Products We Love to Use, and find helps us do our job to the best of our ability:
There are often hundreds to thousands of hours spent over the years trying and actually using a whole lot of different tools, products, and applications. The following are some we use, like & love, and for recommend people seriously consider (or look into using themselves).
Our still cameras are generally CANON brand… mostly because they are good, and we already had dozens of their proprietary batteries, and thousands of dollars of lens. Nikon does have some solid dSLR cameras, and the new Sony dSLR is amazingly fast and responsive. I’ll write more about still cameras in the future, and explain my logic and reasoning in more detail at some point in the future. Ultimately, the ‘brand’ is far less meaningful than the quality, experience, and ability of the ‘cook’ (the person behind the camera… the photographer), and the quality of the ‘ingredients’ (the lens)… than the brand, megapixels, or cost of the cookware or stove (the camera body).
Our video cameras are mostly SONY brand… because, with very exceptions, certain models are absolutely some of the very biggest bang for the buck! And they have a variety of glass available for low light settings. (Note: most anyone can shoot in great light, but it requires experience and the right equipment to consistently capture well in low light, and ever changing light, environments).
Sound Recording: I’m a huge fan of Zoom (the H4N Pro, H6 Pro, and R24)… as well as the Tascam DR70D.
Software Recording: ADOBE Photoshop is ‘the’ standard for editing still images, compositing, and tweaking images. Adobe Lightroom is a powerful tool for cataloging and managing tens of thousands to millions of images. The Adobe PDF creator is vital to many clients, accounts, and communications. Microsoft Word & Excel win our attention (and time) in the primary realm of ‘business standards.’ Quickbooks for the accounting.
Video Editing: Abode Premiere Pro, Sony Vegas Professional, with ‘Digital Juice’ key to enhancing our video work flow, general editing, and tweaking the alpha channels, adding backgrounds, overlays, framing, sound, etc. .
Cell phones: Droid (Samsung S series) ~ personally, I don’t care for iCrap. I don’t like that the battery can’t be changed, memory cards can’t be added, the apps and options are limited (and often only with ‘pay for’ options). I love that I don’t have to mess with iTunes… can add memory cards, flash drives, change the battery out (in most Droid models), and even use standard charging options. The number of FREE APPS for the droid is mind boggling, millions. Pick a topic… and you’re good to go, there is something 99.99% of the time for the Droid market. Not so many options, not so many free choices, for the apple market. Kids and College Students that get that educational discount might love apple, but most adults that pay their own bills… and have their own business tend to use droids because they are more flexible in the long run, and less expensive to actually use.
Call Recording: Automatic Call Recorder is the best we’ve found. Think about how many times a client calls you with information you need to write down, but don’t have anything to write on, or with. Yet you need that information. Sure, you can fumble around and hope to find something, making them wait. Or you could ask them to ‘please’ send you a text or email with that info (which we all know doesn’t always happen… and can make us look pretty unprofessional, unprepared, and inexperienced real fast. We tried a few different ones, but selected this one because it is totally invisible, highly compressed, and completely easy to use. There is over one million installs of this Global Effects product, with a solid 4+ rating. I’m not sure, but I think the majority of the 1 reviews are by iCRAP people upset that they can’t use this app, or flip-phone users; because I’ve not found any problems or blaring negatives with this product over the last few months we’ve been using it. It allows you to delete any meaningless calls, archive important ones, You can send the recordings to your email, or through sms, or easily use messenger apps installed on your phone, cloud apps, SMS apps, or diary apps. You can also copy files directly to your phone’s memory card directly (USB). No more wondering “what did they say” or was it x or y… or what that number or address really was. Great for archiving memories of conversions with loved ones. But especially useful to be sure you told your client such and such, and they confirmed hear it. I’m NOT AN ATTORNEY, so you’ll need to verify this information for yourself, but in the states of Oregon and Tennessee, as long as ONE OF THE PARTIES IN THE CONVERSATION KNOWS THEY ARE BEING RECORDED (which can be you – the owner of the phone – recording the conversation is perfectly legal. Here is Tennessee’s “one-party consent” law. While Tennessee makes it a crime to intentionally intercept any wire, oral or “electronic communication” to overhear or record a phone call or conversation unless one party INVOLVED IN THE CONVERSATION knows it is being recorded, thereby giving their consent. Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-6-303 If you use Automatic Call Recorder, you can easily (brainlessly) record any & every call made on your phone, manage your past recordings, listen to previous calls again in order to relive memories or review a conversation, and CYA.