Cameras, camcorders, and photography advice.
Photography and Video
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.
With Hurricane Florence bearing on top of the Carolinas, it gives Rich pause to think about those precious home videos and still images that you have collected with over a lifetime of memories. Rich says you have two choices for preserving that material:
Chris says that while Kodachrome is probably gone for good, Kodak is bringing back EktaChrome, but it had to be re-engineered because Kodak can't use the same chemicals as before. But the new EktaChrome is being beta tested now and will be out on the market really soon.
Sal wants to move data over to an external drive, but when he does, it changes the created date to the date he transfers the data over. How can he avoid that? Leo says that Windows copy is notoriously bad on that. Use a different copy app like RoboCopy. But for photos, most cameras store the date an image was taken in its EXIF data.
Chris says that cameras have gotten really smart, essentially allowing you to just point and shoot, no matter what camera you have. You can even tell it to track a subject and keep it in focus. Amazing. But sometimes, it makes the wrong choice as a result. And the more advanced you get as a photographer, the more you want to take control of the image settings to experiment and make the image look the way you want.