This week, we’re taking a look at Fujifilm system cameras. The new X-T5 is the newest member of Fuji’s X-trans APS-C sensor bodies, and offers some retro controls and styling. We’ll compare it with the Fujifilm X-H2 series cameras, which have control layouts more in line with mirrorless cameras from Canon, Nikon, and Sony.
Photo AI is the newest Topaz plug-in, and it combines sharpening, noise reduction, and upscaling features in a single application that uses AI-based technology to deliver impressive results. In this presentation, I discuss the software and several use cases for how to incorporate it into your own photography workflow.
Topaz Photo AI is part of the Topaz Image Quality Bundle, which is available here.
It’s time for our annual tradition of helping separate you from your money! We’ll offer our recommended gear for the holidays and more, including filters, software, camera bags, and even a couple of cameras & lenses. Check out our complete list here.
Treat your loved one (or yourself) to some new gear
It’s that time again! “Black Friday” has morphed into “most of November” for deals and sales on photography gear and software. Here are some items I strongly recommend for the photographer in your life (even if it’s you).
All of my eBooks are 25% off through December 4th, 2022 with discount code: holiday22
Many of the items on this list are indispensable when you’re in the field
If you’re moving from XQD to CF Express Type B, make sure you have a memory card reader that supports both formats, such as this one by Sony. Older XQD readers won’t read CF Express cards, and some CF Express readers won’t read XQD.
On the road? Consider upgrading your backup drive to a portable SSD. They are small, extremely fast, and have no moving parts. I use a 2TB SanDisk portable SSD when I’m on the road.
Most newer cameras can be charged directly via a USB-C cable. Save the bulk of packing your standard charging brick and consider a multi-port USB-C charger to charge both your camera and your smartphone. This 40W dual charger by Anker has enough power to charge the Nikon Z9 battery, either in-camera or using the charging cradle.
When it comes to traveling, I like to pack my gear in a rolling bag, then transfer it to a shoulder bag when I’m out shooting. The ThinkTank roller bags are my personal choice for carrying larger kits through airports. When I’m traveling light and just want a backpack, the ThinkTank/MindShift Backlight 18L or 26L backpacks are amazing. They can hold lots of gear, and open from the back, making them more secure.
I personally use Adobe Lightroom Classic in conjunction with Adobe Photoshop. The newest masking features in Lightroom put it at the top of its class for raw image editors. I also recommend the following plug-in tools:
Topaz AI Collection (currently on-sale through Dec. 1): This suite of tools delivers some of the best sharpening and noise reduction I’ve seen; far superior to using Lightroom alone. The suite also includes the new Photo AI program, which is still evolving but bundles sharpening, noise reduction, and up-sizing images into one application. I have recently started re-thinking my triage criteria for “acceptably sharp,” as Sharpen AI (and Photo AI) can sometimes work miracles on slightly soft subjects. Any software package that makes me re-think my workflow deserves recognition.
If you have an older camera, why not give it new life by converting it to infrared? Kolari Vision offers a variety of conversion options, but the most intriguing (to me, at least), is the full-spectrum conversion. When paired with Kolari’s clip-in filters (for mirrorless cameras), it means you can have one camera that can truly deliver a wide range of creative infrared looks.
Cameras and Lenses
If you’re really looking for an upgrade this holiday season, you can check out the holiday specials at B&H Photo.
Most camera manufacturers have developed smartphone Apps that allow you to tether your camera remotely. This week, we’ll look at the pros and cons of these tools, and why they can be a benefit to your photography that goes beyond just a simple cordless remote function.