I had this strange problem in that my laptop with Windows 10 Home was unable to sync with my Microsoft account no matter what I tried. The Settings screen under  Accounts / Sync your settings had the message “Some settings are managed by your organisation” in red, right on top of it.

Now, I’m not on any domain, nor part of any organisation so it was confusing to say the least. I searched the internet for quite some time last night but most of the solutions were pointing in a few directions:

  • Edit the Local Group Policy, (gpedit.msc) – which Windows 10 Home doesn’t have
  • Change the Diagnostic and usage data under Privacy to the highest level, and
  • Disable or un-install various anti-virus and anti-malware software,

However,  none of this has helped, so I had to put on my brave hat and dig into the registry. I only had to have a look in a few key areas and it was right there under:

HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\SettingSync

All you need to do is change DisableSettingSync value from (2) to (0). Reboot the computer and the sync works just fine.

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Another problem that I managed to address in a similar way was that I was unable to change the Lock Screen picture. The same message Some settings are managed by your organisation was displayed and all options were disabled (greyed-out). 

All I have to do is change the NoChangingLockScreen registry key from (1) to (0) under HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\SettingSync

Reboot and it’s all good.

SmugMug is a photo-sharing website and image hosting service which allows users to upload both photos and videos to their SmugMug websites. The site is designed with both individuals and professionals in mind, it’s beautiful and very flexible at the same time. As Trey Ratcliff likes to say “It’s like dating a hot yoga instructor“.

SmugMug is very affordable and at only $40 per year for unlimited data storage it offers an incredible value. Not only that, but it offers awesome website building tools that make your online galleries even more amazing. Look at my photography website here.

By using the link below you will save 20% of your first year subscription, so the first year is only $32 for the basic plan. As always, there is a 14 day trial, so you have every chance to try it before you buy.

So head over to SmugMug and register now.  You will love it!

Sony Alpha cameras (and NEX as well) have two very nice features that make manual focusing a pretty effortless exercise. The first one is focus peeking, where the areas in focus are highlighted in a selected colour, and the other one is MF assist.

Screen Shot 2015-07-29 at 22.48.31The way MF assist works is that when the camera is in MF mode, the preview screen on the LCD display or EVF is magnified, making it very easy to see when the subject is in focus. Once the MF assist is enabled, all you need to do is to turn the manual focus ring on your lens and the magnification kicks in.

However, if you are using third party lenses with the lens adapter in manual focus mode, the screen magnification doesn’t work. You can turn the focusing ring all day long, you will only have the benefit of focus peeking but not the MF assist.

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Sony SEL1018 F/4 10-18mm Wide-Angle Zoom Lens was made for the E-mount APS-C range of cameras, e.g. NEX-6,  Alpha 6000 (A6000) etc. Normally, using this type of a lens on the full frame cameras, such as A7, would cause a very heavy vignetting where the image, unless seriously cropped, would be pretty much useless.

Here is an example of using Sony SEL35F18 35mm f/1.8 Prime Fixed Lens on the full frame camera.

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The E-mount APS-C lenses work fine with the full frame E-mount cameras when the camera runs in the crop-mode, but at cost of a reduced resolution.

However, the Sony SEL1018 f/4 full frame sensor coverage is surprisingly good, with the vignetting being a real issue only at the ends of the range. When using the lens between 12 – 16mm, the vignetting can be very easily addressed in post processing.

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After admiring my Sony NEX-6 and its replacement Sony A6000 for some time, I have finally given in and bought the Sony A7 II last week. I didn’t have much of a chance to use the camera during the week but this weekend I gave it a bit of a run for its money.

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There are a few things that I’m really impressed and some others that I’m somewhat disappointed.

The image quality is amazing, the IS (OSS) is doing a brilliant job, the camera feels nicely in hands and the controls layout is pretty good. Having said that, the front and rear dials are a bit out of place, or rather awkward to reach when shooting, but I guess it may be a matter of getting used to twisting my hands a bit.  The exposure compensation dial is also something I didn’t quite like, but I was able to program the rear control wheel to do that task for me. The battery life time is even worse than on A6000, much worse in fact. But it has its reasons.

Good news is that I was able to use my Yongnuo remote triggers and flashes with the A7 II and that all my E-mount (APS-C) lenses can be used as well, with some compromises, though. I’ll write about these topics shortly.

For now, here is one portrait I took today. Wait until I tell you what lens I used, you’ll be impressed…

peter