Overpowering Ambient Light with Flashpoint eVOLV 200/Godox AD200

Over the years, I used a range of studio strobes, from Profoto to Paul Buff gear. Most of that time, I had several Alien Bees units. They were small, reliable and inexpensive. I triggered them with PocketWizards.

In the past couple of years, remote triggering has become more advanced and with more options. Recently, I tried a couple of small, battery-powered Godox flash units along with a Godox transmitter on my camera. The Godox units have receivers built in.

I found the arrangement to be more convenient and better than lugging an Alien Bees unit with a Vagabond battery outdoors. I also get the benefit of high speed sync (HSS), which is not possible with Alien Bees.

Side Note: Godox and Flashpoint eVOLV (and some other Flashpoint product line names) gear is the same. Flashpoint is the house brand of Adorama.

Chincoteague Trip: What Worked and What Did Not

Earlier this year, I used a trip as a photographic dry run. I wanted to see what gear worked for me and what did not. The trip was by car so I brought as much equipment as I wanted.

I packed three camera systems:

  1. All-in-one: A Panasonic FZ1000 with a 1-inch sensor and a fast, permanently attached wide-ranging zoom of 25 to 400 mm (35mm equivalent). This was a last-minute choice and was mainly to give myself a quick and easy way to take video, even 4K if I wanted.
  2. ASP-C mirrorless: A Fujifilm X-T10 with a collection of lenses. Since this camera system had become my most used, I wanted to see how it would fare on a trip.
  3. Full frame: A Nikon D750 with a few primes. I expected only to use this for a small set of photos when I wanted maximum image quality.

And the results? Continue reading →

Camera Remote Control

If you are photographing self-portraits or family photos in which you will appear, being able to remotely trigger your camera’s shutter can come in handy. There are a few ways to do this.

One method is to use a long shutter-release cable. These usually have a bulb at one end that forces air through a long, thin tube to drive a plunger into a camera’s release socket. Only a few digital cameras have such a socket. To see if you camera has one, look for a threaded socket in the middle of the shutter release button. I used one of these air shutter releases in my days of medium format film and found it to be a hit-and-miss affair.

Another method for digital cameras that support WiFi is to use an app to control your camera. All major camera manufacturers have an app for both iOS and Android. A major benefit for using these apps is the live image preview that allows you to position yourself in the frame before taking the photo. Unfortunately, these apps vary in quality. I have found the Olympus and Panasonic apps to be very useful. The Fujifilm app at present works better with 16MP Fuji X cameras than it does with 24MP ones (it is practically unusable with an X-Pro2). The Nikon app is the poorest of all that I have used. You may experience some image preview lag at times on your phone or tablet but, for the most part, this is a useful and free way to control your camera from a distance if your camera/app/phone combination is responsive enough for your needs. Continue reading →