Lenovo w520 Review

The Lenovo w520.  It’s a very well constructed laptop that offers incredible performance when well-spec’d.

Lenovo bills this as a portable workstation for graphics professionals, and when looking at the list of features it certainly appears to fit the description.  It offers a wide-gamut screen, X-Rite Huey display profiler built right into the palm rest, integrated card reader.  Upon closer inspection, however, things start to fall apart.  First, the card reader only supports the smaller consumer-grade cards.  CF cards are not supported, which means it’s useless to most of us pro shooters.  The X-Rite product works fine, I have no complaints there, but the biggest problem?  The screen! Continue reading Lenovo w520 Review

Canon Error 30

I took a spill while on a shoot yesterday, and my camera and my pride got a bit of a knock.

Immediately after “the incident” my camera appeared to be working fine, but a few minutes later the camera froze up with Error 30 on the screen, along with the usual suggestions that you try turning the power on and off, or removing and reinserting the battery.  Power cycling didn’t work.  Removing the batteries (I’m using the battery grip, thus the plural) worked for a few shots, then the error came back.  I repeated this process a few times before completely taking the camera apart (lens & batteries) and letting it rest a moment.  After putting it back together everything has been working fine. Continue reading Canon Error 30

Seagate GoFlex Desk 2TB Power Issues

Having trouble getting your Seagate GoFlex external HDD to power up?  Assuming everything is plugged in as it should be, try this.  Grab the USB connector (at the computer or hub, not at the drive) and give it a teeeeny wiggle so it starts to slide out just a bit.  Monitor the drive carefully.  Did it just spin up?  You’re welcome.

My drive works fine with my home desktop PC and a laptop.  One of these machines has USB3 and the other does not.  I couldn’t for the life of me get it to spin up on my girlfriend’s iMac, or on her PC at work. Continue reading Seagate GoFlex Desk 2TB Power Issues

Adobe Announces Photoshop Lightroom 4 Beta

Adobe has just released a whole slew of videos showing off the Photoshop Lightroom 4 Beta.  Yes, you can download it now. Yes, it’s free to use.  (Links below.)  In the past there’s been an internal expiration on the beta application, so you won’t be able to keep using it very long after the final release becomes available.

If you’re new to Lightroom you can check out all the videos, but if you’re an old-hand here’s what I recommend.  First, skip the “Intro” video, the “Mapping” video, and the “dSLR Video” video.  There are some nice tidbits in there, but nothing to get revved up about. Continue reading Adobe Announces Photoshop Lightroom 4 Beta

Hello World

Pro photographers deal with some unique computing needs.  There are plenty of small business tech consultants and support options available, but few of them understand the demands of photographers who are producing huge volumes of RAW files.  Many of us have big-business storage needs on small-business or home-office budgets.

Hi.  My name is Gavin, and I’m a pro shooter just like you.  With one exception.  I grew up building my own computers from scratch.  I pursued a creative degree in college, but upon graduation I’d built such a reputation for being the “nerd who fixes the computers in class” that the head of the department at my university approached me with a job offer.  Suddenly I wasn’t the creative I’d thought I would become; I was the guy who specialized in supporting creatives and their unique computing environments.

After I.T., I spent some time in education, and I’m going to apply that experience to making technology easy and approachable.

Today I’m a full time photographer, but I still do consulting and support work for my photographer friends.  This blog is about the tricks and developments that I discover along the way.

There are plenty of resources for discovering the latest cameras and delving into their pros and cons.  I may occasionally post about some of those things (Canon firmware updates come to mind,) but primarily I’ll be talking about other things like Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom, storage solutions, performance tricks, and other non-camera technologies that impact our workflow.  I’m particularly excited to jump into the recently announced Adobe Lightroom 4 Beta.

Join me here, on Twitter, and on Facebook @ProTogTech for intelligent and useful discussions about our technology world.  If you have a good idea for a post please send it to me, or consider becoming a guest author!  I can be reached at protogtechatgavinfarringtondotcom (Spammers be damned! Arrr~)  (…Yes… I typed that in a pirate accent.)

Technology & Workflow for Busy Photographers

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