News about StudioFD, Frank Doorhof, and more.

Phottix releases Raja softboxes

It’s no secret I absolutely love Phottix products.
I’m using their indra system and this is an amazing strobe solution with which you can shoot both in the studio (via the AC pack) and on location via the battery pack. As modifier I absolutely love their Spartan “beauty dish” which gives me great flexibility and it’s easy to transport. But they have something new that really caught my attention at professional imaging a few weeks ago, and now it’s been released to the world….. and you guys will love it.

Enter the Raja series

As mentioned I played with these already during the professional imaging and loved the way you can set them up REALLY fast, it’s a simple click and fold system, so no more hassle with rods and changes to break something, or not being able to assemble it fast. You can compare it to the Elinchrom Rotalux system which of course is widely regarded as one of the best ways to setup your softbox. Also cool is that it’s a very round design PLUS they deliver a grid with them AWESOME I love grids…. (no secret either I guess).

The Raja can be mounted on Bowens, Balcar, Profoto and Elinchrom and this makes it a very interesting system for many shooters, and let’s be honest why limit yourself to just one brand, I never got that idea, the more people that can use it the better.

Sizes
The Raja is available in the following options.
60-80 cm
These must be my favorites, they are deep and that means you can really steer your light you want it.
80-90 cm
A very nice softbox, a good size and again, very easy to setup.
65-105 cm
More standard octas, not the deep variety.

As you can see more than enough choice… so how does it look?
Here is the line up.

Now this is not a review, I’m waiting for delivery of my version but I did wanted to point you guys towards them because I think you will absolutely love these.
Let me know if you get one and how you like them.

This is the link to the Raja softbox 80×90 cm.
Order from this link and support our work.

BTW this is the Phottix gear I use and highly recommend.

Phottix Indra 500 : http://amzn.to/2sWryNl

Phottix Beauty dish : http://amzn.to/2sBQcQV

Phottix Strip light : http://amzn.to/2sWkMHm

Phottix Odin for ETTL and M : http://amzn.to/2sWkMHm

Phottix Strata for ETTL and M without display : http://amzn.to/2sUlnd3

Phottix gridset : http://amzn.to/2rWsAV2

Phottix Spartan (hightly recommended) : https://amzn.to/2Hx0uwi
Phottix reflector : 
http://amzn.to/2sWlwMA

For our Dutch/Belgium and French viewers, you can also buy Phottix from our friends at Servix and their resellers: https://goo.gl/8dEzQa

Phottix Mitros+ : http://amzn.to/2ufk88d

Phottix Odin : http://amzn.to/2tN3URn

Phottix Strato II : http://amzn.to/2uSoj7K

LaCie DJI Co-pilot thoughts and tips

Some products are released and you wonder…. “why that name?”
Or you just ignore the product for the simple reason that you think it’s not for you.
Well it’s no secret I’m a huge fanboy of the LaCie products, and we also work together with LaCie on some things, but still I hope you understand that this article is 100% my own thoughts, not paid for by LaCie, and certainly is not colored in anyway by the fact we work with them. In fact the ONLY reason I work with companies is because I just love their products, in my opinion that’s way more important than anything else, because that way you guys will give me your trust, and I would never do anything to break that…. well that being said let’s start.

The DJI Co Pilot
The minute I heard the name I was not immediately interested and I can imagine that many of you also have the same thoughts that I have…”It’s for a drone, and specific a DJI drone” right?….. well I understand that 100%, but I couldn’t be more wrong.

Let’s start with a little bit of a backstory.
Annewiek and I ran a computer store for many many years (actually over 2 decades) and in that time one of the things we learned was to make sure you have backups, and people knowing me know this is without a doubt something I always stress. We store not only images but actually frozen moments in time that will never ever come back, if something happens to them I would be devastated. Now in the studio or at home it’s easy. Just add a DAS (Direct Attached Storage) and a NAS (Networked Attached Storage) and if you want to be sure always backup this weeks work on a separate harddrive and take that home or to a friend or parent. But how do we do this on the road?

Well in my case I always travel with 2 rugged drives and backup every night (automated process) on these two drives, I’ve set them up like a sort of “mirror” with software. Now when we travel, one drive goes in the suitcase and one drive comes with me or Annewiek. And when we leave the room or hotel one drive is in our car or in our bag so when something happens in the hotel/house we have our images and video…. call me crazy but trust me in over 2 decades of running a pc store I’ve learned from other peoples mistakes.

So in short we always carry around a drive.
Now let’s go back in time.

There was a time when cards could be filled up during a day, in fact there were days where I easily would fill up 2-3 cards by just visiting the zoo, at that time cameras were not really build for RAW and cards were certainly not ready for RAW…. oh sorry let me rephrase… cards were not prepared for my addiction to shoot a lot of images (that sounds better and closer to the truth I guess) anyway… we needed more room.

Enter the Image Tank
Oh my, did I love these, I was literally in love with them, I think that over the years I have owned at least 3 different image tanks before ending up with one that had it all (expect battery life that was), replaceble harddrives so I could grow the system, extra batteries (very much needed) a “crappy” display that actually was so bad you could only see that it was done, and…. well it was relatively small…. oh man who am I kidding, the bloody thing was huge and heavy. But… it always traveled with me.

Ok we are now many years ahead in the future and we (in all honesty) don’t really need an image tank anymore. Cards are up to 256GB and if you have deep pockets you get much higher capacity. But there is also more, where in the old days I shot with one camera I’m now shooting with my A7RIII from Sony for stills, I have a Sony A6500 for the vlog, we drag a small Zoom recorder with us for recording interviews if needed and I have a drone (Mavic pro with me), plus we of course have our dashcam. I have to say…. this is in a worst case scenario, but it does happen that we bring all of this. (oh and add my phone to this). Long story short… we shoot a lot of material.

Again, we don’t really run into problems with cards, even when roaming the streets of New York I hardly shoot more than 64GB (my max card size) and when I do, well… I always have a second one with me, and I also never fill a 32GB card with video for the vlog, unless I’m doing time lapses, but hey… we have another 32GB for video with us. Yes I use 32GB for video and 64GB for photography, I always shoot very short videos for the vlog so I normally manage well within that capacity.

“Hey Frank, wait a minute this review thingy is going the wrong way dude…. ”
Yes I know, don’t worry.

The state of mind of the photographer
When I walk around in New York or any other city (I just always take NY as an example because I never shoot more images than in that city… it’s CRAZY) I might not fill up my cards but there is much more to worry about.

  1. My camera could get stolen, actually I did lose a 5DMKII at Photokina a few years ago during a demo I gave for Elinchrom, we actually have video footage that shows the camera in a rack under my laptop, and in the next scene it’s gone. Because I was rushed I didn’t backup the previous day, so I did not only loose the camera but also all the images, including some private shots of us and friends in the city which I still feel sad about.
  2. I could forget my camera somewhere, yes it did happen to me once, luckily it was still there.
  3. A card can crash. I always try to steer away from cheap cards but it happened to me a few times that a card just went from working great to refusing to read in any device I tried it. Sandisk btw had great service and replaced the card without any problem, but I still lost half a day of shots.
  4. When switching cards I can make a mistake…. did I really format that card that was full… or was that an empty one…. oops
  5. You can loose a card very very easily. I’m incredibly lucky, over all these years we lost app 4 cards, which in my book is still 4 too many. Luckily however never during a trip or with material on it, finding some wood now to know on…… one moment……… ok I’m ready to continue (don’t push your luck with this).
  6. Many more things can happen……

So where does the LaCie DJI Co-Pilot come in?

It’s so much more
The LaCie DJI Co-Pilot could be labeled as a hyper modern image tank. It’s not able to just work together with DJI products but it will actually do a lot more, in fact…. I think that it will be used by more people that don’t even own a drone than it will be by people that DO own a drone, as long as they realize the importance of a device like this.

So let’s take a look at some of the things it can do
First up the design.
You know I love the rugged drives, and it’s not just because they are orange (Hey I’m Dutch), but it’s the way that the drives are protected and don’t slide around in your bag or on a table.

Ok.
Looks nice right?
Even if it’s not orange…. LaCie maybe a Frank Co-Pilot in Orange one day 🙂 ?

It’s not that big, although it’s by no means small, (137.2 x 111.8 x 35.6 mm) but it’s a very good design to just drop somewhere in a bag and don’t worry about it anymore.

But design is not everything (is Apple listening :-), ok that was harsh).
So let’s see what this baby can do.

Copy files from an SD card to the Harddrive.
Connect your camera directly to the device to download files to the Harddrive (wonder if that also works with my Phone, but I see no reason why not)
Talking about phones… it can also charge your phone via the internal battery
And the internal battery can be charged by the included wall charger… but also via the USB-c connector (I don’t know the time difference)
View the images and video via the Android or iOS app
Via the display on the drive itself you can monitor the progress of copying

Now this all breaks or succeeds by the app that is used.
And what I’ve seen so far I’m very excited about it. I don’t expect it to show my RAW sony files full resolution on my Phone, as long as I know they are there it’s more than enough for me, and the app does that flawlessly as far as I’ve seen so far (do remember I don’t have a review unit yet), with video it’s able to playback even 4K video and to be honest this is a very handy thing for me because I can than quickly check if all the video is well recorded and I can record it again if necessary. Of course you can do this also on the camera but I find it much easier via an app.

Ok so why am I so looking forward to this product
As mentioned before we shoot a lot, and I’m always afraid of losing my data, with the LaCie DJI Co-Pilot I can now make (incremental) backups whenever I take a rest stop somewhere, let’s say we’re walking in NY and we want a coffee, let’s just backup the card and leave with shop with the feeling that all my files are save, want to watch some video from what we shot, start the app and watch. Want to charge my phone on the road… no problem… just charge.

And the cool thing…. as soon as we are back in the hotel just connect it to my laptop via the fast USB-C connection and….. well it acts like an external harddrive and I can make a mirror copy of all the files on the rugged drive and have my mirror set in tact. For me the LaCie DJI co-pilot will literally mean that one of my Rugged drives will be replaced with this one, and from carrying around “dead weight” just to be sure that we have our images with us, we now actually can make use of that drive that we carry around.

Now what if you’re not obsessed by dataloss
Well let me first say that you absolutely should, but what about people that shoot less images, or even jpgs etc.? Well also for this group there is a huge benefit… you don’t have to bring your laptop anymore, well ok it doesn’t mail, or play games but loads of people just drag their laptops with them on a trip just to backup their images. For a fact I do all my social media and mails on my phone, and use the dictate function a lot, this has transformed my phone actually to the task that was first done with my laptop. So I can imagine that the LaCie DJI Co-Pilot makes it possible for a lot of people to just leave their laptop at home and bring only this on a trip and travel REALLY light.

Conclusion
There are many products I love, but not so often are products released that got me excited. I can’t wait to test out the Co-Pilot. I think for ANY travelling photographer, being a smartphone or DSLR shooter and even when you’re out in the field and just want to make sure your files are backuped up the Lacie DJI Co-Pilot will be an amazing new tool for this. A real review will follow soon I hope.

OH…. and I forgot one very important thing.
The LaCie DJI Co-Pilot OF COURSE is covered by the amazing data recovery program from Seagate.
Need more convincing to buy one…….. ?

999 videos…. tomorrow we are going to hit 1000…..

Time flies when you’re having fun….
Today I noticed we are at 999 videos on YouTube…. WOW that’s a lot

I spend a lot of time on our channel and love to do it, thanks to the interacting with the subscribers (I answer every single question or remark myself) I constantly try to push the limits on what I can do in the time that I can spend on editing and uploading material.

 

On our channel you will find :
Behind the closed DOORs : A vlog that is taking you behind the scenes during travel, workshops, shoots etc. It contains unboxings, start of reviews, cool shoots, tips and a lot more.

Quite Frankly : The review, news and interesting stuff video series

Digital classroom : This is the main content of the channel next to the vlog, loads of photography/video related tips and tricks videos, a 2 hour live stream 10x a year, several Q&A live streams and a lot more to come.

The DOORhof is always open : longer interviews

Electrifying the DOORhofs : All about EVs, solar etc. (We love that)

And loads loads more…..
Almost daily we are thinking about YouTube and what we can bring you guys that is exciting and interesting, and over the last few months we have seen a steady increase in subscribers, which makes working for us much more interesting and pushes us of course further and further.

Tomorrow I will upload the 1000th video during day 2 of the Alab fotostudio workshops and I’m proud to able to say we hit 1K videos on YouTube, but most of all I would love to thank you guys, without you it would be useless to create the videos, we really love you guys.

 

Also a BIG shout out to BenQ, X-rite, Rogue Expoimaging for making our channel possible, without their support it would be impossible to give you the quality videos that I like to upload, these companies are absolutely amazing in their support, so thank you guys.

 

Up to 2K videos…
But first help us with more subscribers 🙂
Tell people about our channel, tell them how awesome the material is, tell/bribe them to subscribe and help us grow our channel to an even bigger audience.

 

Thanks guys.
How do you subscribe…..?
Simple… press here.

Review Huawei P20 Pro part II

All images in this blogpost are lowered in resolution to 1250 longest side. This is because our internet here is pretty bad. Full res images I can upload when we are back home and people want them.

As promised part II in the review of the Huawei P20 pro.
Today it’s all about the camera, of course one of the reasons most of you guys are probably interested in the phone.
And let’s not make this longer than needed and immediately tell it like it is…. this thing ROCKS.

Now don’t expect anything spectacular image wise, we are now on location for this weekends workshops and I just took some shots during a nice diner we had with our friends.

First images is a car that I found close to where we parked our RV.
First image is shot with the 40MP camera and the second in Night mode.

What you can see in the night mode is that it almost looks like a clean HDR shot, details are extra enhanced and there is a lot of detail in highlights and shadows, colortemp is different but could be corrected of course, for the blog post however I only lowered the resolution.

Next up was the restaurant.
These shots were all done in night mode.

In all honesty these shots blew me away, my friend had his iPhone with him and his images looked a lot more noisy 😀
All images look incredibly clean and are razor sharp, I’ve seen some samples online of oversharpenend images but in real life I think it’s ok in these shots, in fact I downloaded them on my laptop to judge because I don’t trust a phone screen (any phone), but the images looks REALLY nice.

Next up was outside.

Difficult high contrast scene, but look how the P20 pro handles this, on ANY other phone (heck probably camera) the outside would have been pitch black or the inside would be blown out. Remember this is all shot handheld with a 4 second shutter time…. it’s insane.

PITCH dark alley, with only the lights you see.

Outside of the restaurant.

A few crops
Because you of course also want to see some 100% crops, here we go.
click on the files for full versions.
First image is from the 40MP RAW with slight sharpening to take away the softness of a RAW file, I’m editing this on my laptop so I might have overdone it slightly. But you get the idea.

bsh

rbsh

First careful conclusion.
And remember this is VERY careful because these are literally the first shots I took with the camera.

40MP RAW files are gorgous, even without 100% perfect lighting there is more than enough “raw” (pun intended) detail, but the real jawdropper is the night mode, I never saw something like this before, and it’s actually very addictive. Just go to night mode, press the shutter and wait for 3-4 seconds and you see the magic happen on the screen, it is a 10MP file but boy does it look great. And lets be honest… I would rather have a great 10MP shot than a noisy 12-16MP shot that you can throw away.

Is there some processing going on?
Yep without any doubt, but I don’t think it takes away from the shot, I would have backed down slightly on the noise reduction but it’s not like I say “WOW, back down” it’s more like “I would fine tune this a bit more”, but do remember I look at these shots as a photographer and not a consumer, and those two are TOTALLY different in what they like.

The RAW files however are a VERY pleasant surprise and actually surpass what I hoped and expected. Do remember that this is not in any way a camera that will blow away or even come close to compact cameras that are designed for photography, but for a smart phone this is literally amazing and mind boggling.

As I mentioned in the previous preview/review normally smartphones make small steps in their evolution, 1MP more, a bit less noise, some cool extra features, etc. Let’s say that if you look at an iPhone from 3 years ago and the present one you will see a difference, but the difference is noticeable not mind blowing different. The P20 Pro in my personal opinion after these first shots does just that…. keep in mind it’s a smartphone… tell yourself to NOT compare it to even a budget DSLR/Mirrorless and what you have is actually unbelievable for a smartphone….

 

I’m very anxious to see where this leads…
Will this be a one off and are we back to 12MP next year, or is this THE trend that others will follow…. I hope that last one. I’m having LOADS of fun at the moment and I’m 100% sure that the night mode and 40MP RAW files are going to give me loads of good shots.

 

Ok
“Frank how are the zooms?”
I don’t care to be honest.
When I shoot 40MP RAW files I can always crop to 10MP and zoom that way. I will try it out without a doubt, but for now I think the 40MP RAW setting or nightmode will be the modes I’m using. When I want to use zoom I loose my RAW option and it’s back to 10MP, I will have to test if that’s worth it.

Leave comments below what you think about this phone with a camera… or should/dare I say the camera that can make phonecalls