Top 10 Software I use for editing

disks & thumbs storage

disks & thumbs storage

These are the TOP 10 software packages I currently use for my image and video editing and the hardware I use to run them on.

Surprisingly six of the ten programs can be had FREE for non-commercial use!
While four are paid or subscription model products.

Links to all the applications both free and paid are at the bottom of page.

The Software

What I edit still images with:

  • Adobe Creative Cloud Lightroom Classic
  • Adobe Creative Cloud Photoshop
  • Skylum Luminar 2018 (Jupiter update!)
  • Topaz Studio
  • Microsoft ICE
  • Picolay

Image developer and catalog
Image editor
Image developer
Still image artistic effects
stitches panoramas
Focus stacker by Heribert Cypionka






My image catalog database is currently

  • Adobe Creative Cloud Lightroom  (Image developer and catalog)


What I try to bash together videos with:

  • Blackmagic DaVnci Resolve 15
  • Adobe Premier Elements 9
  • Handbrake
  • Audacity

Insanely powerful video and audio editor
video editor lite
video converter
audio editor

Note: A hiccup with the current Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve 15 b3 and now b5 in some modules causes GPU out of memory condition,
Correction: hiccup appears fixed with the final GA release of DaVinci Resolve 15 now available!

The Hardware

The Monitors

  • ASUS xxx  (Main image editing display)
  • Samsung xxx (Text and control panels)


The eater of bits

  • Custom built Intel I7 system with
    • 32Gb RAM
    • 250Gb SSD + 500Gb SSD + 4Tb sata3 + 2 * 1Tb sata2 internal drives
    • Radeon R9 4Gb video card with 3 hdmi/dvi outputs
  • Wacom Intuos 3 9*12 tablet
  • Spyder Pro  (colorimeter)


Backup & Stability

  • Acronis TruImage 2018 (data backup)
  • A random array of Western Digital external drives (backup medium, on and offsite)
  • Apc UPS units (power stabilization)


Here are the links to all the products if you want to get any them

(Full disclosure:  I do use affiliate links for some products,   you do not need to use them)


Adobe Photography bundle includes both Lightroom & Photoshop for $9.99us/month at
Skylum Luminar is available for 99$Cdn at
Adobe Premier Elements is available from Amazon here  Adobe Premiere Elements 2018
Acronis TruImage 2018 for 29.99$us (search the web for discount coupons!) at


The following six products I use can all be downloaded and used for free!

BlackMagic DaVinci Resolve 15 (video/audio editor) for free at       (non commercial use)
Topaz Studio for free at          (Pro adjustment packs are at extra cost, if you want them.)
Microsoft ICE (Panorama stitcher) for free at
Picolay (Focus stacker) for free at
Handbrake (video converter)
Audacity (audio editor) for free at


qDslrDashboard (remote camera control)  for free win/mac and paid app for android/ios at
Wired and wireless camera control, timelapse with bramping, focus stacking, quite a powerful package.

5 mic shootout

Here’s my comparison of 5 different relatively inexpensive (under 200$cdn) mic options.

Over time as I started to make videos I found the sound quality was bugging me.
So I embarked on a mini-quest to improve on the audio I was capturing.
Eventually ending up with four external mics and the internal camera mic
(I also have a few studio mics but that is for another time.)

Here is a video I made while recording from all 5 sources at the same time in a couple of different locations..
(Editing that into a single video was quite a chore!)

Summary of my findings

Camera  Internal mic

Cost: free, built in to most cameras.
Power: internal camera battery
Pros: free, always have it with you.
Cons: usually terrible poor quality sound, picks up wind, environment and even camera internal operating noises.


Apex 182

Cost: runs around 20$us/26$cdn
Power: none.
Pros: Needs no battery, and is stereo, very inexpensive.
Cons: no easy way to clip it to anything. output levels are low.


Audio-Technica ATR3350

Cost: runs around 29$us/50$cdn
Power: needs a LR44 type battery that lasts about 10-15 hours.
Pros: cheap, not bad sound
Cons: no battery life indicator, you never know if it has quit on you.
excessively 6 meter/20 foot long ever tangle cord.


RØDE smartlav+

Cost: runs around 89$us/99$cdn
Pros: powers itself from the recording device (needs to be compatible), small easily placed.
Cons:  None, it does need a RØDE SC3 3.5mm TRRS to TRS Adapter to connect to recorders instead of smartphones
Hint:  A kit with the lav and adapter can sometimes be found for almost same price as lav by itself, much more expensive if bought separately

RØDE VideoMic

Cost: runs around 150$us/189$cdn
Power: standard 9v battery
Pros: good quality construction, uses standard easy to find 9v battery
Cons: large and needs to be camera mounted, can pick up unwanted directional background sounds.



To my top product picks (yes they are affiliate links!).

RØDE SmartLav+
Amazon Canada

RØDE SC3 trrs to trs adapter
Amazon Canada

RØDE SmartLav+ and trrs to trs bundle!
Amazon Canada

Zoom H1n
Amazon Canada

RØDE VideoMic
Amazon Canada

Dead Cat (Comica CVM-MF1(G) 3 pack)
Amazon Canada

Topaz Labs 40% off Spring sale

Topaz Labs 40% off Spring sale at their stores

Sale ends Monday May 7th,
Last chance to get 40% off store wide, no coupon code needed!

For Topaz Lab plugins just follow this link Topaz Labs Plugins Spring sale!
The 40% offer includes “The complete collection” that is normally already 50% off!

For Topaz Labs Studio Adjustments just follow this link Topaz Labs Studio Adjustments Spring sale!
The 40% offer includes “The GoPro colleection” that is normally already 50% off!

Discount should be automatically applied when you confirm purchase
(note that because this is an auto-coupon it is not compatible with another coupons.)

(Full disclosure:  I do use affiliate links, you do not need to use them to get the discounts if you so chose!)

Having some fun with some flowers and a few Topaz Studio adjustments

fun with flowers

Welcome Adobe to the fold

Adobe Authorized Affiliate

Adobe Authorized Affiliate

Just a quick post to welcome Adobe to my Affiliate fold!

I”ve been using Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom since their initial versions and am super pleased to join with them as an affiliate.

Camera backpack and bags

Early gathering of my bag farm as it was in 2012

Early gathering of my bag farm as it was in 2012

The camera backpack and bag farm

As requirements and needs change over time one accumulates a variety of camera bags in search of that “perfect” one “does it all” bag that does not exist!

I dragged them all out in, took a photo of the bag family, and cataloged them all, yes bad weather stinks again, so am bored. (going to have to take a new updated photo some day, there are a half dozen or so new addition since this one was taken.)

These are the lists of the currently high use bags that head out with me, and a list of the entire bag family.

Lowepro seems to be the preferred go-to manufacturer for soft bags, in all my decades of use their products have never let me down!
Though the ThinkTank Retrospective 7 has become a favorite for city wanderings and air travel.
And Pelican (they also make Storm) for my hard shell cases.

I have replaced both the old LowePro Photo Trekker Classic and Slingshot 300 AW backpacks with a newer design Lowepro Flipside 400 AW backpack. Hoping for lighter weight and less stress on an easy to malfunction shoulder.

My current in use bags

Manufacturer Product Usage
ThinkTank Retrospective 7 day hiking, city wandering / urban exploration, travel carry-on
LowePro Flipside AW 400 field kit, day hiking
Kata-bags MarvelX-40DL Sony nex5r vlogging camera
LowePro S&F Filter Pouch 100 Filter's and holder
LowePro S&F Lens Exchange 200 AW FlipSide add-on
LowePro EX 180 “Strobist” lighting kit
Gitzo GC3100 Series 3 Tripod Bag vehicle tripod transport
Benro AC1046 Tripod Bag vehicle tripod transport
Pelican 1520 case vehicle gear transport
LowePro Stealth reporter D400 AW events
LowePro Photo Trekker Classic heavy field kit
LowePro Fastpack 200 wife's taken it for her kit

The entire bag farm

Manufacturer Product Usage
Benro AC1046 Tripod Bag vehicle tripod transport
Gitzo GC3100 Series 3 Tripod Bag vehicle tripod transport
Kata-bags MarvelX-40DL Sony nex5r vlogging camera
LowePro Flipside AW 400 field kit, day hiking
LowePro S&F Lens Exchange 200 AW FlipSide add-on
LowePro Orion AW currently unused/storage
LowePro Orion currently unused/storage
LowePro Toploader day trips to big city
LowePro Trimtech Odyssey currently unused/storage
LowePro Mini Mag P currently unused/storage
LowePro Orion Trekker II currently unused/storage
LowePro Fastpack 200 wife's taken it for her kit
LowePro Slingshot 300 AW currently unused, shoulder issue make it problematic
LowePro Stealth reporter D400 AW events
LowePro EX 180 “Strobist” lighting kit
LowePro Photo Trekker Classic heavy field kit
LowePro Film organizer AW Whats FIlm ???
LowePro D-pods 30 point&shoot
LowePro D-Res 20AW camcorder
Pelican 1520 case vehicle gear transport
Pelican 1300 case kayaking - dslr
Storm 3 model 2500 kayaking - P&S
Storm keycase kayaking - car keys
Sigma EX 120-300 case came with lens
Sigma EX 150 macro case came with lens
Tamrac Adventure 4 won as door prize
ThinkTank Retrospective 7 day hiking, city wandering / urban exploration, travel carry-on

DSLR a brief history of prices, rising?

Palantir See All mystic DSLR

Palantir See All, the mystic DSLR

Are camera DSLR body costs rising, stable or falling?

To answer that question I took a look into the past. Checking in on the mid level bodies from Canon since the introduction of the venerable 3.1 megapixel D30 way back in 2000.

I created a table of a brief history of Canon DSLR introduction dates and their pricing at the time of introduction.
Not including the top end 1D series and low end Rebel series.
Basically cut the top and bottom off,  just looking at the middle so called prosumer level bodies.

The table lists the Canon DSLR “Manufacturer Suggester Retail Prices” in the USA at time of their announcements.
Which surprisingly seems to have remained fairly stable over the years for each series of bodies.

If you factor in the ever rising inflation rate the actual cost of the bodies has in fact been slightly decreasing! Right along with the decreasing buying power of the mighty dollar as the years advance.

Body Month Year Suggested Price Megapixels Processor
D30May2000 MSRP US$3,500 3.1mp -
D60February2002 MSRP US$2,199 6.3mp -
10DFebruary2003 MSRP US$1,499 6.3mpDIGIC
20DAugust2004 MSRP US$1,499 8.2mpDIGIC ii
30DFebruary2006 MSRP US$1,399 8.2mpDIGIC ii
40DAugust2007 MSRP US$1,299 10.2mpDIGIC iii
50DAugust2008 MSRP US$1,399 15.2mpDIGIC 4
60DAugust2010 MSRP US$1,099 18.0mpDIGIC 4
70DJuly2013 MSRP US$1,199 20.2mpDIGIC 5+
80DFebruary2016 MSRP US$1,199 24.2mpDIGIC 6
77DFebruary2017 MSRP US$899 24.2mpDIGIC 7
7DSeptember2009 MSRP US$1,699 18.0mpdual DIGIC 4
7D mkiiSeptember2014 MSRP US$1,799 20.2mpdual DIGIC 6
6DSeptember2012 MSRP US$2,099 20.2mpDIGIC 5+
6D mkiiJune2017 MSRP US$1,999 26.2mpDIGIC 7
5DAugust2005 MSRP US$3,299 12.8mpDIGIC ii
5D mkiiSeptember2008 MSRP US$2,699 21.1mpDIGIC 4
5D mkiiiMarch2012 MSRP US$3,299 22.3mpDIGIC 5+
5D mkiv August2016 MSRP US$3,499 30.1mpDIGIC 6+
5DSFebruary2015 MSRP US$3,699 50.6mpdual DIGIC 6
5DSrFebruary2016 MSRP US$3,899 50.6mpdual DIGIC 6


Vero, the new Instagram Killer?

Vero Another social media image sharing service goes hunting to take over the pack in the cloud

Another social media image sharing service goes hunting to take over the pack in the cloud

Moved to Vero yet?
Look for me as “Peter Pauer” on Vero

What is Vero?

Vero is an image sharing social media service similar to Instagram with some MAJOR usage differences!

The differences

there are NO AD’s to flood your timelines.
and it has a NO algorithm linear timeline, so you see what people are doing as they post the content.

Rapidly growing

Right now it is experiencing explosive growth. Over the last few days Vero has become adopted by photographers and other creatives who are flocking in droves to set up accounts on the service.

Photographers and creatives who are completely fed up with the crazy things and algorithm scrambled timelines happening over on Instagram.

It’s user base streaked past the 1 million mark to well over 3 million in just the last few days.  And its continuing to rapidly grow. This unexpected explosive growth has causing service interruptions as the servers it is on could not handle the new rapid load growth.

Subscription model, a good thing!

Originally the first million users to signup were to have free lifetime access, after which new users would need to pay a small yearly access fee.
However the unintended service interruptions are good news for new people wanting to setup accounts. As they have caused Vero to extended the lifetime free signup access to new users until they get all issues resolved from the high growth rates.

A side benefit of becoming a paid access service might be no or few bots!
After all who is going to want to pay to create automated spam bot accounts?

The App and  futures

The app  “Vero – True Social” has jumped to #1 in downloads on google store and itume’s. (Currently it is only accessible from a mobile phone platform.)

Will it be successful and knock the ad clogged, scrambled timeline, berzerk rules on who see what post Instagram out?
Only time can tell!
But if Instagram does not wise up and clean up its growing stupidity Vero has a good chance at taking over.

Is it for you? Can’t say. But I grabbed my slot while the getting was good (free) and will see what develops on this new platform.

For more information their website is at

Instagram algorithm changes for 2018

How to have your cake and eat it too with the new Instagram algorithm rules for 2018

Facebook’s changes to the Instagram 2018 algorithm

The intent this year is to make the Instagram experience more “organic” while likely also killing off bots & pods.

As a result many of the standard methods to gain post engagement that were used in 2017 either no longer work or worse have the opposite effect reducing visibility or potentially end up shadow-banning an account.

So just to annoy you New for 2018, here are the main points that have been noted so far this year.

1) Initial post.

  • A new post is shown to just 10% of your followers
    if the post engagement is good then it is shown to the rest.


2) Engagement.

  • To count as engagement a comment on your post needs to have four (4) or more words in it.
  • Simple likes do not count towards engagement
  • Comments with just emoji do not count towards engagement
  • Short comments of 3 words or less do not count towards engagement


3) Hashtags.
Are very important but

  • carefully crafted five or six hashtags is about the new safe limit
  • maxing out or stuffing posts with a large numbers of hashtags now flags the post as a spam post and visibility drops
  • using the same hashtags over and over in multiple posts can end up flagging them all as spam posts and may end up shadow-banning  the account
  • Hashtags are now only valid in the original post caption field,
    as of 2018 hashtags placed in the first post comment no longer count and will not show up in searches.


4) Captions

  • craft the caption carefully and do not try to edit once posted.
  • editing or altering a post after the initial posting will reduce the posts visibility
    the more you try to tweak it the less visibility the post gets.


5) Response to comments
posts are no longer fire and forget!

  • You have 1 hour to respond to any comments on your post or its visibility level starts to drop.


6) stay away from pods

  • new 2018 algorithm is targeting pods and all members can end up shadow-banned.