camera

8) Cool Tools: the Right Camera

camera passportChoosing the right camera is a very personal decision. We recommend trying to find one with high-def 1080 video capabilities and a built-in mic jack into which you can plug a wired or a remote lavaliere mic (essential to bump up the audio quality for videos). If you can find on that carries reasonably well in a jacket pocket, you’ll be doing well. But the secret is to find something that works well for YOU. Pick up a little tripod to stick in your backpack or vest pocket. If you find yourself photographing church services in large (darkened) meeting rooms, you will probably have to carry an external flash too. Nothing beats the Nikon Speedlite series, but the best bet is to get one that syncs with your camera.

There are scads of offerings out there (visit your local camera shop or electronics warehouse to hold and sample the possibilities), but you won’t go wrong with the Fujifilm X100T.

http://www.dpreview.com/products/fujifilm/compacts/fujifilm_x100t/overview

We have a hard time recommending anything outside the Nikon, Canon, or Sony world, but Fuji makes it very difficult not to mention the X100T. It has great picture quality, brilliant resolution, a relatively fast lense, a fast viewfinder, and dramatic images.

If you want to pick up your game with interchangeable lenses but keep things thin and light, the Sony Nex 7 is hard to beat. Learn more at…

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sonynex7

The entry level flash would be the HVL- F20AM model, but the HVL-F43M is more powerful and more sophisticated. Read about it here…

http://www.amazon.com/Sony-HVLF43M-Power-Flash-Bounce/dp/B00DQI00EY

13) The Best Place to Learn Photography

photography206Let’s face it: If we’re mobilizing, we sooner or later have to take pictures. It’s easy these days to take AVERAGE pictures. But I’m convinced that it’s just as difficult as ever to take GREAT pictures. There are bound to be some great websites out there that take some of the pain out of learning. For example, if you are lucky enough to have a Nikon, then you have a GREAT resource at…

http://www.nikondigitutor.com/index_eng.html

I wish Sony had a similar site. I’ve recently switched over to a Sony Nex-7 and sobered sometimes by the fact that I have to wind my way through several buttons and menus levels to get it to do what I want. (But granted — that’s after 20 years on either Canon or Nikon.) Do you have a favorite helpful site for learning your equipment, or skills, or technical aspects of taking great pictures? For example, maybe it’s worth paying for an online class at a site like…

http://www.photoartstudio.ca/photography.php

I wish there was an equivalent to Popular Photography Magazine — only online. (Is there?) If you have a favorite site, would you be kind enough to share it with us by clicking “Comment” after the web version of this item? If so, thank you!!!

5) Cool Tools: Best Camera for Travel

I was hauled into the back of a swat truck once in Uruguay because, unbeknownst to me, policemen were making a drug bust in the market I was photographing. I think they concluded I was working for some magazine or something because the camera I was using had one of those long telephoto lenses on the front. It was too high profile. My suggestion is – carry a camera that’s comfortable and practical for you, but beware of equipment that raises your profile unnecessarily. After years using Canon “G-series,” I’ve recently ventured into the Nikon family, partly because our Creative Arts Department at Team Expansion had gone that direction and I wanted my RAW photos to be compatible with theirs. But I had campaigned for some time that G-series cameras were lagging behind on merging high-def video features (merging a camcorder with a still-shot camera). The Nikon P-7700 finally seems to hit that sweet spot. High-def 1080 video WITH a mic jack into which we can plug a wired or a remote lavalier mic (essential to bump up the audio quality for videos). Like the Canon G-series (that probably inspired it), it’s one of those unique cameras that has essentially all the settings of a digital SLR, without the look of one; in fact, it carries reasonably well in my jacket or vest pocket, completely out of sight. But the secret is to find something that works well for YOU. Read reviews online. When you notice that a friend or co-worker is producing great results, ask her what she uses, then see if that would work for you. And once you find something you like, stick with it — and *use* it. Pick up a little tripod to stick in your backpack or vest pocket. It’s the only way you’ll get shots with *you* in them (using the self-timer). My carry tripod is so light, I barely know it’s in one of my right vest pockets. It’s probably just 6″ long, but it’s generally all I need to capture a shot of a luncheon meeting or a time-exposure of a church building at night. And with the P7700, the on-board flash finally gets some brightness (meaning that if you positively HAVE to use flash and you don’t have a powerful flash with you), you can depend on the on-camera flash to give you some quality light. I’m carrying (and have used a LOT) one of the Speedlite hot-shoe mounted electronic flash units — and it truly lights up the entire room (and even a small church auditorium, even if the power is off; I have photographic proof). If you decide to bite the bullet and carry a powerful flash like I did, I suggest you get one with a head that you can pivot upwards to “bounce” the flash off the ceiling so it illuminates the entire room. That’s the way to get a really pleasing picture at night without all the glare in your subject’s eyes. The Nikon Speedlite series meters through the lense of the camera with a small test flash first, allowing for a perfect exposure every time. Outstanding units.

19) Find a Camera/Kit

Find a camera you can carry, then *use* it. Making the choice — now that’s the tricky part. For example, I was hauled into the back of a swat truck once in Uruguay because, unbeknownst to me, policemen were making a drug bust in the market I was photographing. I think they concluded I was working for some magazine or something because the camera I was using had one of those long telephoto lenses on the front. It was too high profile. My suggestion is – carry a camera that’s comfortable and practical for you, but beware of equipment that raises your profile unnecessarily. Right now, I’m using a Canon PowerShot G7. It’s one of those unique cameras that has essentially all the settings of a single-lense reflex, without the look of one; in fact, it carries reasonably well in my jacket or vest pocket, completely out of sight. But it’s probably too much camera if you’re not the type to study the owner’s manual. Again, the secret is to find something that works well. Read reviews online. When you notice that a friend or co-worker is producing great results, ask her what she uses, then see if that would work for you. And once you find something you like, stick with it — and *use* it. That means you’ll probably a little tripod to stick in your backpack or vest pocket. It’s the only way you’ll get shots with *you* in them (using the self-timer). My carry tripod is so light, I barely know it’s in one of my right vest pockets. It’s probably just 6″ long, but it’s generally all I need to capture a shot of a luncheon meeting or a time-exposure of a church building at night. I sacrifice a bit by carrying a rather powerful external flash. Those built-in on-board flashes are great if you’re only taking snapshots up to 11′ away. To capture all those new believers at 10pm, you’ll need something stronger. Get a flash attachment with a head that you can pivot upwards to “bounce” the flash off the ceiling so it illuminates the entire room. That’s the way to get a really pleasing picture at night without all the glare in your subject’s eyes.

20030810 Brigada Today

In this issue…

  1. PDF FORMAT MAKES SENSE
  2. FOR THE WILD AT HEART
  3. MICAH PERSONNAL SOFTWARE FOR MISSIONS
  4. POINTY BRACES ARE DEAD; A GREAT TECH CONSULTANT
  5. CHEAP INTERNATIONAL CALLS FROM THE US
  6. MULTICULTURAL TEAMS WORKSHOP IN CYPRUS IN OCTOBER
  7. PROMOTING ECONOMIC ACTIVITY
  8. IN THE MARKET FOR A DIGITAL MISSIONARY CAMERA?
  9. FREE NEW TESTAMENTS IN SERBIAN
  10. CLOSING STUFF

  1. PDF FORMAT MAKES SENSE — With the possibility of Word viruses, the bloated Word file size, and Word’s “jumpy” graphics, I wonder why we don’t see more file exchange in “PDF” format. Originally an Adobe specification, the file format is public access, allows for graphics, can’t be “virus-laden”, is uneditable (so your work won’t be swiped or tampered with as easily), and can be figured with table of contents and indexed search base. The only thing I can conclude is the fact that the Adobe marketing engine isn’t screaming as loud as the one from Bill’s place (Bill Gates, that is). As for me, I’m a PDF-guy. I have no doubt… if Microsoft and Adobe were to have been better friends, Word would have had a “Save as PDF” file configurator. But I’m confident that somewhere back in time, the two of them (Microsoft and Adobe) became bitter enemies (the subject of another editorial) and … as is often the case, the whole user base suffers because leaders couldn’t work out their differences. If my comments aren’t enough to convince you, see the 40-second Adobe PDF video commercial at:

    http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/acro_ad.html

    So what can you do? Pick up an add-on product to churn out the PDF files. To see the market, read PC Magazine’s review, “PDFing Cheap” at:

    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,4149,1190601,00.asp

    :-) Any of the tools listed in that review will do. I happen to use the one from Adobe themselves – Adobe Acrobat Standard.

    http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobatstd/main.html

    After you prepare your document in Word or Excel or Powerpoint or whatever, you just “print it” to the Adobe Acrobat PDF Writer printer driver. It asks for a proposed pdf filename and, well, the rest is automatic. It’s great. Check it at, but feel free to play with the others listed in the review above. If they were to have been available previously, I would have probably gone with one of them.

    By the way, almost everyone installs a PDF reader today… to get forms from the IRS or an application from your local mission organization. If you don’t yet have the free PDF *reader* installed, get it at:

    http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html


  2. FOR THE WILD AT HEART — Need a place to heal? Trying to get away from the rat race? Doing a personal spiritual retreat? A grad from John Eldredge’s advanced training is conducting “Mini-boot camps” with all the wild trappings for missionaries on his ranch near Colorado Springs. He’ll work with random individuals on select dates or teams from near and far. Check it out at http://www.myransomedheart.com/windmillranch by clicking on the “For the Wild at Heart” navigation button.

  3. MICAH PERSONNAL SOFTWARE FOR MISSIONS — Missionary TECH Team announces the release of MICAH: Missionary Information Catalog and History. With over 33 years of technical assistance, Missionary TECH Team has created this software package to track the type of personnel information unique to missions that commercial software does not address. MICAH offers flexibility. Included are the following features: capability to enter and track categories of people, contact information, unlimited addresses, comprehensive family phone numbers, and financial information. MICAH software is configurable to designated needs and provides extra space for notes. It has email and web page connection, cross platform, and client-specified security. For more information see http://www.techteam.org or contact Missionary TECH Team, 25 FRJ Dr., Longview, TX 75602, James Wood Mgr. Computer Services, jwoodattechteamdotorg . (Note: As this Brigada Today went to the ‘Net, this website wasn’t functioning, but we suspect that it is a momentary lapse. No need to alert us if it stays dead. :-) )

  4. POINTY BRACES ARE DEAD; A GREAT TECH CONSULTANT — Please remember, if you’re preparing items for consideration in Brigada Today, pointy braces are . :-) We’re no longer enclosing email addresses in them because certain email clients were reading them as hidden text web addresses. Interesting: To make a final decision about this major change, we looked up Jonathan Marsden, an old friend of Brigada Today. (When we started in January, 1995, there were two subscribers: Jonathan, and me. So when we sent out the very first Brigada Today, Jonathan was the only one to receive it.) I think he’s been involved in Internet technology for as long as bread has been sliced. :-) If your organization ever needs some extra IT consulting help, look to him at JonathanatXCdotOrg , without the pointy braces. :-) (Last I heard, he did Christian consulting for like half-price… but that was still $100/hour. I haven’t checked lately; nor was this a sponsored comment. :-) )

  5. CHEAP INTERNATIONAL CALLS FROM THE US — For cheap calls from the US to all over the world (and in the US also), use OneSuite http://www.onesuite.com They have a 1-800 number for access and local access numbers in many areas. You can call China for 2.4 cents/minute! No monthly fees, no connection charges and only $10 pre-payment required (not $25 or more like other cards). The connection to China is usually very, very clear and not much if any delay. To start an account, go to their website or call their customer service number 866-417-8483 (sorry, I don’t have a non-toll free number). You can also e-mail them at supportatOneSuitedotcom . (The user who contributed this item (S.M.) asked that we use “SuiteTreat number 029J58250” which will get him/her 20 free minutes.)

  6. MULTICULTURAL TEAMS WORKSHOP IN CYPRUS IN OCTOBER — It’s not too late to sign up for “The Dynamics of Multicultural Teams and Partnerships” workshop led by Dr. Lianne Roembke, who brings 28 years of experience and research to bear on helping teams relate and work well together. Author of Building Credible Multicultural Teams, she has designed this workshop for mission leaders, HR and Member Care staff and cross-cultural workers. It will be held in Limassol, Cyprus, October 23-28, 2003. As a new component this year Dr. Roembke is offering Step One for facilitator training of the M-C Teams Workshop. You won’t want to miss Cyprus in October! Reserve your place by sending a USD 100 or EU 90 check payable to “Scan InterAct (Cyprus) Limited”. Hotel (half-board, near beach!) costs CYP 112 per person (USD 215 at present rate) payable on arrival. Email Kerry kbuttramatpoboxdotcom or call +357 25 822970 for more details. To register send your name, contact info and check to: (Mr) Kerry Buttram, PO Box 51939, CY3509 Limassol, Cyprus. Please confirm by email or phone.

  7. PROMOTING ECONOMIC ACTIVITY — Have you checked out LAM’s book, “Kingdom Business, The Ministry of Promoting Economic Activity”, by David R. Befus? The book explains how the development of productive economic activity contributes to the growth of the church and to a presentation of a holistic Gospel. Available in either English or Spanish, the cost is $6 plus $2 postage in the U.S., actual postage cost outside of the U.S. For information, check http://www.lam.org and click on bookstore, or write to LAM at Box 527900, Miami, FL 33152 USA

  8. IN THE MARKET FOR A DIGITAL MISSIONARY CAMERA? — Now’s a great time to buy. When, previously, have we ever been able to buy such a high- quality 5-megapixel camera so cheaply!? Check out the Pentax Optio 550, reviewed at: http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/pentaxoptio550/ You can find it on the web or locally at a “street price” of $440 or so. These level cameras were $1000 just 2 years ago. Welcome to the new digital era! :-)

  9. FREE NEW TESTAMENTS IN SERBIAN — Here’s an organization based in Argentina, with a publishing house in Switzerland, with free New Testaments in SERBIAN language. (Hey… I don’t design ’em; I just report ’em! Personally, I think it’s *great*! :-) ). Anyway, these guys have these New Testaments read for use, begging for those who can get them into the hands of willing readers — who speak Serbian, of course. If you can use them, write Juan publicristianasatciudaddotcomdotar .
 Scroll to top