Eyepeice Blind for EOS 5D Mark-III

As I mentioned in my article Stepping Up to the Mark-III, Canon’s third incarnation of the EOS 5D, the Mark III, still lacks a proper eyepiece blind or eyepiece shutter. This really should be standard on a professional camera in this price range and seems like a pretty serious omission. Instead Canon have provided a rather inadequate piece of rubber which comes affixed to the Canon strap. The 5D Mark-III uses the much larger EG Eyecup, as opposed to the smaller EB eyecup used on the previous models. Thus the rubber Eyepiece Shutter (Canon’s rather inappropriate terminology not mine) is much wider than it’s predecessors, yet is made of the same flimsy rubber, so is a complete waste of time. Mine won’t even slide on properly. 

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Acratech GV2 Ballhead

Acratech GV2 Long Term Field Test

Acratech CV2 BallheadI’ve been an admirer of Acratech gear since purchasing my Ultimate II Ballhead in 2006. They are certainly different from the norm yet have a very good reputation. They are extremely light weight too, seem well made, robust, and can support quite heavy loads. I’ve owned a GV2 ballhead for over 3 years now which has become my principal ballhead, so I thought it’s high time I write a review and see if it’s lived up to that impressive reputation.

The Acratech Style

Acratech ballheads certainly don’t look like traditional ballheads but accomplish much same task albeit in a slightly different manner. They look rather skeletal in design, with almost all of the ball exposed rather than the traditional totally enclosed design that most of us are used to. This may be off-putting to some as you’d think this would expose the internal workings to dust, sand and the elements, but Acratech advise that a simple rub down with a dampened cloth or some isopropyl alcohol is all that’s required (they warn never to use oil or WD-40). Even with my Ultimate-II ballhead, in reality, dirt has never posed a problem, even when dumped in sand on the beach. I’ve just rinsed off the head with water and wiped it down with a damp cloth and it’s been fine. Remarkably the dirt just never seems to gets inside the workings.

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Video Review: Advanced Guide to Lightroom 5

Luminous Landscape – Advanced Guide to Lightroom 5

LuLa Advance Guide to Lightroom 5A new set of videos have been released by Michael Reichmann and Jeff Schewe providing an advance guide to the new features within Lightroom 5. Many will be familiar with previous releases from the duo which have covered every Lightroom version from LR1 beta onwards. These have proved a popular resource for those hoping to gain a deeper insight to the workings of Adobe Lightroom. This release is slightly different from the rest and a clue is in the title. It’s purely an advanced guide, so not aimed at beginners, and only covers the additions made to Lightroom in version 5, so does not, as in previous releases, include the entire package. 

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The Adobe Storm Clouds Continue

If there’s one thing for certain, judging from all the comment on many online forums, it’s that the Adobe’s decision to move their software to a subscription-only model is a highly contentious issue. Some love it, others hate it. There doesn’t seem to be many fence sitters on this one. I’ve already expressed my opinion here.

If you find you’re vehemently opposed to the mandatory subscription-only model you may wish to add your name to this online petition and spread the word around. I’m not sure how much good it will do, or whether Adobe will even take note, but there are currently of 33,000+ names of disgruntled Adobe customers on the list. I for one would like to see a choice from Adobe. We can but try.

The move by Adobe however, is music to the ears of potential competitors who must be jumping for joy. Many (and that includes me) will be looking at alternatives to Photoshop from now on, so this has provided a massive opportunity for third party software developers. Adobe is going to leave a huge gap in the market that may cause many an amateur or hobbyist photographer to jump the Photoshop ship in the coming months. Already we are seeing a far more attention paid to potential comparable products, which just a few weeks ago may have struggled to gain such notoriety. One particular product rapidly gaining a good reputation is the recently released Pixelmator which reached a whopping 500,000 downloads in just a single week. This no doubt assisted by Adobe’s announcement and which lead to the following statement being issued from Pixelmator. Currently priced at  just $14.99 it sounds like a bargain, so definitely one App I shall be test driving. Unfortunately for Windows users it’s MAC only.

Lightroom 5 Up To Speed by Piet Van Den Eynde

New LightRoom 5 eBook from Craft & Vision

Lightroom 5 Up To Speed

Hot off the press after the general release of Lightroom 5 from Adobe, Craft & Vision have released a 77-page eBook complete with companion videos, by Piet Van Den Eynde, claiming to provide Everything You Need to Know About the Adobe Lightroom 5 Upgrade.  This seems like super quick work from Craft & Vision, but as Piet lets on within his introduction, it’s largely based on the Lightroom 5 beta version. As we know now the official pukkah release is pretty much the same as the beta version with the bugs straightened out. Priced at a very reasonable $5 (around £3.20) and cheaper than a monthly photo periodical, I thought this worth a punt to see whether I’d glean any hidden gems within Lightroom 5.

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Lightroom 5 Released

Lightroom 5 Beta
The 5th incarnation of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom was released to the general public yesterday (10th June 2013) well ahead expected. The Lightroom 5 beta version doesn’t expire till the 30th June, so I wasn’t expecting a full release of Lightroom 5 till after that date. However, Adobe have been pushing their new cloud base platform software releases, so I guess there was some urgency to add Lightroom 5 to those as soon as possible. 

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London Photo Exhibitions: Man Ray & Sebastião Salgado

This last weekend I spent 24 hours down in the capital primarily to attend Eric Clapton’s last night at the Royal Albert Hall. Not one for spending much time browsing London shops these days, to make good use of my free time I looked to see if there were any photography exhibitions of interest. Two caught my eye: Man Ray Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery, and Sebastião Salgado: Genesis at the Natural History Museum.

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New Gallery Pictures

the-mountain-framed

Updated UK Landscape Gallery

I’ve at long last added several more images to my UK Landscape portfolio, which I’ve been meaning to do for quite some time. I’ve recreated a complete new set of jpeg files for the whole UK Landscape Gallery, which I thought didn’t quite look their best when viewed on-screen in a web browser, and the watermark logo wasn’t rendered so hot on some either.

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Storm Cloud Approaching From Adobe

Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe May Upset Hordes of Photoshop Users

If you are a serious photographer then there’s also a fair chance you are a user of Adobe Photoshop too. If you are then you maybe in for a shock, as on the 6th May 2013 Adobe announced that they no longer plan to sell retail versions of this software and all future editions will be available by cloud based subscriptions only.

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Lightroom 5 Beta Released

Lightroom 5 beta

Exiting new tools in Lightroom 5 Beta

Well it certainly came as a surprise to me when this Monday (15th April 2013) Adobe released a public beta version of Lightroom 5 for download and testing by their user base. It’s only just over 15 months since Lightroom 4 beta was released, and 13 months since the official launch of Lightroom 4, so with that in mind we should anticipate a final version of Lightroom 5 in just a few months time.

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