If you're looking to create videos and short films/skits (for Youtube or just your school), don't shy away from buying a tripod with your dedicated camera. Keeping your camcorder stable makes a world of difference in the feel of your video. Plus, getting some lighting equipment can illuminate your subjects in dramatic ways that the sun, moon, or room light simply can't. A good microphone and audio equipment can make your dialogue sound more clear than the camera's built-in mic is capable of.
Chris Marquardt goes over a few submissions from the recent photo assignment, where photographers take a picture from an "ant's perspective". The new assignment is to take a photo of an apple. Not the tech company, but a real fruity apple!
Leo isn't sure why more manufacturers don't have this, but his Sony A9 does have that. He can hold up the camera above his head and still see what he's shooting, or hold it down by his waist. It's great to be able to get different perspectives like that. Ironically both Canon and Nikon offer movable screens on their low-end cameras, but Mark wants one on a full-format prosumer model. Leo saw a report from Canon Rumors that Canon has patented a very large swivel display for a 1DX style mirrored camera. They don't offer it yet, but they have the patent.
Chris wants to talk about the technology of a digital camera. Every DSLR camera has a bump on it and that houses the penta-prism or penta-mirror. The electronic viewfinder is also in there. Why does an electronic camera still have a mirror? Well, mirrorless cameras don't have the mirror array, but they do have a viewfinder. A DSLR needs one to bounce the image in order for you to see the image, and the prism makes sure it shows up right side up. When it's mirrorless, then the camera doesn't need to reflect any image, it just broadcasts it to an electronic viewfinder.
Chris has a granddaughter that wants to take professional pictures, but Chris doesn't want to spend much more than $500. For $600, Leo recommends the Sony Alpha a6000Mirrorless Digital Camera with 16-50mm Power Zoom Lens, which is an affordable body that leaves room for more lenses if the photography hobby gets serious. Leo also recommends the Nikon D3400 DSLR Camera 2 Lens Bundle, which comes with a broad range of lenses and a memory card.
John is looking for a new camera to shoot real estate. He's thinking of the Nikon D3400. Leo says that's a good option, and it not only shoots great shots, but it can also shoot 1080p HD video. The real benefit of a DSLR is the glass and Nikon makes some of the best lenses.
John has DSL and he's frustrated how slow it can get throughout the day -- often slower than dial up! Even worse -- he's being stonewalled by the national support center of the ISP. Leo recommends running the SpeedTest by Broadband Reports. Internet speeds are not consistent, but DSL should be more consistent. But if they have more customers than bandwidth, this can happen. It sounds like John's ISP is buying bandwidth and they simply don't have enough to go around. But it could also be bad routers and software.
Marty has a DSLR camera and when she shoots video, she hates the quality of the audio. What can she do? Leo says that the on board microphone is terrible, but most DSLRs have an external microphone minijack that will allow her to add an external microphone. Rode has a great one called the Video Mic Pro. That's the simplest solution.
Ron's son has an account on The Cube, a high school sports streaming site. Ron would like to use his DSLR to stream live to it, but it won't work via USB. Leo says that USB isn't designed for a live video feed. Live video could be used via HDMI. So if that works, then he'll need an HDMI converter or video capture device to then be able to convert it for the stream. If his computer has HDMI in, then he's golden.
Danny wants to take pictures of the Milky Way with his camera. Leo says that the key to doing this is a long exposure. He'll want to use a wide angle lens and a tripod. He'll also need a dark sky. He won't see much of it in the city. A high ISO is key, around 3200. He should have a minimum aperture of f2.8. The faster, the better.
Here's a great article by Jason Little at LightStalking.com.