Combo App Instruction for Mobile Devices.

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Finally a site that shows how to get the results you see many photographers getting using combo apps on their mobile devices. This is the best place I have found to learn how to get similar results.

This guy is quite famous.


All the rest. The menu at the top has other options.


Flickr group on mobile extreme editing. Great for ideas but you won’t get instruction here.



Shooting and Processing with your Tablet or Phone.

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Above image was made with the Snapseed app which is free.  iPad Mini.

With 35% of folks in the US owning tablets and 51% owning smart phones it’s no wonder that far more photos are taken with smart devices than regular cameras these days. Never in human history has it been so affordable to take and create art from photos. People already have the devices, if they want to use the camera it costs them nothing but their time. Processing with purchased apps is very in-expensive with most apps costing around .99 – $2.00 each with many being free. Also people aren’t as intimidated to use their phone cameras in public like they might with a larger camera and other people don’t seem to mind or pay attention like they would if we whipped out  a big DSLR and zoom lens. The bottom line is more people are excited about photography then ever its just that the devices have changed. Absolute image quality was never a concern with most people, it’s the same today. Cell phone camera features and quality will continue to improve as a way to get sales. Current top end cell phones are plenty fast enough for just about anyone, it’s the photo video & software that will give practical improvements from this point on.

At some point in the future IQ will reach a high enough point that larger P&S type cameras will no longer be used by the majority anymore (some say we are there now, I don’t agree just yet). Just us more serious photographers and pros will lug around those 5lb bricks, but even full frame sensor cameras will get smaller in the form of mirror less versions like we have now except  they are still too expensive for the average person. The major camera makers should have gotten their name on cell phones a long time ago to develop brand loyalty. Big names like Nikon are going to be left behind and end up focusing on the mid to pro / high-end of the market which is what they are good at already. Eventually they will make what the market demands even if other brands like Fuji, Olympus & Sony take a large chunk of that market away from them. Canikon will still be around but their offerings will be different from what we see today in the big box stores. Even screen technologies are about to change in the next 3-5yrs

Users are taking their creativity to places they never would have otherwise due to the time and skill it would take to use Photoshop to do the same effects, now in just a few minutes they can mix and match app effects and in some cases control where and how much effect is applied to the image. Once a user gets to know what can be done with various apps then it gets easier to visualize the end result while taking the photo. Creativity is never a bad thing. Say what you want about cell phone / tablet image quality at least folks are having fun and creating some very interesting art with them and that’s what it’s all about not making huge prints and getting paid to take photos. Some Pros look down  their noses at this but it’s a growing trend with no let up in sight so we might as well get used to it, even embrace it. If someone likes the result what does it matter how it got there. Few young people make large prints very often and most don’t make prints at all, it’s all electronic display and web pages now and the small files tend to look much better then when viewed at 100% ( very few folks do that with mobile devices). Every one I know with a smart phone is taking and showing photos and that’s not going to end anytime soon. Fact is on those small screens most images look pretty good IMO. Mobile devices all have a long way to go, they need bigger sensors ( or better ones) Optical Image stabilization, and really excellent lenses. Various manufactures have done some very interesting things on the software side but no one has put it all together in a way that gets me excited about a phone’s camera yet. I have no doubt that will happen in the next few years.   Just look at what some cell phones offer in their cameras for example,  They have burst mode, sweep panorama, HDR (that really works without any ghosting), slow motion video, software image stabilization that mixes different parts of images to get a sharp one,  Tap focus instead of the slooooow pan of the focus point on typical P&S cameras, and a ton of apps for specific purposes like motion blur / trails ( slow shutter modes), real-time film effects and filters for example. P&S camera makers don’t have a chance anymore to get sales back. That boat already sailed and it’s not coming back. A few folks are still buying P&S cameras but very few compared to a 5+  years back. Same is happening with PCs now that tablets are being used by over 35% of the US population and increasing by the day. Smart phones are at 51% and climbing. at some point sales will flatten out just like they always eventually do.  Phablets (large phones) will eventually have much bigger screens with flexible folding displays. We have not seen the maturity of tablets and phones yet like we have with DSLRs and lenses. With TVs it’s hard to say due to the high cost with new tech in the first few years. 4K is here and will be priced about the same as current in a few years but screen technology may take a while longer to make any real market disruption.

At another level some folks are using tablets etc. to process images taken on a regular camera. I do some of that because the apps can do things I can’t or don’t want to do on my desktop plus I can work on an image when not at home. The latest iPad for example has plenty of computing power to process a decent sized image. If you use a IOS device forget about using iTunes for image transfer because iTunes will downsize your images and Apple has not provided a way to turn that off (dumb), as a result we need another app to work around that. I use WiFi Photo Transfer, it’s super fast, wireless and easy to use and I end up with full rez images on my iPad. Be carefull that all your apps will save a full rez image as many don’t, or you might have to set them up in each apps settings section to make sure, even then larger files can cause crashes with some. With Android you have more freedom with drag and dropping files compared to Apple’s closed system. I’m not loyal to Apple, when Samsung better meets my needs I will go with Samsung it’s just a tool. All of Apples tablets have the same old iSight camera in them. Not bad but not the latest either plus no flash and no pano or burst mode (iPad Air 2 is an exception).

I find that my iPad Mini does not have as vibrant of colors as the larger iPads ( the new Mini 2 & 3 retinas are the same way) reds are much more muted than our other devices and I don’t recommend serious photo editing with a Mini. Certain hues of orange / red just don’t look as good as my PC or other iPads. Early indications are that the Mini Retina screen also has a smaller color gamut and that some displays have an image retention issue. Cnet says it has a 63% color gamut which is just plain poor by 2015 standards. If your used to using a wide gamut monitor or a phone with an Amoled screen you won’t like the iPad mini.

Click on the image below and look carefully at the color differences between the full sized iPad and the Mini, in particular notice the color strip that goes to the upper right corner, there is a major color shift as all the red appears to be gone from that color. I should also note that the Samsungs I have done side by sides with have also been off in various ways. The new Tab S is suppose to be the most accurate in the Basic Color mode but I have not had one at home. The units I had to compare with showed the following. Galaxy Tab Pro 10″ = overly contrasty. Tab 3 = over saturated. iPad 4 = slightly under saturated. The apples had better shadow detail with the Samsung Pro having the most black crushing / blocking. Overall I prefer the larger iPad (which has a 100% + RGB gamut). I was comparing images to my calibrated IPS PC monitor (not wide gamut).


I’m not ready to go Amoled just yet until I see its reliable and without artifacts. So I have upgraded to the iPad Mini 2 until the real upgrade comes out in the Mini 4. I recommend buying refurbished when every possible. I can work around the 63% gamut for a while as I don’t do any serious editing with it anyway. I have to admit the Tab S screen does look impressive at first glance.


Android is going to offer raw shooting in a future update as well. The new Samsung Pro models are a nice step in the right direction. FYI Amoleds  have better blacks because Amoleds use individual LEDs to make a color pixel but then don’t last as long and the blue LEDs have about an 800 hr life span? (so I have read) which is not very good, (color shift after a while?) they also can suffer from burn in. A good calibrated IPS LCD can look more natural and last a lot longer in the long run. Phones don’t usually get kept for more than 2 yrs so Amoled is pretty safe there. Be careful buying a used Amoled screened device.

Update: 7/14. I have used  the new Tab Pro 10.1 for some time as I set a few up for some friends. This is a nice improvement all around IMO and I could be happy with this version of the 10.1 with Android 4.4 except for the over saturation on the unit I had. One thing I don’t like much is the camera interface and the flash is almost worthless as it won’t fire a lot of the time unless I force it too. The results with flash are fair at best and it always is in red eye mode so its very slow to take a photo when flash is used. Like I said Almost worthless in some situations. Well at least Samsung included a flash (are you listening Apple?). The next iPad I expect the camera and flash from the iphones to be included along with its slow motion video and such and a display with better color in the Mini then I would upgrade again otherwise I will go with the Air2 or a Samsung ?. Putting aside the pros and cons of both brands I would say the Pro is over priced at retail due to the iPad Air”s superior build at the same price point. At $399 I would recommend the Pro over the Air for most people (I regularly see this price on the 10″). The fit and finish of the  Pro 10.1 I have used is not very good, the silver strip around the bezel is lumpy in areas and the rest is plastic. I also note that all a 3 versions of the pro  10’s I have had seem to be slightly warped when set on a flat surface. The Apple feels like it’s precision made ( I am a machinist so I notice these things). In the end the new Pro Samsungs with a 16 -128 Gig micro SD card is a much better unit for those that like to view and share videos and music.

The bottom line is I recommend you get what your friends have if you’re not a computer person, so basically get what the people who will be helping you with your tablet are used to using otherwise you may run into quite a bit of frustration with either brand. I personally don’t like having to use iTunes or not having an SD card slot with Apple. On the other hand the Apples have much better build quality  as well as app selections ( which are made for tablets).

One thing that is in short supply right now compared to any other well know art form is tutorials (Youtube for example) using multiple apps to create artistic photos. Even the flickr groups don’t really explain how they got the image. but there is one place I know of .  Lots of tutorials here.


I’m way behind on  the apps below

Lightroom Mobile. You need to have a CC subscription to use this app. I find it too slow to use on my iPad mini (same as iPad2) rendering takes way too long when you tap on an image to work with it. I don’t see myself using it even though I have a CC subscription. Very limited adjustments in this first version. I imagine later it will get better. With newer faster quad core tablets it probably works well.

HDR. Not much need  now that IOS 7 has its own built-in HDR mode that works excellent. I deleted HDR Pro as a result. IOS is better with no ghosting. Also gives you cleaner files when high ISO is used. The reason is that all three shots appear to be taken instantly rather than 1 at a time like all other apps do.

PANORAMAS. Panorama 360 is great for in camera viewing and a lot of fun to use but don’t expect to get much from viewing the panos outside of the app they are small & soft looking images but look great inside the app itself. AutoStitch is what you want for high quality panos (18mp limit for Apple). Don’t forget to rotate you device on its axis (the lenses Nodal point) to reduce parallax error on closer objects. You can get a tripod mount for tablets as well. You will also want something like 645 Pro so you can lock your exposure, WB, Focus for better results. Note: Autostitch will not give the same quality results as a dedicated desktop software like Autopano Pro from Kolor. In some cases the desktop SW just blows the  app away.

MEXTURES is a very unique app because of its Guest Formulas which along with your own formulas you can make contain layers that you can go back and change anytime. This one is worth looking into. This app is for phones only at this point but still works on an iPad.

GLAZE turns you photos into oil paintings. Great app for inspiration to making actual oil paintings.

DISTRESSED FX  great app for getting that vintage textured look. The only issue I have with this app is that it is one of two apps I have  that will reduce the file size when saving. This needs to be fixed.

TANGLED FX  Unique effects to your images, nothing else like it. Lots of control over effects as well. Be sure to change back to the full rez from preview mode when saving.

SNAPSEED  This google based app is probably the most used photo  effects app out there and its free now. Used to be $4.99.  Google is really doing well keeping their apps updated, same goes for their desktop collection with the introduction of Analog Efex Pro which is free for existing users of the Google collection. It’s the best vintage camera app I have seen yet (not for mobile devices yet).

DECIM8  This app basically decimates your photos. Be sure to watch the YouTube videos so you can get the most out of it. Works great in combo with other apps. Unique effects you can’t get anywhere else. Usage is limited though. This app is for phones only at this point but still works on an iPad. unfortunately this app is no longer getting updates. Has a lot of potential though. There is no back button so you have to start over if you don’t like the effect. Effects only work if they are highlighted, be sure to turn them off when selecting new ones.

iCOLORAMA This app uses layers. You must hit apply after each adjustment for the brushes to work on the next effect. Lots of effects and color adjustments here.

PERFECTLY CLEAR Simple but effective app that seems to make almost every photo you run thru it look better. This used to cost $200 as  desk top plug-in. A bargain at $2

NOIR I really like this app but it only outputs low rez images so I won’t be using it much anymore. Needs updating after which I would highly recommend it. This is more than just a vignetting app. I would really like to see Snapseed get something like this as one of its features. My favorite vignetting control ever. It’s a shame to see this app go without anymore support. As it is Snapseed does have a vignette control under center focus but it is very basic without any shape control of the circle. You can though use the selective adjustment points under Selective Adjust or Tune Image in the desktop version to get something close.

HANDY PHOTO This has some nice features and filters which you can stack. It’s GUI is also different from any other app I have used.

ALIEN SKY This is a cool app for adds flare, planets, moons etc. to your photos. One feature this app needs is the ability to erase part of the effect so we can put them next to other objects in our images. Otherwise you have to save the image and fix it in layers. Several updates make this an even better app.

LORY STRIPES  Very unique app for adding design with ribbons. Ability to mask and  resize/rotate and much more.

PERCOLATOR  Neat effects that revolve around coffee nomenclature.

Here’s a couple of flickr groups.

Combo apps  Mobile Extreme Editing.   In the discussion section there are new apps that get reviewed. http://www.flickr.com/groups/comboapps

Decim8 group. http://www.flickr.com/groups/decim8

Mobile app group. http://www.flickr.com/groups/mobilephonephotography

Tangled FX app group. http://www.flickr.com/groups/tangledfx

Want flash on your tablet? see this. I want to try one of these.

Last but not least here are some reason to steer clear of those bargain priced off brand tablets.

  1. Custom Android OS’s that may not work the same with  your apps or an app someone else is using. Some new tablets are still using the old Android 4.0 which is really outdated  and can’t be updated without hacking the system and even then you may be able to. Android 4.2 Jelly Bean is the oldest I recommend and what most folks I know are using. 4.4. Kit Kat is the latest and my favorite so far and is available as an update to Tab 3s so far.
  2. Slower processors means laggy response compared to the latest tablets. Are you patient? it’s the same with your desktop or any other device.
  3. Poor batter life / quality, some only give you about 90-120 minutes of real world use, or don’t last too long. Once you get used to getting 10+ hrs. there is no going back. Using max brightness  outdoors will drain your battery even faster. Off brands may advertise 3- 5hrs or even 8 in a few but don’t count on it. It’s a real pain to not make it thru the day before running out of battery power. You will soon be spending money for a better tablet mark my words. Buy once not twice.
  4. Poor reliability and short warranties. your on your own once the warranty expires and no one would spend the money to fix it. Samsung gives you 90 days but has excellent reliability, Apple gives 1 yr. again with excellent reliability. This is a good reason not to go cheap. If you looking at $50 – $75 maybe but not $100 – 150+  for a tablet. Plenty of refurbs from Samsung to choose from now that are very affordable.
  5. Touch screens that are not too responsive to finger touch but work find with a stylist. Very frustrating.
  6. Most come with only 8 gigs of memory, make sure there is a slot for an Micro SD card so you can add memory. Apple does not provide these unfortunately.
  7. LCD screen that have low resolution and typical narrow viewing angles before color shifts and brightness changes occur.  Not good for sharing what’s on the screen with others standing at an angle to the screen or outdoors when you need max brightness.
  8. Some screens may have low max brightness levels which is very bad for outdoor use.
  9. Wi-Fi reception may not have very good range. That’s very important too and you can’t tell that from the specs, only from professional reviews or from the public if it’s even mentioned.
  10. When reading text in ePub or PDF format you may find scrolling and text rendering to have noticeable lag (slow to catch up with you).
  11. Poor camera and video performance.
  12. Poor resale value, but than again hopefully you didn’t pay more than $75 to start with. Just pass it on to a friend or relative.
  13. These units often get far more 1 star ratings then 5 star.  Some folks may get a good one and are relatively happy for the time being. Be sure you buy from a place that you can easily return the unit with no hassles.

How Much Is Sensor Cleaning Worth To You?

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Well there we have it, a new rebadged D600 with very minor upgrades. Not much to get excited about if you have a working D600 now. IMO this is a big blunder on Nikon’s part and a very big missed oppertunity for new sales by not adding some new must have features and improvements. The only way this makes any sense is if Nikon has another true upgrade right around the corner and the DF Retro camera is not it as it has nothing really new from the D610 except for external dials and the ability to use older non AI lenses. With no video it actually has less to offer overall. Nikon should have made the new 16mp Df have the 51 pt AF and at least 8fps or put in the 36mp sensor. As it is this camera just has a great sensor and retro looks which is fine but at $2,750 I think its over priced with it’s feature set. $1900 would have been more appropriate IMO. Time will tell by the sales numbers. After the newness of it wares off I don’t see it selling in large numbers. Maybe the Df2 will make it stand out other than its retro looks. Don’t get me wronge it’s a cool camera I wouldn’t mind having one but not at almost $3,000. Many baby boomers will be buying though.

The current or recent refurbs with the lens ($1599) are about as cheap as you will get for quite some time for a Nikon FF kit. The new D610 is going to be full retail again. So the question is does a savings of almost a $1,000 make doing your own sensor cleaning worth it? and are the few tweaks or features the D610 may have make paying almost a $1,000 more worth it to you?

Think about it , a wet cleaning is easy and takes about 5 minutes of your time. How much per hour would you accept to clean your own sensor? Say 12x a year for 5 yrs = 5hrs so about $200 per hour based on the numbers above. Oh, you say it takes you almost 10 minutes to do a cleaning, okay then $100 per hr to do the cleaning.  20 minutes you say ……………………………………………………….. and so on.

Cleaning supplies for that much cleaning come to about  $10 for the Eclispe solution and you can reuse the wet swab by buying the pec-pads ($8) and attaching  them to the stick your self or just use the wet swabs at a much higher cost ($35 yr). There are other brands as well. Chances are you won’t need to do 60 cleanings in 5yrs so you hourly rate goes way up in that case. Than in 5yrs when you go to sell your camera body your loss will be far less than it would have with a full retail purchase. Camera bodies are a poor investment anyways and in 5 years or less there is going to be a new model that is better and you know your going to want one.

IMO the latest refurb kits are the smart buy for those that upgrade their camera bodies every few years or so. If I could afford another camera I would have gotten one because there is very little financial risk due to the resale value being very close to the net cost of the body. Once you get some mileage on the body the oil spots if you even  get them at all should be minimized by then making resale much easier for those timid of doing their own cleaning. If you plan to keep your camera a long time and can afford to pay top dollar then go for it that’s what most do anyway, but a lot of smart folks save a bundle of money by waiting for discounts and rebates before buying that new lens or camera body. Photography can be a very expensive hobby / profession.

Here is a list of the most popular sensor cleaning products.

Eclipse Cleaning solution: There are a couple of types.

Swabs. There are several sizes of swabs
Arctic Butterfly:

Rocket Blower, everyone should have one of these:



The 4K Revolution Is Here.

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First off this truly is a revolution in the filming industry. Never has the entry price to a pro level state of the art video rig been this affordable. How will this affect photography? simple, as displays increase in resolution our photo files will show better and need to be of better quality as well. Just as the Apple Retina displays have forced changes in software so to will 4K. It will probably be a year or so if not sooner before  you start to see demos in your local box stores. Within a year or so you should be able to purchase and start watching 4K movies. One thing I do agree with though is what Tom Hogan said in this article: http://www.dslrbodies.com/newsviews/why-4k-heres-why-not.html  basically we are better off with 1080 done right than just adding more pixels with the same issues that 1080 has with the lower end of video recording devices. Very few if any affordable videos cameras get it right.

4K is  the future of video. Although you can stream some 4K media right now with Netflix and Amazon prime It probably won’t be available for live streaming or satellite viewing for most of us due to bandwidth limitations, but it can be used for delayed streaming and viewing and for a Netflix type of mail service using an SD card or? instead of a DVD that is sent back and forth, it’s also probably cheaper to mail and prices for SD cards have some down to just a buck or two when brought in bulk like Netflix would. An SD card should last longer than a DVD that gets damaged from handling. This will probably start next year as TV prices have already come down to under $1,000 and will continue to decline in price just like HD did. You won’t need a player, just a TV with inputs for 4K or a device with an SD card slot or the TV itself will probably have an SD card slot. Who knows what will come from this.

Can you see the difference between 4K and HD?  Could you see the difference between SD & HD? the difference is about the same as going from HD to 4K. You may say you don’t need it, doesn’t matter because it will be here anyway and your future large screen TV or computer monitor will look better than you could have imagined a few years ago. As Americans are continually buying bigger and bigger displays over time 4K will make a nice upgrade in image quality particularly in smaller rooms where viewing distance is closer than optimum. All those 60″ -80″ screems will benifit the most. larger sets will probably have some sort of uprezing capability built-in to help make regular HD look better with the new screens. But beware most reviews show that the uprezing actually looks worse than regular HD, only the better more expensive TVs show promise here. There is also no 4K standard yet so your new 4K TV may find itself getting out dated sooner than you would like with lower resale value to boot. After all this time LCD TVs still have some combination of viewing angle, contrast or local dimming issues. Things we didn’t really have with Plasma. I suspect Oled technology will take over as it appears to be a much better although expensive (for the time being ) technology. The best LCDs are pretty good but I would take plasma any day or now 4K Oled if I could afford it. Some day.

These types of video cameras used to cost $20,000 and much more. But now the tech has also come down in price. You can now get a production camera for under $4,000. This is HUGE (Very bad news for the other brands in the industry that charge up to 5-7x more) news in the video industry as it allows almost anyone to get into serious video production with a much smaller budget.

Computer monitors are already coming out with 4K capable screens (apple is first of course with their larger retina displays).

Here is the first affordable 4K production camera body (see link below). Shooting 4K does not mean you can’t reduce the rez to normal HD and still have the master for later on. They shoot in the raw video format for best quality during editing. A two hour movie might take up 2/3 of a terabyte of hard drive space in the raw unedited format. Even if a pro only shoots normal HD now this rig is probably a better value and most likely produces better HD when downsized. The dynamic range is claimed to be a solid 12 stops which is getting very close to the best film. Film is still king in the highlights and digital in the shadows. Since lighting can be controlled in many situations digital is more cost-effective for those situations. As you can see in the above photo the capture device / body is only a small part of the overall package in a pro setup. The cost of all the accessories in the above photo cost much more than the $4,000 body, even the tripod probably cost much more than $4,000 and the Canon lens pictured is about $23,000 (that’s right $23,000 and that’s only half the cost of the top of the line lens).  You can also use standard photography lenses too. New modern design Cine lenses are generally much more expensive. You can also have certain still lenses modified for Cine and save a bunch of money if that works for you.

Note: this price is even inexpensive compared to analog or smaller digital  format pro rigs from just a few years ago.


Video lenses, top brands. Best value and at the low-end of Cine lenses are from Samyang & Rokinon, from there the prices go up fast and for a reason. You can also save some money and have certain still lenses modified for Cine.


What’s the difference between Cine lenses and regular photographic lens and why are they so much more expensive? And can I modify my existing lenses for Cine?

Optically they are not that different as far as image quality goes except that pro Cine lenses are manual focus only, after all a Cine lens does not have to resolve like a DX lens does with a 24mp sensor. It’s the rest of the mechanics that make the difference, particularly with manual focusing and clickless aperture changes. Here are a few sites that explain it better than I can or want to.




The bottom line is that you can get by with modifying certain lenses and save bundle to start with. The latest Cine lenses do look cool though even mounted on a DSLR.

Lots of Cine lens photos. https://www.google.com/search?q=what+makes+a+cine+lens&rls=com.microsoft:en-US:IE-SearchBox&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=LnYdUqXMB6OysASMuYCgBA&ved=0CDQQsAQ&biw=1920&bih=962

At the low end of the price range you can now get a consumer grade 4K (actually more like 2.7K) video cameras starting at $400 with the GoPro Hero 3+  http://connect.dpreview.com/post/7088530444/gopro-hero-3-plus?utm_campaign=internal-link&utm_source=news-list&utm_medium=text&ref=title_0_2  These little guys are going to be popular for reasons other than just 4K. What makes the GoPro popular is all the accessories that you can get with one to help make your action movies with. http://gopro.com/camera-mounts Lots of videos on Youtube using this system. There’s no better affordable & fun to use action video system out there. With 720p @120 fps & 960 @100 fps & 1080p @ 60 fps & 1448p @ 48 fps & 2.7k @ 30 fps & 4k @ 15 (4k is not quite ar 24 fps yet) you can put together some nice effects. If only this had been around in my younger days. Note, even though  these cameras are sold as video cameras they still suffer from the rollling shutter effect that every other still camera has.

The one accessory you should not go without when using a DSLR or any video camera for video is external sound recording. Get something like the H4n zoom on Ebay and you will get far better sound than what a camera body can deliver even if you mount a mic in the hot shoe.  syncing sound is easy enough so don’t let that stop you. At the very least a high quality hot shoe mounted mic (a good one with isolation is needed)  is a necessity, even though the camera’s pre-amp is rather poor compared to external devices. Poor sound = a poor viewing experience.

Another issue with DSLRs is focus pulling ( a technique used often in film making), You simple can’t judge focus using the LCD to do this reliably. You need an external monitor such as the Zucuto eX Finder for example. http://store.zacuto.com/z-finder-evf/   These units offer peaking and zebras to help see what is actually in focus. There are other brands and products a well that might suit you better.

Dont forget a dolly slider / slider for panning shots and even  combined with rotation and zooming or focus pulling for extra effect. They can get expensive. http://www.stonehomephoto.com/products/dollyslide.html     or   http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=Dolly%2Fslider&N=0&InitialSearch=yes

You will absolutely need a fluid head, these are more reasonable in price for the smaller ones. Start at around $160  for solid models that can handle a decent load and rotate really smooth.  There are some in the $60 -89 range that might work for you as well if price is a factor. check the reviews carefully.     http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/buy/Video-Tripod-Heads/ci/3918/N/4028759242

The biggest problem with DSLRs is rolling shutter effect and jitter with panning. Many also don’t let you adjust Aperture when in video mode (you can adjust it by changing modes than coming back to video) and that is a real pain. These  cameras usually don’t have focus peaking or zebras (these show you on the LCD screen what is in focus when manually focusing). They tend to auto focus noisily and have poor sound recording capability. While you might be able to make decent videos with them they are not designed as video cameras and the sensor / shutter is not optimized for video. True large format video cams work much better for serious film making and now that there are many of these to choose from  there is less interest from the serious amature film makers  then a few year back when the Canon 5D2 was the only affordable game in town.  Many DSLRs video is fair at best and good to very good only when the conditions are right (compared to the best dedicated digital video rigs). The Canon C series is a dedicated system for example, but cost a lot more of course.   http://cinemaeos.usa.canon.com/

One of the high end video brands.  http://www.red.com/store/cameras

My old Nikon D90 was the first DSLR to have video as a feature and the quaity was just plan awful, my iPad did much better. The D90 might have been able to give more isolation and cleaner low light video but the video never looked sharp IMO. In contrast the video from my iPad 3 & 4 is much more satisfying to view because there is detail and sharpness in the scene and the colors look better without processing. The newest D7100 is better and has more features but you still can’t adjust Aperture in video mode and it give plenty of jitter when panning at anything faster than a snails pace. Does have excellent high iso though and sharp enough video, a step in the right direction. I believe the Canon 5d2-3 are better suited for video overall and many wedding photogs are using those for video fusion.

Corel’s Paint Shop Pro as an alternative to Photo Shop

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Update: 3/2017. We are now up to X9 and although it is a bit better then X7 the performance is still the same as it has been for years. PSCC is way faster and smoother when using a lot of layers with 24mp files. I use PSCC now plus PSPX9.


With Paint Shop Pro’s X6 64 bit version now available there’s even less reason for most photographers to have to pony up almost $700 for PSCS6 which won’t be updated anymore according to Adobe (at least with new features) or to pay a monthly charge for using the latest version for the rest of your life. At a retail of $79 or $59 (I paid $29 on sale without the plug-in. $39 with the plug-in) to upgrade for the ultimate version of PSPX6 which comes with the excellent plug-in called Perfectly Clear makes this is a very well priced software. Check out the mobile version of Perfectly Clear at only a couple of dollars, I think you will be impressed at how often you prefer the output of the app compared to your own or the camera’s editing, I know I was. Even if the effect is subtle It’s often  better. You won’t get it in the free trail as  you have to purchase the Ultimate edition and get the extra download to use it. There’s not a whole lot new from X5 in X6 except for some performance updates. You also can drag and drop images into layers now instead of the time consuming copy and paste method. The Speed performance is just noticeable and not a huge step up.


Update #1: Someone has made a script that allows PSPX6 users to use the whole Google Collection (Nik) of software. Works great. http://forum.corel.com/EN/viewtopic.php?f=56&t=51492#p275433

If you already have X5 installed with NIk’s Color Efexs Pro 3 installed X6 will see that plug-in if you get the 8bf file out of the X5 folder and put it in your plug-in folder. Although it will only be usable in the 32 bit version (you install both just like Photo Shop).

There are a lot of angry fans of Adobe these days and X6 is probably looking pretty good to these folks. There’s still a long way to go IMO but X6 64 is a step in the right direction. If you have a raw convertor like Adobe Lightroom or?  then PSPX6 makes a really nice compliment. For raw shooters I don’t really recommend PSP as a one stop solution. Most of your plug-ins will probably work with X6, all of mine do except for the ones mentioned above. In fact  many of the higher end features found in PS can be accomplished with plug-ins if not with X6. Higher end pro photographers already used to using PS and actually making a living with photography will probably go with CC or just keep using what they already have but a whole new generation of users will probably bulk at the Creative Cloud commitment and long term expense and go with PSP X6 or?. Actually there’s no reason that PSCS6 can’t be used for the next 5+ years unless some SW conflict arises or some new “I can’t live without it” feature comes out in a future CC version of PS. If money is an issue X6 should suffice, if you can afford it go for the CC  Photo Shop only solution which will cost you about $20 month annually or $30 on a monthly basis.

Corel’s PSP is just on the edge of being a true replacement for PS for the majority of photographers but there’s still work to do. Many of the filters need to be reprogrammed to respond much faster like the Adobe versions do now that we have all these high mp cameras. More tools need to work in 16 bit mode. Some kind of Auto Align would be nice too. The selection tools could still use some Adobe PSCS6 type of advanced capabilities. A version of Lab mode would be nice too. More options for text shaping like CS6 has and Better utilization of multiple cores. PSP is not that far from being a true competitor. Certainly Corel is capable of  bridging the gap some more. The question is why aren’t they doing it? They could certainly charge a bit more as well. Maybe have 2 versions of PSP, a standard Pro version and a Elite / Ultimate version that means more than just including a plug-in. I suspect there is a long range plan for PSP by Corel and it involves a limited budget each year for development. I expect version 7 to be a bigger jump though. At least the upgrade costs are just a fraction of what Adobe charges for each PS upgrade. I typically pay $39 for the ultimate version every year (regular version is $29 on sale) and each version is better IMO except for X3.

Update: . PSCC  is $9.99 a month as a regular price not a special deal.

Update: 9/14 I have been using PSCC for the last 6 months or so and can say that he speed and smoothnees of using layers and brushes really outshines PSPX6 in speed. PSPX6 just can’t handle 24mp files smoothly using layers and large brushes for example ( actually on my 4yr old quad its almost unusable). PS on the other hand hardly bats an eye so full size files are no longer problem for me. Corel really needs a performance boost that uses all cores and a Graphics card memory etc. Corel really hasn’t done all that much with PSP except add more features and make a 64 bit version. They really better be working on a faster version and some more updated selection tools etc to take advantage of PSCC and appeal to the more serious photographer that wants out from Adobe.

Nikon D7100 And The New 24mp sensors

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img_05The entire line of DX Nikon cameras are now at 24mp so what’s the deal with all those pixels?  I’m going to talk about the Nikon D7100 a camera that I own. first off you might want to see my post on dealing with High MP camera files. I really don’t notice any difference in LR between 12mp and 24mp as far as processing speed (except for importing and exporting). When I export I usually downsize to 12mp so no problem there as well, I do this because 24mp is just too much with my computer and Paint Shop Pro when using layers. Compared to a Full Frame camera the D7100 is still noisy at higher ISOs  even if it can in the right conditions almost match the D700/600 for example with some noise reduction but as soon as you start processing the image (increasing  the exposure or lifting the shadows) noise starts to increase at a higher rate than the FF files. Even though most folks don’t need 24mp we really don’t have much choice  these days but we still have an advantage with these sensors when the file is downsized or viewed at normal screen sizes. Now, my D7100 is a little cleaner up to ISO 3200 then my D90 (only goes to 3200) when viewed at 100% but when I downsize the 24mp file to 12mp then I realize a nice improvement in noise and to some extent sharpness as well. The AF on the D7100 is much better as well so having sharply focused images is the most important thing we have, there is not much that is worse than a high ISO image that is out of focus. The lack of an AA filter does make for improved sharpness at 100% on screen viewing and to a lesser extent improved local contrast with most lenses and particularly with primes. I think the Sony sensor from the D7000 is a better sensor overall (better balance of mp and noise + lack of any banding and color casts) and better suited to todays DX lenses, I would rather Nikon had used that one without an AA filter and maybe some tweaking here and there. There really has not been all that much progress in Cmos sensors since the D3s, just more MP and a bit of tweaking. The Sony sensors are still the best. The D5200/7100 use a Toshiba sensor. The bottom line is that the D7100 is all I need to take and create images for some time. Would I like to have a few FF cameras and the best lenses? Oh Yeah, but that costs a whole lot of money and chances are viewers wont’ notice any difference in my output anyway.

Update: Now that I am using PSCC I find that I can use the full 24mp files without any noticeable lag using layers and brushes which is a problem for Paint Shop Pro (layers and a large brush is almost usable on my 4yr old quad computer).

Remember that a 24mp printed image is only 40% bigger than a 12mp printed image in linear dimensions. How is that? well if a 12mp files makes an 8×10 (example only) then you would need 4 8×10 images to fill the space a 16×20 would take. S0 to get a print double the size of your 12mp camera you would need 48mp! 40% is not that much of a gain. The higher the mp the greater the gain to go bigger again. So if you have a Nikon D800 (36mp) and want a 40% bigger print from it you need 72mp! that’s right 72 mp. Going from 6mp to 24mp actually gives you a print double the size. So the next time you start dreaming about going to 36mp from  24mp consider that there is only about a 20% gain in print size. A real wake up call. Also for each increment in mp the gain is smaller as it becomes a smaller percentage of the overall size, for example going from 12-24 than to 36mp then to 48mp with the last 12mp jump yielding about a 22% jump in linear dimensions  (my math might be a bit off).

Okay so here are my thoughts on some issues and observances. This is not a review.

1. Buffer size: this is really not the issue people have made out of it.

FYI. Going from a 45MB/s card to a 95MB/s card makes a big difference and I assume that even faster future cards will add even more shots to the D7100’s high-speed continuous shooting before slowing down.  With a 45MB/s card the camera literally stops shooting after the buffer fills up and you have to wait several seconds before you can shoot again. With the 95MB/s card you go from 6 fps to 2.5 or so fps in DX  mode @ 14bits, this is totally workable for me. Jpegs of course give  more shots before the buffer fills and will allow you to use a slower card.

If you need more speed note the following info. Once the camera slows down you get better than 3 fps in 1.3 crop mode.

 A DPR poster posed his tests results.

” I’ve received the SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s  today (16Gb) :

Rate + number of pics before slowing down (with card empty, just formatted) :

1.3x, 12bit, compressed : 7fps / 19-20 pics
1.3x, 12bit compressed lossless : 7fps / 15 pics
1.3x, 14bit compressed : 6fps / 15-16 pics
1.3x, 14bit compressed lossless : 6fps / 9 pics”


Things really aren’t as bad as it first seemed and is likely to get better with future generations of cards. 7 fps is quite fast. Many folks do quite a bit of cropping for sports and wildlife shooting so the 1.3 crop mode should not be much of a problem in many situations.
I would assume this info applies to the FF camera bodies as well, particularly the ones with a DX crop mode.

Note: there are other brands besides SanDisk I’m just not sure about the speed comparisons.

2. Banding from pushing shadows and crushing blue continuous tones.

You may get horizontal banding in some situations if you push your underexposed shadow areas enough.  I don’t see this with D90 or S800 files so this seems to be another short coming of the Toshiba sensor in the blue channel. Note: you may never notice this in real world shooting unless you do some unusual processing. This artifact is the same (with slight variations) in a variety of convertors from ACR / LR 4-5 / PSPX5-6 / View NX. Also there are reports that this sensor may not be the  best choice for night photography due to the higher incidence of banding particularly at higher ISOs, on the other hand some folks who do night photography have reported not ever seeing any banding.  The banding is not much of an issue at all except for a rare few but even then the banding can be removed with software.

Note: Shadow banding is easily fixed with the De-banding tools found in Topaz De-noise or Nik’s Define 2. You do not need to have any noise reduction applied to use the De-banding tools. In extreme cases you can run the image thru more that once. You can expect 90-100% reduction of banding from the first pass in most cases. Now with that out of the way the D7100 has very good DR and you can push the shadows quite a bit. 14 bit raws give the cleanest shadows.

Sky banding (posterization) is not fixable to my knowledge so avoid heavy processing of clear blue skies (blue channel) or pick days with less clear skies for your projects. I have only  gotten this a few times in the last 2 years , the conditions have to be just right. Again this has only happened twice to me and this included a gray background in studio use but for that it only happened on one shoot and I have no idea why. Raw – 16 bit tiffs. Ligthroom 4-5 and PS CC or PSPX5-6. The only factor I can think of was the use of a high speed card I have for sports. I have not seen it since changing cards but don’t see any reason why that would be the case. Posterization is not a known issue for this sensor so I would not worry too much about this.

3. Color Casts within pushed shadows.

It’s there but in real world use its has not been an issue for me, and if it is I know how to fix it. Here’s what I found.

ISO 100, a touch of green in shadows.

ISO 200, the highest green of any ISO.

ISO 400, the most neutral of any ISO.

ISO 800, from here purple starts to get progressively worse as does noise and reduced DR.

4. Photos have yellow or green tint.

I’m not talking about the LCD screen which when new may have a bit of green cast until the adhesive cures just as it does in iPads. All the newer generation of Nikon Cameras seem to have less magenta then the D90/300/3 generations of sensors. You can adjust the camera’s WB in more depth by going to WB in the menu (not the info area) and getting to the color grid then adjusting all four parameters compared to just two in the WB from you Info button. If your still not satisfied you can make your own profile using the free DNG profile editor or just make some presets using the HSL tools. Another quick fix is to just apply a bit more magenta with the tint slider. Your raw converter may vary here depending on which one your using (Nikon Veiw and Capture NX don’t have this shift), and there could also be some updates or tweaking later on that will refine the color even more.

5. The lack of an AA filter makes this a much sharper camera.

Sorry that’s not as true as some are making it seem. Yes at 100% viewing with the best lenses at the right aperture will make for some amazing detail ( some what sharper) but once you leave those parameters the difference is lost compared to another camera with a weak AA filter like the D5200 with the same sensor that has a weak AA filter. Still there seems to be a sense of increased local contrast and acutance (is it real?). Both cameras can show excellent sharpness.

6. There are no lenses that can resolve 24 so why bother.

That is very true at the wider focal lengths there is not anything at 10-18mm that can do even 15mp justice at the edges or corners let alone the center. The Nikon 14-24 will come closest at the wider end and maybe the Zeiss 15mm. We really need some decent wide primes and updated ultra wide zooms. The Tokina 11-16 F2:8 or 12-24 mk2 seems to be the best at the moment from what I can see (I don’t own it though). From 18mm up we are doing better and with the current generation of primes we have really excellent IQ. Even kit lenses are starting to get better with the introduction of the 18-140 vr and new 18-50.  any lens will benefit from higher MP sensors even though they can’t resolve all the MP of the sensor. They will show better detail or a least a better larger file then you could get with the smaller MP camera and uprezing, and once you downsize the file the IQ tends to increase compared to just shooting the image with the lower MP camera. You will however notice more lens flaws at 100% viewing. Keep in mind that 24mp in DX is the same as 54mp in FF so there is more stress on the lens which is why wide angle has such a hard time (wide angle has always been difficult to get right). With the wider end of zooms your likely to notice the areas within the image that are not sharp, this is normal for zooms and may change somewhat with every shot as you move the lens and change focus and zoom with distance. A whole new generation of zooms need to be made for DX now. My Nion 12-24 does well at close distances with 24mp but not for landscapes I see just too much softness in the edges and corners for my taste. Downsizing to 12mp shows what I got from a 12mp camera which was never excellent IMO. If you can afford it FF is the better deal long term unless you need the crop factor or are good with what you get now. Don’t count on Nikon or Canon to supply you with more pro grade DX primes or zooms they want you to upgrade to Full Frame.

7. The build quality is much better then previous Nikon DX cameras.

Yes is does have better weather sealing and internal build quality but from just handling the camera I can’t tell the difference, they all feel like a light  plastic camera to me. It’s just the shape and weight that I notice. Did you notice that the weakest part of the camera is still not magnesium ( bottom of built-in flash in front and part of the main body).

8.  Pro AF from the D300 is much better than other consumers bodies.

Yes this time I do agree that the AF is much better than my old D90. Add fine tune and you can use large apertures with consistently sharp images at the point of focus. The AF/AE button is much better positioned to be used as AF-ON which pro bodies have a dedicated button for. Many pros only use the AF-ON button rather than use the shutter button for focusing.

9. Video is soft according to some reviews.

Maybe compared to the best but you can be sure that overall you’re going to get better video than older camera bodies. If your really into video you need a real video camera to which there are many larger sensored versions out there now. I have also read that some think the Video is better than the D600. The D4 had terrible video when it first came out (might be better now). The D800 is probably the best DSLR from Nikon for video.

10. Instant 100% viewing on the LCD.

This is one feature that I don’t want to be without now that I have been using it. You just program the Okay button to show a 100% view for instant feed back of focus. No more pushing the + button 6 times. Saves you time and folks don’t see you spending so much time checking (more professional). All cameras should have this feature.

11. Dual cards slots

Although I have never had a card fail on me in 6yrs I can see the value of two cards slots. You can also use the second slot for added capacity instead of back up. It probably cost Nikon $1 to put this in so I feel all mid range and up cameras should have this.

12. 24mp files slow down post processing too much.

Believe it or not that’s untrue. if you shoot Jpeg then you can just change the size of your Jpegs anyway.  For raw processing your making changes virtually (Jpegs as well) and not actually affecting the image itself so with LR I really don’t see much if any difference from my 12mp files. Now as always with LR you want to make sure you leave the lens corrections off until last or it will really slow processing down, particularly with the adjustment brush. I can have over a dozen layers on an image and not have any problems with my 4 yr old quad core  machine and 8 gigs. You can make exporting presets to resize if you want for Photoshop work or to access plug-ins from within LR after exporting to another folder or back into the same folder as 16 bit Tiffs. That takes a bit more time but not much. If your only working on a few images than you can just leave it full size. Once you go to export than your going to have to wait longer for the 24mp files. With one of the newer fast computers you shouldn’t have any issues with 24mp files.

13. Flash Misfires.

I have noticed this on 3 bodies and others are reporting this on forums. This seems to be some compatibility issue with certain flash units. What happens is occasionally you will get a low output flash pop in TTL mode only. I never  get a misfire with my SB800s but with an SB910 I did notice it on almost every shoot. Some others are saying the SB600 does this also.  I suspect this is something that most folks would not necessarily notice unless they were looking  for it. At first I though it was just the flash unit. I wouldn’t worry too much about this but it is worth testing for if you purchase a D7100. If your D7100 does this and you really want to keep it then concider changing flash units until this gets taken care of.

14. Odds & Ends.

Lock button on the program dial now prevents accidental changes. U1  & 2 is handy if you have never had it. New i button give short cuts  to some features. Controls for video exposure now located on the LCD.

Grips are so overpriced that I decided to try out a cheaper after market one (Meike) I had to send it back as the top mounting plate is too thin and flexes so much that with very little effort you can slip a dime into the area between the camera and grip. I wouldn’t trust hanging my camera from a Black Rapids strap using that grip at this time. So I may just wait for the price to come down some and get the Nikon or maybe  try another higher end after market version (yes there are higher end version for some cameras with magnesium in them, look at Phottix).

I think grips are really under utilized. Just think of all the options a grip could offer that the camera does not have. The camera would have to have the ability to communicate with the grip though.

For example:

Remote control capacity.
Increased buffer capacity?
Increased frame rate?
Wireless image transfer/ tethering
Other connections found on pro cameras.
Video options for better microphone and sound control.
Options for more custom user data banks like U1-2.
USB connect for auto updates.
Better fit with the camera so the grip looks more like its part of the body instead of an after thought.

You can probably think of a bunch more.

Actually if you consider how much Nikon charges for a built-in grip the screw on types are really a bargain, even the $450 D800 version.

D700 -D3 almost $2500 for that grip.  Same 12mp sensor and features. Only the D3S had a real world advantage. D3X (24mp version of D3) was way over priced, and still is.
D800 -D4 almost $3000 for that grip.  36mp vs 16mp. 36mp is cheaper. Big profits for those grips.  You could say the bodies cost more due to lower manufacture volume but that is only because Nikon jacks the price way up for the privilege of having a built-in grip. there should only be a $300 premium for those that want a full sized body with built-in grip, anything over that is just making lots of profit. Think about it, the grip is nothing high tech at all, it just holds batteries and has a switch or two and maybe another small LCD info window.

Other than the grip the cameras are not that different in the cost to produce.

Adobe Photoshop CS6 is the last version you can purchase.

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Update #2:   Until March 31st 2014 Adobe offers anyone the price of $9.99 month for CC of PS & LR.

A fair price  but your still renting software and will have nothing to show for your money if you decide to quit making payments, nor will you be able to open any of your PSD files. For many of you this will be enough of a discount to get your money. I went ahead and signed up. If I decide to quit I will just upgrade my license for LR and go back to Corel’s Paint Shop Pro which should be on version X7 by next fall. Other then the more advanced features the one thing I really notice with PS over PSP is that my full 24mp files process very smoothly even with multiple layers and a large brush. I couldn’t do that with PSP, I had to reduce file size coming out of LR. PSP is still using only one core and is just as slow as it was years ago IMO. PSP needs a major speed update.

Update #1: Adobe just announced (September 4th) that it is offering a new pricing for photographers who currently own PSCS3 or newer. The new pricing is $9.99 month. That is not an intro price but a regular price which is only good thru December 31st of this year. If you don’t already own PSCS3+ than your back where you started. This will probably satisfy some long time users of PS. What happens after Dec 31st? What about attracting new comers to PS? IMO that $9.99 needs to be available to all. $120 a year is plenty to ask from new photographers. Otherwise Adobe is going to miss an entire generation of entry level users. I suspect in the end the bean counters will advise adobe to make some changes for new photography only customers. In the mean time companies like Corel would be wise to take advantage of this period of time to attract new customers by updating and marketing PSPX? for example as a real alternative to PS. After all most photographers don’t need much more than what PSP offers anyway. At the very least Adobe should offer an older version of PS at a vast discount. Cs6 is still way ahead of the compitition and probably will remain so for years to come and as long as it works with future OSs it should be good enough for all but the most serious PS users. I bet the vast majority of CS6 users don’t use all it’s features or capabilities as it is. Adobe needs to keep you buying or it will go out of business and I understand that but there comes a point at which a SW does all you need and you don’t feel compelled to spend anymore on it. Raw convertors on the other hand need to be updated everytime you buy a new camera, and here again we now have camera bodies that should be good enough to meet most peoples needs for years to come. I believe we have reached the peak of the bell curve for our camera and SW spending. This is one reason Adobe has changed it’s business model. They will now focus on SW changes that make for a better work flow rather than on Bells and whistles to attract upgraders. Making the use of PS’s advanced features easier and faster to use is what will make PS more valuable to pros.  $9.99 is a good deal if you already have PS and are used to upgrading every other version.

Adobe goes to a Creative Cloud (CC) policy, what this means is that shortly you won’t be able to purchase software from Adobe’s Creative Suite anymore, instead you will be renting SW by the month or annually. Many people are upset that they will not be able to own newer versions of SW anymore and that is true. For Photographers who only use PS and LR CS6 will be your last version of PS that you can own and use without any restraints. Now there is no reason you can’t continue to keep using CS6 for many years to come, there is no reason to panic just save your money and see what happens over the next few years. Adobe’s main source of income is not from hobbyists or part-time photographers who only upgrade every 2nd to 3rd version, it’s from graphic arts businesses and full-time pro photographers that make up the major source of income for Adobe and for these entities this new CC arrangement may actually be a better deal for them. Don’t bother looking for alternatives to PS because none of them come close to CS6 and probably won’t for many years to come. If you think about it what could CS7 have that you need to spend $240 yr to license the software and not even own it? For designers they now have access to the whole Creative Suite of SW.

PSCS6 will continue to be sold for a while yet so you can still get a copy. Lightroom will continue to be available for purchase as well as part of CC. Many photographers are using older versions of PS without any need to upgrade. If you must look elsewhere the closet thing to PS is  Corel’s Paint Shop Pro X5. Corel also has very good alternatives to some of Adobe Creative Suite SW and it trying to take advantage of the situation http://www.corel.com/corel/pages/index.jsp?pgid=14900014 . How this move will affect Schools is yet to be seen , what do I mean by that? well, think about it for a minute, if a student takes a photography class and is taught Adobe PS he would have to go rent the software for the rest of his life in order to keep working with it or access some of his files (what Adobe does about this is yet to be seen). So, should schools teach people on a platform they can’t purchase and use indefinitely or use software they can buy and use at home without having to pay out a minimum of $240 yr to use? It will be interesting to see how Adobe works this out. Now is a great opportunity for other SW makers to try and fill the gap left by Adobe.  Corel is in the best position to do that by building further on PSPX5 and even charging more for a much need higher end version of it. for most photographers PSPX5 will do all they need. I doubt PSP will  match where CS6 is  for a very long time. PSP really just needs some more advanced selection and layer capabilities. Demand for CS6 will probably spike up at first so prices will as well, don’t expect any discounts on CS6 until next winter (if there is any or maybe just before it goes off-line).

Tom Hogan posted this on his site.  http://www.bythom.com/index.htm

  • “Creative Cloud Suite (all apps):   

  • US$49.99/month on annual basis (~US$600/year)
  • US$74.99/month on month-to-month basis (~US$960/year)
  • Upgrade from CS6: US$19.99/month (~US$240/year) for first year only
  • Upgrade from CS3 or later: US$29.99/month (~US$360 year) for first year only
  • Students/Teachers: US$19.99/month (~US240/year) on annual basis, for first year only
  • Students/Teachers: US$29.99/month (~US$360/year)
  • Teams of 4-10: US$39.99/month (~US$480/year) per team member for first year only
  • Teams of 4-10: US$69.99/month (~US$840/year) per team member on annual basis
  • Government/Education without Internet access or needing term licensing have to license a special version of cloud software ;~). Education should inquire about EEA programs, government should inquire about CLP-G programs
  • Photoshop only:   

  • US$19.99/month on annual basis (~US$240/year)
  • US$29.99/month on month-to-month basis (~US$360/year)
  • Until July 31: US$9.99/month (~US$120/year) for CS3 to CS6 upgraders first year only
  • No student/teacher pricing available
  • Limited access to services, whatever that means”

NEW:  Photoshop & Lightroom  

For existing PS users    $9.99 year.

Adobe responds to the reactions.


A poll of what peoples concerns are with Adobes move to CC.


For businesses and busy pros $19.99 to $49.99 a month is not much and keeps you up to date with the latest software. Hobbyist will whine and complain and bad mouth Adobe for some time to come. The best way to protest is to keep using CS6 for as long as you can or until something better comes along. You can always rent CC for a month or so for a specific project if you need to then go back to you older version. It’s true that at some point in time a newer OS might not get along with older versions of PS but then again CS6 might work just fine 5+ years or longer. I keep mentioning CS6 because if you’re using anything older than you’re not up to date anyway.

I can’t help but wonder what is going to happen with all the illegal PSCS6 software that is sold online (Ebay for example). Will it still be offered for years to come? Piracy will be reduced at some point but not eliminated. PS is much more expensive in some counties and as a result illegal use of PS is rampant. This move might make some angry enough to get their own Illegal copy of CS6 or ?

I think Adobe should offer CS6 at a discount for us  regular photographers until it’s no longer available, after all we don’t know how long it will work with future OS upgrades as CS6 will no longer get support once it’s gone and that goes for ACR  as well. If you buy a new camera and shoot raw you will have to use another raw converter program to work with raws. As time goes by people might start to think twice about paying $700 for a product that is at the end of its life from support. Adobe really needs to give some sort of discount or on going OS compatibility guarantee for years to come (not new features or update just OS compatibility). That would keep CS6 selling for some time.

Update: I just found this add-in for Photoshop Elements that brings it much closer to the full blown Photoshop.


It’s also being suggested by some influential folks that Adobe should produce a Photoshop for Lightroom version  that would satisfy most advanced post processing. This would be a lower version of PS but much higher than Elements. I suspect that Adobe will accommodate photographers in some way in the next year or two because a lot of folks are not going to rent Photoshop.