Cameras, camcorders, and photography advice.
Photography and Video
Kevin wants to know how to DIY capture his home super 8 movies. Leo says he'll need a projector. Then he can use a camcorder to record the image on the wall. That's the easiest. But there's also devices that will allow him to capture directly and digitize it, like the Wolverine. It's $300 and is highly reviewed. Kodak has a cheaper version, but it's not the Kodak everyone remembers, the name had been sold. He can also use a service like ScanCafe.
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 write a converter for it. Josh says that shooting in Camera FV5 shoots raw in a version that 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 post in order to get the best looking image from it.
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 grey 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 she'll 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 she does run a risk if Amazon doesn't ship it. If it's a reputable company with decent ratings, it should be OK.
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.
Jay's daughter wants to get into photography. What's a good, entry level DSLR? Their budget is $300 to $500. Leo says that it's a great idea to get her a kit zoom lens, but there is a debate that people should learn with a 50mm first before going with additional lenses.
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.
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 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.