Bob Nuttmann

Photos & Video from Capture to Viewing

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My current system for capture, editing, and then viewing of images and video is: 1.  Make digital files with digital camera or have film scanned to digital.  2.  Edit using Apple Photos or Lightroom.  Then organize the final copies of photos & video with Apple Photos.  Also save a backup of all files in an SSD plug in.  And another copy in drop box. 3.  I view my files on phone, pad, & computer, but also my large screen OLED TV.

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The top photo is with an iPhone XS Max and edited in Apple Photos.  The above photo is with Sony A7iii and Sony 24-105 f4 and edited in Lightroom CC Classic.

Capture.  Traditionally I captured photos with digital and film, and got very good images both ways.  I have some film cameras I really like and they are complete kits with lots of lenses.  But have to say that with the Apple latest iPhone XS Max, Sony super zoom compact HX99, and Sony A7iii there is little reason to use film.  I have kept going back to film frequently because to my eye was able to get better images in many cases with film as opposed to digital.  That is just no longer the case because mirrorless digital capture enables me to get the exposures I need to get the files needed from digital.  So now shoot more video.  Sadly film is more of doing it because I want to use it than what is needed to get the best files.

All three of my digital capture devices the iPhone XS Max, Sony compact, and Sony full frame put out excellent still and video capture.  The iPhone also does a special file called a “live” shot which is a little of both still and video.  Most of the time if using my high quality computer monitor I have to look at the metadata to see which camera took which file.  And if looking on my OLED TV, phone, pad, or computer laptop there is no way to tell which camera took the shot without looking at the metadata.  My point is that you can get very good quality images from all of the devices I currently use.  And all three can take 4K video.  The Sony A7iii with a high quality lens gives the best files if you have it with you and if you have the right lenses, most of the time.  But the iPhone is usually better with difficult exposures.  The Sony compact is just as easy to carry in your pocket as the iPhone.  But you cannot make calls with it.  On our just over trip to the central California coast the best Elephant Seal photos and video was with the compact.  It has a remarkable 30x zoom that is extremely easy to use.  The Sony compact’s optical zoom is far superior to the iPhone digital zoom as became obvious the day after the Elephant seals when I spotted a turkey vulture on the beach and had left my Sony compact in the car.  The images with the iPhone at 10x were OK, barely.  I really regret my decision when getting out of the car to not drop the Sony in my left pocket.

The above video was taken with my Sony HX99 compact super zoom.

Editing.  I use Apple Photos to edit nearly all stills taken with my iPhone.  Apple has optimized the Photos software for iPhone shots and it works well.  Edit almost all stills taken with cameras other than the iPhone with Lightroom.  Tend to use Lightroom CC Classic, but also use Lightroom CC.  They are both good.  I tend to take raw only with the full frame Sony.  Edit and export a full sized jpeg using Lightroom.  The A7iii just seems to work better than way.  Tried using Sony jpegs.  They are usually quite good, but not all.  So it becomes a pain in the butt to switch back and forth and find it just easier to only use raw.  The Sony compact is fairly new, but that seems to give better files or similar files using jpegs out of the camera and not going through Lightroom.  Would guess that Adobe has their software working well with the big Sony and not so much with the brand new model Sony.  I am very lazy when it comes to video and just use Apple iMovie.  And most of the time just use the clips as is.

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Shot with Sony A7iii and 55mm Zeiss /Sony f1.8 lens

Viewing.  Originally bought the TV OLED for about twice as much as a standard LED screen to view photos shot in as high quality as possible.  Then bought the best Apple TV with the largest amount of ram storage to send them to the TV.  Back then, about 5 years ago, Apple’s system was just not up to the task.  The only way I seemed to be able to get images at full quality was to make a slideshow in my computer and plug it into the TV with an HTMI cable.  This is now pretty much fixed.  I can either get the Apple TV system to do it wirelessly by putting a shared album into Apple Photos.  And if you wait a while the shared album can be shown as a slide show using Apple TV.  What I normally do it to make and album of stills and videos on my MacBook Pro and send it to the TV using AirPlay.  This works quite well and seems to be better quality than wirelessly using shared albums.  This also works with the Lightroom app on Apple TV but not as well as using Apple Photos.

Apple Photos now uses the full screen for seeing the photos or videos and seamlessly integrates stills and videos into the slideshow.  Seeing your images on a big high quality TV is a good way to view them.  This final piece of the capture-edit-view puzzle is very important.  You can easily integrate sound into your show too.  Don’t know if you can do this as easily with a combo of Android and a PC.  Am sure you can use an Android phone, edit, and import photos to Apple Photos if you have an Apple computer, but going by my great experience with two MacBook Pros suggest you invest in an Apple computer.

It took me a few years of waiting for Apple to improve their gear, and me to improve my skills, but this is now a very good working system.  If you have a different way of doing something similar using other equipment please let me know how you are doing it in the comments.

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