Last Minute Gift Ideas for 2012

Last minute gifts

You forgot _______________. It happens. That relative or friend walks through the door that you totally forgot to get a gift for and you feel bad. Yep, it happens. Personally, I wouldn’t sweat it. However, for those of you who do (you know who you are) here are a couple of things you can do to save the day.

First off it may not be too late to give an I.O.U.! Be sure to check out my Holiday Gadget Gift Guide here. Let them know it’s on the way and just won’t arrive in time. I’d be happy with a cool gift that’s coming!

 

 

iTunes Printable Gift Certificates

iTunes

When you go to hang up their coat, head to your computer and fire up iTunes. Then go to the iTunes Store and buy a “Printable” gift certificate. You can print it (quietly) on your printer, fold it and stick it in one of those emergency cards that you keep around. Oh yeah, you forgot those too. OK, a handwritten envelope will do. You can then explain to them that with this they can download music, books, movies, apps and more. Whew!

 

Amazon Printable Gift Certificates

amazongiftcert

OK, so the person that just walked in is not into digital entertainment. I get it! No problem. Head over to Amazon.com (here’s the link to get you directly to the gift certificates. This way you won’t be out of the room any longer than you have to be) and buy a gift certificate and print it out. Now they can go order whatever they want since Amazon sells just about everything.

 

Lastly pride yourself on avoiding the mall :)

 

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and get back to your guests :)

20 Last Minute Mac and Apple Accessory Deals At B&H

mbp13

50% Off Apple Care & Free Software (up to a $59.99 value) on All Macs

MacBook Pro 13″ Core i5 2.5GHz

MacBook Pro 13″ Core i5 1.8GHz

MacBook Pro 13″ Core i7 2.9GHz

 

MacBook Pro 13″ Retina Display <-HOT

MacBook Pro 15.4″ Core i7 2.4GHz $300 INSTANT SAVINGS

MacBook Pro 15.4″ Retina Display

 

Macbook Pro 15.4″ Retina Display <-The configuration that I use

MacBook Air 13″

 

MacBook Air 13″ <-The configuration that I use

MacBook Air 11.6″

mac_mini

Lowest prices on Mac minis

Mac mini Desktop 2.5GHz Core i5

Mac mini Desktop 2.3GHz Core i7

Mac mini Desktop 2.3GHz Core i7 Server

apple-tb

Apple 27″ Thunderbolt Display

 

Apple TV 1080p $94.99

Apple Thunderbolt Cable $44.99

Apple Magic Trackpad $59.99

Apple Wireless Keyboard $62.24

Apple Magic Mouse $64.46

Apple AirPort Express Base Station <-the new one $96.99

 

See their full line of Apple Products Here.



Review: Shooting Wirelessly with the Nikon D600 and WU-1b Module

WU-1b

I’ve been a fan of shooting wirelessly to my iPad since the early days when I got my Nikon D7000 using an Eye-Fi Pro X2 card. After that I configured my Nikon D4 and WT-5a module to shoot either wirelessly to my MacBook Pro or my iPad and now that I have a Nikon D600 (and loving it!) I was interested in seeing how the new Nikon WU-1b module works. The idea in all of these scenarios is to use the iPad or iPhone for review of what I’m shooting with my DSLR and sharing with email or social media of quick event photos.

The Nikon WU-1b is a narrowly focused solution

WirelessMobileAdapterUtility

With the Eye-Fi and WT-5a module for the D4 you can wirelessly transmit your photos to a variety of Apps. However, the WU-1b seems to be narrowly focused by Nikon to shooting wirelessly to your iPhone or Android Smartphone. They provide a Free App (Wireless Mobile Adapter Utility) for both platforms (see my review of the iPhone version here). Once you download the App it’s pretty easy to get started. Just plug in the module into your D600’s USB port and turn your camera on. The WU-1b will start broadcasting its own WiFi hotspot. Connect to that hotspot via your smartphone and launch the App. Once you’re in the App you can either set it to wirelessly fire the shutter (with Live View on your smartphone) of your D600 and then transmit the image to your smartphone or you can switch the App to the mode that allows you to shoot normally with the camera and the images will be transferred to your smartphone as you take them. Whether you shoot in RAW or JPG the module will send JPGs to your smartphone. I normally shoot RAW to the 1st card and Basic JPG to the 2nd card (my Eye-Fi) card. When I’m in this RAW+JPG mode the WU-1b seems to send the smaller basic JPG. However, when I’m in just RAW mode it sends a larger full-sized JPG and of course that takes a lot longer. Speaking of time, the smaller JPG (about 500kb) takes about 5 seconds to show up on my iPhone. The larger JPG (about 1.6-2MB) takes about 10-15 seconds to show up on my iPhone.

Wireless Mobile Adapter Utility - Nikon Corporation

It works as advertised, but…

WirelessMobileAdapterUtility-transfer

While the WU-1b works as intended it really falls short in the review department. Unlike other tethering solutions you don’t actually see the images as they come in to their App. Instead you see a progress bar and once the images are there you tap to review them. Also while the camera settings are displayed, there is no way to change them in the App. Look at this is merely a transfer utility and remote shutter. Also there is no native iPad support. Yes the app works on an iPad, but in the smaller phone size.

Shuttersnitch saves the day AGAIN!

shuttersnitch-WU-1b_iPad

Shuttersnitch is the App I use for All my wireless tethering to iPad needs. It works with the Eye-Fi cards and it works with the Nikon WT-5a module. The good news is that it also works with the WU-1b module. Unlike the bear bones Nikon Utility, Shuttersnitch gives you a great way to review your images as you take them, star rate them, geotag them and share them via email, social media and cloud storage such as Dropbox or any FTP/WebDAV location. It’s a professional App! I remembered that a recent update of the App mentioned support of the WU-1b module and sure nuff it works great! I had to simply turn on support for the module in the settings and just start shooting. The images came in as usual.

Shuttersnitch for iPhone and iPad

ShutterSnitch - 2ndNature

 

The Bottom Line

For the price, there’s really no reason not to get the WU-1b module if you have a Nikon D600. It provides a pretty painless way to get images from your Nikon D600 wirelessly to your smartphone and it can work anywhere since it creates its own ad-hoc network. Add the Shuttersnitch App and you’ll be even happier with it. Oh yeah, one more thing: Nikon can you please explain why the Nikon WT-5a (for the Nikon D4) costs $500 more than the WU-1b (for the Nikon D600)? Is there really $500 more technology in the WT-5a? I’m thinking not! Yes I see the price is coming down on it from the outrageous $877 that I originally paid, but really? c-mon!


My Top 20 Photographer Gift Ideas

While I’ve already published my uber 2012 Holiday Gadget Gift Guide, I realize that I have quite a few photographers following me here. Therefore, I thought I’d share my Top 20 Picks for Photography Gift Ideas. These are among my favorite and most used products.

 

 

So here they are in no particular order:

 

Westcott 7′ Parabolic Umbrella (White Diffusion)

 

Nikon D600 DSLR

 

 

Westcott 5501 Modern Vintage Background (9 x 12′, Onyx)

 

X-Rite ColorChecker Passport

 

ExpoImaging Rogue 3-in-1 Honeycomb Grid

 

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Zoom Lens

 

Wacom Intuos 5 Medium Tablet

 

 

Eye-Fi 16GB Card

 

 

Westcott Masterpiece Collapsible Reversible Background – 6×7? – Black / White

 

Westcott Spiderlite TD6 2 Light Perfect Portrait Kit Deluxe (110V)

 

Elinchrom BX-Ri 500/500 To Go Set – 2 Monolight Kit (90-260VAC)

 

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 Software for Mac & Windows

 

Mist X-Drop KitQuarry X-DropSaffron X-Drop and Slate X-Drop

 

iStabilizer Mount for Smartphones

 

Matthews 24×36? Flags

 

Lastolite EZYBox Softbox – 24 x 24″

 

Lastolite TriFlip 8 in 1 Grip Reflector Kit – 30″ (76 cm)

 

Lastolite Kickerlite Floor Level Softbox – 3×4′ (91x122cm)

 

Lastolite Triflector MkII Kit – White/Silver

 

ExpoImaging Rogue FlashBender Kit

Video Review: Pogo Connect Pressure Sensitive Stylus with Photoshop Touch on iPad

pogoconnect

What could make Photoshop Touch on an iPad even better? Pressure Sensitivity! I wouldn’t dare retouch a photo on my computer without a Wacom tablet or Cintiq. Needless to say that means that up until now I haven’t done a lot of work in Photoshop Touch on my iPad. However, that may all change with the new Pressure Sensitive Stylus support now in Photoshop Touch and the Pogo Connect by Ten1Design.

Adobe Photoshop Touch - Adobe

See my video review here:

Wear your Nano with the Loop Band or The Clip

tw-loopband

As many of you know, my watch is actually an 6th gen iPod nano. When I first started wearing it there were only a couple of different bands available. Now there are a  lot more. I like the Loop Band as my “sports” band. If I’m doing anything where I’m active the Loop Band is perfect as it won’t scratch or scuff.

Get the Loop Band here.

The iPod nano was updated with a redesign, now what?

theclip

Apple totally revamped their iPod lineup including a redesign of the iPod nano. This basically means no longer wearing it on my wrist as a watch. I no plans to get the new nano. I don’t need another music player. However, Loop Attachments has developed and will be shipping soon The Clip. The Clip is designed to make the new iPod nano more like the previous generation and gives you the option to clip it onto your clothing and wear it.

Both these options come in multiple colors and they also carry other solutions for iPhones, etc.  You can check them out here.

loopband

Adobe Lightroom 4.3 and Camera RAW 7.3 Now Available

lightroom4

Lightroom 4.3 is now available as a final release on Adobe.com and through the update mechanism in Lightroom 4.  The goal of this release is to provide additional camera raw support, lens profile support and address bugs that were introduced in previous releases of Lightroom. Also HiDPI (Retina Display) support within the Library and Develop Modules. HiDPI provides support for Retina-enabled Macs.

Bugs Corrected in Lightroom 4.3:

The following bugs that were part the Lightroom 4 releases have been corrected. The team appreciates the very detailed feedback the community has provided on Lightroom 4 and we’re excited to correct a number of issues experienced by our customers. These issues have been FIXED:

Continue Reading »

Review: Meike Nikon D600 Battery Grip

nikon_d600_meike

Back when I bought my Nikon D7000 I never really thought about buying the Nikon branded battery grip due to my use of that body as a travel body and the cost of the Nikon grip. However, the 1st time that I had to use it as a backup body when my D700 went into the shop for repair, I really wanted a battery grip for shooting portraits. Then I ran across this Meike 3rd party battery grip and decided to give it a try. It worked perfectly the entire time I had it. I sold it with my D7000 before upgrading to the D600. Once again I was in the same boat. I wanted a battery grip for the D600, but didn’t want to spend the money for the Nikon branded one.

What does it do?

meike_d600_batterygrip

Basically a battery grip does three things. 1) It gives you a way to grip your camera easily in portrait mode. 2) It allows you controls and shutter button access on the grip and lastly 3) it doubles your shooting time by allowing you to put in a second battery. In my opinion a battery grip either works or it doesn’t. Therefore, I have no problem buying a less expensive one as long as it works! Since I had good luck with the Meike knockoff for a fraction of the price, I tried one for my new Nikon D600 and it even works better than the 1st one! Better? Terry you just said “it either works or it doesn’t.” How can this one work better? There was one minor issue with the one for the D7000. The dials on the grip worked backwards. For example, if you wanted to go back one image during review you would have to dial to the right instead of the left. Weird, but I got used to it. I’m happy to report that this one works with the dials turning the right direction as you would expect them to work.

The Bottom Line

With any 3rd party accessory that accesses your camera’s electronics you are at some risk of it doing some damage. However, having used the previous one for over a year with no problems, I feel reasonably safe with this one on my D600. It comes with both trays for either a standard EN EL-15 battery or AA’s. You can get one here for about $68 or the Nikon branded one here for $273.

See What’s New in Photoshop CS6 for Creative Cloud Members – December 2012

In this episode of the Adobe Creative Suite Podcast Terry White shows off What’s New in Photoshop CS6 for Adobe Creative Cloud Members in this December 2012 update. He also shows off the Retina Display  (HiDPI) Support for Mac users and for all Photoshop CS6 users.

Are you missing out on my Bonus Content?

See more of my Adobe Creative Suite Videos on my Adobe Creative Suite Podcast and get the App here. 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:

Learn Adobe Creative Suite with Terry White - Wizzard Media

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