Photography and Video

Cameras, camcorders, and photography advice.

Is there a security camera that doesn't rely on Wi-Fi?

Episode 1383

Tom from Mesquite, TX
Xiaomi Yi Cam

Tom has a neighbor who uses a security camera for his apartment, but they don't have internet access to monitor it. How can he create a local recording option to an SD card? Leo says that's going to be a challenge, having to collect SD cards every day. A closed circuit TV option may be a better choice, but setting up a local Wi-Fi network and recording to a computer will also work. He'll just have the cameras join an adhoc network and record to an old PC. Or he can buy several SD card based security cameras and stick them everywhere.

Could I use a Chromebook to digitize old videos?

Episode 1382

Mike from Los Angeles, CA
Dell XPS 13

Mike wants to get a Chromebook. Can he use it to digitize video? Leo says no. It's just a browser and keeps everything in the cloud. As such, it can't do specialized applications like video conversion, because it doesn't have the hardware and software to do it. Chromebooks don't have a lot of storage, either. So what he'll want is a regular PC like a Windows or Mac. He'll also need a Firewire converter. The best laptop makers are Dell, Lenovo, HP, Asus, and Acer. Those are the top five.

What camera should I buy?

Episode 1381

Ronette from Norco, CA
Sony a7s

Ronette would like to upgrade her Nikon D3300 and Panasonic Lumix G3 digital cameras. What would be the next level? Leo says that the next step would be to go with a bigger sensor, like full frame. That will give her more dynamic range and the ability to take in more light. Leo says that mirrorless cameras like the Sony A7 could work. They are remarkable, but many photographers prefer the 'through the lens' mirror design. The quality of the images would be the same, so it really comes down to preference.

Chris Marquardt on Photography

Episode 1377

Chris Marquardt

Chris always gets a question about whether you need filters or not, and if you do, what filters do you need? Chris says that there are some you need, and some you don't. The two you need include the polarizing filter and a neutral density filter. The Polarizing filter gives you better color, but takes away some light. It's good in bright, direct sunlight, making it great for the beach. It works much like those polarizing sunglasses. What about a circular polarizer? Chris says that these have two layers, one with lines and one with a circular array.