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19th July 2017

#LessNoiseMoreNews – No More Noisy Photography

‘My god, there is a war zone in the background.’

‘They take too many goddamn pictures.’

‘Holy f*ng s*t, who are the f*ng obnoxious retards taking those pictures. Take a f*ng picture. you don’t need f*ng 500.’

‘My goodness, with all the technology we’ve got and no one has yet invented a silent camera!!!!! The parties can barely speak and hear one another amidst the noise of the clicks!’

‘Don’t those cameras have a silent function? Sounds like Colombian drug lords are counting cash in there.’

‘2016 and we don’t have silent cameras.’

‘why are camera shutters so damn loud? this is 2016, all cameras should be silent.’

#LessNoiseMoreNews – No More Noisy Photography!

At every major meeting, we’ve come to expect the actual news to be obscured by the distraction of noisy camera shutters. People hate it. Every video has the same complaints underneath it. As video becomes more important than photography, this needs to be talked about.

Hundreds of photos are made that needn’t be, often of sedentary scenes, and as technology rapidly improves, this problem can be solved.

The noise is normally due to the mirror. Pro level cameras make more noise than more dampened cameras like the Pentax K1. But the issue is the mirror itself. ‘Silent’ modes on dSLR cameras aren’t silent at all.

Mirrorless Cameras

So we are grateful for the introduction of mirrorless cameras. They can photograph faster, and can do so completely silently.

You already know that your smartphone doesn’t need to make any noise when it makes a picture, but mirrorless cameras like the Sony a9, Fujifilm XT2 and Olympus OMD 1mk2 are all able to make photos without making noise.

They’re not right for all situations, but in the relatively controlled environments that we currently notice press photographers furiously clicking away, they will be fine.

‘He flashed me!’

Likewise flashes are distracting. And with the high ISO capabilities of modern cameras, they don’t need to be used as much either. If need be, a continuous light could be set up to provide all of the photographers with good light. It’s simple to do.

The technology is here. The industry has just been slow to adapt and adopt it. When you next hear a camera shutter, let them know that you want #LessNoiseMoreNews and share this video with them.

Together, we can usher in the future where we hear world leaders talking, not camera shutters clicking.

. . .

This video is meant to change attitudes and I’m not sponsored by Sony to make it. They just innovate fast and have created the right camera to make this change. It’s not the right camera for my genre so I don’t own it; the footage of the a9 is from PhotoRec. Here is his affiliate link if you want to support him if you buy a Sony camera. (your use of this link supports what (*he does) at

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9th March 2017

Nomis Travel Light Stand Review

If you use off-camera flash, the C-Stand is the best way to keep it where you need it. But they’re heavy and are a pain to travel with because of their size. So if you’re photographing on location or just travelling a lot, you may be looking for the best light stand for that.

A full size light stand is sturdier if you can carry it, but recently we’ve settled on the Nomis Compact Travel Light Stand from Amazon. It’s small for travel at less than 50cm but opens up to over 2.2 meters tall. It weighs a little more than a kilo. An adaptor is included so you have the standard light stand spigot, a 3/8″ and 1/4″ connections; the three photography standards. A rubber tap is included which stops the stand causing damage in transit which is a useful and thoughtful addition.

They’re good value alternatives to branded travel light stands because they seem just as sturdy but aren’t as pricy. Attention to detail is good. They look like they’re a cut above cheap light stands. So we chose them. There’s not much more to say about light stands, so here are some photos;

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26th November 2016

Fuji X-Pro 2 : Are Mirrorless Cameras Better Yet?

Are mirrorless cameras better than dSLRs yet? That’s been my question for the past few years ever since I reviewed the Fujifilm X-Pro1. It was clear that mirrorless cameras were the future even then, and that the companies involved were improving them faster than the traditional dSLR manufacturers.

But at the time, I thought that there weren’t better yet, and bought another Nikon. I wanted to see what the current mirrorless cameras were like. And from the 100,000+ views on the video I also put together on YouTube, it seems that interest in mirrorless cameras is pretty strong.

So this is about helping you decide whether mirrorless cameras can replace your dSLR, and to validate your choice if that last sentence isn’t applicable.

Fujifilm kindly lent me their excellent X-Pro2 camera with the 23mm, 56mm f1.2 and 90mm f2 lenses. I teamed up with world-travelling photographer Richard Hadley for the review and tried several of his Fuji lenses including the 35mm f1.4 too. Therefore, this review will also address the lenses available for the dSLR/ mirrorless systems; and which I preferred and recommend between the esteemed 56mm f1.2 and 90mm f2 lenses.

The X-Pro 2 Viewfinder

The immediate difference between dSLRs and mirrorless cameras is, surprise surprise, the flappy mirror. The X-Pro 2 actually has a dual viewfinder with an evf and also an optical viewfinder that looks similar to a rangefinder. The latter wasn’t so useful with the longer lenses I was using so I didn’t use it much.

The benefit of the dSLR mirror and pentaprism viewfinder is that you’re literally looking through the lens. So of course there’s no lag and the colours are limited only by the glass and your eyes; and there’s no battery drain either.

These differences used to be enough to disqualify mirrorless cameras for everyday use. But when I looked through the X-Pro 2 camera’s electronic viewfinder (evf), I immediately saw that things had changed.

There was so little lag that I couldn’t notice any, and the colours were bright and clear. Where previous evfs has been dark and noisy in low light with blocked shadows, the X-Pro 2 was actually better than looking through my Nikon’s optical viewfinder.

And in good light, it was arguably better. Because you can see the images as they will actually look, which makes black and white photography a lot easier. You can also see the pictures you’ve taken clearly without having to find shade so you can actually see the screen.

Manual Focussing and Lens Treasures

All of this talk about the viewfinder has brought back fond memories of manual focus with the Fuji Xpro2. Let me be clear that I usually hate focussing manually, mainly because even with the dioptre adjusted, I don’t find the viewfinders on most dSLRs good enough to achieve critically sharp focus at f1.2-f1.8.

But this changed with the Fuji camera. Focus peaking, which accentuates micro contrast (using a high pass filter I think), makes manual focus much easier. And that without sacrificing the brightness that focussing screens built for manual focus [...]

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8th April 2016

Exposure Compensation

Look for the Exposure Compensation Icon

It’s in every camera manual and in thousands of photography tutorials online; so why mention it? Because so many photographers don’t know how much it will improve their photography.

In your camera’s green Auto (or Idiot…) Mode, the camera does everything for you. This is great, but it also means that you don’t have much control. Your photos might be too dark or too bright but your camera doesn’t give you the option to over-rule its thoughtless calculation. But with the other modes, you can take back control and make pictures that are closer to your artistic vision.

Making the picture darker using exposure compensation (-)

What is Exposure Compensation?

Exposure compensation allows you to make your pictures brighter or darker.

Your Exposure is the combination of Aperture (size of the hole), Shutter Speed (how long the hole is open for) and ISO sensitivity (how much the camera amplifies the signal to brighten the picture) that determines how bright your picture is.

Photographers used to set the exposure manually by choosing a film with a marked sensitivity such as ISO400, then the aperture and the shutter speed to get the ‘right’ exposure for the brightness of the part of the scene they were photographing. You can still do this with many cameras in Manual Mode (M) but happily with digital cameras you can now change ISO sensitivity without changing films. Because you manually control the three things that determine exposure (aperture, shutter speed and ISO sensitivity), the exposure compensation won’t adjust the brightness.

But when the camera calculates the exposure for you, you can use the Exposure Compensation button and dial to adjust it, making it brighter (+) or darker (-). In Program Mode (P), Aperture Priority Mode (A or Av) and Shutter Speed Priority Mode (S or Tv), the camera still chooses the aperture, shutter speed and ISO sensitivity, but you now have the option to compensate for its calculation/guess, which makes the picture brighter or darker. This is Exposure Compensation.

For more info on the exposure modes, we recommend this article;

Digital Camera World: Exposure Modes

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