Samsung Gear 360 2017 demo

Samsung Gear 360 2017 demo in 4K 360 video mode using the built-in microphone with wind reduction mode turned on.

To find out more about the Samsung Gear 360 2017, visit the following links:

Amazon (US):
Amazon (Canada):

Lite-Scoop by Light Genius review and demo

The Lite-Scoop by Lite Genius is a flash modifier which allows you to improve your flash photography and save time. Perfect for wedding and event photography, as well as taking photos of your family and friends, the Lite-Scoop works great in both landscape and portrait modes, improves your photos by diffusing your flash, works great everywhere, makes it easier to achieve perfect exposures for each photo, and can be combined with an umbrella for even better results.

To find out more about the Lite-Scoop by Lite Genius and get free shipping, visit

Advantages of the Lite-Scoop:

  1. Can be used anywhere, does not need a wall or ceiling to bounce off.
  2. Works great for photographing one person or even a large group.
  3. Mounts on the narrow side of your flash, making it quick and easy to switch from Landscape to Portrait mode.
  4. Diffuse and soft light makes it easier to achieve correct exposure.
  5. Using the Lite-Scoop with an umbrella makes the light even more diffuse.
  6. Much more affordable, quicker to use, and easier to carry than using a flash bracket or light stand.

Properties of the Lite-Scoop:

  1. Very lightweight – weighing less than 1 ounce, you will not even notice it’s there.
  2. Waterproof – very easy to clean.
  3. Soft foam – helps protect both the your camera flash and anyone or anything coming in contact with it.

Pergear A216C Air Switch LED Video Light Panel review

The Pergear A216C Air Switch LED Video Light Panel is a great affordable, versatile video light featuring an Air Switch which allows you to turn the light on and off without causing any vibrations.

The Air Switch allows you to:
a. turn the light on and off without vibrations
b. intensity and white balance settings stay the same
c. hover for 6 seconds to disable the air switch if needed

To find out more about the Pergear A168 and A216C Air Switch LED Video Light, visit the following links:


Flash Calculator – Studio JPIC Camera Calculators version 1.2.0 now available!

Version 1.2.0 of the Studio JPIC Camera Calculators is now available!


Version 1.2.0 introduces 4 Flash calculators and adds quite a few cameras to the Depth of Field calculator and Hyperfocal Distance calculator.

•  Flash Calculator – Aperture – Helps you calculate the aperture needed to achieve a correct exposure using a flash.
•  Flash Calculator – Distance – Helps you calculate the distance needed to achieve a correct exposure using a flash.
•  Flash Calculator – Guide Number – Helps you calculate the guide number needed to achieve a correct exposure using a flash.
•  Flash Calculator – ISO – Helps you calculate the ISO needed to achieve a correct exposure using a flash.

Click here for more information about the Flash Calculators.

Epson HC 3500 2D3D Full HD 1080p 3LCD Projector Walkthrough

In this video, I do a walkthrough of the Epson HC 3500 2D3D Full HD 1080p 3LCD Projector. I show how to zoom and focus the image, the various inputs, the buttons on top, and the remote control.

To find out more about this product, visit the Epson Canada page:

Support this blog by purchasing an Epson Home Cinema 3500 from one of our affiliate links:

Amazon (Canada):

Amazon (US):



Demo of Epson Home Cinema 3500 2D/3D Full HD 1080p 3LCD Projector

In this video, I do a night time demo of the Epson Home Cinema 3500 2D/3D Full HD 1080p 3LCD Projector. This is what I call an ideal scenario, where I turn off all the lights to really show the contrast and high details of this projector.

In this next video, I do a daytime demonstration of the Epson Home Cinema 3500 2D3D Full HD 1080p 3LCD Projector. This is basically what I call the worst case scenario: ceiling lights on, video light on, and the sun shining through the patio door. Even with that much light in the room, the projector still does a good job, so it would definitely work well for conference rooms, classrooms, family reunions, etc.

To find out more about this product, visit the Epson Canada page:

Support this blog by purchasing an Epson Home Cinema 3500 from one of our affiliate links:

Amazon (Canada):

Amazon (US):



Epson Home Cinema 3500 unboxing of Epson Projector

In this video, I do an unboxing of the Epson Home Cinema 3500 2D/3D Full HD 1080p 3LCD Projector. With 2500 lumens of colour and white brightness, this is a strong contender for a tv-replacement. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be working on demos and reviews of this HC3500 projector, so make sure you subscribe!

As a photographer and videographer, I have taken quite many photos over the last 5 years. When Epson Canada offered to lend me this product for 2 weeks to do a review, I was very excited to finally get to see my content on a big screen. And at 200 inches maximum screen size, this projector certainly qualifies as a large screen experience.

As a 1080p projector with both 2D and 3D capabilities, I’m looking forward to seeing some of my favourite blu-rays and streaming some online 3D content from YouTube and the likes.

To find out more about this product, visit the Epson Canada page:

Support this blog by purchasing an Epson Home Cinema 3500 from one of our affiliate links:

Amazon (Canada):

Amazon (US):



Critical Focus and Depth of Field – Photography Word of the Week 5

While many photographers, both professional and enthusiasts, know the rule of thumb of focusing on someone’s eye for portraits in order to achieve “critical focus”, not everyone understands the difference between critical focus and depth of field, two very related but very different terms. Critical focus is the part of the photo which is optically in focus. It is based on a simple formula which takes only two variables in consideration: the focal length of the lens, and the distance between the back of the lens and the film/sensor. The result is the distance at which critical focus is achieved, and anything on that plane is called critically in focus, while something even 0.0001mm in front or behind that distance might still be extremely sharp, but we wouldn’t be able to call it critically in focus.

In contrast, the depth of field adds a few other important factors: aperture, which affects how much of the image is in focus, and the circle of confusion, which defines what we consider as adequately in focus.

So the depth of field applies to a range of distances, for example with a Canon T5i with a 18mm lens focused at 1m at f/8, the area which is acceptably in focus is everything between 0.696m and 1.774m. In contrast, only something which is exactly at 1m distance would be considered in critical focus.

To find out more about depth of field, try our free online Depth of Field calculator or download our Camera Calculators App for Android app.

Talking about Hardware, Firmware, and Software, oh my!? – Photography Word of the Week 4

This week we will be talking about a different aspect of photography: the equipment we love and loathe. A lot of cameras, recording devices, and even lenses have version numbers, and sometimes it can get confusing getting all those hardware, firmware, and software updates in order. In this blog post, we’ll try to make sense of it all, and see why it matters to you, the person behind the camera!

Hardware, Firmware, and Software, oh my!?

First up, lets make the distinction between Hardware, Firmware, and Software.

Hardware normally refers to the physical device, including sensors, processors, batteries, etc. It could be a camera, computer, laptop, tablet, phone, flash, lens, or even a remote. They can be extremely complex, or the simplest of devices. In order to get the new version of a hardware, you typically have to purchase it. For example, the Canon 5D mark III camera is the version 3 of the Canon 5D series. You cannot just download something to turn your 5D mark II into a 5D mark III, since the cameras are physically different, including new chips, processors, sensors, etc.

Software and Applications (Apps) are the other pieces of the puzzle we are usually very familiar with. They are the programs which run on your hardware, such as the web browser you’re using to read this blog. When it comes to photography, software is usually what runs on your computer, not your camera, such as Adobe Photoshop, Canon Photo Professional, etc. However, there are some third party groups such as Magic Lantern and Nikonhacker who build specialized software which you can install on your camera in order to teach it new tricks.

Firmware is often misunderstood, but plays a very vital role. Firmware is a special category of software which normally comes already installed on a chip within your camera or other device. Firmware is what makes your device able to do something, anything. Without firmware, your camera wouldn’t know what to do when you press the shutter or any other button, turn knobs, etc. Depending on the make and model of your camera or other equipment, some manufacturers are very generous in offering frequent free firmware upgrades full of new features, while others only provide minor bug fixes. In either case, it’s usually best to upgrade the firmware to ensure you get access to all the features which are available for your camera. One example would be a camera which can only record video in 720p resolution might get a firmware upgrade to allow it to record in 1080p. All you need to do is download the firmware, install it in your camera, and you can take advantage of the new features or bug fixes.

Version Numbers
Version numbers are usually a combination of 1 to 4 numbers, such as version 1, version 1.2, version 1.2.3 or version

  1. Major Revision – The first number represents a major revision, which usually includes multiple new features, or a fundamental change in the way the software or firmware works
  2. Minor Revision – The second number represents a minor revision, which would typically add one new feature and maybe fix a few bugs
  3. Bug Fix – The third number represents a bug fix, usually something which can’t wait until the next Minor Revision.
  4. Build Number – Finally, the fourth number is a build number, which is mostly an internal reference used to identify which version of the code was used to build the software or firmware. Some companies do builds every night (nightly builds) with extra builds during the day as needed to test out something, so the build numbers can climb up very quickly.

So now you understand that a Canon 5D Mark III with firmware 1.2.3 is the third version of the Canon 5D camera running firmware version 1.2.3 which added new features and fixed some bugs compared to when the Canon 5D Mark III first came out.

Talking about Blur, Shake, Bokeh, Movement, and Panning – Photography Word of the Week 3

This week’s mission: Making blur-related concepts clear.

Blur refers to the elements in the photo which do not have enough clarity to see details. It could be only one or multiple subjects in the photo, or it could be the entire photo. Blur can sometimes be intentional improving the photo, or can be unwanted and make an image unusable.

Blur in a photo can have multiple causes.
1) Blur can be caused by blurring out the foreground and background in a photo to make the main subject stand out more. In the example below, the bird is in focus, but the background is out-of-focus. This type of blur is usually controlled by using a different sensor size, focal length, or aperture. The quality of such blur is called bokeh, which we go in further details down below. When talking of the quantity of such out-of-focus blur, we usually talk about depth of field, which represents how much of the image is in focus.

Red Winged Blackbird

Red Winged Blackbird

2) A blur which is normally not wanted is caused by camera shake, where the whole image becomes blurry, and is usually unusable, except for some art forms where blur is intentional. Camera shake can be prevented by using a faster shutter speed, or using a camera or lens with some form of Image Stabilization, which can have different names depending on the manufacturer (Vibration Reduction, Vibration Compensation, etc). One rule of thumb to prevent camera shake blur is to use a shutter speed at least as fast as your focal length. So if you’re using a 300mm lens, your shutter speed should be at least 1/300s or faster. If you use Image Stabilization with 4 stops compensation on that same 300mm, you could use that same 300mm lens at around 1/(300/(2^4))s = 1/(300/16) = 1/18.75s instead of 1/300s.

Red Winged Blackbird camera shake

Red Winged Blackbird camera shake

3) A blur which can sometimes be used artistically is called movement blur, where an object going fast in front of the camera becomes blurry, with the foreground and background still sharp. You can do this artistically by using a slower shutter speed, or you can prevent it by using a faster shutter speed. Which shutter speeds to use mostly depends on how fast the object is moving, focal length, and how far it is from the camera.

Red Winged Blackbird movement blur

Red Winged Blackbird movement blur in back leg

4) Panning blur is where you have a fast moving object as in 3), but you pan the camera to follow the movement, so the object stays sharp, and the foreground and background instead become blurry.

5) While technically not blur, some noise can be caused by using a high ISO film or setting which makes the image unsharp, or by modifying the exposure value in post production by a large amount. We usually refer to it as a noisy image.

Red Winged Blackbird ISO noise

Red Winged Blackbird ISO noise

Bokeh is probably one of the most used catch phrases of Photography, but unfortunately it is rarely used correctly both gramatically and phonetically. The Japanese would pronounce the ‘eh’ like the ‘a’ in “a rock (as opposed to the ‘a’ in Ale). However it is oftenly incorrectly pronounced as rhyming with “O-Kay”.

Lets start by what isn’t bokeh to understand some key terms. If you look at a photo or video (which is basically a series of photos anyways), you may notice some blur coming from out-of-focus elements. A common mistake is calling that bokeh, for instance: “The 400mm f/2.8 lens produces a lot of bokeh.” A correct way of saying it would be “The 400mm f/2.8 lens causes a lot of foreground and background blur.” or “The 400mm f/2.8 lens causes a lot of the elements to be out of focus.”

As we saw, bokeh has nothing to do with the quantity of the blur. So what is bokeh? It has everything to do with the QUALITY of the blur. Lets say you have two lenses, a Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 and a Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 You both extend them at 200mm, and you both select an aperture of 2.8. The images will look very similar, but one major difference could be the quality of the blur. While it wouldn’t change how much of the image is blurry, you might notice that one blur is more pleasant to the eyes than the other. THAT is what we call bokeh! So the correct use of bokeh would have “This lens offers very pleasant bokeh”. Bokeh is also very debatable, some people might prefer the bokeh of the Canon 70-200, while some prefer the bokeh of the Nikon 70-200.