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Mike Smith
London, London, GB

Articles written by Mike Smith

Fstoppers Reviews the Sundisc Softbox

When is a softbox not a softbox? When it's a Sundisc. Here's a long-term review of a multi-talented light modifier that packs down to the size of a pack of small tortillas.

My Bokeh Is Better Than Yours Part Two: How to Calculate Blur

In the first part of this series of two, I introduced bokeh — out-of-focus areas — and outlined the main controls of defocus. These include sensor size, focal length, aperture, distance to subject, and distance to the backdrop. How, then, do you compare defocus between lenses and cameras? Read on.

Why the Nikon Z 9 Is a Crucial Camera for the Company

Now that the dust has settled on Nikon's big Z 9 announcement and pundits have chewed the cud over the raft of firsts that the announcement heralded, let's pause for a moment and consider some of the reality that will undoubtedly follow this.

A Missed Opportunity or the Dawn of a New Age? Nikon's NX MobileAir App

Transferring images from the camera to the customer is a complex process that — depending upon your genre — will require a greater or lesser number of intermediate steps. Irrespective of who you are delivering to, you need to get photos off your camera, and this is where the fun and games start. Nikon has released NX MobileAir as another solution to fix the problem. Has it missed a beat or taken a bold step forward?

Plug It In: Accessing Raw Files on Your Smartphone

It's a universal truth: wireless connections are rubbish. How many times has your tether terminated, have your maps been massacred, was Netflix nuked, or Zoom zonked all because your Bluetooth, WiFi, or 4G connection simply dropped, died, or was otherwise incapacitated? If you want a reliable connection, then the advice is to plug it in, so how do you get raw files from the camera to the phone?

What Must Camera Manufacturers Do to Challenge the Smartphone?

Cameras just aren't good enough at processing photos — witness the inexorable rise of the smartphone which leverages adequate hardware and clever software to produce images that look as good as those from a high-flying $2,000 camera. What can manufacturers do to remain relevant in today's market?

Is Photo Mechanic Plus a Lightroom Killer? An In-Depth Fstoppers Review Part 2: The Image Catalog

In Part 1 of this In-Depth review, I outlined the core philosophy of Photo Mechanic Plus before going on to summarize and test the ingestion process. Arguably, this is the star in the crown however, Camera Bits have now added an image catalog allowing it to manage your photo archive. Read on to find out how it performs, as well as a comparison with Lightroom's own catalog.

The End of the Strobe? We Review Viltrox's Weeylite Ninja 300

Viltrox has released a new single-color LED continuous light under their Weeylite brand. At $179 for the base package, it's a compelling option. So, is this the end of the strobe? Find out in this exclusive Fstoppers review.

The Nikon Coolpix B600: Everything You Need to Know About the Camera Market In One Camera

Nikon quietly — or maybe not so quietly given the press — announced the demise of the innocuously named Coolpix B600, a product name that just trips off the tongue and screams cheap and cheerful. What is startling about this camera is that it only hit the market in December 2020. Some eight months later it has bitten the dust. Why is this and what does it say about the camera market?

If Cartier-Bresson Were Shooting Today, Would He Use 6K Burst Mode?

Henri Cartier-Bresson is hailed in the pantheon of photographers as one of the leading lights of his time. He is also inextricably linked with Leica. If he were shooting today, what brand would he choose and how would he shoot? It would of course be Panasonic and 6K Burst Mode.

Has Sony Altered the Camera Market Forever?

The mirrorless camera was an innocuous enough invention that stemmed from Olympus' early innovation, but is it Sony that has managed to change the camera market for good and upset the CaNikon apple cart?

Nikkei Market Share: Bad News for Nikon... Or Is It?

Nikkei recent published a synopsis of Techno System Research's Market Share Survey for 2020, a detailed paywalled survey of camera shipment data from major manufacturers. The headline is a 5.0% drop for Nikon, decreasing its total market share. This isn't great news for Nikon, but is it all it seems?

Instead of Praising Nikon, We Should Be Asking Why the Industry Has Been So Slow To Replace GPS With GNSS

The recent press about an upcoming Nikon camera — denoted the "N2014" — highlighted a government registration filing that suggests it will be "equipped with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS)." This has been a positive media development for Nikon as, if correct, it would make them the first camera manufacturer to integrate GNSS into one of their products. Is the camera industry being disingenuous by their slow adoption of existing technologies?

Nikon Increases Earnings But Loses Ground

Nikon recently posted its first quarter financial report which shows improved sales but still leaves many questions unanswered about its post-COVID recovery. Is it making or — indeed — losing ground to its competitors?

Deleting Photos: When Is It Too Much and Should You Stop?

Back in film days, you loaded up a 24 or 36 exposure film and shot away until it was used up. Frames were precious because when your film was gone, it was all over. Digital removed that barrier, which has just created different problems. So, should you delete photos and, if you do, when should you stop?