Category Archives: Photography

Nik Collection 4 by DxO – full details on the new incredible update!

The Nik Collection 4 has just been released. This is a substantial update over the previous version.

An industry leader in the field of creative photography, Nik Collection 4 by DxO now features Meta Presets, improved U Point technology, and more seamless interactions with Adobe® Photoshop® and Lightroom®.

Packed with a palette of over 250 professional-grade presets, the unparalleled power of U Point local adjustment technology, and sophisticated editing tools, Nik Collection 4 targets every aspect of creative photography. From colour photography to black-and-white images, HDR, and analogue film simulation, Nik Collection 4 redefines the limits of creative photography. 

A new, user-friendly design for an even more thrilling experience

The easy-to-use design of the software plugins Nik Viveza, dedicated to tone and colour local adjustments, and Nik Silver Efex, the ultimate solution for black-and-white conversion, has been completely revamped to offer an optimal user experience. Both plugins now feature a modern interface that is more beautiful and functional than ever. They also allow users to directly access all available presets, filter for type and favourites more seamlessly, and identify tools more easily through its newly redesigned palettes. That means photographers can concentrate on the essentials—expressing their creativity.

Next-level U Point technology

U Point technology, the first system to allow users to apply local adjustments without masks, has revolutionized photo editing. Nik Collection 4 now makes it possible to incorporate Control Points into personalized presets. 

That means photographers can apply a similar style to several images while still preserving a specific area. For example, users can choose to apply a colour effect as well as a blurred background to several portraits. U Point technology also

includes a new Colour Tolerance setting so photographers can regulate the saturation of a specific tone range. Users can not only select the colour they want to change, but also adjust the tolerance of similar colour hues. Lastly, Control Points have been made easier to use than ever. This feature now includes fewer sliders, making the applied effect easier to view, and can be renamed so users can craft an optimized workflow experience.

Combine the settings of several plugins with Meta Presets

A new type of filter has been added for Adobe Photoshop users: “Meta Presets.” Directly accessible from the Nik Selective Tool, the Nik Collection software launch tool for Adobe Photoshop, these presets are Adobe Photoshop actions that combine the filters and settings of several Nik Collection plugins into one. They make it possible to edit photos by applying a series of presets from several plugins in just one click. Nik Collection 4 comes with a series of 10 Meta Presets.

Improved workflow with Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom

Nik Collection 4 is continuing to expand its selection of lightning-fast retouching features. The Last Edit function, which lets users re-apply the last preset they used in one of the Nik Collection plugins while using Adobe Photoshop, has been extended to include Adobe Lightroom Classic. In addition, the new Smart Copy & Paste feature lets users selectively re-apply the effect of a plugin to one or several images directly in Adobe Lightroom without having to launch the software suite’s interface.

Even more striking black-and-white photos

To help users create even more brilliant black-and-white images, Nik Silver Efex now includes revolutionary ClearView technology, which was first offered in DxO PhotoLab, the market’s leading image-development software. This technology removes haze and enhances local contrast. The results are spectacular: In just one click, users can eliminate haze, all while revealing more natural objects, edges, details, and transitions. Get ready to create even more dazzling black-and-white photos!

Ever more creative

To offer users an even better editing experience, Nik Viveza features 10 native presets designed by professional photographers. And for fans of analogue black-and-white photography, Nik Silver Efex comes with 39 new and incredibly realistic grains that are even better at accurately recreating the look of iconic films than before.

Price and availability

Nik Collection 4 (Windows and macOS) is now available for download on the DxO website https://shop.dxo.com/photo-software/dxo-nikcollection for a special price of £88.99 instead of £133, and £54.99 instead of £69 for the upgrade until June 30, 2021. 

Photographers who already own Nik Collection 3 by DxO or a previous version can upgrade their software by signing into their customer accounts. A fully functional, one-month trial version of Nik Collection 4 is available on the DxO website: https://nikcollection.dxo.com/download/.

First Impressions

I have been using the Nik Collection 4 for a week now and have been extremely impressed with the new features and effects. If you follow me on twitter, you will have seen some pretty special images already!

How to edit ProRaw Photos on your iPhone

Welcome back everyone. Today, I am going to show you how to edit ProRaw photos on your iPhone. Currently only the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max support Apple’s ProRAW.

There are 3 parts to the tutorial –

Part 1 – The correct camera settings

Part 2 – The camera app interface

Part 3 – Editing the ProRAW photos

And finally as a bonus, there is a gallery at the end of 60 photos all shot in ProRAW, to show you what’s really possible.

If it helps, below is the time stamp, so you can go back or forth as required. If you are never going to edit ProRAW pics, I thoroughly recommend viewing the gallery.

0:56 The correct camera settings 

3:06 Editing ProRAW 

15:35 ProRAW Photo Gallery – 60+ shots 

I hope you enjoy this video.

Gavin’s new Photography section

Hi everyone. At the request of many of you, I have now started a photography section on  my website. You can access it by going to the index and selecting “Photography”. If you are browsing on a desktop, you will see the option across the screen.

Or just head over to – https://gavinsgadgets.com/photography/

Just in case it wasn’t obvious the images are all low resolution and watermarked, but are all available to purchase in a much higher quality.

Gavin

Darkness strikes at Sunset over Dartmoor National Park – Shot with a Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro

Last night, I went out to capture the sunset over Dartmoor National Park. Above Merrivale Stone Rows spanning 268 metres.

A few minutes later the sky turned blue and then this ominous cloud formation appeared over the Merrivale Stone Rows.

About 10 mins later, the skies darkened and I captured the moody view of Great Staple Tor.

The clouds did clear to allow me to capture the sun just as it set behind Great Staple Tor.

Before the sun set, I photographed the Merrivale Stone circle. There are some incredible landmarks around Merrivale on Dartmoor National Park.

Above, Merrivale Quarry and Great Staple Tor.

And finally, a shot of Great and Little Mis Tor. All the photos were taken using the Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro.

Sunset and Shadows around Dartmoor National Park – Shot with the Huawei P40 Pro

Last night I went out to photograph the sunset over Dartmoor. It was a risk due to the clouds as to whether I would get the shots I wanted. Above Merrivale Stones, a long line of ancient stones covering a total distance of 264 metres!

Foxgloves are seen growing wild everywhere on Dartmoor. Above view of Great and Little Mis Tors in the background.

Just before the sun set, ominous clouds appeared creating some fantastic shadows over the landscape. Views of Great Staple Tor at sunset shown below.

All the photos were shot on the new Huawei P40 Pro.

Sony ZV-1 Real User Review – Sony’s new vlogging camera

Welcome to my review of the new Sony ZV-1 vlogging camera which comes with a 1 inch Sony sensor. It retails for £699.

Key Features

– The ZV-1 is designed for vlogging, featuring a vari-angle LCD screen, recording lamp for selfie-shooting, secure grip and easy operation.
– A premium camera, with Soft Skin Effect, natural skin tones and optimised brightness for faces.
– Record high sound quality – a directional 3-capsule mic and wind shield is supplied with this camera.
– Featuring Product Showcase Setting for perfect product review videos and Bokeh Switch for easy background blur control.
– Sony’s innovative Real-time Eye AF technology locks on and tracks people’s eyes, even when shooting 4K movies.

Video Review

Conclusion

Whilst not 100% perfect, it is likely the best video solution available. Highly recommended.

Useful Links

Sony ZV-1 on Amazon UK
Sony GP-VPT2BT grip on Amazon UK

OnePlus 8 Pro review – detailed 19 mins review incl camera, audio & more

Welcome to my OnePlus 8 Pro review. In this review I cover off my thoughts on the phone, how it compares to my iPhone 11 Pro and Pixel 4 XL, as well as the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra.

As the video is 19 mins long, I have created a time index as noted below.

0:00 – Introduction
3:17 – Hardware thoughts
9:18 – Camera with sample footage
13:10 – Camera vs Samsung S20 Ultra
13:47 – Front camera & macro
14:37 – Finger print sensor & face unlock
14:50- Audio part 2 loudspeaker
15:11 – TPU case & screen protectors
15:41 – Camera night mode vs iPhone 11 Pro & Pixel 4 XL
17:12 – Camera vs iPhone 11 Pro vs Pixel 4 XL summary
18:35 – Final thoughts & details on next phone

Video Review

Conclusion

The OnePlus 8 Pro is an incredible phone and highly recommended.

Useful links to more info & latest pricing of gear mentioned in the review

OnePlus 8 Pro on Amazon
Babyliss Hair Cutting Kit for Men on Amazon
Fiio BTR5 on Amazon
Fiio FH7 on Amazon
iFi hip dac on Amazon
iBass dc-02 on Amazon

How to use manual video controls on the iPhone 11 incl sample photos & video using Moment lenses

Happy New Year everyone.

In this article I am going to explain how to use manual video controls on the iPhone 11 Pro along with what accessories you will need to accomplish this task.

First, why bother. Well the difference before and after is night and day. Video footage is smooth with the correct motion effect that isn’t jagged, instead it’s smooth.

First things first, I headed over to the Moment store and bought myself their Moment Photo case for my iPhone 11 Pro. If you have some spare time, and you are into video & photography the Moment store is one helluva a great place to browse with tons of great useful gear for your phone, not just iPhones either.

Moment have 3 styles of cases for the new iPhone 11 range, and I have all 3 which I’ll be covering off the pros and cons of each shortly, however, my strong advice is just to buy their strongest and toughest case only, the Photo case. Once you have this case, you can now attach their lens, filters and more. It’s a small price to pay for the extra benefits.

In terms of filming the video, there are 2 apps I would recommend on iOS. Filmic Pro or the Moment app. If you have Moment lenses then their app is ideal. You will be advised to grab a gimbal for even smoother video footage. The DJI Osmo Mobile 3 is what I use. I’ll leave links to everything at the end of this article. In terms of filters I got a set of ND & CPL filters from Gobe on Amazon.

So now you have all the accessories and apps for your iPhone, what next. Well you need to setup the manual video controls. Here’s the rule of thumb. If shooting at 30fps , your shutter speed needs to be double at 1/60. Same rule applies for other FPS. So another example, shooting at 60fps needs a shutter speed of 1/120. The great thing about shooting at 60fps is that you can slow this down in post production for even smoother footage. For editing video on the iPhone, the best app is Luma Fusion.

Sounds simple, and it is , except now that you have a slow shutter speed, too much light will be entering the lens, so you need to attach a ND filter over the lens to counteract the extra light. In the video below, I used a ND8. I then used my DJI Osmo Mobile 3 gimbal.

Above is a photo using the Moment Anamorphic lens. It creates a cinematic look and in video is stunning. Especially when it counters light sources as you get those blue lines across the screen.

The above shot was taken using the new fisheye lens from Moment.

Now back to the video created. It’s just over 2 mins long so enjoy.

Useful Links

Moment Store

Moment Lens, Cases & more on Amazon

Gobe Filter set on Amazon

DJI Osmo Mobile 3 Gimbal on Amazon