Popular slots and bonus system in online casinos

In the online casino you can play free slot machines from popular manufacturers such as NetEnt, Gaminator, Aceking, Playson, Igrosoft, Microgaming, Playtech, Mega Jack, IGT, NextGen Gaming. We are constantly expanding the list of games, satisfying the tastes of our users. Here you can choose new gaming machines of 2019 and evaluate their quality. You can also make sure to play only reliable casinos like PinUp betting.

What are the features of online slots?

This year, manufacturers have surpassed themselves and released a very interesting and original devices. Each of them has a special design, thoughtful plot and bonus offers. There are more slots with a thought-out theme, where the game takes place around a plot, it has a finale. Also, the developers have not forgotten about the classic one-armed bandits, but now they have added several additional functions. Get help with paddy power casino netentplay.

We present the most original and interesting new slot machines in 2019, which are worth a try.

  1. Copy Cats. Online slot from the company Netent pleases spectacular design. Funny cats, which are traced in a cartoon style, are the main characters of the slot. Among the bonus options should be the presence of free spins with expanding wild.
  2. Creature from the Black Lagoon. The plot of this slot machine is built on the popular horror film of the same name. The characters are the heroes of the film, and the bonus options have interesting features. So, during free spins users can activate additional bonuses.
  3. Hotline. Slot on the topic of gangsters, chases and shootouts will appeal to fans of action-packed games. There are also a lot of additional bonuses, including respins, sticky wilds and additional paylines. On the free spins a special joker symbol is used.
  4. 100 Monkeys. Colorful, fun slot machine is characterized by the presence of a special TOP-symbol. It appears on the drums in groups and takes several cells. In this case, players can win the jackpot.
  5. Terminator-2. Popular movie slots are not uncommon. Microgaming company presented one such device, where you will meet again with your favorite heroes and villains. The dynamic plot of the game is supplemented with special bonuses and 1024 combinations for payouts.
  6. Fruit Spin. Do not forget the manufacturers and emulators on the fruit theme. The device is very similar to one-armed bandits, but there are 40 paylines, and the symbols fall in blocks. The bonus game is like a wheel of fortune.
  7. Planet of the Apes. Which side are you on – people or monkeys? In this slot machine, this fact is not important, since you will be able to rotate the reels on two playing fields at once and receive twice as many winnings.

What are casino bonuses?

The 2019 online casino bonuses are special cash bonuses that each registered player can receive. They are credited when performing certain actions (registration, account replenishment, active game, etc.) and can be used to play online slots. All bonuses are given with a wager, which provides for their wagering (the player needs to make a certain number of bets on slot machines). After that, the funds become available for withdrawal to the main account.

  • For registration and first deposit. You need to register at the casino and deposit a certain amount of money into the account. After that, you get a bonus, the amount of which can be up to 400% on the deposit.
  • For each account replenishment. Give casino a bonus 2019 for a deposit, the amount of which depends on the money you made.
  • For invited friends. Those players who invite friends to play in casinos receive very good cash rewards.
  • For the activity. Playing on slot machines, users can take advantage of special offers from gaming clubs. They are personal and are credited depending on how actively the user plays.

How to Nurture and Build a Child’s Interest in Photography

One of the most important things you can do as a photographer is to help guide, nurture, and inspire the next generation of artists. It’s a humbling experience to know that you might be the person who inspires the next Ansel Adams or Annie Leibovitz. It could come from something as simple as sharing some pictures with a young person or helping them figure out how to use their camera. You never know when you might have the opportunity to make an impression on a child, or anyone for that matter.

But if you’re not careful, these moments of creative awakening can quickly die before even given a chance to blossom. With that in mind, here are a few ways you can help and build a child’s interest in photography instead of accidentally snuffing it out.

It’s not about you

Before I get into some specifics, I want to make it clear that the important thing here is to realize that it’s not about you.

When you’re helping kids explore photography (especially this generation of digital natives), there’s going to be many times when you might be inclined to sigh, roll your eyes, or tell them that the latest filter, effect, or trend isn’t real photography. Or it’s not how you do things.

I’ve got kids in elementary school, and I also help out with my church youth group. One of the things I’ve had to come to terms with is that kids today are not learning photography how I did. My first camera was a Kodak that shot 110 film. It cost money to buy and develop each roll.

Today, like it or not, most young people get introduced to photography via mobile phones. They seem to snap away without any care for composition.

They would rather use filters, effects, and apps instead of learning about aperture, shutter, and ISO.

And that’s just wrong! It’s not real photography!

If you’ve ever shown a child how to fix things, you know it’s not about the end result but about passing on something special to the next generation. The same holds true for photography.

Or is it?

Who am I to say that a child using Instagram filters is any less worthy of creating meaningful images than me with my big chunky DSLR?

Just because mobile phones and photo apps aren’t my tools of choice it doesn’t mean other people, especially children, can’t find joy and creative outlets when using them.

There are two choices when faced with the dilemma of what to do when working with kids who are interested in photography.

You can make it about yourself and tell the kids what you think they should be doing. Show them the tools you think they should be using, and explain how to get pictures you think are interesting.

Or you can help young people find what they like. Explore photography in a way that is meaningful to them, and even (gasp!) learn to use apps and filters to create images they think are beautiful.

My wife and I were with a group of kids at the local botanic garden. One of them shot dozens of pictures of this outdoor train set.

The former can easily lead to apathy or resentment, while the latter often gives way to a whole new creative outlet for the child. It’s about them, not you. If that means you have to leave your comfort zone and explore photography in a way that makes you uncomfortable, then do it for the sake of the child and his or her learning and growth. Who knows…you might just learn something new along the way!

Give compliments instead of criticism

When a youngster invites you to look at a stream of pictures from his or her phone, you might have an initial tendency to offer unsolicited advice or, worse yet, outright criticism.

You might find yourself thinking things like:

  • The lighting in that shot is all wrong.
  • I don’t get it. What is this picture supposed to be about?
  • Your picture is way underexposed!
  • What’s with all the selfies?

If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone.

A lot of people may react similarly, but remember that children’s egos are fragile things. One word from an adult they admire or respect can be all the difference between sparking enthusiasm and causing depression.

Most of the time, when a child wants to show you their photos, what they are seeking isn’t criticism but validation. They want to know that they are doing a good job. That their efforts are worthwhile, and that they are on the right track.

The kid who took this photo thought it would be really cool to have the rope cut across the frame. I thought about telling him to shoot it differently, but instead, I just said “Nice job on those colors!” He was really really happy to hear that.

As an adult, you might think you’re helping if you offer what you think is constructive criticism, but there will be a time for that later. The most helpful thing you can do is offer compliments and words of encouragement. Even if you don’t find their photos entirely compelling, find something nice to say.

Try tactics such as:

  • That’s a really interesting lighting choice!
  • I like the colors in this photo.
  • Can you tell me how you got this shot?
  • Look at those fun selfie filters you’re using! Can you show me how to do that?

Give children compliments instead of criticism, and ask questions to show them you are interested. It sends a strong message that you care about their creativity and value their work. This could help set them on a lifelong photography journey, and you might be just the person to do it!

Shot by a seven-year-old who thought this dinosaur was really fun to look at. Fun enough to take over two dozen photos of it.

Encourage experimentation

As someone who grew up with analog cameras and physical rolls of film, there’s a lot about modern photography I don’t quite understand. This goes double when it comes to mobile phones. Especially with filters, effects, stickers, and other image-altering features found in a lot of photo apps.

But for kids today, these types of alterations are just enjoyable ways to explore photography. Just because I, and others my age, didn’t grow up with all this technology doesn’t mean we should spoil it for the next generation!

One of my young relatives loves playing with color-inversion filters. I think the results look awful, but he loves this picture that he shot and others like it. And if he likes it, then who am I to tell him otherwise?

Instead of dwelling on what we might not comprehend, try the opposite approach when dealing with budding photographers. Don’t run away from filters if you’re with kids who are excited about them, and instead get them to try even more.

Some might seem silly, and you might never choose to willingly give yourself cat’s ears or apply an over-saturated look to your nature shots, but there’s no harm in trying things like this when you’re with a child who wants to experiment for fun.

My son took this picture of me sharpening a lawnmower blade. He used a night-time mode which, as he discovered, made the shutter stay open longer and capture some spark trails.

You can also encourage kids to try new techniques like time-lapse photography, look at accessories like the OlloClip which lets you take macro shots with a mobile phone,and experiment with basic editing and image processing. Photography today, especially with mobile devices, allows creative possibilities light years beyond what we had when I was a youngster.

Just imagine what kids can create with a few encouraging words from an adult photographer whom they admire and respect!

Another one of my young relatives was really interested in shooting familiar objects from different perspectives. This was the result of one of his recent experiments, and while it won’t win any awards, he was thrilled to try something new. I happily encouraged his experimentation.

Give advice, but only if they ask for it

This is one of the hardest but most important parts of helping a young person nurture their interest in photography. To illustrate it, I’ll share an example from a visit with my out-of-town family.

My 14-year-old niece is constantly snapping pictures with her phone of anything that she thinks is interesting: insects, flowers, fences, cars, and, of course, her friends. During their stay, she bombarded me with requests to look at her pictures. She couldn’t wait to show me the photos she took even just out in the backyard.

While this happened, it was difficult for me to hold my tongue and just let my niece bask in the glow of her newfound love for photography. I wanted to give her advice about lighting, offer tips about composition, show her how to hold her phone at different angles to get better pictures, and so on. However, I held my tongue and just tried to be a voice of encouragement and validation, telling her I liked her pictures and asking if I could see more.

My niece loves taking pictures such as this one using portrait mode on her phone. I wanted to tell her she could get better results with a real camera. But that kind of attitude is toxic and hurtful for a child who just wants to experiment with photography.

What my niece (and most young people) aren’t looking for are instruction and advice. They’re seeking validation, often on a personal level, that their work is good and that they are pursuing worthwhile goals. When you, someone whom they respect and admire, can only tell them why their work isn’t good or instruct them on how to fixwhat they are doing, it sends the wrong message even if you have good intentions. You could inadvertently stifle the very sense of creativity you are hoping to inspire.

What you should do instead is play the long game. Use opportunities like this to build a sense of trust and goodwill. That way, when young people do want you to help them with their photography, they will ask you.

Later that same weekend, my niece asked if she could use one of my cameras. So I let her use my old Nikon D7100.

We talked about lenses, apertures, and how to control the camera to make the background get all blurry. Then we went out to take pictures of flowers as the sun was setting. She was eager to learn all about how to control the camera settings to get photos she could never pull off with her cell phone and some filters.

When she showed interest in some of my camera gear, I let her try it out and gave her some advice about composition, lighting and controlling the aperture. But only after she asked me for help.

After putting her photos into Lightroom, I showed her how to do some basic cropping and adjustments. She told me repeatedly that these were some of her favorite shots she had ever taken. If I had started the weekend by chastising her for not using a real camera, or told her what I thought she should be doing differently with her photography, she would probably not have wanted to go out and get flower photos later on.

This is the result of her efforts, and she was extremely pleased with the results. Hopefully, this is just the start of a lifelong photographic journey!


Young people are finicky, and their moods and tastes change as quickly as the wind. Today their interest may be in photography, and by next week they have moved on to archery, pottery, or guitar. You never know what’s going to stick with them in the long run.

If you want to nurture an interest in photography and help make sure it’s not just a passing phase, you have to be careful what you say and do. Make it about them and not about you. Hopefully the photography seeds you help plant will take root in good soil to produce a lifelong appreciation for the art.

One Country, One Month, One Camera.

Every few years, Peggy and I save up and splurge on renting a cottage along the coast of Cornwall in southwestern England. It’s where the family roots of my mother, an English warbride from WWII, are firmly planted. Essentially, the area is a series of small fishing villages and great coastal scenery, and we just poke around, like the couple of fairly active senior citizens that we are,  and explore the various festivals, pubs, cliff walks, and scenic views the area has to offer.

This year, I piggybacked it on an assignment that ended in London, and I had my full complement of travel video gear with me, but since I had no plans to do anything serious (photographically) during this trip, I decided to see if I could indeed just use one, basic camera, the Sony RX100iii, for my vacation, and still make some reasonably satisfying pictures.

Truth be told, I’ve tried this experiment before, but I always ended up resorting back to my big boy gear out of sheer handling frustration with point and shoot cameras. But this year, my experience was different. I rarely felt limited by the camera and in fact, its unobtrusiveness, silent operation and small size actually allowed me to get pictures I don’t think I would have gotten with my bigger gear.

I’ve done a lot of thinking (I’ve got some time on my hands, after all) about why this camera works for me, and I’ve come up with a couple of key points that make it a total winner in my view (and yes, the fourth iteration of the camera was announced a couple of weeks ago which will make it ever more awesome).

First and foremost, of course, is the lens and the sensor. A great 24-70mm (equivalent) Carl Zeiss T* optic that is sharp as a tack, reasonably fast, and the great 1″ sensor, the largest in a point and shoot (outside of the full frame sensor in that incredibly pricey Sony RX1). But there are a couple of other ergonomic features that put this camera over the top.

First that viewfinder. Yes it’s a pop-up, two stage affair, and it’s easy to bump and semi-close it again, but my goodness what a great image, and how much does using a viewfinder, as opposed to holding the camera out and using the back screen, improve the ergonomics and makes me feel like a photographer again and not a stiff-armed zombie trying to use a smartphone.

Huge difference outdoors (even in overcast, I can’t see the LCD screen the way I’d like to). So that pop-up viewfinder is, for me, the difference between a real camera and an emergency backup.

The second most important modification is the addition of a handle grip. You can get these stick on affairs either from Sony, or a very talented guy named Richard Franiec who has been making these kind of mod handles for years for a number of point and shoots. It really, really improves the “gripability” of the camera.

And I find that having a neckstrap, rather than carrying it in a pouch with a wriststrap, also adds to giving it the feel of a real camera and not a point and shoot. I use an Op Tech binocular strap for mine, and its neoprene stretchiness not only makes the camera feel even more featherweight than it is, but by pulling down a bit and using the back LCD, it creates a tension that really gives you steadiness in handheld video situations.

I’m wrapping up my Cornwall sojourn, not really looking forward to going home to the heat and humidity (but looking forward to a couple of exciting upcoming video projects). By the time I get home, the Sony RX100IV will be out.

Of course, version IV of this camera will be even more capable, especially in the video mode: 4K, S-Log, and other enhancements that will further enhance the professional capabilities of this tiny titan. Between the introduction of the new RX10 II, and this camera, the line between what is a  “point and shoot” and a “professional” camera gets thinner and thinner!

Wireless On A Shoestring

There are a lot of times when a hardwired audio connection just isn’t going to cut it in a run and gun situation. And the first place most of us turn is to a good wireless mic setup. I’ve got an older version of this one from Sony, and it is rugged, reliable, with great sound.

The problem with the pro wireless units is that they are fairly bulky (you wouldn’t be carrying it around full time in a camera bag, unless you are seriously doing only interviews) and at $600, rather expensive.

TSA inspectors don’t like them because they look like part of a detonation system. Overseas, customs inspectors don’t like them because they look like something you could start a revolution with.  They’re strictly for bigger, professional productions.

Wouldn’t be nice if there were a reasonably priced ($179), tiny, lightweight (2 oz.) wireless system you could throw in your bag on fulltime basis to use for those travel gigs where you will occasionally find a character you’d love to mic up for a quick interview?

Well, there is, and for Sony users, it’s called the ECM-W1M Bluetooth Wireless Mic  and it’s a little godsend for those of us who want to travel light and unobtrusively, and still get decent audio in a variety of situations.  Canon makes their version and if you poke around, you may find others.

Size-wise, it’s a no-brainer…the little transmitter takes a AAA battery, the receiver connects to any Sony (including the RX100ii compact and several other compacts, as well as the A6000 and A7 series) that sports the Multi-Interface System (MIS).

This is the only real choice for off camera audio for those Sonys, like the A6000 and NEX 6, that sport the MIS shoe, but have no audio input, so video-shooting owners of these cameras should take special note of this Bluetooth option.

Now before we go another sentence into this, am I saying that this little setup is as good as a pro wireless system? No, not on your life. Let’s look at some of the disadvantages.

1. No volume control. Yes, Sony lets the camera take over on almost any audio accessory that uses the MIS system (with the exception of their big pro XLR adapter). The good news is that it doesn’t behave too badly and you don’t get wild fluctuations in gain if the subject should happen to stop speaking for a moment.

2. 100 foot, line-of-sight range. You’re not going to be shooting across football fields with the Bluetooth setup. And if the subject turns away from you at a distance, or walks into building while you’re still outside,  you’ll get breakup.

3. Hard to hide the transmitter. While the transmitter is about the size of a tube of lipstick, it is still substantially bigger than a little lavelier mic. And it can be hard to “hide” on your subject. The Sony model has a port for a lav mic, but most of my good lavs were just too “hot” and caused audio peaking.

Fortunately, I’ve been playing around with a new lav mic from our Australian friends at MyMyk called the SportsMyk It’s like a little lavalier on a 3″ flexible tiny arm with a heavy duty clip and it’s designed for using with POV cameras (you clip it to your helmet and you can narrate your viral mountain biking videos, etc. )

Well, it’s not as “hot” as my other lavs and it plays well with the Sony transmitter, and it makes it useful when you really want to hide the transmitter. And I’m happy to find a good use for this interesting mic, because my narration of the Actioncam videos of me having a night in the pub was just not helping those videos go viral!

 I used this system several times on a recent trip to Bermuda and so far have been very pleased with the sound quality. And all of my gear just sailed past customs inspection, with me playing my role as innocuous photo-weenie senior citizen going on vacation with Streep-like verisimilitude:-).

Of course all of this tiny gear wouldn’t be worthwhile if you needed gigantic headphones, and I’ve found that the Koss Porta Pro headphones are a great compromise between size and function (and apparently I’m not the only one because  video production guru Jem Schofield, of the C47 blog, is also a big Koss fan, and he knows his stuff).

So the Bluetooth wireless setup (with its cute little windsock windmuff for the transmitter), the Koss headphones, the SportsMyk and the mini-shotgun Smartmyk from MyMyk ride in my camera bag at all times.

They add hardly any weight, but a lot of audio capabilities for my run and gun travel videos.

It’s In The Bag–Part Two

The camera bag that I detailed in the previous post is just part one. These days, nobody can travel without a bag o’ electronics too. I used to use a larger laptop, a larger rollaboard, but in my never-ending quest to go smaller and lighter (with gear, if not in person), this is my latest configuration, and it works pretty well.

In this second bag go two other cameras I try not to leave home without: my Sony RX100 iii, and my Sony Actioncam. If we were all perfectly honest with ourselves, we’d admit that cameras like the Sony RX 100, and the top-of-the-line Canon and Nikon compacts, would really be good enough to shoot 95% of what most publication photogs need to do, but we’re not.

We’re pros, so we need big, expensive gear. If we don’t show up with a lot of gear, nobody will believe us.

This system is built around a top of the line, 11″ Macbook Air with a 510GB SSD at its core, with 8GB of RAM (the most the 11″ will take) and the fastest processor. I can edit video on this thing (although I prefer a much larger screen) on the road if need be and it’s so tiny and flat I can often stuff it in the back pocket of my camera bag if need be.

I keep a 500GB USB3.0 backup boot drive just in case, and I back up my SDXC cards to two 2TB USB 3 drives on the road…I also try not to reuse the cards, either, so I have three copies of everything from an assignment.

Battery chargers can proliferate faster than a gang of stoned bunny rabbits, so I settled on a battery charging system a while ago. It’s offered by B&H under the Watson brand (used to be Pearstone) and I have a double battery charger and a single one.

All you do is switch out the battery plates, rather than carry separate chargers, for all the different devices. I have plates for all my Sony cameras, my Nikon cameras, and even the LED panel batteries can be recharged on this device. It is a huge space saver. (Wait, that’s an oxymoron, but it’s true!).

Those vinyl bags are cosmetics bags from CVS and they run about $8 each and are great for organizing all your electronic chatchkes. If you prefer a “professional” version, you can pay $25 for a similar bag from ThinkTank , but I’m more cheap than I am embarrassed to be seen hanging out in the makeup aisle at the drugstore (and fellas, you’d be surprised at what a little eyeliner will do; after all, we are selling out eyes, n’est ce pas?:-)

It’s all carried in ThinkTank’s smallest rollaboard, the Airport Airstream. Damn, those ThinkTank people make great bags. Expensive, but rugged and well designed.

And finally, as the piece de la resisistance that illustrates the depth of my paranoia, er, I mean my preparedness, I always fold up one of the lightweight, supplex nylon photo vests that I designed for LL Bean about 15 years ago (they stopped carrying it right after 9/11, when a lot of their travel gear was discontinued) and put it in this bag.

It’s similar in design to the Domke vest with one important and vastly superior difference…it’s NOT made of heavy, old-tech cotton duck that absorbs and holds every ounce of sweat like a sponge, and so it weighs nothing, folds down to nothing, and wicks moisture away from your body instead of making you carry it around like a water-bearer (c’mon Tiffen/Domke, get with the program…cotton duck material went out with the British Raj in India, for crissakes, and you’ve been trying to sell it in this vest this for 20 years).

You can substitute the vest of your choice, or if you’re lucky, find one of mine on EBay…but be warned they fetch collector’s item fees…the few extra I have are so valuable, they’re figuring into my estate planning:-).

Now, should I run into a foreign airline on a connection that strictly enforces a “one carryon and one carryon only” rule (and it has happened about 3 times in my career), I can take everything in this rollaboard and put it in the big pockets of my vest, and literally “wear” my second carryon onto the plane, while giving them an essentially empty bag to check.

It’s not foolproof, of course, but it’s worked for me and as I said, it’s a bailout tactic that you can use when your back is against the wall.

The Sony RX10ii—The Underappreciated Middle Child Gets Even Better!

Birth order is a strange and powerful force….more and more, the research points to the fact that in most families, a lot of your personality is not only developed because of your innate qualities, but also where you appeared in the birth order of your siblings.

This is certainly case for the Sony RX10 series….the first one was introduced with one of the Sony A7 series, the flashy big brother, and the Sony RX100ii, the precocious baby, and so of course, the uber-talented middle child was overlooked (and no, I’m an eldest child, so this isn’t my life story disguised as a camera review:-).

And this same thing has happened with the introduction of the RX10ii, which was completely lost in the kerfuffle about the A7Rii and the RX100iv cameras in the same release.

Which was a shame, because in many ways the RX10 was the dream machine for the traveling multi-media photographer who had to produce great stills and pro quality video with one compact, weather-sealed, well-designed camera with a built in 24-200mm f/2.8 (in 35mm equivalent) Zeiss freakin’ T* lens!

But alas, there were only a few of us who seemed to appreciate the qualities of this camera. Steve Northrup, longtime contract shooter for Time Magazine, called it the “best travel camera I’ve ever used.”  And Kirk Tuck, commercial photographer and thinking man’s photo blogger extraordinaire (and damn good spy novelist—his Lisbon Portfolio is a terrific book, and the hero is a corporate photographer!), loved the RX10. But Kirk buys new cameras more often than I buy red wine (hard to believe, but I really think its true:-), so it looks more like a fling and less like a marriage for him with the RX10.

But not me…I’m in it for the long haul with the RX10 series. And since this “appreciation” of the RX10ii is a little late (because I like to actually get out and use a camera for a few months before I open my big mouth about it, and I don’t call these “reviews” because you can get all the tech specs elsewhere, these are more my subjective findings and tips).

So you can get the specs of both the new RX10 and the version ii elsewhere, but let’s get the obvious ones right out of the way first:

  1. It shoots beautiful 4K video internally. No external recorders needed. You get gorgeous, 100mpbs non-artifacting 4K in a very compact footprint.
  2. It shoots amazing slow-motion HD footage up to 900+frames per second. It’s true that these faster frame rates-960, 480, 240–are shot at lower resolution than HD and up-rezzed, and you can only record about 2-4 seconds of footage at a time, but still, the creative possibilities are amazing. And the 240fps setting is just slightly less than HD resolution and looks sensational blown up (and that’s a 10x slow mo that is buttery smooth).
  3. But the 120fps HD slow motion setting is just a normal mode and you can shoot it all day with no time limit. This is, again, a very fast bit-rate (100mbps) non-pixel binning HD video that looks great and is much easier to shoot than the higher frame rates, which are shootable in two-second clips only. But now for sports, wildlife, etc. you can get amazing slo-mo all day.

Okay, those are the improvements that you can read in any two bit review of the camera, but here are the less obvious improvements that I’ve not seen pointed out in in other review, but have made the camera even more useful for me.

  1. It now accepts the Sony Playstation apps so you can finally do timelapses. Yes, if the original RX10 had an Achilles heel, it was its inability to do timelapses…the camera wouldn’t take the app, and there were no wired intervalometers available that would do it through the remote terminal. Now, you can use the much improved Sony timelapse app, or there are now also new third party wired intervalometers that mate up with this camera (and the A7 series).
  2. TheRX10ii allows dedicated on camera flash sync speeds up to 1/4000th of a second. This is, as a certain media personality might say, “yuuuge” And this isn’t the typical “high speed sync” where the flash is basically flickering and putting out a fraction of its power, this is a full pop of flash. And even if you use a non-dedicated flash and trigger it with the hotshoe, you’ll still get an amazing sync speed of 1/1600th of a second. For you outdoor fill flash enthusiasts, your world has been rocked…you can use heavy diffusion with small strobes to get beautiful, soft fill light in bright sunlight.
  3. There’s now a selectable zoom speed!  Since Sony really spec’ed this camera out for video, in the first version, there was a very smooth, but often painfully s-l-o-w zoom action, whether you used the rocker switch or the zoom collar on the lens. The new model thankfully has a “zoom speed” option in the menu…set the “fast” setting (it’s still not lightning fast) and you’ll be a happy camper.
  4. There’s an easy, heavy duty battery solution for long timelapses and event coverage. Much has been made of how the Sony NP-FW50 batteries for the A7 and RX10 series cameras are not as powerful as one might want, and how you need a few of them to get through the day. This is less of an issue with this camera than its A7 series big brothers, but if you want to run an all-night timelapse, or you have to cover hours-long events (poor you:-), you can now power this camera (as well as the mark II series of the A7s and A7r, and the RX100iv) using the USB port when you select USB Power Supply in the menu.

This is a big deal, because it means you can use that same battery pack that you use to recharge your smartphones on the go to run your camera…no more buying expensive battery solutions that have dummy FW-50 shaped battery modules attached to huge batteries, taking the battery compartment door off, etc. etc. This is clean and simple.

I got two of these 10,000 mAh batteries for $14 each from Amazon (tip of the hat to fellow Sony Artisan Dennis Biela for the lead) and they are relatively compact and will run the cameras all day and most of the night, not to mention power up and charge my iPad and iPod if needed.

A couple of other “unsung” aspects of the RX10 series; it is about the most weather resistant camera in the Sony line…I’ve used mine in pouring rain in Iceland, blowing sand in the Kalahari desert, dirt and dust in a Gobi Desert horse race…you name it and the camera holds up. And video shooters, this is, well, again “yuuuuuge”—it’s a fixed lens (albeit an equivalent 24-200mm f/2.8 zoom) so you never have to worry about sensor dust! 

For still shooters, sensor dirt and dust is a minor inconvenience correctable with one hit of the clone tool…for video shooters? Well think about it…would you like to correct 120 frames per second of a moving dust spot? It can be done with masks and key frames and such, but it ain’t easy.

So, downsides? Yes, there are a few. It’s expensive $1298…but think about the lens range (and the straight f/2.8 aperture) you get with the camera and price it against a DSLR or mirrorless with detachable lenses and think about what you’d spend to cover that zoom range at that speed, and suddenly, you’ll see that it isn’t that expensive.

And although the new backlit 1″ sensor is even better in low light (I’ll shoot the RX10ii happily at up to ISO 3200, a full stop higher than its predecessor), it’s still tricky to get that creamy soft bokeh out of this camera…you need the right conditions. As you know, the smaller the chip, the greater the inherent depth of field, but in the right circumstances (see below) you can get really smooth bokeh…just not as easily as with your full frame or APSC  chipped cameras.

So there you have it, my admittedly subjective appreciation of what will no doubt become my workhorse camera in the upcoming year of what will be possibly my heaviest travel schedule in a long time. Do I love my A7s and my A7Rii? You bet I do, but for run and gun travel video and stills, this is the camera I reach for first.

If you want to indulge your inner geek and go for a full bore tear down of the camera, these guys at Imaging Resource do the best in-depth camera reviews on the net, I think.

It’s In The Bag

For me, a camera bag is a constantly evolving beast, especially these days as I complete my transition to mirrorless video maven. I’m teaching a couple of seminars on travel photography for National Geographic Traveler in the next couple of  months, and so it was time to update the pictures of my latest gear configuration for travel. Here’s a breakdown of what I take on travel gigs these days…

This is the beast fully loaded, and even at that, it’s about half the weight of my old DSLR setup. I will often leave the fisheye Rokinon behind. But it’s nice having relatively fast lenses like the Rokinon 12mm f/2 (18mm equivalent) and the 35mm f/1.8 (50mm equivalent) ready to grab.

Let’s go over the thinking behind this bag. For the first time I can remember, my outfit does not include two matching bodies…I never went out without a matching pair of compact Nikon DSLRs..but that was before the advent of mirrorless cameras of theRX10‘s quality with a built-in Zeiss lens that is the 35mm equivalent of a 24-200mm f2.8 on the camera’s one inch chip.

Think of that; a super sharp, reasonably fast 24-200mm with a constant f/2.8 lens. Oh yeah, the full frame pixel peepers are going to go on about the chip size but for both still and especially video purposes, in my opinion, this is the best shot-grabbing, all-in-one travel camera ever made (there, I said it). With the latest firmware upgrade that got us out of the awful compressed AVCHD codec and into a broadcast quality, 50mbps X AVCS codec, Sony has just knocked this out of the park.

But one camera can’t do everything and one thing that the RX10 doesn’t do too well is that soft-background creamy bokeh full frame look (it’s a matter of sensor size, not a design failure). And the images can get noisy above ISO 1600 (which is still an excellent high ISO threshold for a smaller chip camera). And while 24mm is wide enough for most things, I love an ultrawide look too.

And that’s where the A7s comes in. It’s a lowlight monster, and is usable in two modes—full frame, and APS-C mode. I use it primarily in the latter mode for two reasons. First, most of my Sony lenses are for the NEX series which were all APS-C sized chips. And secondly, because in video mode, the APS-C mode is less prone to rolling shutter, that phenomenon that can create a wavy video image if you’re moving the camera around too fast (which you shouldn’t be if you’re shooting video, but hey, sometimes you’re not as stable as you want to be).

Recently, in Iceland, I shot video with the A7s at ISO 25,400 (or something like that) in a shepherd’s hut lit with a couple of little candles and it looked fabulous. I don’t know how they did it, but this camera shines at ISO’s so high that you really need night vision goggles to see what the camera can see.

So on this camera, I have my 10-18mm (which in APS-C mode is equivalent to a 15-28mm approximately). I also carry the sharp Zeiss 16-70mm f/4…what a nice lens; Optical  Image Stabilization, and a range (35mm equivalent would be a 24-105mm) that will cover almost everything I usually need in any given situation.

For low light and nice bokeh, I’ve got the tiny, sharp, optically stabilized (way to go Sony, offering stabilization in fast primes!) 35mm f/1.8. It’s great for those face closeups with good bokeh, like this one:

The rest of the gear is pretty self-explanatory. The table top tripod doubles as a kind of chest or belly brace for handheld shooting. I come from the “time before selfies,” so I don’t really shoot them, but the selfie pole and the mic extension cord allow me to mount the ultra light Smartmyk mini shotgun on it and do a one-handed boom mic arrangement for impromptu interviews.  The Olympus audio recorder is for capturing ambient sound.

The camera raincoat, the bag o’ batteries, the cable release are standard issue items. But the result is a bag I sling over my shoulder (bandolero-style so the bag rides in the small of my back until I need to get something out of it), that I can carry all day, every day, and be ready for just about anything!

Hockey betting

Highlighting the most spectacular and fast sports games in the world, in the first TOP-3 we should definitely put the hockey. Hockey is so popular because of its spectacular moments. Of course, the full geography of these matches is not as extensive as, for example, in football, however, the number of fans here is also quite large. It is important to note that hockey bets are in high demand among residents of Russia and other countries (Canada, Sweden, Czech Republic, and so on). You can bet on hockey in free online casino games to play now.

The incredible speed of the game, the various removal of players from the field, and much more that can change the main account of the meeting of two opponents – these are the main features of hockey bets. It is important to note that in order to achieve the desired successful results you may need not only the required level of professionalism, but also quite strong nerves, especially those who decide to try themselves in the live mode.

Practically, as in any other sport in hockey, the main result of a match can be influenced by a lot of different factors that are extremely important to take into account in order to increase the probability of winning. These factors should be completely attributed to the general form of the team, analyzing its recent matches, news from hockey clubs, which may mention injured or disqualified players, a kind of level of motivation for a particular game and the like.

Before the final decision to put your money on the game, you need to try to find a decent and honest bookmaker who will provide a quality line of necessary events with a very large list for upcoming hockey matches, including for live modes. The more different betting options a bookmaker can offer you, the wider your choice is in terms of the most successful bet. Usually, the schedule of betting on the hockey leagues of the NHL and KHL is very rich, compared to the usual European championships.

Live bets are the most profitable in hockey

This is due to the fact that during the main broadcast during the game you can evaluate the real forces of the opponents and make the right choice. For proper evaluation it is enough to watch the match a couple of minutes.

As elsewhere, in the reception of bets on hockey in live mode there is one not very pleasant feature. Given that the scores change regularly, bets may be suspended. Doubtful bookmakers can forbid to make a bet at all when one of the teams plays in the majority. Deletions in this game occur quite often, so making bets in this mode on such bookmakers is not very convenient.

Also, quite an important point is the features of the calculation of the rates for hockey

Some bookmakers take into account only 3 periods, while others may take into account the time of overtime, and maybe even the shootouts. Before you bet, be sure to familiarize yourself with such subtleties in the rules of the system. Do not forget that there are simply amazing comebacks in hockey (a weak team still strives for victory). Do not be surprised when a bet with a factor of 1.06 can lose. In such cases, it is better not to risk your own funds and simply abandon these small coefficients, because the risk will be until the last second of your chosen game.

Experienced players know the features of hockey, one of which is that the goalkeeper can be replaced by the 6th player. Such replacements are made by the coach usually at the end of the match, with a minimum loss of one or two goals. In such situations, it often happens that the losing team misses the next puck, or, on the contrary, scores and thereby compares the score. Therefore, in the end of the match you choose, it is better to abandon the bets on the total less.

Software development for betting companies

Gambling gives an excellent chance to earn money for businessmen. It is known that the easiest way to open a betting company is to use the services of the gambling platform sports betting provider. Now there are a lot of such companies, but only some of them have managed to achieve impressive results in this complex business.

Development of gambling software is quite a lengthy and complicated process, which includes many different actions.

  1. Assemble a team of specialists in various fields who will be able to be responsible for carrying out their own processes and ensure the creation of a high-quality product. In such a complex matter as the creation of sports gambling software, a good team have a major role. Each team member must be an expert in their field and provide the highest level of work in their own direction. You can determine the company that takes the most responsible approach to this issue by talking to the customer support or sales staff. If these people are clearly aware of their responsibilities and they are able to answer all the questions you may have, then it is likely that the company is very careful in the staff selection process. Thus, it increases the likelihood that you will receive a quality product, and will be able to begin its development with the confidence that all processes are established and functioning.
  2. Properly plan all processes. The planning phase is very important for such a complex process as the development of gambling software. If all the needed processes are built correctly, the movement of the project goes clearly about the plan and you can be sure that the final result will be closest to your requirements.
  3. Customer feedback. It is extremely important that at each stage the company’s representatives maintain constant communication with their clients. This stage is created initially and improved in the process of work and development of the company. Each new client must be unique for the company, it must be able to adapt to its needs, and all its requirements must be met as closely as possible. This is how a reputation is created and the company’s contacts with its customers are being established.
  4. User support. Any good company provides high-quality support to its customers even after the project has been launched. It’s very important in the process of work, and especially immediately after the launch, when the client may have a number of additional questions that may concern the work of online gambling software or errors that can occur after the launch. It is important to note that even if the preparation and launch of the project were carried out at the highest level, minor errors can still occur in the process of work. High-quality technical support, which will always be online, will be able to solve these problems and will not allow the project to go offline.
  5. Responsibility. This principle builds the work of all successful companies. It is the ability of the company to take responsibility for the quality performance of all processes that can eventually lead to its success. Clients of such a company will be satisfied, because they will quickly be able to understand that the actions of the company can be trusted and that they are in safe hands.

Gambling business is fraught with many risks that begin with the choice of the gambling software platform provider, and pursue the founder of this business in the future. Almost every day there are new companies that seek to conquer this market, but their success depends on many different factors. Only a clear focus on results and the desire to achieve significant results with this business can lead a person to good results.

Are We All Dying From “Exposure?

I was recently invited to submit some of my travel films to a new section on the website of a major American publication. It’s a showcase of short films and when you go to the site, it’s full of spectacular nature, adventure, and travel films that are daringly executed, expertly shot, and beautifully edited…and, to watch one, you have to sit through a 30 second, non-fast-forwardable commercial.

“Fair enough,” I think to myself when I check it out and watch the same 30-second commercial before each of about a dozen films  I viewed on the site to get an idea of what they were running, “you’ve got to pay for these high production-value films somehow.”

(I’m not sure, though, if I were a casual visitor to the site, that I’d sit through more than one film on those terms.)

The process to get a film up there is a daunting two-step gauntlet…first you submit to one of a board of editors. If the piece passes muster with that editor, he or she takes it to the full board of editors, and they must approve the piece and then, and only then, does it make the website.

I submitted six films, waited a month or so, and was thrilled to hear that three of my films made the cut! We were swapping addresses for contracts to be sent and just before we hung up, I threw out a question.  “In all the excitement,” I said, “I forgot to ask you how you pay for these things…by the minute, by the piece, how?”

And then I heard the words that stopped me dead in my tracks.

“Oh we don’t pay to run these…most people are happy to do it for the exposure.”

Dead silence on my end. A giant of American publishing, a 30 second mandatory commercial, a gauntlet to be run that makes getting a film into Sundance look like a cakewalk, and they don’t pay a dime to the content creator?

“Does that change anything?”

“You are #@%$^&*()_&^^$4¢£∞∞¢ right it does,” I think to myself.

But being the well-raised son of a very proper English lady, I say politely, “Yes, it does. I would prefer to be paid for my work, and if I can’t be, I don’t want to give you the films.” They wouldn’t budge, and neither would I, and so we went our separate ways…but it doesn’t always work that way.

A day or two later, I am approached by an editor of a custom publications company to have me and my work featured in an advertorial they are preparing for a photo industry giant. I am thrilled, and will be interviewed by a great writer, and the piece will be featured in a couple of major magazines.

I’ve gotten all the info, know what my deadlines are, but thanks to the experience of being “once bitten, twice shy,” I assume nothing and ask right away, “what are the rates for this?”

And I am told, “oh, we don’t pay—everyone else has been happy to do it for the exposure.”  (Later, I poll some other colleagues, only to find out that some shooters are hiring publicists to try to get in on this “opportunity.”)

Hiring a publicist to get the opportunity to give away work for free for commercial usage?

Oh, sweet mother of Jefferson Davis, break out the defibrillator, because the Old Man in Motion’s heart is stopped from sheer incredulity and disbelief. In what galaxy or universe can this be construed as a business plan for a professional?

You do all this for nothing, I’m told,  so you can get more “followers?” Well, that’s great, because if you run your business like this, it’s just a matter of time before you starve to death. And then you’re going to need a lot of followers to act as pall bearers when they cart you off to potter’s field for your pauper’s burial, because the funeral director wants actual $$$, and not “Likes,” to let you use his hearse.

And so, despite all the good breeding me old English mum tried to instill in me, I respond:

“No, that’s unacceptable….if the writer is being paid, and the magazine is being paid, and the printer is being paid, and if everyone else in the whole process of producing this piece is being paid or drawing a salary, then I want to be paid as well!”

And then, mirabile dictu, I get an email response asking, “How much?”

And we proceed to have a negotiation, just like two professionals, that results in a fee that we both can live with, one that is enough for me to be able to look at myself in the mirror (not, I hasten to add, the Old Man in Motion’s favorite activity these last few years:-). and still call myself a professional.

Look, I know this isn’t same business it was twenty years ago, and I know we’re in a “sharing” economy (which, as far as I can see, means that “many people share so that a few may profit wildly”—think Instagram—300 million contributing free work for a company with about 100 employees, valued conservatively at $20 billion (that’s BILLION with a B).

You do the math, but at a certain point, giving up your work for free so that major corporations can commercially exploit it is just plain career suicide and just hastens the demise of our profession.

Remember the observation that the great Walt Kelly made in a classic Pogo comic poster to promote the first Earth Day, “We have met the enemy, and he is us!”

But this is nothing new…take a look at this clip from the great cult classic 70’s film “Putney Swope,”  a satire of the advertising business (among other things) directed by Robert Downey Jr’s father.