Archive | Photography

Lightroom 5 cannot import images and crashes

LightRoom 5.x

I’m normally a LightRoom CC user, but on one computer that is “close to the camera”, I run an older version of LR (5.7x), just to have as a tool to do quick edits (and previewing what should go into the dumpster :)) This is a plain vanilla desktop computer, running Windows 10 Pro (64), Core i7, 32GB of RAM and an SSD disk.

All of a sudden, LightRoom would “Encounter a problem” (as Windows so elegantly puts it) and leave me with the only option to close the application every time I tried to import new media.

There are many suggested solutions to this problem on the Internet, but after having tried a few of them, I was about to re-install LightRoom 5. A “solution” I absolutely hate. Why on earth should I have to re-install an application to get it working again?! It’s 2017 FFS!

After reading a few more suggested solutions, I ran across one that didn’t make any sense at all. Until I tried it that is. It turns out I had my Android phone connected to the computer via a USB cable at the time. This is, apparently, a known issue. So I disconnected the phone and voila, imports started working again.

Adobe … seriously … really?

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The Sigma USB Dock, a good idea for self-service firmware upgrades

In my opinion, Sigma has made somewhat of a comeback in the past few years when it comes to camera lenses, in particular when it comes to image quality. I can only speak from a Canon perspective, but from friends and associates, I hear this holds true for other camera brands as well.

Something that can be rather annoying with lenses is focus micro adjustment or AF focus micro adjustment, as well as firmware updates. Manufacturers of lenses (and cameras) all seem to have different solutions, of varying degree.

Sigma has an accessory called the Sigma USB Dock, which is a rather simple device that connects to your computer via an USB cable. After installing the software, you simply connect your Sigma lens to the USB Dock and the software will query the Sigma database for firmware upgrades. It will also allow you to perform micro adjustments.

The firmware upgrade process is simple enough, but be careful when doing AF micro adjustments, it may affect your photographic results 🙂 The Sigma USB Dock does not support all Sigma lenses. You can find out more information about the Sigma USB Dock here: www.sigma-global.com/en/lenses/cas/product/accessories/usb-dock/

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FastStone Image Viewer is awesome

I’ve been doing digital photography for many years and have come across a number of applications that claim to be “photo managers” with functions for fast viewing, basic tasks like cropping and re-sizing, etc. I realize it quite often comes down to personal taste, so you are welcome to completely ignore this post 🙂

I mainly work with adjustments, cropping, and re-sizing when I work with photos. For most post-shoot processing, I use Lightroom. I was once a fond user of the ACDSee products, used as my “Swiss Army knife”. But ever since I ran into the FastStone Image Viewer, I have uninstalled most other similar utilities. Being a fan of Shareware, and similar, I have registered the product for commercial use, and it’s well worth the money!

If you’re looking for a very fast viewer, manager, and “Swiss Army knife” for your photo management, give FastStone Image Viewer a go. It’ll handle all major graphic formats including BMP, JPEG, JPEG 2000, GIF, PNG, PCX, TIFF, WMF, ICO, TGA, and camera raw files. Oh, and it’s not bloatware 🙂

Now, if I could only have the FastStone Image Viewer for Linux too ….

You’ll find FastStone Image Viewer here: faststone.org

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1968photo.com Why the Canon PowerShot S100 may, or may not, be something you should get

This won’t be the first “review” or “post” about the Canon PowerShot S100 digital compact camera, and it’s likely it won’t be the last. What’s worse, this isn’t really a real review. So if you were looking for one, you may find these links more interesting than my rants about this fine piece of hardware.

Kamera & Bild (Swedish); www.kamerabild.se/nyheter/kameror/glom-bruset-med-nya-canon-powershot-s100-1.485007.html

dpreview.com; www.dpreview.com/reviews/canons100

Digital Camera resource page; www.dcresource.com/reviews/canon/powershot_s100-review

Tyson Williams; blog.tysonwilliams.com/2011/09/15/canon-s100-announced-today/

There, if you made it this far, you may actually care (gasp!) about what I have to say about the Canon PowerShot S100 digital compact camera.

First off, I’d like to say that I really like those Canon digital compact cameras that I have owned. From the Canon Ixus 400 to the more recent and far more capable Canon S100 (who am I kidding, they’re not in the same universe). They’re rarely at the top of any scale; pricing, quality, or handling. But very few of those I’ve owned have ever let med down.

With the S90, Canon decided to revive their previous “tradition” of a “prosumer” camera that would fit somewhere in the middle of their entire range of cameras. One could argue that their less expensive DSLR would target that void, but alas, one also needs a high-end digital compact camera.

The S90 was great; apart from the RAW image distortion issues. I personally skipped the follow-up model S95, because I use my digital compact camera as a “keep it in the pocket, use when DSLR is not here or too much of a pain to use” type of gear. So I could actually disregard the RAW issues with the Canon S90 and simply set it to only shoot great quality JPG.

So with the S100, I had great hopes. Prayers answered, geek points scored, and all that. But the S100 falls short in two really important areas. And I cannot for the life of me figure out why a company like Canon would do this.

I realize that Canon, like most other high-end manufacturers of digital cameras has an identiy crisis. They keep cranking out compact digital cameras in the low-end and mid-level segments that starts to make inroads toward their high-end cameras. And they do it at a terrifying pace.

So, what are the two most annoying things with the Canon S100 compact digital camera?

  1. Battery life sucks. In the shortest possible way, these three words sum up the battery performance of the Canon S100. Regardless of GPS settings, and other power consuming features, the S100 will “happily” eat battery even when lying at the bottom of my backpack for a few weeks; UNUSED! This makes the product less reliable.
  2. Interface speed – or lack thereof. Everything on the S100 is “good enough”, until you want to start changing settings. It insists on animating effects, delaying further action until it has displayed the current setting on the screen for a few seconds, etc. And what’s worse is that you cannot abort this “pause”. So even if you know what you’re doing and want to move along to the next option in need of chage, you actually have to wait for it to complete its “effect and display”. This reeks “amateur”.

Would I recommend the Canon S100? Absolutely.
Am I entirely happy with it, coming from a serious and capable company like Canon, and taking its pricing into account? Absolutely not.

Knock yourself out 😉 and keep on shooting!

#1968photo #canon #s100 #digital #compact #camera #oxyview #quality

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Why do compact digital cameras have “rounded corners” these days?

If you’re a long-term user of compact digital cameras, you may have noticed that very few manufacturers can keep their designers from changing at least sixty-four details of the physical camera housing of their brand new and shiny models. Most of the changes are subtle, some are not. I prefer DSLR (or “Digital Single-Lens Reflex”) cameras for most shootings, but the compact digital cameras are great for party shots, or for those times when you just can’t be bothered bringing all your whizz-bang gear.

Without getting into a brand-religious-war, I’ve been rather fond of many of Canon’s IXUS series compact digital cameras. You, of course, have your own preferred brand and model. Most of the early IXUS cameras had a great feature that I’m beginning to think was a feature by accident or necessity.

That the long side at the bottom of the camera is flat is something most people take for granted, and it makes sense. If you’re going to put the camera down, you want it to remain immobile and stay where you put it. It’s also great if you have no tripod and want to take a shot that requires more time or less vibrations than you can manage with the camera hand-held. The early IXUS series also had the two short sides being more or less flat, making it possible to take portrait-style photos in bad light without a tripod. Being able to put the camera down is of course also great for self-timer shots.

For the past few years, many manufacturers have decided that we don’t need to take self-timed portrait-style photos. They put out model after model with “rounded corners” and a number of other “enhancements” that makes it next to impossible to put the camera down in portrait-style.

I don’t get it .. why would anyone want to take away this feature?

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Finally a ZenPhoto theme worthy of being called a theme!

zpGalleriffic Screenshot

I’m a long time user of ZenPhoto, a very nice piece of software for showcasing your photos on a website, in other words a web gallery. I like it mainly for what it doesn’t do, as weird as that may sound. Far too many “photo gallery”-type software packages strive to be a Swiss Army knife of sorts, while ZenPhoto just strives to make sense. Of course, there are also those that don’t do much at all, which seems to defeat the purpose of a gallery.

While upgrading one of my photo sites to the latest version, I decided to check out the number of new and updates themes I was expecting to find; I haven’t had the time to upgrade this site in a while, so I haven’t been keeping up. The gap in versions (and time) led me to believe that there would be some serious improvements in the theme section over at zenphoto.org. I was wrong.

It still strikes me as odd that something as good as ZenPhoto seems to lack one of the fundamental pieces for a web gallery, layout and design.

Having previously written about the Flickrish Theme for ZenPhoto, I thought I’d go and see if I could find any third-party themes available on the net that I hadn’t seen before. After spending some time looking around, I finally ran into a theme that I had missed while browsing the ZenPhoto site; enter zpGalleriffic!.

It’s a nice, quiet looking web gallery theme that uses Galleriffic for a lot of its work. The author of the zpGalleriffic theme obviously knows what he’s doing — if you’ve been looking for a nice theme for your ZenPhoto site, you may want to give zpGalleriffic a shot (pun intended).

Great work Greg Rentschler! And thank you for making it available to the rest of us! And as always, a big Thank You also to the people behind ZenPhoto!

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