Limitations which boost creativity

Limitations which boost creativity

When working with photography and videography it is important to continuously strive for personal development. That means studying new techniques, as well as practicing. A lot. One method I use is to make things a bit more tricky on purpose by using less equipment. Today I decided to go for a walk with my camera, and use only one single lens. That is not much of a limitation, but I actually decided to only bring the lens that I use most seldom, in my case the (… take a deep breath) “Nikon AF-S Micro Nikkor 105mm 1:2.8G ED” macro lens. That also meant I could test the Nikon Z6 + FTZ combo some more.

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When I say macro lens the first thing that springs to mind is probably closeups of flowers and such. But macro lenses are actually quite versatile, and the 105mm field-of-view provides wonderful limitations to work around, forcing one to look for less-than-obvious compositions. The image quality of this lens is quite wonderful, sharp, contrasty and with vivid colors, the lens even has VR image stabilization.

Below are some of the images from todays morning walk, many of which I might have missed if I wasnt consciously looking for compositions that would work with this specific lens.

Nikon Z6 first impressions

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Nikon Z6 first impressions

My transition from film to digital

I’ve been using Nikon DSLRs since switching from film to digital back in the early 2000s, and I’ve been really happy with that choice. However, over the past couple of years I’ve been doing more and more video work. I purchased a Panasonic GH5 when it was released a couple of years ago since the Nikon video capabilities have been lacking. Currently I’m running a Nikon D850 paired with said GH5.

Why FF mirrorless?

Having access to IBIS (In-Body Image Stabilization) is a game-changer for video work, the electronic viewfinder being almost as important especially in bright conditions where it is difficult to determine focus on the back LCD. I recently spent a week filming in Hong Kong. I brought both the Nikon D850 as well as the GH5. As the week went by I realized I left the heavy and cumbersome D850 in the apartment for most of the time, the type of filming was so much quicker with an IBIS equipped mirrorless camera. Another benefit of the GH5 is audio, the pre-amps in the D850 are so noisy that recording high-quality audio becomes difficult.

Which FF mirrorless body to choose?

A lot has happened in the mirrorless market and I was holding out for the FF (Full Frame) Lumix S1/S1R release before deciding on which FF mirrorless body to choose. The GH5 has proved flawless for what I have been asking for it, but the aesthetics you get from nice lenses (step forward 70-200 F2.8 VII) on the FF D850 for video is difficult to achieve on the m43 sensor. Hence the urge to go FF mirrorless. 

With the the recent release of the Lumix S1/S1R it was time to decide which system to choose. The spec sheet of the S1 seems perfect for what I need, but having a lot of legacy F-mount glass means the Z6 was a tempting option as well. What decided things for me was indeed the pricing of the Panasonic L-series glass. Buying into the new system would mean a significant investment, where as if I chose Nikon Z6, I would be able to gradually transfer to Z-glass using my F-glass with the FTZ adapter in the meanwhile. So I ordered a Z6  from Studio Fotocenter in Vasa, knowing that one of my cameras (D850/GH5/Z6) was going to relegated to third camera duties.

Why a Z6 and not a Z7 you may ask? Since I’m buying the camera for mainly video duties the Z7s higher resolution was less important than video quality, and the Z6 actually produces better 4k video since the Z6 does downsampled full sensor readout where as the Z7 reverts to line-skipping in FX mode.

What do we have here?…..

What do we have here?…..

Z6 first impressions

I eagerly picked up my Z6 together with the FTZ adapter and a Nikkor Z 35mm f/1.8 S lens from the local post office. The camera-menus are similar to those of the D850 so getting started was easy. An added bonus is that the D850 and Z6 batteries are interchangeable, although you loose the ability to charge and/or power the Z6 via USB if you use the older batteries from the D850 and before.

First impressions are important, and here are some of my reflections upon picking up the camera. I will return with a long-term review at a later date.

The good:

  • Big, bright and beautiful EVF.

  • Flexible picture control settings (can use flat on video and other settings for stills)

  • Great flexibility in modifying picture control settings for video (sharpness, contrast etc)

  • Possible to have separate custom button settings for stills/movie mode

  • Focus peaking available in 4k (doesn’t work on the D850). 

  • The placement of the toggle switch for video/stills is much better

  • The fully customisable U1/U2/U3 modes are nice, just as on the GH5.

  • The manual focus ring on Z-lenses can be customised for other duties, like exposure compensation or ISO setting

  • The top display is modern and cool looking

The bad:

  • The Z6 lacks a dedicated WB-button (but custom front button can be programmed for this)

  • Very small chassis, doesn’t feel as comfortable in the hand as the D850, especially in winter using gloves.

  • No screen protection for the back LCD.

  • The button placement takes getting used to, the front control dial is recessed quite a bit and is not as grippy as the one on the D850 making winter handling more difficult

  • Focus peaking doesn’t work if AF is switched, ie it is not possible to get focus confirmation with contrasting colors if you use AF.

  • The square eyepiece looks odd (cheap?…) after using big round eyepieces for years

  • Need to expose many ports on left hand side if connecting e.g. a USB-C cable (=> HDMI and remote trigger port are there not protected

  • Not possible to illuminate buttons/display with the power switch as on Nikon Pro DSLRs

  • The locking mechanism on left hand mode dial needs to be pushed each time the modes are changed. The GH5 implementation is much better (every second click activates/deactivates the locking mechanism)

  • The two button shortcut for formatting the SD card is removed.

  • The dedicated af-mode button on left hand side of the body missing.

  • The EVF magnification is a bit too large for people wearing glasses. Not possible to adjust the EVF magnification like on the Lumix G9.

Overall, the feel of the camera is more akin to a D7200/D7500 than a D500/D850. The camera ergonomics are not on a Nikon pro-body level. A battery grip (the MB-N10 Battery Pack is in development) is a must-have accessory to get the balance and grip-level as compared to a D850.

Big mount, small camera.

Big mount, small camera.

Comparing the Z6 with the GH5 (and the D850)

Much has been said about the Z6 and Z7 having only one card slot. For me that is only a minor issue since I only record video to one SD card at a time on the GH5 anyway. Still, it´s nice to be able to separate stills and video on different cards, and I suppose some photographers will miss the possibility of having-camera back-ups of stills.

I suppose what I miss most from the GH5 is the the small size and light weight of high quality lenses, the fully articulating back LCD,  the option of high-quality on-board audio recording as well as the high-end video features:

  • 4k50

  • internal 10bit 4:2:2 recording

  • single, large videofiles making editing multicam interviews etc easier.

  • Sharp FullHD slow-motion capacities up to 150fps (180fps possible but the GH5 quality takes a nosedive)

  • VLOG with support for LUTs on the camera display

  • vectorscopes

Does feel nice to peel off that protective sticker, doesn´t it?

Does feel nice to peel off that protective sticker, doesn´t it?

Conclusions

The Z6 proves to combine many of the benefits of the GH5 and D850. Having access to that FF sensor which enables the use of those lovely F-mount lenses coupled with IBIS is wonderful. In some situations the GH5 is still superior with regards to video qualities and the convenience of small lightweight lenses means I will still use the GH5 a lot together with the Z6. But even with those limitations the Z6 will for sure increase the production value for me.

For shooting stills, the bigger body, superior ergonomics and quicker acting AF of the D850 means the D850 will still be the go-to camera for still images. 

Nikon proves that they have done many things right with their first entry into the FF market. The availability of more native Z-lenses as well as a bigger pro body is something I look forward to!

The Z6 coupled with the FTZ adapter and a Sigma 50mm F1.4 ART lens

The Z6 coupled with the FTZ adapter and a Sigma 50mm F1.4 ART lens

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Shooting for the fun of it

Shooting for the fun of it

Today I have been enjoying a beautiful autumn day with no work commitments, went to watch a local motorsports event called Rokkiralli with my son. Below some pictures from today.

A bakers dozen of Jaguar E-types

A bakers dozen of Jaguar E-types

If anyone knows how to throw a garden party in style, then that would have to be the Tikkanens,  hosts of the Cafe Classic Garage in Snappertuna.
 

On July 7th Minna and Sami Tikkanen arranged a car meet targeted at E-type Jaguars but open for other Jaguars as well. Thirteen gorgeous E-types where on display, roughly half of the street registered E-types in Finland! Markku Niemi won the peoples choice award, Markkus E-type has a very special history in him having bought the car new and collecting it from the factory in England!

Below are some of my pictures from the event, do get in touch if you are interested in prints from the event!

Nitro Nationals 2018, the end of an era!

The 25th Nitro Nationals at Alastaro circuit was held on June 28th to July 1st. This was the last ever Top Fuel event to be held at Alastaro before the race circuit moves to the all new track in Kauhava. The 2018 event will also go down in the history books as the last Finnish event that Anita Mäkelä took place in. Below are some of my photos from this years race.

Wörthersee 2k18, beautiful cars in a wonderful setting!

Wörthersee 2k18, beautiful cars in a wonderful setting!

This week I´m photographing and filming the the 37th annual "GTI-treffen"  event which takes place in Reifnitz by the lake Wörthersee. The level of cars on display are amazing! Here are ten of my favorite shots from the first day, three more days of shooting left!

 

 

 

A road-trip to the Swiss alps

A road-trip to the Swiss alps

Spent a week travelling the Swiss alps taking pictures, read the blog entry to see all the pictures!

Rally Sweden 2018, a real winter rally!

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Rally Sweden 2018, a real winter rally!

Motorsport photography is something I really like. This year the 2nd round of the World Rally Championship took place in wonderful wintery conditions in Rally Sweden. In this blog entry you can see some of my photos from this years event.

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A low tech solution to a high tech problem

Winter is great time for capturing aerial photos and videos. One of the challenges is how to keep the batteries warm during winter flights. The drone manufacturers sell battery warmers, insulating pads etc. If the battery is too cold the drone wont take off, and even worse, cold batteries might lead to sudden voltage drops while flying, which in a worst case causes the drone to fall out of the sky.

One of the best ways I have found is to keep batteries fully charged and warm before the flight. Keeping the batteries warm is as easy as storing the in a small thermo bag together with a bottle filled with boiling hot water. This way the batteries stay warm and cozy, after the days job you can even warm your frozen fingers using the hot water bottle

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Rallisprint OP Marttila

Rallisprint OP Marttila

Yesterday I spent the day filmning and photographing the rallisprint competition in Marttila near Salo. A great setting and the snowfall added to the atmosphere. Check out the link below for some pictures for the event.

https://www.multifoto.fi/marttila-sprint-2018

The second round of the World Rally Championship takes place in Sweden in a couple of weeks time, stay tuned for some more photos from there....

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Post a video to Facebook or link via Youtube, which is better and why?

Post a video to Facebook or link via Youtube, which is better and why?

Where should I publish my video?

One question many customers ask is how to make sure you get many views on a video? The first thing to consider is where you post the video, Facebook, YouTube or both? Both platforms have their benefits and drawbacks, here are a few things to consider.

Reaching your customers effectively

YouTube has been the leading platform for video and was for a long time the obvious choice when posting videos. However, Facebook has added a lot of video functionality and might give better visibility for your video. Facebooks social format also encourages people to comment and share content they find relates to them in some way.

Facebook uses an algorithm called Edgerank to determine how content is displayed, who it reaches and what is in the top of the feed. YouTube is owned by Google, adding a YouTube link to Facebook means traffic is diverted to another platform. The people at Facebook don´t really like that. This means that YouTube links on Facebook are not very effective what comes to reaching an audience.

Use Facebooks features to increase the visibility of your video

Another thing to consider is Facebooks autoplay feature. If you add a video to Facebook, it starts playing automatically when people scroll through the feed. Facebook even added a feature where a video which is playing stays on the screen as you scroll further down.

A third benefit of posting directly to Facebook is the size of the thumbnail image in the feed. The thumbnail image for a Facebook video is over twice as large as videos linked from other platforms.

Finally, if you have a budget to spend on Facebook advertising, then boosting your video with a few euros will make it even more effective in reaching your customers. Facebooks analytics tools will give you quite detailed info on how effective your campaign has been, as well as providing demographic info on what groups of people you have reached.

So what are the downsides of posting a video on Facebook?

Facebook posts tend to have quite a short lifespan. Linking a Facebook video to a webpage is not very easy, this is where it makes sense to publish the same video and content on Youtube as well. Youtube is ranked as the #2 search engine after Google, meaning if your video is still important after 6 or 12 months, it´s probably a good idea to post the same content on both platforms.

Another thing to consider is the video quality. Images and videos posted on Facebook are re-compressed to decrease the file-size. This impacts the quality of both the image and the sound, YouTube has a clear benefit here offering up to 8k resolution on the video as well as supporting a wide range of frame-rates etc.

If you publish content on a very regular basis, like a vlog or similar, then it also makes sense to make good use of the YouTube subscription and notification functions to make sure that people who subscribe to your feed get notifications of new content.

Other things to consider

Independent of what platform you choose, the following things help you making your video stand out:

  • Add a custom thumbnail to the video. One trick that is effective is to add a big play button over the thumbnail image

  • Link a call to action with the video, this way the video is most effective in giving return on investment
  • Add links in the video description
  • Schedule your video to be posted at optimised times, perhaps on Friday evening when people relax on the sofa with a glass of wine...
  • Share the video with people or groups relevant to the video
  • Make effective use of hashtags as well as tagging people or content in the video

Match the content to the platform

As can be seen from the points above, it is important to match the content to the platform capabilities. Individual commercial videos are most effective when posting directly on Facebook where as if you publish videos on a weekly basis, YouTube might be the best platform for you. Sponsored content reaches far more potential customers on Facebook where as showreels with amazing video quality tend to work better on Youtube and are easier linked to other channels.

new section added - webshop

Are you looking for Christmas present or do you want a picture to adorn the wall at home or in the office? Check out the new webshop and order easily a printout in the size you wish! If the option you're looking for isn't listed, then send a message or an e-mail to arrange a personal order!

More images as well as print and delivery options will be added soon.

www.multifoto.fi/webshop

multifoto.fi - entrepeneur of the year

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multifoto.fi - entrepeneur of the year

Absolutely thrilled to receive the award "entrepeneur of the year in Raseborg" award. Big thanks to all the companys I have cooperated with throughput the year as well as to all customers who have made this possible!
https://www.vastranyland.fi/artikel/hobbyn-blev-arets-foretagares-levebrod/

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WinterScapes exhibition open in January

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WinterScapes exhibition open in January

I will kick off this new section of my webpage by mentioning an exhibition I have open during the month of January. I have winter aerial landscapes on display at W. Werners Gallery on Kungsgatan in Ekenäs. Go see it!

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