Photography by Jon Adams


Sony AVCHD video in Lightroom 4 Beta

Problems Solved!

I have had one enduring problem with certain video files for the last several years. I've been carrying a little panasonic indestructible point and shoot camera. First it was the TS1 and now I have the TS3. As of late, I'm loving the Sony Nex-5n and I have a Nex-7 on order, I hope it gets here soon! Now these cameras are fantastic cameras and they have the ability to shoot very nice video too. However, the video they shoot is in the AVCHD format and that hasn't always played nicely with Aperture and Lightroom. So in order to see the videos you shot in the AVCHD format you'd have to bring in the files through some translating program.

What I did and What I want.

I want to keep my video and still images together, for the most part. Aside from specific projects. So what i've had to do is save the original files manually from the camera card. Then convert the files into a format viewable by the software programs I use. Import the converted video with the stills. Then later if I want to do much with the video, I'd have to convert the video specifically for the output, unless the small videos I converted were sufficient for the project or slideshow. Often I just would like all my media to import and let me look through it to decide what I want to do with it.

Enter Lightroom 4 Beta, I didn't know it would be so wonderful, I put in a card from my Sony Nex camera, and the Lightroom import window popped up as usual. I imported my images, and to my surprise, video files were showing up in the library. Are these my movie files? I thought to my self, Are they in their original format?… Why yes, Lightroom 4 is reading my native video files right off the card and bringing everything in. Just as it should be. I no longer have to remember if I shot video on the card and check for it separately. I can just pop in the card and let everything come into Lightroom. Fantastic!

Here is a quick video so you can see.
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Sony Nex-5n Cable Release

Why would I want a Cable Release?
It would seem the people at Sony thought asked the same question when they came up with the Nex series cameras. It also seems they didn't find a reason. However, they did make the wireless remote control quite useful. So back to the question. The first and most important reason is to help with camera shake on long exposures. If you are a landscape photographer you know that to be able to shoot at F16 or F22 to get the depth of field you want the shutter speed is often very long. If you are using your hand to release the shutter there's a chance that you'll shake the camera and your images will come out softer than they otherwise might have been. One other thing I do often is bulb mode exposures. Bulb mode is when you open up your lens for an indefinite amount of time. You might be making star trails, or painting in something with a flashlight. You need to be able to lock open the lens and then close it whenever you decide you want to. I guess the other reason is for you to be in the image yourself.

Remote Control

In many ways I prefer the wireless to the wired. The Sony remote control allows you to use bulb mode. Push once to open and push once to close it. The 2 second button I use all the time to give the camera a little delay before anything inside moves. The only thing missing from the standard remote or inside the camera is a interval timer. I have found an interval timer remote control and it's not he way. I'll let you know how it works when it gets here.

Firstly a good tripod, secondly some way to trigger the camera without touching it.
Quick Tip: If you don't have a cable release or remote control, use your camera's self timer feature. You can often set these to a couple seconds, trust me the default ten seconds sometimes feels like an eternity. Using the self timer will allow you to not be touching the camera when the shutter opens.

Light Beam1
You don't want to be bumping the camera when you are making a 2 or 3 second exposure.

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A light painting of my good friend's pumpkin.

Sony Nex Accessories

Whenever you change a camera or in my case a camera system there's a ripple effect that goes through much of your gear. Most things can be repurposed. Sometimes they need to be sold as they are camera specific. But getting the right accessories for the images you want to make can be a lot of fun. Here are a couple videos of the first things I've added to my Sony Cameras.



Photography Basics ISO Part 1 and 2

ISO Speed is one of three basic things you need to grasp all of photography. The three things are Aperture, ISO, and Shutter Speed. All current photography and old photography relies on these three principles. ISO being used for the sensitivity to light of the medium to be exposed.

In recent years ISO has been a major focus of digital camera manufacturers. It's amazing how far they have been able to push the technology, and how useful it is. Please enjoy the video.

Part 1

Part 2