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Articles written by Oliver Kmia

Computer Guide for Photography and Video Editing: What to Buy and Why? (Part 2)

In the previous article, we analyzed processor and motherboard options along with power supply and computer cases. Next, let’s talk about graphic cards, memory, and heat management issues. On the storage front, the introduction of affordable NMVe drives allows one to go past the bandwidth limitation of the SATA interface found on traditional SSD. Here is a short guide to help you navigate through the current offerings and avoid the marketing traps in order to build the perfect machine based on your budget.

Computer Guide for Photography and Video Editing: What to Buy and Why? (Part 1)

Photographers and filmmakers probably spend more time on their computers that behind a camera. We own thousands of dollars in gears, yet some of us waste a considerable amount of time struggling on a sluggish PC. However, for the price of a good lens you could dramatically improve your productivity by speeding up the entire post-shooting phase. Here is a short guide to help you navigate through the current offerings and avoid the marketing traps in order to build the perfect machine based on your budget.

The Sony a7R III Has No Star Eater Effect

In August 2016, Sony made a firmware modification to the a7R II and a7S II cameras. Among the changes was a new algorithm designed to reduce noise during long exposure photography. Unfortunately, the new noise reduction approach was a bit too aggressive and the astrophotographer community quickly realized that the new filtering method was removing minor stars during exposure longer than 3.2 seconds. They named this issue the “star-eater” effect and many specialists called Sony for a change. Photographer and time-lapse expert Drew Geraci is happy to report that the problem has been fixed in the new Sony a7R III.

The VAST Project: How to Capture and Edit Artistic Gigapixel Photography

Ultra-high-resolution photography has been around for years now but the technical difficulties associated with the creation of gigapixel images tend to limit the artistic output of this type of photography. People find it incredibly fascinating and like to explore every little detail of a scene, but they wouldn't want to put one on their wall as artwork. The aesthetic is often sacrificed in the race for resolution. That’s precisely why a group of photographers joined forces to create a collective called VAST in order to conciliate beauty and high definition.

GoPro Returns to Profitability, Will Launch New Camera Form Factor in 2018

GoPro announced its first profitable quarter of the past in two years. After a series of commercial failures and employee layoffs, the action camera manufacturer might be on the path to recovery thanks to the newly launched HERO6. "GoPro has turned a corner, restoring growth and profitability to our business," said CEO Nicholas Woodman. In a call to investors, he also revealed that his company will launch a new camera next year.

Filming a Documentary in the Mongolian Wilderness for Three Weeks

San Francisco-based photographer Jeff Colhoun spent the last three summers in Mongolia documenting the activity of various environmental protection projects. The Genghis Khan nation is a huge country with a thin population of three million inhabitants spread out across a vast territory. The remoteness of the place is what made this assignment both appealing and challenging. Here is the story of this photographic journey.

Creative Cloud: Is It Time to Ditch Adobe?

Adobe just killed one of its last major one-time fee softwares, Lightroom, in favor of the subscription model introduced in 2013. While the most refractory users may continue to run on the previous versions, they will be forced to roll to the Creative Cloud at some point since Adobe will stop supporting the traditional software. Future raw images and video codecs will not work on old programs. But when looking at the price plan in detail, are we being milked by Adobe with the subscription model and if so, what are the alternatives?

What Are the Differences Between the DJI Zenmuse X5S and X7 Cameras and Which One Should You Buy?

Less than a year after the release of the X5S camera, DJI just introduced the new Zenmuse X7 with superlative specifications. The Chinese drone manufacturer is innovating so rapidly that it may be hard to keep track of all the new features associated with its ever-expanding product range. Let’s check what the main differences between the two cameras are and which one you should buy.

Overview of AeroScope, a New DJI System to Track and Identify Drones

Chinese manufacturer DJI just announced a new technology to identify and track airborne drones. Dubbed AeroScope, this system takes advantages of all the telemetry data sent by the aircraft to give the authorities a detailed vision of the drone presence in a local airspace. This system is mature and has been installed at two international airports since April. Here are the technical details and legal challenges associated with this technology.

New Documents Show How the Police Convinced the FAA to Put a No-Fly Zone Over Standing Rock

Motherboard obtained nearly a hundred pages of emails between the Federal Aviation Administration and federal, state, and local agencies through a Freedom of Information Act. This correspondence describes the exchange between the law enforcement officials and the FAA regarding the establishment of a no-fly zone over the protest area. This is a critical issue because the temporary flight restriction required by the police to counter the use of drones in Standing Rock collide directly with the news gathering rights protected by the first amendment.

Drone Versus Black Hawk Helicopter: Hit or Miss?

After many closes calls and inconclusive reports, a new incident involving a small hobby drone and two military Black Hawk helicopters might mark one the first drone to aircraft collision. Unlike many previous cases, this incident seemed to have left direct evidence. Army Lieutenant Colonel Joe Buccino, the spokesman for the 82nd Airborne, said that a civilian drone “struck on the left side of fuselage. There were no adverse impacts to the flight.” He added that “one blade was damaged [and] dented in two spots and requires replacement and there is a dented window.” Here is what we know.

Felix Rios Photographs Winston Churchill and Other Reenactors for Photo Series

Sir Winston Churchill once said: “Success consists of going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.” I think that many photographers can relate to this quote from this famous historical figure. The British Prime Minister who led his country to victory during World War II was one of the few giants of the era along with U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. These historical personages are long gone, but Felix Rios, a London-based photographer, managed to go back in time to capture Churchill’s doppelganger for a photoshoot.

Hurricane Irma – Don’t Become a Liability

The latest forecast estimates that the superlative category five hurricane Irma may land directly on the most populated area of South Florida near the city of Miami. The last time a massive storm hit the region was in 1992 with hurricane Andrew. But back then, there were no Instagram or Facebook to display stupid behaviors. Here is what you shouldn't do during a hurricane as a photographer.

The Technical and Legal Challenges of Anti-Drone Systems

In 2013, a small quadcopter flew close to German Chancellor Angela Merkel who was attending an outdoor political meeting. A year later an inebriated federal agent crashed his Phantom in the White House perimeter. Fortunately, the drone did not damage Michelle Obama’s vegetable garden, but following this event DJI implemented the no-fly zone feature on its entry-level drones. However, this measure is not completely effective to prevent rogue flights and authorities are looking for solutions to counter drones from flying in restricted areas. Let’s review the current anti-drone solutions and challenges associated with neutralizing a small UAVs.

Dronelapse Video of Miami - The Tilt-Shift Technique and Tutorial

After eight months of work I finally finished this project: an aerial tilt-shift hyperlapse of Miami. The idea was to produce something different. Time-lapse videos are very common these days and most drone operators can make a decent hyperlapse with their drones. In this video I wanted to replicate the out-of-focus look normally associated with macro photography to give a miniature effect of the city of Miami. Here is how I filmed this video and what I learned during the process.

Eclipse Overdose: Why I Will Boycott the Stellar Event

Unless you live on another planet (or in a different country), you probably haven’t missed the announcement of the upcoming solar eclipse that will take place on Monday when the moon passes in front of the sun, casting a shadow on the United States for less than three minutes. While I am confident that the eclipse does not mark the end of the world, I will probably stay in my office catching up with accounting tasks at that time. Here is why I will miss the eclipse party.

DJI Phantom 5 - Release Date, Specifications, and Features: What to Expect?

The rumor mill is going strong with the potential release of the Phantom 5. Forum experts and unverifiable sources estimate that DJI will announce the new version of its best seller drone sometime in September of this year. Due to the lack of official information, we can only speculate at this point. However, we can analyze DJI's past strategy and actual technological development to estimate the possible specifications and features that may end up in the Phantom 5.