BL Blog

Gear Talk

The Bokeh Effect: How Sensor Size Affects Background Blur

Gear Talk

Of all the things that photographers argue about in our secret monthly meetings, sensor size and its impact on our work is perhaps one of the most heated topics that can come up. From the true “bigger is better” snobs (“Sensors? Bah! 8X10 film is where it’s at!”) to the ones who prize portability above all (“Micro-Four-Thirds rules!”), the debate between advocates of MFT, APS-C, and full-frame sensors often reaches religious fervor.

Contentious topics related to sensor size include resolution, high-ISO performance, and dynamic range, but the quality and characteristic of bokeh, or out-of-focus backgrounds, is perhaps the most fiercely contentious. While there’s no contest that the bigger sensors can clearly produce much smoother and, well, blurier (not a word, I know), it’s also an unfair statement that the smaller sensors like the ones in Olympus and Panasonic Micro-Four-Thirds cameras can’t produce good bokeh. (more…)

The Beginner Videographer’s Guide to Frequency Blocks

Gear Talk

Wireless mics are an essential part of documentary filmmaking. The mics are small and easily hidden from view and the wires are minimal. If you’ve seen a reality show (if so, my condolences), sometimes you get a peek at the metal mound protruding out of the backs of people’s clothes. Those are lavaliers and they are handy. They are used often by wedding videographers since shotgun mics aren’t super awesome at picking up the vows from clear across a church. You don’t see them as often in movies because people have to actually wear them (and that is distracting) but for sit-down interviews, or most TV applications, they’re great. If you’re just starting to get into any of these fields, read up on frequency blocks – you’ll impress (if mildly) your sound tech. (more…)

The Elegant Simplicity of Building a MyPublisher Photo Album

Gear Talk

For professionals and hobbyists alike, photo books are usually on our to-do list and get postponed because they’re often expensive, take time to build, and the quality is unpredictable. They are worth making because they can be awesome keepsakes or portfolios. There is something about the tactile experience of flipping through the pages of a real book. Swiping on an iPad just isn’t the same. I am on the hunt for a great photo book company. Here are my personal observations after trying out MyPublisher. (more…)

BorrowLenses’ Favorite Gear Sightings from NAB

Gear Talk

Update: We had a great time at the 2014 NAB Show! Our special is now over and done with (too bad, so sad if you missed it). To cheer yourself up, check out the new gear we’ll be hopefully getting later in the year!

1 more day at the 2014 NAB Show! Stop by our booth #12341 for our NAB Show Special: $250 off video rental orders of $500 or more. Get it before it is gone forever!

Can’t be at the show? Here’s a visual guide to some of the latest things to be excited about this year (all taken with a crappy cell phone camera – oh the irony)! (more…)

BorrowLenses Lighting Resource: Sync Cables

Gear Talk Tips & Tricks

Strobes are triggered from your camera to fire every time you hit the shutter button in the following ways:

1. Transmitters designed specifically for that strobe that you connect to the camera.

2. Radio transmitters that you connect, usually with small sync cables, to the strobe and to the camera. (more…)

Fuji X-T1: First Impressions

Gear Talk

One of the most eagerly awaited cameras of the year arrived earlier this month, and I took some time to put it through its paces. A more detailed review will follow, but I’ve worked with it long enough to put forth a few first impressions. The tl;dr version of it is this: the Fuji X-T1 is the best camera Fuji has ever made, and is the best mirrorless camera on the market.

In my personal opinion, anyway.

(more…)

The Ultimate Lightweight Camera for Night Photography

Gear Talk

David Kingham is a landscape photographer with years of experience photographing the night sky. He is constantly searching for the ideal lenses and cameras for shooting the stars under a variety of conditions. Kingham seeks out great equipment for star shooters of every level with budgets large and small. In this review, he tackles the problem of weight. Find out if diminutive heavy hitters, like the a7 and Df, are worth their weight in night time shooting prowess. (more…)