Final Leaked Details Before The Apple iPhone 7 Announcement

Uncovering the iPhone 7: A10 chip 2.4 GHz, better cameras, water resistance, new colors, and more…

Here are the final details about the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus that Apple will present this Wednesday. Although we already knew many of the new features of this new generation of iPhone, Well-known analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has gone one step further and is much more specific about the features and specifications of the new iPhone 7s. This article is a spoiler of the highest magnitude. If you want to hold on to the few minor surprises which may be left in the keynote, maybe you should not read this article… or the internet or talk to anyone, or get out of bed.

Kuo confirms the design we have seen in recent weeks: The new phone will retain the current generation chassis with antenna redesign and new cameras as the only significant outward change. Internally, the iPhone 7 will be a completely new phone, especially when it comes to processing power.

The iPhone 7 will come with the brand new Apple A10 chip - a CPU capable of running at 2.4 GHz. A significant change from the current A9. The processor will be manufactured by TSMC and will use a new 10nm process that will improve performance and speed. RAM will also be increased in the iPhone 7 Plus to 3 GB, while the 4.7 inch model will retain its current 2 GB of RAM. The reason for the bump in RAM on the larger model is due to the dual camera which imposes a greater processing burden on the device.

4 + 2 - 1 = 5

As rumored for the past few weeks, Kuo has also confirmed 2 new colors for the iPhone 7: Dark Black and Piano Black. The first will be slightly darker than the current Space Gray and the second will have a glossy finish similar to the MacPro desktop. Who would have thought that when Phil Schiller said "Can't innovate anymore, my ass!" during the MacPro announcement at WWDC 2013, he was actually referring to the finish on the computer.

Apple will discontinue the current Space Gray with the introduction of the iPhone 7. Moving forward, there will be five color options available: Silver, Gold, Rose Gold, Dark Black and Piano Black. Kuo has indicated the Piano Black may be exclusive to the iPhone 7 256GB models.

Soon after the real iPhone 7 leaks started in July, we began hearing about the device’s camera. Apple will improve the cameras in both models, but the big changes come with the iPhone 7 Plus and its unique dual-lens camera. This camera will allow optical zoom similar to a light field camera. One camera will host a wide-angle lens and the other will have a medium focal-length lens. I expect both to have 12 megapixel sensors and optical image stabilization. The final result will be different from other camera phones on the market with dual cameras like the Huawei P9. For the exact details… we will have to wait a few more hours.

This is not the only new feature being introduced with the iPhone 7 camera. It appears that Apple will also include a new flash LED that will enhance the result of images taken in low light conditions. If rumors are to be believed, we will have three new LEDs to illuminate our images: 2 warm and 2 cold.

Waterproof?

Another new feature which has been all but confirmed by Apple is the IPX7 water resistance certification of the new iPhone 7, which is similar to the Apple Watch. IPX7 certification would allow for the phone to get completely wet under a water fountain for a half hour without any detrimental effects. If true, I will be able to leave my Samsung Note home on shoots. I have always used the Samsung phones in inclement weather… no more. Will you be brave enough to try it?

The iPhone 7 screen will also see a small improvement, although it will retain the current resolution. Apple will include the same technology found in the 9.7-inch iPad Pro to render a much wider range of colors and improve the appearance of photographs taken with the iPhone’s camera.

Several sources have indicated the iPhone 7's box will have EarPods with a Lightning cable and a 3.5 mm headphone adapter. No one is expecting a set of wireless “AirPods” with any of the models. The space left by the missing headphone jack will not be used to incorporate a new speaker, but is expected to instead include a new sensor to enhance the 3D Touch device.

The proximity sensor on the new iPhone 7 will increase recognition and distance accuracy while allowing new gesture recognition. I hope we also find a new internal amplifier to improve the external sound.

32GB, 128GB and 256GB, Oh My!

Finally, several analysts are expecting new storage capacities in the iPhone 7: 32GB, 128GB, and 256GB. Apple will remove the current 16GB model, which was expected for some months, along with the 64 GB model.

As for sales, Apple is expected to sell 65 million iPhone 7’s in 2016, a decrease from the 82 million iPhone 6s’ that were sold last year.

If you want to watch the announcement live, Apple will be streaming it here http://www.apple.com/apple-events/september-2016/ at noon CST on Wednesday, September 7th.

Now it’s your turn: What do you think about the specifications of the iPhone 7? Leave a comment.

Should Snapchat Be Part of Your Digital Strategy?

Stats show that Snapchat is the social network of 2016. In spite of having the youngest audience, it's experiencing faster growth than Facebook, Twitter and even Instagram.  

Many brands have already integrated it into their digital strategy. They are not just including it in an organic marketing strategy, but are coughing up big bucks to be in the Discover section, which is currently the only way to include paid advertising campaigns on the platform.

Why are brands so smitten with Snapchat? That answer lies in the numbers and the numbers don’t lie - here we leave some to prove it.

The Numbers

  • More than 150 million people use Snapchat every day. Over 140 million use twitter on a daily basis. 
  • Snapchat users post more than 10,000 million videos per day, the same amount as Facebook in 2015. 
  • Snapchat already has more users than Twitter, Pinterest or LinkedIn. 
  • Users play more than 8o billion #Snaps daily, well above the 70 million daily posts on Instagram. 
  • Snapchat grew more in a year than Twitter did in 4 years. 
  • 65% of Snapchat users upload photos every day. Only 35% of Facebook users do the same.
  • Snapchat reaches more Millennials (18-34 years) than Instagram. 

Do all brands need to include snapchat in their brand strategy?

No, absolutely not. As mentioned above, it's clear that Snapchat is fashionable, but study the figures and make sure it has the appropriate target audience for your key demographic.  

More than half of Snapchat users are under 24 years old so if your brand is interested in this audience it might be a good choice for inclusion in your digital strategy.

Some Key Tips For Including Snapchat In Your Branding Strategy

  • Test - Many brands, even those targeting younger audiences are still reluctant to use Snapchat due to not knowing effective content strategies on the platform. Dive in! Test different content at different times of day, use crazy filters, create your own filters, etc. It's time to surprise your audience and stand out from the crowd.
  • Be decisiveSnapchat is a platform that requires more immediate decisions, freshness and real-time marketing than any other. Use your experience and go with your gut. You can’t be sitting around creating detailed editorial calendars which sync with marketing plans if you're going to be effective here. Use the platform to broadcast in real-time at live events, etc. Remember, all the content will disappear within 24 hours.
  • Practice - Snapchat changes every day. Their development team is always making improvements and introducing new possibilities for both brands and users.
  • Be creative - Launch a contest with short time-frames, offer prizes only available on Snapchat for your followers which encourage them to do screen shots and spread your Snapchat profile to their friends on other social platforms. There are many creative options for growing your audience. Surprise your users and yourselves!

UPDATED: The Social Media Photographer's Shot Kit

Note from giovanni: I continually update this article as I change my workflow and gear. The "publish" date on the post will tell you when this article was updated last. With that said - The video above no longer represents my current set up. I will have to create a new video with gear and workflow as soon as time allows. For now, I have updated the gear list below. The most dramatic changes include the removal of all DSLR's and mirrorless cameras from most of my shoots and removal of the macbook pro as well. 

If you're an online marketing maven, or if you just got stuck managing the social media for your organization because no-one else will - you no doubt have long since realized that photography and video are the leaders in content online. It can be a bit intimidating when you see all the amazing photos online shot by people with the budgets to afford the latest DSLRs with huge, expensive lenses. 

I'm here to tell you - that all that heavy, expensive gear is not necessary. To be honest it never really was. To be fair, I was just as bad as anyone about lugging around loads of expensive gear in multiple backpacks - all essentially to shoot images destined to the web. Well, I've had a change of heart and I'm here to give you some new recommendations on gear if you are shooting for the web. 

After years, and I mean YEARS of loyally using Canon DSLRs, I recently switched over to Fujifilm mirrorless cameras. Why?

Trey Ratcliff of Stuck In Customs was a trailblazer in the mirror-less switching movement. When he announced he was dropping Nikon for the Sony mirror-less cameras, I realized that considering a switch was a reality. However, Trey shoots primarily landscapes and architecture. Putting any camera on a tripod and shooting a non-moving subject allows for more leeway in selecting gear than when one is shooting fast-moving subjects, handheld, in various light. I knew intuitively that just because he was producing stunning results with his Sonys, it didn’t mean that I could because our styles are so different. In any event, his switch made me start looking for a camera line to move to.

After looking for over a year at other mirror-less cameras and assuming that I was going to make the move to Sony, I did a quick survey of some of my favorite photographers on flickr and 500px. Without realizing it, I had self-selected many mirror-less photographers that use Fujifilm cameras over Sony. So, without so much as seeing a Fujifilm mirror-less camera in real life, much less testing one, I began selling off all my Canon gear (years worth of it) and replaced it all with Fujifilm gear.


Side note here - Let's talk briefly about cost since I mentioned it above. I've realized while I was editing this piece that cost and "expensive" are relative. As I look over the gear I use in my bag now, I have to admit that we're not talking about the blue-light specials at Kmart. However, the kit I have is about 1/2 to 1/3 the cost, piece per piece as the kit I carried before. In addition, as part of this process I've eliminated many items in my kit that are simply unnecessary or that didn't bring enough value when I came to the physical and monetary cost involved. 

I said physical - there is also a physical cost when it comes to deciding on what to carry all day in the Texas heat in a backpack. The physical cost of shooting how I used to shoot was a driving factor in me making this switch. I just had to wait for the mirrorless technology to catch up for me to make that move. Aside from the cost of the gear at retail,

If you travel for your work like I do, you also have to consider the extra $50 - $125 you spend per bag on airlines today once you go past your allotted limit. I've been on flights where we had over $1000 in extra bag charges alone, even with the breaks some airlines give to media crews. 

One last note on this cost - if you are considering making a switch like this, know that I was able to pay for the ENTIRE new kit through the sales of my old used equipment. That's a very important thing to be mindful of here. If you are considering this, you need to act fast while your current gear has value in the used marketplace. 


Iggy Azalea @ SXSW

Admittedly, this was potentially a bone-headed move. It could have been one of the stupidest things I’d ever done. Now that I've been using the cameras for a few months I admit there are a few shortcomings with the mirrorless cameras, especially when shooting sports indoors. But luckily, I absolutely love the Fujifilm line and the photos I’m producing now are closer to what my vision is for my photography than my photos from the Canon gear ever were. This is going to sound counter-intuitive - but the photos I produced with my Canon 7D’s and 5D’s were sharper overall and more crisp than what I produce with the Fujifilm cameras. And that is exactly why I love the Fujifilms. The overly sharp, sterile images produced by the Canon DLSRs, while technically excellent, tend to lack soul to me.

Canon/Nikon fans relax. This is a personal opinion, not a technical review. I’d liken this phenomena to an audiophile’s preference to vinyl recordings over digital recordings. I love the soul and the timber of the colors that the Fujifilm’s produce. It's something like I've never seen produced from a Canon or Nikon.

I have also converted from shooting in RAW and then doing post processing on all my images to shooting in JPG. This allows me to stop carrying around a Macbook Pro - I now only take an iPad with me for all my post processing and publishing on multi-day trips. This, in turn allows me to stop carrying my Lowepro 300AW backpack. In fact, I have already completed a week at CES and a week at NABShow this year without taking a laptop with me at all! I did all my post-processing and distribution on my iPad and iPhone. I even edited and uploaded a couple of videos from the conferences entirely on the iPad.

You should be getting the picture here. If not, let me make it clear for you. Moving from DSLR cameras to mirrors-less has a snowball effect on everything you do and all the gear you carry. Everything becomes smaller and lighter.

photo by giovanni gallucci

With that, let’s get into the nitty gritty of the gear in the bag. Here is a complete inventory of all the still photography gear I take with me today, no matter what size the job is or how long the schedule is. I’ve done ALL my work with this kit (with a few small variations) since the beginning of this year. All this gear also fits into a small shoulder bag - where I used to carry the LowePro 300AW and a Timbuk2 Messenger bag, I now only carry a single Domke bag for everything, which also makes flying much easier.

CAMERAS

2 Fujufilm X-T1 with the Fujifilm Hand Grip X-T1 Camera Grip cameras. I have now converted to iPhones (6S, 6SPlus and 7) for video almost exclusively and I use the iPhone 7 for half my photo shoots. I carry the Ricoh Theta S for 360 photos and video. 

LENSES

COMPUTING ON THE ROAD

THE BAG AND THE STUFF

P.S. - I do pack battery chargers for the cameras, a Fotodiox Flapjack-C200R LED Edge Light LED Round Light Kit, a Fotodiox Flapjack-C200L LED Edge Light Daylight LED Light Kit, and a Manfrotto 680B 4-SCTN monopod in my main luggage on multi-day trips just in case I need them.

P.P.S. - I also have an additional Domke bag/kit with video and audio equipment in it for video shoots. We'll chat about that in another post. 

So what's in your social media shot kit?

Logitech Introduces CREATE for iPad Pro 9.7

Logitech announced the CREATE Backlit Keyboard Case with Smart Connector for the 9.7-inch iPad Pro. The CREATE Keyboard Case is a toolkit that gives you everything you need to make the most of your iPad Pro; a protective case, backlit keyboard, and integrated holder for the Apple Pencil all in one lightweight package. Whether you are posting an update, watching a video, or drawing a sketch, CREATE empowers you to unleash your creativity and productivity wherever you go.

“CREATE is like the Swiss Army Knife of keyboard cases,” said Michele Hermann, vice president of tablet accessories at Logitech. “It puts all the tools you need at your fingertips, and the keyboard charges through the Smart Connector so you can just set your iPad Pro into a typing position and go. It brings typing on the iPad Pro to a whole new level.”

Designed to work exclusively with Apple’s new Smart Connector, the CREATE Keyboard Case automatically powers on and pairs with your iPad Pro when placed in the typing position – no Bluetooth® pairing needed. And because the backlit keyboard is powered by the iPad Pro, you never have to think about charging your keyboard again.

A special row of dedicated iOS shortcuts puts the commands at your fingertips, without ever taking them off the keyboard. You can get to the home screen, search your iPad and the web, adjust brightness, and control audio or video playback with one tap. And an integrated holder keeps your Apple Pencil within easy reach at all times so it is there when you need it.

With careful attention to color, materials and finish, the CREATE Keyboard Case design gives you all-around protection in a beautiful form. Custom-sculpted curves provide structural integrity to help protect your iPad Pro on the inside, while on the outside the tightly woven premium fabric resists bumps, scratches and spills.

Availability

The CREATE Keyboard Case for the 9.7-inch iPad Pro is available today from Logitech and Apple for a suggested retail price of $129.99.

DJI And uAvionix To Release ADS-B Collision Avoidance Developer Kit

DJI and uAvionix Corporation announced Wednesday they will collaborate on an ADS-B based collision avoidance developer kit to help integrate drones into the national airspace system and help keep America’s skies safe.

“DJI and uAvionix share a passion for safety and are motivated by the improvement that real-time air traffic information will provide to our developers using our software development kit,” said DJI VP of Engineering, Darren Liccardo. “DJI developers will now be able to process ADS-B data and close the loop all within an embedded computer onboard the vehicle.”

The uAvionix line of “Ping” sensors are the smallest and lightest ADS-B based hardware available for unmanned aircraft. The Ping ADS-B receiver allows a drone to sense surrounding aircraft and initiate collision avoidance maneuvers based on that information. The DJI Onboard Software Development Kit (SDK) enables this interaction by providing a flexible means of accessing the drone’s flight control systems. Developers can now create customized applications that use Ping ADS-B data to implement collision avoidance to suit their needs.

“Working in concert with the DJI Onboard SDK, our aircraft avoidance technology will provide a more complete picture of potential conflicts in the airspace,” said Paul Beard, uAvionix’ Founder and CEO. “Through our collaboration, DJI and uAvionix will add the necessary synergy and momentum behind safely integrating drones in the national airspace.”

Adding Ping ADS-B into a collision avoidance system can help prevent conflicts if a drone pilot loses situational awareness, operates too close to other aircraft or inadvertently strays into restricted airspace. A drone paired with the uAvionix ping2020 transceiver can transmit its position to surrounding aircraft and air traffic control, helping integrate drones into the national airspace. uAvionix’ Ping transmitter network marries with existing radar systems to provide manned aircraft pilots with early warning of drones operating in their vicinity.