Monday, November 6, 2017

Lexar is back...or at least soon will be. That's great news for Nikon.

Lexar XQD CardIn June, Micron dropped a major bombshell in the camera memory card market which affected Nikon professional level DSLR users probably more than photographers using other high end DSLRs. Micron announced the that they were shuttering their entire Lexar brand.

When Lexar closed, for Nikon professional level DSLRs equipped with XQD memory card slots, that left Sony as the sole manufacturer of XQD cards.

When they shuttered Lexar, Micron didn't just stop manufacturing XQD cards. They discontinued the entire Lexar retail business line, including memory cards, USB flash drives, card readers, and other storage drives.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Clock in Musee d'Orsay in Paris, France
If your location in the U.S. changes from “Daylight Time” to “Standard Time” this Sunday, November 5, 2017, don't forget to change the clock in your cameras along with your watches and clocks at home and/or on the road 

To change to “Standard Time” set your clock back one hour.

On Sunday, November 5, 2017, most of the U.S. will switch from “Daylight Time” to “Standard Time.” That's most, but definitely not all of the U.S. Arizona, except for the Navajo Nation, Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands don't switch to “Daylight Time” in the spring, and back to “Standard Time” in the fall. They stick to “Standard Time” year-round.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Nikon XQD based cameras have a future

Lexar XQD memory cardOf the world's major Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) and Mirrorless interchangeable lens camera (MILC) manufacturers, only Nikon DSLRs have utilized XQD memory cards to store images and videos. Some Sony video cameras also use XQD cards.

XQD cards were manufactured by Lexar and Sony, until June, 2017, when Lexar announced that they were discontinuing their retail memory card business, including XQD memory cards. Since then, only Sony has been manufacturing XQD cards.

The XQD card was created for high-definition camcorders and high resolution digital cameras, as it offered considerably better performance than Compact Flash memory cards, even CFast cards.

While Nikon bet on XQD cards, their competitors bet on CFast memory cards. Today it's clear that Nikon won their bet. Frankly, based on the different cards' specifications, I don't understand how CFast supporters thought they'd win their bet.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

DxO has acquired the Nik Collection from Google

DxO has acquired the Nik Collection from Google and will continue to offer it for free until they make a new edition available in mid-2018.
Nik Collection by Google Logo - 2017

DxO, makers of PhotoLab, formerly OpticsPro, and other photo editing tools which are compatible with Adobe products, has purchased the Nik Collection from Google, one of the most widely used Adobe Photoshop plug-ins tools.

DxO announced they will continue to offer the current version as a free download, for the time being. By mid-2018 DxO plans to offer a new version of the venerable software.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Protecting your images from automated watermark removal

Image showing strong watermark with unique Image IDMany who market or sell photographs online or who just want to prevent online photo theft of the images they've posted for family and friends, often use watermarks as their first line of defense. While it's not the only defensive measure photographers can and should take to protect their images online, watermark use is sensible, practical and useful.

Although its true that someone with expert Photoshop skills can eliminate a watermark in an hour or so, even if thoughtfully constructed, watermarks still stop most thieves because it's rarely worth spending an hour or more to steal an image, especially if the final product has any telltale visual artifacts shouting, “Theft!”

This past July, at the Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition Conference, Google demonstrated an algorithm capable of automating the removal of watermarks from photos. Google showed that the removal of watermarks from a series of photographs that now takes hours or days, could be done in minutes.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Planning to photograph the Continental U.S.' first total solar eclipse in 38 years?

Solar Eclipse, Libya 2006 - Copyright © 2006 NH53As long as a year ago, many photographers made reservations to ensure they would be in the direct path of the totality of the upcoming total solar eclipse. It takes place next Monday, August 21. The last total solar eclipse seen in the Continental U.S. occurred in 1979. Fortunately for photographers the totality of the approaching total solar eclipse will be seen in parts of fourteen states, so there are plenty of places to setup one's gear to make full eclipse images.

For those unsure of what it is, a total solar eclipse is when the disk of the moon completely blocks out the disk of the sun. This will be seen in a path across the U.S. from Oregon to South Carolina, about 70 miles wide, called the “path of totality.” Outside that “path,” those viewing the eclipse will only see a partial eclipse. The further away watchers are located from the “path,” the less sun will be hidden behind the moon.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Enhanced security tips for photographers at TSA airport checkpoints

Denver Airport Security - Copyright 2009 Dan PaluskaThis week, far sooner than anticipated, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) began implementing new enhanced airport security procedures for electronics.

The new procedures, rolling out over the next few months at airports across the U.S., will enhance scrutiny of passengers' carry-ons, on both domestic and international flights. Travelers in standard TSA checkpoint lines will have to remove all electronics larger than cellphones from carry-on bags and place them in separate bins with nothing else above or below them, for X-ray screening.

Travelers in TSA PreCheck lines will be able to leave their large electronics in their bags as they do now with laptops.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Lexar closing puts pressure on Nikon flagship cameras

Lexar XQD Memory CardOn June 26, Micron Technology announced it was discontinuing its Lexar retail removable media storage business. According to Micron they are closing Lexar to focus on other opportunities in “higher value markets and channels”

Lexar, along with Sandisk was one of what many thought were the premier memory card manufacturers for portable devices including cameras. Lexar also manufactured USB flash drives, memory card readers, and storage drives for both retail and OEM customers.

Micron stated that they are exploring opportunities to sell all or part of their Lexar business. Numerous sources have indicated prospective buyers, who wish to remain unknown at this time, have already contacted Micron.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

On July 4th, are you photographing fireworks?

Fourth of July fireworks at the Philadelphia Museum of ArtThe U.S. has celebrated its independence with fireworks in towns and cities across the nation since 1777. History tells us John Adams, second President of the U.S. is in large part responsible for the way we celebrate the Fourth of July. In his July 3, 1776 letter to his wife, Abigail, he said that the occasion should be celebrated “with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”

The first Independence Day commemoration occurred the next year in Philadelphia. The Pennsylvania Evening Post stated, “The evening closed with the ring of bells and at night there was a grand exhibition of fireworks (which began and concluded with thirteen rockets) on the Commons and the city was beautifully illuminated.”