Step aside, Nikon P1000, the new king of zoom is here. It’s an electronic microscope, though, but it can zoom in 100 million times and still keep the subject clear. It’s so impressive, in fact, that it earned a spot in the Guinness World Records.
I’ve spent most of my career working as a photojournalist and director of photography, and I’m happy to have recently started working with Wonderful Machine as a freelance photo editor and creative consultant.
As a photographer, I work from my home base in Istanbul, completing assignments for places like The New York Times. But, just like everywhere else, COVID-19 has put a damper on normal human interactions in Turkey. So, when a photo editor at The New York Times gave me the option of shooting an assignment remotely, I was intrigued. In addition to health concerns, the three subjects I needed to photograph were worried about having their location disclosed for security reasons. And though it might have been possible for me to get to them, I had never tried a remote photoshoot; with all of us looking to minimize travel, I wanted to give it a go.
Most meetings are happening via video call platforms nowadays. And where there’s video, there are video effects. Sometimes they appear in the most inappropriate situations, and this is exactly what recently happened in Texas. When a Zoom court hearing began, one of the lawyers appeared looking like a cute, sad, little cat thanks to a filter he accidentally turned on.
Well, this is an interesting idea, and pretty unique, too. Canon has patented a zoomable teleconverter. You know, those things that effectively increase the focal length of your lens? I’ve never even considered that a teleconverter could even be a zoomable device and I’ve certainly never seen one before. According to Canon’s patent, though, it seems doable.
The patent seems to show adjustments from 1.0x to 1.5x and 2.0x with the movement of a lever, allowing you to quickly switch between a lens’s normal focal length, a 1.5x magnification and a 2x magnification. As Canon News points out, this offers a multitude of benefits from convenience to improved weather resistance.
Back in August, Nikon introduced its Webcam Utility software that lets you use your DSLR or mirrorless as a fancy web camera. It was in beta and for Windows only, but the full version is now here. And yes, you can use it on both Windows and Mac. Just in time for the second round of lockdowns.
I want to talk today about one tool, in Lightroom and Photoshop, that is probably used on nearly every image but is not used to it’s full potential – the Crop tool.
Now, I, like most of us I would imagine, use the crop tool to make minor adjustments to the image – maybe crop out an unwanted tree or post and straighten up the image.
But what if I told you that you can dramatically change the look and feel of your image and even use it to zoom?
Recently, Nikon announced that they were going to be releasing a beta of their new “Webcam Utility Software” that allows certain Nikon DSLRs and Z mirrorless cameras to act as webcams when connected to a computer without any type of capture device. All you need is a USB cable. Well, Nikon has now finally released that software. Well, a beta of it.
I think this is the last of them now, but along with the new Nikon Z5, Nikon has also announced that they’re releasing the beta for a “webcam utility software” in August that lets you use “many” of its DSLRs and Z mirrorless cameras. The software will be free, and available initially for Windows 10.
Up until now, if you wanted to stream with a Nikon, you’re relying on 3rd party software like ControlMyNikon and then capturing it with OBS to fake a webcam device to use in Skype, Zoom, etc (similar to Panasonic’s current solution – for now). But it looks like Nikon is going to offer webcam capture device support directly with some cameras.
Zoom has announced the new Zoom H8 Handy Recorder, their newest field recorder which can record up to 12 tracks simultaneously using 8 separate input signals. It’s also expandable through various separately available capsules for recording 360-degree ambisonic audio or to take it up to 12 total inputs.
It features a bunch of analogue input dials, but what makes it particularly interesting is the 2.4″ touchscreen colour LCD and the “app-driven” interface it offers to provide several main modes of operation. There’s a Podcast App, a Music App and a Field App to cover a multitude of uses. And, yeah, it kinda looks like a spider when all the cables are plugged in.
To keep themselves busy and creative in isolation, some photographers are turning to alternative shooting methods such as video chat. Shane Balkowitsch is one of them, and he did something that I find pretty extraordinary. He didn’t only conduct a portrait shoot online via video chat, which is amazing on its own. He created a wet plate portrait from his US home, photographing his friend in the UK via Zoom video call.