TLC Thoughts: More Than a Photographer, Mirrorless Craze, Battery Power

Those in Search of Photographers Often Need More

It’s true that more and more, companies are looking for more from their photographers. They don’t just want you to show up, set up and snap. Probably 4 out of 5 companies I speak with want me to bring more to the table. But, what could that mean?

It’s rare now that a company just wants you to shoot and they’ll handle every other element. Companies want photographers that can also suggest their own creative elements, and more. They want photographers that can help illustrate how and why a shot should be taken and for what marketing purpose it would serve.

I’ve even had companies ask me to do the whole thing – “can you take the photos to shape the way we should market our product?” It’s true, and now much more the norm. It’s even true for headshots as many times, the person is also the brand (actor, real estate, attorney, doctor, etc.). Fortunately, this is my comfort zone too because I have a good background in managing and implementing corporate and executive public relations and marketing programs.

Being able to do this isn’t just invaluable for a client, it’s a differentiator as a photographer. And, as it becomes more of an expectation, it’s a way to set one apart as a premium service provider.


Mirrorless is the Future?

For years, all the rage online is how mirrorless cameras will kill DSLRs. While we’re not there yet, there is growing evidence the DSLR kings in Canon and Nikon are planning to finally unveil mirrorless solutions of their own. It makes sense, as a golden rule in product marketing is to cannibalize your own product before someone else does it for you. In the case of Canon and Nikon, Sony’s mirrorless cameras have certainly started cannibalizing DSLR sales.

We’re probably far away from not seeing DSLRs for sale. It’s not like mirrorless has proven as reliable as DSLRs. Quite the contrary. Being a Nikon guy, the D810 is still king to me for many reasons. But, a dream wish-list from a Nikon mirrorless might finally make me switch. First, make sure I can use my existing lens library. Also, how about speedy and reliable wireless tethering built-in. And, I happen to like the feel of holding a DSLR. It doesn’t feel like you might fumble it, like a mirrorless. So, good body feel is important.

As for other factors that might be more daunting to ensure, proper battery life. Can I get 1,000+ shots on a single battery like with a DSLR? While I always carry spares, a quick recharge solution would be nice. Also, dual card slots for backups, etc. Finally, how about if it can also double as a great 4K video camera. Nice. So, in other words, be sure to perform on the stills side as good as the D810 or better while also being as good as the Panasonic GH4/5 for video.

If Nikon can deliver on these goods, yeah, it’s a likely switch for me – but not until after I see it out in the wild for a bit. I don’t want to be the one writing about my own overheating issues.


Batteries Not Included

For years, I frustratingly used Duracell or Energizer rechargeable batteries. They would often die – no longer hold a full or good charge – much more often that I expected. So, when I started reading reviews about Eneloop batteries, I was quick to make the switch.

These batteries have turned out to be great. I’ve been on them now for at least 3-4 years. I’m the type of person that charges batteries weekly, even if I have no planned use for them. I also have big battery charging banks in the house, filled with batteries ready to be charged.

I cap them off each 2-3 weeks, even if it’s been months since I’ve used them. Living in California, you always want spare batteries for flash lights, etc. ready to go. I’ve also tested them for how long they hold a charge. One set was for about a year without a recharge and, while not a scientific result, when I used them I couldn’t tell. Despite this, I still charge most of them each 2-3 weeks. Having had them for 3-4 years and none of them have failed (I have some 30-50 mixed, AA, AAA), these are great batteries.

I know there are reviews out there where supposedly other vendors have now performed better. Perhaps they’ve come up with new designs. But, tried and true Eneloops have given me no reason to jump ship and switch again.


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