About technique and more.

Huawei fixed it !!

Huawei has been in very rough weather, and that might be the understatement of the year/millennium.
It’s shocking to see what happens and unfolds with hidden agendas, accusations etc. this will go into the history books any way this unfolds. For me as a photographer it’s a sad period, might I add very sad.

I’ve always told people that if there would be something better out there than the brand I used I would switch if the future looked good for that brand that is, you don’t switch brands if you know something is a “one time hit”. When I switched from Apple iPhone to the Samsung note it was a mixed bag. I mainly did it for the pen (which I actually used quite often to sign documents) and I never expected anything from the cameras, for me the camera in a smartphone was never a replacement of a normal camera, it can take cool snaps for online that’s it.

When I saw the P20 Pro I ordered one with a 30 day money back guarantee and was 100% planning on sending it back. I only bought it to see how the camera worked. Long (well actually not that long) story short, I kept it because the camera just blew everything I every tried on compact or smartphone out of the water. For me getting the P30 pro was just a normal decision of upgrading because the camera was “again” a step up. You do have to realize I take a lot of shots during workshops for the BTS images or just to record setups for later use, and especially in low light every improvement is a welcome gift, so it’s not just hobby, I really shoot a lot of images on my phone. And since the P20 Pro I actually don’t own a compact camera anymore, it’s that good.

Now the P30 Pro was not a smooth start.
After reading a boatload of reviews I was ready to be amazed, but actually was shocked that the 40MP RAW files were unusable due to a wrong color profile. This also shattered all my trust I had in companies and reviewers doing so called “tech reports” on cameras, more than once did I read about the accurate colors from the main sensor while in my opinion it was literally outputting unusable files. I wrote several articles about it on the blog which you can find here :
https://frankdoorhof.com/web/2019/04/p30-pro-huge-camera-problem/
https://frankdoorhof.com/web/2019/04/solving-the-p30-pro-color-problems/
https://frankdoorhof.com/web/2019/05/kudos-for-huawei/
https://frankdoorhof.com/web/2019/05/unfair-competition-or/

And in all honesty the first time I saw the problem I did worry. Because no one mentioned it online I first thought it was my camera, but the JPGs were right so that was not the case so why didn’t anyone see it. After posting my problem online loads of people emailed me that after testing they experienced the same and that they all thought it might be the camera itself, but again if that was the case it would be also visible on the JPGs and those were fine.

I never expected anything to be honest but I did contact Huawei about this and much to my surprise an internal case was started and within a few days I already got an answer, they found the problem and it would be fixed soon. Now I don’t care what anyone thinks about Huawei as a company but this is very nice from such a huge company. First of all you get an answer (which now a days is already a big plus), and second of all they say they are going to fix it.

 

Firmware 161 fixed it
And today we finally got the new firmware in the Netherlands and can confirm (I already read online that it worked in other countries) but the color issue is 100% solved as far as I can see now. Even when exporting the files to Lightroom CC the reds are now just as vibrant as one would expect from very vibrant sources. So you can say about Huawei what you want, the media are having a run with them, for me it would be a shame if a company that delivers these kind of products and actually listen to their customers and fix a problem within 2 firmware upgrades (they already told me it would be in June) would be taken of the market by a trade war.

I don’t want to go into the whole political discussion, I just love taking photos and video and teaching you guys, but I do feel that the term innocent until PROVEN guilty is used with preference.

Without making it a discussion on yes or no.
From Google and Facebook it’s known they trade your personal information, but much further than a fine and a “don’t do that again” it hasn’t come yet, even the suspicion/proof that there were influences in elections are just there….. without any hint of putting facebook on a black list. With Huawei I wonder how much is really true… I for one don’t believe in little microphones or other devices hidden in microchips that China uses to listen in to conversations. And if that was the truth…. well why ban their smartphones? I strongly feel that Huawei is going way too fast for the competition to pick it up and is therefor put on the shame bench for a while in the hope they go out of business or are hurt so bad that they are no competition anymore.

I’m really in doubt at the moment.
I have this phone that is the fastest phone I ever owned, takes killer (and I mean KILLER) shots and video (although the video is not the strongest in a smartphone) but is now on the verge of losing android support from the regular versions…… on the other hand, Huawei is not the smallest player. And in a market where very smartphone operator builds their own version of Android I wonder how bad it would be if we just went for the Huawei OS, it’s already confirmed that it will be compatible with Android apps (Android is open source as you probably know), it’s also already leaked that the Huawei OS is up to 10x faster than the standard Android on certain tasks.

Now if this was any other firm I would not believe in it, but Huawei already announced that they can get 225 MILLION devices out by the end of the year with this new OS… that does make you wonder, isn’t google actually creating a huge problem for itself? If we can run all Android apps on an OS that is 10x faster (lets’ say 2x) the only negative is that we need to use another app store or side load apps, well I already do with Android auto because it’s not legal to use in the Netherlands (ridiculous).

So let’s see.
We would really miss google maps and android auto.
Well android auto can be replaced by screen mirroring (never tried it but some people claim it’s much better than android auto because you can actually also use the phone version of android auto), so I would really miss google maps. But on the other hand how much money does Google make from people using Google Maps? I think a lot and take away only this year 225 million devices that will run something else… that’s a huge hit for Google, plus now we have iOS, android and the Huawei version of Android. A market with just iOS and android benefits Google a lot, so I have to see what happens, I strongly believe that in the end Huawei might actually have a strong bargaining position here, again if this would be a small company I would say “not a chance on earth” but seeing the quality of their products and the promises of the new OS I actually more and more start to think that it would maybe not be as bad as some people think now, and I think that when you have sold (or are thinking about it) your P30 Pro you might very well regret it soon, first of all because all apps and updates on those phones just continue, and second of all I think this brand will not just give up.

Oh and about facebook and whatsapp not being loaded from new…. just go on the app store and get the apps, it’s just a few seconds of extra work, it’s not that they don’t work, it’s just that they are not present from the start, which in some cases is a good thing, a friend of mine has a phone (won’t mention the brand, but it’s not a big brand) that uses their own version of mail, internet, contacts etc. and it’s so embedded in the OS that he is always struggling with preferences (he can’t change this so it sticks). So maybe an android compatible OS that is empty might be a good thing, just load what you need.

And I could be 100% wrong.
In any case, the P30 pro is an amazing camera that can run apps and make phone calls (if needed). It will continue to work and as soon as I know that I can use google maps and assistant and android auto on the new OS I’ll switch to the new OS and see what happens.

What’s your take on this?

Tip for motion

A super short tip today.

As you probably know I love to shoot motion. Somehow it always has been my thing starting with birds, sports etc.

When I started modelphotography I very quickly started to photograph jumping models. However do realize that for a cool shot you don’t always need an airborne model.

Sometimes it’s just as effective to just let them stand in their toes. This works even with high heels.

So don’t worry if you want some motion and your model can’t jump. Just try it more subtle.

Feel free to share your motion shots.

Models think about this

Every once in a while we get mails like this.

In my defence. These mails are never send only to me, but to all photographers the model worked with. And because I get a lot of questions about how to handle this I thought it would maybe help to write this post.

“Hi photographer,

In the past we worked together, but I want you to immediately remove all images you took during our sessions, including links online and articles. And I hereby declare that our contract is not valid anymore”

The reasons vary from misunderstood avg/GDPR rules, new boyfriend, new job etc.

Let me make clear that I’m one of those guys that really takes care of my team and am far from cold or heartless but this is where I draw my line.

To all models that think they can pull this off.

Images are created with a team. All images are property of the photographer but are also part of the portfolio of the rest of the team just as your posrtfolio. We all have invested time in these images and it’s of course out of the question that just because you think you want them offline that this is the same for the rest of the team.

Photos for me are often part of articles I wrote, reviews etc. So they can’t be removed without destroying the content. Meaning this is something you can’t even ask.

Now I have to be clear. We don’t shoot nudes that I put online. If I shoot nudes or glamour this is never put online and it’s for the model only. Now when you do put nudes online I would advise to be considerate to your model. But for portraits and fashion I have a very distinct not open for discussion line.

If I take your image with your permission you can jump high or low, but without a really solid reason these images are my property and will not be taken offline.

Now before you think “that’s harsh” do realize that all our models have signed a model release and in most cases these images are not sitting useless on my drive or in a folder. I use the images I put online in a concept being it a tip or article.

Did I ever make exceptions?
Yes of course
I’ve heard reasons that I can agree with or at least that I understand and in those cases I would remove the images from prominent spots or simply change the name of the model so it’s hard to find back. But you better have a really really really good reason.

Please models realize that you’re a model, but images we take of you are our work and you are just a model that fits the space in that shot and idea. So for the same account it could have been someone else.

Demanding a photographer to take your images offline is like demanding an author to take his book out of the shops because in one chapter he interviews you. You’re just a part of a bigger scene.

If you willingly step in front of a camera and agree on having your images taken you have to realize that the photographer and his/her team invest time in the shoot where you are just a small part in.

Now let’s turn it around, what if a photographer that took amazing shots of you mail you with the remark that he/she demands that you take the images offline? Weird right? Ridiculous? Well we feel the same way.

Disclaimer
Since the avg we get some mails about this but much less that other photographers I talk too. When I reply (I always do) in most cases I actually hear that they don’t have problems with me keeping the images online but they send it out to everyone. In that case same goes… Models check the work of the photographer and when in doubt don’t to the gig or make clear what you want right after or during the shoot.

Would love to hear your opinions and what the weirdest thing is you ever got in the mail considering this subject.

About the new macpro.

I shared my opinion yesterday via social media but let me explain a bit more.

1. The new macpro is of course awesome. It’s insanely and mind boggling fast and expandable. If you buy this you’ll be set for at least 5 years and maybe more, that is in the target market and that’s where the second part comes in.

2. The problem I mostly see is that for 90% of the old macpro market this machine is now out of reach. And that’s a shame being it’s the only serious machine apple delivers that has an option for external screens.

In the past you could choose the iMac or the macpro for a bit more. I’ve owned two older macpros and the thrashcan version which I loved to be honest. I’m very picky with my screens and I just want a machine that is upgradable. So the macpro was always my choice. In fact I only worked on macpros and MacBook pros.

The macpro was always the creators tools. Just throw anything at it and it would do it. I was willing to pay for that. My last macpro I bought for approximately 5500 euro. Which was a huge chunk of money for me. If I look now I have to shelve out at least 7k in euroland for the base unit alone. If you want some serious speed probably 10k which in all honesty is just too much for me and probably for more people.

Now in perspective, the new macpro is awesome of course. It’s unique and very flexible. It’s really something that is apple but in all honesty I feel like apple is getting way out of reality with their ideas of what people can afford. You can build amazing gear that is unique but what if hardly anyone can afford it.

I myself switched about 3-4 years ago to windows. I started with the studio machine because I found that my MacBook pro was actually rendering video faster in premiere than my macpro (h264 and xeons). So I edited on my macpro and than rendered on my laptop.

Apple kept promising a new macpro but after waiting a year I switched. Working in a mixed environment was actually easier than I thought so when the new MacBook pros lost their card reader and got the new keyboards I waited one more generation and also dumped my MBP for a Dell XPS.

After testing the surface book 2 from Microsoft I know what the future is for creatives. And it’s not apple. The surface book series is insanely usable for creators like me and semi affordable (yes it’s not cheap)

What I’m afraid of (yeah I’m still an apple fan boy so I wish them all the best and hope to maybe one day return) is that apple is slowly moving from a premium brand that was aimed mainly at creators like myself (willing to spend some money in their gear) to a brand that is awesome and high tech but more a “fashion” brand. What I mean with that is that the stamp “apple” is now meaning it’s just out of reach for normal people like me.

Apple used to have a whole line up of amazing products. I never liked the iMac for myself but didn’t have too because there was the macpro and macmini for people they for example used it in a home theater setting.

In other words you paid extra for the macpro but it was within reach. They’ve now put the macpro base unit at a price where you normally would buy a pretty much specked out macpro.

Of course it will sell. There will be people that can afford it just to show off what they got. And yes it will be awesome for the film industry (major film industry) and sfx companies but they will miss that huge market of guys like me that are willing to pay a premium but not take a second mortgage.

And that’s a bit of the apple issue I’m afraid. Now this is my personal opinion but I wonder how many people agree.

Apple is still releasing well produced products that will be stable and work for years and look great. However they have lost the balance between being a premium brand and being a fashion brand.

When I look at the iPad pro for example. When you hear what it can do you might be very interested. Now throw in that Adobe is releasing Photoshop soon for the iPad pro and project rush was just released you might think wow that’s awesome.

And than you realize that a fully working iPad pro combination that will mimic a laptop is priced all above 1500.00 and you still are stuck with a device that runs iOS/ipados and not macos. Meaning plugins won’t work on it like they do on a MacBook and there are still a lot of things that don’t work on an iPad that do work in a full macos device. Now add a stand to it and a keyboard and you have something that on paper is awesome but in reality is crippled by ipados and the lack of a digitizer.

Now add a bit more money and you can get a surfacebook that not only is a well build laptop but where you can also take the screen off and use it as a tablet. But now you run all the apps and plugins, full Adobe suite (or resolve etc,) and has a screen that can be calibrated and a working file system and color management. Plus a lot of connections for the outside world.

Over the years maintaining an apple eco system has been more and more difficult. Not only for pricing but also because the competition wasn’t sitting idle

Apple iPhones I used since the 3g, but I mostly use it for photography. Since the p20 pro from Huawei there is such a difference between apple and Huawei with photography that it’s not even funny anymore. (video apple is still very good) add to this the price of the iPhones compared to similar or better Android devices and it’s about half the price you spend on Android. And in all honesty after a few weeks I was used to Android.

Apple watch same thing. I loved it and kept up with the every day charging. But I after hitting yet another problem with connecting devices for my bike I switched over to Garmin and never looked back. 5 days on a charge and all the notifications I need plus a great app for tracking health and sports and for half the price. Only the display sucks compared to the apple watch. But it’s not bad.

With the new macpro apple for me closed up the market for people that want a machine that runs on an external monitor. Of course you can add an extra monitor to an imac but not everyone likes shiny glossy screens and the imacs are not easily upgraded. Meaning reselling them also will get harder over time.

If I would have waited for the new macpro instead if switching 3-4 years ago I’m afraid that this would have been the last straw and I would have switched now. Not because I think the new macpro is bad and heck it might not even be overpriced. (find a PC alternative that is the same) but it is just placed so far out of reach that I don’t even think about it.

Finally on the screen. The screen is getting a lot of ridicule online and that’s not fair. I also still do calibrations and can tell you that this screen is insane and for that price even dirt cheap and will have the competition in fear.

Running a screen in 1000 nits HDR is pretty much unheard off below 10k. Most screens top out at half. If the screen would hit bt2020 or even the full p3 spectrum it would literally be the cheapest solution for that kind of work.

And in apples defense most studios I visit that work for TV or cinema (I calibrate their mixing and reference sets) have monitors on vesa mounts so they don’t even use the stands. That having said. The price of the stand does exactly make my point. Great products great design and perfomance but in a few years they went from being at least on the horizon for normal creators (read poor guys that are willing to spend money on their passion) to bring out of this world and reach.

I wish apple all the best and hope they can one day land back on planet Earth and release something like a surface book. That would be the day that I would really consider going back….. On the other hand…. Why go back…. Now that I’ve sold all my apple gear and am used to the “other side” why go for a MacBook pro it there is no desktop device that fits my needs and the competition is already there?

This is the problem with apple. I’m afraid. In the past their eco system was complete from wifi to phones, watches, laptops and desktops. All premium but working. By taking out key components they destroy their own eco system.

Apple all works together great. But take out one part and the system loses its magic very fast. Try to get an apple watch working on Android for example. But my Garmin worked great under both iOS and Android. By taking out the laptops and now desktops with separate monitors apple is quicky killing their biggest market I’m afraid and will be left with the rich kids they don’t create and the huge production houses that actually with apple will save money. But will that bring in enough revenue?

And also think about the other consequences. When you see the new generation of creators all create on windows machines, you see them flip screens to retouch on, taking 40mp raw photos and optically zooming in 5x and having both standard and wide angle censors on their phones and using watches that run for 5 days with the same and more features and take into account those devices are affordable….. what do you think the next generation will buy?

For me it was apple or Atari when you’re serious for creating music or later photography. Windows didn’t come close. It was almost the laughing stock when you created music or did video. Now a days windows has come a long way. Android and google assistant are together with windows creating an almost seamless intergration between phone and laptop and voice control.

In a market where you can maintain a complete eco system that works together on both sides of the border but one side delivers more for less and has a complete line up I’m afraid one day the other side will have to adapt or die out.

Let me close by saying that apple is not bad. Not bad at all (although the MacBook pros are not my thing) if I could afford a macpro I might even get one. But the market has shifted and now a days you get alternatives that are better on 90% of what you need for half the price… So go figure .

Disclaimer.
When I talk about PC and Android I’m not talking about the budget stuff .if you want a fair comparison you need to take the flagship material. Go from a MacBook pro to a cheap Windows laptop and you will run back within minutes.