Unofficial Accidental Tech Podcast transcripts (generated by computer, so expect errors).

529: The Cycles of Marco

Casey’s upcoming app (!), fitting cameras into our mostly-iPhone lives, and testing superzoom cameras and giant telephoto lenses.

Episode Description:

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Transcribed using Whisper large_v2 (transcription) + WAV2VEC2_ASR_LARGE_LV60K_960H (alignment) + Pyannote (speaker diaritization).


  1. We found some mugs
  2. Marco unbroke the CMS
  3. WWDC lottery results
  4. CalDigit TS4 follow-up
  5. Sponsor: Green Chef (code atp60)
  6. de-duplication
  7. Bug-tracking follow-up
  8. Sponsor: Trade Coffee
  9. Ricoh/Fuji color follow-up
  11. Shutter/focus priority
  12. HDR and EDR
  13. Sponsor: Squarespace (code ATP)
  14. Superzooms 🖼️
  15. Ending theme
  16. Casey’s forthcoming app

We found some mugs

⏹️ ▶️ Casey There is a thunderstorm happening outdoors. John apparently lost power

⏹️ ▶️ Casey for several hours earlier today. So this is, uh, this is gonna be a little bit more of a stressful ATP recording

⏹️ ▶️ Casey for us than it normally is. We’ll see how it goes.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I feel great. I just live on a barrier Island.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah. I’m sure your house will still be there in 15 years. News breaking

⏹️ ▶️ Casey news, even, uh, there is not another holiday to celebrate. Unfortunately. I wish I could come up with

⏹️ ▶️ Casey one. I’m so sorry, John, but I have different good news.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Don’t worry. Give him time, listeners. He will find more.

⏹️ ▶️ John Anniversaries you were celebrating, not holidays.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey They’re all holidays to me, John. But anyway, we have some breaking news. It turns out that we

⏹️ ▶️ Casey ordered another shipment of mugs, I don’t know, like a month or two back? It was a little while

⏹️ ▶️ Casey ago. In January. In January, thank you. And we used the little tool

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that our friends at Cotton Bureau put together to email those that have said, hey, email

⏹️ ▶️ Casey me when this comes back, please. And it turns out that, you know, as expected, not everyone who

⏹️ ▶️ Casey requested that email has actually purchased a mug. So if you’re looking for a mug, you can go to

⏹️ ▶️ Casey slash store and get yourself a mug. And John, these are the red interiors, is that correct?

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s they’re almost all red interiors. There’s a handful of gray interiors left if that’s what you want.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey There’s also a smattering of pint glasses. There are not many. So for both of these,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I would suggest acting sooner rather than later. But particularly for the pint glasses, there’s very

⏹️ ▶️ Casey few of those remaining. So if you’re interested, go, go snatch those up at ATP. Yeah.

⏹️ ▶️ John And this is not to be clear. This is not our pre WRC merch sale. We’re still working on that. This is just some leftover

⏹️ ▶️ John stock that honestly, we forgot that we even had. So true story. It’s been there. You could have come at any

⏹️ ▶️ John time between the last sale and now and gotten a mug. But I do occasionally we do get messages from people like, Oh,

⏹️ ▶️ John I had a mug and I dropped it and it broke. When are you going to sell them again? And we’re like, Oh, I don’t know. Anyway, they’ve been there the whole time.

⏹️ ▶️ John Sorry about that. So yeah, and same thing with pint glasses if you’ve broken one or just want some more.

⏹️ ▶️ John But when you go to store, you will see the mug and the pint glass at the top of the page.

⏹️ ▶️ John You also see a whole bunch of shirts. Do not buy those shirts. Those shirts are for the suckers

⏹️ ▶️ John who desperately need who desperately want a shirt now now now and can’t wait for the sale.

⏹️ ▶️ John But you you know the WWDC is coming and you can wait for the WWDC sale where you will get

⏹️ ▶️ John the superior quality and more expensive shirts that we have for the WWDC

⏹️ ▶️ John sale. So don’t be distracted and think, oh this must be all the shirts they have for WWDC.

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s not. That’s just our on-demand shirts which honestly I like some of them because they’re like simpler and don’t have stuff on the back

⏹️ ▶️ John or whatever but the printing process is not as fancy as the printing process that we use for

⏹️ ▶️ John the time-limited sales. So for all the people who listen to this show, you know

⏹️ ▶️ John not to buy the shirts until we tell you, hey, it’s a WWDC merch sale. But the mugs and the pint glasses are exactly the same

⏹️ ▶️ John as they’ve always ever been. So that’s what we’re telling you about now.

Marco unbroke the CMS

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Oh, I have some other follow-up for members of the show. This is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco possibly my favorite bug report I’ve ever gotten. We’ve heard from actually a few members

⏹️ ▶️ Marco over the last few months, if you were still using what used to be called iTunes, now is called the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Music app on the Mac, to sync with an iPod. If you were syncing our podcast

⏹️ ▶️ Marco through either our bootleg or our member feeds to an iPod, It wouldn’t have

⏹️ ▶️ Marco worked when I changed the CMS a few months back for any episode past

⏹️ ▶️ Marco when we started membership. So whenever that was, like three years ago, two years ago. The feed just didn’t

⏹️ ▶️ Marco see those episodes. Only if you were syncing to an iPod. What? I’m happy to report that I have

⏹️ ▶️ Marco fixed this bug this week. How? What was the bug?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So special thanks to member Charlie, who wrote in and was the latest person to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco report this. Earlier people had written in. I’m sorry, I don’t have your names handy. I had

⏹️ ▶️ Marco just let them fall on the floor after a while of giving up. So Charlie pointed out exactly which episode

⏹️ ▶️ Marco was when the cutoff was that it stopped syncing. And I took a look in the feed and I realized that was

⏹️ ▶️ Marco when I had changed the enclosure URLs, like the audio file name URLs that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco are in the feed to just be like, you know, long hashes. And they did not

⏹️ ▶️ Marco end in.mp3. And I remember when I was looking at this, I’m like,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco wait a minute. I remember a long time ago, Apple used to require

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that podcast feeds, they used to have to end the enclosure file names in.mp3.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I think this was even undocumented. But if you didn’t do that,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey your feed wouldn’t- Undocumented

⏹️ ▶️ Casey from Apple?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco No. And to be

⏹️ ▶️ Marco fair, the Apple podcast team has always documented the feed format they expect

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and work with. But, and I don’t know if this detail was documented, but that was a detail

⏹️ ▶️ Marco back forever ago. And for some reason, that was buried in my mind. You know, that’s what sticks in there,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco not like, you know, birthdays, holidays, homework

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John assignments,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but that sticks in there. And so, and I’m like, wait a minute, I wonder if I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco just add dot mp3 to the end of these URLs, I bet they’ll start working.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And sure enough, they did. So, file extensions

⏹️ ▶️ Marco live on much to people like John’s chagrin. Oh

⏹️ ▶️ John my gosh. File name extensions. I hate when people shorten it to file extensions because it doesn’t make any sense.

⏹️ ▶️ John File name extensions. They’re extensions on the file name. They’re not extensions on the file.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Next, Marco’s going to tell you about his ATM machine.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, yeah. I wish I had access to my personal PIN number.

⏹️ ▶️ John No, that’s the opposite. That’s adding too much information. This is removing information. File name extensions.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, that’s terrible because the world is terrible and we can’t have nice things because the

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco whole world

⏹️ ▶️ John decided that they wanted to use file name extensions and we all suffer for it. But for a

⏹️ ▶️ John brief time, I lived without them and it was glorious. I’ll tell my grandchildren about it.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, I’m glad to hear that. Also, we have some news. I genuinely, Marco did not tell us this before he brought it up

⏹️ ▶️ Casey on the show. So that was surprising and new for me. And then you also have some news for members in India.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Is that correct?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco That was another whole thing. There was a very difficult to find

⏹️ ▶️ Marco bug in our CMS or in in our payment gateway in particular, that would affect cards that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco were verified with a thing called 3D Secure, which I think is pretty much universal in

⏹️ ▶️ Marco India and doesn’t exist in the US. So I really didn’t know about it. And this is one of those

⏹️ ▶️ Marco many details that Stripe, which is what we use to process our payments, pretty much handles for

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you. And you don’t really have to think about it, except when you start customizing crap behind the scenes, which of course

⏹️ ▶️ Marco we can’t help ourselves, but do sometimes. And I had customized things behind the scenes such a way that was breaking

⏹️ ▶️ Marco 3D Secure in a really difficult to find way. And some people, I don’t

⏹️ ▶️ Marco know if it’s everyone in India, but certainly multiple members who tried to sign up in India

⏹️ ▶️ Marco were getting an expired payment link error. And it was very, very hard to diagnose. But I eventually figured out it was

⏹️ ▶️ Marco through something I was doing on the back end to make failed payments suck less in the way they’re handled.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I was being too clever and it broke 3D Secure and I unbroke it. So sorry.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And then as a final note, speaking of members, just a very heartfelt thank you to all of

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you who have ever been a member and especially those who are currently members, and double especially for those

⏹️ ▶️ Casey who just recently signed up after us talking about it recently. So thank you to all of you. Our membership numbers

⏹️ ▶️ Casey are looking better than ever, and I’m genuinely extremely pleased and humbled and thankful for that. So thank you, everyone.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey We appreciate it.

WWDC lottery results

⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right, let’s do some follow up. The WWDC lottery has come in. I can tell

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you that I am not a big winner.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m pretty sure we can safely say we all lost. Is that

⏹️ ▶️ John right? Yep. I mean, the odds were against us. So it is what it is. Yeah. No WWDC lottery

⏹️ ▶️ John winners amongst the ATP hosts, which is expected. Yeah. But congratulations to

⏹️ ▶️ John all the winners. And honestly, we don’t even want to win the lottery. We don’t want to take someone else’s spot. We want press passes,

⏹️ ▶️ John which we also probably won’t get. But still.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, that’s what we want. But I’m not sure that’s what we’re getting.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco That’s a different lottery.

⏹️ ▶️ John That’s not a lottery. That is not random. It is the opposite of random.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, from our point of view, it appears like a lottery. We get pressed things sometimes, and we are very thankful

⏹️ ▶️ Marco when that happens, but we have no idea when they’ll be offered, and most of the time they

⏹️ ▶️ Marco aren’t. Or why, really

⏹️ ▶️ John honestly,

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco or why at all.

⏹️ ▶️ John Because when we get them, you don’t ask questions. I mean, you don’t get them, No one’s going to tell you why, so it is what it is.

CalDigit TS4 follow-up

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I also wanted to, this is completely unrelated, I wanted to make a brief correction with regard to my beloved CalDigit

⏹️ ▶️ Casey TS4. This is the Thunderbolt 4 docking station that I’ve been espousing for

⏹️ ▶️ Casey like a year, year and a half now. I think I had made mention many, many moons ago that because

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of the particulars of the LG UltraMir 5K, I was doing a two cable

⏹️ ▶️ Casey solution for my laptop. One of the cables was the CalDigit TS4, the studio display

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is and always has been hanging off of that. I have a few other devices hanging off of it. And then I would separately plug

⏹️ ▶️ Casey in the LG 5K because I was under the impression that you cannot have an LG 5K

⏹️ ▶️ Casey share with the CalDigit because it doesn’t use display stream compression, if I remember

⏹️ ▶️ Casey correctly. And so it just didn’t work. It had to be directly connected to the Mac. Turns out that’s not right.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Somebody on Mastodon whose name I don’t have in front of me was asking for clarification on this. And I was like, no, that doesn’t work.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Let me just try it again. Oh, oh. So

⏹️ ▶️ Casey now I am in a one cable solution for both the studio display and the LG 5K. So if you’re one of the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey probably four people that I scared away from the CalDigit TS4, maybe not be so scared

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of it. It actually does work when the dual monitor set up with the studio display and the 5K. The only thing that does not work

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is two LG 5Ks. That apparently is too much for one connection and that

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I am 100% sure does not work, but studio display and 5K is okay. So-

⏹️ ▶️ John double check that something hasn’t changed about the thing? Like, is it not really 5K?

⏹️ ▶️ John Is it like the, does the bit depth go down or anything like

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey that? Those

⏹️ ▶️ Casey are, that is a completely fair question. I will say I did recently upgrade the firmware on the CalDigit and

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I swear to your point that I swear I tried this at some point and it didn’t work, but

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it very well could have been user error. It very well could be a firmware update and it very well could be that the display,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the 5K Ultraman is not showing as much as it could or should, or maybe if I plug

⏹️ ▶️ Casey anything into the back of it, because if you recall, it has a couple of USB-C ports on it. Maybe if I plug something

⏹️ ▶️ Casey in, it’ll all come crumbling down. But at least for now, I’m living the one cable blissful lifestyle

⏹️ ▶️ Casey where I don’t plug in power, I don’t plug in any monitors. I literally just plug in the CalDigit and

⏹️ ▶️ Casey everything else hangs off that. And it is wonderful.

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⏹️ ▶️ Casey John, tell me about Apple Photos deduplication in shared libraries, if you please.

⏹️ ▶️ John That was a feature Apple rolled out in iOS 16.4, Mac OS 13.3, and whatever the hell iPad

⏹️ ▶️ John is also on 16.4. I don’t remember if they’re in sync on numbers. Anyway, we talked about

⏹️ ▶️ John it last episode and I wanted to try it. So I did, and I did it in my usual cautious way. I remember

⏹️ ▶️ John I had my, you know, my wife has the real photo library and I had my own private photo library, but then I had also

⏹️ ▶️ John been manually taking everything from my phone from my photo library and manually importing

⏹️ ▶️ John it to hers. But I had this whole backlog of stuff in my library, some of which came from her library, because I’d

⏹️ ▶️ John take some pictures that were like the favorites from her library, put them into my library. And so when shared photo library came

⏹️ ▶️ John out, if I had just taken my entire library and shoved it into the shared library, there’d be tons of duplicates.

⏹️ ▶️ John But there was no duplicate detection. Well, now there is. So like, finally, I can essentially empty my personal

⏹️ ▶️ John library because my wife’s personal library is empty. All of her photos, essentially, are in the shared library.

⏹️ ▶️ John I want that to be the same for me. So we would have one big shared library and a very minimum of photos

⏹️ ▶️ John in our personal libraries. And to give you an idea of the only photos that I wanted to keep in my personal library were

⏹️ ▶️ John my Destiny photos. And you may be wondering what that is. It’s screenshots. It’s screenshots of builds and

⏹️ ▶️ John maps and maps with call-outs written on them and

⏹️ ▶️ John raid mechanics and patterns. Anyway, it’s stuff that she doesn’t want. one’s

⏹️ ▶️ John ever gonna want

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco to lie

⏹️ ▶️ John yeah I don’t know why she went on that and the second thing is a long series of pictures of

⏹️ ▶️ John my toes which if you want to know

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey what that’s all the differences

⏹️ ▶️ John I’ve been taking pictures of my toes during various medical situations she did not want to share library

⏹️ ▶️ John and honestly I do not blame her so those stayed in my personal life

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco anyway

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know there’s someone out there who that went from the most sexy potential thing you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco could have possibly said very quickly to the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John least sexy potential. Wait,

⏹️ ▶️ John destiny, destiny,

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco build screenshots. Yes, that’s

⏹️ ▶️ John what I was. Definitely not the toes. OK. All right. Anyway, oh my God. So but but I

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, this feature like I read a lot about it. But you know, this is you know, I had tens of thousands of

⏹️ ▶️ John photos, maybe, you know, 60, 70,000. I forgot how many it was. Right. Most of those were going to be unique, but there was going

⏹️ ▶️ John to be lots of lots of lots of duplicates. Right. So I chucked a

⏹️ ▶️ John bunch in there. I just picked like 100 or so and chucked them into the library. and then you have to wait

⏹️ ▶️ John for, like in typical Apple fashion, it’s not like you could say, now please detect duplicates. No, you have to wait until

⏹️ ▶️ John it decides to detect duplicates and the way you’ll be able to tell that it has decided to detect duplicates is suddenly

⏹️ ▶️ John a duplicate photos item will appear on the sidebar. I’m doing this on the Mac, by the way, so it’s a sidebar in Mac photos. You could have done it on iOS

⏹️ ▶️ John as well, but I wanted to do it on the big screen and everything. And when it finds duplicates, you click on the duplicates

⏹️ ▶️ John in the Mac version of photos, it shows basically a linear list top to bottom

⏹️ ▶️ John And each row in the list is two photos. It shows two photos and then underneath it, two more underneath it, two more, which

⏹️ ▶️ John is ridiculous on the Pro Display XDR because it’s a huge expanse of white space to the right of it where there’s nothing,

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco but

⏹️ ▶️ John whatever. It’s two by two, right? No Zark. And then there’s a little blue link

⏹️ ▶️ John above each set of two that says merge these two photos.

⏹️ ▶️ John Why is it not a button? Why is it a blue web link? Who frigging knows? So I’m

⏹️ ▶️ John looking at it and I click the merge on that one and it says like something, I think the first one was like merge,

⏹️ ▶️ John merge these two exact duplicates. And it has some explanatory text that explains what it means.

⏹️ ▶️ John Um, and I said yes. Um, and then it takes the one that like it

⏹️ ▶️ John throws away one, puts it in the recently deleted folder. So it’s not really like immediately deleting it. So it’s still there so you can look

⏹️ ▶️ John at it. Uh, and then it takes the other one. And like we said in the last episode, it puts them into the shared library

⏹️ ▶️ John and says this was added to the shared library by, you know, person X and person Y. So it shows that

⏹️ ▶️ John it came from both of those places, which is great. And it’s supposed to pick the highest quality

⏹️ ▶️ John copy of the photo and So what I did before I looked at it is like okay Let me look at this and sometimes

⏹️ ▶️ John you know if when it says exact a duplicate They would be the same file size the same resolution

⏹️ ▶️ John like pretty exact duplicate, right? Sometimes when you click the little merge these two photos thing it will

⏹️ ▶️ John say merge these two photos But it wouldn’t say that they were exact duplicates in that case One of them would be

⏹️ ▶️ John a different resolution much smaller than the other so on and so forth and in that case I would

⏹️ ▶️ John click the merge and then I would confirm like okay one is one is three and a half megs and one is

⏹️ ▶️ John 174 K. I really want to take the three and a half meg one, please Right, and so I’d click merge and then I go and

⏹️ ▶️ John confirm you can like show, you know Show photo in all photos and I would confirm. Yes, it kept the 3.3 meg

⏹️ ▶️ John one and that would look and recently deleted Okay, there’s the the hundred and seventy four K one, right? I did

⏹️ ▶️ John this sort of spot manually spot checking many many many times as

⏹️ ▶️ John I scroll merge these two photos you know, look at the dialog, see what the options are, decide

⏹️ ▶️ John what I think it’s supposed to do, let it do its thing, confirm that it did what I thought it was supposed to do. Sometimes it would have like

⏹️ ▶️ John two raw photos, a raw versus a JPEG. I couldn’t quite tell why in some

⏹️ ▶️ John situations it would show me a raw and a JPEG and consider them duplicates, in other cases it wouldn’t. So I just

⏹️ ▶️ John basically made sure that it always did what I wanted it to do. And I did this for dozens of photos

⏹️ ▶️ John manually. And then I was like, all right, So I’m pretty sure this is working the way

⏹️ ▶️ John Apple said it would. It never made a mistake. Every time I looked at two photos, I would agree that we should only

⏹️ ▶️ John keep one of them and I would decide which one it should be and I would let Apple’s thing do it and it would pick the one that I thought it should. So good,

⏹️ ▶️ John thumbs up, it’s working. And it took me a little while to figure out, okay, do I have to sit here and click

⏹️ ▶️ John the little merge these two, merge these two, merge these, it would like merge these two and then hit the return key to select the default button

⏹️ ▶️ John on the dialog that appears, merge, return, merge, return. Like, do I have to do that for all of them? So I glanced up to the duplicates

⏹️ ▶️ John thing and say, how many duplicates are there? And the answer was 30,000. Oh, goodness.

⏹️ ▶️ John So I was not going to sit there and click the blue link and click return 30,000 times. And

⏹️ ▶️ John so since it’s a Mac, it works the way most Mac things do. You can just select all or click one

⏹️ ▶️ John and then scroll down to the end and shift click. All sorts of things that I imagine I would have a little bit more trouble doing

⏹️ ▶️ John on a phone just because of how fidgety things are with the scroll bars and the small screen and my big fat fingers. So I was

⏹️ ▶️ John glad I was doing it on a Mac. But I didn’t select them all first. First I selected, you know, a thousand

⏹️ ▶️ John and said, you know, merge these duplicates. And it did, and then I, you know, I tried to spot check

⏹️ ▶️ John the thousand that I picked and they all looked good, and then I did 2,000. And eventually I’m like, okay,

⏹️ ▶️ John I am thoroughly satisfied that this thing is working. Select all, merge all these things. And it merged them all.

⏹️ ▶️ John And it, as far as I can tell, everything went off without a hitch. No, as far as I

⏹️ ▶️ John can tell, I didn’t lose any photos. It didn’t, you know, I went into the recently deleted thing and looked through what it had deleted, and I’m like,

⏹️ ▶️ John yeah, these look like the ones that I would want deleted and didn’t do anything weird and I emptied my library

⏹️ ▶️ John except for Toe photos and Destiny photos. You know, actually what

⏹️ ▶️ John I did, you know, I actually just merged them all and then I unmerged the Toe and the Destiny ones, right?

⏹️ ▶️ John I probably un-merged them before they even synced to anybody else, so that was the easiest way to do it because I had them in folders

⏹️ ▶️ John or whatever. So thumbs up on this feature. Just like the shared photo library, I’m pretty sure it works

⏹️ ▶️ John exactly the way Apple said it would And my only complaints continue to be the lack

⏹️ ▶️ John of features and not the features that they did add, right? So I still want shared albums and so on and so forth. But

⏹️ ▶️ John as they add the features, the features appear to work. And I think I’m giving these things a pretty good workout with

⏹️ ▶️ John my 150, 160,000 photo library and merging 30,000 duplicates. And there was a typical kind of like,

⏹️ ▶️ John sometimes there was lag and then I went over to different computers and I saw this

⏹️ ▶️ John one still thinks there’s some duplicates. So there was like one day worth of me visiting each computer and saying, Do

⏹️ ▶️ John you think all the duplicates are gone? Do you think all the duplicates are gone? And occasionally a few more would pop up, but now

⏹️ ▶️ John everything has settled down. So, and during that whole time, I don’t think it did anything wrong. So if you are afraid

⏹️ ▶️ John of this thing, this duplicate feature, know that at least one person has tried it and it has not been disastrous.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yay. Glowing recommendation.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey Right, right.

Bug-tracking follow-up

⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right, so tell me about disasters with regard to your bug reports.

⏹️ ▶️ John This is about my NS tracking area bug. And I said that it seemed like maybe the team that made

⏹️ ▶️ John the change was hoping they could make a change to a framework, but sort of not tell anybody about it,

⏹️ ▶️ John in the hopes that like, probably no one will notice this. And so we can just make this change. We

⏹️ ▶️ John don’t have to put it in the release notes, we don’t have to, you know, make a change to the documentation, we could just,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, no one is probably relying on this, this existing behavior, right? And it turns out I was relying on that existing behavior.

⏹️ ▶️ John And so I wrote a bug about it. And then they had to say, oh yeah, no, this is a new behavior, it’s a new behavior. So here’s some

⏹️ ▶️ John anonymous feedback regarding this phenomenon within Apple. This person says, I was on

⏹️ ▶️ John the team at Apple 10 years ago. This is the problem with these stories. You get info from people who are willing

⏹️ ▶️ John to talk. They’re willing to talk when they were at Apple 10 years ago. They’re not willing to talk right now or whatever.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco But anyway,

⏹️ ▶️ John take it for what it’s worth. I was on the team at Apple 10 years ago that worked on a tool that would ingest all iOS

⏹️ ▶️ John apps in the store nightly and run analysis to see what frameworks and methods they were using. we would frequently

⏹️ ▶️ John get asked by other teams to provide usage information of specific framework calls to see if any of the top 100 apps

⏹️ ▶️ John use them. I assume this information we use to determine the effects of removing or

⏹️ ▶️ John changing frameworks. This was 10 years ago, and I would assume they have better methods for this now. This makes me think that Apple would

⏹️ ▶️ John definitely know if Microsoft Office or Photoshop would be affected by these types of changes. So, a few things

⏹️ ▶️ John about this. First, there’s lots of reasons why you would examine API usage of apps in

⏹️ ▶️ John the App Store beyond letting teams know whether they can change an API.

⏹️ ▶️ John Second, Photoshop is sold outside the App Store. I know there are versions of Photoshop inside the App Store but

⏹️ ▶️ John like the real Photoshop is outside the App Store. And Microsoft Office I believe is sold both outside and inside the

⏹️ ▶️ John App Store. So I’m not entirely sure if this would let you know. But yes,

⏹️ ▶️ John Apple obviously does lots of analysis of the apps in the App Store. That’s one of the advantages

⏹️ ▶️ John of running the App Store is that, and the advantage of it reviewing every application is any kind of automated

⏹️ ▶️ John thing like this of just saying like, what frameworks are popular? Who’s using them? We introduced the new framework

⏹️ ▶️ John at WWDC. How long does it take for that framework to start appearing in apps? Who is using it? What APIs

⏹️ ▶️ John are they using? If we made a framework, how much of the API surface is being used and by what? And especially for

⏹️ ▶️ John sort of the top 100 apps, like the apps that we really care about. I don’t know how they even determine top 100 apps. It’s

⏹️ ▶️ John all casino games for children at this point. So I’m not sure how representative that is of what APIs

⏹️ ▶️ John they should work on. But yeah, I do think Apple has good visibility into that. But of course, Apple being Apple,

⏹️ ▶️ John the team making changes to the framework has to ask some other team, whatever,

⏹️ ▶️ John the API usage app store analysis team to find out. And of course, my

⏹️ ▶️ John API in question was on the Mac. And so they have to ask about the Mac app store. And I think the top 10 apps in the Mac

⏹️ ▶️ John app store are probably not representative of the top 10 apps used by Mac users. And so there’s a little bit more difficulty

⏹️ ▶️ John there. But anyway, there’s one take from the inside on Apple’s

⏹️ ▶️ John unsurprising awareness and analysis of the software that passes through their ecosystem.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey We also got some feedback from another anonymous person, which indicates that maybe the Radar grass

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is not actually greener on the other side. I’m gonna read most of it. I work

⏹️ ▶️ Casey for a big developer in the games industry, and we definitely get a very different support experience from Apple, though I’m not sure the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey outcomes are any different. At the corporate level, which is way above my level, We have whole teams of developer

⏹️ ▶️ Casey relationships people from Apple talking to our first party relationships people about business deals

⏹️ ▶️ Casey or whatever. I have only the tiniest insight into this and I can’t share it. My team is direct contact with someone

⏹️ ▶️ Casey in Apple Developer Relations and several engineers that work with them. We have monthly meetings between our engineers and this team

⏹️ ▶️ Casey in which we raise issues, ask for advice, et cetera. We also have a private Slack channel with that same DevRel team

⏹️ ▶️ Casey where we can raise issues and get a response at any time. It seems like this should be great, right? Right?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey But we end up with broadly the same frustrations. Da-da-da-da, whoa.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Responses to our bug reports are slow. Granted, less slow, because we have more ability to nag them about

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it. We continually have to prod the Slack thread and ask, what’s happening with this issue?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey We see the, we think we’ve fixed it, or try in the latest beta responses from Apple,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey but they haven’t fixed it. And it’s still difficult to figure out which beta that will supposedly have the fix. They

⏹️ ▶️ Casey still can’t share any details of how things work under the hood to help us come up with viable workarounds, which in some cases we would

⏹️ ▶️ Casey need even if the bugs were fixed because we want to support a broader range of OS versions. They often can’t

⏹️ ▶️ Casey answer straight forward questions like what are the performance implications of X versus Y?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Either because they don’t know, can’t say, or it depends. And they can’t tell us on what. I guess

⏹️ ▶️ Casey my point is it isn’t just the feedback radar system itself that’s the problem.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Apple’s organization seems to be set up with such a focus on secrecy that they just can’t provide the transparency

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that you need as an external developer to really believe that they do actually care about

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and are working on your problems. I’m gonna read it again because I think it’s that good. Apple’s organization

⏹️ ▶️ Casey seems to be set up with such a focus on secrecy that they just can’t provide the transparency that you need

⏹️ ▶️ Casey as an external developer to really believe that they do actually care about and are working

⏹️ ▶️ Casey on your problems. Amen to that.

⏹️ ▶️ John I know this is framed as, deal for us is different when we’re at a big company but the outcomes

⏹️ ▶️ John are the same. but how much would you kill for a private Slack channel without the engineers so you could prod them in threads?

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Like I know that

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s still there, they are held back by being unresponsive and you know, like, oh, they can’t tell you. And like, yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ John it is frustrating. It is worse than, I think what they’d be comparing it to is say you’re a big, important company, big,

⏹️ ▶️ John important company would get better support from say Microsoft than they get from Apple, you know, for right,

⏹️ ▶️ John we’re not expecting that dinky little developers will get the same support as a big, giant company. I think what they’re

⏹️ ▶️ John coming from, where they come from here is we are a big, important company So we know how big and important companies get treated by

⏹️ ▶️ John different platform owners, and Apple is the worst, because of secrecy, because

⏹️ ▶️ John they can’t tell us things, and because they’re unresponsive, and because there’s layers. The

⏹️ ▶️ John organization is not set up to be responsive to demand. So

⏹️ ▶️ John as jealous as we are as individual developers of having these kind of touch points, it’s unrealistic to

⏹️ ▶️ John assume that any individual would have this. But in within each sort of,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, cohort within each strata of developers, it seems like if you were to compare like to like

⏹️ ▶️ John big company, how do you how do you get support from Apple versus how you get it from Microsoft versus how you get it from

⏹️ ▶️ John Google? Apple is always in last place seemingly for structural and secrecy reasons.

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Ricoh/Fuji color follow-up

⏹️ ▶️ Marco All

⏹️ ▶️ Casey right, and thus we enter the camera portion of the show, which begins in follow-up, but we’ll continue into the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey main topic. I believe this is all, Marco, is that correct?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey certainly

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a lot,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey me.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Although I’m sure John will jump in, and I hope he does, because there’s gonna

⏹️ ▶️ Marco be a lot. All right, so I gone through my

⏹️ ▶️ Marco brief camera buying phase of the five-year span that we’re in because it’s about as often as I buy cameras.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s a pattern. I recognize it at this point. About every five years, I see what modern cameras can

⏹️ ▶️ Marco do. It blows me away. I buy one or two modern cameras. And then over the next few

⏹️ ▶️ Marco years, I stop using them because they’re too much to carry around. iPhones get better and more convenient. And I say,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m never going to buy a camera again. And then what inevitably happens is a few years later,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the cycle repeats as cameras get better.

⏹️ ▶️ John Has this cycle repeated that much? I think you may be on the first round of this particular cycle. Because

⏹️ ▶️ John I think you, basically you were like, big cameras are good, I’m into big cameras, and then the iPhone camera got good, and then

⏹️ ▶️ John you switched to all iPhone. I think this is your first backslide, unless I’m remembering it

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey different. No, that sounds

⏹️ ▶️ John right. I think this is the first loop. I mean, I agree with you that it’s probably gonna repeat, because let

⏹️ ▶️ John history be a guide, there are the cycles of Marco. I think,

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco to be fair

⏹️ ▶️ John to you, this is your first time through this.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Maybe, yeah, maybe my first, it’s certainly my first time in a while, in about five years. I guess

⏹️ ▶️ Marco there was my brief flirtation with being a video producer, where I bought a couple of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco objects for video production, never used them, and eventually mailed them to you.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco I mean, you

⏹️ ▶️ John made some videos. You actually made videos with them, right? I think I made a video. No, you had more, you had like a

⏹️ ▶️ John Mac Mini video and some other thing,

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco something.

⏹️ ▶️ John And the iPad, the iPad Pro 2018. I think

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it was the same event. But in that one, I don’t think you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John had a period where

⏹️ ▶️ John you were like, you know, big video cameras are crappy. You should just use your iPhone

⏹️ ▶️ John for everything.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah. But anyway, as usual during this phase, I was trying to figure out how do I make

⏹️ ▶️ Marco my new cool camera as convenient as the iPhone? And of course that’s impossible. But

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I ran into a couple of issues. Number one was I was torn between the physical size

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of the Ricoh GR3X, which is awesome. I was not super thrilled with

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the color of its pictures. And then I was very impressed

⏹️ ▶️ Marco by the Fujifilm X100V, but it was a little bit less

⏹️ ▶️ Marco technically easy to use and technically sharp as the Ricoh GR3X. But

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the Fuji produced pictures that I just love the colors from. And so, got a bunch

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of feedback on this. So first of all, a number of people sent in this website. It’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco This is Richie’s Ricoh Recipes. And the Ricoh has these various customization options

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you can set, um, all right, for custom mode number two, set, you know, color plus two, saturation

⏹️ ▶️ Marco minus one, sharpness plus one, that kind of thing. And so, um, what this person Richie has done is made

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a whole bunch of presets for those settings that you can enter into your camera to achieve different looks.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And the idea is to get much of the same benefit as Fuji’s film emulation modes, which,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco which, you know, are very appealing and very popular, um, with Ricoh cameras.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I tried them. They are better than the Ricoh’s defaults, but I was not able

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to find one that I really thought was comparable to what I was getting out of the Fuji with

⏹️ ▶️ Marco no effort whatsoever. If what you want is really cool colors in the photos, and if you like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the way Fuji’s render color, there is no direct substitution in camera hardware. Now,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you can get like Lightroom presets and stuff that people have made to try to emulate Fuji’s modes, and they might come closer,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But I have not yet found anything that offers what Fuji does in like in-camera JPEG processing so you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco can just dump it right onto something and use it immediately.


⏹️ ▶️ Marco On the Fuji itself, I talked about how crappy all the camera apps are, about

⏹️ ▶️ Marco transferring photos over Wi-Fi to your phone or whatever, like all these different schemes everyone has and they’re all crappy and terrible

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and slow. Fuji has this feature called PC AUTO SAVE,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and I assume that’s how you pronounce it because it’s in all capitals.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey PC LOAD LETTER, what the f does that mean?

⏹️ ▶️ John Abort, retry, fail. There you go. Let’s pull out all the old PC tropes where everything was in caps.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, so

⏹️ ▶️ Marco anyway, PC Auto Save is on most Fuji cameras, at

⏹️ ▶️ Marco least most reasonably modern ones. Although it’s funny, I decided

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in the intervening time to cancel my return for the X-T5. I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco kept the X-T5 and I love it and shut up. So anyway, PC Auto Save

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is on the X100V and many other modern Fuji cameras. And it’s on the X-T3 and 4, I think. For

⏹️ ▶️ Marco some reason, I don’t think it’s on the X-T5. I can’t find it anywhere, and it’s not on the compatibility

⏹️ ▶️ Marco list, and it’s not in the instruction manual, and I can’t find it anywhere in the menus. Did you do a firmware update? Yes,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I did. It’s the running the modern version of everything. Thank you for, John, you were the one who taught me that camera firmware

⏹️ ▶️ Marco updates exist. So that’s the first thing I tried. Like, oh, maybe I got an early version, and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it didn’t help. And it’s listed nowhere, it’s documented nowhere, it’s not in the instructions. So I’m pretty sure it just doesn’t have

⏹️ ▶️ Marco this feature for some reason. What PC autosave is, is you run

⏹️ ▶️ Marco this horrendous little Fuji app on your Mac or PC or whatever. You set up the camera, you kind

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of pair the camera to this app on your computer that’s always running in your menu bar with a hideous icon and an even more hideous interface.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And you can tell the camera, you can go to the playback menu and select PC

⏹️ ▶️ Marco autosave! and it will then begin to very slowly connect to your Wi-Fi

⏹️ ▶️ Marco network, find your PC, and then very slowly, automatically save the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco pictures to it over your Wi-Fi network. And it is a comically

⏹️ ▶️ Marco slow process, but it does work. So if you happen to have

⏹️ ▶️ Marco your computer on the same Wi-Fi network as your camera, this method is a little

⏹️ ▶️ Marco bit less horrible than using the apps to transfer. But ultimately, all of these methods are

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so much more horrible than just plugging the camera directly into your computer, or popping

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the card out and using a card reader. You’re better off just doing that. And I think once the iPhone goes

⏹️ ▶️ Marco USB-C, I would imagine you will probably be able to just plug in

⏹️ ▶️ Marco any USB-C card reader to the iPhone, and I bet it’ll import it directly. Because right now,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Apple has sold various camera connection kit accessories over the years.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Some of which have USB ports, some of which just have SD card slots. I believe the ones of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco those that use the Lightning port, I think do already work on the iPhone, but I’m not positive about that. I don’t have one here

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to test, and I wasn’t going to buy one a few months before the USB-C iPhone comes out. So, I could be wrong on that,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but anyway, that’s an option maybe to go directly to a phone. I know it at least works on iPads,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and definitely works on Macs. So that’s the way to go if you want to transfer photos to your, you know, cool Apple hardware,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco just dump them onto the computer directly with the card or the cable.

Shutter/focus priority

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Also got a wonderful tip. My complaint about the X100V

⏹️ ▶️ Marco was I was having trouble getting the auto focus to really nail the focus. Like especially on eyes,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it would sometimes focus on the tip of the eyelashes instead of the actual

⏹️ ▶️ Marco eye surface. Stuff like that. It was slightly missing focus a lot. And I was

⏹️ ▶️ Marco having trouble getting sharp shots. So, Anonymous wrote in to say that the f100v

⏹️ ▶️ Marco ships with the release slash focus priority setting on shutter, meaning

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it will prioritize taking a picture over actually getting the right focus. Changing it to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco focus improved my hit rate noticeably and seemed to have little impact on shutter lag in most situations. So

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to explain this, basically almost every modern camera, at least in default mode,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco usually if you push the shutter button, but the lens has not focused yet, usually

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it will wait until it locks on focus and then take the picture. So that’s shutter lag.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And sometimes it’s really frustrating if you’re maybe in the dark and the camera’s having trouble focusing and you’re like, just push it,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco just take it. And the camera’s going, going back and forth and can’t really focus on something.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So oftentimes this feature, in more pro modes or more pro models

⏹️ ▶️ Marco will be set to shutter priority, which means as soon as you hit the shutter button all the way down, just

⏹️ ▶️ Marco take the picture regardless of whether the autofocus engine thinks it has focus or not. So the X100V ships

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in that mode by default, where it just takes the picture even if it’s not focused all the way. So I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco changed this, the way Anonymous said, to focus priority, so the former

⏹️ ▶️ Marco where it waits for focus even if it introduces some lag before it actually takes the picture, and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I agree, it seems to have improved the hit rate, and it does not seem to introduce noticeable

⏹️ ▶️ Marco lag in any situation I’ve encountered so far.

⏹️ ▶️ John Are you not a fan of back button focusing, which

⏹️ ▶️ John would also solve this problem for

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you? Like the AF on button on Canons and stuff like that, where you hit the button there without, because

⏹️ ▶️ Marco normally I just half press the shutter and then go all the way. Right,

⏹️ ▶️ John so most people, phones, phones, cameras, big cameras ship so that if you press

⏹️ ▶️ John the shutter button halfway down, it will start focusing, and then if you press it the rest of the way down, will take the picture and at

⏹️ ▶️ John that point everything you just described takes place. It says, should I really take the picture or should I wait for the focusing motor to finish

⏹️ ▶️ John getting to where I know it’s supposed to focus and so on and so forth, right? The other technique is often called back

⏹️ ▶️ John button focusing, which means you assign some button on the back of your camera

⏹️ ▶️ John to be the please do auto focus now button. And then the shutter button is, and you turn

⏹️ ▶️ John off the feature that makes the camera try to focus when you push the shutter button halfway down. So

⏹️ ▶️ John you separate the two functions. So you decide when you want your camera to do auto focusing

⏹️ ▶️ John with the back button. And then once you’re happy with the focus, you can press the shutter button. You can do both of them at the same

⏹️ ▶️ John time, and then you would still have the same situation where should I wait for the motor or whatever, but you can also do your

⏹️ ▶️ John focus. And then once you’re happy, yes, you’ve got the focus to my satisfaction and the

⏹️ ▶️ John thing isn’t moving, the person isn’t moving or whatever. Then when you press the shutter button, it’s going to take it immediately because no part

⏹️ ▶️ John of pressing the shutter button tells it to do focus again. Focusing is separated from shutter. I

⏹️ ▶️ John am not a big fan of this, but I see the I see the situations where it could be advantageous.

⏹️ ▶️ John And some people, this is the only way that you the camera and they consider it broken to use the other way. But I feel like it’s just kind of a muscle

⏹️ ▶️ John memory type thing a lot of the times. But you see, the advantage is like, if you get it focused on somebody and they’re not

⏹️ ▶️ John moving very often with cameras with modern cameras being so good at focusing on stuff,

⏹️ ▶️ John like someone in the background will move and turn their head towards the camera and the camera, but like, Oh, a pair of eyes, I’m totally

⏹️ ▶️ John going to focus on that. It’s like, No, focus on the ear of the person I just focused on. Like, you know, if you get the focus the way you want

⏹️ ▶️ John and the person you focus on turns their head away, so now their ear is facing you, but you’re happy with that focal plane, you

⏹️ ▶️ John don’t want it to jump to the person in the background whose two eyes just face there. You want it to stay where you

⏹️ ▶️ John left it. And so in that situation, you do back button focusing to get the focus you want. So you get perfect

⏹️ ▶️ John eye focus on that person. And even if they turn their head slightly, you don’t want it to pick some other subjects so then you use the shutter

⏹️ ▶️ John button for it. So if you got used to that technique of focusing, I think

⏹️ ▶️ John that will, that would essentially do the same thing as you saying shutter priority, because you know, in that case,

⏹️ ▶️ John the shutter never activates auto-focus, it just fires the shutter.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, I never shot that style, but you know, it’s a lot of people do, so there’s probably some, I probably should

⏹️ ▶️ Marco be using that style.

⏹️ ▶️ John I think, it’s more cumbersome a lot of the time, but, and especially if you forget that you’ve, you previously

⏹️ ▶️ John selected this focal plane and I’m never going to change it unless you hit the back button again and you think, oh, I, you

⏹️ ▶️ John know, because you get used to just using the half focus. The other way to solve this problem with lag

⏹️ ▶️ John or maybe it’s the focus is to get a Sony camera or some other camera that has insanely good,

⏹️ ▶️ John really, really fast, really smart focus selection that’s just been getting better and better over time. And

⏹️ ▶️ John to be fair, all camera manufacturers have been getting better and better. Sony used to have a huge lead and now it just has a smaller lead,

⏹️ ▶️ John but Sony still is a really good focusing system where it will, like the reason you don’t notice

⏹️ ▶️ John it on Sony’s is it’s so fast. First of all, Sony lenses are very fast to physically focus.

⏹️ ▶️ John And second, the Sony like image detection system is really good at finding the thing you want to focus on

⏹️ ▶️ John and tracking it and not getting distracted when something moves. So that’s one of the advantages of the Sony cameras,

⏹️ ▶️ John but other ones have been catching up and these type of settings are a good way to sort of shore up the

⏹️ ▶️ John minor inefficiencies as compared to the best of the best.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, and in all fairness, as much as I love the Fuji color processing, they are not

⏹️ ▶️ Marco close to class leading with like autofocus sophistication. that is one area where they

⏹️ ▶️ Marco are, I think behind the competitors. And I think all the reviews agree with that. So I have noticed that it is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco not as smart as Sony’s autofocus, but it’s smart enough for me. And I’m loving

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the pictures that it’s getting. It’s like, if I was a sports photographer, I would definitely not use Fuji, but

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I would, but you know, for taking pictures that I like a lot in other situations, it’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco proving to be fantastic.


⏹️ ▶️ Marco One thing I noticed as I was you know taking pictures with these cameras for the first time

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like you know since using an iPhone I missed the iPhone HDR

⏹️ ▶️ Marco photography, and I don’t mean the So so cameras have caught up in a number

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of ways so Since I you know the previous last camera. I bought

⏹️ ▶️ Marco was the Sony a7r3 which is at this point probably something

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like five years old in that ballpark and And what cameras have gotten

⏹️ ▶️ Marco really good at eating away some of the iPhone’s advantages in the meantime. Not all of them and they

⏹️ ▶️ Marco never will get all of them, but some of them. And one of the things is, you know, the iPhones have always been

⏹️ ▶️ Marco really, not always, but modern iPhones have always been really good at dealing with high dynamic

⏹️ ▶️ Marco range scenes. Scenes where you have something very bright, like maybe something, you know, water reflecting the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco sun or the actual sun or the moon or something, you know, in your shot. Something very bright,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but you still want to have detail in the darker shadow areas. So you know you have to have a lot of dynamic

⏹️ ▶️ Marco range in the image and modern camera sensors in big cameras can capture that dynamic

⏹️ ▶️ Marco range very well. Modern camera sensors have incredible dynamic range but usually where they

⏹️ ▶️ Marco lacked is in processing down the dynamic range to a useful photo

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that you would actually want and look good without losing all the details in the highlights or the shadows

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and usually you had to shoot raw to really make the most of that. Um, and I’ve,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I am so done shooting raw, like the pictures are so huge and they break in everything and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I, I’m just not, and that’s, that’s for a more editing focused workflow than what I ever want.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Yeah.

⏹️ ▶️ John You might be back to the raw eventually, but, but I,

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco I think, I think,

⏹️ ▶️ John uh, so this is relevant to a link that we’ll put in the show notes from a petapixel that is actually from today,

⏹️ ▶️ John two days ago, uh, where the headline is Gen Z discovers modern digital cameras are better than iPhones.

⏹️ ▶️ John And it shows a bunch of pictures on like TikTok where they’re like, look, you know, this person was sitting

⏹️ ▶️ John on the beach and we want to take a picture of them. And here’s what it looks like on the iPhone. Here’s what it looks like on a real camera. And there’s situations in which

⏹️ ▶️ John the iPhone sensor is too small to gather enough light. And the real camera like is able to gather enough light to correctly expose the

⏹️ ▶️ John person, right? But a lot of these pictures like, you know, look how dark everything is in the iPhone. I think they’re

⏹️ ▶️ John terrible examples because what you just said is so true. Where the iPhone excels is not being

⏹️ ▶️ John like good at low light photography and that it gathers lots of light on the sensor and can sort of see in the dark. No,

⏹️ ▶️ John that’s not why the iPhone photos come out well. They come out well because it does the high dynamic HDR

⏹️ ▶️ John photos, meaning, and we’re setting aside what you’re gonna get to eventually, right? But it’s just the EDR stuff. But like

⏹️ ▶️ John when the iPhone does high dynamic range, it does it in the same way that

⏹️ ▶️ John big cameras can do it, but it does it without involving the user at all. You just press the shutter

⏹️ ▶️ John button on the iPhone. And what the iPhone does, it’s not like, oh, it processes its dynamic range better. it takes multiple

⏹️ ▶️ John exposures, right? It doesn’t, it takes one underexposed, it takes one overexposed. I don’t

⏹️ ▶️ John know how many exposures it takes. It likes at least two, maybe more, and it combines them. So it’s not a

⏹️ ▶️ John single photo, because a single photo has crap dynamic range on a sensor that’s like the size

⏹️ ▶️ John of the end of an eraser on a pencil, right? It’s going through this tiny little lens with this tiny

⏹️ ▶️ John little, it’s just, there’s not a lot of light there. So why do the iPhone cameras actually look better where

⏹️ ▶️ John is the real camera pictures are not? because it takes multiple exposures and combines them. If you take a single

⏹️ ▶️ John exposure with a full frame camera in a very challenging lighting situation, like a person with

⏹️ ▶️ John a bright sunset behind them, you can choose to expose so the sunset is not blown out

⏹️ ▶️ John and then the person is all dark. You can choose to expose the person so their skin tone looks good and then the sky

⏹️ ▶️ John behind them is blown out. With any single exposure, you can try to get as much, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ John big camera sensors have a lot of dynamic range, you can try to get a compromise between them, but in very challenging situation where

⏹️ ▶️ John there’s a really bright light behind somebody, you can’t have both. But big cameras

⏹️ ▶️ John can also take multiple exposures and try to combine them. They just, there’s so much worse at it than phones,

⏹️ ▶️ John right? Because first of all, there’s the contract when you’re using a big camera, which is you press the shutter button, we do

⏹️ ▶️ John a single exposure. Oh, do you want to do exposure bracketing? Well, that’s a setting and you get to do it. And maybe you want to

⏹️ ▶️ John use electronic shutter or maybe we’re going to take multiple ones. And I hope you don’t shake the camera because our software is not very good at aligning the pictures

⏹️ ▶️ John and combining them. The iPhone totally wins there. So I feel like this pedo pixel article is showing a bunch of

⏹️ ▶️ John photos where I’m like, the iPhone probably would do better here, unless you’re in a situation

⏹️ ▶️ John that is within the realm of the dynamic range of a real camera. That you don’t need, if you

⏹️ ▶️ John have a big sensor and a real camera, you don’t need to do multiple exposures, whereas the iPhone does need to do multiple

⏹️ ▶️ John exposures and then ends up looking worse. And I guess that’s what their examples are here. But I think, you know, you’ve said in the past, Marco, that

⏹️ ▶️ John like, you know, iPhones are better at low light. And then we get all this feedback saying, are you crazy? iPhones aren’t better at low light. They have a tiny

⏹️ ▶️ John sensor. can’t gather any light or whatever. And it’s like, no, they’re not better physically speaking

⏹️ ▶️ John in terms of photons, but they’re better because they take, you know, one, they take two or more exposures.

⏹️ ▶️ John I honestly don’t know how many they take and they find a way to combine them. Even if your hand is shaking, even if you know, like

⏹️ ▶️ John they, the processing of the multiple exposures that they take exposing for the skies, goes into

⏹️ ▶️ John the person’s face, exposing for this. And then they do all this processing and they mush it up into this thing that they call a photo, which is

⏹️ ▶️ John a combination of multiple photos. That’s what they’re better they’re at and big cameras can do that,

⏹️ ▶️ John but it’s a setting and you have to know how to use it. And they’re still not as good at doing the combination of those exposures

⏹️ ▶️ John as Apple is, let alone doing them seamlessly when you just press a single shutter button. Maybe they’ll get there someday, but I do kind

⏹️ ▶️ John of feel like there is that implied contract with the real camera, which is you press that shutter button once,

⏹️ ▶️ John we do one exposure. And if you want something different, you have to ask for it explicitly.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, and there actually, there is an HDR mode on the X-T5. I gotta see

⏹️ ▶️ Marco if the X100V has it.

⏹️ ▶️ John but you’re talking about multiple exposures or you’re talking about, oh, the thing where we add a brightness channel that shows the bright stuff

⏹️ ▶️ John brighter.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So there’s multiple options. So there is the multiple exposure thing. You flip an knob over to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco HDR, it’s right at your thumb. You hit the shutter and it goes, and it takes three pictures and it merges

⏹️ ▶️ Marco them and you get a JPEG out and it’s done. That’s, and that’s, you know, using the exposure bracketing,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, one dark, one light, one medium, different settings for like, you know, how much range you want to cover there, how much you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco want to, you know, crush into the final picture. But then modern cameras also have

⏹️ ▶️ Marco usually some form of extended dynamic range shooting mode. So what this,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and the various details of how they do this are, you know, they vary by manufacturer and everything.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Some of them will have like dynamic range priority modes, but the idea basically is they

⏹️ ▶️ Marco use a larger range, like they capture a larger range than they normally would, and then map that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to like, you know, the zero to one color space, you know, for the JPEG. So what

⏹️ ▶️ Marco ends up happening is it looks, if you’ve seen HDR pictures online, like they can look a little

⏹️ ▶️ Marco bit odd, it like in terms of like the contrast is maybe too low and everything

⏹️ ▶️ Marco kind of looks almost like a painting, like not texture wise, but like color wise. Are you

⏹️ ▶️ John thinking, again, I feel like we need to distinguish. You’re talking about HDR with multiple exposure? No, one exposure.

⏹️ ▶️ John All right, so then what you’re talking about is if you take a photo with your iPhone, for example, of a sunset, you may notice that when

⏹️ ▶️ John you view that on your iPhone with an HDR screen, that the sun looks brighter. That’s different.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So there’s three different things. I’m talking about extended dynamic range modes

⏹️ ▶️ Marco on big cameras, where they use the range they have differently. They

⏹️ ▶️ Marco map it differently to capture more range at the expense of usually contrast

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and possibly noise. Because they kind of shoot at a higher ISO than they would need to,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and then kind of capture. I don’t know the details of how it works.

⏹️ ▶️ John Speaking of details, I should find this show notes on a future show. I actually had the notes. I learned something recently

⏹️ ▶️ John while watching a video about Sony cameras. I so in particular, you probably already knew this and maybe we’ve mentioned on a past show,

⏹️ ▶️ John but I, if we did, I totally forgot it. That Sony’s sensors on their cameras have

⏹️ ▶️ John two different capture modes essentially depending on what ISO level they’re at. There’s like a low sensitivity

⏹️ ▶️ John one and a high sensitivity one. And when you cross an ISO threshold, which differs from camera to camera, it kicks

⏹️ ▶️ John into the other mode which I had no idea about but it explains so much if you look at the test

⏹️ ▶️ John results you can say I can see and on this camera and ISO 400 it switches to the other thing which is you know it’s

⏹️ ▶️ John a trade-off between dynamic range and noise and stuff like that but that’s it’s something that they don’t really

⏹️ ▶️ John Sony doesn’t really mention because they don’t consider it to be a feature that you can count on

⏹️ ▶️ John I forget what the term of art is it but they’re there they’re video cameras do it explicitly and

⏹️ ▶️ John they only talk about it there because the video cameras are able to be equally good in both of the ranges, but it explains

⏹️ ▶️ John a lot if you if you have a Sony camera of like why, when I was cranking up the ISO, everything kept looking

⏹️ ▶️ John worse and worse until I crossed the threshold and all of a sudden it got better and then started on a whole new curve. It’s because the

⏹️ ▶️ John sensors have two different modes. It makes sense when you see the underlying stuff. I’ll try to find it for a future episode or maybe even for this

⏹️ ▶️ John one. But it was fascinating. And that’s that’s the type of technical detail that is buried in inside your cameras

⏹️ ▶️ John that is good to know, because on a real camera, You have control over that stuff on the iPhone,

⏹️ ▶️ John even if you’re using a third party camera app and tweaking all the settings, not quite as much control.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah. And so rounding out the dynamic range topic, one of the things

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I missed also was what John said a minute ago, when you take a picture with

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a modern iPhone of a high dynamic range environment,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like there’s a sunset or something, you notice when you view it, it cranks the brightness

⏹️ ▶️ Marco up way past normal, like pure white brightness levels for those parts of the photo that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco are super bright, like the tips of the waves, the sun, the light in the background, the moon, whatever

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it is, those get higher brightness levels. Same thing happens in any kind of modern

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Mac with, do they call them EDR or HDR for the screens? They call them XDR.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John Right? EDR, I think,

⏹️ ▶️ John is what they call the technology of, hey, we’re gonna show your screen the way we normally do it. But if you show one of those

⏹️ ▶️ John photos that was taken how you describe, we will also show that on the same screen, without changing

⏹️ ▶️ John your display mode or anything like that. That’s the EDR, it’s like the ability to combine regular dynamic

⏹️ ▶️ John range, your windows and webpages and stuff like that, but up here, this little square of it is high

⏹️ ▶️ John dynamic range, just that little square. We’ve talked about it before with like the aerial screensaver, when you show a preview

⏹️ ▶️ John of it in like system settings or whatever, that it’s like this little tiny window that’s suddenly HDR, but the whole rest of your screen is normal.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I was wondering, well, if I’m using a camera that can capture all this dynamic range,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco how can I get my pictures to render in that mode on my Pro Display XDR on my MacBook

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Pro? It’s obviously just some kind of metadata somewhere, like how do I set that? So I was looking for an app

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that can do this, that can be like, all right, take this photo from my camera, turn on EDR

⏹️ ▶️ Marco display mode for it, and then let me map in the image, like all right, what levels correspond

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to what? So, you know, because what EDR, the way EDR works, basically, if your regular

⏹️ ▶️ Marco screen brightness is like 0.0 to 1.0, EDR would be like, all right, in this photo,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco we have some areas that are 1.5 bright. So, you know, map what the photo

⏹️ ▶️ Marco has from, you know, zero to one, map it really to zero to 1.5 and show

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that that way on the screen. So there’s a way you can, you know, map the brightness levels

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and tone levels from the picture onto a different range for display on the screen.

⏹️ ▶️ John Did you look up how the iPhone does this? No, I

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco didn’t

⏹️ ▶️ John have time for that.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco So

⏹️ ▶️ John I believe my vague recollection is that the way Apple decided to do exactly what you’re

⏹️ ▶️ John describing, they wanted to do it in a way so that when you share that photo with somebody who doesn’t have

⏹️ ▶️ John an HDR screen, like they just have a regular, they have a MacBook Air or they have an iMac 24 inch or something like that. And

⏹️ ▶️ John it doesn’t, they don’t have an HDR screen that it still looks normal to them. Like that nothing goes wonky. So I, my

⏹️ ▶️ John vague recollection is that what Apple did is it’s, you know, the JPEG or whatever the HEEK image

⏹️ ▶️ John is just the regular dynamic range. And then there’s a separate, sort of a separate channel

⏹️ ▶️ John that’s like the brightness enhancing channel. Oh

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco yeah.

⏹️ ▶️ John And non HDR screens will just ignore that channel and just show it normal. But if you have an HDR screen, it takes like the

⏹️ ▶️ John brightness channel and smushes it together with the picture and then produces the output. What you’re describing

⏹️ ▶️ John sounds more like you’ve got the image data and then you’re just like telling it to reinterpret it. But

⏹️ ▶️ John I do wonder if the Fuji thing is doing the, you know, separating the brightness channel from the regular

⏹️ ▶️ John image for backup compatibility reasons, or if it’s really just like baking it into the photo and then just reinterpreting

⏹️ ▶️ John it according to some flag that says, hey, when you look at this thing, interpret it this way.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, so as far as I can tell, I don’t think any modern standalone cameras shoot that way

⏹️ ▶️ Marco with whatever that metadata is that makes Apple display them super bright. I don’t think any modern cameras

⏹️ ▶️ Marco do that. So I was wondering, how can I apply that in editing? Is there

⏹️ ▶️ Marco some app that can toggle that flag and generate that brightness data for my pictures?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I looked around, so I have Pixelmator. So Pixelmator on the Mac

⏹️ ▶️ Marco can do it. If you go to the color adjustment section, hit customize, you can add an EDR

⏹️ ▶️ Marco toggle. The problem is this only works for RAW files, as far as I can tell. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it seems like the X-T5 RAW files are supported by nothing right now.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Including not Pixelmator, not Mac photos, like nothing seems to support the X-T5 RAW files,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco even though this camera came out like last fall, I think. It’s not super new, but anyway.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Pixelmator on the Mac can do it only for RAW files. Pixelmator Photo is their iOS

⏹️ ▶️ Marco app. This can do it for all files. If you go to the adjustment sliders, hit the ellipsis

⏹️ ▶️ Marco menu, and then there’s an option that says turn on EDR. So that’s what this… it’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco called EDR in Pixelmator, and so that’s what you want to turn on if you want to play with this. I separately

⏹️ ▶️ Marco found an app called Radiance Plus. I’ll link to it. It’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco three bucks a month or 30 bucks lifetime, and I converted two photos with it and instantly

⏹️ ▶️ Marco paid the 30 buck lifetime fee It’s a very very simple app. It just has

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like two sliders. It’s like you know brightness and strength or something like that I converted these two pictures.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I had taken with the With the Fuji x100 V they look awesome and these pictures

⏹️ ▶️ Marco were awesome by themselves like before I did this But they’re even more awesome when I added

⏹️ ▶️ Marco this flag it much better captures the actual range that the scene actually looked like.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I’m very, very happy that I can basically take awesome camera input and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco make them look as nice as the iPhone photos do in this particular way. And then that’s sick.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I added them to my library. It works in your photo library. And so now those show up on all my devices

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in that cool EDR mode, and it looks great. So I will link to these apps in the show notes. If you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco want to do it, I strongly recommend giving these apps a try.

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Chapter Superzooms image.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco While I was doing all this, I was in camera mode and so

⏹️ ▶️ Marco one of the most common times that we use big cameras in our household is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco we can occasionally see some wildlife from our deck of our house.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And so I wanted something that had a big zoom and I gave Tiff as a gift

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a couple years ago, I gave her a super zoom lens for

⏹️ ▶️ Marco our Sony, the 200-600mm Sony zoom with a 2x teleconverter so that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it reaches to 1200mm. It’s a very far reach. We’ve tried to shoot

⏹️ ▶️ Marco with this a lot. We haven’t had great success with it, in part because

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s just not a very sharp lens. And so we’ve gotten some pictures that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco just were very soft and very low contrast. And I thought at first, maybe that’s just the teleconverter.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So I took the teleconverter off, less reach, faster, et cetera, and it just still was not very good.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And, you know, some of it is just distance. You know, if we’re taking pictures of something that’s like, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco very, very far away, you know, the atmospheric haze, the water vapor

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in the air, like it just, it makes it hard to capture anything very sharp at a very great distance

⏹️ ▶️ Marco because that’s just how air works and you can’t really get around that. You know, you can, like,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, we put a UV filter on it and everything, doesn’t really do much. It’s not really, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you’re dealing with the atmosphere. So there’s only so much you can do. But I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco was curious, now that I was in the Fuji system, you know, Fuji has a similar reach lens.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I also know that there’s this whole category of super zoom cameras. And I had never tried

⏹️ ▶️ Marco one before. I know John has occasionally tried things like this, right?

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, before I got interchangeable lens cameras, I went from like little handheld, like, you you know, point and shoot

⏹️ ▶️ John type things, which are my first digital cameras to super zoom, which I used for many years, because

⏹️ ▶️ John what you get with a super zoom, I remember I was taking pictures of my kids playing in the waves in the water, is you get a

⏹️ ▶️ John really good quality, incredibly long zoom lens for the price of never being able to take it

⏹️ ▶️ John off your camera, because it’s not an interchangeable lens camera. It is a camera, it comes with this built in, and it is what it is. And I was able to get,

⏹️ ▶️ John I think my last one that I got was like, it was like, you know, 2.8 aperture through the entire

⏹️ ▶️ John zoom range, which is absolutely unheard of unless you’re willing to spend like thousands of dollars

⏹️ ▶️ John on like interchangeable lens zoom thing. Cause normally you’re lucky if the lowest end of the zoom range

⏹️ ▶️ John is, you know, F 2.8. Usually it’s starts off much worse than that and gets worse as you zoom. But

⏹️ ▶️ John I was able to get for a very low price, a tiny sensor in a not very, you know, good camera, but

⏹️ ▶️ John it comes built in with a extremely long zoom that’s F 2.8 through

⏹️ ▶️ John the whole aperture range. Like there’s no, if I had to try to get that in a quote unquote real camera equivalent,

⏹️ ▶️ John it would have cost like thousands of dollars more. So I endorse that type of

⏹️ ▶️ John camera and they’re really cool, but of course that’s all you’re getting. Like there’s no, you can’t put a prime lens on

⏹️ ▶️ John it. It’s not, the sensors tend not to be very big and if you do get one with a big sensor

⏹️ ▶️ John or whatever, then those also cost thousands of dollars. But it is a very inexpensive way

⏹️ ▶️ John to get a really good quality, really long zoom as long as you’re okay with that being the only thing this camera

⏹️ ▶️ John can do.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, and usually, you know, there’s other compromises. It might not have the best

⏹️ ▶️ Marco optical quality. Usually the sensor is substantially smaller than you would get in like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a big camera. Resolution’s usually not as good. It doesn’t have as many pro features. Like, you know, there’s other downsides

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to it, but overall, it’s, you know, the Super Zooms can be pretty good. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so I was

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John curious.

⏹️ ▶️ John And also, the Super Zooms are almost always way, way, way smaller

⏹️ ▶️ John than an equivalent focal length range would be on like a full frame camera or something like smaller, lighter,

⏹️ ▶️ John like some of them are comical. You put this picture up. Some of the biggest super zooms do get comical, but they’re still

⏹️ ▶️ John smaller. They’re still smaller than if you were to get that same focal length, smaller,

⏹️ ▶️ John lighter, if you get that same focal length in an interchangeable lens. So it is, I love that category because it’s like,

⏹️ ▶️ John we’re gonna make compromises for the sake of having really good zoom and

⏹️ ▶️ John not being so big that you need like an extra person to hold the front of the lens up for

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you. Yeah, so here, I just pasted this link. I’ll make this the image of the chapter art. This is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco all the different cameras. And so I don’t own most of these. I went to Lens Rentals and I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco rented a whole bunch of stuff from them. Cause I’m like, I want to try out modern Super Zooms to see

⏹️ ▶️ Marco how good are they? How do they compare to the Sony Super Zoom that we have? And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco do I want to maybe, you know, sell the Sony thing and buy something else?

⏹️ ▶️ John And by the way, you’re calling the Sony thing a Super Zoom. I think Super Zoom only applies to the cameras that

⏹️ ▶️ John don’t have interchangeable lenses

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco and have a long zoom.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco No, I’m the only person, I’m just talking about a giant telephoto lens. Yes, exactly.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I consider the combined unit of the camera and the giant telephoto lens, I will call that a

⏹️ ▶️ Marco super zoom. I know it’s technically not. There’s other things in here that also aren’t super zooms, but I’ll explain why in a minute.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But anyway, so I decided to rent all this stuff to see like, how do I like modern,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco long reach camera options? How do they compare to my giant Sony

⏹️ ▶️ Marco full frame, 600 millimeter telephoto, like how does all this stuff compare and maybe does

⏹️ ▶️ Marco something else fit my needs better? Or maybe I could trade the Sony for it, with B&H or something like that. So anyway,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I rented all this stuff from Lens Rentals, they were great as usual. I also wanted to try

⏹️ ▶️ Marco with all, so I rented what seemed to be, according to DP Review, which is I’ve

⏹️ ▶️ Marco been on that site so much recently and I’m still so sad it’s going away. I went to their

⏹️ ▶️ Marco reviews and ratings and everything and did some research and found, It seemed like the two generally

⏹️ ▶️ Marco best regarded Superzooms right now are the Sony RX10

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Mark IV and the Nikon Coolpix P1000. The Nikon

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is about a thousand bucks, the Sony RX10 is almost two thousand, so it’s a pretty big price difference.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco The Sony only, quote, only, goes to an equivalent of 600 millimeters. So

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s not a massive reach, but that is still pretty far. and you know,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco especially for something that is as small as it is. And if you look at this picture of the overview of all these cameras, the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Sony RX10 is the one in the bottom left corner. And it’s,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you can see, it is way smaller than the telephoto cameras, than the full-frame telephotos.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And it’s even significantly smaller than the next one to its right. That’s the, that other black camera is the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Nikon P1000. But the P1000 doesn’t just go to 600mm. It goes to 3000 millimeters.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Goodness. I also

⏹️ ▶️ John want to point out, and if you’re looking at this photo, which you should be, it’ll be the chapter art and it’ll probably also be in the show notes,

⏹️ ▶️ John that when Margo says the one in the lower left corner, it goes to 600 millimeters. That’s how far at

⏹️ ▶️ John least one of the white ones on the right goes. Yes, the one on the far right is the same. Goodness. Yeah, the

⏹️ ▶️ John far right lens has the same zoom distance as the far left camera. So when we

⏹️ ▶️ John say you save size and weight by going with a super zoom, this is what we

⏹️ ▶️ Marco mean. Yeah, and in all fairness, I did have the lens hoods attached to everything.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But you should, there’s a lens hood on the one on the left too. Yes, and you really should for, you know, when you’re trying to minimize,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, any kind of thing that could cause haziness and try to maximize contrast, you want the lens hoods on.

⏹️ ▶️ John I think the lens hood on the camera on the right is bigger than the entire camera on the left.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco I think you’re

⏹️ ▶️ John right.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I also, you’ll note right above the Nikon P1000 is a little tiny black camera.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco That is the Sony RX100 Mark VII.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco This is not a SuperZoom, but the reason I rented the RX100, first of all, it’s very inexpensive

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to rent. I’m like, I’m already renting all this other stuff, let me throw this in too. I’ve wanted to try it. The

⏹️ ▶️ Marco RX100 series, I first got one, I first rented it from Lens Rentals

⏹️ ▶️ Marco actually, back in 2013 I rented the very first one. And now they’re on

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Mark VII. Unfortunately Mark 7 seems to be this might be the last one

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like they they released this mark 7 in 2019 and there’s been

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like nothing on that front since but what’s interesting about it is that it’s kind of pocketable

⏹️ ▶️ Marco not Not really, you know, you wouldn’t want this in your pocket a jacket pocket You could

⏹️ ▶️ Marco do definitely not like a pants or you know other clothing pocket it is you could easily put it in any

⏹️ ▶️ Marco pretty much any size bag and and larger jackets. I was interested in the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco RX100, the new one, because I had heard it had gotten a lot better since the one I had tried in 2013, and the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco one in 2013 was pretty underwhelming in terms of image quality. It is, the RX100 series is,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, very small, and it has a zoom range of 24-200

⏹️ ▶️ Marco equivalent. So I thought, that’s really interesting, to be in that size.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco How good could the optics possibly be in that? that. And I saw sample pictures on

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and I was like, that seems impossible. Like that they look pretty good for a camera that’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that size, has like a little, I think it’s like a one-inch sensor, like a little, little, you know, still bigger than a phone by

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a mile. Still a small sensor for for a standalone camera and these little tiny optics that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco go to 200 millimeter. How good could that possibly be? But the reviews were stellar. So

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I thought, let me rent this thing. You know, I think it was like 60 bucks to rent. Like fine, let me rent it. I want to try this. Where

⏹️ ▶️ Marco big cameras can still very much shine is areas that the iPhone really cannot compete in and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco one of those areas is long reach. Now we will see, I know this fall there’s the rumors of the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of the you know the Pro Max phone having the the periscope arrangement of its optics

⏹️ ▶️ Marco which would almost certainly result in a much better zoom reach but I would

⏹️ ▶️ Marco be surprised if it was competitive with anything else here frankly. So anyway, so

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’s I decided let me see something that is approximately you know pocketable

⏹️ ▶️ Marco ish almost size class let me see its reach as a competitor

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to a phone I was thinking if I really love this little tiny Sony camera maybe I would buy one and just kind of keep

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it in my backpack wherever I go and occasionally use it because that can cover roles that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the iPhone really can’t cover and sometimes I want that so anyway rent all this stuff

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and I tried it all out and I made a little sample gallery, I will link to that in the show notes as

⏹️ ▶️ Marco well, found out a couple of I think useful comparison points. I’ll try to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco be quick, I know it’s not super entertaining listening to a podcast about photos, but

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’ll try to be quick. What surprised me the most, so I went outside

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and I tried to take the same approximate set of pictures with all of these cameras

⏹️ ▶️ Marco at you know when possible at the same focal lengths and just kind of compare to see

⏹️ ▶️ Marco how are they in handling, what kind of quality am I getting, what kind of sharpness and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco stabilization can I get at the long reaches, and how do the pictures end up looking.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And number one thing I noticed was wow the iPhone really sucks.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’ve thought for a while wow the iPhone is an amazing camera but it’s not an amazing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco camera when you want reach. The 3x lens on the iPhone 14 Pro that I was using for these

⏹️ ▶️ Marco comparisons sucks. I have noticed so far this year of using this phone,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the amount of over-processing and over-sharpening is kind of irritating to me

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a lot of the time. Not every time, I still get a lot of good photos with it, and it’s still gonna be the camera

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that I use by far the most, because it’s always in my pocket. But the amount of processing that it

⏹️ ▶️ Marco does is a little off-putting. And so I might try to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco experiment with apps like Halide, you know, to see maybe if I do more manual control, maybe I can get a better

⏹️ ▶️ Marco balance that I like more. But I am not super thrilled

⏹️ ▶️ Marco with the iPhone 14 Pro’s camera system in the sense that I have tried to make it

⏹️ ▶️ Marco replace a big camera, and at first I thought it really could, and now I see it

⏹️ ▶️ Marco really can’t. It does really well for what it is, but at the end of the day,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it is still a tiny little sensor with tiny little optics that have to cost probably like 40 or 50 bucks. And so

⏹️ ▶️ Marco there’s gonna be a lot of limitations there for physics, for components, for quality. Like there’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so much that’s limiting it. And it makes up for a lot of that with its smarts and its various

⏹️ ▶️ Marco processing and intelligence and what it does with that sensor and how it dumps data off and how it deals with everything. There’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a lot of intelligence there and it really is incredible for what it is.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But there’s a lot more out there. And so what this experiment

⏹️ ▶️ Marco has taught me is there’s still a place in my life for other cameras. So anyway,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I took pictures of far away objects with all these cameras, including the iPhone

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and the RX100. And the iPhone, I showed the regular 3X

⏹️ ▶️ Marco resolution, the regular 3X perspective, and I zoomed it all the way in with a digital zoom, just so you could see what

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that looks like. It’s not good. I would not recommend using the digital zoom for

⏹️ ▶️ Marco anything, but it’s there so you can compare. And what I was, so

⏹️ ▶️ Marco first of all, I was very, very impressed with the little Sony RX100.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco If you look at the pictures it got, it blows away the iPhone

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for reach. And it’s really not bad. It’s not great.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I think I’ve decided for the moment not to buy one. And it also doesn’t have USB-C, because it’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so old. But anyway, it’s not an amazing optical quality. but

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for its size, it’s fantastic. And I could very easily see at some point me justifying

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the plan of just keeping one on my backpack all the time. Because it really is an incredibly versatile

⏹️ ▶️ Marco camera. It even has my favorite part about the RX100 is it has this cute

⏹️ ▶️ Marco little pop-up viewfinder. You hit this little tab on its side and this

⏹️ ▶️ Marco little tiny cube goes pop and it pops up this little, it’s the cutest little viewfinder.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And it works. I usually use that side because it’s so bright. It works! It

⏹️ ▶️ Marco was great! Anyway, it’s an adorable camera. It is not

⏹️ ▶️ Marco something I want to ever put in a pocket. It is something I would occasionally carry in a jacket and I would very much

⏹️ ▶️ Marco carry in a backpack if I had more frequent needs like that because they really just cover a lot that the iPhone doesn’t cover.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And for what it is and for its size, I’m extremely impressed

⏹️ ▶️ Marco by the RX100 VII. Alright, moving on. in rough order of price.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco The Nikon Coolpix 1000, this is the one that can go to 3000mm equivalent. It

⏹️ ▶️ Marco does that by using a much smaller sensor. You’ll even notice its pictures are

⏹️ ▶️ Marco 4x3, not 3x2, the way most cameras are, because it’s basically a phone sensor. As far as I can tell.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Like, the review’s gonna say that and I’m like, hmm, that’s interesting. And then I notice it shoots natively in 4x3, so it’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like, oh, maybe there’s something to that? But anyway, 3000mm equivalent

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is kind of hilarious. It is also, kind of like the iPhone

⏹️ ▶️ Marco digital zoom, not especially useful. Because the problem is, when

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you get to 3000mm, when you’re in that kind of range, stabilization

⏹️ ▶️ Marco becomes extremely difficult. Like I was standing on a deck,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and even if I put it on a tripod, the vibrations of the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco deck from wind, from like a slight breeze, were making it jiggle visibly.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And so even to get these pictures I had to have the shutter speed way up, like 2500th of a second,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco way way up, super fast shutter, right in the middle of the day, just so I could get

⏹️ ▶️ Marco some kind of sharpness in these pictures. Most of the pictures I shot at those far reaches

⏹️ ▶️ Marco were totally blurry and unusable. that I got in my sample gallery were the best

⏹️ ▶️ Marco ones that I shot and I did everything I could to make that happen. I shot it also

⏹️ ▶️ Marco at 600mm just so we can kind of see how does that look compared to the other ones and it’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco fine when you’re zoomed out, if you’re not looking too closely at the pixels. If you look

⏹️ ▶️ Marco too closely at the pixels, it’s a mess, even at 600mm and it gets way worse

⏹️ ▶️ Marco at 3000. When you zoom in, it’s a mess. It is not good.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco The P1000, I think it’s a fun novelty, but ultimately it’s very hard to get

⏹️ ▶️ Marco good pictures out of it. Even when you do, it’s just not a very sophisticated sensor

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in there. And I found the stabilization, even the stabilization at

⏹️ ▶️ Marco 600mm, was not as good as the other cameras and lenses at that same length.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So it’s not a very good stabilizer, and it’s a very like plastic-y, like kind of light, cheap kind of feeling camera.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s a fun novelty to rent, but I was not impressed by it, honestly.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And this looks big. This is not the bottom left, but the one directly to the right of it,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey correct?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Correct, yeah. Of course, I mean, it goes to… when you turn… so those cameras, that’s in their off position. When you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco turn them on and when you zoom in, the lens sticks out like a Pringles can at the front. Like,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John it extends

⏹️ ▶️ Marco outward. It looks really hilarious. Like, it looks ridiculous.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But it was, you know, it… it anyway, this is not their this is not their fully

⏹️ ▶️ Marco activated state. So anyway,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the reason I the reason I bring that up is only because it’s not like you can shrug this off as well.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey The pictures aren’t the greatest, but the camera is tiny, like the camera is pretty big until you start comparing

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to the lenses. And so this doesn’t seem like it has very many redeeming qualities

⏹️ ▶️ Casey at all from what I’m hearing.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco No, but I mean, but it is half the price of the next one, which is the Sony RX10, which

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is the one in the bottom left corner. So, Sony RX10, it is almost double

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the price of the P1000. The RX10 IV really impressed me. For

⏹️ ▶️ Marco what it is, for how big it is, or rather isn’t, for how heavy

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it isn’t, and how easily it handled, I was very impressed with the RX10

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Mark IV. It took pretty good pictures, it only goes to 600mm, Which

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is pretty great, I mean it’s still, again, the only reason I say quote only 600mm

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is that relative to some of the other ones, that’s not the furthest, but it’s pretty great

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and it achieves pretty good detail relative to its price and size

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and trade-offs. So I was pretty impressed by the RX10 IV.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I think if I was in the market to buy an integrated super zoom camera, that’s the one I would buy.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It isn’t worth trading in my giant full frame, you know, my giant gear for that just because the bigger gear

⏹️ ▶️ Marco surprise is better but but it’s not you know the bigger gear is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like three times the total cost or two times the total cost and Probably three times

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the total size and weight and I wouldn’t say it’s three times better So anyway,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’s that’s the rx10 for a very solid contender. There’s a reason why that camera is so

⏹️ ▶️ Marco well rated Next, I have my new Fuji X-T5 and I rented

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the Fuji 150-600mm giant telephoto lens with that.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco As usual, it, I think, had the most pleasing colors. I would say

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the Fuji 150-600 is a substantially sharper

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and nicer lens than the Sony 200-600, even though

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it is not as optically fast. interesting is that because the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Fuji is made for its crop sensor cameras, it’s made for APS-C size sensors, its 600

⏹️ ▶️ Marco millimeters is an equivalent of 900 millimeters. So I shot all

⏹️ ▶️ Marco these, you know, and you can see like it’s it is more zoomed in and you get

⏹️ ▶️ Marco pretty sharp results. It is a little tricky to focus in certain lighting.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Again, that’s I think mostly due to Fuji’s focus system, not the lens, but it is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco surprisingly good and surprisingly detailed. Overall, very impressed by the Fuji.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And then finally, I have my trusty old Sony a7R III with its 200-600mm lens.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I did two sets, one with the teleconverter to get it to 1200mm and one without the teleconverter.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And it did fantastically in terms of detail, like the text

⏹️ ▶️ Marco on the sign on the right set the text I think is the best on the Sony series

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but the lens overall is just not a very sharp lens.

⏹️ ▶️ John You say that but I was I was definitely looking at the text in the same thing and I have to say the Sony the very

⏹️ ▶️ John bottom one either with or without the teleconverter has sharper text than any of the other

⏹️ ▶️ John ones like so I so you say all the lenses in is sharp well that text is sharp like that’s why I was looking for text as we

⏹️ ▶️ John know what text looks like in particular if you If you look at,

⏹️ ▶️ John the descender in the is right on top of a rivet. That

⏹️ ▶️ John rivet reads way better on either one of the Sony pictures than it does on the Fuji one. That’s

⏹️ ▶️ John interesting. Like if you pixel peep that and go in that, like it’s just sharper. It’s sharper,

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s not as fuzzy. It’s not, I can’t even tell that it’s a rivet in the other ones. I definitely, looking at all these pictures, I was surprised

⏹️ ▶️ John to see that even with the teleconverter, which usually hurts your sharpness light gathering

⏹️ ▶️ John or whatever, that the Sony is comes out on top as far as I’m concerned. I mean, and

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s close. Like, it’s not like the Fuji with that giant lens is much worse than the Sony with a giant lens. But I would,

⏹️ ▶️ John I would definitely say that the Sony is sharper. Now, I think if you had not

⏹️ ▶️ John that you didn’t spend more money, but like, you know, the a seven hours up to the seven hour five now, and that

⏹️ ▶️ John is not the most recent big giant, ridiculously expensive white zoom lens from Sony.

⏹️ ▶️ John So if you refreshed all that with modern Sony stuff to compete against

⏹️ ▶️ John your modern Fuji stuff, I think it would probably widen the gap

⏹️ ▶️ Marco even more. It’s possible. I mean, certainly it would have more resolution and everything, but yeah, I was surprised,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco just owning the Sony lens, I’ve been surprised how little I like the pictures that I ever get out of it.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I don’t know what, maybe that’s just-

⏹️ ▶️ John And I have to say, I’ve heard this from other people as well, and so you’re not, this is you, but either I like

⏹️ ▶️ John what the Sonys do or whatever difference you’re seeing, I don’t see or don’t care about. Like the way

⏹️ ▶️ John they call it, the color science or whatever. I see the differences from camera to camera, but like I would

⏹️ ▶️ John never choose a camera based on it. Like, cause I always just feel like I can, I guess it’s because what it comes down to

⏹️ ▶️ John is like you said, I’m editing these things. I mean, any picture I care about, I’m editing. So

⏹️ ▶️ John like, if there’s something I dislike about, you know, the JPEG that came out, I’ll go to

⏹️ ▶️ John the raw and change it to the way I want it. I really don’t care how the JPEGs look, especially when you’re talking about on these

⏹️ ▶️ John gigantic camera rigs where like, I’m done shooting in raw, right? But if you’ve got that gigantic camera that’s the, you

⏹️ ▶️ John know, longer than your arm and it weighs a ton and you’re setting it all up or whatever, spend the five minutes to edit it. Like,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, but I need the JPEGs to come out exactly how I want them, but I’m willing to lug around a camera that’s smaller than my, that’s

⏹️ ▶️ John bigger than my child to take the photo. Like, I don’t quite understand that trade off. For the pocketable one,

⏹️ ▶️ John sure. But for the, you know, white colored camera lens that is gigantic and costs

⏹️ ▶️ John a bazillion dollars, edit

⏹️ ▶️ Marco those photos. Sometimes I find with the Sonys that like, no matter what I do with the edit, I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco can’t get the colors to look what I want them to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John look like.

⏹️ ▶️ John I do want it, but I do wonder what you’re looking for. Like, I think the Sonys look okay.

⏹️ ▶️ John Like, I don’t know, you know, maybe it’s a little bit like, the Fujis I’ve always felt look a little bit,

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s kind of like when people, you know, like the Sonys always to me look mostly neutral, whereas the Fujis

⏹️ ▶️ John remind me more of film. Just setting aside the ones where it’s trying to look like film, like you were talking about.

⏹️ ▶️ John And I don’t want the film look, whether intentionally trying to collect film or just kind of like

⏹️ ▶️ John accidentally looking like film. I want it to be, I wouldn’t call the Sony more neutral, but that’s how I think of it as like,

⏹️ ▶️ John the Sony is just showing me the colors that were there without trying to massage them. Which I know isn’t true, the

⏹️ ▶️ John Sony has its own bent about how it handles reds and stuff like that. Like I can see that, but

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s, I definitely wouldn’t choose a camera based on it. It’s strange to hear that it is

⏹️ ▶️ John such a factor in your decision-making about which cameras you want, even ones that are, even when we’re talking about giant

⏹️ ▶️ John zoom lens on giant big camera.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’ve lived in Sony land for a while now. Like, you know, we used to be a Canon family. Tiff

⏹️ ▶️ Marco still has her old Canon gear because she never ended up liking the Sony pictures very much. She has the same complaints

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I have of like, just can’t get them to look the way you want. Sony excels in

⏹️ ▶️ Marco extreme technical skill at the expense of being

⏹️ ▶️ Marco really boring. Actually is kind of my greatest strengths and weaknesses as well

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John as a

⏹️ ▶️ Marco person. But like, you know, Sony, there’s not a lot of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco pizzazz or excitement in the way Sony renders things. It doesn’t make you go, wow, but it’s technically

⏹️ ▶️ Marco very much, very, very high. And it beats everyone else on technical specs most of the time.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And so there are lots of situations where that’s okay, or that’s what you want. Like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco if you’re gonna be heavily editing the pictures afterwards. That makes a lot of sense. I know myself

⏹️ ▶️ Marco well enough to know that I’m not gonna edit. Like a long time ago, at some point

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for a Christmas one year, we rented this crazy high priced Leica

⏹️ ▶️ Marco camera, also from Lens Rentals. We’ve done a lot of stuff with them over the years. It was this,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco whatever Leica was their digital range finder at the time. I think I made a blog

⏹️ ▶️ Marco post about it. My impression of it when we had it was, first of all, being

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a range finder was such a giant pain in the butt to use. If you’ve never used a rangefinder, consider

⏹️ ▶️ Marco yourself lucky. If you have, I’m sorry, you probably hate me right now. But such a massive pain in the butt to shoot

⏹️ ▶️ Marco things with a rangefinder. At the end of the day, I was disappointed by the camera’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco high ISO performance. It sucked in low light. Being a rangefinder, it didn’t have autofocus

⏹️ ▶️ Marco at all. The technical side of it, I was very disappointed by. But over

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the following years, I would always look back on those photos and be like,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey man,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I love these pictures. I love the way they look. And it’s not because of its technical perfection,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco because it didn’t have that. It wasn’t because it did great in low light, because it didn’t. It wasn’t

⏹️ ▶️ Marco because it had the highest resolution, because it didn’t. I just liked the way they rendered colors

⏹️ ▶️ Marco between Leica’s optics and whatever they were doing in the camera to process those colors.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I just liked the pictures a lot better than the other ones I was getting at the time. I just, I liked,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s indescribable, but you like what you like, right? And so anyway, we didn’t go the Leica direction

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for many reasons. But although honestly, I considered renting a Q2 during

⏹️ ▶️ Marco this run, but it would have like doubled the price of my entire rental. I’m like, I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John don’t wanna

⏹️ ▶️ Marco do that. But anyway, for a while we left Canon land,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or I did at least, to go to Sony World because Sony World had just the amazing technical

⏹️ ▶️ Marco chops. So good in low light. The Sony full frame sensors back like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco with the first, you know, the first Sony A series cameras were just kicking Canon’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco butt. They were so much better back in that time. And so that got me over to Sony

⏹️ ▶️ Marco land. But while I’ve taken a lot of decent pictures with the Sony, I’m

⏹️ ▶️ Marco not loving the pictures I get out of my Sony cameras as much as I used to love some of the Canon stuff I was

⏹️ ▶️ Marco getting, as much as I love those rented Leica pictures and as much as I love the handful of pictures I’ve shot

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so far with the Fuji gear. It just doesn’t fit me. And I’ve tried, I’ve edited them and I’ve

⏹️ ▶️ Marco tried processing them and doing different things. And I just can’t get out of the Sony what I want in terms

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of niceness, something I love. It’s not about technical specs.

⏹️ ▶️ John You know, I’m not sure this is a good analogy, but when I listen to you say this, it makes me think

⏹️ ▶️ John of the somewhat similar situation in the audio world of people who we’ve talked about

⏹️ ▶️ John in the past, people who like the smile curve because it makes movies exciting where you boost the bass and you boost the treble and

⏹️ ▶️ John you dip the mids and people who want a more neutral sound. And then there are people who think a neutral sound is super boring.

⏹️ ▶️ John And it sounds to me like you like the like a smile curve and neutral photos

⏹️ ▶️ John seem like poison to you. And also that you’re unable to reproduce the smile curve when you try to manually

⏹️ ▶️ John edit it. And I would have to think the inability to reproduce the thing you want from a neutral photo

⏹️ ▶️ John mostly comes down to not knowing what it is that you need to do to a neutral photo to

⏹️ ▶️ John make it look like those like a photos, right? Cause it’s an indescribable thing that, you know, you like it, you see it, you know, you

⏹️ ▶️ John like it. But if you don’t know, all right, how do I go from neutral to that?

⏹️ ▶️ John You’re never gonna be able to do it just by, you know, randomly poking at curves and stuff to try to make it happen.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, and part of that is because it’s really complicated and, you know, it’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like when you try to correct. Yeah, it’s not as

⏹️ ▶️ John simple as just push this dial up on the equalizer and you’re done,

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco right?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Right, yeah, it’s like trying to correct something you don’t like about headphones with EQ. It’s like you can sometimes do that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a little bit, but the whole frequency response and distortion characteristics

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and the reflection characteristics of a headphone are so much more complicated than just, you know, the basic EQ

⏹️ ▶️ Marco controls you have. And that’s how I feel with photos. Like, I can use something like Lightroom

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or the built-in photos app and, you know, use the editing controls. I’ve done that before. I’ve done, I did that for years.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And sometimes it worked out for me. Usually not, and it’s partly because

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s more complicated than that. It’s also largely because I’m not very good at it and I’m never gonna be very good

⏹️ ▶️ Marco at it.

⏹️ ▶️ John So- And you’d have to start from raw to have a fighting chance. because if you start from the JPEG, you’re just, you know, you’re screwed.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Exactly. So I’ve decided that my camera journey is, I’m just gonna, I’m gonna

⏹️ ▶️ Marco abandon technical, excellent, technical class leadership,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think. And just go with what I love. Go with what gives me the pictures I love.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And right now, that is Fuji. And I never tried Fuji before, because they weren’t leading

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in the technical stuff. They never had like the best, you know, high ISO noise performance.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco They usually didn’t have the best megapixel resolution. I didn’t really know anything about their

⏹️ ▶️ Marco lens situation. They didn’t have anything full frame. It’s funny, they don’t have full frame.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco They have APS-C and they went right to medium format. And they have nothing in between.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But anyway, I thought for a long time that what I wanted was technical perfection. But

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I now know what I want is pictures I love. And some of those are gonna come from iPhones. Some of those are gonna come from

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Fugees. Some of those are gonna come from random rented Sonys here and there,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey but

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m getting a lot more of them from Fuji’s and my hit rate is quite good.

⏹️ ▶️ John I will give your Sony gear a good home. I will

⏹️ ▶️ Marco probably be sending some of it to you. First I’m gonna trade some of it back probably to B&H to get,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco probably to buy this Fuji lens and then we’ll talk.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco All right, thanks to our sponsors this week, Green Chef, Trade Coffee, and Squarespace.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And thanks to our members, once again, Big, big thank you for the members. We’ve had wonderful membership numbers recently,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and we’ve got tons of great feedback on our member-exclusive episodes we’ve done recently. Lots of great feedback

⏹️ ▶️ Marco on the toto episode. Lots of great feedback on the food one before that. Like, we’re on a roll here. So thank

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you so much to members. You can join at slash join. We will talk to you next week.

Ending theme

⏹️ ▶️ John Now the show is over, they didn’t even mean to begin Cause

⏹️ ▶️ John it was accidental, oh it was accidental

⏹️ ▶️ John John didn’t do any research, Marco and Casey wouldn’t let him Cause

⏹️ ▶️ John it was accidental, oh it was accidental

⏹️ ▶️ John And you can find the show notes at

⏹️ ▶️ John And if you’re into Twitter, you can follow them at

⏹️ ▶️ John C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So that’s Casey Liss, M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M-E-N-T

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Marco Armin, S-I-R-A-C-U-S-A

⏹️ ▶️ John Syracuse, it’s accidental, they didn’t mean to Accidental,

⏹️ ▶️ John tech podcast so long.

Casey’s forthcoming app

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’m going to do my dear friend Mike dirty and talk about

⏹️ ▶️ Casey something that we spoke about a little bit on analog this week but isn’t out yet. This is the pain that comes

⏹️ ▶️ Casey from analog recording on a Tuesday but not typically being released until Sunday.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey So I’m sort of taking away Mike’s exclusive and I’m sorry Mike I’m sorry it wasn’t my intention

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John but we were here

⏹️ ▶️ Casey first. Well he was there first we did just nobody heard it but the two of us. So

⏹️ ▶️ John Marco’s rapid production cycle wins again. You got a ship, a real artist ship,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Oh, brutal. Poor Mike. I’m sorry, Mike. So, anyway, so what we talked about, Mike

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and myself, and I will put a link to the, as we record this forthcoming episode of Analog, but

⏹️ ▶️ Casey we’ll soon, by Sunday, will be the released episode of Analog.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Mike and I talked about my forthcoming app, and I am pretty,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey pretty sure this one’s actually going to see the light of day. It is not ready yet. It is getting

⏹️ ▶️ Casey pretty close, but I thought I would try something

⏹️ ▶️ Casey different and talk about it a bit. And I’m not really sure why I wanted to try something different other than

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it’s different, but I figured we could talk about it, the three of us and and the listeners

⏹️ ▶️ Casey kind of by proxy and see what we think. So what am I up to? As usual,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t have a good name. If you recall in the past, I didn’t come up with… well actually I think

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it was my friend that came up with Masquerade if memory serves, but that didn’t happen until pretty late in the development cycle.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t have a good name for it, and I have an even worse icon for it for those who are on the test

⏹️ ▶️ Casey flight, which is basically just friends at this point.

⏹️ ▶️ John Can you, do you want to share the terrible name? Just so you explain to me how you came up with this terrible name. Okay, so

⏹️ ▶️ John the- Oh wait,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey no, I think I

⏹️ ▶️ John figured it out.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Go

⏹️ ▶️ John ahead and see if I’m

⏹️ ▶️ Casey right. So the code name is, well, I don’t want to pronounce it

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John because I’m afraid I’ll ruin the joke.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey No, no, no. The codename is the word look up with an F in front

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of it, which is supposed to be a portmanteau of film look up to become

⏹️ ▶️ Casey fluke up, right? Well, I said this to Erin, or I showed Erin the name. I did not

⏹️ ▶️ Casey verbalize it to her. And she says, fluke up? What the hell is fluke up?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey It does

⏹️ ▶️ Marco look like fluke up. I instantly read in my head fluke up,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but I can see why you get fluke

⏹️ ▶️ John up. up. Yep, I read flug up and then I tried to F look up and I was like no, they’re both bad.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey They’re both bad. I mean, the full stop. They’re both bad.

⏹️ ▶️ John Look up P fast. Look up feet.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, it’s no feet on this one. Not yet. Anyway, see, I need a name. I’m still working on that and

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I need an icon. The icon

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco I like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco look up. I think it’s a it’s a funny name.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John I think it was in the Margo.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I always like your initial terrible names.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, it’s It’s probably better than face splash, but that’s neither here nor there.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Oh, God. But anyway, in any case, we’re getting off track already.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey So what the heck is it? The thesis statement,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey if you will, is imagine IMDB, but written by someone who has self-respect.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And so what this was born from is

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I often, when I’m watching a television show or a movie or some such, I would want to know, oh, who

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is this person or where do I know this person from or what have you? And for years and years and years and

⏹️ ▶️ Casey years, I would use the IMDB app or the website. The website is still

⏹️ ▶️ Casey mostly okay.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John Disagree. It’s not great. So bad. It’s unusable. It’s so much.

⏹️ ▶️ John I hate it.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, I can use the website and I can do it without actively vomiting

⏹️ ▶️ Casey on myself.

⏹️ ▶️ John Without scrolling up and down the page seven times? It’s gotta be here,

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey right? That

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is totally fair. That is totally

⏹️ ▶️ John fair. That is the experience of IMDb. I

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey hate it

⏹️ ▶️ John so

⏹️ ▶️ Casey much. However, I will say that the IMDb app, in my personal opinion, is unusable

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and has been for like two or three years now. So the reasons I don’t like the IMDb app, not to

⏹️ ▶️ Casey belabor it, it’s constantly playing videos or trying to play videos or show you images at like

⏹️ ▶️ Casey three quarters the size of the screen. I don’t want to log in.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t want to log in. Stop asking. I don’t f***ing want to log

⏹️ ▶️ Casey in. Just stop. So that in and of itself is enough to drive me nuts. And

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it’s just, it’s very gross now. It’s clear that Amazon owns it. It’s clear they want you to either watch

⏹️ ▶️ Casey their shows or buy things from them and it’s just frustrating. And so

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I started wondering, well, could I fix this problem? And there’s a pretty

⏹️ ▶️ Casey great website called the Movie Database, and we’ll put a link to the Movie Database

⏹️ ▶️ Casey in the show notes. It is a kind of, I don’t want to say

⏹️ ▶️ Casey knockoff, that’s kind of disrespectful, but it’s an alternative to IMDb.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’ll be the first to tell you the data is not quite as good as IMDBs,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey but it’s pretty close. And for any of the major stuff, it’ll be there. And so

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I started digging and looking and well, wow, they have an API and wow, this API

⏹️ ▶️ Casey seems to make sense. It’s not completely bananas. And if all you’re doing is reading stuff,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you don’t need to log into anything. And so that’s That’s how Flickr was born

⏹️ ▶️ Casey or whatever I end up calling it. And the idea is what if it’s IMDB

⏹️ ▶️ Casey by someone who actually cares. And it lets you look up TV, movies, episodes

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of TV shows, seasons of TV shows, and people as well.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And I started, the first commit, I should have this handy, I’m sorry, but the first commit on this was something

⏹️ ▶️ Casey like January 25th or thereabouts. And I think

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I am in a position that, barring the name and icon, I could

⏹️ ▶️ Casey send this to AppReview in the next few days, I think. So I am pretty darn proud

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of how fast it’s come together. It’s 100% SwiftUI. I’m literally not using UIKit for

⏹️ ▶️ Casey anything, as far as I can recall. It’s using Async Await, which has gone really, really well.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And I’m just really enjoying writing it. And I’m having a lot

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of fun with it, which is cool. The most interesting thing at the moment

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is how do you monetize it? But actually, I should interrupt and say, do you two have anything you want to talk

⏹️ ▶️ Casey about, add, or ask before I start talking about monetization?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah. First of all, I will nitpick. When you sent me the very first version, I nitpicked

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a few things that went on my trademark video tour. I’ve been holding back until

⏹️ ▶️ Marco things calmed down a little bit to send my final design nitpicks.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey But this is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco coming together really well. This might be your best app yet. I mean, it’s really good

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and it’s very useful. And I think this is going to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco be useful to a lot of people. This could be it. And I’m happy

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to hear that you’ve, quote, only worked on it for about three or four months now, because

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’s how to become a successful iOS

⏹️ ▶️ Marco developer, is like, try stuff. You gotta put stuff out there, you gotta try it and see

⏹️ ▶️ Marco what’s gonna work and what’s gonna stick, what’s gonna find an audience, what’s not. That’s what you gotta do.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And if you’re spending a whole year on an app and you put it out there and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s actually a pretty specialized thing, doesn’t have a huge audience, that’s not a great use of your time.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And if you want this to become a bigger part of what you do, this is how to do that.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco You get an app like this where it’s like you identified a pretty substantially sized market.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a big market, you built something that doesn’t seem to have major costs

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to you. You’re not running the servers. You’re not running any kind of backend service for this. You’re

⏹️ ▶️ Marco not paying for the API, it seems. Right?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey So there’s a whole story there. We’ll get back to that. But suffice to say, so far, that is correct.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Right. So there’s that. And you made something that looks and feels pretty good

⏹️ ▶️ Marco without taking a ton of time to do it. That’s a great story and the result is really

⏹️ ▶️ Marco good. Like it’s very useful, it is something that, you know, I’ve used it a couple

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of times so far. The only reason I haven’t used it more is that I don’t watch a lot of movies. But when I do, I have

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the same need. And you know, I’ll do the same thing during TV shows. Oh, it’s that guy, what’s he from again? You know,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and I’ll go look it up or whatever. And I think this is great, I really do. I think this shows your

⏹️ ▶️ Marco growth as an independent iOS developer. Like you are getting better

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and your ideas are getting more mainstream and this is, I think, a pretty good opportunity.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And, you know, I will nitpick things, you know, obviously.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey But I have less to nitpick here

⏹️ ▶️ Marco than any of your previous apps when I first seen them. Like way

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey less. Yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and it’s come a long way. It’s come a long way. And I think some of that is me. Some of that is our mutual

⏹️ ▶️ Casey friend, Ben McCarthy, who makes Obscura, among other things. I’ll put a link to Obscura in the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey show notes. It’s like an alternative camera app. Ben had some

⏹️ ▶️ Casey really phenomenal UI ideas that they shared with me. And that

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I think made a tremendous, tremendous difference. Anything looks good is either them or me. And

⏹️ ▶️ Casey anything looks bad is 100% me. So that’s what we can

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco agree on. I’m

⏹️ ▶️ Marco taking credit for my PG-13R, like the styling of the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey ratings, that’s me. That’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey true, I’m sorry. No, you’re right. I completely forgot about that. You’re 100% correct.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m the one who first ripped off the MPAA for you.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey No, I do feel like it looks pretty good. It’s not perfect, by any means, but it looks pretty good. I’m pretty happy with it.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey John, any commentary before we talk monetization and API stuff?

⏹️ ▶️ John I was going to say, when I was thinking of this app, like I immediately understood what you were making, even when the app did nothing. It

⏹️ ▶️ John was terrible, the first

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey release.

⏹️ ▶️ John But I understood. Like, it was clear to me. And to be clear, you sent this app to us, and you didn’t explain anything about

⏹️ ▶️ John it. And I saw the icon, and I didn’t understand what the heck it was, and it was terrible. But then I launched it like, oh, I get it. I am deviant,

⏹️ ▶️ John not sucking. All right, so thumbs up on the concept. I have to say

⏹️ ▶️ John for me personally, and this does not affect your market because your market is much more mass market, but for me personally,

⏹️ ▶️ John your biggest competition, which is currently way, way ahead of you because they’ve been out for years and years and years,

⏹️ ▶️ John is Letterboxd, right? And I know they don’t do TV. I know it’s not really the point of that site,

⏹️ ▶️ John but they have had so many years to polish their experience of finding

⏹️ ▶️ John movies and who’s in them and what other things they might be in and stuff like that. And their site and their app, which is just

⏹️ ▶️ John really just their website, is not junked up like IMDB. So I feel like within the

⏹️ ▶️ John realm of people who even know what Pack Letterboxd is, it is very strong competition because

⏹️ ▶️ John it is not, I mean, I think it’s way better than the movie database site. It’s certainly better than IMDB.

⏹️ ▶️ John It is the same ethos as you is, hey, guess what? A thing that people might wanna use to find information that

⏹️ ▶️ John is nicely organized and laid out. And this site was not created in the last

⏹️ ▶️ John three months. So they have a big lead on you. Your advantage is nobody who’s not a giant

⏹️ ▶️ John film nerd knows about Letterboxd. And honestly, it’s overkill for the simple use cases. If I’m on the couch, I want to find

⏹️ ▶️ John out what this person’s in. I go to it because I use Letterboxd all the time. And I do movie stuff or whatever.

⏹️ ▶️ John But Marco is not the target audience for Letterboxd. And he would use your app.

⏹️ ▶️ John And this is also to say, if you want some good ideas about how to lay things out on how to do you do you

⏹️ ▶️ John isolate go to letterboxd

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco at their website.

⏹️ ▶️ John And again, their their quote unquote app, I think is just a web view onto their their mobile version of our site,

⏹️ ▶️ John which is a testament to how good the mobile version of our site is. But I would say, check that out for some good ideas.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I should do that. Yeah. It’s funny, because a lot of the people that I’ve

⏹️ ▶️ Casey sent the beta to seem to the cross section between my friends

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and letterboxd users seems to be quite strong. I am not a letterbox user. It’s not

⏹️ ▶️ Casey something I think I need or want in my life, but I can totally understand why one would want it. I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey use Goodreads fairly religiously to track the things that I’ve read, and it’s a very similar idea.

⏹️ ▶️ John I want to congratulate you for your ability to pronounce the name of that site differently than me in the same conversation

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco and not giving in, like

⏹️ ▶️ John the gif-jif people do when you’re conversing about somebody with it and you can’t help but just start copying the other person’s

⏹️ ▶️ John pronunciation, like whoever said it first, but now you’re holding strong.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey And

⏹️ ▶️ John to be clear, Casey is pronouncing it the right way, and I’m pronouncing it the John way.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey We’ll see how well I do. But in any case, so yeah, so I think

⏹️ ▶️ Casey if this continues to be a thing and if it’s not just a flop, then one thing that I’ve gotten

⏹️ ▶️ Casey some very clear interest in, at least because of the small test group I’ve sent it to,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is having letterboxed integration and marking. I don’t even know what that would

⏹️ ▶️ Casey mean to be honest, because again, I don’t really use letterbox, but I would investigate that and see what makes sense

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to be in both places. But that’s another version way down the road. So with

⏹️ ▶️ Casey regard to monetization, so yes, Marco touched on this earlier.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey It’s a little bit of a squishy thing, because the movie database

⏹️ ▶️ Casey seems to not want my money. So they have a couple of different, and

⏹️ ▶️ Casey this is just for the listeners, not even just the members, but for the listeners. Because this is

⏹️ ▶️ Casey kind of putting me in a little bit of an awkward spot. I could belabor this story quite a bit, but suffice to

⏹️ ▶️ Casey say, I’ve asked several times to get a commercial key like API

⏹️ ▶️ Casey key from the movie database. I’ve asked in this one place over here and another place

⏹️ ▶️ Casey over there, and so far, they refuse to give one to me. They keep ghosting me

⏹️ ▶️ Casey when I ask them. I’m like, hey, I’m currently using a developer key, that’s fine, but this will

⏹️ ▶️ Casey be sold at some point. Can I have a commercial key? Crickets. So

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’ve back-channeled a little bit with some people that are using the Movie Database API

⏹️ ▶️ Casey in other uses, and I don’t think they’re ever going

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to want my money, but that’s not like it’s in writing or anything. So I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey need to account for the fact that this is an API that I don’t own, and I don’t control,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and it is perfectly within their rights to say you got to pony up big guy. So

⏹️ ▶️ Casey since this is something that hopefully people would use a lot, and hopefully a lot of people would use, I need to have

⏹️ ▶️ Casey some recurring revenue. I don’t want to be put in a situation where suddenly my weather API so to speak, not

⏹️ ▶️ Casey in a literal sense. The weather API that goes from free to not free to, oh my gosh,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey expensive. So I think what I’m going to do is make

⏹️ ▶️ Casey this a subscription app. I did not start down that path, but I think it was underscore in a conversation we

⏹️ ▶️ Casey were having, said to me, look, you got to go subscription because you never know what the future will bring.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I hope I’m not putting words in Underscore’s mouth. I’m pretty sure it was him that started this in my head. But that

⏹️ ▶️ Casey makes me think, okay, I should do a subscription. But that in turn, I don’t

⏹️ ▶️ Casey think it’s the right use of begs the question, but begs the question. Lyle Troxell raises the question. Jim Collison There it is. Thank you.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey How much does one charge for this? And honestly, I don’t have

⏹️ ▶️ Casey a great answer. Because, you know, I was looking at, you know, what can I think

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of as something that has a clear and obvious cost, recurring cost

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to the company, and even an end user would understand that? And

⏹️ ▶️ Casey how much does that cost? Well, there’s an app called Overcast that has

⏹️ ▶️ Casey a clear and recurring cost to the person or persons that run Overcast. And

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I should look at how much that is.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco And if I’m I’m not mistaken, well,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey if I’m not mistaken, overcast is $10 a year. So to me,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that sets a high threshold that I don’t think I should be even

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that particularly close to $10 a year. But then where should I be? And

⏹️ ▶️ Casey honestly, I don’t know. I’m

⏹️ ▶️ John not sure. See, I get what you’re saying. It was like, oh, I have a comparable as they say

⏹️ ▶️ John in the real estate industry, but

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco it’s not

⏹️ ▶️ John comparable. Setting aside whether Mark price pricing is right. It’s not

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco right. But

⏹️ ▶️ John like, here’s, here’s the deal. Like, no one who is interested in buying your app

⏹️ ▶️ John knows or cares what overcast goes for.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco They’re not,

⏹️ ▶️ John they’re not competitors, they might not even know overcast exists, right? It’s the question.

⏹️ ▶️ John Not that this makes it easier. But I’m just saying the question is, how much are people willing to pay for an app that does what your app

⏹️ ▶️ John does

⏹️ ▶️ Casey when there’s a very, very clear free

⏹️ ▶️ John alternative and that has almost no connection to how much are they willing to pay for a podcast app that does what overcast

⏹️ ▶️ John does sure and and then the second question is oh is overcast charging the right amount so

⏹️ ▶️ John I’m

⏹️ ▶️ Casey assuming Marco you think you should be charging more

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey yeah definitely I agree

⏹️ ▶️ Marco when I you know when I launched overcast premium god knows how many years ago

⏹️ ▶️ Marco subscriptions for you know non content apps like it was for like you know newsstand

⏹️ ▶️ Marco apps were common you know stuff like that but like subscriptions for regular app functionality,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that was not that common still back then. And $10 a year felt

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like a bit of a reach, but a doable reach, so I did it. Now, I mean, look,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I just told you five hours ago when we began this episode, I just told you that there

⏹️ ▶️ Marco was this app that made the EDR photos for me. It’s a one-feature

⏹️ ▶️ Marco app that I’m going to use here and there occasionally. three dollars a month or thirty dollars lifetime

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and I jump right for the thirty dollar lifetime purchase. But if I didn’t it was three dollars a month.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m charging ten dollars a year for an app people use typically you know

⏹️ ▶️ Marco multiple hours a day. So the comparison as John said is not you know

⏹️ ▶️ Marco super direct between what many different apps do but if I was launching today

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I would not charge ten dollars a year. I would probably I mean look even my competitors. If you look at other

⏹️ ▶️ Marco podcast apps that charge money for anything at all, I’m cheaper than all of them for

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the premium feature set. I think all of us are free up front now, but the premium feature set, I’m

⏹️ ▶️ Marco by far the cheapest, I think, by half or more. And so

⏹️ ▶️ Marco if I were doing this today, I would probably go to 20 a year

⏹️ ▶️ Marco maybe, or maybe I’d have some kind of monthly, I don’t know, maybe I’d have

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to do a free trial, which I still have not done, you know, so I don’t know necessarily what I would

⏹️ ▶️ Marco do, but it wouldn’t be $10 a year. It would be substantially more in some way. That being said,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Overcast is not $10 a year. Overcast is free with ads or $10 a year.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco You can put ads in this, and that’s what most people would do, and it would be, you know, you would crap up the experience

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and be exactly what you are trying to not do.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey Exactly, exactly.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But, you know, you would make some money from ads. Like, that’s the thing. And you could You’d have, most people would leave them and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you’d make a few pennies here and there from those people. And then people like me who are jerks about

⏹️ ▶️ Marco ads, not wanting to see ads in my apps if I don’t have to, we would pay

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for whatever the unlock would be and that would be it. And you’d get some purchases for the no

⏹️ ▶️ Marco ads purchase and you get some purchases for the ads or some money from the ads and that would be it. That is probably

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the best way to do it. Whether you’d want to do that or not, it’s a different story. But if you want to maximize

⏹️ ▶️ Marco your money, that’s what you should do is put ads in it and tolerate

⏹️ ▶️ Marco some crappiness. But again, that’s not the way to make the best app necessarily. That’s the way to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco make the most

⏹️ ▶️ John money. So you complete the trifecta of not taking any pricing advice from your podcast co-hosts.

⏹️ ▶️ John The tiny number of people who use my two apps run them 24 hours a day, seven days

⏹️ ▶️ John a week. So I should be charging tons of money.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Instead,

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s a one-time price that never repeats. Oh, don’t

⏹️ ▶️ John price like my apps and apparently don’t price like Margo’s apps. Well, I guess he’s saying yes price like his app, but

⏹️ ▶️ John don’t price just like the premium portion of his app. Don’t forget there’s the free part with ads.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Yeah.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And by the way, you know what you said a minute ago about you don’t know what the future holds with in terms of your API

⏹️ ▶️ Marco access to the service that your app depends on and is useless without. To

⏹️ ▶️ Marco me, that’s a giant red flag for a subscription purchase because you know what just happened with Twitter apps,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, like that, that, that were cut off and had to refund.

⏹️ ▶️ John And I would say, even if that API is free forever, even if, you know, they never charge you any

⏹️ ▶️ John money for it. And I would say that any app and setting aside what Marco was just saying is that look, app,

⏹️ ▶️ John every app charges subscriptions no matter what they do now. But any, any app that. Accesses

⏹️ ▶️ John a third party API that you don’t control should charge a subscription.

⏹️ ▶️ John It doesn’t have to be expensive subscription, but it should charge a subscription. and it could be $1 a year, but whatever it is, because that

⏹️ ▶️ John app is guaranteed to require some kind of ongoing maintenance above and beyond

⏹️ ▶️ John the just keeping up with the latest version of iOS because APIs change, unless they’re dead. I mean, if the API is dead, then you have

⏹️ ▶️ John separate problems, right? Because APIs change, and that means you’ll have to update your app or you’ll wanna update your

⏹️ ▶️ John app. Like there is, you know, you are essentially writing on top of a thing that you don’t control. We’re all writing

⏹️ ▶️ John on top of the Apple platform and we have to keep up with those changes. We have no choice. But I think once you go the extra

⏹️ ▶️ John step of saying, oh, and by the way, my app is essentially a front end for an API that has nothing to do with me.

⏹️ ▶️ John You will have to, you know, ride that bear in the Steve Ballmer sense. You will have to continue

⏹️ ▶️ John to chase that API. Wherever that API goes, you don’t have control over

⏹️ ▶️ John it. And wherever it goes, you have to follow it or your app, it doesn’t work or breaks or is worse. And so that argues

⏹️ ▶️ John for, unless you’re just gonna give up on the app after a year or something, that argues for some tiny little subscription

⏹️ ▶️ John fee or a one-time purchase that’s enough to fund your ongoing

⏹️ ▶️ John maintenance and development for what you think the life of the app is going to be.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, and that’s what makes it tough, is if I knew for sure that it was free forever, I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey would probably just charge, like I always do, like a one-time fee and call it a day.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey But even considering the Twitter debacle from a month or two back,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I still feel like it makes sense to account for

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the possibility of, oh, this, they, they’ve decided to charge me.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey That money’s got to come from somewhere. Otherwise I am utterly doomed. And so it

⏹️ ▶️ Casey seems to me like a subscription is the right answer. Now I echo what you’re saying, Marco, that

⏹️ ▶️ Casey if I was really going for a money grab without question,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey advertisements, and then, you know, an unlock or, you you know, remove ads, unlock, or whatever,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that would make way more sense and surely be way more lucrative.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey But I just don’t want to do that, I don’t

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco think. And that’s fair,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’s a totally valid answer.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And the advantage of having ATP and analog and

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the apps that I have is that in terms of finances, I don’t

⏹️ ▶️ Casey need to do that, or at least not today. Ask me again in a week, but sitting here now,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t need to do that. Like I don’t need this thing to go gangbusters in order to put a food

⏹️ ▶️ Casey on the table. And so I’d rather do something that I’m, well,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey this is gonna sound a little flippant and I’m sorry, but I’d rather do something I’m extremely proud of than junk

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the app up with ads that I don’t control. I think Overcast is a bit of a weird exception because that’s your own

⏹️ ▶️ Casey ads and that’s a very different beast, but that’s not something I could do.

⏹️ ▶️ John And also the major selling proposition of your app is it’s like that other thing you’re familiar with, but not junked up and

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey ads are part of that. Right? And so

⏹️ ▶️ John you’d have to have like an asterisk, like, oh, unless you have the free version, which is what most people have. Less junked up. Right.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Right. There’s fewer pieces of junk, but there’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John still junk.

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s like when Twitter tried to, you know, like a Twitter blue, they said, pay for Twitter blue and you’ll get fewer ads.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, right. Not no ads, just fewer ads. What does that mean? It’s like my New York

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Times subscription. I pay to have the worst reading experience in their app.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Anyway. Hooray! But keep in mind though, this is a double-edged sword.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco People’s alternative is to just go to IMDB or whatever and get this

⏹️ ▶️ Marco information for free covered in ads. So if you are offering something covered in ads too, you know, that’s gonna hurt you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a little bit. But also, if you’re putting up a paywall too soon, that’s also gonna hurt you a lot. Because

⏹️ ▶️ Marco people are gonna try this app, they’re like, oh, this is kinda nice. It’s like IMDB, but nice. Then they’re gonna

⏹️ ▶️ Marco slam into a paywall, and most of them are gonna be like, all right, bye. And that’s it.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey So

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it is gonna, like, if your paywall is too, you know, too aggressive,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco people are gonna bounce right out and then word of mouth isn’t gonna happen, ranking isn’t gonna happen, no one’s gonna use it.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco If you have the paywall be too generous and give too much away for free, you’ll make no

⏹️ ▶️ Marco money because nobody will go past the paywall. So it’s a hard thing to do.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I mean, look, developers have debates and arguments and anguish about this all the time

⏹️ ▶️ Marco because this is a very hard problem to solve. And I mean, look, it took me a long time to get it right

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in Overcast. Took me like three or four years before I came up with the system I have now that fortunately

⏹️ ▶️ Marco does work for me, but it took a while to get there. It took a lot of attempts, a lot of different systems to do it.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So, you know, I can’t necessarily say anything’s gonna work. I think ads,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the ad-based business model with the option to pay to remove them is the cleanest conceptually,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and it is the best in terms of maximizing the number of people you will get to install the app, the number

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of people who keep it installed and who will keep using it, and the number of people who, and the amount of money you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco make. Like all of that will be maximized if you have ads and an option to remove the ads for

⏹️ ▶️ Marco some, you know, X per year or X one time or whatever. That will make you the most money and get you the most users.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But if that’s not the app you wanna make, then don’t do it. That’s not, you know, no

⏹️ ▶️ Marco one’s forcing you to do this. So you should make the app that you want to make. And so I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco totally get that. So the question is then what do you do? Subscription does concern me from the point of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco view of the API thing. Like, you know, that’s, that’s part of why the ad

⏹️ ▶️ Marco option makes that really clean. As long as the app works, you are seeing ads

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and we are making money. As soon as the app stops working, you’ll stop using it and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco everything stops and that’s, that’s clean. You know, anything you do involving taking

⏹️ ▶️ Marco people’s money is going to be less clean than that and could bite you in the butt if things go

⏹️ ▶️ Marco badly down the road with the provider.

⏹️ ▶️ John I wouldn’t worry about that, especially if you stick to monthly and don’t even do an annual or something, but like whatever, like,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, the whole thing where Apple’s gonna refund everybody for the Twitter apps because they shut it down or whatever, that’s an

⏹️ ▶️ John extreme scenario, and I feel like the odds of that happening are low, and if they happen, yeah, you just

⏹️ ▶️ John eat that. And if you’re not expecting, again, if you’re not expecting this to be like your main source of income that’s gonna bankrupt

⏹️ ▶️ John you if that happens, then you would just be like, oh, that’ll be a bummer if it happens. But honestly, the odds of it are so low. Like,

⏹️ ▶️ John is the movie database run by a giant jerk? Like, probably not, or at least not an Elon Musk caliber

⏹️ ▶️ John jerk. So I wouldn’t spend too much time fretting about that. I mean, so many apps on the App Store have

⏹️ ▶️ John subscriptions and many of them have a thing that if it was,

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco if

⏹️ ▶️ John it was run by a jerk like Elon who cut the thing off with nobody noticed, they’d be in the same situation. It just doesn’t happen that often. That’s

⏹️ ▶️ John why it was so shocking when he did it, It is not a common thing and I don’t expect it to be a common thing. So I wouldn’t

⏹️ ▶️ John lose too much sleep over that.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, and furthermore, I think the difference is, is that even if that were to happen, it

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is unlikely, not impossible, but unlikely it would be flick of a switch like

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it basically was for the Twitter apps. I think in

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John all likelihood. That’s what I’m saying. They’d phase it out and

⏹️ ▶️ John you can sunset the app and you know,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco whatever. Yeah. So the other thing to consider is, you know, when, when we, you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco know, fancy iOS people, You know, when we like, you know, Apple enthusiasts and podcasters

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in this space, like when we think about value of an app, we are thinking of it from our perspective,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco from what we think is valuable, from what we think is a reasonable price, and from the quality level that we

⏹️ ▶️ Marco set for ourselves as kind of a community. If you look at the App Store, it’s not

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that. It’s very far from that. Pretty much everything else in the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco App Store, It’s a ton of garbage with massive quantities

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of ads, tricky upsell things that try to shove you into a subscription deceptively,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and then every app wants like $2 a week from you. Like,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco oh, you wanna be able to crop photos? $5 a week. You know, that’s the app store. That’s the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco market you’re in. Most people’s phones are filled with garbage apps to crop

⏹️ ▶️ Marco photos and stuff that are, you know, these thinly veiled subscription scams

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that are full of ads and are charging them six bucks a week and just like extracting

⏹️ ▶️ Marco as much as possible. Like that’s most of the app store. So first of all, it doesn’t take

⏹️ ▶️ Marco much to be better than that. Second of all,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’s the price expectation or ad expectation that people

⏹️ ▶️ Marco have of apps because that’s what most apps are. Most apps are not the boutique apps

⏹️ ▶️ Marco from people who we know on formerly Twitter and now Mastodon, that’s not most apps. Most

⏹️ ▶️ Marco apps that most people are using are big corporate apps like Facebook stuff that are just their own form of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco specially abusive garbage. And then the huge long tail of all the garbage photocropping

⏹️ ▶️ Marco apps that are full of these massive weekly subscriptions

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and stuff like that. So that’s the market you’re playing into here. So it’s tricky.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It can be tricky to figure out what’s right for you. I think if you really don’t want to do ads, which it sounds like you don’t, and that’s fine, again,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco if you really don’t want to do ads, then do a subscription, but keep in mind with the pricing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of it that a lot of people are gonna bounce right off. I mean, there is kind

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of an argument to be made for a one-time purchase, because

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think people are so burned by subscriptions recently. I think a one-time

⏹️ ▶️ Marco purchase is seen as refreshing to a lot of people. And since you don’t have ongoing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco server costs for this now, and you probably will. Well, and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco then maybe you could change your mind down the road, but like, since you don’t have ongoing costs now, there is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco something to be said for that, but I think ultimately I would probably agree with the underscore, like, you know, you should

⏹️ ▶️ Marco probably have recurring revenue, but that will turn more people off at the door.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So you kind of have to price it accordingly. And you can with App Store subscriptions. They

⏹️ ▶️ Marco recently did add the option, which I think I might at some point use, that you can raise the price

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of a subscription without losing all your old subscribers. You couldn’t do that before. You couldn’t do that before about, I think a year or two ago.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco They added it for Disney Plus and they made it available for everybody. So, or was it HBO? One of those. Anyway,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco one thing you could do, like, you know, because my worry with subscriptions would have been like, you know, if you’re charging people, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a buck or two a month, and then you get, you all of a sudden have to pay for your API

⏹️ ▶️ Marco access and it’s more than that, that could be a problem for you. But you don’t have to worry about that. So what

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I would say is, start people on a subscription plan,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but make it a really cheap one. If you have to raise prices down the road because

⏹️ ▶️ Marco some API cost happens, so be it. If not or until then, you will

⏹️ ▶️ Marco just keep making lots of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John sales

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that you wouldn’t have made otherwise if it was too expensive. One other consideration, if you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco want to minimize your refund liability down the road, if things go really bad,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco monthly would be better than annual. But that being said,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco if you want it to seem really cheap, annual’s the way to go.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco So.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Right, yep, exactly. And that’s what I’m struggling against is, I know that

⏹️ ▶️ Casey anyone who is likely to already have had an interest in the sorts of

⏹️ ▶️ Casey thing that, that Flickr or whatever I ended up calling it, uh, does it probably already has the IMDB

⏹️ ▶️ Casey app, IMDB app installed on their phones. So I have to overcome free

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and already working and that’s tough. So my current

⏹️ ▶️ Casey thought, which I have no idea if it’s wise or not is $6 a year, because

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it’s like, it’s like 50 cents a month. That’s not that much. And it doesn’t seem

⏹️ ▶️ Casey too aggressive. Like, you know, even a dollar to a month seems like kind of a lot to me.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And so $6 a year, it’s more than nothing, but it’s like,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it’s, it’s a coffee at Starbucks or something like that. You know, it’s do eight. Why, what makes you say that?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco $7.99 is a, is a nice looking price. It still is under 10 bucks. People think it’s cheap, but it’s,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s, it doesn’t seem that much more expensive than $5.99 and you’ll, you’ll get more

⏹️ ▶️ Marco money. and I think it’s the same perceived price

⏹️ ▶️ Marco class.

⏹️ ▶️ John I think also you’re talking about like, well, the one-time cost people are tired of subscriptions and so on and so forth. It

⏹️ ▶️ John depends on how you’re looking at the app because if you start with a subscription,

⏹️ ▶️ John even if you, and if you price it like high, that it scares a lot of people away,

⏹️ ▶️ John if the app has any kind of success at all and you decide, yes, this is worth me working on,

⏹️ ▶️ John you can make the app grow into your price. Whereas if you started the app with a fixed

⏹️ ▶️ John price, you will grow out of your price. Like if the app turns out to be popular, then you will

⏹️ ▶️ John make the app better and better. And soon the app is good enough that you shouldn’t be charging a one-time price

⏹️ ▶️ John of $5 or something. And it’s so much harder, I feel like, to go from a one-time price of $5 and say,

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco hey,

⏹️ ▶️ John everybody who bought this app, it’s actually getting some traction, becoming popular. Guess what? It’s a subscription now.

⏹️ ▶️ John Whereas if you started out at that subscription that was kind of expensive and the app grows into it,

⏹️ ▶️ John the original customers are satisfied because like I bought it and when it wasn’t when it was a 1.0 and now it’s so much better and

⏹️ ▶️ John I’m paying the same subscription and then when you grow into the price, people look at the price and aren’t as scared away because

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s a better app now like it just seems like I feel like I’ve seen that happen too often where someone underprices

⏹️ ▶️ John it initially because the app’s not that good and everyone’s apps not that good in the first release, right? But you have to think about if

⏹️ ▶️ John this app works, if it works in the market at all, what will the app be like and I always feel like it’s better to

⏹️ ▶️ John price it like that because that that produces at least amount of regret among your customers, right? Because the

⏹️ ▶️ John people who are willing to buy it early when it was a 1.0 and it seemed kind of expensive, they’ll be happy when your app improves

⏹️ ▶️ John and grows into it. And the people who weren’t, they’ll only arrive after your app goes into its price. But in both

⏹️ ▶️ John in both of those scenarios, everyone more or less is satisfied with and understands the deal. Whereas

⏹️ ▶️ John I hate seeing apps, it’s like, oh, it’s just a 1.0. And it’s not that good. So it’s a $3 one time purchase.

⏹️ ▶️ John And then like, two years into development, the app is amazing. And the developer is not making any money because you know,

⏹️ ▶️ John they’re there, development costs and the maintenance overhead is high, but they feel like they can’t increase the price level and

⏹️ ▶️ John go to subscription because

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey you

⏹️ ▶️ John know what happens when you go from a fixed price of subscription, everyone hates it.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, yeah. And that’s the other thing I’m, you know, looking at is, I don’t

⏹️ ▶️ Casey ever want to have to reneg and go into subscription. It’s another thing if I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey choose to, I’m making this up, but if I choose to do like a forever unlock for $100

⏹️ ▶️ Casey or something like that, again, I’m making this up that I feel like that’s different, but to go

⏹️ ▶️ Casey from a one-time only IAP to, oh, just kidding, I’ll need your money periodically

⏹️ ▶️ Casey now, that’s just really, really hard. That’s just really hard sell.

⏹️ ▶️ John Buy my apps to the forever unlock price of $5. Oh

⏹️ ▶️ Marco God, I’m still regretting. Like, I sold for, I think, one year, Overcast’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco first year in 2014, I sold a $5 unlock. How did I not buy that?

⏹️ ▶️ John Is it

⏹️ ▶️ Marco because I was on the beta? Probably, or maybe you might have bought it, But it, so I have a special

⏹️ ▶️ Marco case in the app. So if you have that $5 unlock, you don’t get the premium feature of the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco uploads, like that’s the monthly S3 cost that I have to pay. And that wasn’t there back then,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like that came later. But you do have no ads shown if you have that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco original unlock, because there were no ads in the original app. And I have thought for a long time,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I actually track in my analytics, like how many of those people are still using the app?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And it’s a lot of people. it’s a substantial portion of my user base. And I’ve thought for a while,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like, I should really end that ad exclusion from them because I’ve, these people paid $5,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco nine years ago. And I’ve, I’m now like, literally just, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco four days ago, five days ago, my web host just raised prices 20% for no reason. So

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s like now my cost just went up by 20%. Awesome. Like, and I’ve been paying all these server costs for

⏹️ ▶️ Marco nine years to support these

⏹️ ▶️ John people.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco And yet those

⏹️ ▶️ John people will be, they’ll be so mad when it happens to because if you explain to them you paid $5 nine years

⏹️ ▶️ John ago, they’ll say and kind of rightly, yeah, but nine years ago, you said this is a forever

⏹️ ▶️ John unlock for $5. And you’re bad,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco right?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John Oh, yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’s why I haven’t done it, because I know it’ll result in a million one star reviews. And the reality

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is, customers hold that they want their review system. It basically holds

⏹️ ▶️ Marco us hostage as app developers, like we can’t do anything about that. That’s why I haven’t done it.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m losing money every single time those people use my app. But it’s not worth the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco hostage situation of having all these people one-star review me

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and kill my business. So I can’t really do it. I just have to support them forever. So Casey,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco don’t do that, maybe. But again, you don’t have server costs yet, at least, to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco worry about. So that’s a huge difference.

⏹️ ▶️ John But you do have that API to chase. You’re like, like, oh, they’ll be free forever. Does that mean it won’t change forever?

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey Right? They could

⏹️ ▶️ John change the API, or they can add things to the API, or they can break the API, and like, oops, they put it, rolled

⏹️ ▶️ John out a new release, and it broke your app, and now you’re scrambling to fix that. Like, they didn’t do that to screw you. It’s just a thing that happens,

⏹️ ▶️ John because you don’t control them. They don’t, probably don’t even know you exist, considering they won’t answer your emails, right? Which

⏹️ ▶️ John means that things they do can affect your app immediately with no notice, and that

⏹️ ▶️ John is the type of thing that you have to be willing to wrangle. So either the app works, and you’re on board

⏹️ ▶️ John to wrangle that, in which case, you kind of need some minimum amount of money to keep doing that, whether it’s from acquiring new customers or subscription,

⏹️ ▶️ John or the app doesn’t work, and then you just sunset it or whatever.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Right, exactly. And so that’s why I’m leaning towards subscription. And for what it’s worth,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I was always planning on having like a one week free trial. But you still,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it’s still tough, because I still need to have some amount of functionality that

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is there to give you a taste so that when I present the paywall, you’re not like,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey no. And so in a slack that we’re all a part of, I’ve been going back and forth with a few

⏹️ ▶️ Casey mutual friends where initially I was told, and I think justifiably, well, my paywall was too aggressive

⏹️ ▶️ Casey too soon, et cetera. And my thinking at the time was, well, that’s what the one week

⏹️ ▶️ Casey free trial is for, but I can see how that would appear to be exploitative and that it would appear that I’m just hoping

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and praying that people forget to cancel that free trial. And so—

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I wouldn’t characterize it that way, for the record, but go ahead.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well and so—and I’m happy to be convinced that I’m wrong about this as well—but—and so I moved

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the paywall back a little bit, but then, you know, some mutual friends were saying, well,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you’ve moved it back so far that now I probably would never bother paying for the app at all. And that’s also not good.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey So I’m having a bit of trouble figuring out where is the appropriate line

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and where do do I say tough newbies, you’re gonna have to sign up now.

⏹️ ▶️ John I haven’t been in that conversation too much. I’ve seen a little bit of it. But it has has the idea come up of

⏹️ ▶️ John which is used to be very common in shareware type things of allowing the full functionality of living a number of times and saying

⏹️ ▶️ John you’ve, you know, if someone actually wants to buy the app, they’ll use it more than that number of times. And so they get to experience the

⏹️ ▶️ John full breadth of the functionality. But then after they use it the fifth time, it’s like, okay, well, you’ve used up your, you

⏹️ ▶️ John know, for free uses for the day or whatever, like whatever, like that type of thing where you’re not choosing,

⏹️ ▶️ John not simply choosing functionality that is in front of or behind the paywall, but instead, like

⏹️ ▶️ John following usage patterns and saying, you can use the app this amount over this period of time for free,

⏹️ ▶️ John but it, once you exceed that, you have to pay presuming that someone who gets enough utility of it will use it

⏹️ ▶️ John more than that number of times and hit the paywall, but they will hit it after having experienced the full functionality

⏹️ ▶️ John of your app. You know what I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey mean? Yeah. And that actually was recommended earlier today, and I’m probably going to go that route. I got to see

⏹️ ▶️ Casey if how ugly it would be to implement,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John but

⏹️ ▶️ John You’re just moving the problem to a different place, which is like, okay, but what is the right number of

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey exact over what

⏹️ ▶️ John period of time? Right? Because what if what if someone watches like one movie or wink that week, they’re never going to hit

⏹️ ▶️ John it, right?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey That’s exactly right. And I think it would be a fairly small number, like it would be enough

⏹️ ▶️ Casey for what I would consider to be a day or two of, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey average use. And then again, I would stick with the free trial, I think. And if people really

⏹️ ▶️ Casey only use the app for a week and a day or something like that. And then that’s it. Okay,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey then maybe it’s not for them. Like, I don’t want to take your money. Unless you want to, I want, I want you to give me

⏹️ ▶️ Casey your money. I don’t want to take your money. You know what I mean?

⏹️ ▶️ John Marco was saying about what the app store is actually like what the app store is actually like is you launch the app and you can’t

⏹️ ▶️ John do a single damn thing until you absolutely positively agree to start a free trial right now.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Which is closer to the way this was. That’s how the app store works

⏹️ ▶️ John like so few apps you can’t even see what the UI looks like until you agree

⏹️ ▶️ John to pay for the in-app purchase which which has a seven day free trial which is nice and you can cancel and pay nothing

⏹️ ▶️ John but we’re hoping you forget

⏹️ ▶️ Marco yeah and keep in mind also Casey I you know I never make a thing about this because I always forget to with with

⏹️ ▶️ Marco my people who give me test flights but subscriptions on test flights are horrible

⏹️ ▶️ John they suck so bad it makes

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco me type

⏹️ ▶️ Marco my password Casey make it stop and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John then they only

⏹️ ▶️ Marco last like a day, you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John know, and then they reset. And you have

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to type

⏹️ ▶️ John your password again. And my password is long and complicated. It’s hard. It’s just I can’t do it.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like anybody out there who’s trying to send a test flight out to your friends to test an internet purchase. Or Apple

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John fixes. Don’t bother.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Like, yeah, like just don’t even bother, because a test flight paywall sucks. It’s impossible.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It drives people crazy. You will lose everybody. Everyone will jump off your beta. It’s hard enough to get people to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco keep beta testing your app. Like, a paywall instantly makes all your friends say, ah, forget it. and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they quit and they move

⏹️ ▶️ John on. But of course you want to test the IAP, so you actually do want people to test it, but they don’t want to do that because it’s not like

⏹️ ▶️ John the real experience. The real experience you can pay by like double tapping the home button and using your face, but not in TestFlight because

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco reasons that Apple, you know, like, so it’s

⏹️ ▶️ John just such a, this is just a beta tester thing, but it’s not, you know, regular customers don’t have to deal with this.

⏹️ ▶️ John But I’ve seen a couple of different purchases. One, to make the restore purchases thing, just

⏹️ ▶️ John always say yes, totally, you’re fine, right? So you leave all the paywalls in there, but

⏹️ ▶️ John then you present people with like, or restore purchases, and anybody who taps restore purchases says, oh, you totally

⏹️ ▶️ John paid. And then, so you would avoid the whole authentication problem, but then you’re not exercising your IAP flow really.

⏹️ ▶️ John So, it’s a pain.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, there’s no good answer.

⏹️ ▶️ John The good answer is for Apple to make test flight IAP work like the real one does.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, exactly. I’ll have to add some sort of hack. I hadn’t considered that, but you’re exactly right.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco No, but honestly, I mean, the whole idea of like, you know, having it be, basically you have to subscribe to do

⏹️ ▶️ Marco almost anything, but it’s a free trial, that’s fine. I don’t

⏹️ ▶️ Marco think that’s that bad of a solution. And there’s a reason why so many apps do

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that, because it works, it’s effective. And people like free trials, people

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like that. That’s not a bad idea, honestly. And so many apps, as John was saying,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so many apps in the app store, that’s how they work, that are way crappier than yours,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that have way less value to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John people. You

⏹️ ▶️ John don’t have to put it like literally the first thing that they see, like you can give them one or two searches for free and then

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco like… Make

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it a third thing they see.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah. And that’s the thing is so like at first my thought was, oh, I forget exactly

⏹️ ▶️ Casey where I put the line, but basically you can search, but you can’t drill into

⏹️ ▶️ Casey anything. Like it’ll show you search results, but then you don’t get to see. So let’s say I did a search for Ryan

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Reynolds. You could see that, oh, Ryan Reynolds is right there at the top. That’s what I expect. the moment you try to

⏹️ ▶️ Casey drill into Ryan Reynolds and see the details about Ryan Reynolds, then it would throw up

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the paywall, which is, I think, probably a little too aggressive. So now, what I was thinking

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is, in the way it currently is, which is probably too lenient, is, oh, you can

⏹️ ▶️ Casey see the results. You can go from search to details, but anything that’s linked from there. So

⏹️ ▶️ Casey if you’re looking at Ryan Reynolds, you couldn’t drill into Deadpool or any of the other other roles that he’s had.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey At that point, when you try to drill into one of Ryan Reynolds’s roles, then it would throw up the paywall. But then that

⏹️ ▶️ Casey means, worst case, you just go back up and search for Deadpool. And then you get to see Deadpool. And so I think

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that’s a little too permissive. And I’m not sure what the right answer is. But I mean, certainly in a Slack that we’re all

⏹️ ▶️ Casey a part of, there was a visceral reaction that

⏹️ ▶️ Casey a free trial alone and putting up the paywall that quickly was absolutely the wrong answer. And

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’m a fool for even thinking it was OK. So I don’t know, I gotta figure out what the right answer

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is. And obviously I don’t know.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And keep in mind also, once you’ve decided, all right, I’m gonna go subscription with a free trial of this duration,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco with this annual price, then you can tweak the rest of it afterwards. Like you can

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John ship that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco way and say, all right, this is the business model, period. But then the detail of like, well, how much do you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco get for free? When do I show the paywall? That can change over time. You can play with that.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, that’s exactly right. So I don’t know, we’ll see. But I’m excited

⏹️ ▶️ Casey for it. I think it was Marco, but one of you said this earlier. This

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I think has an even bigger space or potential market than anything I’ve done so far.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Like, well, Vignette was different, but that was short-lived and it got sunset real quick. But

⏹️ ▶️ Casey if you look at Peak of You, you know, well, it’s parents or people who hand their phones to other people a lot. Then Masquerade, well,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it’s people who actually care about privacy, which these days is almost no one. And I’m not saying that

⏹️ ▶️ Casey everyone in the world is looking for an IMDB replacement, but I I think it’s probably more people

⏹️ ▶️ Casey than are looking potentially for either of my other apps. And so here again, ignorance

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is bliss slash list.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco Don’t. No.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco No list puns. We’re not doing that.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey So sitting here now, I’m hopeful. And again, I’m proud of the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey work. Whether or not it’s interesting to anyone, I’m proud of the work. And even if it

⏹️ ▶️ Casey ends up being a complete flop, I do think I’m getting better at my craft, which

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is what you were saying earlier, Marco, I appreciate you having said that. I think I’m getting better at my craft and I am

⏹️ ▶️ Casey proud of that.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco It

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is not a perfect app. It is not flawless. It probably has bugs somewhere, although it’s been reasonably

⏹️ ▶️ Casey bug-free so far, which I’m pretty proud of. But it’s the best

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I think I’ve got going so far, and it’s a little bit better, if not a lot better than Masquerade, which was

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I think a little to a lot better than Peak of View. So I’m making progress and I’m

⏹️ ▶️ Casey pretty happy about that. Even in a worst-case scenario, know, this doesn’t take off. ATP suddenly goes away,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey analog goes away, and I need to find a big boy job again. Then I have something to show for what I’ve been doing for the last

⏹️ ▶️ Casey several years. Right. And well, in this case, last couple of months, but in more broadly, the last several years, and I think

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that’s, that’s a positive thing as well. And I’m learning how to use new stuff. And, and all of these

⏹️ ▶️ Casey things I think are nothing but good. So even if the app flops, certainly I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey hope it doesn’t, but even if it flopped, I still feel pretty good about

⏹️ ▶️ Casey what I’ve learned and how I’ve grown during the process.