The Platyball is available in two versions — the Ergo and Elite. The difference? The Elite comes with an electronic leveling indicator — the first of its kind. Both models support up to 22 pounds, meaning it’ll work with just about any interchangeable lens camera on the market.

Whether you do macro work, shoot portraits, weddings, families, pets, product shots or do video, if you’re in a studio, you might have noticed many photographers are switching to LEDs. They are affordable, and they give you a What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) advantage. No guesswork involved. You see what the light is doing. With constant light, when you turn on a light you see your light as you move it and you see how it falls on your subject. That’s why people gravitate towards using it because it’s a lot easier to pick up and to use. If you’re new at bringing the light instead of finding it, there is a shorter learning curve.

If you have seen my posts about Topaz and their new AI suite of post-production software for photographers, you have also probably seen how much I love Gigapixel AI. For bird and wildlife photographers, it’s a must-have. No matter how much lens you have (and I have 1200mm EFL) there are times when you just cannot get as close as you would like. Sometimes it’s because there are physical barriers to getting closer and sometimes it’s just a safety issue, either yours or the subject’s safety.

The Angler ring light appeals to me because it is very affordable ($149.00) yet it delivers more quality than the low price would suggest. It has a dimmer switch that allows you to control its 240 SMD LEDs to cast a soft, shadowless, flattering light. You can vary the color temperature from 3200k to 5600k – (a pro feature).

When Olympus released the OM-D E-M1X, there were some complaints that it was too big and heavy for a Micro Four Thirds camera body. Those complaints came from people who appeared to misunderstand the target market for the X. It is aimed at professional wildlife, bird, and sports photographers. I own three X bodies and absolutely love them. The ergonomics are perfect for me and the IQ, processing speed, AF, are all top-notch. Not heavy or too big for me at all.

That said, I do understand the concerns from those who don’t want a larger, heavier camera body. And so does Olympus.

Enter the OM-D E-M1 Mark III.

The M. Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f4.0 IS PRO lens is the lens I would recommend to most photographers if they could only afford to buy one lens. It really is in a class by itself. It’s the only professional high magnification zoom to cover a 35mm equivalent 24-200mm focal range all on its own. One lens covering this wide focal range is unheard of. This Micro Four Thirds lens features premium construction and superior glass to provide spectacular optical performance. It is SUPER sharp and SUPER contrasty and performs very well in low light thanks to its 5-Axis Sync IS, the world’s most powerful image stabilization system. It has a ridiculously short close focusing distance.

Why would you want manual focus? Any time you need precise control over focus, manual focus is your best bet. For me, a working example would be when I am using ProCapture to photograph birds landing on and taking off from a perch. I set a focus target on the perch where I think the bird will land (see illustration below.) I switch to manual focus and then aim at the target, lock in my focus and then I forget about it. I am going to be pressing the shutter button when birds enter the plane of focus. Since birds move quickly and change direction quickly, and since there is always a potential for the background to confuse the autofocus in those fast-moving situations, I prefer manual focus.