How To Not Let Facebook (Completely) Ruin Your Photos

Why must Facebook hate us all?  (especially small business)

Anyway if you’re like me you’re beyond frustrated with how much Facebook compresses and degrades the quality of the images we take.  This may be a good point to mention that if you’re just posting selfies using those horrible front facing cameras this post will not appeal to you.

But for the rest of us who take the time to compose and edit even our images shot with smartphones this is become infuriating.  I get it… over 500 million images are uploaded to Facebook every single day.  Perhaps they use some of that half of a trillion-dollar market cap to pay our buddy Jeff Bezos for some more server space.

Finally fed up I decided to do some quick testing here during my lunch.

I decided that I would compare the two main ways to post a photo to Facebook.

  1. Upload it directly to Facebook and watch the amazing image quality of my full frame dslr go to shit.
  2. Upload the same full resolution file to my website and link the image to my Facebook feed.

Here is what I learned:

When it comes to the preview image Facebook uses a MUCH higher resolution than the preview created when I like to my website.  Here is a screen shot test.

Screen Shot 2017-08-16 at 1.52.59 PM

The top image was the image directly loaded to Facebook and the bottom is linked from my website.  The easiest place to notice the difference in quality are the power lines in the top left hand corner of the photo.

Now here is the dilemma.  If you click to enlarge the image that was uploaded directly to Facebook it looks like it was taken with a Motorola Razr.  If you don’t know what that is google it.

When you click on the image linked from my webpage you get a beautiful super high-resolution jpg image which is how myself and tons of photographers would like to have them viewed. (plus it gives us a hit on our website)

So I thought to myself why can’t I have both.  So I uploaded the image to a post directly to Facebook but I also included the direct link to the image and it turned out like this.

Screen Shot 2017-08-16 at 1.54.42 PM

Screen Shot 2017-08-16 at 1.55.07 PM

Does this work?  Sure. But only if your viewer is really paying attention.  (News Flash:  None of them are). And what I mean by that is this.  If you click on that ugly URL at the top you’ll get the full resolution image you hoped that everyone would see.  BUT if you click the image itself you’re linked to the uploaded over-compressed image on Facebook that again.  Is absolute trash.

So forgive me if the title of this post was misleading but I need to start a dialogue on this in hopes that there is a better way to accomplish hosting high-resolution images on Facebook.

Let me google that for you.

And for all of your who made it this far…  Here is the high resolution image.  Enjoy.

Sunset Over Boat House Row

Canon Releases the EOS 6D Mark II

The long awaited Canon 6D Mark 2 is now available for preorder.

eos-6d-mark-ii-front-d

Here are the updated features that most will want to know:

Canon 6D

Canon 6D Mark 2

Sensor

20.2 MP Full Frame

26.2 MP Full Frame

Processor

DIGIC 5+

DIGIC 7

AF Points

11 Points

45 Points (All Cross)

IOS Range

100-26500

100-40000

Frames Per Second

4.5

6.5

Video Recording

1080p 30fps

1080p 60fps

Screen

Fixed Clear View Screen

Vari-Angle Clear View 2 Touch Screen

Card Slot(s)

Single SD

Single SD

Wireless/GPS

Wifi/GPS

Wifi/Bluetooth/NFC/GPS

Viewfinder Coverage

97%

98%

Shutter Speeds

1/4000 – 30 Sec

1/4000 – 30 Sec

I would say the big things people will miss the most are 4K, 100% viewfinder coverage, and dual card slots.  Easily put… these will almost always be saved for the 5D series.

This is the first Full Frame Camera that Canon is offering with a rotatable touch screen.

Missing 4K is going to be a solid pass for most video professionals but again I’m not surprised at all as they save this for the highest end professional cameras.

After using a 80D a few times I would say the touch screen is a great feature to have if only to check your focus but zooming in quickly.

eos-6d-mark-ii-back-lcd-d

They do allow exports of 4K time lapses which seems reasonable since the image quality of each photo is far higher than 4K to begin with.

They’ve also got an HDR video mode that I’d be interested to try but again without 4K, I do not think video professionals are going to take this very seriously.

Other than that I don’t think there is too much to talk about here.  The body is starting off at the very reasonable price of $1999 and is available for preorder at B&H.  They will start shipping in the end of July.

I will not be pre ordering it as I think it’s worth it to invest in a pre-owned 5D Mark 3 over this body.  Perhaps I’ll do a full comparison soon.

For more check out the videos Canon released today along with some sample images provided by Canon.


How to Edit and Share Your DSLR Photos on the Go.

Everything is portable these days.  Smartphones and tablets have only enhanced that.

Today I’m going to talk about all of the ways we can use these new mobile devices to enhance your Digital SLR shootings on the go.  I will not be including any talks about the use of laptops since the interface is the same as desktop.  Instead my focus will be primarily on Apple iOS and Android based operating systems and the hardware/software to go along with it.

Wired & Tethering Options

IMG_6059Lets start with our hard connected devices.  Apple makes a ton of accessories that allow you to connect your camera, USB card reader, or SD card directly to any iPad or iPhone.  The Apple Lightning to SD Camera Card Reader is just as straight forward as it sounds.  It allows you to plug you camera’s SD card in and upload the photos directly to your camera roll.  This is great because it does not use the battery of your camera but even with some of the fastest SD cards the download speeds using this adapter are pretty slow.

Next we’ll jump into Apple’s Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter.  This adapter gives you a traditional USB-A style port along with the lightning port. (So you can continue to charge your device). This is a noticeably faster way to load your images to your iOS device but keep in mind you’re using your camera’s battery to help that transfer as well as losing the ability to shoot photos while it’s happening.

IMG_6063

If you happen to shoot on micro SD cards with a standard SD card adapter (not recommended) you can simply enter that micro SD card into many Android devices.  For example I use the Samsung Tab S2 tablet and I’ve downloaded content directly from GoPro using this technique quite a bit.

Tethering Options

Tethering options have been around for a while when it comes to traditional computer tethering.  These options are somewhat limited in the Apple’s iOS ecosystem.

Apple doesn’t allow the type of tethering that we’re used to but if you’d like you can shoot refer to the USB 3 Camera Adapter mentioned above for the quickest way to upload photos.

Android on the other hand offers much more.  By downloading the app DSLRController you can tether to any supported android device and do a ton.  DSLRController gives you full control over the camera including Aperture, Shutter Speeds, ISO, White Balance, and more.  It also acts as a live screen with very little or no delay.  There are however a few cables you’ll need to make this work.

Micro USB (or whichever your mobile device uses) to a female USB-A Adapter   ($5)
Mini USB (or whichever came with your camera) to USB-A ($5)

I recommend that even if you have the cable your camera came with to invest in a longer one like the one linked above from Amazon.  6 Feet for five dollars.  You’ll thank me later.

I’ve used the app on a number of occasions.  I would say the most valuable part of this app is when you’re shooting video.  I like to use prime lenses to shoot video with a shallow depth of field.  So for me it’s important to know that I’m in focus and having a 9.7″ screen on a Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 really helps with that.

Wireless Options

Welcome to 2017 where almost everything can be done wirelessly.

Well Digital SLRs in most cases are no exception.  First thing you’ll want to find out is if your camera body has WiFi capabilities built in.

Here is a quick list:
Canon T6 Rebel
Canon T6i Rebel
Canon T6s Rebel
Canon T7i Rebel
Canon 70D
Canon 77D
Canon 80D
Canon 6D
Canon 5D Mark IV

Nikon D5600
Nikon D7200
Nikon D750
Nikon D500
Nikon Df
Nikon D810
Nikon D810A
Nikon D5

If you don’t see your camera body here don’t worry, you’re not completely out of luck but fist let me focus on these bodies.

Canon and Nikon both have mobile apps for both iOS and Android operating systems that you can download for free.  These apps will walk you through exactly how to pair you’re camera to that device.  Once connected you have a ton of control over your camera including but not limited to Shutter Speed, Aperture, ISO, White Balance, and most importantly viewing the shots that you’ve taken and uploading them to your mobile device.  iOS 10 even supports photos in RAW now making your editing even more precise.  Don’t worry we’ll drive into editing tools soon as well.

I’ve found that pairing these devices after the initial pair isn’t as simple as it should be.  This causes me to avoid using it much.  I only find it worth the pain of re-pairing the device when I really want to share a photo in the moment.

Wireless Options for Bodies That Do Not Have Wireless Built In

As I mentioned earlier some bodies simply do not have wireless built in but that doesn’t completely cripple you from doing this thanks to our friends at EyeFi.  EyeFi is an SD card with wireless capabilities built in, making any camera that shoots to SD cards now WiFi capable.  EyeFi can send photos to any iOS, Android, or even desktop operating systems including raw files.  Now you’re not going to get the controllability of the camera like you do when WiFi is built in but you can still view and transfer your photos very easily on the go.  The one major drawback is the speeds aren’t incredibly fast and you cannot shoot with your camera while the photos are transferring.

Canon also has an add on wireless option via SD card known as their W-Ei WiFi Adapter. Keep in mind to use a system like this you need to have a dual slot cards like the Canon 7D MkII.  Early reviews on this have not been good at all.  I’m hearing that it’s very slow and really just not worth the hassle.  I’d steer toward the EyeFi if you absolutely need that option.

Mobile Software

IMG_6060Editing on the fly has become extremely simple and there are some great options to use out there.  I personally use Adobe’s Creative Cloud.  Subscription based softwares are becoming more popular and Adobe offers some pretty great options.  For as little as $10 a month you can get going with Photoshop and Lightroom on your desktop and mobile devices.

Lightroom for iOS and Android is actually free to test out and edit photos.  As someone who doesn’t do much re-touching and focuses more on exposure and color correction these apps are amazing for editing on the fly.

There are way too many apps out there to go through all of them.  If you’re using one that you love leave a comment below and I’ll try it out for sure.