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Buzzing About Drones

So, this past weekend a draft of the FAA's proposals for handling drones leaked online, and given that drones are expected to be quite the large industry going forwards (changing everything from photojournalism to Amazon deliveries, if the cards fall right) it's been getting a lot of attention. Especially because right now the FAA doesn't feel technology is ready to let drones avoid collision autonomously and is leaning towards requiring they only be operated in line-of-site (which would, yanno, really put a damper on those Amazon deliveries...). It's still of course just a leaked document, not even a final proposal, and once it is, it'll still have to go through a feedback period that could take up to two years, so, it's in no way a done deal yet. But, since it's slow while we wait on things like Canon's new 5DS models to land, how about a poll? How do you feel about the proposed line-of-sight regulation? Let us know below.


My Adventures at CES...

In case you were not aware, the huge ginormous CES (Consumer Electronics Show) was held last week in Las Vegas.  This is a big deal for a few reasons...the first is that this is the forum for MANY of our vendors to announce their latest and greatest technology that they will focus on for the upcoming year, the second is that people travel from all over the world to attend this show to see this new technology, and the third is that this is the first year that I actually got to go!  For better or for worse - here is my summary of events for last week. (Disclaimer: these are bad iphone photos because we were on the go and tweeting, facebooking and instagraming as fast as we could!)

If I didn't make it clear enough in the first paragraph - CES is a HUGE convention.  To be more specific - this convention covers 2.2 million net square feet of space, more than 3600 exhibitors, over 170,000 attendees and of those, over 45,000 are from outside of the U.S.

CES Entry

As opposed to boring you with every new product announcement - I will highlight some of my favorite things as well as a few themes that I can only believe will continue to grow and elevate the industry.

I have to say (and I may be a bit biased), but I LOVED the Nikon space! Everything from the great speakers to checking out the new D5500 and the new 300mm F/4 to the Nikon 360 photo booth.  This thing was awesome - it took probably 100 Nikon cameras and photographed you at the same time and instantly stitched the photos together to provide one amazing 360 degree image!

Nikon 360

To see how the actual Nikon 360 image turned out - click here: Nikon IMG_2560

The photography industry is right up there with having some of the most innovative companies and there were too many new product announcements to list and picture them all here.  But to see what has been announced in our great industry, you can view our full list here.

So, what are people going to be talking about in 2015?

Unmanned Vehicles (and no, I'm not just talking about the BMW car that parks itself that you saw on the Today show). I'm talking about drones! Drones were everywhere and they can do everything.  Companies like DJI have some of the most innovative technology out there.  While there will be some controversy and the FAA has yet to keep up with this technology, these flying objects are already helping to capture never before seen moments in nature and landscape photography, revamping sports photography, entering wedding photography and much more.  While they are pricey, you are going to be seeing much more of these and their practical applications in the years to come.


Televisions and 4k Ultra High Definition! If you have not yet purchased an HD television - you might want to wait because apparently UHD (ultra hi-def) is all the rage!  I even heard rumblings of 8K (but I did not see anything using this technology)...I barely know what to do with 4K - so I really have my work cut out for me if we are about to be introduced to 8K.  What I did see was the world's largest (110 inches) 4K UHD Curved Television and it was crystal clear and as life like as you can imagine!

Curved TV

Action cams continued to wow in the photography area, as did connecting and sharing everything and anything that you are doing! We in the photography world are constantly looking for ways that we can share our adventures, our families and our friends with the world.  We require all of our devices to connect with everything and the photography innovators hear you and are continuing to improve the ways that we share and connect with one another.

While my first trip to CES could definitely be characterized by long monorail lines, sprinting from meeting to meeting, huge crowds and way too many TVs - what I took away from it was a little different.  To me, I guess I am still in awe of the people that are constantly improving and constantly striving for change and better technology.  It would be so easy to think that in a world of iPhones and wi-fi on airplanes and drones that we have already accomplished so much in our society.  But here in this space (granted it is a very large space), there are literally thousands of people that know that we can be better and that we can be smarter and that we must continue to grow and learn and change.  These are the people that inspire me.  From the tiny start up companies that I saw to the huge technology giants already out there, everyone there was focused on innovation and providing solutions to improve lives.  CES is not just about driverless cars, 3-D printing and Ultra High Def. It is also about changing lives with technology in everything from health care and medical innovations to home security to government needs.  All in all, I was very impressed.  Thank you CES and to those out there that never stop striving for more! #CES2015

And this is not photography's awesome right?






Roger Cicala Posits A Photo Consumer's Bill Of Rights

There's no doubt, we at Roberts love Mr. Roger Cicala and his no-nonsense, well-informed, unnervingly reasonable approach to the sort of aspects of digital photography that often lead to gnashing of teeth and tearing of hair and flat-out misinformation on the darkside forums. And if you don't also follow his wonderful blog you've probably not seen his new Photogaphy Consumer's Bill Of Rights. And that's a pity, and one you should go and rememdy.

We're providing the link below. How easy is that?


Novus Select Multimedia Workshop - DSLR Filmmaking For Photographers.

Dialed in for working still photographers and the skilled amateurs looking to step up into the biz, the Novus Select Multimedia Workshop (previously the Aura Multimedia Workshop in Boulder, Colorado) is available in two flavors.

101 - a seminar on "the fundamental issues facing still photographers moving in to video and dSLR filmmaking." This will go from 8am Saturday August 10th through 6pm Sunday August 11th.

201 - The seminar as well as a hands-on workshop running from Monday 08/12 through Thursday 08/15. Head on over to Photography At The Summit for the full scoop and registration details. Video after the break.

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Roberts Wins Best Of Indianapolis Award

Hear that? That's the sound of those little New Year's noisemakers fwee-ing out. Why? Because, it turns out Roberts has won an award for best photo shop in Indianapolis! And, we get to show off this shiny, shiny virtual trinket to prove it:


Pretty, innit? We received it from the Indianapolis Reward Program, who are:

 an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Indianapolis area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

But really, we're just happy to have so many of you wonderful folks around to help. Insert something here about you guys being the real prize, and we'll call it about right, yeah?


Rich Clarkson and Associates Aurora Multimedia and Filmmaking Workshop

There's still space available at the Rich Clarkson and Associates Aurora Multimedia and Filmmaking workshop and you can attend for $1100 tuition (not inclusive of your travel and rooming). Attendance has the advantage of a superlative instruction in many technical aspects of DSLR filmmaking. You'll also get some overview of where multi-media content production is going in our tablet, smartphone, and continuously connected world.

The workshop will be held at the ATLAS facility at the University of Colorado in Boulder Colorado and will run from May 29th to June 1st.

Roberts will be there in spirit, embodied by our own Jody Grober with gear from manufacturer sponsors Manfrotto (Manfrotto, Avenger, Gitzo, and more) and the MAC Group (Mamiya, PocketWizard, Sekonic, Tenba, Induro, Cinevate and more) - most of which will be at special show pricing.

Follow the source link for a list of presenters and more complete information about the event and registration.



The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Sets Forth American Photographer's Rights

If you own a camera, live in America, and take pictures of more than your friends and family smiling in front of tourist spots, you're probably already aware of a lingering environment of hostility towards professional photography gear in public in our post-9-11 society. And, while there have been many useful guides to what your rights still are, none have been from an organization with the history and clout of the ACLU. Until now, anyway. So, stop wasting time here when you could be hitting the link below and reading over their write-up. Print out a copy. Keep it in your camera bag. And take to heart the parts where they remind you to be polite, nothing makes photographer's look worse in the eyes of nervous law enforcement than behaving like entitled, belligerent sacks. Know your rights, stick to them, but do it with manners, composure, and respect. It'll keep you out of a great deal of trouble, usually.


New Start-up Site Helps Find Stolen Cameras

Are you a photographer? We figure it's safe to assume if you're reading this blog you are, or at least want to be. And if you're a photographer, you probably at least have an idle fear of your camera getting lost or stolen. And it's because of that fact that you should check out this new site, Stolen Camera Finder.

This site, the result of some awesome work by a guy named Matt Burns, has a pretty simple driving idea. Every digital camera made has a serial number, and it sticks that number in the EXIF of every picture it takes. What the site does is upload one of your pictures, find the serial number, then checks its database to see where pictures with that serial are posted. Right now it mostly checks Flickr, but there's also a Chrome extension that'll sit in the background and scrape EXIF from pages as you browse to help boost the database. If you've misplaced your camera, you can use that database to see if pictures from it are being posted anywhere and go from there. Neat, right?

I think so, anyway. I've already installed the Chrome extension here at the office so I can do my part to helping out, and I'll be installing it at home tonight.

To try the site (keep in mind it's brand new, it'll take a while and your support for the database to become extensive), go here:

To skip straight to installing the extension, go here: