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Best Products of 2018. The PhotoshopCAFE Tech Gear Guide

Best Products of 2018. The PhotoshopCAFE Tech Gear Guide

The greatest merchandise of the yr (2018)

(AKA Colin’s Gear Guide)

I reviewed lots of stuff in 2018. What’s the greatest? Test it out right here.

2018 was a tremendous yr for tech. There have been lots of revolutionary advances within the areas of Photograph, Video and Artistic tech. (Its truly Jan 01 2019 if you learn this.) I needed to share all my favourite merchandise of the yr. Type of a Colin Smith’s artistic tech roundup sort of factor. (In case you have a greater identify, drop it within the feedback).

Now, the standards for this isn’t only a bunch of issues I’ve seen different individuals use. Use merchandise I truly personal and use on a regular basis. There have been some merchandise that didn’t make the grade, which I returned or they’re gathering mud someplace. Once I exchange a bit of gear, I often analysis and check many choices, earlier than adopting it. Full disclosure, some of these got to me and others I bought myself. If it’s not the perfect of class I’m not together with it, even when it was given to me, so this isn’t a sponsored publish, its my unbiased opinion. (Sick add somewhat asterisk * by the merchandise given to me, in order that you recognize). Most of these I’ve reviewed all through this yr and I’ll hyperlink to these evaluations. Some I didn’t hassle reviewing such because the Sony and GoPro, simply because there have been already too many critiques revealed and I didn’t have something recent to say about them.

That is purely my opinion and based mostly on my hands-on expertise. Sure, there will probably be “what about xyz products?” and these won’t be included as a result of I haven’t had arms on expertise with them, so I gained’t make blind suggestions. For instance, I’ve by no means used a Nikon digital camera, so I can’t inform you how nice or horrible they’re. I’m primarily a Mac consumer, so I can’t speak about all of the superb Home windows laptops (Though I do use Home windows Desktop techniques in my workflow in addition to Mac). I feel you get the thought, so please don’t refill the feedback with “what about” posts 🙂

Alright, let’s go!


The Best Drone

DJI Mavic 2 Professional

Why? This little drone is superb. It’s the drone I’ve all the time needed. It’s moveable and straightforward to journey with and has nice vary and battery life. This in itself isn’t sufficient although (I’ve a Mavic air, however don’t prefer it very a lot). I actually need the sharpest excessive decision photographs and video and the onboard Hasselblad digital camera brings this. Search for a Hawaii Vlog coming from me on this early 2019. Evaluate

► Purchase Mavic 2 right here

Mirrorless Digital camera

Sony A7III

I changed my Canon 77D with the Sony A7III. I had a hands-on expertise with this digital camera at Sony Kando and beloved it. A lot so, I bought one and use it as my mail vlog/journey digital camera. The imaging high quality is absolutely nice. Sharp footage, unimaginable low mild and (for the primary time for me in a mirrorless) feels actually good within the hand. Its shoots full body 4K and 120 FPS (at 1080) which makes this an excellent digital camera for creatives. The nonetheless frames have a tremendous dynamic vary and its very quick.  I’ve shot a vlog late 2018 in Hawaii and I simply have to edit it and submit it quickly. I’ve a metabones V adapter, which lets me use all my Canon L lenses on it. Its not good although, no flip round display and the auto concentrate on video hunts an excessive amount of. However it’s the primary digital camera I’ve used that’s succesful of BOTH excelling pictures and wonderful video, I simply actually take pleasure in utilizing this digital camera, which is why I’m awarding it not solely one of the best Mirrorless digital camera of the yr, however one of the best Digital camera of 2018 interval.

► Purchase A7III HERE

Best Laptop computer

2018 MacBook Professional i9

Okay this one may shock rather a lot of individuals, since I completely trashed the 2016 MacBook Professional. Apple actually have fastened so much of the issues I didn’t like. With 32 Gig RAM and i9 processors, it now packs the punch I want for street life, with a type issue that may be a pleasure to journey with. I’m nonetheless not an enormous fan of the butterfly keys, however Apple have up to date them sufficient that they’re usable. The display is brilliant and delightful. It’s expensive for positive, nevertheless it’s additionally strong. When researching for “better” choices, I hold discovering key issues lacking on the others, comparable to true SSD or highly effective graphics. Or once they do have the whole lot, it’s in a thick or heavy enclosure.

In 2019 who is aware of the place we’ll go, as a result of I badly want a brand new desktop machine, as my MacBook Professional is quicker than my loaded garbage can Mac Professional. It’s not a workhorse just like the Mac Professional although, in order that’s nonetheless my primary machine (64Gb Ram, Twin Video Playing cards, hooked up 32Gb  Raid, higher cooling and so forth). I exploit a iMac Professional regularly, however I wouldn’t select one as my professional desktop system for a number of causes, primarily lack of an improve path for issues as pedestrian as RAM and video card. Sorry, however preconfigured non upgradable hardware isn’t “PRO” class computing.



Best Smartphone

There are literally 2 winners for this class

Google Pixel three*

Wow! I by no means thought I might use an Android telephone that I favored as a lot as an iPhone. The digital camera on the Pixel three is superb. Crisp, clear high quality with options that allow you to zoom and shoot in virtually darkness. The display is vibrant and saturated. Thumbprint on the again, and much of intelligent options comparable to wiggle to flip digital camera make it a pleasure to make use of. Quick startup occasions and rock strong GPS (Higher than Apple) are inform story indicators of good engineering. If I ever left the Apple Eco-system, I might fortunately use this as my major telephone. Additionally the battery life is a bit higher than an iPhone. evaluate

iPhone XS

I’ve used the iPhone since day 1 and this can be a very nice improve. The X purchased the sting to edge display, which enabled me to dump the large physique (which I all the time discovered cumbersome). The upgraded digital camera on the Xs (pronounced 10 s) is superb with true dual-lens depth sensing and ai enhanced images. Twin lenses make for the sharpest zoom within the business. Whereas iOS has its annoyances, this can be a succesful Hand Held pc / Communication Gadget / Music  Participant. (See the Unique Steve Jobs unveiling of the iPhone in case you don’t get that reference). I don’t assume I’ve to say much more concerning the iPhone.  Evaluate

Digital camera Gimbal

DJI Ronin S

It appears 2018 was the yr of the only hand gimbal. So many differing kinds of stabilized cameras and gimbals hit the market. To me the DJI Ronin S rises to the highest. Why? The first cause is construct high quality. This gimbal (though slightly heavy) is actually, rather well designed and made. The second you convey it out of the field, you’ll be able to inform that lots of thought and TLC has gone into it. From the best way the deal with sits in your hand to the best way the rear motor is lowered to not block the display on the digital camera. I had some preliminary points with the digital camera “popping” close to the extremities, however these have been resolved with firmware updates. It one of the simplest ways to stabilize a smaller Cinema digital camera or Mirrorless/DSLR whereas strolling and filming. The cellular app permits for prolonged options like movement time-lapse and panoramas. Assessment

Get it right here


Shotgun Mic

Rode Videomic Professional+

In case you are vlogging or performing interviews on the go, you want a superb shotgun mic. Rode have dominated this style for some time and that is my third Rode mic for a DSLR/Mirrorless setup. They actually knocked this one out of the park. Audio high quality is an important factor and this can be a step up. The place this actually shines although is an easy function. If you flip the digital camera energy on and off, the mic mechanically activates and off. I’ve misplaced interviews as a result of I forgot to show the mic on and misplaced alternatives as a result of I forgot to show it off and ran the battery out within the digital camera bag. If the facility does run out on the Lithium-Ion battery, you’ll be able to drop in 2 AA batteries and you’re again in enterprise. That is as near an ideal on-camera mic that you could get. BUY HERE

Photograph Software program

Adobe Photoshop CC 2019*

Do I actually need to elucidate why Photoshop is one of the best picture modifying software program? It’s the business commonplace for a cause. Assessment

Adobe Lightroom Basic 2019*

Lightroom is the perfect software for working with tons of pictures. Use it to arrange your pictures, edit them and ship in some ways. I’ve all the time been a fan of the standard edits I could make to my photographs in Lightroom and it handles panoramas and HDR higher than absolutely anything on the market. It really works with third celebration plugins so you possibly can prolong its performance. Evaluate

Cellular software program

Adobe Lightroom CC Cellular*

Lightroom CC is a totally useful software on the iPad and it syncs together with your desktop and cell phone. In case you are on the lookout for a cellular workflow, you’ll be able to’t beat Lightroom CC (formally Lightroom cellular). It does most of the issues that Lightroom Basic can do and its very responsive on cellular. LR CC additionally brings the power to shoot in RAW in your cellular units and akl the picture modifying energy you’d anticipate from Adobe. Assessment



Graphics Pill

Wacom Intuos Professional M*

Wacom is head and shoulders above all others relating to strain delicate enter from a stylus. When you’ve got ever used a Wacom pill, you’ll understand these is a cause it’s what virtually all the professionals use. The really feel is the closest you’ll get to pencil on paper, with no lag and light-weight pen that doesn’t want batteries. The newest Intuos Professional now helps 8192 ranges of strain sensitivity, which permits even the lightest contact to register and never flip right into a dotted line (as virtually every part else does). It has inbuilt Bluetooth or USB-C connectivity, so you’ll be able to select methods to join. I discover the medium to be the “goldilocks” in sizes. It’s giant sufficient to offer the precision and real-estate for drawing and never too giant as to hog your desk area. For retouchers the Wacom pill is a mandatory device, not an adjunct. I positive couldn’t create the imagery I do with out one and the newest launch is well worth the improve with the pen2, metallic again and excessive degree of sensitivity. evaluate

get it right here

Interactive Pen Show

Wacom Cintiq Professional 24

Whereas there are different choices for strain delicate drawing, portray and picture modifying resembling Microsoft Studio, the Wacom Cintiq stands alone. I’ve tried the MS Studio and it really feel like a toy in comparison with the Wacom Cintiq in each construct and consumer expertise. I’ve used Cintiqs for a quantity of years and they’re very strong, with shiny and clear shows. The huge issues to search for are a strong floor to attract on, good palm rejection (no unintentional smudges), minimal parallax, zero lag, pen responsiveness and most essential, it has to only really feel proper. The 24 brings 4K decision and the Professional Pen 2 to the sport with 99% Adobe RGB help. Search for an in-depth evaluation from me in Q1 2019 First look

Motion Cam

GoPro Hero 7 Black

Everybody is aware of the identify GoPro. I’ve an entire draw full of them and go professional mounts. I handed on the Hero 5 and them I didn’t assume I wanted the 6. In any case, my GoPro four nonetheless works positive. So why did I really feel I wanted a brand new motion digital camera when the 7 was introduced? 1 phrase (truly 2) Picture Stabilization. This factor is superb. It actually smoothens out micro shakes and large shakes, sure, it actually does work. It’s fairly near being gimbal class stabilization. One other replace is the audio is a lot better. In fact there are different good additions I missed on the 6 resembling inbuilt touchscreen normal and voice activation. I haven’t executed a assessment as a result of there have been already one million on-line by the point I purchased this. Get it right here


Hyper: Hyperdrive USB-C Hub

In case you are utilizing a MacBook Professional you realize you want a dongle to get across the USB-C solely inputs. I used to be truly a backer when this was nonetheless a kickstarter undertaking. In contrast to the Satechi (which is flimsy and fried my MicroSD card) the Hyper is strong and plugs into 2 USB-C slots for added stability. It supplies every little thing you want comparable to USB3 2x Thunderbolt three/USB-C, HDMI, SD card reader and micro SD card reader. If in case you have a MacBook Professional, you will have this system. Get it right here

Desktop Printer

Epson SureColor P800*

Having used many various manufacturers, I exploit solely Epson desktop printers. The cause is the standard of the prints. So simple as that. The prints are vibrant, sharp particulars, clean gradients and sturdy inks and papers. My favourite paper is  Epson Hotpress vibrant. The P800 permits quick switching of photograph/matte inks with out having to open the lid. It has help for a lot of paper varieties with a number of feeders and in addition help for roll paper. The P800 is the bigger sibling to the P600, with help for borderless printing on 17″ vast paper. Assessment

Get it right here


Moveable Arduous Drive

LaCie DJI CoPilot*

This little exhausting drive is actually sensible. It has 2000Gb (2Tb) capability and based mostly on the LaCie Rugged Drive enclosure. What makes it a CoPilot is its means to injest with out the necessity of a pc. Insert your card into the inbuilt reader and press a button to repeat all of the content material onto the interior drive. That is so nice for on-location work and journey. In the event you hook up with the BOSS app by means of your cellular gadget, you’ll be able to evaluation your pictures and movies and even share them to social media proper there, on location. It really works on each Mac and Home windows.  evaluation

get it right here

Exterior Raid drive

G-Tech Shuttle XL

In case you are on the lookout for giant capability and velocity, this field is superb. The unit I examined has eight bays and eight TB capability. However wait, that’s 8TB of pure SSD storage. It’s rugged, however but mild sufficient to take to shoots. In case you are capturing any 4K+ RAW footage, you will want large storage. Additionally in case you are getting an iMac professional, overlook dumping all of your cash on Apple inner storage. That is your expandable storage right here. Once I examined it, the switch price was quicker than the interior SSD on a MacBook Professional! It connects via USB-C. Search for my assessment on this quickly. Its costly, however its quick!


Colour Administration

X-Ceremony Shade checker XL*

In case you are critical about shade administration, you in all probability have already got an Xrite colour checker. This card lets you have recognized colours once you shoot. This lets you dial in right colours if you end up modifying the colour of your pictures or video. There was an issue with the colour checker although. In case you are flying a drone or utilizing 360 Cameras, the chart was just a little small to get a superb studying typically. Enter the XL (For Additional Giant). As an Xrite Coloratti, I used to be concerned in testing the XL and offering real-world suggestions. Not solely was it superb for drone work, however I like it within the studio. I exploit this to calibrate my cameras, Its good and enormous, has true blacks, whites and grey tones in addition to pores and skin tone and primaries. The bigger measurement allows me to double it up as a take-off pad for my drone, bonus! see it right here

Xrite Colour Munki Show*

You actually need a option to measure the colour in your display, as a way to calibrate the monitor You must know that what you’re seeing is true and correct, in order that your picture changes are correct. The Xrite Colormunki Show will do precisely that! I actually just like the i1 Show Professional, however an recommending the colormunki as a result of its simpler to make use of for those who aren’t skilled at shade administration. In case you are extra skilled, then you definitely may wish to further controls on the i1 Show professional.  see it right here

Okay, that’s it for now. If there’s a class that I’ve excluded, drop a remark and I’ll see what I can do to broaden this gear information.

Thanks for checking this out.

Nice to see you right here on the CAFE!