The Best Mirrorless Camera

The Best Mirrorless Camera:

If you’re looking to buy a mirrorless camera and are willing to pay for pro-level performance, fast access to shooting controls, and image quality that equals a DSLR, the Fujifilm X-T1 is the camera you should get.

The mirrorless market is becoming bigger and bigger and the cameras are of a higher quality than ever.

I’ve never shot with the Fujifilm X-T1 but am happy to see Wirecutter say the camera I do use often, the Olympus OM-D E-M1, is still “an excellent camera in its own right”.

Sunrise, Sunset, Moonrise, Moonset – easily found with PhotoPills

I’ve been using this insanely cool app for a couple of months now. It’s called “PhotoPills” (app store affiliate link) and, if you’ve ever wondered not only when sunrise, sunset, moonrise and moonset happen but where in the sky they happen, this is the app for you.

Every pro photographer will tell you that the “best” light is the “Golden Hour” – that time approx 30 minutes before and after a sunrise or a sunset. This app does what a lot of other apps do – it tells you what time the sun rises or sets. But PhotoPills (odd name) goes even further by showing you visually where the sun or moon is right now relative to you and in which direction those events and others are going to happen. It also does it into the future.

Here’s an example. I went to my home town of Halifax, Nova Scotia in June. I knew I’d be in a particularly scenic spot on the Friday. I was wondering where the sunset was going to be and at what time. I told the app where the location was on the map, forwarded to the date and time I was expecting to be at there and the app told me exactly what direction and angle the sun would be at. It also told me (sadly) there would be no moon that night so I didn’t have to plan that shoot.

The app does so much more. From an augmented reality view of the sky (so you can plan shots even better) to determining the best long exposure times or figuring out the field of view for any camera/lens combination. You can even save points of interest, share them and see what other shooters have bookmarked.

The only downside is…no – not the price. At $10 for a full featured app, it’s imminently reasonable (although, my eyes would like to have a native version for the iPad. It works fine on the iPad but…). The biggest downside is the learning curve.

We are so used to having our iOS apps be dead simple to use that, when we come across one that needs more effort, we tend to give it short shrift. But if you stick with the app, watch the videos on the PhotoPills web site and take in what they are trying to teach you, I promise it’s worth the effort.

For those of you who either don’t want all the power or are too cheap to spend the money, Rick Sammons has a 99 cent app called Rick Sammon’s Photo Sundial (app store affiliate link) that is a universal app similar to but not nearly as powerful as PhotoPills.

I’d recommend starting off with Photo Sundial and then, if you find it useful, moving up to join the Big Boys by using PhotPills. Neither app will dissapoint though.

Intensify Pro Photo App Offers Dazzling Quick Fix

The Next Web:

Intensify Pro is one of my favorite photo editing apps because of its versatility and ease of use, while its range of artistic presets give you a new way to conceptualize your photos. 

Intensify comes in two versions: Standard ($14.99) and Pro ($59.99).

The only difference is the plug-in capability of the pro version. Software sold on the Mac App Store is available only in the standalone version. If you want to use Intensify Pro as a plug-in for Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Lightroom or Aperture, download the app directly from Macphun‘s website.

If you listen to Your Mac Life, you’ll know I’m a huge fan of Macphun and their powerful but easy to use software. Intensify Pro is no exception and is quickly becoming my favourite desktop photo editing software.

The Olympus TG-850 is a Capable Tough Cam with a Selfie Problem


Photography of your family while you ride the waves and soak up the sun should be carefree, and for that you’ll be wanting a tough and waterproof camera. One that not only stands up to day-to-day abuses, but that you can hand off to your little ones worry free so they can go do what they do best and take selfies in the surf: the TG-850 is that camera.

This is the camera I recommend to anyone who needs a point and shoot they can take anywhere and abuse.

“How to Become a Better Photographer”

One of the “Beginners Tips and Tricks” Class students is a Pro Photographer. When he told me he wanted to take the class I thought, “oh oh…he’s going to be a PITA…”

He was no such thing. Sandro was a wonderful student and I enjoyed having him in the class.

Unbeknownst to me, he also writes for The Mac Observer web site and has written an article on “How to Become a Better Photographer” I would encourage you to read, not the least of which because he does a review of the Starting Point Photography class he took and apparently liked it a lot! He says:

Shawn, who says he is not a professional photographer but a “professional explainer,” promises to make the next photograph you take better than the last one. I believe he delivers on this promise, and I believe that the $50 fee is reasonable considering the personalized and interactive aspects of the course.

Very kind and very appreciated words from Sandro.

Olympus TG-3: Best Rugged Camera on the Market

Olympus TG-3: Best Rugged Camera on the Market:

By far, the TG-3 is the best rugged camera on the market. The LCD screen is sharp, the images come out with great color and good clarity, and the camera is very easy to use.

The TG-3 will be available in June for about $350.

I’ve always been a huge fan of the Olympus Tough series of cameras and have recommended them highly – particularly to those who are “hard” on their gear or want a camera suitable for a kid who may not treat it gently. Good to see the reviews of the TG-3 have been very positive.

Review of the Olympus TG-850 ‘Tough’ Waterproof Camera

Everyone knows I’ve been a long time fan of the Olympus “Tough” line. I highly recommend them to anyone who needs a point and shoot that can take the abuse either you or your kids dish out. It will go places and do things your iPhone can’t. It’s also great value – you can pick it up at Amazon for under $200.

Digital Photography School has a good review of the TG-850. The only thing they miss is Olympus is coming out with the next version – the TG-3 – in June. But it’s priced $150 more than the 850.

Review of the Olympus TG-850 ‘Tough’ Waterproof Camera.