August 4th, 2017

World Photo Day: The Evolution of the Camera

Olympus film camera

Photography wouldn’t be possible without the incredible invention of the camera. According to Kodak, “the use of photographic film was pioneered by George Eastman, who started manufacturing paper film in 1885 before switching to celluloid in 1889. His first camera, which he called the ‘Kodak,’ was first offered for sale in 1888.”

It truly is amazing how much the camera has evolved since then. In came the digital camera, and the debate between film vs. digital began. Today, people appreciate the merits of both, and choose based on their preferred aesthetic.

If you love the nostalgia of film, you’re not alone. Film offers a creative challenge for photographers. Shooting analog photographs is an art form that truly embraces the candid nature of photography. The excitement of having your film photos developed, anxiously awaiting the final images, is a feeling many people love. There is something to be said about the simplicity of shooting with film too; without a Photoshop program to edit with, the result is a much rawer, visceral image. There is also a great deal more thoughtfulness involved in film photography, as you are limited by the amount of film you have. This is one of the reasons why many people recommend starting out on a film camera, even if you want to shoot digital. Being forced to be more selective with your shots will ultimately make you a better photographer, whether you shoot on film or digital.

Meanwhile, if you prefer to shoot digital, there are plenty of benefits that come with the ever-evolving technology of digital cameras. They are more convenient than ever, and are constantly being upgraded with more advanced features. Photographers can choose from point and shoots, DSLRs, and even compact mirrorless cameras, depending on what the situation requires. Today, many digital cameras also come with added features such as WiFi and Bluetooth. This allows you to directly transfer images to your smartphone or tablet, making it super easy to share all of your great moments.

Nikon camera and Nikon lenses

As digital technology has progressed, mobile phones have become the camera of choice for many people who wish to snap and share moments instantaneously. Some of you may remember seeing the #shotoniphone7 campaign, which inspired iPhone users to take incredible photographic shots simply using their phones’ camera. Today, millions of photos are uploaded every minute, allowing us to share our snapshots with the world in seconds, and find inspiration in the talent of other passionate photographers worldwide.

Whichever you prefer, London Drugs proudly offers a large selection of both digital cameras as well as film, and still offers film developing.

If you’re looking to upgrade your current gear, whether it’s a phone, film camera or DSLR, World Photo Day is a great time to see what’s out there and try something new. Our LDExperts can help you choose the right camera for your interests and needs. London Drugs’ selection of photography gear doesn’t end with cameras, either. We also have an extensive collection of lenses, camera accessories, photo printers and photo editing software to help you achieve the best images possible.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram to stay tuned for our World Photo Day deals (including a very special drone offer, available exclusively on August 19th)!



August 1st, 2017

Happy World Photo Day 2017: The World’s Largest Photography Celebration

For photographers across the globe, August 19th is no average day: it’s World Photo Day! The world’s largest photography celebration highlights our communities’ passion for photography, amongst both amateur and professional photographers. World Photo Day reminds us of the significance of photography. It allows us to showcase the natural beauty of the world, including landscapes and subjects. Whether you’re using a cell phone, point and shoot, or DSLR, this special photography day is meant to encourage photographers of all skill levels to contribute to their craft.

For our LDExperts in the Photolab – many of whom are photographers themselves – World Photo Day is an opportunity to celebrate with customers and photography enthusiasts in the community, like you!

Many of our London Drugs Photolabs will also be celebrating World Photo Day in-store. You can sign up for all kinds of free workshops being held at select stores, devoted to tips, themes and new products. We hope they will inspire you to learn and hone your skills as a photographer. For details on celebrations happening at your local London Drugs Photolab, click here for locations and workshop details.

You can also get involved online by registering on the World Photo Day site and submitting photos to be eligible for prizes and even possible publication. World Photo Day’s global gallery is constantly growing and evolving: a striking mosaic of images captured by photographers from every background.

If you’re on Instagram, you can follow along and be inspired by the Canadian photographers we feature each day on our @LDPhotolab Instagram account, and we encourage you to use the hashtag #LDPhotolab to be featured! Of course, don’t forget to also check out the hashtag #worldphotoday to see how other photographers are celebrating around the world.

 



May 6th, 2015

Tech Talk Regina: David Levett speaks about cameras and Mother’s Day gift ideas

May is Photo Month, and it just happens to be Mother’s Day as well. On Monday April 27, London Drugs tech expert, David Levett, sat down on CTV Morning Live in Regina to discuss the latest cameras, camera accessories, and canon rebelMother’s Day gift ideas in celebration of Photo Month.

David started his discussion by mentioning the new camera upgrades to the Canon Rebel T6I. Since last year, a  wireless system linked to a mobile device has been installed in the Canon Rebel T6I. By downloading an app, the camera can be placed on any tripod to take photos and zoom anywhere you like from the control of your cellphone.

The waterproof, shockproof and freeze proof Nikon S33 was next on the list of camerasnikon to talk about. The camera comes with oversized buttons, which make it extremely user friendly. David matched the Nikon S33 with the Gorilla Pod, which can wrap around objects with its durable and flexible legs. This tripod is ideal for latching onto objects that usually wouldn’t act as a great surface for tripods, such as the branches of a tree.

selfie stickThe Table Tripod is a very straightforward Tripod that is compatible with any camera of camcorder.  David also mentioned the Travel Tripod, which is made out of a carbon fibre weave. The light, airy fixture makes travelling easy and hassle free.

Finally, David discussed the well-known Selfie Stick that has been making headlines lately. The Selfie Stick can be hooked up to a device on your cellphone that will allow you to zoom and take pictures with the click of a button, which is perfect for those much needed group photos.



May 2nd, 2015

London Drugs Celebrates National #PhotoMonth

With the arrival of May flowers, photographers everywhere are dusting off their cameras to once again capture the beauty of spring during Canada’s National Photo Month. Originally created to raise awareness and an interest in photography, Photo Month is the perfect time to choose the right accessories for your camera and improve your photography skills. To celebrate, London Drugs is starting the month off right with store-wide events and weekly workshops.

photomonth(blog3)London Drugs locations throughout the month of May will host photography related workshops to help customers better acquaint themselves with their current camera’s capabilities and to learn ways to better manage their images. Our Photo Electronics department will walk you through the differences between choosing a DSLR camera versus a compact camera system and even what the best smartphone camera solution is for you. Learn how to file and manage your images with external hard drives and photo editing software from our Computers Department. The weekly workshops will help customers discover how London Drugs is a one-stop shop for all your photography needs.

ldfotocon(blog)

The first annual #LDFotoCon is happening at six London Drugs locations this May in British Columbia and Alberta. Customers in select cities have the opportunity to meet with expert photographers and representatives from top manufacturers like Nikon, Canon, Fuji  and more to learn the ins-and-outs of professional photography. For more information about a #LDFotoCon near you or to register visit londondrugs.ca/ldfotocon.

National #photomonth wouldn’t be complete without an amazing end product to hang on the wall andphotomonth(blog2) show off to friends. London Drugs Photolab has the ability to turn any photograph into a piece of art by creating ultimate enlargements, canvas gallery wraps, photo mugs, greeting cards and vibrant metal prints. With tripods, bags and lighting equipment in-house, customers will arrive at London Drugs as amateurs and leave as prosumers on everything photography. Check out the variety of items the London Drugs Photolab has to offer here.



September 29th, 2014

DSLR cameras for the avid amateur

I’m sure there are many amateur photographers who occasionally consider upgrading to a DSLR and would like to know more about how it would enhance their craft. After all, isn’t the photographer’s eye for composition what really matters?

Obviously a better camera results in better quality photos, and in this post I hope to address a few of the specific enhancements and possibilities that a DSLR can provide your photography. In particular, I’ll be looking at two of the newest models to hit the market from two of the industry’s most iconic brands:

(1) Nikon Full-Frame D750

Within Nikon’s current offering of full-frame DSLRs, the D750 represents an upgrade from the D610. It also incorporates some features from the D810; 51-point auto focus (AF), for example. This five-minute video from Nikon is a great overview of the D750’s features:

Video timeline:

  • 0:32 Smaller, lighter, more comfortable grip
  • 1:14 Tilting LCD screen
  • 2:00 Same AF as the D810
  • 2:27 Amazing low-light sensitivity
  • 2:47 Facial recognition auto-focus
  • 2:50 Same video capabilities as the D810
  • 3:14 Expeed 4 full-frame photography advantages
  • 3:50 Built-in flash commander; advantages for outdoor portraits
  • 4:40 6.5 FPS continuous shooting
  • 4:56 Built-in wifi for smartphone photo transfers and camera control

For those unfamiliar with the term, a full-frame digital DSLR camera has a sensor that’s about the same size as 35mm film. To fully explain it would require going into some detail about things like focal length and crop factor, which you can learn more about if you’re so inclined. Essentially, there are two main benefits to going full-frame:

  1. With a full-frame camera plus a standard wide-angle lens, you can capture much more impressive landscapes and building interiors.
  2. The sensor on a full-frame is larger than standard digital sensors, which means you can capture higher quality images—especially in low light.

Arguably the D750’s most notable upgrade is its 100-12800 (Lo 1 to Hi 2) ISO sensitivity, which is double that of the D610. In lay terms, this refers to the camera’s sensitivity to light. So if you’re planning on, say, going on a once-in-a-lifetime tour of European cathedrals, the D750 would definitely help you take beautiful shots in low light.

(2) Canon EOS 7D Mark II

As the 7D does not appear to be accompanied by its own concise-yet-informative YouTube video, I sought some expert advice; specifically Matt N. from the Camera Department at the Granville St. London Drugs. According to Matt, the Mark II has been eagerly anticipated by camera geeks everywhere since the original EOS 7D was discontinued. Together, we ran through its extensive list of features, which includes:

  • 65-Point All Cross Type AF
  • Rapid burst 10 FPS shooting
  • 20.2 megapixel APS-C Canon CMOS sensor
  • Dual DIGIC 6 Image Processors
  • Built-in GPS for location tracking
  • Built-in intervalometer for time-lapse capture
  • SuperSpeed USB 3.0 port
  • 100-16000 ISO range for still & video
  • 10 FPS high speed continuous burst shooting

Unlike the D750, the Mark II is not a full-frame camera. However, its APS-C sensor and Intelligent Viewfinder provide approximately 100% field of view plus exceptional low-light performance. Matt was particularly impressed with the Mark II, calling it a huge upgrade over its predecessor; in fact, he described both its ISO (low-light capabilities) and 10 FPS (high-speed) shooting as “ridiculous.”

Either of these two cameras provide the tools to help you capture infinitely better photos, no matter what, where or when you’re shooting. With larger sensors and pixels capable of storing more information, they also provide you with many more options when it comes to printing and display. (In fact, there’s a whole other post about them.)

image1

The “ridiculous” (in a good way) Mark II

 

 



September 26th, 2014

Fine art paper and DSLR photos

Ask any painter: the surface makes a difference. The same is true for photography. Print the same image on two different papers and you’ll notice the difference; especially if one paper is of superior quality. If you happen to be using a high-end, professional grade interchangeable lens camera (ILC) such as the ones I wrote about in my previous post, it makes sense to display the images on a surface that will do justice to the extraordinary colour, contrast and detail captured in the photo. (In case you’re wondering, ILCs include both DSLR and compact system cameras.)

Fine art papers are perfect for displaying these large-size, extremely high quality photos. The PhotoLab offers a variety of options (each of which has also been the focus of a previous post):

  • Canvas gallery wrap: a fine art canvas stretched around a frame adds depth and dimension to the photo. High quality canvas will also preserve the colour and contrast for years without fading if it’s cared for properly.
  • Metal print: for vibrant colours and exceptionally crisp details; the luminous sheen of the metal also lends a unique ‘wow’ factor.
  • Metallic paper: a finish similar to that of a metal print, only it costs less.
  • Bamboo print: the fibrous texture of the bamboo offers incredible colour reproduction. Bamboo seems particularly well-suited to floral photos and nature shots.

If you’re not sure which type of fine art print would be most appropriate for your favourite photos, simply bring them to your local PhotoLab where a technician can show you samples and help you make the right choice.

High-quality ILCs make it easy to take great photos. However, your absolute best—the most impactful, the most deeply personal, or the ones you simply like the best for your own reasons—deserve something more. Fine art prints can turn the walls of your home or office into a gallery, where your personal best is always on display.

With their incredible high-speed and low-light capabilities, ILCs like the Nikon D750 allow you to create some amazing things. Fine art papers give these photos the finish they deserve.

With their incredible high-speed and low-light capabilities, ILCs like the Nikon D750 allow you to create some amazing things. Fine art papers give these photos the finish they deserve.



September 26th, 2014

Ultimate Enlargements and DSLR Cameras

My last post was a feature about DSLR cameras, with specific focus on two new models, the full-frame Nikon D750 and Canon EOS 7D Mark II. While each came with a laundry list of new, improved and amazing photo and video features, there are a couple of advantages that set virtually all DSLR cameras—especially full frame—have in common:

  • Larger sensors and field-of-view: As I mentioned in my previous post, full frame DSLR cameras allow for a 100% field of view. This allows you to capture more expansive landscapes with more detail, especially when using a wide-angle lens. Larger sensors mean the camera is capable of recording more detail and thus capturing higher quality pictures, even in low light situations.
  • Larger pixels/ higher pixel counts: DSLR cameras with higher pixel counts provide finer image detail. Larger pixels mean more light is able to be captured per pixel (thus responsible for the insanely high ISO levels of the D750 and the Mark II).

As you might have guessed, photos taken with cameras such as these reproduce very well at large sizes. After all, DSLRs are much too big of an investment if all you’re doing is creating screensavers for yourself. To display photos with the magnitude they deserve, enlargements from the PhotoLab are the only way to go.

Ultimate enlargements and the process behind them were covered extensively back in February, so I won’t revisit those details here. To quickly summarize the process:

  • Anything over 12 X 18” is printed on a large format printer that can handle sizes all the way up to 44 x 100”.
  • Patented inks combined with the highest resolution printing in the industry accurately reproduce even the rich colour and ultra-fine details that high-end DSLR cameras are able to capture.
  • On top of high quality printing, PhotoLab experts inspect every image and correct colour, contrast and sharpness to ensure the enlargement is as sharp and crystal-clear as it can be.
  • As with regular size photo prints, the PhotoLab offers several different output options such glossy or pearl finishing, borders, foam core mounting and laminating; consult your local PhotoLab to see which options are available for each enlargement size.

Of course, if you really want to bring out the best in your high-quality photos, you’ll want to use a fine art paper.

image1

If a photo like this one (taken with the Canon EOS 7D Mark II) looks this good—at this tiny size—imagine how great it would look when enlarged.

 



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