Following the unveiling of iOS 7 at WWDC 2013 earlier this week, there’s been a great deal of criticism hurled at Apple, much of it coming from some of their most loyal devotees. I have to say that I disagree with most of what is being said. By and large, the most unanimous hatred is focused on the design of the new icons. Personally, I’m really pleased with them. Look at the old camera icon next to the new one:
The old icon looks totally bizarre to me now. It’s much more a disembodied cyborg’s eyeball than a camera icon. The new one in iOS 7 is simple and clean. It’s going to be much easier to find when people need to quickly snap a photo. The Verge’s Joshua Topolski, who threw the whole kit and caboodle decisively under the bus, called it “…shockingly basic, and more childish than elegant.” I generally enjoy Josh’s commentary, but here I fully disagree.
After watching the full two-hour keynote and letting it soak in over the past 48 hours, there was one moment that struck me as troublesome. When Craig Federighi demoed the new Weather app, he cheerily explained one function that Apple should revisit. It happened when he tapped on the temperature to reveal detailed weather conditions:
It’s one thing to simplify a user interface and modernize its appearance, but when you take the leap of removing visual controls altogether, in my opinion, you’ve gone too far. Here, the user is forced to learn where hidden features reside, and the only way to find them is with dumb luck. Everyday features shouldn’t be easter eggs. This will result in frustration, and the all-important user experience will take a real hit.
I first hacked my Panasonic GH2 in the Fall of 2011, and until recently, it’s remained that way. I would sometimes consider putting the original firmware back on it, but I never committed to the idea. Recently, a patch gave me a little trouble, so I decided to hack my camera back to its original state, just for the sake of starting fresh. Before I transplanted my camera’s brain, I needed to make 100% certain I wasn’t going to screw it up. Continue reading →
To kick off this review, I’d first like to provide a quick lesson about ND filters. Basically, an ND filter acts like tinted sunglasses for your lens. They dim the amount of light that comes in, so you can open up your aperture when shooting in bright sunlight. Shooting with a maxed out f-stop in a bright environment lets you achieve creamy, blurred backgrounds by selectively focusing on your subject. You can also shoot longer exposures than you would have otherwise. Without the tinted filter in front of your lens, employing these techniques would leave you with overexposed images. That’s why ND filters are a great creative tool for both video and stills. Continue reading →
Adobe recently announced that all of their Creative Suite software products, which includes luminaries like Photoshop, Illustrator and After Effects, will be moving to a subscription-only, download-only, cloud-based business model. The good news is that you can get legitimate versions of all of these programs in a bundle for a paltry $50. The bad news is that your license expires after 30 days. You can no longer pay for an Adobe CS product once, and own it indefinitely. Going forward, they won’t even be called the Creative Suite any longer. Welcome to the Creative Cloud, everyone, where it’s always cloudy with a chance for clouds. Continue reading →
I’ve been writing for a long time. In fact, I started when I was just a little boy. I wrote my name. I wrote the word “cat.” As the years passed, I wrote more and more words.
Out of all of the words I’ve committed to the page, my favorite piece, by far, was the essay I wrote the day MCA passed away, entitled Close Encounters with Adam Yauch.
It’s been a year since the we lost Mr. Yauch, so I decided to mark the occasion by posting some Beastie-related stuff. Also, if you’re near Brooklyn today, you can take part in MCA Day. But, hurry up. It starts at 11AM.
I had the opportunity over the weekend to test drive the new Ableton Push, a hardware control surface with 64 velocity-sensitive, RGB-LED illuminated trigger pads, and a host of other controls and goodies. Continue reading →
At long last, Zoom has announced the follow up to their popular H4n Handy Recorder, the new H6. Recently, when I shared my opinion on the new Tascam DR-60D, the first thing I looked for was more than two XLR inputs, and unfortunately, I didn’t see them. You can’t see the four inputs on the Zoom H6 either (in the press photos—at least), but they are there. So that’s a good thing. Continue reading →
The town or city that you live in is only as good as its record stores. Seriously. If the place where you live doesn’t have a local, independently-owned record store or two, you should immediately pack up and move to some place that does. Now. Continue reading →
A new kind of camera gimbal called the MōVI was introduced last week by a company called Freefly, and the basic idea is that it’s a handheld version of an external camera mount for a helicopter. Like a Steadicam system, the MōVI (pronounced Moe-Vee) makes it possible to create shots that glide fluidly, as if the camera was floating through the surroundings with a dreamlike flow.
While a Steadicam system is really awkward looking in person (a nerd version of Robocop wearing a goofy vest), the Freefly MōVI is majestic, hypnotic, with an almost impossibly futuristic mechanical grace: Continue reading →
Today at NAB 2013, Blackmagic Design shocked the production world the second year in a row with the announcement of their new Pocket Cinema Camera. It packs much of the same punch as last year’s groundbreaking Blackmagic Cinema Camera, in a more compact form factor—at one third of the price. Continue reading →