Having spent almost a decade making software exclusively for Apple platforms, Macphun is now releasing software for Windows. Finally here, Macphun Luminar for Windows is now available. It’s not quite perfect just yet, though, but it’s not far off.

Macphun Luminar makes its Windows debut as a completely free public beta.

>> Yes, you heard that right, grab it now free while you still can.

Who Is Luminar For?

If you are a photographer who has traditionally used Adobe Lightroom, DXO Optics Pro or Capture One for raw photo editing you probably do so to extract the best quality from your images. You want granular control. You are not looking for instant ‘effects.’ Likely, you may not find Luminar to be the best tool for your needs. The editing controls you need are given a secondary role in Luminar, this software is all about instant effects. You will be better served by sticking to Adobe Lightroom and other professional photo editing products. Most likely, you will add Luminar to your present photo-editing toolkit, not replace it.

Luminar best serves the generation that uses smartphones as their camera of choice and has grown up in the Social Media age. For many of them,  Instagram filters, not Photoshop or Lightroom is the photo-editing tool of choice. Luminar is fundamentally Instagram filters on steroids. It extends the range of instant effects to all of your images including raw files and adds a bonus set of fundamental image editing tools. And I must say, it is very very good at what it does.

How does it compare?

It’ll be nice to have another piece of software challenging Lightroom’s dominance.

A full cross-platform release is expected in late 2017. Presumably, then it will come with a price tag similar to that of its current Mac software – $69 at the moment.

For now, though, it’s free. And even if it’s not quite perfect just yet, for that price, what do you have to lose?

 

Luminar is a new piece of photo editing software, which has been designed to be used by photographers of different skill levels – whether you’re a beginner or a more advanced, or even professional user.

It can be used as a standalone application, or it can also be used as a plugin for a variety of other photo editing applications, such as Photoshop, Lightroom, Aperture and so on.

Interface Overview

If you are using other Macphun software, the interface of Luminar will be pretty familiar to you. If not, it won’t take long to learn how to use it. It is very straight-forward, elegant and well-organised.

With the top grey bar you can open or share a photo, zoom in or out, visualise the image at 100%, see a quick preview of the original image or compare it to the post-processed version. You can undo or redo the settings applied or display the history tab.

On the right, you will find tools such as masks (paint, gradient and radial), transform, clone & stamp, erase, denoise and crop tools.

Features of Luminar

Customizable workspace

You can change the workspace to include only the filters and controls you want. There are also preset controls for such things as Landscape, and Portrait editors. But don’t like those? simply design your own and save your workspace as you like it.

35 Filters

There are 35 different different filters in Luminar from simple things like Tone, Saturation and Curves to more advance filters such as Top & Bottom Lighting, Orton Effects, Polarizers and even a simple way to add Texture layers. Every one of these filters is fully editable

Presets

Don’t like messing with all those sliders? Luminar has 6 Groups of presets with 60 Presets currently. You’ll be able to make your own custom presets and also presets should be available from some of the artist that use Luminar so you can have their style available to you

RAW Editing

Luminar is able to open RAW  files from dozens of cameras and work on them non-destructively and re-editable (Note: you must save the file as a proprietary .Lmnr file to have this function)

Layers

Even if you have Lightroom, you don’t have layers. Luminar allows you to have multiple layers and all are very flexible in masking and blend modes. This  gives you a ton of power to work on different areas of your photo independently.

Some of the Best Tips

Shoot raw

Raw files contain more data, and data is good, especially if you decide you want to make major changes to your photo.  A raw file is just better to have around, period.  Sure you need more storage, but that’s a small price to pay for peace of mind and future flexibility.  Plus, you never know where your mindset will be in the future, so having a raw file is also great insurance.

Edit raw or TIFF only

With raw or TIFF, the quality is much better and it shows in the image.  No pixelation, no artifacts, and no issues.

Try out some presets, with intent

You can get some presets off the Macphun website (on their site, scroll to the bottom and look at the footer menu under “Extras”, click on “Luminar Presets”) or elsewhere, or use the ones that come built into Luminar. I think using Presets is a quick and cost-effective (or free!) way to learn more about using many of the filters and helping you determine what you want your photos to look like.

Try out filters that you don’t understand

This is a huge thing to do, because it involves setting fear and confusion aside and just going for it.  But it’s quite fun and you will certainly learn something along the way.  There are a LOT of filters built into Luminar, and you have to experiment a bit to really get your arms around some of them.

Save some $ on Luminar!

If you don’t have Luminar yet, but are Luminar-curious, then click right here to download a free trial, or click on the banner below.  There’s no obligation – just a free test drive to check it out.

 

TopBuy is considered one of the largest online retailers in Australia. It is wholly Australian owned and operated company that offers a huge range of products including electronics, home and office products, clothing, shoes,jewelry, toys, outdoor, sports and entertainment products and a lot more. It started its operation in April 2007 and since then, it has taken hundreds of thousands of orders from local online shoppers.

Price

“Top Brands! Top Service! Top Price!” – this is the catch phrase of TopBuy. It ensures to customers only quality service by carrying top brands and quality products and offering such products at the best possible price. TopBuy guarantees that its prices are the lowest among Australian online retailers. Should you find any other online store that offers a lower price than theirs, TopBuy will beat that.

Shipping & Return

Shipping takes about 2-4 days while in other parts of Australia, it takes up to 7 days. TopBuy delivers to residential, business and PO box addresses. Currently, TopBuy only serves Australia and does not ship outside the country.

On top of returns policy pursuant to the warranty attached to a purchase, Topbuy also offers a 14-Day Guaraanteed Return should a customer changes his mind.

Conclusion

If you are looking for quality items at an affordable price in Australia, TopBuy.com.au is definitely on top of the list of online stores to consider. With its quality service, low price and several discounted offers, you cannot go wrong with TopBuy.

>> Click Here to Visit TopBuy.com.au Website

Lazada –  Asia #1 Option

Of you are looking for an online super store that has not only quality but reasonable price in Asia, then you cannot miss out Lazada.

>> Click here to Visit Lazada Website

Taobao – China #1 Option

Lazada is mostly electronics and home appliances products. If you are looking for fashion, clothing, baby products, toys, furnitures and much more, then check out taobao.com!

>> Click here to Visit Taoboa.com

 MilanDirect – Quality Furniture

Taking about furniture, I just can’t resist to add one more website to the list here – MilanDirect.com. Milan Direct provides stylish and affordable furniture to Australia and UK.

>> Click here to Visit MilanDirect.com

 

 

 

 

Pond5 is an online hub for stock footage. You can buy or sell royalty free footage. The clips range in length anywhere from 3-60 seconds and they are each individually priced by the artist. From a quick scan, the average price range seems to be between $20 – $50 per clip. Some clips are even free and others are priced much higher for speciality footage.

Pond5 describe themselves as the “world’s most vibrant marketplace for creativity”. And in the opinion of many microstockers they are. Launched in 2006, Pond5 unlike other stock media agencies, started accepting videos first and thanks to their selling power shortly became the leader in video licensing. Pond5 also offers Music Tracks, After Effect Templates, Sound Effects, 3D Models and since 2011, Photos and Illustrations.

Pricing

Pond5 has just announced their new Prepaid Credit Packages. From now on they are offering up to 10% in free bonus credits with your purchase. You can choose one of the 3 basic packages or you can buy a credit pack with any custom amount.

The most popular is the $1000 Package where you can get %50 free bonus credits (5% saving). To save 10% you have to buy $5000 worth credits but you receive $500 extra for purchasing stock photos or other stock media, such as videos, music tracks and sound effects, illustrations, 3D and After Effects projects, and as announced last week Photoshop PSD layered files and templates.

Each credit is worth $1 (yes, that’s so simple) and it is valid for 2 years.

To reveive your Free Bonus simply register your free account on Pond5 and purchase any package that is suitable for your needs.

 

Dreamstime is a stock photography service that has one thing that separates themselves from the rest of their competition: they have thousands of free images available for download.

Pricing

More than 15 millions of royalty free images, presented on Dreamstime, can be purchased either on an individual or on a subscription basis.

Since the minimum payment constitutes only $9.99, almost everyone can afford single purchase of images at Dreamstime. The payment is transferred to your balance as 8 credits which can be spent within one year from the date of payment. Images and photos are priced from 1 credit for small-scale versions, which are good enough for blogs and websites’ posts. Medium- and large-scale images can be purchased for 3-5 credits.

Also it’s very convenient that Dreamstime offers its customers weekly subscription plans — from $44.99 to $139.99 per week. These short-term packages allow to use subscriptions in a more economical way than traditional monthly based plans. It’s useful for those of customers who are in need of subscription for a very short period of time.

Quality

When we saw that Dreamstime offered free images, we expected to find hundreds of pages of images that should’ve never seen the light of day, but that’s certainly not the case here.  Whether it’s their free images or the images you can’t get unless you purchase

Summary

Dreamstime is an underrated stock photography service that deserves more exposure than its getting.  The free image feature is something no one else in this category offers, which is reason enough for you to check them out.  They might not have the reputation and hype of their more prestigious competitors, but they’re getting there.

>> Click Here to Visit Dreamstime Website

 

 

PhotoDune is used for obtaining royalty free stock images for your blog, website and other marketing materials. At PhotoDune you can buy and sell royalty-free photographs and images starting at just $1. Items are priced on the size/megapixels of each file. They are part of the growing Australian digital empire Envato.

What’s Different About PhotoDune?

There’s no shortage of things that set PhotoDune apart from a regular microstock startup, and also distinguish it from the established agencies.

The primary difference is the background of the company, having successfully grown eight other digital asset marketplaces over the past five years. This experience not only gives Envato a head start with the technology experience, but brings a large existing customer base right in to PhotoDune.   Envato membership passed 1 million members in September, most of whom are buyers with registered payment details.

The team has also used some original ideas to differentiate the agency from established microstock agencies.   First, the previews are huge!   They’re heavily watermarked to make them un-usable, but buyers get a very detailed view of the image before making their buying decision. Second, extended licenses are priced based on the size purchased.   This original idea is based on direct buyer feedback and helps open up the market for extended usage while still generating higher prices for uses that require bigger files.

Our verdict

Great website with many features, and what is most important, with excellent financial reward opportunity for stock photographers. Contributors with skills, in the field of graphic design, 3D rendering, website theme design, videographers or music creators will find their place for selling stock media on other parts of Envato Market, such as ThemeForest, CodeCanyon, VideoHive, AudioJungle, GraphicRiver, 3DOcean or ActveDen.

>> Click Here to Visit PhotoDune Website

 

 

Shutterstock is one of the ‘Big 6’stock photo agencies on the internet today and refer to themselves as simple, elegant and user friendly. This is the largest microstock in the world which is currently selling around 20 millions of royalty free images, with this figures increasing by 90-100 thousands weekly.  With a long history of stock image selling and buying, Shutterstock caters to designers and corporate accounts that require large inventories of stock photos. For this reason their buying model is subscription only.

Subscription Options

Shutterstock is a subscription only stock photo agency. They offer standard license 25-a-day or on-demand subscriptions and have an enhanced subscription for alternate licensing options. Subscription buying options are transparent and clearly defined.

  • Subscriptions vary in criteria so check the parameters carefully
  • Image prices favor large downloads with the 25-a-day subscription option offering cheapest per image price
  • Minimum investment to buy images is $49.00 USD for on-demand and $249.00 USD for 25-a-day

Image Searching Tool

Shutterstock has a good search engine for their image database. Their categories are extensive, they have included keyword prompting, the search tool is conveniently located and they have included a colour option that is easy to use and specific to designers color requirements.

Selection

Although they offer over 10 million images, they offer a good variety including some illustrations, vector images, photo objects, clip art and a limited collection of editorial type photos.  Quality is never sacrificed for the sake of quantity at Shutterstock.

Conclusion

ShutterStock offers a good selection of quality images for a moderate subscription price.  It’s a stock photography service that’s on the up-and-up.  With its current growth, it’s sure to overtake some of its more prestigious competitors any day now.  We see nothing but good things coming from this company.

>> Click Here to Visit Shutterstock  Website

 

About DJI Company

DJI technology enables images that were once out of reach, can now be captured. Their flying and camera stabilization systems redefine camera placement and motion. Amazing photos and video, treasured personal memories, and high-end professional imagery are captured every day, in every corner of the world using DJI products.

Headquartered in Shenzhen, widely considered China’s Silicon Valley, DJI benefits from direct access to the suppliers, raw materials, and young, creative talent pool necessary for sustained success. Drawing on these resources, they have grown from a single small office in 2006 to a global workforce of over 2,000. Their offices can now be found in the United States, Germany, Japan, Beijing and Hong Kong.

In this post, we will be reviewing the DJI Phantom 2 Vision+.

DJI Phantom 2 Vision+

The DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ is what I consider to be a 4th generation quadcopter. The ease of use, stabilization, and GPS functionality make it one of the easiest multi-rotor copters to fly. If you go out of range or otherwise lose signal, the Phantom will return back to the point of takeoff and even land automatically.

On its own the Phantom 2 Vision+ is a high-end radio-controlled and camera-equipped quadcopter, or more commonly known as a “drone.” But it also integrates with Apple’s ecosystem of devices, namely the iPhone and iPad, to greatly enhance its capabilities for aerial footage.

Specs

Supported Battery: DJI 5200mAh LiPo Battery
Weight (Battery & Propellers Included): 1242g
Hover Accuracy (Ready To Fly): Vertical: 0.8m; Horizontal: 2.5m
Max Yaw Angular Velocity: 200°/s
Max Tiltable Angle: 35°
Max Ascent / Descent Speed: Ascent: 6m/s; Descent: 2m/s
Max Flight Speed: 33mph (Not Recommended)
Diagonal Motor-Motor Distance: 350mm

Camera Specs

Operating Environment Temperature: 0?-40?
Sensor Size: 1/2.3?
Effective Pixels: 14 Megapixels
Resolution: 4384×3288
HD Recording: 1080p/30, 1080i/60, 720p/60
Recording FOV: 110° / 85°

How to get the most out of Phantom 2 Vision+

Pictures and slow moving video certainly look pretty good but any fast motion video smears and pixelates very bad. For best results keep your bird moving nice and slow, especially when turning left/right. To minimize the fisheye effect, either have the camera pointed straight down or straight out, anything in between will enhance the fisheye look which looks really bad on video. It is best to edit the footage and remove up/down camera moves.

Also set the camera to the narrow field of view to help minimize distortion. If shooting stills, the best tool for editing them is Adobe Lightroom as it has a preset for the Vision that will reduce the fisheye effect. If you are using Lightroom or Photoshop, be sure to turn on DNG Raw format so you are working with the best quality images.

>> Click Here to Check Out The DJI Phantom 2 Vision

The DJI Vision app

We had also tested DJI’s official Vision app earlier this year, but since then it’s seen a number of improvements — some available for all Vision devices, and others tailored specifically for the Vision+ flagship device.

Perhaps most welcome is the Ground Station feature, which previously required its own iPad app and a hardware accessory to communicate with the device. Now, it can be done over Wi-Fi and with an iPhone.

For Vision+ users, the app also has a “first person video” mode where the delayed camera movements of the gimbal are disabled. While this results in a bumpier picture thanks to flight movements, it also makes it easier to fly the Vision+ via live camera feed rather than line of sight.

>> Click Here to Visit DJI Website

 

DepositPhotos is one of the largest providers of high-quality stock photography and footage under a royalty-free license. You can browse for images, vectors, editorials, or even videos to look for something you like. The site contains a lot of categories to choose from. From people to objects, from fashion to technology, from abstract to nature, DepositPhotos has everything.

The uninitiated may ask: What is stock photography? Simply put, these are photos that are created to be used for either commercial or editorial purposes like brochures, articles, product packaging, and other advertising materials.

By working with photographers, illustrators, and videographers, Depositphotos provides dozens of categories that can be seen in its website, Depositphotos.com.

Getting Started

While browsing the website, you may be overwhelmed about what to do first. But fear not, because you can refer to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section located at the bottom part of the website. Or, if you want someone to assist you, Depostphotos provides first-hand customer service by live chat or online call.

Customize Your Plan, Maximize Your Budget

One of the great things about Depositphotos is that you can choose which plan works best for you in purchasing your images. You have three options: the Daily Subscription Plan, the Monthly Subscription Plan, and the Pay-As-You-Go Credits.

The Daily Subscription Plan lets you download photos and vector images of any size every day up to your daily limit. Your daily limit can be as low as 5 images per day to 200 images per day. By using this plan, you can purchase images for as low as $0.50 per image.

On the other hand, the Monthly Subscription Plan lets you download photos and vector images of any size any time up to your monthly limit that ranges from 5 images to 5,000 images per month. You can get the images you want at $0.63 per image.

If you need bulk images, then it’s also relatively cheaper to use the Daily or Monthly Subscription Plan. The higher the limit, the cheaper each image gets.

The Pay-As-You-Go Credits plan lets you download photos, vectors, and videos of any size, at any time, for up to one year using credits. The lowest credit is 30 while the highest is 500, or you can customize the credits you want to have.

Using the Pay-As-You-Go Credits, you can choose the image resolution together with its size and see the corresponding price in credits. For example, you have already found the image that you would like to purchase with the price of 10 credits. Therefore, simple math would tell you would have a balance of 20 credits, which is the equivalent of $18 since 1 credit is equal to $0.90. So for 30 credits, you can buy 30 standard images worth $27 only.

Conclusion

In the end, it all depends on your needs and capacity for the type of plan you’d like to use. And when you’ve decided on that, you’re all set into discovering and having the most amazing photos captured by the most amazing people on earth — all in one place.

>> Click Here to Visit DepositPhotos.com Website

 

Looking to create your own photobook? Check out our recommendations below for all occasions:

Picaboo.com

Picaboo was founded in 2006 and is headquartered in Palo Alto, California. According to Picaboo’s site, its name owes its origins to the phrase, “peek-a-boo” and was chosen because it’s a common expression that induces smiles.

You are truly spoiled for choice when getting your photo book printed at Picaboo. Options include premium mini books, classic photo books, seamless lay-flat book and Madison photo book.

Don’t forget to check the main Photobook Deals page for all of today’s deals!

>> Click Here to Visit Picaboo.com Website