Are $5 IKEA LADDA Batteries Identical to $20 Eneloop Pro Batteries?

Do you use Eneloop Pro rechargeable batteries in your photo equipment? You may be able to get the same performance at a much lower cost. This interesting 7-minute video from Matthew Eargle of AirborneSurfer looks into whether these relatively expensive batteries ($20 per pack of 4) are actually identical to the much cheaper IKEA LADDA batteries that cost just $5 per pack of 4. Noticing that all of these rechargeable batteries are made in Japan, Eargle guess that there must be some overlap in the supply chain. There’s probably not that many battery factories pumping out different batteries for all
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How I Shot the Tesla Roadster in Space from 1 Million Miles Away

Whatever your spin is on the SpaceX launch of the Falcon Heavy and the stunt of Starman and the Tesla Roadster, for a few days (at least) it put on our radar topics such as space and space missions, rockets, interplanetary travel or technological advances. In my case, once photos and footage of the car and Starman started to arrive and people wondered if it could be observed from Earth, there was just one thing in my mind: to find the answer to that question and if yes, to try take a picture — or better yet, a video
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How to Get STF-Style Bokeh Without a $1,000+ STF Lens

Smooth Trans Focus (STF) was invented by Minolta in the 1980s and became available in the Minolta 135mm f/2.8 STF in 1999. The special design of the lens with an Apodization (APD) filter allows for the smoothing of out-of-focus areas, or bokeh. The APD filter reduces the light transmitted through a lens, but the strength is gradually decreased toward the center of the filter. To simplify the concept, an APD filter is like a gradual neutral density filter, except the gradient is radial. As I illustrate below with a simple single lens, the bokeh ball formed by a light
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‘Stupid’ Photography Terms and Ideas for ‘Fixing’ Them

Photographers Tony & Chelsea Northrup made this educational and tongue-in-cheek 5-minute video in which they rant about how many of the most common terms in photography are “stupid” because they’re often inherited from history (and therefore may not make sense immediately without digging deeper into each concept). Here are the terms the Northrups’ run through in this video (which then turns into something of an infomercial):

1. Stops

The word “stops” dates back to 1858 and is based on a logarithmic scale, which can be difficult for people to understand.

2. Fast

Lenses can be fast and let in more
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How Fujifilm Cameras and Lenses Are Made: A Behind-the-Scenes Look

Johnnie Behiri of cinema5D was recently invited to a private tour of the Fujifilm and Fujinon factory in Sendai, Japan, where Fujifilm cameras and lenses are manufactured. While there, he shot this 4-minute video showing what goes on inside the facility. “This factory is responsible for making the FUJINON MK lenses, X-T2 camera and GFX 50S camera and lenses,” Behiri writes at cinema5D.
Behiri getting suited up to enter the manufacturing areas.
One of the lenses being made at the factory.
Fujifilm X-T2 cameras being assembled.
“It was a great chance to see how some of our prizes are made
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This is Why ‘Zooming with Your Feet’ Isn’t the Same Thing

“Zooming with your feet” means getting closer to your subject physically instead of relying on a longer lens, but you should be aware that the results you won’t be the same. Here’s a 9-minute video from This Place that looks at how different focal lengths affect perspective when compared to “zooming with your feet.” Perspective distortion is often misunderstood — it’s an area of photography that many photographers may not need to explore or understand properly. Yes, there are problems with particular lenses, including distortion from the glass and other things, but changing the focal length wouldn’t adjust perspective
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This is How Smartphone Cameras Have Improved in the Past 5 Years

DxOMark has published an interesting look at how smartphone cameras have evolved and improved over the past half decade, starting from when the camera testing lab began reviewing smartphones in 2012. Needless to say, we’ve come a long way in just a few short years. Here’s a graph showing how the overall Photo and Video scores have trended upward since the “game-changing” 41-megapixel Nokia 808 PureView: “It’s not too much of a surprise that every generation from Apple, Samsung, and Google does better than the previous one, but with image quality reaching higher levels than ever, it has become
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Peter Lik Called Out by Photographers Over ‘Faked’ Moon Photo

Photographer Peter Lik is purportedly one of the bestselling landscape photographers on Earth, having sold a reported half a billion dollars worth of prints by 2015. He also claims to have sold a single print for $6.5 million in 2014, which would still be the world’s most expensive photo today. But one of Lik’s new prints is raising eyebrows and eliciting cries of “Photoshop!” The photo and print at the center of it all is titled “Moonlit Dreams.” Lik’s website states that the photo was captured in the USA, and he’s currently selling 950 Limited
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This Test Reveals the Exposure Limits of Kodak Portra 400 Film

Kodak’s Portra 400 film is praised for its versatility, but exactly how well does it handle underexposure and overexposure? How far can you push things before your photos become unusable? Canadian photographer Kyle McDougall decided to find out by doing his own test. In the 6.5-minute video above, McDougall shoots a roll of Kodak Portra 400 through his Pentax 67 medium format camera, capturing the same scene at 10 different exposure values ranging from -3 to +6. “An important thing to understand is that regardless of how over- or underexposed your film is: the lab you use is always
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How to Capture Heat on Camera Without Expensive Optics

Standard schlieren imaging techniques use a large mirror to be able to visualize heat or pressure differences in air. The problem with these techniques is that they require large precision telescope mirrors that are very expensive. My lab is fortunate to have a 13-inch diameter telescope mirror; but what happens when I need to photograph a larger subject? A modern variation of the optical schlieren technique is to use no mirrors at all but to look at the difference between two digital images. This technique is incredibly easy and was first developed by NASA to look at shock waves created
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Debunking 6 Myths About the Fujifilm X-Trans Sensor

The Fujifilm X-Trans sensor is evil, its design is seriously flawed, and it causes all kinds of issues. At least, that’s what pops up on the Internet every now and then. Since some of these “X-Trans sucks” comments and articles keep up appearing on the Web, I decided to invest some of my extremely limited free time in order to address some of the issues. Let’s get started.

Myth #1: X-Trans III Causes Purple Flare with Grid Artifacts

One of the most discussed X-Trans flaws is the purple flare with grid artifacts in backlit images. Yes, it’s there, and not
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The First GoPro Was This 35mm Film Camera

When you think of GoPro, you probably picture a neat, compact digital action camera, but the original GoPro was actually a 35mm film camera. Here’s a 7-minute video by Thirty Five Studio that takes a look at the camera and shows what it can do. So how did it all start? Being a surfer himself, GoPro’s founder Nick Woodman wanted to work out how he could use his camera while riding waves. “I figured there must be an easier way to carry and use a camera, so I came up with the Hero design,” said Woodman on a TV sales
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Sony’s Camera Firmware Updater is a Major Security Risk, Expert Warns

If you use Sony cameras, here’s something you should be aware of: a computer security expert is warning that Sony’s camera firmware update process has serious security risks that could put your computer and data in danger. Photography and software expert Lloyd Chambers of diglloyd first reported on the issue back in October 2017. Chambers says that while companies like Nikon and Canon use safe in-camera firmware update processes, Sony uses a desktop-based updater that requires “administrative root access” to function — when given these permissions to your computer, the software could theoretically do just about anything. “That means it
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Sony’s Camera Firmware Updater is a Major Security Risk, Expert Warns

If you use Sony cameras, here’s something you should be aware of: a computer security expert is warning that Sony’s camera firmware update process has serious security risks that could put your computer and data in danger. Photography and software expert Lloyd Chambers of diglloyd first reported on the issue back in October 2017. Chambers says that while companies like Nikon and Canon use safe in-camera firmware update processes, Sony uses a desktop-based updater that requires “administrative root access” to function — when given these permissions to your computer, the software could theoretically do just about anything. “That means it
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$10,000 vs. $425 Portrait Lighting: Can You Tell the Difference?

How much of a difference is there between using an expensive high-end lighting setup and shooting the same portraits with cheaper gear? Photographer Patrick Hall of Fstoppers made this illuminating 9.5-minute video that compares a $10,000 studio lighting setup with a $425 option. Can you tell the difference between the resulting photos? For the $10,000 shoot, Hall used 4 Profoto B1 battery-powered 500 watt flashes — each one costs a hefty $2,000. Hall also used the Profoto Air Wireless Remote and a variety of softboxes and modifiers.
The $10,000 option featuring the Profoto B1 flash.
For the $425 shoot,
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Colorized Photos of American Child Laborers

Photographer Lewis Wickes Hine once said: “There is work that profits children, and there is work that brings profit only to employers. The object of employing children is not to train them, but to get high profits from their work.” Lewis Wickes Hine was an American sociologist and photographer whose work was instrumental in changing child labor laws in the United States. Hine is my favorite photographer. Aside from being technically excellent, his black and white photographs are some of the most important ever taken. His record of the first half of the 20th century is a unique glimpse
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The Story of Sean Flynn’s Leica M2

This is a story about a camera, a rather special camera. Every camera has a history, so they say. But it is not all that often that one has such a rich and documented history. One that was thought to be lost but has been found again. This is the story of Sean Flynn’s Leica M2. I have been very lucky throughout my career to have found some amazing cameras, but every now and again you come across something that sets itself apart. This is one of those cameras. The vast majority of the cameras I see have no
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Google’s Clips AI Camera Was Trained in Photography by Pro Photographers

In October 2017, Google announced Clips, a small hands-free AI-powered camera that’s designed to capture your life’s memories without much human intervention. The camera isn’t on store shelves yet, but Google is revealing some new interesting details about it. One such detail is that the camera was trained with the help of real professional photographers. Clips uses artificial intelligence to automatically capture memorable moments in your life, so Google needed to teach it to recognize photos worth keeping while ignoring throwaway snapshots. The goal is to allow people to enjoy moments more while trusting Google Clip to preserve memories
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Who Shot the Iconic Apollo 8 Earthrise Photo?

Apollo 8 was the first manned mission to leave Earth’s orbit, orbit the Moon, and return to Earth. Since it wasn’t a moon landing, though, it tends to not be as celebrated as other manned moon missions. But the photo known as Earthrise was captured during this mission on December 24th, 1968, becoming an iconic piece of history. This 6-minute video from Vintage Space explores the question of who the person behind the camera was. For years nobody knew who took that photo, but it’s now apparent that it was astronaut Bill Anders. To determine this, lead visualizer Ernie Wright
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A 5-Minute Intro to Nikon’s Lens Features and Technology

Wondering what all those abbreviations mean in the names of Nikon lenses? My Nikon Life made this 5-minute video that shows you what all of the different elements of Nikkor lenses do and explains how they how they work. Here are all of the different elements that you may recognize from your own Nikkor lenses (if you’re a Nikon shooter): Fluorite lens: Allows for a lightweight lens with better capabilities for chromatic aberration correction. Aspheric ED glass: Corrects for chromatic and other lens aberrations. This is a glass element that combines both the ED lens and aspherical glass into a
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