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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
In the market for a Nikon D7100? Well now you can save $500 on the D7100 kit. Check it out here.
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:
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…
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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
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.
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.
Created with Compare Ninja
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.
Since I travel for a living I almost always travel with at least one pair of headphones. My favorites were the Bose QuietComfort 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones. I’ve used Bose over-the-ear noise cancelling headphones for years now. The only problem I have sometimes is having so much stuff in my backpack that I don’t have room for them. I noticed that Bose came out with an an in-ear model, the Bose QuietComfort 20i. However, I just dismissed them as “probably not being as good as what I already had.” My buddy Jack Beckman swore by them. I still wasn’t convinced. However, in packing for my current trip I thought, boy it sure would be nice having something that does the same thing, yet fits in my pocket. So I bit the bullet and ordered a pair. Since I was going to be flying for 4.5 hours I’d be able to really put them to the test. Worse case, I’d be able to return them.
They arrived and I took them out of their packaging. I was impressed by the size and relative light weight of them. I hadn’t researched these at all so I was a little surprised to see that they used an internal rechargeable battery. This is a plus and a minus. The plus is that you don’t have to buy batteries. The minus is that if the battery dies or you forget to recharge them there goes your noise cancelling. I was pleasantly surprised that unlike the QC 15, the QC 20i will still allow you to hear your source audio/music even in the OFF mode. That always bugged me about the QC 15. If the battery goes dead and you don’t have another one they become a paperweight. So the fact that these will at least still function has headphones without power made me feel much better about the battery not being user-replaceable. You charge the battery with a standard Micro USB connection. They provide the cable, but not an actual charger. I understand that most people have no less than a hundred chargers lying around from all the cellphones, iPads, and other devices that charge via USB, but for the asking price a charger should be included nonetheless. Perhaps even a dual charger so that you can charge your headphones and the device that you’re going to plug them into, as a nice touch. Speaking of battery, the internal battery takes about 2 hours to charge and last about 16 hours per charge. It does include three different sized sets of gels to fit your ears properly. I’ve only tried the medium ones that seem to fit well in my ears without falling out. I’ll probably try the large ones to compare. It also comes with a carrying case.
There is a control box attached to the cable near the audio plug end. This box contains the battery and is where you plug in the charger. It also has the on/off switch . All the way on the other end of the cable before they split into a Y you have a clothes clip and the remote. The remote lets you control the volume, mute, and temporarily allows you to turn the noise cancelling off. If you have an iPhone, iPad, or iPod you’ll be happy to know that this remote works just like the remote on your Apple Earphones/Earpods. There is also an integrated mic so that you can use it on phone calls. Yes I even tested the volume button to control the shutter of the iPhone camera and it works. My only complaint with the noise cancelling button is that it doesn’t also mute the audio. Whenever the flight attendant would speak to me I found that I had to press both buttons to hear him. There should be ONE button that does both. The whole point of putting that button there is to turn off the noise cancelling so that you can hear what’s going on around you. What good is it if the music is still blaring?
The ultimate test of these is both the sound quality and effectiveness of the noise cancelling. I was quite surprised at how well they sounded and how well they blocked the noise around me. While I’m certainly no audiophile, I would definitely say that these are definitely on par with my QC 15s. I don’t miss them at all. These are more comfortable to wear for longer periods of time. Since I wear glasses, any over-the-ear or on-ear headphones begin to pinch after an hour or so, even sometimes causing a headache.
The Bottom Line
I have a new favorite set of travel headphones. The Bose QuietComfort 20i Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones are every bit as good if not better than their bigger brothers. They take up a fraction of the space and weight. Anyone that has ever attempted to lift my backpack will know how much I appreciate this. These are a winner and I highly recommend them.