Friday, March 30, 2012

Lightroom 4 and Photoshop ACR v7.0

 Early adopters of Lightroom4 (LR4) like myself are receiving  pop up warnings when trying to export Edit into Photoshop CS5. The Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) version used in LR4 is ACR 7.0 however Photoshop's ACR hasn't been updated yet resulting in the following warning:

This version of Lightroom may require the Photoshop Camera Raw plug-in version 7.0 for full compatibility.
Please update the Camera Raw Plug-in using the update tool available in the Photoshop help menu.

 The suggested method of updating doesn't work because again you can't update to something that isn't available yet!! Not sure what Adobe was thinking? Looks like a rush to market with little fore thought of the consequences.

 Adobe's response to user's question are:

Camera Raw 6.7 (currently available on Adobe Labs: ) provides compatibility between Lightroom 4 and Photoshop CS5. The final release of Camera Raw 6.7 through the Adobe update mechanism will be available in the very near future.

Camera Raw 7.0 (currently available on Adobe Labs as party of the Photoshop CS6 beta: ) provides seamless compatibility between Lightroom 4 and Photoshop CS6. The final release of Photoshop CS6 will be available later this spring. 

However some users are still having issues after updating to ACR v6.7. Some who have updated to v6.7 still get the warning, others are complaining about noticeably brighter images in Photoshop rendered images "Open Anyway" compared to those that were rendered in LR4 which appear to match the original. Jeff Schewe recommends rendering in Lightroom prior to Photoshop editing, or to instal ACR6.7 with the caveat of dealing with the know issues. I will move forward with Lightroom rendering rather than dealing with all of the unknowns of ACR6.7.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Manfrotto Magic Arm

 I recently purchased the Manfrotto Magic Arm which is, truly magic. The arm provides a flexible and stable way of mounting a camera to a pole or any flat surface in locations where tripods are forbidden. The arm is available in two different models and each offer different configurations with /without camera brackets etc.. One model uses a locking lever the other uses a variable friction locking knob which provides a more precise method of positioning your camera or lighting head. The locking knob located at the elbow joint when tightened also locks in place the two ball joints at either end making it very easy to position your camera.
 Both models can be purchased with a quick release camera bracket (which uses a 200PL-14 plate) or a removable camera / umbrella platform bracket. I went with the platform version and then added a Manfrotto 323 quick change plate adapter, essentially the flexibility of both models in one. The arms can also be bought without a camera bracket or in a kit which includes: platform bracket, backlite base and a super clamp. I recommend getting a super clamp even if you do not own the magic arm, it's an indispensable piece of equipment when trying to securely mount a light, gobo or any equipment that uses a spigot. You can use a super clamp along with a Justin clamp and mount a speedlight almost anywhere on location.
 The arm is ideal for low light or night photography in places where tripods are not allowed: buildings, observation decks etc.. The rent a cops (security) in these places are usually only interested in tripods, so if it doesn't have three legs they'll usually leave you alone. Others have used the arm to mount cameras on bicycles or cars to capture video and have found it to be very stable.
 The arm likely wont fit in your bag but it's fairly light and compact when folded up and can be easily transported around. I order mine through B&H in New York because local shops here in Toronto didn't carry the friction version. I received the arm within a couple of days and even with shipping charges the price was cheaper when I compared to local prices on similar model.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Lightroon Ships at Half Price

Adobe's Lightroom 4 has been released and for the first time in Lightroom’s history, Adobe has lowered the price from $299 down to just $149 for the full version, and only $79 for the upgrade. Also remember that NAPP members receive a 15% discount.