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This week on TWiP: Is Nikon prepping for a “mirrorless” pro camera?, Are phone cameras the next copyright violators, and the discovery of one of the greatest street photographers of the 20th century… after she was gone.

Hosts: Alex Lindsay, Ron Brinkmann, and Syl Arena

Nikon Rumored to Announce Mirrorless Pro Camera in April 2011
While we have seen mirrorless compact cameras before, Ron said he hopes the rumors of an “EVIL” (electronic viewfinder, inter-changeable lens) SLR camera are true because it means DSLRs will become much more compact and portable.  Alex pointed out that until now, it’s been hard to focus an image using a LCD screen (even in “magnify” mode) which is why traditional DSLR viewfinders are still king.  Syl said this is why he is a fan of using the Zacuto Z-Finder with Live View on his Canon 5D Mark II.  If mirrorless DSLRs do catch on and we compose, focus, and shoot by holding the camera away from our bodies, time will tell if someday we miss the “classic” face-against-the-camera shooting stance that photographers have employed for decades.

Phone Cameras May Raise New Copyright Questions
Are smartphones (and even cameras in generals) essentially handheld photocopiers?  Now that it’s so easy to capture parts of books or other media with our digital devices, some bookstores, publishers, and authors are worried this will inevitably lead to more copyright infringement.  Some say that it depends if the photographer is simply doing brief electronic “note-taking” for personal use and how much of the book is copied.  Ron said there is no question that taking photos of pages of books is copyright infringement, but everyone will keep doing it anyway.  On the other hand, Syl says he doesn’t mind a few snapshots taken of his book for personal use, but making off with a mountain of photos and distributing them broadly is a different story.  He thinks a page or two of a book or magazine is not the same thing as massive file sharing sites like Napster as the New York Times article above was asserting.

Apple iPad: Camera, Photo Booth, FaceTime Video Chat Pop Up in iOS 4.3 Beta
Ron was “bored” by this story because cameras are getting cheaper and cheaper and will be ubiquitous in all devices so the iPad is no different.  Alex stepped back to ask if this trend means that point-and-shoot cameras are starting to be obsolete.  Syl took issue with the fact that all these portable devices, especially cell phones, have tiny cameras with tiny sensors that aren’t the best quality.  Instead of more and more devices having cameras, why not have fewer, dedicated devices with better image quality?

Street Photographer’s Work Discovered A Few Days After Her Death
Chicago photographer Vivian Maier’s tens of thousands of medium format negatives were discovered days after her death at age 83.  She was a nanny by day, but was enamored by photography and would go out and shoot with her Rolleiflex on her days off.  Some say she may rank among the top street photographers of the 20th century.  John Maloof bought the negatives at auction and is now spending the next several years cataloging, scanning, restoring, and displaying the images on his blog linked above.  Does he have the right to do this?  Syl said absolutely because Maier’s work is stunning and the world deserves to see it and she deserves to be included with the names of the great photographers of her time.  Besides the blog showing her many photos, there is also a video from a Chicago news station that includes an interview with Maloof and tells more of the story.

Question #1: Todd Peperkorn from Kenosha, WI says he has a Canon XTi and 430EX Speedlite and wants to know where would be the best place to start to understand things like fill flash and other off-camera techniques.  Syl can’t help but recommend his new “Speedliter’s Handbook” which has over 400 pages of “how-to” and “why-to” advice as well as his site, Strobist, and Zach Arias’s, and Joe McNally’s blogs.

Question #2: Listener “ninkasi” from Melbourne, Australia wants to know suggestions for ways of backing up their photos while on the road without having to bring a laptop or an iPad.  This topic is near and dear to Ron’s heart and he said he likes bringing a card reader and small hard drive with him on his trips.  He backs up the images from his memory cards to the hard drive and also uploads copies of the photos from Internet cafes.  This solution lets you carry the least amount of gear but also makes sure you have multiple copies of your images.  Alex also likes the Next2 Video Pro which lets you just pop in your memory card, read them, and save them to its 500GB drive.

Question #3: Ian Armstrong from Manchester UK says he and wife are expecting their first child this year and so he wants to know what is the best lens for capturing a newborn.  He says his “aging” Nikon D70 doesn’t perform well at high ISOs, so he is thinking of getting either the 50mm f/1.8 (because it’s fast and inexpensive) or the 35mm f/1.8 DX which is 50% more in cost but would give a greater field of view on his cropped body.  Alex says to go with the 50mm because the 35mm might be a little too wide and the 50mm will give a more classic look and a more intimate feel to the photos.  Remember, though, to experiment and not stay at f/1.8 all the time because the depth of field is razor thin.  Play with closing down the aperture to get more of the scene in focus and (almost) always remember to get the eyes of your subject in tack-sharp focus.

Ron: the Canon PowerShot S95 point-and-shoot camera because of its image quality, its RAW capability, how smart the flash is, and how pocketable it is.

Syl: for the super-long E-TTL cords sold there.

Alex: the newest Apple TV for the incredible way it lets you view your digital photos on your large television at home.

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Producer: Suzanne Llewellyn
Show notes by Ernest Aguayo: and
Bandwidth provided by Cachefly
Intro Music by Scott Cannizzaro

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