TECH TALK: Camera, Computer & Software Reviews

MJHT6040.jpg

Cameras

Fuji X-T2 with 23mm F/2 Lens 

What I use it for.. Client Shoots, Blogposts, Print Photography etc. Whenever I need high quality imagery.

What I don't use it for.. When I am out and about on a normal day just shooting my life. 

Pros.. After using Michael's other fuji cameras, he converted me to Fujifilm & I really did not want to go back to a large DSLR camera. This is my eyes is the perfect medium, it creates beautiful imagery, you can switch out lenses but it isn't too chunky or heavy. This also feels like a great quality camera in terms of the build. 

Cons.. It is larger than the Fuji x100 ranges because of the lenses etc which for me makes it less travel and carry around friendly. Ideally I like a camera that fits into my smaller bags and this just doesn't. Not a huge con but something to think about. This is not a DSLR, so you cannot use your lens kits etc that you may already have. 

Alternatives.. If you want a camera that doesn't need interchangeable lenses, small to take with you everywhere - look at the Fuji x100 range. They are less expensive but great value for your money.

iPhone

What I use it for.. Most social media content. I love still using my iPhone camera for social content while I am out and about. For accessibility and ease of use the iPhone is perfect. 

What I don't use it for.. Client/Blog Imagery or in low-light situations.

Pros.. The best camera sometimes is the camera that is with you all the time, and my phone is always with me. It is easy to take photos without looking like you're taking the photo and you can instantly post online.

Cons.. Front facing camera still sucks and it doesn't perform well in low-light.


Editing Software

ON MY COMPUTER

Photoshop
What I use it for.. Cleaning up lettering scans for high resolution Image output. Any specialty photo editing like getting rid of dirt or mistakes. 

Illustrator
What I use it for.. Vector designing. I take my Lettering artworks into Illustrator when I need to vectorize the artwork. I do this manually as live trace can work against you sometimes. I also do all my logo design or graphic design projects in Illustrator.

Lightroom
What I use it for.. This is my most used photo editing software. I use this to adjust Exposure/Contrast/Saturation of Blue or Yellow to get a true white/Crop/Clarity or Sharpness. I like to use the brush tool for spot editing in Lightroom. 

InDesign
What I use it for.. I use this to create PDF for client proposals or drafts. I also use this for any document/print/book design.

ON MY PHONE

Snapseed
What I use it for.. I use this for on the go editing on my phone or iPad. This is a great app for everything from photo tuning or spot editing to brighten up a corner etc. This isn't the app if you are wanting to smooth out your skin or conceal any flaws but it is perfect for enhancing your phone photography. 

VSCOCAM
What I use it for.. Filters that aren't too intense. I am not huge on filters and I don't use them often but if I do I will go into VSCOCAM and use A6, but tone it down to it isn't at 100% filter. 

 

Computers

Since I got my first computer I have gone in-between desktop to laptop to desktop so I thought I would let you know my thoughts on both ways of working. 

iMac - 21.5 inch with upgraded hard drive

What do I use it for.. My life basically. It is probably the tool that gets worked out the most. I use it for everything work related from artwork post-production, image editing, admin, graphic designing etc. 

How does it change how I work.. I found switching back to a desktop this year meant I really kept more of my work in my studio. I am less likely to sit in bed doing emails or take work with me when I leave. It also has helped me separate my work life and my home life while both are under the same roof.

Do I wish I got the larger one? Sure they look more impressive but I really didn't need it. I was happier to spend the money on upgrading the insides of the desktop rather than getting the larger screen size.

Pros.. It cuts down my procrastination because I have to sit at a desk to use it. It runs really fast and it is basically one of my favourite purchases of the last year.

Cons.. Can't really take it travelling with you. Also the wireless mouse needs to be charged in the worst and most inconvenient way possible. Probably the worst product design I've ever seen from Apple.  

Macbook Pro

What do I use it for.. I used my MacBook pro for a good 4 years as my uni and work computer everyday and it has been very good to me. I use it now when I am travelling for work or feeling sick but still need to get work done. 

How does it change how I work.. It just meant I was more likely to take work all over the house. I didn't have as designated 'work' areas. 

Pros.. It is portable and fits into luggage. If you are going to pitches and meetings a lot this would be a better fit than a desktop. 

Cons.. The screen feels a little small now for post production of artwork. I was more likely to procrastinate because I could sit in bed/couch/kitchen table to use it. I don't use the newest MacBook Pro but they have a pretty steep price point.


Tablets & Accessories

iPad Pro & Apple Pencil

What I use it for.. I use this a lot of brainstorming, early stage concepts/drafts, personal experimentation or social media / blog content. I also take this with me when I am going away but not intending to do any design work. It is great for doing admin or editing images with the pencil. 

What I don't use it for.. Brush lettering. For me, I can't do digital brush lettering. For me it looks too artificial and I lose the reason I love brush lettering in the first place. Sometimes I like to play around with lettering styles on the iPad but never for final artworks. 

Pros.. Easy to travel with, great for quick mockups or brainstorming, easy to experiment because I don't have the fear of wasting paper, saving on paper for initial drafts, great for on-the-go photo editing. 

Cons.. The only major con I have for the iPad Pro & Pencil is that there is no friction between the pencil tip and the screen. You don't feel the texture of the paper. That lack of friction can really put me off some days. 

Do I need the pencil? If you are looking at a iPad Pro, you need the pencil. It makes the Pro worth while.


Scanner

Full disclosure, I only just bought a new scanner last week after my Printer/Scanner combo died after serving me well for 8 years. I previously used a HP Photosmart 2-in-1 for reference. 

EPSON Perfection Photo Scanner V370

What I look for in a scanner.. In scanners all I really care about is at what DPI can they scan up to. I scan everything at 600 DPI but to go larger than that is also handy. Scanners built for photography scanning is always a good guide too. 

Why didn't I get a printer/scanner combo? I was looking at getting the Canon G2600 combination printer and scanner but the scanning proportion just wasn't good enough. In house I only really print tests or mock ups of things so for me, printing quality isn't high on my list. I have all my artworks printed by a professional printer so I instead stuck to just getting a separate scanner only.

Pros.. It is more compact and slimmer than a printer/scanner combo. So far I love the quality of scans that come from this scanner but as I said, I have only had it for about a week.

Cons.. All scanners are ugly and take up valuable desk space but this can't be helped.

 


As always, this is just what works for me in my circumstances. It is always good to research and google the hell out of products before purchasing for yourself. Typing in Comparison between 'X Product' and 'Y Product' or Youtube Reviews are always helpful resources.

How good the photograph is, is not determined by how expensive/impressive the camera is. How good the artwork is, is not determined by the computer it ends up in. People can often get wrapped up in the equipment but often it is the person behind that equipment that makes the work great. You have it in you already. But sure, these things make our jobs easier. 

Hope this blog post answers a lot of your questions and let me know if there is anything I have forgotten below.

Jasmine x