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 ProArt PA248 (Main image editing display)
  • Samsung SyncMaster BX2350 (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+

RØDE SC3 trrs to trs adapter

RØDE SmartLav+ and trrs to trs bundle!

Zoom H1n

RØDE VideoMic

Dead Cat 

Our big camping adventure, in the soaking wet rain.

We (wet) went off for a little camping trip

The first week was one of the wettest ever! Not much chance to wander around and make images.
Standing under a flap I did make many clips that assembled nicely into a short video. So everyone can experience the wonders of another day of nonstop rain.

Reading, Photo Magazines of course, consumed much of the time during the first week.
Started reading the “VisionMongers: Making a Life and a Living in Photography” Book by David duChemin as well.
Watching episodes of “Dead like Me” and “BloodTies” on the old laptop helped pass some of the time.
All the while helping our diet with many varities of custom health foods.

rain food #junkfood #junkfoodjunkie

rain food
#junkfood #junkfoodjunkie

Also managed to watch all four of the “Pirates of the Carabian”,  three of the “Smokey and the Bandit” and “Back to the Beach” (a Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello)  DVD movies in the soaking evenings during that week.

Innovation to keep the wet out!

We did need to innovate a bit and created rain cover stands from 3 inch ABS DWV pipe TEEs.  Making the cable end connection inside the pipe fitting is a bit of a trick, but it can be done.
Place one end of the 30amp cord in one side and down into the 90 bend. Then put the other end  from the next cord in from the other side and push them together inside the fitting.
The 15amp cord had to pass through frist,  there is no room for its ends once the fat 30 amp ends were in place! Then you just stand them up, keeps the connectors dry and  up of the wet forest floor. As long as the water does not rise too far!
Or  just use bigger 4 inch pipe tees instead! Though they take up much more space to store.
Worked out well for us ,  no rain caused shorts or power outages,  the laptop  and camera batteries all charged up and kept on working!

ABS power cord rain covers

ABS power cord rain  covers

The Camping Cat was not impressed!

Taken too soon

camping cat not impressed

camping cat not impressed

Fortunately the next week was much drier !