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Eldar’s Blog

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New Blog - New Newsletter

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March 2, 2021

Blocs 4 Plus Review - NoCode WordPress Theme Development

Watch my review of Blocs 4 Plus website builder, and learn about my experience using Blocs to build WordPress themes.

February 18, 2021

Minimalist Website

In this video, I am showing my new minimal website design, built using visual web design app Blocs for Mac.

February 6, 2021

iPhone 12 Pro Max vs Canon Camera - Can She Guess?

In today's video, I want to compare the quality of photos taken with my Canon EOS M50 mirrorless camera and my iPhone 12 Pro Max. I am going to do a blind test and my wife is going to guess which one is which.

February 3, 2021

What is Minimalism to Me

Many people, including my friends and family, still don’t understand what I mean when I say ‘I am a minimalist’. In this video, I want to explain what ‘Minimalism’ is to me.

February 1, 2021

16-inch MacBook Pro Review

After using it for over a year, I want to share with you my review of the 16-inch MacBook Pro - the most powerful MacBook Apple has ever made.

January 20, 2021

What to Expect from 2021 MacBook Pro

I am very excited about the upcoming 2021 new MacBook Pro models Apple is going to release soon. In this video, I am going through the list of rumours, my personal wishes, and predictions.

January 17, 2021

Switching from 16-inch MacBook Pro to 13-inch M1 MacBook Air

After putting off my transition to Apple Silicon, I have finally decided to make a switch and sell my 16-inch MacBook Pro, and buy the M1 MacBook Air instead. 

January 7, 2021

How to Shoot Stars with iPhone & Apple ProRAW

In this video, I want to show you how to easily capture the night sky with stars using your iPhone.

I am using the ProRAW for better results, but even without it, you can get amazing results with just a Night Mode.

December 26, 2020

Filmic Pro 10-bit Log V3 on iPhone 12 Pro Max

In this video, I am testing the new Filmic Pro 10-bit SDR LogV3 color profile, and comparing it to iPhone's default 10-bit HDR Dolby Vision.

The HDR files were color corrected in post to be viewed in SDR timeline. This video is NOT HDR. All Filmic Pro footage have deLog LUT applied.

P.S. Looks like I have a bit cooler white balance settings on Filmic Pro, hence the cooler tones on some of the footage.

December 21, 2020

iPhone 12 Pro Max as a Desktop Computer

In this video, I want to share with you my experience doing an experiment with iPhone 12 Pro Max using it as my main computer for a day.

December 16, 2020

iPhone 12 mini Review

I have been using iPhone 12 mini for the past 28 days, and today I am ready to share my review of this phone.

November 30, 2020

Blocs 4 Review

Watch my long-term review of Blocs 4 Plus after using it for the past 9 months (as a beta).

Visit Blocs Website »

November 30, 2020

iPhone 12 Pro - First Impressions

Check out my reviews, tests, and photo and video camera comparisons of Apple’s new iPhone 12 Pro.

I have been using iPhone X for 3 years now, and I have decided to upgrade to iPhone 12 Pro Max this year. The bigger pro version of the iPhone 12 is coming out in November, but in a meantime, my wife has got herself the new iPhone 12 Pro in Gold.

She is kind enough to borrow it to me for a few days, so I can test it out and compare to my iPhone X. Below you will find a number of videos covering this new device. I will update and add more content to this page as I create it.

To summarize the video above:

1. iPhone 12 Pro box is very small and slim.
2. There is no charger or EarPods, only USB-C to Lightning cable.
3. The design is amazing. In my opinion, the best ever iPhone design.
4. Gold frame looks amazing. Back side is creamy, but I think it’s balanced.
5. Display is better, brighter, bigger, and sharper than my iPhone X.
6. Performance is good. Whaterver. iPhone X is still going strong.
7. Cameras are amazing. Computational Photography at its best.

November 30, 2020

iPhone 12 Pro Camera Tests - Photo & Video

Watch the videos below to see some cool photos and videos taked with the new iPhone 12 Pro.

iPhone 12 Pro Camera Testing - Photos

I have only used the default Camera app on iOS 14. I didn’t use any gimbals, nor did I edit any photos. What you see in the video is a result you get straight out of the iPhone 12 Pro.

iPhone 12 Pro - 4K Video (Dolby Vision HDR)

Same as with photos, I have used the default Camera app on iOS 14. No gimbals, no editing, no color grading, all shot handheld. The video is in HDR, so it might look overexposed on devices and browsers, which are not supporting HDR yet.

November 30, 2020

iPhone X vs 12 Pro - Should You Upgrade?

To summarize, I think that better camera is the only reason to upgrade from iPhone X to iPhone 12 Pro.

Apart from that, design, display, performance, and even battery life improvements do not make the iPhone 12 Pro a must-have upgrade for iPhone X users.

November 30, 2020

iPhone 12 Pro Review

iPhone 12 Pro is an amazing smartphone, which is not the best at anything, but it is great at everything.

For most people, I recommed to get iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 mini. For people who want the best camera or battery life, definitely get iPhone 12 Pro Max.

But if you are someone who wants to get the best possible iPhone this year, but at the same time hates the big phones, iPhone 12 Pro will be an ideal choice for you.

November 30, 2020

iPhone 12 Pro vs Canon M50

iPhone 12 Pro is an amazing smartphone, which is not the best at anything, but it is great at everything.

While I wait for my iPhone 12 Pro Max to arrive, I have decided to test my wife’s iPhone 12 Pro to asnwer a question I was asking myself recently: "Can iPhone 12 Pro replace my Canon M50 for in-studio A-Roll shots?"

November 30, 2020

iPhone 12 Pro Max - First Impressions & Test

I have finally got my hands on the new iPhone 12 Pro Max, and below are my first impressions.

To summarize the video:

1. It is not too big for my regural-size hands.

2. I love the Pacific Blue color more than I thought.

3. The Camera is good, but not ‘Canon M50’ good.

Overall, I love this phone, but unfortunately there is a problem I have found out about it at the end of the first day using it...

November 30, 2020

I’m Returning the iPhone 12 Pro Max

Well, my iPhone 12 Pro Max had a dead pixel. I sent it back to Apple, and got myself the iPhone 12 mini.

I have been using iPhone 12 mini ever since, and I love it. I will be sharing my reviews of iPhone 12 mini soon.

September 9, 2020

HEY.com Email Review

I have signed up for the HEY email service, and wanted to share the reasons why, and what I believe to be the biggest weakness of this service.

This post is not a review of the features of HEY email service. If you want to learn about that, you can go to their website. (By the way, they have a cool looking and very fast loading website).

Instead, this post is about why I have signed up for this email service and why I might not extend my subscription next year, unless Basecamp fixes some very critical issue.

Part 1 - Why I’ve Signed Up

To summarize the video above, I have decided to pay for the first year of HEY subscription for the following reasons:

1. I like my new cool email address - eldar@hey.com

2. I can use this email address forever, even if I stop paying for HEY.

3. I like to support innovative companies that try to think different.

4. I want to switch from Google Suite, and HEY looks perfect for that.

Part 2 - What Needs Fixing

There are a number of problems in HEY, like too agressive SPAM filter, limited contact book, etc, but the two main issues you need to know about are:

1. HEY is not flexible, and you can’t use any 3rd party email clients.

2. HEY doesn’t work offline on laptops, and it’s very limited in mobile apps.

May 29, 2020

My Review of Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro

I have been using iPad Pro as my main computer for almost 2 years now. In this post I want to share with you my honest opinion about the Magic Keyboard.

iPad Pro is my favorite computing device, so naturally, I was very excited about the announcement of Magic Keyboard for iPad. I didn’t order it on the first day, as it was difficult for me to justify its high price. But, after watching some real world reviews, I did finally buy it. Now, after using it for a while, I am ready to give you my honest opinion.

The Best Accessory for the iPad

Without a question, the Magic Keyboard is an amazing accessory, which makes the iPad Pro feel like a completely new device.

It has the best keyboard for iPad, it has nice features like an additional USB-C port for charging or backlit keys, it has a cool futuristic design. And although it is quite heavy and made of an average-looking material for such an expensive device, I do believe that overall the Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro is a great product.

Worse Laptop than Your MacBook

At the same time, I am not going to lie to you and say that it is better at being a laptop than my MacBook. Because it’s just not.

It is close, but MacBook is still more comfortable and logical to be used as a laptop. And it’s not just the limitations of iPadOS or the lack of professional apps. It’s the feeling you have when you use these devices, when you use this tiny trackpad, which is very good, but not as good as trackpad my MacBook.

It is the feeling you have when you type on this keyboard, which is great, but not as comfortable to type on it rest my hands on compared to the MacBook. And It doesn’t have the ESC key. And I know, I can remap Caps Lock or other key to be used as an ESC key, but its not the same.

Of course, nobody is saying that iPad with Magic Keyboard should be a better laptop than a MacBook, because it is tablet after all, which has its own obvious advantages. But this is something you have to keep in mind if you plan to replace your MacBook or some other laptop with an iPad Pro and Magic Keyboard, which by the way will cost you about the same as a laptop, it’s probably not going to be as great laptop as the laptop you have right now.

My Favorite Computer

But of course, the iPad Pro is better than MacBook in many ways, and for me and maybe for you, even thought the iPad Pro is not going to be my favorite laptop anytime soon, it is still by far my favorite computer, which I want to use for everything.

Can I use it for everything?
Of course, no.

Do I hope that someday I could?
Of course, I do.

Do I believe it will ever happen?
Well, just a couple of years ago, I would say No. But judging by what Apple has been doing to the iPad Pro with software updates over the last couple of years, I do believe that sooner than later, the iPad Pro will be the only computer I need.

I think that during this year’s WWDC, Apple will announce the further improvements to iPadOS to take the next step in making the iPad Pro an even better laptop replacement.

December 24, 2019

2019 Year Review

It’s almost the end of the year, so it is time to look back to what I was able to archive in 2019.

I do it every year because it helps me to improve my work and my plans for the next year. This year, I wanted to share some of the results with you. I also wanted to take this opportunity to thank people who support my work.

year 2019

Last Blocs Master Update of the Year

Last month I have released 12 new videos covering Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in Blocs I am not a specialist when it comes to SEO, but I did a lot of research to come up with a series of simple steps everybody can take to improve the chances of their website ranking higher on Google. Go check it out if you haven't already.

I am still working on the last update for Blocs Master, which should conclude a cycle of monthly updates started at the end of 2018. New video tutorials will be added to Mastering Blocs 3 course in the coming days.

To summarize, this year I was able to produce almost 200 quality tutorials for Blocs 3. If you combine that with Blocs 2 tutorials I have created before that, it takes the total number of video tutorials in Blocs Master collection to over 350. That’s crazy…

Personal Training / Coaching

In addition to tutorials, I have been offering 1-on-1 training sessions for Blocs and Squarespace users. I enjoyed helping dozens of people more directly. It was great to talk to many of my long-term students face-to-face via video conferencing. These individual coaching sessions always remind me that our special community is made of some of the most amazing and creative people.

The Best Ever Blocs Templates Collection

I have been building websites with the Blocs app for many years. The experience I gained during these years is helping me improve with every single new project. In 2019, I have produced over 30 high-quality templates for Blocs 3, and I am very proud of the collection of templates I have on Blocs Templates website right now.

Blocs app gets more and more capable with each version, making the experience of building websites in Blocs more enjoyable. In addition to new cool brics and features, I am also very happy about less notable improvements like embedded assets, new code editor window, and other things which make working in Blocs app a real pleasure.

Website Design Services

This year, I have also built multiple websites for select people and companies. Offering web design services to clients is never going to be my main focus because it limits the amount of time I can spend helping other people become web designers. But I enjoyed collaborating with awesome people and helping them reach their dreams.

2019 was an eventful year for me. There were hard moments, but at the end of the year, I look back and feel very thankful to our wonderful community who have supported me no matter what. Thank you. In 2020, I will continue to do my best to help as many people as I can.

Let’s Have a Wonderful 2020

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to every member of our wonderful community! I am always here to help every single one of you, and that's not going to change in 2020! Let's have a very productive year together!

November 20, 2019

Stop Making Excuses

You do not need the latest and greatest MacBook Pro or another expensive device to succeed in whatever you want to do.

I have used all of the available MacBooks over the years, including both 11 and 13-inch MacBook Airs, 13 and 15-inch Retina MacBook Pros in both original and the latest 2016 form factors.

But, as you might know, my main computer of choice for the past 3 years has been an 'underpowered' and now discontinued 12-inch MacBook. Everything I have created in recent years, I have created it using this little machine.

Phycological Problem

Apple and other big tech companies investing a lot of money into marketing campaigns, which are designed to make you feel that you cannot do something unless you buy their latest expensive device. I feel like that myself sometimes, and I am sure many of you will be familiar with this feeling.

For example, seeing Apple release the new 16-inch MacBook Pro, I feel like the display on my MacBook is getting smaller and smaller every day. It even starts to bother me and decreases my productivity. In situations like this, I try to remind myself, that the problem I have is phycological, and that I have been using my 12-inch MacBook for years, and it served me quite well.

The same can be said about my smartphone. I use the camera on my iPhone X a lot, and it allows me to capture all of the necessary memories in great quality. But, as you might know, Apple has released the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro a couple of months ago, and it has an even better camera.

Now, when I look at my iPhone, I feel like the camera is not good enough, because of this feeling of missing on an even better quality with the latest iPhone. The thing is, the quality of images and videos I can take with my iPhone X is still great, and it is more than good enough for what I am using it for.

It is an Excuse, not a Reason

Look, I am not saying that it won’t be faster and more efficient to do the same job with a better computer, of course, it will be. What I am saying, and what I want you to always remember, is that the absence of the latest and greatest tools, whatever it is the latest smartphone, laptop, or something else, in most cases it shouldn’t be the reason why you cannot do something. I know plenty of people who are still using 7~8 years old notebooks to do their work, and they are doing a great job.

‘Non-Pro’ Device Can Make You a ‘Pro’

I am planning to purchase the new 16-inch MacBook Pro soon, but I will always remember this little machine I have in front of me here, 12-inch MacBook Pro. I have built over 100 websites and made hundreds of video tutorials using this MacBook. This is not a ‘pro’ device by any means, but it has made it possible for me to become a ‘pro’ at what I do.

Do Not Let Excuses Get in Your Way

My message to you is to not let excuses like the absence of the latest MacBook or iPhone get in your way. If you have a smartphone from the last 5 years, you have a good enough camera to start learning film making, photography or to become a YouTuber. If you have a laptop, any laptop, you have the tool to create your first website or start your online business. As your business and skillset will grow, you can upgrade to more expensive and powerful tools.

I know that’s not a typical post from me, but I thought I should talk about this topic because I noticed many people act surprised when they see that I am building websites and doing video editing with such an underpowered 12-inch laptop.

I hope it was helpful to some of you.

February 19, 2019

Blocs 3 Review

Blocs 3 is a fantastic web design application for Mac, which lets you build beautiful websites without knowing how to code.

Web design standards are always evolving, and with it, the tools we use to create websites are changing as well. Not so long ago, only people with a technical background were able to make genuinely complex and beautiful websites, but these days anybody can create a site.

In this post, I want to share with you my review of Blocs for Mac - the tool which I believe can give you the freedom to make any type of website design, without forcing you to learn how to code. 

Simple doesn’t mean not powerful

I have used many web design tools, and I am a fan of Squarespace, but when it comes to creating a specific website I have in my mind, my hands are always reaching for Blocs.

Do you remember the Santa picture created using Microsoft Paint? It looks fantastic, but it was made using the simplest of tools. Creations like this prove that the best tool for a job is not the most feature-packed one, it is the one you master. Blocs is a tool like this for me when it comes to web design.

Blocs 3 has a simple user interface with a couple of sidebars and not too many visible options, but if you learn what each of these options does, you can produce a truly unique and beautiful website without knowing how to code.

Blocs is not perfect, nothing is.

The biggest downside of Blocs is that it is only available for Mac. Another disadvantage is the lack of built-in CMS. If you are not familiar with CMS, it stands for Content Management System, which basically allows you to edit and manage the content on your website via any web browser.

Blocs does support some CMS platforms like Pulse CMS, but these are still limited compared to feature-rich solutions like Wordpress. So, if you want to continually update your website without opening the Blocs app on your Mac, you should probably look the other way.

If you use a Mac and don't care so much about being able to edit your website from a web browser, let me tell you why you might love Blocs.

Why you will love Blocs

First of all, you don’t need to know how to code to make a great website in Blocs. And I am not saying that knowing code is a bad thing because if you do, you can use it to your advantage. But, it is not necessary, and I love it. When I am making a website, I just want to concentrate on design and feel of my site, and Blocs allows me to do precisely that.

I also like that the websites you build in Blocs will look great on all devices. Even just out of the box, Blocs 3 produces responsive sites, but if you can spend a bit time adjusting some small details, you can make your website look amazing on all devices.

The third thing I love about Blocs is that it is a native application I can install on my Mac and use it anytime I want. Blocs is very fast and not resource-hungry, which makes it feel right at home on my MacBook.

Being a simple tool, Blocs is not very difficult to master. Like with anything, you have to invest time and effort into learning how things work, but after you get over the frustration of using a new tool, you will appreciate how intuitive Blocs is.

And, if you want to speed up your learning process with Blocs, I recommend to check out the Blocs Master, the project I have created to help people master web design with Blocs.

There is also a great community of Blocs users always happy to help each other, so if you need help, there are people to help you.

A Very Bright Future Ahead

Blocs is just a few years old, and it has a phenomenal potential to grow. From what I have learned, the team behind Blocs is doing a fantastic job to keep the focus on important stuff, making Blocs more capable with each update without overcomplicating its user experience.

Last, but not least, Blocs is not expensive compared to other web design tools on the market. You can start using it for free, and when you are ready to purchase the full version, it has a relatively low price, which you pay once and then you can make as many websites as you want.

Set up a secure hosting account and just purchase a new domain for each new website you build with Blocs, that’s all.

Plus, even though there are some excellent 3rd party extensions, you don't need to invest into plugins or stacks, because you can build almost any type of website using just core features of Blocs.

Summary

There is no perfect tool for web design, but if you have a Mac and you want to build websites without knowing how to code, I highly recommend to take a look at Blocs.

If you have any questions about Blocs or web design in general, please let me know, and I will always do my best to help you.

Visit Blocs Website »

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