Richard Sisk

I am a photographer, in particular since 1993 a full time photographer. I have specialized in landscapes and city skylines. It has been an interesting journey that has taken me all around our great country. I have visited many historic sites and most of our magnificent cities. One thing that has struck me has been the kindness and helpful spirit of the many people I’ve met along the way. It has been an opportunity to learn a great deal about many remarkable locations and people. I was able to travel a remote portion of the Oregon Trail in Idaho. I visited the source of the Missouri River in Montana, and reached down to taste the cold, crystal clear water, as Meriwether Lewis had done 200 years earlier. A few months later I found his final resting place along the Natchez Trace in Tennessee. There have been many moving moments during this long journey. However, the wonderful and kind people of America have been the greatest source of inspiration throughout my travels.

The Seven Year Itch – FCP X, Zero to Hero?, by Matthew Allard ACS

 Apple  Comments Off on The Seven Year Itch – FCP X, Zero to Hero?, by Matthew Allard ACS
Jun 212018
 

Seven years ago today, Apple unveiled FCP X, the successor to Final Cut Pro 7. FCP X was billed as being a revolutionary new version of the world’s most popular Pro video editing software which completely reinvents video editing with a Magnetic Timeline that lets you edit on a flexible, trackless canvas. 

On launch, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing Philip Schiller said,  “Final Cut Pro X is the biggest advance in Pro video editing since the original Final Cut Pro. We have shown it to many of the world’s best Pro editors, and their jaws have dropped.” Unfortunately for Apple, a lot of their existing Final Cut Pro users didn’t see it that way. By changing the whole concept of how editing should be done, Apple was taking a massive leap of faith and they were hoping their loyal Final Cut Pro user base would follow suit. The problem was that whenever you take a platform that people are familiar with and suddenly change it around there is always going to be blowback. Whether Apple actually expected this blowback or not is something we may never actually know.

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Samyang Unveils an 85mm f/1.4 Full Frame Lens for Canon EF

 Gear  Comments Off on Samyang Unveils an 85mm f/1.4 Full Frame Lens for Canon EF
Jun 192018
 

Samyang has just announced its new Samyang/Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 full frame autofocus lens for Canon EF-mount cameras. The announcement comes just one week after the company unveiled its new 24mm f/2.8 lens.

The lens is the equivalent of a 136mm when mounted on a Canon crop sensor APS-C camera.

Thanks to its internal design and technologies such as a Hybrid Aspherical element, the 85mm measures less than 3 inches long and is lightweight for its focal length (17oz/482g). The features (including Ultra Multi-Coating) also help reduce and control distortion and aberrations.

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Canon’s Next 18-55mm Kit Lens May Have a Built-In LCD Screen

 Gear  Comments Off on Canon’s Next 18-55mm Kit Lens May Have a Built-In LCD Screen
Jun 192018
 

It looks like electronic info displays are becoming a new norm for camera lenses. A new patent filed by Canon suggests that the company’s next 18-55mm kit lens will feature an LCD display.

New Camera first spotted the new Canon patent (JP2018005130A) for aberration reduction in an interchangeable lens. Within the document is an illustration showing what appears to be the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS III kit lens, and one of the reference indicators is for a “lens information display.”

The info display is found next to the AF/MF and IS ON/OFF toggle switches.

Zeiss kicked off the idea of sticking electronic displays on lenses with the Batis series back in April 2015.

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Zeiss Accuses Samyang of Stealing Its Lens Designs

 Gear  Comments Off on Zeiss Accuses Samyang of Stealing Its Lens Designs
Jun 132018
 

The renowned German lens maker Carl Zeiss has accused the South Korean lens maker Samyang of copying its designs. As a result, the Samyang lenses at the center of the dispute are being pulled by distributors and retailers.

The Swedish website Monitor reports that the Samyang Premium XP 50mm f/1.2 and 85mm f/1.2 lenses are the ones Zeiss has issues with.

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Technical Camera: An iOS Camera App with a Simple UI and Serious Features

 Technique  Comments Off on Technical Camera: An iOS Camera App with a Simple UI and Serious Features
Jun 132018
 

The Hungarian software company DIRE Studio has just launched Technical Camera, a new iOS camera app that’s designed for serious photographers who want a simple yet advanced tool for capturing still photos.

Developer Laszlo Pusztai says he was inspired to create the app because he was frustrated with clutter screens, unorganized storage, the lack of resolution/size adjustments, and clumsy designs in existing camera apps.

The app lacks many of the bells and whistles found packaged with most cameras apps these days. There’s no video, no selfies with the front camera, no AI, and no fancy modes (e.g. panorama or portrait mode or studio lighting).

What the app does have is a sharp focus on creating still photos. The live view itself doesn’t have information or buttons overlaid on it, providing a clean view of what you’re framing.

There are professional-level controls that include manual exposure and focus, compensation and locks, focus peaking, and adjustable auto ISO. Smart Function Keys allow you to put your most used functions at your fingertips. Functions can also be customized: you can do things like change the direction of the shutter speed dial or choose the sides of the screen used for exposure compensation and manual focusing.

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MIOPS Capsule360: The World’s ‘Most Compact and Versatile Motion Box’

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on MIOPS Capsule360: The World’s ‘Most Compact and Versatile Motion Box’
Jun 132018
 

The camera triggering company MIOPS has just announced the Capsule360, a new app-controlled motion box that the company claims is the world’s “most compact and versatile motion box ever created.” It’s one motion system that aims to do it all.

Compatible with any DSLR camera, mirrorless camera, or smartphone, the Capsule360 can do pans, tilts, slides, custom movements, subject/star tracking, and 360-degree photography.

“For those filmmakers and stills photographers who want to go further than ever before with their projects, the MIOPS Capsule360 is the ideal companion,” MIOPS says.

The Capsule360 has 3 axes of motion: it can do pans straight out of the box, tilts with the optional L-Bracket, and slides with the Capsule Slider accessory.

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Canon Announces EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III and EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II Lenses [Update: Pre-Order Now]

 Gear  Comments Off on Canon Announces EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III and EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II Lenses [Update: Pre-Order Now]
Jun 072018
 

Tonight, Canon announced the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III USM and EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM lenses. These both include the latest technologies in their categories for improved performance within one of the most popular zoom ranges around.

The Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III lens features an Air Sphere Coating (ASC) for better flaring and ghosting control. Other features include the Optical Image Stabilizer with up to 3.5 stops of correction, fluorine coating on front and rear elements to help reduce smears and fingerprints, an inner focusing system with Ring Ultrasonic Motor (USM), one fluorite lens and five UD lenses that help to provide high-image quality, a minimum focusing distance of 1.2m (3.9ft), and a circular eight-blade aperture. This lens features 23 elements in 19 groups.

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Drone Comparison: New Parrot Anafi vs. DJI Mavic Air

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Drone Comparison: New Parrot Anafi vs. DJI Mavic Air
Jun 072018
 

Parrot just announced a new drone that may be able to challenge DJI’s domination in the hobby market. Let’s take a look at the specifications and check if the French manufacturer can take on the Chinese leader.

Size, Weight and Speed

The two drones are fighting in the similar lightweight category but the Anafi is lighter than the Mavic air at 374 grams versus 430 grams. It can be a curse or a blessing. Lighter drones tend to sustain less damage in case of crash but more weight also helps to stabilize the frame.

The Mavic Air wins the top speed category (42mph) but the Anafi is not too far behind (33mph). The key factor is to determine the maximum usable speed because the sport mode on DJI drones is not very good to record video (propellors in the field of view, limited stabilization) but it can help to fly back against strong winds.

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The Camera You Should Want: Fstoppers Reviews the Sony a7 III

 Gear  Comments Off on The Camera You Should Want: Fstoppers Reviews the Sony a7 III
Jun 072018
 

Sony has been making waves with the a7R III and a9, but a lot of photographers don’t need those crazy levels of resolution and frame rates. Instead, they look for a quality camera that can do almost anything asked of it at a reasonable price. The Sony a7 III may just be that camera, with an awesome feature set, excellent performance, and an aggressively competitive price. Check out our full review.

Key Specifications

  • 24-megapixel backside-illuminated sensor
  • 693 phase detection AF points with 93 percent frame coverage
  • ISO range: 100-51,200 (expandable to 50-204,800)
  • UHD 4K 30p with HLG and S-Log3 Gammas (6K oversampling at 24p and 5K oversampling with 1.2x crop at 30p)
  • 2.36-million dot OLED EVF
  • 3-inch, 922,000-dot tilting touchscreen
  • 5-Axis SteadyShot Stabilization
  • Continuous rate: 10 fps
  • Buffer: 89 raw, 177 JPEG
  • Dynamic range: 15 stops
  • Built-In Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • Anti-flicker mode
  • Dual SD slots
  • USB 3.0 Type-C port
  • Magnesium alloy chassis with weather-sealing
  • Battery life: 710 shots

 

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DJI Mavic Air vs. Mavic Pro Footage Comparison

 Action cams, Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on DJI Mavic Air vs. Mavic Pro Footage Comparison
May 282018
 

After our hands-on with the Mavic Air in Monaco earlier this year, it was time to put the Mavic Air up against its older brother, the Mavic Pro, and compare the footage. Which footage holds up better?

Does the Mavic Air Make Superior Images?

The irony about new technology is often that newer generations are simply better, even in a model that sits in a lower price bracket than a predecessor that is still in the market. And this is exactly what we are seeing with the new Mavic Air, which I took for a hands-on spin at their press event in Monaco earlier this year (watch the video here). The Mavic Air is a classic example for this conundrum that many manufacturers face, unless they want to artificially strip newer technology off of some of the features of older, but “higher end” version of their products (C200, cough-cough!).

ZEISS Supreme Cinema Primes Announced – Large Format Continues to Grow

 Gear  Comments Off on ZEISS Supreme Cinema Primes Announced – Large Format Continues to Grow
May 282018
 

ZEISS has announced a new set of Cinema Primes suitable for the Large Sensor Format. The ZEISS Supreme Prime Lens Line will be mostly rated at T 1.5 and compatible with PL, LPL and EF mount.

ZEISS Supreme Primes – Large Sensor High-End Cinema Primes

With ARRIs announcement of the large sensor Alexa LF back in April, we knew it was only a matter of time before more large-sensor-specific lens lines would surface.

The ZEISS Supreme Primes have an image circle of 46.2mm and are the first from the German company to be specifically compatible with this large sensor format.

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Leica Finally Discontinues the Last Numbered M Series Film Camera

 Gear  Comments Off on Leica Finally Discontinues the Last Numbered M Series Film Camera
May 282018
 

While film has long been outpaced by digital, a few iconic films and camera have stuck around after the industry transitioned, one of the most notable being the Leica M7. Now, the last vestige of the film side of the iconic numbered M Series has been discontinued.

The Leica M Series has found its way into the hands of numerous top photographers over the years and has been one of the most recognizable set of cameras in and out of the photography world. Leica brought it into the digital age with the M8 in 2006, but the M7, the last film model in the series, has hung around since its introduction in 2002.

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When the Sony a7S III Is Announced, What Features Are Make or Break?

 Gear  Comments Off on When the Sony a7S III Is Announced, What Features Are Make or Break?
May 282018
 

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z97p00uQ3Ik

Each day that passes is another day closer to the announcement of the Sony a7S III. We all know it’s coming, but what new features should it have?

In September 2015, Sony announced the a7S II sporting a groundbreaking sensor specializing in low light videography. As time went on, other companies introduced very competitive alternatives that either matched or exceeded many of the a7S II’s video specifications. Personally, I think it’s a little uncharacteristic for the Sony of the past few years give their competitors enough time to catch up. But what this may mean in the end is that they have something worth waiting for.

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Canon Is Announcing Multiple New 70-200mm Lenses Soon [Rumor]

 Gear, News  Comments Off on Canon Is Announcing Multiple New 70-200mm Lenses Soon [Rumor]
May 172018
 

The Canon 70-200mm lens lineup contains some of the company’s best and most popular lenses. Nonetheless, with several of the lenses hovering around the decade mark in age, it may be about time to upgrade them. Thankfully, word has it that that’s exactly what Canon will be doing in short time.

The good folks at Canon Rumors are reporting that Canon is planning on replacing both the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II and EF 70-200mm f/4L IS lenses soon, with an announcement likely coming early next month. The site is quite certain, saying they can “100 percent confirm” the f/4’s update to a Mark II version and “95 percent confirm” the f/2.8’s update to a Mark III version, which would be the second Mark III lens in Canon’s lineup (the first being the EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III). Both are excellent lenses, but the f/2.8L was released in 2010 and the f/4L was released in 2006, and with their status as essential lenses (particularly the larger aperture version) and sensor resolutions pushing higher and higher, an update would surely be welcome, particularly considering the inroads third party manufacturers have made in the intervening years.

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Meyer Optik Goerlitz Primoplan 58mm and 100mm Manual Primes: Smooth to the Touch

 Gear  Comments Off on Meyer Optik Goerlitz Primoplan 58mm and 100mm Manual Primes: Smooth to the Touch
May 172018
 

As a photographer, your camera body is only half the battle. Lenses play a supreme role in deciding overall image quality. Today I got a chance to work with two new manual lenses from Meyer Optik Goerlitz, the Primoplan 58mm f/1.9 and the Trioplan 100mm f/2.8.

Unboxing

OK, I have to admit that I am not the biggest fan of the latest trend of gear unboxing videos that have entered the world. Either they make me want to buy a new piece of gear that I don’t really need or they just make me wonder aloud, “Why am I spending 20 minutes of my life watching someone I don’t know, describe a product I can’t afford, and enjoy a benefit I am not getting?” But even old bitter me will admit that opening up the Meyer Optik Goerlitz lenses even made me consider making a video of my own.

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The Fundamental Terms of Lighting in Photography

 Technique  Comments Off on The Fundamental Terms of Lighting in Photography
May 172018
 

When you’re first starting out with artificial lighting, the vast array of terms to describe and quantify the various parameters of light can be a bit overwhelming. This helpful video will introduce you to the most essential terms that will allow to effectively communicate how any light source behaves.

Coming to you from Mark Wallace of Adorama TV, this great video will introduce you to the fundamental language of lighting and how it’s used in practice. I know that when I first started, trying to learn them abstracted from experimenting with an actual light source felt a bit like trying to speak French in Russian. Nonetheless, it’s crucial to understand these terms so you can communicate how you want light to look. Once you’re ready, this, in turn, will allow you to better choose the proper modifier for a specific shoot. Even if you prefer to shoot natural light, this terminology still applies, and it’ll lend you a greater ability to understand how and why your final image looks the way it does and how to take control of that. As mentioned, I recommend grabbing a light and modifier and trying it out so you can see the effects in real time. Check out the video above for the full rundown.

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Skydio R1 – Impressive Fully Autonomous 4K Drone

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Skydio R1 – Impressive Fully Autonomous 4K Drone
May 032018
 

The California-based startup Skydio has introduced a fully autonomous drone named Skydio R1. Its development took 4 years. The R1 is an artificial intelligence-powered quadcopter capable of shooting 4K video of a subject and maneuvering complex environments entirely on its own. It uses 13 onboard cameras and vision-based computer system to actually see the obstacles and avoid them while following and filming the desired subject.

There were initiatives to make autonomous drones before. We still remember the sad story behind the autonomous drone Lilly, which never made it in production. It is obviously quite a challenging task to design a drone that can safely fly in busy and changing environments. Skydio seems to have succeeded with the R1. Interesting fact is that their first batch of drones called “the frontier edition” is being assembled directly in their facility in the USA. The company did not say anything about outsourcing their production to China yet.

The Skydio R1 does not come with a controller. It can be controlled with a smartphone using the Skydio mobile app. Since this is an autonomous drone, users will not need the controls so often though. Mostly only take-off and landing of the drone are being managed through the app. Furthermore users can see video previews of footage there or control how the drone captures that footage with presets like:

  • follow – drone follows and films the subject from behind
  • side – drone films the subject from the side
  • lead – drone films its subject from the front
  • tripod – drone hovers at one place and turns to have the subject in the picture
  • orbit – drone circles around the subject to create 360-degree shots

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SmallHD Wireless Monitors – FOCUS Bolt TX and RX

 Gear  Comments Off on SmallHD Wireless Monitors – FOCUS Bolt TX and RX
May 032018
 

At NAB 2018, SmallHD showed off new wireless versions of their popular 5″ FOCUS monitor and we spoke with the company Co-Founder, Wes Phillips, to get all the details. Like the Bolt 703, SmallHD has merged their FOCUS 5-inch monitor with Teradek’s wireless capabilities and the results could be welcome news for directors or for clients looking for portable field monitor solutions.

We already covered the announcement of the transmitter and receiver versions of the FOCUS Bolt, but we thought it would be useful to catch up with SmallHD Co-Founder, Wes Phillips, and see the product for ourselves. After going hands on with the new monitors it appears that the FOCUS Bolt TX and RX are among the lightest wireless monitor/receiver solutions available. Shipping along with the 5-inch FOCUS touchscreen are the lightweight grippy monitor handles and a Sony L series battery. Of course, you can also power the monitors with a D-Tap cable.

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Review: Anthem One Could Be the Next Great LED Light to Save Your Production Big Bucks

 Gear  Comments Off on Review: Anthem One Could Be the Next Great LED Light to Save Your Production Big Bucks
May 032018
 

Anthem is a new company. So we didn’t know what to expect when we sat down with their new LED light that promises to far outlast any HMI while promising the implied savings that could drive down production costs.

The Anthem One isn’t just any continuous LED light source. Every aspect has been designed to perform at its highest level. Heat is the enemy of long-lasting LEDs, so Anthem designed their debut light system to dissipate heat better than other lights do.

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What Nikon F to Sony E Adapter Is the Best Choice?

 Gear  Comments Off on What Nikon F to Sony E Adapter Is the Best Choice?
May 022018
 

If you are a Nikon user thinking about making the switch to Sony cameras, you probably wonder what adapter could help you make a smooth and cheap transition by keeping your precious glass. In this video, Matt Granger shows you the different adapters available for you and which one is the best — or the less bad.

Switching from one camera manufacturer to another is always a pain because of all the lenses accumulated that must be replaced. It can be difficult to sell them, and it’s not rare to lose a bit of money along the way. With the mirrorless systems, what’s great is the possibility of using adapters to keep the glass from our current system. Many Canon users have had a smooth transition by doing so, but we hear less Nikon users telling similar stories.

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