Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Technique Tuesday: Moving To Wednesday This Week; Studio Production Changes, and Upcoming Canon 7D vs. 5D Mk II Comparisons

Good Late Afternoon Everybody,

World Headquarters - iStock_000001742199XSmall I hit DigitalProTalk World Headquarters about 6:30 a.m. this morning and have not hardly let my seat. Hence the vary late post again today. I had ton's of plans and details to go over with the staff today. We were recapping tour items but more importantly, my Digital Master Class for next week.

We are doing a completely different version of the class which is demanding a lot of coordination with staff, models, and my photographer coaches, too. We just wrapped that meeting and are excited with our new plans for next week.  I can't wait to give the new format a try in spite of all the added complexities.  Thank goodness, I have a good team around me to help make things go smoothly.  Stay tuned - I'll keep you posted next week.

Instead of trying to get my Technique Tuesday Episode up super late today, I going to hold off till tomorrow.  Look for me to go back on some kind of regular schedule with the tutorial hitting in the morning.

And just so your visit to DPT today was worth the trip, let me fill you in on a few things we're trying around here to enhance studio workflow.

Making A Few Workflow Changes - Hopefully For The Best

As I write this, I've got my IT buddy, Paul, checking out the computer network.  While on the road, my team has been complaining of things running mighty slow. We're checking network speeds, transfer rates, network conflicts – almost anything could be causing the problem.

I’m sure part of the problem is simply the larger file sizes we are dealing with these days. Heck, the 5d Mk II files and the 7D files are much larger than what we dealt with back in my 40D JPEG days.

The other part of the problem is hard drive speed and too many USB drives attached to too many computers.  Storage, even cheap storage, is hanging off of two many photogs' computers these days.

DLink On a whim and at the clerk's suggestion at Micro Center yesterday I picked up a new D-Link NAS Raid chassis with two 1-T Western Digital eSATA drives spinning at 7200RPM.  We are hoping that will speed things a bit.

We are trying a different Lightroom production strategy at the studio.  Because Lightroom does work on a network, at least for now, I've picked up a couple of the little Toshiba pocket drives - only $149 for two 320 gig drives from Sam's Club.

Toshiba Drive The plan is to copy an entire client folder to one of these pocket drives then let it travel to each workstation as needed to complete the order. That makes all the Lightroom folders, image files, and anything client related all in one place.  We'll back things up on a daily basis for safe keeping.  I'll keep you posted as to our success at the new workflow.

DAZNOTE: I was planning to use the brand new Western Digital Passports for the above mentioned project, but they kept crashing my computer - very weird.  I've always had good luck with them in the past, but the latest crop of them just are not the same.  I have no clue what gives.

Canon 5D Mark II vs. 7D - Inquiring Minds Want To Know

CAnon 7D-2 Lots of folks have been commenting in the Skribit Widget in the right column about my doing some comparisons on the two cameras.  Well, the DWUC tour has made that impossible to do since I've only had the camera for a week or two.

That's all about to change shortly.  As I said, we've got my class starting next week and I plan to run the Canon 7D through it's paces.  I'll have some definitive results for you then - stay tuned.

And speaking of Canon cameras what do you think of Canon's new 1D Mark IV announcement? I'm REAL curious about it's new 6 digit 100,000 ISO speed! Can't wait to see the tests on that one.

Hey gang, that's it for me today. I've got to tend to things back on the farm so I'll see you tomorrow, bright and early.  See ya' then,  -David


  1. David,

    Computers come with several USB ports, but they might all be connected to the same root hub. (Think of old stereo splitters coming off the root hub and ending in those chassis ports.) If you put drives on two ports off the same root, you're reading from one into RAM, then stopping that and writing from RAM into the other. This can be quite slow.

    A better choice is to be sure to use different roots. The problem is that it is often very difficult to find out which are which.

    An easy solution is to add a separate USB card to a spare slot (they're cheap). That will give you 3 or 4 more ports and you can then hook up a drive to the chassis port and another to the expansion port and read/write simultaneously.

    If you have a good technician, he/she will always take time to balance your usb usage (for example, a drive, speakers and a mouse on one hub, another drive and a printer on a second, etc.

    Steve Kalman

  2. You might want to check out making a network drive on a fileserver an iSCSI target. Then Windows thinks its a local drive. Its on my plate of IT upgrades as well.