The Weekender – Web stuff and some thoughts on CS4

The last few days have been insanely busy with work and home obligations, so out of necessity I have not had time to devote to content for the blog.  My apologies for abandoning the readership temporarily, and without warning.  I’ll endeavor to give advance notice before that happens again.  So, with that out of the way, I thought today it might be useful to get a wrap-up of what I have been seeing and reading around the forums, blogs, and internet that’s photography-related.

  • Jeff Revell, who has become quite well-known for his photowalking blog made a few interesting posts recently.  In one of them, he did a reminder on updating your firmware.  Great idea Jeff – if you’re interested, I actually put together a post with all the Canon firmware updates as of a few weeks ago.  The other one was ab out the Epson Print Academy season for 2009 has been published.  I had been meaning to go to one of these for a while, and for a mere $150 think it is definitely worth the cost.  They’re coming to Denver and it’s a mere block or two from where I work so I will most assuredly be in attendance this go around.
  • Scott Kelby, master instructor of Photoshop, Lightroom and author of more books than I can count, is also bringing his tour through Denver some time in December.  Check out the schedule here if you want to see him live and in action at what he does best!
  • David Ziser has offered up a Digital Wakeup Call DVD worht $75 to some lucky participant if he gets 20 ideas on how to incorporate video into your selling packages for photography businesses.  Not a bad deal for 5 minutes of your time!
  • Don’t forget, I’ve expanded the poll here at CanonBlogger to go longer than the 1 week, so the numbers are a more accurate representation.  What features do you like about the curreng generation of camera bodies on the market?  What motivates you to buy?  Share your thoughts on the poll to the right.

Last, but not least, the hubub on most forums lately has been surrounding the release of CS4 and LR2’s latest updates.  The reason for all the hoopla comes every time there is a new release to the software, and it’s a cycle that likely will not end.  Rather than just pile on and vent, I thought for the second half of this double-feature wrap-up, I’d share some thoughts on why people are frustrated rather than just saying “people are frustrated”.  So, here’s a different perspective.

Software is not a tangible asset

Software is not like a camera body, or a car, or a television, it’s something that lives on your computer.  Thus, the value of it is not as easy to see.  We are very much a society that thrives on all our toys, and software just isn’t the same as having the latest body, or flash or television or car.  It’s not something we can touch and feel and show off to our friends.  It’s only on our computer.


With software, we are sometimes obligated to upgrade.  I personally had to upgrade because CS2 did not offer a raw converter for the Canon 40D.  Sure, there’s the Adobe DNG converter for free, and I actually have incorporated that into my work flow for the Mac where I don’t have CS3, but that does present another step in the process of a work flow that I was previously happy to not have to deal with.  Anyway, the point here is that if you don’t upgrade your software, you will find yourself unable to maintain a stable and consistent work flow (since you re upgrading other gear all the time too).

Competitive Pricing

With other technologies, competition keeps prices under control.  Camera vendors like Canon, Nikon, Sony, and the rest all have to compete with one another for your business.  Adobe really has no competition in the market place.  Okay, sure, there’s Corel, and the GIMP, but come on, who are we kidding?  Adobe is the market when it comes to photo editing software.  All the others are simply “alternative programs”.  Without a competitor, Adobe can price things however they want, knowing that those of us who have already invested are pretty much committed to maintaining our work flow by keeping the software interface as consistent as we can.  To their credit, upgrades are cheaper than the full blown versions of the software, and there are often promotions and suc (educational pricing is the best way to go imho – take a community college class once every two years and you will save anywhere fro $300 to $700 on pricing for the CS products).

Release Schedule

Do we really need to upgrade our software and work flow every 18 months?  With cameras, (which are released on the same schedules for most SLRs), most people I know wait at least 2 generations before upgrading.  Another analogy that has been made here is to cars – anyone upgrade their car every two years?  What about televisions?  Do we really upgrade our televisions every 18 months?  Unlikely…and even if we do, is the old television still usable?  Often times, the older version is relegated to the basement or a childs bedroom, or even sold second hand.  Who buys outdated software?  No one that I know of…

So, there’s the second half of the weekend post.  What do you think?  Am I off base?  Is the software market competitive?  Do you think the pricing is fair and equitable?  What about the upgrade schedule?  Does 18 months sound about right?  Sound off in the comments!

Again, sorry for the lack of material over the last two days.  Hopefully this will make up for the lack of content on Thursday and Friday.  Now, since you’ve finished this, take that last sip of coffee, pack up your gear and go have fun shooting!  (In other words, Happy Shooting!)  We’ll see you back here again on Monday.

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3 comments for “The Weekender – Web stuff and some thoughts on CS4

  1. September 27, 2008 at 9:38 am

    A friend of mine just emailed me one of your articles from a while back. I read that one a few more. Really enjoy your blog. Thanks

  2. September 27, 2008 at 9:44 pm

    This is a good summary of the “state of affairs” – too often emotions dictate prosumer upgrades rather than good decision making.

  3. Spud
    September 29, 2008 at 7:35 am

    I would love the software to be less expensive…yet with regards to Adobe specifically i find pricing to be a fair. Strictly a beginner hobbyist here-I feel the value/fun/quality/flexibility/functionality received is incredible. And i never disregard the value of the online training, forums, etc that add greatly to my growth as a photographer and user of software. Saying that..i wish upgrades didn’t come so fast. Perhaps if i was professional-one financially dependant so to speak-using software to enhance their art and to keep ahead of the competition with new fresh techniques i might think differently. But i would guess many of us have not even begun to master the capabilities of our current software before we begin thinking we need the latest. The upgrades keep my interest and excitement and desire to learn more, more, more but also takes away from getting deep into the nitty gritty of what i already have. And maybe even slowing my progress because i’m spending spare time researching all the “latest developments” instead of developing my skills. It’s all fun though 🙂

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