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

September 21

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. expand full story

September 7

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? expand full story

August 31

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. expand full story

August 28

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. expand full story

August 23

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.

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August 17

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. expand full story

August 10

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. expand full story

August 9

From 9to5Mac:

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…

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August 3

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. expand full story

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. 

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.

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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

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

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