In today's episode, Kodak Chemicals are back in Europe, DJI releases the RS 4 and RS 4 Pro gimbals and the April 8th, 2024 Solar Eclipse.

You can find the show notes here.

Show Notes

European analog photographers have cause for celebration today. Kodak Professional Photo Chemicals will once again be able to purchase throughout Europe.

The rebranded Kodak Professional Photo Chemicals will only be available for purchase in Europe. The chemicals will be distributed by Dupli, a United Kingdom-based provider of fine art and photographic print equipment, selected as the official European distributor for Kodak Professional Photo Chemicals. As of now, Dupli is the only place to purchase Kodak chemicals, but it says it is partnering with other distributors to make products available to photo stores and professionals across Europe.

While black and white chemistry is the only option for now, Dupli says that Kodak Color Negative and E-6 Chemistry will be released later this year, so color photographers have something to look forward to as well. There’s no word yet on if or when these might make their way to the US, but hopefully that is also part of the plan.

The good news for European film photographers follows similar news that arrived for Americans last November. Last fall, Michigan-based Photo Systems announced it was bringing Kodak photo chemicals back into production. This announcement came after Sino Promise, the Chinese holding company that previously held the license, left the photo chemical business last April. Photo Systems specializes in legacy processes, so it makes sense that it would take over the production of these chemicals.

At the time of last fall’s announcement, Photo Systems said that it hoped to begin shipping products in the first quarter of 2024. We are just barely beyond that, so things should be moving along. It’s unclear if the new announcement concerning European distribution is related to Photo Systems’ news last year. Photo Systems also said that they would start with black and white chemistry, which is indeed what has happened in Europe.

The newly released chemistry uses the same formulas as the original chemicals but with a new look. The first chemicals to be available are some of Kodak’s most popular black and white offerings, including XTOL, T-MAX, and D-76. Users will also be able to purchase Rapid Selenium Toner, Photo-Flo, HC-110 developer, Hypo Clearing Agent Powder, Dektol Paper Developer Powder, and Kodak’s stop bath concentrate. Essentially, anything a film photographer might need to develop and print photos will be available for purchase.

DJI RS4 & RS4 Pro

DJI has updated its extremely popular RS 4 and RS 4 Pro gimbals. These relatively compact gimbals are heavily inspired by their predecessors, promising similar payloads, but they feature improved usability and performance, including expanded vertical shooting capabilities.

Arguably, the most significant new feature in the RS 4 and RS 4 Pro is second-generation native vertical shooting. Vertical video is a big deal in the age of social media and content creation, with some people shooting almost exclusively in vertical formats. The newly designed gimbal horizontal plate means RS users no longer need additional accessories and can quickly swap from landscape to portrait orientation in a snap.

The RS 4 and RS 4 Pro have the same payload capacities as their predecessors, three kilograms (6.6 pounds) and 4.5 kilograms (10 pounds), respectively. That said, DJI says that the RS 4 Pro’s motor offers 20% more motor torque across three axes, promising “greater power redundancy once balanced,” which ensures more responsive and accurate performance.

Another similarity is the OLED touchscreen, although it now sports an auto-lock feature, preventing accidental touches during shooting. In fact, it would be tough for most users to tell the RS 3 and RS 4 series gimbals apart on appearance alone.

However, there are many refinements beyond what has already been mentioned. A new Car Mount mode optimizes the gimbal stabilization algorithm based on vehicle vibrations and wind resistance data. The overall stabilization algorithm has been optimized for different usage scenarios, promising improved stability and user experience, especially during fast-paced, dynamic movements.

The RS 4 Pro can also work with DJI’s new Focus Pro LiDAR and Focus Pro Motor attachments, enabling solo shooters to achieve more accurate and intelligent autofocus performance from their cameras up to 20 meters away. Users can also use the next-gen ActiveTrack Pro with these accessories, which promise high-end subject-tracking performance. The RS 4 Pro supports two focus motors, which can control focus, zoom, or aperture.

There have been minor tweaks to materials for the DJI RS 4 compared to the RS 3. While the RS 4 Pro, like its predecessor, is made of carbon fiber, the standard RS 4 now opts for an aluminum chassis with Teflon coating. This results in nearly a pound more weight and a tweaked tilt axis.

The DJI RS 4 and RS 4 Pro are available starting today. The RS 4 starts at $549, and the RS 4 Pro is $869. There are also combos, including the Focus Pro Motor, with the RS 4 Combo retailing for $719, and the RS 4 Pro Combo priced at $1,099.

San Francisco Trains Still on Floppies

In 1998, San Francisco installed the latest cutting-edge technology to run the train network: floppy disks. A quarter of a century later and the city’s transportation agency is still using the same system.

People under the age of 30 might not know what a floppy disk is; an archaic way of storing data (think USB stick). But the workers at San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) sure do as they are still using obsolete tech to automate the movement of light rail vehicles.

“We were the first agency in the U.S. to adopt this particular technology but it was from an era when computers didn’t have a hard drive so you have to load the software from floppy disks onto the computer,” Mariana Maguire, SFMTA Train Control Project, tells ABC 7.

“It’s like if you lose your memory overnight, and every morning, somebody has to tell you hey ‘this is who you are and what your purpose is what you have to do today,'” adds Maguire.

The SMFTA uses five-inch floppy disks to automatically control trains inside the subway. “With each increasing year risk of data degradation on the floppy disks increases and that at some point there will be a catastrophic failure,” says SMFTA director Jeffrey Tumlin.

The pre-millenium apparatus was designed to last 20 to 25 years so replacing the disks is a pressing matter. Katie Guillen, an SFMTA passenger, tells ABC 7 “I thought we were moving on to AI. So why are we doing floppy disk.”

The new system will hopefully improve the reliability of train control and the team will be able to track the movements of trains far more easily. However, the upgrade will cost hundreds of millions of dollars and the project is yet to be finalized.

“We are hoping that a large component of this will come from state and federal grants. The rest of it will come from the SMFTA’s rapidly declining internal capital resources,” adds Tumlin.

It’s not just computers that used to take floppy disks, cameras also used to write data on them including the classic Sony Mavica FD7. Last year, a Formula 1 racing fan attending the Miami Grand Prix was told at the gate that he couldn’t bring in his mirrorless camera, so he came up with an unusual alternate plan: he instead decided to shoot the race with a floppy disk camera made in 2000.

Eclipse 2024

So this past Monday was the Solar Eclipse that was visible across much of the United States from Dallas, TX to Buffalo, NY. This is the first time we’ve had an eclipse like this in a considerable amount of time  and the next one will not be for another 25 years and most likely won’t follow the same path so we here in the States will probably be left out.

We are in New York State visiting with family now and our grandsons were sent home from school early and given free eclipse glasses for viewing the eclipse but they didn’t have any luck. The cloud cover over Elmira, NY was so thick it was impossible to view it at all. Had their dad and I known ahead of time we could have taken them up the road about 30-40 minutes to Watkins Glen, NY where the eclipse was visible.

Luckily a lot of other people here in the United States were able to view it and some were even able to capture it on their cameras using the proper filters of course so they didn’t burn out their camera sensors. I didn’t worry about it as I was busy working and didn’t have the time to desire to chase it around as I have seen eclipses before so it’s not that big a deal to me but it would have been fun to see the excitement on the faces of my grandkids when they checked it out for the first time.

In addition to all the other stuff going on while we’re in New York, I got our youngest grand daughter a Power Wheels style Lamborghini Veneno Roadster. Her dad and I assembled it Monday night to surprise her Tuesday morning and she was really excited when she came downstairs and found it sitting in the living room waiting for her. She loves that it has working doors and a built in “Stereo” which basically allows you to connect your smartphone and play music through the car and it even has a parental override remote control so they don’t hurt themselves until they get the hang of driving it.

I am also filming my next Youtube video on the Brevitè Jumper Photo Backpack, which has quickly become my EDC backpack for when I want to go out and shoot all day while hiking and not end up carrying too much gear and exhausting myself or causing more back problems. If you’re not already, make sure you Subscribe to my Channel and turn on all Notifications so you don’t miss this or any of my videos.

Check out all the awesome stuff at Moment for your photography/videography needs!

Save on your orders for SmallRig gear

If you'd like to pick up your own HOVERAIR XR Drone use the following link

and code XMHOVER to save $20

Get your own discount on VITURE XR One glasses, Neckband, Switch Dock and more!

Check out the latest deals at OWC (Other World Computing) for all your Apple/Mac needs.

Get low cost SSLs for your sites here. 

Sign up for VidIQ using the following link:

Check out my ThinkTank Affiliate link. When you buy using this link you help the channel, pay nothing extra and can even get a free item!

I now have my own discount code for my Subscribers and Podcast audience at use my code WD20 to get 20% off on any Platypod branded items, excluding bundles which are already discounted by 20% or more. One user per customer.

I also have an affiliate code for Dehancer Film profiles at and use code LDPHOTO

Check out the awesome gear Ulanzi has for photographers and Content Creators!

You can buy me a coffee:

Comments & Upvotes