That’s not my quote of course. It came from one of my high school tech club members in response to the recent Apple event and it sparked a lively lunch time debate. When asked to qualify the statement, I received some fascinating definitions such as; “A real computer has a file system”, “The iPad can’t even be used to develop apps for itself” (good observation) and my personal favourite, “It has to have USB ports”. I have to say, if only for an afternoon, it certainly was refreshing letting the teenagers sound like the dinosaurs for a change…

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By far the biggest star of the show was the iPad Pro and more significant than the device itself was how Tim Cook choose to preface it; “This is the clearest expression of our vision of the future of personal computing…” This is an elegant way of saying ‘The Mac is dead, long live the iPad’. The writing has been on the wall for a while and many will disagree with my assessment (or at least lament its truth). Apple isn’t going to kill off the Mac immediately and so long as they are selling, why would they? You only have to look at where the efforts are being invested and where the innovations are coming from to see where we are going.

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I’ve had a love hate relationship with hammocks for years. I love the simplicity of hammocks and being up off the ground. You feel a little bit more connected to your surroundings swinging gently in the air. But I’m a roller and just can’t get a good night sleep in the confines of a hammock. On my recent trip to Exmoor I knew the terrain would only support a hammock so I ordered the Lawson Blue Ridge in the hopes of finding a better night’s sleep. I found it and have upgraded the separator poles to lightweight carbon fibre…

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It’s been a while since I went on a trip like this and I wasn’t really in the mood to lug around lots of heavy camera gear so I set a goal this time to shoot with nothing but an iPhone. There’s something to be said about spending a few days getting to know a remote place; observing the tide cycles, foraging for food and water. It certainly was refreshing not having to worry about thousands of pounds of camera gear and the weight reduction was a real joy…

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I have no desire to do a full review of the Apple Watch. There are plenty of websites out there that have done a thorough job of that. The interesting thing for me to talk about is why it’s no longer on my wrist. I guess once you get past all the pent up hype surrounding the new Apple device it simply comes down to how useful it is to have a remote control for an iPhone that’s already in your pocket. If I had to sum up my experience with the Apple Watch it would be this: It’s a well executed, first generation product that struggles to find relevance…

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While most GoPro gimbals on the market are made for drone use, there are a number of hand held units. While researching I came across the Z1-Rider which separates the controller board from the motors and provides a cabled power/controller. This turned out to be perfect for my intended application which was to mount the GoPro at the end of a long boom pole – sort of a selfie-stick on steroids.

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I initially hated FCP X when it came out and couldn’t understand why Apple would strip functionality and abandon a whole industry that had emerged around FCP 7. But with time, I’ve come to love FCP X and it’s still my editor of choice in a fairly crowded market of other professional choices. But Aperture is different. Apple isn’t replacing it with a re-envisioned professional tool. It’s simply abandoning pros on it’s higher end platform. This is a disturbing signal to send out to the professional community about the long term viability of the Mac.

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Winter Birds

Here’s a very short film shot on a Canon 550D with 18-55 kit lens. What makes this one significant is that it was shot by my 6 year old son. While we may have used slightly more sophisticated gear to put this together, I see kids now producing films all the time thanks to the iPad revolution. Learning film techniques, once the domain of a high school class or club, is now the mainstay of integrated, lower school learning. Students as young as 6 are becoming the curators of their own learning by using the iPad to capture audio, video and stills. This is unprecedented.

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I’ve been meaning to do a post about this for a while. Over the summer I picked up one of these gimbals for use with my 5D3. It’s a seriously fun bit of kit. I’ve longed for a decent camera stabiliser for some time and have had limited success with a couple of different manual (counter balanced) steadicams. The manual variety require a lot of patience to balance and a good amount of practice to master (something I’m a long ways off achieving)…

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