Upgrading Hardware & Software

I’m as easily tempted as the next person by ads. That’s why I’m on a first-name basis with the Fedex gal and the UPS guy.

Used to be as long as you stayed home, you were safe and couldn’t give in to temptation.

The internet, e-commerce websites, overnight shipping with tracking capability and a credit card changed all that.

When I saw this video shot with a Canon 5D Mark 2, I didn’t even have to close my eyes. I was instantly transported behind the camera imagining it was me saying to the model “Yes, sweetie work this, the camera loves you et cetera!…” Well, you get the picture.

Reverie from Vincent Laforet on Vimeo.

So before you break the bank, may I suggest you

Research thoroughly

If it’s hardware like the Canon 5D Mark 2 camera above, you need to scour the numerous professional photography forums like Rob Galbraith, Photography on the net and many others to see what issues early adopters are encountering.

It may be something as simple as your version of Photoshop not being able to open the manufacturer’s proprietary RAW file without some sort of patch.

Or it can be something as serious as the file format not being supported by a piece of software you use in your workflow.

Since it’s next to impossible to predict what applications you use, chances are if you are a photographer, you would be well-advised to see if your version of Photoshop is going to play nice with your intended operating system upgrade.

Even though Apple users who upgraded to CS4 have no issues with Leopard, it might be wise to weigh the cost of upgrading against the value of the new features.

Adobe has not written the Mac version to be able to take advantage of the 64 bit capability of the Intel Macs. CS4 users

Exactly what this means, I can’t tell you for sure in the real world in terms of how much faster Photoshop runs.

Those of you keen on learning more can read about Adobe’s 64-bit roadmap.

To upgrade on a spur-of-the-moment impulsively without research would be taking a big chance.

Kind of like photographing a grizzly bear with a 200 mm lens. I’m sure Hussain Bolt wouldn’t attempt it.

Clone your startup disk

Mac users should first use Mike Bombich’s Carbon Copy Cloner or Shirt Pocket’s Super Duper to make a bootable clone of their start up disk.

This is your fail-safe to get back to before the upgrade should things go wrong.

It’s simple. Just erase the hard drive of your start up volume and tell these apps to restore. You’ll be up and running with little fuss.

Make a chart of your Applications

Print an excel chart of your Applications, the version number.
Next to the Apps, you might want to add serial numbers and license keys if they’re different.

Mac users can access this from under the Apple icon of their finder.


Be sure you print this and keep it handy.

No doubt will be a long list. If you only have 1 Mac, and your machine is down, this will be a time-saver when you have to re-install any application.

If you made a clone of your hard drive as I suggested, you won’t need to do any installation because all you need to do is launch either Carbon Copy Cloner of Super Duper and tell it to restore the volume you cloned.

Ideally you have a guinea pig Mac which you can test like I do.

I have my MacBook Pro (guinea pig machine) and my MacPro the production machine.

If I ever have an itch to try a new version of an app, it goes on the MacBook Pro first.

If you don’t have that luxury, then clone your start up drive first, please.

Windows users reading this, could you be so kind to suggest options for cloning the start up volume under comments?

Thanks for helping out.

4 thoughts on “Upgrading Hardware & Software”

  1. Hi Steve,
    Thanks for stopping by. I love the new look of your blog. You’re absolutely correct about what the internet can do for us consumers these days.

    It’s really quite empowering to be able to shake things up with Twitter and Facebook especially if you’ve been wronged.

    There has to be a certain percentage of users who are early adopters or there would be little or no innovation in the software we use. Likewise with cameras.

    So bless the early adopters! I’m just not wealthy enough to keep up all the time.

  2. Hi Peter
    Couldn’t agree more re the checking things before buying. It is always worth waiting a month or so before spending a lot of money. The great thing about the internet is that it appeals to two things dear to our natures:

    The desire to yell and tell the world when we are unhappy about something we’ve invested time and money in


    The desire to show everyone how clever we are when we solve a problem.

    Bless the early adopters!

  3. Christina,
    I’ve used Tamron, Tokina and other 3rd party lenses in the past. They are much more affordable than Canon original equipment, but they are not as well made to withstand the rigors of daily use.

    It’s tough to answer this one without knowing how you are with your equipment. Some people are just very rough with their gear.

    Something you might want to consider in the near future is an external flash with some way to trigger it off-camera. Remind me again what lenses and gear you have.

  4. Hi Peter!
    I have a Canon 30D, and i’ve been wanting to get great lenses to use but of course they cost an arm and a leg, some people told me never to get Tamron brand (what you pay is what you get, they say) but i have one friend that’s been using Tamron lens and he loves it, his pictures are awesome (sharp, very clear)! So i’m thinking about getting one (SP AF28-75mm F/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF)), what’s do you think?


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