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A Few Thoughts: iCloud, Fujifilm X100, Hipstamatic

A Few Thoughts: iCloud, Fujifilm X100, Hipstamatic

As I watched the video of Steve Jobs striding onto the stage in San Francisco for the WWDC (Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference) 2011 keynote address, it was amazing to see how many people were taking photographs with their iPhone or iPad. It was like a sea of LCD screens in the audience. I guess the days of people holding cigarette lighters ablaze at an event are passe. It’s all about getting the digital image. Everyone is a paparazzo now. It certainly would be nice to get an optical zoom on my iPhone — everything sort of looks the same when shooting at one focal length. Maybe I should write Jobs a note. His keynote was about software and storage on the iCloud.

There were a lot of new Apple software bells and whistles announced this week, including two new operating systems and iCloud. There seems to be so many new ways to manipulate all that technology on your screen. Pinch, twist, full screen, squeeze. I love new technology, but I’m still an old-school mouse driver. I can cause more trouble with my track pad than it’s worth.

Of course, the announcement of iCloud was the main focus. A place for storage; you know, managing all your priceless digital possessions such as photos, music and documents. Apple is going to give you 5GB for free. It says, “That’s plenty of room, because of the way iCloud stores your content. Your purchased music, apps and books, as well as your Photo Stream, don’t count against your free storage.”

Sounds good. I guess Apple’s executives have never heard of RAW photos and those giant JPEGS from today’s super-megapixel-charged cameras. Not everyone is just using their phone to take pictures. OK, I do take a few photos with my phone. At last count, I have 7,000 in my Lightroom iPhone gallery.

Photographs are exploding everywhere —  is it just too easy to take pictures? My old system of throwing the negative and snapshots in a shoebox in the closet seems so much easier.

Let’s review, iCloud will be nice for sharing photos among multiple devices such as your iPhone, iPad, Apple laptop and desktop. With iCloud storage, you need to consider bandwidth, upload and download time. Large photos are so storage-intensive, not to mention home HD videos, which are major space hogs.

I’m sure you don’t want to hear it, but iCloud will not be a replacement for a good backup storage system. I’m going to take this time as a quarterly reminder of how important it is to have a system for backing up your photographs and documents. Apple iCloud should help with your music, but not all of your other data.

There’s no substitute for a good backup solution. Although iCloud will help with storage, it’s only small part of your strategy. It’s time to get organized, pick up a few new hard drives and back up, back up, back up.

Fujifilm FinePix X100
My previous column on the new Fujifilm FinePix X100 generated a lot of interest and usually raised the same question: “You mean there’s no zoom, and I can’t change lenses?” It seemed to be a real stumbling block for most people I talked to. It’s a great camera, but it is a little tough to shell out over $1,200 for a camera with a single 35-millimeter focal length lens, no matter how good the quality or complete coolness of the look.

Hipstamatic has a new free Limited Edition HipstaPak featuring an orange leather-looking case sporting the Nike logo. It includes black-and-white film with a nice retro style border. The company continues to make impressive upgrades to the app and is now at version 210. They include: a preview screen featuring a multiple photo view,  Twitter integration and a viewfinder that you can zoom to full-screen size. It continues to be one of my favorite iPhone apps.

Top photo: Steve Jobs talks about iCloud at the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco. Credit: Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press

Second photo: Jobs delivers the keynote address at WWDC. Credit: Monica M. Davey / EPA

Third photo: The Fujifilm FinePix X100 camera. Credit: Fujifilm

Bottom photo: The Limited Edition HipstaPak featuring an orange leather-looking case that includes the Nike logo. Credit: Hipstamatic

Read more reviews and photography tips by Robert Lachman


  1. June 12, 2011, 7:23 pm

    "My old system of throwing the negative and snapshots in a shoebox in the closet seems so much easier."

    Well, that's pushin' it a bit…

    I agree that iCloud is no substitute for backup. Use a firewire drive, plus an offsite backup like backblaze. It's saved my butt once already, when my hard drive gave up the ghost. The offsite backup will be there in case your place burns down, or your computer and backup drive get stolen.

    By: Mac Daddy
  2. June 13, 2011, 12:36 am

    I have the following major concern, but first let me tell you what happened to television: it was free and then cable came and now almost everybody pays for cable. Radio was free and there was a company and a few more that tried to sell you radio content. That is an attempt to privatize something that used to be broadcasted free, basically: sell you radio on a monthly basis on the excuse of better radio. Then the new trend is to do the same with the internet: they want you to have everything on the internet and have you pay a monthly fee. Why do you think companies push for monthly subscriptions? Because it is a way to get steady income and have less competition. They want to own a major part of the internet and have you pay for it. They want control over the software you get, etc. etc. Watch out for cloud services. Their attempt is to have more control over users, over income, etc. etc. I prefer to run applications in my computer, etc. I know that there are viruses, etc. I also think that they are going to have a hard time holding so much information from so many users and if they go down then that many users will be in trouble. It has already happened to some companies: their servers got overwhelmed and then the service got interrupted.

    Cesar P.

    By: cesarhere
  3. June 14, 2011, 11:32 pm

    Thanks for the information on the free Nike Hipstamatic download. That is one of my favorite apps on mine.

    By: blusterydaysandtomorrowlands

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