New-Zealand based MEGA is a cloud service that was designed to be very secure while making cryptography acceptable to its users, i.e. not interfering with ease-of-use. Recently, however, MEGA suffered an attack whereby 773 million unique email addresses and almost 22 million unique passwords were exposed, which makes one wonder whether the focus on the well-being of the service customer isn't making it too easy for the bad guys.
The GoPro HERO 7 Black looks more or less the same as a HERO 6 and a HERO 5, but the difference between the latter two and the HERO 7 is rather spectacular, in that it has a highly effective digital stabilisation system built-in. That is the new GoPro’s USP (unique selling point) from which also the smooth time-lapse video (Timewarp video in GoPro-talk) is derived. Other novelties include the ability to create HDR shots and a vastly better menu system.
Vocal sound improvement and alteration are the strengths of iZotope’s Nectar plug-in. Version 3 has a spectacular new interface design with more intuitive controls and new features. For dialogues, Nectar 3 gives your recordings more presence or lets you change spoken content by changing pitch, adding delays and reverb or turn your vocal into a horror experience.
Rogue Amoeba just released a major upgrade of Loopback, the audio routing app used by many thousands of podcasters, sound pros and screencast creators. They all use Loopback to route sounds from any sort of source on a Mac to any sort of output – from physical inputs and outputs to audio generated and/or accepted by software apps.
I have a hobby that may surprise people and simultaneously make them think I’m bonkers… I love dabbling in astrology. I know, most people will say it’s rubbish, but I’ve erected enough astrology charts to think Hamlet was right when he said: “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in our philosophy.” I used to be a Kairon user, software developed by an Austrian astrologer/programmer who stopped updating the macOS application a few years ago. Then I started using iPhemeris on the iPad by Clifford Ribaudo, but that software gets updated very occasionally and you Ribaudo hides behind an alleged Apple bug in iOS that prevents users from exporting complete charts and tables. But in the week between Christmas and New Year I’ve found a macOS/iOS/Android software that might be the astrology app Mac users have been craving for a long time. It’s Astro Gold and it’s been developed by the same people who made Solar Fire the industry standard on Windows PCs. So, although it’s off-topic, here’s a review of Astro Gold.
Lumu released its new generation of Lightning-connected iOS light meter sensors just in time for Christmas. The original Lumu Power has proven to be a very accurate light meter sensor but is too slow to measure the colour temperature of a strobe or speedlight. The new Lumu Pro is fast enough.
Skylum has just released a Library-equipped version of Luminar and updated the version number in one fell swoop. After playing around with a late beta, I think it’s a decent attempt at making a photo management system and the roadmap promises improvements that will answer most of the professional photographer’s needs.
For special effects like HUDs, graphs that move and text that floats through ballooning organic forms, many blockbuster 3D compositing artists use Yanobox’s Nodes. The FxFactory plug-in for After Effects, Final Cut Pro X, Premiere Pro and Motion has become an industry standard and has been used in movies such as The Avengers, Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Earth to Echo. Nodes 3 is the latest version of the generator, which I tested with the latest version of Apple Motion. It has been completely overhauled with a lot more features and creative possibilities.
Denver Riddle is a colour grading expert who first developed Color Finale for Final Cut Pro X. His company now comes forward with a next-generation colour grading app and plug-in for Final Cut Pro X, Premiere Pro, and Da Vinci Resolve via the OFX plug-in, Cinema Grade. The new plug-in is a radical step away from traditional colour grading where the artist either needs to control the adjustments via on-screen wheels and sliders or through an expensive control surface. With Cinema Grade, on the other hand, you just mouse-drag colour adjustments in the frame, although you can still control everything by numbers if you want to.
Almost a year ago, I purchased an sE Electronics V7 dynamic microphone, assuming it would be a great microphone to have for creating videos on Youtube or Vimeo. At the time, I didn’t realise I would have to “eat” the microphone or crank up the gain to a whopping 75dB on my Apogee Duet iOS/Mac in order to get a decent signal. As a result, I only used the mic occasionally. A week or so ago, I discovered the DM1 Dynamite preamp on the sE Electronics website that claims to solve exactly this problem.