Free Atomos RAW HDR Masterclass (SYD/MEL)

Atomos, SUNSTUDIOS & Blonde Robot are putting together a free RAW – HDR Masterclass with Brett Danton. Over the course of a two-hour masterclass you’ll learn how to set up the C300 Mark II to record optimal RAW or LOG footage with the Shogun 7 monitor-recorder. Brett will demonstrate the importance of proper HDR lighting … Continued

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Let’s Edit with Media Composer – Working with 2:3 Pulldown

I can’t remember the time that I last worked in a 1080i timeline. I’m pretty much 23.98 all the way. Working with 23.98 clips in a 1080i timeline is fairly straightforward. You’re going to add 3:2 pulldown to take your 23.98 progressive clip/show, to convert it to 29.97 frames per second. But what happens if you’re working in a timeline, and you’ve been given 1080i clips that you know come from a 23.98 master…..OR you’ve been given a promo, commercial, or potentially even a show that was mastered in 23.98, but converted to 1080i for output, and all you have is that 1080i master clip, and you need to convert it back to progressive, so you can make a sweet looking progressive 23.98 fps file.  That’s where 2:3 pulldown, or Reverse Telecine, comes into play! In this lesson, we’re going to cover how to take 1080i clips that were originally shot in 23.98 fps, and add 2:3 pulldown to make them fit seamlessly in your progressive timeline.  Enjoy

Channel: www.youtube.com/letseditMC_avid
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LetsEditwithMediaComposer
Twitter: @kpmcauliffe
e-mail: kevinpmcauliffe@gmail.com

Digital Anarchy announces Prepaid Transcriptive Services

Digital Anarchy has just announced a new Prepaid Minutes option of their Transcriptive Software for Adobe Premiere Pro editors. By prepaying, video editors can reduce the cost of the AI-enabled video transcription service by 50%. The newest version of Digital Anarchy Transcriptive, released today, includes a new Prepaid Minutes package that allows users to purchase … Continued

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Some Galaxy S20 Ultra smartphone reviewers report multiple camera issues

The Galaxy S20 Ultra, the highest-end model in Samsung’s newly unveiled S20 smartphone family, features multiple cameras, including a 108MP sensor, forming what the company refers to as a ‘groundbreaking’ mobile camera system. The phone is only available for preorder at this time, but a number of units have been shipped to tech reviewers, some of whom are reporting various camera issues ranging from autofocus problems to excessive skin smoothing.

The Verge and PC Mag are among the reviewers to describe some issues with the Galaxy S20 Ultra’s camera system, including times where it hunts for autofocus, sometimes failing to lock on to the subject. As well, the camera is said to excessively soften skin and faces, producing a heavily processed appearance. PC Mag in particular reports that the Ultra’s 100x zoom ‘isn’t that usable’ due to producing a tight and shaky picture with focus issues.

Android Central‘s Hayato Huseman shared a video recorded with the Ultra, which shows it struggling to focus for around the first five seconds of the recording:

In response to complaints, Samsung told The Verge that as part of its effort to ‘optimize performance to deliver the best experience,’ it is ‘working on a future update to improve the camera experience’ offered by the S20 Ultra. That statement is quite vague, however, raising questions over whether these problems will be fixed before the phone arrives for consumers.

Michael Fisher of Mr. Mobile argued in a recent tweet thread that S20 Ultra reviews should proceed despite the promised update because, among other things, Samsung didn’t specify what its update will fix and when it will be made available. He also points out that the S20 Ultra is quite expensive (it costs $1400) and that ‘consumers deserve to know whether it’s worth that premium.’

Will NAB 2020 be cancelled due to the Coronavirus?

The world is on edge with the spread of the Coronavirus and fully containing it hasn’t been established yet. In the U.S airlines are cancelling flights to and from China tentatively through March and early April. Today the first death in the USA from COVID-19 has happened in Washington State and the virus appears to … Continued

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Great Sunday Reads in Photography

Spend your Sunday the way you’re supposed to, with some great reading. Here’s our roundup of interesting articles and content from around the Web for photographers. Enjoy!

All the Weird Things You Learn As a Wildlife Photographer VICE

The Technology That Could Replace the CMOS SensorIEEE Spectrum

Radical Street Photography, Defined by ColorAperture

The Greatest Fashion Photographer You’ve Never Heard OfNew York Post

David Yarrow’s Unconventional Wildlife PhotographyOutdoor Photographer

Dorothea Lang ReconsideredTime

A Love Letter to the Ocean, in Towering Wave PortraitsMy Modern Met

Unpacking the Frequently Misunderstood Iwo Jima ImageMonroe Gallery

Can Photography Help Depression? Feature Shoot

How China Is Tightening Its Grip on PhotographersHong Kong Free Press

A Photographer Working in the Wastes of Biological and Chemical WarBBC

Shooting the Australian Bush Fires on FilmEmulsive

An Iranian Turns Her Lens on AmericaBritish Journal of Photography

Revisiting Photography’s First Road Trip Hyperallergic

The Man Whose Vision Shaped South African Photography New Yorker

A Photographer Spends 20 Years Documenting Still Births The Atlantic

Photo Essay

Extreme Selfie–The Photographer Who Goes Out on a Limb

Video the Week

Being a photojournalist in a warzone is one of the most difficult jobs in the world. But what happens when that warzone is your own home? France 24 sits down with Syrian photographer Abdulmonam Eassa, who spent five years amidst near dailly bombardment documenting his country’s brutal civil war. This is his story.

Is the Nikon D780 right for you?

Is the D780 right for you?

Everyone has different requirements for cameras; what might be perfect for one person could be unworkable for another. With this in mind, we’ve taken a look at some common photographic use-cases to see how well we think the Nikon D780 will work for them. From travel to portraits, check out our handy guide to see how Nikon’s latest DSLR could stack up for the types of photography you enjoy.

All images taken by Dan Bracaglia

Travel

Image: Processed from Raw | ISO 100 | 1/250 sec | F2.8 | Nikon AF-D 50mm F1.8

Life on the road leaves little room for error when it comes to gear, so it’s best to have a reliable camera at your side. With a rugged, weather-sealed body, solid battery life and the addition of USB charging, the D780 should make for a trusty companion. It produces great JPEGs right out of camera, and sharing them right away is easy thanks to the camera’s Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity.

We’ll admit though, there are smaller options out there, including Nikon’s own Z6 mirrorless camera, and there are even smaller options yet if you don’t need a full-frame sensor. But overall, the D780 is a great travel camera, especially when paired with one of many compact-yet-excellent F-mount lenses.

Video

The D780 makes a strong case for itself as a video camera. It comes with high-quality, oversampled 4K footage and great video autofocus, slow-motion Full HD capture, and retains separate settings for both stills and video – especially handy for shooters that dabble in both disciplines. There’s plenty of room for both headphone and microphone sockets, and the camera can output a 10-bit Log signal to an external recorder over HDMI. There’s focus peaking if you don’t want to rely on autofocus, and zebra warnings will help you control your exposure.

Perhaps the biggest knock against the D780 is simply due to its DSLR design. There’s no electronic viewfinder option, and since the mirror has to flip up to shoot video, you cannot use the optical viewfinder either. There’s also no in-body image stabilization, but a stabilized lens or enabling the camera’s electronic stabilization can smooth your footage out. Lastly, the tilting screen mechanism isn’t as versatile as a fully articulating one for those who want to start vlogging.

In the end, DSLR cameras face stiff competition in general from mirrorless cameras when it comes to video. But for users who have a good collection of F-mount glass, or those who want to use older AF-D lenses for video and get good autofocus, the D780 is your best bet.

Family and moments

Image: Out-of-camera JPEG | ISO 5000 | 1/160 sec | F2.8 | Nikon 35mm F2 D

Capturing fleeting moments of those you hold most dear can be a tricky task; the camera in question has to just work. Thankfully, the D780 has two great autofocus systems that aren’t likely to let you down. You get face-detection through the optical viewfinder and eye detection when you’re using the rear screen. Finally, nice JPEGs and easy sharing mean you can send that keeper of Aunt Betty laughing uncontrollably to her phone while the tears are still streaming down her face.

There’s not much to count against the D780 in this situation, though we’d recommend you dial down the high ISO noise reduction on the camera a bit. And there’s no denying that smaller, lighter options are available on the market that you may be more willing to bring along with you, wherever you go.

Landscape

Image: Processed from Raw | ISO 5600 | 1/160 sec | F5.6| Nikon 35mm F2 D

The D780’s 24-megapixel chip isn’t the highest resolution around, but it offers excellent dynamic range and solid detail capture if you’re not printing wall-sized posters. For hardcore wilderness photographers, the D780’s weather-sealing could be handy if inclement weather strikes, and the abundant controls should be pretty easy to operate with gloves. Excellent battery life means that you basically don’t have to worry about running out of juice, but if you do want to worry about it, remember you can top up with the camera’s USB-C port.

Unlike some competitors, the D780 doesn’t have any sort of resolution-boosting sensor-shift mode, but there’s a built-in focus stacking feature that could be handy. The tilting screen will make it easy to work from a tripod, and you can rely on the autofocus in pretty much any lighting conditions. There is some risk of shutter shock with longer lenses and slower shutter speeds, so be sure to enable the ‘Quiet’ shutter-release mode and the electronic front-curtain shutter in the menus if you find it to be a problem.

Portraits

Image: Converted from Raw | ISO 100 | 1/320 sec | F5.6 | Nikon 50mm F1.8 D

The D780 is an excellent choice of camera to capture the essence of others. There are tons of great lenses to choose from, and the JPEG engine does a great job capturing skin tones. The camera’s updated autofocus should also be accurate whether you’re using either the optical finder or the rear screen, but be aware that you only get eye detect on the latter and you could need to calibrate your lenses for the former to get the best results.

Keep in mind that, being a DSLR, the D780 is fairly sizable and could look ‘professional’ to some subjects and intimidating to others. High-end studio portraitists may also wish for more resolution, but we think the D780’s 24 megapixels will serve most users just fine indeed.

Lifestyle and people

Image: Converted from Raw | ISO 3200 | 1/250 sec | F1.4 | Tamron 35mm F1.4

For users looking to up their Instagram game, a good lifestyle camera needs to offer abundantly better image quality than a smartphone – broadly speaking, the D780 absolutely does. If you want real bokeh, baby, you got real bokeh, baby. On the other hand, a lifestyle camera should be easy to have on you at all times. In this regard, the D780 is a pretty chunky option for those used to only carrying a smartphone. And, though we think it’s a handsomely designed camera, the retro-chic appearance of some competitors may be more attractive to you.

But back to image quality – the D780’s excellent JPEGs are great for immediate social sharing with Nikon’s solid Snapbridge app, though you can also tweak Raw files in-camera to get even better results. Excellent autofocus, especially in poor light, will only serve to broaden the situations in which you can get just the right shot. If you’re not against carrying a full-frame DSLR around with you, the D780 is a solid option for this type of photography.

Candid and street

Image: Converted from Raw | ISO 250 | 1/160 sec | F2.5 | Nikon 35mm F1.8G

Ah, street photographers – those who cherish the quiet, the discreet, the cool. It’s obvious that the D780 isn’t the most subtle, blend-in-to-the-background sort of camera around. But that doesn’t mean it hasn’t got plenty going for it in terms of capability.

The D780 is super responsive, so you can quickly adapt to changing situations with ease (and check your settings on the top LCD). The tilting touchscreen makes it easy to shoot from the hip, and if you’re the type of person who likes to share your photos with those you’ve just photographed, the Snapbridge app makes it easy to send off the camera’s excellent JPEGs right away.

If you do want to try to make the D780 as unobtrusive as possible, you can enable the ‘Quiet’ shutter (which is only slightly quieter), or if you’re not worried about rolling shutter artifacts, you can shoot using a fully silent electronic shutter in live view mode.

Sport, action and wildlife

Image: Converted from Raw | ISO 25600 | 1/640 sec | F2.8 | Nikon 70-200mm F2.8

When it comes to capturing sports and action, the D780 has a lot going for it. This isn’t too much of a surprise – the D700-series has historically been pretty well-suited for this sort of work, provided you don’t need super-fast burst speeds. The fact is, 7 fps through the viewfinder is fast enough for a lot of different sports, and the D780 has a deep, 100-frame buffer which clears quickly thanks to dual UHS-II memory cards. In other words, it’s rare that you’ll find yourself waiting for the camera. Supporting all this is great image quality in both JPEG and Raw and a deep catalog of F-mount telephoto glass.

This brings us to the autofocus system – the 51-point viewfinder system is absolutely excellent in terms of reliability, but there’s no getting around the fact that the spread across the frame is pretty limiting these days.

Many competing mirrorless cameras have as near-as-makes-no-difference 100% autofocus coverage in their electronic viewfinders, which can be compositionally freeing. You can get a similar type of system on the D780 if you use the rear screen, but that can make for an unwieldy setup with large or heavy lenses. Ergonomically, we’d also love to see an AF joystick for moving the AF point around in the viewfinder – the eight-way directional pad is serviceable, but not ideal.

Weddings and events

Image: Out-of-camera JPEG | ISO 14400 | 1/320 sec | F2.8 | Nikon 85mm F1.8G

Being a very well-rounded camera, the D780 is a great choice for a wedding and event photographer. It’s got solid image quality in all lighting conditions, its 24MP of resolution tends to be plenty without eating up all your drive space, it’s rugged, has great battery life and dual card slots for instant backup of those irreplaceable moments.

The viewfinder autofocus system also works extremely well in low light, and though the eye-detection option in live view shooting is great, it’s not available in the viewfinder and live view tracking in general isn’t super reliable as light levels drop. But really, we’re nitpicking here. The D750 was already a camera long-favored by wedding and event shooters; the D780 should perform even better.

Is the D780 right for you?

There we have it – the D780 is an incredibly well-rounded camera that, if not the absolute best camera for any one of these use-cases, will at least perform very well across most photographic disciplines.

But what do you think? Is there a specific type of photography you dabble in that we don’t mention here? Let us know in the comments.

Find great cameras for less money in our updated ‘best bargains’ buying guide

We’ve updated our ‘best bargains’ buying guide, which features both newer cameras that we think are great values, as well a few older models that are inexpensive yet still very capable.