Simple, Reliable, and Feature-Packed. Just a few words that I would use to describe the Smart Shooter 4 software. My photography career has seen a lot of changes in the past 20 years. As I think back on going from the trusted source of film to digital and all the doors that opened with post possessing, a significant change came with Adobe Lightroom. As an avid Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop user, I built my workflow into a streamlined process that, in many ways, is still in use today with one addition. I’ve been an advocate of shooting tethered for some time but found the capture using Adobe Lightroom to be less than reliable. I would often need to restart my computer or, at a minimum, or re-establish the connection and it left me with a sense of this isn’t the professional tool for daily work. This constant apology to the client that “you have to love technology” always left me feeling that there must be a better way. The better way to capture images using tethering is the addition of Smart Shooter 4 into the workflow chain of Camera>Smart Shooter 4 > Adobe LR > Adobe Photoshop > Lab > Client.
So back to the three words of Simple, Reliable, and Feature-Packed
SIMPLE. I have found the software easy to learn and put right into daily use. The layout and controls are straightforward, allowing me to start using a minimal learning curve. As I’ll mention more about later some of the advanced features but it really can be less is more. The layout and super easy customization of the different panels fits my eye, and feels comfortable to navigate during a session when all eyes are on you.
RELIABLE. As I knock on my wooden desk and say, I haven’t had a dropped connect using the Smart Shooter 4 software yet; we all will experience technology glitches once in a while. The Smart Shooter 4 software has performed so consistently that it will be my computer hardware that gets the blame if I run into trouble. The bottom line for me is I want my tools to work so I can stay focused on my work at hand. Having one less thing to worry about is a stress reducer, and I’ll take that every day.
Feature Packed. There are features, bells, and whistles built into the base version that I honestly don’t use. The Pro version goes even beyond that with more features like using multiple cameras and Barcode ability. But the one part I want to highlight is the ability to have the storage be both Camera and disk. Before Smart Shooter 4, my only option was to have a copy stored on my Apple MacBook Pro, which left me without a backup copy when using my Nikon camera. To overcome that, I would use additional software to copy the folder onto another hard drive. This simple feature of being able to select “BOTH” under storage has been a breath of fresh air and another stress reducer. Another feature I will call out is the ability to toggle on Live View when shooting products or during the layout and design to get the composition just right has been instrumental.
Bonus. Remember, I mentioned my workflow with Adobe Lightroom. The process is seamless with the additional Smart Shooter / Adobe LR Classic plugin; my images are imported into Lightroom even with any preset adjustments applied. The ability to have Lightroom images viewable works nicely to have on set for the art director and talent to see when it’s time for the review process. My Lightroom comfort in making selections and batching is well ingrained, and I’m pleased to use it seamlessly with Smart Shooter 4.
A tool enhances your ability to work. As a working portrait photographer, I rely on my tools to do just that without adding stress. The new plugin for Smart Shooter 4 and Adobe Lightroom performs seamlessly. This combination allows me to see my best work realized.
I have always love technology and the promise to make our lives and work better. The Smart Shooter 4 software added to my workflow has delivered on the promise to make things better, and I recommend you download the trial version and experience it for yourself. You can’t go wrong with Simple, Reliable, and Feature-Packed.
ABOUT BRYAN WELSH
Bryan has the Master of Photography Degree & Photographic Craftsman Degree from Professional Photographers of America. He is a PPA Certified Professional Photographer and has both the Fellow of Photography Degree and Honorary Fellow of Photography Degree from the Oregon Professional Photographers Association. He also holds the Educational Associate Degree from the American Society of Photographers. Bryan is a national speaker with over 200 PPA Speaker Merits and is a PPA Approved International Juror. Additional honors include the PPA National Award and the PPA 2020 Directors Award. Visit his site here.