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Adam Ottke
Los Gatos, CA
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Articles written by Adam Ottke

Michael Schmidt Reviews the Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM

Michael Schmidt Reviews the Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM

Michael Schmidt of Chemnitz, Germany, shares a video review of Canon's new and quite affordable EF-S 10-18mm IS STM lens. The lens features silent focusing thanks to its stepping motor (STM) and even throws in built-in image stabilization (IS). While the lens exhibits some minor issues (some expected distortion seems quite controlled for this focal length), overall image quality seems fantastic and the lens' focusing motor is truly silent and smooth.

iOS 8 Improves Your Current Phone's Camera and Paves the Way for iPhone 6

iOS 8 Improves Your Current Phone's Camera and Paves the Way for iPhone 6

Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) previewed a new operating system for the Mac as well as iOS 8 for the iPhone, which comes with a host of new features due out this fall. While many features of Apple's new iOS releases leave out older devices, this one will improve your iPhone's camera (past, current, and future) with some great features we've all been too patient to see.

"Nearly New" Polaroid 405 4x5 Instant Film Back on Kickstarter

"Nearly New" Polaroid 405 4x5 Instant Film Back on Kickstarter

Some may have noticed a good portion of the DIY and Kickstarter projects for film photography revolve around the 4x5 format. That's likely because, for lovers of film, it's the best format out there. The negative size allows for incredibly sharp and enlarged prints. It's possible (just) to handhold a 4x5 camera for street photography. And despite many film stocks' deaths by the second, you can still get some of the most popular films in 4x5 sheet film packs.

NCAA Final Four's Awesome Backboard Camera Setup

NCAA Final Four's Awesome Backboard Camera Setup

Action/adventure sports photographer Brett Wilhelm, who comes from a long-time staff position with NCAA Photos/Clarkson Creative and currently shoots for the likes of ESPN's XGames.com, Sports Illustrated, and NCAA, takes us through a typical NCAA backboard camera setup. He shows us everything from how they reduce vibration and glare from the backboard to how to get every image to the photo room as efficiently and reliably as possible.

Pricing of the Sony a7S Revealed

Pricing of the Sony a7S Revealed

Sony's high ISO full frame compact camera announced earlier this year finally has a price: $2,498. It's more than the a7r and a7 and probably more than some of you guessed. That said, the performance of the ISO is impressive and if they are able to solve the rolling shutter issues with a firmware update it stands to be a heck of a camera. In addition to pricing, we also have specifications for the new full-frame compact, and B&H is now accepting pre-orders.

Nikon's New Fluorine Coating Is Your Best Protection Against a Dirty Front Element

Nikon's New Fluorine Coating Is Your Best Protection Against a Dirty Front Element

Nikon provided a new video highlighting the benefits of using its fluorine coating, first used on the just-announced updated 400mm f/2.8 lens. In addition to adding a certain clarity to the image because of its antireflective properties, the new 400mm f/2.8 benefits from the fluorine coating's ability to repel just about anything that might hit it. I want this on all of my lenses!

Amazon's Newest, Revolutionary Patent: White Seamless Studio Photography

Amazon's Newest, Revolutionary Patent: White Seamless Studio Photography

Brought to our attention by Photography Bay, Amazon has patented a most ingenious invention: a completely revolutionary way to get a "true white" background on an image in-camera, without any post processing. We didn't understand how it was done, but now the US Patent Office has helped us all by posting this granted patent complete with plenty of diagrams supplied by Amazon's brilliant inventors.

BTS: Helicarrier Crash Design VFX in Captain America: The Winter Soldier

BTS: Helicarrier Crash Design VFX in Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Wired's Design FX has given us a great behind the scenes video of everything that was involved in the updated Helicarrier crash scene for Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The sheer scale of the project is astounding as FXGuide.com's Mike Seymour and ILM's Digital Models Supervisor Bruce Holcomb take us through the design of the crash and its scale to the actors on the green screen.

The Animated GIF as an Art Form

The Animated GIF as an Art Form

Painting, collage, photography, music, installation, sculpture, and even video are all acknowledged mediums for art. But can we truly consider a proper GIF animation as "fine art?" Six recent winners of Saatchi Gallery's and Google+'s new Motion Photography Prize prove the answer is, "Yes," as they celebrate this new form of "motion photography."

Crated.com: A New Platform for Artists to Get Noticed and Get Paid

Crated.com: A New Platform for Artists to Get Noticed and Get Paid

Crated.com, a new platform for photographers and artists to sell their work, launches in just a few short weeks. What's so amazing about Crated? They have a rigorous curatorial process to keep artwork standards high, allow artists to sell their work through their platform, handle top-quality printing and fulfillment, and allow artists to keep 80% for themselves where most galleries take anywhere from 30-50% in commission.

Side-by-Side Video Bitrate Comparison on Nikon D800 with NikonHacker Firmware

Side-by-Side Video Bitrate Comparison on Nikon D800 with NikonHacker Firmware

After yesterday's post, Lars Steenhoff sent us an updated, side-by-side comparison of video bitrates on the Nikon D800 at 3200 ISO with NikonHacker's new firmware. Steenhoff comments that the 64Mbps file has more noise as a result of less compression, but cleans up easily in a final file output that is cleaner with just a little noise reduction. For those interested, he has also made the original 64Mbps and 24Mpbs files downloadable on Dropbox, too.

Nikon D800 Video Bitrate Comparisons with NikonHacker Firmware

Nikon D800 Video Bitrate Comparisons with NikonHacker Firmware

To date, Nikon users haven't enjoyed the benefits of Magic Lantern hacks appreciated by many Canon shooters. However, this is slowly changing as NikonHacker has added firmware hacks for a variety of Nikon DSLRs. Using recent NikonHacker updates, Lars Steenhoff has shared his own 54Mbps sample, albeit without comparisons for the moment. NikonHacker user, LPowell, however, has shared a series bitrate comparison videos with the Nikon D800.

Thoughts on Current Copyright Issues and the Future of "The New Prohibition"

Thoughts on Current Copyright Issues and the Future of "The New Prohibition"

We covered a story last year in which Andy Baio was sued for his use of a Miles Davis photograph as a reference for pixel art for a tribute album he created. Now, he's spoken about copyright issues and what constitutes "fair use." There are many opinions on this, but it's a great video if you're curious about the issue -- which you should be if you're any kind of artist or image-maker.

Should You Always Talk to Strangers Before You Take Their Photograph?

Should You Always Talk to Strangers Before You Take Their Photograph?

We can all be a little shy: it's not the easiest thing to go up to a stranger and start taking pictures or strike up a conversation. Adam Marelli had an interesting post on his blog called, Can I Take Your Picture, How to Talk to Strangers, in which he discusses how most people are okay with being photographed if you just take the time to talk with them. He even argues that you should always talk to a stranger you're about to photograph first. But are there exceptions?

[Updated] Nikon Updates D600 and D800(E) Firmware

[Updated] Nikon Updates D600 and D800(E) Firmware

Finally, Nikon has released a firmware update to address some minor issues. Some major features include 100% viewfinder in HDMI-out (up from 95%) in the D600, improved AF-C tracking performance for the D800, and support in both cameras for that new 800mm f/5.6 that I know you all ordered recently... Update: Even more DSLR firmware updates added from Nikon, too!

Review: The Fuji GX617 Panoramic Beast

Review: The Fuji GX617 Panoramic Beast

What first drew me to the panoramic format was that it's the way we naturally see. Sure, you can't really compare a camera's lens to the abilities of two (or even one) human eyes. But nevertheless, we are a horizontally-oriented species -- we live, work, and see along a horizontal plane. And so, after a bit of research, I dove in to get the Fuji GX617. Why not Hasselblad's XPAN? Why not the Linhof or Horseman variants? And how on Earth do you use these things? Let's find out...

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