sony, for example, makes most of its income from insurance and financial-based products. This provides a huge cash cushion available for investment and new developments.

The other benefit of having other major sources of income is that as a company, you have a diversified degree of experience. You’re not just focused on one area and have other segments within the company that can assist in growing areas.

The biggest benefit is that if one of the market segments shrink, then it doesn’t have a significant impact on the company’s overall position. The problem Nikon faces is that it’s heavily exposed to the photography industry and hasn’t really diversified enough. This presents a number of problems especially now as we see the industry being infringed on by smartphones.

As the industry shrinks and the number of sales drop year on year, Nikon suffers far more than its competitors. The industry shrinking also means that as a company Nikon may have less and less financial clout for new developments and innovations. New developments and innovations are crucial if Nikon wants to continue to remain competitive in this fast-changing industry.

Ultimately, Nikon may be too small to compete effectively and for the long term.

Lack of Experience for Video

Nikon is the only major full-frame camera manufacturer that is severely lacking when it comes to experience for video-specific cameras. Every other major manufacturer has developed a proper line of cinema cameras.

The other manufacturers have also developed a market position where people recognize their cameras for video=related features. Canon has, in my mind, the best autofocus for video. Sony has produced the best low-light cameras for video, and Panasonic is probably one of the best companies when it comes to high-quality video features in current mirrorless cameras.

The biggest benefit of this is that customers associate these companies with both the photography and video industries. Creatives don’t generally go out and purchase Nikon cameras specifically for video features, and this has prevented Nikon from being able to grow that segment properly. Up until recently, its video features have been lackluster at best.

Just to clarify, I’m aware that Nikon does offer some compelling video features in its latest cameras; however, the issue isn’t really about features per se — it’s more about market perception. For the most part, customers have generally flocked to other manufacturers for video features and now Nikon is playing catch-up. Also, its autofocus features are pretty terrible when it comes to video.

Video features are now more important than ever. With more and more photographers turning into hybrid shooters, this segment is a really important part of the industry and essentially where the battle may be won or lost. Suffice it to say, Nikon has a tough battle ahead if they want to stand out with its video features.

The Lens Mount

Nikon made such a big deal about its new lens mount and how big it is on its new mirrorless cameras. Nikon was quite obviously overcompensating for the fact that the mount on its DSLR cameras was one of the smallest of any other DSLR on the market.

I appreciate that the new Z mount has a huge degree of potential. The problem is that it’s just potential and Nikon has done very little with it. Every other manufacturer has developed proper practical and interesting lenses for their mounts. Canon is the best example of this with the RF lenses — there are no lenses on the market that compare to some of the ones Canon has developed.

Nikon, though, has a bunch of overpriced f/1.8 prime lenses and a new 24-70mm f/2.8. Sure, Nikon has also announced the 58mm f/0.95; however, that’s nothing more than a mantelpiece ornament. Even the lens roadmap currently does not include anything relatively interesting or new.

Essentially all the hype around the larger mount was for naught and Nikon really needs to improve the kind of lenses they produce for the new mount. This lackluster approach to lenses means that many photographers may not see the need to move over to Nikon’s mirrorless system. When professionals have options like the Nikon D850 and a whole range of fantastic lenses, one wonders what the Z-mount cameras actually offer.

Single Card Slot Fiasco

The single card slot was a huge marketing blunder. Nikon over-hyped their new mirrorless cameras and then when it was finally released, the first thing people noticed was the single card slot. This could have been okay for lesser priced models, but the Z7 was initially priced at almost $3,400.

This meant it was more expensive than the universally loved D850 and less effective for many photographers. Whether or not you consider this to be a big deal, this still had a huge impact on Nikon and the perception of their new mirrorless cameras. Also having a single card slot in a camera that costs over $3,000 is ridiculous; especially when cameras like the D750, D500, and D850 exist.

Nikon was busy trying not to cannibalize their DSLR cameras but seemingly forgot about their competitors, namely Sony. This is one of the reasons we’re seeing Sony take the number two spot from Nikon.

Final Thoughts

With such an incredible degree of competition and all from very capable companies, Nikon is probably in the toughest spot. Its mirrorless launch was mired by several problems and this hasn’t really improved over the last 6 months. Companies like Sony haven’t released any new cameras in that time and yet it continues to outsell Nikon.

As a company, Nikon may not have the same capability to invest in new systems, and trying to compete in this extremely tough market is difficult, to say the least. Not to mention its lack of diversification, which means that we may start to see Nikon go the way of Pentax. If things continue as they are, Nikon may be subject to a buyout within the next five years.

Ultimately, it’s a tough road ahead for camera manufacturers, and we may see some unfortunate results.


About the author: Usman Dawood is the lead photographer of Sonder Creative, an architectural and interior photography company. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can find more of his work on his website, Instagram, and YouTube.

There’s Now An E-Mount Adapter For Nikon Z6/Z7 Cameras

It’s the “world’s first Sony E to Nikon Z autofocus adapter.”

Techart Pro recently unveiled an adapter, the TZE-01, that fits Sony E-Mount lenses onto the new Nikon Z6 and Z7 cameras.

It offers support for AF-S, AF-C & MF modes for both still and video shooting, as well as Face & Eye Detection of Z-mount cameras, lens vibration reduction, and timelapse.

It’s still in the prototyping stage and, as such, is not expected to be a perfect performer.

That being said, the demonstration video from Techart Pro themselves shows testing with a plethora of G and G-Master lenses ranging from long telephoto zoom lenses to wide prime lenses and it seemed to hold up well. Obviously, it’s not as good as native glass, but not even lens adapter juggernaut Metabones can match AF speed from first party lenses.

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