It’s Ok to Take a Break During This Time

It's Ok to Take a Break During This Time

The coronavirus pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on the photography industry and world as a whole, and we are still in the midst of it and will be dealing with its effects for years to come. If you are feeling stressed by all of it, it is important to remember that it is alright to take a break right now and to focus on taking care of yourself.

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f/0.7: A Look at Lenses With Some of the Most Extreme Apertures Out There

f/0.7: A Look at Lenses With Some of the Most Extreme Apertures Out There

The photography world certainly loves its wide-aperture lenses, with most full frame consumer lenses topping out at f/1.2 and a few extreme lenses pushing the limits at f/0.95. However, there is a world of lenses that go far beyond f/0.95, and this interesting video takes a look at that extreme glass.

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Affordable Canon Mirrorless Glass: A Review of the RF 24-105mm f/4-7.1 IS STM Lens

Affordable Canon Mirrorless Glass: A Review of the RF 24-105mm f/4-7.1 IS STM Lens

Canon’s RF mirrorless lenses have been pretty spectacular, but they are also very expensive, which might make it a bit difficult for some photographers looking for glass to go with the relatively affordable EOS R and EOS RP cameras. This great video review takes a look at the new, much more affordable RF 24-105mm f/4-7.1 IS STM lens.

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Hands-On First Impressions of the Viltrox 33mm f/1.4 STM

Hands-On First Impressions of the Viltrox 33mm f/1.4 STM

A good prime lens will become a prized possession of any photographer. Could this be a staple of your camera bag?

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“Our Criminal Justice System is Broken, and the Sooner Folks See that the Sooner We Can Begin to Fix It”: Roger Ross Williams on the Netflix docuseries The Innocence Files

Executive produced and directed by Liz Garbus, Alex Gibney and Roger Ross Williams, with episodes also helmed by Jed Rothstein, Andy Grieve and Sarah Dowland, The Innocence Files is a riveting, nine-part docuseries that dives deep into eight wrongful convictions that The Innocence Project and its affiliated Innocence Network fought tooth and nail to overturn. The Netflix series gets off to a binge-worthy start with its first three installments — “The Evidence: Indeed and Without Doubt,” “The Evidence: The Truth Will Defend Me,” and “The Evidence: The Duty to Correct” — all directed by Academy Award-winner Roger Ross Williams. (And if your time […]

How to Stay Productive and Inspired While You’re Working From Home

How to Stay Productive and Inspired While You're Working From Home

The coronavirus pandemic has thrown normal life out of balance for quite a lot of us, leaving us to find new ways to stay productive and creative while stuck at home. If you are struggling a bit, this great video will give you some helpful tips for staying productive and finding inspiration during this time.

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Day 5 of 25: Tayarisha Poe, Lauren McBride, Jomo Fray on Selah and the Spades

“She found no joy in fully formed things, she sought those times of the year, those people, who were discovering their potential. Selah loved potential.”  Quoted in Filmmaker’s Winter, 2015 print issue, in our now-defunct Super 8 column, those are the words of the narrator of the first iteration of Tayarisha Poe’s wickedly beguiling, sociologically astute teen crime drama, Selah and the Spades. At that time, “transmedia” was a bit more the rage, and Poe’s hybrid website/webseries/photography/literary site had a smart, sprawling appeal. By the time we caught up with Poe again, selecting her for our Summer, 2015 issues’ 25 […]

How Different Camera Monitor Tools Can Help You Shoot Better Video

How Different Camera Monitor Tools Can Help You Shoot Better Video

A field monitor can be a tremendously useful tool for getting things right when you are shooting video. This great tutorial will show you how to use a variety of tools on a field monitor when shooting video.

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I Made a ‘Mind Map’ of the Insanely Complex Sony Menu System

It all started as a seemingly simple task. To make it easier to master the menu system of the Sony a7 Mark III, I decided to create a mind map. But this project quickly evolved into a major, and rather fascinating, undertaking.

It’s not a secret that the menu systems of any Sony Alpha camera can be charitably described as advanced. But you can only appreciate its intricacy and sheer complexity, when the entire system is laid bare in front of you. I spent several days mapping the menu system, and it felt like exploring an uncharted world.

The result is both fascinating and mind-boggling. The mind map contains about 900 nodes, each corresponding to an individual menu item—and this isn’t even the complete number, as I didn’t map elements where it was impractical to do so. Even if I subtract a handful of nodes containing annotations of certain menu items, the number is still staggering.

It would make little sense to show the mind map in its entirety, so here is a fragment of it to give you a general idea:

You can view and download a fully-expanded mind map here.

The goal of this endeavor was not to produce an impressive-looking mind map, though. Well, not entirely, at any rate. First, it offered a good way to discover and understand the camera’s less-often used functionality and unearth useful features buried under multiple menu layers. I also use the resulting mind map as a reference on my laptop and mobile devices.

Quickly navigating through mind maps is much more practical than flipping through pages or scrolling through a PDF file.

You can buy the mind map file itself at Gumroad. It was created with Freeplane, an open-source mind-mapping tool available for Windows, macOS, and Linux.

The mind map is stored in the .mm format that can be imported into many popular mind-mapping applications. Better still, you can export the mind map into different formats. So if the mind map is not your cup of tea, you can export it as a collapsible outline in the good old HTML format that can be viewed in any browser.

The mind map is released under the Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International license, so you are free to tweak it.


About the author: Dmitri Popov is an amateur photographer and professional tech writer. He’s the author of the digiKam Recipes and Linux Photography. You can find more of his work on work on his website. This post was also published here.