Jeff produces videos, walkthroughs, how-tos, written tutorials and reviews. He takes pride in being able to explain things in a simple, clear and concise manner.
Virtually all of the videos I shoot are recorded to an Atomos Ninja V — a 5-inch monitor/recorder from Australian-based company Atomos. The Ninja V is a product that Atomos fans have been waiting on for years, as it brings most of the features from its larger monitor lineup to a compact 5-inch form-factor that great for run-and–gun shooting.
One of the problems with transitioning to such a company device is that there’s a lot less room for necessary accessories like SSD caddies. Atomos’ MasterCaddy II, caddies intended for the company’s larger recorders, work with the Atomos Ninja V, but are obviously not designed with the smaller recorder in mind.
Enter the SSDmini from Sony — a smaller form-factor drive created in partnership with Atomos specifically for its smaller recorder. Watch our hands-on video walkthrough for a look at some of the SSDmini’s benefits.
Recently I endeavored to create an overhead camera rig for unboxings, reviews, and everything in between. I’ve been wanting a rig like this for years, but only now decided to follow through with its creation.
I’m extremely satisfied with the end result, which allows for easy top down photos and videos, and has the flexibility to fit inside a small office or bedroom. The rig also works as a truss to mount additional cameras, lights, flags, microphones, and whatever else you need. Watch our hands-on video for a brief walkthrough that shows how to make a DIY overhead camera rig yourself.
If you take photos or videos with standalone cameras, chances are you have to deal with SD Cards on a regular basis. That’s because, like it or not, SD Cards are by far the most popular medium for photo and video storage on standalone cameras.
SD Cards have advantages: they are small, easy to acquire, and relatively cheap, but they also have some major issues. For instance, the achilles heel of an SD Card is its lack of durability. For a medium that stores memories of events that are often impossible to replicate, SD Cards are way too fragile for my tastes.
Sony is looking to change this with its new Tough-branded lineup of speedy UHS-II-enabled SD Cards. The branding is apt, because these cards are bend-proof, drop-proof, water-proof, and dust-proof.
I recently got my hands on the latest release from SmallHD, the Focus OLED camera monitor. One of the primary benefits of having an OLED display is that it provides an incredible contrast ratio with deep blacks. Watch our hands-on unboxing and first impressions of the new SmallHD Focus OLED.
Anker is probably best known for its power-related smartphone accessories, but it also makes a whole host of other useful items like Bluetooth speakers. Anker’s most popular speaker, the SoundCore is a constant fixture on Amazon’s best seller list. Is it worth checking out? Watch our video for a brief hands-on look.
A typical quick release plate attached to your camera is useful for connecting to a tripod in a fast manner, but you can gain a lot more flexibility by teaming a quick release plate up with a ball head. Watch our hands-on video for more details on how it’s done.
I use a pair of trusty Manfrotto 055XPROB tripod legs combined with a 701HDV Manfrotto fluid head for video work. While both of these items have been replaced with updated versions, this tripod setup has remained a workhorse for me for almost a decade.
Tripods are useful for all sorts of things, but at their core, they’re an essential way to stabilize a camera for photos or video. Combined with a video-centric fluid head, a tripod can be used to to pull off smooth pan and tilt moves, things that can add a dynamic element to your videos. Although fluid heads can do a decent enough job on their own, there’s one trick that I’ve used consistently over the years to improve my pans, and it involves a simple and inexpensive rubber band. Watch our brief hands-on video for more details.
On this week’s edition Best Sellers, we showcase the Vello Universal White Balance Handheld Disc. This handy photography and videography tool allows users to acquire proper custom white balance in a unique way. Watch our hands-on video inside to briefly see why it’s a B&H Photo best seller.
Have you ever wondered why a product ends up being a best seller on Amazon? We have too. Best Sellers explores the good, bad, and strange best sellers on Amazon.
This week’s edition considers the Fintie Apple Pencil cap holder/nib cover. As the name implies, it’s an attachment for your Apple Pencil to help prevent you from losing its cap and for protecting the nib. Watch our brief video walkthrough for a hands-on look.
Have you ever wondered why a product ends up being a best seller on Amazon? We have too. Best Sellers explores the good, bad, and strange best sellers on Amazon.
This week’s edition considers the GouQing Bluetooth Earbud, or what I like to call the ‘Fake AirPod’. While this product looks an awful lot like an oversized AirPod, it’s a far cry from Apple’s wireless earbuds.
Today Western Digital revealed two new external storage solutions from its G-Technology product line. The G-Speed Shuttle with Thunderbolt 3, is one that will probably interest iMac Pro and MacBook Pro owners the most. It’s an external storage unit with dual Thunderbolt 3 ports and up to 48TB of storage in RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 in a 4-bay transportable form factor.
Behind the Screens is a new weekly 9to5Toys series that takes you through our writers’ setups, be it mobile, desktop, gaming or home theater. Next up is Jeff Benjamin, producer of video content at 9to5.
In my first Behind the Screens post, I take a look at some of my favorite items that are a regular part of my desktop editing workspace. Software like Final Cut Pro X and ScreenFlow are two essential tools that I use every day for video editing, and obviously the cameras play a big role as well. But my desktop editing workspace is essential to providing a comfortable and productive area to get stuff done. Have a look at some of my favorite items in this latest Behind the Screens.
Low light shooters who find the GH5’s low light capabilities a bit underwhelming might find their needs met by the just-announced GH5s. Panasonic, who announced its new camera at CES 2018, has created a Micro Four Thirds shooter featuring a new 10.28MP Multi Aspect Ratio MOS Sensor, dual native ISO 400 and ISO 2500, and built-in V-Log L.
As a big fan of Atomos products, I was enthralled when the company revealed the Sumo 19 — its biggest monitor yet. The Sumo 19, as its name alludes to, is massive when compared to most Atomos monitors/recorders. It features a 19-inch (diagonal) touch screen, with a partially aluminum chassis, and plenty of input and output options.
The Atomos Sumo is quite a load when compared to the smaller 7-inch monitors in Atomos’ portfolio. The Sumo weighs in at 12 pounds without the included metal feet attached, and features dimensions of 19.8″ x 12.2″ x 2.5″.
It’s the size of the unit, and its sheer growth potential as a multi-input machine that makes the Atomos Sumo worth considering for in studio work. In my short time with the Sumo, its become the primary way for me to monitor each camera that I use. It’s also what I use to record high quality ProRes 422 HQ footage directly to an SSD, making it super-easy to edit footage in post.
We previously rounded up several wireless chargers for Apple’s latest iPhone Kit, including the Belkin and Mophie chargers sold in Apple Stores. Yet, Satechi’s Wireless Charger is one of the best-looking wireless chargers that we’ve seen thus far.
After recently acquiring the Atomos Sumo Studio Monitor/Recorder (hands-on coming soon), I was looking for a way to connect two HDMI camera sources to the unit without having to unplug one cable to plug in another. The Sumo features a single HDMI input, so unless I wanted to convert from SDI to HDMI, a switcher was my best bet.
I opted for this sub-$12 DotStone HDMI Switcher 2 Ports Bi-direction Manual Switch. It may not sound like much on the surface, but I’ve been extremely satisfied with the unit’s performance. It allows me to easily switch between HDMI camera inputs with a single button press. Best of all, it requires no power adapter. Watch our brief hands-on video for more details.
Panasonic’s 12-35mm f/2.8 is my go-to native GH5 lens for every day shooting. It features a 35mm equivalent range of 24-70mm, and is fast enough to provide nice bokeh when needed. Yet, sometimes you need an even faster option, and for those cases, the Mitakon Zhongyi Speedmaster f/0.95 25mm prime is an excellent budget lens.
If you’ve been wondering why the a7R II has been on sale for such a good price lately, then here is your reason: Sony just announced the a7R III, and preorders start tomorrow at 10am EST. What can you expect from the next generation of Sony’s highly-respected 42MP full-frame flagship?
I use a Synology NAS in my daily workflow to store high quality versions of my YouTube videos for archival purposes. Yet, I’ve been wanting to relocate the NAS to a shelf in the back of my office to save space on my desktop. Unfortunately, access to Ethernet from my shelf wouldn’t be easy. I didn’t want to go through the process of running cable from my router to my NAS, so a wireless solution seemed like the obvious choice.
As expected, the SNES Classic Edition has been hacked to allow users to load more games on the miniature console, effectively turning it into the ultimate SNES machine. By utilizing a Windows utility called hakchi2, users can quickly backup the SNES Classic Edition kernel, and replace it with a modified kernel that can be customized with different games, backgrounds, and box art. Have a look at our hands-on walkthrough inside to see how easy it is to supercharge your SNES Classic Edition.
I’ve been a gamer since as far back as I can remember. I bought my first Nintendo back in the mid-80’s and was hooked from there. I’m no longer as big of a gamer as I once was, but I remain a fan of Nintendo to this day.
Hence, it’s no surprise that both the NES and SNES Classic Edition consoles resonated with me. The SNES Classic Edition in particular, since the original is my favorite gaming console of all-time. Unboxing this little guy brought back a wave of nostalgic memories in an instant, and I couldn’t help but smile as I held the miniature SNES in my hand.
Panasonic recently released its highly-anticipated firmware update for the Lumix GH5 mirrorless camera. This update brings many new features and fixes to the table, and can now be downloaded and installed on the GH5.
We’ve gone hands-on with the GH5 several times before, as it is one of the best values right now in mirrorless cameras as far as features are concerned. There are also excellent native lens options, like the 12-35mm f/2.8, which is a flexible constant aperture zoom lens. In this post, we’ll take a look at some of my favorite new features made possible by the 2.0 firmware update.
Cleaning debris from a camera lens isn’t a glamorous task, but it’s something that you’ll want to do on a regular basis to keep your photos and videos looking sharp. Dust and debris are bound to make their way to your camera lens, and even the sensor for interchangeable lens cameras. That’s where Giottos’ Rocket Air Blaster comes it. It’s a simple, effective, and inexpensive tool for quickly maintaining your expensive camera equipment. Have a look at our brief, hands-on video walkthrough for more details.
With the release of the new iPad Pro back in June, Apple unveiled fresh accessories like the iPad Pro Leather Sleeve and the Apple Pencil Case. Both of these accessories focused on storing the Apple Pencil, something that had been somewhat overlooked with the first generation iPad Pro.
As expected, third parties have stepped up to the plate to offer alternative options. One such accessory maker, DODOcase, provides several iPad Pro-centric accessories that we’ve covered in previous posts. In addition, the San Fransisco-based company also makes a sleeve solely dedicated to the Apple Pencil.
In this brief video walkthrough, we take a hands-on look at DODOcase’s Leather Apple Pencil Sleeve. Is this $34.95 accessory worth considering?
It’s no secret that Sony’s RX100 series is one of my favorite pocketable cameras ever. It produces amazing image quality and is great for video. In fact, I used the RX 100 exclusively for over a year for YouTube videos.
Today at IFA, Sony launched the new RX0, a much smaller action camera that’s sure to be the start of a new series for the Japanese company. The RX0 (pre-order from B&H) is more akin to a GoPro in form factor, but features the same 1-inch sensor found in the RX100. When you consider that most action cameras feature tiny 1/2.3-inch sensors, the RX0 is kind of a big deal.
The DJI Phantom 3 Standard doesn’t feature the ease of use of the Spark, the portability of the Mavic Pro, or the professional level features of the DJI Phantom 4 Pro, but it provides a stellar bang for the buck at refurb pricing.
This drone is especially nice for those who may just be starting out, as am I. After mostly-avoiding the quadcopter craze over the past few years, the DJI Phantom 3 Standard is my first real experience with a drone; now that I’ve tried it I have to admit I’m hooked.
With the upcoming launch of Apple’s 4K-enabled Apple TV, and the current existence of 4K devices like the Chromecast Ultra, I’ve recently been interested in the benefits of higher resolution projectors like Optoma’s UHD60.
The most notable thing about the Optoma UHD60 is that it’s among the first projectors to use Texas Instrument’s DLP660TE 4K UHD chip. This chip features a micromirror array size of 2716 x 1528, and when paired with the right pixel shifting optical system, it can display true 4K UHD resolution, which according to specs, means 8.3m pixels on screen. Granted, since pixel shifting is involved, those pixels are larger than the pixels of a setup with a micromirror array size of 3840 x 2160, but this projector is still meets 4K UHD specs, which lends Optoma the ability to correctly label it as a 4K UHD projector.
In this initial post, we provide an unboxing and first impressions of Optoma’s $1,999 UHD60. It’s the consumer version of Optoma’s 4K-enhanced line of projectors that includes the UHD65. The UHD60, with its brighter output, is more apt for entertainment purposes (read: living rooms), where the UHD65, with its better color saturation, is geared more towards dedicated home theater setups with light control. Watch our hands-on video inside for more details.
Last week we brought you a hands-on look at the new Dodocase bookbound case for the 10.5-inch iPad Pro, and this week we’d like to introduce you to another accessory from Dodocase, the Durables Sleeve.
In typical Dodocase fashion, the Durables Sleeve is a fashionable accessory that will help project your iPad Pro from the elements. It features a wax canvas exterior, leather accent, and a cotton twill interior. The sleeve also features a hidden feature inside that Apple Pencil owners will no doubt find handy. Have a look at our video walkthrough for a brief hands-on.
The 10.5-inch iPad Pro has no shortage of case and sleeve options, and we’ve reviewed several of them already on sister site 9to5Mac. Yet, if you’re looking for something truly unique, a case that might stand out when compared to others, then DODOcase’s $69.95 bookbound case is a solid option.
Nintendo has been on a path that I, and a lengthy list of other tech-invested people, have long warned about. Its tone-deaf approach to online, its resistance to adopt new technologies, and most importantly — the existence of the iPhone — have all been bad signs for Nintendo. My advice to the Kyoto-based company up until now? Adapt, or succumb to a slow, painful death at the hands of mobile.
That was the way I used to think just a mere six months ago. Then the Switch happened…
If you own a camera with an interchangeable lens, like the Panasonic GH5, then I highly recommend investing in an inexpensive neutral density filter, even if you don’t plan on regularly using one. Neutral density (ND) filters, which are often described as sunglasses for your lens, allow the lens’ aperture to remain wide open, or the shutter speed to remain low, while in bright shooting environments.
ND filters, in effect, let you capture certain types of shots without overexposing them. Photographers often find them helpful for low shutter speed work, but for my workflow I sometimes use an ND for shooting videos wide open in bright conditions. Have a look at our brief hands-on video inside for more details.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.