An Evening with Sting and the Sony Alpha NEX-3N

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I resisted buying a mirrorless camera until the prices came down on certain models and I could no longer resist. I ended up getting a Sony Alpha NEX-3N. The price was right and it came highly recommended from my colleagues at work. My main use of this camera will be for travel when I’m not traveling specifically to do a photoshoot and for concert photography. By no means do I consider myself a concert photographer, but I do enjoy it.

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A couple of nights ago I got a chance to shoot Sting and Paul Simon in concert. I decided that this would be a good chance to give the Sony NEX-3N a good workout.

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I love that I have the option of shooting in Manual mode as well as RAW with this camera. However, if you do shoot in JPEG you have the option of using digital zoom. In RAW the digital zoom seems to be disabled. I only took the 16-50mm lens.

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I was very pleased with the results as well as the low light performance at both 800 and 1600 ISO.

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Although I did buy an additional lens, the 55-210mm lens I didn’t want to run the risk of security viewing it as a “professional” camera and stop me from shooting. Maybe I’ll try it next time I go to a concert. In any case I’m really impressed with what this camera can produce especially for the relatively low cost. As far as camera settings go, I shot at f/5.6, 1/80th, 800-1600 ISO for most of the evening. I did start on Aperture Priority, however I wasn’t happy with the results especially in the bright lights.

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The Bottom Line

While I won’t be giving up my Nikon DSLRs anytime soon, I can certainly appreciate the Sony Alpha NEX-3N as my new “walk around with” camera. While the newer models offer built-in WiFi, I was happy using my Eye-Fi Pro X2 card for wireless transfers directly to my iPhone 5s during the concert.

Get the Sony Alpha NEX-3N here, it comes with the 16-50mm lens.

Get the 55-210mm lens here.





4 Hidden Gems in Adobe Photoshop CC

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In this episode of Adobe Creative Cloud TV, I’ll show you 4 hidden gems in Adobe Photoshop CC that I bet most of you didn’t know were there.

Are you missing out on my Bonus Content?

See more of my Adobe Creative Cloud Videos on my Adobe Creative Cloud TV and get the App below. It features EXCLUSIVE CONTENT that no one else gets to see. This episode has a BONUS CLIP that is available only in the App! My iOS App is a Universal App for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. I also have an Android version on the Amazon App Store:

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Join me for a Day of Photography

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Join me this Saturday, March 1st 2014 at the Day of Photography Conference in Livonia Michigan. I’ll be on hand teaching my digital photography workflow with Lightroom 5 and Photoshop CC. There is a great line up of speakers and classes and if you wanted to learn more about photography or post processing, this is one that you don’t want to miss. Get the details and register here.

Looking forward to seeing you!





Nikon D4s Announced and Available for Pre-order

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Seems like only yesterday that I announced that I was buying/upgrading to a Nikon D4 from my trusted Nikon D700. Believe it or not that was just over two years ago! Time flies… Well here we are in February 2014 and Nikon just took the wraps off the rumored Nikon D4s. At first glance it looks just like a Nikon D4. However, there are some new things going on on the inside that count.

  • 16.2MP FX-Format CMOS Sensor
  • EXPEED 4 Image Processor
  • 3.2″ LCD Monitor
  • Full HD 1080p Video Recording at 60 fps
  • Multi-CAM 3500FX 51-Point AF Sensor
  • Native ISO 25600, Extended to ISO 409600
  • 11 fps Shooting for 200 Shots with AE/AF
  • 91k-Pixel RGB Sensor and Group Area AF
  • 14-Bit RAW Files and 12-Bit RAW S Format
  • 1000 Base-T Gigabit Wired LAN Support

What makes the D4s better than the D4? Basically it boils down to a faster camera with better video support and better low light performance.

Will I be upgrading? While I may get a review unit to test, I most likely will not be upgrading to the D4s. This camera is more geared towards photographers who shoot sports or photographers that constantly work in low light situations (wedding photographers, etc.). Since I don’t focus on either one, I’ll probably be sitting this one out. Now if Nikon sends me one and forgets to ask for it back, I won’t complain either. hint hint, LOL

I’m actually waiting to see what they do with the D800 upgrade.

You can pre-order the Nikon D4s here.





My 3 New Online Classes on KelbyOne are Here!

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Hey everyone, I just wanted to give you a heads up about my three NEW Online Classes on KelbyOne. I visited KelbyOne studios a couple months back and recorded three in-depth online classes and now all three have been released.

Adobe Muse CC for Photographers

You probably know that you need a website, but you’re not really into writing code. That’s why Adobe Muse CC was created. In this class Terry White shows you how to get started and create a complete website from scratch without having to write a single line of code. You can have your own website and more importantly update it as often as you need.

Adobe Premiere Pro CC for Photographers

You would be hard-pressed to buy a camera that doesn’t shoot video today! However, as a photographer you probably never got into video editing. Now with Adobe Premiere Pro CC it couldn’t be easier to tell your story with photos and videos. The problem has been that all the other Premiere Pro classes out there are geared towards video people. In this class Terry White shows you how to go from start to finish with your videos, photos, and music without all the video jargon. Let a photographer show you how to use Premiere Pro CC.

Intro to Adobe InDesign CC

InDesign CC lets you bring your photos, text, and graphics together in a seamless integrated workflow. In this class Terry White shows you how to get started from scratch even if you’ve never launched InDesign before. After this class you’ll be able to lay out just about any document that you want to create. Brochures, newsletters, magazines, business cards, flyers, and books are just a click away.

I’m really happy with the way these classes turned out and I hope you like them too!





Thanking My 125,000+ YouTube Subscribers!

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I just wanted to take a moment to thank my 125,000+ YouTube subscribers. I just received this award/recognition from Google and I’m quite honored. I couldn’t have done it without you. Also thanks goes out to so many of you who take the time to come up to me at conferences to thank me for my content as well as the shoutouts on social media and my blog. More content to come!

Subscribe here if you’re not already a subscriber.

Thanks again!


Save $50 on Photoshop World with my Promo Code TWHPSW414

photo by Jason Lykins

photo by Jason Lykins

My favorite training conference and expo is coming up soon! Photoshop World is coming April 8-10 in Atlanta Georgia. I’ll be there doing a series of classes. What makes this Photoshop World even better is that I get to give you $50 off your Full Conference Pass! That’s right, just register for Photoshop World here and enter promo code TWHPSW414 and $50 will be knocked off your price right on the spot. I look forward to seeing you all there!

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Bonus Deal

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In the market for a Nikon D7100? Well now you can save $500 on the D7100 kit. Check it out here.


4 Cool Ways to Charge Your iPhone, iPad and other Mobile Devices on the Go

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If you have a smartphone and you use it throughout the day chances are your battery won’t last from the time you wake up til the time you go to bed. If you work in an office or other stationary place then you probably charge your device at your desk. If you drive around you probably charge your device in the car. However, what if you’re out and about all day, take trains and are just not near a wall outlet? There are ways to charge on the go. Here are a few of my favorite accessories:

 

ChargeCard

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First off even if you can get to a charger or USB port and you’re an iDevice user then you’re going to need a cable. Good luck if you are borrowing a charger from your friends that use Android and other platforms. This is why I love the “ChargeCard” it’s a credit card size “cable” that I keep in my wallet. Pop out the USB plug, plug it into any standard charger or USB port and the other end into your Lightning port on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. Away you go…

Get the ChargeCard for Lightning devices here

Yep, they make one for Android here and older 30pin connectors on iDevices here.

 

RAVPower Flashlight Battery

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I have a variety of different portable batteries. However, this is one the coolest ones I have because of its size and form factor. At first glance it looks like a standard small LED Flashlight and it is! However, on the other end is a standard USB port so that you can plug in your smartphone and charge it back up. What more can I say? A device that serves more than one purpose effectively is always going to be a favorite of mine!

Get the RAVPower Lipstick External Power Pack here.

 

RAVPower Luster 6000 mAh Battery Pack

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Need more juice? If you want to be able to charge either a smartphone or a tablet then you’re probably going to want 2.1A output. That’s why I carry a RAVPower Luster 6000 mAh Battery Pack. This one has enough juice to charge either my iPhone 5s or my iPad Air. Even if you’re only going to want to charge a smartphone, then you might want to get this one because the higher output will charge your smartphone faster!

Get the RAVPower Luster 6000 mAh Battery Pack  (in multiple colors) here.

 

Premium Solar Charger

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A battery is great, but what about those times when even the external battery goes dead? Well there’s always the sun as a backup. This is a battery pack similar to the ones above that can be charged up via a wall outlet, but it also can be charged via solar energy.

Get the Premium Solar Charger here for your next power outage!

 

 


Low Cost Speedlight Softbox Option

 

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Whenever I review a product it’s usually one that I use. I usually try to buy the best gear that I can. As we all know photography gear can range in price and it can be expensive getting the “best” gear. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t get good results with gear that costs less. So I thought I’d take this opportunity to review a “lower cost” speedlight softbox. Impact makes some decent gear, typically at lower cost than the competition. Now keep in mind that you get what you pay for in most cases, but if you’re on a budget and not making a living from your photography then low-cost options may work out best.

Impact Quikbox

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The Impact Quikbox is a 24″x24″ softbox for speedlights. B&H sells it in a kit complete with an Impact 8-foot stand and tilting bracket. The Quikbox is easy to set up. Just pop it open and put the inner baffle in and then the diffusion cloth on the end of it. Lastly mount the supplied speedlight bracket to it and you’re all set. The only thing I don’t like about their bracket is that it doesn’t tilt. This is why B&H includes an additional bracket that allows you to tilt the light. The 8-foot stand is very light — almost too light for the softbox setup. You may have to put a sandbag on it to keep it from falling over.

Putting it to the test

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I had a regular commercial shoot this past weekend and decided to give the Impact kit a real world test. I mounted my Nikon SB 910 speedlight on it with a PocketWizard Plus X trigger.

 

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I had the model hold a reflector to bounce a bit of light underneath her chin and I was pleased with the results and quality of light. With the size of this box, inner baffle and diffusion panel, the light was soft enough for my taste.

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The Bottom Line

This Impact setup works as good as more expensive setups that I’ve used in the past. The quality of the materials used in the box is good. The only thing I don’t really like about it is that it doesn’t fold down nearly as small as my other boxes. So for travel this would not be my first choice. However, if you’re on a budget you can get this kit with stand and tilting bracket for less than others sell their boxes alone for.

You can get the Impact Quikbox Kit here from B&H Photo.

 

Bonus Deal

85mm-1.8

While you’re in the mood to save some $$$, you can save up to $400 on Nikon lenses now through 3/1/2014 here.


TiVo Stream vs. Slingbox

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As a frequent traveler I’ve been a long time fan of Slingbox TV streaming devices. For those of you who are unaware of what Slingbox does, let me give you a quick description: A Slingbox is a physical device that you connect to the output of your cable/satellite box, DVR, etc. You also connect it to your Internet router via ethernet and once it’s set up you can remote control and stream content over the Internet to your computer or mobile devices while you’re on the road. I primarily used Slingbox units to stream shows recorded on my TiVo DVR to my laptop or iPad while on the road in hotel rooms. Since I do in fact use TiVo DVRs I was interested in TiVo’s relatively new solution called TiVo Stream. Much like a Slingbox, TiVo Stream connects to your router via ethernet and allows you to stream recorded shows from your TiVo DVR to your iPad or iPhone either in the home our outside the home over the Internet. If you get one of the newer TiVo Roamio DVRs this capability is actually built-in. So the real question is…

Which is Better?

I’ll start by saying they take different approaches and each has its pros and cons. Some users even use both devices because of this. Let’s start with the pros and cons of Slingbox:

Slingbox Pros

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  • Doesn’t require a specific kind of DVR or set-top box. Depending on the Slingbox model you get you can either connect to it via HDMI or component cables.
  • Better streaming quality in low bandwidth situations. Slingbox has been around for years and has spent a lot of time tweaking their products to work in a variety of different situations and Internet connection speeds.
  • Slingbox supports playback on your Mac, PC, iOS or Android devices.
  • Allows streaming of any shows (like HBO content) regardless of copyright/copy protection.
  • Slingbox allows streaming over WiFi or Cellular
  • The Slingbox iOS App allows AirPlay to Apple TV.

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Slingbox Cons

  • You can only stream content. There is no option to download to view offline.
  • It ties up the TV at home while in use. Since Slingbox is allowing you to control your DVR/set-top box live it means that no one in the home could really watch that TV while you’re using Slingbox. Unless of course they want to watch what you’re streaming.
  • You have to pay for the mobile Apps. This has always bugged me. Slingbox now charges $15 for each platform (used to be $30 per app). They even charge separately for the iPhone and iPad versions. I feel that if you’re paying for the hardware you shouldn’t have to also pay for the apps to use the hardware.
  • Remote control can be sluggish and the responsiveness can be several seconds behind.

TiVo Stream Pros

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  • The video quality is better as long as you have the bandwidth to support it.
  • TiVo Stream allows you to download shows directly to your iPad or iPhone for offline viewing whether you’re at home or on the road.
  • The TiVo iOS app is Free
  • TiVo Stream is built-in to the new/current Roamio TiVos
  • TiVo Stream doesn’t tie up your TV. Someone can be watching the TV at home while you’re streaming different recorded TiVo DVR content remotely.

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TiVo Stream Cons

  • TiVo Stream only supports iOS devices. No PC/Mac playback or Android support (promised in 2014).
  • Playback can be sporadic when you don’t have good bandwidth/Internet speeds
  • Only works over WiFi <- this really sucks seeing how I was grandfathered into an unlimited iPad 4G data plan via AT&T. I can’t think of a single reason why they wouldn’t support streaming over cellular if you’ve got LTE speeds.
  • No AirPlay mirroring. If you wanted to watch a show on your Apple TV say in another room or location, you can’t. Mirroring is not allowed in the app.
  • You may not be able to stream all of your shows due to copyright/copy protection. For example, let’s say you  record a show from HBO onto your TiVo, you probably won’t be able to stream or download that show because of the license agreements with HBO and various providers.

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The Bottom Line and My Recommendation

If you’re looking to get a streaming solution so that you can watch your recorded shows on the go then I’d probably go with Slingbox. While it is more expensive and I’ve had my issues in the past with Slingbox units dying early deaths on me just outside the warranty period, it’s the best overall solution with the least restrictions. If you are going to be upgrading or getting your first TiVo DVR and you’re going to get a Roamio with Stream built-in then I’d test Stream in your environment first before spending the extra on a Slingbox. TiVo’s limitations can be easily addressed, but they have to actually do the work. I would start with opening it up to more platforms besides iOS. I’d like to see a web browser option just like Slingbox has as well as the ability to stream over cellular networks. Not sure if they can get past the copyright issues since they have to play nice with providers too, but if they can they’ll need to do this before they can give Slingbox any real competition. I like having both options, especially being able to easily transfer shows to the iPad before heading out on a flight. If you can afford both, you’ll have the best of both worlds. If not, go with a Slingbox 350 or 500 for the best overall streaming solution.

You can get the Slingbox 350 here and the 500 here.

You can get the TiVo Stream for your TiVo Premiere here or the TiVo Roamio here.


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