Are you a true adventurer?

Are you a true adventurer? 

Do you have an urge to take hundred of pictures when you’re on the road? And do you enjoy writing travel blogs? Then you now have the unique chance to travel with Leica in the footsteps of the great explorers. All over the world. Start travelling from mid-January 2011.

A Leica jury will select the 10 winners from all entries at the end of November 2010. And from mid January to late February 2011, they will then follow in the footsteps of great explorers – for at least two weeks. Packed with €2,000 to spend, the new Leica V-Lux 2 camera and equipment from The North Face! As a winner and a Leica ambassador, all you have to do is report back every day with your experiences and write about them in a travel blog on this website. 

Viewing HDSLR Videos on Your Computer

For those of you who are brand new to DSLR video and are having difficulty viewing your work on your computer, I thought I’d offer you hopefully, a solution.

For some of you, it’s quite easy. Just offload the files from your camera or media card to your desktop, double click the .MOV or .AVI  file and hit play. Instant movies on your screen in HD! However, many are discovering that it’s not quite that simple. You may double click the file and nothing comes up, or you may get the dreaded ‘File Type Not Supported’, or most likely, your video may come up, but it’s playback is not smooth at all or there is no audio.

So what’s going on here? Why does it have to be so difficult? Those of you on the latest top-of-the-line computers are probably looking pretty smug right now, and that’s  the issue…your computer. If it’s old with a slow processor, you’ll have problems. Also, if you do not have the correct media player installed on your machine, that will prevent you from viewing your work. It has to be the right kind of player to run the native files coming out of your DSLR. They have to be compatible. And also to some extent, it could be a graphics card issue. You may need to upgrade your graphics card, although not likely.

The files that come out of your camera are high-resolution, highly compressed files – and while the compression does a good job of keeping file size down, it also means you need a sizable computer to decode them. If the files play more smoothly on your camera’s LCD than they do on your desktop, try downloading the latest version of VLC Media Player.

VLC is free and an open source cross-platform (PC and Mac) multimedia player that plays most multimedias files as well as DVD, Audio CD, VCD, and various streaming protocols. It is easy to use, yet very powerful.

One trick however : you have to change one setting in preferences:

Go to Tools > Preferences
In the lower left of the box click the checkbox “Show settings – All”
Then go to Input/Codecs > Video Codecs > FFmpeg and look for the option called “Skip the loop filter for H.264 decoding”
Change it from “none” to “all”
Save and restart VLC

Another must have player for your computer is Quicktime which is also free, comes from Apple, but works on both Windows and Macs.

Now grab some popcorn, your favorite beverage and sit back and relax and enjoy your videos.

Photokina Leica News

The super-zoom compact for travel and nature photography : the Leica V-Lux 2 is the perfect camera for adventurers, globetrotters and nature-lovers who want to discover more of the world.  
The D-Lux 5 is a true Leica, not only in terms of its elegant design but also in its superior optical performance: The result are images of excellent quality.
Leica M9 Titanium:
The M9 ‘Titanium’ is a unique camera with a new interpretation of the characteristic features of Leica rangefinder cameras, which lends precision engineering, unique style and solid titanium to extraordinary formal design. As a result, the LEICA M9 ‘Titanium’ is an especially desirable object for both Leica connoisseurs and aficionados of outstanding design. This special edition is strictly limited to just 500 cameras worldwide and is offered as a set together with a LEICA SUMMILUX-M 35mm f/1.4 ASPH. lens, whose exterior metal components are also manufactured from solid titanium.

Back Up Your Precious Work

Whether you’re a seasoned pro, an aspiring amateur, or just starting out in photography or video…you need to watch this video!

Photographer/Director Jarvis Chase shares his excellent workflow and backup for every image he shoots, stills and video alike. His in-depth look includes all the steps from capture to archive to ensure that you’ll never lose a single image. Although you probably don’t need two Apple Xserves and 64 terabytes to manage your daily data needs, the concepts of constant backup, and geographically separate locations for your backup drives, are relevant regardless of scale. And most importantly…remember that hard drives are like light bulbs every single one will eventually fail.

More details from Jarvis here.

Camera West Tuscany Expedition, 2010

The journey has begun for Hal and Tom as they flew out of SFO for Florence on Sunday, in preparation for the Camera West Tuscany Photographic Expedition. Please stay tuned as we will be uploading images regularly from the trip as it happens, including images from the Leica S2. We wish all the best to all attendees and to Hal and Tom for all their efforts. Watch this space.