The Best Smartphone for Photography

DPreview has a cool shootout of the current Nokia lineup with complete technical image comparisons. We are starting to see some amazing camera’s included in smartphones – photographers rejoice! Personally I’m loving the camera in my iPhone 5s, but some of the new stuff out there is really mind-blowing.

I still think the bottle neck on these is the tiny lens. I think there is a serious physical limitation with that size of a lens, but it is really impressive as far as what we are starting to see with technology.

You can select some of the camera test shots and even compare them to some other smartphones on the market – I still think the iPhone’s compete pretty impressively.

View the test shots at:

The New Nikon DF

Nikon has done something very interesting. They’ve released a retro camera called the Nikon DF (there’s a great review over at The Art of Photography). So why the retro and why is this camera so interesting?

Right in line with some of the retro design cameras that Fuji and Olympus are putting out, the DF is a throwback to the SLR 35mm cameras from the 70’s and 80’s. It looks like a Nikon FE or maybe an F3 which were excellent cameras in their day and still wonderful if you shoot film.

Nikon Df

The Nikon DF, however is a digital slr. It has the same sensor as the top of the line D4. This means exceptional image quality – and features exceptional low light performance. This folks, is a monster camera. The upside is that you basically get the pro image qualities of the D4 DSLR in a cool, retro looking package.

The only downsides are – only 1 SD card slot which means no backup card and the lack of video. This is a still camera only.

Check it out!

Flickr Introduces Flickr Photo Books

I am about to order my first book from the new Flickr Photo Books service and I am pretty excited. It will be interesting to compare and see how this fares against competing services like Blurb.

So in case you haven’t heard the news, Flickr has announced Flickr Photo Books. This is a print-on-demand service that works directly out of your Flickr account. So if you’re not using Flickr for photo storage you have to be nuts. They offer 1 terabyte of space for free. Considering how big even some of the largest JPEG’s are, do the math – this is a TON of photos. So Flickr Photo Books are made by just selecting images in your Flickr account and putting them together with a selected layout.

If you’ve used Blurb to make books, this is very much a competing service – the two are very similar. You build your book online, select any options and order your book. Flickr will print the book and send it to you – its that easy.

This is a great service for anyone who wants to make or sell a book of their own work. Another thing I like the idea of is the price-point. Its actually reasonable enough to make small books to give to potential clients for free. If you land 1 job it would pay for all the books you would make to give out so its a really good deal.

According to Flickr, special attention is paid to the materials used – “premium white proPhoto paper with a Lustre finish”, and a sleek “photo wrap high-gloss hardcover complete with a matching dust jacket”.

You can get your book made today – check out

Why You Should Have A Portfolio

Its time to put together your photography portfolio.

You’re serious about photography right? You have spent a ton of money on your camera and your gear. You have a nice computer that runs Lightroom, right? You are serious. You are trying to get better. You’re trying to make a go at this whole photography thing.

So where’s you’re work? Seriously. I have $10,000 to spend on the right photographer who’s going to go to Europe and get the shot I need. I’m thinking you. Where’s your portfolio?

photography portfolio

Its amazing to me how few people actually follow through when it comes to presenting themselves. I’ve seen people spend tons and tons of money getting the right camera, lenses and lights. But for some crazy reason they never show their work.

If this description hits close to home its time to make a change. There is a wonderful article on how easy it is to set up an online photography portfolio even if you don’t know how to write a line of code. I’ll link to it below.

Why aren’t you sharing your work online? For most people its fear. Fear that they might get judged. I can assure you that I’ve shared my photographs online for years and it pays off in many ways.

First off I’ve NEVER had anyone make fun of my work. And believe me – I’ve put some bad images up. Sharing your work starts a conversation. Chances are that you’re good and your work is going to make sense to someone else.

Beyond that if you can land work then you’ve made it! Work harder but if you don’t have a portfolio online for people to see, you’re dead in the water. You must have this to get work.

Live View Issues with the Nikon D7100

The new Nikon D7100 is probably the best affordable DSLR in the Nikon DX category. This means that is uses a smaller sensor, but the image quality is simply stunning. Plus the camera is affordable which makes this an amazing camera for just about any photographer. I want to talk about some of the issues that Nikon seems to have gotten lazy with on this camera in its design.

So the camera is capable of video which is beautiful. DSLR video is greatly desired for its beautiful picture and shallow depth of field. The “Live View” feature is connected to the video function, but also makes it possible to use the rear screen when making still photographs as well.

Nikon has a problem in the D7100 in that aperture changes don’t seem to register in live view. This has to do with the way the electronics talk to the physical design of the camera. Its complex, but basically this doesn’t allow changes to update in live view mode on the fly.

The workaround is if you need to change aperture, you’ll need to turn off the live view switch, turn the aperture to the new setting then turn it on again. This is a huge frustration and most people who understand the camera design feel like this is not able to be updated via firmware.

Its still an amazing camera, and I feel like its still worth the price. However just remember this might be a big deal if you use live view or shoot a considerable amount of video and you want to buy the Nikon D7100. Personally I think its a tradeoff for the next priced model up – which would be a full frame camera. I can live with it because the image quality is still amazing.