Back from Scuol. Back to work.
Enjoying a quiet week in Scuol.
A very big thank you to all the visitors of this little blog and a happy new year!
Can't wait to see what 2019 brings!
Yesterday I wrote about how the amazing Sony A7 III and the just as amazing new iPad Pro just won‘t work together.
Well, once again Twitter saved the day. Florian suggested I try the MTP mode.
I read that tip before. But couldn‘t find an option to activate the MTP mode. But this time I didn‘t give up this easily.
In the camera settings under Setup4, the option USB Connection was greyed out. But I could activate it by deactivating Ctrl w/ Smartphone under Network1. Now there was finally an option to activate MTP.
After choosing MTP everything worked. RAW files? No problem! 1080p videos? No problem! 4K videos? No problem!
Update: Just to let you know, the transfer is rather slow. 2 minutes of 4K video take about 2 minutes to transfer via an Apple cable form the camera to the iPad. Still, better than nothing.
When Apple announced the new iPad Pro with USB-C I couldn't wait to transfer 4K videos from my Sony A7 III to the tablet. Remember, until now I could only do that with a WIFI harddisk (all details here). Finally, I could just connect the camera and the tablet with a USB-C cable. What could go wrong? After all, Apple used a Sony A7 in their promo material for that very feature.
But to my disappointment, it didn't work. The iPad only found the photos. But not a single video. A colleague with the same camera had the same problem. The internet was no help either. I found others with the same problem but no solution. So I gave up.
But now something strange has happened. I got a new SD-card from Sony for review. They are called Tough and are supposed to be super fast and super tough.
When I tried to transfer the photos from my A7 III to the iPad with the same USB-C cable I used before nothing happened. The iPad couldn‘t find a single photo or video. I tried that many times.
But when I finally used the same SD-card on my old iPad with the SD-Lightning-dongle I could at least transfer the photos. But now videos either. No idea why it didn‘t work on the new iPad Pro.
Than today when I was adding the finishing touches to this article and gave it a final try it suddenly worked. Only with photos. But it worked. Absolutely no idea why...
If anyone has an explanation or an idea let me know on Twitter. Any input is very welcome!
How long does it take to set a silent alarm on the new Galaxy watch?
How long did it take two years ago?
And how long does it take on an Apple Watch?
I still remember the disappointment when I found out that Squarespace is unusable on an iPad. Yes, you can do simple blog posts with the Squarespace Blog app. But the app is terribly limited. You can't even arrange two images next to each other. Well, no problem, I thought, I just use the website.
But on an iPad the Squarespace online editor is completely unusable. Pages don't render correctly and drag & drop doesn't work.
Whenever I wanted to do something a bit more complex than super simple blog posts I had to go grab my Surface Pro 3. But now I found a solution!
Thanks to the Screens app and an old Macbook turned home server I can finally edit Squarespace and even create complex layouts.
That‘s what it looks like to edit a complex Squarespace website on an iPad with Screens:
No, it‘s not a very elegant solution. But it‘s better than nothing. At least till Squarespace finally fixes this problem and builds an app or an online editor that works on an iPad. It‘s 2018 for god's sake!
Works even better than on my old DJ laptop back in the days.
Who says gadgets have to be shiny?
A few souvenirs from a visit to the local botanic garden. All shot with the A7 III and the FE90mm Macro with available light. I couldn‘t resist and added a bit of Lightroom magic afterwards.
I only just released the first big update to my Shortcut for creating beautiful Apple Watch screenshots when PastafariaSard contacted me on Twitter. He came up with a way to reduce the Shortcut from two files down to one. Wohooooo!
Now you don‘t need a manual. Just download this Shortcut and import it to the Shortcuts app:
Shortcut (8.5 MB)
If you want to know how he did it: He converted all the PNG files into code using Base 64. So He could add it to a Shortcut. The file is now significantly bigger. But since it‘s so much easier to use it’s well worth the trade-off.
By the way, you can use a simple shortcut to convert all kinds of files into code using Base 64:
You can download that Shortcut here:
First a big thank you to everyone who got in touch after I published my Shortcut to add frames to Apple Watch screenshots.
After I solved a strange iCloud problem on the iPad I finished the new and improved Shortcut.
So here are the new files:
If you‘re not sure what to do with them, here‘s a manual.
Apple just sent out the invitations to an event on October 30th. But they didn‘t just send one.
I bet they were all done on an iPad. What a smart PR move!
Obviously I had to turn mine into a watch face:
I know. I know. Always wait for the final update. But it was just too tempting...
Let’s start with a flash picture and one with the famous Night Mode:
Not bad, right? Remember, it was rather dark. Now let’s compare Auto Modes:
Upon closer inspection some bottles looked kinda strange in the Mate 20 Pro picture. So I took two more:
Still the same effect with some strangely blurred areas. There is obviously some software trickery going on. But it looks like the software didn’t know where to do what kind of trickery. Better reserve judgment for the final software update before they start selling the Mate 20 Pro in early November.
But there is an even bigger surprise hidden in the comparison: the Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium didn’t suck! I had no expectations for that phone. Now I had to stay up past midnight and shoot some more comparisons. This time all handheld:
This last one was interesting: To get the best shot possible I always took a few images. All in Auto Mode. Within seconds the Sony produced one with high noise and one with a lot of noise reduction. Looks like the Sony software also isn’t always sure what to do.
So much for that early comparison. What do you think? Let me know on Twitter.
We spent the weekend in the Swiss Alps in Scuol. An ideal place for some nice touristy photos. Especially of the beautiful castle of Tarasp. The shots that impressed me the most have one thing in common. Both were taken with the iPhone XS out of a moving vehicle and through the closed window.
On the bus back from Ftan I noticed this amazing view. No time to grab the A7. No time to do manual settings. No time to open Halide. No time to avoid reflections. Just press the shutter on the iPhone and hope for the best. Done.
I immediately forgot about the photo. I didn‘t expect much. Back at home the surprise:
The second shot I took on the train to Scuol. I just pressed the iPhone against the Window. Once again I didn‘t expect much. Maybe a nice souvenir of the castle of Tarasp. But nothing I would show anyone. The circumstances were just too bad. Really?
As a bonus, I shot some more pictures on the way back. This time I was ready. I opened the train window in time and had my amazing Sony A7 III with the even more amazing 85mm GM within reach. Even though it was midday and the light everything but ideal the pictures turned out quite ok.
The Masoala Rainforest at Zurich Zoo with one of my favorite subjects, again.
I post Apple Watch screenshots all the time. I always create the screenshots with the very easy to use LightScreen app. The app only has one shortcoming. It doesn‘t offer the watches I like best.
As an exercise for me and a test for Apple’s Shortcuts app I set out to create my own Shortcut with my favorite watches and watch bands. With a bit of experimenting and patience I finally made it work. All on the iPad Pro with Affinity by the way:
Now if you want to use that Shortcut for yourself you need three things.
First you need an Apple Watch Series 4 (44mm).
Next, you have to download the Shortcut and add it to your Shortcuts app:
Finally you need to download the watches and add them to the files app on your iOS device. Make sure you put them in a subfolder called Watches in the Shortcuts folder on iCloud Drive. Since the watches are in a zip file you need to press Preview and add each of them one by one to the folder.
That‘s it. Let me know on Twitter if you have any problems, find better solutions or discover any mistakes. Oh an create lots of beautiful screenshots!