Photography and Video

Cameras, camcorders, and photography advice.

How can I capture my old Super 8 movies?

Episode 1533

Caller from California

Caller wants to know how to DIY capture his home super 8 movies. Leo says you'll need a projector. Then use a camcorder to record the image on the wall. That's the easiest. But there's also devices that you can capture directly and digitize it. Like the Wolverine. It's $300 and is highly reviewed. Kodak has a cheaper version, but it's not really from Kodak. You can also use a service like ScanCafe.

How can I convert Raw photos from my phone?

Episode 1532

Jonathan from New Hampshire

Josh has a Samsung Galaxy S6 that he really likes because he can shoot RAW with it. But it was a proprietary version of Raw, and Lightroom can't read it. What can he do? Leo says it's up to Adobe to right a converter for it. Josh says that shooting in Camera FV5 shoots in Raw in a version that it can be read, and it can also convert the S6 Raw files to DNG. The thing about Raw is that it has to be processed in a post environment, in order to get the best looking image from it.

Are gray market lenses OK to buy?

Episode 1532

Paul from Columbus, OH

Paul's daughter dropped her Sony A6000 camera lens into the sand and the repair facility wants $141. She can get a new one for that, which is "bulk international lens." Leo says that chances are it's a gray market item, which comes with no warranty. If that was a camera, Leo would say no. But with a Lens, it's less of an issue. One thing you have to be careful of, is that more than half the stuff sold on Amazon isn't sold by Amazon, it's just fulfilled by Amazon. So you do run a risk, if Amazon doesn't ship it. If it's a reputable company with decent ratings, it should be OK.

What is the best photo editing software?

Apple iMac

Episode 1530

Sam from West Covina, CA

Sam just got an iMac and wants to know what's the best software for editing photos. Leo says the best bet is to subscribe to Adobe Creative Cloud for Photographers. For $10 a month, he'll get full versions of Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. It's a great deal. Lightroom is the standard. Sam should also check out Apple Photos. It's a great way to start out. Leo also recommends Skylum (formerly MacFun) Luminar, which is $59.

Chris Marquardt on Photography

Chris Marquardt

Episode 1528

Chris says that setting your white balance can really dial in the color balance. Bringing a white card and placing it in the scene and then adjusting your camera's manual settings can really make your colors pop. But the custom presets in your camera can get you 90% there, even in your smartphone. Sun symbol for outdoor light. LightBulb for indoor light. Florescent symbol, etc. But don't forget to change it when you change your lighting conditions.

Is a GoPro a good camera for a long trip?

GoPro HERO7 Black

Episode 1527

Thomas from Costa Mesa, CA

Thomas is going on a long trip and wants to document it. Should he get a GoPro? Leo says that he can, but the iPhone is really fantastic for shooting now. How does he backup all that video data? Leo says the best option is iCloud, when he's on the road. 200GB only costs about a buck a month. The advantage is that he doesn't have to think about it, it's automatic. And he can set it to backup only when he has Wi-Fi. Leo took the best pictures on his last trip with his smartphone.

Chris Marquardt on Photography

Chris Marquardt

Episode 1526

Chris just got back from 11 days around the islands north of Norway, just inside the North Pole. The light is amazing. The landscape is incredible. A great place to explore and take pictures. The Aurora Boreallis is also a challenge to shoot because it can be a bit faint. You really have to set it up with a tripod, a wide lens, and a long exposure. Shoot ISO 1600. F2.8 or wider. Expose for 20 seconds. That's the starting point. Rich wants to know if you can shoot it with the smartphone. Chris says no. Not even the pro settings are good enough for shooting the northern lights.