Thursday, April 28, 2016

Macphun Creative Kit XXL - Save 93% - Only $129 (a $2000 value)

This is a pretty good short-term deal for Mac users that includes:

  • 6 best-selling Macphun photo applications (Mac ONLY)
  • 40+ eBooks, guides & trainings
  • 1200+ creative presets
  • 6 other apps for the Mac
  • 6 special discounts

Click here to learn more or order. You can also review the list of included items below:

FeaturedItems

Disclosure

If you make a purchase using links found in this article, I may make a commission. It doesn’t cost you a penny more, but it does help to support future articles like this.

If you enjoyed this article, please support future articles like this by making a donation or saving money by using my discount coupon codes. Either way, your support is greatly appreciated!

Click here to learn more about how this blog is funded. Residents from Arkansas, California, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming (and where prohibited by law) may be prohibited from using the links to make purchases, so please consider making a donation instead. This blog is intended for freelance writing and sharing of opinions and is not a representative of any of the companies whose links are provided on this site.

The opinions provided are of Ron Martinsen alone and do not reflect the view of any other entity

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Ronmartblog.com Readers Enjoy Another Great VIP Event with Scott Kelby Today

ronmartblog.com fans with Ron Martinsen, Scott Kelby and Brad Moore
The Scott Kelby & Brad Moore Meet & Greet VIP Event

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while then you know I’m a huge Scott Kelby fan, and his Digital Photography Books have been long-time entries on my must read photography book list!

Today a few select blog readers had the opportunity to join me for a 45 minutes behind the scenes private meeting with Scott Kelby and Brad Moore. It was a great opportunity filled with cool behind the scenes stories and plenty of laughter.

Front Row Seating for Shoot Like A Pro: Reloaded

Ron looks on with blog readers for the Shoot Like A Pro: Reloaded! Tour
My VIP guests enjoyed front row seating with me and a great view of Scott…

Ron looks on with blog readers for the Shoot Like A Pro: Reloaded! Tour
…where he shared tons of great tips and behind the scenes thoughts on how he shoots…

ronmartblog.com exclusive VIP seating for the Shoot Like A Pro: Reloaded! Tour in Seattle
…to the enjoyment of our entire group.

Coming to a city near you

Shoot Like A Pro: Reloaded! Tour in Seattle
Scott Kelby in Seattle on April 26, 2016

Scott’s is touring the country doing a new seminar where he pulls everything together from all of those books into a single seminar. Here’s a short video where Scott explains in his own words what you can expect from this day long event:

Sounds great, right?  Check out the schedule to see where he’ll be next, but sadly I won’t be there for any more VIP events.

About the Images

I’d like to thank David Gales for the photos in this article which allowed me to enjoy the show. My apologies for the mix of color and black and white photos, but I handed David the X-Pro 2 that I’m reviewing and had forgotten it was in an odd JPEG only film simulation bracket mode.

Conclusion

If you’ve never been to one of these types of classes you are in for a treat. They are a screaming deal and you learn a ton. Even if you just took the excellent handouts (which are very nice printed and bound booklets) it would be more than worth the full ticket price. The fact that our group got to meet Scott & Brad with front row VIP seating was icing on the cake!

Thanks Scott, Brad, David and Debbie for helping make sure it was a great day for all of us!

Other articles you may enjoy

Disclosure

If you make a purchase using links found in this article, I may make a commission. It doesn’t cost you a penny more, but it does help to support future articles like this. This offer is also void where prohibited and there’s no guarantee of anything beyond the show discount. It’s always possible I could get sick, Scott can’t see us, or we can’t logistically sit together – but every effort WILL be made to try to make that happen.

Master your HDR Skills with StuckInCustoms Video Tutorials

Click here and use the coupon code RONMART15 to get 15% off almost everything at the StuckInCustoms.com store. Here are some of my favorites:


Click here for my Topaz Labs discount coupon code

If you enjoyed this article, please support future articles like this by making a donation or saving money by using my discount coupon codes. Either way, your support is greatly appreciated!

Click here to learn more about how this blog is funded. Residents from Arkansas, California, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming (and where prohibited by law) may be prohibited from using the links to make purchases, so please consider making a donation instead. This blog is intended for freelance writing and sharing of opinions and is not a representative of any of the companies whose links are provided on this site.

The opinions provided are of Ron Martinsen alone and do not reflect the view of any other entity

Sunday, April 24, 2016

PhotoFocus: Travel Photography Tips & Tricks Hangout (Special Offers)

PhotoFocus Travel Webinar

Thanks for joining me for my a hangout with photofocus.com here. If you didn’t make it you can click the photo above to watch the video archive and learn more. You can also get the PowerPoint for the presentation here or the PDF of the presentation here.

During this video I gave some practical advice about travel photography as well as doing some demos in Perfectly Clear.  Here’s a special 15% discount for those who watched using the coupon code Springclean:

Save 15% - Coupon Springclean

If you already have a coupon code, replace it and use this one by clicking Update Coupon to save even more!

Here’s links to some of the things that may come up during the hangout:

Software

Gear

Printing Advice

Deals / Special Offers

General Advice

CLICK HERE to learn how to join Ron to Meet Scott Kelby in Seattle on Tuesday April 26th – limited availability.


Click here for my Topaz Labs discount coupon code

If you enjoyed this article, please support future articles like this by making a donation or saving money by using my discount coupon codes. Either way, your support is greatly appreciated!

Click here to learn more about how this blog is funded. Residents from Arkansas, California, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming (and where prohibited by law) may be prohibited from using the links to make purchases, so please consider making a donation instead. This blog is intended for freelance writing and sharing of opinions and is not a representative of any of the companies whose links are provided on this site.

The opinions provided are of Ron Martinsen alone and do not reflect the view of any other entity

Friday, April 22, 2016

REVIEW: Sony a6300 with Sony 16-70mm f/4 Lens (Part II of II)–The Best Camera for Parents on a Budget

Sony Alpha a6300 Mirrorless Digital Camera
Sony Alpha a6300 Mirrorless Digital Camera

Click here to get it now via Amazon Prime

The Sony a6300 is an impressive camera, no doubt, which is why I couldn’t contain my praise in the first part of my review entitled REVIEW: Sony a6300 with Sony 16-70mm f/4 Lens (Part I of II)–The best Sony AF ever?.

The more I used it, the more I liked it. What’s more, my wife even started asking me if we could get one as she loved the size and performance. Given the great 4k video, it’s not out of the question that I might invest in one of these for my personal use as it is a heck of a lot of camera for this price.

Video Review

Here’s a short video that gives you some basics about what I like about this camera and shows off some of its cool features:

 

Video Sample

Despite my disdain for doing video, I couldn’t help but share at least one 4k video that gives you a basic idea of how good it is:


You must view full screen via here on a 4k display like the NEC PA322UHD to see the full 4k

Be sure to view the “stats for nerds” by right clicking on the video to ensure you are really seeing 4k – you may have to play it again to see the full 4k video.

Here’s a 4k frame grab from YouTube that illustrates what you should see if you are really viewing the 4k version:

image
Click the photo to see the full size 4k screen grab of the 4k video playback in YouTube

Bookshelf Test / ISO Performance


f/8 @ 70mm for 20 sec at ISO 100

Even up to f/8, the image quality is super sharp

100% View of f/8 using ISO 100
100% View  of shot above

Personally I found ISO 6400 to be my comfortable maximum ISO as shown here:

ISO 6400

Click here to view over 20 bookshelf shots that you can download and view in full resolution to see how this camera performs at various ISO’s and apertures.

The results here are definitely better than some lower end DSLR’s I’ve tested, so don’t let the small size fool you – this is a highly capable cameral for photographers of all skill levels.

Real World Shots

People don’t read manuals and they rarely take time to learn how to use their cameras, so when I test I like to have a combo of brain dead shooting (like many would do with cell phones) sprinkled with some serious shooting where I actually dial in all settings manually. This results in what I call real world shots because they are unplanned, unedited shots that just occur during the course of everyday life.

I hope you enjoy them compared to the heavily processed shots found elsewhere as they more closely represent what real people will really get out of this camera if they were to take it home and use it themselves.

The shots below and elsewhere in this article are completely unedited in-camera JPEG’s that feature camera defaults unless otherwise noted. These images may be viewed when reading this article, but you may not print, edit, modify, redistribute, etc… any of these images in any way. They are copyright Ron Martinsen – All Rights Reserved.

Click the photos to see full-size, unedited original in-camera JPEG’s.


f/4 @ 70mm for 1/250 sec at ISO 6400

Not too shabby for ISO 6400!!!


f/4 @ 70mm for 1/250 sec at ISO 400

While this may not have been the best lens, it still did a decent job and offered some respectable bokeh it was summoned such as was the case in this shot


f/4 @ 20mm for 1/200 sec at ISO 100

Kids don’t stay still, and Kai is no exception. I was happy with the face detection that still gave me a decent focus on the face even when Kai was totally random and unpredictable. I couldn’t have got this shot with most high end DSLR’s


f/4 @ 59mm for 1/400 sec at ISO 4000

I stuck my camera in a log and took a shot without even seeing where my son was. While this may not be the most perfect shot, I was impressed that it still came away with a relatively decent focus on the eye – especially since my Kai was running


f/4 @ 18mm for 1/250 sec at ISO 100

Lens flare is inevitable for a shot like this, but that green flare at the bottom was something I wish wouldn’t have happened. Perhaps a better lens like the Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM would have avoided doing that.


f/5.6 @ 70mm for 1/125 sec at ISO 125

My eyes couldn’t spot the two moose in the 9 o’clock position but fortunately the camera could and it got decent focus, so this was something that made my wife a fan of the AF system


f/4 @ 23mm for 1/1250 sec at ISO 1000

You won’t confuse this for the a7R Mark II when it comes to dynamic range, but its images will be better than you think on your display than they appear through the viewfinder LCD.


f/4 @ 70mm for 1/125 sec at ISO 800

The in-camera noise reduction smears textures too much, but this camera gets the shot and it’s RAW images give you the option to try using a third any noise reduction product like Noiseware


f/5.6 @ 70mm for 1/640 sec at ISO 100

Default in-camera processing with auto white balance is a little bland, but it often gets the shot that gives you something that will clean up nicely during the photo editing process


f/4 @ 70mm for 1/500 sec at ISO 125


f/4 @ 64mm for 1/500 sec at ISO 500

Look carefully at the tallest flower and you’ll notice some speck on it. If you zoom to 100% of the full-size file you’ll see that it’s actually a bug – that’s pretty decent resolution!


f/4 @ 61mm for 1/500 sec at ISO 200

Great sharpness on the subject and butter smooth bokeh elsewhere – you’ve gotta love it!


f/4 @ 56mm for 1/80 sec at ISO 1000

If your settings are dialed in properly, the built-in stabilization will increase your chances of a sharp shot even if you have a shaky hold like I do!


f/4 @ 70mm for 1/500 sec at ISO 320

Shooting into the sun with a dark subject, but the AF did great and the meter was spot on for an accurate exposure


f/4 @ 70mm for 1/500 sec at ISO 100

You sacrifice some sharpness for this bokeh as you can see in the f/5.6 shot


f/4 @ 70mm for 1/500 sec at ISO 200

Click here to get a full gallery of images taken while I was reviewing this camera..

Conclusion

With outstanding autofocus featuring brilliant eye tracking, excellent 4k video support, impressive burst mode speed and all the features any serious photographer would really want – this is a camera that I can easily give my highest recommendation.

Yes, this is a serious camera for serious pro photographers so if you can justify it then get even better results by skipping this lens in favor of the Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM Lens and go for the Zeiss Batis 18mm f/2.8 Lens if you need a pro quality wide angle lens.

Where to order

Click here to learn more or order at the B&H web site, or click here to buy it at Amazon.

Need to edit your photos?

Click here for info about the best free software on the web that used to cost over $800, but Google has made free.

Interested in something even better? Check out my What plug-ins should I buy? article.

Other articles you may enjoy

If you enjoyed this article, you may also enjoy these:

Disclosure

If you make a purchase using links found in this article, I may make a commission. It doesn’t cost you a penny more, but it does help to support future articles like this.

If you enjoyed this article, please support future articles like this by making a donation or saving money by using my discount coupon codes. Either way, your support is greatly appreciated!

Click here to learn more about how this blog is funded. Residents from Arkansas, California, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming (and where prohibited by law) may be prohibited from using the links to make purchases, so please consider making a donation instead. This blog is intended for freelance writing and sharing of opinions and is not a representative of any of the companies whose links are provided on this site.

The opinions provided are of Ron Martinsen alone and do not reflect the view of any other entity

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Think Tank Photo Retrospective 6 Shoulder Bag and Production Manager 50 (Free Gift Offer)

Think Tank Photo Retrospective in Leather Sandstone
Think Tank Photo Retrospective in Leather Sandstone

Think Tank Photo bags have a great reputation for being well built, durable with excellent designs, but often times they only come in a plain black design. The retrospective was one of the first bags to bring some character to the Think Tank Photo line up, so it makes sense that they’d use this bag to take it to the next level with this cool new leather sandstone design.

If you like the Urban Disguise series, then you’ll love the retrospectives as it’s a more stylish alternative. 

Think Tank Photo Production Manager 50
Think Tank Photo Production Manager 50

If you are like me and shoot on location – especially with studio gear – then you’ve probably already heard of the Logistics Manager. I love mine and use it whenever I have to pack the studio gear to go, but for as big as it is I still find myself having to carry at least one more bag (usually my Airport Security roller bag). Well now the mother of all Think Tank Photo bags, the Think Tank Photo Production Manager 50 offers a one bag to rule them all solution that would make Tim Taylor proud!

This won’t be a bag that you stuff in a SMART car, but for serious shooters carrying serious gear, this is a great solution to toss into the back of your SUV.

The Production Manager 50 is a monster, designed to hold C-stands, multiple flash heads, power packs, monoblocks, softboxes, and light-stands.  What it used to take two people to transport, you can now do by yourself.

Conclusion

I’ve been using Think Tank Photo bags since 2007 and travelled with them overseas many times. These bags take a beating, but my gear has always been safe and secure inside them. With great zippers that have never failed me under over packing situations, and smooth wheels that are a blessing when running to catch trains, planes and taxis. I highly recommend any bag from Think Tank Photo, so I’m excited about the release of these new bags.

Where to order – Free Gift Offer

Click here to learn more about Think Tank Photo bags and enjoy a special offer when you use my links.

Other articles you may enjoy

If you enjoyed this article, you may also enjoy these:

Disclosure

If you make a purchase using links found in this article, I may make a commission. It doesn’t cost you a penny more, but it does help to support future articles like this.

If you enjoyed this article, please support future articles like this by making a donation or saving money by using my discount coupon codes. Either way, your support is greatly appreciated!

Click here to learn more about how this blog is funded. Residents from Arkansas, California, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming (and where prohibited by law) may be prohibited from using the links to make purchases, so please consider making a donation instead. This blog is intended for freelance writing and sharing of opinions and is not a representative of any of the companies whose links are provided on this site.

The opinions provided are of Ron Martinsen alone and do not reflect the view of any other entity