Aurora HDR 2018: stunningly beautiful, realistic renderings of HDR and more control over the end-result

I wasn't yet tired of working with Macphun's Aurora HDR 2017 or the company announced its newest version, Aurora HDR 2018. It must be said, the new version looks better than the previous one, but the main reason why you would consider upgrading is that tone mapping has become more realistic, thanks to a new and improved algorithm.

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The Carbon Copy Cloner 5 review and interview with Mike Bombich

Bombich Software recently released an upgrade to its backup and disk cloning application, Carbon Copy Cloner. Carbon Copy Cloner 5 offers complex task filtering, coaching tips, smarter pruning, task grouping and scheduling and more. It still allows you to create exact — bootable — clones of a startup disk and enables you to check if a backup or clone hasn’t been corrupted due to bit rot or other errors. And while I was at it, I had a short talk with Mike Bombich, the developer and publisher of Carbon Copy Cloner, on backing up, offloading and securing your backups.

The ultimate colour grading plugin for Final Cut Pro X: CoreMelt Chromatic

Turning Final Cut Pro X into a grading application a la Da Vinci Resolve is what Chromatic, CoreMelt's latest plugin sets out to do. It succeeds pretty well by cramming a lot of functionality into this full-blown colour grading solution. It's the only plugin that delivers the ability to select colour ranges right in the clip viewer, but to appreciate its power to the fullest, a lowly iMac such as mine won’t do.

Toast 16 Pro has “Pro” interface, more apps for creativity and security

Corel Roxio quietly released Toast 16 with a new accessory app, MultiCam Capture. As tradition wants it, the Pro bundle includes yet other new apps, including FotoMagico 5, WinZip for Mac, Corel Painter Essentials and Corel Aftershot 3. I went through all of the new offering, but not without first taking a good look at the new Toast features. After all, the suite’s core still is Toast, the app to burn DVD’s, Blu-Ray discs and CD’s.

Hahnel Modus 600RT review

Hahnel’s first entry in the speedlight market has resulted in the release of the Modus 600RT, which has a guide number of 60 and a shortest flash duration of 1/20,000. This flash is sold in three versions: the flash by itself, the flash together with a Viper TTL radio transmitter and finally, two flashes with the Viper TTL. I received the second version to try out the new product.

3D Video Walls, just like the real thing but less expensive

FxFactory released yet another great plug-in, 3D Video Walls. This plug-in contains a whole bunch of titles that you can create illusory 3D video walls with, based on the videoclip underneath it. If you want to have a dynamic backdrop to show these video walls against as well, you can create a compound clip out of the 3D wall and place that clip on top of another one in the Timeline. The effect is brilliant and the controls allow for virtually endless variations.

The Uniqball 2-into-1 tripod head is one of the top three best heads available

Tripod heads come in many sizes and formats. There are heads that enable you to position your camera very accurately, in small degrees and in each of the three dimensions individually, while others allow you to freely move the camera in any direction or angle you want by simply releasing a lever or screw. The latter category includes ball heads. Usually and because they're made to freely move your camera in all directions, ball heads are not suitable for anything but keeping your camera still when shooting with long exposure times or with heavy lenses mounted. In theory, ball heads would be great for videographers — free movement in all directions is what we think about when shooting a movie. However, ball heads don't restrict movement at all, meaning you can't easily keep them level with the horizon either. Unless you're using a special one, the Uniqball.

Screencasting on the Mac more fun, efficient with ScreenFlow 7

Fancy creating a screencast or a presentation involving demos of iPad apps, or a PiP (picture in Picture) video presentation of new software? Then ScreenFlow has been your best option for some years now. Telestream recently released version 7 of the application. It comes with new options, such as text animations, a global media library, multi-pass x264 encoding and more.