About the Author

Jeff Benjamin

@JeffBenjam

Jeff produces tech videos, walkthroughs, how-tos, written tutorials and reviews. He earned his degree in Computer Network Systems back in 2001, but decided Cisco routers and the like just weren’t for him. Since then, he’s been heavily involved with online writing and video. He’s written for numerous tech sites since the late 1990′s, and has a knack for explaining things in a simple, clear and concise manner.

Email: jeff@9to5Mac.com | YouTube: youtube.com/c/9to5mac

Jeff Benjamin's Favorite Gear

July 20

Although I have a TV, my 5K iMac’s display is the one that I use the most throughout the day. With this in mind, I’ve long wished for the ability to play game consoles directly on the 5K display.

An HDMI input option isn’t something you’ll find on any Mac, which obviously limits the the machine’s abilities in this area. Yet, there is one option — Elgato’s GameCapture HD60 S — for those of you wishing to showcase a game console, like the Nintendo Switch, on the iMac’s display.

Normally thought of for its capturing abilities, the HD60 S, which features superior low-latency properties, does a great job of displaying the Nintendo Switch in full screen 1080p at 60 fps. It’s not perfect, and it’s definitely not cheap, but it’s one of the best solutions that I’ve found for using the iMac as an external display. Have a look at our hands-on video walkthrough for more details on my setup. expand full story

July 13

Last week we unboxed Acer’s Predator 21 X, a rare super-laptop with a $9,000 price tag to match. While the unboxing discussed some of the particulars related to the initial boarding process, we wanted to take another opportunity to go a bit more in-depth with this unique offering. In the following hands-on video, we discuss 10 features that make the Predator 21 X the outrageously-special beast that it is. expand full story

July 7

If you’re in search of a quick way to read the contents of a 2.5-inch or 3.5-inch SATA drive, then StarTech has a desktop dock offering that may meet your needs. The unit, a top-loading dual-bay desktop dock that connects to your computer via USB 3.1 Gen 2, affords fast access to the contents of up to two SATA drives in a convenient package. expand full story

June 29

Acer sent us one of its limited edition Predator 21 X laptops, which afforded us the opportunity to go hands-on with it via an unboxing. The term “laptop” should be used loosely in this case, as the unit weighs over 19 pounds, features a 21-inch curved display, dual GTX 1080 GPUs in SLI, and 64GB of RAM. Have a look at our hands-on unboxing inside for a look at what to expect from this $9,000 beast. expand full story

June 28

Today is the last day to score discounts on Affinity Photo for iPad and Mac

Serif’s Affinity Photo for iPad made a huge splash at Apple’s recent WWDC keynote, and has been very well-received by artists and photo editors for doing work on the iPad. The app, which is deemed by some to be an Adobe Photoshop alternative, is currently on sale for just $19.99. But you’ll need to act quickly; tomorrow the app is scheduled to move to its permanent $29.99 asking price. 

9to5mac 

June 23

If you’re a video editor working with large files or someone who likes rip and stream 4K content, then QNAP’s TVS-882ST3 may appeal to you. This is a NAS machine that largely focuses on speed, with I/O options like Thunderbolt 3 and 10Gb Ethernet in tow. Perhaps more interesting, this is a NAS that only features 2.5-inch bays, which work with traditional spinning hard drives, but are obviously geared towards faster solid state storage.

With eight bays, the TVS-882ST3 is capable of hosting a large amount of storage for a variety of different workflows. It can be used as a traditional NAS machine, a DAS (Direct Attached Storage), or a combination of both. Check out our brief hands-on video inside for a closer look at the TVS-882ST3.

Update: This post has been updated with additional details regarding Thunderbolt connectivity.

expand full story

June 8

Dell’s XPS lineup has always appealed to me from a pure power perspective. The company continues to stuff its laptop line with power-user features like Thunderbolt 3, 4K displays, and the like.

Prior to the 2016 MacBook Pro refresh, I was considering the purchase of a 15-inch XPS machine for my video needs. That would mean switching over to DaVinci Resolve or Premiere Pro, and as a die-hard Final Cut Pro X fan, that was something I was honestly dreading.

Thankfully, Apple has reversed its course and is now strongly considering the needs of its professional users again. It’s almost like its done a 180-degree turnaround with products like an 18-core iMac Pro on the horizon.

Although I’m no longer outright forced to consider switching to a Windows machine thanks to Apple’s change of gears, that doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate what companies like Dell are doing. The 2017 XPS 15 (9560) is a beast of a machine with a built-in 4K display that’s perfect for editing UHD video. Have a look at my brief hands-on walkthrough as I discuss 10 things that I appreciate about the XPS 15. expand full story

June 1

One of the first things that any new Panasonic GH5 owner should invest in is a set of extra batteries. The GH-series of cameras have always had good battery life with the included stock battery, but as we noted in our hands-on overview of the camera, the GH5 is a tad more power-hungry than its predecessors.

In my experience, some of the third-party battery options that I’ve tried haven’t been nearly as good as official stock batteries, but Newmowa’s battery doesn’t fit this mold. I find that it actually performs just as well as the official stock Panasonic battery included with my Lumix GH5. expand full story

May 25

If you’re a new GH5 owner and still debating on which lenses to get, then this post is for you. Of course, much will depend on your personal needs and budget, but in many cases it’s hard to go wrong with the Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 II. expand full story

electrek 

May 18

The Panasonic Lumix GH5 is a groundbreaking new Micro Four Thirds camera that brings 4K60p video to the masses. The camera, which we recently highlighted in a post and video, comes with a plethora of new features to help creatives take their videography to the next level.

Although the GH5 is capable of shooting great-looking photos, this is, for all intents and purposes, a video camera. In fact, I bought the GH5 strictly due to its video-taking abilities, and have already implemented it into my YouTube workflow.

As nice as the GH5 is by itself, the camera really shines when paired with the Atomos Ninja Inferno — a 4K external recorder that also works as a composition and playback monitor for your videos. The $995 Ninja Inferno is an investment, but it’s one that I think will pay off in the long run. In this post and video, I highlight 10 features about the Atomos Ninja Inferno that make it such a wonderful GH5 companion. expand full story

May 4

In what felt like an eternity after Panasonic’s announcement, the new Lumix GH5 finally landed in my hands last month. The GH-series holds a special place in my heart, because the prior version, the Lumix GH4, was my first 4K-enabled camera.

With the GH5, many new features and improvements have been added to the mix. If you’re primarily into video, then the GH5’s deep feature set will surely appeal to you. Have a look as we briefly discuss 10 GH5 features that make this Micro Four Thirds camera worth considering. expand full story

April 17

I’ve had the privilege of going hands-on with the new 14-inch LG Gram over the last month, and wanted to share my impressions. The Gram is a very lightweight traditional-style Windows laptop with a touch screen. It doesn’t do any of the fancy 2-in-one stuff that a lot of Windows machines do these days, but for those of you who don’t necessarily want or need such things, it’s a solid laptop.

The Gram’s headlining feature is its weight, or lack thereof. LG says that the 14-inch Gram weighs in at just over two pounds, which is just under 1 kilogram. Dubbed as an ultra-lightweight machine, I can vouch for the fact that this laptop is ridiculously light in the hand. If you’re used to carrying around a 15-inch or even a 13-inch MacBook Pro, you might be taken aback by the feather-like characteristic of the Gram.

But is being lightweight enough to warrant consideration? Have a look at our hands-on video walkthrough as we briefly explore what this machine has to offer. expand full story

March 14

Update: The special pricing at B&H has expired.

SmallHD produces some of the best on-camera monitors in the business, but pricing may be a barrier, as most products in the lineup tend to trend closer to the $1000 mark (and above) than not. The good news is that SmallHD’s most affordable monitor, the 701 Lite, is on sale for only $399 shipped at B&H — that’s a whopping $300 off the regular price for today only.

But why should you consider a monitor from SmallHD? Watch my brief hands-on video with the SmallHD 501, a smaller unit with higher resolution, for a quick look into what makes these monitors so special. expand full story

March 8

Most companies wouldn’t market their products to be used as little as possible, but that’s entirely what The Light Phone is all about. The Light Phone is a credit card-sized phone that’s designed to be used only for phone calls, and nothing more than that. That’s right, no pictures, no apps, no games, no texts. Phone calls only.

Deemed as being a phone away from your phone, The Light Phone is designed to operate as distraction free as possible, yet still provide the necessary functionality to make and receive phone calls.

It’s an interesting concept that can serve to complement, not replace, an iPhone. It’s a secondary phone that’s built to be an extension of your existing smartphone — a phone that allows you to leave your iPhone at home, yet still maintain some vestige of basic communication.

Normally, I’d use a cheap Android phone, or an old iPhone as a secondary phone, but The Light Phone adds a new twist to the idea of having a second device. Watch our hands-on video walkthrough as I explore The Light Phone and discuss who might be in the market for one when the $150 device officially launches later this year. expand full story

January 4

Panasonic announces the LUMIX GH5 with 4K 60p/50p recording – preorder now

We’ve know that the Lumix GH5 was on the horizon, but thanks to today’s Panasonic announcement at CES 2017, we know more details, including the release time frame and price for what is sure to be a record selling camera.

The Panasonic Lumix GH5 is the follow up release to the venerable GH4, and it appears to be an absolute doozy of a camera. The 20.3 megapixel mirrorless shooter sports in-body image stabilization thanks to its 5-axis Dual I.S. feature, along with groundbreaking new video characteristics. The camera is now available for preorder on B&H’s website and on Amazon.

9to5mac 

December 3, 2016

Score an imported Sony Alpha a7SII mirrorless camera (body-only) for $2,299 shipped, a whopping 23% off MSRP

The Sony Alpha a7SII is widely respected for its low light video capabilities, and this is the first time that I’ve seen this full frame monster go on sale for south of $2500.

Electronics Valley (99.7% positive feedback, Top-Rated Plus Seller) offers an imported Sony a7SII mirrorless camera for only $2,299 shipped with a 1-Yr seller warranty. That’s $500 less than Amazon, and $700 off the price you’ll find on B&H. Today’s deal is the best offer currently available.

November 14, 2016

Apple’s recently-released Beats Solo3 Wireless Headphones are a great choice for iPhone 7 users. The Bluetooth wireless headphones use Apple’s new W1 Wireless chip, which makes pairing with other Apple devices a simple affair.

Amazon is selling the matte black version of the Beats Solo3 Wireless Headphones for only $219.99, which is about $80 off the original price of $299.95. If matte black doesn’t resonate with you, there are other colors available (gloss black, gloss white, gold, and rose gold) for a substantial $50 discount. expand full story

August 22, 2016

I’ve seen Hacker’s Brew — a cold coffee drink geared towards making you more productive — discussed online for quite some time now, but I never got to try it for myself until recently. I’ve always been attracted to the look of the product, so I was thrilled when the team reached out to me to take it for a test drive.

The whole premise behind the drink is that it goes beyond the boost of caffeine obtainable by a typical trip to Starbucks, and provides a more sustained energy increase that can help with productivity.

The problem with most espresso-based drinks, at least for me, is that the effects tend to be very short-lived, and the crash that occurs thereafter can actually hurt my productivity for the rest of the day.

Hacker’s Brew, on the other hand, seeks to combine coffee with other ingredients for a more sustained cognitive boost of energy and mental stamina. Does it work? It’s hard to speak authoritatively based on my six-drink trial, but I can definitely attest to the fact that it makes me more productive than a typical espresso-based drink at Starbucks does. expand full story

July 20, 2016

Modern smartphones are awesome for taking photos and videos, but I still prefer to use a standalone camera when I’m working.

I’ve had all sorts of cameras in past, most of them of the DLSR or mirrorless variety. The common thread with all of my past standalone cameras was that they were always much larger than the average smartphone.

After owning a phone with a camera for the last 10 years, I desired a standalone camera that featured similar portability. There are lots of pocketable point-and-shoots available on the market, but none of them check off as many bullet-points and feature the visual fidelity of Sony’s RX100 IV.

Sony’s venerable RX100 is legendary for the amount of features that it manages to jam inside of such a small form factor, and the latest model doesn’t disappoint. expand full story

electrek 

July 17, 2016

Motorola recently launched its 4th-generation budget-minded G-Series smartphone, and you can now score a $50 Amazon gift card along with purchase. The phone, which comes unlocked and works on any major US carrier, starts at just $249 for the 16 GB model with 2 GB of RAM. The base model is $199.99 with the same $50 gift card promotion. expand full story

Powered by WordPress.com VIP