Book Review: The Citizen Journalist's Photography Handbook


This is an engaging book that I finished reading in one sitting.

The book's written by Carlos Miller, author of Photography is not a crime. He's been doing his version of citizen journalism for several years, documenting the injustice of police and government systems in USA.

It's an engaging read for several reasons. First, some stories you'll find inside are probably ones that you know of through reading online. For me, it was the story of police officers using pepper spray on protesters at the Occupy Wall Street movement. Another was about some police abuse story that I think I read from the author's blog. The second reason, is Miller has also included his personal story of getting arrested and having to go through the court system, only to find himself guilty of several charges. The last reason, and to me the goal of the book, is that it shows just how powerful citizen journalism is nowadays with the internet.

This is not a step-by-step guide that trains you to be a journalist on the street though. It's a collection of stories that broke online, and the back stories and analysis that goes behind. Miller does offer some tips, using the examples, on how you can bring news that you create online. Some people are actually online vigilantes that take this very seriously.

This book has useful information that photographers should find useful. In particular, it wants you to be knowledgeable about your own rights when it comes to shooting or making a video in public and other places, the complications that can arise, and the limits of the law. It also explains the ethics involved and guidelines to consider.

It's quite an insightful book that I recommend to those in the media industry, regardless of whether you're with a so called established organisation or just some writer of a random blog.

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This review copy is provided by book seller and distributor APD Singapore (website | facebook). You can get the book from them and major bookstores in Southeast Asia.

The Citizen Journalist's Photography Handbook is available at Amazon (US | CA | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | JP | CN) and Book Depository

The Citizen Journalist's Photography Handbook

The Citizen Journalist's Photography Handbook

The Citizen Journalist's Photography Handbook

The Citizen Journalist's Photography Handbook

The Citizen Journalist's Photography Handbook

The Citizen Journalist's Photography Handbook

The Citizen Journalist's Photography Handbook

The Citizen Journalist's Photography Handbook


Visit Amazon to check out more reviews.

This book is available at:
Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.fr | Amazon.it | Amazon.es | Amazon.co.jp | Amazon.cn | Bookdepository.com

This review copy is provided by book seller and distributor APD Singapore (website | facebook). You can get the book from them and major bookstores in Southeast Asia.

Watch Fujiinon lens get made

Fujifilm has put up a video that shows you behind the scenes at how they manufacture their lens.


Shooting 4K with GH4 for the first time



This is the first video I've made since I upgraded from the Panasonic GH3. Oh, if you want to download, the file is 1.8GB and is available at vimeo.com/107379449.

Here are some quick notes on using it for the first time outdoors.

Video quality

The video quality is phenomenal. It's seriously an eye opening and I'm just blown away by what this camera can do.

The video above was shot at 4K (3840 x 2160) at 100Mbps (IPB), 30FPS. No post colour correction was done, I merely joined the clips together and did minimal editing.

The sharpness and clarity that the sensor can capture is astounding. Everything feels crisp. I'm watching it on my Dell screen which is only 2560 by 1440 and I feel like I'm standing on the streets at the moment making the video.

The lens used is the standard kit Panasonic 14-42mm. I sort of regretted not bringing the 12-35mm because I could use the 24mm field of view.

Grabbing stills from video

Apparently, Panasonic has made it much easier for users to grab frames from their videos to make still images. When I opened the box I had, inside was an additional pamphlet detailing the steps to grab a frame, and it's so easy to do.

In record mode, play the video and pause at the frame you want, then press the SET button. A 8MP jpeg image (16 by 9) is saved onto the SD card. The downside is it's just a jpeg and not RAW so you need to really set your exposures and profiles right to get the best possible video and hence jpeg.


Being able to grab a frame from the video is incredibly convenient. I was trying to get a good group photo of the people and picking the best moment from the video is so easy. When you take group photos, sometimes there could be people blinking, yawning, or just not look at the camera at the right time. With this feature, it's easy to grab the best picture. But the downside is it's not a RAW file so it's quite limited to work with if you did not get the exposure or lighting right the first time.

Shooting with the S mode in video

Unless you require aperture control, shooting in S mode will make it easier for you to grab frames. You can set a high shutter to freeze action, so that way moving objects, such as people, in your frame will be sharp and won't suffer from motion blur.

Workflow

With the GH3, since I usually only bring one camera out, I have to switch between video and picture mode. With the GH4, I can see myself using just video mode.

Again, if you need RAW photos, then you'll still have to switch between the two modes. I doubt you can grab RAW frames anytime soon in the future, so this is perhaps the best compromised currently.

No in-body stabilization

Since the GH4 has no in-body stabilization, your next best friend is the tripod.

ETC (Extra Tele Conversion) mode on GH4

You can't use the ETC mode while shooting 4K. Such a shame.

Lights flicker

You'll probably notice some flicker in the lights in the video, such as those from the traffic lights. I'm still trying to figure out how to prevent that. In GH3, I shot at 25FPS, and now with the GH4, I'm shooting at 30FPS so that could be the problem.

4K only in video mode

The 4K video mode is only usable when you're in video mode, not in A, S, P or other modes. When you're in other modes and press the video button, the resulting video is only 1080P.

Conclusion

The Panasonic GH4 is an amazing and really capable camera. With the family of lens, this is quite possibly the most capable and lightest 4K video setup around.

I can't wait to use my other lens on this guy. Wow. Just wow.

Availability

Just go check out other reviews on Amazon. I love this camera.

Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.fr | Amazon.it | Amazon.es | Amazon.co.jp

Olympus vs Panasonic 25mm Bokeh & Field of View

Many photographers wonder about the similarities and differences between the Olympus 25mm f/1.8 lens and the Panasonic 25mm f/1.4 lens for the Micro Four Thirds system. I'm also interested to find out.

In today's post, we look at two aspects of the lens, their bokeh and field of view.

The test shots below are shot, at the same settings, using two Panasonic GX7, one with each lens. Tripod is fixed onto a spot while cameras are swapped.

Photos are shot RAW with very minor edits in exposure, and then exported as 2048 wide pixels. You can click on the photos to view the larger 2048 wide size.

My conclusion will appear at the bottom of the post.

Here are the shots compared:



Panasonic 25mm at f/1.4



Olympus 25mm at f/1.8



Panasonic 25mm at f/2



Olympus 25mm at f/2



Panasonic 25mm at f/2.8



Olympus 25mm at f/2.8



Panasonic 25mm at f/4



Olympus 25mm at f/4



Olympus 25mm at f/5.6



Panasonic 25mm at f/5.6



Panasonic 25mm at f/8



Olympus 25mm at f/8



Panasonic 25mm at f/1.4



Panasonic 25mm at f/1.8



Olympus 25mm at f/1.8



Panasonic 25mm at f/2



Olympus 25mm at f/2



Panasonic 25mm at f/2.8



Olympus 25mm at f/2.8



Panasonic 25mm at f/4



Olympus 25mm at f/4



Panasonic 25mm at f/5.6



Olympus 25mm at f/5.6



Panasonic 25mm at f/1.4



Panasonic 25mm at f/1.8



Olympus 25mm at f/1.8



Panasonic 25mm at f/2



Olympus 25mm at f/2



Panasonic 25mm at f/2.8



Olympus 25mm at f/2.8



Panasonic 25mm at f/4



Olympus 25mm at f/4



Panasonic 25mm at f/5.6



Olympus 25mm at f/5.6



Panasonic 25mm at f/1.4



Panasonic 25mm at f/1.8



Olympus 25mm at f/1.8



Panasonic 25mm at f/2



Olympus 25mm at f/2



Panasonic 25mm at f/2.8



Olympus 25mm at f/2.8



Panasonic 25mm at f/4



Olympus 25mm at f/4



Panasonic 25mm at f/5.6



Olympus 25mm at f/5.6



Panasonic 25mm at f/1.4



Panasonic 25mm at f/1.8



Olympus 25mm at f/1.8



Panasonic 25mm at f/2



Olympus 25mm at f/2




Panasonic 25mm at f/2.8



Olympus 25mm at f/2.8



Panasonic 25mm at f/4



Olympus 25mm at f/4



Panasonic 25mm at f/5.6



Olympus 25mm at f/5.6



Panasonic 25mm at f/1.4



Panasonic 25mm at f/1.8



Olympus 25mm at f/1.8



Panasonic 25mm at f/2



Olympus 25mm at f/2



Panasonic 25mm at f/2.8



Olympus 25mm at f/2.8



Panasonic 25mm at f/4



Olympus 25mm at f/4



Panasonic 25mm at f/5.6



Olympus 25mm at f/5.6



Panasonic 25mm at f/1.4



Panasonic 25mm at f/1.8



Olympus 25mm at f/1.8



Panasonic 25mm at f/2



Olympus 25mm at f/2



Panasonic 25mm at f/2.8



Olympus 25mm at f/2.8



Panasonic 25mm at f/4



Olympus 25mm at f/4

For this set below, the focus is on the left cup.


Panasonic 25mm at f/1.4



Panasonic 25mm at f/1.8



Olympus 25mm at f/1.8



Panasonic 25mm at f/2



Olympus 25mm at f/2



Panasonic 25mm at f/2.8



Olympus 25mm at f/2.8



Panasonic 25mm at f/4



Olympus 25mm at f/4



Panasonic 25mm at f/5.6



Olympus 25mm at f/5.6

For this set below, the focus is on the left cup.


Panasonic 25mm at f/5.6



Olympus 25mm at f/5.6



Panasonic 25mm at f/4



Olympus 25mm at f/4



Panasonic 25mm at f/2.8



Olympus 25mm at f/2.8



Panasonic 25mm at f/2



Olympus 25mm at f/2



Panasonic 25mm at f/1.8



Olympus 25mm at f/1.8




There are some colour differences but we're not going to talk about that.

Vignetting
Panasonic's vignetting is almost gone by f/2.8 while the Olympus still has some traces. But the difference is very minor.

Not sure how many stops darker the images are with the Panasonic but it's a minor issue because exposure and vignetting can be corrected to a certain extent in post.

Bokeh
Both lens render bokeh in a nice creamy manner. That applies when you're shooting small objects up close with a background far behind. Personally, I will not be able to tell which bokeh rendering belongs to which lens.

The differences between bokeh at Panasonic f/1.4 and Olympus f/1.8 is not much of a big deal.

Difference between bokeh is almost negligible if you're shooting subjects at human size. Just look at the photos of the gates. At web size or full resolution, the differences between the bokeh is difficult to discern.

Field of view

This is interesting. The Olympus 25mm has a slightly wider field of view, just slightly so. You get to see a bit more of the scene. Which one is exactly 50mm? Is that important?

Conclusion

If you look on Amazon at the prices of the Panasonic 25mm and the Olympus 25mm, the price difference can be up to $200. Personally, I do not think that the difference in image quality, at least with respect to the bokeh, is enough to justify a $200 difference.

The Olympus lens has the advantage of being smaller and lighter as well. It weighs 136g vs Panasonic's 200g.

Both lens also have the same minimum focusing distance of 0.3m. And the Olympus even has the option to attach a Macro convertor (MCON-P02) to even shorten the minimum focusing distance.

In terms of construction, I would say the Panasonic lens feels a bit more well constructed. Maybe it's the weight that makes it feel more sturdy, or the plastic that feels more premium.

The difference between f/1.4 and f/1.8 is also not an issue when shooting in low light. Noise levels will be close.

In conclusion, Olympus seems to be the lens that's more worth the money.

Anyway, check out Amazon using the links below for more reviews.

Amazon availability for Panasonic 25mm f/1.4: US | CA | UK | DE | FR | JP

Amazon availability for Olympus 25mm f/1.8: US | CA | UK | DE | FR | JP