A Couple of Cyber Monday Deals

It's Cyber Monday 2010 and I thought I'd share a couple of deals with you…

NAPP & Kelby Training

The guys over at NAPP and Kelby Training are having a ONE DAY Sale on, well, just about everything.

Check it out here.

 

Adobe Lightroom 3 (Mac/Win) is Half Off!

Amazon is running this sale (Full version for $149.99/Free Shipping) with no indication of how long it will last so hurry!

 

Amazon's One Week Sale

Amazon kicked off their one week holiday sale on Black Friday. However, there are new deals every day. Check them out here:

 

The guys over at LCD 4 Video are also have a Cyber Monday Sale

Many of the Black Friday Deals are still in effect until November 30th. Check them out here.

Also don't forget to check out the Deals on Apps here

CompUSA Best sellers

Black Friday Deals 2010

Terry found a deal

If you live in the US, then chances are you've heard of Black Friday. It's the day after Thanksgiving that retailers hold special sales to lure you in to get your  holiday shopping dollars. Whether you're shopping for holiday gifts or just looking for deals on stuff, Black Friday and Now Cyber Monday (the Monday following Thanksgiving) are worth checking out. Sometimes the savings can be substantial and if it saves you a few bucks on something you were going to buy anyway, why not take it?

I'm not one to go out and stand in line to save a few bucks on something, however I will absolutely check out online deals for gear.

As you might imagine I get all kinds of emails advertising Black Friday deals. So I've decided to share some of the ones I've hand picked here based on technology, Adobe, iOS/Apple, Photography and the other things that I'm interested in. So here goes in no particular order:

 

Amazon.com has been running Black Friday deals all week on all kinds of gear:

 

B&H Photo and Video Holiday Deals 2010

 

Save $50-$500 on Adobe Software

Thinking about buying CS5? You can save US $50 on orders of US $500 or more. Enter the code SAVE50 in your cart for instant savings at checkout on the Adobe.com store. The offer ends November 30, 2010 

 

Smarthome Black Friday Deals

Smarthome, Inc.

 

Office Depot Black Friday Tech Deals

Hot Offers_580x220

 

TigerDirect's Pink Friday Sale

 

Give the gift of The Beatles

iTunes & App Store

 

Other Deals

iPhone and iPad Apps on Sale Today!

Photoshop Elements 9 at Amazon.com for only $49.99 after $30 discount/$20 mail-in rebate

Photoshop Elements 9/Premiere Elements 9 bundle for only $74.99 at Best Buy with free shipping

Apple – 10% savings on select Apple gear.

SanDisk – Up to 75% off

NIK Software – Save up to $180

Nikon Door Buster – Save $80 on a Coolpix L110

Gelaskins.com – 20% off everything <-this is where I get my CS5 custom skins on the back of my MacBook Pro, iPad and iPhone 4

Other World Computing – Where I buy my RAM and Hard Drives – they have a page of deals

 

Of course don't forget to check out my 2010 Holiday Gadget Gift Guide

Happy Thanksgiving!

I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving!

One of the things that I'm most thankful for is the overwhelming amount of support that I receive from my readers and fans. Enjoy time with your friends and family.

If you get into the whole holiday shopping thing be sure to come back tomorrow to take a peek at some hand picked Black Friday Gadget/Tech Deals.

Otherwise, enjoy! I'm looking forward to the long weekend.

AirPlay for Apple TV is here!

 

Apple released iOS 4.2(1) this week for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad and one of the most touted features is here. It's called AirPlay. AirPlay is the evolution of AirTunes. You might remember that with AirTunes you could stream audio to a stereo or speakers connected to an AirPort Express or Apple TV. Now with the NEW 2010 Apple TV you can not only stream audio/video from your Mac/PC, but you can also stream audio or video from your iOS device. 

 

 

What can you do?

With an iOS device running 4.2.x and an updated 2010 Apple TV you can now stream music from the iPod app, Videos from the Video/iPod App or Pictures from the Photos App. You can also stream YouTube videos from the YouTube App. I imagine as developers update their Apps you'll see more Apps take advantage of AirPlay (content licensing permitting). 

 

What can't you do?)

You can't stream movies taken with your iPhone 4 directly from your iPhone 4. There seems to be a hardware limit in the iPhone 4 in terms of bitrate/compression that makes it impossible to stream HD videos captured with the iPhone 4 directly to your Apple TV. Also if you own the original Apple TV you're not invited to the AirPlay iOS video streaming party. There is no software update for the older models to allow this feature.

 

How well does it work?

I streamed a movie from my iPad without skipping a beat (over my 802.11n network)! No pauses, no glitches. It worked fine. I also streamed photos from the Photos app with no problem. Lastly I streamed a YouTube clip and surprisingly (because YouTube pauses all the time) it played without any problems/pauses as well. 

 

The Bottom Line

If you have an iPhone 3G or higher or an iPad/iPod touch as well as the NEW Apple TV, this is what you've been waiting for! While I think the technology is cool, I still wonder how often I'll actually use it? As I said from the start, it's rare that I would have something on my iOS Device that wouldn't already be on my computer/Apple TV. Granted I could have just taken some photos with the iPhone 4 camera and want to see them right away and there would be a good use case. It would have been nice to view a video shot with the iPhone 4 wirelessly on the big screen, but that's not possible without taking it to the computer first anyway. Time will tell! Nonetheless in my initial testing it all works as advertised.

You can get the NEW Apple TV here for $97.99.

Don’t Shoot DSLR Video without a Z-Finder Pro

 

Nikon D7000, 85mm f/1.4 lens, Rode VideoMic and Zacuto Z-Finder Pro 3x

Shooting Video with a DSLR camera is all the rage now. However, one of the biggest problems with shooting video with a DSLR camera is keeping the video in focus. When you shoot at a shallow depth of field (one of the benefits of DSLR video), it's almost impossible to maintain focus while looking at the LCD on the back of your camera. While 3" may seem like a nice healthy screen size for a camera, it's really small when you're trying to check the focus of a scene. If you're shooting stills it's less of a problem because you can take a shot and then zoom in on it to check focus. When you're shooting video you don't have the same luxury. You can can't zoom the preview while you're shooting. The camera manufacturers haven't figured out that they should give us the option of looking through the lens via the eyepiece when shooting video yet. So for now we have to rely on the LCD for everything video.

 

The Zacuto Z-Finder Pro to the rescue

Zacuto has a few solutions for this problem. The one that I like the most is the Z-Finder Pro. It's designed to attach to a supplied bracket that goes on the bottom of your DSLR. It then gives you a more standard eye piece/viewfinder to look through while you're shooting. It also magnifies the screen. Once you put your eye up to the Z-Finder Pro you'll never want to shoot video without it again.

Looking through the Z-Finder Pro 3X

 

How would I redesign it?

The Z-Finder Pro attaches to a plate with two thumb screws. While you can certainly loosen these screws to remove the Z-Finder when you want to go back to shooting stills, I'd make a faster "quick release" system for quickly detaching it and re-attaching it. I also haven't tried this yet with a tripod mount/ball head. It might be interesting if the popular ballhead manufacturers had built-in support for the Zacuto bracket or vice versa.

 

If you shoot DSLR video, you want this!

 

You can get the Z-Finder Pro 2.5x mag here for $375.25

You can get the Z-Finder pro 3x mag (the one I used) here for $375.25

Solving the Camera Strap Mystery

Several months ago I was at an event and Tom Hogarty (Adobe's Lightroom Product Manager) walks up to me and says "let's replace that Nikon camera strap with this one." He hands me an Adobe Lightroom branded strap. It has the Adobe logo on one side and the Lightroom logo on the other. I thought, "cool!". I immediately switched straps and have used that one on my smaller travel bodies ever since. I can not believe the number of emails and comments I get asking…..not where do I get an Adobe/Lightroom strap, but "who makes that strap it looks comfortable?"

I get logo'd items all the time and rarely do I think "hmm, I wonder who makes this?" This is definitely the case with this strap. Yes it is comfortable! However, not once did I ever think about who makes it?

 

 

It's by OP Tech USA

I took a few minutes to look to see who makes it and it turns out it's by OP Tech USA. I'd never heard of the company before so I went to their site and found that they have tons of straps! It actually took me a few minutes to find the right one. It turns out it's the "Superclassic 3/8".

The mystery is solved. 🙂 You can check it out ON SALE here.