Sunday, August 5, 2018

Another Reason to Shoot 4K

Also in this issue:
  • RX100 VI lens comparison
  • Atlanta and Boulder seminars are coming up!
  • Portrait Lighting Workshop - report
  • Vietnam Update
  • [More!]
Another Reason to Shoot 4K
Quick!  How many cameras were used to make this cheezy video of my wife and me learning to play the "Ugly Stick" in a recent trip to Newfoundland, Canada?

If you said "Five", you should know I never travel with that many cameras.
I actually used one camera and one tripod, as shown in the video below:

Boring, right?  This is the same kind of Boring that happens when you record your kid's performance or recital by placing one camera in the back of the auditorium.  It may jog a memory, but it's boring to watch.

So what did I do to spice it up?  Yes, I zoomed in, but normally that would just make things look pixelated.  So to make this work I shot in 4K and I rendered in HD.

Here's how that works:

4K captures significantly more pixels than your standard HD video, which means you can take that pink rectangle and move it around anywhere in the frame to get your close-ups.  Since your final output file will be 1920 x 1080, you won't notice any pixelation when viewing.

If you're new to video you might be scratching your head.  "Can I do this in iMovie?"  The answer is yes, and if you google  "does imovie let you pan and zoom in 4k?" you'll get a ton of tutorials on how to do it.  (Here's one.)  If you're on a Microsoft platform there's an affordable (USD $60) program called Filmora which seems to do everything that iMovie can do.  Here's a video showing how to pan and zoom in 4k using this software.

(Me?  I used the high-end software "Magix Vegas" for my video editing; Adobe Premier will work too but both of these are high-end packages that cost hundreds of dollars and I know full well most of you are just not that into video.)

BUT... learning this stuff can make your videos more compelling!

Portrait Lighting Workshop - Report

Last weekend Brian Ramage and I conducted a Portrait Lighting Workshop.  Not sure who had more fun - the participants or the presenters. :-)  It was a long, jam-packed day, where everything from basic camera operation and settings were covered, as well as various lighting setups and situations from LED panels, so HSS strobes and large softboxes, to natural window light, as well as natural light and strobes in midday sun.  Below are some random shots.
Every possible way to control the quality of your light.

Everyone got a chance to practice!
You should have been here!  Everybody got a free copy of Cameracraft. :-)
Any more events coming up?

The next Friedman Archives Seminars are listed below:

Know of a photo club that wants to bring me out?  If they do I'll speak at their meeting for free!  Get in touch with me at Gary at Friedman Archives dot com.

In the Pipeline

The ebook on the Sony RX100 VI and RX100 VA should be finished in just a couple of weeks.  Let me know if you'd like to be notified when it's ready.

The new ebook on the Fujifilm X-H1 is now complete, and e-reader editions are just a couple of weeks away!

Tony Phillips has also released free updates for the Fujifilm X-T2 and X100F cameras, covering the latest firmware.  Owners should have received automated updates by now.

Vietnam Update

If you've ever asked me a camera-related question via email, and were shocked by the fast and personal response, well, you can thank me by donating to my next charity project: I'll be documenting a humanitarian organization in Vietnam that's working to provide lasting improvement to an impoverished section of the country.  (I learned from my time in the Soviet Union that some stories just need to be told!

The trip is made possible by Photographers Without Borders, and you can support my December trip here.  Thank you in advance for your ongoing support!

RX100 VI lens comparison

The RX100 VI continues Sony's famous lineup of high-quality point-and-shoots, this time adding a 24-200mm f/2.8 - 4.5 lens into that tiny body.  You're probably wondering, "Yeah, they shoved a 200mm lens in there, but is the lens any good?".

I wondered the same thing, and so I did a quick test, pitting the RX100 VI against a 24MP full-frame Sony A7 with the superb 70-200 f/4 E-mount lens.  (The trick was figuring out how to trigger the studio lights using the RX100's pop-up flash.)  The results are shown below, however you may wish to download these to examine them: .  Remember, if you have to pixel peep to see a difference, then the difference is not meaningful.

I suspect that when printed they will look identical, and I will test that theory in the Atlanta seminar in just a couple of weeks! 

Next time in Cameracraft

What do the demise of Minolta, an award from Yahoo!Groups, Honeywell, and a thriving independent photography magazine have in common?  It's a story with many unlikely beginnings that only I can tell. :-)  Subscribe today!

Until next time,
Yours Truly, Gary Friedman

Next Time: Fun with Green Screens


  1. It's easy to tell the difference close in, but the SEL70200f4 is an excellent lens on a humungous sensor, so this is a very good showing from the Mk VI

    1. That was kind of the point of this exercise. But did you notice just how closely you had to look to see the difference?

  2. Yes - very difficult to see the difference at normal/full-screen image size ... Impressive indeed !

  3. Thanks Gary for your blog, I always read every word of it. Can you explain the trick how to trigger the studio lights, using the RX100 pop up flash? I'm sure many of your RX100 readers are interested in this secret. Thanks, Paul (from the Netherlands)

    1. Pop-up flashes for digital cameras always fire twice - once for the pre-flash, once for the actual picture. Those Godox flashes I've been blogging about in the last few months have an "S2" optical slave mode which fire on the 2nd flash. Never thought I'd use that mode. :-)

    2. DO you just know if S2 triggering works with RX100M2 too ? But if yes : which Godox Flash is it, and doesn't the pop up flash interference risk to ruin the desired effect ? Because we could (had to) mask it when cheating with the pixel soldier wireless flash adapter devices.

      Thank you Gary, for you're always delightfully relevant in everything you describe.

    3. It should work with the RX100M2. You can just tilt the pop-up flash UP (away from your subject) if you're worried about flash interference. (And / or set the flash exposure compensation to as low as it will go.)

  4. Corel Video Studio Pro is a powerful and cost effective alternative to the high price ones.

    1. Thanks! (Nice to see Corel is still in business! :-) )

    2. They are very much in business and doing well. Corel Paint Shop Pro is a great inexpensive Photoshop alternative.

  5. In regard to the RX100vi comparison, while there were variations around the image I couldn't say one was better than the other.

  6. I was already glad I bought the RX100M6. Now I'm even glader!

  7. It was a treat to see someone as sophisticated at stick playing as yourself. A true champion to all we past musicians.

  8. On the lens comparison, in Auckland recently I took a shot (cloudy day) of the Sky Tower from a distance with my RX100 II and then from a similar distance (different angle) from my RX10 IV. Distance away was probably 2 kilometres. The RX10, when zoomed in, was WAY sharper and a much cleaner image. Happy to send these in to show. Point being, my RX10 far outshines my RX100 II. So, does the RX100 VI lens produce significantly better image quality than the earlier Mk II lens did?

    1. It shouldn't. If the focal length was the same the sharpness should have been too. Feel free to email me two samples and I can look to see if there were any obvious settings that were off.

    2. Hi.
      Please let me know when the ebook on the Sony RX100 VI is ready.


  9. I zoomed on the boots to the text written on it
    The RX100 wins

  10. Please let me know when the Sony RX 100 VI book is ready. Thanks

  11. Please notify when the RX100 VI ebook is available.

  12. Please notify when the RX100 VI ebook is available.