Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Go Pro Hero 4 Firmware 5.0 Release

 I own both the Go Pro Hero 4 Silver and Black and found no real reason to upgrade to the Hero 5 except for one 'Linear' field of view. Linear is a wide view without the fisheye look.
 Go Pro released an update to the firmware for Hero 4 users (Ver 5.0 release date 21-Oct-2016) that now makes 'Linear' available.. GREAT!!   The update also makes the cameras compatible with their new Karma drone, but since it's been recalled with no replacement being available this change is less relevant.

Go Pro Firmware Release Information:

Latest release:
HERO4 Black/Silver update v05.00 | Oct. 21, 2016
HERO4 Black/Silver update v05.00
  • Highlights:
    • Enables Karma compatibility.
    • Adds Linear FOV.
Karma Compatibility
  • Enables live preview and camera control from the Karma Controller,
  • including starting/stopping recording, changing settings, and more. Enables camera control from the Karma Grip. To learn more about Karma, visit
Linear FOV
  • Linear field of view (FOV) captures video without the traditional
  • wide-angle look, for even greater creative flexibility. Available only for 2.7K and 1080p video.

Actual Go Pro Hero 4 Resolutions vs Frame Rates:

ResolutionHero 4 Silver - FPS
4K SuperView----
2.7K SuperView----
2.7K 4:3----
1080 SuperView60,48,30,24---
720 SuperWide100,60---

ResolutionHero 4 Black - FPS
4K SuperView24---
2.7K SuperView30---
2.7K 4:330---
1080 SuperView80,60,48,
720 SuperWide120,60---

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Kelby One

 Scott Kelby is one of the most prolific and best selling authors/publishers of books related to photography and image editing. He's been at the forefront of online training when it comes to Photography and image editing with Photoshop. Creating the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP) along with his self branded Kelby training site and recently combined the two subscription based entities into KelbyOne which did not win the favor of his membership due to the new combined subscription price point.

 I have been a member of NAPP & Kelby for some time but I feel that their product has lacked the polish it once had and more and more content has less and less to do with photography. New courses seem to be for design and illustrator or interviews with photographers in the business which are sometimes interesting but are not too instructive for a photographer who isn't trying to make a buck.

 I'm reminded of a training seminar that I once attended in Buffalo where David Hobby and Joe McNally were the instructors on learning about flash photography. While Joe was amazing, David spent more time telling us how the photography market has died and how he intends to save his business by focusing on a local market around where he lives. Sorry I could care less what you are doing to make a buck, I paid my money and traveled here to hear how to light an image. Same for Kelby I want to hear how to set up my camera gear to get a better image and how edit it with Photoshop not how to design and create a better flyer to attract customers.

 The KelbyOne site and Web App has been a cluster since the merge too. Often not being able to sign in to the site and their iOS app is crashing for no apparent reason. I recently received an email telling me that my order to renew my subscription was completed. Which is a problem since I didn't initiate a renewal? It was a yet another problem with their system which I was told to ignore.  This system problem seems to have removed all records of my membership history, including my real membership expiry date. I tried to remove my credit card information from their system to avoid any other system problems and to preemptively head off an unauthorized renewal but couldn't, I get a system error, not good!

  I do not plan to renew my membership because the value isn't there, hasn't been for a while. All of the NAPP content disappeared when merged into KelbyOne and the recent content isn't worth the cost anymore, at least for me. Looking at their business it's hard to determine where they are headed. Last year they added more studios at their Florida location I though so they could create more content, which hasn't happened. This year they have laid off most of their on air talent. Yes RC their "Director of Content and Education" and content creator / main on air person was released. Mia McCormick who was a content creator for video creation and editing, a recent interest of mine who has also interviewed photographers in the business was axed too. Photoshop guy Pete Collins was also shown the door along with Scott's right hand man Brad Moore. Photoshop design guru Corey Barker was also let go making what I'd consider a clean sweep of the content creators/on air personalities.

 Researching social media for these individuals showed no hard feelings for being let go, but my recent unauthorized renewal email was sent the same day as people were being let go. Did someone in the web/billing department decide to send out a bulk email before leaving the company?

 Scott's letter explaining the company's direction makes little since to me, saying that they are going to concentrate on their core business again by providing affordable world class training for creative people instead of supplying content to third party companies. So who is going to produce this content? Are we to assume that the recognizable people you just laid off were not providing your world class training up til now? Your head of "Content and Education" (RC) I would think is pretty important going forward, no?  Who will provide content for your now PDF only version of Photoshop User magazine? Who is going to run your Weekly Podcast "The Grid" since all of the people let go were past hosts and no longer work at Kelby?  I watched a recent episode (since the layoff) hosted by Scott and unknown guest, awkward to say the least.

  I know that all the talented and creative people let go will soon find themselves in a better place.  As for Kelby I think it needs to be less guitar store and sport illustrated NFL review and more as Scott said a world class training site. You have millions of digital camera owners many of them new looking for direction on finding their way around a camera and what to do with their images once they make them. Most are not trying to make a living with photography. It seems many of the pros are now running educational field trips to exotic locations or doing training themselves becoming your competition.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Birding: The Central Park Effect

 Recently watched a wonderful documentary on Netflix called "Birding: The Central Park Effect" which follows the birding life inside Central Park. When I think of New York I do not think of a good birding location, but Central Park it turns out is a green oasis in a concrete jungle. This sea of green attracts migrates in the thousands as they make their way to and from their breeding grounds.

 This scientific phenomenon has been given a name called "the Central Park Effect" and this great film by Jeff Kimball captures the amazing variety of species of birds and birders that visit this urban wilderness over the period of one year. One of the main characters of the film Star Saphir has found over 259 different species of birds in Central Park and had lead bird walks in the park since 1975. She continued to do so while fighting her battle with breast cancer, sadly she passed in February of 2013.

  This is a must see and was one of the first programs watched when I recently join Netflix. If you haven't seen it and are interested in birds or nature, please track it down. It's available in iTunes to buy or rent.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Adobe Photoshop Photography Program offer soon to expire

 The Adobe Photoshop Photography Program, offering the Creative Cloud versions of Photoshop and Lightroom for $9.99/Month expires in the New Year so if you intend to become a creative cloud user you must act soon. You no longer need to have owned a previous version of Photoshop to take advantage of the offer.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Adobe extends Photoshop Photography Program deal

 Adobe has announced that the $9.99/month Photoshop Photography Program is now available to everyone, they have removed the previous product ownership requirements. Users who commit to a one year subscription (billed monthly) will get the Creative Cloud versions of Photoshop (PS) and Lightroom (LR) including future updates, 20 Gigs of storage and a Behance ProSite membership. Visit Adobe for more information.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Adobe Security Breach

 In case you were not aware Adobe announced today that their computer system had been hacked and some customer user account information including: User Id, encrypted password and credit card information had been accessed. Accounts that have been involved  (30+ Million users) will receive an email on how to re:set their deactivated accounts, which will require a password change.

  Remembering the numerous passwords we all have today can be cumbersome, but you should never ever use the same user id and password for multiple companies / systems / accounts. If you have accounts elsewhere that use the same UID/Password as Adobe's, I'd suggest that you change them up also. Use upper & lower case and throw in some special characters (?,>,$,%,# etc...) if possible. The longer and more random the password the better.

 Some people who have been slamming the Creative Cloud have been saying on line since this was announce that.... "See I told you another reason why you should stay away from CC" and other such rubbish. Ok... most of those same people have also been saying that they upgrade regularly and CC is not for them. I have to ask, how did you do your last upgrade? I suspect it was online with the Adobe store, and your information is likely as vulnerable as the CC members. This is not the 1st time a large corporation has been hacked, Sony went thru this a while ago and it likely won't be the last. I'm sure Adobe's recent subscription only business model decision made them a target, but I also suspect that the CC subscription service likely didn't make them any more vulnerable than before.

 I have two Credit Card accounts one for everyday brick and mortar purchases and a second with a very low limit that I use for all of my on line activity. That way if my account does end up being hacked, and the bank says I'm responsible I'm only on the hook for a small amount. People tend to freak a bit when this stuff happens but it is encrypted and when you go to a restaurant you often hand your card to a perfect stranger who walks off and does who knows what with it while away from the table.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Adobe's Photoshop Photography Program

The Photoshop Photography Program is a new packaged price for the creative cloud versions of Photoshop (PS) and Lightroom (LR) that Adobe announced during Photoshop world (Sept’13). This was their response to the overwhelming backlash from the photography community who thought that the $20/month price point for essentially a Photoshop rental was way too much when compared to the old price when updating the standalone license approx. every 18 months. I agreed with the majority of Photoshop only users and said I’d never subscribe.

  So Adobe will now RENT (yes it is still a rental model Bus. plan) you Photoshop and Lightroom for $10/month under this new program as long as you own a Photoshop CS3 or a newer license and agree to subscribe for a yearly membership before 31-Dec-2013. This reduced price is not an introductory price which will increase after the 1st year, it is a reduced membership plan for who knows how long. Adobe has said that the price will remain as long as you retain your monthly payments. If you decide to unsubscribe, and rejoin sometime later your monthly fee will revert back to the original $20/month plan. 

 I had said I would never subscribe, but I have decided that at $10/month this makes sense for me. In the past I have updated both applications soon after they were launched. I’d always wait until early adopters had identified any major bugs before I updated but soon after the dust had settled I was handing over $200+ for PS and $80 for LR. In fact I had just updated to LR5 when this announcement was made. I asked Adobe for a refund and since I had purchased LR within 30 days, they gave me a full refund which paid for the 1st 8 months of my CC membership. I have always wanted access to some of the PS extended features, but to upgrade from my standard version was alway too expensive, now I have an extended version which is another reason for my subscription decision. 

Scott Kelby did a very good job of explaining why Adobe made the leap to a subscription business model on his Grid Live pod cast available on the Kelby TV web site. I wont go into the details but it comes down to Adobe being able to roll out new features quickly to users and still meet the tax law requirements they operate under. The tax law states that new content could only be rolled out if customers paid a nominal fee for them. This happened with creative suite 5.5, the new features couldn't wait for a tradition 18 month roll out, so for $45 they made the content available with a half version update. Instead of waiting for application roll outs every 18 months, under this subscription model they can make them available to users sooner and still meet the requirements of the USA tax code. Scott states that regardless what you think about Adobe's business model, protest all you want they will not return to a stand alone license model. To provide content and stay relevant in this world of quickly changing technology they can't go back. 

I'm still skeptical about Adobe keeping the monthly subscription fees at the current $10/month level and I'm still not carzy about renting software. I'm sure like everything else the price will increase, when and by how much only time will tell. But for me at this price point this made sense, it may not be for you and that is your choice.